Jump to content
Talbot Michaels

Welcome Guest!

Welcome to UK Pagan; The Valley

Like most online communities we require you to register for an account before we give you access to read and post.

Only a small number of our forum areas can be read without registering for an account.

Help to keep this website running - Become a Patron.

Help to keep UK Pagan online...
Become a Patron!
Sign in to follow this  
UK Pagan

[Wiccan Web] Unverified Personal Gnosis And Personal Truth

Recommended Posts

UK Pagan

By Kallista Silverheart

I assume you all know what "unverified personal gnosis" (upg) is so I'm not going to bore you with the explanation. When dealing with certain personal revelations, experiences and practice we tend to reach a personal truth. Which is just that: personal truth. It is by no means universal truth but . . . → Read More: Unverified Personal Gnosis and Personal Truth

 

View the full article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ad from Google

Freebird
I’ll probably believe you if you tell me you’ve seen a Fae. I’ll probably believe you if you say the Fae is now your best buddy and helps you with your magical workings. But I’ll probably raise an eyebrow if you tell me the Fae looks like *insert name of good looking actor here*, speaks Aramaic and somehow got you pregnant

 

 

 

It's that good old chestnut UPG and I'm just wondering, where do you draw the line?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonhunter

hmm... I tend to test it against:

- other stuff along the same lines I've heard from people I trust

- other things I've heard (from anyone)

- what any texts say that might indicate anything e.g. a tendency on the part of a god to take an interest in whatever, or other stuff recorded about that god

 

yeah, I know the texts are other people's UPG - except it was SPG - whole societies that shared the same religion accepted those texts as reflecting some sort of truth they recognised

 

so, to give the now infamous example I was part of: when someone insists that Odhinn sits on her bed every night and offers her consolsation and hugs and she knows it's him because he comes with two ravens - well, all the Heathens I know say nothing and cease to believe anything that person says. Because she has demonstrated she cannot tell the difference between UPG and her own imagination. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marcus

It's that good old chestnut UPG and I'm just wondering, where do you draw the line?

 

The origin of the phrase "UPG" was by recons who wished to distinguish things to discuss from personal woo

which isn't discussed because there is no proof, evidence, etc. and therefore nothing really to discuss.

 

Somehow it's now become an argument for people to expect their personal woo to be taken seriously by others.

 

Marcus

Edited by Marcus
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonhunter

woo, Marcus? what is woo?

 

would you argue that there is never anything to discuss unless it is written in an ancient text? :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marcus

woo, Marcus? what is woo?

 

Sorry I was co-opting a word skeptics use and perhaps that was unintentionally provocative.

I believe plenty of woo myself - I assume most people do. I just don't find it worthwhile sharing it

with others.

 

would you argue that there is never anything to discuss unless it is written in an ancient text? :)

 

Absolutely not. In fact given the quality of texts we have available - I find most "ancient texts" fairly irrelevant to what I do and there's

plenty of modern texts which have quite deep meaning to me and my beliefs - for example Heidegger's work is fairly central to a lot

of how I see the world. The thing is we can discuss Heidegger's philosophy - it's out there and we can check things and see how the fit into a wider philosophy. There's something to discuss.

 

A UPG insight such as Odin likes Bob Dylan* doesn't give us anything to discuss - it's just a belief which has no evidence and doesn't lead anywhere. Nor does it lead to a wider worldview or philosophy.

 

Re-reading the above - I think I'm obscuring my point. The original point of the term UPG was to distinguish private beliefs from things which were worth discussion. Somewhere along the way the point has changed to defend any crazy and wacky belief as something which should be respected by others.

 

Now I'm not arguing that people shouldn't discuss their personal beliefs - no matter how wacky they are. Some would argue this - but not me. However, I would argue that there's no requirement that your personal beliefs need to be taken seriously by others and claiming it's all "UPG" and therefore cannot be questioned seems a pretty weak defence.

 

Marcus

 

* up to "Blood on the Tracks" anyway ...

Edited by Marcus
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonhunter

Sorry I was co-opting a word skeptics use and perhaps that was unintentionally provocative.

I believe plenty of woo myself - I assume most people do. I just don't find it worthwhile sharing it

with others.

 

does the word 'woo' stand for soemthing? is it an acronym? If not, what does it actually mean? I've never heard of it before and have no context. ;)

 

The thing is we can discuss Heidegger's philosophy - it's out there and we can check things and see how the fit into a wider philosophy. There's something to discuss.

