Thursday, March 20, 2008

To be "special"

"There was more than one kind of occasion when the gods were believed to be present, in feasts, in ceremonial songs and dances, in marriages and funerals. In the world of action their place was often taken by heroes or demi-gods, who would come to the assistance of their own cities, as Theseus and the Aeacids did at Marathon and Salamis. Nor was a private vision of the gods lacking. Pindar must have known what it meant when he told how Iamus prays to Posidon 'at night under the sky' and hears the god's voice in answer. More strikingly, Sappho builds her hymn to Aphrodite on a past occasion when the goddess appeared in immortal, smiling beauty, asked what troubled her, and proimsed that all would be well. Such experiences were no doubt exceptional, but they show that to the Greeks the gods were real persons, with whom they could enter into a special intimacy." -- pp 49

Bowra, C. M.. The Greek Experience. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1957.

The highlighting is my own, for emphasis. There's been a spat lately, of people who feel that no one's allowed to be "special" and that all people who claim to be talking to the gods, or who have had the gods talk to them, should be considered frauds.

I have found myself wondering why some people are so against those they consider "special." If you ask the people who have had contact with the gods, if THEY consider themselves special, I would guess most of them would say yes... with a horribly sarcastic tone of voice. After all, while it's definitely "special" to be chosen to do a god's work, or to be a mouthpiece, or an oracle, or a priest or priestess, it's also a lot of work.

Sure, I've been chosen. I'm "special". Then again, I considered myself pretty special before the gods ever spoke to me in ways I understood. I am special, because I am me. I don't need communication with a god (or anyone else) to figure that out. Regardless of being "special" or not, being chosen by my gods has never meant that I am exalted. In fact, it means that low people often feel the need to fling poo at me (or sometimes my friends), and that I have work to do for my gods, frequently interrupting my life from what might otherwise be a peaceful existance.

I find it disturbing that a few are upset over "some people" being "special." While it isn't anything that affects me directly, because I don't really care what those few have to say, it bothers me on a moral level. There are people who listen to and follow those few, it is upsetting that they are dissuaded from exploring and experiencing different points of view.

What's wrong with being special? All the best people are!
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