HOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND DEITY?

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How do you conceive of Deity?

I try to avoid having any conception
13
8%
Monotheistic
6
4%
Duotheistic
6
4%
Polytheistic
28
16%
Pantheistic
64
37%
Other (please post description)
54
32%
 
Total votes: 171

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Explorer
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Postby Explorer » 28 Oct 2004, 21:59


Anyhow, I don't really think a label should keep us from agreeing with each other.
I can't agree more...
sorry about that Philip ;-)
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Postby marija » 28 Oct 2004, 22:29

Hi Philip

I voted for polytheist.

Much like the rest of the membership of OBOD I too follow a varied path spiritual path.

I am of Baltic heritage and grew up with a love and reverence for Baltic Deities. For me, they are each of them unique individuals. Though I don't incorporate Baltic practices into my OBOD activities, they nevertheless have an influence on what I do.

In Baltic Paganism (for lack of a better term) there is an emphasis on reverence for deity, the ancestors, and trying to live in harmony with ourselves, our families, our communities and the world.

To me, the various Baltic deities are evident. I feel them about me, and I do give them honour. I feel a particular closeness to Zemyna (earth goddess), in part because my Name Day (eeastern european tradiition... name days are more important than birthdays) is August 15th which is the festival of "Zolines" (day of herbs) which is one of the most sacred days for Zemyna.

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Postby Unikorn » 29 Oct 2004, 00:45

I voted other.

I believe in everything, nothing is sacred
I believe in nothing, everything is sacred (Tom Robbins)

When I meditate, I feel as a part of all things. LIke a molecule floating about in all this energy. There is no sentience as such, more like a hum. Its what I am and what is around me. I do not long for there to be more to this mystery. Sometimes I see things in the shadows, sometimes they visit, Goddess is one, Kernunnos is another. They are part of all this hum as much as myself, that bee over there, the rain falling right now from the sky.

Wonderful scrummy topic!
lots of love
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Postby Alferian » 29 Oct 2004, 02:41

I believe there is only ONE single Divinity. However, I believe that Divinity manifests in any number of forms, including the God and Goddess simultaneously. So, the Christian Trinity, and the Wiccan Trinity (there's a new phrase!) are THE SAME DIVINITY.
I feel the same way, CelticDao. I call that "monism" as distinct from "monotheism." The latter term, it seems to me, refers to religions that take it as an article of faith that their One God is the only true God and all others merely "idols" (or devils). Of course, there are enlightened people who practice the monotheistic religions who would agree with your characterization.

It is interesting how this poll and discussion are playing out. Philip must be getting lots of good material! "Other" is winning by a landslide, which seems so typically Druidic (or OBODic). I wonder how the same poll would play out on the ADF lists? Have you posted a poll there, Chief?

Blessings of Illuvatar,

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O Natura

Postby Taniwha » 29 Oct 2004, 06:58

Definitely Pantheistic. During the Renaisance Nature was personnified as Natura. I like this idea. I believe nature (in all its many forms) is the one deity. All the god and goddess forms are symbolic representations of aspects of Natura. Like different moods within the one personality...

Kia ora, Taniwha...
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Re: Why Druids make the best soup

Postby Lily » 29 Oct 2004, 07:54

.... the responses confirm my experience that the one thing you can count on with Druids is that you won't have any tedious agreement on major subjects!

That is what makes Druidry so alive and interesting - just as life is varied and full of diversity, so are our views.
on the first statement.... where does this differ from shallowness, and on the second, where does it from "anything goes"..... just a thought.
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

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Re: Why Druids make the best soup

Postby Explorer » 29 Oct 2004, 08:20

.... the responses confirm my experience that the one thing you can count on with Druids is that you won't have any tedious agreement on major subjects!

That is what makes Druidry so alive and interesting - just as life is varied and full of diversity, so are our views.
on the first statement.... where does this differ from shallowness, and on the second, where does it from "anything goes"..... just a thought.
It was not my quote, but I feel the urge to respond anyway.
I would call it an 'open mind' instead of 'shallow'. And 'be creative and imaginative' instead of 'anything goes'. (bardic properties?)
On this subject nobody Knows for sure (okay, many think they do ;-)). So agreeing to Know would be dogmatic at the least and even somewhat arrogant. I feel that it is better to agree that we do not Know. And as a result accept many different views and compare notes.
Probably none are completely right, and probably many are not completely wrong. But perhaps the truth is out there.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

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Postby Lily » 29 Oct 2004, 08:36

I agree that an open mind and creativity is ok. No need to come to any dogmatic conclusion, but discussing them is a good thing IMHO.
bright blessed days, dark sacred nights

Lily


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Postby Explorer » 29 Oct 2004, 08:51

I agree that an open mind and creativity is ok. No need to come to any dogmatic conclusion, but discussing them is a good thing IMHO.
I agree (how boring eh?).
And I suppose that even strong dogmatic convictions can have their advantages. I can imagine that you can explore interesting inner places if you are Absolutly Sure. (mmm, maybe I should let myself get brainwashed in the name of exporation hahaha).
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Postby Ravensdaughter » 29 Oct 2004, 09:06

:raven: :wolf:

I experience all of the many worlds and everything that exists as the body of the Sacred. Everything is how the Sacred expresses and knows itself and, therefore, everything is connected most intimately. For me, this is not a philosophy, nor is it a belief. This is, literally, how I experience my own Being.

