“The Viking Mind” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

I think the greatest struggle I have with my deconversion and subsequent departure of any belief in the supernatural has been to change the way I think.  The pagan mindset is the closest I think to the naturalist atheist and I know that some atheists are indeed pagans who deal in the spiritual and perhaps view gods and goddesses, not as supreme beings but simply very powerful spiritual ones that are mistaken by others as gods. Atheists reject the idea of a single supreme being that has authority over them as even existing, but that still leaves a lot of room for variation.

I guess in my own small way I embrace my pagan side though pagan philosophy and in this sense perhaps I do have a Viking mind about these things.  As my meme above states, I run on a pagan atheist OS. Thus certain conversations make no sense to me as either an atheist or a pagan so there is at least some camaraderie of thought between the two viewpoints.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

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

Meditation:

The Viking mind meditates on the practical.  As much as religion tries to give substance to knowledge gaps, the true value of the pagan mindset is practical reality and it meshes very well. There is a philosophy of how to live one’s life without fear of the gods or God, no made-up original sin to manipulate and control others with or cause guilt for actions simply by being human and the afterlife is an open question, not a definitive black and white one.

Mystery:

Whatever mysteries of life their maybe, I  do not face them groveling at the feet of some invisible imaginary power but standing on my own two feet win or lose. Paganism does not place humanity in the center of the will of the gods, nor does it make them subservient, just a part of the greater whole. I no longer spend my thoughts worrying over sin and how I will either condemn me to help if I don’t repent on time or the fact sin is so broadly defined that it is inescapable just being a human being. I embrace my humanity as a good thing and the world around me as something o be understood and necessary for my survival. I certainly don’t dwell on the afterlife preferring rather like a Viking to live this life as fully as I can for as long as I can.

Spirituality:

My spirituality now centers on my own well being and the well being of others, something I could not say as a Christian.  All the Christian message requires making people feel like shit so God can lift them up. My mentality now is that people are generally good with a few exceptions and that anyone can lift themselves up when needed.

Conclusion:

Of course, the Vikings did rape, murder, and pillage, but name me a people group at some time in history that hasn’t.  The issue now is that being a Viking in mind is more metaphorical and can be turned to good.  I don’t think the same can be said of most religious mindsets outside of Paganism and Agnostic/Atheists.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Loving the Human Body” – Freya’s Chambers – Sensual Art

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.

Discussion:

If there is any liberation from an artistic point of view to be found in leaving my faith, it is the eradication of feeling shame for my own body or the shame I am supposed to have in religion at looking at other people’s bodies.  I think art as a human expression of life is something I appreciate more.  I appreciated the beauty of the human body before but now I can do so without reservation and looking over my shoulder.

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Of course, where this idea of beauty comes from is a debatable point if you look at it from an evolutionary perspective.  In truth, if somebody pleases you in other ways you might see them as more beautiful than they are.  Love has a way of minimizing flaws and enhancing that which is good.  At some point, we became naked apes and that nakedness has become attractive to us.   Biologically speaking we may have gravitation toward having a healthy mate with which we want to procreate and those characteristics that in a human body that indicate health and start to see them as beautiful.

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This doesn’t diminish the spiritual side fo beauty and the wonder and awe we can have at how we are constructed as human beings.  I think artists that can capture this regardless of the medium are the ones that we admire the most. Those are the artists that can present this humanity of ours and get us to appreciate it.

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Perhaps it is even more wonderful when they place that human form in environments that are mundane.  It reminds us that human beauty is all around us. That our own bodies are beautiful and not anything to be ashamed of in truth.

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Looking at the past we can see it in the art that has survived.  That the human condition is best expressed in the nude form.  There is no hiding emotion or the feelings that are being conveyed because we recognize them in ourselves.  Who hasn’t looked at some art piece of the past depicting a nude form and looking at the posture and hasn’t immediately identified with the emotions and human condition expressed.

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Ultimately the human form in the nude, whenever it is expressed is probably the most human thing about us humans. It is something we do to express our humanity to depict ourselves as a race without trappings and still find ourselves beautiful.  We find our own humanity in nude art the most and it is what makes us truly human.

