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Author Topic: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?  (Read 7661 times)

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2015, 11:44:33 pm »
Quote from: makaroð;175247
Hey all, I've been doing further reading and I somehow stumbled upon Vanatru and Rokkatru.  This is going to be kind of a lengthy post (I've looked through the SIG and didn't see a post like this so forgive me if this is repetitive)

First of all, I know that Raven Kaldera has a "reputation" (...)

It's hard for me to grapple with this.  Religious communities of all types deal with this but I don't think the stereotypical Heathen reflex to reject it all is healthy, nor is the stereotypical neopagan reflex to accept all experiences as valid is either.  How do you discern without rejecting everything outside the lore?  Is personal relationship with deities even possible?  And if so, how should we respond when an author who seemingly knows what they're talking about, such as in Visions of Vanaheim starts talking about how some entities in said realm are open to sex with humans?


I don't know who Raven Kaldera is, but about your initial message and the Jotun discussion in this thread I have two things to say:

1. The word Asatru (Asatro) was coined by Romantic poets in the 19th century. Since they were Lutherans, faith (tru, tro) was of great importance in their conception of what a religion ought to be. Now it seems that modern Norse Pagans not only transmit a word unknown and foreign for the Iron Age Pagans, but also coin new words - Vanatru, Rokkatru - focusing on faith, not practice.

Iron Age religion was orthopractic: Religion was something you practiced by performing blót, not by walking around and maintain doctrinal opinions up in your brain. If anyone want to reconstruct Norse Paganism, it is better to focus on practice, not tru/tro.

2. Iron Age Norse Pagans didn't dissect their si∂r/sed into one religion for Aesir, one for Vanir, one for Elves, one for Jotuns et cetera. It was one cosmology including all the powers.

Jotuns were not seen as unambiguously 'evil'. Several giantesses helped the gods, or were mothers and wifes: Grid, Rind, Gerd, Skade, Natt, Jord. Norwegian university lecturer Gro Steinsland has written about actual worship of jotuns in the Iron Age, but I don't know what is available in English. Since I am into Roman religion and Druidry myself, I haven't read Steinsland extensively.

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2015, 03:45:06 pm »
Quote from: Haggis;178583
I think throwing out all UPG is more harmful. Really wasn't the lore just UPG that spread? I think each person needs to draw their own line, when I read Raven's work and Krasskova's I found myself rolling my eyes, and I was very aware they were trying to sell me their products. I personally believe that if we remove all upg then we will always be behind. There is no way the gods have just been sitting around since the eddas were written. Have the gods figured out how to deal with Surtr? Are they gonna steal his sword? Are they going to trick a dwarf unto making some snake proof armor for Thor? These are questions that we would have to rely on UPG for.  Allowing a few greedy book pushers, and the mentally ill to share their perspectives seems like a small price to pay imo.

 
Can we NOT call people we disagree with mentally ill, as though it's "them crazies" that are the problem?

NOT ONLY is there a long tradition of people being slightly disconnected from this world being MORE connected to the gods - making "mentally ill" an interesting accusation to begin with, in this context - but there are a number of people on this forum, myself among them, who are dealing with various mental conditions.  Is everything we say garbage now?

"Those crazies" is a real problem for a lot of people, especially in pagan circles, where you're already dealing with people that have different views of reality.  It's also a huge problem for anyone that's fighting to get treated like a real person with mental conditions.

You don't like some authors, give reasons.  No one's saying you have to like them.  But please, don't do the "oh, they're just craaaaaaazy" as though that's an excuse to treat them as stupid and irrelevant.  That makes the situation harder for everyone - for people with real mental problems seeking real help, for people looking for information and why someone is/isn't a good answer, for people who just want to be accepted as different.

If the best you've got is "those crazies", you don't actually have anything but a personal attack on the author, and nothing on what they said.  Which is pretty useless.  Even a jerk can be right, after all.

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2015, 04:28:43 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;178622
Can we NOT call people we disagree with mentally ill, as though it's "them crazies" that are the problem?



