God in nature

God in Nature and Nature Mysticism

“To ‘see God in nature,’ to attain a radiant consciousness of the ‘otherness’ of natural things, is the simplest and commonest form of illumination. Most people, under the spell of emotion or of beauty, have known flashes of rudimentary vision of this kind. Where such a consciousness is recurrent, as t is in many poets, there results that partial yet often overpowering apprehension of the Infinite Life immanent in all living things, which some modern writers have dignified by the name of ‘nature mysticism.’ Where it is raised to the highest denomination, till the veil is obliterated by the light behind, and ‘faith has vanished into sight,’ as sometimes happened to Blake, we reach the point at which the mystic swallows the poet. …

“Blake conceived it was his vocation to bring this mystical illumination, this heightened vision of reality, within the range of ordinary men: to ‘clean the doors of perception’ of the race. They thought him a madman for his pains.” ~Evelyn Underhill

God in Nature

It is true, even today, that those who wish to gain spiritual enlightenment are advised to get close to nature. This is as it should be. It is a good approach. Man has, unfortunately, moved far from God over the centuries. Nature has not. So in many ways, nature is closer to God than we are. That doesn’t mean nature is better. It doesn’t mean nature is more important. It just means that nature continues to operate within the laws of God. All laws of nature are in harmony with those of God. While man’s laws are often contrary to those of God. So by getting into nature, we move closer to God.

Do not confuse tins with nature worship. I am not promoting Pantheism. Nature is definitely not God. While in a sense, all things come from God, the physical universe is the creation of the Demiurge. You could think of it as a part of God that had been detached from the whole, like an arm that has been amputated. Yet getting closer to nature and away from man-made things does help bring us closer to God. Even though nature (or Gaia, if you prefer) is part of the fallen universe of matter, it still stays within the Law of God. We relearn the Law of God when we learn to be close to nature.

How to See God in Nature

When I say it helps to get close to nature, I mean in a benevolent and helpful way. A torturer is close to the person he is torturing. That is the wrong kind of close. In the United States, the Corp of Engineers is getting close to nature in one way when it builds dams, levies, and bridges. That too is the wrong kind of close. It is treating nature as an enemy. It is fighting a war with nature rather than trying to become friends with her. That approach has resulted in hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and droughts. Nature does fight back. The Gaia mind is a real thing. And she is no longer being very tolerant of those who abuse her.

The correct way to see God in nature is to take a walk in the woods or a park. You could hike a mountain trail, or climb the mountains. You can walk along the seashore. But that is just the first step. Your attitude when you do those things matters. If you are climbing a mountain with the attitude of defeating an obstacle, that is the wrong attitude. If you are hiking through the forest just to get big numbers on your Fitbit, that is the wrong attitude. The correct attitude is to observe nature, breath it in, take part in it. Try sitting on a bench or rock and watching the squirrels and birds. Practice thinking peaceful, friendly thoughts and see if they move closer to you. Observe how the animals and plants coexist as part of a whole, not as adversaries. Yes, hug a tree. It won’t hurt at all. Better yet, hold your hand near the leaves of a tree and offer it some of your energy. The tree will probably send you some of its energy. Through this, you are learning about nature as it really is, but on a subconscious level.

If you climb a mountain, feel the strength of the rock. Breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate it. Look around at the things below. Observe how the mountain fits in with the environment around it. Notice how the vegetation changes as you climb higher.

If you are on the seashore, watch the waves hitting the beach. Notice the rhythm of their flow, the harmony of it. Look at the sunlight glistening off the water. Breathe the freshness of the salty air. Become one with the rhythm of the waves and the airflow. Become one with nature. See God in nature.

Beyond God in Nature

As Ms. Underhill says, getting close to God in nature is a good step along the path to spiritual enlightenment. But much like practicing meditation, it is just a step, not the whole stairway. All steps along that path are important, but we should never stop after taking a few steps. We need to continue beyond getting close to nature. And depending on where we live, it may be impossible to do. But like any other step, we can work around it, though that may make things more difficult. The most important thing is that we try to see God in Nature when possible, and get close to nature. That may mean just visiting a city park occasionally. That is still better than nothing. But also, don’t stop with becoming one with nature. Move on to being one with the sun, one with the universe of matter, then one with the universe of spirit. Then you will truly be seeing God in Nature, as well as beyond nature.

hierarchy of being

Hierarchy of Being, Simple and Complex

“That which engenders the world of sense cannot itself be a sense world, it must be the Intellect and the Intellectual world; similarly, the prior which engenders the Intellectual Principle and the Intellectual world cannot be either, but must be something of lesser multiplicity. The manifold does not rise from the manifold: the intellectual multiplicity has its source in what is not manifold; by the mere fact of being manifold, the thing is not the first principle: we must look to something earlier.

“All must be grouped under a unity which, as standing outside of all multiplicity and outside of any ordinary simplicity, is the veritable and essential simplex.

“Still, how can a Reason Principle (the Intellectual), characteristically a manifold, a total, derive from what is obviously no Reason Principle?

