Integrity in Speaking about the Gods

This entire autumn has raised awareness for me, in a theological sense, of something that I never considered before; namely that, when speaking of our Gods, it is incorrect and grossly unethical to state categorically that “Deity X likes [insert belief or behavior here] (1). It’s one thing to share insights into a Deity’s nature within the devotional relationship (always implicitly mediated by our own human understanding), and quite another to project our own opinions onto a God.

I think we recognize this right away when the sentiment being ascribed to a God is something like the Westboro Baptist Church with their “God hates F*gs” rhetoric. It’s hateful, gross, ugly and of course we all agree, the Gods, including theirs, don’t think so. That makes sense, right? Well, the opposite is also true and it kind of blew my mind when it was pointed out to me.

I was auditing a class and when the professor noted this I and several of the other students almost fell out of our chairs. We were reading a piece by Rowan Williams (chapter one of his On Christian Theology).Williams notes that (in theological or political discourse – he briefly noted the latter as a segue into his theological discussion) “to make what is said invulnerable by displacing its real subject matter is a strategy for retention of power (2).” This is true regardless of which end of the social scale is utilizing this tactic. What that means, essentially, is that to speak for God is to grant oneself the absolute agency of God. Williams goes on to discuss what constitutes honest and potentially fruitful theological discourse, namely that it invites discussion and response, and most importantly of all, it does not claim to speak in any unqualified way for God. In the course of the class, we were going to be reading MLKs “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and the professor pointed out that just like Westboro Baptist Church is making absolutist claims about their God, so is MLK (3). We happen to agree with MLK (and I think, rightly so!) and because of that, such a rhetorical choice slips by us.   

It’s easy to see the lack of integrity when the sentiments expressed are so incredibly vile like Westboro Baptist, but what about when they’re something we completely agree with, like homophobia is bad. Or, what about, to give an example that was recently brought to my attention, someone who firmly believes “Thor hates racists (4).” My understanding from reading Williams is that he would push for interrogations and reconsideration of those statements too, perhaps most especially because we accept and agree (thus removing the apparent need for further and deeper consideration).

I also think such rhetoric, potentially elevates our divisions and categories as something embedded in our cosmology and in the desires of our Gods which in turn reifies those divisions in ways that also reify the problems caused by them. But there’s a bigger question at play here. Why is it so important that our Gods ratify our decisions not to be complete assholes?  Why do we need our Gods to tell us that racism is bad? Shouldn’t we be able to reason that out for ourselves? The bodies we wear, after all, in all their glorious brokenness, are part of the condition of being human. It does not follow that such corporeality is relevant to the condition of being a God (5). Are we so ill-prepared for moral reasoning that we have to push it all onto our Gods?

I think this goes right back to the place we have been conditioned to ascribe to both religion and morality. In the polytheistic world, religion was not about determining ethics and morality. It was a set of protocols for engaging properly with the Holy Powers. Developing virtue, character, one’s morality, one’s ethics – all of that came from education, culture, and most of all philosophy. It’s only monotheisms really that traditionally elide all these things under ‘religion,’ but we’ve grown up in a monotheistic society and we ourselves instinctively default to this same equation as “normal” and “correct.”

There’s a larger issue at play here too. In speaking from the POV of the Gods, unqualified, unmediated, and doing so while at the same time ascribing our opinions and politics and feelings to those Gods, we are distorting the role of religion. We are making it instead a clique – and this is true regardless of what side of the political spectrum we’re on, regardless of what feelings we are expressing, regardless of what issues are at play. We are setting up a litmus test for determining who might approach the Gods. We are determining who is licit in Their eyes. We are determining who can pray to our Gods. We are blocking those who do not fit our agenda from cultus, even if they themselves are fulfilling all the requirements of proper religious practice (6).

Then there is the reality that taking responsibility for our moral choices deepens our character and our ability to stand on our own two feet in performance of our religious obligations too. It makes us better, fuller human beings on every level. Devotion is not a weapon. It should be the one place we can come together in unqualified veneration of Gods within our traditions. It matters how we talk about our Gods and it matters even more when we presume to speak for Them.

