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Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”  (Read 1114 times)

Holdasown

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Re: In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2019, 09:03:43 am »
There's a pretty good* article up on The Wild Hunt, In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”, that I thought folks here might be interested in (not least because, IIRC, TC is where the term was coined), and perhaps discuss - either, or both, the article itself, or the questions it asks about the role of UPG and where (if anywhere) and why to 'draw the line'.

Do you make use of UPG in any form? Why/why not? What kind of limitations or restrictions do you think it should be subject to?

Even though I try to keep up with Heathen groups, especially Urglaawe since it's more German in nature, I am still a solitary practioner. I have to at some point trust my spiritual work and the god/ ancestors I am asking questions of. I understand anything I am getting myself on my own is mine and not necessarily from or for the community at large. I have no issue with anyone not buying into what I experience or even calling it wrong. I thing the gods are individuals and interact with us as individuals in our daily practice.

Sefiru

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Re: In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2019, 07:25:45 pm »
Hmm. Why is that, if I may ask? I've always been really glad when sources validate my UPG, because too me it implies I really am working with who I think I'm working with.

Partly, because finding validating sources was the first clue I had that these entities were not, in fact, characters that I had made up. Which further meant that rather than ideas originating with me, somebody else was putting ideas into my head. For a material-world comparison, imagine if an anonymous person kept slipping notes under your door. No matter how nice or useful they are, it can still be a bit off-putting. After that there was a good bit of deliberate communication and building up trust so it doesn't bother me as much anymore.

Hariti

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Re: In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2019, 07:36:38 pm »
Partly, because finding validating sources was the first clue I had that these entities were not, in fact, characters that I had made up. Which further meant that rather than ideas originating with me, somebody else was putting ideas into my head.

I can see how that would be disturbing if you weren't already working from that as the default assumption.
"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

Zlote Jablko

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Re: In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2019, 07:40:23 am »
I sometimes speculate that, somewhere beneath the surface that is the material world, there are formless, fathomless divine currents, and here and there they break through like magma fountaining forth from a volcano, and they become Mysteries, and gods are formed. When similar bits of current break through in different places, similar Powers are formed, but the nature of the culture and geography they spring from makes them not quite the same.

Earlier tonight I was discussing some fuzzy similarities between my loosely Greco-"Minoan" path and a friend's heathen path; I voiced the opinion that Dionysos and Odin perhaps came from the same current. Yeah, plausible, she responded, but how do you explain the Hermes connection?

I mused that when proto-Dionysos arose from Mysteries in the Minoan Aegean, the people were in touch with Kemetic Egypt, which had heavy syncretism among its gods. So they formulated a system where the mystic, ecstatic, liminal, mad Dionysos was the core, and Apollo and Hermes functioned as his more semi-orderly guardian arms of prophecy, music, language, and travel on either side, but all were part of the same Mystery. But the ancient Norse didn't have the same cultural context of easy syncretism, and Odin touched on and was transformed by those same Mysteries alone. By the time the Romans met him, both Dionysos and Odin/Woden had evolved sufficiently that they identified the Norse Odin (predominantly, to their eyes, defined by his associations with wandering paths, magic, and inspired language; also, he had a rad hat or something?) with their Mercury.

--that's all just speculation, of course. But I do think sometimes religious parallels go beyond those that are easily explained by cultural diffusion.

Yeah, I can see some parallels in Odin’s association with rage and the mead of poetry. Both Odin and Dionysus are such complex deities though, both possibly amalgams. I think amalgamation is totally valid in polytheism, so it’s hard not to speculate about “currents” or multiple aspects for some of the major deities.

Odin actually has something in common with the Lithuanian Velinas, God of the underworld. Both are associated with eye sacrifice and becoming a seer. We know men in Lithuania used to sacrifice an eye or at least wet it to become a seer. Yet it seems weird to say Odin is Velinas, because they’re very different otherwise. Velinas is actually an adversary of the heavenly Gods, in some ways similar to Loki.

In Baltic mythology, the heavens are ruled by Dievas, whose name is actually related to Tyr/ Teiwaz. The God that “Tuesday” was named after. I suspect some scholars are right in thinking Odin displaced Tyr and acquired some of his more heavenly and kingly traits.

On Dionysus, a link to the Minoans and/or Anatolia seems plausible. Some readings of his name connect him with Kültepe (Nysa) in Asia Minor. The labrys symbol shows up there in association with some Gods like Sarruma.

