“Revising the Ten Commandments – Part 1 – What Needs to Go” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Sif’s Day

Well, we are coming to the end of the first year of The Grey Wayfarer and I thought I would do some things that are special for the final few days.  One thing I have been doing in my spare time is looking at videos of people revising the ten commandments from George Carlin to Atheists like Christopher Hitchens.  I have been thinking as my last public hurrah with being critical of Christianity (I am writing a book for publication on this, so from now on when I am a critic of my former faith, I expect to get paid for it), I should do the same. This will be in three parts:

Part 1 – What Needs to Go

Part 2 –  Positive Replacements

Part 3 –  Further Additions and Final Copy

The Ten Commandments are found in several places.  But I like Deuteronomy 5 the best:

# 1 – ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

Well except this would have been a perfect time to abolish slavery in the whole of Israel as a testimony to its evil. It would have been symbolic of deliverance for the whole nation to be entirely free with no slavery at all. That does not happen as later commandments basically reaffirm slavery as legit and God’s people over and over to be slaves and bondslaves.  Bondslavery being condoned as a form of slavery where a person has Stockholm Syndrome so bad they wilfully become a lifelong slave.

In addition, this seems to be god trying to make people worship him instead of showing he is the only god and worthy of respect. It seems egotistical on god’s part and it is. More likely was written by a man who wanted his reign not to be questioned so he basically creates a God that is unassailable then says his reign it divinely appointed.  Yeah. goodbye.

#2 – You shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

  1. This pretty much the most ignored command in all of the ten.  I mean go to any Catholic church.  But it goes much further than that – no creativity is allowed here which pretty much gets rid of creative thinkers.  Great way to keep people dumb and compliant.
  2. God is jealous but later calls jealousy a sin. No contradiction there.  Yeah, right.
  3. How is it just to punish children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren for crimes their parents committed. Talk about being a bully.  No standard of justice that is just would do this.  There is also no reverse promise that if one generation is faithful, then the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would be blessed.

Goodbye.

#3 – ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not [j]leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

I have literally heard hundreds of interpretations of what this means. and none of them makes sense.  Of the commandments, it is the most nonsensical and controversial as far as meaning. Goodbye.

#4 – ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.

Sounds good on the surface until you read the whole of all the sabbath laws and realize this is more about draconian totalitarian control than rest. One guy is literally killed for gathering sticks on the Sabbath. How is that eye for an eye? More like a scratch being punished by a stick to the eye. Interestingly enough Jesus does contradict this command and it is the only one the disciples and Jesus break even though he tells everyone that not one jot or tittle will pass from the law. Due to conflicting observation and overkill in punishment – Goodbye

#5 – ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you.

You have to ask yourself if the man who wrote this had an ironic tone as the punishment, for being a rebellious kid, was death, and it would be your parents that killed you  ‘Days might be prolonged’ indeed. Talk about training for someone to be an abject slave to their rulers, you don’t get better than this.  The potential for abuse is strong in this one as I have seen it firsthand.

If a parent wants honor they should earn it by being a good parent and quite frankly not demand it because of position but earn it by their character. You chose to have children so you are responsible for them.  You shouldn’t have them simply to have servants.  Goodbye.

#6 – ‘You shall not murder. 

Finally, one we can keep. But every law code has this idea and quite frankly it seems to be what we would call – ‘Duh’. I am glad it doesn’t stop all killing as perhaps someday a just war will be fought and self-defense should have killing allowed.

#7 – ‘You shall not commit adultery.

I am going to say what a lot of other commentators say on this one.  There wasn’t something you could have put here that was a more significant issue?  Like, say you should not have a slave or another bigger issue.

The punishment is pretty severe here too – death.  From painful experience, I can say adultery has its own consequences that are quite sufficient. Another case of “How is this eye for an eye?”  Goodbye.

# 8 – ‘You shall not steal.

Another one that is quite frankly – Duh and no real revelation. Law codes older than this one has this in it.  Plagiarism at its finest.

# 9 – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Somewhat ahead of its time but not completely as it seems we have another ‘duh’ command here.  Lying to get an innocent person in trouble seems to be self evidently wrong.  Funny how the three I have kept either don’t require a divine entity to tell you them because it is obvious they are good, or that they seem to be in other law codes before this one already.

#10 – ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’

What could be more Orwellian and totalitarian than thought crimes?  The second commandment makes you give up creative thought and this one makes you give up thoughts of any kind of desire.  Making you content with your lot in life even though it sucks.

It is also misogynist as fuck.  ‘Wives as possessions’ is so hot in the bible and the Law of Moses in particular. Property, not people – women equal to cattle is implied.  Goodbye.

We have THREE Survivors:

‘You shall not murder.

‘You shall not steal.

‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

So the ones with the moral equivalent of ” Duh, No Shit.” made it.

Hmm.  Need to replace seven of these bad boys. In Part Two we will do that.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“The Topfreedom Movement” – Freya’s Chambers – Equality

 

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 this week’s topic be prepared for images of topless females. 

