Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Sunday, July 31, 2022

The Godly and The Poison

I stopped drinking over a year ago, so my wife was recently puzzled when she heard me say, "A Greek home needs a good bottle of wine," referring to our own. Well, I would say, the keyword is "one" and the other is "wine," not liquor, and even though you can get drunk on wine, it takes a lot more and has never made me impaired. In truth, I'm not a big fan of wine either, but I do enjoy a glass that is fruity from time to time.

A few years ago, I used to drink a lot of hard liquor. Not because I enjoyed the taste, but because I loved getting drunk. Eventually, I realized I was going down a very dangerous road, as the alcohol was starting to control me in ways that sobriety never would or could. So I dropped the bottle in April 2021, I just quit cold turkey, and I haven't consumed so much as a beer or a glass of wine since. 

Liquor is not the alcohol of the Hellenes anyway, and for good reason. They had wine and also simple mead, but not the drinks we have now. I consider the difference between wine and liquor to be the difference between Divinity and poison. Wine in correct amounts is very good for you. It improves heart function and prevents artery disease. My in-laws have been wine drinkers all of their lives, and they are still healthy and active even at 81 and 78. Liquor, on the other hand, exists for no reason other than to get you hammered, as it has the highest alcohol content. Even too much beer can be fatal (my dad died at 45 from alcoholism). There's clearly a distinction between ancient wine and the monstrosities of today.

The purpose of wine, which is the gift of Dionysos, is to bless your life and give you peace and release from all that hinders it. What the God gives us is a blessing, but as per usual, humans can take a blessing and turn it into a curse, with names like Jack Daniels, Tequila and Vodka. Sometimes that's how it goes; the Gods give us something good and we defile it because we just can't accept something as it is. 

Now I'm not saying that the ancient Greeks never got drunk or tipsy, that would be absurd. But it was a different kind of intoxication. The goal of drinking in Dionysian ecstatic rites was to remove the mind and body from its normal mundane state, and they achieved this through drinking wine and also dancing. As we know now, the correct kind and intensity of dance can produce an altered state of consciousness; and alcohol would only help that process along. The Mystery Rites were probably not considered BAR trips, but an invocation of, and connection to, Dionysos. In other words, their purpose was religious, not to merely get drunk. To use the wine as a means of release and to explore the mysteries of the God, is a blessing and a Divine purpose. 

This summer, I planted a grape vine in my Dionysos precinct, in part so that on the occasion that I do drink a small amount of wine for a religious purpose, I will remember the true gift and true reason of the vine.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

I Don't Believe In Coincidence

If you have watched the director's cut of the 2004 movie Troy (which I would highly recommend because it's ten times better than the finished product), you know there is a scene near the beginning, shortly after Helen enters the City, in which Hektor and Priam are in the grand room of the palace among statues of the Gods and seats of the Council, discussing whether to send her back to Sparta. Priam eventually begins telling Hektor (his son) about his faith and dedication to the Gods, describing a time when Hektor was a child stricken with Scarlet Fever. The doctor expected Hektor to die before sunrise. But Priam said he went down to Apollo's temple and "prayed until the sun came up." Priam returned that morning to find Hektor fully recovered. 

This scene has always stuck with me because I too know what it's like to be a father praying to Apollon for a sick son. My child was born severely premature, and I don't think there was a day that went by that I didn't pray or think about the Gods when I visited the NICU. Of course, Gryphon's story didn't end when he came home. He's made a tremendous impact on everyone who has known him, and I haven't stopped praying for him. In fact, it happened again just recently on the night of July 1st - 2nd, 2022. On this day, he was not feeling well. He slept most of the entire time, wouldn't eat, and vomited once in the evening. I'm always worried about my son because he's my little buddy, who I love more than the world. We were planning on taking him to get medical care if he didn't show signs of improvement by morning. 

Around 1 or 2am on the 2nd, I was sitting in the living room playing one of my favorite video games, just trying to relax. But I couldn't get my son off my mind, so I simply prayed, "Apollon, God of healing, remember my past sacrifices and please hear my prayer, heal my son of his illnesses." Literally, the very second after I finished that prayer, I heard my son exclaim happily all the way down the hall in the bedroom. Then he opened the door, went into the kitchen, and started eating and drinking again. He was fully recovered by morning.

I mostly don't believe in coincidences, especially if they happen at the exact moment you'd expect, or perfectly in sync. Apollon has always been a God very close to me and my family. But I also find that there is never a time in my life when I don't feel close to all of the Gods. No matter what's happening, I know they're always good to their people.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Beware Of Men Who Become Gods

This post is not, in any way, a political statement. While I may use well known examples from politics to make a point, it does not imply that the post is partisan. The reader should focus on the grand and far bigger picture. Everyone is welcome on my site, regardless of their political views.

Last night, I had a very interesting dream about Hesiod, almost as if he had sent me a message because I am among the people who will understand it. After all, Hesiod is a timeless counselor of humanity. If you have ever read his writings in their entirety, you know his dim forecasts for our own Age, and if you therefore know his predictions about the character, mentality and actions of men in this Age, what I'm about to tell you won't seem odd as a further message about the present state of affairs in our world.

The message is simple: men are being worshiped as Gods, and it's a very bad thing. In my dream, Trump was an example. Many of his followers see him as being favored by God, and some may even think of him as basically divine, and therefore Godly. Some people, like Ann Coulter, even changed our national motto in her book to "In Trump We Trust," thus putting him literally in the place of Gods, or at least flirting with the idea.

Even if someone does not believe themselves to be a God, but instead thinks that their very presence and actions are divinely ordained, that's just as bad. I think back to when Pisistratus tried to seize power in Athens by getting a woman to dress up as Athena and accompany him into the city, portraying to the people that Athena Herself had come from heaven to escort him to the throne. Fortunately, the people didn't buy the trick, but imagine how many leaders today try the exact same thing with their own deity in a number of ways, and the number of people who DO actually buy into it in our time.

This is a very destructive path we are on. It is not only destructive because of the fact that mortals are not Gods, but also because when you give a mortal that kind of power, they will do horrible things with it. If one believes they are a God, what authority do they answer to? If one believes that everything they do is ordained by a God, is there anything they won't do? Is there anything that can be wrong in their eyes or the eyes of their followers? Everything, to the deified one, is justified, no matter how horrible or wrong. Only true Gods can responsibly and justly wield the power of a God, and anyone who thinks that flesh and bone has any authority to play a God, is on a fool's errand.

The larger message, beyond Trump or any political stage, is to keep yourself free of their tyranny, recklessness and dead ends. If you see a man or woman being called a God, don't fall prey. Walk away, and worship real Gods. Don't let a mortal pull you into their own personal cult, because the end goal is your enslavement and the destruction of your own personal spirituality. You can further see this in the fact that some of Trump's religious leaders have publicly claimed that people who oppose him will be cursed by God. Their goal is to enslave you to their will, and to dictate your spiritual identity to their own twisted ends. 

Don't listen to them. Don't even listen to me. Listen to the Gods, and to your own good conscience.   

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

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