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Author Topic: Connecting felt feeling of ancient pagans and todays 'Tebow' Christians  (Read 5139 times)

LAGoff

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Hi,
I would like to know the best books/resources about the internal feelings of ancient pagans(around or before Jesus' time) in relation to their God/gods.
I mainly am looking to see if an ancient pagan had the same relationship to their God/gods as a Christian does today: you know, did they walk, talk, love Mithra,etc. like today's Christians walk with, talk, love Christ?
I ask because I(a Jew) see such passion/intimacy in some Christians'(Tebow, televangelists) walk/talk/love of their Lord, and I suspect that ancient pagans had that same relation to their God/gods, and so I am fascinated by the thought that there may be some 'primary'(at or before Jesus' time) historical documents, testimonies, Scriptures detailing the daily walk/talk/love of an ancient pagan with his/her God/gods.
And if not, perhaps you can steer me to a 'secondary' source.

I should add that I smell 'paganism' in Tebow and televangelism and the most of Christianity, although I am also studying the pagan factor(or lack of) of the less pagan(in my opinion)  original church of James/Jerusalem/Ebionites/Nazarenes that died out circa 2nd or 3rd CE(certainly by Constantine's time).

Thank you

Jack

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Quote from: LAGoff;115072
I should add that I smell 'paganism'

Patchouli?

Quote
I should add that I smell 'paganism' in Tebow and televangelism and the most of Christianity, although I am also studying the pagan factor(or lack of) of the less pagan(in my opinion) original church of James/Jerusalem/Ebionites/Nazarenes that died out circa 2nd or 3rd CE(certainly by Constantine's time).

How are you defining 'pagan' here? Because the most widespread definition of pagan is 'not Jewish, Christian or Muslim' and I guarantee you Tebow's faith does not meet that criteria. Do you mean 'not Jewish'? Certainly it took on different qualities as it spread, borrowing or synchronizing with local cults.

(Sorry, nothing useful to add too the first part, just wanted to make the joke.)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 03:54:18 pm by Jack »
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stephyjh

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Connecting felt feeling of ancient pagans and todays 'Tebow' Christians
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2013, 05:39:32 pm »
Quote from: Jack;115075
Patchouli?

(Sorry, nothing useful to add too the first part, just wanted to make the joke.)

Couldn't pay me to wear the stuff. :p
A heretic blast has been blown in the west,
That what is no sense must be nonsense.

-Robert Burns

LAGoff

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Quote

How are you defining 'pagan' here? Because the most widespread definition of pagan is 'not Jewish, Christian or Muslim' and I guarantee you Tebow's faith does not meet that criteria. Do you mean 'not Jewish'? Certainly it took on different qualities as it spread, borrowing or synchronizing with local cults.


By 'pagan' I mean idolatry; and by 'idolatry' I mean having too close a relationship with 'God'/gods.
I mean, I could instantly feel closer to 'God' by various cheap ways- and get a cheap thrill out of it by doing the usual Christian thing of Oh Jesus/Imanuel('God with us') you my right hand Man and You walk with me and I feel so good to have you on my dashboard on my neck on my wall and when I boogie woogie down the aisle every Sunday.
Jews are too honest to take this cheap prop a potato(or picture of your Guru) on a pedestal/chant coca cola kind of spirituality that feels you are so close to God by meditating on It or on a mantra and because you FEEEEEL so good it has to be that you are close to God and how lucky I'm not a cursed Jew who has a so much more distant relationship with God that I just gotta genuflect/genuflect/genuflect after a TD because I get to live in Tebowland/Disneyland/Xanity... and yes, I can 'guarantee you' that Tebow is living the pagan(according to my definition above) dream- I mean why not live it?  I could, but I would feel cheap because I know better.

Jack

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Quote from: LAGoff;115091
By 'pagan' I mean idolatry; and by 'idolatry' I mean having too close a relationship with 'God'/gods.


Well, okay, sure, if you make up your own meaning, you can define it in such a way that Christianity is pagan.

Quote
I mean, I could instantly feel closer to 'God' by various cheap ways- and get a cheap thrill out of it by doing the usual Christian thing of Oh Jesus/Imanuel('God with us') you my right hand Man and You walk with me and I feel so good to have you on my dashboard on my neck on my wall and when I boogie woogie down the aisle every Sunday.


I'm not sure in what way being close to one's god is "cheap" so I'm going to have to say you're approaching this from a totally different direction than me and my experience of Christianity (which I found much too distant for my tastes).

