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Author Topic: Apotheosis  (Read 796 times)

Donal2018

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Apotheosis
« on: June 21, 2019, 05:10:19 pm »
I was curious about what people might think about apotheosis and if there is a divine nature in human beings. I have some Judeo-Christian UPG regarding this. Since the Book says that "man was made in God's image" that we humans are therefore god-like, or smaller versions of God.

I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Again, in some forms of Christianity you have some mortals becoming Saints or deified in some ways. Is there a similar apotheosis for Humans in any Pagan beliefs?

Eastling

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2019, 05:17:19 pm »
Is there a similar apotheosis for Humans in any Pagan beliefs?

Dionysian Mystery religion seems to have been focused on the idea that mortal initiates would join the god's thiasos in the afterlife. In some regions, Roman funerary art frequently implied that the soul of the deceased had been taken to the side of Dionysus/Bacchus or had become like him in death. The Eleusinian Mysteries likely had similar themes identifying Persephone's eventual triumph over the underworld with the initiate's triumph over death.

As someone who started out following a Dionysian path some years ago, I can well attest to the reality of apotheosis.
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Donal2018

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2019, 05:22:58 pm »
Dionysian Mystery religion seems to have been focused on the idea that mortal initiates would join the god's thiasos in the afterlife. In some regions, Roman funerary art frequently implied that the soul of the deceased had been taken to the side of Dionysus/Bacchus or had become like him in death. The Eleusinian Mysteries likely had similar themes identifying Persephone's eventual triumph over the underworld with the initiate's triumph over death.

As someone who started out following a Dionysian path some years ago, I can well attest to the reality of apotheosis.

That is interesting stuff. Would you have any books, web sites, or references on the Dionysian Mystery Religion? I am not that familiar with the subject. I might like to read and learn more.

Ashmire

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2019, 12:16:21 am »
I was curious about what people might think about apotheosis and if there is a divine nature in human beings. I have some Judeo-Christian UPG regarding this. Since the Book says that "man was made in God's image" that we humans are therefore god-like, or smaller versions of God.

I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Again, in some forms of Christianity you have some mortals becoming Saints or deified in some ways. Is there a similar apotheosis for Humans in any Pagan beliefs?

I think it's probably more common than not?   Romans were well known for apotheothizing emperors and ancestors, the Egyptians did occasionally, and it's almost the only way you *get* Chinese gods( a few exceptions, but mostly apotheothized humans, to my understanding).   Anyway I've always personally felt more of an affinity for and sincerity of belief in ex-mortal and household gods than I ever have for personifying major phenomena.

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2019, 06:21:30 am »
I was curious about what people might think about apotheosis and if there is a divine nature in human beings. I have some Judeo-Christian UPG regarding this. Since the Book says that "man was made in God's image" that we humans are therefore god-like, or smaller versions of God.

I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Again, in some forms of Christianity you have some mortals becoming Saints or deified in some ways. Is there a similar apotheosis for Humans in any Pagan beliefs?

The views I express here are personal but informed to some extent by Christianity, to some extent by my pantheism (and practical/functional panentheism).

The most I can say that I know about the gods and other Powers is that they have some sort of numinous quality.  The exact nature of it I cannot say.  I am convinced of the numinous quality from experience and from reading about others' experiences.  We are somehow interrelated with the gods or we wouldn't have experiences of them at all as have been reported through time and space.

My great grandmother that I loved so much had a Holiness background, but she adhered to a form of the doctrine of theosis.  She wouldn't have known it by that name, but she taught me when I was a child that I was a little god, a little christ, that we co-create with God in our lives, and that our wills become united to the Will of God.  These concepts still play a role in my spirituality.

I am sure that I will always be working out what it means to be the god of my own little realm.  In part it means that I shape the meaning of my life through the narratives I create, both religious and otherwise.  I seem to choose the narratives, but they arise from causes and conditions beyond me as do all of my thoughts, efforts, and desires.  The creation of these narratives is empowering.  They provide a context for how I view myself in my world.