 

heh. You might be in a position to discuss Heidegger's theories, but I'm just an ignoramus philosophically. :P (not meant seriously, hun - I understand your point!)

 

I would argue that there's no requirement that your personal beliefs need to be taken seriously by others and claiming it's all "UPG" and therefore cannot be questioned seems a pretty weak defence.

 

I'm with you on this :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tibbington

so, to give the now infamous example I was part of: when someone insists that Odhinn sits on her bed every night and offers her consolsation and hugs and she knows it's him because he comes with two ravens - well, all the Heathens I know say nothing and cease to believe anything that person says. Because she has demonstrated she cannot tell the difference between UPG and her own imagination. ;)

 

But who can actually sit there with any certainty & say that she's not witnessing her own UPG? Since it's personal how can anyone else judge that person, what they see when the are alone? If they can take great comfort in what they do, it harms no one & in their own way brings them close to deity, I say let them get on with it. Their beliefs, as are mine, are as valid as anyone elses & it upsets me a little that this person ignored or maybe even ridiculed for what they fervently believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonhunter

But who can actually sit there with any certainty & say that she's not witnessing her own UPG? Since it's personal how can anyone else judge that person, what they see when the are alone? If they can take great comfort in what they do, it harms no one & in their own way brings them close to deity, I say let them get on with it.

 

they have every entitlement to believe what they chose for themselves. That was not the issue here. the issue is that the belief was presented to a community of fellow believers, each of whom takes part in a community that draws its boundaries. Her beliefs fell outside of those boundaries. When this was presented her to her, quite gently, she preferred to hold them rather than re-assess whether she might be mistaken. that is her right. However, her choice excluded her from the beliefs of the community. She wanted what she could not have - to hold beliefs not shared by the community but alsdo to have those beliefs accepted as valid by the community. If she wanted to hold the beliefs, there was no problem in her doing so - outside of the community she wanted to claim to be part of.

 

In the same way, if a Christian claimed to talk to pagan gods who all told her they bowed down to Jesus and that herself was a pagan but all pagans must acknowledge Jesus as the head Pagan - would you say that would be a perfectly acceptable pagan belief?

 

Their beliefs, as are mine, are as valid as anyone elses & it upsets me a little that this person ignored or maybe even ridiculed for what they fervently believe.

 

So do you never ignore or ridicule someone else's beliefs, Tibb? Not even Christians? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tibbington

they have every entitlement to believe what they chose for themselves. That was not the issue here. the issue is that the belief was presented to a community of fellow believers, each of whom takes part in a community that draws its boundaries. Her beliefs fell outside of those boundaries. When this was presented her to her, quite gently, she preferred to hold them rather than re-assess whether she might be mistaken. that is her right. However, her choice excluded her from the beliefs of the community. She wanted what she could not have - to hold beliefs not shared by the community but alsdo to have those beliefs accepted as valid by the community. If she wanted to hold the beliefs, there was no problem in her doing so - outside of the community she wanted to claim to be part of.

 

In the same way, if a Christian claimed to talk to pagan gods who all told her they bowed down to Jesus and that herself was a pagan but all pagans must acknowledge Jesus as the head Pagan - would you say that would be a perfectly acceptable pagan belief?

 

So do you never ignore or ridicule someone else's beliefs, Tibb? Not even Christians? ;)

 

All the time :lol: . It was funny when I was typing that, I was saying to myself that I'm always ridiculing Xtains & some how I can accept someone's non Monotheist beliefs no problem. I think it runs so deep within me, in what I had said earlier, I can justify it within my own mind because of belief over group doctrine. I don't think Xtains have have UPG, they have Someone elses personal gnosis.

 

As for you first point, I wasn't having ago at your group, I just don't know how someone else can set themselves up as judge against someone elses UPG & their imagination. But it's your group & you have to do what you see's fit, your on the ground there, I'm not.

