NOTE: The following perspective was posted to INDICA's YouTube channel as a response to the video for day one of the Conference on Polytheism Today & Tomorrow: Dialogues on Pluralism and Polytheist Art which took place on October 28, 2021. I am reposting it here with permission from the author Brent Fraser.
I am exhilarated that this dialog is happening. Thank you for all the organizers and contributors to this event. Edward, Hari, Lo and Ptahmassu, thank you for your input and insights. Every part of this forum has been interesting, but admittedly, the relationship of polytheism and art has been closest to my own heart in my journey. For what it's worth, I'm a rationalist coming from a laboratory scientific background who has been the witness to many incredible, some might call supernatural, experiences. The hypothesis that I can suggest, based on personal experience, is that the finest scientific instrument for exploring the gross and paranormal universe is the human brain. An electron microscope, as with all scientific instruments, is run by electricity. The brain, although sensitive to and sustained by micro-electric currents as well, is also sensitive to what occultists would call life-force, prana, sokham, divine frequency, etc. The brain is the most perfect scientific instrument because it is sensitive to, and can in a limited manner, interpret (frequencies?) finer than just the electromagnetic.
Materialists would say that all experience begins and ends with the brain and its interpretation of data received by the senses. Occultists, and anybody who believes otherwise, would say that the brain is also sensitive to energies supernatural or paranormal to just physical stimulus. There is no way to prove one hypothesis over the other. We truly won't know the absolute Truth until the moment of our passing. What I believe, and of course it can only every be relegated to the realm of hypothesis regardless, is that spiritual artists are more sensitive to the higher occult frequencies. Just as the brain can interpret sensory data differently depending on the individual, so too can the "occult" brain be more sensitive or less sensitive depending on the individual. I think the proof of the phenomenon is the cross cultural recognition of something(s) supernatural to the physical. I honestly believe that spiritual artists are more receptive to paranormal frequencies, and they do their best to bring the expression of those realities into the material plane.
With regards to polytheism, which is the purpose of the convention, there really is nothing to argue or debate. It's a convention of polytheists, by polytheists and for polytheists. The diversity of the universe should clearly indicate whether or not the original metaphysics of all universal existence is monotheistic or polytheistic. Regrettably, simple minds tend to gravitate to the easiest conclusion whether it is rational or not, hence the need for a convention like this. Either the Gods are just as plural and individualistic as humans, or they are just figments of the psyche trying to make patterns out of phenomenon that is random. Personal experience is the validator and proof of the existence of the Gods. Ganesha, Djehuty, Ausat, Huitzilopochtli, Diana, etc. are revealed by individuals/brains that are receptive enough to fulfill the requirements of the expression of the God or Goddess into the material sphere. The oracular instrument or these is, a great many times, the artist.
Spiritual artists, in particular polytheistic spiritual artists, help all of us to access realms of that finest of scientific instruments, the human brain, that can tap into the non-physical realms of the universe. They were the psychedelic rock album artists of the sixties and the seventies, the Gilbert Williams, Wyland and friends of the eighties and nineties, the Ptahmassu's, Lo's, Setken's and gang of the new millennium, and who knows what the future is to bring, that have, do and will help us to reach the Divine beings through visual representation in art. It has been so for thousands of years, and will continue to be so. There can be no polytheistic knowledge without artists who are capable of bringing that reality into our sphere of existence. I would venture to say that polytheism and spiritual art/iconography are synonymous ideas.
Thank you for all the organizers and contributors to this event. May there be many more, and may the recognition that polytheism is a superior framework of philosophic thought become a tsunami of global awakening.
Namaste and peace to all!