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Author Topic: Do your gods interact with other people?  (Read 1556 times)

carillion

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Do your gods interact with other people?
« on: August 17, 2014, 03:54:49 am »
I was just reading the thread on fearing deity and it got me thinking (always a dangerous undertaking). I was trying to figure out the ways and whys of fearing deity. They are disincarnate but that doesn't necessarily mean they are stronger.

But then, of course they are stronger than people or why would anyone turn to them?

Which in turn got me wondering if people's deities also interact with other people. For example, many people have said their deities chastise them. So, do those same deities chastise other people who might not even have heard of them?. ( or reward them, it's the effect/interaction that's important).

People speak of their personal relationships with, or if that's too strong a term, their conversations with their gods. Does this only happen if you are aware of them ( a person on a phone might be getting yelled at but other people in the room can't hear)?

I imagine, since some people say they petition their deities for help in dealing with other people that the answer must be - yes. Which would also mean if one's deity decided to crash a house party and smack someone, everyone could potentially come in for some thumping.

But if a person *doesn't know or has never heard of said deity*, do you explain to the effected people what just happened?

Excuse my burbling on, but I'm having a problem figuring out the , hmm, scope? of a deity's influence.

Also, I notice people switch pantheons or cornerstone deities. Do the one's you've moved away from graciously step out of your life or does one just keep on adding deities? And does this effect the people around you?

Maybe this is a stupid question with an obvious answer but I won't learn if I don't ask.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 04:03:30 am by carillion »

Faemon

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2014, 05:06:42 am »
Quote from: carillion;156033
I'm having a problem figuring out the , hmm, scope? of a deity's influence.

Also, I notice people switch pantheons or cornerstone deities. Do the ones you've moved away from graciously step out of your life or does one just keep on adding deities? And does this effect the people around you?

Maybe this is a stupid question with an obvious answer but I won't learn if I don't ask.

 
I don't consider it a stupid question, because it's one that I've often wondered myself, but it does usually come right before the point that I throw my hands up and decide that the metaphysical reality is not the correctly-shaped peg to fit the logically-shaped holes in my mind.

Two years and a month ago, I believe that Manannan mac Lir passed me off over to Loki. Lately, I've been feeling the former's presence again although it isn't as conversational or full of interference as before. I believe that the presence of the Man had an effect on other people that would bypass my own behavior, but then again I can't bypass my own biases.

At the time, when I described what experience made it feel like I was being "passed off", the reaction seemed to be, "Uh-huh, yeah, def'nitely sounds like Loki all right." Which was cool to hear.

Then there was that kerfuffle among the Lokeans when this one dedicant's partner had a nightmare that Loki was sexually violating them, and divinations by the dedicant were interpreted to mean that it was not a mere dream but a metaphysically real event. This follower expected the other dedicants to follow in solidarity for mere mortals who get messed with and violated by bored and entitled gods. People with a Lokiphone could have asked him and compared answers to see if their Loki was the same as that person's Loki, mine would answer on quite a few subjects except for that one which I was curious about.

So, that keeps me questioning.

Of course, as a pagan, or as a closeted pagan self-labeled as agnostic because in the most literal sense I do not know and can't even these divine mysteries that I live--Well, I get a lot of prayers. For me to convert, basically; or even get struck by wrathful lightning if I don't. It hasn't happened. And actually, I don't feel it in any way that I would consider metaphysical. I used to, but now I just see people, just people, acting or speaking out of their ego, and there's just nothing metaphysical going on there even though I usually am tuned in to metaphysics. I used to feel what I interpreted as the presence of their divine figurehead coming at me oppressively, so I don't know if it's just that the shape of my mind had contrived it and I've grown out of it for psychological reasons, or if it's metaphysically just not there anymore, or both like does belief create an actual bubble of reality through which deities can act whether or not they occupy the space between the bubbles?

And there's confirmation bias, which I touched up on earlier. The thing is, real life isn't a laboratory where we can lock the conditions and measure Deity, repeating experiments, observing results, and peer-reviewing records.

