Shangdi written "Emperor", is the Chinese term for "Supreme Deity" or "Highest Deity" in the theology of the classical texts deriving from Shang theology and finding an equivalent in the Tian of Zhou theology. Although in Chinese religion the usage of "Tian" to refer to the absolute God of the universe is predominant, "Shangdi" continues to be used in a variety of traditions, including certain philosophical schools, certain strains of Confucianism, some Chinese salvationist religions and Chinese Protestant Christianity. In addition, it is common to use such term among contemporary and secular Chinese, Hong Kong, Taiwanese societies for a singular universal deity and a non-religion translation for the God in Christianity. "Shang Di" is the pinyin romanization of two Chinese characters. The first – 上, Shàng – means "high", "highest", "first", "primordial"; the word itself is derived from Three "Huang" and Five "Di", including Yellow Emperor, the mythological originator of the Chinese civilization and the ancestor of the Chinese race.
However, 帝 refers to the High God of Shang, thus means "deity". Thus, the name Shangdi should be translated as "Highest Deity", but have the implied meaning of "Primordial Deity" or "First Deity" in Classical Chinese; the deity preceded the title and the emperors of China were named after him in their role as Tianzi, the sons of Heaven. In the classical texts the highest conception of the heavens is identified with Shang Di, described somewhat anthropomorphically, he is associated with the pole star. The conceptions of the Supreme Ruler and of the Sublime Heavens afterward coalesce or absorb each other; the earliest references to Shangdi are found in oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty in the 2nd millennium BC, although the work Classic of History claims yearly sacrifices were made to him by Emperor Shun before the Xia Dynasty. Shangdi was regarded as the ultimate spiritual power by the ruling elite of the Huaxia during the Shang dynasty: he was believed to control victory in battle, success or failure of harvests, weather conditions such as the floods of the Yellow River, the fate of the kingdom.
Shangdi seems to have ruled a hierarchy of other gods controlling nature, as well as the spirits of the deceased. These ideas were mirrored or carried on by the Taoist Jade Emperor and his celestial bureaucracy. Shangdi was more transcendental than immanent, only working through lesser gods. Shangdi was considered too distant to be worshiped directly by ordinary mortals. Instead, the Shang kings proclaimed that Shangdi had made himself accessible through the souls of their royal ancestors, both in the legendary past and in recent generations as the departed Shang kings joined him in the afterlife; the emperors could thus entreat Shangdi directly. Many of the oracle bone inscriptions record these petitions praying for rain but seeking approval from Shangdi for state action. In the Shang and Zhou dynasties, Shangdi was conflated with Heaven; the Duke of Zhou justified his clan's usurpation through the concept of the Mandate of Heaven, which proposed that the protection of Shangdi was not connected to their clan membership but by their just governance.
Shangdi was not just a tribal but instead an unambiguously good moral force, exercising its power according to exacting standards. It could thus be lost and "inherited" by a new dynasty, provided they upheld the proper rituals. Nonetheless, the connection of many rituals with the Shang clan meant that Shang nobles continued to rule several locations and to serve as court advisors and priests; the Duke of Zhou created an entire ceremonial city along strict cosmological principals to house the Shang aristocracy and the nine tripods representing Huaxia sovereignty. The Shang's lesser houses, the shi knightly class, developed directly into the learned Confucian gentry and scholars who advised the Zhou rulers on courtly etiquette and ceremony; the Confucian classics carried on and ordered the earlier traditions, including the worship of Shangdi. All of them include references: The Four Books mention Shangdi as well but, as it is a compilation, the references are much more sparse and abstract. Shangdi appears most in earlier works: this pattern may reflect increasing rationalization of Shangdi over time, the shift from a known and arbitrary tribal god to a more abstract and philosophical concept, or his conflation and absorption by other deities.