Introduction:

I have to say that since the first time I wrote on the topfreedom movement in the United States, they have made quite a bit of progress.  I originally examined them in my Christian blog many years ago.  Mostly the issue back then was legal.  But the real trick of any social movement is to address all concerns including cultural, social and political.  If you are not aware, the topfreedom movement is basically pressing for equal rights of women to appear topless wherever a man can appear topless.  Basically asserting that the different laws for the treatment of men and women’s chests are sexist and violates equal protection under the law.  The issue for them is equal rights under the law.

I was supportive of the topfreedom movement back then even as a Christian because unlike many other Christians I actually realized that the constitution is the law of the land, not the Bible, and even with the Bible, there is no, I repeat no, statement or even indirect reference in the Bible that says a woman exposing her breasts is a sin. From my point of view then, a Christian woman who decided it was too damn hot and took off both bra and shirt and mowed the lawn was not a sinner, she was just being practical.

But what about now without Bible as some sort of appeal to authority and being you basic deistic humanistic pagan, where do I stand on this issue now? Without the whole sin question to consider, then the issue becomes very practical and about equality.      

Discussion:

From a cultural/social point of view, this is going to be a long fight but I stand with these ladies for a lot of reasons.  Most notably to me is a simple fact that socially I feel that these ‘modesty’ constraints are kept mostly to allow the unattractive, the insecure and religious women of the world to have an advantage over those women who are attractive, secure and non-religious.  I see it every time I go to the beach and some attractive woman is wearing a very revealing swimsuit.  All the other women are judging and criticizing because they are not secure in themselves or have a positive body image about themselves. I love it when a woman asks her significant other, who is watching said attractive female, what he thinks and he says: “whatever you think dear.”  This is far more about pecking order among females than anything else. To aid them in this quest for dominance, some women turn to religious moral codes and such to force their way into the law and on other women.

See the source image

My libertarianism kicks in as well to support these women.  If an action is not about force to harm, the threat of force or fraud there is no violation of the Non-Aggression Principle and if there is no victim you can point to and say who was harmed – there is no crime. Can someone tell me who is hurt by a woman walking down the street on a hot day topless?  As far as I can tell the only thing that is harmed is people’s opinions, feelings and sensibilities and none of those things count as far as the NAP violation or a crime.

See the source image

This leads me to the legal issues that how is exposing female nipples a crime and the exposing of male nipples is not a crime?  Note that most laws talk about nipple exposure and not the actual breast itself. I have found this an interesting part of the law as the nipples on men and women are essentially the same.  It is the mammary glands that lead to the mound of the flesh a women’s nipples are on that is the difference between the chests.  However, in most places, if the woman were to put tape over her nipples then she is perfectly legal as she would not actually violate the wording of the law.

See the source image

But I started this post out with the pagan and spiritual side of this and from that standpoint, I would have to say there is something liberating and freeing to the spirit when one frees themselves from the spirit of being a moral busybody and judge of other people.  There can be no greater judgemental attitude that the one where you impose what you think is modest on another because modesty is a spiritual quality of heart and mind, not one of the dress or undress.

See the source image

The other spiritual quality is the appreciation of beauty and in particular the beauty of the human body.  I find a lot of religious believers in God will talk about the beauty of creation and then spend a vast majority of their time trying to cover up one of its most beautiful parts: the human body, both male and female.  In this appreciation of beauty, I have also started to discover something about my attitude about women and their appearance.  I have found a greater understanding that sexual desire and nudity are not always connected. Put simply just because a woman is topless it doesn’t mean she is thinking about or asking for sex anymore than a man who is topless is doing so. Personally, I have learned that real modesty is letting other people be free and if a woman wants to freely walk down the street with her breasts bare, that is her business and I should respect that and not look at it as an invitation for a sexual encounter.

Conclusion:See the source image

When I first was made aware of the topfreedom movement, only one state of our fifty had changed its laws to reflect and equal treatment of men and women regarding toplessness.  Since then there are now 35 states that have followed suit realizing that legally there can be no distinction between a man and a woman’s chest. 

See the source image

The challenge now is in these states many local governments have reacted with their own ordinances and so what the topfreedom movement focuses on there is trying to get the one legal case in that state that will bring the locals government to heel with state law. There is currently one woman bringing legal action against the city of Chicago before the Supreme Court of the United States.  That might be the legal silver bullet that brings about the remaining states and locals to realizing they can either lose money in a lawsuit every time or just let women be topless.

See the source image

The real problem, of course, is that the long term will require society some time to change. Cultural norms change slowly but inevitably.  Like when women were first allowed to show their legs and more cleavage, it takes some time for it to be more normal to everyone in a society. I see change coming for American society regarding this issue and the majority of pushback will come from women and the religious.  In time, even they will have to submit to the inevitable. Sure men will probably at first avert their eyes, but eventually, they won’t think of bare breasts, as usual, any more than bare legs. Time will tell.

Thoughts?

