American Gods

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Lewk
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Re: American Gods

Postby Lewk » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:34 pm

Ishvala wrote:I've only just started reading American Gods and it's such a fun book that I have a hard time putting it down. Most of the characters are very amusing and Odin needs an asprin.


This is weird...I was thinking today about posting something on American Gods on the theme of why do we *not* have Gods for modern issues.

Synchronicity. Again.

Wasn't quite sure whether to put this in Vents. So here goes...make a cup of coffee and put your feet up though cos it's a proper long one...

Why are there no New Gods of our Age?

When I read American Gods I loved the fact that Neil Gaiman has updated the trope of New Gods replacing the Old but instead of, say, the Christian god replacing the Celtic pantheon - which is a common fiction trope - the scenario is brought up to date. Which make sense as in our modern age, we / society are concerned with different things than people were in the times when the Celtic or Norse gods were part of the dominant, mainstream culture. eg around 1500-2000 years ago.

In American Gods the New Gods are brought in as characters to illustrate this point. One reason I loved this book is that I had often wondered why we don't have such new Gods. I have often felt a little irritated that we seem to be stuck with working with Gods & Goddesses and spirits from the ancient past. (Much as I have loved getting to know them.) There are deities for granting success with fertility, harvest and war but none for dealing with noisy neighbours, environmental pollution, human rights and so on. (If only there was a God of Quieting Noisy Neighbours!)

The story of American Gods can be read as a metaphor: it has often been said that the 'gods' of modern life are celebrity, career, status, wealth and so on. But I'm asking the questions more literally. Why have new *actual* Gods & Goddesses not emerged in recent centuries?

Academics theorise that human belief systems about spirits and gods evolved as societies evolved. As agricultural societies replaced hunter gathering, sun-based deities, calendars and patriarchal pantheons came to the fore. The sun is crucial to farming. These ideas are quite well known.

One might expect that, as agicultural societies evolved into industrial then post industrial and technological ones, new deities would also emerge. From the point of view of rational, materialist, non-spiritist thought these are merely our new, rational philosophies - such as humanism and rationality and atheism. From a paranormal point of view we might say that these new belief systems, that are bought into by large numbers of human beings, generate strong energy / thought fields or egregores. I think we can also say that there don't appear to be new Gods making themselves known to us. Spiritual people still work with the ancient deities. And we think of them as real, genuine beings.

This all begs the question: what makes a God?

Historians have tracked the development of Yahweh (the Judeo-Christian God) from being a minor local deity in one part of the then two kingdoms of Israel and Judea to becoming the supreme, One God, all-knowing, omni-present and all powerful. There are similar histories for most if not all deities. Aphrodite can be traced back to a proto-Indo European goddess of the dawn Hewsos or Ausos. It looks like none of our ancient Gods are immutable and have in fact changed over time considerably. But why no change for a millenium or more?

I've read of interesting experiments by groups of people who have created their own spirit or deity, worked with it or prayed to it and got interesting results. (There's also a way to work with an archetype of yourself as a deity, praying to it for effective results.) There's a theory that I think is fairly well known but not accepted by everyone that certain types of spiritual or astral presences turn into deities by virtue of having large numbers of people believing in them and praying to them. Such gods lose power when the devotion dies away. In this way there could be multiple different Jesus figures alive in some parts of the astral, each sustained by a Christian denomination that has its own particular view of their saviour. And it would be possible for an astral traveller to encounter any one of them. At least that's the theory.

Another question that I want to ask is: can deities emerge spontaneously?

Is there perhaps a high level of the astral from which new deities can emerge, as opposed to worshipper-generated thoughtforms that behave like deities? Are some waiting to emerge now?

And let's not forget the deities of sentient species on other planets across the multiverse.

Is a God of Quieting Noisy Neighbours helping someone on a planet in another universe within a different dimension 'now'? If so, I definitely would get a binding of that God like a shot.

Or maybe what I really need to do is create a very good metaphysical construct - make my own God of Quieting Noisy Neighbours? (Actually that's not a bad idea.) :)

- ENDS -

I realise I haven't taken into account Immortals who have been living beings at one point. It seems pretty indisputable from historical analysis I have read that some historical personages have indeed become gods within their cultures over time, in a similar way to how historical figures have become saints. Maybe I need to rethink and rewrite?



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Re: American Gods

Postby draco_star898 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:37 pm

I have always believed that they adapt and put on new masks so to say to stay current in our conciousness. There is a comic book writer who has posed the theory about the gods/goddesses emerging into modern mythos are our superheroes. I've always thought that it could be possible they emerge through films and modern story telling, seeing as acting and adopting new personas can be thought of as evoking so why not use this as a way to stay in modern mans imagination? I am also sure that they can update their powers to suite modern living.

