Time Theory, Heathenry, and Past Suffering

AA036979Of all the religions I have come into contact with during the course of my studies, to me, Buddhism is the most incomprehensible and at opposition with my beliefs and experience.  Please, don’t take this to mean I hate Buddhists, quite the opposite, I married a Shaolin monk for Christ’s sake- and I have been fortunate enough to meet many excellent Buddhist (or half Buddhists) over the years that have shown me the religion itself may actually be more full of kind, considerate people than any other… my favorite advisor in college was half Buddhist as well, and often, he was the best person to speak to when everything in my life was crashing down around me.  Buddhism is the belief there is no moment except for the present moment- the past is a memory, the future can only be inferred.  By living in the present moment we free ourselves from attachment to both the pains and joys of the past and also of anticipation for the future, striving, instead, to live within the present moment
One of those things that haunts me is my physical knowledge of time theory.  Picture a train, if you will- you are standing in front of one window of that train so you can see within the cabin- because you entire view of the train is limited to just seeing inside one window of the cabin, you can neither see the engine nor the caboose.
However, I want you now to picture a mountain, at the bottom of this mountain is the same train- only now from your vantage point you not only can see the train, but all the tracks, the surrounding countryside, and the entire route of the object from beginning to end.   This is time theory.  The idea that time is not linear, but rather all existent in one plane all at once (the 4th dimension) however, we can only perceive the smallest portion of it due to the lack of our perception.  However, even in the analogy of the train we find that we are dealing with two forms of perception-  Grand (Macro) or vague perception, and small (Micro) or specific perception.  From the top of the mountain, we cannot see within the cabin of the train without limit our perception of the rest of reality with a set of binoculars, nor can we perceive from the base of the mountain at the train station without similar means.

To me, this is why Sufism is such an intellectually accessible religion; in Sufism, instead of a train we have a book- some grand book that encompasses all that ever was and is to be, however, we live page by page and do not get to see this book until, MAYBE, our deaths should we have lived our lives in accordance to certain humane principles and ideals such as honesty, hospitality, charity, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, etc.   Instead of the “Now” centeredness of Buddhism, in Sufism, we have focus on the future, and that all deeds performed in the present are entirely in preparation for some perhaps unattainable future goal.

Heathenism, surprisingly enough, appears to be unique in lacking a present focus in favor of both past and future- our rituals are focused on the values and accomplishments of our ancestors, where our deeds are meant to sow the seeds for the future- making us rather cross-eyed in the present as an entirety of a people.   This makes perfect sense to me, having PTSD because I feel the affects of the actions of myself and others from the past vividly daily in the form of flashbacks; however, I also strive to live a pure and honorable life in the present- which is actually made easier by being Lokean/Tyrian rather than more difficult because both my nature of being Lokean and my Tyrian ethics keep my circle of people I interact with commonly small either out of fear of me or by my repulsion of them.   I love Heathenry because there is no credo of accepting “everyone” there are people who are not worthy of my time or presence, and also, there are people who receive no benefit from my existence either.   This truth is missing from other world religions- this is not to say to be inhospitable- far from that, however, after introductions are made and the nature of the person is assessed; we are given the choice to either continue to allow them to affect our wyrd or orlogg (which I will spell every imaginable way in this post) or to avoid them.   9 out of 10 times my choice is avoidance- humans lie, they cheat, they abuse others and they do not care about the consequences of their selfishness- they intentionally inflict pain and act with cruelty then justify their actions by claiming to be part of some sub culture or another, or worse, their Godly nature allows for certain breaches.   In my case, the pain and damage I cause is by being a truth-teller…. not exactly the sort of person you want at your parties, and worse, I am a truth teller with a selective memory so that whatever is unimportant falls through like a sieve where the things that “stick” nag at me for months until they are released via this blog into the open so I can remove the metaphorical itching of witnessing the pains caused by others- how they can act in ways I personally find appalling and would never commit myself and yet, people avoid that elephant in the room with our still-puritanical politeness of decades of Christian indoctrination into our American culture.

Until “Hey, you’re an asshole.” is as acceptable now as it was back in some indeterminate ancestral halcyon time we all seem to claim- the Lokean and the Tyrians will continue to be the least desirable among all Heathens to share a horn with- Lokean truth is seen as disruptive- and outside of leadership roles, the judgements of those who follow Tyr come across as overly harsh an insensitive- if not Neanderthalic in black/white reasoning of what constitutes the good and the bad- the line is clear.    (Which should be to be expected considering records of Tyr predate records of Woten by at least 6000 years, according to Wikipedia)  With Tyr, the line is clear- cheating is always “bad”, whereas being initially hospitable to all people upon first meeting them is “good” until they are proven unworthy of it…should they prove unworthy, they are to be avoided until sufficient progress is made on the part of the offending party to make amends; but more often then not- the severing of ties is permanent- for the more you beg, the more pathetic and useless you are viewed so reconciliation cannot be “bought”; but must be proven by inherent worth to the community at large to once again regain favor…if then.   (Anton LeVay and Tyr would have an interesting relationship, for instance- for where their ideologies meet- they meet exactly, but where they differ, there could not be more extreme differences in point of view….worth a different post, perhaps)

