Article author: Mark Puryear (editted by Dan Rayner), Asatro News / Re-published: 19th Night of Æfterra Yēola 2265.RE (in Anglo-Saxon/English ethnic culture) / 19th Night of January 2015
ÁSATRÚ & CIVILIZATION
The faith of our ancestors grows every day, and with it comes a developing motivation and inspiration to preserve and protect our heritage. We who have been involved in this movement for a considerable amount of time have been privileged to witness its development over the years, from a fledgling group of pioneers to a force to be reckoned with today. At the same time, when we have devoted most of our lives promoting this belief system, we want to continue its growth so that it can remain as the primary voice of our ancestors without falling into stagnation and eventual disintegration.
It is the duty of all of us who have embraced this path to see to its continuation and to further our way of life in any and every way we can, for we are the links to the past for future generations.
If we shirk this responsibility, now more than ever, we will see the legacy of our forefathers vanish within the sands of time. Because of this, we must continuously review and critique where we are as a movement in order to ascertain exactly how far we have come, where we are headed, and how we can improve.
Our beliefs are built upon the notion of self-improvement and industriousness, which we must cultivate not only as individuals, but within our spiritual collective as well. We do not accept ourselves as unworthy or filthy, but rather as a capable and proud people with a profound culture that has become the hallmark of freedom and civilization throughout the world. Our religion, Ásatrú, Asatro, Asetru, Asetro or the older terms such as Odinism (that all refer to the same ancient lore) must reflect the values that built the West, rather than those that are destroying it. Therefore, we need to look within ourselves to see how we can best express the heritage that we have accepted within our lives and those of our families.
This notion is not meant to condemn perceptions or ideas that already exist within our community, but instead is meant to supplement them so that we can offer more choices for those who come to us wishing to become a part of our naturally sacred nation.
The most important aspect that we can present here is one of civilization, which is something that is not often discussed within heathen circles. This typically is the result of distaste for modern pop-culture which many feel is an attack upon our people and the countries from which we originate.
However, far too often do we see a tendency to ‘drop out’ of society, to pull away from those places where we can have the most influence and where we can truly make a difference. We often hear romantic visions of living on farms and other rural locations, to leave the modern world behind for a simpler way of life that truly reflects our ‘heathen’ (i.e. ‘from the heath,’ the backwoods) roots. Because of this tendency and the value placed upon it, we need to examine the word ‘heathen’ in the first place. It was used to describe our ancestors late into the time of conversion, after much of the nobility had already embraced the new faith, and thus all that remained were the ‘country-dwellers’ (paganus or pagan and heathen both denote this) who were too stubborn to give up the old ways. Because of their steadfast devotion to the faith of their forefathers, we today bear these titles with pride. Still, they do not reflect the height of our religious heritage, which would have included the great culture centers such as Uppsala in Sweden or Yeavering in Northumbraland, displaying a culture vast in its richness and social depth and sophistication.
Alongside farmers and warriors were kings, scholars, priests, philosophers, and so forth. Again, it is not our intention to criticize anyone for how they live or what values they wish to build their families upon. Rural living is the backbone of our world today, and it cannot be forgotten that much of our faith is centered on agriculture and a connection to the land. This must always be kept in mind whether you live on land, a suburb, or in the city.
The reason I bring up these points is because it is important for us to remember that Western Civilization is OUR civilization, it belongs to us, and it was built by our ancestors using the principles and ideals that they held sacred, as should we.
Every aspect of this culture, every socio-economic position, and every traditional system within this civilization are therefore a part of our birthright.
We must be everywhere, in every station, in every class, and each of us will have our own ways of interpreting and celebrating our ancient beliefs. This is not only acceptable, it is the way it should be, the way it always would have been had we not suffered the era of interregnum.
In order for us to fully reclaim this heritage we must accept it as a belief system that embraces all of our folk, no matter where they stand on the social ladder or where they live.
Civilization, the primary foundation upon which a society is built upon, is something that we should see as valuable, not only as a part of our birthright, but also as a valuable tool in regaining the West as the land of our faith. When Christianity invaded the North its principal method of convincing the nobility to convert was an extension of similar methods used by the Romans:
“The following winter was spent on schemes of social betterment. Agricola had to deal with people living in isolation and ignorance, and therefore prone to fight; and his object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities.
