Names of God: Part 1

The Degrees of Consciousness


Hen Ddihenydd

During my research of Iolo Morganwg’s masterpiece ‘The Barddas‘ I have become fascinated by his use of various ‘Names of God’. As I have discussed in a previous post, The Awen: An Exploration of Inspiration, I make a conscious effort to read between the lines of his great work and to see beyond the Unitarian Christian terminology. The following post, the first in a series discussing Iolo’s Names of God, is a quick summary of how I make sense of one of Iolo’s ‘Names of God’ within the context of my own metaphysical world view. I hope you find it interesting and, hopefully, inspiring.

As someone who follows a Celtic path, and in honour of the genius that was Iolo Morganwg, I have adopted his names of God, as found within the Barddas, to describe the degrees of consciousness that generate the metaphysical forces and processes that lead to the manifestation of the physical Universe. The first one I want to introduce you to is Hen Ddihenydd (pronounced Hen thihenith)

Hen Ddihenydd: The Unoriginated One

The Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (GPC) gives a number of definitions for Hen Ddihenydd but I have chosen to define it as The Unoriginated One, the reasons for my choosing this title will be explored later in this post but, before I do so, lets look at how GPC define this term.

(yr) Hen Ddihenydd: the Ancient of Days, the Almighty.

It appears that Hen Ddihenydd is simply a term to describe ‘God’, but there is more mystery to be explored in this simple term. If one breaks the term down we have Hen, which means Old, Ancient. Simple enough, but what does the word dihenydd mean, according to GPC? They define it as follows:

[dien + ydd] death, loss or extinction of life; violent death; execution, death penalty, capital punishment, death sentence; (appointed) end, fate, doom, cause death, means of execution, ruin.

They go on to suggest the following:

condemned or sentenced to death, guilty of a capital crime, punishable by death, incurring the death penalty; doomed to destruction.

b very old, of great antiquity, ancient; existing before the world; in ones last days, at the end of life.

This appears, on the surface, to be quite a contradiction. How, or why, could the term for ‘The Almighty’ be linked to the word associated with death and destruction? and how do I make sense of this ‘Name of God, given in the Barddas.

Firstly I needed to turn to the work of Iolo to see how he describes this aspect of God:

“…It is from his nature that all things are derived, and from him is the beginning of everything, and in him is no beginning, for he can not but exist, and nothing can have a beginning without a beginner.” p191 Barddas

There are obvious links here to the GPC definition “existing before the world” but he does not give us any obvious clues as to how we can reconcile the other meanings for dihenydd, or does he?

Thinking about Hen Ddihenydd as being ‘that which from all things are derived’ and that of being the ‘beginner of beginning’ I begin to understand a little of what Iolo may have been trying to describe. ‘For he can not but exist’ says Iolo, thus I see Hen Ddihenydd as the ‘Unoriginated One‘ that from which all ‘Other’ has originated, that which has always been and will always be, the ‘Beginner of the Beginning’. Unbounded, infinite and beyond definition.

So where do I see the idea of death, loss, extinction of life etc. fitting in with this idea?

If the ‘Unoriginated One’ has always been; always will be, and the beginner of the beginning it is clear that, whatever ‘IT’ is, it is beyond understanding and must be outside of this created universe. An omnipotent and unbounded consciousness that is beyond any understanding and as such is incomprehensible to our limited consciousness. Such a force of pure being must, in order to create something other than itself, allow a separation of itself to create something separate to itself. It is my contention that this must be experienced as a form of death or extinction where part of the Infinite becomes Finite and dies unto itself. To birth a Universe it is necessary to execute Wholeness.