I have waxed poetic long enough, hope you enjoyed it.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Reforging the Sword” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Aragorn is the bearer of a broken blade that is reforged by the elves.  Andúril is the new weapon and becomes a central weapon in the struggle against evil as wielded by the last of the line of the kings of Gondor.

My recent work in the yOutube realm has placed me once more in the position of preacher and teacher and with a familiar topic – Bible and Theology.  I don’t speak of the bible being the sword that needs to be reforged so much as my knowledge and understanding of it.  Before I used this knowledge to try to build people’s faith.  I see this now as a flawed and broken weapon.

In a very real sense, I see this as reforging this knowledge into a new weapon.  A weapon to use against my former faith and no I don’t seem my turn from gospel preacher to atheist as good to bad but rather the other way around.  The real evil is religious people who do evil things in the name of God and the Bible.  In reforging my sword of Biblical knowledge, I plan on using it to fight this foe.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

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

Meditation:

As I was meditating on this change, I realized that I might actually have to reach for and open my Bible on my shelf.  Something I have not done in well over a year and a half.  I found myself feeling old strength and knowledge flow back through my veins again as I used my knowledge of the bible and theology again but it was very different.  I can see the obvious flaws with the Bible and theology in ways I never saw before.

Mystery:

The mystery for me is to unravel the power of religion that it gains over people.  To do that I need to understand why people believe nonsense and how to combat it.  In the realm of Christianity, I can see why people want to believe.  Eternal life and some sense fo purpose are good motivators.  But if the promise is false and if one takes the time to determine their own purpose, then what is the need?

Spirituality:

For my own sense of purpose, I am developing a sense of being an advocate for atheist issues, in particular, the separation fo church and state.  It fits well with my political science degree and my religious background.  I feel in the sense of atheist spirituality I might have started to see the need here and between this blog, my YouTube Channel The Rabyd Atheist and my desire to either teach in the public school or work for non-profit that has anti-theist aims regarding church and state. I have figured out that I will probably never be happy unless I am advocating for a cause and/or educating.

Conclusion:

I suppose I am taking the material of my old beliefs and education and forging them into something new – a new better and freedom-loving something.  – a new sword of truth.  Forged from the materials and shards of the old one.  My own Andúril.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Bare Skin Health” – Freya’s Chambers – Nudism

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day!

Discussion:

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.  

Introduction: 

I want to make it clear hear that this article is not about research or careful study so much as opinion.  I am not a dermatologist or doctor so this is not a professional article so much as a reaction to what the commonly asserted as health benefits of nudism which not only apply to physical bodily health but psychological health.  I am providing three links that I looked at a part of my own research into this topic mostly because I am a practicing ‘at home’ nudist when no one is around.  I am simply going to take the common top seven things people say are benefits of being nudists from a health standpoint and speak to my own experience.

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Vitamin D Production:

This is probably more true for those who practice their nudism outdoors. I don’t so this is probably not something I would notice.  The interesting thing as someone who suffers fro minor depression I would probably find this beneficial.  The warning is of course too much a good thing as nude sunbathers can produce too much vitamin D.  For myself I guess I would like to try this at some point which would mean more social nudism which I am not sure I would announce publically.

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Healthy Skin:

This isn’t about the sun so much as what being clothed all the time does to our skin.  The main thing is that our skin has evolved to breathe and when it can’t it develops issues.  most notably the build-up of toxins in the body that we use our breathing skin to get rid of.  Not to mention the irritation that clothing causes to the skin as anyone can attest to in areas we keep covered all the time. You’re probably needing to scratch it because your clothing has irritated it.

I can speak for myself in this regard since practicing the naked at home thing, the areas of my body that used to have rashes or skin irritation have decreased significantly.  My psoriasis has diminished and I am not scratching as much.

