The Future

Happy Tyr’s Day!

According to Norse Mythology Odin sacrificed one of his eyes to see the future. Right now my future is uncertain and would probably do the same to get some form of clarity as to what the future holds for me. That said I do not subscribe to the idea of a fate that is inescapable. More of a Stoic notion of fate where fate is more of what you can’t control in life and my attitude and actions in response or being proactive against what I know is coming is more the thing for me. The tapestry of fate has many weavers, but I weave my thread within it according to my decisions and actions.

There are many things I ponder as I look to the future. Currently, I am technically homeless living with my son and his significant other. I have a place to sleep and work on myself and I am content with this. I have some leads in the housing situation but I feel that takes time.

I do have a job that starts tomorrow so that is progress of a sort. I need to keep my eyes open for more opportunities but then again, I have other projects in the fire so a simple job of 32-40 hours is a welcome relief and allows me some time to pursue them. The real trick with Stoic philosophy is to enjoy where you are now and be present in the now. Learning to be ready to act in the moment is a big thing for me now and I make my plans accordingly.

What I now focus on is finding a way to make money doing things I enjoy and have alternative streams of income (passive if possible) that allow me to get closer to being more secure financially without being burdened with doing something I dislike. The job I now have will be a good base, I need to expand with a few things to make the situation better.

I had some success as a YouTuber, but I feel the focus of my channel was too niche at the time. I want to create something where I can educate and engage in my interests at the same time this time. Yeah, I am going back into that arena and I hope I can monetize it this time. But the work now is in the concept stage and I hope to launch on February 1st.

The other possibility is writing. I like writing and being a writer but I think I need to get my priorities straight about it. I need to write with selling it in mind. I can still write what I want but editing has to be more along the lines of what will sell to the public. What will they pay for? I am still in a meditative state on this trying to figure it out.

So now for the new part:

To-Do List 1-24-23:

  1. Store my belongings someplace safe – My car is still full of stuff and I need to deal with it.
  2. Apply for the apartment I found.
  3. Go to the gym and get a good workout in.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

The Game of Life – Retiring to Become a Philosopher.

Happy Odin’s Day!!!

When I was a kid I played many games and still do. Until I got older and was introduced to strategy and RPG games, one of my favorites was The Game of Life. One thing I remember distinctly about the version we had was there was the millionaire mansion side if you won. Everyone else who lost got to retire to a small cottage and became a philosopher. There is an emphasis on the accumulation of wealth in The Game of Life and at that time it was a simple assumption that the person who had the most won (or you could put everything you owned on two numbers and won if you spun them) and the losers were the ones who ‘retired as a Philosopher. When I was a kid, I thought this was sensible.

Now, I long to be a retired philosopher. Too bad being a philosopher doesn’t pay so well. But that is now my dream job. Just sitting in your house and thinking has a strange appeal to me right now. I made a mistake coming to Texas and trying to be a Public School Teacher. It’s not the kind of mistake you know it’s a mistake before you get there, but more in retrospect.

So what to do from here for my 53 year-old ass? I am not sure. But prehaps there is a way to find the path. Be the philosopher while doing something else. Or maybe I will just have to put everything I got on two numbers ans spin the wheel.

The one thing I know for sure is that all should be doen with my own happiness and well being in mind.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

Minimalism – Returning to My Philosophical Roots.

Happy Mani’s Day!

Since making my decision to reign from teaching ASAP, I have been reviewing my minimalistic philosophy of life. Mostly, on the practical side, I have to reduce the shit in my possession so I can fit everything into my car and go back to Michigan. But the rest of it is renewing some things I had forgotten. Stuff remembered that would have helped me with what I am going through now if I hadn’t remembered it too late.

Does this give me joy?

Does this give me sense of purpose?

Does this add value to my life.?

These are the questions at some point that I stopped asking and got off track. Had asked them about teaching or some of the things I have bought with my money I would probably have had a better sense of purpose and more money. So as I prepare to move back home, stuff is leaving my life.

