Reading is Fundamental

I recently saw an aggregate blog, started by a couple of the most assed up pagans i’ve ever known who couldn’t reason their way out of a paper bag, that mentioned Miasma. Typically and unsurprisingly it demonstrated a complete lack of comprehension of what miasma is. You know, I sometimes wonder if the G&R crowd have basic literacy skills. After all, not only are our blogs fairly clear about the whole thing but there is a wealth of academic knowledge on the subject as well, starting with Parker’s seminal work “Miasma.” Reading really is fundamental, folks. 

Anyway, on this website an author makes the comment that to a Gaelic polytheist ‘our Gods are not unclean.’ Thank you, Captain obvious. Again, have you bothered to read anything we’ve written or, more likely, are you purposely muddying the waters? No one in anything having been written by anyone who actually comprehends what miasma is has said anything about the *Gods* being unclean. 

Miasma isn’t a question of the Gods being unclean, it’s a question of us — the human part of that equation — being in a state that renders us unclean. Moreover, there is no value judgment on that word ‘unclean.’ Not one of us is playing Diamanda Galas screaming out the verses of Leviticus “unclean! unclean!” as though someone miasmic has to be stoned. Being unclean as a result of miasma is a simple matter to rectify. Sometimes it even occurs as a result of normal and good things. When I engage with my dead, for instance, tending my ancestor shrines or visiting cemeteries, I am unclean. I am fit for contact with the dead but not for sacred spaces of my Gods. I cleanse and all is well. 

Perhaps we should be glad that these people don’t tend to their physical hygiene with the same care that they so obviously do not give their spiritual. 

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Posted on August 17, 2016, in Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. As for physical hygiene… Some don’t

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  2. That last line had me laughing…in a sad, frustrated way. No idea what blog you’re referring to but there is a lot of truth in this post.
    It makes me think of this man who went to Japan and asked his host-mom why he needed to take his shoes off, is it some sort of ritual? She smacked him on the back of the head and said “Do you really need to be told that your shoes are dirty?”

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  3. songofscotland

    Ohhh, it took the first sentence for me to know exactly which blog this is about. Glad to see you weighing in on this – I think a lot of people just looked at the word and proceeded to blog about it without doing any further research at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well you can’t expect them to READ things before they REACT can you? You’re oppressing them with your standards and your intellectual privilege!

    I notice, for instance, that several posts there claim that some people (probably meaning you, me, and others we know) are saying you can’t be a polytheist and be political, or care about social justice. Of course, not one of us has ever said that. In fact, the only people making a definitive blanket “must” statement in that regard are the G&R crowd who state that every pagan MUST be political. And yet… funny… all these people whining about polytheists who insist there are standards and definitions for polytheism don’t seem to have a problem with that one!

    Could it be because they don’t really have a rational argument, but are just reacting emotionally to the perception that someone they don’t like is telling them what to do? Because apparently it’s just fine if someone they DO like tells them what to do. (Especially if it’s what they already wanted to do anyway!)

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    • ganglerisgrove

      I suspect they feel small in the face of anyone who does anything for their Gods and who doesn’t give themselves reasons and excuses for failure.

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  5. I have read all the blogs at the site you mentioned. One thing did occur to me, some of them have stated that they are neuro-divergent – as in their brains are autistic or something like that. As someone with a brain injury, I can empathise with them since reading is a difficult thing – the words get mixed up in your brain. However, I also learnt to know that words get mixed up in my brain, to re-read, and to keep asking questions of understanding.

    Quite a few blogs are difficult for me to read. For example, PVSL and Rhyd have writing that is difficult to pierce. I struggle with them and others. I usually print it off-line and read it through a few times. Which is why I am slower to react to these things. Some blogs, I have given up since my efforts yield little.

    The Internet is a reactive medium, that causes people to react first and think later. I do believe that they read a trigger word or are ready to react since it is a subject they dislike or a blogger they dislike. I wonder if miasma was mentioned by some of the more popular bloggers if there would be such a hue and cry. I wonder if miasma was mentioned in context to something else that people were not so invested in, if there would be such a hue and cry. It seems that a lot of these blogs are reactive to the people in their heads, that you and others have reminded them of.

    In other words, I see people fighting battles in their heads that come out on paper. Others agree or disagree since it feeds into what is going on in their heads.

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  6. One more comment. I read all the blogs at the site you mentioned. And what struck me was how they all bristled against authority of any kind. They kept stressing they were the ones who defined what they do, they and their Gods. That none else could tell them what to do or not. In other words, we are dealing people with monotheistic baggage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, they all have a very childish reaction to any perceived authority (even when it’s not really an authority in their lives – I mean someone writing something on the internet doesn’t actually have any control over you and you could just ignore them entirely). Many extend that even to the gods – like, they will resist accepting that even the gods can tell them what to do. It’s a puerile spirituality, and it shows.

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