By the time of the Han dynasty, the influential Confucian scholar Zheng Xuan glossed: "Shangdi is another name for Heaven". Dong Zhongshu said: "Heaven is the ultimate authority, the king of gods who should be admired by the king". In eras, he was known by the name "Heavenly Ruling Highest Deity" and, in this usage, he is conflated with the Taoist Jade Emperor. In Shang sources, Di is described as the supreme ordainer of the events which occur in nature, such as wind and thunder, in human affairs and politics. All the gods of nature are conceived as his manifestations. Shang sources attest his cosmological Five Ministries. Di, or Tian, as texts explain, did not receive cult for being too remote for living humans to sacrifice to directl
Monism attributes oneness or singleness to a concept e.g. existence. Various kinds of monism can be distinguished: Priority monism states that all existing things go back to a source, distinct from them. In this view only one thing is prior to everything else. Existence monism posits that speaking, there exists only a single thing, the Universe, which can only be artificially and arbitrarily divided into many things. Substance monism asserts that a variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. Substance monism posits that only one kind of stuff exists, although many things may be made up of this stuff, e.g. matter or mind. There are two sorts of definitions for monism: The wide definition: a philosophy is monistic if it postulates unity of origin of all things; the restricted definition: this requires not only unity of origin but unity of substance and essence. Although the term "monism" is derived from Western philosophy to typify positions in the mind–body problem, it has been used to typify religious traditions.
In modern Hinduism, the term "absolute monism" is being used for Advaita Vedanta. The term "monism" was introduced in the 18th century by Christian von Wolff in his work Logic, to designate types of philosophical thought in which the attempt was made to eliminate the dichotomy of body and mind and explain all phenomena by one unifying principle, or as manifestations of a single substance; the mind–body problem in philosophy examines the relationship between mind and matter, in particular the relationship between consciousness and the brain. The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism, by pre-Aristotelian philosophers, in Avicennian philosophy, in earlier Asian and more Indian traditions, it was also applied to the theory of absolute identity set forth by Hegel and Schelling. Thereafter the term was more broadly used, for any theory postulating a unifying principle; the opponent thesis of dualism was broadened, to include pluralism. According to Urmson, as a result of this extended use, the term is "systematically ambiguous".
According to Jonathan Schaffer, monism lost popularity due to the emergence of Analytic philosophy in the early twentieth century, which revolted against the neo-Hegelians. Carnap and Ayer, who were strong proponents of positivism, "ridiculed the whole question as incoherent mysticism"; the mind–body problem has reemerged in social psychology and related fields, with the interest in mind–body interaction and the rejection of Cartesian mind–body dualism in the identity thesis, a modern form of monism. Monism is still relevant to the philosophy of mind, where various positions are defended. Different types of monism include: Substance monism, "the view that the apparent plurality of substances is due to different states or appearances of a single substance" Attributive monism, "the view that whatever the number of substances, they are of a single ultimate kind" Partial monism, "within a given realm of being there is only one substance" Existence monism, "the view that there is only one concrete object token" Priority monism, "the whole is prior to its parts" or "the world has parts, but the parts are dependent fragments of an integrated whole" Property monism, "the view that all properties are of a single type" Genus monism, "the doctrine that there is a highest category.
Metaphysical nihilism, negates any of the above categories. Monism in modern philosophy of mind can be divided into three broad categories: Idealist, mentalistic monism, which holds that only mind or spirit exists. Neutral monism, which holds that one sort of thing fundamentally exists, to which both the mental and the physical can be reduced Material monism, which holds that the material world is primary, consciousness arises through the interaction with the material worlda. Eliminative Materialism, according to which everything is physical and mental things do not exist b. Reductive physicalism, according to which mental things do exist and are a kind of physical thingCertain positions do not fit into the above categories, such as functionalism, anomalous monism, reflexive monism. Moreover, they do not define the meaning of "real". While the lack of information makes it difficult in some cases to be sure of the details, the following pre-Socratic philosophers thought in monistic terms: Thales: Water Anaximander: Apeiron.
