Change, Growth, and Wisdom

Changing and growing are similar but separate concepts.

Change has no positive or negative connotations. It is just the objective and constant state of existence. Growth, on the other hand, means a positive shift towards the best possible outcome of an organism; becoming larger, stronger, and more capable of survival etc.

Things will always change, but things may not always grow…

Make sure your choices and actions aid you in growth. Build the patterns choice by choice, day by day, until you are no longer conscious of them.

Building a habit of positive growth is something that will ensure your success in any aspect of life. Many sacrifices must be made, starting usually with the ones that that lead to short term pleasures. But, the hard choice will usually bring the most long term benefit and reward.

Growth can be a very painful and uncomfortable process. Learn to recognize and love these sensations.

By knowing these instances, we can actually find enjoyment and satisfaction in these painful moments, acknowledging the “need” one has for these experiences in order to reach higher levels of wisdom and growth.

This lesson can most potently be found within the Nauthiz rune; as trials, tribulations, and resistance in life can ultimately force one to become stronger in mind, body and spirit. Likewise, the rune represents a “make or break” aspect within ourselves, where we can either succeed by force of will, or fail out of weakness.

In summary, it is important to remember that the comfortable life doesn’t give one wisdom.

Life, in many ways and for all beings, is war.

Take a look at your life, choices and actions. Make sure they are aligned with your growth and not just pure change. Strive to conquer obstacles and not cowardly avoid things that are hard to do or figure out.

Wisdom must be hunted for within dark corners; wandered for with sweat and blood.

Essentially, wisdom is experienced, not learned.

Get out there and find it!

The Rune Poems: A Reawakened Tradition (Book Review)

“The Rune Poems: A Reawakened Tradition”
By P.D Brown and Michael Moynihan.

For those looking for a new rune book, I found this to be a great addition to the shelf. It’s refreshing to see this type of collaborative effort at preserving the art of runes and poetry. Many great and diverse angles are given on each rune and futhark, delving deep into the well within each.

I think my favorite of the modern rune poems were “A Tally of Staves” by Eirik Westcoat and “Rune Poem” by David Jones. I was previously unaware of both of these people, so it was nice to hear some new perspective on the runes and their functions.

Eirik’s Raido poem stuck to me, as it describes the long road one embarks on towards finding their Self. “Ever spiraling” as he says…

“Raido is wagon, and riding as well,

on the lengthy road that leads to Self,

ever spiraling in endless cycles.

By holding to right, a healthy order

is built through turnings of bright and dark.

When wheels and axles are well aligned,

rede for the road is readily heard.

This craft of construction, careful synthesis,

manifests ice in its myriad forms.”

The poem describes how one must endure certain journeys to discover and form the Self. Through an “ordered” and controlled lifestyle, one can survive any bouts with light or dark instances of life. When we are carefully controlled and mastered, like the chariot, we will stride straight and true toward our goals. The end of the poem, in my opinion, refers to a solidifying of positive momentum or rhythm. This momentum, like ice, shows itself in many forms and shapes.

“Rune Poem” by David Jones was as satisfying as a bright beer, good smoke, or golden sunset. Absolutely amazing work and reeking with wisdom.

The Sowilo poem stood out to me, as it is an essential turning point in the journey of the poem. One completes this phase of life and moves into the next…

“Onward and upward toward the glow,

Holy light strikes the crystal of will,

This the rainbow bridge is cast for use.

Stepped out of the cycles of rebirth,

The bold of all ages now benchmates,

No longer as piece but now as player,

He stands shoulder to shoulder with gods

In the right at the grand end of time,

Where all is renewed in destruction.”

This poem shows a deep belief in reincarnation. However, it also shows the belief that one can break the cycle by reaching “Othala,” which is the Germanic version of Samsara. This implies, that through Sowilo, one now steps out of rebirth and into a new, celestial, godlike phase. Beginning with the rune Tiwaz.

If you’re on the fence because of the price, I get it. Nevertheless, you likely won’t need another rune poem book, as this covers most, if not all of what is available to us from antiquity.

Tradition and Rhythm

“(Tradition) cannot be inherited, and if you want it you must obtain it by great labor.” – T.S. Eliot

Unless we establish rigorous and unshakable tradition in our own lives, we will never experience the countless secrets hidden in the rhythms of nature.

Like the seasons, like the cosmos, like music…

Everything is acting in rhythm.

The spinning wheel, the beating drum, ritual, poetry…

All emulations of this rhythm.

Everyday, every minute, every action has its place.

ᚱ ᚱ ᚱ

Don’t Be Easily Polarized

We should always have unshakable convictions, laws, and morals. However, we shouldn’t place ourselves willingly into any particular ideological box. These terms, theories and identities are too minute, small, and insufficient to attach ourselves too without limiting our growth and development. 

The Sanskrit term “Madhyamāpratipada” describes this phenomenon, meditation, or act of non-polarization in the practitioner, essentially meaning “The Middle Way.”

Many people are familiar in some regard to this concept. It’s been reworded and reworked countless times in countless traditions.

But, for those who aren’t familiar with this concept, I will do my best to summarize it in simple language. 

The “Middle Way” theorizes that while extremes are valid points of view and exist for a reason, they should be avoided by most, if not all spiritual aspirants or those looking to live a practical life. 

Of course, like the Hagalaz rune teaches, sometimes extreme measures must be taken to change a situation or element, but they cannot be practiced or embodied full time if one wishes to achieve samsara, enlightenment, nirvana etc…

We are advised to not delve too deep into the material world of sense-pleasure, as well as to not become to entranced in self-deprecating asceticism. The only reason a person should fall to one side or the other is to re-align and re-balance themselves onto this middle path. That is, of course, if one is conscious and aware that they have fallen out of balance.