To be a god in my own context also means to surrender that my own will might give expression to itself with greater ease, arising as it does from a spacious and passive place.  There is a state of passive activity: I don't know how else to express this but to use paradoxical language.  There is an effortless effort and a workless work.  In withdrawing into oneself in abandonment to the interrelated, flowing nature of existence one may be given to self-expression with greater ease: "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

In so doing one arrives at a greater experiential sense that one's being is a manifestation of what the multiverse is doing as a wave is a function of what the ocean is doing, and this experience is a realization of Divinity in her wholeness, in her fullness, manifesting herself through one's particular life, through one's own thoughts, efforts, and desires.  To abandon one's self in this sense is not for me the annihilation of the self, but to live more deeply and authentically into that self.  To surrender to the All includes surrender to the self's own nature that it might be given a more easy and natural expression even as it is transformed in the process.

In my own religious context, this ease of expression, this sense of arising from moment to moment from the Whole, is an act of self-affirmation and veneration.  To affirm and venerate the Whole is to affirm and venerate the self and vice versa.  In experientially uniting to the Will of the Divine (or as I refer to the interactions of the parts within the Whole, "Love's Will,") one realizes that one is a facet of God and a god in one's own subjective realm.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Shewhoseeks

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2019, 09:44:37 am »
I was curious about what people might think about apotheosis and if there is a divine nature in human beings. I have some Judeo-Christian UPG regarding this. Since the Book says that "man was made in God's image" that we humans are therefore god-like, or smaller versions of God.

I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Again, in some forms of Christianity you have some mortals becoming Saints or deified in some ways. Is there a similar apotheosis for Humans in any Pagan beliefs?

Kemetic Polytheist here:

Concerning humanity I have the belief we are all Children of Re, formed on the potter wheel from clay by Khnum, who provided us with our Ka. Heqet (among other birthing related deities like Taweret) and in my personal belief/UPG Hatmehyt, are the ones ensuring we make it safely into this world.

The ancients believed in the divine Ka, which resides in the Pharaoh. The Netjeru posess a Ka as well. So while not being divine we are fashioned spiritually in a very similar way to Them. This is also a reason why, after successfully passing the judgement in the Hall of Two Truths in the Duat we can and will attain divine status as Akhu, living among the Netjeru. This can only happen though, if I spend my life in Ma’at, being a just, truthful, lawful person. And even this has to be done in the “right” measure. The scales should balance out when my heart is weighted with the Feather of Ma’at as counterweight. If my heart is too light then I did not do enough, if it is too heavy then I acted against Ma’at. In both cases it will be devoured by Ammit and my Soul will be destroyed forever.

The stakes are high, but it’s worth it.

The ancients did elevate outstanding individuals to Netjer status. Imhotep, the architect of the step pyramid of Saqqara, is the most famous one. A few pharaohs made it to divine status in our world as well.
Modern Kemeticism is imo too split and inconsistent to reach this grade of organized worship. Hence I will keep this answer with the ancients.





Altair

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2019, 11:27:46 am »
I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Wicca-type nature-based neopagan here. For me, there is no separation between the mortal and the divine. Deity is manifest in the world around us, a world of which we humans are an integral part--therefore deity is us, in a very real sense.

In mythic terms, this is reflected in the stories I hold sacred, where the stars and worlds above, deities themselves, are half-siblings to humankind (albeit far older, greater, and wiser)...and human beings, like all life on earth, are the children of a pair of celestial gods. So there's no clear line where god ends and mortal begins.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Donal2018

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2019, 01:38:11 pm »
I was curious about what people might think about apotheosis and if there is a divine nature in human beings. I have some Judeo-Christian UPG regarding this. Since the Book says that "man was made in God's image" that we humans are therefore god-like, or smaller versions of God.

I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Again, in some forms of Christianity you have some mortals becoming Saints or deified in some ways. Is there a similar apotheosis for Humans in any Pagan beliefs?

All good answers here on this Thread. Thank you to everyone for responding. I am going to mediate and pray on this topic. I think that there might be more to learn, know, and experience about it. Apotheosis=Transformation. Maybe one point of spirituality is to change and become better. Self improvement. Maybe apotheosis is that process.

ehbowen

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2019, 08:50:21 am »
All good answers here on this Thread. Thank you to everyone for responding. I am going to mediate and pray on this topic. I think that there might be more to learn, know, and experience about it. Apotheosis=Transformation. Maybe one point of spirituality is to change and become better. Self improvement. Maybe apotheosis is that process.

