Archive | May, 2013

I’ve read a few posts from people acting

30 May
I’ve read a few posts from people acting like someone pissed in their Cheerios because other people worship/venerate/work with/whatthefuckever pop culture entities in their practice. You have to believe they way they believe, worship the way they worship, or it’s wrong. In fact, everyone should believe the way they believe and worship the way they worship because we owe it to the gods.
Example of this last bit:
The gods deserve us – all of us, every single human on this earth – to be in awe of Them, to have such deep gratitude for Their presence that we regularly make sacrifices to feed Them, hold large festivals to celebrate Them, make incredible art to glorify Them, and do everything we can to maintain a right relationship with Them both because They are wonderful and because we need Them. (Source)
Am I the only one creeped out by this attitude? It reeks of the same obligatory bullshit that I hear when my mother drags me to church with her on Sunday mornings. You must believe in the gods in the way I believe in Them and practice how I think you should practice or you’re contributing to the downfall of modern paganism and are disrespecting the gods.
I can’t prove that deities exist. I actually believe in the existence of all possible deities, even smartass deity constructs like the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn. I only worship one, and that’s Eris. But I can’t even prove She exists. It’s possible She’s a benign auditory hallucination. I don’t believe She is, but all I have is my belief and a voice in my head that isn’t mine. I made an offering and asked Her to help me through a particularly difficult therapy session (therapy is a battle, too–the fact that my opponent is my own fucked-up traumatized mind is irrelevant) and She did indeed help, but I can’t prove that wasn’t a placebo effect. I have a deep, fervent belief in Eris, and that faith isn’t threatened by someone who thinks She’s a personification of natural forces and deals with Her as such, nor is it threatened by someone who works with the Joker. If either of these things pisses Her off, She can deal with it as She sees fit to do so. I’m pretty sure She’d laugh at me if I actually tried to go to bat for Her like She can’t take care of Herself, like anything or anyone but my own ego is harmed by these practices.
I can’t speak for everyone’s relationship with their deity/deities, but neither Eris nor I need this relationship. She can get on just fine without me, and while my life would be harder and less interesting without Her, I lived a couple of years completely apathetic about the existence of deities and it was pretty manageable. In some ways, it’s simpler to live without deities. It’s not easier, but it’s far less complicated IMHO. But I continue because I have faith in Her and I want Her in my life. She sticks around because … well, I’m not quite sure why, but She does and that’s pretty awesome.
As long as one isn’t hurting someone else, I couldn’t care less if you worship Superman. Even if Superman isn’t real in the sense of some objective reality, even if it’s all in your head, where else does one experience things but their mind? If it affects your life, it’s real enough. I have read enough philosophy dealing with reality and skepticism about reality that I am unconcerned with whether or not my experiences meet some objective standard of capital “T” Truth, if that standard even exists. If Superman speaks to someone in a deity-like fashion, I can’t prove that is somehow lesser than my communications with Eris, nor do I need to if I’m actually even a little bit secure in my faith. I have never read anything that gives me any indication that any society has been in 100% agreement about the nature of reality, the divine, or much of anything. And yes, that includes ancient polytheists. Shockingly, your pet theory is no more or less correct than anyone else’s because we just don’t know. The age of your gods doesn’t prove their existence over someone else’s, your text don’t prove themselves. It’s all based on faith, so unless your practice is harmful to someone else, it’s all pretty equally valid.