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Thread: Cherry-Picking Vs. Traditionalism

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    It seems to me that if traditionalists get upset because of how an eclectic chooses to engage the Gods, then that's their problem, not the eclectic's. I've gone into detail about how Setian eclecticism works before - like Philosophia mentioned it involves a great deal of research and concentration. I am respectful to everybody when it comes to their own beliefs and practices, but if somebody else is upset by something I do in my tradition, that is not my fault nor is it my responsibility to make them feel better. They can either get over being upset, ignore me, or go away. When it comes to my own relationship with the Gods, I answer only to the Gods, not to any man-made orthodoxy or orthopraxy.

    Again, I think traditionalists are unwise to let it bother them so much. They should remain focused on their own work and not allow themselves to be bothered by what other people do. If Odin and Kali Ma really don't approve of being called in the same ritual, then They can address the situation Themselves; They do not need any human beings to "correct" the problem for Them. And furthermore I can't understand being "upset" by this because it's not exactly like somebody who recklessly "cherry picks" is really committing some kind of heinous crime anyway. I can understand being upset by murder, rape, and other things along those lines, but I can't understand getting bent out of shape because of a heresy.
    It is the traditionalist's problem when said eclectic says that they are following trad path and spout inaccuracies because they have not done the study and research to represent said trad. If they say I am following my eclectic path and this is how I see it...fine...that's their gnosis.

    As I stated...it is the misrepresentation that gets us bent. And you're right it isn't a heinous crime. The issue is if you cherry pick, then you aren't following a trad...except the cherry pick trad, of course ...call it that...cherry pick trad. Don't call it what it isn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Elise~ View Post
    It is the traditionalist's problem when said eclectic says that they are following trad path and spout inaccuracies because they have not done the study and research to represent said trad. If they say I am following my eclectic path and this is how I see it...fine...that's their gnosis.

    As I stated...it is the misrepresentation that gets us bent. And you're right it isn't a heinous crime. The issue is if you cherry pick, then you aren't following a trad...except the cherry pick trad, of course ...call it that...cherry pick trad. Don't call it what it isn't.
    Exactly. Like I said before, be honest to yourself and others about what you believe, practice, etc... Don't cling to titles and labels that you don't fit in with. It'd be like me practicing the Religio Romana but calling what I practice Wicca, it doesn't make any sense for what I do/believe doesn't fit into what Wicca is. If there isn't a title for your personal tradition, then make one up or just call it your spirituality or personal path. If it resembles Wicca, but isn't quite it, say your personal path is Wiccanesque.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    The upset comes from the fact that few people these days are willing to follow up their eclectic-centered posts about certain things by saying something akin to "this is how I see so-and-so" or "this may not be historically correct" or "this isn't really [culture]'s way of doing it, but I like doing it this way because...", and so on.
    "Few"? Do you actually have some kind of statistic for this? Personally I've met plenty of eclectics who admit that what they do is THEIR way and nobody else's. You can find them in Setian, Discordian, SubGenius, and other circles.

    And qualifying my own "eclectic-centered posts about certain things" with follow-ups like "This is how I see it" or "IMO" has apparently not helped to warm your heart to my way of seeing things at all. As a matter of fact some of the reconstructionists on this very board could benefit from that exact same advice. It's one thing to say the ancient Romans saw something this way or that, but it's quite another to present Roman beliefs as objective facts (e.g., "The Roman deities are the only ones that are real!") This sort of belief may follow a rigid orthopraxy but it is neither more nor less provable than the belief that Elvis is an alien. I think traditionalists and reconstructionists would also benefit from saying things like "IMO" more often - you certainly don't have any more room to present your subjective beliefs as objective facts than we eclectics do. And like it or not, but your beliefs are subjective - subjective to their parent culture and to you - at least until you can prove otherwise.

    Ultimately, we traditionalists (if thats what we're being called here)
    Well you have to admit, it's a hell of a lot more flattering than "cherry picker."

    get upset because we fear that individuals seeking to know something authentic/historical/traditional will find these eclectic-oriented posts and believe that X, Y, Z is true of a certain deity or form of worship or whatever, completely leading the individual in the wrong direction.
    Such things are going to happen whether we want them to or not. They've been happening since the dawn of time. If a person actually gets something from their rituals, no matter how "incorrect" they may be, what room has anyone else to tell them they are wrong and should do it in some other way? And again, if somebody is worshiping a deity in an "incorrect" way, that deity is powerful enough to take care of them in its own way. It doesn't need the Global Religion Police to take care of it. Until I see Jupiter throwing lightning bolts at people for daring to call Him Thor, I simply cannot see what the big deal is. Which is to say, I think you should correct people when and where appropriate, but I don't understand the point of letting yourself get upset about it.

