The Pagan Pulpit – Easter Recess

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements:

No Service today.  I saw someone taking the day off for Good Friday and said to myself “Great idea – a day off for a holiday”, so I am taking my first Easter off pontificating in probably twenty years.   Peace.  Enjoy the chocolate eggs and sugar rabbits.  If you want to know more about the real deeper stuff behind Easter and this time of year, stay tuned this week for Odin’s Eye on Thor’s Day.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Skald Tales and Poems – Poem – “Salt in My Wound”

Poem: “Salt in My Wounds” by Edward W, Raby, Sr. – Written April 13, 2019

 

Once you were the spice of my life,

You kept me from spoiling

You were the flavor I needed

You made life less plain

 

Then you left me

laying in a pool of my own blood.

Leaving a wound

a void from your knife

 

Now memories of you are salty

Burning as they are applied to the scar

Salt in my wound

Preserving the regret and the pain.

 

– Ed Raby – April 13, 2019 –

 

Commentary:

Without a doubt this was the easiest poem I have ever written.  At least as far as time and feeling are concerned. Took me literally just five minutes.  Even more striking is how little over the last week I have edited it.

Miss Salty, as I called her, helped me through a lot.  She is definitely wiser and smarter than her years would say.  But this whole thing in reflection was a doomed voyage like the Titanic. Right now memories of this whole thing are bitter-sweet. Salty like she was.  They hurt and yet I hope they bring about some cleansing like salt removing infection.

This poem is very much about love lost.   Regrets that are repeated over and over, and so the sting of memory is there every time. I originally thought I would add another verse but then I am trying to experiment in letting my experiences and feeling resonate with others, so another verse might make things too specific.  The reader can fill in their own lines of regrets and their own pain.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Rabyd Skald – Weekend Musings and Writing Plans

Happy Saturn’s Day

By way of announcements:

  1. There will be no Crossing Bifrost today as I am very much near the end of the semester and I am trying to complete some extra work for school plus get my Routines back on track.  Possible finish off another class’ work today.  For the same reason and as a gesture of respect to the Christians out there doing their Easter celebrations, there will be no Pagan Pulpit this Sun’s Day either.  I have said my piece on Thor’s Day about the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth in my post on the subject.
  2. What will happen is this post on some writing plans today as well as some other wandering thoughts.  Tomorrow on Sun’s Day I will post the next installment of Rogue Wizard.  I also plan on canonizing a poem I wrote last week sometime this weekend as well.

Well, time for a few musings and wandering thoughts.

This is the first Easter season where I honestly can say I haven’t been stressed out.  I am no longer a minister so I am not preparing a message or getting a service ready.  I have to work at my job, probably because all the Christians asked for the day off, but I am good with that. I actually have more peace about it than anything else.  I just wonder if I will be working alone.

I am hopefully going to get my first walk in of the season today.  I have been waiting for a sunny day that is above 50 degrees and so today may be the first hike of the wandering skald. Hiking is a real spiritual thing for me and I am looking forward to the walk.  After that as long as it is above 45 degrees walking will take place.

The Grey has been thankfully very light right now. It is more of a dull boring sensation than depression.  More of an annoyance than anything else. I guess part of that is I have come to look at my memories of this time last year as more of a challenge o picking out the good and discarding the bad.  That will be far more difficult this summer, but right now it isn’t that hard.

Writing plans:

Part of getting back on track with all my routines is setting my writing goals.  Most notably my goals for my novel and my non-fiction book. I think I have narrowed things down a bit.

For my non-fiction book I am going to do something involving the Bible and Skepticism.  My former Christian friends might not like it but I am thinking of doing a harmony of the gospels from a skeptics point of view.  I guess announcing this at Easter is fitting in some ways as it marks a turn of thought for me.  The book will be more designed for the popular press written in something that anyone with a basic education can understand but I may do another version that is scholarly first then rewrite it for publication.

For my novel, I am going to go pure fantasy.  I had an idea a long time ago of five friends who after growing up together in a small medieval fantasy city decide to take up adventuring together in an old blog that is now deleted.  I am thinking though it might make a good novel.  It is the kind of story I would like to read so it should be fun to write.

Here on this blog I am moving slowly forward with Rogue Wizard.  I must say that The Grey Wayfarer series is not so much halted as it is me taking some time to continue my research into Norse mythology before I continue with it.  That series is more about quality than quantity. I am therefore taking a lot more time with it. Rogue Wizard on the other hand is placing myself into situations as the main character is basically me on a divergent timeline. This makes it easier to write.  I have noted since I decided to engage my memories instead of avoid them, I have found it easier to write in general.  Sill need a new muse, but I will find her somewhere I am sure.

