Friday, April 16, 2010

On Becoming a God

On Visionary Shamanism we were talking about deification and "rising to godhood." One poster commented on one of my earlier messages: my reply follows.
You list 4 conditions of rising to the level of deity
how is what you are doing with your life helping you to attain deity-hood? (1) Are you living as a great hero or a (2) saint: (3) have you attracted a following? (4) Have you lived in a manner which would cause people to tell stories about you after you are gone?
Are these the only paths? In my theology deity-hood is to burn off good karma, and demon-hood is to burn off negative karma. So any imbalance of good over evil leads to the heavenly planets, where one can enjoy life as a god.
My view on the subject is a bit different than yours. First, I'm not convinced the universe is particularly concerned with "good" or "negative" karma. Plagues and famine are evil to those unfortunates who get caught up in them, but they keep our ecosystem in balance. Pleasure is good but addiction to pleasure and avoidance of that which is painful yet necessary can be hugely destructive. 

Someone who was "great in wickedness" might well be elevated: I would expect to see Hitler or Stalin numbered among the Mighty Dead, for example, even though I would be very careful about seeking either of those gentlemen out for advice or assistance.  (Hitler would probably be in a cranky mood because he's tired of being invoked by every idiot who ever lost a flame war... ).  Power is pre-eminent: the direction in which that power is aimed is important in determining the nature of one's elevation or descent. It is not enough to be good: one must be mighty in their goodness. One must strive to excess in prayer, in good deeds and in charity: one must work overtime to avoid temptation and do what is right no matter what the personal cost.

If you look at the legends, being a god isn't all fun and pleasure. If the gods are greater than us in their power, so too are they greater than us in their sorrow and pain. Prometheus chained to a mountain in the Caucasus comes to mind immediately, as does Demeter weeping for her daughter, Jesus nailed to the cross and Odin hanging from Yggdrasil to gain the runes. Divinity is a ticket to power and wisdom, not to bliss.