Thursday, May 21, 2009

What is UPG?

Unverified (Unverifiable) Personal Gnosis (UPG) is a basis of many of the posts that are on TC and indeed of many of the perspectives put by pagans in other settings. My question is what do we mean by UPG? Is it the same as just saying 'this is my opinion' with a twist of 'don't challenge me I don't really understand what I'm saying'? Or, are there particular things that we are talking about here (dreams, visitations, revelations, manifestations, etc.)? Where do we draw the line and what do we really mean.

This is important to me because if we are to grant UPG the place that we currently do, then I think we need to understand its limits if it's not to simply degenerate into a cheap way of presenting unjustified personal opinion as divinely based fact. To approach it in that way seems to lead to threads where there is a long list of 'my UPG says...', but with very little critical discussion or progress on the topic. Essentially it becomes not so much a conversation or discussion as a group of individuals stating positions with little reference to each other.

What do others think? What is it and does it actually matter? How can we examine statements of UPG critically without causing unwarranted offence (and should we)?

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