I've got as many stories to support a common and interpersonal scope of deity influence and divine intervention/interference, as I do stories to contradict that very same point. But that's all anecdotal evidence, not empirical, which is...with a question like this...the only kind that I believe that I should be bothering with, repeatable, empirical evidence.
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Chabas

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 05:13:20 am »
Quote from: carillion;156033
I was just reading the thread on fearing deity and it got me thinking (always a dangerous undertaking). I was trying to figure out the ways and whys of fearing deity. They are disincarnate but that doesn't necessarily mean they are stronger.

But then, of course they are stronger than people or why would anyone turn to them?

Which in turn got me wondering if people's deities also interact with other people. For example, many people have said their deities chastise them. So, do those same deities chastise other people who might not even have heard of them?. ( or reward them, it's the effect/interaction that's important).

People speak of their personal relationships with, or if that's too strong a term, their conversations with their gods. Does this only happen if you are aware of them ( a person on a phone might be getting yelled at but other people in the room can't hear)?

I imagine, since some people say they petition their deities for help in dealing with other people that the answer must be - yes. Which would also mean if one's deity decided to crash a house party and smack someone, everyone could potentially come in for some thumping.

But if a person *doesn't know or has never heard of said deity*, do you explain to the effected people what just happened?

Excuse my burbling on, but I'm having a problem figuring out the , hmm, scope? of a deity's influence.

Also, I notice people switch pantheons or cornerstone deities. Do the one's you've moved away from graciously step out of your life or does one just keep on adding deities? And does this effect the people around you?

Maybe this is a stupid question with an obvious answer but I won't learn if I don't ask.

 
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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2014, 05:51:18 am »
Just explicitly noting that all of this is my experience and others may disagree, but I don't feel like crafting each individual sentence to say that this morning.

Quote from: carillion;156033
I was just reading the thread on fearing deity and it got me thinking (always a dangerous undertaking). I was trying to figure out the ways and whys of fearing deity. They are disincarnate but that doesn't necessarily mean they are stronger.

But then, of course they are stronger than people or why would anyone turn to them?


I will note that I turn to people who are better at certain things than me all the time. I ask advice from experts and turn to people who are better connected for help getting things done. Some of those experts are incarnate, and some are not. Some of those who are not are what one would call gods.

Quote
Which in turn got me wondering if people's deities also interact with other people. For example, many people have said their deities chastise them. So, do those same deities chastise other people who might not even have heard of them?. ( or reward them, it's the effect/interaction that's important).


I suppose it's possible. I know I've had gods arrange things for me before I found out they were doing it, so it's certainly possible to have a god influence your life without being aware. As far as specifically chastising, I mean, sure, there are stories going back to ancient Greece where people had to go to an oracle to find out the gods were mad at them, but without a cultural context for that, it's unlikely someone would find out the source of the problem and be able to rectify that.

Quote
People speak of their personal relationships with, or if that's too strong a term, their conversations with their gods. Does this only happen if you are aware of them ( a person on a phone might be getting yelled at but other people in the room can't hear)?


Not being unaware, I can't tell you for sure what it sounds like when someone who can't hear the gods is talked to. But yes, I'd imagine it's like watching someone with a bluetooth headset, if the person you're around hears literal conversation from their gods (which is not the case for most people).
I imagine, since some people say they petition their deities for help in dealing with other people that the answer must be - yes. Which would also mean if one's deity decided to crash a house party and smack someone, everyone could potentially come in for some thumping.

Quote
But if a person *doesn't know or has never heard of said deity*, do you explain to the effected people what just happened?


Unless they have a context in which I think I can explain it, or the deity in question is telling me to do it, hell no. Of course, I'm unlikely to know, either - it's not like I can see when deities interact with other people.

Or do you mean something like when I asked Mara and Odin to help me find my last job? In that case, hell no because I'm not telling my boss about my religion period, and also it's bad taste to say 'you only hired me because I asked my god to help me'.