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

“A Libertarian (and Pin Up) 4th of July” – The Rabyd Skald

Happy Thor’s Day

In the interest of keeping this short but still get a post in for today, I am letting the pin-ups do most of the…commmunicating.

I wish you a happy 4th of July for those of us celebrating our revolution freeing us from the British Empire and granting us our freedom from tyranny.  As a libertarian, I can applaud such actions as the fact that government, in general, is a necessary evil with a heavy emphasis on the word evil. But as countries go we still have a lot of individual freedoms and liberties still.  Whenever I see the UK ban something stupid and restrict the free speech of their citizens, I am thankful for our early exit from the Empire to form our own country based on the classical liberal libertarian ideals.

See the source image

So set off some fireworks, enjoy that BBQ and make love to life. Remember we could be watching people getting arrested for posting memes and Twitter posts.  Enjoy a safe but fun 4th.

See the source image

Still free to wander,

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

Skaal!!!

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

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

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

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

This virtue is much more complicated than it first appears.  We also need to remember that as we move from the Foundational Virtues to the Business Virtues that this is my distinction but in other views, this virtue is handled in a different place.  What all of us acknowledge is that the Nine Noble Virtues weave together to form different concepts and at Self-Reliance, we see a lot of that.

Mostly though there is one word that guides my thinking on this virtue – ‘independence”.  It is that line ‘the spirit of independence’.  I would say that one cannot be dependent on others and self-reliant and as such one is not truly free if one is dependent on others.  Your dependence means that the people you are dependent on can take it away and thus can dictate terms in some way in other areas with the threat of taking what they give you away.

This idea of self-reliance meshes well with the libertarian concept of the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) as to be self-reliant it can be seen that attempts to force or defraud others are not self-reliant but rather the actions of the thief and extortionist. No thief or extortionist is self-reliant.

In Asatru, the person who is valued is the one who goes and, using industriousness, makes their own life.  The person who finds ways to leach on the lifeblood of the industriousness of others is not. Hospitality is the guard against those who find themselves in trouble due to no fault of their own as in Hospitality (which we will discuss in a couple weeks) you find each person having the requirement in that virtue of helping those in need if it is in their power to do so.

Website: Ravenbok – The particular page is: The Values of Asatru

To the Wolves and Ravens:

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

Needs (Geri):

The need for self-reliance is obvious for personal development.  No one grows stronger or better by being in a dependent state in relationship to others.  It is liberty and independence that have as their responsible core the need to grow and be better to live a better life. We need self-reliance to maintain our freedom by working for it. As much as I believe it is true that liberty requires a sacrifice of blood from those who would try to take from time to time.  The constant maintenance of liberty is done by people working hard every day to maintain their self-reliance.

Wants (Freki):

We want self-reliance as well.  I suppose in Asatru this is best reflected in how the Norse people looked at the gods.  They certainly didn’t look to them for help all the time.  The gods were mostly invoked; if at all, through a good relationship where a person maintained a friendship with the gods but never presumed too much on it.  They only turned to the gods for help when needed like a friend would with a friend.  This creates respect that is both wanted and needed when carried over to human relationships as well.

Reason (Huginn):

Rationally this guards us against two things.  One the one hand we seek to be prosperous enough so that no one can control us.  Having prosperity allows one to look an employer in the eye and remind them you can live without them or have enough to live through hard times. On the other hand, the followers of Asatru recognize the dangers of materialism as not all one acquires leads to the utility of being valuable practically.  Simple prosperity is more desirable that opulent displays of wealth because opulence is a drain on one’s prosperity and actually threatens self-reliance and thus freedom.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Wisdom plays its part and I will let my source document speak on this issue because I can’t think of a way to put it better:

Being self-reliant also means taking responsibility for one’s life. It’s not just about refusing a welfare check or not lobbying for a tax exemption, but also refusing to blame one’s failures on religious intolerance, the patriarchy, or an unfair system. The system may, in fact, be unfair, but it’s our own responsibility to deal with it.

– The Values of Asatru

Wise words. My ultimate advocacy for self-reliance is reflected in my own success, despite the obstacles, to be self-reliant.

Conclusion:

I would say people become much too reliant on others and it robs them of what they could have.  They look too much to others, like the government, and thus borrow from the future of prosperity of others to feed their own in the now.  The national debt of the United States is one great symptom that shows the harmful results of this overreliance on others. This is not to say you can’t when truly needed, get help from others, but we often do so to the point it is harmful to others and this robs both them and us.  Life would indeed be better for all if people found as many solutions to their own problems on their own first; only relying on others when absolutely necessary.

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

Skaal!!!

“Thoughts on Freedom” – A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

Governments don’t grant freedom.  Religion doesn’t grant freedom.  The right to liberty and freedom simply is, it is others who are arrogant in their presumption that they have the ‘right’ to take it away or grant it.  If you need permission to do something from the government, religion or any other force, you are not free to do it. If we are going to say liberty is an inalienable right, no permission is needed for it to exist. The best we can do with the government is hope it will defend our liberty.  The best we can hope from religion is that it minds its own business about the way we live our own life.

