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Thread: Past paradise?

  1. #1
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Past paradise?

    They've been spending most their lives
    Living in a future paradise

    We've been spending too much of our lives
    Living in a pastime paradise

    Let's start living our lives
    Living for the future paradise
    Praise to our lives
    Living for the future paradise
    Shame to anyone lives
    Living in in a pastime paradise
    Nothing personal folks, but it seems to me that there are a lot of backward-looking pagans - those who reach out to the past in order to grasp at some kind of "Golden Age" when everything was right: ecology was in balance, gods and humans were at peace, everybody knew their place and liked it, food was safe and naturally nutritious, power was shared within the community, the poor deserved to be poor because they were lazy, etc., etc., etc. into infinity.

    I don't believe there ever was such a time or such a place. As near as I can tell, if a real golden age is ever to exist, it will be in the future and require the hard work of being forward thinking realists in the present.

    Even with that, it'll be a longshot that most likely falls way short...

    Anyway, here's an interesting article that articulates my thoughts pretty well. Have a read:

    It never was golden: ‘The good old days’ is a virulent falsehood that infects those whose defences have been weakened by fear and insecurity

    So - up for discussion:

    When, as a whole, were things better for people than they are today?

    Why were they better?

    Can you give evidence?
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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  2. #2
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    It's not just pagans though. Lots of various groups look to a utopian type peaceful period or past where things were better than they are today and some sort of equality existed across all walks of social strata and strive to return to it.
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    Supporter Hawkfeathers's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    In American history, there was never a time when things were wonderful for everyone. But a lot of people look into their own past and say times were better for them, and for many others, at a certain point. I experienced a great letdown after college (1979) because I grew up in a one-paycheck home and figured I'd be able to live that well on my own, and had just acquired the rights and freedoms I'd need for such a life (getting credit without a male cosigner, etc.). We lived in central NJ and nobody was griping about the property taxes or health insurance. Our neighborhood and most of the area was a mix of blue & white collar people, all of whom had decent job security. Shopping was easier and less confusing. Stores were smaller and we had a livable number of shades of pink nail polish. (Go look now; you'll be there all day, and half of it's garbage that won't be around next year. This is euphemistic for many kinds of products.) So, for my family, things were better in the 70's. In the 80's, companies started switching their focus from customer/employee to CEO/stockholder. Real estate started changing at that time and salary never caught up. Big companies that offered corporate ladders were forced to break up and lots of small ones rose....and fell. New construction focused on the wealthy/luxury market.

    The only "evidence" I can provide is that my parents bought a house for 35K on a $25K salary. That job would pay about $100K today and that house would be upwards of $300K. The ratio is completely different.

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    When, as a whole, were things better for people than they are today?

    Why were they better?

    Can you give evidence?
    There may have occasionally been *things* that were better...but for the most part, no.

    We are today, in any Western democracy, for the most part, free-er, richer, more educated, healthier, better fed, better clothed, better housed than our societal analogue in any previous time period.


    ---None of which means there aren't problems
    Last edited by thalassa; 19 Aug 2016 at 08:39.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

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  5. #5
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    It's not just pagans though. Lots of various groups look to a utopian type peaceful period or past where things were better than they are today and some sort of equality existed across all walks of social strata and strive to return to it.

    Absotruly! I'm trying to keep it pagan-relevant...

    Hawkfeathers, I agree with what you've said. My dad went from one step away from homeless to having a million bucks in his retirement accounts. But think about that for a moment... Much of "job security" and "high wages" came at the expense of other people, like, say, women who weren't then flooding the job market (increase the potential labor force by about 50%, and guess what happens to wages?). Then, consider the minorities confined, by realestate law, to ghettoes...

    Thalassa, I think many people miss the reality if their personal wealth - cell phones, computers, iPads... People look at things like this as a right, rather than as a marker of wealth.

    And, yeah... There are still problems, but we seem to be fumbling toward better slightly faster than we are stumbling to worse.
    Last edited by B. de Corbin; 19 Aug 2016 at 08:52.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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    Supporter Hawkfeathers's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    It was safer in NJ to discuss religious/spiritual differences openly than it is in MO, and that's not about a time period at all.

