What is the Demiurge?

            The truth is difficult to perceive, harder to state, and impossible to know with absolute certainty. This is because our subjective sense perceptions can only grope towards an objective reality that mere words are even less fit to describe, when or if we find it. I can assure you that the mythical Demiurge is also a terrible reality, of this I am certain, but the important question you must ask is, “Where does His reality begin?” Without knowing this, we have no chance of finding our way to His proper end.

            For example, does He begin, as the classical stories suggest, at the beginning of time and space, where he created this world and captured our spirits, or does He actually begin somewhere inside each of our minds, in our own flawed attempts at comprehending the totality of the seemingly mortal circumstances that we find ourselves in today, circumstances we may also seem powerless to escape? Would it necessarily matter if it was the latter and not the former? Would your circumstances be any less true, or even, less real? In either scenario, He must be destroyed, or at least beaten at His game, but what if I told you that the Demiurge that depends on us for His existence is actually the one that will be the hardest to stop?

            In other places I have attempted to explain the difference between the "true" and the merely "real." Another way to say this is that the word "reality" usually refers to a collection of easily observable facts; meanwhile, that which is "true" or, in other words, that which is meaningful, which serves to reveal ourselves to ourselves, need not connect to any external object of reference anywhere within one's external experience. The true need not be real, and the real isn’t always the whole truth either. In Islam this is the difference between the Zahir, or a literal understanding, and the Batin, the hidden meaning. This is a very complicated subject, and will probably only get more confusing from here.

            Words, while real, are not inherently truthful. Words lie all the time, even for those who use them with the sincerest of intentions. They certainly have a reality, as all things that exist can be said to be real, but the truth of a word is in what we understand when we see or hear it. In other words, it us who must bring the truth to the word through our understanding of it. If we can't understand what is being said, the words are meaningless, or, at least, the intended meaning is lost. We cannot find any truth within mere words which is not somewhere inside us first; So it is with the word "God." (This, unfortunately, also applies to the vast groupings of words that we hold as sacred texts.)

            Most words we encounter in our speech also have obvious physical referents. A “chair” refers to that object right here, a “table” over there, etc., but even words such as these can become complicated. For example, when I write the word "words," you know I'm talking about the things on the screen in front of you and you can infer that many of my statements are probably transferable to other types of words as well, such as spoken words and worded thoughts. The reality of spoken words, however, is less tangible than those on this page, and thoughts are even less so than that. Here we see different levels of reality even for a simple enough concept, but when we get to words for objects that go even farther beyond our daily experience, whose realities are more subtle, or may even be completely abstract, these words are the easiest to get confused about; again, I'm talking about God.

            The reason popular religion serves the Demiurge is because the Demiurge is the best conception most people can manage when they are asked to conceive of some possible meaning for the word "God." The Demiurge didn't have to "conquer" them, because they surrendered in total ignorance of there being any other possibility, indeed, of even knowing they were surrendering. They’re now all in His prison because that's the nicest thing that the tiny God which they could conceive of could possibly have done for them. Yes, the Demiurge is in us, and we, or rather our ancestors, are the ones who built this jail. We, however, are the ones that now must escape; or at least do something like it.

            Having built it, and placed Him on His false throne, it is now more complicated than merely closing our eyes and "unbelieving" all of this. The weakness of our cowardly truths, which have stolen and corrupted our hidden powers, have also bred many horrifying realities that we must now deal with, but that's okay. We built it; we can also destroy it, or, as I prefer, we can destroy the inadequate versions of ourselves that find this place so oppressive. After all, a baby can either gum his way out of his mother’s womb as soon as he gets a mouth, or he can feed and grow until his entire world shakes with the inevitable and undeniable birth pangs. In order to destroy the Demiurge, I have come to believe that you must first destroy yourself.

            The greatest trouble that I see today is that the Demiurge is now being sustained invisibly by the minds of countless "non-religious" humans who don't even acknowledge Him as a reality, although they still gladly fuel His continued existence in limitless ways. Due to new and even more sophisticated mediums of secularized cowardice, apathy, and blind faith, He know longer needs to be believed in in order to exist; as it has been said of the Devil, His evil now works just as well without any face upon which to lay blame, if not much better.

            P.S. The above post was written in response to some questions one of my students posed about the Demiurge and the validity of spiritual texts and practices that seem merely to serve and empower Him. Regardless of the meaning that most people derive from such works, I would say that if you have rituals that connect you to a God who is in fact beyond the Demiurge, rituals that actually empower and uplift you, then, by all means, continue them. Do not allow the corrupt understandings of smaller minds to steal away the beautiful meanings that you might be able to find in your prayers and in your Holy Texts. If you find it there, then it is there. Though most religious authorities would call this blasphemy, I say that the sacredness or the profanity of a thing must first exist in you, and be seeking an expression, before you could have any hope of finding it anywhere within the numerous possible meanings of these simple yet confusing words.

            However, the issue of Dhirkr is slightly more complicated. On the one hand, it builds up a tremendous amount of energy, but, on the other hand, where that power is going, in my opinion, depends entirely on the participants, who are usually serving not the true Allah (a difficult word to attach to where it wants to lead) but, again, merely the Demiurge. Though the words associated with the practice may be the same around the world, as I said above, it is the mouth that speaks them and the heart and the mind that understands them which provides their actual meaning. Namaste.

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