© Tom Lethbridge 1976 
For most of Christendom, since the Dark Ages, God has been thought of and illustrated as an august human father figure with a beard. According to the Bible, God suggested and made man in His own image and so it was reasonable to suppose that God bore some resemblance to the bearded men of the age.
But this is mainly based on a Hebrew view of God. Other races had other ideas and some even applied the term to living men with outstanding qualities. Roman Emperors, for instance, became gods and Herod, before his unfortunate infestation with worms, had been hailed as a god.
It seems probable that many gods of the ancient world had had their origin in living men who had once been famous in their day. Things became even more confusing when we appreciate that the word ‘Devil’ in reality refers to a god of a different faith and is not necessarily evil at all. In fact the ‘div’ or ‘dev’ part of the word means ‘holy’. It is easy to see that this conflict of meanings, when added to that of the difficulty of ‘spirit’, becomes very complicated for laymen and professional religious alike.
When confronted with a tangle of this sort, and especially a tangle whose origins go back into the mists of time, the best thing to do seems to be to cut out all the dead wood. Then we can regard both God and Spirit as something mental. Let us say that God is Mind. We will no longer regard God as a bearded old man. Man is created with a mind in the image of the Great Creator. The beard is of no importance, for this is not mind but body. In fact man is created with a bit of mind, which can think.
There is no reason to suppose that I have got this right, but it may be worth thinking about as we progress in this investigation. Man may be a little bit of mind separated off from the Universal Mind of the Creator of Everything. Of course this does not fit in with the doctrine of chance, but it is really very hard to see how you could get anything at all unless someone started it. Why should there be anything on which chance could operate?
Although I cannot bring myself to believe in the old man with a beard, I find the chance idea still less probable. Even man can create to a moderate extent; why should not a much greater mind create far more extensively? To assume, as many do, that any trivial human mind can know the purpose and intention of a mind which can sprinkle the Universe with numberless stars, seems to me to be little more than gross presumption.
To get any sense out of the idea, it seems necessary to assume the existence of a vast hierarchy of minds in descending order from the Great One at the top to the tiny human specimen beneath. But it might go farther than this, with a spark of mind existing in every living organism.
I hope to show presently that man appears to have the ability of detaching portions of his mind and locating these in the things he makes or uses. In this way perhaps our assumed hierarchy could be formed. It would be thought into existence and each unit would be an image of the Creator; not in bodily appearance, but in the way in which it thought. It is interesting to note that this story of the creation of man in God’s image is not confined to the Bible but is found in much the same form in the pre-Spanish legends of America.
The study of thought is of fundamental importance. With it you seem to be able to create. It is the force with which Mind operates. Enlarge your thinking and you extend your mind. Do not do so, or rely on the products of other people’s thinking, and you are more useless than a slug creeping on the surface of the earth.
For evolution appears to be a command from the Creator of the Universe, though it differs very much from the evolution of the Darwin and Huxley variety. Although I have taken little interest in the theory of reincarnation, yet it seems very probable that those who cannot be bothered to develop their minds will have to return to earth again after death and do the whole business again.
It may be of interest to describe one of my attempts to investigate the old gods.  There was a god of the sea, Manannan, to whom the Celts of Britain paid homage. Very little is recorded about him, yet his name remains in Clackmannan in Scotland, which means Manannan’s stone. There are also well-known hobby-horse rituals performed on May Day down the coast of Devon and Cornwall by sea fishermen and it is assumed that the hobby-horses may well be the white horses of the sea, who also belonged to Poseidon. Therefore one might suspect that Poseidon and Manannan are two names for the one god. This happens to most ancient gods. Isis was said to have a thousand names.
Yet who really thinks that there was such an entity as Poseidon? I can’t say that it seems possible today to visualise anyone of the sort. But, if for hundreds of years men concentrated their thoughts on a figure of this kind and wished fervently for its help, what would happen? Each one probably detached something of his mind into the creation of this non-existent figure. Poseidon becomes a mass of detached thoughts and there was a Poseidon.
I think he would not be what we call alive in an earthly sense. But he would be a cloud of force, which some might be able to tap. We surely must not look on the old gods as never having existed. They existed as long as men believed in their existence. The old witches still believe that they can see them if they go through the correct ritual.
It is well recorded that the fishermen of the North of Lewis used to wade into the sea at the beginning of the fishing season and pour a libation of beer to a sea god, who has been named as Shoney. I do not think that this was his name but simply a distortion of the Gaelic for Holy One.
Recently I read a book by Lilian Beckwith called Green Hand. This interested me for it was a careful study of the fishing life of Mallaig and the Western islands. Miss Beckwith included a curious jingle. I felt she must have heard it aboard a fishing boat at a party described in the book. The little rhyme went like this:
Ickle, Ockle, Blue Bockle,
Fishes in the Sea.
If you’re looking for a lover,
Please choose me.