Edited by tibbington

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xalle

yeah, I know the texts are other people's UPG - except it was SPG - whole societies that shared the same religion accepted those texts as reflecting some sort of truth they recognised

 

That's a very dodgy statement to make. The fact that priests, priestesses, people in the know, wrote down that they believed gods wanted, did, and needed doesn't make it a "truth". Whole societies tend to believe what they are told. Not what they experience. "Some sort of truth they recognised".... like... being told the winter gods bring snow perhaps doesn't make it anything other than UPG. Every aspect of belief is UPG and Personal truth. There isn't anything else unless they appear themselves and make a statement or write stuff down. SPG is no more than what people experience when they are in awe of someone or something. You find SPG when it comes to David Tennant. People who have never met him, basing their opinions on who he is based on the plays he was in or the interviews they have read. They attribute him with aspects they want their hero to have.

 

The girl who say's Odin sits on her bed every night you choose to dismiss as fairy tale. For all we know she could be right and everyone else is too busy trying to believe in the Odin from tales...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xalle

Erp hit "post" too soon.

 

With regards to group dynamics, clearly that has more to do with grouping than belief. Look at Christianity and how many variations there are and how you are "supposed" to talk with god. Look at the Abrahamic faiths as a whole, all have the old testament, only the new one causes any issues. To Christians Jesus is the son of god, to Islam and Judaism he is a prophet... Who is right, the people who experience see him as a god or the people who experience him as a prophet?

 

Who is to say Odin doesn't have that fluffy side and just chooses not to show it to you because that's not how YOU want to see him?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonhunter

That's a very dodgy statement to make. The fact that priests, priestesses, people in the know, wrote down that they believed gods wanted, did, and needed doesn't make it a "truth". Whole societies tend to believe what they are told. Not what they experience.

 

do they? So once pagan peoples in Europe were told their new, Christian, god was the only truth, and they must not worship trees or rocks or rivers, they believed that because the priests said so? :P alas, the priests, bishops and popes had to keep saying it again and again over several centuries with no effect, apparently. ;)

 

"Some sort of truth they recognised".... like... being told the winter gods bring snow perhaps doesn't make it anything other than UPG. Every aspect of belief is UPG and Personal truth.

 

Agreed. SPG is the bits of UPG that are shared by a lot of people. That's what SPG is.

 

SPG is no more than what people experience when they are in awe of someone or something.

 

Awe? How did awe get into this? :lol: I don't see how awe enters into it at all. If you are saying that SPG = mass UPG (which is the common definition), and you are saying SPG = what people believ when they are in awe of something, then you must be saying UPG = what people believe when they are in awe of something. So : how do people acquire that awe of something? They must have the awe before they have the UPG, otherwise the statement makes no sense.

 

You find SPG when it comes to David Tennant. People who have never met him, basing their opinions on who he is based on the plays he was in or the interviews they have read. They attribute him with aspects they want their hero to have.

 

so are they in awe of David Tennant? In which case, is the thesis that they first acquire the awe (by the way, I'm not sure what 'awe' is in this context ;) ) and then construct the UPG? If so, I can see that the one might follow the other. but it really depends on what is meant by awe. Is it a feeling of knowing the person? Is that different from UPG? Or is it a feeling of wanting to know the person, to be closer to them - a feeling that this [person/god] is worthy of my notice and attention? so the person invest time and emotion in knowing the god/person as far as they can on the basis of the materials available - songs, tales etc - and then begins to invent things for themselves?

 

The real problem there is that (1) some people encounter gods without being fascinated by that god or seeking them. You know there's been enough testimony on this site about that - about pagans being hit with the metaphorical two by four, and then having to figure out who it is that's asking for their attention. That doesn't fit the 'awe' model, surely?

 

and (2) - the whole point about SPG is that it's tested by the community and not accepted unless it seems 'right'. So if people only accept things they are told, then the UPG of the sort about David Tennent wouldn't wash because they hadn't been told that. And if they do create UPG themselves - why should anyone else believe it unless they experience it/it seems right to them?

 

The girl who say's Odin sits on her bed every night you choose to dismiss as fairy tale. For all we know she could be right and everyone else is too busy trying to believe in the Odin from tales...

 

Yep, they could be. but I am talking about a community of people who have personal experiences that they test. I have come across people who simply do the lore bit - their knowledge of, say, Odhinn is entirely taken from texts and there is no personal knowledge. On the whole, in this country we call them 'loremasters' and find their knowledge of texts very interesting and useful, but they are not consulted for personal knowledge of gods as they have none. So they do not control the decisions about where or not a piece of UPG is valid, as their answer will always be that all UPG is invalid. So they have nothing to offer in the debate.

 

There will also be some who weave personal fantasies around the tales. Again, that is what the rest of the community tries to find some means to filter out.