Is it possible to conceptualise anything meaningful about The Unoriginated One? I would conjecture that it is impossible to understand what Hen Ddihenydd is and as such it is meaningless to debate anything about it. Other than understanding that It was, It is, and It will always be, there is nothing about Hen Ddihenydd that can be known. The nearest idea that I have found within modern cosmology and science is the ideas explored in the ‘Incredible Bulk Theory’ where our three-dimensional universe is ‘floating’ within a four-dimensional space called The Bulk, summarised as follows:

  • The Bulk or Hyperspace, equivalent to The Void.
  • The Void is without sound or form. The Void is No-Thing yet it is Some-Thing.
  • It lies beyond the confines of space and time for the Void simply ‘IS’
  • It is unknowable, it exists out of time and space.
  • Within the Bulk floats individual Universes called membranes.
  • It is theorised that these Universes could touch and interact in some way but there is disagreement as to how this would occur or the effects that would ensue.
  • Our universe is from the Bulk but cannot experience the Bulk.

This particular aspect of M-Theory has some interesting parallels with my ideas regarding Hen Ddihenydd and are worthy of further study.

I’m a big believer in the old saying ‘A picture paints a thousand words’ and, in my opinion, the best way to visualise Hen Ddihenydd is as a blank page, albeit an infinite unbounded space, upon which the creation of our universe is drawn.

Hen Ddihenydd

Names of God Part 2 will explore Iolo’s use of the term ‘Naf’ (pronounced Nav) for next stage in the development of our Universe.

Names of God: Part 2

The Triadic Nature of the Universe

An exploration of the Triadic Nature of the Universe and it’s Metaphysical implications.
How the number 3 is the foundation of our Universe.

Triquetra

During my many sojourns into the various records of ancient wisdom, be they Western, Eastern or for that matter Norther or Southern there is a recurring theme involving sacred numbers, but one number in particular has always piqued my interest and that is the number three. It appears to me that the number three somehow holds within it an understanding of the Universe that may be accessible to our human minds, for why else does it appear in so many traditions around the globe. Take the following few examples as evidence of this fact:

  • The Celtic Triads
  • The Christian Trinity; God the Father, Son & Holy Ghost
  • The Supernal Triangle in Jewish Mysticism; Kether, Chokmah & Binah
  • The washing of the face, arms etc three times during the Wada of Islam
  • The Hindu Trinity; Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar
  • The Three Treasures of Taoism; Compassion, Frugality & Humility
  • The Three Jewels of Buddhism; Buddha, Dharma & Sangha
  • The Triple Goddess of Paganism and Witchcraft
  • The Three Pillars of Zen; Teaching, Practice, and Enlightenment
  • The Three Sacred Vowels of Druidry; O, I, W
  • Celtic Realms; Land, Sea & Sky
  • The Three Original Beings of Norse Mythology; the primordial cow Audhumla, Ymir the first giant, and Búri the first god and grandfather of Odin.
  • The Three Worlds of Shamanism; Lower World, Middle World and Upper World.

This takes me into the realm of metaphysics, but does metaphysics have any relevance to anyone? So I ask myself the question, ‘Why Metaphysics?’ this question always bring to mind a quote from one of the famous German Idealist Philosophers of the modern era, that being, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling.

Schelling

So, in my opinion, the study of Nature is the study of Spirit, and the study of Spirit is the study of Nature. Therefore, if you choose to accept the above statement, there is no way to avoid metaphysics.

Merriam-Webster defines metaphysics as follows:

a division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being and that includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology

When I began studying the truth of the triad I had in mind the following aphorism:

We are the sum totality of all that has gone before.
And
We are the seeds of all becoming

(Acknowledgement to Kristoffer Hughes, for introducing me to the first part of this aphorism. The final sentence was added by myself to include the future.)

tree

The Past, Present and Future

Is this all purely imagination and mystical thinking from the minds of philosophers or new age followers? or are there people who are open to exploring these topics within the scientific paradigm?

One such person is a scientist called Max Tegmark who, in his book “Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality” makes the following statements:

“There’s something very mathematical about our Universe, and that the more carefully we look, the more math we seem to find”

“Everything in our world is purely mathematical – including you!”

“Equations aren’t the only hints of mathematics that are built into nature: there are also numbers”

“I’m now talking about numbers that are basic
properties of our physical reality.”