Enjoy your weekend, there should be a Poem and A Story somewhere for you.  This week coming up I will be talking about the Pagan Holiday Walpurgis on Odin’s Eye.  This is the May Eve celebrations.  So for you pagan’s out there do not fear, we will get past this to our own stuff.

As a final announcement, on Thursday I passed 200 days straight blogging.  With this post today it will be 202.  So I have 163 days to go for a whole year.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

 

A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues – INFJ and Wisdom

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day

Journal Entry:

At 1.5% of the population, we INFJs are the rarest personality type of the 16 identified by Myers-Briggs. We know it too. We feel unique because it is clear what motivates us is to not be like everybody else.  It is no accident that my personality gravitates to something like the Nine Noble Virtues and living a life that is higher and deeper based on them.  Words like Discipline, Perseverance and Fidelity as far as my self concept mean a lot more to me, than they might to others.  All of these virtues have one powerful thing behind them – they are the wise way to handle myself in the midst of this world.  Stay disciplined, keep getting up and stay faithful to the people who have shown themselves faithful to you is simply the wisest way to live for me.

At this point, I have to mention how much from last year to this my personality changed.  Not that I moved to INFJ from something else, but rather how much stronger it is. I mentioned before my Introverted score increased from 75% to 94%.  From an understanding of myself point of view the other three also all became stronger as well.  I got burned, because I trusted my logic a little too much about people instead of my intuition, so I follow my gut more now with a higher N score 64% to 76%.  I have a higher emphasis on love being mutual happiness, so I am much more focused on feelings being important.  F score goes from 58% to 63%  I used to point out how close my J score was to becoming P, but not anymore as it has gone from 51% to 78%.

This is the most significant change.  I might reflect this in the statement – “I don’t trust words or even actions anymore – I judge patterns and results.” I look at the end result and the patterns of behavior and trust my judgment of them more than just the surface words and actions anymore.  In short, I am much more cautious about relationships than ever and I am far more focused on stuff that really means something and my own happiness.

The suggested strategy for my living with this personality is to walk in confident individualism and realize that my role in any group is to be the diplomat.  I would say that is a fairly accurate way to live – a wise way to live.

Discipline:

“Discipline is the willingness to be hard on oneself first and then if needed help with the development with others, so that greater purposes may be achieved.”

Principle: Apply discipline to every aspect of life that it can be applied.

Goal: To follow A FULL Paleo Diet Plan from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April Fools Day, April 1st, 2020.

Discipline is something I cling to as an INFJ. Having a plan of self-improvement is just a natural thing to me.  If I have to watch anything, it is when I do achieve something the satisfaction from that does not last very long.  I am asking what is next very quickly.  I need to learn to celebrate achievements a little more.

Perseverance:

“Perseverance is the ability to stand up and return from defeat and failure”

Principle: Keep getting up after every defeat or failure.

Goal: To engage in an exercise program that involves weightlifting, hiking/walking and stretching/ yoga an average of three days a week from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: To get at least one tattoo by March 18th, 2020.

INFJ people just keep going, Mostly because we don’t really ‘need’ people but we do. I know that seems contradictory, but my personality is such that I can live without people and so when they leave me or abandon me or hurt me, I keep going.  That said, I can’t go forever without someone ‘getting me’,  It makes me slow down and it also leaves me vulnerable. Vulnerability that I can’t see but does build up until I will, without much thought, gravitate toward a person who does ‘get me’ regardless of consequences.

Fidelity: 

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s Gods and Goddesses, to one’s Folk, to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends was as valued as highly as loyalty to one’s family.”

Principle: Be loyal to those who have been loyal to me.

Goal: Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation

Bucket List: Discover all the countries of origin from my genetics and visit them all by March 18th, 2029.

This vulnerability became really apparent to me last year at this very time of year, although I would not at that time have identified it as such.  There was a young woman who ‘got me’ at a time of my life where I felt no one really did, not even those closest to me in both family and friends seemed to get me, just her. My personality was really excited about this person because they got me. I started to love and gravitate toward this person because of it.  I didn’t really care about much else. I didn’t’ really identify at the time the danger because I didn’t feel it was a bad thing because my need for this had gotten so high.

In the area fidelity, I struggle because I can go long periods without people in my life, but at the same time something inside is crying out to be understood and it slowly gets louder until it is screaming. The problem then is fidelity and even other virtues and their importance diminish in order to meet this need and it is such a strong need I don’t care about too much else.

