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Re: [Asatru-U] Re: Teaching gods

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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