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Author Topic: Change and deity  (Read 782 times)

Anon100

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Change and deity
« on: November 02, 2019, 02:22:42 pm »

I've almost no personal experience of magic, but in my imagination at least it's possibly one of the very few things in the universe that's truly not limited, at least from our rather limited human perspective.

With that said, warfare, I feel, is a thing which has existed since at least as long as humankind - and (perhaps I'm just a huge cynic) will exist for at least as long as our species.  So arguably an unlimited phenomenon afterall, actually?

Now that I think about it, the same could be said of other phenomena, such as love.

Even something like prosperity, which doesn't necessarily only refer to financial prosperity but to the fact that all societies (even individuals) need a certain level of availability of resources in order to, well, in order to prosper...

Anyone else feel as though a whole new thread could evolve out of some of the above?  (Not sure what it'd be titled, though...)

(Also, just to add for the sake of full disclosure , that I don't actually have deities as such as part of my current path, which is why I hadn't joined in on this thread until now.)

A quote from another thread started has tied into a question I've been musing for a while so I thought Id take up Perdita's suggestion and start a new thread.

Now the original point was how certain phenomena are limited or unlimited so I'll add an interesting point ( as quoted from here https://www.livescience.com/33179-does-human-body-replace-cells-seven-years.html ) that certain of our cells are being replaced at various intervals, meaning that we are constantly changing.

This relates because concepts such as war or love have changed over time ( especially if we look back to them at their most basic as fight the tiger or die and attraction to mate ) almost like cells in our bodies. And the landscape has also changed with erosion or volcanoes etc..

So the question is, if all these things have changed how have our deities and our concepts of them changed? Have they changed or do they just die in some way and get replaced? Because it's obvious that there have been changes over time.

And as a side thought. How has magic changed? Is it just our understanding or the way energy flows?

Anyway, this is a bit rough as I'm still getting used to how this works also but thoughts, ideas, UPG and added questions are all welcome

Anon100

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2019, 02:31:14 pm »

Anyway, this is a bit rough as I'm still getting used to how this works also but thoughts, ideas, UPG and added questions are all welcome

I should also add the question of how you feel the various concepts have changed and how long you feel they've existed or will exist?

I've left the questions fairly open because I have no idea where this thread or thought may go


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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2019, 03:51:02 pm »
I've left the questions fairly open because I have no idea where this thread or thought may go

Good call, I think - I look forward to seeing where this thread will travel.
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Anon100

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2019, 05:58:38 pm »
I should also add the question of how you feel the various concepts have changed and how long you feel they've existed or will exist?

I've left the questions fairly open because I have no idea where this thread or thought may go

Oops, I just realise that I spent so long trying to explain this I didn't post my views/thoughts on my own question.

The thing I noticed and part of what got me thinking this way was while learning about tM.

First on the concept of war which everyone thinks of before they look deeper: I believe Terry Pratchett said its like a lot of people hitting "?" with a rock. So before we were social there were fights ( for food, territory, dominance etc.. ) but as more of us joined they became wars. In Irish celtic litreture there are cattle raids. In recent years we had trench warfare, guerilla warfare, and war by guided missile.
War turned from a fight to survive, become alpha and keep your own alive into a way to hold land and gain strength; a sense of pride to a feeling of shame; a very human test of your strength and respect for those you face to blind destruction and a question of a value of a life.

As I read and learnt about tM I found she's got aspects that spread far beyond simple war and seem very personal to each person she's touched. She seems to touch so much more than she appeared to in the myths where she was called or appeared most on the eve of or during battle - almost like a wise and great hero who rests and drinks flaggons until such time as there is need for her help. Now it's like she seeks to find the strength hidden in those she touches to help us with inner fights and beyond.
It's like she's bigger than she was written but more subtle too. 

Added thought; Of course it could be that myths are about the great thing that happen around individual heroes and great wars and no-one bothered to ask the miller or farmer what had happened to them                                 
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 06:01:31 pm by Anon100 »

Eastling

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2019, 11:25:50 am »
So the question is, if all these things have changed how have our deities and our concepts of them changed? Have they changed or do they just die in some way and get replaced? Because it's obvious that there have been changes over time.

Is it? You cite love and warfare as concepts often reigned over or embodied by deities, both of which have changed over time. But I don't know that we can claim that for sure.

Perhaps gods of warfare always knew deep down (or high up?) that aerial firebombing and atomic weaponry would be developed by humans (after all, the famous line Oppenheimer quoted from the Bhagavad Gita seemed to fit pretty well).

