Catholic vs. Other - 2019-08-27 - Connor Norris

Author Recorded Tuesday August 27th, 2019

There are 41 episodes in the Versus:Other series.

Recorded September 21st, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-21 - Tino

Recorded September 10th, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-10 - Judah

Recorded September 2nd, 2017

Catholic vs. Other - 2017-09-02 - William

Recorded October 21st, 2016

Catholic vs. Other - 2016-10-21 - Ben

Connor reached out to me via Twitter. He was raised in a nominally Christian home but he has always felt drawn to the pagan religions of his pre-Christian ancestors. I enjoyed learning a bit about his Germanic Paganism.


Catholic vs. Other - 2019-08-27 - Connor Norris

Author Recorded September 24th, 2016

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hello my name is Connor Norris and you were listening to Catholic versus other so tell us a little bit about yourself if you would please who you are what you believe and why you believe it well my name is Connor I am a indo-european pagan of the Germanic branch I came to my beliefs it's hard to nail down exactly when and where it all happened really cuz in a sense I feel like I was kind of born into this faith that I am in now my father are always raised me with the knowledge that our family name is derived from Norris or Northman so I always kind of had that pride in my heritage just instilled in me and my father told me the stories of the the Old Norse mythology's and whatnot and I always was fascinated by mythology that kind of thing history has also always been my my favorite subject and I've always just kind of voraciously consumed anything related to that so yeah just anything mythological heroes these these tales have always spoken to me on a deep level but then even beyond that I've always had a connection to that type of history I suppose ancient history especially and it isn't that not necessarily relating to just the Norse or Germanic pantheon I mean it could be Sumeria and I read that but if we must when I was a kid I really liked it obviously greco-roman mythology Hindu mythology I'm I'm actually still relatively new to Hindu mythology but it's really fascinating but it's funny despite that my my family was nominally Christian and we were part of a non-denominational Protestant typical American Church and you know we attended on Christmas Easter maybe every now and then and actually I I definitely remember distinctly not liking going to church really just because when when you're a kid and you go to church typically you get put in a Sunday school and I didn't really want to get put in the sunday school because that typically just meant that you know we would just be standing around singing Jesus rock songs and whatnot which didn't particularly engage me if anything was much more interested in actually going to the adult sermons that would have been more up my alley and in fact there every now and then I kind of got myself into the the adult sermons because I actually I like that a lot more there was you know discussion of theology liturgy I guess they're not so much I mean it like I said it was a Protestant American nondenominational church so not particularly heavy on sacrament or ritual or anything like that but at the very least you know like I always liked hearing uh tales from the Bible and whatnot even beyond that I was also my church was a private school as well and so I feel like I grew up in the the church with a degree of familiarity with Christianity but I have to admit I am somewhat envious actually of Catholics and Eastern Orthodox especially like cradle Catholics because I see in them they have such a rich history of tradition and the the rites and the sacraments and all of this is so present in their their faith and in their lives particularly like I said the cradle Catholics who that's part of their identity growing up I think that's fascinating and in a way I sort of wish that I had that but then on another hand I almost wonder if one can't consider me almost a cradle pagan even just because I was born into this understanding that I am a Norseman essentially but yeah that's that is essentially the summation of it what about your siblings do you have siblings and what's their journey like really briefly I have one sister and she and I have been incredibly close all throughout our lives it's been a little bit since I've spoken to her last she's still in college right now so she's often really busy and we live in separate states and whatnot but is she Christian or pagan or what no actually I've had these discussions with her recently I actually I have to admit I have somewhat turned your argumentation on her in fact in regard to having a backbone of theism some-some belief in God because otherwise there's no meaning to anything you can't have a morality of any any of the things that we take for granted and I kind of turned that on her and put that to her so that was interesting so yeah that's the she's still a nut that I'm trying to crack in that regard but it's fun conversations and whatnot what's interesting is she and I have always bonded over Lord of the Rings and of course JRR tolkien was a very very devout Catholic so I think that there's strands of Fae ISM that interest her I think she's made it just not know it yet hmm so maybe you could talk a little bit about what distinguishes your particular brand of paganism from some of the other brands that are popular out there yes well definitely within the quote-unquote Pagan community and it's difficult to lump everybody together because there's so many different views I mean it is paganism almost the the name itself kind of denotes everything else basically as opposed to monotheism so obviously it's it's really tough to kind of nail down the the group in entirely because there are so many people who think of it in terms of archetypes that's probably the most common view is that in kind of a Jungian perspective the the archetype of for instance vote on Odin and the Norse pantheon Jung