Reality is some, one thing, but we cannot know what. Anaximenes of Miletus: Air Heraclitus: Change, symbolized by fire. Parmenides: Being or Reality is an unmoving perfect sphere, undivided. Neopythagorians such as Apollonius of Tyana centered their cosmologies on One. Stoics taught. Middle Platonism under such works as those by Numenius taught that the Universe emanates from the Monad or One. Neoplatonism is monistic. Plotinus taught that there was an ineffable transcendent god,'The One,' of which subsequent realities were emanations. From The One emanates the Divine Mind, the Cosmic Soul, th
Indian religions, sometimes termed as Dharmic faiths or religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions are all classified as Eastern religions. Although Indian religions are connected through the history of India, they constitute a wide range of religious communities, are not confined to the Indian subcontinent. Evidence attesting to prehistoric religion in the Indian subcontinent derives from scattered Mesolithic rock paintings; the Harappan people of the Indus Valley Civilisation, which lasted from 3300 to 1300 BCE, had an early urbanized culture which predates the Vedic religion. The documented history of Indian religions begins with the historical Vedic religion, the religious practices of the early Indo-Iranians, which were collected and redacted into the Vedas; the period of the composition and commentary of these texts is known as the Vedic period, which lasted from 1750–500 BCE. The philosophical portions of the Vedas were summarized in Upanishads, which are referred to as Vedānta, variously interpreted to mean either the "last chapters, parts of the Veda" or "the object, the highest purpose of the Veda".
The early Upanishads all predate the Common Era, five of the eleven principal Upanishads were composed in all likelihood before 6th century BCE, contain the earliest mentions of Yoga and Moksha. The Reform or Shramanic Period between 800–200 BCE marks a "turning point between the Vedic Hinduism and Puranic Hinduism"; the Shramana movement, an ancient Indian religious movement parallel to but separate from Vedic tradition defied many of the Vedic and Upanishadic concepts of soul and the ultimate reality. In 6th century BCE, the Shramnic movement matured into Jainism and Buddhism and was responsible for the schism of Indian religions into two main philosophical branches of astika, which venerates Veda and nastika. However, both branches shared the related concepts of saṃsāra and moksha; the Puranic Period and Early Medieval period gave rise to new configurations of Hinduism bhakti and Shaivism, Vaishnavism and much smaller groups like the conservative Shrauta. The early Islamic period gave rise to new movements.
Sikhism was founded in the 15th century on the teachings of Guru Nanak and the nine successive Sikh Gurus in Northern India. The vast majority of its adherents originate in the Punjab region. With the colonial dominance of the British a reinterpretation and synthesis of Hinduism arose, which aided the Indian independence movement. James Mill, in his The History of British India, distinguished three phases in the history of India, namely Hindu and British civilisations; this periodisation has been criticised, for the misconceptions. Another periodisation is the division into "ancient, classical and modern periods", although this periodization has received criticism. Romila Thapar notes that the division of Hindu-Muslim-British periods of Indian history gives too much weight to "ruling dynasties and foreign invasions," neglecting the social-economic history which showed a strong continuity; the division in Ancient-Medieval-Modern overlooks the fact that the Muslim-conquests took place between the eight and the fourteenth century, while the south was never conquered.
According to Thapar, a periodisation could be based on "significant social and economic changes," which are not related to a change of ruling powers. Smart and Michaels seem to follow Mill's periodisation, while Flood and Muesse follow the "ancient, classical and modern periods" periodisation. An elaborate periodisation may be as follows: Indian pre-history including Indus Valley Civilisation. Evidence attesting to prehistoric religion in the Indian subcontinent derives from scattered Mesolithic rock paintings such as at Bhimbetka, depicting dances and rituals. Neolithic agriculturalists inhabiting the Indus River Valley buried their dead in a manner suggestive of spiritual practices that incorporated notions of an afterlife and belief in magic. Other South Asian Stone Age sites, such as the Bhimbetka rock shelters in central Madhya Pradesh and the Kupgal petroglyphs of eastern Karnataka, contain rock art portraying religious rites and evidence of possible ritualised music; the religion and belief system of the Indus valley people have received considerable attention from the view of identifying precursors to deities and religious practices of Indian religions that developed in the area.
However, due to the sparsity of evidence, open to varying interpretations, the fact that the Indus script remains undeciphered, the conclusions are speculative and based on a retrospective view from a much Hindu perspective. An early and influential work in the area that set the trend for Hindu interpretations of archaeological evidence from the Harrapan sites was that of John Marshall, who in 1931 identified the following as prominent features of the Indus religion: a Great Male God and a Mother Goddess.
