Perspective/Reflection of the Gods:   Leave a comment

Gods & Goddesses, first Autowriting:

Intent: To formulate an understanding of the nature of the Gods, not just of their time-specific, time-etched depictions in lore & literature, but if we are the manifestations of these gods in our daily lives, should not they not be likewise confined to the past? Should the concept & construct of eternal, leave open the option of change, option of choices, option of growth, failures, experiences, knowledge, beyond that which is captured in lore from eon’s past. For example, Thor could be a biker, a farmer, a warrior, a teacher, a pacifist, anything.. he could be involved in military or police culture, or a photographer in love with nature, or could be a hermit, exclusive, isolated, tired of the ways of our world and what it has become. Like us humans, do not the gods themselves have free will, desires, pains, experiences that shape them, tragedy that they witness? Could not even a god have PTSD? Experience sorrow, love, adoration, etc?

We often hold the belief that it takes belief from us to keep the gods alive, a premise that was touched upon in American Gods by Neil Gaiman. But could the possibility exist that gods could lose their belief in us, our potentials? One aspect of free will is the freedom to make mistakes, but what happens when the cascade effect yields termination & extinction? We often put a paternalistic, parental aspect upon the gods, we as their creations. But what if they are like farmers, and we the sheep, and that often decisions of need & necessity invoke actions that further the goals of the gods, but in doing so, cost some lives?

How does the aspect of the gods relate to us, humans, beyond the construct of being their creation, investment, them, the ultimate ancestors? They are the embodiment of not just culture, but also of nature, the symbolism surrounding them is affixed in nature itself, and from it they have stepped forward, intertwined, inseparable, in fact. The gods are linked in our origin stories, our rites of passage, our very holidays and celebrations, our system of symbols themselves, and the key to the interpretation that we construct from them. The resources and artifacts surrounding our art, our common phrases, places of reference, associated tools, even the construct of beauty, and being, link back to this association with the Gods.

Our very cultural lens, interpretation, and manifestation, all circle around the gods, the tools, the land, the resources, the stories, the folklore, creation & death itself and the afterlife. It is interlocked with the geographic too, the familiar landscape, the types of plants, animals, sea life, environment, climate, which meld into experiences, common experiences, shared experiences, that link not just to personal memory, but the memory of a land & its people, a culture, a faith, a religion, and gods. It is the strand of line that interweaves into a tapestry. It is the shared language, symbols, culture, and histories & experiences which identify, reaffirm, continue, and give eternal breath to that which we associate, identify, and are a part of, in this life, and in many others.

Here, in our lore, the land, the cosmos, the plants, the animals, even the tools and symbols, language and expression, all are expressions of the gods & people, they are all part of the larger fabric and tapestry that make up the whole. Quite inseparable, in fact, the Gods are tied into it all, just as we are meant to be, and how we used to be, in the fullest of realization. People used to be known by the geographic, and trade, it was in their last names, their namesake, and their identity, affixed in the community which they served and interlinked, Baker from so-so town, blacksmith, etc. Even up til about the 1700s, this system of communal identity existed. The home, the community even had their own more specific deities that they identified. The products we made, we made for the gods, and for ourselves, our identity, reputation, and application of credit, given to the gods. Time flowed past, desires, beliefs, societal construct, chaos of war disruption, etc, changing dynamics means changing landscape, power structure, social institutions, and ultimately, politics and religions themselves.

But in the pursuit of unabated free will, and in course of greed and prosperity and immortality of our design, not the God’s design, we have through course of colonization, war, societal changes, or forced assimilation, changed our course, and nature.

The biological has limitations, naturally built in, and we often use technology to supersede those perceived limitations, whether it be to circumvent a hostile environment, be it weather, or climate, underwater, or outer space. Or through artificial means, provide the needed resources beyond what is readily available, through trade & commerce, raiding & pillaging, war, theft, or negotiation & treaties, but also through manufacturing via importing goods, or creating them artificially, via petroleum, or recycling & repurposing goods and commodities.

