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Author Topic: Definition of a God  (Read 10505 times)
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« Topic Start: February 21, 2008, 09:08:11 am »

Since this is getting rather heated elsewhere, I thought I'd split this off.

What makes something a *god* to you?  What characteristics are essential?

Do they change, or are they stagnant?

What restrictions are there on who can worship this god, if any?
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« Reply #1: February 21, 2008, 09:16:51 am »

Since this is getting rather heated elsewhere, I thought I'd split this off.

What makes something a *god* to you?  What characteristics are essential?
Disclaimer: I have no personal relationships with any Gods, but going to take a stab at this anyway.

I think the Gods have a much larger view of the world.  They can "see the bigger picture" so to speak.

Quote
Do they change, or are they stagnant?
Nothing in the world or universe stays the same.  I don't think the Gods are any different.

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What restrictions are there on who can worship this god, if any?
Really, that is not up to us humans to decide.
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« Reply #2: February 21, 2008, 10:05:21 am »

What makes something a *god* to you?  What characteristics are essential?

My favorite example, from a discussion recently was:

"I have a library. The Gods have a *far* bigger one, and a lot more time to digest it. It changes their perspective."

Quote
Do they change, or are they stagnant?
I think anything can change - but I also think that entities (and that includes Gods) generally have some essential tendencies and qualities that may change in expression, but not necessarily in what they are. (In other words, someone is unlikely to totally stop being interested in reading and learning, even if their subject matter changes. Someone who is generally inclined to be amiable and compassionate is unlikely to start picking fights with everyone. Etc.

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What restrictions are there on who can worship this god, if any?

It's a relationship, and like all relationships, there are some common etiquette (especially when you don't know someone well: default ways of interacting that are unlikely to get you into trouble or offend.) But as you get to know someone, you may also find that they are open to other approaches besides the 'formally approved ones".

And that they may get closer to or be favorably inclined towards one person than another for all the
indefinable reasons that we make friends and fall in love with some humans, and not with others. Likewise, they may set their own restrictions.

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« Reply #3: February 21, 2008, 10:20:50 am »

What makes something a *god* to you?  What characteristics are essential?

A god has sia -- complete apprehension of Their domain.  They are coextensive with it, understand it fully, and may breathe through it and with it at will.

A god is elemental, by which I mean a god is a pure essence, exactly and precisely what it is, not a composite of other things.  That pure essence is frequently so precise that we (living in a composite world) have to approach it with a wide variety of cultic titles and impressions, some of which appear superficially contradictory, but each reconciliation and understanding of how these things are the same thing leads to a deeper understanding of the Mystery of the god.
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« Reply #4: February 21, 2008, 10:43:05 am »


I think anything can change - but I also think that entities (and that includes Gods) generally have some essential tendencies and qualities that may change in expression, but not necessarily in what they are.

That...is interesting. Thank you. *ponders*
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« Reply #5: February 21, 2008, 10:44:28 am »


A god is elemental, by which I mean a god is a pure essence, exactly and precisely what it is, not a composite of other things.  That pure essence is frequently so precise that we (living in a composite world) have to approach it with a wide variety of cultic titles and impressions, some of which appear superficially contradictory, but each reconciliation and understanding of how these things are the same thing leads to a deeper understanding of the Mystery of the god.

Would a god be something like Plato's Forms, then?
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« Reply #6: February 21, 2008, 02:21:48 pm »

A god is elemental, by which I mean a god is a pure essence, exactly and precisely what it is, not a composite of other things.  That pure essence is frequently so precise that we (living in a composite world) have to approach it with a wide variety of cultic titles and impressions, some of which appear superficially contradictory, but each reconciliation and understanding of how these things are the same thing leads to a deeper understanding of the Mystery of the god.

Thanks for the lightbulb, Darkhawk!  This is really on point for me at the moment.
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« Reply #7: February 21, 2008, 03:44:58 pm »

Since this is getting rather heated elsewhere, I thought I'd split this off.

What makes something a *god* to you?  What characteristics are essential?

This will probably come out as a jumbled mess but I'll try to answer anyway:

I think a god is a being that has a much greater understanding of the universe and how everything fits together than we humans will ever have.  They have their own roles to play that keeps the universe running smoothly.

Quote
Do they change, or are they stagnant?

