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Author Topic: What do the gods get out of us?  (Read 2787 times)

sassafras

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What do the gods get out of us?
« on: January 23, 2013, 03:09:16 pm »
Basically, I'm wondering what use we are to the gods. I don't think they hang around us just for companionship or the warm fuzzies, so what exactly do they derive from a mutual relationship with humans? A lot of people seem to be very focused on what gods can do for them, but don't consider that the gods aren't always completely altruistic. It's only natural that if we are getting something out of interacting with them, prayers, worship, etc, then they're getting something out of it too. But I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what that is.

dionysiandame

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 03:35:21 pm »
Quote from: sassafras;93182
Basically, I'm wondering what use we are to the gods. I don't think they hang around us just for companionship or the warm fuzzies, so what exactly do they derive from a mutual relationship with humans? A lot of people seem to be very focused on what gods can do for them, but don't consider that the gods aren't always completely altruistic. It's only natural that if we are getting something out of interacting with them, prayers, worship, etc, then they're getting something out of it too. But I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what that is.

 
Comedy. Lots and lots of comedy.

"Oh look at the mortal, she really thinks she has everything all planned out! One serving of flu coming right up!"

"Hey, hey, hey guys! That ass clown down there is speaking for me again. Hilarity. I'm going to light that ass up when he finally gets here."

Me:*fall on face*
Gods: *laughter*

Their Due, because they ARE gods after all. Sometimes I feel lucky to get noticed. My days of hair raising service have wound down to leaving offerings, saying prayers, and hoping I don't get another "call up to the mountains" from Dionysos. I'm almost 30 years old now, I can't dance as hard as I used to.

In the end I think they get whatever THEY want. Be it service, slapstick, pan seared salmon with a side of mashed cauliflower and asparagus, wine, or even someone to take a bad day out on. They'll extract it and go about their merry way or somehow let you know that you're doing alright. That's the best I've got so far.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong. LOL!
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sassafras

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 03:41:21 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;93192
Comedy. Lots and lots of comedy.

"Oh look at the mortal, she really thinks she has everything all planned out! One serving of flu coming right up!"

"Hey, hey, hey guys! That ass clown down there is speaking for me again. Hilarity. I'm going to light that ass up when he finally gets here."

Me:*fall on face*
Gods: *laughter*

Their Due, because they ARE gods after all. Sometimes I feel lucky to get noticed. My days of hair raising service have wound down to leaving offerings, saying prayers, and hoping I don't get another "call up to the mountains" from Dionysos. I'm almost 30 years old now, I can't dance as hard as I used to.

In the end I think they get whatever THEY want. Be it service, slapstick, pan seared salmon with a side of mashed cauliflower and asparagus, wine, or even someone to take a bad day out on. They'll extract it and go about their merry way or somehow let you know that you're doing alright. That's the best I've got so far.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong. LOL!

 
So a cross between room service and entertainment? Lol, I guess that's one way to look at it. xD

Shine

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 03:42:10 pm »
Quote from: sassafras;93182
Basically, I'm wondering what use we are to the gods. I don't think they hang around us just for companionship or the warm fuzzies, so what exactly do they derive from a mutual relationship with humans? A lot of people seem to be very focused on what gods can do for them, but don't consider that the gods aren't always completely altruistic. It's only natural that if we are getting something out of interacting with them, prayers, worship, etc, then they're getting something out of it too. But I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what that is.

 
Short answer: I have no freakin' idea. Some things just seem to please the gods/make them happy, and if I can do those things, then I try to. From some of their various perspectives, we're children, or family, and I think behavior follows accordingly.

Long answer: There could be a lot of things the gods get out of us: attention, respect, entertainment, or for a few of us, they get the proverbial "hands on earth". More and more I think of the divine and mortal spheres as being a part of one big community. In a community, you have give and take. I can't speak for others, but I consider offerings, prayers, and what not part of the give and take. Food offerings feed the kau of the Netjeru. Music and dance provide entertainment and maybe even raise energies that they like.