Notes:

  1. I think it’s fine to say “Freya seems to like strawberries.” That’s passing on information that will help another devotee make a good offering. But to say ‘Freya hates TERFS,” well, probably, but I still think it’s wrong to state such a thing as unqualified fact. You don’t know. You’re assuming. You’re projecting your own opinion onto a Deity and presenting it as unqualified fact. If we are looking at lore alone, we could say Freya is a Goddess of women and I think this can open up a very fruitful discussion about trans issues, and I think that there is enough in the lore about Frey and Freya to make the assumption that neither Deity would support gender exclusion but I would still argue that one should qualify that as extrapolation and inference, not unqualified fact. It’s one thing to say, for instance, that Odin is the God of soldiers. We know that from the lore. It’s quite another to say that Odin * likes * soldiers. He may. It’s not an illogical assumption, but it’s pretentious assuming the perspective, the point of view of Odin to infer His emotional register and preferences. It’s projecting our own limited way of looking at the world onto the Gods and that is a conscious choice to likewise limit the Gods themselves, putting us in Their place and granting to us Their authority. It becomes more complicated since we are religions of diviners and oracles, but even there, there is an obligation to be as clear as possible, to assume nothing, to make sure that the interstices of our humanity are articulated without ambiguity.
  2. His argument is fascinating, complex, and thought-provoking – far beyond the scope of this blog post but I encourage people to read the book, or at least the first chapter. I read it in September and it’s been percolating in my brain and affecting the way I write about the Gods since, because I think he’s correct both in the theological inaccuracies such language promulgates and the power play that so often lies behind its use. Now I do think it is perfectly acceptable for an elder or teacher within a tradition to speak to the boundaries and practices of the tradition, because their sacred work is specifically nourishing and sustaining their religious tradition and helping to pass it on in a clean and thorough way. That is different though from saying, “Deity X thinks…” with no other categorization. Even saying, “within the bounds of this tradition, this is how we interpret thus and such a story about God X” opens up the discourse in a way that taking on the role and voice of a God simply does not. The latter is a presumption bordering on hubris.
  3. If you haven’t read this, go here and read it now. It’s one of the key documents of the 20thcentury civil rights movement and a powerful indictment of the moral fence-sitting happening amongst white clergy during protests against segregation in Alabama. It is where we get King’s famous dictum, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
  4. This blog has been problematic for a while. The owner has a bug up her ass about me and my work despite the fact that, to my knowledge, I’ve never met her. So, given how much and how often she slanders me, I’ve no problem using her as an example here lol. She’s constantly posting unqualified statements like ‘Freya hates TERFS’ and ‘Thor hates racists.’ Can we infer that? Probably, BUT it’s simply wrong on a very deep theological level to state such a thing without the qualificationof “I think that,” or “From my experience,” etc. Doing so implies that we know the feelings, opinions, and will of a Deity fully and as human beings, that is simply never the case. It puts us in the position of our Gods.
  5. Since our cosmology teaches both that we were created carefully by the Gods and endowed with certain characteristics (breath, warmth, and sense, i.e. the ability to reason) and also that the Gods moved amongst us further fathering children, I think one can make a carefully reasoned and coherent theological argument against racism. I would still word it very carefully however, when alluding to what the Gods Themselves might feel or think, no matter how sure we think we are. It’s good practice, a good habit to get into.
  6. For instance, while I find Fred Phelps and company utterly, irredeemably vile I can think of no one who more “needs Jesus” or some other God, the leavening influence of cultus, the elevating influence of proper religious observance to cultivate what little humanity the troglodyte has left.

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on December 6, 2019, in Lived Polytheism, theology, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Very much agreed…

    One tiny matter: in your final footnote, it sounds as if Phelps is still alive. He’s actually been dead for a number of years now…but his wife and several of their most vociferous children are still around (the ones that didn’t utterly leave the church and couldn’t stand what it had become, anyway). It’s amazing how much air time and public knowledge they have when even some of the smaller organized efforts at polytheism out there outnumber them by many members…!?! Your sentiments still absolutely apply, but he has very little humanity left in him at the moment by default, since he is, to paraphrase the famous Monty Python sketch, “an ex-human!” 😉

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  2. Reblogged this on The Stone Pillar and commented:
    One of the wisest things you will read all today. This touches on so many issues in our community in regards to how we talk about the Gods. It’s a must-read!

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  3. I usually just try to say in my experience such and such a diety has communicated x to me. That said, how can we discern between the messages the gods wish us to pass on and those that are just meant for us? Well in my experience, that just comes with trial and error. In time you find a system that works for you. I have a different perspective than you though, you believe the gods do not need us, in my experience they do. In my experience they have bodies in their realms and their spirits travel here, like ours do to visit their realms. Of course I am not a God but I find that when it comes to having power in this realm, I can influence it more directly than a God but with the gods behind me, it’s much more effective.

