Friday, February 24, 2012

Not An Archipelago, But A Globe

Heimdall represents the dawning of that living fire of awareness in humanity that stands before its powers and potentialities, and brings craft to stand as a means of realizing this potential.

Heimdall's coming thus represented the catalysis of the next stage in human development, and thus a divine mandate that man at the beginning, in his embryo, is necessary but not sufficient. The isolated homestead, cut off from full relationship with the outside world, from abundance, and therefore from liberality, which is the quintessence of humanity, is nothing but the pigsty of a thrall : drudgery divorced from genius, stunted deformity shrinking from full development of gifts and talents. Nobility is the potential developed essence of all humanity ; Rigsthula is a genealogy of types, not of "races", utilizing kinship, as all cognition at the tribal level does, as a metaphor. The installed nobility is a vanguard put in place through the merit of its passionate dedication to transcending parochiality of personhood and association, into larger fruition and collective blossoming. The ambassadorial function of nobility, in its liberality of spirit and hospitality, is an image of where we may rise. Through this, we become political, rather than parochial, animals. But if the speciation of humanity that merely functions as a metaphor for an evolutionary typology becomes translated into literal caste-and-class divisions, then humanity becomes divided from itself, and thus by definition, frith is impossible.

Heimdall-Scef's inauguration of the Neolithic utopian village thus looks beyond the Neolithic, with the Neolithic as a crude approximation in stone and straw of a divine image etched in silver and gold. We ought not mistake the first approximation as the finale itself. It is a telos-in-modelization, according to best conceptualizations and material capacities of the time, and turning that into idolatry, all too prevalent, is only ultimately prevented by the contradictions in the system which drive it on to transcend itself. In that tutelage-period where humanity has yet to collectively blossom its nobility, and thus is divided against itself into classes, the process of evolution may be hindered and slowed by the privatizing forces of greed, which incapable of ambassadorial genius and liberality of spirit, tend towards hoarding and competition rather than expanding community and public spirit.

Heimdall comes to inaugurate the republic, the wide sphere of the public realm as an arena for human expression and development. This vision of public life, tied together by gifts, is grander than the narrow, privatized view of human potential, enabling a "we" rather than a "me first" which leads to a "me only". In the wake of greed follows narrowness, pestilence, and war, engendered by self-deception. (Gullveig-Angrboda, and her children Jormungand, Hela-Leikin, and Fenris, engendered by Loki. Why is Jormungand the first to emerge? Because the image of a snake squeezing to death its prey in its coils is the perfect expression of the narrow, constrictive vision of life which begins manifesting in reality once greed becomes empowered. From such a narrowness, the loss of cooperative production which would lead to abundance, is replaced by a dearth that eventually results in famine and in its wake, plague, the twin purviews of his sister, Hela-Leikin. Ravenous war, the domain of Fenris, is merely the culmination of this.)

Of course, the privatized mind, alienated from its larger human potential, sees the extension of the public sphere as an encroaching, threatening alien power, and through this sorcery whereby the mind is turned against its own powers, the war of all against all, manifested on the economic level by the replacement of cooperation by competition, is inaugurated. The enthrallment of the pigsty to make it serve the polis, and work its way up to earldom with its international hospitality, is seen with nightmare-hysterical eyes as a terrible violation of its private essence. Because greed has captured the mind, it is unable to imagine freedom outside this limited, quarantined sphere. The reach of the divine to awaken larger munificence (envisioned both materially and spiritually) is experienced as the invasion of a hostile power to be resisted. Thus thralls approach the coming of Heimdall with suspicion and behind closed doors. Thralls are from this standpoint akin to cyclops that have been made to serve the unfolding of the further development of humanity, having refused to voluntarily participate in that development themselves. In the Greek conception, cyclops were cave-dwellers, confined by their narrow conception of kinship, to competition and cannibalism, and thus were the cognate of many of our giants. A thrall has become more like a giant than a human being, but remains, despite the refusal, a child of Heimdall.

