God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

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dande48
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God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by dande48 » 01 Jun 2018, 06:42

This is in response to the week/decade-old thread "As man is, God once was." There was a discussion, question put forward by BeLifey, who questioned why we worship God the Father, instead of His Father.

I recently came across something, I thought you might find interesting. Have you ever heard of the term Demiurge? In the doctrine of certain Christian sects, which state that God, the Ultimate Being, the Epitome of goodness, is largely unknowable. But the Ultimate God created the Demiurge, who is the creator of the physical, material world.

The Ultimate God's wife/daughter, Sophia, wanted to create something separate from herself and her father/husband (the Absolute Divine). She gave birth to the Demiurge, and after His birth She was ashamed. She made Him a throne in the heavens, and hid both Herself and her Husband from him. So the Demiurge believed, in His ignorance, that He was the only being in existence, and thereby the Ultimate God. However, while the Demiurge was not necessarily "evil" (as we think of it), He does have many flaws that the Ultimate God does not have. He proceeds to create the Earth, everything on it, and more or less worlds without end. The Demiurge is our King and our God.

This solves some pretty trickier points of doctrine, as well as provides a few interesting viewpoints:
1. God the Father is imperfect, and His creations are thereby imperfect (solving the "Problem of Evil/Pain").
2. There is an Ultimate Being behind God the Father, who is the ultimate source of the Divine.
3. God has a Heavenly Mother, who is the source of all energy.
4. To be part of the physical realm is to be imperfect.
5. Despite our imperfections, we all have the spark of the Divine within us. We are both children of the Demiurge (God), as well as children of the Ultimate (God's God).

One question I'd like to throw out there for discussion: Why do you worship God?
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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SamBee
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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by SamBee » 01 Jun 2018, 07:03

Yes, very familiar with the term. Was used in gnosticism.

My understanding of the term in gnosticism is that the demiurge was seen as bad, the creator who imprisoned us in matter, while we were to worship the God beyond matter and be set free of it through union with him.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by AmyJ » 01 Jun 2018, 09:07

dande48 wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 06:42
One question I'd like to throw out there for discussion: Why do you worship God?
In my current faith transition, I am not sure that I do so.

Let me explain:
There is a traditional one-to-one relationship model between A person/a tribe and God.

A person does something (prayers, sacrifices, keeps the commandments, pays tithing, Word of Wisdom) and God sometimes something (sends the Holy Ghost,provides a miracle, forgives the person).
  • This makes the assumptions that a) the person/tribe know what God wants (aka revelation and scriptures), b) that God wants what the person can give (Cain's issue starts when in the story God doesn't want what Cain has to offer and Cain throws a fit), and c) that it is clear when something is of God (aka an answer to prayer).
I no longer make assumption A (I am currently challenging the internal belief that people know what God wants), I do believe that assumption B is true only because I don't have sufficient faith or evidence to believe differently, and I am very hazy on assumption C.

I freely admit that I choose to follow "Loving and Serving Others" as the 2nd Great Commandment while I figure out how to follow the First Great Commandment to "Love and Serve God". A lot of people say that by following the 2nd Commandment I am following the 1st Great Commandment - and that is fine if that is how it works.

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DarkJedi
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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Jun 2018, 10:23

I have given this some thought of late as well, primarily because of The Christ Who Heals. Givens makes a point that Christian theology has evolved God from the benevolent loving father to the all powerful God who desires to be worshiped. The worshiped God, who demands things of his servants appears to contrary to the teachings of Christ and the "This is my work and my glory...." theology of Mormons. Givens asserts early Christians and early Mormons were much more focused on the loving Father God as opposed to the God we're supposed to worship.

Of course the other question is what is worship? I haven't clearly defined that for myself yet but I know what I don't think it is.

And my own faith crisis had some elements of questioning the love of God. That led to me believing in a more Deist model of God, but that still fits with the God that doesn't need or desire worship. And also in the evolution of my faith crisis I have questioned whether God is indeed all powerful.