I still have a hole in my life since Miss Salty’s departure but it isn’t about the romantic side of that relationship at all.  I have that with my wife right now.  It’s the simple thing of she ‘got me’ completely. Saw through the bullshit of the hard calm exterior and reached out to me as a friend and that meant a lot to me..  That was worth its weight in gold to someone with my personality. It is so rare though and I wonder if I will ever have that again.  At the same time I wonder if I even want it to happen again, because my fidelity with other people becomes a struggle when such a relationship appears in my life.  It tends to be all-encompassing because it is so rare to me.

To combat this, I make sure my wife and I tell each other we love each other now.  We make a point of it to tell each other in not just words but actions.  The problem remains in that I am not sure right now even with her, if she truly ‘gets me’ all the time. She is however more mindful of it and checks on my much more than she did which I appreciate so much.  Also, I am much more mindful of my need here and try to deal with it better.  What I need probably is more friends that can each fill a part of that hole. But that Introvert score is so large now thanks to this last year, and as such I am always being a skeptic when someone says their my friend or want to be my friend.  I really only have two friends I trust anymore completely and one of them is my wife.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom: 

I am all about making wise choices now, but in wisdom I also see there are not ‘black and white’ answers.  Only different levels of grey that I must navigate to find the best course. With Discipline I stay focused on my goals and try to be better every day.  With Perseverance I keep going because there is little wisdom in dwelling on defeats and failures.  Keeping a small circle and staying true to those who have been true to me is my fidelity motto, but there is my ‘weakness’ of the growing need for someone who ‘gets me’ completely and I have to guard myself but at the same time meet that need some way.  I guess the path to wisdom will become apparent as I walk it.

Weekly Routine: 

  1. Weightlifting/Stretching – Minimum 3 days per week.
  2. Walking – Minimum 3 days a week
  3. Job Search – Minimum 3 days a week
  4. Cleaning – 3 days a week.
  5. Writing – 3 times a week
  6. Latin – 3 times per week
  7. Cheat Meal Count: 3 per week.

This needs simply to be implemented.  I think it is simply time to run with it and see what happens.

Goals and Bucket List Items Achieved (Since Summer 2018):

Goals Achieved: 1  Graduated College with BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018.

Bucket List Items Crossed Off: 0

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Odin’s Eye – Christianity Problems – The Resurrection and Eyewitness Reliability

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

I suppose a disclaimer is in order.  I am writing this post as test pilot of the kind of things I could probably put in a book as an ex-believer, former pastor, bible scholar and theologian.  The kind of things that would cause many Christians to say: “That’s sad, I will pray for you.”  Spare me, I have a better plan for you. Read this post and tell me where I am wrong.  The point is I could write a book (and may do so) about the problems with the life of Jesus Nazareth, this would only represent what would probably be one section of a chapter. There is definitely many more things I could say.

Nobody likes death or the idea of ceasing to exist. Nobody.  In large part I think this is why every major religion has an afterlife story. In Christianity an eschatology of where people go after they die. We want to believe that we go on and so we create religions to say when, how and why we would go on. None of this has any real verification as no one has really come back from the dead to tell us the reality of what is after death. Well, unless you can prove Jesus of Nazareth actually did so.

For four decades I believed he had.  It is this central belief on which all of Christianity lives or dies.  Even the Bible understands this as in 1 Corinthians 15 it is very boldly stated that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then the Christian faith is vain. Everything in Christianity hinges on the resurrection being true.

For years I was therefore a faithful apologist of the resurrection.  I understood the stakes. Without this event, my faith was nonsense.  Today; when it comes down to it, I have more doubts now than belief. For a long time I hinged my faith that the eyewitnesses were telling the truth. They may well have thought they were telling the truth, but were they actually reliable witnesses or subject to the same problems that plague all eyewitness accounts?

Here is the problem – everything that we know about the resurrection is based on eyewitness testimony, and it has been proven that eyewitness testimony is unreliable at best. Then you have the fact that such testimony was not solicited for being permanently written down for many years after the fact. Even by conservative christian scholarship there is a gap of twenty years between the events and the first gospel. That’s a long time for the eyewitnesses to get their story straight and they still don’t pull it off.

Eyewitness testimony has the following problems: https://www.simplypsychology.org/eyewitness-testimony.html

  1. Stress / Anxiety – Stress level can have a negative impact on memory.  Depending on the nature of the stress.  While people can remember aspects of events involving weapons very well, they forget others more readily if experiencing personal stress because their personal stress level is very highly distracting to their focus.
  2. Reconstructive Memory.  In memory recall we DO NOT remember things like a video tape.  In reality there is a lot of interpretive action in memory and we remember the gist of the event to the value judgment we placed on it more than the events. We store the information in the way that makes most sense to us. Because this is very cultural and societal it can be full of prejudice and bias. This is reflected in the fact that as people change their values, the memories change in how they are recalled. We reconstruct memories in a way that reflects our belief in the nature of the world.
  3. Weapon Focus – The funny thing about having a weapon pointed at you is that you remember the weapon and nothing else around it.  You might ask how this applies, well when you get focused on one thing you are seeing the other things tend to get blurry.  So the question comes – was the sight of an open tomb an object focus?
  4. Leading Questions – this is normally an issue with legal matters in testimony, but in the case of the gospels the claim is made that the writers of the gospels were interviewing eyewitnesses – did they during such interviews ask leading questions?