But as the anarchists will point out, the very fact that government exists is an affront to the idea of rights and liberty specifically.   I agree with them theoretically.  I have always felt the problems with anarchism are not the theory and philosophy of it, but rather the practical application.  It overlooks one key thing about human beings – we are inherently tribal. I think the founding fathers of the United States using their reason recognized this, so they understood that government is a necessary evil and tried to create one that actually protected the rights of its citizens and one that was so restricted as to not encroach on rights quickly or without restraint.  Smart practical men, but they knew over time even their system would fail if it wasn’t maintained by people who value freedom and liberty.

For me personally, I am free because I am free.  I alone bear the responsibility of my actions and The Book of Rabyd 2:2 kicks in a lot. It is the following of the virtues of Self-Reliance, Industriousness, and Hospitality that do more to maintain and follow after freedom than anything else.

Self-Reliance:

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

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

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

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

Liberty and Freedom are the two reasons why I work so hard for self-reliance.  Anything else is dependence and it can lead to slavery.  The cage can be guided but it is still a cage. The more you are independent through being self-reliant, the more options you have that are created by you and that leads to freedom.

Industriousness:

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

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

Goal: Working on it.

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published.

This kind of freedom and liberty doesn’t just come to you, you have to work to create it.  It doesn’t mean you have to work harder but that may be involved.  You can work smarter or create something that does some of the work for you.  But freedom and liberty are found in the fact that you have chosen the work for yourself and that you enjoy it.

Hospitality:

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

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

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

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

Being prosperous enough through liberty and freedom with the other two virtues, allows you to be generous.  I think this is the one missing element of the entire capitalist structure. This is not the fault of capitalism but rather capitalists who succumb to greed rather than hospitality which would lead to greater overall prosperity.  If you can’t let go of what you create then you truly are not free of its control over you.  Slavery takes a lot of forms and one of those forms is being a slave to having to own and control everything.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

The best way to live creating justice is to live in liberty not just for yourself but for others as well. Justice means you let people be free to pursue their own path and don’t interfere or meddle in any way. You respect freedom and liberty as forces enough ot let others have it.

Daily Routine:

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

June 2 starts another full week for me and I am going to try to be in a position to put all my routines into action more fully. I have a few goals that depend on these routines so I need to get better at getting them complete.

Still walking,

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

Skaal!!!

“Refusing to Accept Society’s Chains” – Of Wolves and Ravens – Libertarianism

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

We are born free. For libertarians like myself, this is a simple and true statement. It is after the moment of birth that people begin to try to place shackles on us.  They do this with a lot of good intentions, but the best of intentions cause a great amount of harm the majority of the time and one of the casualties of these chains is our freedom.  To be ‘woke’ in the libertarian sense is to recognize the chains that are imposed on us by others and then break them.  Whether those chains come from religion, society or government.

The distinction is understanding that voluntary consent is the great difference maker in relationships.  It is what makes sex not rape; a job not slavery; and a transaction of value not robbery. If there is NOT consent in these things they become rape, slavery, and robbery. When you are forced to do something against your wishes, that is being chained. It’s coercion and it is wrong.

This is why most libertarians find most of what the government does to be illegitimate. Some of us see government in the way the Founding Fathers of the United States saw it – ‘a necessary evil’ and others see it as completely illegitimate. The one thing we all agree on is much of what the government does is force compliances to its wishes with force, the threat of force (coercion) or fraud.  Because none of this involves consent; they are no better than kidnappers, extortionists, and thieves for the most part, except what they do has been deemed legal by society.

As a classical liberal, I accept that some government is necessary, but not because I think society wouldn’t do well without it.  I rather accept the fact that most people will not accept the idea of anarchy.  No matter how much you educate people on this, they want some central authority to appeal to if things go to shit.

So I accept that the government might be a necessary evil but I want it to have very specific and limited uses. 1) Protect my rights – make sure I am accorded my life, liberty, property, and ability to pursue my own happiness. As long as I am not harming anyone else’s rights, I should be allowed to exercise my own and the government should protect that. 2) Provide a court system to settle disputes but also don’t forbid or regulate private arbitration. This court system should also provide just punishment for those who violate other people’s rights including when agents of the government do it. 3) Provide a means of education for the purpose of people learning their rights, but also have no say in private education that wishes to exist.  I see a government that should be involved in defense, public safety, justice, and education.  Everything else, they should butt out as it is not really their business.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

The one thing that is hard for people to accept because they have gotten so used to their chains is a simple fact that society advances far better when people are free and voluntarily doing the things they love to do.  I have never found self-fulfillment in complying with the wishes of others and I would say that it creates a mental state that doesn’t help anyone around me either. WE NEED LIBERTY to be better people and thus have a better society of people who work together freely.

