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Personal Cosmologies


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#1 Phaedra

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 07:00 PM

I just enjoyed a good read-through of Sandy's old thread http://www.tradition...y-or-god/page-1 ...This sort of talk hits so hard on my interests. I'd love to pour up some wine, curl up in a chair, and hear all about what anyone else might want to share about their personal cosmologies. The concept of a point of origin or a prevalent source of all this spirit around, below, and above us is a nebulous topic addressed with both striking similarity and great differences across cultures all over the world...How do you percieve universal energy, also called Animus Mundi or the world soul? 
 
Spirituality and the nature of the divine has been a point of rabid fascination for me since I was a child, and over several years I have come to a personal cosmology which sits well with my soul and plays nicely with the world as I observe and experience it. I resonate well with the philosopical standpoint that I later came to know has an actual name: monism. This holds that, strictly speaking, there is only one thing in all of existence, and that one thing is the Universe. We who observe and experience the portion of the universe that we dwell in make distinctions between this and that which are, cosmically speaking, completely arbitrary and based on our perceptions alone: Everything that it and ever will be is nothing more or less than the results of the causes and conditins that lead to its present manifestation. In short, we and everything we know is made of the same star stuff that exploded outwards in the Big Bang, stuff that is never truly in statis and is constantly shifting and changing from one state to another.
 
Of course, I'm a shamelessly spiritual and theistic sort, so this more scientific view takes on another layer of complexity for me. In my view, this universe is one great entity, a fathomless and ever-expanding singular entity which is comprised entirely of spirit, and which manifests in a dense, physical form as well as an aetherical and intangible one. This great Over-Soul is one which I feebly designate as ultimately feminine by virtue of being the propelling force of creation; the first cauldron, so to speak. I don't conceptualize this entity as a personal deity in any regard; it is the ocean which creates, contains, and is one with all that it contains, and just like you can't separate the water from the wave, you can't separate the cosmos from that which is derived from it.
 
Where deity comes in for me is tied to the aetherical layer of this universe---the everyday reality of spooks and fey and every Other we know and can't possibly know, including what many folks consider gods and goddesses. This portion of the 'cauldron' is accessible to us, and is the part of the universe which we can relate to, be broken down, inspired, or empowered by, commune with, build relationships with. It's countless manifestations in Spirit are what we link attributes to, give names and faces to, and even pray or petition to when beset by a cause for a higher power. This vast conglomerate is masculine, feminine, and everything beyond and inbetween, and includes all that we call deity. In my practice, I associate this amalgamation with the World Tree, feminine at the root and masculine at the leaf, and it's the current of this which I try to connect with in my devotional life.
 
If anyone wants to share their own cosmology, even if only a glimpse of it, I've got the wine ready. :atoast:

Edited by Phaedra, 14 May 2018 - 04:19 PM.

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#2 Circe

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 06:36 PM

 

I just enjoyed a good read-through of Sandy's old thread http://www.tradition...y-or-god/page-1 ...This sort of talk hits so hard on my interests. I'd love to pour up some wine, curl up in a chair, and hear all about what anyone else might want to share about their personal cosmologies. The concept of a point of origin or a prevalent source of all this spirit around, below, and above us is a nebulous topic addressed with both striking similarity and great differences across cultures all over the world...How do you percieve universal energy, also called Animus Mundi or the world soul? 
 
Spirituality and the nature of the divine has been a point of rabid fascination for me since I was a child, and over several years I have come to a personal cosmology which sits well with my soul and plays nicely with the world as I observe and experience it. I resonate well with the philosopical standpoint that I later came to know has an actual name: monism. This holds that, strictly speaking, there is only one thing in all of existence, and that one thing is the Universe. We who observe and experience the portion of the universe that we dwell in make distinctions between this and that which are, cosmically speaking, completely arbitrary and based on our perceptions alone: Everything that it and ever will be is nothing more or less than the results of the causes and conditins that lead to its present manifestation. In short, we and everything we know is made of the same star stuff that exploded outwards in the Big Bang, stuff that is never truly in statis and is constantly shifting and changing from one state to another.
 
Of course, I'm a shamelessly spiritual and theistic sort, so this more scientific view takes on another layer of complexity for me. In my view, this universe is one great entity, a fathomless and ever-expanding singular entity which is comprised entirely of spirit, and which manifests in a dense, physical form as well as an aetherical and intangible one. This great Over-Soul is one which I feebly designate as ultimately feminine by virtue of being the propelling force of creation, and I refer to it as the Star Cauldron. I don't conceptualize this entity as a personal deity in any regard; it is the ocean which creates, contains, and is one with all that it contains, and just like you can't separate the water from the wave, you can't separate the cosmos from that which is derived from it.
 
Where deity comes in for me is tied to the aetherical layer of this universe---the everyday reality of spooks and fey and every Other we know and can't possibly know, including what many folks consider gods and goddesses. This portion of the Cauldron is accessible to us, and is the part of the universe which we can relate to, be broken down, inspired, or empowered by, commune with, build relationships with. It's countless manifestations in Spirit are what we link attributes to, give names and faces to, and even pray or petition to when beset by a cause for a higher power. This vast conglomerate is masculine, feminine, and everything beyond and inbetween, and includes all that we call deity. In my practice, I associate this amalgamation with the World Tree, feminine at the root and masculine at the leaf, and it's the current of this which I try to connect with in my devotional life.
 
