God

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The word God, comes from Gothic root gheu ("to invoke or to sacrifice to") refers either "the one invoked" or "the one sacrificed to." When used in singular, it refers in monotheism to the one deity governing the universe, and represents the supreme reality. Among Western theologians God is generally regarded as:

... a personal being, bodiless, omnipresent, creator and sustainer of any universe there may be, perfectly free, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good, and a source of moral obligation; who exists eternally and necessarily. . .[1]

The Mahatmas' views

A. P. Sinnett copied some notes by the Mahatma K.H. on what A. O. Hume called a “Preliminary Chapter on God,” where the Master says that "Neither our philosophy nor ourselves believe in a God."[2] What the Mahatma denies is basically the existence of an absolute God endowed with personal attributes (thought, will, desire, jealousy, etc.), but not of a relative intelligence or "universal mind" guiding the universe in the form of a Logos, Dhyāni-Chohans, Planetary Spirits, etc. In his words:

We deny God both as philosophers and as Buddhists. We know there are planetary and other spiritual lives, and we know there is in our system no such thing as God, either personal or impersonal. Parabrahm is not a God, but absolute immutable law, and Iswar is the effect of Avidya and Maya, ignorance based upon the great delusion. The word “God” was invented to designate the unknown cause of those effects which man has either admired or dreaded without understanding them, and since we claim and that we are able to prove what we claim — i.e. the knowledge of that cause and causes — we are in a position to maintain there is no God or Gods behind them.
The idea of God is not an innate but an acquired notion, and we have but one thing uncommon with theologies — we reveal the infinite. But while we assign to all the phenomena that proceed from the infinite and limitless space, duration and motion, material, natural, sensible and known (to us at least) causes, the theists assign them spiritual, super-natural and unintelligible and un-known causes. The God of the Theologians is simply an imaginary power, un loup garou as d’Holbach expressed it — a power which has never yet manifested itself. Our chief aim is to deliver humanity of this nightmare, to teach man virtue for its own sake, and to walk in life relying on himself instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that for countless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human misery. Pantheistic we may be called — agnostic NEVER.[3]

Omnipresence and Pantheism

If people are willing to accept and to regard as God our ONE LIFE immutable and unconscious in its eternity they may do so and thus keep to one more gigantic misnomer. But then they will have to say with Spinoza that there is not and that we cannot conceive any other substance than God; or as that famous and unfortunate philosopher says in his fourteenth proposition, “praeter Deum neque dari neque concipi potest substantia” — and thus become Pantheists . . . who but a Theologian nursed on mystery and the most absurd supernaturalism can imagine a self-existent being of necessity infinite and omnipresent outside the manifested boundless universe. The word infinite is but a negative which excludes the idea of bounds. It is evident that a being independent and omnipresent cannot be limited by anything which is outside of himself; that there can be nothing exterior to himself — not even vacuum, then where is there room for matter? for that manifested universe even though the latter [be] limited? If we ask the theist is your God vacuum, space or matter, they will reply no. And yet they hold that their God penetrates matter though he is not himself matter. When we speak of our One Life we also say that it penetrates, nay is the essence of every atom of matter; and that therefore it not only has correspondence with matter but has all its properties likewise, etc. — hence is material, is matter itself.[4]

Infinity vs personality

According to theologians “God, the self-existent being is a most simple, unchangeable, incorruptible being; without parts, figure, motion, divisibility, or any other such properties as we find in matter. For all such things so plainly and necessarily imply finiteness in their very notion and are utterly inconsistent with complete infinity.”[5]
(1) We deny the existence of a thinking conscious God, on the grounds that such a God must either be conditioned, limited and subject to change, therefore not infinite, or (2) if he is represented to us as an eternal unchangeable and independent being, with not a particle of matter in him, then we answer that it is no being but an immutable blind principle, a law.[6]
If they tell us that God is a self existent pure spirit independent of matter — an extra-cosmic deity, we answer that admitting even the possibility of such an impossibility, i.e., his existence, we yet hold that a purely immaterial spirit cannot be an intelligent conscious ruler nor can he have any of the attributes bestowed upon him by theology, and thus such a God becomes again but a blind force. Intelligence as found in our Dhyan Chohans, is a faculty that can appertain but to organized or animated being — however imponderable or rather invisible the materials of their organizations. Intelligence requires the necessity of thinking; to think one must have ideas; ideas suppose senses which are physical material, and how can anything material belong to pure spirit?[7]

