Have you ever been part of a conversation wondering how you got there and where this all started? Hope and I were chatting a few days ago and we had one of these conversations. We had been chatting with an old friend. We will call him Lahmu. He, Lahmu was sharing with us an epiphany in his studies of Nammu/Tiamat and Apsu
“Tiamat and Apsu are not distinct emanations of a godhead. They are in fact, the same being, where one aspect represents potential, and the other represents creation.”
Hope asked me my thoughts and here is our conversation
Nettle: While it does conflict with my game mechanics of gods being separate beings, all independent with hierarchy with immortals above god to the one creator of a universe I’m not sure that is how it works in real life. I do feel and understand that perhaps much like Hinduism the gods we know are just part of a greater whole larger than what we as humans can understand.
Side note – really, it’s pertinent Hope, Glory, Coyvere and I have played in a D&D game run but Nicodemus for years. In the game, there are the individual deities’ powers unto themselves separate with their own identity with their own pantheons etc. I have on more than one occasions use something that happened while gaming to explain something that has happened magically. Terribly geeky I know but it works because it is a system of symbolism we all jointly understand
Hope: (always looking out for our readers) That would make an interesting post.
Nettle: Maybe. (Not always willing to go out on a limb for someone named Hope. I do like to play things safe and close to the chest.) Many pagans disagree with me vehemently. We want our gods to be independent and free not one uncomprehending glob.
Hope: Well, when you look at the distinct personalities the deities exhibit, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that they’re all separate entities.
Hope: Saying that Hestia is Ares is Frigg is Bast appears to fly in the face of reality.
Nettle: Yep, most would agree with you, and yet there are archetypes found in all religions that link deities together.
Hope: It’s all a primordial soup? The archetypes are the same because people are the same.
Nettle: Perhaps it is better to say that if there is one creator or source of power that we can only see or understand or even comprehend small tiny insignificant part of the greater whole.
Hope: If cats have deities they look nothing like Bast or Freya.
Nettle: Gods take on the personalities of their worshipers and the society they live in more often than not it is the societies rules that become the rule of the god(s).
Hope: If they (the gods) want to be relevant they have to. I personally would hope that the gods would not choose to perpetuate a rape culture and that they would try to lift us up rather than indulge our worst instincts. If there’s a mirror effect wherein gods reflect society and society reflect gods, then I think gods have an obligation to distort the mirror and hold us to higher standards. Being so much older and presumably wiser, they must have an ultimate vision of humanity. If this vision is that men are all powerful and women are subservient then gods can go to their own hells because they don’t deserve our worship. My own opinion is that Creator deities seem to have one function, and when that is accomplished they relinquish control and interest to the deities who arise or to whom they give birth.
Nettle: Not the other way around?
Hope: There’s nothing relevant about a dragon. And notice that Ymir had to die in order for creation to happen.
Nettle: Is that truth or human myth?
Hope: Lol finding your Absolutes? Can we know the truth? Does a seed of it lie in myth?
While we at Moonlit Path have been neglectful in posting to the blog, that doesn’t mean we’ve been sitting on our laurels playing solitaire. (okay maybe the solitaire) One of my favorite Facebook group pages is Patheos Pagan a collection of pagan blogs. They shared and article a few weeks ago about defining your beliefs and practice. What are your non-negotiable for your religion Fantastic article below is the link.
I loved that idea and thought wow! I can do that should be easy peasy. HA – that is the sound of the universe laughing at me to say this is a work in progress would be an understatement. Hence all the solitaire.
Nettle: I don’t think we can know truth, nor can we claim to even begin to understand the truth we only understand what is happening through the filters of a human brain.
When I was in my early teens I stumbled across some Deist writing way back in my agnostic/ atheist phase. At the time, it struck a chord with me and I find it pops up often when I try to explain or define my beliefs. The things that stick with you.
Hope: We can only handle so much and each person has their own limits.
Nettle: I want to believe that love is more powerful than hate. I think that is one of my absolutes/non-negotiable
Hope: That depends on your definitions and measurements. It may be totally subjective. And yours won’t be everybody’s. Love, like hate, is often in the eye of the beholder.
Nettle: I knew you would say that!
Hope: Lol of course you did! Cliches R Us!
Nettle: Perhaps love is too subjective for you perhaps compassion.
Hope: It’s still filtered through individual perceptions.
Nettle: It is MY absolutes, not yours, you can’t argue for or against my absolutes because they are mine Go forth and make your own absolutes and non-negotiable, Hope!
Hope: In any case, it doesn’t prevent you from honoring Hestia or Gaia as separate entities.
Nettle: No it doesn’t, but they may be one part of a greater whole. What are your absolutes?
Hope: I haven’t given it any thought. I just do whatever I feel is right at the time. Does it feel right to put some honey in a saucer and say that this is for Danu? If so, I do it.
Nettle: So, you trust your intuition.
Hope: Whether it’s all one conglomeration of conscious energy or separate entities is immaterial. I deal with the separate ones, just as you do.
Nettle: A separate part or a facet of the larger whole.
Hope: We break it down into manageable pieces. It could be either or it could be something I can’t begin to fathom. I deal with what deals with me. To me, in the end, it doesn’t matter.
Nettle: The part you can comprehend.
Hope: You may be right. The others may be right. Does it matter? Not really. Hard to work with something you can’t begin to comprehend. How can you connect?
Nettle: You connect with the small bit of intelligence that resonates with you.
Hope: Yes. I am finite. Even dealing with the small bit can be overwhelming.
From here our conversation devolved into the mundane of what we were going to make for dinner and how hot it was outside.