If anyone wants to share their own cosmology, even if only a glimpse of it, I've got the wine ready. :atoast:

 

 

I'm so happy to have found a thread on this topic, because I recently discovered the philosophy of monism after reading John Milton's Paradise Lost, as Milton himself was a monist. I don't want to finalize this as my official belief yet as I'm still exploring it and have an infatuation with cosmology. I pull a lot of my beliefs and practices from Assyro-Babylonian and Hellenic daemonology, so the amalgamation to me would be the Neo-Assyrian tree of life, the divine order of cosmos, with the vertical alignments of the tree representing the polar opposites of masculine and feminine, meeting together at the roots. The balance within the tree is maintained by the trunk, or as the Assyrians called it the "Pillar of Equilibrium". I associate these masculine and feminine alignments to be deities that all somehow connect as one.

 

However, what I believe is still developing within so it's hard for me to say this is official.

 

I'm not technically a theist (I consider deities and daemons to be archetypes), but I feel comfortable to label these divinities as "god" and "goddess", though I tend to see them as one ethereal being. Just asking, have you ever read the Kabbalah, or heard of the Sephirotic tree? Pretty fascinating stuff. 


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#3 Phaedra

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 08:38 PM

I know of the Sephirotic tree as one culture's interpretation of the World Tree, and I've learned a scant bit about Kabbalah. Certainly not enough to claim any knowledge to tout about, but it's there in my awareness somewhere. It is fascinating, but I keep it kindly away from my personal practice. Demonology/olatry was a very fun detour for me years ago; it was during that exploration that I came to understand I'm not into ceremony, haha.


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#4 Phaedra

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 04:52 PM

Previous reply was short because I got interrupted, and then getting back to it just slipped my mind. Sorry, Circe! Assyrian lore is largely a mystery to me, and mysteries are made to be explored! Is it a close cousin in any way to Mesopotamian or Sumerian lore? I've had a soft spot for that since a very bare bones survey of it back in early school days, but I never did make it a point to conduct any focused study in the area, for some reason that I'm scratching my head about right now. As for Milton, I didn't know he was a monist! Cool nugget. It's a philosophy that makes sense to me where I'm at in my journey as of right now; it may either change or take on different nuances as I go, though. Change is forever imminent when you're a seeker, and I plan on being one at my core for all my days.

 

The Pillar of Equilibrium...I do love seeing the World Tree manifesting so consistently across disparate cultures. Sliding the article in here for relevance: http://sarahannelawl...the-world-tree/


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#5 Circe

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 03:42 AM

Previous reply was short because I got interrupted, and then getting back to it just slipped my mind. Sorry, Circe! Assyrian lore is largely a mystery to me, and mysteries are made to be explored! Is it a close cousin in any way to Mesopotamian or Sumerian lore? I've had a soft spot for that since a very bare bones survey of it back in early school days, but I never did make it a point to conduct any focused study in the area, for some reason that I'm scratching my head about right now. As for Milton, I didn't know he was a monist! Cool nugget. It's a philosophy that makes sense to me where I'm at in my journey as of right now; it may either change or take on different nuances as I go, though. Change is forever imminent when you're a seeker, and I plan on being one at my core for all my days.

 

The Pillar of Equilibrium...I do love seeing the World Tree manifesting so consistently across disparate cultures. Sliding the article in here for relevance: http://sarahannelawl...the-world-tree/

 

​Ah, no biggie Phaedra. :)

 

​The relationship between Assyo-Babylonian lore and Sumerian myth is like the relationship between Greek and Roman lore. Sumer was conquered by the Akkadians around 2330 BCE, in which the city of Babylon would rise to power around 1895 BCE or so. Assyrians came later and assimilated with the Babylonians until the Babs and Persians conquered them in 614 BCE. During the periods they thrived, the Assyrians and Babylonians took the gods/goddesses of Sumer and worshipped them under different names (what was once the goddess Inanna was now called Ishtar for example...and many others), while also giving them slight changes to fit into the socio-political molding of the time period. However, what the Assyro-Babylonians also did was elaborate on the lore and ancient philosophies of Sumer, bringing with them complex cosmologies, creation myths, scriptures, hierarchies, and structured demonolatry/demonology. They ended up greatly influenced the Greeks and vice-versa. 

 

​Kinda funny, because I didn't have a passionate interest in Mesopotamia until about a decade ago. I had learned about them in grade school but didn't expand my horizons to learn about them until I stumbled across a statue of Pazuzu being showcased at the Louvre. Just that one little thing had me doing research about it that spawned an interest that just kept cultivating over the years. I love when that happens! There was just something about it that resonated with me personally.

 

​I didn't know Milton was a monist until I looked him up on Wikipedia. Heck, didn't even know what monism was until I read about him. Interesting stuff. I feel like he was greatly ahead of his time.

 

​Also, thanks for the cool article link! Gonna read it tonight after my shift ends.


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#6 Zombee

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:50 PM

My take on it is brief: All together we are the One knowing itself as the Many.
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#7 Oroboros

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 01:27 PM

Love it, Zombee. That may be the only thing on this topic I’m sure of.

Also points for being poetic. And your wording makes me think of Star Trek- a sure sign some real wisdom is being thrown down .

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...From ev’ry depth of good and ill , The mystery which binds me still...— Poe

#8 Phaedra

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:15 PM

Zombee, that's definitely the best way of putting the matter to words that I've heard, and that simple understanding could be meditated on for a lifetime. My thanks.
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