Rhyd, do you know Rune Rasmussen of Nordic Animism channel? Rasmussen is of course constantly confronted with rightwing appropriation of Nordic ancient culture and... well, you probably know him but if you don't I think you would enjoy his work. He seems to be working in a similar direction as those polytheistic movements you mention here.

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Again, very well written. I do have one thought on your use of monotheism, would it work better to use binary theism? The reason,for me at least, is I found that your use of monotheism to be distracting. Although that may be something I just need to refocus my self. I know it comes from a long history of being bashed by neo-pagans who believe the potato was sacred to the ancient Celts (who ever they were).

But I understand what you are writing about. I am a Celtic (meaning early Irish and AngloSaxon) Christian who also believes in the Good People and accepts other gods as spiritual beings.

I am reading Being Pagan, I will give you an honest review.

Also, have you looked at George McDonald as another pluralistic Christian? Not as conservative as GKC.

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This just broke my head open. Thank you for giving me tons to think about - and a new perspective. This is definitely worth reading again and again. Brilliant work.

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I am reading my way through your older posts. There is a lot of good meat in this one (and yes, intentional). I appreciate your willingness to own your errors in belief and behavior and to actively work to make amends. I see that in very few people any more, it has fallen out of favor. (freddie deboer is the most prominent example of making such amends, and i highly respect him for it.) in these woke days making any error at all is felt to be an ineradicable sin.

several thoughts arise in response to this column. one is one that has been percolating for a long time; it has not yet reached fruition but given your tendency to engage in deep contemplation and reflection i thought you might enjoy it. that is, the whole colonialism discussion. you have here, as i have had for a very long time, a default position on colonialism. There are two problems that are continually bothering me about that position (which, again, i have also had for a very long time, though not so strongly these days). The first is that IF you view the colonizer as an abusive parent and the colonized country as a child or wife (play along with me here) what you see is a relationship where violence was acted out upon another without their consent. that is they were abused and the bear psychological damage from that abuse which affects current behavior and health. However, i have found that that particular orientation (drama triangle of victim, abuser, rescuer) never leads to resolution of the damage. in relationships or internally, it doesn't work. the more effective position is this: okay, bad shit happened, i was terribly and unfairly treated, yes but now what? saying that a colonized country's behavior occurs because they have been abused is no different than saying a murderer killed five people on the freeway because they were sexually abused by their mother when they were young. Yes, the psychological damage is there but the man is responsible for what he does with it afterwards.

the resolution, from the simplest orientation is: i am damaged by my childhood but i no longer have to act it out on others. it isn't a sufficient excuse.

the second point is this: i can't think of any historical community that has not been colonized during their history. by current colonialist/colonizer thinking among the left that means that every country on Earth is just acting out old oppressions, doing to others what was done to them. so, in the long run there are no colonizers only the colonized.

i think it is time for a different lens, the one you are still using is still either/or.

and just a comment on polytheistic religion and hindu nationalism. This is a general observation, i have not gone deeply into the hindu situation. i have however gone fairly deeply into the polytheism/monotheistic troubles in others. In South Korea, as an example. When the member of a family converts to christianity, the christian churches/organizations tell them that they must dissociate from the rest of their family who believe differently. For there is only one true religion and that is christian. in consequence, christianity has been causing a great deal of social unrest, a fissure, which is starting to cause a hardening of position in other believers. they are becoming more intolerant of christians (and to some extent muslims).

i have not looked as deeply into islam as i have christianity but from what i understand both of them believe that there is only one true religion, their own. hence the wars between them.

in any event, just some thoughts that have emerged. thanks for your work, i appreciate it.

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I know you enjoy etymology, so perhaps you already know this, though I guess it isn't exactly etymology, but the suffix "-tva" literally means "-ness" or "-hood" in Sanskrit; "the state of being x".

So "hindutva" literally means "hinduness"...though "hindu" isn't actually a Sanskrit word! Monier-Williams (the "standard" Sanskrit dictionary) says the word "hindu" is from Persian.

"naratva" - manhood

"devatva" - the state of being a deva, divinity

"abuddhatva" - foolishness


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