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Re: Teaching gods

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  • svalich
    ... should be ... god-friend. ... connection with ... discussing it. ... commitment ... Of course. Did I give the impression that one s spirituality had to be
    Message 1 of 20 , May 24, 2002
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      --- In Asatru-U@y..., Arlie Stephens <arlie@w...> wrote:
      > On Tue, May 21, 2002 at 07:43:07PM -0500, Karl Donaldsson wrote:
      > >
      > > From: "Manny Olds" <oldsma@p...>
      > >
      > > > A lot of the comments on the notes for the Intermediate courses,
      > > > particularly "Gods", seem to boil down to the idea that we
      should be
      > > > (somehow) conveying something about the experience of being a
      god-friend.
      > > >
      > > > Is that a reasonable goal for an Intermediate course?
      > >
      > > Yes. I think it is imperative for each person to feel a
      connection with
      > > some level of spiritual interaction above and beyond just
      discussing it.
      >
      > Whoops. You can have spiritual interaction without taking on
      commitment
      > to a specific god.

      Of course. Did I give the impression that one's spirituality had to
      be somehow associated with a deity? I didn't mean to -- one can find
      a spiritual connection with a stuffed animal, I know I have from my
      youth. I find spiritual connections to friends and family, sometimes
      in the form of dreams, or getting a "good feeling" about a certain
      gift to get for them.

      I suppose the "yes" was unclear; I meant to say that there should be
      some spiritual level in the intermediate course, but I don't really
      agree with the specific idea of being a friend to a given diety.


      > > Now, this does not address the concerns of the "concrete-heads"
      (who, BTW,
      > > are using that for a cover-up to deny their own feelings ;-) )
      who may not
      > > acknowledge spirituality in any context other than a description
      of an
      > > emotion, but YMMV.
      >
      > Hmmm. So do you think that to be "real", spirituality has to
      involve
      > significant psychic phenomena and/or "magic"?

      Not necessarily. For some, sure. Not for me, and probably not for
      you. My experiences have been based on strong emotions and feelings
      which are not common or even likely for me, which could have been
      caused by anything from divine intervention to chemical imbalance,
      for all I know. However, these experiences, to me, were of such a
      nature that I have chosen to interpret them as spiritual interaction
      with either a divine being or something which has a better grasp of
      the supernatural than I do. For some, maybe leaving one's physciiaal
      body and travelling to Hel is that way of doing that thing; for me,
      it's less elaborate and less controllable.


      >The largest local heathen
      > group pretty much takes this position, and I disagree rather
      strongly.
      > And _not_ because I'm a "concrete head" personally; rather the
      reverse
      > in fact, but I find the fancy phenomena often distract from the
      spiritual
      > connection, rather than always enhancing it.

      I didn't mean to inferr that one has to be some fireball-casting mage
      to be heathen, but I do feel one should have some connection more so
      than period garb and a penchant for amber.


      > > >What could we teach about that?
      > >
      > > We could teach ways of getting in touch with them, probbaly lots
      of personal
      > > experience stories, examples, methods, techniques, and big
      flashing "UPG"
      > > signs.
      >
      > This sounds good to me. I think it's important to talk about this
      sort of
      > thing, and give lots of examples with as wide a range as possible.
      >
      > > > How?
      > >
      > > Well, it would take the more touchy-feely of us to write about our
      > > experiences and techniques, and then a solid filtering and
      editing job by
      > > people who think we're batty as Guatemalan caves. I think this
      would get
      > > across the ideas out there.
      >
      > Sounds good.
      > >
      > > I think I just volunteered to write about personal experiences.
      Who wants
      > > to wade through my horsepucky ... er, views?
      >
      > *grin* I don't think you'll find many people who think you are
      batty.
      > This sort of experience is pretty common, though not everyone tries
      > to include it in every blot.

      True. I can't say I have moving feelings every blot, most of it is
      enjoying the company. However, I have had a handful of said moving
      experiences, and they were those things which kind of clued me in
      into the fact that I am heathen.


