We Are Made of Midgard

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.

Questions and Dissonance

Once again I’ve run into problems with my theological framework. This cycle is always fun.

I’ve been hanging around some very sensible, intelligent people who happen to not believe in any gods. More specifically, I’ve been hanging around one person in particular (remember my conversation partner from How the Hel? Yeah. We’re together now), and my mindset has been turned around again.

The longer I’m a practising Heathen, the more my godview tends toward a hard polytheistic one: gods are real entities existing in this world, with awareness and personalities and desires, who have relationships of all sorts with human beings because, I dunno, because they can.

A few years ago I would have gagged to think I could ever even consider this view.

But there it is. I’ve been edging inexorably in that direction, naturally, unintentionally, for quite some time. And then I meet this person who reminds me of what I used to think, and I feel a little blindsided by my own religion. Bam. Theological minefield.

I’ve never had the theological problems with Heathenry that I’ve always had with Christianity. Mostly because our gods are not purported to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibeneficient. I used to have a problem with the idea that gods could care about humans and have personal relationships with us, because hey, that’s fuckin’ crazy, but now that doesn’t even faze me, and I can’t remember why I thought that was problematic. That fact that this no longer bothers me is what bothers me. Was past me more sensible? Have I lost something? Am I deceiving myself so I can have this nice little fantasy in a box with a bow on top?