I’ll admit it. I’m a UPG man. What does that mean to me exactly? I’ll try to explain.
UPG informs my spiritual practices. I rely on UPG to keep my spirituality alive. It is the Ond. The breath of inspiration. That aspect alone makes it vital to me.
I have a good working knowledge of the Lore. I read constantly and have much of that knowledge tucked away somewhere in my craggy brain. But I certainly don’t consider myself a lore head. I can’t quote exact references from the Lore in many cases. And quite frankly I tend to distrust those who can. If the knowledge of the Lore is so important that you memorize passages and can cite five resources on an issue that’s great. But what about making a living breathing tradition for ourselves? Not one entirely based on lore. There must be a place for inspiration. Ond. Those pesky UPGs.
I value my own personal experiences of the gods greatly. And if confronted with new or different information in a trance I will do my best to figure it out. Not simply shut things out because they’re not mentioned in the Lore. Trance is where I experience our path as a friend and teacher. To say that something that came to me in a trance has no value simply because it can’t be referenced in the Lore is degrading my entire spiritual practice. And them’s fighting words!
The lore we have is in itself tricky. It is tainted with Christian values and morals. It has to be because writing them down was a bunch of Christian men! So their worldview is bound to have influenced them. Based on oral tradition? Absolutely. But definitely muddied. It can’t be totally trusted simply because it’s part of the scant evidence that has made it to us here and now.
Those who are quick in a discussion to drag out references from the Lore to prove the infallibility of their remarks strikes me as Fundamentalism. And all I can think of in such a situation is “Why are you hiding?” Share your first hand experiences with me. Not something out of a book you read. Experience must count for something.
Suppose someone said that Odin had appeared to them as a black man. Instead of dismissing them as a lunatic I would find out what this could mean to them. Are there things about your attitude of race that need to be addressed? Was there a wise teacher who helped mould you who was black? What lessons do you need to learn that can best be taught by a black man? Rather than dismissing them outright I would try to help them figure out the reason for this appearance in this guise.
So I guess I’m just a UPG guy. If that makes me one to dismiss I’d say you’re missing the picture. After all at some point everything was a UPG. I’m looking for the next piece of wisdom to be revealed. Not looking over my shoulder at the past.