    In my experience, relationships with the gods and spirits are symbiotic in nature. I’ve also experienced only some entities being able to see me when I visit other realms and that when I am in other realms, I sometimes borrow a body. So I mean, we all have different world views, traditions and experiences that make our practices what they are. If you consider that maybe the gods are not all powerful, it changes speaking for them, so to speak. As in, when they ask you to speak for them, are we not supposed to? When they tell us to stand up for our virtues, do we not need to consider that? In my experience spirit work is political and it has impact on this world. I’ve made deals and seen great change but I also see the components that lead to it. How it takes the actions of others in tune with the universe to occur, for things to fall into place and that seems to involve other humans, in my experience.

    I do however understand the fear of speaking for the gods causing harm, it has to myself and others I know. I agree it takes discernment and being responsible for your actions to do any work on behalf of the gods, because it is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously. There can be serious repercussions to doing this work, I know that as well as most who do it, but I believe it’s worth it and accept the risk. I want to better understand how we make sure we don’t cross the line. What do you do to discern when and when not to pass on a message? Balancing it, I just figured out by messing it up a lot personally. How do we make sure that those called to this work have the support they need? What can we do to reduce harm in the process of learning? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I think they’re important to think about. I think they’re important to begin working on as well. I also think we need to consider that we also have an impact here that can be great. We need to take the power we weild seriously and make all efforts to ensure not to abuse it.

    In my experience it takes support from others who do the same work, who can agree to disagree and can understand another’s perspective and how powerful it can be as a tool. Finding those people is soul filling. I wish we could all have the support we needed because discussions like these need to happen and when we are all so unwilling to agree to disagree, we are no longer working to weave our worlds together and working on these problems.

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    • I very much do not believe that the Gods need us. To say that, puts us on an equal footing to the Gods. It allows us to share in Their power –or to think that we do. It makes Them dependent on us, which is an upsetting of the natural cosmic hierarchy. That is my reasoning there.

      Of course our work in this world is more successful with the Gods behind it. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do what we understand to be Their work for us. I’m saying that in theological discussion, when speaking about the Gods, we should avoid taking on Their voice and speaking from Their perspective. Even in divination and oracle work, it is implicitly understood that the God in question is speaking through the framework and lens of a flawed human. In divination there’s always an element of interpretation and translation happening. In oracle work not necessarily so much, but then the oracle must be committed to highest integrity, must be willing to set his or her humanity completely aside to accommodate the work in the moment. this is called discernment.

      When you say the relationships are symbiotic, I would say reciprocal — like any good relationship. For instance, I don’t *need* a relationship with my best friend to function and exist. It’s lovely though to have it and of course I care for that person and we do things with and for each other. Such reciprocity is inherent in any healthy relationship. I would avoid the symbiosis because I do not think that the Gods’ power, being, or essence depends in any way on us, something that would be implied by “symbiosis.”

      and yes, i’ve seen the Gods corporeally too but it’s not the type of fleshly corporeality that we have as human beings in Midgard. that’s an essay for another day. 🙂

      it doesn’t matter to me whether the Gods are omnipotent or not. They are still Gods and WE are not. It changes nothing when it comes to the integrity of speaking for them (and divination and oracle work is a special case, which I noted both times I wrote about this, a case separate from theological discourse. Even more care is needed there). I believe very much our ontological purpose, our reason for being is to serve the Gods in Their work of sustaining creation. If something can be done by collaborating with Them, then it is our obligation to do that. This does not mean that we are in any way Their equal or that we are necessary to Their continued being.

      You ask a really good question: what do I do to make sure to discern when and when not to pass on a message? If i am in the ordered space of a diviner, i have already done prayer and purification before the client shows up, before I sit down at the mat to begin and I will allow that entire process to guide me. If i’m not in that space, I will pray. I will reach out and trust my relationship with the Deity in question and I will phrase what I say carefully, perhaps something to the effect of “I’m getting a really strong sense from Deity X that…” not “Thor says you should….”. It allows for the flaw of my own humanity, glitches in translation, and it allows for further process of discernment. I may be 110% that Thor wants x,y,z from my client but I’m more likely to say, “This is what i’m getting from Him…”

      How do we make sure those called to this work have the support they need? Another excellent question. Our communities could stop being fucking cunts about it for one thing. At this point, we shouldn’t still be arguing about whether or not the Gods can call someone to service and yet I see this all the time. Our communities, such as they are have a hell of a long way to go.