      '/\` Frith upon your house
      //\\ Karl Donaldsson
      \\// mekboy@...
      `\/' http://www.geocities.com/svalich
      --------------------------------------------
      Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
      Zionsville, Indiana USA
      http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
      ---------------------------------------------
      To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
      ===============================================
      ------> Would you know more, or what? <------
      Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
      ===============================================
    • Manny Olds
      ... Explain this more, please. Don t believe in it? Don t approve of it? Don t think it is desirable? Don t think we should cover it in the course? Manny Olds
      Message 2 of 20 , May 28, 2002
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        On Fri, 24 May 2002, svalich wrote:

        > I suppose the "yes" was unclear; I meant to say that there should be
        > some spiritual level in the intermediate course, but I don't really
        > agree with the specific idea of being a friend to a given diety.

        Explain this more, please. Don't believe in it? Don't approve of it? Don't
        think it is desirable? Don't think we should cover it in the course?


        Manny Olds (oldsma@...) of Riverdale Park, Maryland, USA

        "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not
        become a monster. For when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks
        into you." -- Nietzsche
      • Cyndy
        ... I don t do either garb or amber, and I m only a fireball-casting mage in computer games.... CYndy The truth may very well be out there, but the lies are
        Message 3 of 20 , May 28, 2002
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          On 24 May 2002 at 19:11, svalich wrote:

          > didn't mean to inferr that one has to be some fireball-casting mage
          > to be heathen, but I do feel one should have some connection more so
          > than period garb and a penchant for amber.


          I don't do either garb or amber, and I'm only a fireball-casting mage
          in computer games....

          CYndy



          "The truth may very well be out there, but the lies are
          inside your head."
          -- Terry Pratchett

          Cup of Wonder: http://www.vireopub.org
        • Rick A. Riedlinger
          Hello all, I am finally coming back up to speed and hope to become more active. I think we should stick to examples, lots and lots of examples, when discussing
          Message 4 of 20 , May 29, 2002
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            Hello all,

            I am finally coming back up to speed and hope to become more active.

            I think we should stick to examples, lots and lots of examples, when
            discussing relationships with the gods.

            We might stress that there is no need to be a god-friend immediately or
            ever. Some people are more religious than others. Examples of relationships
            with wights will need to be dealt with hand-in-hand. I have recently run
            into a wide range of beliefs about wights that range from there are wights
            in everything to there are not any in the cities. This may be confusing for
            beginners moving on. It sure as hel is to me.

            Rick
          • Kevin Steffen
            Ok, so if we are going to need lots of examples, which appears to be the concensus, 1) where do we put our two horns worth in, then 2) what sort of peer
            Message 5 of 20 , May 29, 2002
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              Ok, so if we are going to need lots of examples, which appears to be the
              concensus, 1) where do we put our two horns worth in, then 2) what sort
              of peer review, which seems to be the other thing people are agreeing
              on, do we set up for giving the people taking the course an inkling of
              how some of the rest of us feel about the example.

              Night Winds

              Rick A. Riedlinger wrote:

              > Hello all,
              >
              > I am finally coming back up to speed and hope to become more active.
              >
              > I think we should stick to examples, lots and lots of examples, when
              > discussing relationships with the gods.
              >
              > We might stress that there is no need to be a god-friend immediately or
              > ever. Some people are more religious than others. Examples of relationships
              > with wights will need to be dealt with hand-in-hand. I have recently run
              > into a wide range of beliefs about wights that range from there are wights
              > in everything to there are not any in the cities. This may be confusing for
              > beginners moving on. It sure as hel is to me.
              >
              > Rick
              >
              >
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > Asatru-U-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • Karl Donaldsson
              ... Sorry, Manny, it seems the more I speak, the less I say. ;-) I don t think it is essential to an understanding of one s own spirituality to connect with
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 2, 2002
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                > On Fri, 24 May 2002, svalich wrote:
                >
                > > I suppose the "yes" was unclear; I meant to say that there should be
                > > some spiritual level in the intermediate course, but I don't really
                > > agree with the specific idea of being a friend to a given diety.
                >
                > Explain this more, please. Don't believe in it? Don't approve of it? Don't
                > think it is desirable? Don't think we should cover it in the course?

