“Discipline, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Discipline

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

Right now discipline is difficult because of two reasons.  Firstly my thoughts right now are a jumbled mess.  Secondly, the holidays are so different than regular life and I am struggling to stay above all that.  I hate the chaos at times because it is a people chaos, not regular life chaos.  I can handle a lot of things but not a jumbled situation where I have to say ‘hi’ to a lot of people which I haven’t seen in a year. This weekend was a prime example of a weekend that is just not me.

I spent Saturday driving somewhere to spend the day shopping with my wife.  Lots of travel in a car and people being everywhere is not my idea of a great time.  The time with my wife was good, but I felt pressured all day and I certainly did not have time to do what I like to do. Then yesterday afternoon was two family Christmases back to back.  Not a fan. It was my wife’s family so I also get half of the family that is cool because they are outcasts like me and the other half that still seems to hold something against me.

From a discipline standpoint, this all combines to make December a difficult month to keep mental focus for me and thus difficult to be disciplined.  The negative effect is a lot of things are slipping and I am going to have to double down as soon as all this shit is over.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

Discipline is a needed thing.  It is what is the machine that drives success and I need it so much to do what I want to do.  The issue is my own thoughts being jumbled because of depression, being put in situations that are uncomfortable.  These all just drain me and my discipline suffers as a result.

Wants (Freki):

What I want is a focused life that is getting the results I need.  As an atheist, I am not waiting for some divine white knight to come and help me out.  I need and want to be the warrior that gets it done for myself. Discipline is the key.  That starts with saying “I can do better.”

Reason (Huginn):

I think I am at another crossroads in my life.  They happen quite a bit, but 2020 seems more pivotal if I am going to get anywhere near my goals. There is no achievement without discipline and I am looking forward to a time where discipline brings about results.  But it is also just a rational nod of the head if there is no action that is disciplined behind it.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I need to find a wise way out of all this jumbled mess.  There is a part of me that just wants to wisely withdraw from it all and start somewhere else.  But this is the struggle of burning bridges sometimes – do you have the discipline to keep them burned and lying in ashes.  No regrets.

Conclusion:

The only master I want is me. The mastery of my own life is key here and I am starting to feel worn out with all the chaos of thought and life.  Some order needs to be brought to it. In the meantime, I endure the holidays and wait for the storm to subside.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Holy Days” (Asatru – Part 22) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, goddesses, or whatever powers that be (if any) 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 given to the divine powers, they are given to an organization to support it.  Just being honest. God, the gods or whatever never sees a dime, farthing or peso of that money; it all goes to the church, mosque or shrine.

Theme Song: “Diese Kalte Nacht” – FAUN

Lyric Video:

Meditation:

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Text: 

See the source image

If you want more details about Asatru, I can’t recommend this book enough.

Sermon:

It was a surprise to me how little I had to change things regarding holidays after I dropped my Christianity in the scrap heap and embraced a more pagan view of holidays.  Much of what was pagan, has been absorbed by Christianity. But mostly the holidays reflect the time of the changing seasons.  The circle of life.

In venerating the gods and goddesses, the followers of Asatru are simply giving their proper nods to the gods of each time of the year. Mostly there is the notion of Winter and Summer with the transition times more popularly known as Fall and Spring.  The issue of holidays is not so much one of noting special events although that does happen for heroes like Leif Ericson but rather about noting the change of the season and the unchanging cycle.

These are the Blóts of note and have their celebrations that are mostly festive although there are some somber occasions particularly in remembrance.  But the feeling I get this is more about the celebration of life, honoring the dead and giving devotion to the friends known as the gods.

For me, this was a logical step as I wanted to step away from Christian holidays as I have no desire to be reminded of them.  However, I did need to have reasons to celebrate with family and freinds and this is important from a community standpoint even as an atheist pagan. So the holidays are the Viking ones to me and so Yuletide comes soon.  They give a time of reflection and reminders of the changing times as well.

Parting Thought:

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Before and After” – The Rabyd Skald – The Grey and The Wayfarer – Part 24

Happy Woden’s (Odin) Day!

This post is a little later than usual because I am doing a little bit of an experiment with it.  In about a half-hour, my therapist and I will be meeting via Skype and we will be hopefully discussing some of my issues so what you are getting with this installment is The Grey and The Wayfarer ‘before and after’.  So the part marked ‘Before’ is what I was thinking before I went into session and the part marked “After” is my thoughts as I reflected on them after the session.  It has really been up and down these last two weeks so I need to talk about that.

