In my godview, the gods live in this world as we do. They are beings of a different calibre who have existences larger and more abstract than we can really understand. But they are also part of the world, literally; they are within it and they embody it. Thor is the thunderstorm, Odin is inspiration, Heimdall is the calm clear sky, Forseti is clear minded justice.
We are like them, as coinhabitants of the planet, like any animal or plant. But then, like them, we are also part of the world. We are literally part of the world. We are made of flesh and blood and bone that came from another body, and we will go back into the earth’s body. Other animals are seen as part of the earth’s life and cycles – why not we? We share the same materials, body, and spirit, and so we are all connected the the earth. We are part of the earth in a very fundamental way. In another formulation, we are all of us made of star stuff.
This brings to mind the story of Ymir and how Odin, Vili, and Vé made Midgard from the parts of his body. His brains are the clouds, his blood the bodies of water, his broken bones the mountains and his skull the dome of the sky. Maybe this is metaphor. Maybe Ymir was a being, one unlike our usual understanding, whose body was actually made of these things. As his body makes our world, so are our bodies made of the world.
Being self-aware has driven a wedge between our environment and our sense of identity. We separate ourselves from the things around us, and conceptualise ourselves as separate contained units of identity. I am me, everything else is Not Me.
But what if I am everything? What if I am that tree, and that rock, and that building, and that cloud? What if I am you and him and her and everyone? What if you are me? In some small way, I am everything, and so are you. This is not an enlargement of the ego, but an extension of the spirit. All things on this planet share an origin. I argue that all things share a spirit also.