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    Absotruly! I'm trying to keep it pagan-relevant. ...
    I think there is a very selective approach by many pagans when it comes to viewing things. Consider how many women take Artemis as an example of empowering women against the system and such. Yet they do so at the expense of the examples where she punishes those women who step outside the boundaries of the same system. Niobe is made to suffer the loss of all her children when she dares to compare them and herself to Leto's and her two children, ie Apollo and Artemis. Yet it's more than just hubris and vanity that gets them killed. Even the notion of an eternal virgin goddess gets somewhat whacked as they focus upon the pre-pubescent Olympian Artemis yet often refer to traits of the Roman Diana who is not really seen as being "Virginal" or pull upon aspects of the Taurian influence which is associated with Iphigenia and the Athenian Arktoi or Orthia (Sparta) connection. In each the fulfillment of roles in society by women and girls very much stressed and mandated by Artemis and passage through them. To ensure they take their place within Hellene society and fulfill the duties expected of them. The same equally applied to boys as well when you look at things like stealing of the cheese at Orthia for instance as parts of the right of passage.
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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    It is kind of sad in a way. We pretty much knew the housing bubble would burst,and almost pushed us into a depression,just as we knew way back that pollution would harm our planet. Now we are freaking out about "Global warming" when we should have been busy stopping it 30 or more years ago. The fact that we had discussions about the changing job concerns way way back because of the global economy and the changing use of robotic replacement of workers. Might have been a good idea to have planned for this starting about 50 years ago. our desire for a utopia must be informed that it WILL have major bumps along the way. When(and not if) self driving cars are everywhere,what do professional drivers do(taxi,bus,truck drivers) retrain?,but how will they afford it. Is it possible also we may have self flying planes(this is pretty much the case even now,pilots being what we have on trains named firemen) At what point do we see robotic machines doing it all,and we humans must adjust to the "Utopia" that is terminal leisure...

    Can we all just crawl into a cryogenic wet dream to allow us to survive?
    Last edited by anunitu; 19 Aug 2016 at 10:24.
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    Copper Member Briton's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    In some ways, yes, in other ways no. Nearly every facet of our modernity which is seen as an improvement is a loss to someone, somewhere. The only reason iPhones are affordable is because they're put together by a line of Chinese wage slaves in a factory unfit for rats. We have better organized tribal borders, that take up whole countries, but it means I cannot just decide to up and trek to Eastern Europe and work there. I've got to worry bout visas, passports and the exchange rate between my host country and the country I call home, because so many modern economies are based on fiats and thus the value of any gold I could have earnt could drop in value thanks to banking institutions.

    Meanwhile, I would have died soon after birth from severe disabilities caused by untreatable congenital hypothyroidism.

    So...
    I'm not one to ever pray for mercy
    Or to wish on pennies in the fountain or the shrine
    But that day you know I left my money
    And I thought of you only
    All that copper glowing fine

  10. #10
    Supporter kalynraye's Avatar
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    Re: Past paradise?

    I can't really say being from the south there has been a time in the past where it was better or safer for pagans. Afterall I am from the bible belt, and have a side of my family who is very religious. We do have Pagan Pride in large cities but even those aren't huge. Most people, myself included keep my faith to myself. I don't hide it per say but I definitely don't flaunt it. If asked and I know the person I am more the willing to tell my religion however I still see plenty of prosecution. Not just for my religion but for any religion that isn't Christian. If anything I feel like right now Christians are working even harder to bring "God back".. into everything. Which in turn is making it more difficult for the rest of us to live openly.

    I know they some people say there was a golden age for newage pagans but I wasn't alive then. So I can't say, yes yes it was beautiful and wonderful. I also don't live in the future. I live in the now, and what I find is that its extremely difficult to find a group of pagans to meet with, to celebrate with, to just know and when you do find them they were either extremely standoffish and unwilling to let anyone new in or weird.

    So there you have it, I haven't ever lived in a time that was better, it has for me always been the same. I would like to see it get better but I would have to say we as a whole have to be more willing to open up and let other pagans in. No our ideas don't have to agree but we aren't a universal church so they will differ but to be able to set those aside and celebrate what is.
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