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Thread: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

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    Default Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    For the last couple episodes of True Blood, the denizens of Bon Temps have been concerned about a maenad in their midst. The maenads were the handmaidens of Dionysus or Bacchus...
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  2. #2
    Morning Glory's Avatar Apathetic Voter
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Bacchus or Dionysus is the archetype of Pan.

    Nietzsche contrasted this with Apollo to describe the relationship between Greek philosophy and Comedy/Tragedy in art. Dionysus is also contrasted in the idea of Christ/Anti-Christ. Pan was the basis for early Christian imagery of the Devil/Satan. Although this was largely anti-Pagan propaganda, given their dualistic philosophy, I think it was also very much intentional mythologically.

    Although they express differing cultural and psychological embodiments these two figures are present in some form of nearly all world religions. The Eddic Thor and Loki, Egypt's Osiris and Set, Hindu's Vishnu and Shiva, and others. In non-mythological terms it is also present in Buddhist philosophy and probably most clearly in the Tao Te Ching.

    The Dionysian spirit has had a contemporary resurgence in the 20th Century mostly in the 1960's with neo-paganism, Hedonist groups and the revolutionary social movements. In the 21st Century we are moving into the information age and moving away from mechanistic and materialistic systems. The shift is increasingly towards agnosticism.

    In terms of personal growth I think that a purely sensual world-view is very limiting and stagnating. Intellectual concepts are just as important to a value system. To choose just one example, Love or Lust without the other is unfulfilling.

    A complementary or integrating duality is better than an opposing duality, but a multi-value system is better yet.

  3. #3
    funkatron's Avatar Dead Agent
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    I really, really hate the Maryann character. I guess it's good that I have had such a visceral reaction to her, but in some ways it's kinda fucked the show up for me. I'm really sick of every episode of this season being filled with the same "oooh, Maryann is a witch/demon/something and throws crazy orgies" schtick. I found the first season's underlying menace MUCH more compelling.

    I think probably I dislike her so much because she's so utterly selfish. But hey, she's evil, so I guess that's the point.

    Also I really like Sam and it bugs me that she keeps fucking with him.

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    YoungSoulRebel's Avatar Dexys Midnight Blunder
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    OK, I'm not going to touch Morning Glory's comment on Neitzche's poor understanding of Hellenic religion with a ten foot pole because in the age of Google, there is no need to go on for the lengths I could about what a fucking idiot Neitzche was concerning Hellenic religion.

    Serious, people. I wouldn't recommend reading Jack Chick comics for a history on Catholicism. The fact that there are still people who take Neitzche seriously about Hellenic religion is ridonkulous.


    But to what my original comment was going to be:
    Amelia, can't help you with Love Bites, but I could Fed-Ex-lend you my VHS copy of Cyber Bandits. OK, Adam Ant dies in the first twenty minutes, but it has Grace Jones as a ninja.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungSoulRebel
    OK, I'm not going to touch Morning Glory's comment on Neitzche's poor understanding of Hellenic religion with a ten foot pole because in the age of Google, there is no need to go on for the lengths I could about what a fucking idiot Neitzche was concerning Hellenic religion.

    Serious, people. I wouldn't recommend reading Jack Chick comics for a history on Catholicism. The fact that there are still people who take Neitzche seriously about Hellenic religion is ridonkulous.
    Meh, it's mythology. One story's as good as another.

    I mean sure, you can get the history wrong (can you get it right, though?) about who believed what when, but those stats hardly lend one version validity that less popular ones lack, and any would-be useful parallels to real-world concepts and ethics remain unaffected.

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    Amelia G's Avatar chick in charge
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Quote Originally Posted by funkatron
    I really, really hate the Maryann character. I guess it's good that I have had such a visceral reaction to her, but in some ways it's kinda fucked the show up for me. I'm really sick of every episode of this season being filled with the same "oooh, Maryann is a witch/demon/something and throws crazy orgies" schtick. I found the first season's underlying menace MUCH more compelling.