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Blood Circulation:

This is also called the’ no red marks’ and probably affects women more than men with all their elastic clothing items, particularly bras.  For men, the main area for this is the waistline.  The point is that some blood flow goes through the skin and when this is cut off it can have a negative effect on blood circulation in certain areas.  This why women are encouraged when they get home to lose the bra.  Nudists would probably just say lose the clothes altogether.

For me, I have no read marks about circulation around my waist anymore and probably as a side benefit, my midsection has evened out a bit.  I still have some weight to lose but it isn’t as obvious because my midsection is not trapped upward by mt waistline of my clothes and belt all the time.

Accepting their own bodies as they are is especially beneficial for women and men who today are under constant pressure to... Body Acceptance:

There have been a few actual thoughts on this issue because psychologically speaking poor body image can be a part of “cover-up that part of your body because it is wrong to show it”. The reason is usually ‘sin’ or societal pressure. It has been said people who grow up nudist or people who have been doing it a while develop a much better body image of themselves as they can see what is actually normal, not based on models.  The genitals are not ‘dirty’ to a nudist or naturist, but rather normal parts of the body that have their function. People can be seen in all stages of life and show the body actually changes and it allows one to have a more realistic view of themselves.

I now reject the idea of the naked body being anything more than a naked body.  I have yet to experience social nudity.  I can, however, say that being naked more often and seeing myself in the mirrors more often that way has allowed me more to focus on where my body look unhealthy as a sign to work on my health rather than how my body looks.

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Self-Esteem:

One of the effects of losing low body image is a boost in self-esteem.  When you realize that people quite literally come on all shapes, sizes, and colors, you begin to realize both your uniqueness and quite frankly your body’s looks matter less as far as impressing people and you focus more on your actions being reasonable and kind. Far more important than how you look.

This whole at-home nudist experience has also made me realize actions are more important than looks.  Looks can be lost changed to be completely different.  What matters I health and how you treat others.  I know being nude while I meditate in the morning has been a revelation of sorts as far as what I really am when you strip everything away including my clothing and you know what?  I am not a bad person just one that struggles with a lot of things. Nudity taught me vulnerability is OK and brings enlightenment.

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Lower Risk of Infection:

The skin actually processes parts of the defense against infection and clothing actually hinders this process because it interferes with the skin’s ability to sweat to remove toxins and thus process infection. The best way to maximize this process is to not have any of your skin covered with clothes, makeup or anything else.  I have actually had several nudists tell me that they have never had any skin infections or fungus as well. Nor had they ever seen any long term nudist with them. Beginners yes, old hands no.

I don’t know if I can say I observe that I am healthier and suffer from fewer virus effects or anything like that.  I do know that sleeping nude which I have done since I was a kid makes me feel better. I also have to say colds and such don’t last long with me and part of that is even when I am sick, I dump clothing from time to time.

Healthy Nerves and Brain Activity:

Our skin is loaded with nerve endings and clothing shields us from feeling much of them.  Pleasure, pain, wetness, dryness, all kinds of varied experiences are available in the senes of touch and our brain receives all of that as additional information it process and improves working memory in one study of barefoot versus shoes alone.  Image what this would do with the whole body.  Awareness is improved as people are much more aware when they are naked than clothes.  Part of this might be the cultural issue of nudity, but one might theorize that this harkens back to survival instincts when our whole race was naked apes.

I know I am much more aware of my surroundings even while at home in the buff.  I am far more sensitive to changes that affect my sense of touch the most and have discovered certain feelings of touch, particularly involving the movement of air and temperature, which are much more apparent to me. I know my meditation is much more effective when I am naked. The vulnerability of body and mind leads to a greater understanding of both.  I would say it goes a bit toward fighting my depression as well.  My nerve endings across my body are stimulated and that helps me feel better.

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Conclusion:

If anything my experience with nudism at home has opened my mind up for mote possible discovery of its benefits.  I wanted simply to highlight the benefits to my mind and body at this time. I am of course understandably ready to explore more of this area of my life more and see the one thing I have yet to experience, the benefits of social nudity.

Oh, one more thing. I did indeed write this post in the buff.  I find writing naked at times opens up my senses a little more and makes it a little more fo a pleasant experience.

