Ethereals are created by human belief, but what are the Ethereals' beliefs?
Well, a great many of them don't want to believe in the standard monotheistic metaphysic that is the IN default setting. As we know, many of them want to think of God as just a mega-ethereal. But, if God isn't the Absolute He claims to be, who or what is? What gods do Ethereals worship?
None, in many cases. But ethereals are nothing if not varied, and some of the more philosophical ones have tried to conceive of alternate Absolute Beings.
One main feature these have in common is that, like God, they are Uncreated. Clearly, something produced by something else isn't ultimate yet, and God's claim to be Uncreated rankles with many of these philosophical ethereals.
Because they are philosophically inclined, and because they are creatures of the mind, and because it is hard to make up a concrete alternative to God that doesn't look a lot like God, the ethereal philosophers have produced ideas of Uncreated Beings that are mostly very abstract. Here are some of them:
The Pantomorph is defined briefly as All Forms or, more mathematically, as "the set of all sets." It is very like a pantheistic conception of God, but it includes all possibilities as well as all realites.
In worship, the image associated with it is the infinite, starry sky. The personality associated with it is a tranquil font of highly mystical wisdom, heard from directly only by those pursuing deep meditative states or, for the very lucky who are presumed to carry karmas of great importance, in moments of crisis.
Astrological correspondence: the Prime Mobile
Alchemical correspondence: ether
Kabbalistic correspondence: Keter
The converse of Everything is Nothing. Grim and negatively-toned ethereals sometimes go so far as to personify and deify this idea. The reasoning goes that, if there is anything that could be prior to God, it is Nothingness. It is the edge that defines the shape of everything, and therefore it is inescapable, omnipresent, and, in its peculiar way, omnipotent.
In worship, the image associated with it is, of course, total blackness, often in a vast pit. The personality associated with it is grim, severe, silent, doling out lessons of harsh wisdom to those who are willing to see them in the events around them.
Astrological correspondence: Saturn
Alchemical correspondence: lead
Kabbalistic correspondence: Binah
Some ethereals are deeply concerned about their "reality." Celestials and mortals both often dismiss them as "unreal." For them, there is the cult of Actuality, the quality that distinguishes possibility from concrete being.
In worship, the image associated with it is earth, or the Earth. The personality associated with it is motherly, generous, exuberant. It, or she, does not give lessons or enlightenment, but she gives strength and fertility.
Astrological correspondence: Earth
Alchemical correspondence: salt
Kabbalistic correspondence: Malkuth
If God is not the true First Cause, what is? Some Ethereals answer by deifying Causality itself. This is the principle that makes everything happen. Its worshippers are concerned with process, becoming, progress, achievement.
In worship, the images associated with it are all very active figures – a dancer, a warrior, a blacksmith. It, or he, is thought to favor those who seek change, any change, good or bad.
Astrological correspondence: Mars
Alchemical correspondence: iron
Kabbalistic correspondence: Gevurah
Of course, most celestials and many ethereals dismiss these god-concepts as vain fancies of, well, vain fancies. But the idea-worshippers have counter-arguments, and some other beings find them worrisome. Every idea is a thread, somewhere on the ethereal plane, the ideolators remind others. Such abstract ideas are the master concepts, their threads running through all reality. All of it. Plenty of opportunity to pick up the necessary Forces to develop a personification.
And, of course, there are rumors of encounters with these personifications...
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