Friday, May 8, 2009

Another Point of View

When I posted about being 'In Between' a mention of Reclaiming was made. This generated a lot of comments regarding 'Goddess Only' paradigms. Most of it was unfavorable. I believe I've made my point clear on that particular issue. 

However, many folks assumed the only correct position to take was of a genderless 'source' god. This reflects the bias of the current culture. There is only one god. How do we know? Because they've renamed Yahweh "God". They took away his name and gave him the noun. Therefore, all other gods are lesser or non-existent. There would be less Christians if they called him by his name because naming one's god acknowledges others exist. Knowing that others exist allows the spiritual seeker to explore. Allowing only once choice restricts the seeker to two responses, the "God" or no god.  Even as pagans we 'split the difference' and claim to be pagan and monothestically inclined. Such is the influence of the "All god".

This is why so many spiritual people are out of sorts. They are forcing themselves into one little mold. That mold fits many but not everyone. 

If you say you're pagan, you owe it to yourself to read a book that blows away the concept of the omnipotent, omnipresent, all-knowing God. It lays out the arguments for that position, rebuts them, covers the rebuttals to the rebuttal and that rebuts the rebuttal's  rebuttal. Damn, that's a lot of butts. It explains why so many people turn into asses when they discuss religion. 

You owe it to yourself because it lays out the case for polytheism making more sense than monotheism. I speak as one that 'splits the difference' and still recommend the book. 

Take a gander at John Michael Greer's "A World Full of Gods". The link takes you to the ADF publication wing. Spend the extra buck over Amazon and let the money go into John's pocket. I think with his contributions to the pagan community over many years, he's earned it.


Peregrin said...

Care Fr,

thank you for this post and your very interesting blog. Though I am not a Pagan I will certainly be looking up JMG's book - thanks for the link :)

With respect, unless you are being flippant intentionally, I think your description of how our culture became dominantly monotheist lacks bit. The history of polytheistic cultures becoming monotheistic is far more complex on all fronts, theological, anthropological, political etc than what you describe :)

On a mystic level many people in contemporary western esoteric traditions identify with the ancient conception of the One. The roots of this conception are prior to the supremacy of Christian monotheism and were found in a Pagan culture, ancient Greece. They were fully developed in Neoplatonism, again prior to the supremacy of Chrsitianity in the west and the bias in our culture you refer to.

Here we have ancient Greek and Roman pagans conceiving of the One as source of all and every thing and no-thing. Obviously this has nothing to do with the bias of our culture or the renaming of Yahweh to "God". So things are more complex than they may seem at first :)

Ever since discovering this blog I have enjoyed and been enriched by every post. Thank You :)

Frater POS said...

Pointing out one thing and saying that is the only way we got here would be quite flip and that isn't what I meant. However, I do feel that renaming Yahweh "God" did a great disservice to those that need to seek divinity outside the Christian paradigm. Many the US are raised to believe there is only one form of spirituality. The "God" or nothing. Our educational system is not as strong I'd like it to be.

As someone that is pagan and sees one source (which I think I mentioned), I am with you in principal. Yet, when you read the book, there is no logic in assuming that one source is omnipotent, omnipresent and all knowing.

I am glad you enjoy the blog.

Rufus Opus said...

For whatever it's worth, "God" is from German, and used to refer to WOTAN! if I remember right. "Jesus" is supposedly the Greek name of Joshua Christ. Coincidentally, the rites to Zues included hailing him when they entered the temple as "Ye-Zeus" in the Greek world at the time. The biggest problem, imo, is that modern Christians don't think for themselves. They don't even know who they're talking to when they call on God.

There are several "cults" that are big on getting rid of the Pagan names of the allegedly Christian deity. Yahwists are big, or were a couple of years ago, and then there are the Jehova's Witnesses. They've been around for a while. Unfortunately, neither group is evidence supporting your theory that "naming one's god acknowledges others exist." They just go with the proof text from the bible that says "But we know all the gods of pagans are demons." They never bother to find out that when it was written, "Daimon" meant messenger just like Angeloi.

Human ingenuity is marvelous. I never cease to be amazed at how many ways there are to twist shit around and ignore facts to suit your beliefs.