discussed at length about vote on as the the archetype of the the wandering mystic the the wisdom giver wisdom receiver the that kind of characterize on and also the the high king of the gods that's that's Odin's role so yeah most people think of it in those terms but they don't necessarily think that Odin truly is a being they usually think that it's just sort of this I don't know vague animating source and that's not to say that I don't believe that Odin can manifest as an archetype I do think that that's the case but that's only one small portion of the equation I think it's very clear from looking at the actual historical documents that we have of the faith of pagans in the pre-christian Europe we can tell that they did actually believe in their gods there was none of this this conception of the archetype as being the only case or even worse yet this idea that oh they're just like fun stories that that you can read because you don't want to be a Christian basically I think that that's that's silly I think people who hold onto those views are really they're just atheists wearing a mule in their wearing a hammer because it's a trendy fashion statement really if that's the closest you take it you're not really going that extra step and obviously you and I share the same critiques of atheism as sort of a dead worldview a worldview that that really can't go any further so yeah really anybody who holds on to paganism but it is also a an atheistic Pig and I just don't see the point you you might as well just be it's all just song and dance at that point if you don't believe in it mm-hmm know that you're an expert but can you just talk from what you do know about the influence of Western philosophy on your brand of paganism like Plato and the Stoics and what has been picked up by the pagans and particularly that branch that you belong to please yeah definitely I think that the the Greek philosophers Plato Socrates Aristotle all of that is definitely heavy embedded in the pagan revival community certainly Plato and Aristotle have a rich history of being incorporated into Christian philosophy certainly and I think with good reason but I also think there's no real reason that they can't be incorporated into pagan philosophy especially considering the time in which Socrates Plato and Aristotle lived in it seems obvious that those should be incorporated and looked to and in fact within the circles that I'm involved in there is a heavily Neoplatonic trend actually there's a lot of that as well so definitely there's there's a wealth of information to be tapped there and I would even argue even Christian theologians and early church doctors and I think that Aquinas is very valuable I like natural theology I think that a lot of that is applicable to a pagan mindset to an extent so you it's interesting and then of course the Eastern traditions do have a relevance to the modern resurgence of paganism so I mentioned in that at the top of the interview that I'm an indo-european pagan and so the ancient indo-europeans are the ancestor group of all of the the European people but they were originally a from from all accounts like a hunter-gatherer civilization around Ukraine that that area who domesticated horses cows and invited the chariot and they moved from the Ukraine all the way across the Europe on tech Caspian step in the Eurasian steppe all the way to India and so there's a lot of cross play between there and those historical peoples formulated the basis for all pagan religions essentially so you can find a lot of parallels cognates with Roman paganism to Hinduism in fact Persian religions as well some extend Zoroastrianism but more priests or Austrian Persian religions all of that and of course Germanic paganism so essentially the the real binding force in all of this is the Europeans this is ancient people who really set up all of the culture religion and social structures of Europe and all the way down to India so because of that there is a wealth of information that can be gleaned from the East from Hinduism and thoughts like that because that's the thing we can sort of say that the connection to the past in the in western paganism at least has been broken 2,000 years ago with the rise of Christianity we could say whereas that same scenario did not happen in the East it did not happen to Hinduism Hinduism still has an unbroken tradition and some people in our circles are talking about sort of using the tapping into the flame of the East to reignite the torch of the West and that would be a way to rekindle the continuity of the tradition essentially yeah one thing that I was think as my own heritage I did some DNA testing just to get a rough idea where my ancestors come from and I wasn't terribly impressed but I did it twice with two different companies and they both said basically the same thing which is the British Isles England Scotland Ireland Wales and Scandinavia and so I think I am a Norseman but there there was a friend of mine who is ashamed to admit it but he was listening secretly to what's I think it's called red ice media have you heard about that yes and I think he said that it's controversial because they do talk about white supremacy I'm not a white supremacist I think there's one race the human race so can you just talk about that sort of aspect of it is that something that's significant in the community or not at all I should clarify that I am NOT a white supremacist either whatsoever I do not believe in any any such thing like that what I will say though is that there is in my particular branch of paganism there is certainly a strong emphasis on connecting to your own personal culture and that it is a essentially inauthentic to connect with another people's culture and we don't want to deprive anybody else of their own heritage we would definitely support anybody if if there was anybody who was interested in their own heritage to certainly focus on that because we actually believe that our ancestors are real they watch us they influence our lives they matter and