Did You Know?

Fragment of a Hellenistic relief ~ from the Walters Art Museum.

Fragment of a Hellenistic relief (1st century BC – 1st century AD) depicting the Twelve Olympian gods; from left to right, Hestia, Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares, Demeter, Hephaestus, Hera, Poseidon, Athena, Zeus, Artemis, Apollo ~ from the Walters Art Museum.

Many gods were worshiped in ancient times because it was believed that the highest god was unknowable and unreachable. This god was beyond comprehension, beyond the minds of humans, unable to be reached by consciousness. Therefore many lower gods were sought to intercede between humans and this ultimate god. Each lower god had a particular skill or purpose such as a god for rain, crops, fertility, good fortune etc. This has carried over into our times with the idea that saints can intercede for us. For example, St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals, and St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.

For the early Christians, “the Father” God was that highest, unknowable and unreachable God. Therefore there was much meaning for them in the message of John 14:6 where Jesus is quoted as saying that, “I am the *way*, the truth, and the *life*. No one comes to the Father, except through me.” For them it meant that there was now a direct connection between them and the highest God.

When we think of consciousness as *life* force and the medium through which we gain perception of our world, we can also understand that our world view has continued to expand over time because consciousness is expanding. When our view of God the Father is seen as the unconscious part of ourselves (the Kingdom of God within us), where infinite possibility exists but is not yet created, then we can get an idea of the *Way* in which Jesus, through a perfectly harmonized human consciousness of Love, brought consciousness into the unconscious Source that was previously inaccessible. In this way, Jesus made God accessible to humans so that each of us, through a consciousness of perfect Love, could become one with the infinite Father God. This is the meaning of enlightenment, realization, and the Biblical passage:

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you such a long time, and do you not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father.” (John 14:8-12)