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Author Topic: Mere Curiosity: What do the Gods do when They aren't Talking with People?  (Read 5285 times)

sunflower47

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So, I had a really weird thought today. I was wondering: people believe their Gods/Goddesses are individual people with their own personalities. (Not saying that everyone does but for the sake of the question...) I had the thought that if they are people with their own personalities, then they have lives too. So, I was wondering what other people thought about this, and I was also wondering, assuming they all have their own lives, what do you think the Gods do when they aren't talking with people? Like, do they have hobbies? What kinds of conversations do they have with their friends?

I'm probably trying to humanize things too much... but it isn't a serious question I'm just curious. :eek:
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 08:59:27 pm by RandallS »

earth_dragon

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 01:49:21 am »
Quote from: sunflower47;49815
So, I had a really weird thought today. I was wondering: people believe their Gods/Goddesses are individual people with their own personalities. (Not saying that everyone does but for the sake of the question...) I had the thought that if they are people with their own personalities, then they have lives too. So, I was wondering what other people thought about this, and I was also wondering, assuming they all have their own lives, what do you think the Gods do when they aren't talking with people? Like, do they have hobbies? What kinds of conversations do they have with their friends?

I'm probably trying to humanize things too much... but it isn't a serious question I'm just curious. :eek:

 
Wow. That's kind of fascinating and mind blowing to think about.  :eek:

I'm still really new to the idea of deity anyway. I've only just sort of started following Brighid. I would have no idea what the gods might do on their time off. Go bowling???

I think what you're describing is more along the lines of the description of a demi-god. I know in Greek and Roman mythology demi-gods often had regular lives outside of their heroic feats. Humanizing the gods isn't a new concept, tho, obviously. It's easier to understand the idea of a god who is like us than just some omnipotent great being floating out in the ether.

If the gods have personalities, then maybe they really do go bowling. I'd like to think they have barbeques and beer in the backyard as well. It's comforting to think they're like us in some ways.  :)

Rhyshadow

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 04:37:14 am »
Quote from: sunflower47;49815
So, I had a really weird thought today. I was wondering: people believe their Gods/Goddesses are individual people with their own personalities. (Not saying that everyone does but for the sake of the question...) I had the thought that if they are people with their own personalities, then they have lives too. So, I was wondering what other people thought about this, and I was also wondering, assuming they all have their own lives, what do you think the Gods do when they aren't talking with people? Like, do they have hobbies? What kinds of conversations do they have with their friends?

I'm probably trying to humanize things too much... but it isn't a serious question I'm just curious. :eek:

 
Actually, I think this is a pretty though provoking question

To me, the gods are regular people, just on a grander scale.  They have lives outside of being inspiration and guides for us.  Things they have to do to maintain the balance and keep the Realms going

Being Celtic oriented, I look at my two Patrons as being more than just the symbols of what they are, but the personifications of that

Oghma probably works hard on new research, finding new questions and delving into them to figure out the answers.  Brigid is always looking for new healing techniques and ways to make life more secure.

Others in there; Flidias works hard on animal management to insure that there are succeeding generations for her and others to hunt, Airmid is always looking for new ways to use herbs in her healing, Creidhne tests new smithing techniques to improve the quality of his work, etc

And they probably get together for beer, mead and musical/poetry competitions regularly, and maybe competitions of skill in other areas as well.

Looking at the gods as being regular folk on a larger scale might help to bring them closer to us, to show us that things aren't that much different in the Realms, just larger and more important on a grander scale

earth_dragon

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 04:58:13 am »
Quote from: Rhyshadow;49850
Actually, I think this is a pretty though provoking question

To me, the gods are regular people, just on a grander scale.  They have lives outside of being inspiration and guides for us.  Things they have to do to maintain the balance and keep the Realms going

Being Celtic oriented, I look at my two Patrons as being more than just the symbols of what they are, but the personifications of that

Oghma probably works hard on new research, finding new questions and delving into them to figure out the answers.  Brigid is always looking for new healing techniques and ways to make life more secure.

Others in there; Flidias works hard on animal management to insure that there are succeeding generations for her and others to hunt, Airmid is always looking for new ways to use herbs in her healing, Creidhne tests new smithing techniques to improve the quality of his work, etc

And they probably get together for beer, mead and musical/poetry competitions regularly, and maybe competitions of skill in other areas as well.

Looking at the gods as being regular folk on a larger scale might help to bring them closer to us, to show us that things aren't that much different in the Realms, just larger and more important on a grander scale

 
This. Yes. I'm glad you were able to say what I was thinking. I was having a hard time putting it into words, but you really captured it beautifully.

HeartShadow

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 08:23:21 am »
Quote from: sunflower47;49815
So, I had a really weird thought today. I was wondering: people believe their Gods/Goddesses are individual people with their own personalities. (Not saying that everyone does but for the sake of the question...) I had the thought that if they are people with their own personalities, then they have lives too. So, I was wondering what other people thought about this, and I was also wondering, assuming they all have their own lives, what do you think the Gods do when they aren't talking with people? Like, do they have hobbies? What kinds of conversations do they have with their friends?

I'm probably trying to humanize things too much... but it isn't a serious question I'm just curious. :eek:

 
This is one of the places my polytheism can get a bit .. *squishy*.