 

the problem with the postulation (in this case) that the whole community might be wrong and the girl is right, is that the girl's UPG also contradicts virtually everything written about Odhinn. Virtually all the texts would have to be wrong. so we would have to junk the past knowledge and the present knowledge of the Heathen community in order to accept this one opinion. It is possible, but very unlikely.

 

Who is right, the people who experience see him as a god or the people who experience him as a prophet? .... Who is to say Odin doesn't have that fluffy side and just chooses not to show it to you because that's not how YOU want to see him?

 

I agree that different people have different experiences. On the subject of Odhinn - as an aside - I agree that the common experience of very many people down a few centuries in the past, plus current experience, may all be wrong. However, I'd have to say that, if so, then either I'd have to believe that the gods have chosen to deceive a lot of people for centuries and chose to pick one person a long time down the track to experience The Truth TM - which, personally, I find unlikely - or the girl is wrong; or we're all wrong; or, we're all right.

 

Now, if we're all wrong, then it does not matter what I believe - the chances are it is wrong. Same for you. same for anyone. So I may as well believe what suits me and get together with like minded individuals to share common experiences and opinions about those experiences, and we will share the right to delineate those.

 

the real philosophical problem for me lies with the proposition that we're all right. Because where beliefs cannot co-exist - for example Christianity v every other belief - then they cannot all be right. So I cannot see this option as viable. If it is not viable, then some things are more 'real' than others. In which case, we're back measuring what is most likely or least likely within chosen parameters. :)

 

right - after that marathon post it's now time for me to bugger off and have coffee with my father :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xalle

That's a very dodgy statement to make. The fact that priests, priestesses, people in the know, wrote down that they believed gods wanted, did, and needed doesn't make it a "truth". Whole societies tend to believe what they are told. Not what they experience.

 

do they? So once pagan peoples in Europe were told their new, Christian, god was the only truth, and they must not worship trees or rocks or rivers, they believed that because the priests said so? :P alas, the priests, bishops and popes had to keep saying it again and again over several centuries with no effect, apparently. ;)

 

 

My point exactly. Just because the priest in ancient Rome Priests told people they HAD to sacrifice their best knife, doesn't mean everyone DID. Or were interested in doing so. Stuff written, down does not mean " reflecting some sort of truth they recognised" it just means what they were told. It does not make it fact that everyone experienced gods that way at all.

 

SPG is no more than what people experience when they are in awe of someone or something.

 

Awe? How did awe get into this? :lol: I don't see how awe enters into it at all. If you are saying that SPG = mass UPG (which is the common definition), and you are saying SPG = what people believ when they are in awe of something, then you must be saying UPG = what people believe when they are in awe of something. So : how do people acquire that awe of something? They must have the awe before they have the UPG, otherwise the statement makes no sense.

 

 

*sigh* we're going to split hairs with words. FINE. Awe was a bad choice. Hero Worship...

 

 

Is it a feeling of knowing the person? Is that different from UPG? Or is it a feeling of wanting to know the person, to be closer to them - a feeling that this [person/god] is worthy of my notice and attention? so the person invest time and emotion in knowing the god/person as far as they can on the basis of the materials available - songs, tales etc - and then begins to invent things for themselves?

 

It's a feeling of THINKING they know the person. Wanting to know the person. Wanting to spend time investing in that person and their work and their life. I'm not entirely sure I see the difference between a Priest and a stalker.

 

The real problem there is that (1) some people encounter gods without being fascinated by that god or seeking them. You know there's been enough testimony on this site about that - about pagans being hit with the metaphorical two by four, and then having to figure out who it is that's asking for their attention. That doesn't fit the 'awe' model, surely?

 

and (2) - the whole point about SPG is that it's tested by the community and not accepted unless it seems 'right'. So if people only accept things they are told, then the UPG of the sort about David Tennent wouldn't wash because they hadn't been told that. And if they do create UPG themselves - why should anyone else believe it unless they experience it/it seems right to them?

 

 

I know this might shock you... but people make shit up! Our minds and what it experience is not to be trusted at all. "We" aren't in control. I harp on this one a lot but it's MY personal experience of this. Mass hysteria. Went to a manafest, ooh the holy spirit that was there that night gave EVERYONE a high. Utter bullshit. No more a spiritual experience than a mob feeling good after lynching someone.