Before:

The issues I want to discuss in this session are the main two of my marriage and identity.  In the issue of my marriage, there are some things I need to discuss with my wife and my therapist is going to help me, according to our last session, as to how to approach this discussion as I am a little apprehensive of talking about the specific issues.  It’s weird because this isn’t about sex or intimacy but more about common goals, vision and what are we going to do now. What are we now with our values shifting in different directions and the objective for our lives shifting.

The second issue of identity is one of trying to figure out what I am now that I am both an atheist and no longer a pastor.  Part of this is career issues that my job coach is helping me with and I will talk on that at a different time.  This is deeper than that.  More of a foundational question.  My hope is there will be some insight as the last two sessions have been more of me talking and her digesting things and coming to understand my situation.  Hopefully, she has some wisdom, because right now I could use some and I am starting to feel confined and trapped by the situation.  That’s before.  See what happens and then I will write an after and then post both.

After:

Things worked as I think she guided my own thoughts into doing what needs to be done.  I need to really think about a direct course of designing my life as far as what I am going to be while having options.  My primary identity is being a writer, but it is going to be my second one which can be multiple things that will define me as far as other people are concerned for a while.

Also, we talked about Christmas and the family mostly.  I just don’t want it to be drama, but I also have the task of telling people I don’t pray anymore over the meals.  It’s more about celebrating the season of Yuletide and being with the kids and grandkids as much as possible. I am just there to enjoy, not be the spiritual master of ceremonies.

Of course, we talked about my marriage and all I will say about that is that a conversation between us needs to take place soon.  No more there, as no one else needs to know yet what is going on. I just now have it very clear that before the new year my wife and I need to talk about some things. ‘Need’ being the keyword.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Hospitality, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Hospitality

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

I have been struggling with something for a while now and that is the ability to connect with people. When I was pastor fo my last church I created a small group of people with the idea of sharing and prayer for one another. I called it Living Stones based on `1 Peter 2:4-5:

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

The point was to share one’s struggles and triumphs in one’s spiritual walk with Christ to become drawn together in relationship with each other and Christ as living stones.  it was good in that it was for a while one of the best support groups I was ever a part of and my main motivation for creating it was my need for companionship where I could be open with people about some of my feelings.  It is the support group aspect I miss very much.

Hospitality is the same virtue if you take a broad definition of showing care and concern for others.  Asatru’s definition is about sharing when one can, especially with those far from home. Being kind. But for me, it is also about gathering with others in an environment that is safe so one can share more than prosperity, but one’s life with others.  I miss it.  But I also have developed through the painful experience of trusting others that people can betray you when you need them the most.

The atheist community is foreign to me.  I mean not completely so, but I am just starting in it nad it is good that through the Clergy Project I have a group and it did meet my goal.  But it isn’t the same as having people in your life every day or a couple times a week. Real flesh and blood that you have hospitality with.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

Needs (Geri):

I still need something but I am not sure I will ever have it again.  Fellowship.  I lack fellowship and it is eating at me.  The problem is I don’t trust anyone anymore. How does one meet a need in your life when you have trouble trusting those that could provide it?

Wants (Freki):

On a want level, I want this in other relationships to be deeper, but once again trust or my high expectations seem to get in the way.  So better not to trust at all than being disappointed.  Hospitality demands I trust and boy do I struggle with it even though it would gain for me something I need and want.

Reason (Huginn):

So what is the reasonable thing to do?  It is the question I will have for my therapist on Woden’s Day. I am glad to have a group to talk to and her about this, but how far do I trust them even. Or is the better question, how far do I trust them?  I hate being lonely on the one hand, but I can’t trust people at times enough to open up so I am not lonely. Will I ever find someone to be fully transparent with again?

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom is very cloudy on this issue for me.  Grey and overcast. Hopefully, something will become clear.

Conclusion:

Hospitality is the virtue I struggle with the most. I just don’t know what to do about it.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Pagan Athiest?” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I am an atheist who wears a Thor’s Hammer on Thor’s Day (Thursday).  I meditate on the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru because it is quite frankly the best list of virtues from my point of view. My moral philosophy is based on a concept of Odin as a wanderer with his wolves and ravens.  Everything about my ‘spirituality’ centers on the simple concept as presented here within Odin’s Eye – changing one form of sight for another.  Mostly discarding the fear of Christianity and embracing the powerful reality of reality.