Looking at it from a fundamentalist Christian perspective...we've traditionally shied away from the question, taking the position that there is One God And You'll Never Be At His Level. Which may in fact be correct. But that leaves quite a bit of space between his level and our present level. The Catholics try to fill that gap with saints and several ranks of angels; while I feel that the Catholics are way off base in many areas it does remain that the apostle Paul specifically stated that, "We shall judge angels."

Which brings up the Old Testament precedent set by Moses at the urging of his father-in-law, who told him to relieve his work load by appointing judges of ten, of fifty, of a hundred, and of a thousand. I think that's a valid precedent to look forward to in the longer term, that there should be someone close to you to whom you can go with a problem. While perhaps you and I will never be at the level of God Almighty...I think that there's still an open window for promotion, if you prove yourself worthy.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

arete

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2019, 02:22:42 pm »
I was curious about what people might think about apotheosis and if there is a divine nature in human beings. I have some Judeo-Christian UPG regarding this. Since the Book says that "man was made in God's image" that we humans are therefore god-like, or smaller versions of God.

I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Again, in some forms of Christianity you have some mortals becoming Saints or deified in some ways. Is there a similar apotheosis for Humans in any Pagan beliefs?
In greek language 'apotheosis' is giving honour to mortals as if they were Gods. It is used to show great admiration.  :)

Tay Redgrave

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2019, 12:12:20 am »
I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Short answer: Yes, to all of this.

Semi-long answer: I'm a Pagan who has a panentheistic/polytheistic/lightly LHP-inspired viewpoint. I believe that the universe was created and the Source (or whatever title you want to give them [God, f'ex]) had become the universe and divinity was scattered within it - to the gods, humans, animals, etc.

Which means, to me, humanity has inherent divinity (or a divine nature) and could tap into this divinity... or even become gods, if they so choose.

As for gods and humans relations to one another in this context... I suppose, for me, gods are simply another form of life on this Earth (though not one of our physical realm; they can interact with it, however) and were made before humanity... thus, they have a greater/stronger connection to this divinity.

Though, it's my personal perspective/views, so take it with a grain of salt.

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2019, 12:57:03 am »
I was curious about what people might think about apotheosis and if there is a divine nature in human beings. I have some Judeo-Christian UPG regarding this. Since the Book says that "man was made in God's image" that we humans are therefore god-like, or smaller versions of God.

I wonder if there is a Pagan view or views on this: do Human Beings have divine nature? Can Humans become like Gods? What is the relation between Humans and Gods in this context?

Again, in some forms of Christianity you have some mortals becoming Saints or deified in some ways. Is there a similar apotheosis for Humans in any Pagan beliefs?

I think apotheosis is the bomb-dot-com
Roman Emperors seem like they’d be cranky types to begin with.
~Ashmire

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2019, 12:20:14 pm »
That is interesting stuff. Would you have any books, web sites, or references on the Dionysian Mystery Religion? I am not that familiar with the subject. I might like to read and learn more.

Belatedly: my go-to recommendation for getting into the Dionysian spirit is Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, by Carl Kerenyi. As usual, I must disclaim that it was published in the early '70s and is therefore somewhat dated. I also don't agree with all of the author's speculations. However, he seems to have had a very good grasp on the nature of Dionysos, and in particular, there's a fair amount of focus on the god's role as an apotheosizing force.
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Donal2018

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Re: Apotheosis
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2019, 08:44:18 pm »
Belatedly: my go-to recommendation for getting into the Dionysian spirit is Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, by Carl Kerenyi. As usual, I must disclaim that it was published in the early '70s and is therefore somewhat dated. I also don't agree with all of the author's speculations. However, he seems to have had a very good grasp on the nature of Dionysos, and in particular, there's a fair amount of focus on the god's role as an apotheosizing force.

Yes, thanks Eastling for that book suggestion. I keep coming across Dionysos references lately, so maybe I am being called a bit. He seems to be a very iconoclastic deity in the Greek Pantheon, which I am very drawn to. Breaking away from norms, freedom, ecstatic living, maybe an anti-authoritarian streak. Good stuff. Anyway, thanks again for the comment and the book suggestion.

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