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Thread: Gods as Metaphors

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    Gods as Metaphors

    I'm aware that some Asatru see the Norse gods as less 'actual things that exist', and more metaphors for admirable traits in humanity, represented through dramatic tales. The suffering Odin goes through to obtain knowledge, for example. That lead me to thinking.. How many of you guys see your gods less as actual spirits or actual entities, and more like entities or attributes that you admire, or see as positive in your life?

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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    I can't say I've ever encountered any Heathens who see the gods as metaphors or archetypes. A search at Wikipedia (a really bad article!) cited three sources for that, all academic writings on the religion rather than statements by its practitioners. In fact I'm not aware of any ethnic or reconstructionist pagans who take that view. Even in Wicca, it's post-Gardner. For me, it's Jungian / New Age. My gods are real, just like those of the Africans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Native Americans, etc.

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    Sr. Member Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by divinemath View Post
    I'm aware that some Asatru see the Norse gods as less 'actual things that exist', and more metaphors for admirable traits in humanity, represented through dramatic tales. The suffering Odin goes through to obtain knowledge, for example. That lead me to thinking.. How many of you guys see your gods less as actual spirits or actual entities, and more like entities or attributes that you admire, or see as positive in your life?
    I see gods as projections of the human mind which some people choose ( need? ) to reify.
    Once a man, like the sea I raged;
    Once a woman, like the earth I gave;
    And there is in fact more earth than sea.
    Genesis lyric

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    Sr. Member Herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    I have quite the opposing view; namely, that all gods ever commonly worshiped are real, as far as being metaphysical entities. They are not metaphors.

    Also, I'm fairly certain that the 'gods are metaphors' thing is at very least used by quite a few so called 'heathenic' neo-nazi groups. Not sure about it as a belief otherwise.

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    Sr. Member Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by Herbert View Post
    I have quite the opposing view; namely, that all gods ever commonly worshiped are real, as far as being metaphysical entities. They are not metaphors.
    Or at least worshipped as if they are real.
    Once a man, like the sea I raged;
    Once a woman, like the earth I gave;
    And there is in fact more earth than sea.
    Genesis lyric

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    Sr. Member Herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by Porpoise View Post
    Or at least worshipped as if they are real.
    I more meant in the sense of being capable of providing energy lending, much like a metaphysical bank (they give you lots of power when you need it, you give them a slow and steady stream of power through worship) but sure, that works too

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    Sr. Member Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by Herbert View Post
    I more meant in the sense of being capable of providing energy lending, much like a metaphysical bank (they give you lots of power when you need it, you give them a slow and steady stream of power through worship) but sure, that works too
    Maybe a method of connecting with something deeper?
    Once a man, like the sea I raged;
    Once a woman, like the earth I gave;
    And there is in fact more earth than sea.
    Genesis lyric

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    Member R. Eugene Laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    I think when experiences stretch the boundaries of our capacity to comprehend, and our ability to precisely articulate, we naturally respond with poetry.

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    Sr. Member Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    Quote Originally Posted by R. Eugene Laughlin View Post
    I think when experiences stretch the boundaries of our capacity to comprehend, and our ability to precisely articulate, we naturally respond with poetry.
    Yes, or with metaphor.
    Once a man, like the sea I raged;
    Once a woman, like the earth I gave;
    And there is in fact more earth than sea.
    Genesis lyric

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    Member R. Eugene Laughlin's Avatar
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    Re: Gods as Metaphors

    To avoid being misunderstood, I was rejecting the initial premise of the thread as a false dichotomy.

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