I was watching a wonderful program on membrane theory and how there are many, many universes of different sizes and shapes. Within each of these is, potentially, an infinite number of worlds. Each universe contains not only worlds, but parallel worlds, so the experience of the Infinite is just that - infinite. To me, this is all the amazing and glorious experience of Consciousness.

Gods and Goddesses exist alongside people, elephants and fishies in the deep blue sea. The Source experiences itself as everything we can imagine and everything we can't.

Makes life fun, it does. :):)

So, I guess that makes me a Pantheist, although even that seems a tad limiting.

Peace and Bright Blessings,
Samantha Ravensdaughter

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Re: Why Druids make the best soup

Postby DaRC » 29 Oct 2004, 11:44

.... the responses confirm my experience that the one thing you can count on with Druids is that you won't have any tedious agreement on major subjects!

That is what makes Druidry so alive and interesting - just as life is varied and full of diversity, so are our views.
on the first statement.... where does this differ from shallowness, and on the second, where does it from "anything goes"..... just a thought.
:mracorn:
But the shallow option is to be a sheep and follow the majority view.
So I would say it differs from shallowness in the range and variety of opinion. This would suggest that many here are working it out for themselves (to quote Brian).

However your second point assumes an almost dogmatic or religious approach - in many ways anything should go.
After all, who am I to tell you that your view of the divine is wrong?
There is one proviso - that your Point of View (POV) can be substantiated through philosophic argument. Just My Humble Opinion (MHO).

Hmm there's almost another thread here... |-)
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Postby Kernos » 29 Oct 2004, 14:54

Methinks our Helvetian princess is being a gadfly :D

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Postby Scylla » 29 Oct 2004, 16:02

As Merlin said, poli-pantheistic sound more accurate for me, we can choose if working with gods/desses or with nature spirits. Besides, the afroamerican religions have the same structure, with a variety of semi-gods that work directly with the people, and supreme gods above them all.
You don´t choose your believes, your believes choose you.

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Re: Why Druids make the best soup

Postby Twyrch » 29 Oct 2004, 20:21

But the shallow option is to be a sheep and follow the majority view.
Darc,

I have heard these groups referred to as "Sheeple"... Seems fitting... ;)
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Postby Demoness_Greenie » 29 Oct 2004, 22:00

I think I'm a panentheist...Pan = all, en = in, theist = beleif in deity...So God is in everything...Or is it God can be met in everything? There's something about realized eschatology in there...Ok, I have a bad memory and am a terrible speller, so I'll explain.

I beleive God is everything, and can be met in everything. I beleive the gods are metaphors, the only way that people can conceive of the infinite without hurting themselves. So the sun and moon and earth are god, as are my fingernail clippings and the stuff I flush down the toilet.

I agree, someone earlier, Kernos maybe?...said they dont like the labels because they pigeon-hole us. Dualism does this as well, in my view, so in addition I seek to unite seemingly opposite, opposed, and separate concepts. Like good and evil...both are merely mortal opinions on events that happen, which in nature hold no such implied cosmic significance. Also, by finding beauty in ugliness and ugliness in beauty. This is because it's all God, whether I like it or not.

I'm sometimes surprised more dont share my views...Halloween/samhain is upon us, and one of the things people fear most is death, but this holiday is about celebrating death. So one of the core holidays is about celebrating what we like least. The same Goddess (metaphor i choose) that births life in me also slays me, but i don't hold it against Her. It's the way its meant to be.
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Postby Wolfwalker » 30 Oct 2004, 00:51