I first learned of this concept many years ago when I was still a Christian reading Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline and then I read his later book – Freedom of Simplicity. Now, one might say this is a Christian thing until you realize every major viewpoint seems to have some discussion about Minimalism in its most base form – living simply. Stoic philosophers sing its praises without even a reference to a deity. Does it fit with the Nine Noble Virtues – I would say ‘yes’. It is more important to work with purpose than accumulate. More important to work on one’s self than acquire things from others.

This last few days, I have been getting rid of things and with each trip to Goodwill or each tip to the dumpster, I feel the load of life’s burden getting lighter. I have fewer things than last week and yet I feel like I have gained something – freedom from the desire to possess.

One particular trial in this was not as one might expect – my books. but rather my games. I have a load of Avalon Hill wargames I collected in my younger days that I have had through many travels and moves. I have held onto these forever and yet today I set aside 2/3 of them to take to Goodwill. I asked myself – ‘when was the last time you played this? It came up surprisingly often – ‘never’ and at other times ‘decades ago’. Some collectors will have them if they stumble into the right Goodwill and find them. But it felt so good – like giving up a dormant part of the past so I am open for something else to enjoy or be more productive. Letting go and gaining freedom. That is simplicity, that is minimalist philosophy. It brings real peace.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

The Flexible Nature of Pagan Philosophy

Happy Thor’s Day!

A commenter recently asked if I would explain where I am now to help understand my journey from Christian Pastor to the present. I would and have been classifying myself as a Pagan Atheist for some time now. The Atheist part is easy to understand or so you would think so. Simply put I do not believe in gods, goddesses, or even spiritual beings or forces because I do not find the evidence for the existence of these things to be at all convincing.

The pagan part is more difficult to define outside the spiritual side of it. Paganism throws around terms like “sacred, divine, etc: but my previously stated lack of belief in such things as spirits and gods or even sacredness throws a lot of that aside. In this expression of spirituality, one does find a philosophy based on a genuine and real world. People looked at the world around them and came up with observations that still hold today but wherever they didn’t understand the why or how – they made things up like religion and gods.

Of all religions, paganism is grounded the most in real life to me. It upholds the virtues of mankind as central. For me, the Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) has become my code of life and there is really no requirement to believe in the supernatural to follow after the NNV. It could also be noted that the NNV provides a connection between most people as things like ‘courage’ ‘truth’ or ‘self-reliance’ can be discussed between people regardless of religion or philosophy.

I can easily sit down at a table with a Muslim, a Christian, and a Pagan and discuss what it means to have honor. We all would have differences in what honor is, but the basic idea would be there for all of us as a starting point. The differences would be in how ‘honor’ would be expressed. Those differences would be obvious, but what honor is would be understood. at least at a core level.

I chose paganism because of its practical truths such as the NNV. But also the viewpoints tend to be grounded in reality. That said, how the reality I interpreted can vary from pagan to pagan in very different and unique ways. There is really no right or wrong way to be a pagan. Most do have as a core three central cornerstones, but some of these cornerstones include the belief in things that are not proven, but a kernel of truth is still present that I can uphold because I think the philosophy works.

It should be noted here that I have looked at where ethics and morality come from and I don’t find that religion is the source of these things, but rather humans create ethics and philosophy as a society for the purpose of mutual benefit for all. Religion comes along and simply gets created to uphold the virtues and philosophy of life that already exist. Religion is a preserver of traditions but often has nothing to d with creating those traditions in the first place. It also has a tendency to pervert those traditions in the name of acquiring power for both the ruling and religious classes in society. Taking the good functioning element and seizing control of it and claiming divine origin is a classic religious staple.

Perhaps an example is in order. Marriage and in particular the nuclear marriage of one man and one woman. From an evolutionary standpoint, this works. You don’t need to be religious to see that. This issue is what came first. I believe people were living in nuclear arrangments for literally millions of years before religion came along and claimed the origin of marriage and the nuclear family that followed was of divine origin. It simply worked and became something valued because it worked.