Wants (Freki):

I find myself these days attracted to those who are deemed criminals.  Mostly because I don’t see a crime unless there is a victim.  If you can’t show me a victim to the crime where they were forced, coerced or fraudulently treated then I say there is no crime.  So when the government passes laws where there is no victim but something is declared a criminal activity, I applaud the criminal element for taking that nonsense on.  They are real patriots at that point in my book. I want to live in a society free from these moralistic chains that criminalize people who have victimized no one.

Reason (Huginn):

That said I am no fool.  I kick in The Book of Rabyd 2:2 at this point.  I also engage in the 11th commandment – ‘Don’t Get Caught” and part of not getting caught is tolerating the law, even when it is stupid, to avoid incarceration.  To work to change the law and get rid of laws that create crimes out of the air that have no victims.  At the same time, the government has the real potential to go too far. Revolution and disobedience are options for me.  I refuse to accept any of society’s chains on me.  I tolerate the annoying, but I will gladly revolt against the tyrannical.

Wisdom (Muninn):

Mostly I simply work to live as freely as possible. To avoid the nonsense and yet at the same time pursue freedom and liberty, because it is those things that allow me to improve myself and my situation. Wisdom says I need the liberty to pursue a better life for myself, but society will also try to put its chains on me and I need to know what to do to avoid that as well.

Conclusion:

If my paganism keeps me free from the chains of religion in regards to spirituality, my libertarianism does the same when it comes to the forces of society and government. Shackles are impositions, we are not born with them and we should do everything in our power to maintain our birthright of being free.

You are born free; learn to stay free.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

A Skald’s Life – Business Virtues – Generous Leader

Happy Wooden’s (Odin’s) Day

Journal Entry:

I miss being in leadership.  I also miss being generous.  That said, I understand the need for this hiatus from both right now.  I am healing from a lot of things and while I have seen wounded leaders do very well, I am also sure those same leaders collapsed when the crisis was over to heal themselves.  I guess I am just healing and life itself will determine when I get back into the action.

“A leader should be silent, thoughtful and bold in battle.”  It is what I strive for and the virtues of being self-reliant, industrious and hospitable all do their part in the actual activity of trying to be that kind of leader. All the virtues really do but it is these three that guide me in the kind of leader I want to be.  Self-reliance tells me that if I am not willing to do something myself, I shouldn’t ask someone else to do it. Industriousness tells me that if I want those under my leadership to work hard and enjoy their work, I need to do the same.  Hospitality says I need to reward those who do a good job for me well and not be cheap or stingy.

The last line of Havamal stanza 15 points out this in a lifelong attitude that must be cultivated.

Self-Reliance:

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

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

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

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

I can’t emphasize liberty being the key to prosperity enough. Throughout history, liberty and prosperity go hand in hand and that is no accident.  I will remain an advocate for liberty for myself and others until that day of death.  It is a very noble cause to fight for.

Industriousness:

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

Principle: Work with the enjoyment of work itself.

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

Bucket List: Write A Novel and Get it Published.

I struggle at times to enjoy doing my current job. It really is my own mind about as it isn’t a terrible job. It is probably my own frustration at not moving toward a new and better paying job that I would enjoy more than anything else.  I don’t want to feel stuck in anything ever again and so that is probably more on me than anything else.

Hospitality:

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

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

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

Bucket List: To own my own home by March 2024.

I always stand ready to help, but there is still this healing issue that kicks in from time to time. Part of it is my need for counseling to assess the progress of my healing and where I need to go. I don’t want to be guilty of “physician heal thyself” when I may not be good in the eyes of an objective mind.  I want to know for sure that I have been helped before I help others in the same way again.

Higher Virtue – Justice:

I struggle with the fine line between vengeance and seeking justice. Coming to terms with the fact that justice may never happen and moving on also can be difficult. I want to be at peace but there are always the internal struggles that keep me from that and I would like them to end.  Mostly though, I just try to not let my personal pain spill over into my relationships with others.

 Daily Routine:

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

I really want to focus on the daily and morning routines once school is over completely.  This is the last week of last things with that.  I do some of the things on this list automatically so that is good. The rest is work in progress.

Still walking,

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

Skaal!!!

Of Wolves and Ravens – The Practical Application of Political Science

Happy Tyr’s Day

Discussion:

In literally less than a week I will have finished my last requirement for the political science degree I have been working on for four years.  I walked in Fall but my internship will be done before the week is out. I happy about this as it represents something I started and finished and that is a good thing.

The problem is most people have a really poor understanding of what political science is about and so they don’t have a really good knowledge of what a person who has a political science degree can do.  In truth I picked it because of its versatility as you can do a lot of different things with a political science degree, you just have to broaden the scope of your understanding of what politics is.

Political science is a social science discipline that deals with systems of government and the analysis of political activity and political behavior. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as the determining of the distribution of power and resources.