So yes, I am a pagan atheist.   I borrow from paganism a lot of things that are simply far more true than most things elsewhere.  I just don’t believe in gods, goddesses or divine powers.  The essence of paganism with its wonder of creation, its respect for life, the individual, free-will, and nature, I can very much embrace.

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I suppose my former faith would say I have become liberal in a lot of things.  I would say this is true for a lot of things, but I also am more human.  More accepting of others as human beings.  I have studied too much history to be a socialist/ communist as those economic systems violate the laws of economics and fail.  I also don’t follow the gun control notions as I have long studied the history of tyrants and one of the first actions of wolves is to take the teeth away from the sheep.  But other than that, I can respect human beings and their freedom a lot more as an atheist who also has borrowed his ethics and little of his understanding of the world around him from pagans.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

My meditations still remain on the Nine Noble Virtues as well as my moral philosophy and outlook on life.  Insight into my life is a desire here and the world around me and its reality not the fantasy of made-up notions.  I find this is far more useful to my life in practical ways of applying virtue to my life are beneficial consistently.

Mystery:

There is still much to be discovered, I don’t know everything and never will.  But perhaps I can contribute something useful to knowledge or human progress before I am gone.  Something that will also allow me to be remembered for a little while after I am gone. All I know is that I still have a sense of mystery about the universe, but it isn’t fanciful just a wonder that is far more powerful than any religious wonder I have had because it is grounded in the real world.

Spirituality:

I still long in some senses for a sense of community that is more close to myself.  it is probably the only area of spirituality I still need to work on. On the other hand, I have a huge case of trust no one.  My only hope is that the atheist/pagan community understand loyalty a little better.

Conclusion:

I guess I can look at religion for its fruits and decide as an atheist what ideas have been preserved by religion that are actually good. I mean I believe most things that are good were created by us humans and various religions grabbed them when it suited their purpose and used them.  I now know that by simply being social creatures, humans have developed virtues ethics because they aid with survival and prosperity.  Honestly – ‘live long and prosper’ is indeed our motivation and being a pagan atheist I can see what does that clearly.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Industriousness, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Industriousness

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

The heart and soul of industriousness is having a strong purpose.  Working with a purpose in mind usually means better work that is also done with a lot more joy.  Building something or accomplishing a goal that lines up with an overall purpose gives great satisfaction to any person.

My atheism does not change much here other than the purpose I have is not defined by anyone else.  The only one who can define this is me.  No gods, no masters.  Just me being in charge of my life’s purpose and executing it through hard work.

I can, as Asatru encourages, enjoy work for work’s sake.  I do find some joy in trying to approach any job trying to do it in a way that is more efficient than last time.  There is however a need now that I am no longer a pastor and Christian to redefine my purpose and make it strong. I have been engaged in this for some time but I think I am getting closer to fully understanding my purpose now.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

“Feed the Wolves, but Listen to the Ravens first.”

 

Needs (Geri):

I need purpose so my work has focus. Industriousness might tell me to work hard for the simple understanding of survival but there is prosperity I am after as well.  Not just a prosperity of possessions but the prosperity of mind and heart I am after as well.  There was a day in 2018, I thought I had found it and I have never felt more on top of the world, then it was gone. I need that back again.

Wants (Freki):

I want this because it keeps the Grey at a distance and allows me to look at life in a more positive light.  Talent gets beat my hard work if the talent does not work hard. At the same time talent coupled with hard work is unstoppable. I need to find my talents outside ministry and embrace them and work hard to make them work better.  I think writing is one of them, but I think I have others. I want to discover them and make them work for me.

Reason (Huginn):

I guess the biggest thing about being a person of reason is to note that those who are successful in some way work hard. Even if you were born with the highest level of privilege in life, it isn’t going to be better or larger unless you work hard to make it so.  It takes thinking and vision to make something better otherwise it just stagnates and dies.

Wisdom (Muninn):

The wisdom of working hard is noted in probably every philosophy and religion of note. However, like many things, this is simply those philosophies and religions borrowing something man has discovered by living life. Industriousness, as a virtue, works as hard as it demands you work.