But back o the cornerstones of basic pagan belief. 1) There is a belief in the importance or sacredness of nature.2) Reverence for ancestors and 3) acknowledgment of the divine within ourselves. If I were to take the spiritualized nature out of these things it becomes 1) The understanding of the importance of the natural world. 2) Respect for those who came before us and 3) recognition of the value of each human being including myself. I want to do a post on each of these things, so I will leave these cornerstones for the moment.

The point of this post is this is my interpretation of these and that is perfectly OK in paganism. Paganism is flexible and its philosophy is malleable. It can be shaped more specifically for each individual. That to me is more realistic that a philosophy that dictates terms to the individual they are forced into. Pagan philosophy is a tool for understanding the world and our role in it, not a dictator telling us what to do.

I remain.

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

Skal!!!

“Viking Philosophy – Part 4 – Be a Good Merchant” – 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: Trobar de Morte – ‘Summoning The Gods’

Meditation:

Image may contain: 1 person, meme and beard, possible text that says 'NEVER INTERRUPT WITCH/VOLVA YOUR ENEMY NORSE OHATHE WHILE THEY ARE MAKING A MISTAKE'

 

Text:

Sermon: ‘Viking Philosophy – Part 3 – Be a Good Merchant’

One of the unknown historical things about the Vikings is that they were good traders. Most see the Vikings as raiders but their main long term objective was trade routes. Now the Vikings if they seemed to have shortcoming militarily it was siege\ing cities so the better strategy was to threaten economic warfare but then offer trade as an alternative to war.  Sometimes it was simple once the Vikings colonized they traded with the new colony. In any case, being a good merchant was part fo the game of being a Viking.

  1. Finding Out What the Market Needs – selling means filling a need.  You can try to sell ice and snow to Eskimos all you want but they don’t need them.
  2. Do Not Promise What You Cannot Keep – No one will do business with a person who can not deliver on their promises.  The great correcting force of the market is if you sell shit people will stop buying it and if you don’t deliver – same.
  3. Do Not Demand Overpayment – Make sure your prices are affordable and you will get long term business.
  4. Arrange Things So You Can Return – The long term is the focus in the end.  Being able to do business and keep doing it repeatedly. This is why being honorable and truthful leads to self-reliance.

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: 1 person, possible text that says 'Nordic Bloo Love all. Trust few. Everything's real but not everyone's true.'

 

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Viking Philosophy – Part 3 – Be Prepared” – 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: “Setting out to Attack Paris”

Meditation:

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'Heathen It's not what BELIEVE It's who IAM'

Text:

Sermon: ‘Viking Philosophy – Part 3 – Be Prepared’

Moving on we see the philosophy of being prepared and it is the kind of being prepared that is constant not in crisis.  Battle was never something one could always predict as to when and where so the Vikings fostered an always ready strategy.

  1. Keep Weapons in good shape – Constant sharpening and maintenance of weapons is a must for a warrior.
  2. Keep in Shape – No flabby Vikings, as one must be ready to move, march and fight at any time. Rowing ships is work.  This perhaps why the Vikings liked contests to keep them motivated to do so.
  3. Find odd Battle Comrades – One can’t fight alone and one must trust the person to the right or left of them. Part of being prepared is to know who you are fighting with and why. Relationships matter.
  4. Agree on Important Points – when the talking or fighting begins knowing the main things all can agree on that are important allows one to act with one’s comrades without unnecessary words. Things are known and then everyone acts accordingly.
  5. Choose One Chief – I cannot state how many organizations failed because they were two-headed or three-headed monsters. There can only be one shot-caller in battle and everyone needs to recognize it

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: possible text that says 'A SHIP IS ALWAYS SAFE AT SHORE, BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT IT'S BUILT FOR! MORSEPAGATHIKH/VALVA'

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Spring Cleaning” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Minimalism

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

This spring I plan on doing some genuine spring cleaning as in – if I haven’t used it since I have been in the new apartment then I probably don’t need it. There are going to probably be some of those nostalgic exceptions but one of my side B philosophies is minimalism.  It really boils down to two things: 1) Do I need it, and does it give me joy.  These things mean I get rid of a lot of things.