NOT ONLY is there a long tradition of people being slightly disconnected from this world being MORE connected to the gods - making "mentally ill" an interesting accusation to begin with, in this context - but there are a number of people on this forum, myself among them, who are dealing with various mental conditions.  Is everything we say garbage now?



"Those crazies" is a real problem for a lot of people, especially in pagan circles, where you're already dealing with people that have different views of reality.  It's also a huge problem for anyone that's fighting to get treated like a real person with mental conditions.



You don't like some authors, give reasons.  No one's saying you have to like them.  But please, don't do the "oh, they're just craaaaaaazy" as though that's an excuse to treat them as stupid and irrelevant.  That makes the situation harder for everyone - for people with real mental problems seeking real help, for people looking for information and why someone is/isn't a good answer, for people who just want to be accepted as different.



If the best you've got is "those crazies", you don't actually have anything but a personal attack on the author, and nothing on what they said.  Which is pretty useless.  Even a jerk can be right, after all.


 
Whoa there, I think you misunderstood me. I never called Raven and Galina mentally ill. My mental ill comment was about the above posters saying that some UPGs show signs of mental illness. I would never ever call anyone the crazies. Please reread what I said. It breaks my heart you would think that about me, truly. I do stand by my impressions of Galina and raven seemed more interested in pushing books but I do not think they are "crazy". I personally was hospitalized for 3 years as a child following a suicide attempt. I would never ever want to make anyone feel like I don't care. Please please please reread what I said k? I am a big ol teddy bear. That just makes me feel bad.

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2015, 05:06:26 pm »
Quote from: Haggis;178626
Whoa there, I think you misunderstood me. I never called Raven and Galina mentally ill. My mental ill comment was about the above posters saying that some UPGs show signs of mental illness. I would never ever call anyone the crazies. Please reread what I said. It breaks my heart you would think that about me, truly. I do stand by my impressions of Galina and raven seemed more interested in pushing books but I do not think they are "crazy". I personally was hospitalized for 3 years as a child following a suicide attempt. I would never ever want to make anyone feel like I don't care. Please please please reread what I said k? I am a big ol teddy bear. That just makes me feel bad.

 
What I have is your words.  that's what your words said.  That's how online conversation works.

If that's not what you meant, well, you clarify, apologize, and move on.  That's how conversation works here.

"How could you think that about me" just derails things.

Haggis

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2015, 07:20:51 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;178632
What I have is your words.  that's what your words said.  That's how online conversation works.



If that's not what you meant, well, you clarify, apologize, and move on.  That's how conversation works here.



"How could you think that about me" just derails things.


 
Apologize for what? No one needs to apologize for anything right now. I have been nothing but civil, and if you choose not to return the favor I won't lose any sleep over it. In a few days if you still feel the need to resolve anything feel free to PM me. I don't know you at all but I assume you are a really good person. Going around looking for a fight where there isn't one is no way to live k? Anyway, take care.

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2015, 12:29:51 am »
Quote from: Haggis;178626
Whoa there, I think you misunderstood me. I never called Raven and Galina mentally ill. My mental ill comment was about the above posters saying that some UPGs show signs of mental illness. I would never ever call anyone the crazies. Please reread what I said. It breaks my heart you would think that about me, truly. I do stand by my impressions of Galina and raven seemed more interested in pushing books but I do not think they are "crazy". I personally was hospitalized for 3 years as a child following a suicide attempt. I would never ever want to make anyone feel like I don't care. Please please please reread what I said k? I am a big ol teddy bear. That just makes me feel bad.

 
Quote from: Haggis;178641
Apologize for what? No one needs to apologize for anything right now. I have been nothing but civil, and if you choose not to return the favor I won't lose any sleep over it. In a few days if you still feel the need to resolve anything feel free to PM me. I don't know you at all but I assume you are a really good person. Going around looking for a fight where there isn't one is no way to live k? Anyway, take care.