Jainarayan

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Re: In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2019, 10:07:53 am »

Do you make use of UPG in any form? Why/why not? What kind of limitations or restrictions do you think it should be subject to?

Sunflower


Hindu scriptures are overwhelmingly stories, poetry, hymns, mantras and mythology, not rules, regulations, laws or commandments. There's a lot of room for personal interpretation, which the rishis, saints, pundits, sages did, and for us the devotees to do.

I use UPG to a certain, though not large extent. As EnderDragonFire correctly pointed out, Hindu scriptures are crawling with contradictions. That's not necessarily a flaw or proof that Hinduism is false and can't get its shit together. Rather, it shows that truth depends on a certain pov. And to use UPG, my belief is that time is not linear: it can fold back on itself with alternate versions of events. Similar to that is multiverses, which Hinduism does describe. As well as, or instead of time folding back on itself for different versions of events, it could be events from those multiverses being recorded.

Another example of my UPG is my views of reincarnation. There's a thread here somewhere in which I explain my beliefs that a soul can sometimes choose its next birth, sort of as a grace from the gods to do so. Afaik that's not really spelled out anywhere definitively in scriptures. But if you put 2+2 together, you just may get 4. Because of the diversity and vastness of Hinduism, there really aren't many places, if any, I can think of that are too outrageous for UPG. I mean, when you have a couple of characters/beings incarnating through several lives together, to carry on their feud, the door is pretty wide open to almost anything. Those wild and cr-aaaazy gods!
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
 

Hariti

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Re: In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2019, 11:55:58 am »
my belief is that time is not linear: it can fold back on itself with alternate versions of events. Similar to that is multiverses, which Hinduism does describe. As well as, or instead of time folding back on itself for different versions of events, it could be events from those multiverses being recorded.

That's uncannily similar to what I believe! I remember getting into an argument with a literalist Brahmin years ago, and using that same argument against him (he was attacking Darwinism).
"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

Eastling

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Re: In Defense of “Unverified Personal Gnosis”
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2019, 03:32:05 pm »
Yeah, I can see some parallels in Odin’s association with rage and the mead of poetry. Both Odin and Dionysus are such complex deities though, both possibly amalgams. I think amalgamation is totally valid in polytheism, so it’s hard not to speculate about “currents” or multiple aspects for some of the major deities.

Odin actually has something in common with the Lithuanian Velinas, God of the underworld. Both are associated with eye sacrifice and becoming a seer. We know men in Lithuania used to sacrifice an eye or at least wet it to become a seer. Yet it seems weird to say Odin is Velinas, because they’re very different otherwise. Velinas is actually an adversary of the heavenly Gods, in some ways similar to Loki.

Not a heathen, but I would love to know more about the connection between Odin and Loki. It's a shame so much of the pre-Christian info on the latter in particular has been lost.

Quote
In Baltic mythology, the heavens are ruled by Dievas, whose name is actually related to Tyr/ Teiwaz. The God that “Tuesday” was named after. I suspect some scholars are right in thinking Odin displaced Tyr and acquired some of his more heavenly and kingly traits.

I was under the impression this idea was fairly well-accepted in studies of (P)IE religion.

Quote
On Dionysus, a link to the Minoans and/or Anatolia seems plausible. Some readings of his name connect him with Kültepe (Nysa) in Asia Minor. The labrys symbol shows up there in association with some Gods like Sarruma.

A combination of archaeology and genetic studies suggests that the predecessors of the Minoans migrated from Western Anatolia (probably gradually?) across the Aegean to Crete sometime before the 7th millennium BCE, so it's not out of the question that there's a similar base there to begin with. Of course, as we've discussed, that doesn't mean the gods involved are exactly the same being.

I am given to understand that the current prevailing scholarly opinion on Dionysos is that he was a solemn, serious, entheogen-free god of life, death, and rebirth in Mycenaean/Minoan times, courtesy of his Cretan origins, and then during the Dark Ages some wild and crazy wine cult from Asia Minor swooped in and completely changed him into a raucous party god. My own UPG--meaning in this case a combination of research and gut instincts about the data I've collected--is instead that the domains of both life/death/rebirth and intoxication/ecstasy/festivity have been associated with the god from the start, and that's why he was able to shift his preference from mead to wine and adopt the already-quite-similar incoming wine cults prior to Homeric times. I have considered writing about this, but the prospect of pulling together all that intuition and information to form a coherent argument is somewhat daunting.

That is, I suppose, the trouble with UPG sometimes. It's not always easy to explain.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

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