I’ve got a bit of a strange relationship with UPG (unverified personal gnosis). It’s a bit difficult, or so it seems, to come up with UPG when I’m not really able to interact like all the normal methods of figuring out UPG – i.e. god or spirit interaction. Normally I see all sorts of posts about UPG, and most of them are centered on interactions with deity. Or with spirits.
In any case, I’m not really able to do that.
So for me, UPG is something that I just perceive…from research. Or from gut feelings. Mostly research if I’m completely honest. Neither of which are normal. And neither one of which I’m sure are normal ways. Because I never get any sort of notification on whether I’m even right to think what I do. But, then I suppose that’s the way most people feel with their UPG.
I just need to not worry so much about it.
After all, UPG is something that has to be pretty common in the widespread community.
My relationship with it is really just that I have to accept my odd thoughts as what they are. They sometimes pop out of nowhere. Other times the thoughts just come to me while I’m doing research. I like those ones, because they seem more likely to fit in for me. Not that I really have much to go on in terms of comparison.
Following Slavic pantheons are difficult. There are not a whole lot of people that I’ve found who follow/work with/honor those pantheons. So sometimes comparing my thoughts is really difficult. And the resources are sketchy at best. After all, most of the Slavic people were illiterate until one of two Churches came in contact – Orthodox or Catholic. So anything written about their ancient beliefs is tainted and tinted by monk’s writings…or by government officials approving of the toppling of old, pagan beliefs. Archaeological records have given a bit more to work with. But not much.
For the most part, I get to flail around in the dark. Move along and guess at things. It’s a bit difficult at times. But also fun. It piques the interest of the historian in me.
So for me, UPG is difficult. I always wonder two-fold: is it even more than just my personal fancy that makes me think something, and am I completely off-base in connections I make? Not that I’m sure a lot of people ever have answers for those sorts of things.
For one thing, I am sure that others struggle with it. It’s a lot of consideration. But I am not going to think too hard on it. If something seems completely off, I can evaluate that. It is not as if I have to accept every little thought that comes to mind. No more than I do with normal research, UPG is something to be evaluated.
UPG is a strange thing. I suppose that at some point I would eventually get more comfortable with it. But for now, it’s one of those things that kind of squicks me out. It isn’t exactly anything specific. But I suppose I’m still uncomfortable with the idea of having to rely mostly on things that are unverified by anyone but myself. The researcher in me kind of cringes at that. It lacks certainty. But I just have to accept it.
It’s something I have to work on. Because whether I like it or not, a big part of my practice and beliefs are going to be at least tangentially tied to UPG.∗