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2279Re: [Asatru-U] Here's a thread...

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  • arlie@worldash.org
    Apr 29, 2006
      Hi Jenn,

      On Apr 29 2006, Jennifer Mayes wrote:
      >
      > Hi.
      >
      > My name's Jenn, and I joined this list a little over two
      > months ago. Here's a question I've been dealing with for a
      > few weeks now:

      [some details snipped]

      > I don't want to take the damn things, but I am because I
      > promised my husband that I would try whatever the doctor
      > said to try. Here's my problem: When I look at the history
      > of the Norse people, they had things in their daily lives
      > that would cause more psycological trauma than anything we
      > will ever have to deal with now. And they simply dealt with
      > it and moved on, accepting it as a part of their
      > lives. They didn't whine to the Gods about their
      > situations, they simply accepted thier situations or fought
      > to make them better. I feel like, but taking a pill for
      > being 'sad' all the time, I lose honor in the eyes of the
      > Gods. I also know that depression causes all kinds of
      > irrational thoughts, but on this issue I honestly can't
      > tell if this is my intuition telling me to not take the
      > pills or if it's the "depression talking."


      > To me, part of being Asatru is having the strength to deal
      > with daily life issues in addition to any religious or
      > spontaneous occurances. Is it weak to take these
      > medications, even for a little while?

      Now this is an interesting question. I'm pretty sure you are on a
      wrong track, as far as past heathen attitudes, but my feeling is
      mostly intuitive, not something I'm likely to be able to justify
      clearly.

      First of all, dealing with things includes using whatever tools are
      available. Refusing to use available tools - because one "should be
      strong enough not to need them" _isn't_ dealing with things. To make
      an analogy, some of us are stronger than others, physically. There are
      things I can't carry any distance - so I use a cart, or a wheelbarrow,
      or a helper. I don't leave them sitting there, because I ought to be
      stronger. I also don't (if I have sense) risk injuring myself by
      attempting to lift and carry things too big for me, except perhaps in
      an emergency.

      But that's the smaller part of this. The real question is whether
      heathens are required to be supermen. Is this a way of life for
      everyone, including not just heroes and the potentially great, but
      also their more ordinary families, neighbours, and friends?

      My experience, cynically speaking, is that modern heathenry too often
      attempts to be a religion for supermen, and ends up instead with a
      collection of poseurs, each trying to show themselves worthy, with
      emphasis on "show" - rather than _be_.

      I don't think that's good for anyone. Sometimes people who pretend to
      be better than they think they are manage to grow into it, but far too
      often they just get good at lying and hypocrisy. Moreover - if the
      gods are kin, how can it be appropriate to pretend with them. Putting
      your best foot forward is one thing - and generally a good idea. But
      that doesn't mean risking injury showing off, and it certainly doesn't
      mean lying and hypocrisy.

      I know it's tempting - I like the idea of being a superman. But when
      the rubber meets the road, I'm a middle aged woman who's spent most
      of my life working at a desk.

      So back to your depression - and possible medication for it - I don't
      see what heathenry has against it. In fact, insisting you "don't need
      it" may be the equivalent of me pretending I can lift 60 or 80 or 100
      pounds safely.

      Or maybe it's not that severe, and it's the equivalent of me deciding
      that I don't like waking up stiff and cold and sore, and deciding to
      upgrade my camping gear, repeatedly, to maintain equivalent comfort as
      my body aged. Why be more miserable than you need to be? And why would
      anyone, god or human, expect you to do that, simply to show yourself
      tough, without some useful purpose being served?

      >
      > Jenn
      >

      --
      Arlie

      (Arlie Stephens arlie@...)
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