Why paganism?

I will check into Process Theology and Whitehead.

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Ah…yes it is. Just googled the answer to my own question. I can remember writing about Process thought when I was doing my M.Div in an essay trying to reconcile an omnipotent god with evolutionary process without turning god into a dictator. Process thought taught that the divine respects the free will of all creation and does not force evolutionary jumps but offers it as opportunities from the temporal future which creation (being subjective and implicitly animist) is free to accept or reject.

But how does this relate to gods growing with their followers other than by giving the gods a somewhat temporal nature?

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I don’t want to speak for @Fuego1 since it was him that brought the conncept up, I just named it, but I would think that Process Theology works with Paganism in the way that it says that the Gods learn from us as we learn from them. As we change our world and our society they learn from those changes through their relationships with us. Is that what you’re getting at @Fuego1 ?

And given that there isn’t an omni-model in Paganism I would say it doesn’t conflict. I’m not espousing it but I like these discussions. :upside_down_face:

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Well, my take would be that if evolution or devolution is by free will, as is acceptance or rejection, then it can only start with one who accepts and evolves with the old gods.
As people see some odd change in the individual, then their curiosity will peak and will eventually ask why and how they changed for the better. That outside person may then review their life and seek a change for the better that they don’t find in the new gods.
Eventually a small following starts and grows, then the old gods become the new gods, and the once new gods become old gods.
And the world becomes better.

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Look at E.A. Koetting and others that actually found change in the lesser acknowledged gods.

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Yes. Both would learn from each other in different ways, and they would both experience each other, even if partial or full posession does not occur.

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A lot of people who turn to Paganism do so because they found something in it that they need that is missing in the modern world and dominant Religion of their area.

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My original study was going to be theology and anthropology, but opted eventually for computer science.

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The mythologies are stories that illustrate the attributes of the god. The gods are aspects of the universe as well as aspects of ourselves. We being microcosm of the larger universe. The demons of the goetia are in fact these very same aspects of the universe.
The stories are not literal but metaphorical and or allegorical to help one grasp and comprehend certain concepts.

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what is the allegorical truth behind the rape of Ganymede (as an example)?

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That’s a good question, let’s investigate further shall we?
In the myth Zeus turns into an eagle to carry away the boy to be cup bearer for the gods because of his beauty. Hermes consoles the boys father and delivers the horses of the gods as his compensation. The boy is granted immorality and eternal youth and beauty.

So what does it mean?
The name Ganymede means Ganu (taking pleasure in) and Med meaning (mind).
So Ganymede means a mind one can take pleasure in.
Moving on.
He is the only one of Zeus’s lovers to obtain immorality from the god.
Sex being an act that has more meaning than simply pleasure. Also it was not uncommon in ancient Greece to see the practice of pediastria. In order to fully understand what the Greeks were meaning you need to understand ancient Greek culture and moral codes which were very different from our own.
In this story the boy is given a great privilege to be the cup bearer of the gods.

If we look at it from an allegory perspective we see that the relationship between Zeus and Ganymede is one that is more of a business deal between Zeus and the father of Ganymede. Ganymede is not necessarily abducted and raped but more of given a great privilege and rewards for his services.
He is rewarded for being a pleasing conversationalist and his ability to entertain and play games with the gods.
The big picture the allegory, the moral of the story is…
Although the body may age the mind can remain forever young should one have a playful attitude and exercise the intellect.
The sex if Zeus ever actually had any with Ganymede is a representation of male bonding in this case it shows that when one bonds their mind to taking pleasure in the mental activities one maintains a fresh beautiful mind for ever.

This is just one of the many layered meanings one can derive from this rich allegorical and metaphorical myth.

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Beautiful! Xenophon himself could not have said it more eloquently :wink: Reminds of the four methods of interpretation that the medieval churchmen used to interpret scriptures; the allegorical being only one of the four. The other three being literal, tropological and anagogical.

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I can’t help but comment on another allegorical truth unveiled by a reading of the myth of the Fenris wolf. The wolf was the child of Loki and was watched over by the gods in Asgard until they grew fearful of his strength and secretly plotted to bind him. They tricked him into a game whereby he could test his strength against various kinds of binding. He was successful at breaking every kind of fetter that they tried on him. Desperate they turned to the dwarves who made the unbreakable Gleipnir. In this final contest he willingly allowed himself to be bound by Gleipnir as the gods had promised to unbind him should he fail to break it. He struggled and struggled while the gods laughed and laughed. He stopped struggling, waiting for the gods to free him. Instead they took one end of Gleipnir and hammered it into the ground deeper than the depths of any ocean. Knowing that he had been tricked, Fenris looked at Odin and said “Treacherous Odin! If you had not lied to me, I would have been a friend to the gods. But your fear has betrayed you. I will kill you, Father of the gods. I will wait until the end of all things, and I will eat the sun and I will eat the moon. But I will take the most pleasure in killing you”.

The allegorical message of this myth seems to be not to trust the word of the gods.

P.S. This version of the myth is taken from Neil Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology”.

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Fear is the omen of a self fulfilled prophecy, not allegorical at all. My favorite norse myth. For me that always sounds like an invitation to get in touch with your inner beast and not as a warning, much still can be learn from it.

Following the argument, there is a Cherokee legend of two wolves; one of darkness and the other of light, there are two versions, in the best known version only the wolf of light is fed so that it submits to the wolf of darkness. But the real version will consider both as equally important forces within oneself, so it feeds both, and for me that is paganism.