Author Archives: Melas the Hellene

About Melas the Hellene

An ethnic Hellene and traditional polytheist seeking friends and discussions within the scope of polytheism and its communities in the world. I am curious to learn everything about the history, nature, and standing of polytheism in general. Being a strong advocate of traditional polytheism, I will point out the faults of neopaganism as well as monotheism, and when necessary, expose and reject them openly. Website: traditionalpolytheist.com

I never want to be seen as an equal to settler society.

Embrace indigenism and reject colonialism worldwide. It’s an inherent part of polytheism.

indigenous motherhood

I never want to be seen as an equal to settler society.

Nor do I ever want to be seen as an equal in the eyes of the colonizer.

And I never want to be seen as “successful” within colonial systems.

It started when I was young.

It was lurking in the beginning stages of public speaking, of meeting with ministers, of being groomed in this space of false indigeniety to achieve colonial success.

It was intertwined in the statements of “you are going to be the next Prime Minister of Canada!” And the “you are so resilient. This is your line of work!”

I would sit there and melt into this feeling of success. These feelings of “I’m gonna do something big with my life.”

The feelings of “I am destined for greatness.”

But the greatness I thought I was destined for was only colonial greatness.

These colonial systems…

View original post 1,438 more words

10 reasons the World needs Polytheism

If there is one word that can describe the world as it now goes, it is excess. There are *too many* changes to keep pace with and there is *too much* of everything to keep things in balance. There is both more good and more bad than ever, and it is the sheer quantity as well as magnitude of those that is producing uncertainty and anxiety. Humankind is not sure what exactly is coming in future times because there are so many possibilities and so many opinions on the matter. We tend to count our blessings as people and as a species in order to help ourselves go on, hoping for improvement. This is a good habit that we all need to cultivate, but it can sometimes lead to forgetfulness about or inaction towards current problems. Polytheism, when properly understood, provides a holistic and simpler worldview that can mitigate the excesses of today and provide for a better tomorrow. Below are 10 urgent concerns that polytheism can address for the benefit of the world as a whole.

Nationalism and Globalism

There is a battle raging in the world today between those who are for the sovereignty of the nation-state and their opponents who support a globalized culture. Both have good and bad reasons for their respective positions, especially considering the socio-political volatility that has been going on since the last century. However, neither side is quite aware that a desire for more, a desire for excess, is driving this fear and this division. The nation-state is too large of an entity to be stable and globalism only complicates the problem. An organized regionalism that can prevent unnecessary internal conflict as well as protect from external interference is best. This is consistent with polytheism because the plurality of Gods/Goddesses enables the plurality of peoples and cultures. If each people or region is identified with its particular native God(s), and if each God is not inherently better than another, this can promote friendly cooperation and neighborly exchange. Now the inane political division will be replaced with healthy cultural distinction.

Racism and Multiculturalism

The solution for these problems follows the earlier one closely. Racism and multiculturalism are consequences of the excesses of large entities (states, empires) and the inequalities they create. If culture is measured by economic ability alone (as it is today) and then globalized on the world’s stage, some people will inevitably think of themselves as better or worse than others. The problem only grows when the state’s (or super-state’s) priority is economic rather than cultural prosperity. With such a mentality, people become numbers in a large field, game-pieces in the hands of bigger forces, thus losing a sense of who they really are, and becoming deluded or dejected as to what they can achieve. Polytheism, on the other hand, ensures the stability of identity, the continuity of culture and the equality of peoples. No superiority and inferiority complex can flourish here without impiety because if no regional God or Goddess is inherently superior or inferior to another, then by extension the same applies to people. If some peoples colonized others, reparations can be made and polytheism can reverse the inequality.

