This is a more personal post in response to a question I received. The question was:
Why do you worship those gods (Norse gods) and not the “true god” (Christian god).
I think it comes down to three main points:
- A respect for nature and the living
- Peace of mind and spirit
- Mutual Respect between gods and man
On the first point, A Respect for nature and the living. Paganism, being a nature centric belief system sees the divine in the world around us. We see the joy in life as reward and the struggles as a whetstone for making us stronger. Because of the belief in the divinity of the perfect, balanced natural world we strive to preserve it and live in balance with it. Whereas heaven based belief systems see the world and humanity as a temporary vessel for use that they will leave and never deal with again. This mentality, even if unconscious, causes a frivolous view of resources and a destruction of the natural world.
On the second point, Peace of mind and spirit, I have felt a peace like no other when I decided to throw away the guilt and idea of damnation/salvation that was entirely out of my control. That eternal torture or bliss was decided on the whims of a god that supposedly burned cities, flooded the earth, and murdered children in their sleep because he was disappointed.
So, The idea that my owin life was in my own hands and a product of my own choices was actually a peaceful revelation.
So finally, on the last point, A mutual respect between the gods and mankind. I’m reminded of a question I heard while back. Why would a god of infinity care about who I sleep with?
The reality is that a god that purposefully meddles in the daily life is creating more suffering than necessary. A god that can “take it all away” if he doesn’t like something you’re doing is a tyrant.
The gods of the north created the earth and humanity for us, not for their own enjoyment. They don’t even demand worship. The god of Abraham demands worship and punishes those that don’t. Gods that demand worship aren’t the good ones.
Imagine a person that does something nice for you and if you don’t say thank you, they burn it to the ground and beat you up over it. This is a great example of the Christian god. Whereas the Norse gods give you something and if you choose to honor and worship them, they are grateful, but don’t demand it.
They norse gods offered their gifts to us freely with no strings attached. This is why I honor them.