Against the Bulldozing of History
An authentic heathenism works against the bulldozing of history and significance that has characterized so much of the last four hundred years, and which is only increasing and accelerating, with each generation now out of touch with that which was vital to the generation beforehand. We are losing a great deal of soul in this overturning of culture, for culture is where soul deposits so much of itself. So much is plowed over in history anyway, by history’s natural processes, and the inevitable process of growing old and then letting go, and yet in heathenism, you don’t entirely let go : you go home. In death, you go home to all that is old. Yet this world, the world of mortal life, must not lose its roots, the roots by which it connects to that which has significance and meaning, so it is worthwhile holding on to that. We know that each generation plows the field anew, and therefore disrupts as the soil is thrown up, but there are some things which must be preserved. The plow must not touch the ancient oak tree, nor the groves that are nearby. There must be a balance. In the natural scheme of things, a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter can all return to the same tree and recall significant memories around that place. A grandfather, a father, and a son can sing the same songs, and thus pass on a continuity of spirit and memory.
In the modern world, everything has become bulldozing, a tremendous process of losing so much as old monuments of landscape and history, whether those be natural or architectural, are razed to make way for innovation and finance ; and we need every power on our side to prevent this bulldozing from undoing the history of our lives, and to fight against it. This can include collecting photographs, old tape recordings, excerpts from books, and other means to hold on to some past that has been lost and has been erased around us in our fury to undo what is, and replace it with the “new”.
As we preserve soul as it has manifested in our works, and in our surroundings (through its own activity in nature), in our language and in our life, we must not come at that ideologically. We must not come at that xenophobically in such a way as to want to keep out foreign influences. No, separatism is not the answer. The demand must be the right to choose and affirm the rate of our own alchemy. The right to affirm the rate of our own alchemy : that’s the key to a vital, dynamic conservationism, that conserves values at the same time that it is radical, because it maintains connection to our roots. That which is radical in another culture may have the possibility of touching what is radical in ours, and there is interaction at the edge-zones, and that is important. That we have the right to affirm that alchemy that is native to our soul is so important! We must resist the imposition of rates of change that are foreign to the pace of our souls. We know that that alchemy, as with all living things, involves taking in that which is external, taking in that which is foreign, and digesting it. We have the right to digest, so that that which we take from without may become authentic within us. Where my soul touches your soul touches another soul, then and there, a “folk-soul” may emerge, but the core or key element is the soul itself, and soul touches and is contiguous with other souls. The focus is not, therefore, on separated nationality, but on that which nationalism was originally trying to preserve, which was a patriotism towards the soul, which finds itself in particularity, and therefore which resists the bulldozing of particularity by impositions and imperial coercion and globalization. So that element of nationalism which was attempting to create and foster a patriotism towards the soulful, in all of its particularity and concreteness, is indeed something which ought to be affirmed, but it must be purified and excised and separated from the xenophobia and isolationism which characterized it, because we live in vital interaction, and that vital interaction can and often is a vital part of the soul, and at this point in time, so many of us are already mixed anyway, that mixedness is of our soul. We needn’t excise or cut off any of our rich heritages or our possible friendships and loves for some separatism, or even some, Gods forbid, some supremacist ideology, which is itself an abstract imposition on true, authentic soulfulness.
And lest the concept of authentic soulfulness become parochial, let us remember that we must travel outside of that which is home in order to appreciate that which is home, and when we go outside of that which is home and visit other people’s homes in other places, we come to appreciate our own home more, and discover the true nature of homeness beneath that layer of ignorance and parochiality which we have unconsciencely imposed upon soul.
So all of these are important, coming from a soulful position, to retrieve and restore that which a genuine folkism would gather, but without the horrible ideological trappings that created more tragedy in the world, and more separation, and we don’t need that. It’s not about separation. It’s about the right to one’s own pace and rate of alchemy. We’re talking about a combat of speeds here, and there are some who are demanding that things change at a certain speed or you get bulldozed, and that is what we must fight against.
Holding : holding against change is a value in heathen culture, and it is a worthwhile goal, however formidable the obstacles and odds may seem, and thus a zone for genuine heroism.