Sunday, 30 April 2017
Rudi Mackenzie reflects that the Gods are too real for it to be safe to meet Them except through dream, vision, prophecy or Their world. This reflection is based on what he has seen of his mother's experiences. Mathilda, a Christian, knows that, when Juniper Makenzie calls, They are likely to answer. The Changed world has returned to the days of Ys when a Christian questioned not the reality but the goodness of the Gods. Mathilda asks:
"'How can you think They're good, if They do things like that?'" (p. 161)
Rudi replies in part by quoting:
"'"Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me..."'" (ibid.)
Mathilda has learned that arguing doctrine with a witch is like trying to cut fog with an ax. This is because witches do not have the same attitude to "doctrine." Participation in a ceremony does not require belief. Pagans do not denounce Mars in favor of Tyr but identify the two war gods. Rudi's understanding seems to be as sophisticated as that of the Ysans.
SM Stirling suggested in the combox here that Classical pagans were embarrassed by Homeric myths when compared with Biblical texts but would have been able to evolve beyond them in the same way that Hindus evolved beyond the Vedas. I feel further that Buddhism, although several centuries older, is philosophically superior to Christianity because it is based on a critical analysis of received concepts and of universal experience, not on an interpretation of prophetic texts. But we must each find our own way through the "thicket of opinions," as the Buddha called it.