Happy Mani’s Day
I recently changed the virtue of self-reliance’s definition, so it bears repeating:
“Self-Reliance is the spirit of independence, which is achieved when each person is their own master and no one else’s’ .”
When it comes to atheism and the concept of self-reliance, there is a lot overlap here as the one thing one discards as an atheist is a dependence on the divine of any type. There is no praying for rescue, no religion, no faith that can save you are help you. The world is a harsh place sometimes and a lot fo the times we are on our own to face it, Facing that reality is both terrifying and liberating. Self-reliance is like that because you often wonder if you have what it takes to make it through each situation.
The flip side so self-reliance is the independence of it which is not only liberating but beneficial. Once you have taken responsibility, then you get to make your own decisions at the end which have a higher likelihood of being beneficial to your situation than ones made by others.
To the Wolves and Ravens:
“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”
People do not grow as people without taking responsibility for themselves. this is a value shared by atheists and followers of Asatru. Otherwise, a person stagnates in their personal development and does not grow because they have become dependent on others. People need to take responsibility for their life for growth to take place.
We want this as well. Self-reliance leads to reward. We not only have a better chance of getting what we want but in the end, we build our pride. Something that allows us to walk the world without shame and with a great deal of honor. These are things everyone should desire.
The rational point of view that leads to self-reliance is summed up in the statement – ‘no gods, no masters.”. To be free and independent, to enjoy the blessings of liberty, one must be rational and rationally self-reliant. You simply do not get liberty by being reliant on others to the point of dependence. From a rational point of view, it is unhealthy because to be in any relationship to become overly dependent or dependent against ones will is to be a slave.
The wisdom is this, relationships need to be based on a lack of dominance to be good ones. Once one has assumed the role of master, liberty is gone. It is the desire to not be someone slave or in return not to be anyone’s master that leads to self-reliance. You are not just a champion for your own self-reliance, but for the self-reliance of others. This is the wise path to liberty.
I find that one of the dearest virtues of my heart is self-reliance. It keeps me getting up in the morning and hustling for what I want. It is the spirit of independence and the essence of why I take responsibility for myself and my actions. No gods, no masters – self-reliant.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.