In my last post I hope I’ve done a fairly good job of explaining some of my own history, and thus established a context for where it has led me. From that, and other explorations that I have not described here but may at a later time, I have come to stand by several principles. A few of the ones I feel are more important and wish to share now are:
- There are Beings known as Gods in the world, who I perceive to have individual natures, personalities, preferences, ambitions and histories, as well as personal influence and agency.
- Gods tend to wield a subtle positive influence on the world, primarily though not solely through Their human devotees. Various forms of veneration, devotion, prayer, offerings and personal dedication to the Gods are ways in which mortals can show their appreciation for this. The continued exchange of mortal veneration and Divine guidance is of benefit to both Gods and humans.
- There are some individuals, Mystics, who find by various means that they are able to more easily perceive the Gods. By doing so Mystics sometimes find themselves in conversations of varying degrees of clarity with the Gods, and thus a continued and evolving dialog between Gods and humans is maintained.
Those three are probably the least controversial points. Controversial perhaps to some, but still not all that new. From here, things get a bit hairier.
- The reality and exact nature of the Gods is not a thing that humans, even Mystics, are capable of knowing by empirical means at this time. Knowledge of the Gods exists primarily in personal perceptions and we are limited in our ability to relay those perceptions. Unlike a glass falling from a table and breaking that two people may observe at the same time and through repeated experimentation come to an agreement that similar glasses dropped from the same position tend to break, most frequently the perception of a God occurs in some way within the individual and cannot be simultaneously observed by another. That being the case experiences of the Gods, whether recent gnosis written about in modern times or ancient lore, can not be validated in the same way as scientific principles (such as gravity and the fragility of glass). Because of this principle, any relationship with a God must first begin with a human individual’s active choice to believe in the God.
- Mysticism is a useful but imperfect tool. Discernment is necessary to determine actual conversation with another Being from self delusion born of desire which is a natural part of human nature. Also, Mysticism is imperfect because the communication of a mystical experience is reliant on the shared belief of the origin and the recipient in the validity of the experience.
And now… some people are likely to be particularly pissed off at me. That’s fine. As long as a certain Flame Haired Bastard eases up a little bit on me for keeping my mouth shut for so long, I’m ok with that.
- The Gods are as concerned with Their personal devotees, as They are with humanity as a whole. Their vision is long, and Their plans broader in scope than a single individual can comprehend. Even an Atheist may be a person of value in the eyes of a God that the individual denies the existence of.
- Some messages from the Gods are meant for the individual, however many more are broader principles meant to be shared with as wide an audience as possible. It is not necessary for one to be a Mystic, or even to accept the reality of the Gods as fact, to benefit from the myriad of these lessons the Gods wish humans to benefit from.
- Subtle means; parable, metaphor, fiction, even slightly more overt action taken by those who interact with the Gods in the form of activism and even simply providing one’s self as an example of conduct, are all means by which one human, Mystic or otherwise, can become a conduit for the Gods and aid in sharing Their messages with those who otherwise would not hear Them.
Now for some real fun.
- The path of growing to know the Gods is a long one that each individual must take at its own pace, if at all. Some will progress farther on the path in a single lifetime and others will not. There is no shame nor pride to be found in progress or the lack of it, so far as humans should be concerned.
- The Gods are aware of the differing capacity of different humans and ask more or less of an individual depending on the extent of progress made towards understanding Them and other variables. They may at times push an individual who is capable of more for greater devotion and work while being content with the present relation with others. A calling to a greater degree or lesser degree of devotion is not a measure of ones worth before the Gods, nor is it a truth that can be fully known outside of the personal relationship between God and devotee.
That should be a mouthful for some to chew on for now. Later on as I’m able there is more I wish to share. Especially how a particular tale, the Grimnismol, influences my understanding of how the Gods share Themselves with us, and how we may share Them with others. Also as some will be apt to notice anyway, several of the principles that I have now stated to hold to stand somewhat in conflict with many positions now loudly proclaimed among those who call themselves Polytheists. That I do intend to address as well, in time as I feel able to do so.