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Author Topic: Apotheosis  (Read 1136 times)

Donal2018

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Apotheosis
« on: August 19, 2020, 02:03:51 pm »
So I am wondering if humans can attain godhood. In Christian terms, man/woman are made in God's image and have immortal souls, but mortal bodies. So a kind of small godhood and form of immortality. I wonder if there is something similar anywhere in various Paganisms.

I think some occult systems are designed to develp the magician into a more god-like being. So can human beings become gods, or is there a permanent demarcation between humans and the gods? Is apotheosis a thing, and how prevalent?

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 02:13:13 pm »
So I am wondering if humans can attain godhood. In Christian terms, man/woman are made in God's image and have immortal souls, but mortal bodies. So a kind of small godhood and form of immortality. I wonder if there is something similar anywhere in various Paganisms.

I think some occult systems are designed to develp the magician into a more god-like being. So can human beings become gods, or is there a permanent demarcation between humans and the gods? Is apotheosis a thing, and how prevalent?

It's certainly an ancient practice in many cultures---Many if not most East Asian deities had human origins, Romans deified all their emperors and venerated their individual ancestors, the Egyptians had a few notable apotheoses, and, while it may be more "pop culture" than you want, there are at least a couple of us in this forum including me whose primary deities are modern apotheoses.  I personally think it's something that is very natural and meaningful that our modern society is wrong to neglect.

Donal2018

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2020, 02:18:32 pm »
It's certainly an ancient practice in many cultures---Many if not most East Asian deities had human origins, Romans deified all their emperors and venerated their individual ancestors, the Egyptians had a few notable apotheoses, and, while it may be more "pop culture" than you want, there are at least a couple of us in this forum including me whose primary deities are modern apotheoses.  I personally think it's something that is very natural and meaningful that our modern society is wrong to neglect.

Thanks for that response. I would note that modern religion and pop culture influences are fine with me. To me it is an extension of freedom of religion. People should be frèe to choose or design their own beliefs, whether they are more modern or are more focused on the ancients. Or a mix of both. I myself am eclectic, so it is all good.

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2020, 04:08:28 pm »
So I am wondering if humans can attain godhood. In Christian terms, man/woman are made in God's image and have immortal souls, but mortal bodies. So a kind of small godhood and form of immortality. I wonder if there is something similar anywhere in various Paganisms.

I think some occult systems are designed to develp the magician into a more god-like being. So can human beings become gods, or is there a permanent demarcation between humans and the gods? Is apotheosis a thing, and how prevalent?

I would note that I am looking into Techno Paganism and formulating a kind of Pagan Transhumanism. Arthur C. Clarke noted that a sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic. Perhaps a path to godhood is the transformation of the human into the superhuman via advanced science and technology. A kind of godhhood thus might be achieved. I don't know if this relates directlly to pagan spirituality, but I am thinking about it. Respectful comments are welcome.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 04:10:29 pm by Donal2018 »

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2020, 06:29:29 pm »
I would note that I am looking into Techno Paganism and formulating a kind of Pagan Transhumanism. Arthur C. Clarke noted that a sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic. Perhaps a path to godhood is the transformation of the human into the superhuman via advanced science and technology. A kind of godhhood thus might be achieved. I don't know if this relates directlly to pagan spirituality, but I am thinking about it. Respectful comments are welcome.
Hello a better self would be a prefered wording when the Gods challenge you mentally and physically it's time to be counted. people expect to grow old and frail. this is the part where you work out the meaning of Life and grow young.
Awaken myself alive and well loving to start learning today ahead a challenge set by the Gods. Haven't

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2020, 01:00:29 am »
I would note that I am looking into Techno Paganism and formulating a kind of Pagan Transhumanism. Arthur C. Clarke noted that a sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic. Perhaps a path to godhood is the transformation of the human into the superhuman via advanced science and technology. A kind of godhhood thus might be achieved. I don't know if this relates directlly to pagan spirituality, but I am thinking about it. Respectful comments are welcome.

My own UPG of my Godhead is that at least some of the personalities involved would dearly love to take the future envisioned in Star Trek and "bring it to life"...warts and all. [Not so much Q, though...he's a little brat!] I've felt for some time that they're still working on the physical universe, 'rolling in' upgrades now and then which our scientists discover a few years/decades/whatever later. And so I think we would find, as long as we were able to show a little species maturity, that the speed of light is actually not an absolute barrier after all.

Right now, though, that doesn't look very likely. I think we'd have trouble even qualifying for a "learner's permit", let alone a commercial license. And, really, that's a danger with any upgrade in power which is not accompanied by corresponding maturity...or at least the very real promise of accountability. And so what I think that they really want is the opportunity to be here in this world with us, both for the purposes of instruction and discipline. As the old saying goes, it's lonely at the top.

