Like some other Polytheists, there are times when I doubt the existence of the Gods. I question whether they are only wild imaginings or simply fictional characters. During these times, I feel empty and alone.
I have pondered the reasons for the occurrence of this dark night of the soul(s). Since the body is the root of the self, physical and mental health need to be checked first. When I am sick, my mind is not focused on anything in particular. Moreover, meaningless and emptiness are signs of deep depression. Since I have major depression, I need to check the effectiveness of my medicines.
Second, I look at what I am currently reading. For various reasons, I read Christian historical romances. Usually, I balance this reading with science fiction and mysteries. I do find that if I read too many of the former, the monotheistic filter gains a foothold and sprouts.
One sign of monotheistic thinking is regarding the Gods as fiction. Another is believing that there is only “one true living God.” This is the “monotheistic gaze,” which views all Gods as One. Furthermore, the monotheistic gaze insists that there is order in the universe. Since God (or the Single Divine) is the logical authority of the Universe, everything happens according to His Plan. Therefore there is always a logical explanation for every happening, bad or good. This is supposed to answer the question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
In contrast, the “polytheistic gaze” embraces chaos since the Gods are diverse and anarchic. For me to regain the polytheistic gaze is to stop expecting meaning and order in everything. When my dark night occurs, I realize that I have too much order in my life. Because I need more anarchy, I go squirrel watching. Yes, squirrels demonstrate that there is no universal plan or universal order. Nobody knows why they chase each other through the trees. From the squirrels, I learn that life is to be embraced on its own terms. I also learned the polytheistic gaze from them as well.