Other cultic behaviors help give the Netjeru a way to "anchor" themselves to this realm. When someone on one side is reaching out, it's easier for someone on the other side to connect. Hope that one made sense.

When we're talking about a community. . . it's an exchange of goods.

Technically, the Netjeru/gods have everything--or at least the means to generally obtain what they want via other means--and therefore need nothing, but the willingness to give back and acknowledge blessings given is important. If you've ever done something for someone and expected only acknowledgement and thanks in return, you've got the basic idea.
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

yewberry

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 05:37:14 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;93192
Maybe I'm doing something wrong. LOL!

I've heard the relationship described like beloved pets and owners.  Mostly we're treated with affection.  But once in a while they put underwear on our heads and watch us bump into walls until they feel bad and take them off.

Brina
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 05:37:41 pm by yewberry »

Sanacrow

Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 05:56:20 pm »
Quote from: sassafras;93182
Basically, I'm wondering what use we are to the gods. I don't think they hang around us just for companionship or the warm fuzzies, so what exactly do they derive from a mutual relationship with humans?


I *do* see that they enjoy our companionship. In my experience, the overall "pattern" of relationship is that of mutual friends - we need and care for the Gods, and the Gods need and care for us.

My human relationships have give and take, we each do for each other (and enjoy that we can help each other), we enjoy doing things together, and we simply enjoy being together sometimes, even if we're not 'hanging out with a purpose'. One of my much-better-off friends may pick up the coffee tab more often that I do, and I may do things that I have the skills and resources for more often than another who has different skills and resources... but that doesn't change the nature of our friendship.

It's the same with the Gods. They have different skills and resources than we do, We have different skills and resources than they do. We use what we have to help each other because of the relationship we have. Just because what we each contribute is different doesn't mean either is lessor or better than the other. It's mutual.

Shine

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 06:36:24 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;93203
I've heard the relationship described like beloved pets and owners.  Mostly we're treated with affection.  But once in a while they put underwear on our heads and watch us bump into walls until they feel bad and take them off.

Brina

 
I love this. Lol. Hope they use clean undies, though. 0_______0
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Juniper

Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 07:44:25 pm »
Quote from: yewberry;93203
I've heard the relationship described like beloved pets and owners.  Mostly we're treated with affection.  But once in a while they put underwear on our heads and watch us bump into walls until they feel bad and take them off.

Brina

 
This really made me laugh! Also made me feel just a *tad* bit guilty too :ashamed:
"I\'ve seen fake gods, and bad gods, and demigods and would-be gods; out of all that, out of that whole pantheon,
 if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in her."

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Zaphaux

Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 10:37:17 am »
Quote from: sassafras;93182
Basically, I'm wondering what use we are to the gods. I don't think they hang around us just for companionship or the warm fuzzies, so what exactly do they derive from a mutual relationship with humans? A lot of people seem to be very focused on what gods can do for them, but don't consider that the gods aren't always completely altruistic. It's only natural that if we are getting something out of interacting with them, prayers, worship, etc, then they're getting something out of it too. But I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what that is.
 I think a god/some gods feeds of honourship. When we honour them making offerings they might feel good, just like we feel good when we eat our favourite food or listen to our favorite songs. And some gods have preferences in the offerings too that can be more pleasurable for them. If I love pasta I will choose spaghetti if it's an option, just like Dionysus would like you to offer him wine above many other possibilities of offerings. Not that he would deny any offering that's not of his nature, but if he trully dislikes something we offered him it would most likely not be accepted.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 10:42:26 am by Zaphaux »

Zaphaux

Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 10:42:47 am »
Quote from: sassafras;93182
Basically, I'm wondering what use we are to the gods. I don't think they hang around us just for companionship or the warm fuzzies, so what exactly do they derive from a mutual relationship with humans? A lot of people seem to be very focused on what gods can do for them, but don't consider that the gods aren't always completely altruistic. It's only natural that if we are getting something out of interacting with them, prayers, worship, etc, then they're getting something out of it too. But I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what that is.