The philosophy extends to a review of things like my routine as well.  Keeping those simple an streamlined is all part of minimalism as well.  Life gets complicated enough on its own without my own decisions adding to it. It is the two questions of whether I have need of something and whether it makes me happy are applied to everything.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

This is probably the one part of my philosophical outlook that directly looks at needs and wants.  Need being a true need for something.  This is true of routine, stuff or relationships. Do I genuinely need this?  If the answer is ‘yes’, it stays.

Wants (Freki):

The other question is: Does this give me joy or happiness? Is this something that I genuinely want and not some outside imposed want?  This keeps my wants in line and allows me to focus on what truly matters.

Reason (Huginn):

This is the reasonableness of minimalism.  It is probably the best thing I even embraced as far as keeping my time and money under control.  Probably though another layer is added with efficiency as far as economics but that is the subject of the next weeks ‘Of Wolves and Ravens’.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I have found great wisdom in the peace of mind that happens when the abundance on tuff is not central but rather having one’s money and time under complete control. It simply true wisdom that leads to more focus on what matters to me.

Conclusion:

This spring I will probably dedicate a couple days to going through everything. I have a couple day weekend with my wife gone for both says so that seems like a great time to go through everything again. Time to find peace in minimalistic simplicity

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Love Hurts” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Love

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

The one thing when you are young they never really seem to tell you is how much love hurts.  It almost seems like everyone else who has felt this simply waits until you experience love hurting before they talk to you about it.  It’s like you simply can’t relate or understand until it happens. They are probably right.

I never have felt something so wonderful as love and at the same time so devastating as when it is gone as love. I should probably clarify, what is devastating is loving someone else but them not feeling the same in return. The lack of reciprocity of love is the hard part and what makes it hard is your love for the other person is still there.  Full strength kick in the balls doesn’t; begin to describe the emotional pain here.

So why do we do it?  Because on the flip side, there is nothing that will make you motivated to move mountains and try to conquer the world for someone like love. The moments I have felt the best in my life have been when I have been in love and knew the other person loved me. But I now recognize this is not enough.  Love without honor, courage, and truth will fail too.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

My need is for love with all these qualities is pretty high.  I have very high expectations from love because it has taken me to great heights.  Perhaps I am being romantic about it but my need for love is the kind of love that is openly honest and takes risks because the reward for those risks is so high. The greatest risk I think at times is to love yourself but also the most needed.  It is the one need I feel is the most unmet in my life.

Wants (Freki):

I want to feel as good loving myself as I do when I love another. I don’t; recall this being a thing too often in my life. But when it has been there, I have been better than ever.  Add it to a time when I have loved another and those are the moments of my life so rare that count them as my greatest moments.

Reason (Huginn):

I suppose someone will call out the cold side of reason when it comes to love, but I don’t work that way. Considering love rationally, one needs to find those moments of a love of self and another to the point they happen more often.  Rationally these are the mountaintops of life.  I jsut have never been able to find them rationally.  I have to follow my instincts and my heart but I don’t trust people enough to do this.  I trust my instincts, it is just people who have a way of being unfaithful in the end that my instincts and empathy seem to miss.  I assume truth instead of lies.  I assume courage instead of cowardice. I assume honor instead of dishonor. It is these assumptions that have made me look like an ass more than once. No matter how rational I try to be, when I am in love and feel love, my brain takes a holiday and I assume the best and often get the worst.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I question my wisdom when it comes to love all the time. Give me a problem to solve and I am there in full force.  Give me a feeling like love to sort out and I find myself whimpering in the corner more often than not. Wisdom strives for balance and I can never seem to find it. io am all in or all out when it comes to love. There seem to be no in-between stages or degrees.  Love, therefore makes me a fool.  EVERY. FUCKING. TIME.