I suppose this definition is as good as any.  What I would like to focus on is the idea of the distribution of resources and power because that is what makes this degree so flexible.  Because the distribution of power and resources is universal and common to every organization. Every company and group has a power structure and way of distributing resources that involves human decision and implementation processes and that is what political science is about.  If your company or organization has a policy manual and an organizational flow chart, I can look at it and do the following things:

  1. I can understand how you theoretically want your organization to run.
  2. Give me enough time to analyze your company and I can tell the reality of how your organization actually runs and how resources are really distributed.
  3. I can work to help you optimize your organization or company by offering suggestions on how you can change one or the other of the above.

In this political science simply acknowledges that where two or three are gathered together there is a power structure and thus politics.

To the Wolves and Ravens:

Needs (Geri):

For me personally, I needed a degree choice that was versatile and could offer me a good chance of employment. Political science is broad in that regard.  I have had courses in psychology, accounting, statistics, organizational structure, research, management, leadership, business, etc. I have a lot of different things I have learned for this degree and I see how things connect together because of it. If you’re looking for someone to keep an eye on the big picture of your organization, I have enough knowledge of the different areas to do that.

Wants (Freki):

What I would want is a job that involves this practical understanding of political science and incorporates that versatility.  It is why human resources as a busienss career appeals to me so much as it fits my knowledge, experience, and personality. Human resources and political science are two sides f the same coin to me.  One is more focused on the public and the other is focused on the private sector but seeing both of those intersect a lot they really deal with a lot of the same issues.

Reason (Huginn):

I get to use my reason as a political scientist. In the world of politics, emotional appeal is used because people are not motivated by logical argument but by what they need and want.  People are rarely if ever motivated by actual logic. That means if you want efficiency you need to plan logically but you must figure out how to appeal to what people need and want to motivate them to follow it.  If you don’t figure out the motivation part you will have a nice plan, but it will never be followed by those you lead.

Wisdom (Muninn):

.It is this combination of coming up with good solid policy but understanding that human beings both as individuals and groups are not motivated by reason so much as they are what they need and want that is the heart of the art of political science. Ethics is key in wisdom because you could use this knowledge to manipulate. Being truly benevolent is the heart of wisdom and part of that is respecting human freedom.  It’s a large part of it to me.

Conclusion:

For me, this is the practical side of Of Wolves and Ravens coupled with my knowledge of political science.  For me politics centers on needs, wants, reason and wisdom so there all the characteristics of the wolves and ravens are present and not treated as evil but normal and good. This is my practical and working understanding of political science as well as my own personal philosophy of living. Hopefully, I will be putting it to practical use very soon.

I remain,

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

Skaal!!!

Odin’s Eye – Paganism: Nudism and Sexuality

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

In my Christian blogging day I made quite a name for myself among nudists, naturists, and people of like nature when it came to the subject of nudity and sex.  My view back then was nudity being sinful in and of itself was false.  I have a few online friends who are my friends precisely because of this view and they maintain a Christian nudist lifestyle.  My most famous work from that blog is probably The Bible and Nakedness which you can still view by clicking on the link above.

In addition, I had some controversial views on marriage and sexuality.  Most notably that the bible never condemns polygamy of either form.  That adultery and homosexuality are the same levels of ‘sin’. I proposed that line marriage as proposed by Robert Heinlein is still well within the realms of Christianity, etc.  Mostly I simply separated that which is cultural from that which was the bible and discovered that most of what Christians believe about nudity and sexuality was based more on culture than the Bible.

So what has changed now that I follow a more deistic, humanistic and paganistic path? Honestly, once you take out sin and the appeal to authority; and as I reflect back to the holiday discussion last week, I have the following observations:

  1. Nudity being wrong in some way is pure Grade A opinion and based on cultural mores, not rational thought.  In truth, there is no basis for morality laws regarding nudity or modesty as they are simply one ethical viewpoint imposing itself on everyone else.  There is simply no way to prove a man or woman walking down the street naked is harmful to anyone using reason.
  2. Sexuality has many biological factors and I don’t really support the notion of gender neutrality or fluidity because of genetic and biological reality. There are two genetic and biological genders and it is rare for anyone to be born with none or both.  Most of us are either female or male biologically and those differences are biologically and psychologically observable right from birth.  That’s science, not culture talking. The video below is well researched and linked and points out these are real differences, not culture.
  3. I would say the real problem is not gender identification but rather a lack of personal gender acceptance. It is part of accepting yourself to accept your biological gender. Sorry, most of us either have a penis or a vagina and we need to accept that part of us as part of who we are, not fight it.
  4. That said, I think a lot of role expectations are culturally based, and given my views of liberty, I think gender roles beyond what is biologically natural are often just societal and religious coercion.  How a woman wants to view her role in society is her own business and the same for a man. If a woman wants to be female and do what her culture traditionally thinks is the role of a man, she is perfectly free to do so and she should be allowed to do it.

