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Author Topic: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today  (Read 2982 times)

SunflowerP

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2012, 07:54:55 pm »
Quote from: Shine;60866
I always thought UPG = opinion, or otherwise personal fact?

 
It stands for "unverified personal gnosis" - more than just an opinion, but I wouldn't apply the word "fact" to it at all; "truth" is closer.  But, yes, very definitely personal - my UPGs are truth for me, but not truth for anyone else (unless they themselves find it to be so).

I found JB's usage odd, too, but I'm guessing she was taking a bit of a shot at those people who treat their UPGs as if they were facts and applicable to others.

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2012, 09:21:44 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;61034
It stands for "unverified personal gnosis" - more than just an opinion, but I wouldn't apply the word "fact" to it at all; "truth" is closer.  But, yes, very definitely personal - my UPGs are truth for me, but not truth for anyone else (unless they themselves find it to be so).

I found JB's usage odd, too, but I'm guessing she was taking a bit of a shot at those people who treat their UPGs as if they were facts and applicable to others.

Sunflower

 
Thanks for the clarification. I still haven't quite wrapped my head around all the ins and outs behind this idea. The broad idea is easy to understand, but you occasionally run into little gotchas here and there.
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Juniperberry

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2012, 02:31:14 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;61034
It stands for "unverified personal gnosis" - more than just an opinion, but I wouldn't apply the word "fact" to it at all; "truth" is closer.  But, yes, very definitely personal - my UPGs are truth for me, but not truth for anyone else (unless they themselves find it to be so).

I found JB's usage odd, too, but I'm guessing she was taking a bit of a shot at those people who treat their UPGs as if they were facts and applicable to others.

Sunflower



No, not a jab. I'm using it in the casual sense that I've seen others use it, ex: the UPG of feeling that my hex sign worked and utilizing that more often based on personal experience ,  rather than UPG as "knowledge of mysteries". Getting feelings about the literature that would influence the reading of such, to me, falls under the former sense of UPG. And that isn't something that I find overwhelmingly convincing in myself to where I would accept it as a firm truth/fact/whatever.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 02:33:37 pm 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."

SunflowerP

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2012, 12:04:50 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;61105
No, not a jab. I'm using it in the casual sense that I've seen others use it, ex: the UPG of feeling that my hex sign worked and utilizing that more often based on personal experience ,  rather than UPG as "knowledge of mysteries". Getting feelings about the literature that would influence the reading of such, to me, falls under the former sense of UPG. And that isn't something that I find overwhelmingly convincing in myself to where I would accept it as a firm truth/fact/whatever.

 
For the most part, I wouldn't call those UPGs at all - I figure, if what one has is simply a "feeling" about something, as you describe, then one should just call it that, a feeling.  Yeah, there might well be people who disparage that, but changing the label one sticks on it isn't going to make much difference - either one is pursuing a path on which "feels right" is a legitimate means of groping one's way in the absence of solider knowledge (in which case the disparagers are either prats playing oneupmanship games, or they're applying the standards of their own, different, path - or both), or one is pursuing a path on which it's not a legitimate means (in which case one really ought to consider whether one is in fact pursuing the path one claims one is).

IME, those who use it for their feeling of whether a hex sign/spell/whatever worked are falling into the trap of supposing that such things only "count" if they're UPGs, and that they can be moved from "doesn't count" to "counts" by what label they put on it - an exercise in futility, since it won't work any better for being labelled differently, and it dilutes the meaning of UPG.

As far as literature goes, "feelings" about it seem to me to not be the UPG itself, but one possible start point from which a UPG might (or might not) eventually emerge - academic, lore-based UPG requires fairly broad, deep, nuanced knowledge of the lore and literature.  Nothing wrong with getting interesting ideas about the material one is reading, but at that point one should be going "hmm...," and following it up, not naming it gnosis.

YMMV; I'm notoriously fussy about words! mean! things!; also, I believe the coinage of "UPG" predates my arrival on TC (yep, it's another term that started here), so I can't speak for whether my sense of what it means reflects the intent of the coiners.

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Juniperberry

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2012, 12:13:50 am »
Quote
GoldenSiren...


I was getting ready to write a blog on this asking whether or not I speak gibberish, and when I went back to your OP I realized that yes, yes I am.

I was answering as to how I approach the literature, and does the literature matter in my spirituality. Sorry for totally misreading that but I get the confusion now.

But to your (actual?) question: if I see something mentioned in the lit-- like a practice or a method-- I'll try it out in my daily life. Thor reclaiming his hammer is a weird example, and maybe what threw me off,  because I don't see anything in that that one could bring to ritual or folk practices. ?
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."