“But how, failing such origin in the simplex, could we escape (what cannot be accepted) the derivation of a Reason principle from a Reason principle?

“And how does the secondary good (the imaged good) derive from the Good, the Absolute? What does it hold from the Absolute Good to entitle it to the name?” ~Plotinus

Matter and Intellect Hierarchy of Being

Plotinus, while apparently having a significant amount of spiritual knowledge, has difficulty grasping the idea of something greater than intellect. That is not too surprising. So many people today think the same way. Many even think the soul is just a part of the mind or another name for the mind. It isn’t.

Plotinus has the relationship of matter and Intellect (thought) down correctly, but he can’t seem to get beyond that, accept on an abstract level. He doesn’t know that the true hierarchy of complex beings like man is: the physical body, intellect or mind, psychic body, spirit, and soul. Four levels, not two, not three. Four levels of being. Four dimensions of existence.

Hierarchy of Being

While Plotinus has an incomplete hierarchy, he does understand how the hierarchy works. The basic idea is that you can’t create or generate something greater than yourself. You can’t generate something with more knowledge than you have. Therefore, the generated must always be of a lower or equal level in the hierarchy of being. It can never be higher than that which generated it. So the intellect (mind) could not be generated by the physical body. It has to be the other way around. Thought generates matter. Matter cannot generate thought. And the mind had to be generated by something higher.

Plotinus doesn’t say, or even speculate, on what that is. It should be obvious, however, that what is higher than intellect is spirit and soul. So the idea that spirit and soul grew out of the body or the mind is just nonsense. The created has to be of an equal or lower level than the creator. Spirit is definitely a higher level than mind or matter. Matter is temporary, constantly changing, constantly being destroyed and replaced. Spirit is permanent. It doesn’t die, get sick or old, it doesn’t fade away. It can become dormant from lack of use and that is the state it is in when we enter the physical realm. Very few people ever bother to awaken the spirit and soul. The primary reason is simply that they have not been made aware that it is necessary or how to do it.

It is only logical, then, to say that the spirit and soul could only be created by something even higher. That something, that Ultimate Consciousness, is what most of us call God. That universal spiritual consciousness creates all spirits and souls. Individual minds—the intellect of man—is generated from the spirit and soul. The physical body is a generation of mind. Top to bottom. The real hierarchy of being.

Simple to Complex Hierarchy of Being

It is said that evolution goes from the simple to the complex. Simple single-celled life forms evolved into simple multi-celled forms like the sponges, then to forms with complex parts and organs with different functions. So it seems like the hierarchy of being is simple to complex. That is only true when you look only at the physical level. If you include the mental, psychic, and spiritual levels of being, you see that matter has fallen from the spirit level that is much higher than matter. In a way, the spiritual level seems simple, but that is true only if you look just at that one level. It is, in fact, the most complex level of being because all other levels are below it, within it.

History of the Hierarchy of Being

Material science tells us that man is a recent development, evolved from lower beings, most recently apes. But that conclusion is made by ignoring the higher levels, or by believing that mind and spirit were generated by the physical body. As already discussed, that is a false belief. In truth, we existed for a very long time as pure spirits before man became physical. We existed before there even was a physical universe of matter. When everything was spirit, we were. Spirits and souls are ageless, eternal.

The other levels are the result of the Great Fall caused by the fallen angels. Only then did the current hierarchy of being come into existence.

God is good

God is Good, and Only Good

“It follows that the true God is called all powerful by the sages, in everything he does, has done, or will do in the future, but that those who think accurately cannot call him all powerful with regard to his supposed power that he might have to exert and that he has never exerted, that he never will exert, with regard to creating a god of evil. As for the argument that says that if he does not do it …

“Since God is not powerful in evil, nor has the power to appear to be evil, we must believe firmly that there is another principle, which is he who is powerful in evil. From him come all evils that have been, that are, and that will be. About him David surely wanted to speak when he said, ‘Why do you glorify yourself in your malice, you who are powerful only for committing an iniquity? Your language has contemplated injustice. You have sharpened your razor to let trickery sneak in. You have more evil than good, and you have preferred a language of iniquity to that of justice.’ And Saint John says in Revelation: The great dragon, the ancient snake, who is called devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole, lived in the world and was flung down to earth. And Christ in the Gospel of Luke has said: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the side of the road are those who heard. Then comes the devil, who takes away the word from their heart” ~The Book of the Two Principles

God is Good

It seems obvious to say that God is good, yet some people don’t seem to know that. Their confusion is understandable. They wonder how God could be good when there is obviously much evil in the world. The Gnostics seem to be the only ones who have a logical answer, yet they have been largely ignored. God is good and only good. He can’t be sometimes good and sometimes evil. While it is true that humans who are considered good can still have a bit of evil in them, such is not true when we get to the level of God or even angels and Beings of Light. God must be either all good, all the time, or not really good at all. At that level of being, it is all or nothing. But again, there is clearly evil in the world.

The answer is that the worlds of matter are not the creation of God. They are created by a lesser being known to Gnostics as the Demiurge.