In the Platonic, Middle Platonic, Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge is an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe. The Gnostics adopted the term "demiurge". Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not the same as the creator figure in the monotheistic sense, because the demiurge itself and the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are both considered to be consequences of something else. Depending on the system, they may be considered to be either uncreated and eternal or the product of some other entity; the word "demiurge" is an English word derived from demiurgus, a Latinized form of the Greek δημιουργός or dēmiourgos. It was a common noun meaning "craftsman" or "artisan", but came to mean "producer", "creator"; the philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's Timaeus, written c. 360 BC, where the demiurge is presented as the creator of the universe. The demiurge is described as a creator in the Platonic and Middle Platonic philosophical traditions.
In the various branches of the Neoplatonic school, the demiurge is the fashioner of the real, perceptible world after the model of the Ideas, but is still not itself "the One". In the arch-dualist ideology of the various Gnostic systems, the material universe is evil, while the non-material world is good. According to some strains of Gnosticism, the demiurge is malevolent, as it is linked to the material world. In others, including the teaching of Valentinus, the demiurge is ignorant or misguided. Plato, as the speaker Timaeus, refers to the Demiurge in the Socratic dialogue Timaeus, c. 360 BC. The main character refers to the Demiurge as the entity who "fashioned and shaped" the material world. Timaeus describes the Demiurge as unreservedly benevolent, so it desires a world as good as possible; the world remains imperfect, because the Demiurge created the world out of a chaotic, indeterminate non-being. Plato's work Timaeus is a philosophical reconciliation of Hesiod's cosmology in his Theogony, syncretically reconciling Hesiod to Homer.
In Numenius's Neo-Pythagorean and Middle Platonist cosmogony, the Demiurge is second God as the nous or thought of intelligibles and sensibles. Plotinus and the Platonists worked to clarify the Demiurge. To Plotinus, the second emanation represents an uncreated second cause. Plotinus sought to reconcile Aristotle's energeia with Plato's Demiurge, which, as Demiurge and mind, is a critical component in the ontological construct of human consciousness used to explain and clarify substance theory within Platonic realism. In order to reconcile Aristotelian with Platonian philosophy, Plotinus metaphorically identified the demiurge within the pantheon of the Greek Gods as Zeus; the first and highest aspect of God is described by Plato as the source, or the Monad. This is the God above the Demiurge, manifests through the actions of the Demiurge; the Monad emanated the demiurge or Nous from its "indeterminate" vitality due to the monad being so abundant that it overflowed back onto itself, causing self-reflection.
This self-reflection of the indeterminate vitality was referred to by Plotinus as the "Demiurge" or creator. The second principle is organization in its reflection of the nonsentient force or dynamis called the one or the Monad; the dyad is energeia emanated by the one, the work, process or activity called nous, mind, consciousness that organizes the indeterminate vitality into the experience called the material world, cosmos. Plotinus elucidates the equation of matter with nothing or non-being in The Enneads which more is to express the concept of idealism or that there is not anything or anywhere outside of the "mind" or nous. Plotinus' form of Platonic idealism is to treat the Demiurge, nous as the contemplative faculty within man which orders the force into conscious reality. In this, he claimed to reveal Plato's true meaning: a doctrine he learned from Platonic tradition that did not appear outside the academy or in Plato's text; this tradition of creator God as nous, can be validated in the works of pre-Plotinus philosophers such as Numenius, as well as a connection between Hebrew and Platonic cosmology.
