The last few days we’ve been talking a bit about the nature of the Gods … @theheadlesshashasheen sparked a discussion about Proto-Indo-European culture(s) and common themes we see among the Gods of PIE-descendant cultures. @coldalbion talked about the idea of Gods-as-archetypes or personifications of concepts. All of which has got me thinking.
I know I experience a certain amount of confusion when I think about the apparent historical evolutions of the Gods, about common threads that link Gods from different cultures, about what it means to syncretise or identify Gods with each other or as aspects of each other. I’m a hard polytheist, I believe in the Gods as separate entities, individuals unto Themselves, and yet these things can’t be denied. Things that seem easier to understand as part of an archetypal or soft polytheist paradigm.
But ultimately, hard polytheism, soft polytheism, Gods-as-archetypes - they are all human attempts to rationalise & explain that which is not-human.
We are so used, in our Western monotheist-dominated [Christian-dominated] societies, to approaching everything with this human logic. We forget that the Other runs on Other-logic - the logic of myth, of fairytale, of the liminal and paradoxical.
Remember science lessons about the structure of the atom? How we say that because our human minds can’t comprehend the actuality of the atom, we develop ways that we can conceptualise it - metaphors we call models, that are powerful in many ways but always imperfect?
Our neat paradigms of hard polytheism/soft polytheism - they are just models. The truth [if there be such a thing] is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.
The Gods are always this and that, yes and no, here and there, at once. Let go of the human logic, look with the Other-logic, and it begins to make sense.