    I think probably I dislike her so much because she's so utterly selfish. But hey, she's evil, so I guess that's the point.

    Also I really like Sam and it bugs me that she keeps fucking with him.

    I'm definitely with you on having found the plot of the first season much more compelling.

    Sam's nice guy routine doesn't work for me at all when he never ever tries to sleep with anyone who wouldn't be a victim of sexual harassment. Sleeping with one's employees, especially in a brokeass Southern town with few opportunities, is just messed up. If it were just one waitress he had a really deep connection with, okay, sometimes love happens inconveniently. But when he only sleeps with employees?

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    funkatron's Avatar Dead Agent
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Mmm, I can see that with Sam. He does seem rather wishywashy with his Nice Guyness. Something's weird about that one.

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    YoungSoulRebel's Avatar Dexys Midnight Blunder
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raza
    Meh, it's mythology. One story's as good as another.
    This is exactly why I don't have these discussions with Atheists and Agnostics anymore. Sure, their argument (and it's always some variation on this one argument -- congratulations for being quick and to the point about it, as some can get far too verbose for their own good) seems logical, but it ignores what they cannot comprehend. It's like trying to explain Carl Sagan's writings to a Creationist Christian -- you can't comprehend it, so your way is the only way; I, on the other hand, can comprehend Atheism, cos I was one for a long time, I just now disagree with it.

    Feel free to continue arguing with yourself about this, cos I've seen it happen so many times I can predict, near-verbatim, just what you may plan on saying next. It will then turn circular until one of us realises that the other "just doesn't get it, man" and ends it -- but since I'm doing that now, we're already done, even though you may not be, so have fun with that.

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    Morning Glory's Avatar Apathetic Voter
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    yeah, no ones arguing with you YSR. You just sound like an asshole, but hey, if it makes you feel better to avoid having a conversation by creating an imaginary debate and declaring yourself the winner, good luck with that.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    What, so you actually believe in Pan or Dionysus or the like as mystical/divine entities of which there exists one specific version with knowable qualities?

    That's kinda neat. Do you do rituals where you hypnotize yourself with faith and mental exercises to reach emotional extremes or transform your personality?

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    YoungSoulRebel's Avatar Dexys Midnight Blunder
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raza
    What, so you actually believe in Pan or Dionysus or the like as mystical/divine entities of which there exists one specific version with knowable qualities?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raza
    That's kinda neat. Do you do rituals where you hypnotize yourself with faith and mental exercises to reach emotional extremes or transform your personality?
    Unless you're mocking me, thanks; but no, my primary cultus is to Eros and Apollon and is of a "less woo" nature, but still pretty "woo", nonetheless. I do, though, know a couple of women who consider themselves "[aspiring] meneads", as their primary cultus is to Dionysos *and* at least one of them gets pretty heavy into transformative-type rit -- but other than a basis of household rit that has a "whole pantheon" sort of take, I don't really have much in common with either of them, as the woman who outright considers herself a menead has a far more rustic take on the religion, and the other one seems to be coming from the Athenian polis religion, and my own is spans several Boeotian citiies' religions (which seems to be the best most Hellenic polytheists who aren't called to either Athens or Sparta can manage).

    Considering the Boeotian base of my practise, Pan is the masculine counterpart to Kybele, who in Boeotia was better likened to Gaea, rather than the Attic habit of likening Her to Rhea. So likening Dionysos to Pan, universally, more than misses the mark. The idea of one unified ancient Hellenic religion is a wholly modern one; basically, each polis (city) had it's own way of doing things and there were very few festivals that crossed over in different cities, and virtually none that were known to have been observed in every city -- the only example i can think of off the top of my head is the Panathenia is practically identical to Boeotia's Pamboeotia, and both are festivals to Athene.