My two cents.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Links:

https://www.today.com/health/health-benefits-being-naked-how-stripping-down-good-you-t44911

https://www.indiatimes.com/health/healthyliving/top-7-health-benefits-of-being-naked-236343.html#7

https://www.medicaldaily.com/3-benefits-getting-naked-public-taking-your-clothes-boosts-happiness-body-409623

“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!!!

“Being a Friend of the Gods” (Asatru – Part 19) – The Pagan Pulpit

Happy Sol’s Day!

Announcements:

We don’t pray here – we figure God, the gods, 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 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: “A Sacrifice for the Gods” – Chulainn Music

Mediation:

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Text: 

 

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

Sermon:

The are many other Norse gods I could have continued with but I will leave the issue of which god or goddess someone venerates and why to the actual followers of Asatru as that is not my purpose in this series. The main point from a pantheon of deities is that you can find one or several that you can consider yourself friends with.  Being a friend of the gods is the main concept here not fawning worship and abject humiliation.  This is an important concept to repeat at this point because it affects the idea of what sacrifice and worship are, as compared to other religions.

It is this being a friend based on admiration and respect that differs Asatru and many other pagan forms from most of what people normally consider worship.  There is no bending the knee in supplication to the gods.  There is no begging and pleading in prayer.  Rather there is an asking to be empowered by them to achieve what one wants for themselves. There is no sin, so there is no need for forgiveness but rather a simple need to be better than one was yesterday.

You might look at this way that the Asatru virtues of Fidelity and Self-Reliance are very much a part of this concept. it is about the loyalty of friendship but at the same time painting balance with that by a desire to be independent and self-reliant.  The gods are friends not objects of fawning worship.  This is expressed in the idea that a person who follows Thor is not a worshiper of thor, but a ‘friend of Thor.”

If was a member of Asatru, I would be considered first and foremost a “Friend of Odin” but I have to admit I admire the sexy independence of Freya as well.  Which would put me in good standing in either hall I would find myself in if I died in battle.  I could nod my head to the others but it is these two I would want to be friends with even though there are dangers associated with being a friend of either of them.

Theologically speaking, it seems to me that any god that needs lordship to be a god is no god at all.  The god of the bible, for instance, is jealous and demands worship thus indicating his insecurities. The Norse gods by contrast simply are portrayed as being of power that one can be friends with.  This indicates they are quite secure in themselves and need no such blind devotion. If I still believed in any god, this is the kind of god I think I would rather have been true – one that isn’t an insecure prick but simple one that offers friendship.  Kind of reminds me of this prayer in a movie

Parting Thought:

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No Gods, No Masters

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Athiest Spirituality” – Odin’s Eye

Happy Woden’s (Odin’s) Day.    

Discussion:

Spirituality is a very broad term and even among those who believe you have to define what perspective is being used in regards to spirituality.  Christian Spirituality, Pagan Spirituality, Islamic Spirituality, Hindu Spirituality, and Buddist Spirituality all have their various difference in how to approach the spiritual nature of humanity in relationship to the divine.  But what of Atheist Spirituality.  Without the supernatural in any form is spirituality possible?  I believe the answer is yes and all these forms tap into something that is probably very human.

Sam Harris in the quote above is on to something when he gives a shortlist of 1) spiritual experience, 2) ethical behavior and 3) strong communities all leading to human happiness.  I am going to lay the last two aside because for me these are found in following virtue which I discuss extensively and strong communities is a community discussion as far as I am concerned,  What interests me is ‘what is the nature and function of spiritual experience as an atheist?

Time to Look Through the Eye:

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

Faith:

I agree that spiritual experience is a product of the human mind and a natural propensity to spiritualize consciousness.  I believe it is an awareness of the world, people and society around us and represents our attempt using our consciousness to understand it all.  It is this foundation of consciousness that I think is the root of spirituality and eventually paganism in its very early forms.  We all start I think as pagans from a consciousness point of view until something comes along to change our viewpoint.