I think that there are, obviously, a great number of currently unfilled potential intermediate steps between humans, angels, and Deity. Clark Kent, anyone? On a higher level, I've postulated the existence of what I refer to (with a tip o' the hat to Doctor Who) as "time lords", able to work with and alter the time stream and course of events on a level above what we think of as "angels" but below that of Deity...although the differences involved may not be readily apparent to human ken.

So what's keeping that from happening? I feel that it's the other "big player" in my belief system, the entity (or, more likely, composite of entities) known as Satan. While he is (or they are) willing enough to empower the occasional lower life form from time to time, I believe that he has come to recognize that if there is real power in this physical universe which he does not control or at least have veto power over, he's in deep deep trouble. And so he fights tooth and nail to keep that from happening.

At least for now. Next year/month/week, who knows?
« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 01:05:50 am by ehbowen »
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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2020, 02:31:51 pm »
My own UPG of my Godhead is that at least some of the personalities involved would dearly love to take the future envisioned in Star Trek and "bring it to life"...warts and all. [Not so much Q, though...he's a little brat!] I've felt for some time that they're still working on the physical universe, 'rolling in' upgrades now and then which our scientists discover a few years/decades/whatever later. And so I think we would find, as long as we were able to show a little species maturity, that the speed of light is actually not an absolute barrier after all.

Right now, though, that doesn't look very likely. I think we'd have trouble even qualifying for a "learner's permit", let alone a commercial license. And, really, that's a danger with any upgrade in power which is not accompanied by corresponding maturity...or at least the very real promise of accountability. And so what I think that they really want is the opportunity to be here in this world with us, both for the purposes of instruction and discipline. As the old saying goes, it's lonely at the top.

I think that there are, obviously, a great number of currently unfilled potential intermediate steps between humans, angels, and Deity. Clark Kent, anyone? On a higher level, I've postulated the existence of what I refer to (with a tip o' the hat to Doctor Who) as "time lords", able to work with and alter the time stream and course of events on a level above what we think of as "angels" but below that of Deity...although the differences involved may not be readily apparent to human ken.

So what's keeping that from happening? I feel that it's the other "big player" in my belief system, the entity (or, more likely, composite of entities) known as Satan. While he is (or they are) willing enough to empower the occasional lower life form from time to time, I believe that he has come to recognize that if there is real power in this physical universe which he does not control or at least have veto power over, he's in deep deep trouble. And so he fights tooth and nail to keep that from happening.

At least for now. Next year/month/week, who knows?

Good comment, Eric, thanks for posting it. I agree with you that advances in technology must be accompanied by advances in maturity. I would go so far to say that we might hope for future metahumans that are moral and spiritual paragons not just physically superhuman. Superman indeed.

As far as Satan goes, I do not foresee him going for long against the Almighty. I am partly Christian Pagan, an amalgam, and ha've some UPG about this stuff, so maybe I will post more about that some other time. Anyway, thanks again for the good comment.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 02:33:39 pm by Donal2018 »

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2020, 12:52:08 pm »
So I am wondering if humans can attain godhood. In Christian terms, man/woman are made in God's image and have immortal souls, but mortal bodies. So a kind of small godhood and form of immortality. I wonder if there is something similar anywhere in various Paganisms.

I think some occult systems are designed to develp the magician into a more god-like being. So can human beings become gods, or is there a permanent demarcation between humans and the gods? Is apotheosis a thing, and how prevalent?

Most of the mythical/ religious systems I'm aware of have deified humans. It seems to be a pretty common idea. In Chinese religion for instance, most of the deities were human at some point. All of the earth deities (tudigong) assigned to each locale are assumed to have been virtuous local humans, though it is rare for anyone to remember exactly who they were. Many of the most popular deities- e.g. Guan Yu, Wen Chang, Mazu, Lu Dongbin- were originally human.  Ancestor veneration traditionally assumes that the ancestors are shen, a term that is used for both gods and ancestral spirits. The Japanese kami has similar meanings.

The Romans of course deified several of their outstanding emperors, starting with Julius Caesar and including Augustus, Vespasian, and Hadrian.

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2020, 08:04:30 pm »
I would note that I am looking into Techno Paganism and formulating a kind of Pagan Transhumanism. Arthur C. Clarke noted that a sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic. Perhaps a path to godhood is the transformation of the human into the superhuman via advanced science and technology. A kind of godhhood thus might be achieved. I don't know if this relates directlly to pagan spirituality, but I am thinking about it. Respectful comments are welcome.

My own views are pretty much the flip side of this: that transformation from human to divine happens through imagination, art, theater/ritual and narrative. The historical examples people have mentioned are mostly like this.