Quote
Also, I notice people switch pantheons or cornerstone deities. Do the one's you've moved away from graciously step out of your life or does one just keep on adding deities? And does this effect the people around you?

 
Yes. All of the above. I mean, it's complicated, and it varies by deity, and it'll vary for other people.

The problem with questions like 'How Do Deities Do $THING?' is that's like asking 'How Do People Do $THING?' - the answer is 'however they want'.
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Juniperberry

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2014, 08:57:03 am »
Quote from: carillion;156033
I was just reading the thread on fearing deity and it got me thinking (always a dangerous undertaking). I was trying to figure out the ways and whys of fearing deity. They are disincarnate but that doesn't necessarily mean they are stronger.

But then, of course they are stronger than people or why would anyone turn to them?

 

I've come to terms with this (what I think you are saying, at least) by NOT turning to gods that would negatively affect other people just to provide (whatever) for me. I don't find it ethical or trustworthy.

Here's a stupid example (stupid because I'm embarrassed of my own internal debate): I was in the self-serve check out line and went to remove my change from the cash dispenser. Someone had forgotten and left a very large sum of "cash back" money. I was tempted to take it and even wondered if I was being given some luck by The Universe. But you know, I don't want  forces who would screw over someone else for my benefit, because then they might screw *me* over for someone else. No thanks.


So maybe I can't control how deity chooses to affect others in any given situation, but I can control how I do.
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Faemon

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2014, 11:21:12 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;156061
So maybe I can't control how deity chooses to affect others in any given situation, but I can control how I do.

 
That was the main sentiment in the only examples that I could think up, too.

I mean, I might have basically run from my physical/emotional/substance-abusive sister to my verbally abusive Catholic zealot uncle, but when I was under the uncle's roof, and I knew that I couldn't fit in, and kept trying to look for other people to stay with, but the universe got all, "Nooope, gotta stick with it"-shaped in events.

In a more direct spiritual experience, this came about with witnessing an ethereal Wolf. I figured that the appearance signified having something to do with finding a pack, like a family, learning to be part of that...which I did learn a lot about, before I left.

So at the start when my uncle would tell me, "If there was no God, you wouldn't have been led here." I wouldn't disagree with the sentiment, but the form wasn't something that I could open up about, what with therianthropy being...not...generally...accepted...among...most ...Catholics...

But why wouldn't this ethereal wolf find its way into the dreams of my extended family? Why didn't my uncle mention a wolf-shaped angel? My aunt and at least one of my cousins are sensitive, although they usually pray it away they would have mentioned it as a chilling exciting oddity. Couldn't they see it wolfing about? If that was the work of their God, then why was it wolf-shaped and not humanoid-angel shaped?

...So, that's why I doubt that gods interact with other people, or that my spiritual experiences might not just be that my own mind has cracked. But that's not the example I meant to bring up, sorry, it was this one:

I'd offended my uncle enough that he wouldn't talk to me for a month and a half. I'd extended as much goodwill as my spoons would allow, to no evident reparation, and being introverted I actually didn't mind if leaving me alone was the worst he could think of doing. After a time, I met a more sort of...no-name, no-mythology deity.

Within three days of that, my uncle began to talk to me again. He remarked that I was more ready to do chores around the house lately (which wasn't why he was angry at me, but it did annoy him and he wouldn't believe that I was depressed--and I wasn't anymore, because of this deity's presence), and loosened up enough to talk to me again about converting to Catholicism.

Before I met no-name-myth, I would feel such a conversation as oppressive. While it still turned out to be, because not converting would threaten me with homelessness (or worse, habitation with people who believe that I'm innately evil and that would wear my newfound emotional resources quite thin in short order). But emotionally? I'd gone from defensive to bored. As in, before, I would get stressed out and defensive and almost cry whenever my uncle or anybody brought it up. After meeting no-name-myth, I'd just feel inexplicably, inconceivably well-adjusted...even though I could still recognize that religious oppression was a Bad Thing.