Meditation:

It is the product of some form of meditation, using this term in the broadest sense involving thinking and feeling at length about a subject, that change in our consciousness is achieved. Spiritual change is more about psychology than the supernatural.  We change our ethics and perspective because we come to different conclusions as we meditate on issues and thoughts. This is spiritual in the sense it involves our psyche, but might not have anything to with powers and forces outside ourselves.

Mystery:

This is one area where there is a lot of mystery.  Sure a lot has been discovered by science, but the social sciences, in my opinion, still lack that germ theory moment where a breakthrough happens that changes our understanding of the nature of the subject dramatically.  Until then, the mystery is there but it isn’t an excuse but rather a motivation to open up our consciousness even more as we seek to understand it.

Spirituality:

For me, the foundation of my spirituality is both pagan and atheist.  It is the primitive attempt to understand the world around me using nothing more than my own sense fo consciousness.  I, however, believe that this is the product of the human mind and imagination, not supernatural forces. It is this kernel of truth that survives that I used to surround with religion but now is my own godless and religionless mind.

Conclusion:

I have thus no problem using any religious idea that I feel reflects this.  Following the Nine Noble Virtues, for instance, is a good example of taking something like virtue and using it to provide a framework for philosophical thought while discarding actual belief in the gods of Norse mythology.  I sense as I use religion for this purpose more universal truths will surface like this, but I don’t need to be religious or religiously spiritual to appreciate them and utilize them.  So yes, atheist spirituality is a thing.  It is spirituality focused on humanity and the world we live in rather than spirits or gods.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Virtue, Asatru, and Atheism” – Of Wolves and Ravens – The Nine Noble Virtues

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

The question always is leveled at atheists – “if there is no god why should a person be moral?”  The question could be leveled back – “How moral can a person really be if they need a cosmic big brother to be moral all the time?”   But that is hardly answering the question.  The question assumes that morality derives from the divine or religion and to be honest there is a lot of evidence to counter this.  Most notably, that certain virtues and moral ideas occur universally in every religion and some religions might be better at extolling certain virtues but most virtues find themselves expressed in every form of religion and spirituality I know.  That is far more evidence of a human origin to virtue that religion has copied and persevered than morality came from religion.

For me, this is still evident in the fact that despite my ‘conversion’ to an atheist, I am still a follower of the Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) of Asatru because I can recognize the universal value of these virtues regardless of their religious/spiritual connection.  It has been said that religion was our first and worst attempt at coming up with answers to the great questions of life. If there is something good that came out of it, it is this recognition of universal values and virtues that humanity shares.

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So yes, I will continue to follow the NNV and write about them and make them a core of my philosophy. It isn’t about the spiritual side at all of being someone who practices modern Norse religion.  Rather it is about being the best human being I can be.   I still will draw inspiration that is very human from the stories of Norse mythology and the community that enjoys them. That is not the issue because ultimately it is about achieving what I need and want through being reasonable and wise.

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To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

When I first started this blog I had a couple desires.  One of them was to determine what I needed as far as having a code that would allow me to operate without the totalitarianism of Chrisitan ethics.  I needed a code of life and the Nine Nobel Virtues entered my life as I searched through the warrior codes and the Asatru code of the NNV resonated with me the best.  It fit what I needed at the time and still fits that need today.

Wants (Freki):

What I wanted out fo a code was things that made my life better, notably at the time -stability of philosophy.  I wanted something that would lead me as a person to being better and to have a better and more prosperous life.  Once agian the NNV filled that role rather well and still does.

Reason (Huginn):

Atheism changes nothing other than I am not looking at Asatru as faith or spiritual form I live and practice but rather I practice Asatru because it leads me, much like many atheists who still participate in a religious community, to a sense rational morality within the framework of a community.  Rational moral virtue is my goal now and the NNV with a few small modifications will still provide that for me. The one thing that cannot be said is that atheism leads to a lack of morality because evidence shows the contrary.

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Wisdom (Muninn):

The wisdom of the NNV still finds itself with me as I continue to have the overall thought that Marcus Aurelius which has stayed with me.