Demiurge Is Not All Evil

One might think that following the same logic, if the real God is pure good, then the false god must be pure evil. But that isn’t the case. The Demiurge is a lesser being, not at the same level as God. The absolutes of God don’t apply at the lower level. So while we understandably see the Demiurge as evil, he isn’t pure evil. In fact, I don’t think he ever intended to do evil.

When the Demiurge created the dimension of matter, I don’t believe he thought of it as evil. It was only after the mistake was made that he realized what a mess he had created. A land of beings and things that are constantly being destroyed and replaced by others. A land where beings have to survive by eating other beings. This was a complete horror to him. It wasn’t his intention at all. It happened that way only because he wasn’t truly God, and so his creations had unintended flaws.

Yet just as the courts of today say that ignorance of the law is no excuse, ignorance of defying the laws of God doesn’t forgive what the Demiurge did. He created a place full of evil, thus making him the god of evil whether he intended that or not.

Another Principle

The quote says this god of evil is “another principle”. Not another being, another principle. I think the point it is trying to make is that if God is good and only good, he could not have intentionally created an evil being. God had to create the fallen angels, who became the Demiurge, as good beings. A force, a power, or principle outside of God, affected them and made them into a being of evil. Since we are not gods, it is hard to understand this. A force of evil had to exist in the realm of God because God had free will, therefore the beings he created had to have some degree of free will also. And in order for free will to have any meaning at all, there had to be alternatives to choose from. Thus this force or principle of evil had to exist. And it exists to this day and on the physical level as well. Some let this force control them. Others resist successfully. But even those who fall for the force of evil are beginning to understand that serving the true God of good is the best choice to make.

Illustration by Karin Henseler.

divine architecture

Divine Architecture of Greece and Nature

“The Pythagoreans believed that everything which existed had a voice and that all creatures were eternally singing the praise of the Creator. …

“The Greek mysteries included in their doctrines a magnificent concept of the relationship existing between music and form. The elements of architecture, for example, were considered as comfortable to musical modes and notes, or as having a musical counterpart. Consequently when a building was erected to which a number of these elements were combined, the structure was then likened to a musical chord, which was harmonic. …

“In constructing their temples of initiation, the early priests frequently demonstrated their superior knowledge of the principles underlying the phenomena known as vibration. A considerable part of the mystery rituals consisted of invocations and intonements, for which purpose special sound chambers were constructed. A word whispered in one of these apartments was so intensified that the reverberations made the entire building sway.” ~Manly P.Hall

Divine Architecture of Music

The ancient Greeks were not the only ones who considered sound, music, and the divine proportions of it to be related to spiritual development. The Greeks got much of their spiritual teachings from the Egyptians. The Egyptians probably got much of their from even older civilizations such as the Babylonians and the people of Atlantis.

The same laws of divine proportion that were used in developing and composing music were used in architecture and other arts. Divine architecture is never based on the whims and concepts of any individual architect. While each building has individuality, the ancients knew that it was always best to use divine proportion. Thus ancient buildings were not just built for function and beauty, but to inspire spiritual growth as well. It just happens that when those laws are followed, you get a building that is beautiful, functional, and lasting. While it is true that most of the ancient Greek buildings now lie in ruins, they have held up far better than any of our modern buildings.

Symphony of Divine Architecture

A harmonious song that follows the divine laws can be played by a single instrument or a small band. It is much more challenging, I think, to compose and arrange such tunes to be played by a large orchestra. Not only must each musician and each instrument be played according to divine proportion, but the entire assembled orchestra must do so together.

The same is true for making s symphony of divine architecture. It is one thing to have a building or two made by the rules of divine proportion, it is much harder to do most of a city that way. I think the ancient Greeks may have succeeded in doing that in ancient Athens. Not just one or two, but nearly all major buildings in the city were built according to the laws of divine architecture. As a result, the entire city had a harmony to it. This harmony helped those who lived their develop their spiritual side. It explains why so many great philosophers came from there.

Divine Architecture in Nature

We couldn’t call these laws of Divine Architecture divine if they existed only in things made by man. The good news is that they are found in nature as well. What is often referred to as the Golden Ratio or the Fibonacci sequence is found often in nature. While it may not always be obvious, sometimes it is. We simply have to look at things a little more closely than usual.

The seed head of a sunflower is a good example. A quick glance may not reveal it, but a close look shows that the seeds form a Fibonacci spiral. Pine cones do the same. The shells of some creatures such as the Nautilus have a similar spiral design. And on a much larger scale, it can be found in spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way.

But it isn’t always spirals. In the human face, the distance between the eyes, nose, and mouth are according to divine proportion. The same is true of most animals. The sectioned body of insects has the same proportions.

It goes beyond the physical realm, also. Naturally, anything properly labeled “divine” is found even more in spiritual realms than in the fallen and distorted physical one. This includes the divine architecture of those dimensions. The music of the spheres found in them follows the golden ration. So do the shapes and proportions of the beings that dwell in them. So one way we help create heaven on earth is to build according to the laws of divine architecture. That would be a good first step in transforming all of Earth into a spiritual world as it was originally.