That Way Madness Lies
“Hear my words, | you holy gods,
great men and humble | sons of Heimdall;
by Odin’s will, | I’ll speak the ancient lore,
the oldest of all | that I remember.”
Life in this world is a religious experience. The world was shaped by the gods in time before time, they have walked the earth since, and many would say they still do. Religion is not a matter of belief in the gods, but rather a matter of trust and respect. Which gods are worthy of respect? How best might you honor them? What can we expect to gain from our relationship from the gods? The answers to these questions vary widely, and give rise to a plethora of religious traditions and experiences, but at the center of all religious lives are the gods themselves.
The gods are not abstractions, metaphysical concepts, metaphors, or distant agglomerations of spirit totally detached from the world. They are divine beings, different from mortals in many fundamental ways, the nature of which may be beyond the ken of most mortals; but they are also intelligent beings with tastes, predispositions, flaws, emotions, hobbies, habits, and powers, which make them relatable to a mortal life, and these things distinguish the gods from one another.