So, the question then becomes how accurate is any account, even four of them, when all those accounts are based entirely of eyewitness testimony many years after the fact?  There is a high probability that a large amount of the second problem entered into the accounts as the disciples interpreted the events according to their values and beliefs in the world.  The believed in miracles and they wanted Jesus to be alive.

I could argue that the whole thing might be made up.  But let’s for the sake of this argument say that on resurrection morning the disciples did indeed see something and the interpreted that as Jesus of Nazareth risen from the dead. Let’s assume that their gospels are the eyewitness testimony they claim to be and see what problems could be there.  Let’s assume thy are not being deliberately deceptive, but perhaps misjudged what they saw.

  1. Stress /Anxiety – the disciples would have been under a great deal of stress that would have affected their memory. They were mourning and were by their own accounts in fear of the religious leaders. In the case of the women who first went to the tomb grieving and distraught.  When they arrive at the tomb, it is empty, the guards are gone and there is no body.  Interpretation, because they wanted it to be true – so badly to be true – Jesus rose from the dead.
  2. Reconstructive Memory – this is the big problem. The gospels themselves when it comes to the resurrection accounts are varied and quite frankly at times contradictory.  I am not saying there was a conspiracy to defraud but an atmosphere of want the story to be true to the point that accounts of seeing Jesus alive were probably everywhere. The gospels themselves provide evidence for reconstructive memory.  Mark stops after saying the resurrection took place, the longer version being a clear addition.  No events are actually recorded so you are left with the oral stories floating around.  Matthew and Luke record the events but they don’t agree on some details.  Like who saw Jesus first as far as who was in the group of women. Both of them record Peter being the first to reach the tomb with no second witness.  John says ‘no the way it happened was I was there and I outran Peter to the tomb.’  This lack of continuity in the accounts is a direct refection of not only that memories of the resurrection are being reconstructed, but the stories are told differently to reflect each gospels writer’s own interpretations of those memories; whether their own or the testimony of others.  Worse yet, if we follow even conservative scholarship on the dates of the gospels – we get a gap of time of at least two to three decades where interpretation of bias have influenced those memories over time.  Cementing the values with the memories and altering those memories.
  3. Weapon/Object Focus: If the disciples find the tomb empty, that tomb would become the object focus of the discussion. They would focus on it and try to explain it.  They many to choose from, but their founder Jesus of Nazareth told them he was going to rise from the dead.  They wanted that to be true very badly so the empty tomb becomes – Jesus rose from the dead like he said.  Later when the accounts are being written, ‘angels’ make that statement, and memories reconstructed with additions and changes.
  4. Leading Questions: The problem here is that when the gospel writers are doing their research; they being believers talking to believers would have the high possibility of doing two things.  1) Asking questions that basically assume the story is true looking for confirmation, not honest inquiry and 2) asking softball questions that are leading to get the story they want.  No author of the gospels is a skeptic but rather they assume the story is true and there is no other account but theirs anywhere.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

Faith:

Was this eyewitness thing  the death nail to my faith.  No, but it has raised more doubt than faith that Jesus of Nazareth rose from the dead,  Why?  Because it is highly feasible that with the high expectations or need for comfort, that people made the story up because of wanting something to have faith in. My best example of this is Mary Magdalene seeing Christ after the other ladies leave. She is very distraught (Stress), she is focused on the empty tomb (object focus) and she sees what she perceives is the gardener and then ‘discovers’ it is Jesus (reconstructive memory?). When you add the problem of that no one but Mary experienced this with no other witnesses, it is highly like people who see aliens when they are alone.  With no collaboration, you really have to dismiss the story.  I have more doubts than faith anymore because most stories of seeing the resurrected Christ have these problems.

Religion:

In the end it was my religion and profession that kept me at it, but the doubts kept getting bigger.  This issue of eyewitness testimony actually came up in my Easter sermons because I was wrestling with it.  The more I wrestled with it and looked at the gospel accounts, the more I realize these problems were very possible and that either many of the stories either had no collaboration, no outside collaboration or the witnesses were not named and thus could not be followed up on.