      I encourage anyone who has a vocation for priesthood, who is called as a shaman, spiritworker, or who is a mystic or any other similar calling to develop their own support network, because it’s so incredibly important. Find those also doing the work that you trust, perhaps those who are elders in your tradition or in service to your God(s), those who are your peers in the work, those friends who may not be doing it but who support you, hell, get good medical care too! This is crucially important. Our communities aren’t stepping up. They’re recalcitrant and frankly don’t respect the Gods or those who serve Them overall…there is still a huge learning curve there for a number of reasons. I think in time our communities will get where they need to be — probably not in our lifetimes but eventually as our traditions grow and become properly intergenerational– but we’re not there yet.

      Gods aren’t safe though and in the end, in the parameters of engagement, it’s not safe and nothing will make it so. We learn our protocols for engagement. We maintain piety. We tend to dealing with miasma. We learn as best we can honoring our Gods and dead and we pray. it’s exhausting work and yes, having a properly functioning community would help immensely to defraying some of that, but in the end, there’s always a cost to be paid. As we learn more, we can pass it on, talk about it, share ideas, share what works and doesn’t, even cautionary tales. It can be exhausting and grueling but it doesn’t have to be so due to lack of support and knowledge. That latter is what we have to change.

      And I don’t know the answers either but i agree: it’s important we talk about these things.

      and we need to do that even when we disagree — maybe most especially then.

      Thank you for chiming in!

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  4. I believe that one of the problems is that in Neo-Paganism from which comes a few Polytheists, is that anything goes. There are no rules or protocols. This is because the people involved are horribly scarred by Christianity. They experienced abuse in that religion, and it underlies much of their relations and thoughts about the Gods. For example, you cannot question God’s plan even it means abuse. So coming into Polytheism, they cannot trust Gods or even allow Them to have any agency. Therefore they dictate what and who the Gods are or are not.

    It is also a product of the culture of Monotheistic thinking which does not allow for diversity of views. It denies any view but the correct one. Since a lot of Neo-Paganism is also secular Progressive, they insist on that truth as the only truth.

    Ah, tmblr. Said person is also the one who runs the Valkeryie Squad on tmblr. Said group decides which blogs are safe to read. i.e. anti-whatever. They have set themselves up for polytheists much like the Catholic Church and their banned reading lists.

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    • very much like the Catholic church but without any education, knowledge, or common sense. *Snorts*

      Neptunesdolphin, I think you are absolutely right in what you note to be causative of some of this nonsense.

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  5. it cracks me up. I mean, im sure that I will say something that you can disagree with. you don’t have to make shit up. Just be patient. lol.

    there’s some lunatic on tumblr that keeps saying i corresponded by email and said xyz terrible thing. (i’ve no idea who the person is and never said whatever idiotic thing du jour they’re asribing to me, nor ever emailed to my knowledge). When that doesn’t get a rise, they will change it. “i corresponded in email with her and she said abc”. *rolls eyes*. Why do they care? I mean, spend half that time honoring your Gods. you’d be better for it. it’s always the people actually doing shit for their traditions adn Gods that they go after. Reminds me of something a client said to me once: “your competence makes me feel small.” Well, sorry sister. I’m not suddenly going to become incompetent so you can feel good about yourself.

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    • One thing is that a lot of this posturing and determining whether Thor hates TERFs is it is unearned power. The tmblr is full of people who set themselves up as the experts and as the determiners of what is right and holy. Instead of actually doing the work and putting themselves out there, it is easier to gain power through pronouncements. It is easier to tear someone down by calling “Nazi,” than to engage them.

      I find a lot of this is similar to what McCarthy did with Communists under the beds. He set it up as a way to throw people off and to unsettle them. Then they would have to look to him for his ok of their well-being. People were so busy examining themselves, that few questioned McCarthy and his motives. It is a sly way of getting power by making people fearful and seeking authority.