Materialism and Fanaticism

Excess begets excess. Too much material possession, as explained before, causes inequality and fear of loss, therefore begetting too much hostile ideology. We see this today in the form of Westernism and Islamism, two forces attempting global domination while alleging self-defense. There is a more general battle between atheism and monotheism, connected with other socio-political conflicts, that endangering many peoples and cultures who find themselves at the mercy of powerful forces. Those who don’t choose one of the two camps become weak and isolated, quickly dismissed and ignored. The harm done to the environment also accelerates when the opposing forces mobilize and fight. This is not the case in polytheism; here a balance between the material and spiritual is maintained, and sometimes the are joined together in harmony. Here you don’t find linear or apocalyptic thinking of the kind that makes people fearful, greedy, arrogant or desperate for their side to win and achieve domination.

Mass warfare and Environmental degradation

Powerful forces that transcend a small region, that is to say empires, are created by conflict with weaker peoples and with nature. Excessive ambitions needs excessive costs and thus causes excessive damages on many sides. Imperialism is a pathological disease that is contagious; it is based on a desire for too much, and once one empire is formed, others soon arise around it for defense. But empires don’t fragment in times of peace, because the ambition of the emperor remains as well as the needs of those he patronizes and who worship him. In order to keep his subjects happy and in order, a war on nature is waged to give them *more and more*. This is no different from the behavior of a patient with terminal illness who knows he will die soon and thus spends all he can today. And this becomes a vicious cycle when populations increase; if an empire collapses from environmental degradation or massive warfare, it joins another one that is larger or attempts to re-form through fierce battles for domination that cost lives and lands even more. Although polytheism existed in empires, it was always corrupted by them. Emperors claimed divinity unjustly and proceeded to act, usually in accordance with powerful priesthoods (that were either afraid or ambitious), in such a way that would make them possess *more and more* at the expense of people and environment, and often at the expense of foreign Gods too. Polytheism, properly understood, sees an irrevocable connection between Nature and Divinity, sometimes joining them together in the case of immanence. And the Gods always closer to the people that worship them far more than emperors who seek to appropriate such a relationship. As for environmentalism, it is rather amusing to observe some scientists rehashing polytheism to form their “Gaia theory”.

The population predicament- human and animal

Technological and scientific developments have been praised as the triumph of the human race in general and Western Civilization in particular. Progress has been believed, even now when it is faltering, to be a linear process whereby *more and more* science and technology can solve whatever problems humanity faces. There are attempts to cure all diseases and reverse aging, in order to create a super-human being. And if the earth cannot carry enough of our wonderful race, the hopeful scientists say, then there may perhaps be room in other planets! But these are not Nature’s laws, which are also the laws of the Gods. This so-called advancement and progress has only disrupted ecology and these changes will be reversed when natural and divine laws see fit. The mentality of endless growth, either economic or demographic, must cease before it renders extinct many wonderful species of animals that have long graced this Earth. Polytheism’s inherent respect for living beings, sometimes shifting to animism, would not allow endless human production and reproduction at the expense of natural and divine property. Polytheism’s priority is not to ensure the comforts of humankind, that is to say anthropocentrism, but rather to maintain a holistic system that takes everything else into account. This is why we have Gods of healing and of disease, Gods of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic shape and Gods embodying divine trees, mountains and spaces.

Capitalism and Communism

We are prone to commit the mistake of creating very complex solutions in order to solve equally complex problems, while forgetting the root of such problems is usually their ever expanding complexity and the excess that surrounds it. Capitalism is good, cries one person, because it has created the varied culture and advancement the world has today. Communism is far better, shouts another, because it offers comfort and equality to all. Although the theories of Marxism are excellent in many ways, the beneficial application of them has been impossible. Why? Because the state remains, with all its complexities and excesses, and wherever there is a state, as many new problems arise as old ones are solved. It is a way of life that must change, not through economic ideologies that pretend to know how to correct its flaws, but a complete decentralization that puts an end to the hierarchies that perpetuate excessive inequality. Electing Sanders instead of Trump or keeping Trump will neither cause considerable change nor alter the flaws that inhabit the core, flaws that have been developing for 5000 years since the earliest states arose. Polytheism would do away with the big, excessive and centralized state just as it would with the empire, and for the same reasons. Economic solutions, while needed, must be preceded by cultural and regional realizations springing from grassroots (to use a double-meaning) and this polytheism can very effectively provide.