    Sorry if this is more than you ever cared to know, but hey, you asked. :-)

    I also take mild offence to commentary along the lines of "it's just mythology, etc..." because the Greek "mythos" means literally "sacred texts", so "mythology" would be the study of sacred texts -- and by that, yes, all religions have their mythos. The modern use of "myth = falsehood" is specifically pro-Christian proganddistic in nature, as it became a way to dismiss polytheism. Now, most people, not knowing this, as I said, the offence is pretty mild -- more offended-bored than offended-angered.

    Now, as to my Jack Chick and Catholicism comparison -- obviously, it's not as well-known as I had assumed. Basically... Well, go read some of his anti-Catholic tracts some time. One of them includes the "startling truth" that the Vatican has a supercomputer with the names of every Protestant for... some cockamamie plot of world domination, I'm sure. The crazy kind of prompted my brain to shut off at that point. But yeah -- obviously, Chick isn't a Catholic -- nor was he ever even raised Catholic. Likewise, Neitzche wasn't a polytheist -- though obviously a little more sympathetic than most of his day, I wouldn't go to a non-polytheist for information on Deities any more than I'd go to a non-Catholic for information on Catholicism. Or, well, I wouldn't go to a Catholic for information on The Church of Satan -- let me put it that way.

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    Morning Glory's Avatar Apathetic Voter
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Just because people blindly follow their dogmas doesn't mean that they know more or better comprehend them than anyone else viewing them from a scholarly source. I'd say that they probably know less, since they aren't going to look into outside and contradicting sources that would shed better light or at least offer a basis of comparison. The non-believer also has the luxury of accepting the faults of an idea better than the person who has to risk their world-view or values on them and stands to lose more from a critical evaluation.

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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungSoulRebel
    I also take mild offence to commentary along the lines of "it's just mythology, etc..." because the Greek "mythos" means literally "sacred texts", so "mythology" would be the study of sacred texts -- and by that, yes, all religions have their mythos. The modern use of "myth = falsehood" is specifically pro-Christian proganddistic in nature, as it became a way to dismiss polytheism. Now, most people, not knowing this, as I said, the offence is pretty mild -- more offended-bored than offended-angered.

    Now, as to my Jack Chick and Catholicism comparison -- obviously, it's not as well-known as I had assumed. Basically... Well, go read some of his anti-Catholic tracts some time. One of them includes the "startling truth" that the Vatican has a supercomputer with the names of every Protestant for... some cockamamie plot of world domination, I'm sure. The crazy kind of prompted my brain to shut off at that point. But yeah -- obviously, Chick isn't a Catholic -- nor was he ever even raised Catholic. Likewise, Neitzche wasn't a polytheist -- though obviously a little more sympathetic than most of his day, I wouldn't go to a non-polytheist for information on Deities any more than I'd go to a non-Catholic for information on Catholicism. Or, well, I wouldn't go to a Catholic for information on The Church of Satan -- let me put it that way.
    People do not have to walk on eggshells around your religion. Your hypersensitivity is your problem, not theirs.

    You are entitled to believe whatever you like. You are entitled to fetishize any mythos or ancient body of text and you are entitled to pick, as if from a catalogue, your favourite deity or deities. But whether you like it or not, the prime point of interest for most people will be why you believe what you say you believe and no amount of text describing the various traits and hierarchical structures of your pantheon of gods will suffice as an answer.

    I may know the common history of WW2 inside out but when I am confronted with someone who claims that the holocaust never happened or didnít happen as it is said to have happened, there is no point in my saying "Iím offended" and just walking off in a huff. I should have a frank discussion with them and see if we canít find the underlying truth in so far as it is possible.

    If you are not prepared to discuss why you believe in Gaea or Helios or whatever then donít blame people if they think it's basically just a question of personal style for you or something equally arbitrary.
    ------------
    In any case, Nietzscheís discussion of the Hellenic gods (less of a discussion about them and more of an appropriation of them) seems to me to be far more interesting than any particular rule-set you could reiterate.