Theology:

If there is any part of the theology I wrestle with it is life after death and its relationship to giving life meaning. Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 15 is that the only meaning to life would be ‘eat and drink for tomorrow we die.  But I would argue that philosophers have taken on that point and have done so somewhat successfully.  Don’t get me wrong, their answers aren’t perfect, but they are there to be considered.

Spirituality:

I think most of us deists still cling a little to the possibility of life after death. The possibility that the universe has a grand purpose created by a designer.  That said we are very interested in spirituality that reflects reality.  We want something deeper that is real not the result of flaws in human reasoning and observation.  For me this basically means I place more emphasis on enjoying and living a good life now, because life after death is a true unknown and not something I want to focus my spiritual life on, especially if it turns out that it doesn’t exist.

Conclusion:

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little test pilot of what kinds of things I could write if I was so inclined.  The real issue I wrestle with is truth, how much more important is truth to the value I place on fidelity and respect of others.  I have to think on it more, Because the Life of Christ would be a great topic for me given my education and experience, the problem would be most of my family and friends might disown me or at the very least find it awkward to invite me to family gatherings at Christmas and Easter.  I will have to meditate on it more.

Continuing to Walk the Path,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – INFJ and Justice

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

My definition of justice is fluid, but it would encompass all the aspects of treating people well in the business virtues of my life –  Self-Reliance fits the idea of being self-sufficient so I ma not a burden to others.  Industriousness is the ideal of hard work and Hospitality fits my desire to help. This high belief in ideals in business and human dealings in general is very INFJ.

If you look at the list of possible careers for an INFJ that they will be happy with, it must include an ability to express ideals and values or it will not be as satisfying.  INFJ types can find value in any work if it helps someone achieve anything.  The issue is finding a career path is to taps into that sense of meaning.

Looking at my past, it is no wonder I gravitated to the ministry with its counseling and leadership in the area of ideals. It was job that involved a little bit of everything from vision casting to human resource management. I notice all the lists have writer and teacher and I have to say that was part of the ministry as well.  Writing well that is something I do, I just need to find a way to make it pay money.

In the business world I can see myself working in human resources with its training and human elements of finding the right person to fill each job.  I also see myself taking a leadership position where I can act with more independence very quickly.  Human Resource Manager is on the list of careers I would be suited for and that is why I am heading that direction.

Self-Reliance:

“Self Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved not only for the individual, but also for the family, clan, tribe and nation.”

Principle: To achieve and maintain personal independence and advocate for independence in my family, state and nation.

Goal:  Find a new, better paying job by the end of June 2019 or before.

Bucket List: To own and run my own successful business or company.

I notice this virtue has the word advocate in it and it is a virtue that I think fits most of my career paths.  The one unsatisfying thing about ministry was I always felt in danger of not being self-sufficient .  I was reliant on others and their generosity to the church. No more is my motto on this.  It is also no accident that running my own business according to my own ideals is a bucket list item for me.  All of this is very INFJ.

Industriousness:

“Industriousness is the willingness to work hard, always striving for efficiency, as a joyous activity in itself”

Principle: Work with enjoyment of work itself.

Goal: Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published.

This virtue allows me to work any job and find the meaning in it which is very important.  However, finding work I enjoy is better. No surprise something about writing is on this list. I must have something with a creative element to it or where I can cast a vision with my ideals.  Writing fits that so well.

Hospitality:

“Hospitality is the willingness to share what one has with one’s fellows, especially when they are far from home.”

Principle: To share out of my abundance to help people where I can with their life’s journey.

Goal: By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader of a support group of some kind.

Bucket List: To own a home by March 2024.

No surprise that helping others is a part of my virtues as an INFJ. I have just learned that there is a need to shut that off at the end of the day and not carry it with me.  I never could do that in the ministry and it cost me.  To help those genuinely in need without draining myself would be the perfect path here.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

Advocate, Counselor, Confidant, Idealist and Visionary.  All these describe someone who is committed to make their relationships with others and the business of their life reflect justice.  They are also titles for the INFJ personality type. The ideal being that everything is fair and right. Now, I don’t believe this is ever achieved as I am that much of a realist. However it is better to strive for justice and rightness than not to do so.  Justice is about right dealings, protecting people’s independence and forgiveness at times.

That said, for me as an INFJ, it doesn’t mean I dismiss unjust action with willy-nilly forgiveness anymore.  I have learned that can just promote more injustice at times. I have let my wolves out to play on some people because it is the right action in some cases.  Mostly though I wait patiently for the opportunity to uphold my ideals by balancing the scales with people.  I have a blacklist because of my sense of justice not out of a sense of personal vengeance.