                Sorry, Manny, it seems the more I speak, the less I say. ;-)

                I don't think it is essential to an understanding of one's own spirituality
                to connect with any deity in particular. Yes, it's possible, and even
                likely, but I don't believe it should be "required" for a person to have
                such contact to go through the intermediate course.

                However, we should certainly encourage some spiritual contact with
                pseudo-intangible beings, whether wights, gods, etc. through whatever means
                is necessary or likely. It should not be considered that one is somehow
                "not getting it" if they do not, but they should certainly be able to
                realize that there are, indeed, powers at work beyond the realm of our five
                senses.

                I approve most highly that people seek such contact on their own, and it
                would certainly be instrumental in the acquisition of spiritual "knowledge"
                for the intermediate course, but I speak as one who believes that our gods
                are real, physical, tangible beings. Without getting too much into my own
                views, we know about things like atoms, where we never knew about them
                before. We know about quarks where we did not know of them before. I
                believe it is possible to develop senses to achieve such perceptions.
                Certainly at some point in any mind-altering experience (specifically, I
                recommend hallucinogens), one asks the question -- am I chemically tricking
                my brain into seeing things which are not there; or am I finally seeing
                things as they are for the first time? A similar question will be asked by
                any adherent to a religion, where they are interested in investing time and
                effort for some sort of reward (whether spiritual or otherwise) from said
                effort.

                At some point, a follower of Asatru will ask how to get in touch with the
                gods or weights, and it should be somewhat explainable, and this should be
                present in the intermediate course, as I feel it necessary that an
                individual have such surreal experience to truly recognize what lies before
                them.


                '/\` Frith upon your house
                //\\ Karl Donaldsson
                \\// mekboy@...
                `\/' http://www.geocities.com/svalich
                --------------------------------------------
                Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
                Zionsville, Indiana USA
                http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
                ---------------------------------------------
                To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
                ===============================================
                ------> Would you know more, or what? <------
                Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
                ===============================================
              • Lorrie Wood
                ... And the corollary questions: Is there a useful difference, and if it works, does it matter? -- Lorrie
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 3, 2002
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                  On Sun, Jun 02, 2002 at 08:16:52PM -0500, Karl Donaldsson wrote:
                  >
                  > Certainly at some point in any mind-altering experience (specifically, I
                  > recommend hallucinogens), one asks the question -- am I chemically tricking
                  > my brain into seeing things which are not there; or am I finally seeing
                  > things as they are for the first time? A similar question will be asked by
                  > any adherent to a religion, where they are interested in investing time and
                  > effort for some sort of reward (whether spiritual or otherwise) from said
                  > effort.

                  And the corollary questions: Is there a useful difference, and if
                  it works, does it matter?

                  -- Lorrie
                • Karl Donaldsson
                  From: Lorrie Wood ... tricking ... by ... and ... said ... Well, some realists seem to believe there is a difference between fooling
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 3, 2002
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                    From: "Lorrie Wood" <lwood@...>


                    > On Sun, Jun 02, 2002 at 08:16:52PM -0500, Karl Donaldsson wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Certainly at some point in any mind-altering experience (specifically, I
                    > > recommend hallucinogens), one asks the question -- am I chemically
                    tricking
                    > > my brain into seeing things which are not there; or am I finally seeing
                    > > things as they are for the first time? A similar question will be asked
                    by
                    > > any adherent to a religion, where they are interested in investing time
                    and
                    > > effort for some sort of reward (whether spiritual or otherwise) from
                    said
                    > > effort.
                    >
                    > And the corollary questions: Is there a useful difference, and if
                    > it works, does it matter?