As for Powers associated with love, that's an even thornier issue. Certainly our societal understanding of love on a human scale has changed, but for a very long time philosophers have been aware of a divine love which encompasses and transcends all human forms, and few of them have claimed to fully understand it. Besides, even if our understanding of love on the human level has changed, that's no proof that human capacity for love itself has changed. To cite my favorite David Bowie interview quote: "Sexuality will never change, for people have been f---ing their own particular ways since time began and will continue to do it. Just more of those ways will be coming to light."

I am still very hesitant to say for sure that gods change or don't change. However, I suspect the concept of change is intrinsically bound up with mortality and impermanence, things which most gods have never known on an experiential level (and others have left behind).
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Anon100

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2019, 12:21:39 pm »
Is it? You cite love and warfare as concepts often reigned over or embodied by deities, both of which have changed over time. But I don't know that we can claim that for sure.

As for Powers associated with love, that's an even thornier issue. Certainly our societal understanding of love on a human scale has changed, but for a very long time philosophers have been aware of a divine love which encompasses and transcends all human forms, and few of them have claimed to fully understand it. Besides, even if our understanding of love on the human level has changed, that's no proof that human capacity for love itself has changed. To cite my favorite David Bowie interview quote: "Sexuality will never change, for people have been f---ing their own particular ways since time began and will continue to do it. Just more of those ways will be coming to light."

I am still very hesitant to say for sure that gods change or don't change. However, I suspect the concept of change is intrinsically bound up with mortality and impermanence, things which most gods have never known on an experiential level (and others have left behind).

'Bows'

I admit to being unsure of even how to phrase this post when I put it up. I also admit I wade a hash of the post but think it's still interesting as some people do seem to think of a deity being of this or that concept as we see it, while to others they are more to do with the mental states tied to the concept in some way or a combination of both. So that war can just be bloodshed or bravery and skill etc.. Love can be sex or compassion and caring..
So that with using a spear there is great skill but firing a missile uses different mindset. With sex there can be simple high or in love an undying bond.

Good point that change could be just from our perspective. I guess that means that each different view is then of a different 'side' so to speak.

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2019, 06:17:50 pm »
I am still very hesitant to say for sure that gods change or don't change. However, I suspect the concept of change is intrinsically bound up with mortality and impermanence, things which most gods have never known on an experiential level (and others have left behind).

I'll have to disagree here, Eastling, at least in how I understand my gods. They are integral to the universe around us and in us, and if there is only one thing that is consistent about our universe, it's that it is always changing. Therefore on some level the gods are always changing.

Now what that means--what the change in the gods entails--is very much open to debate and interpretation.

To return to the original question:

Part of my quest to find my gods was about locating where the Western archetypes had settled in a contemporary era of potential nuclear war and modern love (among other of today's understandings and concerns). The second myth of the cycle is devoted to love and loosely divides it into raw lust (over which the sky god presides), romantic love (over which the moon goddess presides), and altruistic love principally of family and one's offspring (in which both the moon and earth goddesses have a hand). My knowledge of ancient love god/desses is too cursory to say how this division aligns or departs from their spheres.

The big change is in war: There is no god of war in the metamythos. Instead, war is neither god nor mortal, but a malignant, disembodied spirit that is conceived when the sky god rapes the goddess of death in a fit of madness. Since Death is inherently barren, the spirit in her womb can only escape through her throat, as a curse that infects the sky god's gajillion offspring, to reenact the violence of the rape on each other.

This to me is consistent with war as we know it today. It has metastasized from local conflicts with clubs and blades to horrific weapons of mass destruction deployed on a global scale that threaten our continuance as a species in conflicts we can no longer afford; rather than an orderly thing presided over by a god, war today is a form of madness.

The myth also acknowledges how rape has been an integral part of war probably since humankind's first battle. Would that it were otherwise.
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arete

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 01:12:30 pm »
that certain of our cells are being replaced at various intervals, meaning that we are constantly changing.

This relates because concepts such as war or love have changed over time ( especially if we look back to them at their most basic as fight the tiger or die and attraction to mate ) almost like cells in our bodies. And the landscape has also changed with erosion or volcanoes etc..
As I understand, the cells don't change, they are renewed. The only 'change' is entropy.

Sefiru

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 06:29:45 pm »
I'll have to disagree here, Eastling, at least in how I understand my gods. They are integral to the universe around us and in us, and if there is only one thing that is consistent about our universe, it's that it is always changing. Therefore on some level the gods are always changing.

I, too, have a hard time imagining (or relating to) gods that don't change. For one thing, as Altair said, the universe itself is always changing. Plus, at the simplest level, remembering could be considered a kind of change, as could forming new relationships.