 Daily Routine:

  1. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  2. Blogging – Organize, revise, write new post for next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  3. Reading – half hour. Priority order: work, school, pleasure
  4. Study / Homework / Research: half hour per day minimum or until all necessary work is completed.
  5. Personal Business: record financial transactions, savings plan actions, budgeting, appointments, other.
  6. Check Communications and Email after 2 pm but before 4 pm.
  7. Weekly Routine Items
  8. Nutrition: Daily Carb Count – 2

This is going alright. I need to be more disciplined in finishing everything before I relax.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens – My Minimalism

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

I practice minimalism and it is no accident that when I coupled things for discussion under Of Wolves and Ravens, Minimalism with Self-Reliance are together.  Minimalism forces you to be more reliant on yourself and less on stuff for happiness.  It also leads to a greater prosperity that allows you to be more self-reliant because you are not wasting resources (time and money) on things you don’t need or things that don’t make you happy.

I will probably be going though all my stuff one more time once the semester is over and I can imagine some more of it is going to the garbage heap.  Right now, I could pack up everything I personally own in less than a day to move. My wife is a different story, but if it was just me, I could be out the door fairly quickly.  Philosophically this leads to a greater freedom and forms a building tool for the virtue of self-reliance.

There are few of my life behaviors that I would say are a reflection of minimalism:

  1. Hiking.  I really am considering buying over time the basic load out I will need for a day hike and then an overnight hike. When you do that, the question of what you need is very important, because you don’t want to be schlepping anything you don’t need, because it expends more energy than you want.  Lot of life lessons in that too.
  2. Routine. My whole process of journaling, routines  and blogging keeps me focused on what I need and want so I don’t waste time on something that is ultimately useless to me.
  3. Nudism – I have to say there is nothing more minimalist that being a home nudist.  Cuts down on the need for laundry.  But also I really look at my closet and say do I need this or does this make me happy?  When you just as happy in your skin as you are in your favorite shirt, that changes how you perceive that question.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

Minimalism really causes you to ask the question what you really need. Food and Water.  yep.  Shelter from dangerous elements at times. Other than that, needs of a social and psychological variety are very flexible.  Minimalism is definitely a needed tool for finding prosperity. As it focuses you resources instead of wasting them.

Wants (Freki):

Minimalism also has taught me to focus my efforts in identifying my wants and then picking things that actually get me closer to them.  I am very conscious of wasting my time on things that don’t matter or my money on things I know will only be temporary in their happiness and then will collect dust. I don’t spend my money on that stuff very much anymore.

Reason (Huginn):

Fat wolves can’t fight.  Need and Want are important but Reason tells me to feed them only what they need and not be wasteful because lean times come eventually. Minimalism prepares you for those lean times two ways.  One, you often have the things you need to get through them because you haven’t been wasteful in the first place.  Two, you learn that you can live without a lot.  Your survival mindset is better.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I have a found a lot of joy in simplicity thanks to minimalism.  Joy in being free from the desire to possess.  There is a wisdom to being in a position where you have what you need and what you truly want and nothing more. This makes life much better.  You can make good decisions and are not affected so much about other people’ perspectives of you.  Waste is foolish and minimalism allows you to recognize that point and stay away from it.

Conclusion:

I had a particularly minimalism moment the other day.  I was sitting at home alone in my skin and writing a blog article.  I felt at peace.  It is a rare feeling but made possible in part by the fact that without a lot of stuff to worry about, I have fewer worries. Minimalism helped bring me that moment.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues – INFJ and Love

 

Happy Moon’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

My personality type is INFJ-A.  If you are familiar with Meyers-Briggs you know that means I am and Introverted, Intuitive, Feelings oriented, Judging type of person with a A on the end for being slightly assertive.  Sometime called the advocate or protector. Now over the years I have changed in my personality indicating to me that events of life can change personality.

I want to look this week at the Higher Virtues and the Nine Noble Virtues in relationship to my personality type to see if I can find any insight into myself. Today I will talk about Love (Romantic Love in particular) and the other Foundational Virtues related to my personality,  I will hit other subjects as the week goes on.

There are lot general things I could see but the thing that sticks out to me about myself when it comes to love, is that when I share with you my inner self, it is because I believe you will never hurt me. I have missed judged this many times and I have paid a price for it. I also am struck with how once I have loved or had a strong friendship with someone I never forget it.  Love is tough for me, because I bear the joys and scars from it for long time.  When someone I trust my inner feelings to betrays or breaks that trust in some other way, it is devastating.  The hurt is long-term and never completely goes away.

Honor:

Honor is the feeling of inner value and worth from which one knows that one is noble of being, and the desire to show respect for this quality when it is found in the world”

Principle – To possess a feeling of inner value about myself and my future with a desire to find the same in others.

