Monday, January 23, 2017

The Return of Conversations we Need to Be Having, or: More Reactionary Ranting from Kenaz Filan and Galina Krasskova

The rise of Donald Trump has left emotions at an all-time high: I have never seen my country so angry and so polarized. It’s easy to get swept up in all the bad crazy, especially if you are empathic or sensitive. I’m finding a regular spiritual regimen, with time for meditation and quiet contemplation, is more important than ever. How have you been dealing with the craziness?

GK: Well, firstly, it doesn't affect me that much. I worship my Gods. I honor my ancestors. I am hip deep in medieval studies. I don't really give a fuck. I wasn't devastated when Obama was elected in 2009 and I'm not devastated by this. Some things will get worse, some will get better. That's the way it works in a democratic society and it's up to each one of us to be vigilant and be active, stay informed and be engaged. that's what makes a democracy thrive. We need to get involved in the political process, especially locally not just in election years either. 

On a spiritual level, I do regular cleansings, meditation, and yes, i absolutely keep up with my devotional practices and I keep politics out of them. On a mundane level, I limit how much news I watch and I limit how much news I get from social media. I stay informed (and I read liberal, conservative, and foreign news rather than just living in my little bubble, because one has to expose oneself to different viewpoints if one really wants to know what's going on in the world), but I don't overdose on it. 

I also have a grasp of history, so I don't feel the need to disrespect the millions of men and women who died in WWII by comparing President Trump to Hitler every time he says something I don't like. 

Stephen McNallen has drawn some comparisons between Asatru and Shintoism as folk religions of particular cultures (Northern European and Japanese, respectively). I think we need to draw another comparison — both are strongly animist. The monotheist world view we’ve inherited features an All-Knowing God Who has gifted humanity with intelligence and free will so that it may rule over a soulless and mechanical world. But our ancestors believed that animals had consciousness and intelligence (a view science is JUST coming around to): they believed that mountains, rivers, storms, and trees could have sentience and agency. And I think understanding that worldview and internalizing it will help us immensely in restoring our ancestral religion and our connection to our ancestral Gods.

GK: Has their all-knowing God gifted them with intelligence? That's news to me. If he had, they'd be polytheist now wouldn't they? 

I absolutely agree with you that accepting and internalizing the animism of our polytheistic ancestors is a healthier and much more correct way to live. I think we need to do this -- and we are, i see it happening more and more -- for our polytheisms to thrive. It's only logical. This is part of what it means to be a polytheist, to be engaged with the Powers, large, small, and all around us.  

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