Is the "leave me alone" of "live and let live" the best we can imagine? It may be a minimum, but are we content as bold ones to confine ourselves to such meagerness? "Don't tread on me" is the slogan of snakes! Are we snakes? The vision of freedom as isolation is paltry, and lacks the boldness of blossoming inherent in the word freedom. A pantheon is about bringing energies together, in a higher place and level of organization. If we imagine that freedom is never possible in social unity and alliance, but only in being scattered, do we not implicitly invoke a vision of the Gods as separated and potentially at odds with each other if they came together? How might we then explain their strong unity, their high centralism, their very city in the stars itself? What is our true vision? Do we, as warriors, fear the clashes that might be necessary to establish unity? Do we fear and shrink before that foundational struggle? No one likes to be told what to do, least of all a heathen. Will you thereby wall yourself off from all that is bold and inspiring? Will you shun battles because they might at times involve subordination? Or do you have a stronger vision of freedom, one that can shackle itself for a time to larger vision which will release it when mature to greater liberties yet?

The utopian Neolithic village-community, endowed with redistributive laws of equity, and shepherded from its parochial centrifugality by an ambassadorial class (which represents the vanguard at the point of progress) which opens it out onto international connections (remembering that when Odin inaugurated a city, Maeringaborg, during his exile in Mannheim, it was, as the Nibelungenleid explicitly indicates, a cosmopolitan, international city), becomes the seed-form given by the Gods through Heimdall with which human beings may envision and develop their potentials. The village-community, it must be emphasized, through its ambassadorial class, imagined as a polis, as a broader-than-narrowness. The very institution of the viking as the initiation rite of young men, however it may have degenerated at times into mere piracy, is, as a project of going out into the world to explore its many customs and peoples, a testament to the internationalist flavor of maturity cultivated ambassadorially by this original vision. It may, and ought, be noted that an acorn is not an oak, and the sheafs of grain Scef brought were not the grainfields themselves. A seed contains the potentiality of its maturity, but transformatively, not in the vulgar literality of its diminutive form. No, it must fold out onto the world, taking the world up into itself, and expand, in order to grow and become what it may be. Thus, the utopian village-community, while an imperfect modelization, contains within it the vital hints necessary to blossom. This takes an act of imagination (a faculty empowered and encouraged by the song-smiths) rather than mere mechanical expansion. All of this richness Heimdall has offered us.

Why Heimdall? As the bringer of the sacred hearth-fire, Heimdall fosters that alchemy of expanding awareness that begins in the home but moves out in increasing concentric ripples. Fire is an activator, a bringer of light, an alchemical catalyst. The ancients imagined the fire's smoke carrying up their contemplations and inquiries to the realm of the Gods. (We need not imagine in this that they were literalists, but deeply imaginative philosophers who saw the analogies of reason inherent in nature.) In this way, particular concerns and thoughts are universalized, through that philosophic attention for which Heimdall, as the watcher, the witness, is known. As the guardian of the gates to the Gods, he wards over the passage from particularity to universality and back. Man from the standpoint of Asgard is something grander than man trapped in narrow travails and troubles ; prayer becomes a way of elevating concerns, through poetic imagination and songsmith, to a more universal level, a way of viewing the valley from the mountain. Prayer, which is nothing more nor less than this imaginative contemplation whereby we expand ourselves towards greater cosmological perspective, allowing that transcendence to fructify our immanence and particularity even as our locality and earthiness offers the transcendent divine a form and temple in which to dwell, is a power that brings us up from the tangles and brambles at the trunk, to the very height of the Tree, and from there, below to its roots. Through prayer we activate our larger human gifts, turning on the technology, as it were, through which the divine acts to realize itself through us in this world. Prayer, explicitly tracing the leaves and branches back to the trunk, and thus caressing the web of wyrd, reveals that "no man is an island", and that islandhood, therefore, is an insufficient image to encompass humanity. Humanity is not an archipelago, but, at its height, a globe unto itself, inasmuch as it recapitulates nature and harmonizes therein. Stop pretending you are less than you are ; stop believing excuses for such pretenses. The Gods call us out into our full being, both individual and collective, neither of which can be fulfilled except through each other.


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