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Author Topic: Polytheism and gods from other religions  (Read 266 times)

EclecticWheel

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Polytheism and gods from other religions
« on: September 05, 2019, 02:31:49 pm »
I am requesting advice and insight on this topic for personal and intellectual reasons.

Gods and other beings come in theological and religious contexts, and sometimes they exist in more than one.  It took (and is still taking) a long time for me to relate to the spiritual figures I grew up with in a different context than the current majority, but there is precedent for it, and so here I am.

I'm interested in polytheist takes on worshipping or otherwise relating to gods or other spiritual figures from pantheons that come from a different theological and religious context than your primary religion(s).

As I've said before, despite my many uncertainties about precise details, I do think there is a "something more" to gods and other entities.  But they're rather fluid at times, at least in our understanding of them.

Sometimes they exist in multiple theological contexts.  Jesus certainly has and does. They evolve.  They merge with other gods at times.

So I can see how a person of religion X may approach a God from a very different religion Y if called for.

I have from time to time in the past called on a couple different bhodisattvas.  They are not primary spiritual figures for me, and though I am influenced by Buddhism in some ways, I have no intentions of converting to Buddhism.

From time to time there are various figures like this I feel a pull toward for various reasons and needs personal to myself.  But I often fear I will disrespect them if I am not careful: I inhabit a theological context that is different in many ways from traditional Buddhism.

It was hard enough to relate to familiar Powers in a new context, but familiar Powers and precedents made that doable psychologically.

I do not exactly have goals of enlightenment or liberation from samsara in the same sense as some Buddhists.  Then again, Secular Buddhists don't either, though they tend not to pray to bhodisattvas overall.

I have had blocks with Hellenic deities for various reasons, too, and tend to merely meditate on them at this time.

The bhodisattvas as portrayed exist in a certain context.  I can learn the traditional manners of approaching them, but if I wish to call on some of them more extensively than I have, I wonder what to do with their context since parts of it are not part of my mentality or practice.

If you have a primary pantheon, and if you have been drawn to a select God or two from another pantheon and religion with very different views and contexts than your own, how do you go about approaching those particular Powers?

I hope I'm getting my question across clearly.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Donal2018

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Re: Polytheism and gods from other religions
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 03:15:46 pm »
I am requesting advice and insight on this topic for personal and intellectual reasons.

Gods and other beings come in theological and religious contexts, and sometimes they exist in more than one.  It took (and is still taking) a long time for me to relate to the spiritual figures I grew up with in a different context than the current majority, but there is precedent for it, and so here I am.

I'm interested in polytheist takes on worshipping or otherwise relating to gods or other spiritual figures from pantheons that come from a different theological and religious context than your primary religion(s).


If you have a primary pantheon, and if you have been drawn to a select God or two from another pantheon and religion with very different views and contexts than your own, how do you go about approaching those particular Powers?

I hope I'm getting my question across clearly.

I am not sure that I have a clear answer for you, but here are some ideas of mine that might be helpful-

As a Pagan Christian, I try to fit Jesus into a Pagan context. So my basic theological/cosmological perspective is Pagan. I focus on Celtic pantheons mainly, but I am open to dealing with Powers from different cultures and traditions. It is like having friends who are mostly Americans, but also having friends from other Countries. So, Powers are Powers, wherever they are from. There are just a number of Powers from various different cultures, with different names, types, and characteristics. Just like people from different cultures.

My emerging cosmology is similar to some types of Hinduism. I primarily worship Celtic gods, but also some Hellenic, and others, including a Pagan version of Christ, the White God. But my cosmology is basically summed up as: One Source, Many Gods. So I think that some Gods and Goddesses from different Pantheons and different Cultures might in fact be different aspects, incarnations, avatars of each other, just as Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu (or is it the other way around? I am still learning).

So, even when Powers from one Pantheon are not avatars or incarnations of each other, they are still Powers of one form or another. An Egyptian Power and a Norse Power may come from different cultures, but they are still Powers and have some similarities anyway, just as a person from Norway might have something in common with a person from North Africa. People are people wherever they come from, and I think that the same might be said for Powers, Gods, and Goddesses.

I would also point out the idea of Jesus in Comparative Mythology, wherein Jesus is sometimes associated with other Gods, like Dionysus and Osiris. This is part of my UPG about different Gods from different Cultures and Pantheons maybe being related somehow.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_comparative_mythology

Part of my point here is that Gods can be related to each other like Cousins, sometimes distant ones, and different cultures and perspectives may be related in other ways.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 03:19:31 pm by Donal2018 »

EclecticWheel

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Re: Polytheism and gods from other religions
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2019, 01:38:40 am »
I am not sure that I have a clear answer for you, but here are some ideas of mine that might be helpful-

As a Pagan Christian, I try to fit Jesus into a Pagan context. So my basic theological/cosmological perspective is Pagan. I focus on Celtic pantheons mainly, but I am open to dealing with Powers from different cultures and traditions. It is like having friends who are mostly Americans, but also having friends from other Countries. So, Powers are Powers, wherever they are from. There are just a number of Powers from various different cultures, with different names, types, and characteristics. Just like people from different cultures.

My emerging cosmology is similar to some types of Hinduism. I primarily worship Celtic gods, but also some Hellenic, and others, including a Pagan version of Christ, the White God. But my cosmology is basically summed up as: One Source, Many Gods. So I think that some Gods and Goddesses from different Pantheons and different Cultures might in fact be different aspects, incarnations, avatars of each other, just as Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu (or is it the other way around? I am still learning).

So, even when Powers from one Pantheon are not avatars or incarnations of each other, they are still Powers of one form or another. An Egyptian Power and a Norse Power may come from different cultures, but they are still Powers and have some similarities anyway, just as a person from Norway might have something in common with a person from North Africa. People are people wherever they come from, and I think that the same might be said for Powers, Gods, and Goddesses.

I would also point out the idea of Jesus in Comparative Mythology, wherein Jesus is sometimes associated with other Gods, like Dionysus and Osiris. This is part of my UPG about different Gods from different Cultures and Pantheons maybe being related somehow.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_comparative_mythology

Part of my point here is that Gods can be related to each other like Cousins, sometimes distant ones, and different cultures and perspectives may be related in other ways.

Thanks for the response.

In the meantime I am consulting both religious and secular Buddhists for insight into this matter, although I'm interested in how neo-pagans with a primary path or pantheon might approach deities from other pantheons that exist in religions with very different values, cosmologies, views of the afterlife than their own, etc.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

EclecticWheel

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Re: Polytheism and gods from other religions
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 01:49:31 pm »
Thanks for the response.

In the meantime I am consulting both religious and secular Buddhists for insight into this matter, although I'm interested in how neo-pagans with a primary path or pantheon might approach deities from other pantheons that exist in religions with very different values, cosmologies, views of the afterlife than their own, etc.

While my views may have been similar enough in the past, I'm thinking this isn't going to work at this time, and I'm exploring some other options for what I'm looking for, though I find wrathful bodisattvas interesting to reflect on, certain of which aspects I am attempting to integrate into my practices.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

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