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    YoungSoulRebel's Avatar Dexys Midnight Blunder
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Thanks for proving my point, the two of you.

    :-)

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    Ajax Knucklebones's Avatar God fearing atheist
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    "Religion is for the weak."- then-Governer Jesse Ventura.

    Yeah. Just take steroids like him. It'll get you through.

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    toxicat's Avatar catty member
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Can an Isian add a: WORD!

    ?



    Quote Originally Posted by YoungSoulRebel View Post
    Yes.


    Unless you're mocking me, thanks; but no, my primary cultus is to Eros and Apollon and is of a "less woo" nature, but still pretty "woo", nonetheless. I do, though, know a couple of women who consider themselves "[aspiring] meneads", as their primary cultus is to Dionysos *and* at least one of them gets pretty heavy into transformative-type rit -- but other than a basis of household rit that has a "whole pantheon" sort of take, I don't really have much in common with either of them, as the woman who outright considers herself a menead has a far more rustic take on the religion, and the other one seems to be coming from the Athenian polis religion, and my own is spans several Boeotian citiies' religions (which seems to be the best most Hellenic polytheists who aren't called to either Athens or Sparta can manage).

    Considering the Boeotian base of my practise, Pan is the masculine counterpart to Kybele, who in Boeotia was better likened to Gaea, rather than the Attic habit of likening Her to Rhea. So likening Dionysos to Pan, universally, more than misses the mark. The idea of one unified ancient Hellenic religion is a wholly modern one; basically, each polis (city) had it's own way of doing things and there were very few festivals that crossed over in different cities, and virtually none that were known to have been observed in every city -- the only example i can think of off the top of my head is the Panathenia is practically identical to Boeotia's Pamboeotia, and both are festivals to Athene.

    Sorry if this is more than you ever cared to know, but hey, you asked. :-)

    I also take mild offence to commentary along the lines of "it's just mythology, etc..." because the Greek "mythos" means literally "sacred texts", so "mythology" would be the study of sacred texts -- and by that, yes, all religions have their mythos. The modern use of "myth = falsehood" is specifically pro-Christian proganddistic in nature, as it became a way to dismiss polytheism. Now, most people, not knowing this, as I said, the offence is pretty mild -- more offended-bored than offended-angered.

    Now, as to my Jack Chick and Catholicism comparison -- obviously, it's not as well-known as I had assumed. Basically... Well, go read some of his anti-Catholic tracts some time. One of them includes the "startling truth" that the Vatican has a supercomputer with the names of every Protestant for... some cockamamie plot of world domination, I'm sure. The crazy kind of prompted my brain to shut off at that point. But yeah -- obviously, Chick isn't a Catholic -- nor was he ever even raised Catholic. Likewise, Neitzche wasn't a polytheist -- though obviously a little more sympathetic than most of his day, I wouldn't go to a non-polytheist for information on Deities any more than I'd go to a non-Catholic for information on Catholicism. Or, well, I wouldn't go to a Catholic for information on The Church of Satan -- let me put it that way.

  17. #17
    Black Spiral Dancer's Avatar RedHead Admirer Supreme!
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Dionysus are a great bunch of people. The many times they have played, I've always missed them because I've been doing things like running for our local goth club/band promoter. I will see them plau eventually. Possibly in Whitby at some point.

  18. #18
    Monk's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: Would you want to party with Dionysus?

    Pardon my noob-to-youishness...but isn't the thread entitled 'Would you want to party with Dionysus?"...not..."Who's mythdick can swing the widest?"

    *grin*

    Having said that...ABSOLUTELY! Having attended, and hosted, parties best described as Bacchanals, I can say with absolute certainty that I would party with the goatmangodthingamajigger till my eyes fell out.

    A deity of partying, doing what he does best, surrounded with comfort, food, wine, song? Trascendent would be an apt description of it.

    Hell of a hangover would be another...

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