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Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  De Li on Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:43 am

Greetings all,
I'm new to this forum: I registered a couple of weeks ago and have been reading / lurking till now Wink- I really like the posts on here and the wealth of [esp. philosophical] information.
I'm new [in my commitment] to Hellenismos. Coming from neopagan Goddess Spirituality originally I have been on the path / transition to polytheism since about 2 years. It was always the hellenic gods -and goddesses!- I felt drawn to but (I'm embarrassed to say) it took me a couple of years to "make my peace" with Zeus and build an understanding of him that does not depict him as the misogynist villain, as he was presented to me for years. This bad press took some while to correct...
My comparative studies of other IE religions esp. Vedic / Hindu and Vedic philosophy really helped.
Also I am an IE syncretist (i.e. I believe that the Cosmic Powers we know as Olympians made themselves known to different persons and peoples at different times by various names with various 'stories' / myths trying to understand them). Don't worry I will not bring my syncretic ideas into this forum as I know that a lot of reconstructionists are rather anti the concept.

Other than that: I'm a 36 year old German native, living in UK since 7 years with my family.

Looking forward to learning and chatting Smile

Happy Noumenia! Smile
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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Erodius on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:38 am

Welcome to the forum.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  J_Agathokles on Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:57 pm

Welcome!

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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  spokane89 on Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:15 am

Hello and Welcome
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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Anniemal on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:27 pm

Hallo und willkommen im Forum!

I hope you will enjoy more lurking and start sharing, too. Wink 

How did you come to the conclusion of Zeus being a mysogynist? Is it due to the translations of stories you heard/ read? And what made you rethink presumption?

Gruß,
Anniemal



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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Erodius on Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:05 pm

How did you come to the conclusion of Zeus being a mysogynist? Is it due to the translations of stories you heard/ read? And what made you rethink presumption?
There have been issues of misguided and outright mistaken interpretations, particularly of Homero-Hesiodic type myth, ever since Antiquity. As early as the 6th century BCE, we have Xenophanes condemning the poetry of Homer and Hesiod for ridiculous and morally disgusting stories that give people absurd ideas about what gods are and what they do.

The Mystery religions, including Orphism, typically venerate the traditional myths to a certain extent (although, it should be understood that the mythology of various Mystery religions is not necessarily consistent with Homer and Hesiod), however, there is a strong and vital insistence on the symbolic exegesis of these stories, and a warning that interpreting them literally and without the proper exegetical lenses can have disastrous results. The stance of the Orphic movement on such mythology is, as such, ambivalent. On one hand, many myths we do recognize as divine, and most of the common mythology is incorporated into Orphic mythology, and we teach that the divine meaning of the stories of myth are deliberate obscured by systematic veils, both in order to make sure that the stories are preserved, as well as to ensure that the true meaning is hidden from those who are not fit to know it. Nevertheless, it is also recognized that the deliberate hiding of the truth behind a variety of outwardly confusing symbols can certainly pose the problem of leading to incorrect or even entirely impious ideas among those who misinterpret the stories, or even atheism through rejection of the tales as absurd and silly.

This problem has a several primary causes nowadays. Probably the primary culprit in the dominantly literalistic and sociological 'intepretations' of mythic stories that characterize contemporary times is the fact that the Christian church, in order to dissuade people from 'Hellenism' focused its anti-Hellenism attacks on those myths that had potentially the most abhorrent potential (though inaccurate) interpretations. Christian evangelistic writers understandably avoided any stories of the Hellenes that had more enlightened and pious messages in order to portray the 'Greek way' in a manner as backward, immoral and corrupt as they possibly could. Obviously, if you are trying to draw people away from something, you are, understandably, going to avoid, as much as you can, anything that makes the antagonist look good. As such, the few snippets of Classical religion that were permitted to be preserved, were generally those, like Homer and Hesiod, who overall depict the Classical Gods as fantastical fairytale characters, and without much emphasis at all on religiosity or piety — in other words, stories that the church could easy show to be simple 'ancient superstition'. And these stories are the ones most commonly preserved and known of today, and always in their most irreligious (and thus, least threatening) forms.

Writings like those of the religious Platonists, Pythagoreans, Orphics, Stoics, Gnostics, Hypsistarians etc. were, paradoxically, felt to be much more threatening to Christianity than the fables of Homer simply because they were often very theologically developed, strongly conveyed the recognition of the Gods as perfected and purely righteous beings, recognized the soul as immortal and save-able, and strongly encouraged a divinely-originated morality among human beings. However, they weren't Christian, even if the messages they propagated were nearly identical. As such, they were dangerous because they flew in the face of the Christian insistence on Christianity's 'uniqueness' among religions.