 

Why should anyone else who has never experienced the Benevolence of the 10th? Because they WANT to. People want to be part of the group as you so rightly said and people, when comparing experiences CHANGE those very experiences by discussing them with others and when you KNOW there are SPG's out there that people "quietly" discuss, and quietly turn into SPG.

 

The girl who say's Odin sits on her bed every night you choose to dismiss as fairy tale. For all we know she could be right and everyone else is too busy trying to believe in the Odin from tales...

 

Yep, they could be. but I am talking about a community of people who have personal experiences that they test. I have come across people who simply do the lore bit - their knowledge of, say, Odhinn is entirely taken from texts and there is no personal knowledge. On the whole, in this country we call them 'loremasters' and find their knowledge of texts very interesting and useful, but they are not consulted for personal knowledge of gods as they have none. So they do not control the decisions about where or not a piece of UPG is valid, as their answer will always be that all UPG is invalid. So they have nothing to offer in the debate.

 

There will also be some who weave personal fantasies around the tales. Again, that is what the rest of the community tries to find some means to filter out.

 

the problem with the postulation (in this case) that the whole community might be wrong and the girl is right, is that the girl's UPG also contradicts virtually everything written about Odhinn. Virtually all the texts would have to be wrong. so we would have to junk the past knowledge and the present knowledge of the Heathen community in order to accept this one opinion. It is possible, but very unlikely.

 

 

Test. That's a serious word to be using and I'd disagree (with the greatest respect) that you "test" anything. Just looking at your suggestion as to "Nice Odin" being unlikely... There are currently no links to Odin from the first time he was worshipped apart from the Lore. ALL paganism from old religion is reconstructed. The books are the ONLY things you have to go on and SPG OR UPG has to be created by you (pl). People have argued with you with you quite, strongly I believe that your take on Loki is not as per the book and therefore, incorrect but as you just said the books, do not give you ANYTHING when it comes to a relationship with a god and you can't have it both ways. You can't legitimately say "No sorry... your take on Odin is nonsense" when it comes from the exact same place as yours.

 

I agree that different people have different experiences. On the subject of Odhinn - as an aside - I agree that the common experience of very many people down a few centuries in the past, plus current experience, may all be wrong. However, I'd have to say that, if so, then either I'd have to believe that the gods have chosen to deceive a lot of people for centuries and chose to pick one person a long time down the track to experience The Truth TM - which, personally, I find unlikely - or the girl is wrong; or we're all wrong; or, we're all right.

 

Now, if we're all wrong, then it does not matter what I believe - the chances are it is wrong. Same for you. same for anyone. So I may as well believe what suits me and get together with like minded individuals to share common experiences and opinions about those experiences, and we will share the right to delineate those.

 

the real philosophical problem for me lies with the proposition that we're all right. Because where beliefs cannot co-exist - for example Christianity v every other belief - then they cannot all be right. So I cannot see this option as viable. If it is not viable, then some things are more 'real' than others. In which case, we're back measuring what is most likely or least likely within chosen parameters. :)

 

Common experience down the centuries? What common experience? Where are these common experiences written down over the centuries that can verify that everyone believed the same thing and even saying the words believe in the same thing... I mean how often have civilisations changed gods? Which gods are what gods? ARE the Greek gods and the Roman Gods the same? History, writings, evidence seems to suggest they are but CLEARLY they've been fiddled with by the time we get to Rome. Clearly some of the gods aspects have changed.. so maybe gods are more fluid. Maybe all gods ARE one god and since you only connect with certain aspects of the god thats the experience you have....

 

I get itchy when people tell me that some things are "more right than others" when the "right" is based on personal morals, ethics, and subjective experience. You've either got to accept that the girl you spoke of speaks to Odin or sees an aspect of him you don't OR that your experience of him is no more valid than hers because it would be VERY possible for her to write a book and collect memories from other fluffy Odinists and produce a book saying he DOES have those qualities and suddenly we have writing that backs up future fluffy Odinists.

 

You (pl) can't simply say "because more people like MY story it's the true story".

 

right - after that marathon post it's now time for me to bugger off and have coffee with my father :)

Enjoy! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonhunter

My point exactly. Just because the priest in ancient Rome Priests told people they HAD to sacrifice their best knife, doesn't mean everyone DID. Or were interested in doing so. Stuff written, down does not mean " reflecting some sort of truth they recognised" it just means what they were told. It does not make it fact that everyone experienced gods that way at all.