if you were to turn your back on your own ancestors to worship somebody else's ancestral gods that just seems like a huge betrayal to your own family I definitely wouldn't support that yeah so can you just reconcile that thought with the thought that you just gave about tapping into the east and borrowing from their flame well that's the funny thing so while we don't necessarily believe that one should wholly adopt for instance the Hindu Pantheon necessarily although certainly there are some individuals who who are called to Hinduism who are effectively white so there's really specific situations and tapping into the Hindu Eastern tradition is appropriate and we definitely don't want to endure syncretism the mashing up of two completely separate religious concepts or entities definitely that is frowned upon but at the same time the binding strand between Hinduism and Germanic paganism is this indo-european connection which it is shared and I think that because of that interplay between the two sides there's a lot that we can learn there's a lot of gaps that we can fill in that we're lost in our own faith and Germanic paganism just because of ravaging of time and to some extent the conversion of Christianity to to a large extent I'll be honest unfortunately and I that is definitely appropriate because at the end of the day we are both indo-european expressions we're expressions of indo-european gods actually for instance I believe in a large swath of modern pagans believed at least in the circles that I frequent that for instance the god Shiva in Hinduism is in fact the same being as Odin in Germanic paganism however the gods may choose to manifest themselves in different forms specifically to different people which is completely fine that's understandable and far be it from us to defy the will of the gods if the gods decided that that's how they wanted to manifest themselves to a given people that's fine that's that's good but but certainly we can notice the parallels between two gods and go huh that's really interesting maybe that can help inform our understanding of a given God especially because in the West and Western paganism we are lacking in material whereas like I said in in the East the material has just overflowed and it's it's just constantly and it never broke it was an unbroken tradition so I don't know if you've listened to a lot of my episode so you might have listened to the Hindu episodes I had a couple of them I did yes and they did mention I was quite surprised that there is a Shiva Lingam that's being worshipped by the Muslims in Mecca this is allegedly what's happening do you have any comment on that and do you want to talk about as an example of the Shiva Lingam being worshipped by the Muslims yeah actually it was interesting when I when I listened to that episode I had to go what but no way and so I had to research it and suffice it to say I'm unconvinced unfortunately there are pictures supposedly of within the the Kaaba of the Shiva Lingam but those photos seem to be not accurate at all my understanding is so and then actually I found the the actual photos of within the Kaaba interestingly they're on Google Maps believe it or not I don't entirely know how they got that in there perhaps some people would claim conspiracy on this regard I'm somewhat dubious of claims like that it looked like it was inside the Kaaba to me it was actually surprisingly plain looking inside it was just it wasn't really got it just it was kind of a kind of nice actually kind of just quaint and nice inside but there was no Shiva Lingam that I had seen I came across another argument that just Mecca itself it forms the Shiva Lingam like the architecture the structure the way that it's laid out with the Kaaba in the center and it's a big black box you know and and then there's the structures all around it I saw it but I was kind of unconvinced in fact what's funny is somebody that same article that I read also claimed that the Vatican was set up as a Shiva Lingam as well and it does look similar like yes but I think that that's probably just because architecture is like that and I don't know I think there's a reasonable explanation for that that's not a strange conspiracy theory okay so another thing I want to touch on that's connected with Catholicism Hinduism and your paganism is the sort of parallels between the Saints and the gods can you talk about that from your perspective yeah actually that was definitely one thing when I was first getting into I I guess and this was gosh when I was a kid I had a conversation with my dad about how the conversion happened and he he explained to me well yeah I mean it makes sense that the Saints would naturally arrive or rise rather out of a polytheistic tradition because when they were converting the pagan Roman it made sense to go oh yeah you guys have gods of fertility or whatever a god that does this X Y & Z well here's the Saint that you can pray to to get the same benefit essentially that makes a lot of sense to me I just seems like a natural thing that you would try and have carryover to sort of make things more palatable and I like the Saints I really like the Saints um st. George of England is a really fascinating cool Saint and I like the tradition that arose around st. George st. George's Day and all that the East actually has a lot of really great and fascinating Saints Eastern Orthodoxy is very strong on the warrior st. motif I think that's really fascinating because the Germanic faiths get a fairly understandable reputation for being very warrior based certainly when someone thinks of Germanic pagans I think of the Vikings you know so definitely the the warrior Saints that the east appeal to me in that regard in the same way that st. George does you know slaying a dragon that's pretty cool yeah what do you think of both the stories of the Dragons you know I recently came out as a young earth creationist right can you talk a little bit about dragons dinosaurs the age of the earth and what are your sort of creation stories can