                    Well, some realists seem to believe there is a difference between fooling
                    oneself and actually perceiving something which others cannot. There is
                    only a difference, I think, if one chooses to recognize one, and that
                    difference may be important to a given individual. We may run into this
                    with the Intermediate Course, by some folks feeling they're not making such
                    a spiritual connection, because they can't believe it can be made. Then the
                    question of "is it possible" becomes more consuming than " can I do it."
                    For example, a man of my proportions is ill-suited to climb a free-hanging
                    rope. I still say it's not impossible, because as I become the Happy
                    Not-Nearly-So-Fat-As-I-Was-Before Guy, the task becomes more approachable.
                    Some fellows of my dimensions might consider the task impossible, without
                    even considering that, with the right training, the task is not only
                    possible, but likely to achieve. I don't how to make people realize the
                    step from possibility to likelihood, but I feel that the Intermediate course
                    should have, for each individual, that specific goal rolling around in the
                    back of one's mind.

                    It only matters how it works, again, to the individual. If one can only
                    contact the deities or wights or what-have-you via some hallucinogenic
                    delirium, they might then, (logically!) conclude that it's the stuff making
                    the connection, not them, without ever realizing that the substance in
                    question is actually just attenuating something they choose to perceive in
                    the first place. I think meditations, chants, trances, hypnosis, and so
                    forth seem to be more useful in this regard, since one might feel that they
                    are more in control of the situation than might otherwise be experienced via
                    chemical stimuli. Such meditations remove the possibility that some
                    external force is at work on their senses, when, in fact, the same chemical
                    changes in the body and brain are, in many cases, identical. I choose such
                    an example as myself since I have never had any success using meditations or
                    hypnosis (perhaps a lack of training, and skill are my culprit), and I had
                    some contact with certain substances before getting into heathenry. Now I
                    find my spiritual contacts are established, and that I have no need for any
                    substance to achieve what might be considered supernatural awareness to
                    certain things. Kind of like taking the training wheels off the bike. I
                    believe others find equal success from meditation, chanting, trances, and
                    hypnosis (or even other mental conditioning) without the need to resort to
                    using chemical substances. The good news seems to be that there is some
                    level of documentation in the lore which seems to support both takes on
                    opening doors of perception.

                    So, in summary, it only matters if the individual makes it matter. We throw
                    up more walls and obstacles for ourselves than any one, or every one, could
                    possibly put before us.


                    <soapbox>
                    As a society, we are generally trained to conform, as we are easier to
                    control. When one realizes that he has no master other than himself, and he
                    has no obstacles other than the one he places for himself, then the
                    connections may be made that are out of the realm of consideration. It took
                    some time to convince people that we revolved about the sun, and that the
                    Earth was not flat, mostly by people who had to open themselves up to the
                    idea that what they thought they knew to be true could, in fact, be
                    completely bollocks. I believe this is the hurdle which we of non-heathen
                    upbringing face, a hurdle which, hopefully, is decimated by successful
                    completion of the Beginner's course.
                    </soapbox>

                    Sorry for the long post.


                    '/\` Frith upon your house
                    //\\ Karl Donaldsson
                    \\// mekboy@...
                    `\/' http://www.geocities.com/svalich
                    --------------------------------------------
                    Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
                    Zionsville, Indiana USA
                    http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
                    ---------------------------------------------
                    To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
                    ===============================================
                    ------> Would you know more, or what? <------
                    Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
                    ===============================================
                  • Kevin Steffen
                    Karl Donaldsson wrote: Much snipped...but aside as a youngster I too had said problem climbing rope until I took off my shoes and wrapped toes around rope and
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 4, 2002
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                      Karl Donaldsson wrote:

                      Much snipped...but aside as a youngster I too had said problem climbing rope until I took

                      off my shoes and wrapped toes around rope and went up hand over foot. :)

                      This next part is so good it ought to be the intro for the intermediate
                      course.