Now in my thoughts if you want to work with the idea that the gods are only alive bc we pay them attention it becomes very close to saying that we ourselves created these personifications, pop culture magick talks about this and its an interesting take on how we create egregores and such. So if we decide to go with that we do have new gods, look to our pop culture and the multitude of media ideas that have been launched into our psyches. Or at least the potential is there the more we focus our attentions on them.



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Re: American Gods

Postby Ishvala » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:55 pm

Lewk wrote:
Ishvala wrote:I've only just started reading American Gods and it's such a fun book that I have a hard time putting it down. Most of the characters are very amusing and Odin needs an asprin.


This is weird...I was thinking today about posting something on American Gods on the theme of why do we *not* have Gods for modern issues.

Synchronicity. Again.

Wasn't quite sure whether to put this in Vents. So here goes...make a cup of coffee and put your feet up though cos it's a proper long one...

Why are there no New Gods of our Age?

When I read American Gods I loved the fact that Neil Gaiman has updated the trope of New Gods replacing the Old but instead of, say, the Christian god replacing the Celtic pantheon - which is a common fiction trope - the scenario is brought up to date. Which make sense as in our modern age, we / society are concerned with different things than people were in the times when the Celtic or Norse gods were part of the dominant, mainstream culture. eg around 1500-2000 years ago.

In American Gods the New Gods are brought in as characters to illustrate this point. One reason I loved this book is that I had often wondered why we don't have such new Gods. I have often felt a little irritated that we seem to be stuck with working with Gods & Goddesses and spirits from the ancient past. (Much as I have loved getting to know them.) There are deities for granting success with fertility, harvest and war but none for dealing with noisy neighbours, environmental pollution, human rights and so on. (If only there was a God of Quieting Noisy Neighbours!)

The story of American Gods can be read as a metaphor: it has often been said that the 'gods' of modern life are celebrity, career, status, wealth and so on. But I'm asking the questions more literally. Why have new *actual* Gods & Goddesses not emerged in recent centuries?

Academics theorise that human belief systems about spirits and gods evolved as societies evolved. As agricultural societies replaced hunter gathering, sun-based deities, calendars and patriarchal pantheons came to the fore. The sun is crucial to farming. These ideas are quite well known.

One might expect that, as agicultural societies evolved into industrial then post industrial and technological ones, new deities would also emerge. From the point of view of rational, materialist, non-spiritist thought these are merely our new, rational philosophies - such as humanism and rationality and atheism. From a paranormal point of view we might say that these new belief systems, that are bought into by large numbers of human beings, generate strong energy / thought fields or egregores. I think we can also say that there don't appear to be new Gods making themselves known to us. Spiritual people still work with the ancient deities. And we think of them as real, genuine beings.

This all begs the question: what makes a God?

Historians have tracked the development of Yahweh (the Judeo-Christian God) from being a minor local deity in one part of the then two kingdoms of Israel and Judea to becoming the supreme, One God, all-knowing, omni-present and all powerful. There are similar histories for most if not all deities. Aphrodite can be traced back to a proto-Indo European goddess of the dawn Hewsos or Ausos. It looks like none of our ancient Gods are immutable and have in fact changed over time considerably. But why no change for a millenium or more?

I've read of interesting experiments by groups of people who have created their own spirit or deity, worked with it or prayed to it and got interesting results. (There's also a way to work with an archetype of yourself as a deity, praying to it for effective results.) There's a theory that I think is fairly well known but not accepted by everyone that certain types of spiritual or astral presences turn into deities by virtue of having large numbers of people believing in them and praying to them. Such gods lose power when the devotion dies away. In this way there could be multiple different Jesus figures alive in some parts of the astral, each sustained by a Christian denomination that has its own particular view of their saviour. And it would be possible for an astral traveller to encounter any one of them. At least that's the theory.

Another question that I want to ask is: can deities emerge spontaneously?

Is there perhaps a high level of the astral from which new deities can emerge, as opposed to worshipper-generated thoughtforms that behave like deities? Are some waiting to emerge now?

And let's not forget the deities of sentient species on other planets across the multiverse.

Is a God of Quieting Noisy Neighbours helping someone on a planet in another universe within a different dimension 'now'? If so, I definitely would get a binding of that God like a shot.