Conclusion:

I don’t have a problem working hard even as an atheist.  My struggle is after so long letting another philosophy tell me what my purpose was, I now have to figure it out for myself.  I do however think the answer is found in working hard to find it.  Not hoping it falls out of the sky.  I suspect once I have found it, it will be the most wonderful thing for me.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“An Atheist/Pagan Thanksgiving?” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

There is no Norse correlation to the American Thanksgiving Holiday.  There is really no holiday at all from a Norse perspective at the end of November and the next holiday that would qualify would be Yule which is the last twelve days of December.  So what meaning could Thanksgiving have for an atheist/pagan?  Honestly, I think it is a nice celebration but it is the term ‘thanksgiving’ that gets me now – thankful to who? The implication is that there is an Invisible Sky Dad to be thankful to for stuff we have and we pause to give thanks to him. As an atheist, yeah no.

My pagan side centers on The Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru, being connected as possible to my heritage and family roots, and celebration of holidays that are based on the seasonal changes of the year.  Thanksgiving isn’t about any of that.  From my perspective as a harvest festival, it’s a little late in the northern clime where I live. Shit, we have had some snow already and most farmers have put away their shit for winter.

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If I am going to be thankful then, I am going to center on people and things that actually exist.  Notably, other people in my life that have actually done something to help me or make my life better.  Family, freinds and the people that created and founded this country on secular principles. It is after all a national holiday.

One note before we look through the eye – in concerning the former filter I had known as Faith – it is gone and I have decided not to replace it with something else.  Probably this is the best symbolism I can make concerning this issue.  One less cloudy filter to look through.  Live is mysterious enough without religion and faith to further muddy my vision.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Meditation:

Being thankful is probably more a part of the virtue of Hospitality, so it becomes a matter of who would one invite and show hospitality to as an expression of that thankfulness.  This is a matter for meditation but it ends with the people who have made decisions that have actually benefited my life. There is quite a list to lift a mug of mead to in that regard. Not just living today but in the past.  Ancestors both biological and philosophical that in the end revolutionized the world I live in right now.

Mystery:

I don’t think the mystery is so much divine any more to me but the question of who my ancestors actually were and what influence they had on my life.  There is a lot of unknowns that need to be discovered and I anxiously await the means to do so. If there is a legacy to be left to my grandchildren, it is to pull back the veil here and see the truth of who I am.

Spirituality:

The spirituality I can see with Thanksgiving is at some point my family will gather, we will share and meal and drink and talk about old times.  It’s the connections we have that make it a spiritual occasion.  Of course, I have to work that day but that isn’t my employer’s fault.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text that says 'austin @outsinned Ppl will really b like "omg cant believe I you have to work on thanksgiving, you should be home with you family!" While I'm scanning their shit like??? You're the fucking reason Karen Go home'

Conclusion:

I work in retail so I will be from noon till 9 pm on Thursday at work doing the initial Black “Friday” sales. I always find this an interesting study in human behavior.  People decry that we have to work and should be home like everyone else, while they are shopping on the very day.  If companies didn’t make money because no one showed up on principle, they wouldn’t do it. I suppose this is the best I can say for Thanksgiving – let the Christmas shopping begin.  Salute to all my brothers and sisters working this holiday season in retail – “May the odds be ever in your favor”.

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Self Reliance, Atheism, and Asatru” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Self-Reliance

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

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.”

Image result for heinlein quotes responsibility

Needs (Geri):

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.

Wants (Freki):

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.

Reason (Huginn):

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.

Wisdom (Muninn):

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.

Conclusion:

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.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Redefining Fidelity” – A Skald’s Life – Self Virtues

Happy Sif’s Day. 

Journal Entry:

When you have had an affair wrestling with fidelity is an issue. You might say it has become a ‘what went wrong” issue for me. But that is not all that factors into this.  There are a lot of practical concerns not least of which is as an atheist the basis for marriage has to be practical and also involve spiritual issues from that standpoint.

Are we compatible? Are we good for each other?  Etc.  Feelings of love aside there is the simple question of ‘what is the purpose of marriage, or any other relationship for that matter if there is no god to answer to?’  When the vows you took have no basis to you anymore why do you have to be faithful and should you? It is a discussion my therapist and I are starting to have.

But fidelity is bigger than marriage and my largest problem with my definition of the virtue of fidelity is that it is taken from Asatru which assumes the existence of gods to be loyal to.  It has probably needed a rewrite for some months because of this.  Mostly this idea of gods needs to be addressed but there is also the issue of friends and being loyal to myself.

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 be following a full Paleo Diet by March 31, 2020.

Bucket List: Do a rebellious act on April 30th, 2020 – Beltane.

I really have no problem with this definition of discipline. One might quibble about the ideas involving others in light of my new understanding of self-reliance, but leadership does require good discipline of the group you lead to be an effective leader.