The idea is that if we attach ourselves to one side of an idea, excluding the other, we will always face an antithesis regarding the same concept or thought. A type of cognitive dissonance of possibilities. 

Some might be familiar with this concept as mirrored in Greek philosophy under the title of “The Golden Mean…” 

Therefore, by taking the “Middle Way,” we leave no room for alternative or opposite thought or action. It simply becomes “the way” in which all beings “ought” to exist. In short, there is no possible opposite to the middle, so it must be the one true way or “dharma.”

The Neuroscientist Sam Harris touches upon this concept in his book “The Moral Landscape.” Stating that we can scientifically measure and calculate the ways humans “ought” to live.

This practice absorbs into one’s own dharma, duty, and daily rites, becoming one with the Eightfold Path of right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. 

Strive to detach yourself from labels, identities, and denominations of any kind. They are at an incongruence with freedom of mind, body, and spirit.

Wealth and Personal Power

I’ve seen people living in great wealth and abundance off of less than 1k a month, with enormous amounts of time to live life and grow.

I’ve also seen the same income create poverty, stress, and misery.

Our choice is to decide how much we need and how much we want, while bringing to balance our means with those needs.

If you always live below your means, you will never feel the weight of debt or lack of resources.

No one keeps you enslaved except for your own self and your own desires.

Stop making excuses and change your relationship to money, materialism, and consumption.

Stop thinking about how to free yourself and take the reigns with right action, discipline, and accountability.

The power is always in your hands.

Are Drugs Necessary in the Development of a Spiritually Mature Self?

Psilocybe Cubensis Spore Print

There has been a lot of debate regarding this topic since the ancient Vedic times, when Soma drinking priests and mystics split into other fully meditative based religions. When I think of this concept, a very basic metaphor comes to mind. Think of your Self (with a capital S), or if you rather, your mind, soul, spirit or whatever it is you think the essence of a person is at their deepest core. Perhaps “energy” or some other metaphysical term fits better for you. Regardless, I will use the term Self to describe this concept.

            Think of the Self as a building. This building can be as basic or complex as your minds’ eye desires. It makes no difference in the relevance of the metaphor. Now, imagine you’re in the woods and want to make this building. Of course, you could spend the rest of your life building this structure with no tools, machines, or external assistance (aside from the raw materials involved); just your bare hands and inherent sense of self-discipline. Theoretically, the project could be done, although unlikely in one lifetime. If it could, it would be of unmatched quality, craftsmanship and originality if actually completed.

            I imagine drugs (hallucinogens we will focus on when using that term) can be visualized as tools in this regard. Now, this doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you’re a master of every tool or item you find or discover. Some tools, unfortunately for many, can dismember, maim, and kill you if used incorrectly or in an unsafe, uncontrolled manner. This isn’t far from a mirror image regarding the use of these psychedelic “tools” of the mind, being, and Self. I’ve personally seen people left psychologically “maimed” after a deeply traumatic trip that they were not prepared for or guided by someone with knowledge and experience.

            If used correctly, however, these “mind tools” can be as a saw, hammer, nails, etc. for the spiritual home builder. These tools help us to achieve the construction of our building or Self more quickly. Some tools can be highly practical and useful, others specialty items, and some things one might even consider to be mental “power tools.” With this in mind, we can decide for ourselves what choice to make. Do we consider it important for us to build the house without external assistance, no matter how many lives it takes us? Or do we seek out, discover, and correctly use these available tools to potentially finish the building faster, stronger, and by use of an external force? The answer lies within you and your own experience. Make your choice without fear or expectation and you’ll find any answer you seek.

Break the Cycle

We confidently assume that life is a certain way based on our conditioning and culture.

But, as with assuming anything, it usually makes an ass out of us.

Our choice is to decide how long we are willing to be made an ass of; or if we have the courage to break the cycle and start a new.

No one is holding a gun to our head saying, “you must participate in the clown show, or else.”

So… why do we openly choose to surrender to their framework?

These questions are meant to be pondered and dissected individually.

Only you can rescue yourself from the pit of modern despair.

Some may offer a hand, if you’re lucky, but ultimately, it is you who must act and leap to meet them, otherwise they might as well be ghosts…

Master Yourself, Master All

“More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind does greater harm.” -Dhammapada

Make your weaknesses your greatest enemies and one by one eradicate them from existence.

Put yourself in the crosshairs and pull the trigger on your lesser self, everyday.

Lessen your comfort levels, lessen your needs, and lessen your expectations of others.

This is the path that will lead you to a place of constant clear, calm, and focused attention.

In this place, we shed our fetters, attachments, and “sins.”

Learn to master yourself, and you will master all.

Food for Thought

Clean eating, exercise, appropriate water consumption, and meditation should all be thoroughly explored and practiced before entertaining thoughts or pursuits of mind/body altering medication.

Take care of yourself, get stronger, and cut out unnecessary comforts.

Keep yourself accountable.

Times are definitely not getting easier, so make yourself harder.

Immortality

“…a sage withdrew his senses from the world of change and, seeking immortality, looked within and beheld the deathless Self.” – Katha Upanishad

External works can only achieve a limited and undeveloped form of immortality; completely finite and thus mortal as the body itself.

True, long lasting immortality comes from discovering that which is immortal within us.

To experience the deep stillness beneath the chaos of existence, this is to experience what they would call God; the immortal, unchanged and unmoved essence.