It was the Blue Bockle, which caught my eye. For Bocan is a godling in Gaelic and Bogle is the same in Scots. Blue Bockle is a blue godling and presumably he came from the Outer Hebrides. Then I got down to the whole rhyme. It is a quaint mixture of Scots and Gaelic. I think it can be translated like this:
Little, youthful, blue godling
(Of the) fishes of the sea.
If you’re looking for devotion,
Please choose me.
This appears to be the charm, which the men of Lewis called to Shoney when they poured beer into the sea. For many years I had waited for this clue. The Blue Men of the Minch were gods.
Now the normal Celtic god has three phases (or personalities), young, prime of life, and old. There would be three Blue Men, or just possibly nine, for each phase in turn might be triple. The Blue Bockle was the young one. To the old one (probably called bodach gorm) they sacrificed cattle. Are our coastwise hobby-horses with their emphasis on fertility, the steeds of the god in his prime? I think it is very likely, and we have the whole cycle of the worship of Manannan.
I don’t know if Poseidon was blue, but I seem to remember that he was dark. Even when ashore he was associated with white horses and fertility; while black bulls were thrown into the sea in his honour. It looks very much as if Poseidon and Manannan are synonymous. How would you describe a god of this kind? I think it would be as a cloud of past memories; but it is to some extent animated by the combined minds of those who created it. It can probably be seen and most certainly it can be felt.
A single individual can produce a ghost or ghoul by his thought or memory projected into an electromagnetic field. Many people together in a similar way can project a mass thought or memory and it becomes known as a god or a demon. Both types really belong to the second mental level on which time does not appear to operate and so to earth-living minds they may appear in past or future time. Without some other interference they would never end at all. The gods are immortal.
I have told in Ghost and Ghoul how a gypsy woman once came to my house in Cambridge and asked for a gold coin, which she was convinced that I had. She would not believe there was no such coin in the house. The coin was found many years later in Devon. She had got her dating confused owing to the absence of time on the next level whence she drew her information somehow.
This absence of time on one whorl and its presence on others, is a fundamental matter and until it is understood the errors in dreams and foretelling the future will remain inexplicable. Now, however, that we can begin to get our information collected in diagrammatical form, it should become easier to understand.
No doubt there will be mistakes in my attempts at explanation; but it is open to anybody to write down his dreams and examine them for himself and it is also possible for at least half mankind to experiment with the pendulum. (The idea that few can be dowsers is wrong).
The picture that seems to be forming is not utterly unlike Dunne’s theory of serialism. There appears to be a series of observers (if you can so describe a succession of degrees of mental awareness) but they are not exact counterparts of the original observer. The time succession is quite unlike his, for the second observer finds himself on a mental plane where there is succession but no movement of time. On the third plane, time begins to move once more.
It seems possible that the Roman Catholic idea of Purgatory originated in some knowledge of what appears to happen on the second timeless whorl. The more one looks into these subjects, the clearer it becomes that far back in the past ages men knew much more about them than they do today. One has only to look at the teachings of Jesus, Buddha and the Kahunas to see that this must be so.
It is hard to visualise what happens on the second plane. But perhaps it is not particularly inept to picture each particular incident as a stone thrown into quiet water with ripples spreading out in all directions. There will be an infinite number of these points and the ripples will have no troughs between them.
The earth level time will pass through a particular point in a straight line; whichever way it passes through, it will hit the same successions. However, some will go forward and some backward. If you happen to concentrate on the backward ripples, you will return from sleep with an impression of things moving backwards.
However, if you concentrate on the forward series, you will at first get ordinary memories of events which have already happened in earth time; and then, as the point on the second level does not move, you will receive impressions of things which have not yet happened.
Whether the second-level impressions are more true than those on the earth plane is difficult to decide. A little way back we had a hint that telepathy at any rate operated on this level. If this is right, then telepathic dreams must pass from the second level to the earth plane and so perhaps all do. The impact of the stone on the water may be spread out in earth time so that we can learn more from what we appreciate.
Although this is all most difficult to understand, yet it has to be explained somehow and for the moment I can get no further with it. We must not forget there is a third level above the second on which time moves on again once more. There is even a fourth level above this, where once again moving time appears to exist.
Of course the term ‘level’ is not correct. It would be more exact to speak of whorls of the spiral. Their number may be unlimited, yet we have as yet only found evidence of one (the second) on which time is static. On this one too there is no response to death at 80-inches although there is for black on the same rate.
Therefore the second whorl appears to differ very greatly from the one on which our minds normally appear to function. Although reds, greens and blues are still there and silver is still silver, there is no apparent passing of time and there is no need for you to go to sleep or die on it before moving on to the third.
Of course I am only getting this information from the pendulum; but numerous other experimenters are now beginning to get similar results to mine and at least at one point there appears to be a link with orthodox science.
 Source: Chapter 2 (pages 14-17) and Chapter 5 (pages 49-52) in The Power of the Pendulum; Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1976, ISBN 1-85063-003-8.
 Lethbridge was influenced by the research and theories of his friend Margaret Alice Murray. See Dr. Murray’s The God of the Witches; NuVisions Publications, 2005, ISBN 1-59547-981-3. [Ed]