While I was having my morning coffee at my favorite coffee house today, a man approached me. He had a plan for the salvation of the world. He was going to fix everything, and everybody. He asked me if I was right with Jesus, but he didn’t actually listen to the answer. He wanted me to know that he had a direct connection to God himself; he didn’t need Jesus because he had God’s phone number!
I asked him what his plan was, and he asked me my profession. When I told him I was a teacher, he started telling me about his solution to the cocaine problem, how he was going to start up an education system and re-educate people about drugs, and fix the drug problem through education. And all this plan would require, of course, is that people give him all the money. Oh, and he was going to unite the churches. And make one religion. Oh, and he was going to unite all the charities. And he was going to shrink the government so that it didn’t matter any more, and there was going to be one government for everywhere, and for all things.
And I told him I wasn’t interested any more.
He asked if I was dismissing him. I said, “yes, I am. I’m sure you’re a nice person and all, and you’ve got great ideas… but I’m not interested in there being only one of anything.”
So he started talking to my friends, and I shut my eyes while he continued to blab on about the unity of everything. I couldn’t tune him out completely, but I did my best to make clear that I wasn’t interested. And eventually his charioteer came by, and they went away together.
Everywhere I turn these days, I encounter the problem of unity: we need one solution for the schools. We need one solution for the political problems. We need one church. We need one charity. We need one tax plan. We need unity, we need to be united. It even comes at me in the form of street-side fanatics.
Respectfully, I disagree.
If there’s one thing that working on the Kavad has taught me, it’s that we need diversity. I mean, think about it: There is the First Father, the Author of All Being, the Grand Architect of the Universe, in Hermetic philosophy, and he’s in the kavad, as he should be. But under him (in a very real sense) are seven governors — the seven traditional and visible planets. Below them, there are four archangels, four princes of elements, and four princes of demons offensive in the elements. There are thirty-six Decans of the Solar Zodiac, and twenty-eight Mansions of the Moon. There are seven Olympic Spirits. There is Mother Nature herself, and the Angel of the Fixed Stars, and two Angels of the Countenance. That’s just shy of a hundred beings of grace and power in this solar system, and I haven’t even mentioned the Logos or the Demiurge yet. Or the Guardian Angels of every single human being in the world.
And every one of those beings I’ve just mentioned is just the captain or president of their own nation of beings — spirits of animals, of fish and frogs; spirits of trees and stones and processes; egregores of organizations, lodges, churches and towns; ancestors and hungry ghosts of all shapes and sizes… the Hermetic universe is utterly and completely crowded with beings of grace and power and dignity.
And this guy — who appeared to be Sun-touched — thinks that the problem with all this diversity can be solved by making it all one. I got news for him. It is all one. But when it was all smushed up together, it was boring. So we agreed to spread it all out a little, and leave lots of empty space for lots of different things to happen, and we added a little chaos and a little carbon to the mix. And now we have diversity — beautiful, elegant, complicated, difficult, amazing, wonder-full diversity — in the unity of everything in everything … just as my grandfather’s elemental table says we have.
I felt bad to be so dismissive of the guy, and so obviously dismissive of him. He was mildly put out by my rejection. But I think we need less unity, and I’m not ready to hear out the claims and petitions of yet another false prophet of the One.