Manly P. Hall quotes that " The evolution of an idea, follows the evolution of thought, Culture and society."
There arose abstract symbols of God known as personifications that became literal human-like beings. This reversed from natural states (for example; shaping rocks), into pure abstractions before these shapes became symbolic. The word 'GOD' is a term for an idea, where a diety becomes a concept about something, which is percieved as an inevitable need or a neccessary idea that comes to the forefront again and again. It is like the term 'Father', as we cannot be fatherless, just like we cannot be Godless no matter how we alter its form. The power of the formless is always to remain versatile, to adapt to the needs of those who wish to percieve a form, yet to know that the formless is the true state is to know (as my own father once said)..
'The power of GOD running through you so that you can know yourself and therefore know the power of God.'
There are numerous historical documentations of massive monolithic boulders, natural in form and raised to create gigantic patterns, and everlasting structures that can be likened to that of a giant's table! These are truly "The Rocks of all Ages." These silent structures have a quality of endurance, yet not free from the persistant changes of the external environment, (wind, rain the heat and cold). These boulders eventually get shaped by the environment and in turn they adopt a more unique shape.
This can be likened to the growth of people who strive for impressionism. These magnificent structures also gave the ancients ideas about how Gods would present themselves. Thus creating anthropomorphic figures to fit their beliefs. Each figure being a representaion of something powerful and ever present in our lives, (for example, the weather and all it contains, so the sun, lightening and wind ect. Also the material environment, animals, mountains, trees and water ect).
The Breath of God
Dieties were never meant to be the true likeness of man as thought by some ancients, as the more it looked like man, the less it looked like God. When a Diety was created in the likeness of man by these ancients, they then had to make it less like man by presenting the Diety with tools that made them look more powerful and similar to the presence of a noble and powerful king or queen. Note that a 'King' was a synonym for God; 'Ruler of The World'.
All holy and ancient texts, cover the creation of man as a likeness of God. As quoted in most holy scriptures of western socitety: 'God created man in his own image.' Yet this image that is being referred to is far from the material aspect of a human, but very much the being part, the 'breath of life' passed from the ever flowing power of a formless God and into the material vessel of a human.
My father once explained this to me very well. He said 'Imagine a coke bottle, and that is the material shape, specific in its creation, then imagine the coke, ever flowing and formless but when poured into the coke bottle, takes on the shape of the vessel.'
Our actual selves, IS the 'breath' of God, the formless and everlasting energy that flows within us and all around us. Some might even say that the body sits within our spirit, due to its powerful ability to flow from the body to be seen as colourful auras or when trancending outwards and away from the body during astral projection. Either way, this is the part that connects all life, this is the part we can use to heal ourselves and others, this is the gift of our everlasting existence. When seeing this we can understand the reason behind, what people refer to as 'their inner voice', the very voice that warns us and gives us our intuition and if we listen to this part, it has the power to guide us when we begin to feel lost or confused.
The art work of the Egyptians depicted various Gods such as Seb, Amun and Osiris, who's dress was very similar to that of the King. Sometimes to the point that it was difficult to tell them apart, as they were often drawn to be similar in size with the Diety bestowing blessing upon the King. This was also true for the Egyptians Queens, who's dress would be very similar to the feminine Dieties. The head dress may have differed a little between some dieties and the kings and Queens, but Osiris was always represented as having the same head dress as the earthly king.
In the Greek culture, Gods were also fashioned in the likeness of mortals. This connected Gods and Kings, Queens and Goddesses, through imagery. Ancient man had no real way of telling what God should look like so this is why he created beings that are similar in form to a human, but with extra limbs or giant-sized bodies (Like the Greek Olympians and the Afghan Buddhas of Bamiyan that are now being restored). This is not to say giants never existed in the ancient world as so many think they did. The subject of giants will be covered in great detail on this site also). Size, in this case, always represented the 'Cosmic power of the sanctified figure'.
This website lists some of the most magnificent statues of Buddhas ever built: https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/10-most-awesome-giant-buddhas/
The ancients also merged human-like Gods with animals, (as seen in India), so as to create a being with far more power and superiority than any mortal. Dieties were also separated from man by the colour of the body. Ocre, yellow or gold leaf, stone, bronze and gold, which was exremely valuable.
In the Hindu religion, Krishna, Shiva and Rama have blue skin which gave them an ethereal quality, like the ether perhaps.
Sadhguru quotes: 'Blue is the color of all-inclusiveness. You will see in the existence, anything that is vast and beyond your perception generally tends to be blue, whether it is the ocean or the sky. Anything which is larger than your perception tends to be blue because blue is the basis of all-inclusiveness. It is based on this that so many gods in India are shown as blue-skinned. Shiva has a blue skin, Krishna has a blue skin, Rama has a blue skin. It is not that their skin was blue. They were referred to as blue gods because they had a blue aura'.
The Tibetans sometimes liked to represent the power of human-like dieties within the Mandala, which represented cross-sections of the solar system. This in itself was their Diety.
See pictures below, depicting the Afghan Buddhas of Bamiyan, with two of them taken from a very interesting story from this website:
Idols were not allowed in early Christianity, because they were seen as pagan, although this was not actually true, as the idols were a way for the ancients to try to capture something magnificent and divine within these statues. They wanted to create something so large and awe inspiring, that it would make a man fall to his knees. This apparently did happen when some men tried to loot the temple where the statue of Zeus resided at Olympia. It is said, the men, when looking upon the statue, instantly fell to their knees transfixed and could not loot the temple.
The frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in Rome (painted by Michelangelo in the years from 1508 to 1512), shows God's Creation of Adam, Noah's Story and The Last Judgement. Within these extremely detailed paintings, there is the casting of the sun and moon and planets and the raising up of Adam from the earth, creation of Eve and the separation of Land from the Sea. Again, diety is personified and takes the patriarchal image of sageness, like the prophets, for example Moses.
Great people of antiquity had the same type of likenesses that focused on, their quality, power and attributes. In a chapel setting, these Godly figures also represented the body and organs of the mind and heart. This coincided with the way chapels and churches were built. For example, the alter in a church or chapel would represent the mind/brain, which meant to enter these buildings, would be like starting from the foot of a holy body, to be seated at the heart of the church or chapel ect.