I guess one reason I have no great difficulty folowing both the way of my celtic ancestors and my native ones is that I don't feel bound by dogmatic rules of theism or atheism... I can see the sacred and the divine in many things, both in ways that would be considered theistic (god/dess reverence and ancestor veneration bound together with what Beliefnet refers to as "earth-based religion" undert the paganism & neo-paganism sub-heading.)
I see the working of the divine in many places, things, thoughts and people, but that is not to say all is ascribable to a divine force, singular or plural. I see the workings of the ancients in the other realm guiding or advising us but not all ancestral memory or intervention is sacred.
I experience the organic and living, life-giving nuances of nature all around me but have experienced it torn down both by the violent forces of nature before my eyes during hurricaines or storms as well as by the hands (& machines-destructive power of explosives) from the humans determined to remove a feature of the natural landscape in the removal of 900,000 tons of rock from the glacial cliffs behind my house over the past twelve months.
Maybe Obiwan Kenobi was right in trying to explain the Force to Luke; it is in all things, is everywhere and connects all things, planets, plants and animals, all lifeforms, people, the universes are all as one in the Force... maybe we need to see the connectedness of all things rather than harping on the divisiveness and distinctness of the power that is in whatever form, in all things, whether we understand or reverence them or not...
Samhuinn blessings, Peter
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Postby Brigantiorum Jihana » 30 Oct 2004, 02:47

I have been having a hard time defining my ideas of Deity. First of all I view the Totality of Nature as divine - and that it has an underlying essence ("behind" its physical substance) which caused it all to come into being (and which would still exist even if the Universe ended - perhaps planning to make a new Universe!); so that makes me a panentheist, right? At the same time, I have a patron Goddess. She is approachable and comes to me in a specific form. This Goddess protects me, my house and my family, she gives me self-esteem and keeps me in touch with my ancestry. She is more real to me than the "Indefinable" that dreamed the Universe into being. Besides my patron Goddess, in one specific circumstance travelling by air), I invoke another Goddess to keep me safe. I do not view my Goddesses as omnipotent like the Abrahamic God, but I view them as protectors and comforters.

Good luck with the new book!

Peace...

Jihana

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Deity

Postby Fearn BánUlchabhán » 30 Oct 2004, 08:54

Greetings Philip and everyone,
This is a great topic and I wanted to add my two cents/pence. I tend to view Deity with a pan-polytheistic view. By this I mean that trees,animals,stones,water are "ruled" by Gods or Goddesses and these things give energy to their"ruler". I then see these Gods and Goddesses uniting into a male or female deity depending upon the quality of the God or Goddess or object. So from bottom up it goes polytheism,duotheism then finally a single being I call Great Spirit in honor of my Cherokee ancestors. I think this is what others were saying before but I wasn't quite sure.
As I have gone along I have noticed some of my Catholic upbringing being integrated more and peace existing between these two views.Ain't Druidry grand?
Lately a thought has occured to me often. How can we ever presume to understand what God is? Maybe these are just constructs for us to relate to?
I am reminded of something I read lately. A native American said -what is not of the Gods?
What I would really like to know is-who wants some spam,spam,spam eggs and spam?
Bright Blessings,Fearn BánUlchabhán/|\

p.s. I love how the Gaels viewed Deities as their ancestors.

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Postby Stohornugle » 31 Oct 2004, 12:48

I voted other but perhaps it should have been all of the above, Mono-Great Spirit, Dual-the Goddess and God, Poly-various Gods and Goddesses representative of different things, Pan-the divine in all things.
Each one relevent at different times and each present at all times.



( Confused? You will be!)(Soap)


In Peace Shapara

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Postby Robb Hawklord » 31 Oct 2004, 19:19

Well Philip, I'll read the thread in its entirity in the morning, but as I was reading your intro I thought of a word METATHEISTIC, so to google I went, and found the term exists.
While religious dimensions can be captured by the word Metatheism of which Monotheism and Polytheism are corruptions, there are also some other disciplines that come along with it. The Metatheism presupposes the Metaphysical Pyramid as the Unconscious that conditions the basic cultural impulses and which at one stage man realized by building huge pyramids, and pyramidal temples. However the real development began and Sumerian Temple Hymns are an evidence for this, when they saw the Pyramid to be populated with gods high and low and with which began Icon Thinking, the deep investigatory meditations about the MEANINGS these gods encrypted into their form and functions. This gave birth to the science of Hermeneutic Semiotics that is concerned with gaining metaphysical illuminations that would DESTROY the inner darkness and with that enable man ASCEND the Pyramid reach the Peak and wait for BEING to bless the soul with life beyond.

from http://arutkural.tripod.com/tmcampus/sambantar-5.htm
What I believe is a combination of everything. There is no particular God, yet at the same time there is, which is the devine light within ourselves and all things, it is a combination of the masculine/feminine, yet is androgynous. As this is an intangible essence, I tend to relate purely to the Earth Mother, and by whatever name comes to mind at the time.

Blessings

Robb

btw google are in the Samhain spirit Image
She's the goddess of love
The goddess in green
The goddess of all
That I've ever seen
The goddess of hope
The goddess in brown
The goddess of all
That you've burned to the ground

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