                      >
                      > <soapbox>
                      > As a society, we are generally trained to conform, as we are easier to
                      > control. When one realizes that he has no master other than himself, and he
                      > has no obstacles other than the one he places for himself, then the
                      > connections may be made that are out of the realm of consideration. It took
                      > some time to convince people that we revolved about the sun, and that the
                      > Earth was not flat, mostly by people who had to open themselves up to the
                      > idea that what they thought they knew to be true could, in fact, be
                      > completely bollocks. I believe this is the hurdle which we of non-heathen
                      > upbringing face, a hurdle which, hopefully, is decimated by successful
                      > completion of the Beginner's course.
                      > </soapbox>
                      >
                      > Sorry for the long post.
                      >
                      >


                      Wassail!

                      Night Winds
                    • tsdoughty@aol.com
                      In a message dated 6/3/02 11:53:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... In this instance and for you as a learner, who would be more effective in helping you achieve
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 4, 2002
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                        In a message dated 6/3/02 11:53:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                        mekboy@... writes:


                        > For example, a man of my proportions is ill-suited to climb a free-hanging
                        > rope. I still say it's not impossible, because as I become the Happy
                        > Not-Nearly-So-Fat-As-I-Was-Before Guy, the task becomes more approachable.
                        > Some fellows of my dimensions might consider the task impossible, without
                        > even considering that, with the right training, the task is not only
                        > possible, but likely to achieve. I don't how to make people realize the
                        > step from possibility to likelihood, but I feel that the Intermediate
                        > course
                        > should have, for each individual, that specific goal rolling around in the
                        > back of one's mind.
                        >

                        In this instance and for you as a learner, who would be more effective in
                        helping you achieve that: someone who has always been trim, in-shape, and
                        who can climb the rope with one hand while smoking a cigarette with the
                        other, or someone who him/herself once worked through the weight obstacle?
                        Would it make a difference?

                        Tim


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • svalich
                        ... free-hanging ... Happy ... approachable. ... without ... only ... realize the ... Intermediate ... around in the ... effective in ... shape, and ... the
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 4, 2002
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                          --- In Asatru-U@y..., tsdoughty@a... wrote:
                          > In a message dated 6/3/02 11:53:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                          > mekboy@h... writes:
                          >
                          >
                          > > For example, a man of my proportions is ill-suited to climb a
                          free-hanging
                          > > rope. I still say it's not impossible, because as I become the
                          Happy
                          > > Not-Nearly-So-Fat-As-I-Was-Before Guy, the task becomes more
                          approachable.
                          > > Some fellows of my dimensions might consider the task impossible,
                          without
                          > > even considering that, with the right training, the task is not
                          only
                          > > possible, but likely to achieve. I don't how to make people
                          realize the
                          > > step from possibility to likelihood, but I feel that the
                          Intermediate
                          > > course
                          > > should have, for each individual, that specific goal rolling
                          around in the
                          > > back of one's mind.
                          > >
                          >
                          > In this instance and for you as a learner, who would be more
                          effective in
                          > helping you achieve that: someone who has always been trim, in-
                          shape, and
                          > who can climb the rope with one hand while smoking a cigarette with
                          the
                          > other, or someone who him/herself once worked through the weight
                          obstacle?
                          > Would it make a difference?

                          Now, that's a very interesting question.

                          My wife has recently joined Weight Watchers (and, by practice, I have
                          as well). We call it the "Food Police". Interestingly enough,
                          there's not 12-step program to cure food addicts, which is
                          interesting to note, since these work somewhat poorly, statistically,
                          for addicts of other substances. Regardless of this, my wife cringed
                          to hear the leader of th meetings there lost a whole 17 lbs. and has,
                          to everyone's shock and amazement, kept it off for three whole
                          years.

                          Those of us who need to lose like an entire human's worth look at
                          twinkies like that and know that losing 17 lbs when you're 325 can be
                          achieved in about three weeks of not having breakfast. The key is
                          not putting it back on. I think, for the first time, that this
                          program (even led by people who've never worn anything over a size 12
                          or even had to shop mail-order for clothes) is something that can be
                          stuck to, easily, and incorporated as a life-change.