Juniperberry

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2012, 01:03:16 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;61166
For the most part, I wouldn't call those UPGs at all - I figure, if what one has is simply a "feeling" about something, as you describe, then one should just call it that, a feeling.


You have to admit that "feelings" is very often used in conjunction with "UPG". As in, "Sorry for the UPG, but I really get the feeling that Loki is a female based on some experiences I've had."

Quote
Yeah, there might well be people who disparage that, but changing the label one sticks on it isn't going to make much difference


It isn't necessarily disparaging, but don't you agree that it's taken on a casual definition? I find it hard to believe that as often as UPG is used that tihere are an equal amount of mystical revelations. I'm probably wrong-- I'm not a mystic so maybe I don't know how frequent they are. I've just never had issues using it casually before.


Quote
As far as literature goes, "feelings" about it seem to me to not be the UPG itself, but one possible start point from which a UPG might (or might not) eventually emerge - academic, lore-based UPG requires fairly broad, deep, nuanced knowledge of the lore and literature.  Nothing wrong with getting interesting ideas about the material one is reading, but at that point one should be going "hmm...," and following it up, not naming it gnosis.


Well, as far as that point goes, there was monumental confusion in all of my postings. All I could wonder was, "what sort of feelings/UPG am I !supposedto be getting from reading the lit?", as Shine had asked. The only "feelings" I could think of that even applied to my understanding of the thread was in that regard. ("Feelings? Um, I get the feeling I'd like to know more...???*confusion*") I was at a loss. I kept asking myself how in the hell was my approach to the lit "odd" and "interesting"?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 01:59:07 am by SunflowerP »
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."

earth_dragon

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2012, 01:46:18 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;60836
Yes. But first it has to be deconstructed; I want to understand the original context, filter out external influences, find corroboration for any theories I might develop, and examine it against any information I've already gathered and feel confident in.

 
I'm feeling extremely lazy. But this. This is also me in a nutshell.

SunflowerP

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2012, 02:39:49 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;61171
You have to admit that "feelings" is very often used in conjunction with "UPG". As in, "Sorry for the UPG, but I really get the feeling that Loki is a female based on some experiences I've had."

It isn't necessarily disparaging, but don't you agree that it's taken on a casual definition?


I have to admit/agree that people do that, yep.  I don't have to like it, though.  And I don't have to accept that usage to now be the "correct" definition of it.  I might eventually have to concede that it's a legitimate definition (I'm fine with words having more than one definition, even if I dislike how some of them developed), but I'll be darned if I concede it to be the definition.

Quote
Well, as far as that point goes, there was monumental confusion in all of my postings. All I could wonder was, "what sort of feelings/UPG am I !supposedto be getting from reading the lit?", as Shine had asked. The only "feelings" I could think of that even applied to my understanding of the thread was in that regard. ("Feelings? Um, I get the feeling I'd like to know more...???*confusion*") I was at a loss. I kept asking myself how in the hell was my approach to the lit "odd" and "interesting"?

 
We were definitely talking past each other, yep.  It wasn't all from you not explicating, either; when I look back, I can see where you'd said you were talking strictly about how you do it.  I think where I got off track was, for me it's goes-without-saying obvious that, no, slapping the UPG label on stuff casually isn't something you do, so I reflexively looked for it to be saying more than that.

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Aster Breo

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How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2012, 10:21:11 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;61177
I have to admit/agree that people do that, yep.  I don't have to like it, though.  And I don't have to accept that usage to now be the "correct" definition of it.  I might eventually have to concede that it's a legitimate definition (I'm fine with words having more than one definition, even if I dislike how some of them developed), but I'll be darned if I concede it to be the definition.
 

I'm confused.  I think...

Sunflower -- and anyone else who wants to answer, what is your preferred definition of UPG and SPG?

(I don't mean that in a snippy way.  I really *am* confused and want to understand better.  Although my confusion is probably caused by my just mistreating something...)

Thanks!

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SunflowerP

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #24 on: June 23, 2012, 06:02:27 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;61203
I'm confused.  I think...

Sunflower -- and anyone else who wants to answer, what is your preferred definition of UPG and SPG?

(I don't mean that in a snippy way.  I really *am* confused and want to understand better.  Although my confusion is probably caused by my just mistreating something...)

 
I was going to refer you back to what I said earlier in the thread (post #19), but when I reread it myself, I realized that most of the "definition of UPG" bits I was thinking I'd included were actually bits I'd typed then decided were peripheral to my main point and deleted.

