Monotheistic Filter: “The Vast Spiritual Battlefield”

Polytheists regard the world to be neutral, both clean and dirty. Polytheist author Kenaz Filan explains, “The world is a clean flowing stream, and miasma the sewage dumped into the water. We clean the stream by filtering that sewage or by redirecting it…to where it can be properly contained.” (Note 1, Note 2)

In the official theology of Christianity, evil is the absence of good. For a person to be evil, they have to choose to disobey God. Meanwhile, Manicheanism divides the Cosmos into Spirit and Matter, Good and Evil, Light and Darkness. The two are equal and opposing powers. Evil has agency and purpose to overtake Good.

Christianity considers Manicheanism to be a heresy. However, because of Augustine who was a Manichaean before converting, some of its heretical doctrines have become embedded in Christian thought. Augustine stated that world was both corrupt and corrupting. And, in the minds of many Christians, evil has to be fought or it will overcome the good.

The duality of Manicheanism has carried over to Polytheism via Christianity. For example, the Norse God Loki does not conform to Christian morality. He becomes problematic for Heathens who still carry the Protestant world view. They will not invoke Loki at blots, since they regard Him to be evil.

Notes:

Note 1. The Romans have a Goddess – Lua – who protects all things purified by rituals and for rituals.

Note 2. Kenez Filan, “Miasma” from “With Clean Minds and Clean Hands,” Galina Krasskova, ed. p. 69.

Works Used:

Adkins, Lesley and Roy Adkins, “Dictionary of Roman Religion.” New York: Oxford University Press. 1996.

Jones, Kile, “A Comparison between Manichean and Christian Views of Evil.” Meta Religion. Web: http://www.meta-religion.com/Philosophy/Articles/Other/Mani_paper.htm

Kirsch, Jonathan, “A History of the End of the World.” New York: HarperCollins. 2006.
“God Against the Gods.” New York: Penguin Books. 2004

Krasskova, Galina, “Devotional Polytheism.” Sanngetall Press. 2014.
“With Clean Minds and Clean Hands.” Sanngetall Press. 2017.

Samples, Kevin, “Exploring Manichaeism: St. Augustine, Part 3.” Reasons to Believe. 26 June 2012. Web: http://www.reasons.org/blogs/reflections/exploring-manichaeism-st.-augustine-part-3

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Monotheistic Filter: “The Vast Spiritual Battlefield”

  1. I still don’t know that Loki was ever worshipped. Propitiated definitely. Acknowledged absolutely. Worshipped? I’m still not convinced of that. But I do believe he’s a force to be reckoned with, if you ignore him and maintain that Protestant/Catholic filter you do so at your peril.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, I’d be careful about invoking Loki, too 😋
    Not because I think him evil, but because the old boy might kick up more mischief than I bargained for.
    Still, he has his place in the world, and an important one. The rule breaker, the prankster, the guy who pulls the lever just to see what happens. The one who shakes up your complacency and – here’s the part that fascinates me – pays the price for it. No excuses.

    There’s the dualism problem you mentioned.
    In monotheism the rule breaker has no place, no purpose except as a bad example. S/he is cast out and reviled.

    But where would we humans be without people willing to shake up the status quo for the heck of it? To leave the trodden path and live with the consequences? Good and bad?

    It’s not black and white, it’s a scale. There’s the impulse to pull that fire alarm, to dye your hair purple, to poke authority in the eye. Then there’s the “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” (and then become part of an iconic song…)

    Medieval courts had a Fool who would tell jokes, play pranks, and tell uncomfortable truth to power. He could get away with a whoopie cushion on the throne – it was his job.
    To me, that Fool is a (mild) facet of Loki – the “thorn in your side who forces you to look beyond your bubble” part.
    Just be careful of the deeper, more forceful facets. The price might be higher than you’re willing to pay.

    Liked by 2 people

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