Getting Technical about “The First Cause”: Why the Term “God” is Generic?
God is generic for a plethora of beings and a multitude under a unity, and not a singular entity.
The “First Cause” is a philosophical conception, that is in-fact, not the same as what is termed, e.g., the “ever Unknowable Eternal Cause.” H.P.B. often draws a distinction between El’ and Yahweh, Ain-Soph and Yahweh, as in her explanation, explained in her commentary on Kabbalism and the Zohar, she holds to the higher Macroprosopus, or the higher mysteries of YHVH (The Construction of Monotheism: Dever, Stavrakopoulou, LePage, Blavatsky). Her Christian opponents tried to say, she is teaching Satanism. This is the childish ideas of theological opponents. She clearly explains her own personal position in her article titled TETRAGRAMMATON elaborating on the mystery of the secret name, YHWH (י ה ו ה). Man has lost any pure sense of a producer, architect, or “cause,” by profaning the idea she says. It is commonly held, that the work of the mason-builder is that of the planner, or Architect, but the architect does not build. Architects commission, but Christian Theology had taught that the worlds are direct creations of the Archeus. The Unknowable was conceived as a negative. Damascius termed it the unknowable darkness and the darkness above all wisdom (Sara Ahbel-Rabbe, Damascius Problems and Solutions Concerning the First Principle, pg. 183). “To that god who is above all things, neither external speech ought to be addressed, nor yet that which is inward,” states Porphyry. Zeus is spoken of as reverencing NYX, the SILENCE (the UNKNOWABLE DARKNESS), and Hesiod taught that by “Chaos all things was first produced.” There is a general, reverential silence turned towards the conception of a producer of Chaos. It was principally understood, that Zeus is not the highest god. Surely. Zeus is not the first god conceived in the minds of the Greek mystics and philosophers. There is no symbol for a “first cause” or what lies beyond. The term GOD itself, merely in its root, is the combination of the primordial gods Caelus (a Roman god of the sky) and Terra (goddess earth). The principle that is termed first, is termed so technically, only because, it is the first comprehensible manifestation we can conceive of, and from which all the gods proceed. They are called mothers, fathers, children emanating and proceeding from each other like flames igniting flames, multiplying and replicating like cells, or building as masons and sculptors do.
Theosophy explaining the old concept of emanationism recognizes that the term creation was an inadequate term we have been long fixated on, for the basic concept that life undergoes evolutionary change long preceded Darwin and Haeckel, and was not just conceived by Europeans two centuries ago. But, we owe this to the limited way in which we still tell the History of Science. The world, we argue, is not created, especially not from a singular super-entity, but ancient stories explain that a collective host formed the cosmos and is involved in the “creation of mankind,” and this is different from what is termed, “the one and only god,” “the one true god,” the jealous Jehovistic God-concept that so occupies how we conceive of the ultimate reality. This very notion about the Elohim itself has been recognized in Bere’shith (Genesis) by scholars, but is casually brushed-away by theologians as a mere interpretation. Yet, as stated, several ancient records of sacred literature about the origins of the cosmos corroborates this position, though it is superficially understood, for many have acquired a mistaken notion supposing for example, that it is meant, a Single God, a Dual-God, or a committee of Seven (the Annunaki or the Great Kamis), Ten, or Twelve Gods create the universe.
Here, Deity is seen under two aspects:
- Space, the container of the unknowable darkness, which is also absolute consciousness (containing the cognizer, the thing cognized and cognition in one).
- Motion, or force termed in its absolute nature: immovable; ceaseless; ‘thrills through every atom’ and every particle being a life.
“Plato and his school never understood the Deity otherwise, many epithets of his applied to the “God over all” ([[ho epi pasi theos]]) notwithstanding. Plato having been initiated, could not believe in a personal God — a gigantic Shadow of Man. His epithets of “monarch” and “Law-giver of the Universe” bear an abstract meaning well understood by every Occultist…”HELENA BLAVATSKY, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, VOL. 2, P. 554
What is called the first logos, “first cause,” or demiurge, etc., is a manifested principle, limited and conditioned. The demiurge (creator) is not a singular entity, or being, but is an abstract term for a manifested unity of formative elements. It is in every ancient account, that once we pass from the incognizable, or immutable, to that of the one and mani-fold, this one and mani-fold principle becomes merged with its own effects, in the formative phases of cosmos.
