Making Deals With Yourself

Have you ever noticed the difference in your attitude between the success of your favorite team and the success of your neighbor? Pay close attention to your thought process, are you jealous or envious or do you find admiration and an urge to cheer them on.  We find it all too easy when it comes time to cheer on our football team, yet when it comes to the guy next to us it seems to be a little more difficult.  There is really no difference in the fact that both are just people, the members of the team and the guy working next to you. Yet one will allow you to enjoy a vicarious experience which will feed your ego; that is you feel that people will think more of you because you have picked a winner. The feeling that you are a part of winning team even though you’ve done none of the hard work necessary to ensure victory is a powerful source of energy for the ego. Whereas on the other hand if the guy you work with or your neighbor has decided to put forth the effort to move forward in this world it could very well point out a certain hesitancy on your part to actually put in the hard work necessary to advance.  Feelings of inadequacy, resentment, jealousy and downright anger towards others begin to take shape in your mind.  As you hide it behind a polite smile the ego is working tirelessly to find some way make sure those feelings go away. We begin to make deals with ourselves to justify what is going on around us. And just like Loki we begin to engage in gossip and character assassination, the majority of which occurs in our own mind and it allows us to feel a little better for a minute until the confusion goes away.  So maybe we ought to consider a way in which we might set aside those silly notions which Loki so perfectly displays as the actions of our own egos if they were unimpeded.  These are the people who end up walking around talking to themselves or creating fake social media profiles to make fun of other people.  We are better than that.

For the rest of us regular folk (whatever that may be) we’ve got to start first with a courageous and honest examination of this thinking process before it is fully entrenched in our societal conditioning. Once we become aware of this nasty little thought process it would behoove us to stop and make an honest assessment of what is truly going on.  What is it we are afraid people will think if we don’t get that promotion or that raise or don’t live in a house like everyone else?  What deals are we going to make with ourselves to justify everyone else’s perception of all this?

First of all we need to be aware that it is even going on. The instant that you can perceive this thought process occurring, try and stop it, you’ll find out just how difficult it can be. The realization of how powerful the egoic thinking process in your life really is can be somewhat unsettling. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying.  There is a reason the alcoholics tell newcomers and old-timers alike to let go and let god, though in Asatru these things are now our responsibility. Asatru reminds us that we are our deeds and that includes the thoughts which drive those actions.

Still we need that moment to take a good look at why this is happening and more importantly what difference does it make.  We have been conditioned since birth to act in this manner, little babies are taught fear and this world has done a fantastic job of teaching us to fear what other people might think of us.  We have learned to fear things which haven’t even truly happened. And we are constantly making deals with ourselves so we can minimize the impact of what we think might happen. The great “what if” has assumed a place on the altar of worship and it rules our life on a daily basis. There is no freedom in this attitude. We have to begin to implement an honest approach to everything which is happening around us at this very moment; not yesterday or next week, but right now.  Right now is all we truly have to work with.

Taking a minute to diagnose our own skewed thinking patterns will allow us to utilize this moment as more than a means to an end for the next moment. It will allow us to open the doors of realization and perhaps even a certain degree of enlightenment. If we can be honest and courageous about it; we will find that we are already in possession of everything we have needed to thrive and survive the environment in which we may find ourselves. It was within us right from the very beginning.  The confidence bred within the individual that stems from a positive thought process can stem the tide of the constant barter process.  As soon as we realize that we are robbing Peter to pay Paul; so to speak, in order to stave off what we think might happen we can stop it.  And just like that there is one less thing to deal with.

We’ve all seen people who are just entirely too uptight and concerned about so many things.  Mostly we have made fun of them because we can or we pity them because we are able, but the same process is going on in each of our heads to a greater or lesser degree. These types of folks are completely caught up in forecasting. They are making assumptions about the worst which can happen should anyone pierce the carefully crafted façade with which they operate in society. There are some whose conditioning is so thorough that they will never crack. Others may do so dramatically.  But all of us do it. We trade our time for someone else’s dollars to pay so we may live comfortably on the planet upon which we were born. As you begin to work on these concepts; you will begin to see them and see through them.  You will also notice that they are constantly making sacrifices.  You’ve got to determine just what exactly is acceptable in your life.

Even though I am aware of these concepts, I do them on a daily basis.  I make a conscious decision to handle certain things which will take me away from what I feel should be far more important in my life.  Most recently I saw a man stand up and put it into action.  During our outage season we handle major projects for power plants. The work is demanding and requires a certain amount of labor intensive skill.  There was a need for another welder, so the company hired one in and he drove from Florida. By noon; the scope of the project had taken hold in his mind and he approached me.  He simply stated that the work he was doing is not what he paid money to learn and was somewhat different than what he expected. He told me he had no interest whatsoever in the work at hand, loaded his toolbox and left.  Most of the men made fun of him and called him names. Yet I found that I had a certain amount of respect for him.  He had a standard he expected in his life and he did not compromise it.  He also didn’t care what anyone else had to say about it. He did not lower his standards and places himself in a situation he truly hated to please anyone.  I watched the other men, who are good men, use slurs and character assassination to pump themselves up and justify their continued presence in a place they hated just as much.  The guy who left had an education. Everybody else had bartered themselves into a position where they had to be there. We do it in the physical world we live in as well as the realm of the mind and the heart.