Of course, the real question looking at it from a pagan point of view is how nudity and sexuality express themselves on the spiritual front.  This reflects more of my pagan opinion than my deism or humanism but they both chime in on this discussion.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

Faith:

I have faith that there is male and female and we can observe that both of these are real, different and beautiful in their naked expressions.  For me, the faith question here is that I think the human body has inspired my spirituality far more than made me feel guilty or ‘sinful’.  What made me feel sinful about the whole thing was the fact that people told me I should be and if I didn’t there was something wrong with me.  In cultures where nudity is common and prevalent, you never hear of this guilt about nakedness to being male or female. Faith tells me that being male, female or naked is nothing to be ashamed of at all. The real problem is not our maleness, femaleness or nakedness, it’s people who want to use those things to promote an agenda.

Religion:

In the area of defining gender roles and demonizing nudity, religion takes center stage.  The Abrahamic religions being the most notorious for the definition of traditional male and female roles according to an ethic that is thousands of years old based on a patriarchal, male superiority mindset. The question I have always wrestled with is why women put up with this but I think ultimately it is the appeal to authority and not wanting to displease ‘god’ that drives it, but then again I have watched as those roles get redefined all the time to reflect reality.  If the various scriptures that are the claims for God’s authority are discredited as simply concoctions of men, then women should be free to follow their own personal sovereignty.

Religion and nudity go way back and some religions are pagan enough in scope that they don’t have a problem with it. Those that do often use their holy books to justify it.  The one problem I developed was that on the one hand, I knew what the religious folks said about nudity being wrong, but my own biblical studies concluded the opposite.  When that happens you start to realize that most of the concerns about the human naked form are based on personal preference and culture, not honest biblical studies.  Religion simply seeks to control people by taking those personal preferences and forcing them on others.

Theology:

My theology these days is based in large part on what is the reality of the world that is.  I don’t engage in fanciful notions about the divine.  I believe in the divine more than I don’t because of notions like love and beauty being something more than biology and physics. That is based on observation from my point of view so take them for that.  When it comes to sexuality I find there is a great design in having two sexes and their need to cooperate as fellow human beings.  Treating each other as justly as possible while respecting differences starts in accepting ourselves as men and women and accepting our differences because of sex.  Glorying in those differences not condemning each other because of them.

Because I don’t believe in sin anymore and dismiss it as a human made up concept, I simply do not see anything inherently wrong with the nude human form. I kind of laugh at our responses to this as we seem to have a greater amount of problems with sex and nudity than violence where people are actually raped and murdered. It’s a sad thing really that something as beautiful and wonderful as sex and the human body has been demonized so that both are considered evil and sinful based on opinions designed to control others. I don’t have that anymore and my attitude toward both is pretty much based on George R R Martin’s below. To me, sex and the beauty of nude human form have given me as much joy as a good painting, book or any other art form and it is a crying shame that most religion and theology rob us of that.

Spirituality:

I draw a lot of spirituality these days from this freedom.  I posted this picture on the pagan pulpit this last Sun’s Day:

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor, text and nature

For me, it reflects a lot of my changed attitude toward these subjects.  I think the look on the man’s face says it all. The topless woman hasn’t caused him to be a lustful pervert, but she has brightened his day a little by being topless. She isn’t a slut for doing so either, Just a woman taking a walk who is comfortable in her skin. Males and females being themselves and doing what they do without coercing each other to do something they don’t want to do.  No sexual pressure, but there is a sexual expression that is being enjoyed by the man as he sees it and the woman as she does it.

Personally, I find that my liberation from ‘sin’ has been wonderful in both these areas.  I can appreciate good art and writings were the questions fo sexuality and nudity are seriously discussed and beautifully presented.  No appeal to authority jumps in to ruin it.  I now very freely accept that I am a man and I’m heterosexual and enjoy both of those parts of who I am.  So I enjoy the female form and there is nothing wrong with it. While there are certain biological factors in being a man, I don’t accept any societal roles about being a man that is forced on me.  I embrace those I wish to and nothing more.

I feel comfortable in my skin as much as in any clothes I wear. The questions of nudity for me are more about how to avoid being arrested for being freer than others accept, not calling down judgment on others for not sharing mine.  My paganism treats my nudity and that of others as a natural thing not abnormal. Naked is our natural form and represents who we are in truth.  Everything else is an add on.

I draw a lot of spiritual insight and strength from accepting these things and living in these freedoms.

Conclusion:

I doubt society will change with a wave of our hands.  Religion will continue to ruin and pervert sexuality through the forcing of gender roles.  It will continue to demonize the beautiful and seek to cover it over to hide it. Control is the objective of religion through defining roles and social mores.  All of it is bullshit, but it is bullshit we have to live with because of laws that threaten, coerce and engage in fraud to control others.

The best we pagans can do most of the time is to live our lifestyle expressing the truths of real sexuality and nudism when we can.  On the nudism side, some (like myself) find their answer in practicing nudism secretly, while others carve out places in the world to practice it freely without society’s prying eyes. In any case, being the man or woman you want to be is possible without secrecy in the western world at least.  Just be prepared for the backlash of not fitting in with your specific expression of your gender either male or female.

Continuing to Walk the Path,

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

Skaal!!!

