The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
September 22, 2019, 05:31:44 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 22, 2019, 05:31:44 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Gods as Ideas vs Gods as Deities  (Read 16123 times)
Selegna
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 26, 2012, 08:50:53 pm
Argentina Argentina

Religion: Eclectic, polytheist, follower of Loki, Brighid and Hera.
Posts: 474


Blog entries (0)

IceAngie
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #15: March 20, 2008, 11:08:47 pm »

I believe that the deities are real, separate individuals that have their own distinct personalities and agendas.  They will speak to you, perhaps work with you, and let you feel their presence in a real way.

Me too. This is the way I feel the gods. Some of them came to me on my daily life, not speaking out loud, but letting me know they are here; some came on meditation, because I needed their help, so they introduced themselves and helped me (I didn't ask them); some others came also on my daily life, but yelling at me. So, in my experience, they are real and individual.

Selegna.
Logged

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Thorn
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:September 05, 2012, 07:09:15 pm
United States United States

Religion: Ecclectic pagan
Posts: 838


Avatar by sp-studio.com

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #16: March 21, 2008, 11:03:47 am »

And as a question: How do you see the gods?
I've gone from being a very soft polytheist, believeing that all gods were different facets of a single divine consciousness, to being a relatively hard polytheist.  I now believe the gods are complete individuals in their own right.  ("Relatively hard" because I think they may also be facets of a greater divine energy, but only in the sense that humans and every other thing is as well.  So, that's not really relevant to our relationships with them.) 

What happened?  When I started working in depth with a particular deity, it became clear that my original hypothesis was way off.
Logged
Darkhawk
Chief Mux Wizard
Staff
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:September 13, 2019, 12:41:51 am
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Feri Discordian
Posts: 2485

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #17: March 21, 2008, 03:54:55 pm »


My basic thought is that it doesn't matter what one believes about the gods, so long as one treats Them with appropriate respect.  (Some beliefs may change what gets filed as "appropriate respect", but not as many as one might think, really.)

I mean, if you really do believe that a particular god is the externalised archetype of, say, your perception of the balance-protective energy of the natural world (to pick something abstract but specific enough to talk about), you still are going to want to deal with that force with due respect: even if it's "only in your head", its power to cause you serious psychological distress with its displeasure is also in your head.  And the stuff in your head is kind of important, at least to you.

So if you're dealing with that entity -- whether it's "real" or "in your head" -- you do the same stuff.  You pick up trash in the park and recycle; you donate time or energy to conservation causes; you know about predator/prey cycles and are concerned about overpopulation of the deer in your area; you make sure offerings you leave in the wild are at least biodegradable or of use to the local ecosystem; you oppose things that would cut down on local wild land; that sort of thing.

If you don't believe it's "real", you don't fling yourself down and prostrate yourself in front of altars.  If you believe that it's "real", if you prostrate yourself, you often get told, "Why are you wasting time with that I'm-not-worthy shit instead of doing something useful?" and thus wind up ... not flinging yourself down and prostrating yourself in front of altars.
Logged

QuercusRobur
Journeyman
***
Last Login:August 28, 2008, 05:18:37 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Irish Traditionalist
Posts: 226


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #18: March 21, 2008, 05:58:33 pm »

I've been writing songs for various Netjeru lately, and they all have different degrees of involvement in the process. It can be pretty funny.  Grin

What's a Netjeru?
Logged
Shefytbast
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:November 30, 2011, 07:48:20 pm
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Orthodox
Posts: 44


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #19: March 21, 2008, 07:41:19 pm »

What's a Netjeru?

Netjeru = Gods. (Sorry--I should know better than to use random Kemetic jargon. ^_^;;Wink

--L
Logged

I have not taken time away from the day,
I have done no damage to a beautiful hour.
                               --Megegi of Thebes
Shefytbast
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:November 30, 2011, 07:48:20 pm
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Orthodox
Posts: 44


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #20: March 21, 2008, 08:04:18 pm »

Netjeru = Gods. (Sorry--I should know better than to use random Kemetic jargon. ^_^;;Wink

Replying to myself here to highlight the qualifier "random" in the above, now that I've caught up on the "Terminology" thread.  I certainly think that specialized terminology is useful, but this wasn't a good example of usefulness.  Grin

--L
Logged

I have not taken time away from the day,
I have done no damage to a beautiful hour.
                               --Megegi of Thebes
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
High Adept Member
****
Last Login:February 06, 2013, 08:12:28 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: free-flowing animist, Dudeist Priest
TCN ID: Absentminded
Posts: 2725


Blog entries (11)


« Reply #21: March 21, 2008, 08:58:35 pm »

Replying to myself here to highlight the qualifier "random" in the above, now that I've caught up on the "Terminology" thread.  I certainly think that specialized terminology is useful, but this wasn't a good example of usefulness.  Grin

--L

Actually, I think it was, rather.  You used a word commonly used and understood on TC to refer to the AE gods.  It was specialised terminology, used in the specialised context of a pagan interfaith forum.  The person you were speaking to was unfamiliar with the word and asked.  You answered, and that person now has another specific term in their religious lexicon.