Quote
Jews are too honest to take this cheap prop a potato(or picture of your Guru) on a pedestal/chant coca cola kind of spirituality that feels you are so close to God by meditating on It or on a mantra and because you FEEEEEL so good it has to be that you are close to God and how lucky I'm not a cursed Jew who has a so much more distant relationship with God that I just gotta genuflect/genuflect/genuflect after a TD because I get to live in Tebowland/Disneyland/Xanity... and yes, I can 'guarantee you' that Tebow is living the pagan(according to my definition above) dream- I mean why not live it?  I could, but I would feel cheap because I know better.

 
I know you can't see it, but I'm giving you so much eyebrow right now. If you think being close to your god is easy, I'm gonna question whether you've given it the ol' college try before starting.

You're seriously on the wrong forum if you think there's going to be a lot of opinions about Tebow's Christianity on here, though. So if you're so enlightened and everyone else's perception of their gods is so cheap, what's the point of this thread? Are you trying to enlighten us? I've never been aggressively recruited to Judaism before.
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RandallS

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Quote from: LAGoff;115091
By 'pagan' I mean idolatry; and by 'idolatry' I mean having too close a relationship with 'God'/gods.

Who defines "too close"? Also, what is "too close" for one deity may be "not close enough" for another.
 
Quote
I mean, I could instantly feel closer to 'God' by various cheap ways- and get a cheap thrill out of it by doing the usual Christian thing of Oh Jesus/Imanuel('God with us') you my right hand Man and You walk with me and I feel so good to have you on my dashboard on my neck on my wall and when I boogie woogie down the aisle every Sunday.

I hope you aren't talking about all Christians here -- given that you reffered to "some Christians (Tebow, televangelists)" in your first post in this thread as generalized religion bashing is against the rules on this forum.

Quote
Jews are too honest to take this cheap prop a potato(or picture of your Guru) on a pedestal/chant coca cola kind of spirituality that feels you are so close to God by meditating on It or on a mantra.....

Right. No Jews are like this. I don't that's a correct statement because what you describe is a personality trait, not a religious trait. And people with that trait are in every sizable religion (and "sizable" probably does not have to be that big before you start to see them). Certainly, some religious groups attract more people with this type of personality because they as a group are more tolerant of it, but unless a group is so selective that they can reject anyone with this trait, there will be some in the religion.

Quote
and yes, I can 'guarantee you' that Tebow is living the pagan(according to my definition above) dream- I mean why not live it?  I could, but I would feel cheap because I know better.

You might want to remember that your definition of "pagan" is not going to be the definition most members and readers of a message board devoted to pagan religions are going to think of when they see you use the word "pagan". You'll need to list you personal definition of the word almost every time you use it to avoid confusing people. :(
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Darkhawk

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Quote from: LAGoff;115091
By 'pagan' I mean idolatry; and by 'idolatry' I mean having too close a relationship with 'God'/gods.

 
... so you mean "being so stupid that you worship a rock or other fake unspiritual thing instead of a real god" by "pagan", and that means ... being too close to the gods?

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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

LAGoff

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QUOTE You might want to remember that your definition of "pagan" is not going to be the definition most members and readers of a message board devoted to pagan religions are going to think of when they see you use the word "pagan". You'll need to list you personal definition of the word almost every time you use it to avoid confusing people. :([/QUOTE]


I am sorry that I stuck in provocative(judgement) statements about paganism in with my desire for someone to recommend primary pagan sources.  I shouldn't have done that.  
I use the word pagan(and heathen) pejoratively(judgementaly) in the sense of someone(s) who was born and bred in the country/heath(think 'Nazareth') to be more likely to develop/hold an idiosyncratic religion than someone, say, from 'Jerusalem'- the religious center.  And I assume that if I were born and bred in such an isolated state/area, I would use every 'trick' in the religio-spiritual book because I would have no controls from an elite religio-spiritual center to hold my religio-spiritual horses from running wild.  In other words, I would trespass on holiness in my ignorant, uncorrected enthusiasm because I would have no one to give me a sophisticated enough argument to disabuse me of the very natural notion that as long as I FEEL I am getting closer to God through my practices/ideas, then I am in actuality [getting closer to God].

Darkhawk

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Quote from: LAGoff;115125
I use the word pagan(and heathen) pejoratively(judgementaly) in the sense of someone(s) who was born and bred in the country/heath(think 'Nazareth') to be more likely to develop/hold an idiosyncratic religion than someone, say, from 'Jerusalem'- the religious center.  And I assume that if I were born and bred in such an isolated state/area, I would use every 'trick' in the religio-spiritual book because I would have no controls from an elite religio-spiritual center to hold my religio-spiritual horses from running wild.  In other words, I would trespass on holiness in my ignorant, uncorrected enthusiasm because I would have no one to give me a sophisticated enough argument to disabuse me of the very natural notion that as long as I FEEL I am getting closer to God through my practices/ideas, then I am in actuality [getting closer to God].