Populism and Elitism

The conflict between the many and the few is an old one, among many others that plague the centralized state. It creates a division between two or more classes that is quickly exploited by ambitious leaders and capable orators. Marx was the first to understand, though not with complete insight, the perpetual problem of inequality. His solution was not necessarily to lessen production but to give the means of it to the lower classes, whom he trusted would act in their own simple interests and thus bring about equality. We can see how this failed in the October Revolution because began as a movement against elitism soon became populism, and workers were not long after to be executed for offences by those who at first claimed to act in their defense. Decentralized regionalism, by limiting both the means and the amount of production as well as giving it collectively to a community of a moderate size, is the better solution. Polytheism, as a balanced religion, can enable this difficult process to occur smoothly and be maintained steadily. There is something serious to be learned from hunter-gatherers whose anarchic animism and egalitarianism makes them averse to inequality, thus removing the root causes of classes and social instability altogether. Polytheism contains components of animism that should be emphasized rather than laid aside.

Patriarchy and Feminism

The fast pace of change in modern society has also unsettled the home as well as social relations between the sexes. It is true that men have long dominated most institutions, both political and cultural, without allowing women to join or even express themselves. In fact, empire and imperialism is purely a male phenomenon of *excess*. Patriarchy, defined as the domination of men over women and nature, has led to all sorts of problems. But even so, it is not men themselves who are to blame, but rather an idea they are sometimes prone to hold. The male and the female, the masculine and the feminine are principles of life that must not and cannot be set in opposition to each other. Feminism, while in many ways promoting reform and wisdom, has in other ways attempted to undermine or appropriate the masculine principle of life, thus imitating the excesses of patriarchy instead of limiting it. Yet this battle would not have existed, or would have been greatly diminished, if polytheism were in practice. Here the masculine and feminine, unlike in monotheism, are enshrined in our worldviews and embodied in our very Deities. Sometimes we do find ancient polytheistic societies following patriarchy, but this was the result of a faulty lifestyle and mentality rather than something drawn from holy scriptures that are regarded as eternal.

Mass individualism and collectivism

The various difficulties of modern life are aggravated by an excessive attachment either to the self or to colossal groups. These practices give the illusion of being coping mechanisms, but in reality they are nothing but symptoms of a larger infection that modern society is undergoing. Loneliness has been causing more mental illness than anyone had expected, and yet there is still the oxymoronic celebration of individualism. On the other hand, mass participation in dualistic groups, whether in politics or culture, has risen to new heights with modern communication, causing (according to research) further distrust and disaffection in society at large. Once again, it is the state that must be blamed for these dangerous phenomena. Individualism serves the state because it makes the isolated person not only dependent on the system (directly or indirectly) in order to support his lifestyle, but also supportive of it through his production and “creativity”. Collectivism serves the state also because it not only gives people an illusion of their importance (thus keeping them satisfied), but it creates massive herds that can be summoned and driven and goaded when needed, whether for a serious purpose or not. And yet, the state must always suffer and rush to correct faults when individualism and collectivism go *too far* as they often do. Polytheism once again differs from this excess and promotes the community or the tribe, a smaller group wherein people can be brought up with more happiness and stability. Nothing can replace the power derived from the love and support of a large kin and close friends. Even the Gods, in their distinct pantheons, live in this manner.