The Demiurge of Neoplatonism is the Nous, is one of the three ordering principles: Arche – the source of all things, Logos – the underlying order, hidden beneath appearances, Harmonia – numerical ratios in mathematics. Before Numenius of Apamea and Plotinus' Enneads, no Platonic works ontologically clarified the Demiurge from the allegory in Plato's Timaeus; the idea of Demiurge was, addressed before Plotinus in the works of Christian writer Justin Martyr who built his understanding of the Demiurge on the works of Numenius. The Neoplatonist Iamblichus changed the role of the "One" altering the role of the Demiurge as second cause or dyad, one of the reasons that Iamblichus and his teacher Porphyry came into conflict; the figure of the Demiurge emerges in the theoretic of Iamblichus, which conjoins the transcendent, incommunicable “One,” or Source. Here, at the summit of this system, the Source and Demiurge coexist via the process of henosis. Iamblichus describes the One as a monad whose first principle or emanation is intellect, while among "the many" that follow it there is a second, super-existent "One", the
God in Jainism
In Jainism, godliness is said to be the inherent quality of every soul. This quality, however, is subdued by the soul's association with karmic matter. All souls who have achieved the natural state of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge, infinite power and infinite perception are regarded as God in Jainism. Jainism rejects the idea of a creator deity responsible for the manifestation, creation, or maintenance of this universe. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents have always existed. All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws and perfect soul, an immaterial entity cannot create or affect a material entity like the universe. From the essential perspective, the soul of every living organism is perfect in every way, is independent of any actions of the organism, is considered God or to have godliness, but the epithet of God is given to the soul in whom its properties manifest in accordance with its inherent nature. There are countably infinite souls in the universe.
According to Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra: आप्तेनो च्छिनदोषेण सर्वज्ञेनागमेशिना। भवितव्यं नियोगेन नान्यथा ह्याप्तता भवेत्।।५।In the nature of things the true God should be free from the faults and weaknesses of the lower nature. In Jainism, godliness is said to be the inherent quality of every soul characterizing infinite bliss, infinite power, Kevala Jnana, infinite perception, perfect manifestations of infinite other attributes. There are two possible views after this point. One is to look at the soul from the perspective of the soul itself; this entails explanations of the properties of the soul, its exact structure and nature, the nature of various states that arise from it and their source attributes as is done in the deep and arcane texts of Samayasāra, Niyamasara and Pravachanasara. Another view is to consider things apart from its relationships with the soul. According to this view, the qualities of a soul are subdued due to karmas of the soul. Karmas are the fundamental particles of nature in Jainism.
One who achieves this state of soul through right belief, right knowledge and right conduct can be termed a god. This perfection of soul is called Kevalin. A god thus becomes a liberated soul – liberated of miseries, cycles of rebirth, world and liberated of body as well; this is called moksha. Jainism does not teach the dependency on any supreme being for enlightenment; the Tirthankara is a guide and teacher who points the way to enlightenment, but the struggle for enlightenment is one's own. Moral rewards and sufferings are not the work of a divine being, but a result of an innate moral order in the cosmos. Jains believe that to attain enlightenment and liberation from all karmic bonding, one must practice the ethical principles not only in thought, but in words and action; such a practice through lifelong work towards oneself is regarded as observing the Mahavrata. Gods can be thus categorized into embodied gods known as arihantas and non-embodied formless gods who are called Siddhas. Jainism considers the devīs and devas to be souls who dwell in heavens owing to meritorious deeds in their past lives.
These souls are in heavens for a fixed lifespan and they have to undergo reincarnation as humans to achieve moksha. Thus, there are infinite gods in Jainism, all equivalent and infinite in the manifestation of all attributes; the Self and karmas are separate substances in the former living and the latter non-living. The attainment of enlightenment and the one who exists in such a state those who have achieved such a state can be termed gods. Therefore, beings who've attained omniscience are worshipped as gods; the quality of godliness is the same in all of them. Jainism is sometimes regarded as a transtheistic religion, though it can be atheistic or polytheistic based on the way one defines "God". In Jainism, the Pañca-Parameṣṭhi are a fivefold hierarchy of religious authorities worthy of veneration; the five supreme beings are: Arihant Siddha Acharya Upadhyaya Muni or Jain monks A human being who conquers all inner passions and possesses infinite right knowledge is revered as an arihant in Jainism.