I think it was a very good example of proper use of terminology, and of how new people in the field acquire such terminology.  Next time QuercusRobus runs into that term she will understand it and not have to ask.  She will know that Netjeru refers to the Egiptian pantheon just as Olympian refers to the Greek pantheon, and will be able to make educated leaps when seeing related terms.

The explanation will only be needed once, whereas longer terms, phrases, and paragraphs to mean the same thing would have to be used every time if the shorthand were never introduced.  The specific term takes up less space and allows the rythm of the conversation to continue unbroken, after that first definition is given.

Absent
Logged

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

L Cohen
Shefytbast
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:November 30, 2011, 07:48:20 pm
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Orthodox
Posts: 44


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #22: March 21, 2008, 10:21:19 pm »

Actually, I think it was, rather.  You used a word commonly used and understood on TC to refer to the AE gods.  It was specialised terminology, used in the specialised context of a pagan interfaith forum.  The person you were speaking to was unfamiliar with the word and asked.  You answered, and that person now has another specific term in their religious lexicon.

I think it was a very good example of proper use of terminology, and of how new people in the field acquire such terminology.  Next time QuercusRobus runs into that term she will understand it and not have to ask.  She will know that Netjeru refers to the Egiptian pantheon just as Olympian refers to the Greek pantheon, and will be able to make educated leaps when seeing related terms.

The explanation will only be needed once, whereas longer terms, phrases, and paragraphs to mean the same thing would have to be used every time if the shorthand were never introduced.  The specific term takes up less space and allows the rythm of the conversation to continue unbroken, after that first definition is given.

Thank you for this. ^_^  I got offline after posting, and in the shower I was thinking of the Aesir and Vanir as a example of specialized terms-for-gods that do draw a useful distinction. But I wasn't sure whether this might be different from my use of "Netjeru," because Aesir and Vanir distinguish between two "factions" (possibly not exactly the right word, but hopefully close enough) within a mythology, so if the terms come up the person using them is probably communicating his/her affiliation and/or something about the relationship between the two groups. Whereas it wasn't necessarily essential to the comment that I made to know that the gods in question were Egyptian.

On the other hand, yeah, I'm Kemetic, I follow the Kemetic gods, and it *is* nice to have a single word that says "these Gods, specifically." (The Olympians is a good example of something similar.) I had sort of assumed that there were enough Kemetics on TC that the word would just blip by, and then QuercusRobus queried it, and I went, "wait, possibly too much assuming." ^_^

I went through a "fangirl Japanese" period as an anime/manga fanfic writer, where I threw random Japanese words into stories just because I knew them and they sounded cool. I did eventually grow out of that...but it's true that there are Japanese terms that just don't translate well. I ended up continuing to use "genkan," for instance--which is the place just inside the entrance of a house or apartment where you take off your shoes before stepping up onto the floor--because there was no other way to gracefully and succinctly describe that feature.

And I'm derailing this into the other thread, so I should probably stop here. ^_^

--L


Logged

I have not taken time away from the day,
I have done no damage to a beautiful hour.
                               --Megegi of Thebes
Sara Beth
Apprentice
**
Last Login:May 11, 2008, 05:37:04 pm
United States United States

Religion: kitchen witchery / studying wicca
Posts: 26

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #23: March 21, 2008, 10:43:35 pm »

A lot of the time, I kind of wish that I could just believe in all the woo-woo utterly and without question. Think how interesting and magical life would be if I could just turn off the filter! Perhaps a little *too* interesting and magical.  I really don't want to turn into Lady SparkleUnicorn and be fighting off astral invaders every week or two.

LMAO.  Sometimes I wish I could turn the filter off too, but most of the time, I'm like you.  I'd much rather have a smaller but honest base of knowledge and belief than a wild ride.
Logged
SunflowerP
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:September 16, 2019, 03:35:54 am
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #24: March 21, 2008, 11:59:18 pm »

I've gone from being a very soft polytheist, believeing that all gods were different facets of a single divine consciousness, to being a relatively hard polytheist.  I now believe the gods are complete individuals in their own right.  ("Relatively hard" because I think they may also be facets of a greater divine energy, but only in the sense that humans and every other thing is as well.  So, that's not really relevant to our relationships with them.) 

What happened?  When I started working in depth with a particular deity, it became clear that my original hypothesis was way off.
Very much like my progression (surprise, surprise), but, when I was thinking about this yesterday, I realized that I'd never been firmly a soft polytheist; it was my perpetual agnosticism in action - the point was not, "is this true?" but, "does this work?"  Pretty much any way of looking at deity serves as a focal aid - if your mind is preoccupied with wondering what cosmology is The Truth, then about all you can do is wonder, but if you pick one that doesn't offend your reason and harmonizes with whatever you're doing, you can work with that.  And maybe pick a different paradigm next week, when the work you're doing is better served by a different approach.

(Sheesh, I sound like a Chaote - which isn't actually all that far off the mark; I don't identify as one because, as I understand it, Chaos Magic sees all paradigms as simply tools, and changing paradigms is a core principle, whereas I see paradigm-changing as a useful tool rather than a core principle.)