Anthropocentrism and Misanthropy

Excess, in process of time, can cause of a strong reaction of greed or guilt, defiance or defeat, pride or penitence, self-love or self-hate. Much like the other unstable dualisms discussed before, anthropocentrism and misanthropy similarly arise from a world gone too far. When there is too much, one can either embrace it and make a way of life of it or reject it firmly as a corrupting thing that ought to be destroyed. The latter, while a very undesirable position to have, must not be understood as a total evil, but rather as a consequence to the former by people who are left on the margins or who are otherwise unfortunate. Humanism, the euphemistic term for anthropocentrism, always pretends to promote self-control and happiness, but how can this be done holistically and lastingly when the human is placed at the center of all things? When militant atheists and anti-theists say they reject the notion of a Deity altogether (usually without looking beyond monotheism) because Deities are human constructs that are not real, it makes one wonder whether they are defeating their own argument. Religious thinking is inherent in the human mind (see Jonathan Heidt’s research) whether expressed in “religion” or not. Those who worship a wrongly constructed divinity or no divinity at all are merely worshippers of what is human; the Western notion of human progress is just that. Because this religious thinking is usually derived from Protestant monotheism, it is quick to label those who differ as heretics who should be destroyed, metaphorically or literally. Polytheism, on the other hand, does not measure everything according to human pleasure and pain or in terms of Western thinking. Sometimes there must be suffering because it is divine and natural law, other times we choose to suffer in order to attain something greater than our own selves. The Gods and Nature are at the center of things, and we revolve around them and live in their shadows, whether we choose it or not.

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As a final note, it must be pointed out that polytheism encompass a great many traditions throughout many historical eras. I have not delved into details here as to which components or ideas exactly are beneficial for a particular problem listed above. I have attempted to examine polytheism in the course of my posts in this site, in order to extract some of its more original essence, free from imperialism and artificial syncretism. I have even advanced the theory that the state, as well as the empire, has (along with its intellectual and religious instruments) directly contributed to the decline of polytheism and the parallel rise of monotheism. Since polytheism is therefore flexible and layered, it must be penetrated and sifted just as a geologist or archaeologist would do with the ground. Then hypotheses and proposals must be written and reviewed and agreed upon. Until this is done, I am afraid polytheism will contribute to the problems above rather than correct them.

This is how a better world would look like

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A better world would be one where the nation-state, the empire, and the capitalistic system do not exist and are instead replaced with autonomous/indigenous regions that have particular peoples, cultures, dialects, natural environments, and indeed polytheistic cults worthy of preservation without interference from greedy powers. Here, the many have power rather than the few; identities become solid and distinct, all equal in their diversity; production as well as art is local and varied; community celebration and neighborly exchange becomes the new rule; temporary confederations are desired rather than permanent federations. Perhaps many will think such a  world is too ideal and too good to be true, but when there is a will, there is a way. Is it “human progress” to reach the moon, but not seek harmony and happiness?

This man invented monotheism to oppose other men

The following are three videos in ascending order according to their length (3 minutes, 11 minutes and 42 minutes). Think of the first video as a trailer. The best of the three is obviously the documentary (1998), but the second video is also well done. You will notice a striking parallel to Henry VIII of England. A very similar thing happened among the Jews with king Josiah, who was the first after Akhenaten to institute monotheism as a state religion.

The Extraordinary Hypocrisy of Monotheistic Leaders

_105475518_mediaitem105475514There was news today that the Catholic Pope Francis met with the Sunni Grand Imam Ahmed of Egypt. The latter called the Christians “our companions” and urged the Muslims of the Middle East to “embrace” Christians in their communities. Then the two leaders proceeded to sign a “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” wherein it is stated that “God, the Almighty, has no need to be defended by anyone and does not want His name to be used to terrorize people”. Another passage within the magnificently titled document goes on to state the following: “[Let us] intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline the world is presently experiencing”.

When I heard the news, I couldn’t help but scoff with disgust at the hypocrisy of these leaders who pompously believe themselves to be responsible spiritually for millions of people and who actually believe they are doing great good by this conveying this ludicrous and inane message. Surely it would be far more effective and *honest* for these two leaders, if they truly wish to eradicate the problem, to go straight to the heart of the matter. The Document is absolutely worthless unless it were to state clearly (and “at the earliest opportunity”) that it was an error for people to be misguided all these years into thinking that “God, the Almighty…who does not want His name to be used to terrorize people” would be punishing by *eternal damnation and hellfire* those who don’t wish to follow him or follow those spiritual leaders who claim such a thing, and claim it even against one another. Once this is done, the world will be a far better place, devoid of devilish jihads and crusades. But this is obviously to much to hope for, because the world is infected by the cancerous idea of monotheism and the cancerous ambition of those who can’t be called by any other name except that which also applied to their predecessors and founders: spiritual imperialists.

This ailing world needs more polytheism and more polytheists…

An unlikely source for a powerful paradigm of polytheism

I have never heard so much polytheism expressed within a lecture that never explicitly used the term. Arturo Escobar is a very wise man and his lecture may be long and dense, but it is altogether worthwhile.

Five predictions about the coming years

One of the main reasons I have been away from writing here for some time is my deep occupation with the state of the world in general as it compares with history. Sometimes it is necessary to remove yourself from the continuum of the present in order to study the course of time and all the important events of history more carefully and impartially. This can be quite a burdensome task and may lead to dejected moments, as I have experienced. The mere thought of what polytheism once was and what it now is, for example, can be enough to put me in low spirits for the rest of the day. Nevertheless, when a useful purpose in life is strongly kept in mind, these troublesome moments become vehicles for further improvement and achievement rather than despair. Each of us has a certain part and function to fulfill within the larger order of things, and we ought to do the best we can for the benefit of those people and things we hold dear. This is why I have lately channeled some of my emotions towards writing a short book containing debates between a polytheist and people of other persuasions. It is one of the several works I hope to publish one day to contribute to an already growing literary movement of polytheism and paganism. In the meantime, the following are some general predictions I will attempt to make about the coming years and decades, as far as I have learned and observed. These are more or less disturbing but ought to make us more conscious of what may be coming as well as make us value our time and exert ourselves better. We are living in transitional times indeed…

  1. There will be great social unrest and uprisings in Europe and America as decaying cultural and social institutions continued to be divided and political authority continues to be distrusted. A possible financial recession will aggravate this situation. Secessions and coups may occur, unless some sort of military dictatorship is established*.
  2. America may need to start a new war with a foreign country in order to keep itself from a civil war. It may join with the Western powers, who are also suffering from dangerous divisions at home.
  3. While China hopes to regain Taiwan and increase its influence in the Pacific, Islamic terrorism (supported by the US) will spread in China from the now disaffected Uyghurs in the Western provinces.
  4. Turkey’s power will continue to rise at the hands of Erdogan, but his imperial pride will earn him many enemies. Turkey will leave NATO and establish a new alliance with Russia, Iran, China, or the “Muslim world”.
  5. In the meantime, a gradual or sudden change of climate towards unbearable heat or perhaps an Ice Age will cause unimaginable disasters of famine and war resulting from crop failures and huge displacements of population.

 

The above is uncertain but, seeing how the world goes, there is already plenty of smoke for a fire to break out. So, what can we do as polytheists? Work towards improving ourselves and our groups for the benefit of polytheism and people in general. Let us not hesitate to look back 1800 years ago and learn a valuable lesson: while the Roman Empire was suffering from wild instability during the “Crisis of the Third Century” which lasted from about 235 CE to 284 CE, the Christians managed to build their ranks and communities steadily, spreading their influence by preaching as well as writing, and all the while gaining new followers because of their collective efforts on the ground. In 20 years time, the Christians had their own Emperor on the throne, Constantine, who was to change history ever after. Now that we are in a crisis of the 21st century, we have a similar opportunity, not indeed to conquer the world like the Christians, but to restore divine balance to a world that is decaying from monotheism (no longer accepting it as right) and wrongly choosing modernism to replace it.

 

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* The most likely thus far is at the hands of Trump.

 

How to establish a pagan community? 10 necessary things

 

I visited The Hindu Temple of St. Louis yesterday with a friend, and my experience there inspires this article. I was extremely pleased with the magnificence of the temple and the great care that was taken to maintain it. The presence of people offering prayers was very refreshing and the very first I had seen in person since my adoption of polytheism about three years ago. And it was a special experience indeed: the Hindus have the largest and strongest tradition of polytheism in continuance. Surely we revivalists and reconstructionists can learn a great deal from the example of this prosperous people who seem to be flourishing within a diaspora. To that end, through careful observation, I have reflected on the following points as necessities for the establishment of a polytheist or pagan community.  

 1. People with a common interest and vision

Any new community of faith begins with a certain number of people that, in being distinct from the majority around them, hope to maintain and also nourish their particular beliefs and customs. What number is the least to set out with is subject to opinion, but I can’t help but think that even as few as three or four people can take it upon themselves to form something and aim at future growth, because a common interest for or devotion to what is being preserved can only be sustained by growth and can only be begun by a bold initiative. The Hindu Temple of St. Louis was first conceived as an *idea* in 1983, a time when not too many Hindus lived around, but because the growth in the numbers of Hindus was inevitable (because of families), the idea was solidified as a non-profit organization five years later.

2. Monetary contribution

How can a piece of land and a particular structure be allotted to the religious activities of a community? It must first be purchased, unless it is offered for free, which is almost never the case. Just as parents look forward by saving for their children’s college education, they must also do the same towards their spiritual and cultural education. The same happened with the Hindus of St. Louis as with any other community of faith; donations were gathered after the situation was explained to parents and then a piece of land was purchased. The ground-breaking ceremony for the Temple and first rituals before construction were performed in 1990, two years after the non-profit organization was formed. Construction was obviously gradual, and patience needed to be plentiful, but when there is a will, there is a way; no vision can be stronger than that of a home and the grander it can be, the greater the community will prosper. The first phase of construction was completed within a year and a half. At first, there were only pictures of the Gods, but in the course of five years, the temple received the splendor it deserved.

3. A connection to a native culture with deep roots

The Hindu parents were not to allow their children to lose the native traditions and precious beliefs they had come with from abroad, because they were sure what they brought was valuable. Especially in such a different country as America, where either Christianity or materialism determined the general way of life (in the absence of sufficient native voices), traditions could decay or decline easily within one generation, unless care was taken. The depth and strength of the cultural roots that the migrants brought, they could never bear to see gone because it would mean the severing of many centuries, indeed millennia, of continuity. It was only natural that an architect from India, and a renowned one too, would symbolically plant a native seed in a foreign soil by designing the temple, just as if it were magically transported from India. And the native languages needed to be maintained also, as also the native food and clothing, because the ritual experience could not have otherwise been authentically “Indian”, just as it was at home, where the kin and ancestors were. As for those of us who are less fortunate with regards to historical continuity, a heavy burden is on us, which history will judge us by: we must still look back and somehow seek our deeper roots, both cultural and ancestral, a task that is by no means easy, but is necessary. There can be no such thing as “American” polytheism, because it never existed, except for the lucky natives themselves whose ways and lineages have survived. Any attempt to Americanize polytheism, will only cause division and subversion, usually in socio-political factions that parallel those already in existence, and this is something we can already witness. For those in a diaspora, including White Americans, some serious connection to a distant past must be made; the absence of deep roots signifies a weak or stunted growth, if not one that dies off in time. True polytheism requires much more than the worship of many Gods, and the Hindus teach us this.

4. Priesthood

If rituals are not performed correctly, the temple cannot remain in function, and thus the whole purpose of a temple that can help people by serving the Gods will be weakened or lost. But who determines how the rituals should be performed? Those with a continuous tradition have an easy answer: those who study and know the ancient ways of the ancestors. There are four priests that serve the Hindu Temple of St. Louis, because the languages and ways of India are diverse. For revivalists, the task of attaining and maintaining a priesthood is very difficult, but can become easier, if those with learning consult with the Gods and with one another about the best general courses to take in ritual practices. Once this foundation is laid, each community can further develop its rituals organically. Communities understand the value of leadership, including priesthoods, precisely because communities cannot be formed except with the initiative and vision of leaders.