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.

No problems.

Fidelity:

“Fidelity is the will to be loyal to one’s moral philosophy, to one’s family, one’s friends, and most important to one’s self, and loyalty to one’s friends is 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 (achieved)

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

  1. Changed gods and goddesses to moral philosophy
  2. Added freinds officially to the list of groups to be loyal to
  3. Emphasized loyalty to self.
  4. I moved things to the present tense instead of the past tense.

Higher Virtue – Wisdom:

Wisdom is found in consistency.  As a writer, I dislike plot holes, dangling side plots, etc.  In a same vein, I don’t like inconsistency in one’s viewpoint.  Hypocrisy might have an excuse in someone who believes that simply by believing in atonement their hypocrisies are forgiven and thus justified. There is no such idea in atheism.  You better have some level of pride to be an atheist and this means to have honor and being ashamed when you fail.

Rest Day Routine: 

  1. Morning Routine
  2. Wife: Communication / Cuddle Time
  3. Blogging – Organize, revise, write a new post for the next day, 15 min. work on fiction.
  4. Cleaning – varies but one room of the apartment at least.
  5. Reading – 1/7th of a book
  6. Writing – 3000 Words

Solid, it’s just when I have days off I tend to get lazy about things.

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

Goals Achieved: 5

  1. Graduated College with a BS in Political Science and minors in Economics and International Business – December 2018
  2. Finalize last requirements for my degree – Internship by May 2019 – May 2019
  3. Celebrate my wife and I’s 30th anniversary (June 10th, 2019) with a mini-vacation – June 2019
  4. Maintain a daily blog streak of one post per day for an entire year (365 days).
  5. By March 31st of 2020, to be the leader/participant in a group of some kind.

Bucket List Items Achieved: 0

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Faith Isn’t a Virtue” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I have been wrestling with the idea of faith for a long time but the struggle for the last six months or so is whether or not faith has any value whatsoever. It doesn’t seem to have a purpose anymore in my moral philosophy or the way I live my life.  I don’t take anything on faith anymore and insist on solid evidence for claims.  The bigger the claim, the large amount of evidence should be expected to prove it.

Odin’s Eye as a topic head has been for the most part about the stuff that I am still trying to figure out form a spiritual point of view.  As I have pointed out atheists do have spirituality, it is just based on human experience and consciousness rather than blind leaps of faith.

The issue is one of my filters for Odin’s Eye has been Faith, and I think it has run its course. Religion gave way to Meditation and Theology has given way to Mystery.  So Faith gives way to what?   Do I need a replacement or do I just discard it and move on without it in Odin’s Eye?

Time to Look Through the Eye:

“To see the truth, change one eye for another”

Faith:

This will be the last time faith will appear in Odin’s Eye.  The main reason: I no longer consider faith a virtue.  There is nothing virtuous about making absolute claims with no evidence whatsoever.  It is not a virtue to believe in something because you want or need to believe it despite the fact there is no evidence for it or worse strong evidence against it. That’s not a virtue; that is wilful deliberate ignorance and there is nothing virtuous about deliberate ignorance.  It is actually a very dishonest position to hold.

Meditation:

Meditation is the last trappings of my religious life.  But it is also demonstrable that it helps calm a person down., clears their head and allows one to focus.  By meditating on the virtues one holds true one can change one’s attitude and perspective – change the nature of one’s consciousness.  That isn’t faith-based at all but neuroscience and practical experience.

Mystery:

Dumping theology was hard because in a sense I still use the skills I learned as a theologian as far as understanding theological points of view.  I use it to debunk them now and I rather talk about mysteries of life not for the purpose of glorying in mystery but for the purpose of discovery of the answers to them. The process of doing this is really anti-faith as it isn’t about acceptance of mystery but solving them.

Spirituality:

My spirituality isn’t about faith at all, rather being skeptical.  Proof my human relationships and consciousness are accurate are important under spirituality.  This is not some blind faith, but rather a genuine attempt to understand all the world around me using my consciousness, my experience and most importantly my rational mind.

Conclusion:

This post marks the end fo faith as a virtue for me.  I see it now for what it is  – deliberate ignorance and ultimately dishonest.  It can’t stay.  The only question now is if it deserves a replacement in Odin’s Eye, or does it deserve the status of a blinder thrown off.  Have I, like Odin, plucked out my eye of faith as a sacrifice? I just perhaps need to put a patch over where it used to be and move along.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!