 

Hmm..I wonder if we're talking about the same sort of 'things written down'. I'm not talking about edicts of any kind - I'm talking about stuff related in stories and poetry. OK, so the poets might be hired to recite in the halls of rich men - but the poetry was conserved and copied and kept, long after the poets died. We have (for example) the Homer and the Iliad. Or, in my own religion, the tales about things like Loki and Thor cross dressing to try to rescue Freyja, who had been captured because Loki cheated on a deal at the request of the other gods and turned himself into a mare - and ended up bearing a foal... and so on. Not at all the same sort of stuff as rituals or edicts or commands.

 

Now it might happen that those who were engrossed in teh tales never encountered one of the gods or, if they did, didn't agree with the tales. What I'm saying is that these tales were not so far outside accepted experience of these gods that they were thrown in the bin, or otherwise destroyed or forgotten. these were tales that were seen as some sort of reflection fo the gods that were their subject.

 

in addition, in my religion, we have the sagas, which were quasi-historical tales of the settlers of Iceland. The complete geneaology of Iceland is still kept, so that Icelanders can trace their fa,ilies back to the people mentioned in the sagas, and point to the historical places mentioned - including who settled where and why. and they record the dealings individuals had with their gods and how they interacted. and - as in the kemetic religion - though there were big halls with images of the gods, many ordinary places of worship were kept by someone who was known to be a priest of such and such a god i.e. they had devoted their lives and set up an alter. that didn't mean they had any particular authority and they had no income at all - they carried on being a farmer.

 

*sigh* we're going to split hairs with words. FINE. Awe was a bad choice. Hero Worship...

 

No, I wasn't splitting hairs. the word didn't convey anything to me when talking about gods. TBH, neither does Hero Worship :lol: so it meant i was trying to figure out where you were coming from and failing abjectly. ;)

 

 

It's a feeling of THINKING they know the person. Wanting to know the person. Wanting to spend time investing in that person and their work and their life. I'm not entirely sure I see the difference between a Priest and a stalker.

 

I understand where you're coming from here - but the difference between a priest and a stalker, to me, depends on whether the god wants the person as a priest

 

Now, I have encountered pagans who say they have chosen this god or that - which, to my mind (and that of many others) is not really possible as the relationship is such that, if the god isn't interested, then there's no relationship. and yes, people can be deluded. which brings us back to testing UPG.

 

I know this might shock you... but people make shit up! ... People want to be part of the group as you so rightly said and people, when comparing experiences CHANGE those very experiences by discussing them with others and when you KNOW there are SPG's out there that people "quietly" discuss, and quietly turn into SPG.

 

Yep. understood. the people I know and trust have used methods to try to prevent someone just making stuff up and being accepted. like only giving part of the story - like police with reporters in a murder case. then you check out what people come up with.

 

and yes, I know it's not perfect - but nothing is.

 

Test. That's a serious word to be using and I'd disagree (with the greatest respect) that you "test" anything. Just looking at your suggestion as to "Nice Odin" being unlikely... There are currently no links to Odin from the first time he was worshipped apart from the Lore. ALL paganism from old religion is reconstructed. The books are the ONLY things you have to go on and SPG OR UPG has to be created by you (pl).

 

OK. I'd argue that all reality - in terms of our opinions about anything - is in the same boat.

 

That apart - fine. we all construct our reality in those terms. although I tend to make a difference between consensual reality and non-consensual reality - in fact both are constructed. it's just that one has a more people involved than the other.

 

People have argued with you with you quite, strongly I believe that your take on Loki is not as per the book and therefore, incorrect but as you just said the books

 

well yes, but my take on Loki does not stray very far from the books. whereas "Odhin sits at the end of my bed and hugs me every night! is difficult to swallow because it is so very far from anything said in either the books or the UPG of others. So, if it is true, then everything else is out of the window and we may as well give up. it's a bit like someone claiming that, in their house, the tables and chairs all float four feet up in the air, and that makes dining difficult.

 

, do not give you ANYTHING when it comes to a relationship with a god and you can't have it both ways. You can't legitimately say "No sorry... your take on Odin is nonsense" when it comes from the exact same place as yours.

 

sorry to disagree, but if one take takes no notice at all (virtually) about anything written or the experience of others and goes off in a totally different direction, then i do think I can say that. :) I also think the community that uses the same non-consensual reality can say that - and with a lot more authority than I can.