    Its not really a matter of what the individual believes in their personal path or how they see the Gods, its just about being honest to oneself and with others.

    If you find that Thor appears to you in a red dress and pink cape, hey whatever that is your personal gnosis, but its nice to let others know that that is how He appears to YOU and may not necessarily match up with how He was viewed by the Norse then and the Asatru now.
    Considering that there is one story of Thor being dressed in women's clothing by Loki in Norse mythology, this is not exactly the best example for your argument. Also, there are Christians in the world who believe that Jesus was black, which goes against 2,000 years' worth of Christian tradition (e.g., "Jesus was white!"). Try as they might the conservative Christians cannot get such people to stop calling themselves Christians. And as much as I respect Asatru I don't see how it has any more ability to prevent such things from happening than Christianity does.

    Yeah, sometimes we traditionalists step on peoples toes. We get frustrated and don't want our Gods to be misrepresented anymore than Wiccans don't want to be misrepresented as crazed maniac Satan worshippers.
    A fallacious analogy.

    (1) We can prove that Wiccans exist. Wiccans are physical, flesh-and-blood beings who require oxygen, food, and shelter to survive. Their behavior can be observed and recorded.

    (2) We can't prove the Gods exist. They are not physical, They cannot be observed and recorded in the same way that Wiccans can be. You might be able to prove that a Wiccan has red hair, but you can't prove that Thor actually has a red beard.

    (3) Therefore, you have much less reason to be "offended" by people "misrepresenting" your Gods than Wiccans have to be offended by being misrepresented themselves. Because Wiccans can actually be physically hurt from it. Nobody poses any danger to the Gods by misrepresenting Them, and if they annoy the Gods long enough, the Gods can simply squash them.

    It all comes down to being honest with yourself and others about what you do and believe.
    I think we could benefit from a bit of honesty on both sides. Eclectics ought to admit that their way of doing things is just THEIR way (and, despite what you have told me, I've met many eclectics who say just that). But on the other hand, traditionalists also need to admit that their way of doing things is just THEIR way too, and that it is neither their job nor their right to police what other believers do. Honoring the Gods is one thing, putting oneself in Their place is another.
    Last edited by Darth Brooks; February 25th, 2009 at 06:22 PM.
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    I was going to respond to this earlier, but the migraine kicked up another notch. I was going to say that it's also been my experience to find just as many eclectic practicioners who embrace the title "eclectic" and admit they mix'n'match as there are those who "cherry pick" but call themselves by an title that has traditions that don't fit what they're doing at all.

    I don't know if that's true for all religions as I've only been Christian and then Wiccan myself. But I've certainly seen it in both those religions - people who say they follow that religion but don't seem to have a clue about the basics of the religion, or else don't give a crap whether what they're doing is even close to the same.

    I've learned to take everything I hear with a grain of salt, and treat what I read as opinions until I read something from a more authoritative source or find that there is a concensus of belief. This is something everyone needs to learn how to do sooner or later. There's no point in blaming others for spreading misinformation - better to simply and calmly share the correct information. Or at least what we believe to be correct.
    Last edited by Lunacie; February 25th, 2009 at 06:50 PM. Reason: missed out a word
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    <snip>...there is one story of Thor being dressed in women's clothing by Loki in Norse mythology...<snip>
    Um, that would have been Heimdal... Loki just dressed in drag too, and went along for the ride... actually, Loki went about in drag (or in female form of one species or another) a lot...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Um, that would have been Heimdal... Loki just dressed in drag too, and went along for the ride... actually, Loki went about in drag (or in female form of one species or another) a lot...
    I stand corrected - it was Heimdal's idea. But the point I was trying to make was, Thor does in fact appear in a dress at one point in the mythos.
    My God is a real Ass; He butchered the Dying-and-Rising Lord, He stole the Eye from the Hawk, He sires the Children of Rebellion, and He lusts after God and Goddess alike. Every green and growing thing shrivels into dust at His touch; every convention is violated by the seed of His loins. He brings drought and infertility to the land, and He has no respect for the crook or the flail. Yet without Him, the slave would never break free from his bondage, the evil serpent would devour the sun, and the future would never come to pass.

    The song of the tempest is His name.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    "Few"? Do you actually have some kind of statistic for this? Personally I've met plenty of eclectics who admit that what they do is THEIR way and nobody else's. You can find them in Setian, Discordian, SubGenius, and other circles.
    Do you have a statistic for that? Setian, Discordian, SubGenius and "other" circles isn't all that all ecompassing. Or even a statistic to prove that there are many who do? I base my posts off of experience like everybody else, in my experience such has held true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    It's one thing to say the ancient Romans saw something this way or that, but it's quite another to present Roman beliefs as objective facts (e.g., "The Roman deities are the only ones that are real!")
    Interesting quote, do you have a source for that?

