# On god and gods

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