And, what clinched the deal for me was the following question raised by Max Tegmark:

how many pencils can you arrange so that
they’re all perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to each other?

The answer of course is 3 – The most basic expression of the reality of our three dimensional world!

A summary of Max’s book can be found in Scientific American at the following link:
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-universe-made-of-math-excerpt

So begins my search for meaning within the numerical nature of our Universe. For the remainder of this particular blog post I will be using the above aphorism as a starting point. I hope to demonstrate that the triad is the foundation of our Universe and contains deep wisdom and meaning.

Following on from this exploration of the triad it is my intention, over the next few blog posts, to build upon this knowledge to construct a complete holistic system that will integrate a number of areas of research and philosophy that I have been interested in for a number of years. These posts will encompass a number of topics, not least; Druidic knowledge, Kabbalah, the Flower of Life and Tarot.

Sum Totality

Using the above aphorism I began to explore the number system most familiar to me, that is the base 10 system. Using the sum totality as my starting point I gained the following insights:

Using the principle of “we are the sum total of all that has gone before” and applying it to the numerical series so that, as each number becomes the sum of its predecessors, we develop a new series of numbers.

0+1=1
1+2=3
3+3=6
6+4=10
10+5=15
15+6=21
21+7=28 etc…

These numbers in turn, using the numerological method of reduction, can be reduced to their basic single numerical quality as represented by a single digit between 1 and 9. Due to the esoteric understanding that the essence of any number can be understood in such a way that the complexity represented by any individual number is simply a higher and more complex representation of the simple truth seen within its base digit.

The following list demonstrates how this works:

Truth of the triad

At first sight this list of numbers seem to have little meaning, but looking deeper, it can be seen that they form a new series that can be organised into three groupings which, when put into relationship, demonstrate an underlying Unity and Duality that is an expression of the Triad within nature.

Developing the numerical series, based upon the aphorism, ‘we are the sum totality of all that has gone before, and the seeds of all becoming’, we get the following numerically reduced series, which progresses into infinity:

truth of the triad 2

This series may appear to be meaningless but I have deduced a meaningful pattern based upon my studies of ancient Celtic wisdom. During my exploration of my native spirituality, that of the British Isles, I studied Druidry in-depth including the works of Iolo Morganwg of which I will have more to say in a future post. Within his work I was introduced to the idea and symbolism of the Awen, of which I will also discuss in more depth in a future post, which I later explored with the Anglesey Druid Order. Suffice it to say, at this stage, that the symbol used by Iolo Morganwg contains within it the deepest of esoteric meaning. He links the Awen to the three primal vowels that were sung out into the Universe at the point of creation, of which my future posts will explore and elucidate. But the purpose of this post is to examine the triadic nature of reality that is deeply embedded in our Universe, and as such will confine itself to exploring the symbolism that can be extracted from the numerology of the triad and how this relates to the symbol of the Awen.

The numbers identified above have been held as sacred for millenia, even in more modern times the genius of Tesla was aware of the significance of these numbers when he stated the following:

Tesla

The Numerology of the Awen

The usual symbol of the Awen is:

awen

But due to my understanding of the importance of the Triad and the mystery it contains I have adapted the Awen symbol to incorporate the Celtic Triskelion, which itself symbolises the Triad and the three Celtic Realms; Land, Sea and Sky. My reasons for this adoption will be explored and explained in later posts, but for the remainder of my posts the following symbol is the one I use for the Awen and upon which I project the triadic numerology:

Spiralawen

According to the works of Iolo Morganwg, and alluded to in a number of the legendary poems attributed to the Welsh Bard Taliesin, the three rays of the Awen represent the three Vowels, or Shouts, that were sung out at the beginning of time and were the cause of the creation of the material Universe. In my modified symbol I represent the three shouts/vowels by the three arms of the Triskelion and it is the interaction and movement between these three shouts that generate the three rays which, for me, represent the three realms of the manifest Universe; Land, Sea and Sky.

