The World is What You Make It

People talk about “the real world” a lot.

Referring, usually, to their self built life of slavery; as if it were something one must accept and welcome.

I learned early on that their version of the real world was never a place I was going to survive.

The real world, as many have expressed, is what you make it.

It can be wild, full of life, and mysterious.

Or, it can be dull, boring, and burdensome.

Engage in beneficial actions, live simply, and remember to laugh.

Have joy () in the moment; nothing is permanent.

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!

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.

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.

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.

A Brief Thought on Attachment and Reward

“Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.” – Bhagavad Gita

When we act in accordance with what is righteous, we remove the attachment we have to acquiring the “fruits” of our labor, because the labor itself becomes the fruit that nourishes us.

Make every act a devotion to the High One within; the Eternal Self beneath the noise; and all of life’s experiences will bring reward.

The Wanderer

One of the most important things about Odinism is traveling.

This of course applies to the Shamanic or visionary aspect, but more importantly to the physical traveling or “wandering” of the Earth.

The Odinist must track down sacred places, spend nights alone in new woods, explore the vast deserts, the mountain peaks, the lakes and rivers and valleys green and lush. To enjoy reckless and unwavering ecstasy and new experience, to make new friends and open oneself to all the possibilities of life. To gain as much wisdom and knowledge as possible in this brief incarnation.

Wandering defeats fear and attachments; delivering solace in the self and a destruction of the need for useless “stuff.” Traveling shows us what is important to not only ourselves and our needs, but also that which is important to humans in general, as you will encounter every imaginable type of person to learn from along the way and begin to see patterns and similarities in people and even cultures.

This is Odinic action. The becoming of the wandering God.

Hailaz Wōdanaz!

Internal Alchemy

When people approach others for spiritual guidance or advice (aside from dedicated teacher/student relationships) they usually expect them to deliver some sort of elaborate truth on a silver platter; some almighty answer that removes their need to search or do the internal “Alchemy” that is required of them in this life.

However, even if the person being questioned felt like they had those answers, from a completely spiritual context, what works for them most certainly should not work for you. These answers can only be brought forth, reawakened, and transformed internally by your own experience and growth. Teachers can assist in this flowering of spirit, but ultimately it is their job to inspire you to do the work yourself, not do the work for you.

This is how forming a Gnostic and deeply personal spiritual system is undergone. Keep pushing yourself and keep digging deeper. Strive to try new things at every opportunity and never be afraid to experiment with life’s journey; move with it and don’t get locked into any type of stagnation.