|Lesson 7: Paganism VS Monotheism
SCHOLA AETII·FRIDAY, 29 JUNE 2018
One cannot be Servant of two Masters.
I sort of apologize for writing this. It is usually not my style to berate people about what they should do, and I am normally trying not the be judgmental about who sees religion in what way. And far from me be it to tell you what to believe. But just because many views are possible, SOME views are clearly conflicting, and I have seen contradicting ideas in the head of many people, so I felt I needed to sharply highlight this problem. If people feel, as a result, offended, I am sorry, but hereon we need clarity what is what, and what is NOT Paganism.
I have spent a good part of my life as a Pagan, and I shall use that term for simplicity synonymous with Polytheism – trying to get monotheist ideas out of people's heads. It is not something I can blame people for, since after 2000 years Monotheist Book Religions dominating vast parts of the world, of course people are habituated to expectations and ideas that come from Monotheism. Now one of the most important things to understand is, that Monotheism is not just the same kind of religion as Paganism, just with fewer Gods. The basic character of Monotheism and Paganism are actually polar opposites in almost every single aspect. It is the same that any Catholic Priest or Jewish Rabbi will tell you, if you convert, so I, as Priest of Apollo must tell you the same: it is much more than just replacing a Cross or a Torah with a statue of Apollo – or vice versa. Our Polytheist Religions, our NATIVE religions are based on different ideas, different perspectives on the world almost in every way. It is what also annoys me a lot whenever people in public debate about “religion vs atheism”, that this profoundly wrong idea is perpetuated there would only be one concept of religion.
Following the Gods, be it the Aesir, the Celtic Gods, Khemeticism or the Gods of Olympus is NOT just exchanging the Book God with many Gods.
The first thing you have to acknowledge is: you are more influenced by the concepts of Book Religions than you are aware. As long as you think you are above that, you likely deceive yourself. You say, I do not pray to the Book God, or I do not hold the stories of his “Holy” Book important, but those are trivialities. There are lines of thought, deeply embedded into us through traditions and habituation. Most of them work in the shadows of our subconscious. The reality is, you can only truly become a Pagan or Polytheist, if you truly and completely break with Monotheist Book Religion. Here is no in between, as ever fashionable trying to keep all doors open is in our modern time. But, it is the same the Monotheist Priests will tell you as well. One cannot serve two Masters. Either you are with the Old Gods, the Native Gods, or you are with the Book God who wants the Old Gods destroyed and gone. That is the choice placed before you, and while it hurts my heart and goes against my tolerant temperament, here I have to draw the line.
Let me say it in this way, as a Seer and Mystic. The energies of the Native Gods and the Book God are in opposition as light and dark, as health and sickness, as good and evil, and as the Priests of the Book God will call our Gods devils, demons and worse, the One Book God is dark miasma for us. I will not be the final judge of truth, for what mortal man could be, and I am not condemning one who chooses the Book God, and neither do I have to, for they have condemned themselves to a sterile, dark energy which is to me as a Seer and Mystic all too familiar. Familiar enough that I must speak up about this crystal clear.
TIME TO DECIDE
And even in the words of the Book God: Gods hates the lukewarm more than the sinner. Our Paganism is and has no zealotry. We do not kneel before the Gods and beg and grovel, for our Gods want us us stand upright. And this is the main issue people carry over from Monotheism: this book, call it Torah or Old Testament, is a series of most grotesque and inhuman fables, as Emperor Julian the Pious wrote so rightfully, that subscribing to its morals mean to be in opposition to ANYTHING Hellenes and Romans value and hold dear. We value pride, they value servitude; we value reason, they value obedience; we value responsibility, they value forgivance; we see decision, they see sin. The list could be continued, but there is just no middle ground. You can be Asatru and Celtic, Hellene and Khemetic, but you can not be Pagan and also follow the Lord of Sinai. His demands are in way too many points contrary to anything that makes Paganism. The full length of this argument lies, if you want to know the full scope, in the most educating book “On Being A Pagan” by Alain de Benoist. And while I do not share all of his views, he explains very excellent why Paganism and Monotheism are contrasts like day and night. The very idea to be able to follow both just reveals, I am sorry to be so blunt, intellectual lacking. You have not really thought things through.
Being religious is NOT just praying to God X. Being religious is a LIFESTYLE. It encompasses everything about you, how you live, how you judge, what ethos you have and most important: what the SOURCE of that ethos is. It makes a HUGE difference if you follow a set of ethics because of your reason, because of your tribe debated about it based on reason, or if you follow a set of ethics because a God wrote Commandments. Do not let superficial similarity of some commandments with the reasonable ethics of Paganism deceive you. Like a smooth looking man may dress up as a woman and appear like one but still remains a man, so is the superficial similarity of some ethic ideas no way around the reality that the concept, the cores are deeply opposed concepts. We Pagans do not “obey” the Gods, and the Gods are not creators of laws. That is not at all how we view Gods.
