Instead, you could put your trust in the gods' wisdom, follow the example of their guidance, and make your own way through the world.

This is a theology of seizing fate. Are there times when the gods will help you? Perhaps. But you cannot count on those times. You cannot beg or bribe the help of the gods. The purpose of religion is to help you become godlike yourself; it is a chance to embody the powerful spirit of the gods, which means you will overcome obstacles on your own, with or without divine intervention.

This is also the theology of heroism.

It is never an excuse to mock or abandon those who need help. It is never a reason to suffer in silence. Reach out to your fellow human beings. Ask for help when you need it, and offer it when you can.

But either take action yourself or turn to your tribe; this is the way humans succeed. We have already been given the tools that we need. The rest is up to us.

As a priest, I am often asked to pray for people. I'm happy to do so. Some people pray for protection, as Musashi nearly did. Others pray for money, for a new job, for a cure to their illness. When they ask me to pray for these things, my answer is always the same: "I will make offerings on your behalf."

What they might think this means is that I will pour out some wine and ask the gods to deliver the money, the job, or the cure. If I went before the altar with that mindset I would be failing them as a priest.

Instead, I place the offering and say, "Please guide and teach this person."

There is such a thing as good theology and bad theology. Your beliefs and theories about the gods directly drive how you interact with them. Your theology shapes your expectations of the divine, which determine whether you will be fulfilled or disappointed by your spirituality.

What is your theology?

Are you able to relate to the gods, without relying on them?