So, anyway back to time theory.  So here we have the proof of physicist and philosophers that time is merely an a-priori perception of the mind, that we cannot see more than three pieces of the puzzle called “life” at a time, and those pieces we have labeled our “past, present, and future”.  The Buddhist is to sit on the piece that is “present” and ignore all else; the Sufi is to discard the past, use the present, keep their eyes on the future for a pleasant afterlife (all monotheistic faiths are similar in this regard), and the Heathen falls into the the trap of ignoring the present moment being stuck with one foot in the past and the other focused on the future- lending ourselves to a faith that is overall confused on a National and International level as those who favor the past are called “Folkish” and those who look forwards almost to the exclusion of the past are labeled “Universalists”  However, in both sets of Heathen practice we find that it is commonly believed that our present actions, especially during sumbel/blot/ritual are timeless and can positively affect the luck/wyrd/oorlog of the past and that of our ancestors by how well we live our lives this moment.

If I were to take my troubled mind out of the equation of my life, I lead an exceptionally blessed existence,  I have a handsome and loving husband, I not only do not have to work, but I am not permitted to on account of illness, I am free, I am well provided for, have companionship of good animals and people- and even a few reliable, honorable family members I can relate to.  However, my mental condition consistently traps me in past experiences and hurts me relentlessly- I am not haunted so much by things I did or did not do-thankfully, I live a life with few regrets, however, I am haunted by lack of proper foresight in those past situations that allowed for my life to spin wildly out of control as I could not step out of the way in time of the train bearing down on the tracks.  Metaphorically speaking, I have been hit by several trains-  lesson learned is to stop playing on the tracks- which, for the most part I have.  If “playing on the the tracks” is interacting with unstable people, then after 31 years of experience, I have finally learned to determine that everyone is unstable to a degree and that the only people worth interacting with are the ones who can fully embrace their own madness with honesty-(throw decorum out the window, please.)   The harder we strive to hide our inner chaos and madness, the harder it bears down upon us and those in our lives- to the point at which some people will even sacrifice innocent peoples lives and reputations to maintain their own facades of dignity and faux-decorum.  This is called gas-lighting, and is often employed by narcissists and sociopaths.  Be very, very careful about the person who desires recognition, fame, money, or achievement- often, that is indicative of a sickness that can drown and maim even the strongest of men around them; in the pursuit of such meaningless accomplishments or feats- integrity and honor often fall by the wayside as other needs are not met and vices are procured to fulfill the inner emptyness that a life set on these things creates.  The vacuum of loss of friends as time is devoted to putting resources together to appear more impressive in exchange for false friends who only serve to boost the ego- making those who speak of moderation into the enemy.   I abhor the person who seeks grandeur for its own sake- but love the quietness of the footsteps of the person who achieves notoriety for doing good deeds for their own sake without any desire for recognition.

I write a great deal, I think, but I don’t make money off of this blog-  I do it as part of an oath I made with Tyr and by extension Loki to prove that Loki and Lokeans are human beings, not to be categorized and dismissed out of hand- just as Loki is not to be dismissed out of hand. In this journal I have shared and will continue to share my personal experiences publicly- I have nothing to hide.  I will show my prejudices- my strengths, and my short comings- but as time passes, my “public” experience of the community becomes less as I draw my shades and focus more exclusively my own life and that of my husband.  When I began this blog, I was very much “in” the community and a consistent attender of events all over- but now, I am much more content to stay home more days often than not and enjoy the company of my new husband.  Some places have rejected us, other places we have rejected- and honestly- it’s about 50/50 as to which is which- even still, we have more invitations than we expect between the two of us, and I have more reception to this blog than I anticipated.  However, Tyr never gave me a timeline here so I have no idea if this is a “forever” thing or if one day I get to ditch this format in favor of a new chapter with a different URL where I just get to go back to simple, personal journalism once more…where I am not intentionally putting the gross details of my life out there for everyone to see.

So, anyway- the solution I have found to my present dilemma came from therapy, I am involved in something called EMDR where I am supposed to remove the emotions from the negative memories and be able to contain them away from my psyche- the only possible way this can be accomplished for me (and apparently, for most with my condition) is to focus on the living conditions of the present moment rather than the traumatic episodes of the past.   In my case, I spend a great deal of time focusing on the time I get to share with Eddie.  From the view of time theory, and from Heathenry, the reason why my life is so good at this present moment is BECAUSE I have already paid the price for it with my past.   Ed found me through another journal I used to write, and without writing we would not have our marriage.  Without keeping record online of everything I have experienced from my life in Spain to College to my poetry- I would have no record of my past except for negative memories.  However, if I take a more Buddhist approach and focus entirely on the ethic of the present moment, then I realize the need for productiveness and the sharing of my personal revelations.