Itis this wisdom that will keep me following the NNV regardless of my spiritual thoughts or belief in the divine. It is simply a wise thing to do.

Conclusion:

The Nine Nobel Virtues are one part of many things in religion that can be compatible with both my humanism and my atheism.  Yes, religion was our first and worst attempt at understanding life and the universe, but even a blind hog roots up a truffle now and then.  But it is my humanity and my reason that recognizes when religion has simply preserved something good from what humanity has created from itself.

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I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“2000 Words” -A Skald’s Life – Foundational Virtues

Happy Mani’s Day

Journal Entry:

Since writing my post for Saturday about National Novel Writing M0nth (NaNoWriMo) and deciding to use that month to instead do a Non-Fiction Book, I have been meditating on the 2000 words per day goal with that. I am now pretty confident t about that as I not only feel this is a worthy goal and one that is achievable for me, I feel it needs to be a daily habit to hit a word total each day.  The reason I say this is a far more concrete goal than writing for an hour that I have had before.  Because you can sit there for an hour and write only 500 words. I think the issue is making a goal that actually gives me daily progress.

To put it in perspective, my average post on this blog falls within 1000 words.  Pretty typical for me and that takes 30-45 minutes to write and then probably another 15 minutes to edit. If I follow my pattern of letting a post sit a day and editing it again the next day, that’s another 15 minutes.

Writing a book is a different matter because the editing for me would be akin to sitting down for hours and reading the material and editing it all in one go. So I could just follow the NaNoWriMo philosophy and just write and get the 2000 words in an hour or at the most an hour and a half. Very much possible if I put off some personal entertainment and get about the business of writing.

This week I will be hitting my principles in A Skald’s Life so that will be reflected bellow.

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).  (achieved)

Bucket List: Hike the Northern Lakeshore Trail along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by March 2024.

I guess I find it easier to find personal honor in others than in myself.  I am an observer of people and I find what is good in a far different way than before.  Honor is a feeling of value and it is far easier to find value or how people are valuable when thinking about others for me.

It is finding value in myself right now that is a challenge.  I just am struggling with that right now. I need a new life in the sense of having a new place, job and environment I think. It is why I am going to be expanding my job search for most of the country.

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 by March 2029.

Philosophically, I don’t struggle so much with acting once I know what the right thing is, it is determining the right thing. I was told recently I am a little bit of an enduring asshole. That is a reflection of a little less tolerance for bullshit in my life and standing up to 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: Read 52 books (one per week) in the year 2020.

I think sometimes people have taken aback that I tell the truth a lot, even when it makes me look less flattering.  They are probably used to lies and accept them as part of life from others. I just don’t have it in me to lie to people anymore.  I spent a lot of my last three years of ministry, fronting a lost faith and have no desire to front anything anymore. What you see is what you get with me; take it or leave it.

I still struggle with what the truth is and how to deal with it.  I realized three months ago I was wrestling with whether I believed in any god at all and only recently accepted I don’t and to be honest the world could be here without god at all.  If there is a god, he is either one that doesn’t give a shit or we are just an experiment in a petri dish to him.  He isn’t benevolent that’s for sure. I have no evidence, in any case, to believe so until some evidence is given, I am facing the truth that I am for all practical and philosophical purposes an atheist.   So I am an Athiest Humanist with Pagan tendencies. 🙂

Higher Virtue: Love:

Love for the people who are important to me – check.  Love for self – hesitation to check. I am at a love crossroads regularly.  I need to take the self-love fork soon or there is going to be a problem.  I will get too close to the cliff of self-sacrifice to death if I don’t take the self-love fork at a certain point.

Morning Routine:

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

I like this routine now better than before.  It allows me to get the basics done and be ready to go through the day.

I remain.

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

Skaal!!!

“A ‘Dirty’ Mind”- Freya’s Chambers – Sexual Imagination

Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day:

Disclaimer:  The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues.  If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.  Given the nature of some subjects be prepared for nude images as there may be some.  I avoid genitalia as a general rule but is not always possible.  