But, in nature, there aren’t short cuts, and those taken often lead astray, or to outright death. Over-consume resources, and you are forced to move on, or die. In moving on, you venture into other territory, bound to run into competition or become another’s competition. You may be seeking prey to survive, but you may end up becoming prey, in finding something bigger, faster, stronger, more resilient than you. You may come upon new food sources, unknown to you, is it safe, or will it make you sick, or kill you? New scenery introduces new danger, whether environmental, such as finding water, shelter, food sources, or whether entering into new areas leave you unprepared for unexpected conditions, like flash flood, hurricane, or dust storms, blizzards, wildfires/grassfires, etc. Or like the indigenous peoples’ interaction with the Europeans, a most toxic exchange of diseases. Sometimes the knowledge and experience you have within that moment is never adequate enough, and the amount you don’t know, will literally kill you.

We humans used to be more biologically orientated, beyond what is seen now as “survivalist”, or prepper, or regular outdoors folk. We used to have a common knowledge of plants and herbs, animal identification and tracking, behaviors and habitat knowledge, read the stars, understood the signs, understood game migration, plant geology and usage, and knew how to purpose our surroundings.

We used to be resourceful, knowing how to make tools, knowing the environment and what we can utilize from it, knew the climate and weather, understood the balance of life in an area. We used to see ourselves as a part of that cycle, a part of that ecosystem, a part of this world, which we reside. We also knew the warning signs of ecological danger looming, sudden die-offs, sudden change in availability of game, change in behavior, sudden onset of disease ravaging a population, new predators outside of their normal ranging grounds & normal hunting patterns. Changes in plant survivability, change in the local plant consistency and spread, introduction of different invasive species, etc. In longer observations, the health of the animals & the trees, on whether too much water locally has been depleted without being able to be replenished, or due to development, succumbing to runoff instead of absorbed. Clearcutting, industrial runoff, encroachment of developments, clearcropp farming, and mono-cropping, these things do not help either.

Now, aside of sport & bragging rights, or new weekend-warrior adventuring, thrill seeking, or selfie-thrill seeking, this world is alien to us, aside of distant observations, scenic recognition, apart, detached, or relic of the past being preserved, but not seen as interactive part of the present, save tourism and park recognition. As Wendell Berry argued, that the natural, beyond the scenic, it of itself, has lost its intrinsic value & appreciation, seen instead as a blank canvas, given meaning by OUR actions, and our decisions on what should be preserved. Given how short our history on this planet has been, thus far, that is mighty upstart of us, shortsighted, and definitely showing how much we still have to learn about the long-game of life biologic. We can read the icy depth in cores, or digest the rock formations, to get some information of the past, but remember this… much of that history was without humankind and their influence. There are patches of time without life at all. This world is not immune in its history of having to start from ground zero, and can do so again. This world is living, well outside of our means & influence, has a motion and reactionary pulse, separate from our artificial creations. We may be disrupting and destroying in our greed machine, but in the long-game, we’ll scorch this earth in deforestation and depletion, and it is our own foot we are cutting off at the Achilles’ heel.

Now, returning to the topic of the gods themselves, we are remiss in one key feature, in our manifestation and realization, an area glossed over, easily taken for granted, and missed entirely by others: The gods are not our creation, we are theirs. We don’t hold a monopoly on their being, character, knowledge, and reaction/response, and certainly do not hold solidly beyond conjecture, our importance in their everyday existence. Their interaction with us is due to THEIR choosing to interact with us, making themselves available to us, sharing of their knowledge and experiences with us, blessings and obstacle removal, etc. But they also do so because they want to, they are invested in us. Yes, we have the means of an immortality of the Gods, but that isn’t the God’s knowledge of themselves, their being etc, mark me, they’ll survive even if we don’t. Even if all lore of them is lost to mankind, doesn’t mean the gods themselves are gone, just our knowledge OF them.. OUR knowledge, OUR understanding of them, Our grasp of our own cultural roots, origin, and heritage. That would be our loss, though would be felt by them too. All life wants to be remembered, even the Gods. It is an act of respect, love, and celebration, gratitude.

That said, the nutshell,… the god’s do not need us humans in order to survive for themselves, but for the benefits we humans gain from knowing of them, and learning from them, having them in our lives, an thus, understanding ourselves better, better than our basest natures & aspects.


Posted May 16, 2019 by taliesinsmandolin in Deaf Paganism, Wiccan

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