Goal: Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

This is the second week in a row that I have struggled with honor.  I don’t know why or how to get over it.  I think getting back to lifting helped but I think I need that long walk yet and the weather has sucked. I think my personality might have problems me loving me. Am I actually reaching the point where I am trying to learn to trust myself again after failing myself?  That would be very INFJ.

Courage:

“Courage is the bravery to do what is right always.”

Principle – Act with Courage at the right time.

Goal: Cross one thing off bucket list every year. Deadline March 31st

Bucket List: Go Back to Budapest, Hungary for a vacation.

Courage as a part of love is difficult.  It is one of the reasons I came back to my wife and continue to struggle with rebuilding the relationship.  In my mind actually we are building something new that is better, because the old was not that great. It’s the right thing to do even though when I was considering reconciling I struggled with what I would have to give up – opportunity for something new – in order to reconcile.  Love require work – courageous work at times.  For me as a INFJ, I perceive how deep that is and why I gravitate toward it.

Truth:

“Truth is the willingness to be honest and to say what one knows to be true and right. It is often better to not say anything at all if one cannot be honest.”

Principle – To Be Honest and Speak Truth to Myself and Others.  To Be Silent in the presence of Fools.

Goal: To Write a Non-Fiction Book by March 31st, 2020

Bucket List: Learn Latin by March 31st 2020 to the point I can take a test and show my self proficient.

Truth in Love.  In the Bible Love rejoices in the truth and I would say that is a solid statement.  The real problem last year with me and love is that even though I trusted in love both on the friendship side and the romantic side. The truth I couldn’t see, but should have known on my INFJ side, is that it might be true that the other side of those relationships was not feeling the love I felt at the same level. That truth, which I didn’t see, bit me in the ass.

One of the things in my recent taking of the personality test is a significant change in my introverted level.  It indicates that from this year to last year I have moved to be more introverted  75% to 94% which is pretty significant.  Truth is, my trust level of others has been pretty damaged by this whole thing. Something I might take a long time to get over as an INFJ.

Higher Virtue: Love:

People should come up to my wife and give her a big hug and tell her what a great person.  She is because of a lot of love factors. 1) Of all the people I hurt during this crisis, she had the most reason to tell me to fuck off and not come back.  But instead she did two things.  She acknowledge to me her part in the failure of our marriage and she forgave me for mine.  I started loving her anew at that moment. 2) Without her I wouldn’t have any reason to completely trust anyone other than maybe one last friend and that would have meant a lot of really bad things for me. Like dark angry shit. Without love, I think we INFJ types get mean.  Because we expect much, we get disappointed hard when love fails and that leads to some pretty extreme reactions.

My wife’s love is definitely one of only two close relationships right now that I would consider proof of my trust in other people. The rest have all been damaged because it is apparent to me with most of them the statement they claim as Christians – ‘love bears no record of wrongs’ on a practical level is bullshit. They don’t really believe it or practice it. Wish they did.  For me I gave my trust and love to some wrong people and they turned their backs on me.

Morning Routine:

  1. Review Nine Noble Virtues (NNV), Principles, Goals and Bucket List
  2. Meditation – 3 min.
  3. Check Communications and Email.
  4. Paper Journal: Create Daily Log and To Do List.
  5. Breakfast, Medications and Supplements.
  6. Shower and Personal Hygiene
  7. Get Dressed for the Day

Solid, no complaints.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Book of Rabyd 2:3 – “Whenever You Find Yourself on the Side of the Majority, it is Time to Pause and Reflect.”

Happy Sun’s Day

Text:

“Whenever You Find Yourself on the Side of the Majority, it is Time to Pause and Reflect.” – The Book Of Rabyd 2:3

Thoughts and Exposition:

This time through The Book of Rabyd, I am trying to quote as many different people as I can.  Mark Twain was pretty much destined to be on this list and it was only a matter of time.  This is my favorite quote from him and is truly a principle of wisdom.

Tribalism is inherent in the human species.  Survival trait. We band together to take on common threats and deal with common problems. The issue is that it can also lead to a mob mentality. It can lead to just bowing down to the culture, group think or what everyone’s opinion is.

This quote is a regular reminder to all of us who prefer reason to mindless pandering.  The issue is to take action on what makes sense and is most reasonable and this quote reminds us there is nothing inherently reasonable about the majority.  The only quality they have is more numbers. The majority is not proof of truth or rightness.

For me there is a reminder here that I am both a free citizen and a responsible citizen. Free because on thing that can enslave is tribalism and cults of personality. Responsible, because from time to time you need to be the thinking one that calls into question the actions of the mob.