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  6. Sorry if this doesn’t reply in the right place. I’m new to posting here. Yeah in my experience with the gods I have had to fight them for my right to exist. They basically said if I wasn’t going to do their work, their way, that I might as well be dead. They said this after I disagreed with them when I asked them why someone died. They told me their reasons, they showed me all the rituals and failure to follow through with promises that occurred in my community that led to the death of a member. They basically told me, they had to die because they needed a human sacirifce, to which I told them to go screw themselves. Then I battled them for 6 weeks as they tried to bend my will and while I did experience ego death during this process, when I came back I knew what I had to do. In the end they had to give into my demands because I told them enough or I’d stop working for them even if it meant I had to kill myself. I did that because of what I understood about anchor points and how important they are. I don’t ever recommend people go to the lengths I had to. Had I had proper support, I wouldn’t have needed to go to such extremes but the only thing that got them to back down was refusing to do their work in this world by taking myself off the board. If they didn’t need me, they wouldn’t care where I was in space and time. They need me here at this point in space and time so I took the opportunity to renegotiate my terms with them. So while I don’t think I’m powerful in the same way as a God, I know what power I do weild and I’ve fought off enough gods to know, we have more power than people think we do. That’s why I disagree with you, in my experience what I speak of has been proven true. In my experience it is my responsibility to mediate between the spirits and man because that is what they have me do, constantly. So while I believe yeah, some people’s relationships aren’t symbiotic with the gods, in my experience, mine is. That’s not to say they won’t exist without me but they certain would have less influence here, the same could be said for if any of their people turned from them, in my experience though they value some here more than others. I was told that without our connection to them in this world, they lack power in this world and that connections to other realms has its benefits. What they told me was that the more they have here, the more power they have here and that each person has their benefits to them and are important in their own way.

    In my experience egregores are just souls, and all souls are pieces of others that make a whole. While a group can have an egregore and group mind, in my experience there is an individual that represents the group which is a personification of the egregore and the spirits who make part of the group mind which are seperate. So the gods are egregore but not the way most people think of egregores, my reasoning for this is because I experienced the lives of those who live within me and when I zoomed out, it looked a lot like how an egregore is said to function. The thing is egregores don’t cease to exist but they can lose access to points in space and time, much like the evolution of a soul. In my experience, a soul is a soul, the rules of each realm is what is different. How we interact with that realm is based on our coordinates in space and time. I do not cease to exist because the gods do not want me to exist either. I know of several gods who want me off the chess board, I just refuse to do so. Maybe I was just too much of a fight for them to overpower but in my experience, that’s what is happening. The egregores and group minds are being controlled by humans and entities that have specific goals in mind and because of a lack of awareness these entities have been able to get away with abuse. I think it’s our duty to question the gods and to question our fellow man but not to railroad or bypass their free will. I literally mean question, I mean ask them a question and get them thinking about it. I find eventually illusions shatter, it’s just a matter of time. For a long time I thought my experience was a delusion, I know you don’t see it the way I do but I feel like you don’t do the work I do in the same way and each way in necessary for things to function properly. My understanding of how egregores work is precisely what allows me to do my work. If I didn’t understand it this way, I couldn’t do their work here. Essentially I’m just an animist who noticed that there are multiple levels of reality, even within a soul. I know it doesn’t make sense to everyone and that’s okay, it’s a developing thing. I also disagree with ceremonial magick theory on egregores, I found even our human souls are egregores. Who we are is just a culmination of all our parts, the pieces that ended up in the vessel and who we choose to be. I think of egregores more like bodies and just like how we have many organisms living in and on our bodies, our souls seem to be very similar.

    Sorry if this doesn’t make sense, there are too many different ways of saying the same thing. I struggle with choosing the best one a lot of the time. I know this is very different from your experience.

    You say they are gods and we are not but in my experience I am capable of doing the same things they are. Like them I find strength in numbers and I see value in every soul. I do not discriminate between souls at all because the soul body in my experience is the same whether we’re in this human form or not, whether we are a God or not. What matters is which layer you’re looking at, because there are multiple within a being, above me is a higher being. Doesn’t mean they’re better, they’re not me but I am part of it for example. In this way the gods are part of our egregores here but also an egregore themselves because within them is more life and above them is more life too. I don’t think everyone has been privy to the things I have been so I don’t expect others to agree with me, especially not someone who it clearly works differently for. I think we just have different roles to play. I have a very weak ego, I have to fight to keep it. That makes me a valuable asset to the gods and uniquely able to channel them but it also means I’m easily influenced. Discernment has taken time, trial and error but this is what works for me and this is how things function for me. Nothing I can do about that now. Believe me it would be so much easier to just give in and become solely an extension of the gods instead of be an individual but I decided that I wanted to live for myself, not just my gods. I decided to value myself enough to maintain a sense of identity because I learnt the hard way that blind faith has consequences I am not willing to live with.

