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Belief Systems

Post  AgathonZante on Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:52 pm

In Hellenism, if I am correct, there is no set standard of belief for the most part, only a standard of practice. Therefore, beliefs can vary among Hellenists. So are we allowed to hold and promote our own interpretation of the myths and Gods?

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Re: Belief Systems

Post  Erodius on Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:38 pm

AgathonZante wrote:In Hellenism, if I am correct, there is no set standard of belief for the most part, only a standard of practice. Therefore, beliefs can vary among Hellenists. So are we allowed to hold and promote our own interpretation of the myths and Gods?

Not exactly. There is not a single, universal standard of belief, but rather a variety of standards of belief, and closely related, though variant, standards of practice.

There is much complexity and variation, but it is not so simple as fabricating one's own ideas.

Acceptable beliefs, in the Classical understanding, as is the case in Hindu Āstika – 'orthodox traditions', are not necessarily even compatible with one another, but would be considered acceptable as a result of coming from a source of authority, whether a poet of divine myths, a religious figure or teacher, or a tradition whose authority is established by its age.

It is a very different understanding of orthodoxy/acceptable belief from that of Abrahamic religion.

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-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

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Re: Belief Systems

Post  AgathonZante on Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:23 am

Well what I mean is can we possess our own interpretation of something? For example, Athene being born from the head of Zeus. Someone might say, She literally emerged from His skull. While I would say, She was born of the wise mind of the Father of the Gods.

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Re: Belief Systems

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:00 pm

AgathonZante wrote:Well what I mean is can we possess our own interpretation of something?

You can interpret the myths in any way you like. Whether you care about the interpretation's basis in fact, reason and/or tradition is another matter.

AgathonZante wrote:For example, Athene being born from the head of Zeus. Someone might say, She literally emerged from His skull. While I would say, She was born of the wise mind of the Father of the Gods.

Not far off the mark at all.

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Re: Belief Systems

Post  De Li on Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:36 pm

The 'head-birth' of Athena by Zeus signifies the emanation/manifestation of Divine Metis into the ontological levels of the Cosmos respectively our world by the Demiurgos (Zeus/Phanes).

Erodius, as per usual, answered the initial/principle question perfectly.
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Re: Belief Systems

Post  Erodius on Sun Oct 18, 2015 1:24 pm

AgathonZante wrote:While I would say, She was born of the wise mind of the Father of the Gods.

That is certainly not a new understanding. Nearly all religious philosophers and theologians writing on that myth expressed that same explanation.

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"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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