 
*** MOD HAT ON ***
Haggis,

You can't have it both ways. You claim HeartShadow misunderstood your post and should reread it, while grossly misrepresenting her post. She didn't say you called Raven and Galina mentally ill, she pointed out that speculating about mental illness is inappropriate. If you would 'never ever call anyone the crazies' then why speculate about people being mentally ill in the first place?

We can't possibly know about your underlying intentions or your back history, to tell us how to read between the lines on what you post. We have only the actual words you post. If your own words lead us to think things of you that it hurts you for people to think that of you, that's on you. You need to choose your words more carefully, not attempt to moderate how others respond to those words.

Attempting to moderate others is a violation of our rules, which you agreed to follow when you joined TC.

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Haggis

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2015, 02:39:52 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;178648
*** MOD HAT ON ***
Haggis,



You can't have it both ways. You claim HeartShadow misunderstood your post and should reread it, while grossly misrepresenting her post. She didn't say you called Raven and Galina mentally ill, she pointed out that speculating about mental illness is inappropriate. If you would 'never ever call anyone the crazies' then why speculate about people being mentally ill in the first place?



We can't possibly know about your underlying intentions or your back history, to tell us how to read between the lines on what you post. We have only the actual words you post. If your own words lead us to think things of you that it hurts you for people to think that of you, that's on you. You need to choose your words more carefully, not attempt to moderate how others respond to those words.



Attempting to moderate others is a violation of our rules, which you agreed to follow when you joined TC.



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Just delete my account then. I forget why I take months off at a time until I come back. We had everything settled and calmed down until you chimed in. Seriously I am done with this forum. So much reading between the lines by members and moderators. I seriously have no idea why trying to calm someone who was upset with me can be counted as moderating the forum. Sigh. Goodbye ecauldron.

HeartShadow

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2015, 07:56:18 pm »
Quote from: Haggis;178655
Just delete my account then. I forget why I take months off at a time until I come back. We had everything settled and calmed down until you chimed in. Seriously I am done with this forum. So much reading between the lines by members and moderators. I seriously have no idea why trying to calm someone who was upset with me can be counted as moderating the forum. Sigh. Goodbye ecauldron.

 
Why are you speaking /for me/ as having things calmed down?  For that matter, it was your attempt to "calm" me that was infuriating, before I figured it was simple confusion.

It's not reading between the lines that's the problem.  It's reading you've actually said.

Hyacinth Belle

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2015, 11:18:30 am »
Quote from: Haggis;178655
Just delete my account then. I forget why I take months off at a time until I come back. We had everything settled and calmed down until you chimed in. Seriously I am done with this forum. So much reading between the lines by members and moderators. I seriously have no idea why trying to calm someone who was upset with me can be counted as moderating the forum. Sigh. Goodbye ecauldron.

TC, as a forum of formidable size and history, definitely has its own culture. In and of itself, that's neither a good nor a bad thing. But it is a thing. And members need to seek to understand that culture, not vice versa. IMHO, of course!
"Silent and thoughtful a prince\'s son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2015, 07:43:22 pm »
Quote from: Haggis;178655
Just delete my account then. I forget why I take months off at a time until I come back. We had everything settled and calmed down until you chimed in. Seriously I am done with this forum. So much reading between the lines by members and moderators. I seriously have no idea why trying to calm someone who was upset with me can be counted as moderating the forum. Sigh. Goodbye ecauldron.

*** MOD HAT ON ***
We do not delete accounts -- the rules you agree to read and follow when you signed up clearly state that. However, I will be happy to ban your account as I have zero tolerance for unwarranted attacks on forum staff.
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Mark C.

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2015, 07:11:54 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;178648
*** MOD HAT ON ***
... speculating about mental illness is inappropriate. If you would 'never ever call anyone the crazies' then why speculate about people being mentally ill in the first place?


I find that this forum tends to be way too “politically correct” in this regard. To be unequivocally clear, I don’t think it is right to speculate on the mental health of given individuals, nor is it helpful to resort to ad hominem arguments if one disagrees with someone’s view point. However, it’s also not helpful or heathy if people are “shut down” for discussing, in general terms, the well-established relationship between mental health and religious experience.