Odin’s Eye – Pagan Holidays – Easter, Walpurgis, and Beltane

Happy Thor’s Day

Discussion:

From a Viking point of view, May Eve or April 30 represents the final day that Odin hung upside down on the World Tree and gained the knowledge of the runes.  It is a festival time that commemorates his sacrifice for humanity.  If you think this is suspiciously familiar with the Christian holiday of Easter, you would be right.

All mythology has within it some story of a god who sacrifices for humanity, this is hardly a unique concept and a very popular one with humans in every myth it is employed.  The End of April is a special time of year for pagans of Northern European heritage known as Walpurgis with its celebration of April 30 Beltane and May Day with its maypole celebrations. First, though, we should look at Easter and the elements of paganism in it.

See the source image

Easter.  The very name is stolen from Eostre the fertility goddess.  The pagan holiday revolves around fertility with rabbits being fertility symbols for obvious reasons and the egg as well-being the symbol of the beginning of life. It is funny to watch Christians with candy rabbits in their homes and coloring eggs and spring-like Easter traditions.  Probably harmless, but it shows how much the traditions of paganism can survive and adapt. The whole end of April though is pretty much about fertility to pagans and the actions that bring it about – namely sex and lots of it.

See the source image

Walpurgis. This a time of year at the end of April that stretches from April 22 to April 30 representing the nine nights that Odin hung from the World Tree. It is the official end of the Wild Hunt on April 30th. Six months previously it had started and now it ends.  On May 1st – May Day – young couples dance around the maypole and oaths of marriage are taken which lasts one year and a day.  Walpurgis is a time of other oaths as well.

Beltane.  There are other traditions around this festival time.  Most notably Beltane which is the night of April 30th itself. The end of winter is official and Summer begins.  The most notable tradition is spending the night in the woods ‘a-maying’.  Basically having sex and you could pretty much have sex with whoever you wanted.  Even married couples could for that single evening lay their wedding bands aside and have sex with whoever they wished. You could also stay at home if you didn’t want to participate.

See the source image

 

May Day.  May First becomes the maypole festival portion where young couples, who probably had sex the night before, dance around and give their oaths of marriage. These oaths lasted a year and a day.  The idea here that is unspoken is that married couples might split at this point, or retake their vows that would last another year and a day.  Must have made every year an interesting thing for married couples joined this way.  No one and done but a renewing of vows each year.

Time to Look Through the Eye:

See the source image

Faith:

If there is one thing we can all have faith in it is humans like to fuck have sex. This time of year actually celebrates that rather than calling down condemnation. Spring is about the death of winter and the birth of summer.  Fertility has a large part to do with that and is also celebrated along with children.  The one thing I can draw some faith from is looking at nudity, sex, and sexuality as a positive spiritual expression rather than taboo.  It is a welcome change.

Religion:

It takes religion to destroy the joy of life. One of those joys is making love and religion always tries to set standards, but in truth, there is no rational reason to forgo sex other than not wanting an STD or a child. Outside this, religion is basically a way to control sexual behavior and in my mind, this is the great distinction between religion and paganism.  Paganism isn’t interested in controlling the sexuality of others.  Far more practical, free, and less cult-like.

See the source image

Theology:

As a deist, I no longer have the appeal to authority that once was so necessary to dictate terms to people’s sexual relationships.  I don’t want it and it is a waste of energy in my mind to be judgmental of people’s sexual habits or living arrangements. With this absent, a theology of sex and sexuality is not difficult; it is simply non-judgmental. If you look at the nature of the world of sexual guidance, you will see it all.  From faithful monogamy to harems to interchange of partners whenever the mood strikes – animals literally do it all.

In the end, I leave it to each person’s own moral sovereignty to determine their living arrangement and sexual partners.  Control of sexual expression is just no longer part of my theology. My issue is wisdom in such arrangements and whether or not people are going to try to steal from me to pay for the consequences and results of such unions.  My only other moral concern is that each person is engaged with their full free will consent.

Spirituality:

Personally, I have always found sex to be as spiritual as it is physical.  Oneness is the best way I can describe it.  The fact that it is also physically enjoyable is pretty cool too, but its the intimacy often after sex that I enjoy the most.  That moment where you are naked in each other’s arms having spent all to make love. That moment is the best part to me spiritually speaking.

See the source image

Conclusion:

I continue to find pagan holidays and customs to be more practical and more realistic than religious ones.  There are more freedoms here and as such less unnecessary guilt and no shame.  If a relationship goes forward, it does so by constant yearly assessment rather than one and done. Sex is and it is not evil or dirty. Rather it is a natural thing to make love and the only concerns are children (which in paganism are celebrated), STDs and consent. Our modern world has actually made the STD and Children questions a matter much more manageable. Rape, of course, is universally condemned or at least it should be.

I find this holiday the most liberating from my past.  Even though I will be at home with my wife on Beltane because of my vows are ’til death do us part’, I find the notion of releasing religious judgment makes things less stressful and opens the door to a lot more friendships. Enjoy Beltane with your lover. Peace.

Continuing to Walk the Path,

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

Skaal!!!