Feelings unworthy of a divine being

Their own Bible, their Revelation, destroys all the moral perfections they heap upon him, unless indeed they call those qualities perfections that every other man’s reason and common sense call imperfections, odious vices and brutal wickedness. Nay more, he who reads our Buddhist scriptures written for the superstitious masses will fail to find in them a demon so vindictive, unjust, so cruel and so stupid as the celestial tyrant upon whom the Christians prodigally lavish their servile worship and on whom their theologians heap those perfections that are contradicted on every page of their Bible.[8]
It is belief in God and Gods that makes two-thirds of humanity the slaves of a handful of those who deceive them under the false pretence of saving them. It is not man ever ready to commit any kind of evil if told that his God or Gods demand the crime — voluntary victim of an illusionary God, the abject slave of his crafty ministers?.[9]

H. P. Blavatsky's views

Mme. Blavatsky also rejected the idea of an absolute conscious God, as well as the anthropomorphic idea of it. However, she did not postulated the absence of guiding intelligence in the Cosmos. She wrote:

(1) The Secret Doctrine teaches no Atheism, except in the Hindu sense of the word nastika, or the rejection of idols, including every anthropomorphic god. In this sense every Occultist is a Nastika.


(2) It admits a Logos or a collective “Creator” of the Universe; a Demi-urgos — in the sense implied when one speaks of an “Architect” as the “Creator” of an edifice, whereas that Architect has never touched one stone of it, but, while furnishing the plan, left all the manual labour to the masons; in our case the plan was furnished by the Ideation of the Universe, and the constructive labour was left to the Hosts of intelligent Powers and Forces. But that Demiurgos is no personal deity, — i.e., an imperfect extra-cosmic god, — but only the aggregate of the Dhyan-Chohans and the other forces.[10]

The monotheistic God is seen as a perfect and pure spirit (without matter). This is not the case of the creative Dhyāni-Chohans:

They are dual in their character; being composed of (a) the irrational brute energy, inherent in matter, and (b) the intelligent soul or cosmic consciousness which directs and guides that energy, and which is the Dhyan-Chohanic thought reflecting the Ideation of the Universal mind.[11]

Because of this, the creative powers are not "perfect", but evolving intelligences:

That process is not always perfect . . . however many proofs it may exhibit of a guiding intelligence behind the veil, it still shows gaps and flaws, and even results very often in evident failures. . .[12]

In Christianity

God is the triune Supreme Being, the sovereign Creator and Ruler of the universe, the principal Object of the Christian faith. “From the biblical viewpoint it is generally agreed that it is impossible to give a strict definition of the idea of God,”[13] This is because using finite language to define an infinite God quickly proves inadequate.

Blavatsky's comments

The famous opening of the Gospel of John was interpreted by Mme. Blavatsky using Theosophical concepts as follows:

In the beginning (Mûlaprakriti) was the Word (Third Logos), and the Word was with God (Second Logos), and the Word was God (First Logos).
Yet all the three Logoi are one.[14]

In Judaism

In Islam

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Notes

  1. Ted Honderich (ed), The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press, 1995), 314.
  2. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 88 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 269.
  3. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 88 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 270.
  4. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 88 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 270-271.
  5. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 88 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 271.
  6. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 88 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 272.
  7. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 88 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 272.
  8. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 88 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 271.
  9. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 88 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 274.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 279-280.
  11. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 280.
  12. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 280.
  13. Walter A. Elwell (Ed.), Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001), 501.
  14. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. XI (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 487.