 And I didn't mention the natural relationship we develop with them with time. No matter what kind of relationship you have with your god, whether it's a friendly relation or a paternal relation, if you do things right both of you will strenghten your link.

troll maiden

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 05:29:00 am »
Quote from: yewberry;93203
I've heard the relationship described like beloved pets and owners.  Mostly we're treated with affection.  But once in a while they put underwear on our heads and watch us bump into walls until they feel bad and take them off.

Brina

 
This thought is just hilarious! And sometimes, I feel like it's a little true.

I will always love the deities I honour...even when they don't make it easy for me! ;)

But to answer your original question, deities get a lot out of us. They get love, honour, devotion and a hell of a lot of entertainment.
Of course some deities will be more specific with what they want from us. From what I've heard from others some deities can be downright picky!

Those are my thoughts anyway. :)

yewberry

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 09:52:48 am »
Quote from: troll maiden;93638
This thought is just hilarious! And sometimes, I feel like it's a little true.


I'm not a theist, but I do have a dog.  And while I don't tease her or treat her badly (ever, I swear), when some logical mishap befalls her...like, say, she somehow puts the underwear on her own head...I laugh.  Oh boy, do I laugh.  And then I help.

Brina

Nachtigall

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 11:05:58 am »
Quote from: yewberry;93203
I've heard the relationship described like beloved pets and owners.  Mostly we're treated with affection.  But once in a while they put underwear on our heads and watch us bump into walls until they feel bad and take them off.

Brina

 
This just may be true.
Other than that, I feel that our love and affection are rather pleasing to them - not that they couldn't survive without it, but it's definitely something they enjoy.

There's also doing their work, sometimes quite literaly - i. e., I guess, a medical doctor dedicating his work to Asclepius would be viewed favorably by this god.

Violet Skies

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 08:58:27 am »
Quote from: sassafras;93182
So what exactly do they [the gods] derive from a mutual relationship with humans? A lot of people seem to be very focused on what gods can do for them, but don't consider that the gods aren't always completely altruistic. It's only natural that if we are getting something out of interacting with them, prayers, worship, etc, then they're getting something out of it too. But I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what that is.

 
This is an excellent question and I`ve wondered about it a lot myself (well, not excessively but fairly often, lol).  I have to admit, that I`m beginning to think it`s one of those things that only the gods will ever know, but when you think about it (and this is based on if you believe in a "god created the world, even if that be via evolution" kind of stance), but why do humans create?  We`re constantly making new things.  Artists and writers spend hours upon hours on their work ... and for what?  Sometimes they get nothing from it at all, but they do generally love whatever they`ve made, simply because it is theirs.  It`s an expression, a feeling, a representation, something that`s a part of them.  So, maybe that`s what the gods get out of us.  We are their painting or their novel or their screenplay.  Or, maybe we are around for s**** and giggles, but I find it hard to believe that`s the only reason.  Considering we do the same dumb antics over and over and over again, I would think they would have moved on by now to something funnier, or at least different. :p

When we are willing, they also do get respect, honor, and even love at times.  I do think it`s an utter mistake to fall into the 21st century mentality that gods are like Santa Clause, all-wonderful beings that just exist to serve us.  If that were the case, we would be the gods and they would be the humans.  Ancient cultures asked for the gods` benevolence and did numerous things to get the gods to do what they asked (rituals, dances, etc.), but they had reverence for the fact that the humans were humans and the gods were gods, and didn`t exist for the sole purpose of fulfilling wishes.  That`s a mentality I think we usually lack in the present day. :whis:

crazyharry

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Re: What do the gods get out of us?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 02:46:58 pm »
Quote from: sassafras;93182
Basically, I'm wondering what use we are to the gods. I don't think they hang around us just for companionship or the warm fuzzies, so what exactly do they derive from a mutual relationship with humans? A lot of people seem to be very focused on what gods can do for them, but don't consider that the gods aren't always completely altruistic. It's only natural that if we are getting something out of interacting with them, prayers, worship, etc, then they're getting something out of it too. But I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what that is.


As an occasional atheist, I tend to believe that the gods get some of their substance from their worshipers. I think worship makes them more real and relevant, and without worship they tend to start to just kind of fade away.

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