you talk about that from your pagan perspective yeah dragons are another motif that reoccur very frequently in indo-european tradition the concept of the the hero venturing out from his lands typically he'll be a prince and he's looking for glory he's looking for with the save a princess I mean all of that those that whole motif is indo-european and the hero will go into a cave alone he'll conquer the odds he'll face the dragon and he'll slay the dragon get the princess it's all this like very magical fairy tale a story and that's very consistent throughout the tellings of the indo-european myth base from the east or west it doesn't matter then dragon slang really a primordial force of chaos and and that that occurs at Ragnarok and so that's definitely a depiction of Thor Thor of course is the son of Odin so he it is alright as sort of a prince and so yeah he C slays the the serpent even though he dies shortly thereafter you we sacrum in green Roman myth irreligious corpus so yeah the drag dragons are really fascinating where they fit in the theory that dragons are dinosaurs is somewhat appealing I I do like that but at least my branch of paganism or my circles we definitely are very evidence-based we're very scientific actually there's a lot of research and whatnot and so by and large we tend to be believers in evolution and and whatnot that seems to explain a lot of our history so much so that that yeah we are actually I actually our beliefs don't find anything in Congress with the idea that humans evolved from apes essentially we actually don't have a problem with that interestingly enough there's actually a story in the the poetic Edda which is probably the closest thing to scripture that we have as far as the north side goes the germanic side has a tale called the rigs doula that describes the god Heimdall traveling earth in early history of earth and meeting various people's three couples he meets three couples actually and he spends the night with each of these cups and after he spends the night several months later the wife of the couple gives birth to a child interestingly enough so there's some quotes heimdal himself like sleeping with the wife or was he just like giving them a blessing and stuff it's left uncertain but suffice it to say that is actually where we trace the essence of our people from interestingly enough so because of the god Heimdall it was the progenitor of these three different individuals who then go on to father essentially the cast actually that's the creation story of like the deer there's there the craftsman class the warrior class the king class and in fact the the servant class as well that's the origin of that whole system and so through Heimdall we actually trace our lineage to the gods interestingly enough but there's really no way in which that goes against evolutionary biology or anything like that and in fact if anything it works in tandem with it you mentioned Heimdall that it brings to mind who is one of the three sons that got on the ark with Noah is there a flood myth in your mythology um as far as I'm aware there isn't at least one that's preserved in Norse mythology but there certainly are flood myths in Greek there's a major one in Hindu mythology and the end yes there they all involve boats interesting enough it is fascinating the flood myth archetype is a really interesting motif and i eivol I am always fascinated by that I want to know where the truth in that arises from I am really interested in that for sure mm-hmm in my religion we have occult code and Creed so you need to worship in a certain way you need to behave in a certain way and you need to believe certain things and I could list the minimum to you but it's a little bit long I think you're I think your minimum requirements might be a little bit fewer so perhaps you could take a stab at sort of naming them or summarizing them at least the minimum requirements to be part of your particular branch of paganism yeah definitely I would say that historically would define a pagan as a pagan was that they took part in the rites it was never formalized in such a way it was just part of who they were II was just oh well yeah I'm from such-and-such tribe of such-and-such clan what have you that's just who I am and so I perform the rites and we have our patron deity and whatnot it's just a part of them so in that regard there's really no requirement it's really just part of who you are and whether or not you choose to take part in the gatherings and the rituals and the sacraments and whatnot now I I will specify that there's the poem the hava mall which is the words of the high one and the the poem is attributed to Odin himself the king of the gods in our pantheon and there's definitely a section where it's pretty clear advice you would say it's he's laying out good ideas good good things to live by and so one can extrapolate virtues and and Aristotelian virtues especially from that text but they're definitely not fireman's or Commandments or anything like that they're really just suggestions they're ways of saying hey obviously Odin is the wisest of the gods he he he has he knows everything so you should probably listen to him because he's gonna get good advice so that's really the closest thing that we have to that I would say and I I guess I should note that Hinduism has far more involved sort of codes like that probably just because it's it's well preserved like I said it's unbroken so they have more of that and I that's an aspect that we can certainly tap into to learn from and sort of adapt for our own purposes I believe mm-hmm now what about the best-case scenario versus the worst-case scenario as you know as everyone knows we have in the Catholic Church we have extreme outcomes of heaven and hell are those the only two outcomes for any human being and that's why we are a little bit anxious about making sure that everyone hears the good news and gets into the ark to be saved so by contrast how would you portray this sort of notion of best case scenario versus the