Placing the sequence of numbers generated on to the Awen symbol we obtain the following diagram:

SpiralAwen2

What understanding can be gained from meditating upon this diagram?

Following much thought and meditation upon this symbol I have created an image that contains many of the ideas and insights that I have gained from my pondering’s. I present this as purely my own ideas and thoughts. I offer the information to you to find whatever meaning you can from it. If your ideas differ from mine that is as it should be for we are all on our own journey of discovery.

SpiralAwen3

The following explanation for this understanding is offered as a means to stimulate your own thoughts. Accept them or not as you see fit.

There is a constant ‘set point’ represented by the number 1, in numerology this represents unity, wholeness, completion and is the primal number from which all other spring forth. Therefore I associate it with the central ray, the fulcrum, from which all action finds balance, stillness and peace. The word Taw, associated with the central ray, is a Brythonic word which means; silence, hush, quiet, peace, calm and is the root many modern Welsh words such as; Tawel= calm, even, still; Tawelu= becalm, quiet, still; Distaw= mute, quiet, silent. On a spiritual level it represents the Love which permeates the Universe and which underpins the whole of creation, it is Life itself, that which animates, the very consciousness of the Universe that permeates all that exists. It is the small still point that lies at the centre of our being where peace resides.

It can be noted that in the two outer rays the sequence of number flows in an opposite direction from each other. The left ray decreases from 9 to 3 whereas the right ray increases from 3 to 9. The importance of 3, 6 and 9 needs some thought before we ponder the meaning of the two rays.

3 is the child of 1+2 it symbolises the creative force within the Universe and within us. 3 is the force that keeps creation moving forward and evolving. 3 is like an embryo created from the joining of the sperm and the egg, full of potential.

6 is harmony, it is a reflection of the 1 of Taw as it is the midpoint between 3 and 9. It is often called motherhood as it has the maternal/paternal quality of love, nourishment and protection offered to the family or local community.

9 is completion, 9 is the fulfillment of the act of creation and it is not possible to go beyond 9 as can be seen when one tries to multiply 9 by any other number ie. 9*8=72 which reduces to 7+2=9 if you try this with any number it always reduces back to 9. 9 is the ultimate expression of Love, where the Love of self in 1, the Love of the family in 3, finally expands to be the Love of all creation as expressed in 9.

Using some of these thoughts I have come to an understanding of the two outer rays as being expressions of the expansive and contractive forces of the Universe. The states of catabolism and anabolism, growth and decay.

In the right hand ray we have the embryo of 3 being nurtured by 6 and reaching the completion of 9. It is the inhalation of the universe and symbolic of the anabolic, expansive forces that leads the consciousness of the Universe to expand into its creation and gain Knowledge of who and what it is. It is the journey of the creation of the Universe, the playground and learning environment of Universal consciousness.

In the left hand ray we have the completion of the process where Knowledge has been gained through the growth of consciousness and its exploration of self. This knowledge is nurtured and assimilated by the love of 6 until it finally becomes the embryonic seed of Wisdom. Knowledge leads to Wisdom through the power of Love.

The symbol also indicates that this process is eternal, once one cycle is completed a new one begins. 3 always grows outwards towards 9 and always collapses back to 3. The Universal pendulum of life oscillating about the Fulcrum of Taw.

In my next blog post I will be exploring how the Triskelion of creation allows the evolution of the Universe and how the works of Iolo Morganwg can give us insight into the meaning of this process. But until then I’d like to provide a link to a very thought-provoking video related to the number 9

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Having spent a weekend with wonderful people doing wonderful things I was inspired to restart blogging. This blog is mainly for me to keep a record of all the strange and wonderful things that I do, and as a personal record of all my thoughts and pondering’s that come to mind whilst I journey through this life of mine.

I post them here, publicly, just in case anyone else finds them interesting, amusing or just down right strange! if, by doing so, I happen to help anyone gain some clarity along the way then I am happy to have been of service.