Uralistica

What does it mean to be politheistic today in the age of God's death and in the era of rapid developing high technologies?

How can we pray to the sun, wind, water and other gods designating natural phenomena when we know that wind, sunshine, water all have desacralized scientific explanation.

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A good question, and a most necessary one in our modern times.
I have thought about this problem many times over, and although it has been very problematic to come up with an acceptable answer, I'd dare to say there is a solution.

First of all we'll have to face the fact that a great majority of humans need belief and experiences in the supernatural, very much in the same way that we all need the company of other human beings. Our mind simply cannot work for long without some form of spirituality. The fact that so many scientists are at the same time more or less religious in their private life supports this claim.

Thus our most necessary question becomes this: How can we adjust our religious needs and traditions to scientific facts?
We don't necessarily have to. The trick is to separate the two in a way - I believe the sky is a marvelous dome, forged by Ilmarinen, but I know it is actually our atmosphere covering our view to the vast emptiness of space. 
Actually this kind of view is really hard to explain - on the other hand, I separate religion and science in some level, but also acknowledge that sometimes (quite often) they speak of the same thing, but in different ways.
We should also remember that whereas science in its modern form is a fairly new phenomenon, our pre-Christian panteistic and shamanistic traditions and beliefs have existed for thousands of years. Some of the knowledge and ways of behaving are the result of thousands upon thousands of trial by error experiments, and should not be discarded as "primitive" and "unscientific" just for the sake of modernization.

Modern science and technology can coexist with our Finno-Ugric paganism - our traditional religious systems can even gain strength by incorporating the fruits of modern science to them. For example, we know that (scientifically speaking) heat is merely the movement of particles of matter. Electricity is the movement of electrons. At least in Finnish pre-Christian beliefs, the most visible natural electric phenomenon, lightning, was the work of the skygod Ukko, who is also known as Ilmarinen, the hero-smith. Ukko Ilmarinen is also the embodiment of fire and air - in other words, the movement of particles of matter. Thus the modern view of heat and electricity does not go against the worship and cult of Ukko Ilmarinen: on the contrary, it only adds up to the traditional Finnish view of this deity.

What we should remember, however, is that religion is primarily a tool for understanding our own collective unconscious and culture, and science is primarily a tool to upholding and improving our technology. With these things in mind, I myself find very little trouble in fitting my paganism and my scientific knowledge to the same worldview. I hope that others who wish to embrace their paganistic Finno-Ugric traditions find this helpful in their own lives and faith.

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