I can't really draw a clear bright line to demarcate precisely what is and is not UPG; there's a degree of subjectivity to it - the person who has the UPG/idea is the only one who can really determine whether or not they consider it to be a UPG or not.  Two people could have the same thought or insight, yet one might consider it UPG and the other might consider it to not quite qualify for that designation.

Basically, though, it's "what it says on the tin".  To break that down:

It should be unverified:  not directly evidenced or attested in the relevant lore as the person with the UPG knows that lore.  It might be indirectly evidenced (that applies especially to academic UPGs - a recon might say, "Well, this is UPG because it's not actually in there, but if you take X bit from Y source, and compare it with Z bit from W source, it implies the possibility of M."), or it might be something that can't be directly evidenced (does the Internet have a patron deity?), or it might be something for which there is evidence, but the person hasn't yet encountered that evidence.

It's necessarily personal - even with academic UPGs, there'll be dispute about interpretation or the weight to give X bit from Y source.  And with experiential UPGs, they're UPGs only for whoever had the experience.

And it must be gnosis.  By which I don't necessarily mean "mystic revelation" (academic UPGs aren't mystic revelations, except maybe if one considers one's insight into that implication or interpretation to be inspired by deity), just that it must fall under the classification "knowledge".  A lot of "it feels right to do X" isn't, strictly speaking - it might be inspiration (as, f'ex, spontaneously singing a devotional song); it might be an idea for something to do ritually/devotionally; after one has done it, if it was sufficiently effective, it might be the information that X is or can be an effective thing to do.  Umm... I think I'm saying that the "gnosis" of UPG isn't so much about what or where or when as it's about why and sometimes how - that idea of "feels right to do X" that becomes the information "X is effective", might (or might not) become a UPG when one thinks, "Aha, X is effective because it fits into my overall system in thus-and-so way.; it interacts with, and makes sense with, W, Y, and Z."  (And I'd usually figure that the UPG part took place at that point of seeing how it fits, rather than whe one had the initial idea - though for myself, I'm likely to tag such sequences as "doing it right, by accident" and never think of whether it's UPG or not.)

This is probably really unclear - I started off feeling like I knew just what I was going to say, but it turned out that, if my brain had it in words, they weren't English (or any other spoken language, but since I don't speak any others, that's neither here nor there).

SPG, in its simplest definition, is "as above, only more than one person had it."  I'd add that, in the, "one person considers it UPG, the other doesn't," instance I gave above, I generally wouldn't disqualify it as SPG; also, that while something is only UPG/SPG for the person or people who had the experience, or the insight into implication/interpretation of lore, it can still be a truth or an accepted interpretation for others.

I think you just got all of my day's supply of Brain.  Well, it's in a good cause - it's good to have an actual discussion of what we mean by that (though it might be an idea to break it off into its own thread; it's relevant to the topic of this one, but it's not on topic).

Sunflower
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GoldenSiren

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2012, 01:58:19 am »
Quote from: Shine;60875
If you're not very familiar with a god, from reading or personal experience, what other interpretation can you have other than a "loose" one? ;)
Lol yes you're correct there ;)

Quote from: Shine;60875
There's gotta be a balance somewhere for recons and eclectics alike, where there's history and scholarship underlying practices, but not smothering them. The proportion would depend on your personal approach.
Again, you speak the truth here. *sigh* This is one of the very few times I wish our gods and the information behind them was less obscure (this is even true for the ones with more information, like the Greek pantheon). There is so much that must be either cross analyzed a dozen times or otherwise interpreted, or you just give up and settle for a feeling. Those that follow the Abrahamic religions have it easy, I'll give them that.

... but then again I don't know if I would be happy with "easy". It *is* very much an adventure to discover new things about your gods, and apply that to your life.

Quote from: Juniperberry;61167
I was getting ready to write a blog on this asking whether or not I speak gibberish, and when I went back to your OP I realized that yes, yes I am.
Heh, it's alright, it happens to the best of us :p

Quote from: Juniperberry;61167
I was answering as to how I approach the literature, and does the literature matter in my spirituality. Sorry for totally misreading that but I get the confusion now.
I wasn't really confused in the sense of "Wait, that's totally unrelated to the thread and have NO idea WHATSOEVER what s/he (I'm assuming you're female from your profile pic, but I don't want to offend if I'm wrong) was trying to say..." More like I personally have never approached a piece of literature with such a scientific viewpoint. I was intrigued :) and I didn't think you were "totally misreading" it. We all interpret things differently, it makes life interesting.