Take a look at anyone who is going through a divorce.  There is a downtrodden aspect to their being as the ego fervently works a way to figure out how to build itself back up again following such a brutal let down.  Maybe they brought it on themselves to foster an even more powerful victim mentality. Who knows, suffice it to say this is going on around us all over the world, along your street and where you work. The happy go lucky man/woman is replaced with an individual struggling to make sense of it all and at the same time desperately wishing all of those thoughts; some of them given to us as children, would just go away.  They may be filled with regret about the past and thoroughly concerned about how to make it through tomorrow.  While this is the type of moment which has been known to bring people to a new faith such as Asatru, it has also been known to allow people to change their faith yet again instead of grow through the ordeal.  What is crucial about the situation and the constant regret or forecasting which is going on is that they both take us out of this moment. It is only in this moment that you can make the decision that you are ok.

Divorce is but one example of us finding that poison which I wrote about in the last chapter in our face. A complete list of the suffering humanity brings upon itself because of its tilted thinking process and the deals we make with ourselves, based upon assumptions of how the other person should act because “I feel this way” is far beyond the scope of this book. Our job here is to become aware that it is going on at all.  I strongly believe that given the nature of how so many Asatruars have arrived; we have what amounts to a leg up on the rest of the world. We have the chance to begin acting instead of reacting to what is going on around us. We have what it takes to witness the worldwide experiment of the Odinic force and act upon it to further our development instead of being destroyed by it once we are caught up in its wake. It is going to require we become aware of the deals we make with ourselves with regards to our relationships, the decisions we make which affect our families, tribes and kindred’s, and the ideas we choose to foster in our own heads. How are we going to do away with sometimes decades of conditioning designed to help us be productive members of society?  More importantly just what will society begin to think of us when we begin en masse to quit playing a very sick game?  I will tell you this; it will require that those of us which do stand up to try and lead the way had best be above reproach and powerful examples of the positive aspects of a world changing ideology.

I think the strength of Asatru should come from the development of the individual to such a point that the quality of their heathenry can be determined by far different criteria than ones which have been placed upon us. At some point we simply must divest ourselves of the shock value we ascribe to being right with regards to a contentious point of view. It is a deal we are making with ourselves so that the people in Asatru we heretofore have respected might think more of us. But is this bargain allowing for our progression spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Our obligation in adopting our ancestral faith is not to deny others or reinvent Christianity, but to set an example that every culture has its own vibrant and powerful avenue to the development of the being which they should explore and the reasons why. I think that until we have done so we will not be able to stand next to other cultures as equals and move all of humanity forward to the next stage of its evolution. The making of deals with ourselves to demonstrate that we might be worth more to someone else in Asatru has been quite a hindrance.

Each culture had at one time the knowledge to build pyramids and complex structures able to track the heavens and our own movement through it. Both physically and spiritually. Monotheism has done more damage to the world by erasing that idea than anything else. Asatru is being denied the room to develop the individual because other people are setting the determination of its quality by its adherent’s personal views. We are allowing that by continually making deals. No one does that for Baptists, Mormons or Catholics. It is a trap which has allowed society to place us on a shelf and be ignored no matter the quality of our growth. People are confusing the righteous indignation of the uni vs folkish argument and mistaking it for spirituality. It is an argument which seduces us into old thinking patterns based upon the fear that someone will take something from us. That after all of our hard work, perhaps we will not be as valued as we feel we should be.  Again; at this intersection, we are obligated to be firing on all cylinders so to speak and not lash out with some ridiculous response. Everything we are and that for which we stand is being judged.  Whether or not they are qualified to judge us is irrelevant; it is the tyranny of the status quo we have decided to fight against. That means setting such an example of balance and understanding it is worthy of remark and above reproach.  It also means that we can desist from making deals with ourselves and stand upon solid principle. Developing our individual beings in to powerful examples of success leaves little room for the “poor me” syndrome. It may also imbue us with the type of disarming confidence necessary to reassure other people that we are not here to lead by fear of intimidation or that we will remove from you the opportunity to ascend into whatever it is you wish to be, we are here to set an example.

Asatru gives us the example that these and many more of life’s situations may be dealt with in a positive manner. When we can begin to take the value of the minute we live in seriously and begin to look inside ourselves; there awaits for us the discovery which represents more than just a toehold in the realm of the divine.  After all; once we’ve begun to be aware of thought patterns which have crippled us for such a long time, it serves to reinforce the idea that we really do have what it takes.  Stop, take a minute and think, observe what is going on in your mind and put a stop to it.  It may even be as simple as setting aside a time to meditate.  Let’s say you begin by meditating or even trying to galdr a rune. Start with Fehu, thinking about the wealth it represents, for 5, 10 or 20 minutes every day, things are going to change for you.  You may very well begin to be able to think clearly about this faith instead of reacting to it based upon negative imaging we ourselves have placed upon the world.  Use positive words, lose the fear of encouraging other people who are going to go a lot further in this world than you may, build people up with your words and in doing so you will find them building you up as well. Words are some of the most powerful things we use on a minute to minute basis. Whenever we launch something out there it has an effect, not only on whom it may be directed at but on us as well.  We have learned how to do it by example.  Think about it. Stopping that learned behavior and all the negative effects it’s been having on us for just a little while; will do something for you.

You may purchase Understanding Asatru here

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