I've also never gotten my head around the idea that 'deities are perfect beings and thus can't change because there's no room for improvement.' That's a very hierarchical view of the universe that depends on the idea that some states of being are intrinsically superior to others. Since I don't ascribe to the Great Chain of Being, the idea of 'unchanging perfection' has no particular merit to me. (Insert my usual rant about how Plato Is The Worst.)

Anon100

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2019, 02:35:08 pm »
As I understand, the cells don't change, they are renewed. The only 'change' is entropy.

Sorry I haven't got back for a bit ( long, long week ).

Do you mind if I ask for some clarification here Arete?
My understanding of entropy has always been that it is a general definition for the system of change over time ( basically what allows us to be more than a 3d picture ). So, to me, that would mean we all change.
However the online dictionary says -

1 A thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.

2 Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.

However what you wrote seems to be coming from another point of view and I think I may be missing something?

Anon100

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2019, 02:59:09 pm »
I, too, have a hard time imagining (or relating to) gods that don't change. For one thing, as Altair said, the universe itself is always changing. Plus, at the simplest level, remembering could be considered a kind of change, as could forming new relationships.

I've also never gotten my head around the idea that 'deities are perfect beings and thus can't change because there's no room for improvement.'

I agree very much wih you and Altair on this Sefiru but it made me stop and think when you pointed out that memories ( and thought as well, I guess ) can also be change.

Thank you so much for sharing so much about your beliefs Altair, it's really interesting and makes a lot of sense.

arete

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2019, 01:04:05 pm »
Sorry I haven't got back for a bit ( long, long week ).

Do you mind if I ask for some clarification here Arete?
My understanding of entropy has always been that it is a general definition for the system of change over time ( basically what allows us to be more than a 3d picture ). So, to me, that would mean we all change.
However the online dictionary says -

1 A thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.

2 Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.

However what you wrote seems to be coming from another point of view and I think I may be missing something?
As I understand it, Love is a universal, stable, unchanged concept. No matter what, love stays the same. If you notice ''change'' in love, that's not evolution but entropy talking. The ''changes'' in love are some kind of disorder that takes place. People fall in love since their beginning. It's the same feeling no matter how many years will pass.

arete

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2019, 01:39:40 pm »
As I understand it, Love is a universal, stable, unchanged concept. No matter what, love stays the same. If you notice ''change'' in love, that's not evolution but entropy talking. The ''changes'' in love are some kind of disorder that takes place. People fall in love since their beginning. It's the same feeling no matter how many years will pass.
I use 'love' as an example.

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2019, 01:52:26 pm »
As I understand it, Love is a universal, stable, unchanged concept. No matter what, love stays the same. If you notice ''change'' in love, that's not evolution but entropy talking. The ''changes'' in love are some kind of disorder that takes place. People fall in love since their beginning. It's the same feeling no matter how many years will pass.

I have to disagree that change in love automatically has to be entropy as love doesn't change otherwise, which is how I interpret your post.

Just in my own personal experience there is change in how I love people which is more in line with growth and strengthening than with entropy (and here I'm interpreting entropy to mean: deterioration).

There is my relationship with my husband in which we have grown from an early attraction, excitement  (as of a new relationship) and affection to a stronger and more enduring love leading us to want and to commit to spending our lives together.

And then there's family relationships which have developed from the innocent love of a child for a parent into a deeper more insightful love and respect for two fellow adult humans irrespective of the flaws of those individuals (as I grew up I realised, my parents actually aren't perfect but if anything it makes me love them more, not less).

My spirituality is slightly more complex and I can't get into it using this tiny keypad of my mobile phone, but I'll try and remember to come back later on and expand on this some more.
"Everything's made up of elements, right? Earth, Water, Air, Fire and... sunnink. Well-known fact. Everything's got 'em all mixed up just right."
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arete

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Re: Change and deity
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2019, 06:33:12 am »
I have to disagree that change in love automatically has to be entropy as love doesn't change otherwise, which is how I interpret your post.

Just in my own personal experience there is change in how I love people which is more in line with growth and strengthening than with entropy (and here I'm interpreting entropy to mean: deterioration).

There is my relationship with my husband in which we have grown from an early attraction, excitement  (as of a new relationship) and affection to a stronger and more enduring love leading us to want and to commit to spending our lives together.

And then there's family relationships which have developed from the innocent love of a child for a parent into a deeper more insightful love and respect for two fellow adult humans irrespective of the flaws of those individuals (as I grew up I realised, my parents actually aren't perfect but if anything it makes me love them more, not less).

My spirituality is slightly more complex and I can't get into it using this tiny keypad of my mobile phone, but I'll try and remember to come back later on and expand on this some more.
As I see it, love changed you, you didn't change love. Love gave you your personal growth, you didn't alter love. In my opinion.

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