DUTY AND HONOR
This touches also a severe lack of character that plagues our time. How many people still do a marriage “till death do us part”? How many still commit to one person, one partner? People hop from relationship to relationship, quickly leaving friends, groups and any human bonds behind if a new shiny appears. Let me say it is this way: If your new girlfriend finds out, you hopped from girl to girl, every 2 years another, how much will she really trust you? How much will you choosing her now, really make her feel truly valued. And why would the Gods, ours or the Book God, take your doings any serious, when they see the weakness in your heart, when your heart is like a small sailboat in the ocean tossed hither and tither, changing religion every few years and then complain their new Gods do not guide them a whole lot.
Now let me go back to the fables of the so called “Old Testament” or Torah. Many of these fables are too grotesque to even consider as anything but fairy tales for entertainment, the same way we Romans view most of the Greek myths too, by the way. Gods are not envious, Gods are not angry, Gods are none of these human things, and already the great Socrates and Plato highlighted this, speaking vehemently against the stories of Hesiod and Homer in that regard. The difference is, for us Pagans we can take myths and laugh, for they are not a revelation to us, they are a perspective, a parable maybe, and in most cases a burlesque rural entertainment. For the Book Religion it is not so, and there is no way around it. If you follow that God, you cannot cherry pick the parts of that book you like and ignore the rest and then “hope for mercy”. Sorry, that is not how Book Religion works. Even if you count on Mercy, every Priest of those book religions will tell you you have to do the greatest effort to keep those laws, you HAVE to believe all of the are valid and sacred, EVEN if you ignore to adhere to some.
A GOD WHO MUST COMMAND IS NO GOD AT ALL
And that is, speaking only for myself, the red line I cannot and I will not tolerate. One who subscribes to the rules set in the Torah or the Quran opposes every single value I regard as sacred and I see in accordance with reason. If you do them for yourself, fine, but as we know – just doing things for them is never enough for these religions. It is not their nature. For a Galilean and a Mohammedan, leaving another in sin IS a sin. Not trying to convert is a sin. And for a Jew it may not be so, but even for them the other religions are invalid. They are not tolerated, and they live in the concept that in some “End Times” their religion becomes the religion of everyone, and everyone who doesn't is cast in eternal hell. Well if one may say, hey but I myself do not believe those ideas, then I must tell you, well you betrayed both Gods, the Old ones AND the Book God, for that God hates the lukewarm more than the sinners.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO YOU WANT TO BE?
Which path you chose is up to you. But the Old Testament has among many, one very tragic effect: it spread this unreasonable expectation of the Divine. I can understand, historically the Hebrews were enslaved and persecuted, so they wanted their God to be almighty and one who literally cares about you like a super-nanny. Like a magic wishing well who does all good. I do not expound on history as it happened, where you may ask yourself how much that is in the reality of things. You can look at history yourself and come to a clear conclusion. No. That is NOT how Gods work. They give you the spear and the shield, they may give you skill, but YOU will have to fight. That is the right conclusion from Homer's “Iliad”. Gods are at our side, they give us tools, skill and maybe a nudge, but Gods are not wishing Jinns from a bottle, where you formulate a wish and POOF it is done for your convenience, and neither works the Lord of Sinai that way. Though of course he constantly promises that. But again, reading history, you can be the judge of how true that promise is. The only question you have to ask yourself is: what sort of God do you want? An Overlord or a Mentor? A Master or a Friend? A Slave-owner to whom you belong as property, or a Guide? That is what you have the decide. It cannot be both and the demands of the Lord of Sinai are clear enough, and from hereon is the watershed of what mindset you want to cultivate. All virtue springs from one view or the other, and one cannot have both.
The Gods do not remove all issues from you. We as human beings are still part of the Circle of Life. We are born, we grow, the face confrontation and enemies, get ill, we die. That is our fate and neither the Gods of Old nor the New God of Sinai will snap with his fingers and “make it all smooth”. Life is struggle, life is suffering and life is war. Gods give you tools, insight, guidance. If illness or death toss you out of your faith, you never truly understood Paganism. Pagans know and accept the Circle of Life, the full turn: spring, summer, autumn, winter. We hold the wolf that kills the sheep as sacred as the tree that grows, even the shark that may eat your leg. We do not see the world as “good vs evil”, but different forces, where struggle and death are natural parts of the cosmos. That is what it means to be Pagan. If some misfortune throws you off course, you did not truly understand what Paganism means.
For us, the energies of the Book God are Miasma. Darkness we must purge. Just as our Gods are for him. Religious tolerance can only exist towards tolerant religions. One can be Buddhist or Taoist, Shinto or follow the Gods of Mexico, of Africa, the Rodnovery or the tribes of Australia. One may shift his preference among any of these, for in the core this are all the same variants of religion. But that does not go for the Book Religions, whose aim, believe and historic practice is, always has been and always will be, the destruction of Paganism.
Gaius Florius Aetius
Summer MMDCCLXXI auc
MS: Thats the biggest sin of the monotheistic bookreligions: that they try to destroy instead of integrate the paganism.
MS: ...The error lies in the fact that the patriarchal religions convey that there is only ONE God, in truth it should be understood that the ONE God is the UNIFIEING God, the all-embracing and all-including CONSCIOUSNESS. What finally is YOURS!