                          Back to the substance-use analogy, one can experience the
                          supernatural with some conditions and substances. However, to achive
                          some level of supernatural awareness, one must be able to do it
                          without such aids. By the same token, I must be able to re-form my
                          views on food and what I allow my arms to convey to the mouth before
                          I can consider it a life change rather than a diet.

                          This takes some measure of mental foritude, force of will, and the
                          like to achieve, something a "diet" neither mandates nor requires,
                          which is why I imagine the long-term success rate of dieting is
                          equivalent to the long-term success rate of a 12-step program. We
                          dont' want to present Asatru as some sort of 12-step program, but
                          rather, a life-change. This is what makes is valuable and useful,
                          when you incorporate it into your life.

                          As an aside, and since you're asking (Tim gets all the too personal
                          info from me, darling), when I started looking into Asatru, my
                          somewhat Christian wife felt that I would "get over" Asatru, like it
                          was just a "phase." Well, I didn't look at it like it was something
                          new to try, but rather, something that was what I was looking for my
                          entire life. You have to want to change, and it has to be something
                          you're changing to that you have convinced yourself your life will be
                          better when you do make that change. It was, I did, and it has.

                          OK, having said that, back to your question:
                          It most certainly makes a difference to any person doing any thing
                          new to have the views and thoughts of someone who has made that
                          change themselves. There will always be people new to Asatru, but we
                          (collectively) will probably start having some kids now who have
                          never known anything but Asatru. I'd rather have someone climb up
                          that rope, look back at me, and say, "I couldn't do that 2 years
                          ago." I think the meat of the Intermediate course could come,
                          actually, from various personal accounts, rather than from
                          references, citations, and quotes. But, I realize this view is
                          colored by my own personal expereinces, and I wouldn't want to impose
                          such as a requirement for the course, unless there is a concesnus
                          that there is no better way.

                          Each of us has had some life-altering expereicne, where we are now
                          not what once we were. This could be massive weight loss which
                          turned into running marathons, coming out, or getting a higher
                          education. I don't think you'd've valued comments from a het like me
                          for What Now, and it only makes sense for me to look at other folks
                          who've lost weight to see how they've done it. You see the kids in
                          the StriDex ads, like they ever had a zit. You see the ladies int eh
                          cosmetics commecials, like they've ever had wrinkles. It just makse
                          sense for folks like us who've been in the place where they've been
                          to be giving our views on what to do next, since we came from non-
                          heathen upbringing.

                          Our services in this regard should be available, whether int he form
                          of personal accounts, e-mail, and the like. I'd like to think you're
                          one person who I've been able to offer at least one useful word of
                          advice, making all the other words of mine you've waded through worth
                          the effort. ;-)

                          I really beleive it makes a difference to me, and I think the
                          assumption that it makes a difference to others that I was then where
                          they are now is a valid assumption of some number of specifica
                          cases. Perhaps there are those out there who need not such role
                          models or the like, and hooray for them, but I ain't one of them.

                          Overcoming adversity has little to do with solving a problem or
                          choosing a correct path -- it has everything to do with realizing
                          adversity is something that you, alone, have created. Pointing the
                          finger at others or other things for one's own problems will not
                          eliminate the problem, nor provide solutions. Recognizing a problem
                          in the first place (the only step I agree with of a 12-step program)
                          is the key to the door. Overcoming the problem that you realize
                          you've created is the opening of the door. All, then, that remains,
                          is walking through it.

                          Perhaps this analogy would be the same for Beginner, Intermediate,
                          and Advanced courses? The Key, the Door, and the Path Beyond?


                          '/\` Frith upon your house
                          //\\ Karl Donaldsson
                          \\// mekboy@...
                          `\/' http://www.geocities.com/svalich
                          --------------------------------------------
                          Member of the Kindred of Ravenswood
                          Zionsville, Indiana USA
                          http://www.iquest.net/~chaviland/Rindex.html
                          ---------------------------------------------
                          To Vali! To Vengeance! To Honor! To Kin!
                          ===============================================
                          ------> Would you know more, or what? <------
                          Get Asatru education at http://www.asatru-u.org
                          ===============================================
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