 
Generally speaking, people who actually follow pagan religions tend to think of them as legitimate religions, not the behaviours of ignorant idiots with no sense of, dare I say it, piety.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Jenett

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Quote from: LAGoff;115125
I am sorry that I stuck in provocative(judgement) statements about paganism in with my desire for someone to recommend primary pagan sources.  I shouldn't have done that.

Speaking for myself, that kind of apology tends to work better when it's not immediately followed by another in the same vein.

Quote
I use the word pagan(and heathen) pejoratively(judgementaly) in the sense of someone(s) who was born and bred in the country/heath(think 'Nazareth') to be more likely to develop/hold an idiosyncratic religion than someone, say, from 'Jerusalem'- the religious center.

This is both a dated usage and academically speaking, rather more complicated than you imply here.

Regardless, if you're coming into a site *for* discussion of Pagan religious topics, it generally works better if you inform yourself about the usage of common terms within the community you're discussing them with. In this case, the Pagan Primer is a good place to start - it's over at http://www.ecauldron.net/newpagan.php . You might also find the intro page on my site for Seekers (people interested in learning more about Pagan religions and practice) at http://gleewood.org/seeking/basics/

Quote
And I assume that if I were born and bred in such an isolated state/area, I would use every 'trick' in the religio-spiritual book because I would have no controls from an elite religio-spiritual center to hold my religio-spiritual horses from running wild.

Which has *nothing* to do with modern Paganism, and certainly not in the age of mass media, rapid communication, and the Internet.

Personally, I was born in a top 10 US major city (and grew up in one of its suburbs), to a tenured professor father and a university educated mother, with six languages between them beyond English, and a lot of family history in two and a half separate religious traditions and four countries before they moved to the US. (For the curious, Jewish, Catholic, and Church of England). Never mind my own education, at two of the top schools of their kind, and then graduate school - I'm a librarian by profession.)

Parochialism of background is by no means why I'm Pagan.

That these are the Gods and the practices and the worldview that speak to me, that help me celebrate the good times, that help me get through the hard times, that help me continue to become a better person and do more in the world that shapes it in ways I care about.

(I do also believe that I have direct personal interaction with more than one God, but y'know, I'm not inclined to spend time explaining that to someone who's been as dismissive of my religion as you've chosen to be. There's plenty archived on the forum if you're sincerely interested in learning, and many of us are glad to have conversations with people who treat our practices, experiences, and preferences with respect.)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 11:23:23 am by Jenett »
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Darkhawk

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Quote from: Jenett;115129
This is both a dated usage and academically speaking, rather more complicated than you imply here.

 
Hell, the structural stuff that leads to urban and upper-class religious practices getting more smug historical bastards talking about how theirs is the good and proper best religion and more preservation in the easily traceable historic and archaeological record is kind of a thing.

(Thousands of years of civilisation and humanity still hasn't gotten over the notion that poor people are stupid and their belief-practice complexes invalid.)
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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

HeartShadow

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Connecting felt feeling of ancient pagans and todays 'Tebow' Christians
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2013, 11:48:59 am »
Quote from: LAGoff;115125
QUOTE You might want to remember that your definition of "pagan" is not going to be the definition most members and readers of a message board devoted to pagan religions are going to think of when they see you use the word "pagan". You'll need to list you personal definition of the word almost every time you use it to avoid confusing people. :(


I am sorry that I stuck in provocative(judgement) statements about paganism in with my desire for someone to recommend primary pagan sources.  I shouldn't have done that.  
I use the word pagan(and heathen) pejoratively(judgementaly) in the sense of someone(s) who was born and bred in the country/heath(think 'Nazareth') to be more likely to develop/hold an idiosyncratic religion than someone, say, from 'Jerusalem'- the religious center.  And I assume that if I were born and bred in such an isolated state/area, I would use every 'trick' in the religio-spiritual book because I would have no controls from an elite religio-spiritual center to hold my religio-spiritual horses from running wild.  In other words, I would trespass on holiness in my ignorant, uncorrected enthusiasm because I would have no one to give me a sophisticated enough argument to disabuse me of the very natural notion that as long as I FEEL I am getting closer to God through my practices/ideas, then I am in actuality [getting closer to God].

Those poor dumb pagans, with no real education or thinking power.  Niiiiiiiice.  Showing up with "please help me prove these folks I think suck are the same as you poor dumb idiots" isn't going to win any help here.

You want to believe G_d is best kept in a box, knock yourself out.  But don't lump everyone else in the "too stupid to know better" box and expect to get anywhere.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 11:56:05 am by HeartShadow »

Jack

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Connecting felt feeling of ancient pagans and todays 'Tebow' Christians
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2013, 12:14:06 pm »
Quote from: LAGoff;115125
I am sorry that I stuck in provocative(judgement) statements about paganism in with my desire for someone to recommend primary pagan sources.  I shouldn't have done that.  


