UPG When?

cuardai
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Joined: 2007-11-30

Ok, just a bit of a background on my I am an Irish traditional polytheist with CR leanings.  So naturally it is all about research to me (well most of the time anyway).  I've been kind of wondering lately about something and maybe you guys can help me with it.  I read a book with a silly name, and the information on the gods in it (I've been told, because honestly I have not researched ALL the gods in that book) is confused and not so good and I've had my friends in the CR community blasting me for saying it had any good ideas.  Yet I think the premise of the book is excellent from the point of view of UPG.  It talks about how to put together a personal practice and make communing with the gods a daily thing instead of the weekend pagan thing.  The authors do say this is UPG.  So I was wondering, when does UPG become an important thing and when does it over shadow the facts?  I'm not sure I'm making sense here... 

--

Maya
Tosach Eolais Imchomharc.
The beginning of knowledge is inquiry.
Celtic Scholar



cuardai
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Posts: 94
Joined: 2007-11-30
Re: UPG When?

Indeed I think I know just the guy to ask about all this.  But I have also been talking to Astrocelt yesterday in chat coupled with a few things you said, and I have some ideas now.  Once I talk to Tearlach I can probably reach a final decision as to where I am really going with all this.  I guess my real question should be how to balance research with practice.  I think this is something that I need to work on.  I already have a simple personal practice but I want to refine it, and that is where all my research is supposed to go.  I just get frustrated some times with the comments from people whom I feel know more.  They just make me want to stop for fear of doing something wrong.

--

Maya
Tosach Eolais Imchomharc.
The beginning of knowledge is inquiry.
Celtic Scholar



Eadha Deora
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Joined: 2007-10-02
Re: UPG When?

Are there any CR folk you feel comfortable enough asking this question to? I honestly have no idea ... if it is UPG, then one possibility is that some people feel that the UPG is not in alignment with how they personally understand or perceive the tradition ... it could very well have nothing to do with "truth" or "facts" but instead their own UPG about someone else's UPG. You could say, their discerning capabilities. Or it is equally possible that the UPG as presented can be refuted with plausible arguments and evidence rooted in "provable" knowledge. As I'm not a part of the CR community though, I am only guessing, and perhaps guessing badly. I would imagine though that as the CR community is not in anyway uniform, you will get different answers from whoever you ask--whether they are purists or more liberal in their views. I do understand your frustration in this though. 

So what is your question really? Do you want to know how to discern the validity of UPG for yourself? Or how the CR community (generally) discerns the validity of UPG? ... or ... ?

Validity assumes though that it is verifiable. Which then means it is no longer "unverified". 

Certainly tricky, dangerous ground. All traditions must deal with this issue -- but then this is where the idea of "heresy" comes in, and when taken to extremes -- the realm of supression, dogma and inquisition. So a very fine line -- one I have seen many CRs navigate admirably. Others--not so well. But then that's nothing new. People are people. 

--

'Just once let what is in your care grow wild enough to see the world through its own eyes.'

http://www.feralpoetry.com

 



cuardai
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Posts: 94
Joined: 2007-11-30
Re: UPG When?

It sort of does.  Here is the thing that got me to ask this question.  I've read a couple of books and reviewed them on my website and these books out right tell you that they are UPG.  So I knew going in that they are the world view of the authors and THEIR truths if you like.  I was doing my own research on their information and in both cases I found their information on the gods very good.  I also liked their premise for the book which is the actuall personal practice.  Maybe not everything they said made sense to me but most of it did.  To make a long story short I got lambasted by friends in the CR community for saying good things about the books...and it got me thinking.  I know that we don't know a lot about the practices of the Celts so what makes this or that UPG valid and not another.  What criteria is the CR community using?  I mean I know that the four festivals were attested too in the vernacular records but how to celebrate these festivals were not in most cases, so how do they know which is valid and which is not? 

--

Maya
Tosach Eolais Imchomharc.
The beginning of knowledge is inquiry.
Celtic Scholar



Eadha Deora
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Posts: 193
Joined: 2007-10-02
Re: UPG When?

Hello Maya,

The traditional approach to UPG is problematic because it inherently suggests that there are types of truth and types of knowing more important, relevant or valid than others. Although within the system, it makes sense, this remains a fragmented and thus incomplete picture.

It's true. There are many different types of truth, different types of knowledge and different types of experience. For example, you could say that there is subjective truth (personal, experiential knowledge), cultural truth (traditional and historical knowledge), and ecological truth (empirical knowledge) -- (these terms are examples, obviously not fixed). 

Our society has taught us to value only empirical knowledge, like what science teaches us, where-as many of our religions impress on us that knowledge from the traditional teachings is the most valid .... then we have inside us the little self that keeps saying "me, me, me!", with its own personal, experiential knowledge.

When we see these truths and ways of knowing as opposing, we have already missed the point. The key is to take into account AS MANY layers and types of truth/knowing present in a given situation. On their own, each type of truth or knowing is incomplete. It can never be True, with a capital T, even if it is "true". The more strands of the picture we have, the more holistic and closer to "Truth" with a big T, we can (hopefully) become.

The cleverness of looking at all the different types of truth and knowing TOGETHER is that by its very nature (of combining/comparing/integrating) -- the truths become "verified". What is not in line with the truest core Truth gets shaved off, cleaned away.

It just takes a dedicated, open-minded individual to accept and work with this process. 

Not sure if this answered your question?

 

 

 

--

'Just once let what is in your care grow wild enough to see the world through its own eyes.'

http://www.feralpoetry.com

 



cuardai
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Posts: 94
Joined: 2007-11-30
Re: UPG When?

Yes that is correct.

--

Maya
Tosach Eolais Imchomharc.
The beginning of knowledge is inquiry.
Celtic Scholar



Astrocelt
Posts: 753
Joined: 2007-09-15
Re: UPG When?

 Could you verify UPG = Unverified personal gnosis?

cheers