Make-up Monday: A is for Ambiguity

“The pursuit of comprehensive, universal belief and practice—catholic, in the lowercase dictionary sense—can too easily lead into fundamentalism and a resistance to change. After all, once the One And Only Truth is discovered, it must remain true forever. It cannot be that it was true once, but is no longer, or that it is true now, but will cease to be in the future. It cannot grow, and must never adapt.”

 

 

This point by Reveniens seems to apply directly to what I was thinking about in my Carolitic post.

The truth is mutable. Time is not a hard line with an end and a beginning.

And I am finding that things can be both true and untrue at the same time, depending on the person looking at it. Schrodinger’s truth. What is perfectly, wholly, incontrovertibly true for me in my relationship with my gods and my spirits may be undeniably false for you in your relationship with your gods and your spirits — even if we are involved with the same ones.

We must allow for that, or we will drive ourselves mad competing with each other, and arguing about who is the Most Right about things which no one can prove one way or another in some fashion that someone can’t just come along, point at, and say, “Nuh uh!”

Spirits in the Material World

I think that some, though definitely not all, of the pagan community’s general uneasiness regarding UPG (unverified personal gnosis) is because of the ambiguity and uncertainty that comes with it. Interpretation of lore can vary greatly due to the issues of translation, competing scholarly theories, and similar matters, but it is often much easier to place our trust in sources that have been debated and defended for centuries than it is to accept the diverse and sometimes contradictory personal epiphanies of other current, living pagans.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Unease with this ambiguity is what leads many pagans to research their gnosis, to find out if it coincides with what has already been known in lore, and so would be VPG (verified personal gnosis). The same unease is also what leads many pagans whose experiences cannot be verified in lore to look into the UPG of others…

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