This is something that has been ticking away at the back of my mind for a short time, but was a little uncomfortable about asking. What I write here, I mean in the most respectful way possible, and mean no offence whatsoever. It simply reflects the natural path of curiosity and analysis, both internal and external, on the nature of the Divine.
What I have to ask is: What makes the Gods great? And on the same path, what makes Them greater than us?
I do not mean this in a narcissistic or disrespectful manner, but it was simply something I was wondering about. Many people have said, and it is a belief that I have adopted, that the gods are not meant to be perfect. They are the concentrated forms of the energy they represent in the world, often anthropomorphic to enhance our ability to work with, communicate and understand Them. It is also by belief that all things in the world are a part of the divine; that everything, even people, have a part of that Divine energy in them and are, thus, a part of that divinity.
But I couldn't help but ask; if the gods aren't any more perfect in morality than any human, why are they revered as "great"? Why do we worship the gods?
I respect the gods and what they represent, but I just couldn't draw a conclusion for this one and was wondering what every else thinks about the topic.
Hiya Nym, this is a brilliant question, and really something great to ponder, you made me wonder, myself which is always fun :D I reckon that people naturally look up to, follow and worship beings that are, if not perfect, then at least more perfect than they perceive themselves to be; not only with regards to dieties but also other humans such as parents, older siblings, etc. People like to have someone stronger than them to be able to ask for aid and advice :) In my opinion, beings at diety status are worth looking up to, because I believe that they are omnipresent and benevolent for the most part, but I also believe that our perception of them also alters them in our personal realities, like how an older sibling may be inspired to be brave by their younger sibling's perception that they are, but that might be a slightly different conversation :p
I have varying ideas and theories on what deities and higher powers may be. Sometimes when I read ancient lore, I think they are ancient peoples who have done something great, such as Hermes, as mentioned in the Kybalion, that fathered and founded things such as Alchemy and Astrology. Then great tales were told, and you know how ridiculous tales only ireterated via oral around a camp fire can get. Immoralized by legends. Such men like Odin, who discovered the runes, but he was also a man, but after discovering something great, that seemed to elevate his status.
There's things like that, where people seem to ascend into godhood.
Then there's things that seem like there is almost like an eternal, immortal, infinite, impossible resevoir of this "higher power" whose location is undefined and impossible to really physically identify, because such of which exists outside of our human and eartly understanding within the universe and time we exist and live in. Such as in Hinduism, they have millions of idols from A to Z, literally, but at the same time they're all "One" because they all come from the same place of higher power. That also reminds me of Judeo-Christian beliefs that wanted to see if there could only be one, or three, gods. (I only say three due to the "holy trinity" despite being one Allah or one Yahweh, etc, there are still three representations of the higher power)
Of course there will be infinite possibilities on what makes or what is a god or a higher power, because it is impossible to completely define or understand.
But I believe in some stories where some beings have reached a godhood, perhaps the higher power has worked through them, using their vessel to accomplish things of great feat? Or perhaps those stories were only there to explain how humanity can accomplish fantastic feats of intelligence and technology and advancement and development of methods that were groundbreaking to everyone else at the time? Or perhaps the higher powers literally incarnated a being, such as Jesus or other such like figure, in order to serve as a messenger, savior, or figure that "awakens" people spiritually.
A belief in something does not make itself divine. The Gods? Which Gods? Whose Gods?
The funny thing about us is that we put stock of everything that happens to us or to which we do ourselves upon the pedestal of the mighty pantheon of gods or even so a monotheastic singular god. When we befall a tragedy or loss we blame the gods for not preventing it from happening while they idly sit upon their thrones and do nothing. Or we with such little minds directly blame the gods as if they were inflicting such devastation upon us as a means of punishment for being unworthy creatures or for making such offenses against them or their motives.
When miracles happen we suddenly praise be the gods, the powers that be above and below.
It is we with our fragile, mortal, and incompetent minds that we assign the evils of the worlds upon the doings of the gods and it is we who also assign the miracles and blessings of the worlds upon the gods.
Do the gods exist... Do the gods intervene... Do the gods care about me/we?
The nature of the divine is not designed to give us easy answers or easy lives, it is designed in a fashion that we cannot possibly fathom yet alone percieve. However, whether the design itself is fashioned to guide people, to give them hope, and the goodness life can provide; it is certain that faith will guide you upon your higher path or the absence of faith will lead you astray.
To that end, the gods we praise or the gods we blame, come from our hearts and minds, does that make them any less real...