There are institutions that thrive on this tribalism but they can, in my humble opinion be boiled down to two things – government and religion.  Both of these tap into people’s passions rather than their reason and thus are manipulative by nature. They tap into people’s inherent tribalism and mob mentality to get actions people think are the right thing, but are actually the desires of those who would seek power either through politics or faith.

The lesson then is never let your loyalty to the group outweigh your loyalty to yourself and your principles. Something I hope gets carried on by those who I call my family is the ability to question anything and everything, even if the majority thinks it is the best course.  I would rather have my descendants known for being rebels and original thinkers that people who just went along with the crowd and the mob.  That they would be people of Courage, Self-Reliance and Truth

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

The Pagan Pulpit – The Book of Rabyd 2:3 – “Whenever You Find Yourself on the Side of the Majority, it is Time to Pause and Reflect.”

 

Happy Sun’s Day

Announcements: 

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods and goddesses, or whatever powers that be either know already, don’t give a fuck, or are busy with more important matters than our petty stuff. We also kind of assume that they expect us to do stuff that we can do for ourselves, and that we will do them ourselves and not be lazy. We also believe in being good friends, so we don’t presume on our friendship with the powers that be by asking them all the time for stuff while giving them nothing in return.

We also don’t take an offering here.  We figure the powers that be probably don’t need it.  Let’s be honest, offerings are not giving to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never see a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Opening Song: “No Rest for the Wicked” – Godsmack

No real official video for this song, but here is the lyric one so you can sing along.

Poem: “Salt in My Wounds” by Edward W, Raby, Sr. – Written April 13, 2019

See the source image

 

Once you were the spice of my life,

You kept me from spoiling

You were the flavor I needed

You made life less plain

 

Then you left me

laying in a pool of my own blood.

Leaving a wound

a void from your knife

 

Now memories of you are salty

Burning as they are applied to the scar

Salt in my wound

Preserving the pain.

 

-Ed Raby – April 13, 2019-

 

Without a doubt this was the easiest poem I have ever written.  At least as far as time and feeling are concerned. Took me literally just five minutes.  It’s still rough, but I suspect it will be Grey Wayfarer canonized very soon. 

Miss Salty, as I called her, helped me through a lot.  She is definitely wiser and smarter than her years would say.  But this whole thing in reflection was a doomed voyage like the Titanic. Right now memories of this whole thing are bitter-sweet. Salty like she was.  They hurt and yet I hope they bring about some cleansing like salt removing infection.

Meditation:

 

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Yep, which is why I don’t trust either party. The Wall for the right and Rich Wall Street on the left are not real threat in my opinion.  Mostly fear mongering using a supposed noble cause to seize power.

Song of Preparation:  “Cult of Personality” – Living Colour

I once heard these guys live via radio.  The guy who was announcing made the remark that they were the loudest band he ever heard in concert. Good intro.

Text:

“Whenever You Find Yourself on the Side of the Majority, it is Time to Pause and Reflect.” – The Book Of Rabyd 2:3

Sermon:

This time through The Book of Rabyd, I am trying to quote as many different people as I can.  Mark Twain was pretty much destined to be on this list and it was only a matter of time.  This is my favorite quote from him and is truly a principle of wisdom.

Tribalism is inherent in the human species.  Survival trait. We band together to take on common threats and deal with common problems. The issue is that it can also lead to a mob mentality. It can lead to just bowing down to the culture, group think or what everyone’s opinion is.

This quote is a regular reminder to all of us who prefer reason to mindless pandering.  The issue is to take action on what makes sense and is most reasonable and this quote reminds us there is nothing inherently reasonable about the majority.  The only quality they have is more numbers. The majority is not proof of truth or rightness.

For me there is a reminder here that I am both a free citizen and a responsible citizen. Free because on thing that can enslave is tribalism and cults of personality. Responsible, because from time to time you need to be the thinking one that calls into question the actions of the mob.

There are institutions that thrive on this tribalism but they can, in my humble opinion be boiled down to two things – government and religion.  Both of these tap into people’s passions rather than their reason and thus are manipulative by nature. They tap into people’s inherent tribalism and mob mentality to get actions people think are the right thing but are actually the desires of those who would seek power either through politics or faith.

The lesson then is never let your loyalty to the group outweigh your loyalty to yourself and your principles. Something I hope gets carried on by those who I call my family is the ability to question anything and everything, even if the majority thinks it is the best course.  I would rather have my descendents known for being rebels and original thinkers that people who just went along with the crowd and the mob.  That they would be people of Courage, Self-Reliance and Truth

Closing Song: “Of Wolf and Man” – Metallica

I am thinking of making this my personal theme song. A lesser known work of Metallica but still one of their best.

Parting Thought:

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Stay strong pagans. Keep going.

I remain,

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!