They are called Jinas or Kevalin. An arihant is a soul who has destroyed all passions, is unattached and without any desire and hence is able to destroy the four ghātiyā karmas and attain kevala jñāna, or omniscience; such a soul still has four aghātiyā karmas. Arihantas, at the end of their human life-span, destroy all remaining aghātiyā karmas and attain Siddhahood. There are two kinds of kevalin or arihant: Sāmānya Kevalin–Ordinary victors, who are concerned with their own salvation. Tirthankara Kevalin–Twenty-four human spiritual guides, who show the true path to salvation; the word Tīrthaṅkara signifies the founder of a tirtha. The Tirthankara show the'fordable path' across the sea of interminable birth
Bahá'í symbols are symbols that have been used, or are used, to express identification with the Bahá'í Faith. While the five-pointed star is the symbol of the religion, being used to represent the human body and Messengers of God, more common symbols include the nine-pointed star, the Greatest Name, the Ringstone symbol, representing perfection, the Messengers of God; the five-pointed star, or haykal is the symbol of the Bahá'í Faith as mentioned by Shoghi Effendi, head of the Bahá'í Faith in the first half of the 20th century: "Strictly speaking the 5-pointed star is the symbol of our Faith, as used by the Báb and explained by Him." The five-pointed star has been used as the outline of special letters or tablets by both the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. Haykal is a loan word from the Hebrew word hēyḵāl, which means temple and Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. In Arabic, the word means the body or form of something the human body. In the Bahá'í tradition, the haykal was established by the Báb — who told of Bahá'u'lláh's coming — who represented the haykal as a five-pointed star representing the human body as a head, two hands, two feet.
The Báb wrote many letters, tablets and more in the shape of a five-pointed star, including some that included many derivatives of the word Bahá’. In Bahá'u'lláh's writings the Súriy-i-Haykal, while the meaning of temple remains present, the haykal is used to mean the human body, but the body of the Manifestation of God — a messenger from God — and the person of Bahá'u'lláh himself. In the Tablet, the haykal is used to refer to the word of God, revealed by the Manifestations of God, he says in the same Tablet:"O Living Temple! We have, in truth...ordained Thee to be the emblem of My Cause betwixt the heavens and the earth..." In Islamic belief God has 99 names, in some Islamic traditions it is believed that there is a special hidden 100th name, the greatest. In Bahá'í belief the Greatest Name is Bahá’, translated as "glory" or "splendour". Many symbols of the Bahá'í Faith derive their significance from the word Bahá’, it is the root word used in many other names and phrases including Bahá'í, Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá, Alláh-u-Abhá.
In Twelver Islam, the Greatest Name, or Most Great Name, refers to the Book of God, thus the fact that Baha'u'llah used the verbiage of the Greatest Name signifies Baha'u'llah's writings similar to Bayán - explanation, in Babism. Bahá'u'lláh referred to Bahá'ís in his writings as "the people of Bahá’", in addition, the Báb sent a tablet to Bahá'u'lláh with 360 derivatives of the word Bahá’. Along with daily prayers, Bahá'ís are encouraged to recite the phrase "Alláh-u-Abhá" 95 times in a form of meditation; the symbol known as Greatest Name is an Arabic calligraphic rendering of "Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá". This rendering was drawn by the early Bahá'í calligrapher Mishkín Qalam, adopted by Bahá'ís everywhere. Since the symbol refers more directly to the Name of God and of the Messenger of God, than any other symbol in the Bahá'í Faith, it is not used in a casual manner or to adorn the personal artifacts that are put to common use; the symbol can be seen in Bahá'í homes and rings that are produced on a limited scale.
According to the Abjad system of Isopsephy, the word Bahá' has a numerical equivalence of 9, thus there is frequent use of the number 9 in Bahá'í symbols. The most used symbol connected to the number 9 is the nine-pointed star. While the star is not a part of the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, it is used as an emblem representing "9", because of the association of number 9 with perfection and Bahá’; the number 9 comes up several times in Bahá'í history and teachings. On the significance of the number 9, Shoghi Effendi wrote: "Concerning the number nine: the Bahá'ís reverence this for two reasons, first because it is considered by those interested in numbers as the sign of perfection; the second consideration, the more important one, is that it is the numerical value of the word "Bahá’"…"Besides these two significances the number nine has no other meaning. It is, enough to make the Bahá'ís use it when an arbitrary number is to be chosen." Its use on gravestone markers was approved by Shoghi Effendi head of the religion, in 1944.