Or maybe what I really need to do is create a very good metaphysical construct - make my own God of Quieting Noisy Neighbours? (Actually that's not a bad idea.) :)

- ENDS -

I realise I haven't taken into account Immortals who have been living beings at one point. It seems pretty indisputable from historical analysis I have read that some historical personages have indeed become gods within their cultures over time, in a similar way to how historical figures have become saints. Maybe I need to rethink and rewrite?


What does my quote have to do with your rant? XD

I mean maybe I'm missing something here. It's not that I don't think your post was unintelligent or even unfun to read as I enjoyed it, but at the same time, I don't see why what I said sparked such a long winded opinion. What's Odin and Asprin have to do with theories about modern gods and/or the lackthereof??



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Lewk
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Re: American Gods

Postby Lewk » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:25 am

Ishvala wrote:What does my quote have to do with your rant? XD

I mean maybe I'm missing something here. It's not that I don't think your post was unintelligent or even unfun to read as I enjoyed it, but at the same time, I don't see why what I said sparked such a long winded opinion. What's Odin and Asprin have to do with theories about modern gods and/or the lackthereof??

Hi Ishvala

It's purely synchronicity at work. American Gods was on my mind yesterday, I was planning to make a post on it. I didn't know you are reading it at the moment. Just as I was gearing up to write it I saw a post called American Gods pop up due to fresh posts, it looked like synchronicity encouraging me to make the post, so I went ahead and did it.

As I said in my post, I associate the idea in the novel of Old Gods (like Odin) meeting the new 'gods' of modern life with an idea I'd had for a while before I read the book. I've been bothered by noise from neighbours quite a lot over the years and have often wished there is a god that specialises in dealing with noisy neighbours. The problem resurfaced recently, which gave me the idea to write the post, then an amazing coincidence happened from my point of view: at the very moment I was intending to start writing it, up came this American Gods thread...does that all make sense?



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Lewk
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Re: American Gods

Postby Lewk » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:51 am

draco_star898 wrote:I have always believed that they adapt and put on new masks so to say to stay current in our conciousness. There is a comic book writer who has posed the theory about the gods/goddesses emerging into modern mythos are our superheroes. I've always thought that it could be possible they emerge through films and modern story telling, seeing as acting and adopting new personas can be thought of as evoking so why not use this as a way to stay in modern mans imagination? I am also sure that they can update their powers to suite modern living.

Now in my thoughts if you want to work with the idea that the gods are only alive bc we pay them attention it becomes very close to saying that we ourselves created these personifications, pop culture magick talks about this and its an interesting take on how we create egregores and such. So if we decide to go with that we do have new gods, look to our pop culture and the multitude of media ideas that have been launched into our psyches. Or at least the potential is there the more we focus our attentions on them.


That's interesting and makes lots of sense to me.

I've done some archetype work with comic book characters along roughly similar lines. And the hero archetype crops up a lot in comics, as in most fiction, behind their characters' masks. I think you're right to say celebrities do occupy a god like place in modern psyches.

Odin doesn't crop up much as a living character in fiction. I'm somewhat drawn to Odin and I'm tempted to say His is a unique archetype, difficult to fit into the classic archetypes - but the hanged god /man archetype isn't unique... and a sky god who is chief over the other gods of their pantheon isn't either. Neil Gaiman's reinvention of Odin in American Gods does stand out though.



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Re: American Gods

Postby draco_star898 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:40 am

He shows up but not in every one of his aspects, he tends to show up more in his hermit role, the wandering mystic ala Gandalf, so he isn't as in your face (haha he is actually pretty in your face when you are his devotee, he just shows up more in other mediums) in media.



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Re: American Gods

Postby Ishvala » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:08 pm

Lewk wrote:
Ishvala wrote:It's purely synchronicity at work. American Gods was on my mind yesterday, I was planning to make a post on it. I didn't know you are reading it at the moment. Just as I was gearing up to write it I saw a post called American Gods pop up due to fresh posts, it looked like synchronicity encouraging me to make the post, so I went ahead and did it.

As I said in my post, I associate the idea in the novel of Old Gods (like Odin) meeting the new 'gods' of modern life with an idea I'd had for a while before I read the book. I've been bothered by noise from neighbours quite a lot over the years and have often wished there is a god that specialises in dealing with noisy neighbours. The problem resurfaced recently, which gave me the idea to write the post, then an amazing coincidence happened from my point of view: at the very moment I was intending to start writing it, up came this American Gods thread...does that all make sense?


It makes sense, but I'm not the one who made the thread nor was I the one who resurrected the thread. So I don't believe I have anything to do with your experience. XD




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