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Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: Do the dieties change with time  (Read 1248 times)

wild fox

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Do the dieties change with time
« on: January 23, 2018, 11:13:54 pm »
Everything we know about our world changes. It is one of the most central aspect of our would. So do the gods and goddesses also change with time. It seems that the Hebrew god did as their god went from a god that one could not look upon and in earlier writings to a more personal god in later writings - to a human god in the branch that became Christianity. So do all gods and goddesses change over time?

Altair

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 05:19:57 am »
Everything we know about our world changes. It is one of the most central aspect of our would. So do the gods and goddesses also change with time. It seems that the Hebrew god did as their god went from a god that one could not look upon and in earlier writings to a more personal god in later writings - to a human god in the branch that became Christianity. So do all gods and goddesses change over time?

I think they do, yes. I ask myself: Why wouldn't they? Everything else changes, and esp. if you consider the gods linked to the world--they have worldly attributes (e.g., Poseidon, Greek god of the sea)--I would think they'd change to some extent with the world.

As with most of these types of questions, a lot depends on what your understanding of deity is. My view of the gods is largely as metaphor, so as humanity and society change, so do our gods. But even if you think of gods as literal entities, I don't see any reason why they, unlike anything else in the universe, would remain unchanged over time.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

TransporterMalfunction

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 10:15:43 am »
Everything we know about our world changes. It is one of the most central aspect of our would. So do the gods and goddesses also change with time. It seems that the Hebrew god did as their god went from a god that one could not look upon and in earlier writings to a more personal god in later writings - to a human god in the branch that became Christianity. So do all gods and goddesses change over time?

Coming from a hard polytheist POV, I'd say a little yes and a little no. I think deities always retain their personalities, if you will. For instance, my experience with Hestia is that She is a very humble goddess. She doesn't demand large festivals in Her honour, she wants the small, daily devotional acts, little actions around the house that say 'I remember You, Hestia, and I give You thanks.' I can't image Her ever going 'Alright morons, let's get this twelve day festival going. Start the burning of 20 oxen. I've had enough of this small time BS.' (Although maybe someone else has had a different experience with Her.) However, I think gods do adapt with the times. Most of us don't have a fireplace or wood burning stove (where She was traditionally honoured), so I think She is perfectly happy with an altar in the kitchen or around the stove or the water furnace or whatever a person can do.

I also think that gods do have multifaceted personalities within Their domain. For instance, when I pray to Zeus Kosmetes, I feel a very stiff, formal, not particularly close sensation. When I pray to Zeus Gamelios and Hera Gamelia, I feel a happy, joyous feeling of a strong partnership. I think as I get to know a god or goddess better I can know more aspects of Them, but They haven't changed, just my relationship with Them. And others may see the same deity in a completely different light than I do because of their own personal relationship.
Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned to you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book II

Jainarayan

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 10:28:15 am »
So do all gods and goddesses change over time?

I do not believe they do. How people see them may change, but I think that's also largely not true. The Norse and Hindu gods, for example, are largely still seen as they were millennia ago. Given cosmic timescales and the lifespans of gods (those who are not completely immortal) a human lifetime, or a century or a millennium is maybe to them what a day is to us. As Thranduil said to Thorin in The Hobbit "100 years is a mere blink in the life of an elf. I'm patient. I can wait!". So I don't think elves or gods change very much, if at all, that we can perceive.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

Cinder

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 07:19:14 pm »
Everything we know about our world changes. It is one of the most central aspect of our would. So do the gods and goddesses also change with time. It seems that the Hebrew god did as their god went from a god that one could not look upon and in earlier writings to a more personal god in later writings - to a human god in the branch that became Christianity. So do all gods and goddesses change over time?

I personally believe that they do. Maybe not a lot, but it doesn't make sense to me that a being would remain static over thousands of years (or even longer), especially considering the rapid changes that have come with the modern world.

EnderDragonFire

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 03:52:31 am »
So I don't think elves or gods change very much, if at all, that we can perceive.