He therefore gave encouragement and official assistance to the building of temples, public squares, and good houses.
He praised the energetic and scolded the slack; and competition for honor proved as effective as compulsion. Furthermore, he educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared with the trained skills of the Gauls.
The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favor and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptations of arcades, baths, and sumptuous banquets.
The unsuspecting Britons began to speak of such novelties as ‘civilization,’ when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.”
-Tacitus, Agricola ch. 21
So you see, when outsiders are allowed to impose their ideas of being ‘civilized’ upon us, this is typically a manifestation of their tyranny, seeking to control those they view as not being ‘controllable’ or those they would hold under their thumb. This is the origin of the word barbarian, which the Romans used to designate those tribes that would not submit to their rule.
Therefore, WE must take the stage and fight for our identity so that we can define what is ‘civilized’ and what is not.
When the Christians came, they tied themselves to the might of the Romans and thus made their worldview out to be a ‘modern’ and ‘enlightened’ way that would connect all under their religious banner so that they could supplant the Native spirituality with their own, then use this as a device to bring about their domination of Europe.
We see ideas today that present themselves in the same way, telling us that they must be adopted in order to be ‘progressive’ and ‘modern’ when they are in fact designed towards either our oppression or our demise.
But when we stand for what we believe, on the front line where our voice can be heard, we can make a difference in how we will represent civilization, and how we will continue as a people.
We will not win this fight living apart from the rest of the world.
We will not see victory if we do not face those forces that would see to our extinction.
The fact is, these destructive concepts have been very successful in their indoctrination of the masses. Why? Because mankind is driven by an instinct to further the evolution of our species; human beings must feel that they are moving forward and will embrace causes and ideas that artificially mimick this process and manipulate people into beleiving they are achieving progress when in-fact they have gone backwards, this is true of all post 1930s European societies. All people and all other species can also be easily exploited by false-progress movements, false environmental pressures and cultural atmospheres (as with the Cuckoo exploiting the Blackbird) instead of supporting our own true evolution.
If a belief system embraces reversion, or can be castigated as promoting reversion or a step backward for us all, such as returning to an all agrarian society or a huntergatherer society or whatever pathetic ideological concept of a reclusive retreatist enclave in the hills, it will always remain a novelty celebrated only by a small minority of practitioners, which in a majoritarian political atmosphere will eventually be wiped out by the then hostile and anti-pluralistic majority.
Incorporating our ancient traditional ethnic cultural life-styles and attitudes is not reversion, it is folk-empowerment.
We cannot under pressure abandon the customs passed down to us from the ancients if we want to remain a viable institution that expresses our cultural folk values. It is a balance, one that has been difficult for traditional and ethnic cultures around the world, but it is a balance that must be strived for in order for us to thrive. Japanese businessmen are a good example where this balance is well achieved in many cases, when you see traditional Shinto practices celebrated alongside some of the largest and most progressive companies in the world. It can be done, but more so it must be done in order for us to move our faith into the future. So how do we maintain this balance?
Below is a three-fold standard that we can maintain in order to keep our heritage alive while at the same time stepping onto the world stage to declare that we are the only institution in the world that can successfully move the children of the North, Germanic and wider European folk into the future, through positively celebrating our ethnic heritage, identity and biological nature. By this method we can become the voice of our people and of progress, thus retaking our entire civilizations over the next 30 years.
Folkish communal safeguarding:
In order for us to be viewed as a viable religion that can and will be a force for the betterment of our folk and for humanity at large, we must have a strong sense of charity within our folkish faith community.
We must remember the law of Ur or urlag (örlög), which tells us that what we put out shall return to us and that our past will affect our future in almost perfect equilibrium, so when we give to those members of our folk who are in need, when we help those in times of crisis, we shall receive good things in return. This must become the hallmark of our religion, for if we are to continue to thrive we must be viewed as a community that will step up and do what’s right for our own folk when it is needed. We have to give, to do work, and to take action in order for us to be engaged in true acts of generosity. Pressing a button online or offering blot in honour of others, while greatly appreciated, are not acts of charity and do not mean nearly as much as giving your time or your donations when fellow Asatru folk really need it. It does not matter how much you can give or how much of your time you can offer, or how many articles you contribute as long as you co ntribute something.