So, why do I worship God? I don't know that I actually do, and if I do I don't know why and probably think I shouldn't worship God.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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nibbler
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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by nibbler » 01 Jun 2018, 10:40

Why do you worship God?

Habit? Tradition?

These days I have a hard time making it past this question: If I were god, would I want to be worshiped? For me the answer is no, so it makes it that much harder for me to worship god. I've projected my godhood onto the current god. Oopsie.

DJ stole my other question, what is worship? For some it can be a rite or ordinance. I'm trying to think of what constitutes worship in the context of the LDS church. We've got the sacrament... that seems to be more about us than about god.

You could also make a claim that worship is holding something up to be the ideal that all should follow. God is the ideal, god is perfect. That may explain the trap I see ourselves getting into sometimes - the church is the ideal church, it is True; the leaders are the ideal, they will never lead us astray; etc.
You can't just have your characters announce how they feel... that makes me feel ANGRY!
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SamBee
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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by SamBee » 01 Jun 2018, 11:39

Why worship? God is our father and represents the creative and loving force in the world. Also I think from a psychological POV it is actually good for humans to believe that they are not top of the tree. For those in simpler circumstances, the opposite - to admire greatness.

Cultivating gratitude, humility and aspiration to improvement are all good things IMHO.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Jun 2018, 11:37

I have heard of the concept of the Demiurge. I haven't thought directly about it in a long g time. It is a fascinating concept.

Why do I worship God?

Because I have constructed a personal view of God that I believe deserves worship.

How do I worship God?

By trying to become like God. I can't accept a view of God that isn't worthy of emulation.

I wrote the following post on my personal blog 8 years ago. It deals with the concepts of praise, honor, and glory when it comes to God - and why I like Mormon theology so much more than Protestant theology, especially.

http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2010 ... ather.html
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jun 2018, 14:15

nibbler wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 10:40
These days I have a hard time making it past this question: If I were god, would I want to be worshiped? For me the answer is no, so it makes it that much harder for me to worship god.
What if worship was broadened to mean respect and humility so we are open to learning instead of figuring it out on our own?

If you have a child...you won't ask them to "worship" you...but you do want them to trust you as a parent so you can help them grow up.

There are many ways to worship. Maybe religious fanatics take it further than it is needed to be, and start thinking God needs it...when it is us that needs to be open to the divine in order to grow. We should become like a little child.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Heber13
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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by Heber13 » 02 Jun 2018, 14:28

dande48 wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 06:42
God, the Ultimate Being, the Epitome of goodness, is largely unknowable.
I tend to think this about God. And as James Campbell might write...having the mystical and metaphorical beliefs that there are things out there beyond our temporal worlds can help elevate us to larger concepts and better ourselves. The veil of this world keeps us from knowing very much more about the Eternal beings we worship. We need faith.

Even a vision like Joseph Smith or Emanuel Swedenborg had can part the veil briefly to give a glimpse at the divine...but that is far from knowing. There is never a time we stop pursuing the concepts we ascribe to a supreme being.

dande48 wrote:1. God the Father is imperfect, and His creations are thereby imperfect (solving the "Problem of Evil/Pain").
2. There is an Ultimate Being behind God the Father, who is the ultimate source of the Divine.
3. God has a Heavenly Mother, who is the source of all energy.
4. To be part of the physical realm is to be imperfect.
5. Despite our imperfections, we all have the spark of the Divine within us. We are both children of the Demiurge (God), as well as children of the Ultimate (God's God).
I haven't read much on the Demiurge...sounds interesting.

But why is point#1 need God to be imperfect? What is the definition of "perfect"? Wasn't Christ perfect, even if He was not at the same progression point as the Father (yet)?

I believe My Heavenly Father is perfect, not sure how that happened or how much time that took or what if others are above him. I worship him by respecting my place in the universe, and striving to obey what is really needed of me. I worship God by loving God.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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DarkJedi
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Re: God the Ultimate vs God the Father (Demiurge)

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Jun 2018, 14:30

From The Christ Who Heals p. 47:
Our heavenly parents created us for our glory, not for theirs, and Christ orients his entire divine activity around the grand project of bringing us to where he is.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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