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A historian helps define "paganism"


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Tom Hatsis is a historian from Portland Oregon that specializes in how psychedelics or entheogens were used by various groups throughout known history. In this video clip of a longer talk, he examines how our own culture shapes our views, even if we are not believers in monotheism. Most of the ancient world was polytheistic, and they didn't tend to have a lot of rules regarding gods (some like the Mayans made it central to the culture). The idea was that gods/goddesses/spirit beings were behind natural structures and events and could be placated to get an edge on survival. How one group worshiped beings in their region was often similar to other regions, so they didn't tend to have a problem with the gods of other groups.


He doesn't mention it here, but the two Christian terms for unbelievers are usually either "heathen" (Germanic/Old English for one who lives among the heath in the open countryside) or "pagan" (Latin for countryside dweller), both meaning someone from out in the country, unlearned, a "country bumpkin". 


Tom Hatsis describes the meaning of "Paganism"

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