Quote from: Juniperberry;61167
But to your (actual?) question: if I see something mentioned in the lit-- like a practice or a method-- I'll try it out in my daily life. Thor reclaiming his hammer is a weird example, and maybe what threw me off,  because I don't see anything in that that one could bring to ritual or folk practices. ?
Ahh, sorry. I had Thor on my mind at the time (which was strange, since I don't actually follow him. Maybe because I read a couple threads that mentioned some gods from the Norse pantheon? --shrug-- but maybe after reading that story, someone would want to create a prayer ritual (or add to an older one) that kind of revolved around that story? Mentioning phrases, paying more attention to his hammer and the importance of it to the god, making prayer beads or something similar with a hammer charm? Or even going all out and gathering friends and family that also follow him, and try to reenact the story itself, with the purpose of better understanding and getting closer to Thor?

. . . I don't know, maybe I'm being a bit too creative by thinking of things to do like that. :o


As for the rest of the discussion about UPGs and SPGs... I am completely lost. I am going to say the reason for that is probably because A) I'm relatively new to forums such as this, and so quite a bit of the terminology goes way over my head. I most likely do whatever is being described, but I didn't necessarily know that is the official (or whatever) term for it. That kind of thing. And B) it is currently 2:00am where I am, and I haven't slept well in quite a few days. Heh.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 02:03:31 am by GoldenSiren »
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Lokabrenna

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2012, 01:49:22 pm »
Quote from: GoldenSiren;60834

The published stories of today about the gods (such as those ever-famous Greek Mythology books, or the stories about the legend of Thor's Hammer or information on the different pantheons or or or... anything similar) do they affect how you view or worship your god/desses? If, say, one worshiped Thor and read the stories about him, would you then take that information and add to your rituals or otherwise incorporate it into your life? Or would you simply go with "Cool story bro" and set it aside to read with your kids for kicks and giggles?

If the literature DOES affect your worship, how so? How have you (or haven't you) incorporated myths into your life/rituals/views on a particular god or goddess/etc?


Speaking as someone who isn't a reconstructionist, I think the myths are useful for obtaining information about a deity's likes and dislikes, particular spheres of influence, and ideas for ritual, but I think I would be less concerned about trying to figure out whether Loki really is bound or not when "OMFGs! Loki is talking to me RIGHT NOW!" I save those kinds of discussions for threads in facebook groups and message boards. :)

Faemon

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2012, 07:02:56 am »
Quote from: Lokabrenna;61736
Speaking as someone who isn't a reconstructionist, I think the myths are useful for obtaining information about a deity's likes and dislikes, particular spheres of influence, and ideas for ritual, but I think I would be less concerned about trying to figure out whether Loki really is bound or not when "OMFGs! Loki is talking to me RIGHT NOW!" I save those kinds of discussions for threads in facebook groups and message boards. :)

 
Same here. To me, myths are like gossip. There might be some truth to it, some good advice to be cautious, but you've really got to connect with the deity to see what they're really like.

I mean, even religions that have the benefit of a written-down canon? Can be so messed up with missing books, and mistranslations, or the people who wrote it down never being cited. Myths are usually passed on from word of mouth, which is even messier-- deities who are siblings in one region can told as spouses in the mythology of another region, minor deities can be conflated with more popular deities and made to disappear entirely, even major deities can be adapted to mesh with some tribal conquerer's pantheon, some stories stop being told, others are elaborated like a grain of truth becomes a pearl, etcetera, etcetera.


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Alex

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Re: How Myths and Stories Affect Worship Today
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2012, 03:58:18 pm »
Quote from: GoldenSiren;60834
Hello there! :D:
So, my question to you is:
The published stories of today about the gods (such as those ever-famous Greek Mythology books, or the stories about the legend of Thor's Hammer or information on the different pantheons or or or... anything similar) do they affect how you view or worship your god/desses? If, say, one worshiped Thor and read the stories about him, would you then take that information and add to your rituals or otherwise incorporate it into your life? Or would you simply go with "Cool story bro" and set it aside to read with your kids for kicks and giggles?

 
Well, since my Patron has no myths or stories under the guise I know Him as, it's of no consequence--I work from UPG and the PG of other spirit-workers and shamans that I know.

I think, if your Patron/Spirit has stories, it's good to use them as a springboard, but not as the be-all, end-all. I'm affiliated with quite a few Northern Tradition folk who do just that--use the myths and sagas [the Eddas, Lokasenna, etc] of their Gods as a point to start with, not to end with. UPG has a very heavy place in my spiritual practice, partly because my God has no history and partly because I believe spirituality comes from experience and not from books.

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* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall