Last night, I was thinking about the words I found in Book 8, Line 10 of The Iliad that have stuck with me ever since reading them. We find a very important teaching that holds tremendous importance and truth across time. It reads simply in my own words,
Whoever departs from the Gods, I find to be in wanting.
The sentence is very interesting because not all of my copies of The Iliad have it. It's only found in my 1944 translation by Smith and Miller from The Macmillan Company. Perhaps it's a teaching lost in the pages of time, but still relevant for those who discover it as Hellenists and Greek Pagans.
Now a lot of us may think we know what this means, but do we really? When we leave the presence of the Gods, or in other words, when we stop worshiping and serving them, and/or begin disobeying them, we no longer find ourselves in their light, and therefore we find ourselves instead in a state of loss and longing. We want everything we don't have, and everything we once had, especially that which was once given to us by the Gods. You will feel and experience tremendous loss if your heart is meant to be with the Gods and you remove it from them.
It's important to recognize when this is happening so you don't reach the bottom level. One of the most common forms of separation comes in the "Busy Complex," as I call it. I've seen it happen to Pagans in the past. Sometimes in life, we reach a point where we have so much going on that we put the Gods on the backburner. We say, "Well, I really don't have time to pray today." Or, "I just can't make time for religion anymore." As a result, we remove ourselves from the presence of the Gods and fully dedicate our heart, mind and soul to the mundane world where there are so many things that can and do let us down and bring us hardship.
The more you don't have time, and the more you don't make time, the more you start to lose sight of the importance of the Gods in your life. When you lose that sight, you do not involve the Gods in anything anymore, and place yourself at a great distance from them. The Gods, remember, are all things good and positive, and the more we put space between us and them, the more we will lose good and positive things. You can see the truth of this by simply not doing your daily worship for a few days. You'll find that the more you disengage the Gods, the more you fall into the dismal of life.
The moral of the sentence in The Iliad is to always keep the Gods close, because that's how you're going to get the most out of life. Without them, we are simply nothingness.
In the Goodness of the Gods,