 

What I can't say is that a person has less right to believe what they want, regadless of any textual or material evidence, or the statement of others. OK, so society tends to authorise some specially trained medics on its behafl to say that about consensual reality, but, in the terms within which you are arguing - they have no real right to say that either, as we all have our own take on 'reality' and perhaps the person who thinks that they are told to do this or that by their voices is the sole holder of truth in the world. :)

 

Common experience down the centuries? What common experience? Where are these common experiences written down over the centuries that can verify that everyone believed the same thing and even saying the words believe in the same thing

 

well, I was thinking about a given pagan religion - such as my own. The last pagans who converted did not do so until about the 11th or 12th century. so I was thinking in those terms.

 

You've either got to accept that the girl you spoke of speaks to Odin or sees an aspect of him you don't OR that your experience of him is no more valid than hers because it would be VERY possible for her to write a book and collect memories from other fluffy Odinists and produce a book saying he DOES have those qualities and suddenly we have writing that backs up future fluffy Odinists.

 

yes, she could. but that wouldn't agree with everything else collected about him up to that point. so it wouldn't actually prove her case as it wouldn't shift the body of evidence.

 

Yes, you can say that all the evidence is meaningless because it's nothing more than opinions written down over some centuries. that's fine - we're just back to mutually consensual realities. there are boundaries to each consensual reality and the people on one side fo the boundary are 'out' and the people on the other side are 'in'. It only really bothers the individual if they want to be 'in' but the people who are 'in' tell them they are 'out'. At that point there is little point arguing that 'out' and 'in' do not exist, becaue they do exist for the individuals. Oh yes, in one sense you are right - but for most people, it is a POV that makes no difference to their feelings. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xalle

" What I'm saying is that these tales were not so far outside accepted experience of these gods that they were thrown in the bin, or otherwise destroyed or forgotten. these were tales that were seen as some sort of reflection fo the gods that were their subject"

 

Sorry I need to pick up on this one point before I address anything else. "Accepted experience" Could you please point me in the direction of some evidence of accepted experience please? Homer's tales are just that tales. Mixed history and analogy and myth. I'd argue that these tales along with what priests told people were the ONLY things people had to judge what gods wanted and how they presented. Where is there any evidence otherwise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moonhunter

Sorry I need to pick up on this one point before I address anything else. "Accepted experience" Could you please point me in the direction of some evidence of accepted experience please?

 

Basically, that they were preserved. If something actually manages to survive the vicissitudes of history, then it meant something to someone. hence the comment "What I'm saying is that these tales were not so far outside accepted experience of these gods that they were thrown in the bin, or otherwise destroyed or forgotten."

 

they were not merely preserved in texts, but the stories were reproduced in other forms.

 

Homer's tales are just that tales. Mixed history and analogy and myth. I'd argue that these tales along with what priests told people were the ONLY things people had to judge what gods wanted and how they presented.

 

then you and I will have to differ :) I think that, whatever I say, you will argue these are only stories and that priests made up a lot of it and that made people believe it. I would argue that people - not all, but enough - experienced things and so believed. You will argue people believed what they were told and i will say people told of what they experienced. No point just going round the same circle several times. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pomona

And (finally getting to post here), it should also be borne in mind that there is no single "evidence" from each culture that survives, there are hundreds, thousands even. From sculpture to the myriad of writings that have been found, indicating that people all over experienced the same gods in similar ways.

 

I'm also going to go back to a point that was discussed a while back in the thread, about the gods picking people and the counter argument that people choose and make up. I accept fully that the power of suggestion is strong and can be an influence. But there is something which, to me, defies explanation, in my own personal experience, when a god I have no connection to, pops up and asks for something (a drink) that is peculiarly modern and therefore has no basis in the ancient texts and when I asked someone who DOES have a connection with this god, having them express shock because they have had experience of the same god asking for the same thing, and yet it is something that was never discussed between us... Now, I'm not offering that as "proof positive" but I am saying that, by anyone's standards, that's weird... And that is the kind of thing MH talks about as "testing" and SPG. Another example: talking about a particular god, if someone says they think they encountered him, the thing everyone I know (who "knows" him), asks the same questions which - you won't find in any text, but intellectually you would assume, and experientially everyone has experienced the same things would ask. If the person has experienced the same things as the many others have, then that is the "proof".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...