There can be no doubt that some “religious experiences” are the result of mental illness, and to discount that fact as “inappropriate” means that there can be no exploration of what is a true religious experience. The following would seem relevant:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_schizophrenia#Schizophrenia_and_religious_delusions

“The relationship between religion and schizophrenia is of particular interest to psychologists because of the similarities between religious experiences and psychotic episodes; religious experiences often involve auditory and/or visual hallucinations, and those with schizophrenia commonly report similar hallucinations, along with a variety of delusions and faulty beliefs.[4] A common report from those with schizophrenia is some type of a religious delusion - that is, they believe they are divine beings, God is talking to them, they are possessed by demons, etc.[5][6][7] In a study of patients with schizophrenia that had been previously admitted to a hospital, 24% had religious delusions.[8] This has led some researchers to question whether schizophrenia leads an individual to become more religious, or if intense religiosity leads to schizophrenia.”

It is therefore inevitable that some of the people who share their “religious experiences” will be suffering from mental illness. If we accept those delusions as always being worthy of legitimate discussion – out of a misplaced concern for being inclusive, tolerant and politically correct – then we lose all objectivity.

Some religious experiences will be the result of illness, and we need to be able to consider that possibility in seeking our own truth. I am fully behind the sentiment that it is not right to attack individuals or speculate on their mental health, but we do need to be able to discuss, in general terms, the fact that mental illness can be at play when people tell us they are married to gods, have had sexual relationships with spirit beings, purport of have a unique insight into the “otherworld” that we should all listen to, etc. Such beliefs are all signs of possible mental illness. It’s therefore a possibility that needs factored in when discussing whether such experiences are legitimate and are to be critically accepted.

Sure we should stay away from saying things like “Specific person X is mentally ill!” but if we ban discussion around statements like “People who hold view Y may be suffering from mental illness; and I’m saying that because scientific studies clearly state that is a possibility” then we are turning our “bullshit filters” down to zero and creating a situation where delusional beliefs have to be accepted as valid.

Here is what I feel to be a perfectly logical and legitimate viewpoint, but I fear I will be lambasted for it due to the prevailing ethos of this forum:

I personally do not believe in the real existence of “spirit beings or gods”. I therefore take the view that people who say they have interacted with such beings are most often reporting a profound and very valuable physiological experience though the metaphor of their preferred mythology. For example, “I felt the presence of Jesus”, “I felt a oneness with the universe”, “I glimpsed enlightenment”, “I felt the love of my ancestors”, “My guardian angel told me everything was going to be OK” are all valid expressions of legitimate “spiritual” experiences. Such experiences are healthy and enriching and would not be considered as a problematic by mental health professionals.

However, there can be no doubt that some “spiritual experiences” are the very likely to be the result of mental illness. When I hear things like, “Odin told me he wanted to marry me”, “The gods revealed to me information they have kept hidden from others and told me to share this information with the world”, “Jesus said you should drink the Kool-Aid”, “The elves wanted to have sex with me” etc I reserve the right to use my discrimination and go with the scientific evidence that suggests a strong possibility of mental illness, and hence reject those beliefs on the basis that I feel they most likely stem from mental illness.

That is not the same as saying those who hold those beliefs are definitely mentally ill. What I am saying is that is what I take to be the most likely explanation for those beliefs. I think it is fair and legitimate to draw that personal conclusion and it’s worrying that that’s somehow seen as illegitimate.

If a person states they have a sexual relationship with Odin it should be OK to state an opposing view along the lines of:  “I don’t think people who hold that belief are engaged in a sexual relationship with a god … but I also don’t think that person is being deliberately dishonest either. I think they believe that they are sleeping with a god, and the only logical conclusion I can reach, based on the facts I have, is that mental illness is the most likely reason a person would hold such a belief.”

If the possibility of mental illness is “banned” from the acceptable considerations of this forum, then you are left with two option:

1 – You must accept all statements as valid and are not allowed to question another’s beliefs no matter how outlandish they seem to you.