We cannot make excuses, we cannot procrastinate or leave it up to someone else, we have to step up and work towards a greater future for us all. In order for us to continue to be devotees of the Gods and Goddesses of Asgard, who wish nothing more but to postpone Ragnarok or to survie and triumph within Ragnarok, we must be focused on being representatives of folkish collaboration, which begins with the family then progresses to the local folk community or Asatro kindred and clan, our immediate ethnic folk, wider Germanic & European folk nations and then the protection of all valuable life within our wider environment, elements that are required for our lives and do not threaten our existences.
Besides folkish charity, we must also be able to demonstrate that we can and will embrace the sciences, not as slaves to academia, but as those who wish to listen to reason and to facts that tell us more about the universe and the world around us.
Our ancestors invented the sciences that we know today, and some of the greatest thinkers of the ancient world were followers of European polytheistic religion. Science, mathematics, philosophy, etc. are a part of our legacy and must be seen as an intrinsic aspect of our belief system. If we reject it we not only reject the brilliant institutions of our forefathers, we also relegate ourselves to the world of superstition, ignorance, and savagery.
We must gear our children towards success, to lead them towards careers of higher thought and higher learning, and to continuously focus their efforts on self-improvement and a search for knowledge. This is the example of Odin, the Great Scientist who constantly seeks out a greater understanding of the worlds by travelling through them and learning all of their secrets. Ours is a nature of religion, and thus connects us to the natural world and to the disciplines that strive to gain a better understanding of it.
While we look towards the future, we must never forget our link to the past. This link keeps us grounded to our ancestors and to our ethnic identity. Without them we can succumb to the whims of popculture, of every latest fad that whisks by and never truly has any meaning or any continuity.
Such fleeting entities represent a descent into oblivion, as they focus on the Self, on the breakdown of community and the exaltation of individuality and self-indulgence. We need something grounded in history and heritage, something that connects the ancestors to our descendants, for we are the only link that can bring the two together.
We see a world where kids today are more and more disconnected, who find identity in all sorts of destructive mechanisms, solely because they have been robbed of anything significant or grounded in who they are and where they come from. Drugs, gangs, sex, etc. continue to become more and more connected to the lives of our youth. Technology, rather than uplifting the nation, is used to enslave people by propaganda, entertainment addiction, and mindless consumerism.
We need tradition as a vessel for our people to feel connected to one another, and to break away from the downfall of the family unit that we see as a part of pop-culture. If we make these principles the forefront of our faith movement, when people encounter us they are what we will be known for, and we will truly be able to make mountains move.
It is time that we set a new standard, time we start focusing our actions on how we can be beneficial to the world, rather than simply using this as a platform to promote our own agendas or to express it as some sort of fantasy role playing game.
We can criticize other faiths all we like, but at the end of the day, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists for example, have a far greater track record than modern heathens do when it comes to helping one another out during the entire reconstuction period since the 1800s.
Many of them do not have a lot of resources to give, yet they still step up when their own have need. You can question their motivations all you’d like, their actions remain the same. We must be a force for good, as Odin tells us in Havamal in relation to almost every aspect of the Havamal in its entirety, except in relation to the enemies of our folk.
We must ultimately perceive life as a folk community, where each must work together to safeguard and protect the valuable nature of our folk, in the collective interest of the furtherance of our folk, through active, socially involved intelligence and ingenuity, inspiring and informing all our viable folk through our beautiful traditional Asatro and an extraordinary attitude of civilization enabling folkish social collective co-ordination.
This is our Asatro faith, something we have dedicated much of our lives to. It isn’t a game or a fantasy, an ego contest or a front, it is something that we hold sacred and thus want to see Asatro become a force of reckoning in the world, for this to happen Asatro, Asatru and all Germanic spiritual groups in our public interaction need to become more active and cleanse ourselves of any non-active, non-political tendencies and all detrimental, degrading individual elements.
Re-published with direct written permission from Mark Puryear of the Norroena society on 19/01/2015, note the Norroena is solely a publishing group, not a political group, the publication of this article is solely for the mutual promotion of Asatro.