Because that presence changed the way that I, myself, related to my uncle, then it technically was a deity interaction with another person. I guess?

That would have been kind of strange, though. Was it only that I acted less set in my ways, for the better, unknowingly inviting conversation? Was it just an accident of timing? Or did no-name-myth sort of go, "All right, re-calibrated your soul, now time to test it--get on over here, uncle dude!" And my uncle just didn't know he was being called because he doesn't (by his own admission) have a godphone? As the first example proves, having Adventure Time Wizard Eyes doesn't really save me from dancing at the ends of puppet strings, either. No-name-myth acts impatient when I overthink things and expect an answer, probably because I want it to make sense to my own ego and it just doesn't make that sort of sense by its own nature, so...
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carillion

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2014, 03:11:53 pm »
Quote from: Chabas;156039
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Sorry!. I *am* guilty of this and I just figured out why: I finish a post, go out on the balcony with my coffee( it's a hot summer here) and while I'm relaxing another thought comes to me and I race back in to add it. From now on I'll write a response in a word programme, go out and sit and then race back in to correct it and *then* post it!:)
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carillion

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2014, 03:19:37 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;156078




But why wouldn't this ethereal wolf find its way into the dreams of my extended family? Why didn't my uncle mention a wolf-shaped angel? My aunt and at least one of my cousins are sensitive, although they usually pray it away they would have mentioned it as a chilling exciting oddity. Couldn't they see it wolfing about? If that was the work of their God, then why was it wolf-shaped and not humanoid-angel shaped?

.



First,thank you *everyone* for responding as I know this is both a difficult and personal area to question.

I just had another thought ( oh dear, here we go again:)).

I wonder if one's deities do effect/interact with other people but in a form they would recognize or respond to.
 


I don't think one has to conjure up the image of deity hobnobbing with each other to get there,more of a 'push' of a certain type of information/energy towards the other person. Hard to articulate. A sentiment, idea, emotion ,etc. has different terms in different languages but the concept/idea is the same. It may be a case of sending a messenger that speaks a recognizable language. The message is the same, just the messenger is different.

Just a thought.

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2014, 03:46:41 pm »
Quote from: carillion;156103
First,thank you *everyone* for responding as I know this is both a difficult and personal area to question.

I just had another thought ( oh dear, here we go again:)).

I wonder if one's deities do effect/interact with other people but in a form they would recognize or respond to.
 


I don't think one has to conjure up the image of deity hobnobbing with each other to get there,more of a 'push' of a certain type of information/energy towards the other person. Hard to articulate. A sentiment, idea, emotion ,etc. has different terms in different languages but the concept/idea is the same. It may be a case of sending a messenger that speaks a recognizable language. The message is the same, just the messenger is different.

Just a thought.

 
I find deities seem to be rather talented at doing things such as inserting a thought that often very much sounds like the person in question, possibly making them think about something they wouldn't have thought of before. It seems more probably that gods would work with small nudges in just the right places than doing something big and flashy.

That might why it's takes a long time for things to happen if they're trying to make things happen. They have to find the right opportunity and set up things so that it leads to the ultimate goal.

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2014, 11:51:28 pm »
Quote from: carillion;156103
I wonder if one's deities do effect/interact with other people but in a form they would recognize or respond to.

 
That's one way of keeping a metaphysical reality, sharing it between people in some way somehow.

Still, from what I've gathered, some belief systems just don't have the notional vocabulary of another. Like with a language, some things don't translate even if one does bother to open one's learning up to turn a babble of syllables into something meaningful. Then there's linguistic prosody, which after a certain age ("age" apparently meaning no longer in utero) gets difficult to pick up on.

We can recognize a common humanity, or a shared reality, and we can recognize distinguished perspectives either individually or culturally that just don't mesh well with something else--and, basically I notice a whole lot of mysterious space-filler in between.