2 – If you do not accept the beliefs of another, you must state or infer that they are lying and have not had the experiences they purport to have had.

Surely, the third possibility – a possibility well supported by the scientific literature – is that the person legitimately believes they have had these experiences, but those experiences are the result of mental illness.

Compassion is needed for the mental ill. It’s not right to discuss the mental health of individuals. Instead we should discuss the legitimacy or otherwise of the idea itself (it’s a fine line but that would seem to me to be the only way to be objective and keep on the right side of the line). However, it is also not right to deny the truth that mental illness can result in “religious experiences”. Nor is it right to demonise or label as immoral anyone who includes mental illness as a possibility when critically questioning the legitimacy of the experiences of others; especially when those expressing their views want others to incorporate their potentially delusional beliefs into their personal worldview.

Mark C.

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2015, 07:54:25 am »
Quote from: Mark C.;181312
I find that this forum tends to be way too “politically correct” in this regard. To be unequivocally clear, I don’t think it is right to speculate on the mental health of given individuals, nor is it helpful to resort to ad hominem arguments if one disagrees with someone’s view point. However, it’s also not helpful or heathy if people are “shut down” for discussing, in general terms, the well-established relationship between mental health and religious experience.

*** MOD HAT ON ***
Responding to a moderator call is frowned upon and responding to one to argue with it (as you did with this paragraph) is a violation of the forum rules. What you had to say after this paragraph was interesting but should not have been put in a reply to a moderator post.
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Mark C.

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2015, 11:09:31 am »
Quote from: RandallS;181314
*** MOD HAT ON ***
Responding to a moderator call is frowned upon and responding to one to argue with it (as you did with this paragraph) is a violation of the forum rules. What you had to say after this paragraph was interesting but should not have been put in a reply to a moderator post.

I’m not sure if replying to the above is a breach? I hope not as I do wish to make clear I accept what you have said. No offence was intended, nor was I seeking to challenge a moderator. Apologies for any breach of forum decorum and to SunflowerP if my comment was thought to be changing or argumentative. That was certainly not my intent and it was simply the need to always quote that I was thinking off.

My intent was not to argue with a moderator, but instead to point out an inherent problem with the culture here if certain viewpoints are always dismissed as unacceptable and off limits.

While I fully support and understand the need to have rules which promote politeness and good quality exchanges, I do feel that the culture here can have unintended and detrimental consequences i.e. a "moral" and knee-jerk rejection of the reasoned unacceptance of the experience of others.

Apologies for quoting a moderator when making my post. I should have quoted others in making my general point.

Mark C.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 11:11:50 am by Mark C. »

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2015, 09:59:02 pm »
Quote from: Mark C.;181312
I find that this forum tends to be way too “politically correct” in this regard. To be unequivocally clear, I don’t think it is right to speculate on the mental health of given individuals, nor is it helpful to resort to ad hominem arguments if one disagrees with someone’s view point. However, it’s also not helpful or heathy if people are “shut down” for discussing, in general terms, the well-established relationship between mental health and religious experience.

There can be no doubt that some “religious experiences” are the result of mental illness, and to discount that fact as “inappropriate” means that there can be no exploration of what is a true religious experience. The following would seem relevant:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_schizophrenia#Schizophrenia_and_religious_delusions

“The relationship between religion and schizophrenia is of particular interest to psychologists because of the similarities between religious experiences and psychotic episodes; religious experiences often involve auditory and/or visual hallucinations, and those with schizophrenia commonly report similar hallucinations, along with a variety of delusions and faulty beliefs.[4] A common report from those with schizophrenia is some type of a religious delusion - that is, they believe they are divine beings, God is talking to them, they are possessed by demons, etc.[5][6][7] In a study of patients with schizophrenia that had been previously admitted to a hospital, 24% had religious delusions.[8] This has led some researchers to question whether schizophrenia leads an individual to become more religious, or if intense religiosity leads to schizophrenia.”

