Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Discipline of the Wild

There is a discipline of the wild. The word "awe" once included not only the sense of wonder and respect, but discipline and rigor, the kind of attention and dedication awe inspires. To that which awes us, we owe disciplined attention and dedicated rigor.

Every wild animal has it's own discipline. It must meet the night, and the cold, and find food for itself, all in the open elements. It may be rough and charactered, but disciplined it must be to meet the slope and friction of the world, and within this realm, however rustic each creature's approach, it has there as well an elegance native to it.

We don't learn discipline to that which awes us in this society. We are taught to be beholden to the quotidian and conformist. But religion must teach us where our first loyalties lie. If we will not tend our soul, and listen to the 'animal conscience' of our Fylgia, how will the larger messages from family disir, land wights, and Gods ever get through? And yet to reach soul we also must respond to that which awes us. If we have not yet found that, we ought be on perpetual quest until we do. Once found, the Germanic principle of loyalty or 'hold' applies. We might reflect that Ygg (awe) was married to Holda (loyalty). They go hand in hand.

"Men switcheth", the Old English Rune Poem tells us. We switch from one thing to another, constantly distracted, often unable or unwilling to give focus where needed. We're all over the place. Because of this switching, we have a propensity to lose what is of value, and therefore betray it. The possibility of betrayal is the deeper meaning of the word "switch". Will we switch or hold when it comes to our very souls (and all to which they pertain : original nature, the land spirits, Mother Earth, and the Gods).

Can we discover the discipline of an owl or a bear or a beaver within ourselves? Can we develop that kind of in-tune rigor? Will we dare? Will we boast and find fellows to hold us to that boasting?


Anonymous Arrowyn said...

Well spoken! I like seeing the word discipline used in a non-totalitarian non-linear way.

I like to remind myself that "Discipline" and "Disciple" (pupil) bear the same root.


9:26 AM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

It's how we learn! Good ol' master apprenticeships! Cheers.

4:17 PM  

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