Authority

Ask Pentheus about authority.
Ask Pentheus about authority.

Last week’s discussion on devotion has gone in a predictable direction of the authority of the gods, and priests, and also the agency of devotees.

Now, before I begin I am not a priest, at least not by the modern ideas of a priest. I do however adopt priest-like roles. These roles are temporary, like an actor playing a character in a play. In this priest role I do not deal with mortals, I deal with the gods. I also have other roles where I sometimes deal with people the main being the Dionysian Artist, the other is a mentor with knowledge of the Mysteries. If these roles grant me authority it is because someone is applying that authority to me, I speak only from my own experience and relationship with the gods. I never impose myself onto others, I only offer suggestions – if a person follows through with those suggestions that is no longer my responsibility and in no part my authority.

I do however believe in authority: the authority of the gods, the authority of our ancestors, the authority of history, the authority of myth, the authority of art. Compared to these forms of authority I don’t believe I have the right to claim my own authority because in the end I am just a speck of stardust, this then leads to claiming that I have my own agency which again I don’t believe in as this is ignoring nature, ignoring that the ultimate authority, and truth, of life is death.

At some time in this life I must submit to death, just like everyone else, it is not something I can revolt against, it is not something I can contest with political ideologies. To believe otherwise is presumptuous and self-delusional. After my death the gods will still be here, hopefully I’ll contribute something to them, which is my goal.

Now what does this mean to the gods? I don’t know for sure, I can tell you that I have been given divine praise for my efforts, it’s been acknowledged, but there is nothing stopping the reader from discounting my claims. What I will say with a definite is that the art I’ve made has resulted in friends, family and strangers discussing the gods, which in turn continues the Zoë of the divine – this is admittedly a human component of devotional art, but one I like.

As a result of knowing the truth of life, I don’t put much stock in fame and success. It’s a mere side effect that is short lived in the spectrum of the gods. This is why I’m a devotional artist because in my tiny amount of time on this planet I can think of no reason to live other than serving the gods.

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