worst case scenario within your worldview is there any difference of outcome yes actually eschatology is a really hot topic right now in our circles so it's commonly it's it's believed at least in by by laypeople and even by by like the average supposed quote/unquote pagan that so you a pagan of Norse pagan goes to one of two places they either go to Valhalla or they go to hell spelled HEA L nem the goddess who runs hell her name is also hell so you either go to hell's domain or you go to Valhalla which is owns domain and Valhalla is reserved for the valiant dead the people who died in battle who who fight the odds and and overcome them essentially and then everybody else who dies if they die of sickness or old age or whatnot they all go to hell and hell is just the sad dreary place it's dark it's dank and - bummer basically to be in and that is commonly understood as the two places that you go however that's not exactly true because in reality therefore more options each God essentially has their own Hall in Hell Hell itself is not actually a bad place to go in fact if anything it's described as a neutral or good place there is feasting to be had in the halls of hell it's not a terrible outcome really now yes Valhalla or Valhalla is a special place it is an honor to be with Onan and feast and fight and drink and die and live again and whatnot all of that that's all awesome and it's good for the people who get there but that's a really really small portion of people who are going to make it to Valhalla and then on top of that what's fascinating is the god Odin and the goddess Freyja there's a war between the two of them each each of them come from a different essentially a race of gods freya comes from the venire and own comes from the easier and they have a war and as a part of the truce agreement when they come together and they they form the Pantheon Odin and Freya negotiate that Freya gets to take one-half of the valiant dead the dead killed in battle before Odin does and then Odin gets the rest of the valiant dead so the valley dead may even end up going to Freya's Hall folk Vanger is her halls name and so it's not even as cut and dried there so half goat half of the valiant dead go to Freya's Holliman half the valiant dead go to Odin's Hall and then there's a ton of other gods and so there's a ton of other halls in hell that one can go to so one could perhaps go to Thor's Hall which is probably a lot of feasting and drinking Thor is a very jovial God he's kind of the god of the people so certainly a lot of people might go to his Hall if they were warriors but maybe they didn't die in battle or they embodied Thor like virtues or there's also the God freyr's Hall brother to Freya and he's commonly known as a fertility God although he has his own warrior aspect to it but he himself was very much like a God of the common man a God of the farmer and he was actually the page from god of the swedes incidentally and so perhaps a lot of Swedes would go over to his Hall even so yeah there's a really a multiplicity of halls that one could go to however I know that one thing that you're interested in is where did the bad people go and to that I have to say there's probably a couple places where they could go some people like to say that there's no concept of judgement in paganism that even if you were a bad person and you did bad things maybe you were lucky and you would still you would still go to a good hall however there's sort of a disagreement with that some people are reading those sources and saying that yeah essentially morality kind of didn't matter what mattered was how cool you were basically how how how metal you were because then you'll go to Valhalla and stuff even if you were a bad person you if you killed someone in battle like you're still going to Valhalla that doesn't seem to be the case there's a quote from the hava mall again words of the high one written by Odin that goes cattle died kinsmen die you yourself shall die but there's one thing that never dies the deeds of a good man or some some kepala the the deeds of an honored man or some people have stated that the better translation is the judgment of man and so that implies that there is a good and bad there's a judging happening of souls and that's really interesting because a lot of people base that hava mall passage they view that as sort of a well if you die and you get told about your people sing songs about you and stuff that's how you remain alive and to an extent that I think that that's true I think that our ancestors believed that if they had songs told about them if they did great deeds today would be remembered and they would live on in a hall somewhere in hell but but still again there's that that portion that that seems to imply judgment that's a big question so who is doing the judging that is kind of tough to find in the north sources I think that's somewhere where we can tap into the Greek into the Roman traditions to kind of figure out where that fits in just because we don't have any material available that kind of elucidates on that subject as well as we would like but yeah that's that's really fascinating and I guess what I should say is we do know that there are bad halls in Hell or really they're they're really outside of hell and that would be Niffleheim which is the realm of cold of suffering really and in some sources it's described that that Hall is or that that realm rather is reserved for kin Slayers people who kill their family people who betray people liars cheats etcetera etc and in Niffleheim it's a place of primal ice and cold and essentially chaos and the soul is chased by ravenous wolves for the rest of time they never get away and the best they can hope for is to eventually just fade out of existence and Oblivion essentially it's the best that they could possibly hope for maybe though their soul will get recycled in some sort of reincarnation or whatnot but yeah so that's so that's that's the definitely a tormenting realm that one wouldn't want to go to there's even no a