We also live in a culture where people love to be offended, where everyone is told they are being wronged/oppressed, where everyone is radicalized against everyone else. Ancient stories have long been the subjects of sociological explorations by individuals seeking to pinpoint ancient origins of 'XYZ' social concept or issue, in which stories are usually totally decontextualized and re-understood in a framework or conception that is totally anachronistic.

As such, ancient stories, told in a way that highlights behaviors and happenings that we find abhorrent, coupled with the fact that there are so few individuals out there who would speak up to counter misrepresentations of the stories, and the " . . . because these gods have long ago ceased to be part of any serious religion." mentality that is so common, even among many scholarly individuals, I would argue, are sitting ducks as targets for a wide variety of quasi to overtly hostile sociological and external-religious 'commentaries' and distortions.

Really, I would not think it an exaggeration at all to say that the vast, vast majority of individuals, the world over, who are aware of the typical 'Zeus myths', would be in agreement that these stories are nothing more than 'ancient examples of misogyny and primitive approval of sexual libertinism and lechery, simple social allegories for the society of the time, and/or clear examples of how empty, immoral, superstitious, ridiculous, and clearly devoid of any real religious value Classical religion was.'

My advice is to do your best to let go of the preconceptions and distortions that society's decontextualized presentations of Classic stories of the Gods have planted in the brain and, unconsciously, are skewing perception away from deeper understanding. I do not mean erase them from memory, not at all, but rather, to release your attachment to them and open your mind to contextual understandings that may be radically different from 'what society has always taught you that X-story means', or, likewise, from 'religious' understandings that are simply derivatives of the common societal presentations.

*End soap box speech*

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:51 am

Erodious, you are very well read for somebody who is only twenty two years of age. What I would of given to be so intelligible at that age when I was younger.

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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:55 am

Greetings, De Li.

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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Lesbian Believer on Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:01 pm

@De Li: Welcome to the forum.

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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:36 pm

Greetings De Li!  I hope this forum makes you feel at home (you who are at home in a foreign country)-- It really has made me feel at home here.  

As to the misogyny bit; I remember reading "Leda and the Swan" by Yeats as an undergraduate and having to endure these awful feminist assaults on Zeus.  Our God is an easy target, because feminists may not be able to swat at Yahweh or Allah due to political correctness, but the Gods of the West are obviously fair game (mind you I am all for fair treatment of women and am disgusted by male chauvinism).  Frankly, even if we took the myths purely and only literally (which I do not), I do not see a bit of cruelty on the part of Zeus as a horrifying thing.  To put it simply, the Gods are our betters, they are totally beyond us, and we tend to anthropomorphize this relationship out of our own hubris, when hubris is what got us to where we are in the first place.
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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Linda on Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:23 pm

Hello De Li and welcome! Hope you'll enjoy it here.

There's another point with the Zeus stories as well, and that is the one with his 'womanizing' - which lands in the myths of him fathering several heroes across the Hellenic lands in spite of being married to his queen Hera. Those stories are not merely XXX soap opera things, most of them have potential political associations.

For a king or a general or some other hot shot ruler to get some cred, he simply 'invented' an ancestry going back to this or that hero and/or god. And the best one to connect with that way was of course the Big One himself - Zeus. I mean why invent an ancestry to Silenius or Atlas, when you could have Zeus on your genealogy? So Zeus it became and then it appeared as if he had been sleeping around the complete set of royal Hellenic houses. But to make a better contemporary parallel, one can listen to how Barack Obama keep quoting John F. Kennedy and Martin L. King. He simply wants to be associated to those almost god-like ancients, hoping that some of their glory will rub off on him.  

So what people are doing when they point their fingers at "Zeus' moral behaviours", they are simply misunderstanding some old political propaganda.
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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  De Li on Tue May 20, 2014 4:07 am

Dear all,

First of all I must apologize for not getting back to this until now (!) - immediately after posting my initial intro a series of events unfolded in my life, which prevented me from engaging with / spending time on anything new (especially online).
By the time I had recovered and resumed my normal life -including online life- I had forgotten that I posted here...  Embarassed I'm so sorry, please forgive me.

Thank you all for the kind replies to my initial post  I love you 

Dear Erodius,
thank you ever so much for your private message you send me. Again, I only read it yesterday  Embarassed I don't have the option to reply to your message as the forum rules don't allow me to send PMs yet as I have not posted enough posts. I checked on your website but couldn't find an option to send you a private message that way.
Could you send me another PM here with a contact address I can use, please?

With the very best wishes to you all  I love you 

De Li
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Re: Greetings & happy Noumenia :-)

Post  Erodius on Tue May 20, 2014 12:08 pm

Well, I certainly think we've got a record here for the longest interval between an original post and a reply, haha; and do forgive those who have been contributing to this thread if you don't wind up hearing from them further, as you're aware, it's been quite a while since this thread has last been active (about 9 months), and some of the contributors here haven't even been heard from in quite some time. People come and go, things come up, and interest fades — that's to be expected.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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