I think the gods ARE doing /something/ - but I think it probably relates more towards communing with what Is than, like, bowling.  I can't really see a bunch of drunk gods sitting around playing Risk.  (well I can, but it's terrifying.  and involves land wars in Asia).  I think they are being more primal forces of Their Nature than being people doing things.

That doesn't mean They CAN'T choose to do human-things - I just don't see them as embodied, and without bodies a lot of what people do doesn't make any damn sense!

veggiewolf

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 09:35:24 am »
Quote from: sunflower47;49815
...

 
The very nature of my gods means that (IMO), when they're not doing something of which I am directly aware, they're doing things to uphold ma'at (Divine Order).  

Of course, now my brain is filled with images of Divine Ninepins. ;)
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Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 09:45:06 am »
Quote from: sunflower47;49815


 
Basically I think  we are what the gods do in their spare time.

Absent
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I do what I have to do to get by
But I know what is wrong, and I know what is right
And I die for the truth in my secret life

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SkySamuelle

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 10:06:13 am »
Quote from: sunflower47;49815
So, I had a really weird thought today. I was wondering: people believe their Gods/Goddesses are individual people with their own personalities. (Not saying that everyone does but for the sake of the question...) I had the thought that if they are people with their own personalities, then they have lives too. So, I was wondering what other people thought about this, and I was also wondering, assuming they all have their own lives, what do you think the Gods do when they aren't talking with people? Like, do they have hobbies? What kinds of conversations do they have with their friends?

I'm probably trying to humanize things too much... but it isn't a serious question I'm just curious. :eek:

 
Good question.

As hard polytheist I do think gods have very distinct individual personalities... but they are also forces that are both immanent in the material world and external to this realm so... probably their hobbies are stuff i wouldn't be entirel able to wrap my mind around.

I do imagine that they probably commune with deities that have similiar agendas but belong to a different pantheon more often than we suppose - if anything else  because their energies and interests must be on the same 'wavelenght'. There's also the fact some deities seem to 'trade' their followers to other deities, so I suppose inter-pantheon interctions are not that uncommon.

Hermes seems to enjoy tp play pranks on humans through strange twists of luck - since i don't imagine those pranks always have greater meaning behind them, I must guess they are his way to have fun.
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yewberry

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 10:24:00 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;49868
Of course, now my brain is filled with images of Divine Ninepins. ;)


Thunder is just the sound of God bowling.  It's common knowledge.

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 10:24:39 am »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;49869
Basically I think  we are what the gods do in their spare time.


I like this thought, and I think I agree. (I often feel like Bast's craft project. Or maybe a song. Or a bonsai tree.)

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I have done no damage to a beautiful hour.
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Juniperberry

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 10:25:24 am »
Quote from: sunflower47;49815
So, I had a really weird thought today. I was wondering: people believe their Gods/Goddesses are individual people with their own personalities. (Not saying that everyone does but for the sake of the question...) I had the thought that if they are people with their own personalities, then they have lives too. So, I was wondering what other people thought about this, and I was also wondering, assuming they all have their own lives, what do you think the Gods do when they aren't talking with people? Like, do they have hobbies? What kinds of conversations do they have with their friends?

I'm probably trying to humanize things too much... but it isn't a serious question I'm just curious. :eek:

Norse mythology actually answers this pretty well. When not directly involved with humans:

Odin sits on his high seat and follows the news and gossip  from his birds

Frigga takes care of the 'household' and weaves the clouds

Thor goes troll hunting to the east

Heimdall hangs out on the rainbow bridge keeping eyes and ears open

Skadi goes hunting and snow shoeing

Freyja searches for Od

Freyr rules over the elves

And sometimes they get together at Aegir's or in Asgard to party.

Fun question :)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 10:26:19 am by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2012, 10:33:10 am »
Quote from: Shefyt;49873
Or a bonsai tree.

 
...that would explain a lot.

I'm of this camp as well- when the gods are not working at keeping the universe running, they pass the time with us.
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Stardancer

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2012, 10:45:33 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;49864
 I can't really see a bunch of drunk gods sitting around playing Risk.  (well I can, but it's terrifying.  and involves land wars in Asia).

 
Ya know, that would explain a lot of things... (I read too much Diskworld - where that is exactly the kind of thing gods would do in their spare time.)

Anyways, I've always said that the volcano eruption that grounded the airtraffic over most of Europe, was merely Gaia lighting a smoke. :p
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HeartShadow

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Mere Curiosity: What do the Gods do when They aren't Talking with People?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2012, 11:28:37 am »
Quote from: Stardancer;49878
Ya know, that would explain a lot of things... (I read too much Diskworld - where that is exactly the kind of thing gods would do in their spare time.)

Anyways, I've always said that the volcano eruption that grounded the airtraffic over most of Europe, was merely Gaia lighting a smoke. :p

That's actually the image I was working with too.  :D

Maps

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Re: Mere curiosity
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 11:51:35 am »
Quote from: sunflower47;49815


I think the idea of "spare time" requires that you believe that deities are subject to time (and space) in the same way we are. Which I definitely do not. ;P

If Chaac comes down to embody an idol on my altar during a ritual or prayer, does that mean all weather patterns around the world suddenly dissipate because he's chosen to be here and nowhere else?

IMO, they are in a perpetual state of work, play, possession, and introspection, all at once and in as many places as they deem necessary. But who knows what the Bacabs (who are one and many) might chat about while maybe simultaneously holding up the sky and ruling over the electromagnetic repulsion in every atom in the universe. ;P

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