It is therefore inevitable that some of the people who share their “religious experiences” will be suffering from mental illness. If we accept those delusions as always being worthy of legitimate discussion – out of a misplaced concern for being inclusive, tolerant and politically correct – then we lose all objectivity.

Some religious experiences will be the result of illness, and we need to be able to consider that possibility in seeking our own truth. I am fully behind the sentiment that it is not right to attack individuals or speculate on their mental health, but we do need to be able to discuss, in general terms, the fact that mental illness can be at play when people tell us they are married to gods, have had sexual relationships with spirit beings, purport of have a unique insight into the “otherworld” that we should all listen to, etc. Such beliefs are all signs of possible mental illness. It’s therefore a possibility that needs factored in when discussing whether such experiences are legitimate and are to be critically accepted.

Sure we should stay away from saying things like “Specific person X is mentally ill!” but if we ban discussion around statements like “People who hold view Y may be suffering from mental illness; and I’m saying that because scientific studies clearly state that is a possibility” then we are turning our “bullshit filters” down to zero and creating a situation where delusional beliefs have to be accepted as valid.

Here is what I feel to be a perfectly logical and legitimate viewpoint, but I fear I will be lambasted for it due to the prevailing ethos of this forum:

I personally do not believe in the real existence of “spirit beings or gods”. I therefore take the view that people who say they have interacted with such beings are most often reporting a profound and very valuable physiological experience though the metaphor of their preferred mythology. For example, “I felt the presence of Jesus”, “I felt a oneness with the universe”, “I glimpsed enlightenment”, “I felt the love of my ancestors”, “My guardian angel told me everything was going to be OK” are all valid expressions of legitimate “spiritual” experiences. Such experiences are healthy and enriching and would not be considered as a problematic by mental health professionals.

However, there can be no doubt that some “spiritual experiences” are the very likely to be the result of mental illness. When I hear things like, “Odin told me he wanted to marry me”, “The gods revealed to me information they have kept hidden from others and told me to share this information with the world”, “Jesus said you should drink the Kool-Aid”, “The elves wanted to have sex with me” etc I reserve the right to use my discrimination and go with the scientific evidence that suggests a strong possibility of mental illness, and hence reject those beliefs on the basis that I feel they most likely stem from mental illness.

That is not the same as saying those who hold those beliefs are definitely mentally ill. What I am saying is that is what I take to be the most likely explanation for those beliefs. I think it is fair and legitimate to draw that personal conclusion and it’s worrying that that’s somehow seen as illegitimate.

If a person states they have a sexual relationship with Odin it should be OK to state an opposing view along the lines of:  “I don’t think people who hold that belief are engaged in a sexual relationship with a god … but I also don’t think that person is being deliberately dishonest either. I think they believe that they are sleeping with a god, and the only logical conclusion I can reach, based on the facts I have, is that mental illness is the most likely reason a person would hold such a belief.”

If the possibility of mental illness is “banned” from the acceptable considerations of this forum, then you are left with two option:

1 – You must accept all statements as valid and are not allowed to question another’s beliefs no matter how outlandish they seem to you.

2 – If you do not accept the beliefs of another, you must state or infer that they are lying and have not had the experiences they purport to have had.

Surely, the third possibility – a possibility well supported by the scientific literature – is that the person legitimately believes they have had these experiences, but those experiences are the result of mental illness.

Compassion is needed for the mental ill. It’s not right to discuss the mental health of individuals. Instead we should discuss the legitimacy or otherwise of the idea itself (it’s a fine line but that would seem to me to be the only way to be objective and keep on the right side of the line). However, it is also not right to deny the truth that mental illness can result in “religious experiences”. Nor is it right to demonise or label as immoral anyone who includes mental illness as a possibility when critically questioning the legitimacy of the experiences of others; especially when those expressing their views want others to incorporate their potentially delusional beliefs into their personal worldview.

Mark C.


This is a great post.