The living spirit and vitality of nature was said to exist hidden to senses conditioned to the lower planes of the material universe, with each plane having its special condition. Thus, this principle is stated to be within the natural order like a germ. There are not many schools or traditions that think of the relation of God and atomic particles. Many simply cannot, but there are schools, which have, that Theosophy explains. It is not a matter of one believing in monotheism, or pantheism, or trying to cram all of cosmology, physics and theogony into a very extreme or narrow monotheistic conception, e.g., as expressed in the concept of tawḥīd (توحيد).
These mysteries about the phases of creation, or cosmogenesis have been explained in a multitude of ways, particularly through symbols, mathematics and arithmetic. It is said that God geometrizes, but it is not that Deity geometrizes with numbers, but in relation to numbers—and the numerical phases of cosmogenesis.
H.P. Blavatsky attempted to elaborate in reference to the views of an initiate on God — that of the God of Plato:
“Thus, on the very showing of the defenders of this system the Jewish Deity is proved to be, at best, only the manifested duad, never the One absolute ALL. Geometrically demonstrated, he is a number; symbolically, an euhemerized Priapus…this can hardly satisfy a mankind thirsting after the demonstration of real spiritual truths, and the possession of a god with a divine, not anthropomorphic, nature. (…) This may have satisfied the practical Semite mind, but the Eastern Occultist has to decline the offer of such a God; indeed, a Deity, a Being, “having a mind like that of man, only infinitely more powerful,” is no God…He has nought to do with the ideal conception of the eternal universe. He is, at best, one of the creative subordinate powers, the Totality of which is called the “Sephiroth,” the “Heavenly Man,” and Adam Kadmon, the second logos of the Platonists.” (Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 544, 1888)
“The old world, consistent in its symbolism with its pantheistic intuitions, uniting the visible and the invisible Infinitudes into one, represented Deity and its outward VEIL alike — by a circle. This merging of the two into a unity, and the name theos given indifferently to both, is explained, and becomes thereby still more scientific and philosophical. Plato’s etymological definition of the word theos has been shown elsewhere. He derives it from the verb [[theein]] (see Cratylus), “to move,” as suggested by the motion of the heavenly bodies which he connects with deity. According to the Esoteric philosophy, this Deity is during its “nights” and its “days” (i.e., cycles of rest or activity) “the eternal perpetual motion,” “the EVER-BECOMING, as well as the ever universally present, and the ever Existing.” The latter is the root-abstraction, the former — the only possible conception in human mind, if it disconnects this deity from any shape or form. It is a perpetual, never-ceasing evolution, circling back in its incessant progress through aeons of duration into its original status — ABSOLUTE UNITY.” (Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 545, 1888.)
“Plato and his school never understood the Deity otherwise, many epithets of his applied to the “God over all” ([[ho epi pasi theos]]) notwithstanding. Plato having been initiated, could not believe in a personal God — a gigantic Shadow of Man. His epithets of “monarch” and “Law-giver of the Universe” bear an abstract meaning well understood by every Occultist, who, no less than any Christian, believes in the One Law that governs the Universe, recognizing it at the same time as immutable.
“Beyond all finite existences,” he says, “and secondary causes, all laws, ideas and principles, there is an INTELLIGENCE or MIND ([[nous]]), the first principle of all principles, the Supreme Idea on which all other ideas are grounded . . . the ultimate substance from which all things derive their being and essence, the first and efficient cause of all the order, and harmony, and beauty and excellency, and goodness, which pervades the Universe” — who is called, by way of preeminence and excellence, the Supreme** good “the god” ([[Theos]]), and “the god over all.” These words apply, as Plato himself shows, neither to the “Creator” nor to the “Father” of our modern Monotheist, but to the ideal and abstract cause. (…) Is it Plato, the greatest pupil of the archaic Sages, a sage himself, for whom there was but a single object of attainment in this life — REAL KNOWLEDGE — who would have ever believed in a deity that curses and damns men for ever, on the slightest provocation? Not he, who considered only those to be genuine philosophers and students of truth who possessed the knowledge of the really existing in opposition to mere seeming.” (Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, p. 554-55, 1888)
- Sara Ahbel-Rabbe. 2010. Damascius’ Problems and Solutions Concerning the First Principle, pg. 183. Oxford University Press.