A girl named Lindsey Anne once posted to a mailing list I was on [NW-RAVES] asking about the significance of "namasté", a traditional Hindu greeting which is usually translated as "I greet the divine within you" or "the divine within me acknowledges the divine within you". Here was my reply:

To really understand "namaste", it's necessary to understand a little bit
about Hindu theology.  Probably the simplest way to explain this is to do a
little compare-and-contrast with Judeo-Christian theology, with which most
people on the list are probably more familiar.

So, in the Judeo-Xian view: in the beginning there was God, but God got
kind of bored just sitting around by Himself being all holy and shit, so He
created the universe and then created human beings to live in it, and then
made a whole bunch of silly rules for the humans to follow, and has ever
since been amusing Himself by tormenting some of the humans, and doing nice
things to some of the others, and throwing those humans who aren't so good
at following the rules into this big lake of fire for eternal torment, and
having those who were good at following the rules wear halos and spend
eternity singing about how great God is for being God.

Okay, now for the Hindu view: there wasn't really a *beginning*, since
everything recurs in cycles, but prior to this particular universe that
we're living in now, there was just God (Brahman), but God eventually got
bored just being God, so he decided "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to *pretend*
that I'm not really God, but that I'm some small, finite creature living in
an infinitely vast universe that I don't understand and can't control...
say, some pretty girl living on a planet called Earth, who calls herself
Lindsey Anne, and goes to raves, etc. etc.... hmmm, that would be kind of
interesting.  Maybe while I'm at it, I could see what it's like to be a few
other people too, like maybe some boy also living on planet Earth, who
calls himself jason or dancerboy, and also goes to raves... and hey,
wouldn't it be cool if, while I was pretending to be Lindsey Anne, I met
myself pretending to be dancerboy?  What if I pretended to be *everything*
in the universe, and so kept meeting myself in all these different
disguises: as ravers and policemen and seagulls and sunsets, as parents and
children and friends and lovers, as cabbages and kings... Woa, that would
be a trip!"  So that's exactly what God did, and is still doing:
*pretending* to be all these different people and animals and objects and

Eventually, of course, God's going to get tired of pretending to be all
these different people and places and things, and will go back to being
just God, but until then, "namaste" is just a little wink of recognition
that God gives to hirself, whenever zie meets another of hir own disguises.
When I see you and say "namaste", it means "Okay God, I know you're
*pretending* to be Lindsey Anne right now, but I know who you *really* are.
I know, because I'm just like you; in fact, I *am* you, because I'm God
too.  (But *shhhhh*, let's not tell too many other people, because that
would spoil all the fun!)"