Well, since it's getting overlooked, I'll tell you that I don't know of any academic resources that talk about how early paganism is like totally the same as modern evangelical Christianity. The notion of a Personal Relationship With God is pretty modern, outside of the mystics, and what Teresa of Avila was talking about is probably not at all what Tebow talks about. In fact heathen recons and Asatruar tend to use that as an argument for why people who talk about how there was only one set of footprints because Loki carried them are Doin It Wrong.

Now if you wanted books comparing early Judaism to Canaanite, Babylonian, and other nearby pagan religions, those I could probably help you with.

Quote
I use the word pagan(and heathen) pejoratively(judgementaly) in the sense of someone(s) who was born and bred in the country/heath(think 'Nazareth') to be more likely to develop/hold an idiosyncratic religion than someone, say, from 'Jerusalem'- the religious center.

Okay, here's your problem. You just apologized and now you're insulting me again. Did you notice that? Is that intentional?

 
Quote
And I assume that if I were born and bred in such an isolated state/area, I would use every 'trick' in the religio-spiritual book because I would have no controls from an elite religio-spiritual center to hold my religio-spiritual horses from running wild.  In other words, I would trespass on holiness in my ignorant, uncorrected enthusiasm because I would have no one to give me a sophisticated enough argument to disabuse me of the very natural notion that as long as I FEEL I am getting closer to God through my practices/ideas, then I am in actuality [getting closer to God].

But Jesus spent his early years all over the place - in Egypt and all - and if you take the bible as, well, gospel, he was winning debate club at the temple in Jerusalem when he was like, eight. So he was in civilization, and civilization had plenty of opportunity to correct him.

Whereas the Catholic Church I grew up in came up in Byzantium and Rome, and worked very hard to squish out all the weird thoughts about religion out of my head, even out in the rural area where I grew up, just as it and the Orthodox Church campaigned very hard to eliminate all of the icky paganism in rural parts of Europe right into the 1800s.

Though really, what do I know? I'm just a hick.
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RandallS

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Quote from: LAGoff;115125
I use the word pagan(and heathen) pejoratively(judgementaly) in the sense of someone(s) who was born and bred in the country/heath(think 'Nazareth') to be more likely to develop/hold an idiosyncratic religion than someone, say, from 'Jerusalem'- the religious center.  And I assume that if I were born and bred in such an isolated state/area, I would use every 'trick' in the religio-spiritual book because I would have no controls from an elite religio-spiritual center to hold my religio-spiritual horses from running wild.

There aren't many places like that in the US or Europe today. Even the remote boondocks have access (often local access, no Internet needed) to "elite thought" on religion, science, medicine, sports, etc. Besides, there is absolutely nothing that says the best thinkers on a subject will live in an urban area. Naturally, most do in the US and Europe, however, this is because the majority of people in the those areas live in an urban area.

However, the real problem I see here is that you appear to be assuming that urban and well-educated people have an inherent better understating of what their deity wants than people with less education or who live in a rural area. Perhaps this is true for deities who are only willing to deal with people who have earned an advanced degree from an expensive institution, but I'm not aware of many (actually, I'm not aware of any -- but there are many deities I'm not that familiar with) with such a requirement.

 In other words, I would trespass on holiness in my ignorant, uncorrected enthusiasm because I would have no one to give me a sophisticated enough argument to disabuse me of the very natural notion that as long as I FEEL I am getting closer to God through my practices/ideas, then I am in actuality [getting closer to God].[/QUOTE]
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LAGoff

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Quote from: RandallS;115158
There aren't many places like that in the US or Europe today. QOUTE

That's why I only mentioned Nazareth and Jerusalem- circa 30 of common era.
(Today, one could argue that the 'pagans' are the hicks in the bible belt{roughly, 'the country'}, and the sophisticates{who the hicks should look to to get caught up} are the Manhattan/Hollywood/Zen/New Agers in the big city; but, as you say, with the internet, those boundaries don't really apply any more in the physical sense of heath/city.

I assume that the paganism of today is roughly similar to the paganism before the common era; but I cant be sure unless I can read a testimony from the daily felt feeling standpoint of an ancient practitioner(s).  There's got to be one pagan writer before 30 CE(after that we cant be sure if they were contaminated by the powerful emerging force of Christianity) who wrote of his daily walk with Mithra, or Adonis, or Horus, Tammuz, Ishtar, Marduk, etc.
I assume India and the far east in general was, and is now full of uncontaminated by Christianity/Islam paganism.  Perhaps I should look there for these writings because perhaps the Christians(and Muslims) destroyed all the(European/Mediteranean/Middle Eastern) pagan writings.  

Again, I am sorry for putting you down.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 02:02:45 pm by LAGoff »

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