Conclusion:

I wish I had something more positive to say.  I love to be in love but the downside causes me to shy away. To play it safe.  But that doesn’t; help me and it certainly leads to a life that hurts in other ways. I want to break this cycle.  I am just unsure as to how to do it.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Aristotle’s First Principles” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Western Philosophy

Happy Mani’s Day

Discussion:

In recent days, I have discovered that I enjoy all forms of ideas from philosophy.  I enjoy considering them anyway.  Western philosophy has more influence on people’s mindsets in the west than people know.  I recently came across Aristotle’s first principles in a YouTube Video I was looking at which I will provide below.

The idea of being able to categorize and break things down into basic or first principles is something I can definitely resonate with. I do this all the time with this blog’s journal posts where individual virtues are the First principles for me but then categorize them in Virtues relating to Love. Justice and Wisdom as well as Foundational, Business, and Self. This idea of breaking things down in their basic components was first introduced by Aristotle.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

Taking this idea to the subject of needs this allows one to break down one’s needs into the most basic components – food clothing, and shelter could be said to be the first principles of needs. But also you could say social contact, security, and standing.  Well-being is the main category of need, but it can definitely be broken down further and further.

Wants (Freki):

I think the basic thing in the area of want would be that if you want something the simple act of breaking things down step by step is what Aristotle brings to the table. No person who has a goal that requires effort has not done this. I think for me this is the essence of First principles not only in analyzing the world around me but also achieving that which I want to achieve often requires this ‘breaking things down’ into smaller bites to get them done.

Reason (Huginn):

I find Aristotle’s approach to be very reasonable because it isn’t purely mental gymnastics but also considers relationships and emotions.  It involves these things because they exist. It isn’t black and white thinking but more of a type of thinking that allows one to categorize the nuances of life to better understand them.

Wisdom (Muninn):

I find this also leads to wisdom – that things once understood can be wisely engaged.

Conclusion:

This has been a couple weeks of thinking about this part of Western philosophy that I definitely engage and use but now understand better both why I do and what value it has. It is something to note.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“Viking Philosophy – Part 1 – Introduction” – 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: Herknungr- ‘Drengskapr’ (Viking Music)

Meditation:

Image may contain: one or more people and meme, possible text that says 'THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE FOR MYSELF WAS DECIDING THAT MoreCrazyStut Stuff COULDN'T GIVE ANY LESS OF A DAMN OF ANOTHER'S OPINION OR MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT ME'

 

Text:

“Be Brave and Aggressive, Be Prepared, Be a Good Merchant, Keep the Camp in Order”

 

Sermon: ‘Viking Philosophy – Part 1 – Introduction’

I have been holding on to this picture of “Viking Laws” now for a little while.  I have thought about it and feel that a more practical series of Viking Philosophy is in order after my long treatment of Asatru.  The practical side of living life according to the philosophy of the Vikings might be in order.

In summary, the philosophy comes down to four items:

  1. Be Brave and Aggressive
  2. Be Prepared
  3. Be a Good Merchant
  4. Keep the Camp in Order

I want to take each of these fora week for four weeks and then consider a conclusion to the whole in this short but I think necessary series. My main issue is practical application of philosophy to life.  Of Wolves and Ravens is dedicated to that but this is a little more ‘spiritual’ as well with a sense of community and connection to the Nine Noble Virtues.

Until next week I can only say this short four phrase sentence will be on my mind a lot in the coming month.  In the meantime, I challenge you to meditate on it as well.  It’s time to pull back a bit from the theology of the Vikings and look at their philosophy of life.

Parting Thought:

Image may contain: 1 person, beard, possible text that says 'Nordic Roots Sometimes you just need an adventure to cleanse the bitter taste of life from your soul.'

 

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!