    But anywho, you compeltely misunderstood that entire discussion. And I'm not even going to bother addressing it anymore, its fruitless on this forum. But for the record I was NOT saying that the Roman Gods were the only ones that were "real", what I tried to say as best I could under the hate mongering onslaught of everyone screaming "intolerance" was that there is, in my humble opinion and that of Rome and other classical philosophers, one universal pantheon of which the representation at Rome was the best understanding. What everyone failed to understand is that the same can be said in reverse, which isn't a bad thing, its just different; there's some tolerance and acceptance for ya.

    But, thats it and I'm not rehashing this argument to help you derail this thread like the other. I've given you a short source to read, check it out if you wish, but I'm not wasting my time on you or your hordes any longer. If you don't understand it, either read up or forget about it. I'm done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    Which is to say, I think you should correct people when and where appropriate, but I don't understand the point of letting yourself get upset about it.
    Fair enough, but in your wise opinion, exactly when and where is appropriate? Ultimately, I don't get upset about it, just annoyed of people not representing themselves in a true light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    Considering that there is one story of Thor being dressed in women's clothing by Loki in Norse mythology, this is not exactly the best example for your argument.
    Talk about cherry picking... I'm sure you quite well got the idea of what I was trying to say and understood what I meant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    Also, there are Christians in the world who believe that Jesus was black, which goes against 2,000 years' worth of Christian tradition (e.g., "Jesus was white!"). Try as they might the conservative Christians cannot get such people to stop calling themselves Christians.
    Ok, but that analogy doesn't work because Christianity relies solely upon correct belief, polytheism does not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    A fallacious analogy.
    OK...do you just try to be contrary, or do you just really read too much into something? When someone says that Zeus historically is the deity of pink fluffy bunnies with green poke-a-dots and history can prove it to the contrary, then sorry, but facts are facts and that statement is incorrect. Misrepresentation is what it is, yes the Gods themselves may not be directly harmed by such, but those who follow those Gods surely can be. If everyone thinks Zeus is the God of pink fluffy bunnies with green poke-a-dots, I'm pretty darn sure those who worship Him will get a bad rap. So yes, if you stab a Hellenic he bleeds just as would the Wiccan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    But on the other hand, traditionalists also need to admit that their way of doing things is just THEIR way too, and that it is neither their job nor their right to police what other believers do. Honoring the Gods is one thing, putting oneself in Their place is another.
    Yes, it is "our" way, but it is also history's way, it is factual that people worshipped X deity by doing A; it can be proven. Not saying its better, just saying its true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    But the point I was trying to make was, Thor does in fact appear in a dress at one point in the mythos.
    And you clearly missed the point I was trying to make. If you need help to figure out what I meant, subtract the word Thor and enter Apollon. Or to be even more clear for your sake, insert a deity whose mythos and iconography does not include wearing a dress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Um, that would have been Heimdal... Loki just dressed in drag too, and went along for the ride... actually, Loki went about in drag (or in female form of one species or another) a lot...
    Wasn't there a tale of Thor getting in drag to get his hammer back? A marriage of some sort?

    On to the cherry picking matters ....

    Yes. I do. With glee.

    I do what works. Sometimes it seems very little, and others it's a roaring success. I also study my arse off when using tools, techniques, or Gods from various cultures. I've posted plenty on the changing myths, history, etc concerning these divinities so I will not repeat it here again so soon.

    I am wondering when it's so offensive to the traditional folks for an ecclectic to have a field day - I do understand ...sorta - how the traditional folks deny their very own cherry picking.

    Where, I must ask, is the Human Sacrifice? Now, I say it's clearly been given to Government in the form of execution; however, why cherry pick those little habits out? The state shouldn't be trusted with that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaosxmage View Post
    Wasn't there a tale of Thor getting in drag to get his hammer back? A marriage of some sort?
    The Lay of Thrym from The Poetic Edda.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaosxmage View Post
    Where, I must ask, is the Human Sacrifice? Now, I say it's clearly been given to Government in the form of execution; however, why cherry pick those little habits out? The state shouldn't be trusted with that!

    --Kaos
    I know Heathen folk that hold rites outside prison walls as executions are happening, dedicating the slain prisoners to Odin, just like in the good ol' days... I have considered joining them, and most likely eventually will.

    ...now that's a cherry that'll probably not soon be picked, eh?
    Last edited by Rick; February 25th, 2009 at 11:48 PM.
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