Vlassis G. Rassias: On the nature of the ethnic Gods. The following text consists of excerpts from Vlassis G. Rassias‘ same-titled article which has not been completely translated yet and his philosophical Lexicon «Thyrathen» (Athens, 2006).
If one had to give a first, introductory definition of the Gods, it would be this: «Theoi» (Gods) are called some perfect and regulative beings who possess immortality and knowledge. The Gods are eternal beings, surrounding and permeating the entire material cosmos unhindered and act on it. They participate in the continuous becoming and perishing (aeigenesia) of forms. They do not intervene in the realms of actions of other Gods. They come under, and serve, the laws of the physical world. They act eternally and never retire. They do not combine into one person; they do not become substituted and they do not cease to exist. They cannot be defeated according to the whims of irreverence.
Everything is Multiplied One(ness) (Peplēthēsménon Hen). The designations One and Monad have only a comparative arithmetic substance and presuppose the existence of multiplicity. Everything is populated Oneness. However, among all of these [entities], an autonomous One can never exist … They [the Gods] are not constituted by bodies because Forces [dynameis] are incorporeal, but, unfortunately, to the human mind, «incorporeal» signifies that which we know as «natural Forces», as, for example, gravity… that is not what the Gods are.
Therefore we will insist on the term «onta» [beings], present participle of the verb «eimi» (I am, I exist), but first we must emphasize that the Gods are not «persons», and that’s because every «prosopo» [person] is axiomatically smaller than the truly existing Βeing [ontos On] and necessarily acts instead of simply being. In addition, the existence of «opos» (view) presupposes a «limit» of a necessarily individual being, which, of course, is irrational, for that would mean that God is not infinite and ubiquitous. It is thus clear that the clearly impersonal Gods exist within time and space, though they are completely unaffected by them. They are not contained and, most importantly, not consumed by anything, as, for example, perishable things are consumed by time, that is why they are rightly called «Athanatoi» (Immortals) and «Ambrotoi» (Nonperishable). Furthermore, and this is very important, they have no gender, nor any other characteristic of mortal beings. No God can ever be separated from the First Cause [prote arche].
Here, the self-contradictory theologians of the judaic-born religions are forced to place their illogically purported personal God outside the manifest cosmos… To us, Ethnikoi, however, it is precisely because of their impersonality that the Gods can permeate the entirety of the truly existing Being, as well as one another, without influencing each others specific nature.
The Gods are perfect ONTA (beings) who emerge from the «EN» (One) through simple multiplication of itself into a multitude and thus preserving all its attributes. The Gods constitute the Intellect(ual) essence of the SYMPAN (Universe). The Gods represent the EINAI (Essent), Order, Eternity and the MAKARIOTIS (Blissfulness) of the Supreme ON [Being] as imperishable, incorruptible, unalterable, unchanging reflections and representations of it. The actions of the THEOI are subject to Natural Law and serve the Natural Law.
The Gods constitute the first active multiplication of the ONTOS (Being) which is incorrectly referred to as THEOS (God) hence why the Theology is different to the Ontology and the association of the two is cultivated purposefully by monotheists to serve their theology. The Gods are unborn, perfect, immortal, just, without form, all wise, eternal, immaterial and also of dual substance, unchangeable, infinite and cohesive. The Gods are not persons as that denotes limits of which the Gods have none.