 5. Cooperation

After a community grows in number and flocks together, certain differences are bound to arise, even among those who strongly share the same vision and hope. There is a natural tendency for minds to battle through conflicting opinions, especially in the beginning when there is much at stake. But if the common vision is continuously emphasized, and people are always reminded of it, diatribes can turn into discussions and disputes into discourses. It is an inherent part of every community to endure early struggles, but the way to reduce the difficulty is always to maintain the bonds that were originally put in place. By this means, general structure becomes more important than particular details, or to express it better, structures guide details, and details are not permitted to be emphasized so much as to lead to the formation of distinct structures. Perhaps if polytheists think of polytheism as a structure and traditions as details, at least until such time as each group can form distinct communities, we will be far happier than we are now.

6. Organizational bodies

Cooperation must always require management within a collective effort. If priests serve as those who organize and lead rituals, committees and boards serve as those who lead and organize the larger system. The Hindu Temple of St. Louis is no exception to other successful community centers: They have a Board of Trustees and an Executive Committee, the latter with distinct functions for overseeing and deciding how the temple is cared for. The executive committee is moderately hierarchical and consists of a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, joint secretary, joint treasurer and general members. These positions are elected with three-year terms. The proceedings of committee meetings are shared with the community, because there is no need to hide anything from those you are eager to serve; positions come with a privilege, but also a duty. This resembles a small nation, but as we all know, small nation is far happier and easier to manage than a large one.

7. Donors

The initial money discussed earlier is never enough for the preservation of a great project that continues and indeed grows with time. A community of faith is a serious investment that demands considerable management and funds before satisfactory returns can be made. The Hindu Temple’s Board of Trustees ensures that sufficient funds are collected as well as spent efficiently. The construction of a grand temple and all its very magnificent components could not have been accomplished without plenty of dedication and generosity. After 30 years, they continue to grow: I saw the community center, a project worth $6 million, still in construction. It is needed for the current and future generations of the 16,000 Hindus that live within the larger region.

8. Community events

Rituals are necessary in a community of faith, but social events are necessary in any community. There must be activity, including entertainment, to keep a community alive and proud of itself. In addition to the Hindu Temple and the new cultural center, there has been a cultural center (within the same large plot of land), where musical performances, weddings and other events take place. There is a library also where books may be borrowed. As I was leaving at the end of my visit, I noticed lights outside after what must have been a very festive Diwali. Such events always help the younger generations stay within the community rather than leave it, which is essential for continuity.

9. Youth groups

A further step must always be taken with youngsters, because they have additional energy and soon become ambitious to make their mark. Channeling their energy towards the right direction is a serious matter that requires a clever mind, but the benefits are huge when it is done correctly. A well-trained youth can become the life-blood and fuel that drives a community forwards. The Hindu Temple has a youth group with its separate page, publications, events and achievements. The youth are divided into four groups, ranging from kindergarten to high school.  This allows the older youth to lead the younger, which lessens the burden they sometimes feel when they are led by adults. In fact, there is hardly any burden at all, once the youth understand their purpose and their value, through the guidance and care of adults.

10. Community service

This is what connects the community to others in the region and gives it a good reputation. One becomes more confident in and proud of his community when he knows that it helps others who are in need, even if they are not of the same faith. How else can the world become more harmonious and less hostile, but by such means? It is obvious that the Hindus are a minority, but they must make themselves heard and known, much like the other faiths in the area and region. Accordingly, the Hindu Temple generously offers the needy donations of food by various efforts, as well as a free legal and health clinic at certain times of the month.

Two excellent videos you should see

I saw these a few weeks ago, but I forgot to share them. They are about 30 minutes total in length, but are very worthwhile. The author has not published parts 3 and 4 yet, but these two are probably the most important to consider in the case of polytheism. Although the videos were produced by a rational humanist following a philosophical group called “Hyperianism”, there is plenty of useful information, accurate explanations, and deep ideas that polytheists can and should reflect upon, in regards to the theory and practice of their traditions. In this site, I think the theories and conceptual framework has been more or less between Participation Mystique and the Axial Age, which happens also to be the position of the Homeric tradition I seek to follow. A question to think about: is your polytheistic theory & tradition more to the side of Participation Mystique or the Axial Age or even beyond in the Modern Age, and why?