worse possible outcome which is and Norse cosmology there's what's known as the world tree or Udrih cell and that's the sort of the axis mundi of the universe and there are different realms spread amongst the world tree's leaves and and even under the world tree under the the roots and at the at the bottom below the roots there's a great giant dragon an amid Hager who continually gnaws on the roots of the world tree and some sources say that particularly evil souls will get put under the roots of the world tree and then occasionally need Hager will gnaw on the the soul of the evildoer for eternity so that's a particularly bad outcome so yeah there there are varying different from bad places that one could potentially go to as punishment for misdeeds interesting yeah I asked the Hindus and they had some sort of terrible place but they weren't clear if it was permanent or not so okay I couldn't get a straight answer there I should say that I don't know if it's permanent either actually there there is a sort of a belief in reincarnation in across all indo-european faiths but what matters is what is reincarnating because I think that it there's a lot of proof to say that the ancient pagans believed in the tripartite soul and so of course the ego the the you part of your soul that may not live on that may ultimately fade away unless perhaps your heir descendants perform the rites and and remember you in your name and whatnot and that will give you strength in the halls of health for instance that's what I believe my Christian ancestors are in need of actually I I try to remember them because I know that they are in hell and you know they're not doing bad but they are in need of constant remembrance and so I like to remember them in that regard or even answers that I don't work that I don't know the names of you know ancient ancient ancestors I always we always try to hold a horn give a toast to the ancestors to sort of give them some metaphysical power in the afterlife so that they can hold on to their essence but there are aspects other aspects that I think do sort of are sort of shed in the afterlife upon dying and some of those aspects may be reincarnated in a future descendant or whatnot some of those aspects may simply fade away into the ether or something and then there's there's also the idea that one's own descendants are I have a piece of you in them there's certainly a lot of that going on as well in the sources so I think that that's something that can't be discounted as well yeah I'm wondering did you have a chance to listen to Lincoln cannons interview he's the transhumanist Mormon oh I did yes I do remember that interview is there any overlap with your worldview there we tend to be pretty skeptical of transhumanism actually or really just all technology in the modern world certainly I myself am very steered towards the traditionalist side of things so we're just skeptical of things like that actually I was thinking more of the Mormon aside that was overlapping because their God is not a transcendent God their God he's a material being he may be subtle but he's material and he's subject to change so I'm just wondering if you have something in common with that sort of perspective where God is sort of the best being but he's not necessarily diff in kind so much as a difference in degree when you compare with the other heroes of the ancient days I see okay interestingly I I can sort of speak to the Mormon side because a vast majority of my family is Mormon interestingly enough so I'm somewhat familiar although I've never I've never been as familiar as I'd like to be with that religion but I do find it interesting so yeah I am aware that they their view of God is a kind of a curious one it's definitely it seems more polytheistic it seems more pagan for sure I know that they might sort of chafe under that label but I don't know I I suspect that they kind of came to that belief because they like me sort of felt that ancestral call to polytheism that that idea that there are multiplicity of gods and that if they are righteous if they're good they can join the gods in the afterlife and and it's essentially that their lives on earth are meant to try to be more like the gods I kind of feel like that might have been where they were coming from but then on the other hand there's a high degree of interesting similarities with Mormonism to Islam as well so I don't know it's kind of a weird mix of the different things Mormonism is a strange Beast I like it though I'm intrigued by it it's and Mormons are great people again I love my family so yeah I've always wanted to have more conversations with them about their theology it's really fascinating for sure what do you think personally and what does your circle think generally of st. Patrick is he a friend or an AFOL unfortunately most people definitely think of him as a foe I try not to get involved in the anti-christian polemic a lot of people consider me soft for that reason but the vast majority of my most recent ancestors were Christians I don't have a problem with Christianity I think that it's a valuable path I think it's a viable path personally I am a perennial list I just think that's actually how I discovered your podcast I was looking up dr. James cut singer and I stumbled across your interview with him I liked dr. cut singer I think he does great work and and yeah so I agree with him and the traditionalist school of thought the Sophia puranas school I do believe that Christianity is a viable path up the summit of wisdom so I don't like to be hard on it but definitely within my circles there's a lot of anti-christian sentiment unfortunately and I suppose I can't necessarily blame them I get it to some extent I feel like it's it's still holding on to that kind of teenage angst rebellion you know they they want to fight against against their dad basically the man and I go no it's not really about that it's not about rebelling against your dad it's it's about coming home to your people's true ancestral dad you know coming