Science and technology have not much to say about meaning, purpose, and other subjective matters that are usually the purview of religion.

Of course, we probably each have very different ideas about what constitutes 'a kind of godhood', too.

Donal2018

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2020, 02:01:37 pm »
Most of the mythical/ religious systems I'm aware of have deified humans. It seems to be a pretty common idea. In Chinese religion for instance, most of the deities were human at some point. All of the earth deities (tudigong) assigned to each locale are assumed to have been virtuous local humans, though it is rare for anyone to remember exactly who they were. Many of the most popular deities- e.g. Guan Yu, Wen Chang, Mazu, Lu Dongbin- were originally human.  Ancestor veneration traditionally assumes that the ancestors are shen, a term that is used for both gods and ancestral spirits. The Japanese kami has similar meanings.

The Romans of course deified several of their outstanding emperors, starting with Julius Caesar and including Augustus, Vespasian, and Hadrian.

Thanks for that post. I don't know much about Chinese gods, so that is new to me. The Egyptian pharaohs were believed to be incarnations of Osiris, I think. Interesting stuff.

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2020, 02:07:46 pm »
My own views are pretty much the flip side of this: that transformation from human to divine happens through imagination, art, theater/ritual and narrative. The historical examples people have mentioned are mostly like this.

Science and technology have not much to say about meaning, purpose, and other subjective matters that are usually the purview of religion.

Of course, we probably each have very different ideas about what constitutes 'a kind of godhood', too.

Thanks for your perspective. We well might have different ideas about godhood. I have been meaning to start a thread based on the question "what is a god"? People talk about gods, but I am stiĺl unsure of what that means. Are gods imaginary phenomena of our minds? Are they cultural constructs? Are they spiritual beings, and if so where do they come from? So those are some related questions.

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2020, 02:22:45 pm »
So I am wondering if humans can attain godhood. In Christian terms, man/woman are made in God's image and have immortal souls, but mortal bodies. So a kind of small godhood and form of immortality. I wonder if there is something similar anywhere in various Paganisms.

I think some occult systems are designed to develp the magician into a more god-like being. So can human beings become gods, or is there a permanent demarcation between humans and the gods? Is apotheosis a thing, and how prevalent?

Unsurprisingly I'm quite convinced that not only can humans attain godhood, but many have and continue to do so.

As noted by others in the thread above, most polytheistic belief systems allow for some form of apotheosis. In many faiths, ancestor worship is outright fundamental to the religion. In China it's just another part of life and death; before lockdown even lifted in Wuhan, people were praising Dr. Li, the whistleblower who later died of the coronavirus, as a new deity--or at least a new part of the vast and enormous syncretic network of deity that is the Li/Lee lineage.

Which brings me to another point--I don't think all apotheoses are discrete, individual things. I suspect that often, the ascending individual joins the retinue or family of a greater, more archetypal deity. For example, I strongly suspect that a form of deification was discovered in the ancient Aegean with the arrival of the Mysteries of Dionysos, in which elite priests lead a crowd through a concert-like ecstatic performance. By repeatedly leading such powerful rituals, eventually they join their spirits with that of the god upon death.

I'm still working on the details...

There are also non-traditional apotheoses, of course. I have reason to believe that many dead celebrities now function as gods or spirits whether they meant to do that in life or not.
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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2020, 02:47:15 pm »
Unsurprisingly I'm quite convinced that not only can humans attain godhood, but many have and continue to do so.

As noted by others in the thread above, most polytheistic belief systems allow for some form of apotheosis. In many faiths, ancestor worship is outright fundamental to the religion. In China it's just another part of life and death; before lockdown even lifted in Wuhan, people were praising Dr. Li, the whistleblower who later died of the coronavirus, as a new deity--or at least a new part of the vast and enormous syncretic network of deity that is the Li/Lee lineage.

Which brings me to another point--I don't think all apotheoses are discrete, individual things. I suspect that often, the ascending individual joins the retinue or family of a greater, more archetypal deity. For example, I strongly suspect that a form of deification was discovered in the ancient Aegean with the arrival of the Mysteries of Dionysos, in which elite priests lead a crowd through a concert-like ecstatic performance. By repeatedly leading such powerful rituals, eventually they join their spirits with that of the god upon death.

I'm still working on the details...

There are also non-traditional apotheoses, of course. I have reason to believe that many dead celebrities now function as gods or spirits whether they meant to do that in life or not.

Oh, the idea of group ascension or tribal apotheosis never occurred to me. Thanks for sharing that. I appreciate your Dionysian devotion to deceased rock stars. I think rock concerts are just massive ecstatic rituals. In the case of some Heavy Metal concerts there is an actual emphasis on the occult. It is interesting stuff.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2020, 02:48:50 pm by Donal2018 »

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