Once we have crossed over the societal boundary of monotheistic faith, we are vulnerable. More accurately, our ego is vulnerable. We have risked exposure to ridicule in sacrificing the standard manner of living so many other people seem to enjoy. While we are firmly convinced that this move was entirely necessary for any number of reasons; we may find ourselves with a dictionary of reasons to justify it to others, preserve our ego, and fail to convince anyone of our sincerity or legitimacy.
Obviously, my first instinct is to point out that our ego isn’t necessarily worth preserving. The best outcome to this situation would be to rid ourselves of this encumberment to any kind of personal development. But as I have pointed out, most folks will simply find a new cause to reincarnate their ego. Albeit with a different name, a new personality, but the negative emotions will continue to feed that inside of us which desires to keep us wrapped up in the illusion of forms. The cycle of wanting more persists. By that I mean the majority of our pain comes from wanting that which we cannot have. Those temporary forms, and all forms are temporary, which we have associated with making us seem “more than” or “better than” the next guy. The carrot on the stick leading us further and further away from any measure of meaning.
This is where Odin shows us the way. Anyone who has ever been through any kind of struggle in life has no difficulty in recognizing what his journey is all about. Though this is contingent on how honest a person is capable of being with themselves. So it is presented in several different ways in our lore. Thor’s development of wisdom has been pointed out. Freyr’s transition from warrior to lover and protector of his household was outlined in Spiritual Journey of a Woman. Heimdall, Tyr, Baldur and Skahdi all have stories about the development of the stages of their life. I have written about each of them in turn.
They have outlined how we might step above and away from where we might have originated. But for the Ruler of Asgard, the Possessor of Gungnir and Rider of Sleipnir, the journey is a constant one. Leading us into the most esoteric ideals we might be capable of imagining. We are going to journey beyond the limitations inherent in the fallacy of complete identification with the temporary forms of this great illusory state of being we refer to as life.
In the beginning…just kidding, but it sounded good. Most people believe they have a good grasp on who they are. If someone asks you “Who are you?” chances are you will reply with your name and you will envision everything which goes along with that. Your job, family, how you grew up, education level so on and so forth. The filters of your being fall into place as you present yourself to someone you’ve just met. None of it is really who you are. These are just the labels people can understand. Labels you yourself can also understand and relate to the world through them. Those filters work both ways. The world sees you through the same lens you see the world. But those pesky reflections of the huge egos we see in other people, are actually reflections of ourselves,
These give us a lot of trouble. Pain or ego, it makes no difference, we are going to pick up on that in other people and they in us. I find it amazing that people believe they might just change the name of a thing or two in their life and call it good because they aren’t feeling any pain at the moment. We may even be at the top of our game, so to speak, and there is still some kind of feeling which leaves us feeling a little incomplete. The world tells us that all we need is some kind of fantastic “thing” to make us feel better.
That “thing” might come in a clear understanding of how you were raised or the issues of your various relationships. Perhaps that knowledge might do the trick. The luster of all these accumulated trinkets no longer shine as they once did. But now you’ve got some insight into how these filters really work. With your new-found self-knowledge, you might actually be in control again. In control of what? The outcome of tomorrow? The results of yesterday? More people than we might imagine find themselves as confused as ever when their knowledge of self fails to provide the relief they imagined it would.
This goes back to the depths of how effectively we have been conditioned. We will still find ourselves falling back on the things we have seen our mothers or fathers use to deal with their lot in life. While we may have thrown in some radical ideas concerning spirituality, our thinking processes will still be largely the same. It’s why we see so many heathens believing that this or that god is going to do something for us. That the courage and strength we expect to be ours when we become Asatru (as if it is a default setting for our being) will automatically grant us a superior status to the events occurring around us. Let something go wrong and see if you do not automatically fall back on how we were conditioned as children. Mommy or daddy will make it alright. The heavenly all-father will handle this for us. They will take away whatever pain it is we might be feeling. We once again become obsessed that some “form” has been taken away from us.
Just like a child whose attachment to a toy is associated with happiness. The loss of that toy causes confusion and unhappiness. As adults, when we fear the loss or the actual loss of a form dear to us; we don’t know what to do. Be it money in the bank, a job which gives our lives meaning, a partner who completes us or a child who is precious to us we almost immediately lose track of the idea that none if reduces, changes or mitigates one iota of your being. Yet we will behave for all the world to see that we believe it does. Our adoption of high minded spiritual concepts may not have been as complete as we had hoped they were. Look at the words I used to describe our associations. Every one of them is a standard train of thought for most people. Yet they are anathema to everything I’ve written in this book. The old conditioning comes roaring back into our lives. We are once again living in a reactionary state of emotional being. We thought we knew ourselves better than that. Now what?
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