“Chosen by the Gods” A response

This evening, Galina posted another discourse that gave me some think thinks. Check her post (Chosen by the Gods) out for the background to this one. The post that I’m referring to here was elicited by an argument (her words) that she has with a colleague about why some people hear the Gods’ call more than others. One side says “nature” (predisposition) while the other says “nurture” (e.g. Training, hard work, and effort). Galina admits that the truth is probably somewhere between the two ends of that spectrum.

In my words, it sounds like the argument was going possibly well (though without likely accord) until the colleague got all “trigger” happy. My take on the topic follows below. Continue reading ““Chosen by the Gods” A response”

Trying to shake my own box.

I just read one of the longest blog posts of my life, over at Gangleri’s Grove: Devotion or “Psychotic Superstition”

I respect Galina, but don’t always agree (or even understand) her mindset.  To me, she’s something of a hardline Heathen, a steadfast polytheist who has strong (VERY strong!) opinions about the current state of the greater Pagan Community©.  She’s also an academic with no weak chops in religion.  I, on the other hand, claim both Buddhist and Druidic faith, and am currently only tentatively “theistic” in practice.  I blame that on my academic training and long-term mental health status.

The post that spawned this one is, frankly, upsetting, on a number of different levels.  I mean, how can one be both a pagan and an atheist?  IMO, not well.  And it’s an impossibility to be an atheists polytheist… The terms are diametrically opposed.  Atheists dispute the very existence of the divine, while polytheists acknowledge the existence of many gods.  This matches with Galina’s position against someone who was on her Facebook.  He was apparently dead-set on casting Heathenry as foolish, backward, and delusional.  Anybody who knows anything about Galina knows that she’s anything but a fool.

Long parts of the discussion between she and Jeff go back and forth, and Galina sums up thus:

Now i’m not posting this to bash Jeff. I”m posting it because everything he said are things that i’ve seen cropping up in the Pagan community and in Heathenry too (different parts at different times). It represents a mindset, a way of looking at the world that not only excludes the Gods but renders devotion to Them as psychosis. Is it any wonder that there is so much antagonism toward devotional work in Heathenry, or actual active belief in the Gods in Paganism? These things aren’t just words.

And…

THIS is a perfect example of the monotheistic filter at work. It’s a perfect example of what our contemporary culture teaches, what academia reinforces, and how we are all infected with a distrust of devotion. it’s there and it’s exchanges like this that make me see how deeply those anti-piety currents run. Perhaps this exchange with Jeff wasn’t one of my shining moments as a theologian. It is disheartening, however, to find these ideas ever present as we trudge forward in this work.

This is a large part of my situation right now.  I am a product of the Modern Mind and a patient in the mental health (such as it is) system in the USA.  I know that I used to touch the numinous, before I had a breakdown.  I know that I had a connection to The Divine©.  These days, though, I am tentative.  I am unsure.  I doubt myself, and my hold on sanity.  I am afraid that I might fall into actual, real, clinical psychosis.  On the flip-side of that coin, though, I desire numinous experience (yeah, don’t laugh about the Buddhist with attachment and desire. 😛 ).  I expect that there is more to this world and reality than science and rationality can explain or even experience.

Am I a polytheist?  Likely not, particularly with my Buddhist background (heavy monism, definition 1a).  I also claim pantheism as a self-description.  Be this as it may, I also currently chose to single out Hecate/Hekate for some small devotional work.  Currently, I am 99.99% certain that I’m not psychotic, due to my psychiatric medication regimen.  I am mostly glad that I don’t hear voices and feel that the Gods are talking to me.  Were it otherwise, I would severely doubt my sanity.

So where does that leave me? I’m still trying to figure that out.  Until I have certainty, I will depend on faith.

A little Karma is a good thing.

I just posted about my (yet to be delivered) Karma Go over on my regular blog, Changes of Man.

Ummmm… What is a Karma Go, you ask? It’s a mobile WiFi hot spot that anyone can connect to. Anybody that connects and makes a new Karma account gets 100 MB of free data to use… And I get a free 100 MB for sharing. It’s really a pretty cool concept, in my mind.

But, Karma has had some trouble getting this thing to market, but shipping has started. Now, the wait is making me antsy. I was fine, knowing that the device was still in somewhat of a limbo, but now that it’s shipping, I WANT MINE NAO! lol.

Instant Karma (go) is gonna get ya.

Thoughts on thoughts

TL;DR American society has lot touch with the Divine as a whole, not just the Pagan community. But I think it is making a come-back.

The other day, Galina Krasskova made a post entitled “a few thoughts” on her blog, where she commented on the difference between the level of devotion and piety between where she is currently (for some reason, I think she’s in Poland, but it’s definitely somewhere “Old World”) and that which she sees in the Pagan community in the United States. The comparison is not complimentary to Americans. Big surprise. Continue reading “Thoughts on thoughts”

Pluto Rising

“And I’ve never stopped looking for those amazing places where mythology and science converge.

They are not so rare as you might believe.”

One thing that I’ve realized lately is that, at least for me, too much science kills the mystery of life. I’ve decided that I need to bring that back for myself, even if I know what causes that noise and light in the sky , rather than Thor’s battles.

A wise man , in another context, gave me a task many years ago: Bring back the dragons.

Beloved of the Gods

I’ve been sitting with this sort of thing myself recently. I am a Buddhist Druid, married to a Hellenic devotional polytheist (DP) of Poseidon, we are living with a (Heathen? Hellen? Not sure at the moment) DP of Loki (and others), who is dating a Heathen DP of Freya, who is also good friends with my wife. I tell my wife that it can get a little lonely, not being part of “the club” that they all seem to be involved in.

I’m about 10-years further than Nimue is, but seemingly in the same place. I was spiritually devout in my 20s, lost it in my 30s (along with my mental health. Diagnosed major depression, anxiety, and OCD) , and in my 40s I’m trying to regain some sense of spirit in myself. I very much enjoyed “When a Pagan Prays” and am grateful that Nimue wrote it, and especially HOW she wrote it, with so much raw openness. I saw much of my own doubts there.

I’m not sure if I can call myself a polytheist, but Kristen calls me more than an animist. I’m certain that I’m not a Devotional, though. I feel no pull to dedicate myself to any gods even though I currently feel an affinity for Hecate and Hades, and choose to recognize them in my own way, along with my Buddhist faith.

But, like Nimue says, I feel no pull, hear no call, and some days wish I did, because it would be no small relief and validation. Instead, I muddle along and try to be OK with what is, as it is. “Non-attachment” the Buddhists say, is the way to remove dukkah. I’m still attached.