Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.
I think the greatest struggle I have with my deconversion and subsequent departure of any belief in the supernatural has been to change the way I think. The pagan mindset is the closest I think to the naturalist atheist and I know that some atheists are indeed pagans who deal in the spiritual and perhaps view gods and goddesses, not as supreme beings but simply very powerful spiritual ones that are mistaken by others as gods. Atheists reject the idea of a single supreme being that has authority over them as even existing, but that still leaves a lot of room for variation.
I guess in my own small way I embrace my pagan side though pagan philosophy and in this sense perhaps I do have a Viking mind about these things. As my meme above states, I run on a pagan atheist OS. Thus certain conversations make no sense to me as either an atheist or a pagan so there is at least some camaraderie of thought between the two viewpoints.
Time to Look Through the Eye:
“To see the truth, change one eye for another”
The Viking mind meditates on the practical. As much as religion tries to give substance to knowledge gaps, the true value of the pagan mindset is practical reality and it meshes very well. There is a philosophy of how to live one’s life without fear of the gods or God, no made-up original sin to manipulate and control others with or cause guilt for actions simply by being human and the afterlife is an open question, not a definitive black and white one.
Whatever mysteries of life their maybe, I do not face them groveling at the feet of some invisible imaginary power but standing on my own two feet win or lose. Paganism does not place humanity in the center of the will of the gods, nor does it make them subservient, just a part of the greater whole. I no longer spend my thoughts worrying over sin and how I will either condemn me to help if I don’t repent on time or the fact sin is so broadly defined that it is inescapable just being a human being. I embrace my humanity as a good thing and the world around me as something o be understood and necessary for my survival. I certainly don’t dwell on the afterlife preferring rather like a Viking to live this life as fully as I can for as long as I can.
My spirituality now centers on my own well being and the well being of others, something I could not say as a Christian. All the Christian message requires making people feel like shit so God can lift them up. My mentality now is that people are generally good with a few exceptions and that anyone can lift themselves up when needed.
Of course, the Vikings did rape, murder, and pillage, but name me a people group at some time in history that hasn’t. The issue now is that being a Viking in mind is more metaphorical and can be turned to good. I don’t think the same can be said of most religious mindsets outside of Paganism and Agnostic/Atheists.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.