Plenty of traditions all over the world see some forms of physical or mental illness as an initiation by the gods/spirits into a shaman-type of role. I've met plenty of people who agrees with that idea, including this Kaldera guy (or, well, I've never met him specifically - but it's written right on his website if you don't believe me, and in at least one or two of his books). I believe he calls it the Death road for physical near-death illness or injury, and the Madness Road for those who suffer from mental illness, collectively called 'shamans sickness'. I think it will be VERY detrimental to the community to simply shut down all discussion on mental illness, especially when it's been nothing but civil in this particular case. I walked one such road myself, and I think it is only a matter of time until someone comes along needing help differentiating their mental illness from their religious practice. It would be quite unfortunate, for their sake, if the community wasn't able to handle that in a respectful way.

Quite a few of us identify as quite mad indeed, and that's a wonderful thing! ;) Ain't nothing wrong with that.


Anyway, back OT!

It's a difficult line! But you can absolutely have personal relationships with the gods - there's a story from Uppsala I believe, of a woman who was married to a wooden sculpture of Frey and considered to be the gods wife. Then some guy (the story is a bit unclear how) managed to become Freys mortal incarnation, had sex with the woman, and their child was considered to literally be Freys child and recognized as such by the community.

Speaking from a personal experience, I originally got into Heathenism thinking that it was similar to what little I knew of Christianity - that the gods were high, distant powers that I wouldn't really touch and that wouldn't really touch me (at least not anymore than anybody else). I was to be far below, an insignificant human being they wouldn't really bother with. Dreams and visions eventually proved otherwise in my case. Frey and Freya gave me some of the best damn advice I've ever gotten, sometimes pretty much completely out of the random (and Frey crack some really great jokes, by the way. I was nearly crying with laughter the first time I encountered him..). Needless to say, I've accumulated quite a bit of UPG in my days... :D

I think that sharing UPG is ultimately a good thing. However, it is the responsibility of the reader to already know the context - UPG is supposed to influence and compliment canon lore, and not the other way around. The sagas should always be the foundation that can then be built upon (and if lore is broken by UPG, the practitioner should at the very least be aware of that). A person should be free to accept someone elses UPG as right for them, or reject it if they feel it doesn't apply to how they view things. And frankly.. there will be a lot of things going on that other people call crazy. I might, for example, think Frey is an easy-going, mild-mannered all round great and humble guy, but that is obviously not going to be everyones view.

The truth is.. not everybody is in the same situation in life. So how can they receive the same advice, or approach (or even be approached by) the Gods in exactly the same way? UPG is fine, and a wonderful thing, because religion must always be evolving to fit the people who practice it. That doesn't mean that the core truths change - but the world has changed, people change, and the Gods, too, can change as they will.
Out in the woods, and I\'m not alone, but the sun\'s quickly going down!
There! In the trees! Something stalking me! Stop walking around!
\'K, just be cool, don\'t be such a fool! There is nothing at all to fear...
... other than the trees and the night and a beam of light, and the breathing in my ear...
[/I]

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Re: Vanatru, Rokkatru, and UPG: where to draw the line?
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2015, 06:05:05 pm »
Quote from: Elding;182578
I think it will be VERY detrimental to the community to simply shut down all discussion on mental illness, especially when it's been nothing but civil in this particular case.

 
Nobody has done so.

The initial objection, if you look at the thread, is to someone characterising one group of people as "the mentally ill" in terms that made it clear that on that basis their contributions ought to be dismissed.

No "discussion on mental illness" was involved, it was just a throwaway "Well, letting those people talk is just the price we have to pay."

The value of someone's contribution is in the contribution itself, not in their diagnosis or lack thereof.  I would file this largely in the same category as the general posting principle of "critique the post, not the poster"; it seems to me to be a good principle even for people who are not actually posting on the board.

I don't care whether someone has a mental health diagnosis; I care whether their ideas are useful.  Bringing up someone's mental health diagnosis - or, worse, speculating that someone ought to have one - does not contribute to evaluating their ideas at all, and is thus not really appropriate for a civil discussion.  It's just a random pejorative thrown out because of its social stigma.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

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