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Author Topic: Dualistic deities  (Read 1474 times)

Eastling

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Dualistic deities
« on: January 27, 2020, 12:10:38 am »
As I flesh out my idiosyncratic theology, I keep encountering dualistic phenomena--most especially when it comes to the nature of the gods. There are few gods, I instinctively feel, who do not have some kind of "other side."

Of course this is to some extent unsurprising as I am worshiping the apotheosis of a man who grew up in the faith that put moral dualism on the map (I speak of Zoroastrianism); some bleed-over is bound to occur. But more and more I feel like I am touching on a larger truth. Far away from the Near East where my own Judaism originated,  Hellenic Greece where much of my narrative motifs come from, and even the Central Asian steppe where Zoroastrianism is said to have originated--Japanese Shinto speaks of the ara-mitama and nigi-mitama of a god, a concept that maps surprisingly well to many Greek, Egyptian, and other stories of deities who have wrathful and mild sides.

What does your path say about this? Do you have gods who have dark and light aspects, or good and evil aspects, or destructive and beneficial aspects, or something else like that? What do you think it means?
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Kylara

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2020, 10:11:54 am »
As I flesh out my idiosyncratic theology, I keep encountering dualistic phenomena--most especially when it comes to the nature of the gods. There are few gods, I instinctively feel, who do not have some kind of "other side."

Of course this is to some extent unsurprising as I am worshiping the apotheosis of a man who grew up in the faith that put moral dualism on the map (I speak of Zoroastrianism); some bleed-over is bound to occur. But more and more I feel like I am touching on a larger truth. Far away from the Near East where my own Judaism originated,  Hellenic Greece where much of my narrative motifs come from, and even the Central Asian steppe where Zoroastrianism is said to have originated--Japanese Shinto speaks of the ara-mitama and nigi-mitama of a god, a concept that maps surprisingly well to many Greek, Egyptian, and other stories of deities who have wrathful and mild sides.

What does your path say about this? Do you have gods who have dark and light aspects, or good and evil aspects, or destructive and beneficial aspects, or something else like that? What do you think it means?

I tend to understand the deities I work with by looking at them as people.  Most people have a kind of base-line personality.  They have a general mode of operation that often includes being 'generally good' or 'generally mischievous' or 'generally cranky'...you get the idea. 

But people (and thus Gods) are complex, and there are always buttons you can press that trigger different modes.  A normally mild mannered and nice mother can get very loud and potentially violent if you threaten her children.  A nasty mean person might have a soft spot for puppies.

And then you add in moods.  Some days you just feel happy and so everything you do is a bit softer and nicer.  Some days you are in a foul mood and everything you do is a bit snappy and mean.

Like I said, I tend to view my Gods as people, so them having complex sides (and sometimes doing things that don't quite fit their normal behavior) just works for me.
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Sefiru

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2020, 07:05:50 pm »
What does your path say about this? Do you have gods who have dark and light aspects, or good and evil aspects, or destructive and beneficial aspects, or something else like that? What do you think it means?

Egyptian religion is mostly dualities, I sometimes think. Sometimes it's one deity with dual aspects, sometimes deities that transform into each other (kind of a Jekyll and Hyde thing), sometimes two separate deities that oppose each other but are also depicted in a combined/reconciled form (Horus and Seth). At least two of the creation myths involve pairs of male and female deities.

The whole cosmology involves duality too: existence/nonexistence, living/dead, desert/farmland, upper/lower Egypt and so on.

arete

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 02:08:12 pm »
What does your path say about this? Do you have gods who have dark and light aspects, or good and evil aspects, or destructive and beneficial aspects, or something else like that? What do you think it means?
Dualism is the whole point greek paganistic religion stands on. I will give you an example. God Apollo is the God of the sun. Now, the sun is beneficial but it is also destructive.
The greek religion, when it comes to dualism, is exactly like Taoism. :)
I pray that religious animosity will end.

Caleb Oak

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2020, 03:13:07 pm »
Dualism is the whole point greek paganistic religion stands on. I will give you an example. God Apollo is the God of the sun. Now, the sun is beneficial but it is also destructive.
The greek religion, when it comes to dualism, is exactly like Taoism. :)
Even the whole ''men have a feminine side/women a masculine side'' thing???  :o

arete

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2020, 03:25:47 pm »
Even the whole ''men have a feminine side/women a masculine side'' thing???  :o
Male and female share the same chromosome X. Then men have a Y and women another X. The common X chromosome complements the men and women equally. :)
I pray that religious animosity will end.

Caleb Oak

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2020, 03:27:18 pm »
Male and female share the same chromosome X. Then men have a Y and women another X. The common X chromosome complements the men and women equally. :)
Yes, but I mean in a broader spiritual sense, like that yin and yang stuff.  :)

arete

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2020, 03:32:32 pm »
Yes, but I mean in a broader spiritual sense, like that yin and yang stuff.  :)
Spiritual sense is something I'm working on. I don't know what ''spiritual'' is. :)
I pray that religious animosity will end.

Caleb Oak

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2020, 03:34:12 pm »
Spiritual sense is something I'm working on. I don't know what ''spiritual'' is. :)
Ah ok.  :)

Good luck.

Anon100

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2020, 04:32:52 pm »

The whole cosmology involves duality too: existence/nonexistence, living/dead, desert/farmland, upper/lower Egypt and so on.

I can certainly see how that works but that makes you wonder about those religions where triple deities appear - My instant thoughts are the Morrigan, the Christian god, Wiccan MMC goddess.
Would the third aspect then represent a constant or middle - some kind of point which ties the two? Is it because of the difference in the religions or locations?
Then again there are natural occuring triples - gas, liquid and solid

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Re: Dualistic deities
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2020, 06:12:42 pm »
I can certainly see how that works but that makes you wonder about those religions where triple deities appear - My instant thoughts are the Morrigan, the Christian god, Wiccan MMC goddess.

A particular religion's cosmology isn't likely to explain other religions :P

Quote
Would the third aspect then represent a constant or middle - some kind of point which ties the two?

When triads turn up in Egyptian mythology, they're usually sets of parents+child.

Quote
Is it because of the difference in the religions or locations?

Yeah, probably. The Egyptian landscape really lends itself to dualism.

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