humming home to Odin I don't have a problem with the Christian God and and and Christian religion and whatnot but I just I know that ultimately from my reading of history it seems like it's it isn't exactly the the perfect faith for my people and for my children and my family but it is a good faith and I don't want to take that away from anybody and I we certainly wouldn't take that away from my own family but going forward I feel like it's good to reconnect to our pre-christian traditions but a lot of people don't really share that sentiment like I said a lot of people are much harder on Christianity so in that regard yeah st. Patrick is usually not looked upon very favorably where does the god of monotheism fit into your pantheon if at all that's an interesting question I guess I would say that I would have to tap into Neoplatonism in that regard the their concept of the one of the Monad I think is a an applicable concept that there is this one wholeness to the universe from which the rest of reality flows that all of existence flows from and in Hinduism actually there's that concept as well of Brahma is what it's called and that's just Brahma is not really a person although there is a manifestation later on and Hindu sources called Brahman that I think is kind of just a way to sort of get people to wrap their head around the idea of this like one supremely divine but not a being being you know it's very complicated and it's hard to kind of nail down but I do think that that is the ultimate source of reality from which all of us flow but it's not necessarily to say that there is no individuality I certainly I believe that I exist and I believe you exist and and the world exists I do not I don't believe that it's all just a dream or some concoction of a dreamer in the head of a god at least in a meaningful way I mean the world is meaningful to me at least I and I know that but yeah essentially I think that that's where the mano of monotheism can kind of come in my disagreement with Christianity is just that I I don't believe that Yahweh is that one God I think that he is a God amongst many others and I think that we have evidence that through Canaanite religion that Yahweh was one one God and so was L as well another epithet of the Christian God certainly they exist then they are gods but I don't think that they are the one God they are simply manifestations of the one in the same way of plato's the one and it makes sense that what someone would go well what if this God was the best and what if this God was the only God out there I I feel like that that seems like a natural conclusion that one could potentially draw I was a pantheist for most of my life most of my adult life and I'm very sympathetic to pantheism I think it's sort of like an unthinking form of solipsism no offense intended to any pagans out there but that's just how I see it because I think if you don't go into radical doubt then you can bask in the overwhelming delicious diversity of life and if you look at the Hindu religion or if you look at a pagan religion it's just so rich and it's so colorful and it's so sensual it's it's all very entertaining it's all very distracting and it's comforting definitely yes it's it's definitely preferable to the dark existential dread that saw ups ISM would bring I think so yeah for that reason at the very least I think that it just appeals to my heroic spirit if that makes any sense just it's just so much more yeah like you said colorful it's so much more interesting so even if I am just a dream in some gods head so what it doesn't make my adventure any less real what would you say to Knicks dumb poser because he's on a one-year journey to challenge his atheism well from my perspective I think that it's a bit ridiculous to just believe that my ancestors just imagined the gods I think that that that seems silly that they saw a bolt of lightning and when I you know gosh that's kind of like this big blonde bearded guy with a hammer that's just pounding at a mountain I like the leaps of logic that that would take to get there seemed preposterous I don't think that that's that's the case I think that there definitely is some essence now that being said does that mean that I believe that Thor truly is that as a being not necessarily I think that that's just the best way that we as humans gonna understand him but yeah the idea that that the gods were just imaginary I think is preposterous and anybody who is struggling to come to a in the divine I feel like well gosh there's this great Hindu story where a king calls up his best advisor his best wise man and he the king is struggling with atheism he thinks he's an atheist and so he tells his advisor he goes all right I will give you my entire kingdom if you can show me where God is and the advisor thinks about it for a moment and then he looks at the king and he goes well I'll give you twice your kingdom if you can show me where God isn't and I think that that's a really good parallel I think that the world around us is so magnificent so incredible that it seems preposterous to suggest that some sort of divinity doesn't exist even so much so that a pagan author by the name of Colin Cleary he's very big on trying to reconnect people to their ancestral worldview that the view that their ancestors had essentially and he he describes this thought experiment where he he draws a circle around a cigarette but of all things like the most mundane thing and he draws a circle around the cigarette butt and he just focuses on on the cigarette but he he meditates on the cigarette butt and imagines what all took to get that cigarette butt to that place like from a chemical perspective from like a human history perspective from just like the individual whoever was smoking the cigarette button discarding it on the ground he he focuses on that and he uses that as a meditation tool to sort of awaken himself to the reality of the world that gosh everything seemed so vastly and probable that it kind of begs the question like if there is no reason then