Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Historical truth

Someone brought up a topic for discussion on one of my lists recently about a “new” movement back to a Germanic/Scandinavian pagan religion.

Myths are not fanciful stories made up by savages to explain a world they do not understand. On the contrary, mythology expresses truths of great spiritual importance; it is the language through which the collective unconscious, the Folk Soul, speaks to us.

Myths are those things which never happened, but are always true. They are the collective dream of the race.

We understand that our myths are not history. To confine the Gods and Goddesses to space and time is to limit them far too much, and to deprive them of their nature. Thor, Odin, and the rest of the Aesir and Vanir are too grand to be confused with mere anthropomorphic figures, though of course they can assume any shape they desire.

When a religion declares its myths to be literal, historical truth it exposes a great weakness - and gains nothing in return.


I snagged hard on this last statement.

Exposes a great weakness, hmm? What, the weakness of having to bow the knee to a sovereign Creator, rather than being the master of our own destiny? This sounds very familiar to me.

“Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”


And it gains nothing in return?

Nothing?

Having the peace to bear the death of a beloved adoptive father, and of a child, knowing—not just hoping, but truly knowing—that I will see them again someday, is not a gain? Having the assurance that my life has meaning beyond my understanding, both good and evil events woven together by a Heart that loves deeper than I can comprehend—that means nothing as well?

I want to be offended. I can only laugh, and sadly. If they only realized that the essence of all they seek—the connection to something vast and eternal, the banner of honor and courage—it’s found in Him who is in all and above all.

2 comments:

  1. I guess it's what they call the scandal of particularity. The fact that Christianity insists that some unusual events objectively occurred, in history, and they matter. It can be a hard pill to swallow.

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  2. Very true ... and it's interesting you use the word "scandal." That comes from the Greek skandalon, does it not? Which means offense or stone of stumbling. Very appropriate. :-)

    "To the Jews an offense and to the Greeks foolishness."

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