Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Strong Take Care Of Themselves

Healthy, good, and strong people must be very wary, watch their backs, and make sure that their foundation is firm and unassailable, stocking up resources for times of trouble, because healthy and good people are surrounded by people who are not so healthy. Good people are often surrounded by the envious, and strong people are often surrounded by the weak. A strong, healthy, good person has self-esteem, and knows that it is important for strong, healthy, and good people to stand strong in this world, and not be taken down by packs of hyenas and the inevitable weakness of the weak, because there will be many obstacles, many challenges, which must be faced and overcome. There will be some defeats, and they must be recovered from, and one wants to have the social, emotional, psychological, economic, and spiritual resources to be able to recover as quickly and as efficiently as possible from those defeats which are inevitable in life so you can get back up on your feet. More importantly, one must know that recovery is possible, even from many blows, even from several defeats. Still, one wants to minimize defeats because of their deep demoralizing effects, and one very well knows that hael, the power of wholeness and healing, is very much connected to one's sense of morale. With good morale and spirit, one can recover from most anything.

Having a diversity of social, emotional, psychological, economic, and spiritual resources is a very good thing, because the blows of enemies never hurt as much as the blows of allies and friends, and since one never knows when allies might have a weak moment, one needs to have many on hand to make up the difference. This should not be pursued out of cynicism or a spirit of manipulation, but simply the wisdom of not putting all of one's eggs into one basket, and aiming to have as many eggs as one can, because some are going to get broken in the course of things, and the more you have, the less you will cry over each. See and expect treachery, and make insurance against it.

Do not let others mistake the ease that comes from your confidence and strength for weakness, or they may be tempted to take advantage of it. Neither let people think there will be no consequences for misbehavior. One needn't be overly harsh in one's consequences, but one ought to be firm against misbehavior, and one must allow the search and the quest to strengthen one's spirit in the knowledge that if resources prove meagre here, then there are still resources there, or over there, or over there. Even if one cannot see them, one must not allow the dearth of the moment to overshadow one's confidence in the potential prosperity available on all levels : spiritual, emotional, psychological, economic, romantic, and social that are out there. In this way, momentary deficits do not have to be multiplied in one's heart, leading to a sense of out-and-out bankruptcy, but one makes the best out of whatever comes, confident that with skill, with strength, with good efforts, and with diversifying one's routine and resources, there is abundance available for the having and for the enjoying, and that is important.


Blogger Willow said...

Very nice. Thanks again.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

I would point out that healthy, good, and strong people tend to be generous with those who are within their innangard, for no reason other than they are part of that innangard. They share of their bounty for the common good. But heaven help you if you try to *take* it beyond that boundary.

And that's how tribes are built.

6:26 PM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Hi Joseph,

I certainly didn't mean to express that "the strong take care ONLY of themselves", and I hope it didn't come off that way. All I meant was, self-esteem is non-negotiable, and beginning with a good, strong, healthy sense of self is also how good communities are built.

The whole question centers around how we define "innangard", and that is determined in large part by behavior, because those who are treacherous and ill are going to make that innangard impossible. This is why discernment is needed. If there are people who can't be trusted within the gard, why should they be shared with? Because they inhabit the same place? Assuming we have a TRUE innangards, I agree with you, and absolutely generosity was always extremely important!

Thanks for stopping by, Joseph, and Willow!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

The whole question centers around how we define "innangard", and that is determined in large part by behavior, because those who are treacherous and ill are going to make that innangard impossible.

I must disagree. Who we do and do not regard as our innangard is not only determined by the behavior of those individuals. It is often determined by blood, and in the specific case of Heathenry, by membership in a tribal unit.

For instance (and this is purely hypothetical), in a Germanic mindset, your sister might do something you personally regard as heinous. Yet, she still remains your sister, and you would defend her against a non-family member, despite her transgressions.

In a modern tribal structure, such as we practice in Theodish Belief, the effect is similar. I make a conscious choice to join a tribe. If someone in that tribe does something that I don't particularly agree with, or if I simply find them personally distasteful, they are still a member of my tribe, and I will defend them, both physically and verbally, against someone who is outside my tribe. My personal feelings about them as an individual are overridden by the fact that we are both joined in the same community by bonds of blood or the web of oaths.

As far as your broader point of having a good and positive sense of self, I agree. But we are often put in positions where we must defend those who we might not otherwise defend, simply because they are part of our inangard. And we don't always get to choose those people.

7:11 PM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

I desperately struggle to be civil in expressing how passionately I disagree with what you have said.

There is an old Scandinavian proverb to the effect of, one tolerates abuse the least from loved ones.

In a tribal system, precisely because you are involved in a mutual-protection pact, members police each other and make sure the others are behaving well.

It seems to me that this is confusing "gangs" and tribes. Personally, I'm not interested in creating gangs, where "homies" protect each other no matter how heinous their actions. You gotta call your fellows out.

I don't know about your family, but we don't tolerate misbehavior in ours, and there are lines you can cross over that you wouldn't be able to step back. That's true in all human relationships, and it would be absolute barbarism to have anything else. Absolute barbarism.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

You are of course correct when you say that the innangard "polices" its own. It's the same in the Germanic tribal structure, as well. However, short of outlawry, the member of the tribe is still defended above anyone else, regardless of personal feelings.

And perhaps that's the link between what you're saying and what I'm saying. The Germanic tribal system does indeed provide a mechanism for the expulsion of those who simply cannot be tolerated; outlawry. Once someone is forced out of the tribe, they are outside its protection.

3:35 PM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Well said, but let's point out that even short of outlawry, heathen peoples didn't like trouble-makers or those who behaved arrogantly and aggressively, for the very reason that they'd have to protect kin, and they didn't want to be called out for nonsense pissing contests that could have been prevented. It was wasteful to waste blood on pettiness.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

That might well be an attitude towards which some modern Heathens aspire (yourself included, I'm guessing), but it's hardly consistent with what we know about the Germanic mindset both before the conversions and immediately thereafter.

Feud was an enormously important aspect of the social interactions both within and between various social groups. You have to look no further than the Icelandic sagas, which are replete with examples. So, too, is the Poetic Edda; the tales of Fafnir/Sigurd and Atli revolve around the concept of vengeance for a real or imagined slight.

I would say that history belies your statement about our ancestors seeing such things as "nonsense pissing contests". To the contrary; they were central to the maintenance of honor.

2:36 PM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Heilsa Joseph,

This is worthy of a more lengthy reply, so I will make it into an actual blog entry. Coming up very shortly. We have some differing opinions on this, and I think I can successfully outline my take on things with an actual post. Please feel free to respond to that new post. We may not come to agreement, but we may come to understand each other's positions better and perhaps our own as well. Cheers.

6:01 PM  

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