Hitting a nerve
Welllll… I clearly hit a nerve with this post. Good.
Here’s the thing. I’m not saying that art can’t be deeply meaningful and influential in one’s spiritual life. I’m not even saying that some art can’t, in certain special circumstances, take on a spirit of its own in a variety of ways. But that’s sort of a secondary issue. Here’s what I am saying. (And really, before I even start, go read this. She says it much better.)
We human beings are not the center of the universe. We did not create the world, and we did not create the gods. The thing with fandoms, when it comes down to it, is that they’re really more about the fans than the art. They are a social phenomenon. And therefore this sort of fandom paganism we’re seeing ends up, not surprisingly, being more about the pagans than the gods.
If we are the ultimate creators of the gods, then religion, like everything else, gets to be about us! We’re essentially just worshipping ourselves. Don’t we do enough of that?
I am making the daring suggestion that the gods are NOT our creation, and religion is NOT all about us. It’s about a relationship – not with ourselves, not with our imaginations (however personally beneficial that may be for some people), but with the powerful, awesome beings that move the world around us. The whole human race, in fact, desperately needs to get back into right relationship with these gods and spirits. I am suggesting that we not only acknowledge and honor those beings, but that we get down on our knees before Them – not because we must grovel for being pathetic and small, but because Their presence should bring us to our knees.
I know, I’m a terrible meany-pants. Feel free to go rant about me on Tumblr. But I refuse to shut my mouth and silently watch the revival of European polytheisms, which seemed so full of potential 15-20 years ago, become nothing more than solipsistic mutual masturbation.