The ringstone symbol was designed by `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son and successor, as its name implies, is the most common symbol found on rings worn by Bahá'ís, but it is used on necklaces, book covers, paintings. It consists of two stars interspersed with a stylized Bahá’; the lower line is said to represent humanity and the world of creation, the upper line the world of God, the middle line represents the special station of Manifestation of God and the world of revelation. The position of Manifestation of God in this symbol is said to be the linking point to God; the two stars or haykals represent Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb. The writings of Bahá’u’lláh contain many allegories and symbolic language taken from nature, referring to spiritual principles. Christopher Buck analyses a selection of six key scenarios (the Promised One, the Covenant, illumination and the beloved, the Maid of H
God in Christianity
God in Christianity is the eternal being who created and preserves all things. Christians believe God to be both immanent. Christian teachings of the immanence and involvement of God and his love for humanity exclude the belief that God is of the same substance as the created universe but accept that God's divine Nature was hypostatically united to human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, in an event known as the Incarnation. Early Christian views of God were expressed in the Pauline Epistles and the early creeds, which proclaimed one God and the divinity of Jesus in the same breath as in 1 Corinthians: "For if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live. "Although the Judeo-Christian sect of the Ebionites protested against this apotheosis of Jesus, the great mass of Gentile Christians accepted it." This began to differentiate the Gentile Christian views of God from traditional Jewish teachings of the time.
The theology of the attributes and nature of God has been discussed since the earliest days of Christianity, with Irenaeus writing in the 2nd century: "His greatness lacks nothing, but contains all things". In the 8th century, John of Damascus listed eighteen attributes which remain accepted; as time passed, theologians developed systematic lists of these attributes, some based on statements in the Bible, others based on theological reasoning. The Kingdom of God is a prominent phrase in the Synoptic Gospels and while there is near unanimous agreement among scholars that it represents a key element of the teachings of Jesus, there is little scholarly agreement on its exact interpretation. Although the New Testament does not have a formal doctrine of the Trinity as such, "it does speak of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit... in such a way as to compel a Trinitarian understanding of God." This never becomes a tritheism. Around the year 200, Tertullian formulated a version of the doctrine of the Trinity which affirmed the divinity of Jesus and came close to the definitive form produced by the Ecumenical Council of 381.
The doctrine of the Trinity can be summed up as: "The One God exists in Three Persons and One Substance, as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit." Trinitarians, who form the large majority of Christians, hold it as a core tenet of their faith. Nontrinitarian denominations define the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit in a number of different ways. Early Christian views of God are reflected in Apostle Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians, written ca. AD 53-54, i.e. about twenty years after the crucifixion of Jesus: for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live. Apart from asserting that there is but one God, Paul's statement includes a number of other significant elements: he distinguishes Christian belief from the Jewish background of the time by referring to Jesus and the Father in the same breath, by conferring on Jesus the title of divine honor "Lord", as well as calling him Christ. In the Acts during the Areopagus sermon given by Paul, he further characterizes the early Christian understanding: The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth and reflects on the relationship between God and Christians: that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us for in him we live.
The Pauline Epistles include a number of references to the Holy Spirit, with the theme which appears in 1 Thessalonians "…God, the God who gives you his Holy Spirit" appearing throughout his epistles. In John 14:26 Jesus refers to "the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name". By the end of the 1st century, Clement of Rome had referred to the Father and Holy Spirit, linked the Father to creation, 1 Clement 19.2 stating: "let us look steadfastly to the Father and creator of the universe". By the middle of the 2nd century, in Against Heresies Irenaeus had emphasized that the Creator is the "one and only God" and the "maker of heaven and earth"; these preceded the formal presentation of the concept of Trinity by Tertullian early in the 3rd century. The period from the late 2nd century to the beginning of the 4th century is called the "epoch of the Great Church" and the Ante-Nicene Period and witnessed significant theological development, the consolidation and formalization of a number of Christian teachings.
From the 2nd century onward, western creeds started with an affirmation of belief in "God the Father" and the primary reference of this phrase was to "God in his capacity as Father and creator of the universe". This did not exclude either the fact the "eternal father of the universe was the Father of Jesus the Christ" or that he had "vouchsafed to adopt as his son by grace". Eastern creeds began with an affirmation of faith in "one God" and always expanded this by adding "the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible" or words to that effect; as time passed and philosophers developed more precise understandin