why continue on I guess um yeah so that's that's why that's my question to all atheists really is just if you don't have a solid reason for existing if you don't have something that binds you to reality if you don't have anything that gives you more ality ethics virtues of what are you doing here I guess what about a Sabbath do you have a Sabbath day a special day a week uh Wednesday is probably the closest thing to a holy day all the days of the week of course are named after the gods so for instance Tuesday is named after the god tier the god of Justice the god of law and order Wednesday is named after Odin Wooden's day is the origin of Wednesday Thursday is of course Thursday so yeah it goes on and on so but yeah because Odin is the the chief god of our Pantheon he is the high king of our religion probably Wednesday would be the closest and in fact every every I guess I should say that the 9th of every month because 9 is also a very significant number in Germanic paganism 9 is the number of completion there are nine realms in the universe of uracil the world tree the god Heimdall is born of nine different women interestingly enough how that happens that's a mystery but yes if I said to say 9 is an important number and so the ninth day of every month we do what's known as own world prayer day where we all raise a horn to Odin and we we give him our metaphysical power what little we can offer him you know he is a God and we're just mortal people but we do have a little bit of his divine essence and so we give that up to him to strengthen him so that he can essentially help the re-emergence of the pagan faith amongst our people so yeah Wednesday and the ninth of every month is the closest thing to a Sabbath I guess we have and then it sprinkled in there we also have like days of remembrances for great heroes in addition to typical holidays like you'll be austere for Easter things like that tomorrow I'm gonna interview an atheistic Satanist but I've interviewed two theistic Satanists they believe in many gods I'm wondering what is the pagan perspective on theistic satanism my personal outlook on Satanism is again that it's just kind of a rebellious thing that the people do to not be Christian and I think that they're coming at it kind of an authentically I don't know if if somebody is a Satanist my question would be okay so on what literature are you basing your religion or what historical worship of Satan do you have to look to to give you legitimacy I can't really find that unless you were worshipping like say Prometheus who is the fire bringer and so some people make parallels to Lucifer the light bringer to Prometheus and unless you were willing to go that way with it I guess I could kind of understand it a little bit more but otherwise if you're going oh yeah you know in the Bible whenever it talks about Satan or Lucifer III go yeah that's the cool guy that I'm he's the rebel you know he's the guy I want to worship I'm like I what does he do for you though I don't there's no historical worship of Satan really like not that we know of to whatever effect that somebody is worshipping Satan I guess in Catholic terms they're worshiping pagan gods right so then it's sort of like well why don't you just become a pagan then I don't understand it's very strange or like worship Moloch or Bale or something and so in that same vein of thought I guess a theistic satanism I I just I I don't really know that's almost like you wanted the best of both worlds I guess you could say you wanted to be both an atheist and be as edgy and radical as you could possibly be I I'm thankful that I never went through a a theistic Satanists phase in my life I know you did what's pure childishness and selfishness and rebellion like you said so I don't think there's much more to it than that but I am being summoned by my wife so I'm gonna have to wrap this up it has been fascinating talking with you and I do like my guests to leave a little positive message at the end just something for the listener whoever they might be so what do you think you might be able to say to anyone that's what they're listening though western people as a whole the the European people of the world we have lost our soul that in saying that I'm quoting the founder of the austere true folk assembly Stephen McDowell and a man that I personally met now and who is really an incredible individual but he has this parable that he tells of in Aboriginal societies for instance in Australia there's this concept that a person the soul can go on walkabout a person's soul can leave them and the suffering that the individual has without his soul is sickness its sadness disease all day all bad things and what's required is for a shaman to come and have a metaphysical experience astral project himself into the other world and find that lost soul and grab that lost soul and put it back in the body and then miraculously the individual is cured the individual is back to the world and I think that that is what has happened collectively to the Western people I think we have lost our soul we have fallen into nihilism and materialism but we can come out the other side if we only look back to our own history or our own traditions our own ancestors our own people if we can just rekindle that spirit that our own ancestors had it'll make the world a better place for everybody I think that's a necessarily thing that that does need to happen and what I would say is it is possible to do that it's not even really that hard it does require a bit of research oftentimes paganism also true Odin ISM what-have-you it's kind of known as their religion with homework and to some extent that is true but if you're willing to put in the effort to just look to your own rich history I think that you'll find something that resonates with you on a deep fundamental level that you didn't even realize you were looking for you got some questions I see and I'll tell all you got to do is all you're going to do is going to do is

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