Away From the Worship of the Harsh
Now of course they will come back with a gambit of accusing me of separating the spiritual and material worlds the way Christians do, and devaluing the material world. Not at all. The material world is very much to be valued, and that's the realm of the Vanir Gods. The material world is supposed to be filled with love, with festivity, and with productive activity that leads towards feasts. There's a reason the Aesir are in the sky, in the heavens : that's to remind you that they represent the spiritual realm, a spiritual realm of fighting against jotnar, spiritual forces of cruelty and barbarity.
You can't have enlightenment and bald barbarity at the same time! Enlightenment doesn't happen in the midst of brutality. Brutality ends up creating trauma-reactions which warp and cripple a culture, and keep people in defensive, little reptilian reactions that completely hinder free thought and the free spirit.
Odin knows that it is an ill wind that blows no minds. He represents the continual transcendance of paradigm and position, the outgrowing of outdated stances, and this is how the warfare against the jotnar advances! So the more rigid, and defensive, and entrenched you are, the further away from that transcendance you are.
Now, where piracy becomes the only way to remain free, a free man will support, conditionally, piracy, but not for the sake of piracy ; rather, for the sake of that which it is serving : freedom. On the other hand, a society which becomes a war of all against all, and whether it's an innangards or not, if your innangards is constantly attacking my innangards is constantly burning the innangards and farms and fields down the way, there's not enough stability for any kind of real enlightenment to take root. Insecurity does not foster the arts. This is why kings were often evaluated on two bases alone : did they bring peace, and good seasons? Peace and good seasons : was there enough abundance to stave off insecurity, and was there enough peace to stave off fear, so that real society, real creative, loving interaction, and real arts aimed at enlightenment and improvement of life could take place? That's the whole meaning! If you weren't fighting for those, what would you be fighting for? For the sake of fighting alone? It just amazes me the people who will try to transform this authentic spirituality into some kind of monster-cult that becomes about fighting for the sake of fighting alone! As if a pantheon headed by a God who represents radical enlightenment would want a human race engaged in so much strife that it was so shell-shocked that it was completely incapable of enlightenment! What kind of Loki-misled numbskull would it take to envision this?
Warfare as a spiritual principle, on the other hand, is another matter altogether, and one of the greatest poets of the English language, William Blake, saw that that was necessary, but that was a completely different thing than material warfare, and certainly not the war of all against all. (And what a bogus gambit to simply export this strife and warfare elsewhere! A "gift" calls for a gift, and it will all come back. You can't escape Wyrd.)
This is a spirituality of radical enlightenment, of liberation, of earthiness and standing on one's own two feet, of willingness to stand up for rights and fight for them if necessary, a readiness to take back that which has been stolen, a desire to create real value for one's community, humankind, and the earth. This is what was sometimes realized and sometimes submerged in the often-dark politics and squabbles of Iron Age tribesmen. Don't use the dark places of Iron Age tribespeople to defend and cover the darkness in your own mind. Enlighten your own mind now, in the present.
It's true we're not out of the Axe Age yet, and that one does have to be savvy and pragmatic, and ready to defend that which is of value, but such a pragmatic approach, which backs the spirituality of enlightenment, is a far cry from cheering on the Axe Age.
I am continually disgusted by people whose one spiritual insight in life seems to have been that "life is harsh". That becomes their mantra, their guide, their evangelism they want to carry everywhere, and even their god they bow down before. Life is harsh, and so they glee with secret wolf-teeth every time something harsh happens, and every time innocence is overpowered, and every time they can prove themselves right that harshness is the basis of reality. Well, if harshness is your god, bow down and lick the boot that would stomp you and everyone else, for you worship the jotnar. Yes, the rest of us have figured out that reality is harsh, but that's not the pinnacle of spiritual enlightenment. Knowing this, can you find love, and festivity, and peace, and wisdom, not only for yourself, but for your family, and your tribe, and possibly your world? That might be something more worthwhile than licking your wolf-fangs at the harshness of the world : getting down and doing something of real value.