As I became more experienced, I gained a clearer idea which sorts of things worked for me, and had occasion to experience deities as individuals.  Having had that experience, I found the paradigm more harmonious with my reason, so I was more likely to use it, and thus had  more experience of deities as individuals, and so on.  None of which proves it's the One True Paradigm; what it proves is that it's an effective paradigm, at least for me.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
Selegna
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 26, 2012, 08:50:53 pm
Argentina Argentina

Religion: Eclectic, polytheist, follower of Loki, Brighid and Hera.
Posts: 474


Blog entries (0)

IceAngie
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #25: March 22, 2008, 11:41:42 am »

Very much like my progression (surprise, surprise), but, when I was thinking about this yesterday, I realized that I'd never been firmly a soft polytheist; it was my perpetual agnosticism in action - the point was not, "is this true?" but, "does this work?"  Pretty much any way of looking at deity serves as a focal aid - if your mind is preoccupied with wondering what cosmology is The Truth, then about all you can do is wonder, but if you pick one that doesn't offend your reason and harmonizes with whatever you're doing, you can work with that.  And maybe pick a different paradigm next week, when the work you're doing is better served by a different approach.

Sunflower, you have no idea how useful was for me to read this. I was questioning myself just yesterday, thinking that maybe there is "a Truth" and I'm getting it all wrong. And now that I read this, I must say that you are right. I will never know what "the Truth" is, or if there even is one, and all I can do is wonder, so I guess I'll just have to let it happen and believe what I need or feel. Thank you!! (May I translate this and write it in my journal?)

Selegna.
Logged

SunflowerP
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:September 16, 2019, 03:35:54 am
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #26: March 22, 2008, 08:42:38 pm »

Thank you!! (May I translate this and write it in my journal?)
Certainly, and I'm glad to have helped.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
Selegna
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 26, 2012, 08:50:53 pm
Argentina Argentina

Religion: Eclectic, polytheist, follower of Loki, Brighid and Hera.
Posts: 474


Blog entries (0)

IceAngie
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #27: March 22, 2008, 09:28:47 pm »

Certainly, and I'm glad to have helped.

Sunflower

Thank you very much!  Smiley

Selegna.
Logged

Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #28: March 23, 2008, 11:26:49 am »

Edit: And as a question: How do you see the gods?

I'm a soft polytheist--an archetype pagan--with a twist.

I see things the same way as some others have already articulated: The entire universe, us included, is the divine essence manifested. Some of the ways it manifests is as these big, nearly incomprehensible forces that flow around us and through us. Metaphor and archetype give us some means, imperfect as it may be, of grasping a little of what these forces are and how we relate to them.

We give them names and faces and attributes and stories that reflect what's important to our particular culture. None of it is "real"--these forces don't think or act like us, if they even think at all; they're so much more than limited human mentality--but it's all "true". (If that makes any sense to anyone besides me!) I find there's a lot to learn from each of these truths that our various human cultures have expressed, which is probably why I love mythology.

But I'm a hard science guy. I believe science offers us the best way to empirically understand the world around us. Once I accepted that the empirical reality (the sun as a stellar ball of mostly hydrogen gas producing thermonuclear energy and fusion byproducts at its core) and the metaphor (the sun as, say, the flaming right eye of a hypermasculine shape-shifting sky god, set in the heavens to watch over us, his children) are both true in their way, things made much more sense to me. I'm very comfortable with the idea that these seemingly contradictory views not only can coexist, but can actually reinforce each other.

Here's the twist: I'm a firm believer that our thoughts play as much a part in shaping reality as time and space. (Quantum physics, for example, describes a phenomenon where certain fundamental particles exist in a state of flux until they are observed; only then do they take on precise characteristics. So the very act of observing plays a role in the particle's quantum state.) So I think that when we give these names and attributes and stories to these forces, we are defining them into a new state. In a sense, they become the distinct, individual entities we believe them to be.

That's my take, in a long-winded nutshell!
Logged

Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #29: March 23, 2008, 12:10:58 pm »

I'm a soft polytheist...with a twist.

For heaven's sake, it sounds like I'm talking about ice cream. I'm going to call myself the Carvel polytheist from now on.
Logged

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Homer's Gods, Plato's Gods. « 1 2 »
Ta Hiera Hellenic Polytheism SIG
Therapon 16 7847 Last post August 09, 2008, 08:24:49 pm
by thain
Patron Gods of Home and Patron Gods of Family?
Paganism For Beginners
INsearch 2 2137 Last post April 05, 2011, 01:22:56 pm
by disirdottir
Did you seek your gods or did your gods seek you? « 1 2 »
Paganism For Beginners
letty 16 4661 Last post April 09, 2009, 08:06:31 pm
by Oaksworn
Worshipping non-gods as gods? « 1 2 »
Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology
Collinsky 16 6526 Last post March 04, 2010, 12:29:04 pm
by Collinsky
True Grit: One-Eyed Gods and One-Armed Gods
Music, Television, and Film
WarHorse 8 2973 Last post February 08, 2011, 08:06:37 pm
by WarHorse
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.076 seconds with 49 queries.