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  7. (oh and because when I was shown the soul of a God it was the same way with ages extra layers which is just more time / experience. The gods are our elders but it doesn’t mean they’re perfect and it doesn’t mean they don’t need to change with the times.)

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    • Firstly, whether or not the Gods need to change or whether or not They are perfect is not for us to determine. They are so far above us in the cosmological food chain that They might as well be perfect. there is an essential ontological difference between us and the Holy powers, one based on Their nature and Their origin as arbiters and architects of creation. Secondly, the first rule of our work is to know our place in the hierarchy and if you can’t do that, you’re useless to your Gods. Assuming that we are like Them or worse, equal to Them in any way is grossest impiety.

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  8. and whether or not what we speak as spirit workers turns out to be true (a good spirit worker should have 99% efficacy imo), does not absolve us from the moral imperative to acknowledge our own infallibility most especially when we speak on behalf of the Gods.

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  9. And if you think that you are a God, i say you should get mental help. What miracles have you performed? What worlds have you created? Take your pollution and get the hell off my space.

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  10. I guess what I’m getting at is, how do we cope with people projecting their garbage onto us? How do we check ourselves before we wreck ourselves so we do t do what you’re speaking of in the article? In my experience getting to know yourself well does this. The better you understand yourself the better you can remove your own bias from the information we recieve spiritually. I personally do not find purifications and mind set prep to be fool proof for discernment. In my experience you must also be aware of your own bias in order to convey the appropriate message. I just know what I know and later it might change, I don’t know. Things change, I know I’m onto something, it’s not complete but this has allowed me to do things I didn’t know were possible before and it is just as valid as everyone else’s theories and experiences. I’m so used to being bullied for my thoughts and feelings I’m here trying to figure out how I communicate these things without others feeling threatened. How do you deal with those who want you to be less than? How do you deal with those who want to steal your fire? I know you don’t agree and may even find my theories laughable, I’m honestly okay with that. I usually am laughed at for a few years before more people start to speak about what I percieve but I’m never alone. I respect you a great deal honestly because even though we have very different work views I somehow doubt you’d ever be disrespectful to me unless I was to you. I feel you are honorable and even if I say something stupid, my spirit is still safe with you. Thank you for that by the way. Like you I am not for everyone but I recognize authenticity when I percieve it. I’m grateful for the space to say my words without fear of ridicule. I mean that sincerely and from the bottom of my heart. (sorry for typos and multiple comments. I really needed the safe space to speak my truth. Thank you.

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  11. So this person has been blocked from commenting. I’m not here to provide safe space for the impious to speak their truth. The moment one says that one is equal to the Gods or a God him/herself, they’re gone. There is a level spiritual pollution that one should not have to endure on this site. it’s psychotic delusion masquerading as poor theology.

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  12. There is one good question here: how do we cope with people projecting their garbage onto us?

    Well, as someone who has been lied about, slandered, attacked, threatened for my theological and spiritual work for the better part of 25 years, let me say that the best way to cope is to keep one’s devotional work consistent and clean, pray often, and remember priorities: what the Gods think matters a thousand times more than what ever any human being might think. If you are right with your Gods and working hard to maintain that relationship and doing what you can to develop into a virtuous human being (in the classical sense) with character then what do the words and thoughts of naysayers mean?

    you cannot do any work of any integrity when you allow yourself to care at all about what people you do not know and will probably never meet think. Do your work. That is the only thing that matters.

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  13. I’ll go so far as to add, as a PSA: if you have some being whispering to you that you don’t need to have humility before the Gods, that you are Their equal, that you are a God or any of that nonsense, news flash: you’re not dealing with a Deity, you’re dealing with a malicious spirit. Not only might you require therapy but more likely a god damned exorcism.

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    • I don’t want to dwell on it anymore than it really needs to be dwelled on but I counted more than a dozen indicators in that person’s comments that say that they really need to re-evaluate their life choices and get some help. Anyone who says “The gods are bothering me so I’ll threaten to kill myself!” is not on the right path in life.

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