In a recent remake of the Ten Commandments and Egyptian Priest tells Moses, better it is for there to be as many gods as there are men, rather then just one God. I find that statement to shed light and a profound insight into human thought and the Ego.
One God truly was a breakthrough in human development, One God, One who exists before and outside everything, a contrast to the chaotic Pantheon of Greek gods. For the pagans, different gods were different beings, embodying different concepts, elements and aspects, i.e. there was god of war, god of thunder etc. This allowed people to have a supermarket mentality with their religion and beliefs. Take for example a soldier; naturally he would worship the god of war and tend to neglect the other gods. The gods then were not the be all and end all, because there were always more of them. Being able to choose, or to have more then one way of belief is itself not a bad concept, perhaps this was a foreshadowing of the BVM or the saints. This would be a similar concept, but diverging on the point that our saints and the BVM are merely a means to an end, that is Worship of God
If one God wasn’t to your liking, you would simply pick another; similar to the way we change fashions or products today. The Pagan Pantheon then stopped being a separate and objective reality; it just degraded into an extension of the human ego. In such away the gods were made to service humanity. Today in some peoples we see a similar, but drastically eviler thought occurring, that God, is something personal, something that we can determine, change, define and ultimately lord over. The pagans were manufacturing idols, whilst today some peoples are attempting to turn God himself into an idol.
The profound insight into humanity is this; we want to be the top Dog. Everything revolves around us, as long as were happy, that’s the prime Goal. The Pagans developed gods that serviced them, Modern people are trying to either forget about God or turn him into their own happy toy. It’s interesting to see, what effect the existence of a God does on people, it makes them see, that they are not the be all and end all, rather it allows humanity to advance towards something, rather then enclose itself into a circle, ultimately consuming itself.
“I must decrease and he must increase” John 3:30