Freyashawk to God: I know the answer to this question, but some of my readers are pestering me to ask you: What is your name?
God: Well, names are Words of Power. Many of the ancient religions believed that one could capture the soul of some one or something by naming it. In fact, the 'Bible', which is no more nor less the 'Word of God' than any religious tome or any poem written by human beings, speaks of Creation of your World essentially as a process of naming things. Evidently, I (and I use the pronoun advisedly) gave Adam and Eve the power to name all of the 'subsidiary creatures' on this planet, although I never would do any such thing! To me, all creatures are equal. This planet was devised as a democracy, although as always, some of its creatures almost immediately got out of hand to destroy the balance of nature.
Freyashawk tries to bring God back to the original subject: But the name?
God mutters: A rose by any name would smell as sweet. God appears to be fond of this quote, although Freyashawk never considered the 'Immortal Bard' to be head and shoulders above all other great writers.
God: Well, the spiritual cognoscenti always declared that the secret or true name of God had to reside in the vowels without any consonents to clutter up the word.
Freyashawk: I am aware of the tradition which is why I once wrote that Godlings or little demigods have names that are conceived from the unnecessary or bogus consonants like J and Y and Z.
God chuckles appreciately. I suspect that God is humouring me, rather like a parent who wishes to encourage a child to excel, even though the child is still at the stage of creating stick figures.
God: Yes, the Bacchantes ran through the forests crying: Euoi! Euoi!
Freyashawk: Robert Graves wrote an entire book about it.
God: He did, didn't he? Strange chap. He believed he obtained a glimpse of me only when suffering from the effects of snake venom...
Freyashawk: Well, was he wrong?
God (laughing again): Of course not! Reality is an onion.
Freyashawk, startled: That's one of mine!
God, quoting a very young Freyashawk: Reality is an onion of many layers that reduces one to tears whenever one attempts to find the core.
Freyashawk: I always felt that 'one' was superior to 'you'. Sort of the U version of individuality as opposed to the non-U general 'you'.
God: And single quotes as opposed to double quotes...
Freyashawk: My first manuscript rejection, by DAW. I'll never forget it: 'using single quotes, the affection of a few pretentious British publishing houses.' This is all off-topic, however,although I would venture to add that both 'I' and 'You' are pronouns that contain no consonants, at least in the English tongue.
God: English being a sacred language...
Freyashawk: Like Arabic, Greek and Sanskrit.
Freyashawk: Let me give here an example from the Qur'an. I'm afraid my memory is not what it was, but I do recall that Surah An Nahl speaks of creation and especially of the creatures of this earth such as cattle as things that were made to be of service to mankind. Certainly the Christian Bible does the same. Is this in fact the case? Are we the 'Lords of the Earth'?
God: Words that were ascribed to me to give power and false legitimacy to the writers... How could God be just if God elevated one species over all others? If anything, the powers given to humanity make humanity the guardians of the Earth, and not its Lords.
Freyashawk: That makes sense and yet we have too often failed in our guardianship, a failure that threatens to destroy the entire planet.
God: And yet some claim that to be a punishment by God...
Freyashawk: You do not punish, do you?
God: All I do is allow the laws of cause and effect to exist. It is a method of teaching, nothing more.
Freyashawk: Is there any hope for us?
God shrugs (metaphysically, as God has no substance and yet is all substance)
Freyashawk to herself: Why do I ask such a thing? We are such creatures of habit. Why should there be any 'hope' or 'lack of hope' for humanity if we are no more, no less significant than any other collection of atoms?
God (who hears all, naturally): Precisely. You can answer your own questions and write your own holy books and your own books of laws, which in fact, humanity has done from time immemorial.
Freyashawk: And what of Inspiration?
God: The mead of Odroerir?
Freyashawk: If you like. I always favoured that myth above others.
God: All myths that portray humans or godlings as thieves of power are more accurate than those portraying any of my creatures as somewhat endowed with godhood or some god-given right to become superior to others.
Freyashawk: Yet Inspiration is the closest we come to experiencing YOU.
God: Inspiration in the form of Ecstacy? In the form of Vision? In the form of Intoxication?
Freyashawk; In any form that dissolves the ego temporarily and allows us to penetrate at least one veil.
God: In any form that humbles you, in other words?
Freyashawk: Stripping away one layer of the onion... To return to the subject of the 'Names of God'...
Freyashawk: In Islam, which translates as 'Submission' by the way, there are the 99 'Asmi Husna' or 'Beautiful Names' of God...
God: I approve of religion as poetry.
Freyashawk: Those names, then, are simply guideposts for HUMAN conduct really, aren't they? The attributes we should ponder...
Freyashawk: Humans feel a need to name you, because they feel that they cannot CALL upon you unless they can fix your attention upon them. Rather like, 'Hey, God, pay attention!'
God: I certainly do not require that, being omnipotent, omniscient, all-seeing and all-knowing.
Freyashawk: Again from the Qur'an: Wa idha saalaka ibadi anni fa inna qariban ujeebu daawatan ul daai idha daani falyastajeebuli wa yuminuni la allahum yarshudun.
When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them); I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me; let them also with a will listen to My call and believe in Me; that they may walk in the right way. (Surah Al Baqara, Verse 186.)
God: You are fond of quoting from the Qur'an and I know why.
Freyashawk: Of course YOU do. I want human beings to understand that Islam and Christianity spring from the same source, the same wellspring of myth. Incidentally, I, like Joseph Campbell define 'myth' as the ultimate truth, not as a falsehood.
God: 'Follow your Bliss'.
Freyashawk: Returning to the topic of Names, there was a poor chap who began to believe that God appeared to him and spoke to him as a DOG. It led him to a spate of killings.
God: DOG being GOD spelled backwards... Not the first 'holy war' by any means...
Freyashawk: And as unjustified as any so-called 'holy war'.
Freyashawk: That should be a lesson to us all.