Discussion:

See the source image

I am introducing a new topic subheading called Sexual Imagination.  Basically, how the mind and sex are connected.  I am going to start with a simple concept – having a ‘dirty mind’.  Does this really exist?  Is it normal or bad?

See the source image

Back when I was a  Christian, the ‘sin’ I struggled with the most was lust. No getting around it.  I eventually dealt with it by simply being real about it and changing my viewpoints on a lot of things.  It probably had something to do with my deconversion as I began to realize what made sin such a made-up concept was that it involved such impossible tasks as not ‘lusting’

I would now say that humans have developed a high desire to procreate so that the biological needs to be sensually drawn to another person is normal. That does change your definition of what it means to be ‘dirty-minded’.  I mean there is little actual dirt to having sexual thoughts and only religion with its cultic desire to control others through sexuality would try to defy that.

Without Sin:

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Boiling things down to biology helps in taking the dirty out of dirty-minded for yourself.  Without sin what you have is thoughts that cross your brain when you see, hear or feel something that causes you suddenly think and feel sensual.  Not sin, just normal sexual desire.

Well, I should define normal as best I can.  I am not sure having a desire for sex with children is normal or a desire for rape.  It might be normal in the sense scientifically it can be proved statistically normal, but whether or not culture or society or basic decent humanity at times defines a sexual thought as ‘normal’ might be another issue.

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Psychology aside most of us have sensual thoughts that range on the normal side of seeing or hearing something and translating it into a sensual or sex-related situation.  Whether it is seeing a picture that you first think is someone doing something naughty or you hear someone say something and immediately think to yourself some sort of sexually related joke, it is all signs of a healthy but perhaps overactive sensual imagination.

Sensual Imagination:

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I have had all my life and overactive sensual imagination.  This is particularly when someone says something that could be taken into the sexual realm with a minor change in the way of looking at it.  A woman says: “I will leave you to put that thing in there.”  and my mind goes: “That’s what she said.”  Easy as that and sometimes far worse. Ok. many times far worse.  I keep a lot of it to myself but it keeps me entertained where my mind goes these days.  If there is any change, I am no longer mortified by some of the things I think unless they truly cross a line and I think to myself.  “No way you’re telling anyone that one.”

Visually I am probably pretty typically male. I see a nice feature on a female and you bet that leads to some ‘sensually imaginative’ thoughts.  I think I can say, with a lot of high probability, the following 1) If I don’t notice and nice ass, 2) If I don’t notice a nice pair of boobs and/or 3)  If I don’t notice a woman’s curvy figure and such a thing is absent dirty-minded thoughts; then it is time to call the morgue and tell them to send a truck for my body.  I have obviously died and haven’t fallen over yet.

Filters: 

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I do have my filters:

  1. I never say anything dirty in mixed company unless know the people first
  2. Most of the time I never lead with sensually imaginative comments, I wait for others to do so or for it to come out in regular conversation from someone else.
  3. Never around kids, although kids do say some funny things that if you are not careful you could go there.
  4. I double think everything when alone and out of sight with the opposite sex who is not my wife.  My wife, however, has to endure. 🙂
  5. People easily offended?  – Nope, not going to go there with people with a stick up their ass.

Of course, filters don’t always work when the situation is such that the environment just invites sensual thoughts. Some thoughts, however, are Not Safe For Work and so I keep them to myself.

Conclusion:

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Basically, I am saying I don’t fight this anymore, I just try to make sure that it is in good fun and not being hurtful.  Knowing your surroundings and who is around you is a good way to avoid the consequences in our society, which is hypersensitive these days.  Mostly though you are pretty much a normal person in my opinion even if your imagination is overly sensual.  Just be careful out there.

Honestly and seriously though, we are sexual beings as human beings, which means our mind is going to head down that path from time to time.  Some of us just like going down it a lot.  Nothing wrong with it just make sure you have some filters and sometimes remember this is about your own entertainment far more than not.  It makes you walk the path with a few more smiles on your face.

So, how ‘dirty’ is your mind?

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!