Therefore, God and the gods are only convenient means—themselves of the nature of the world of names and form, though eloquent of, and ultimately conducive to, the ineffable. They are mere symbols to move and awaken the mind, and to call it past themselves. This recognition of the secondary nature of the personality of whatever deity is worshiped is characteristic of most of the traditions of the world. In Christianity, Mohammedanism, and Judaism, however, the personality of the divinity is taught to be final—which makes it comparatively difficult for the members of these communions to understand how one may go beyond the limitations of their own anthropomorphic divinity. The result has been, on the one hand, a general obfuscation of the symbols, and on the other, a god-ridden bigotry such as is unmatched elsewhere in the history of religion. For a discussion of the possible origin of this aberration, see Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism (translated by James Strachey; Standard Edn. XXIII, 1964).
Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Fontana Press, 1993; pg. 258