Of course, it's also an immense discourtesy to ever declare that one's own deities are working through another person, interfering with the life of someone who wouldn't be aware of or appreciate that form. It's irresistible sometimes, too, for those of us who'd want to be aligned with the powers of the metaphysical world, and for those who may or may not have any personal attraction to power but witness and interpret the effect of some power-entity.

All this can tie back to answering the original question "Do your gods interact with other people?" as...Maybe, sometimes. I can't be sure. :p
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veggiewolf

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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2014, 11:51:25 am »
Quote from: carillion;156033
...But then, of course they are stronger than people or why would anyone turn to them?


I don't necessarily turn to my gods because they are stronger than I.  I turn to them because they have more experience and know more than I do when it comes to the areas in which I'm moving.  Other people might turn to deities for other reasons.

Quote
Which in turn got me wondering if people's deities also interact with other people. For example, many people have said their deities chastise them. So, do those same deities chastise other people who might not even have heard of them?. ( or reward them, it's the effect/interaction that's important).


Maybe?  I can only speak from personal experience - my gods interacted with me before I knew who they were and, in one case, before I knew that they were.  I have no idea, other than anecdotally, if this happens to other people.

Quote
People speak of their personal relationships with, or if that's too strong a term, their conversations with their gods. Does this only happen if you are aware of them ( a person on a phone might be getting yelled at but other people in the room can't hear)?


I really wish we could come up with a different term than 'personal relationship', as it bring to mind the relationship I was supposed to develop with Christ when I was a Christian.  I never developed that relationship...nor is the relationship I have with each of my deities similar to the thing I was meant to want.

I don't think there's a better term, though.  More's the pity.

Anyway, I again think this is a question of what individuals experience, and I don't think the norm (if there is one) is for conversation or one-on-one interaction with deity.  My own interactions vary from deity to deity, so how can I expect that someone else will experience what I do if I can't expect that I will experience what I do?

Quote
I imagine, since some people say they petition their deities for help in dealing with other people that the answer must be - yes. Which would also mean if one's deity decided to crash a house party and smack someone, everyone could potentially come in for some thumping.

But if a person *doesn't know or has never heard of said deity*, do you explain to the effected people what just happened?


No, I wouldn't.  How can I explain what happened to someone else when I don't know what happened to them?

Quote
Also, I notice people switch pantheons or cornerstone deities. Do the one's you've moved away from graciously step out of your life or does one just keep on adding deities? And does this effect the people around you?


All of these are possible.  What happens depends on who is involved.

Quote
Maybe this is a stupid question with an obvious answer but I won't learn if I don't ask.

 
I don't think you're asking stupid questions.  However, I also don't think you're really going to get a pinpointable answer beyond, "it varies."  There is no ultimate answer or One True Way.
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Re: Do your gods interact with other people?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2014, 11:56:49 am »
Quote from: carillion;156103
...

I wonder if one's deities do effect/interact with other people but in a form they would recognize or respond to.


Maybe?  

I know, for example, that I worship Sekhmet.  I know she has other worshipers, and I know they experience her in ways that are similar to the way I do, and also in ways that are different, because I've been told so by those worshipers I've met.  I also know that Sekhmet was with me before I knew her name, and that she was in a form I responded to.  Is that the same for others?  Well, I can't know unless they tell me and, honestly, I'm okay with that.  At the moment, my own interactions with Sekhmet take priority over those of others.

Quote
I don't think one has to conjure up the image of deity hobnobbing with each other to get there,more of a 'push' of a certain type of information/energy towards the other person. Hard to articulate. A sentiment, idea, emotion ,etc. has different terms in different languages but the concept/idea is the same. It may be a case of sending a messenger that speaks a recognizable language. The message is the same, just the messenger is different.

Just a thought.

 
Sure, this could happen.  It could also not happen, or the emotion/concept/sentiment could come from a different source.  On my religious path, what really matters is what is done with the information once it is received and how it got to me is unimportant.
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