The Concept of GOD

Tracing the idea of God as represented in writing through several Millenniums

The Epic of Gilgamesh, like the Old Testament books, is a story passed down through oral tradition through Millennia. Or is it simply a story? As the saying goes: ‘Perception is reality’. Religious Theologians will argue the Old Testament is not only a story, but historical accounts based on actual events and persons. Do the stories of the Gilgamesh epic have any grounding in historical reality? The first tablet in the Epic ‘The Taming of Enkidu’ priestess Shamhat tells Enkidu about the Temple of Anu & Ishtar, and here we have a wall of an actual temple erected in Uruk (Southern Iraq) dedicated to the Goddess Inanna, or Ishtar. The wall depicts Male (Anu?) and Female Deities in alternating positions. The Male represents mountains, and the female represents the water which flows from the mountains, dividing into the life giving rivers of the Tigris & Euphrates. George, A. (1999). The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation. New York, NY, USA.
One of the main themes in the Gilgamesh epic is the obsession with, and search for eternity or immortality. In the Epic, Gilgamesh eventually succumbs to death- but his story is preserved even until this day. The Sumerian culture wrote with the future in mind, and this particular image, or Socle as it is called, is representative of their King’s relationship with the God of writing (Nabu). This was found in the Temple of Ishtar at another location in Ashur, which shows the expansion of the culture and Ishtar’s connection to the creation of writing. George, A. (1999). The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation. New York, NY, USA.
This Octagonal Prism was found at the foundation to a Temple dedicated to Anu, who is part of the Godhead described in the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is said that Anu, Enlil, and Ea favored Gilgamesh and expanded his wisdom. Upon this prism is the oldest and quite possibly the first historical chronicle, and this is said to mark the beginning of written history. George, A. (1999). The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation. New York, NY, USA.
This is a depiction of the Goddess Shamash, who in the Epic of Gilgamesh aids Enkidu and Gilgamesh in killing Humbaba and later on advocates for the sparing of Enkidu’s life (unsuccessfully) in a Council of Gods. These Gods and Goddesses were actually worshipped and had definition in the minds of Men. George, A. (1999). The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation. New York, NY, USA.
To Freud the idea of God was illusionary and completely void of any actual reality. In place of God Freud has placed Man and his Super Ego, Ego & Id. This corresponds with the Christian Trinity depicted here Freud, S. (2000-2005). Civilization & Its Discontents. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England.
Hovering above the minds of man is the authoritarian Super Ego, making him feel guilty in his conscience. Freud, S. (2000-2005). Civilization & Its Discontents. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England.
The Ego forms the gate between what is inner and outer. Although Freud isn’t speaking of the human body (all of these are mental constructs), the conscious decision making of everyday life is managed by the Ego, which expresses itself as character or personality. In the Christian Trinity the Son is the only figure that directly deals with matter and physical reality, just as the Ego in Freud’s trinity makes our conscious decisions drawing from the senses and other perceptions. Freud, S. (2000-2005). Civilization & Its Discontents. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England.
The last member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, identifies with Freud’s idea of ‘id’ or sub consciousness. Freud describes the id as “an unconscious mental entity”. It makes sense that this would be the unconscious, because it was the last of the Trinity to be revealed to mankind. Freud, S. (2000-2005). Civilization & Its Discontents. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England.
“It’s found on Earth, and on Hain-Davenat, and on Chiffewar. It is yin and yang…Light, Dark, Fear, courage, Cold, warmth. Female, male. It is yourself…Both and one. A shadow on snow.”* Ursula LeGuin’s science fiction novel “The Left Hand of Darkness” deals with dualism. The inhabitants of this plant are hermaphrodites, having the potential to be both male and female. *LeGuin, U. (1969). The Left Hand of Darkness. New York, NY, USA.
This painting shows the yin and yang as male and female birds with corresponding flowers. Examining the differences in color and style between the two panels is a true study of yin & yang principles. *LeGuin, U. (1969). The Left Hand of Darkness. New York, NY, USA.
“We lay in the tent for three days while the blizzard yelled at us, a three-day-long, wordless, hateful yell from the unbreathing lungs.”* Estraven and Genly Ai’s trek through the frozen tundra of Gethen was improbable and nearly impossible. This picture I thought captured some of their experience. *LeGuin, U. (1969). The Left Hand of Darkness. New York, NY, USA.
Plato was a pupil of Socrates and one of his primary recorders. Jowett, B. (2006-2012). The Complete Works of Plato. New York, NY, USA.
Socrates chose death by hemlock over banishment. He remained steadfast in his Spirituality and belief in the immortality of the soul. Jowett, B. (2006-2012). The Complete Works of Plato. New York, NY, USA.
"A man who is good for anything ought not to calculate the chance of living or dying; he ought only to consider whether in doing anything he is doing right or wrong - acting the part of a good man or of a bad."* *Jowett, B. (2006-2012). The Complete Works of Plato. New York, NY, USA.
"...He led me through his wonderful picture gallery, showed me his tapestries, his enamels, his jewels, his carved ivories, made me wonder at the strange loveliness of the luxury in which he lived; and then told me that luxury was nothing but a background, a painted scene in a play, and that power, power over other men, power over the world, was the one thing worth having, the one supreme pleasure worth knowing"* *Wilde, O. (1912). An Ideal Husband. London, England, United Kingdom
Oscar Wilde makes no direct mentions of God in “An Ideal Husband” but through the mouth of Sir Robert Chiltern he makes his views on the subject be known. “What this century worships is wealth. The God of this century is wealth. To succeed one must have wealth. At all costs one must have wealth”* *Wilde, O. (1912). An Ideal Husband. London, England, United Kingdom
The Daodejing of Laozi refers to God not by name, but by attributes and qualities that he possesses. He shall remain ‘Nameless’, but legend has it that Laozi himself is an immortal presence. Ivanhoe, P. (2002). The Daodejing of Laozi. New York, NY, USA: Seven Bridges Press.
This may have been what an original poem from The Daodejing looked like.
My personal feelings are that the Way is something that happens inwardly and is new and different with every person, because every person was made with his own path to follow. It can’t be constant, because life is constantly dying. For this same reason it can never be filled, as the empty vessel suggests. When one has found his Way, he knows it because he benefits everyone and has no problems amongst men. But the Way is hard to find, and only through much searching and focus is it perceived- therefore it remains in a place that repels most men seemingly ‘searching’ for it. Ivanhoe, P. (2002). The Daodejing of Laozi. New York, NY, USA: Seven Bridges Press.
The book of Genesis contains the most pervasive creation story on the planet. Here is a depiction of the Garden of Eden
Central to the story of Genesis is the creation of Man, counter to the claims of Evolutionist theory.
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