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Author Topic: Can relationships with gods be...fun?  (Read 9655 times)
Collinsky
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« Reply #15: March 31, 2011, 04:57:31 pm »

This may seem like a silly question, but I've been reading material from certain authors who shall remain nameless, and I've detected an undercurrent of...solemnity, almost gloominess, to the tune of: "Cultivating a relationship with a deity is hard work. They sometimes push you to explore sides of yourself that you would rather keep in the dark. Pain and suffering can be acceptable offerings for some gods." 

I wanted to come back to this... I really do think that this is possibly largely a reaction to a fluffy attitude of "if it feels good, it's for me!" and for a Hedonist that might work fine. And you certainly can embrace a philosophy of Hedonism and be a polytheist at the same time. But I think that probably for many people, even embracing Hedonism as an active, intentional choice brings with it challenges and quandries and uncertainty and even discomfort. (Ironically, perhaps... but making it your intention to embrace joy is actually not easy.) But there seems to be an attitude sometimes that says that if you've rejected conventional "oppressive" religions, that you have no rules,  should not be challenged by your path, and you get claimed by a smiling goddess who showers unconditional love down upon you. These are the people who will rewrite the Morrighan into a lactating mother figure who is just misunderstood.

I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a very, very positive approach... but I do think that if you act like the dark parts of life, the difficulties, etc just don't exist or are supposed to be ignored/squelched/denied, that others are likely to say, "No, wait... it IS hard. It is challenging. It isn't lollipops and sunshine. It's work. It's plumbing your deep recesses. It's reaching outside of yourself. It's learning and growing and stretching. That's not a bad thing, it's just part of it." But in the way of things - communication being what it is - that comes across as gloomy and a huge downer, like if you're having fun, you're fluffy and don't take your religion seriously. And of course, some people really do think not having fun = piety. Or perhaps for their path, that really is the case. Shamans and magic men in many cultures aren't having fun, necessarily. They have a purpose above fun.

But honestly, if I didn't think my path was fun (intriguing, interesting, stimulating, inspiring, motivating, joyful, source of happiness, etc...) I wouldn't be on it. That doesn't mean that I don't find it challenging at times, or that it's not hard work, or that I don't take it seriously.
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« Reply #16: April 11, 2011, 02:00:54 pm »

I wanted to come back to this... I really do think that this is possibly largely a reaction to a fluffy attitude of "if it feels good, it's for me!" and for a Hedonist that might work fine. And you certainly can embrace a philosophy of Hedonism and be a polytheist at the same time. But I think that probably for many people, even embracing Hedonism as an active, intentional choice brings with it challenges and quandries and uncertainty and even discomfort. (Ironically, perhaps... but making it your intention to embrace joy is actually not easy.) But there seems to be an attitude sometimes that says that if you've rejected conventional "oppressive" religions, that you have no rules,  should not be challenged by your path, and you get claimed by a smiling goddess who showers unconditional love down upon you. These are the people who will rewrite the Morrighan into a lactating mother figure who is just misunderstood.

I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a very, very positive approach... but I do think that if you act like the dark parts of life, the difficulties, etc just don't exist or are supposed to be ignored/squelched/denied, that others are likely to say, "No, wait... it IS hard. It is challenging. It isn't lollipops and sunshine. It's work. It's plumbing your deep recesses. It's reaching outside of yourself. It's learning and growing and stretching. That's not a bad thing, it's just part of it." But in the way of things - communication being what it is - that comes across as gloomy and a huge downer, like if you're having fun, you're fluffy and don't take your religion seriously. And of course, some people really do think not having fun = piety. Or perhaps for their path, that really is the case. Shamans and magic men in many cultures aren't having fun, necessarily. They have a purpose above fun.

But honestly, if I didn't think my path was fun (intriguing, interesting, stimulating, inspiring, motivating, joyful, source of happiness, etc...) I wouldn't be on it. That doesn't mean that I don't find it challenging at times, or that it's not hard work, or that I don't take it seriously.

Quoted for truth.

Honestly, Eros is a pretty challenging deity.  He's not all rainbows and sunshine, but at this point in the relationship, he's coming at me from a point of knowing that I've been hard enough on myself this last couple years, so He's putting me to tasks that are more apparently joyful.  At the same time, though, He's a fertility deity, and one of love and youth and passions; his darkness is more muted than it is in similar deities.
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"The grace and happiness with which one lives one's life is the only confirmation that any of us need to know that we worship the Gods in a manner that is acceptable to Them." --Lesley Mandytinou
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« Reply #17: April 11, 2011, 02:12:03 pm »

He's not all rainbows and sunshine, but at this point in the relationship, he's coming at me from a point of knowing that I've been hard enough on myself this last couple years, so He's putting me to tasks that are more apparently joyful. 

That's kinda-sorta the way it was with me and Ausir at the beginning.  He didn't give me any hard work.  Now that things are more stable in my life, he's given me more challenges.   Wink
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« Reply #18: April 12, 2011, 03:29:57 am »

Well, is it possible?

I just realized this is the same sort of question I ask my kinky friends: "Is it always about exploring the deep recesses of the mind or can you just spank someone 'cause it's fun?"

2 questions with just one answer:- why not?

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On a related note, has anyone ever had a deity come and tell them to "lighten up"?

Wait until you have Hades tell you that you are taking thing too seriously and that you need to chill out more! One of the most surreal things everWink
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« Reply #19: April 12, 2011, 11:44:42 am »


On a related note, has anyone ever had a deity come and tell them to "lighten up"?

Last month we did our first temple ritual with our Newbie member.  I was working *really really hard* to make a good impression on the guy.  I didn't want to make any mistakes, because then he might learn things incorrectly!  Well, my friend and long-term ritual partner screwed up the water/natron purifications.  I suspect it was because he was nervous too.  Being nervous seems to = more mistakes, IME.  Then I found out that he left his cell phone on, which wouldn't be a huge deal, except that his ring tone was the Rick Roll

We all just burst out laughing in the middle of our very solemn ritual to Sutekh.  The newbie, a devotee of Sutekh, said that he might be throwing in some chaos to get us to lighten up.

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