Without writing, I would feel much more guilty about having such an easy life now-  I would feel more lonely, and I would feel purposeless.  If not a single person reads this blog but my husband- I am fine with that.   However, since I know that is not the case let me tie all the loose ends together into a format that makes this coherent to the rest of those who read my rambling thoughts…

PTSD- (Tyr is likely the God most accustomed to it outside the Rokkr), forces one to live in the past-  however, the past is not detached from the present or future.  The “present” is simply a term for the point of view or perspective we hold on our lives at the present moment, or what “eyes” we use to view our lives-  are we viewing remotely or intimately?  Do we look at the greater picture or the minute details of our daily experiences, (if we pay attention to our daily experiences at all…?)

The view from the mountain is lovely, but we miss detail- and although the details of the train are captivating, if we are standing on the tracks to look in the window of one train, anticipating boarding it, we risk being run down by another on a faster track if we do not watch where we place our feet.

The solution is mindfulness- the ability to live, right now, and in the present- to not focus on anticipation or to dwell in regrets OR past glory.   If life is good RIGHT NOW- then it is fair to say you earned the right to that goodness.   If your life RIGHT NOW is chaos, then it is fair to say that you have been negligent and the sum of that negligence is insecurity.   When I look at the times of my life when things were at their worst, it has meant one of two things:

1. This is only a test- make it through this and things will get better.
2. I have ignored all the warning signs and gone “my own way” despite the advice of those wiser than I, leading me into untenable situations…. to get out, I need to extract myself carefully, live ethically, and all will be okay in the eventual future.

Whether or not I am “Okay” at this time is dependent on my state of mind; always, I am materialistically okay; but I have been homeless, lived in an unfinished concrete and drywall room with nothing more than a spare lightbulb- or by the charity of strangers for food and the roof over my head.   I got through those times by a great deal of prayer, sacrifice (including my entire altar to a lake at one point- 15 years of my life- given to four cardinal directions of water)  It took patience, it took waiting. suffering, and asking for help, even when asking for help meant becoming estranged from those I cared for (who, I had to accept, were NOT helping).  It was a matter of putting aside my pride and TALKING both in writing and out loud about what was happening and had happened…. realizing that as long as I use my voice, as long as there is a record of my thoughts and my writings, then it’s a lot easier to clear up misunderstandings, and MUCH harder for people to lie about who I am and where I stand for their own personal gain.

Writing in journals like this has saved my life, my degrees, and my reputation in some regards- everything I write is honest to the best of my perceptions, and keeping records of what I have thought, said, and believed shows a progression.  No one person is supposed to stay stagnant, and, ideally, my favorite people are the ones who admit to striving to learn something new, experience something new, or do something to further their intellectual and spiritual growth daily- even if it just means watching a movie they have never seen before on Netflix or taking a new way home from work.

Time theory at one time lead me to an institution for 10 days, because my life was so fucked up I couldn’t understand why and how if there is no “reality of serial time” that I could suffer so miserably at that moment.   I suffered because either I was either not living in the present and mourning the past too acutely, or that I could not see the larger picture that time had to offer- the Heathen way- that perhaps I brought it on myself by not being as Tyrian (honest) as I should have been, and in lying to save another person, I had ruined my own Wyrd for that moment.

My life improved when I stopped trying so hard to protect a man not worth my protection, by bringing Tyr’s influence back into my life into a place of prominence where I could once again claim with honesty I was no liar.  It involved a great deal of pain; and still, my honesty causes me loss of friends- however, I have lived the other way. I have lied for who I thought was a friend and almost lost my literal life over it….by placing the needs of a narcissist above my own without the consciousness of realizing I was doing so.  I was told by Loki to protect my professor, and I did.  I saved his life by speaking up and preventing him from being assassinated in Turkey.  My responsibility was not to lie for him to cover up why he was not properly doing his job, nor was it to lie to make him appear better than me and disgracing myself in favor of his reputation when he was the one who was behind on our joint work, not I.

Should I have listened to my inner instincts, I would have known lying at all is never the correct solution to anything at all- and even with the best of intentions, one lie can damage the Wyrd severely.

Kant was wrong in that regard, bad actions with good intentions still lead to ultimately negative outcomes.  Furthermore, there is no such thing as a negative intention- there is reactionary intentions, sure.  But few set out intentionally to cause harm without reason or purpose.  With that being said, if the action is good, the result will likely follow to be good as well.

Be productive
Be Honest
Live in the present
See life from both the micro and macro perspectives
Be frithful
and be grateful and happy for what you have been blessed with.

…and if you can’t bear to raise the horn to Loki- raise it to Woten.  Loki gets some of that honor anyway.
…and if you cannot raise the horn to Tyr in good conscious, realize you fucked up massively in life and need to do some serious self assessment.
🙂

Hail!

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5 Responses to “Time Theory, Heathenry, and Past Suffering”

  1. Very well written my friend but yet again the color sceam is playing tricks on my eyes.

  2. This was a fantastic article.

    I have been Lokean for at least two years now and I am thrilled to know that being a truth-teller, or a speaker of uncomfortable truths is not something he reserves for me alone.

    Thank you also for the deeper understanding of Sufism and Buddhism which I only understood in very limited ways until now.

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