I don't think anything in the universe is constant so why should the gods be an exception?

Quote
What restrictions are there on who can worship this god, if any?

That's up for the individual god to decide.
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« Reply #8: February 21, 2008, 04:54:18 pm »

Since this is getting rather heated elsewhere, I thought I'd split this off.

What makes something a *god* to you?  What characteristics are essential?

Do they change, or are they stagnant?

What restrictions are there on who can worship this god, if any?

My POV (taken from that FAQ for Conair an Cheo I did a while back):

Gods are beings who have considerably more of the Divine essence within them than anything in existence on Earth, allowing them a greater intellect and understanding of the universe and existence. All gods exist; historically, they have frequently been placed into groups, and though They generally work within those paradigms, They are not restricted to them. No gods are omnipresent, omnipotent, infallible or all-knowing; though Their perspective is less limited than our own, they are capable of action and therefore capable of mistake. They are less prone to mistake, though, than misjudgment what a particular person will do. The Gods have no natural physical shape like humanity, nor do They fully reside within our plane of existence. They are capable of existing within a physical shape at Their will, which may or may not be human in appearance. They do, generally, have a form that They prefer, that humans have come to associate Them with.


I think that since They are capable of action, one could assume that They are equally capable of change. I agree with Jenett, though, that some things may change superficially but remain on a deeper level.

As for who can worship Whom; I think it is utter and total hubris for a person to make any claims as to who is and isn't allowed to worship a particular deity. In what manner, a person might have some right- as in, "you can't worship deity X in such a way with us", but to say "you can't worship deity X" is asking for trouble, imo. I'll let the Gods decide for themselves, thanks.
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« Reply #9: February 21, 2008, 04:58:05 pm »

Would a god be something like Plato's Forms, then?

I can't say I am well-read enough in that to speak especially coherently on the subject, but from my understanding of Plato I'd say "That's a thought roughly in the direction I'm thinking, but I'm pretty sure the nuances of philosophical interpretation of what that means would irritate me." Wink
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« Reply #10: February 21, 2008, 05:00:41 pm »

Thanks for the lightbulb, Darkhawk!  This is really on point for me at the moment.

*grin*  The pure essence/elemental theory is one that I'm actually trying to test as soon as I get my studio set up.

For an explanation: I told a friend of mine whose patron is Vastly Obscure and not personally known to me that I'd make her an icon.  So we had a long conversation which was basically "please introduce me to your goddess so I can convey Her nature respectfully", and she gave me a long list of cultic titles, associations, domains ....

And I can't say I've met Her or anything, but I think I've snagged enough of a sense of Her mysteries that I can actually do this.  I know what the icon needs to look like and how the colour has to go.
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« Reply #11: February 21, 2008, 05:25:33 pm »

For an explanation: I told a friend of mine whose patron is Vastly Obscure and not personally known to me that I'd make her an icon.

How do you make icons?  Sounds pretty cool...
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« Reply #12: February 21, 2008, 05:51:05 pm »

What makes something a *god* to you?  What characteristics are essential?

I don't know whether this will make much sense or not...perhaps I will be able to say it more clearly when I come back from my holiday in four weeks time. I'll think on it.

To me, a God is made up of human concepts and characteristics, and yet also transcends this human essence also. It is the fact that they are both of these things at the same time that makes them Gods.

We can attribute human characteristics and human emotions to the Gods, and the Gods are able to embody all of these at the same time, whilst also being able to be completely separate from them: thus making them able to 'see' more broadly/clearly. They can both sympathise with a whole range of human emotions, and yet have the benefit of being 'free' from them also.

I think I just repeated the same thing over and over there, lol. But that is where my head is at right now. 
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« Reply #13: February 21, 2008, 11:08:14 pm »

How do you make icons?  Sounds pretty cool...

I'm a sculptor.  Ceramic, specifically.

I haven't done it for years, but I have my kiln now and will get an electrician in to put in a plug for it, so I'll be able to get clay and start work soon soon soon yaaaay.

Gods, I've missed working in clay soooo muuuuuch.
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« Reply #14: February 22, 2008, 04:33:47 am »

Do they change, or are they stagnant?
I also wonder if there are some Pagans who worship new Gods, you know, Gods who haven't existed before are haven't made themselves known.  Huh
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