That's basically my feeling as well. I would add the caveat that, given sufficiently long time spans, they might, but I am talking about time spans far longer than the current gap in time between now and when the myths were first written down. The time that has expired since the first Vedic hymns were composed, and modern day, is not a particularly long time in the lifespan of a Hindu god, even the shorted lived ones. If you were to meet Shiva or Vishnu a billion years from now, they might have changed, but not in mere thousands.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

EnderDragonFire

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 03:56:01 am »
If you were to meet Shiva or Vishnu a billion years from now, they might have changed,

Then again, they might not. Hinduism is largely cyclical, and the major Gods don't *ever* truly die. Shiva and Vishnu, for example, have seen all of this before. From the ground up, they have watched the world come and go, over and over. At this point, there is probably very little that is truly novel experience for them. They have seen humans invent writing, and metalworking, and the wheel, and the airplane, and the internet, more times than there are stars in the Sky. A being like that, might not change at all, at leas not on a time-frame measurable in standard notation.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Riothamus12

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2018, 08:03:38 pm »
Everything we know about our world changes. It is one of the most central aspect of our would. So do the gods and goddesses also change with time. It seems that the Hebrew god did as their god went from a god that one could not look upon and in earlier writings to a more personal god in later writings - to a human god in the branch that became Christianity. So do all gods and goddesses change over time?

The short answer is no. They are what they have always been and shall always be. All things they remain linked to most closely do not change, human understanding however does. The Deities are not static in the way humans would understand that word, for they are both what is constant and what changes in and of themselves. Humans merely unearth different aspects of their agencies and learn to understand them as time goes on. For example, if one would say as I often do that Hermes and Mercury are Gods of the internet and they always were, this aspect was merely unknown until humans developed that technology, but they always had that agency because it is inherent to them.

Click it or something.It just seemed like it would be fun to toy around with.

Eastling

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 03:12:13 pm »
Everything we know about our world changes. It is one of the most central aspect of our would. So do the gods and goddesses also change with time. It seems that the Hebrew god did as their god went from a god that one could not look upon and in earlier writings to a more personal god in later writings - to a human god in the branch that became Christianity. So do all gods and goddesses change over time?

Linear time is an artifact of this world; the place/plane where gods exist does not have the same relationship to time. I get the impression that while change is normal and inevitable for people and things subject to time and mortality, it's a big and costly affair for a god. It's possible it doesn't happen at all, and only our perceptions of the gods change.

For instance, you cite the Jewish God changing into the Christian Godhead as an example, but as far as Jews are concerned, that never happened; Christians have their own concept of divinity, and Hashem is still our God...and every part of him from the wrathful Power of storms and plagues in Exodus to the mystic Godhead described in the Kabbalah is still there.

I suspect that gods very rarely if ever "change" in the sense of leaving their old forms behind--but they do grow and evolve into new forms as well.
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ehbowen

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 05:28:11 pm »
I suspect that gods very rarely if ever "change" in the sense of leaving their old forms behind--but they do grow and evolve into new forms as well.

I would agree, especially as in regard to the God of the Bible. Change, as in on a fundamental level? No, not really. Grow and adapt and expand? Yes, very much!
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Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

Lykeios Lysios

Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 05:10:59 pm »
Everything we know about our world changes. It is one of the most central aspect of our would. So do the gods and goddesses also change with time. It seems that the Hebrew god did as their god went from a god that one could not look upon and in earlier writings to a more personal god in later writings - to a human god in the branch that became Christianity. So do all gods and goddesses change over time?

I think that any God or Goddess humans have worshipped will change over time. Though I am a hard polytheist for the most part, I also realize the reality that our perceptions and conceptions of the Gods change over time.

That said, I also think that there are certain aspects of each God and Goddess that are so fundamental to them individually that will not change.
"Man fears the darkness, and so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire." - Rei Ayanami
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drgong

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2018, 10:15:32 pm »
I do not think they change.

However how we perceive said deities do. 

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2018, 10:23:07 pm »


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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2018, 07:16:17 pm »


Linear time is an artifact of this world; the place/plane where gods exist does not have the same relationship to time. I get the impression that while change is normal and inevitable for people and things subject to time and mortality, it's a big and costly affair for a god. It's possible it doesn't happen at all, and only our perceptions of the gods change..

Do you think maiming or dying changes a Power? I'm very much under the impression, for example, that Odin was different after he came down from hanging on the tree.

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Re: Do the dieties change with time
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2018, 10:51:52 pm »

Do you think maiming or dying changes a Power? I'm very much under the impression, for example, that Odin was different after he came down from hanging on the tree.

I'm not sure. Maybe the dying itself is and always was a part of the god's story/self, and the before and after are merely aspects of a whole.
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The words of Dionysos and Ariadne from the mouth of their beloved son: Rule with your heart; live with your conscience; love and be free.

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