While exploring mental resilience (and values that might support it) I found this text on Odinism. I don’t know much about Odinism, but I like its values as it seems to place responsibility, and the decisions that come with it, with the person. These values present a choice and focus on ‘the path’ and how to walk it, and not on a dogmatic destination. I think many here will find themselves in these values:
In terms of ethics, members are taught to be “brave and generous.” Modern Odinists model their life according to the Nine Charges.”
- Self Reliance
- Strength is better than weakness
- Courage is better than cowardice
- Joy is better than guilt
- Honour is better than dishonour
- Freedom is better than slavery
- Kinship is better than alienation
- Realism is better than dogmatism
- Vigor is better than lifelessness
- Ancestry is better than universalism
It appears you've stumbled across the Nine Noble Virtues of Asatru Heathenism (AKA Norse Paganism / Odinism).
For what it's worth, I think the virtue bound ethics of Asatru Heathenism offer a framework of leadership and resilience which will be useful in times of scarcity – after all, they were honed in the unforgiving Scandinavian winters 🙂
All the best,
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, I think we are fundamentally tribal. Depending on where you are, a couple of millennia will probably not undo our earlier history (am reading 'Against the grain' of James C. Scott now, very interesting book, I think I got the reference to this book through PP). These 'Noble virtues' seem to be the values that would make persons 'mentally strong' and able to survive in harsh conditions, and benefit the functioning of a small collaborative group of persons, a tribe.
I like the wisdom that is part of the points mentioned under Asatru Folk Assembly. No stick behind the door, no dogma or fixed rules, not 'one way – one final goal'. The recognition that life is not black and white, but that there are many shades of (occasionally contradicting) grey, and that in navigating these there are approaches and principles that are more virtuous then others. I read in this personal responsibility; you make your choices, but you live with what these choices bring to you and others. How far we have diverted from these principles in 'modern life'…
While the principles behind Odinism and Asatru Heathenism can easily be aligned wrongly, the basic tenets, if applied in respectful and responsible ways, seem solid.
Intriguing, only starting to scratch the surface, but I need to explore further…
In doing some research on our family history I ran across some post-revolutionary musings of one, Thomas Jefferson, on the role and regional differences of religion on the colonies. In a simple, small, homogenous, subsistence group, these basic tenets of Odinism/Asatru may suffice to maintain peace, order and good relations. Then throw in commerce and see what happens. The Locke-ian focus on private property screws things up. Given today’s political climate his observations are prescient. “How far have we diverted from these principles. . . )?
Religion is well supported; of various kinds, indeed, but all good enough; all sufficient to preserve peace and order: or if a sect arises, whose tenets would subvert morals, good sense has fair play, and reasons and laughs it out of doors, without suffering the state to be troubled with it. They do not hang more malefactors than we do. They are not more disturbed with religious dissensions. On the contrary, their harmony is unparalleled, and can be ascribed to nothing but their unbounded tolerance, because there is no other circumstance in which they differ from every nation on earth. . .But is the spirit of the people an infallible, a permanent reliance? Is it government? Is this the kind of protection we receive in return for the rights we give up? Besides, the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor,
and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.
Legalism will only take us so far. Values have to be ingrained in our very being. What I see today is total depravity!
Great quotes! But that’s just my opinion (and it’s not worth much). Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Paine, and the list goes on. Advice and warnings from generations long ago. If “we” didn’t think of it or come up with the “idea” in contemporary terms, it is really different this time (so we are led to believe). We have the internet and your “du jour” vapourbit-digital-coin offering today. How about EBT (UBI) back in the day? It wasn’t digital “ones and zeros” then (but “lead”, not “led”) and the idea was the same. Just add a circus or two (or monster truck event), some extra (Roman) holidays, and voilà, pas de souci. BTW, it didn’t end well (but that was ~2000 years ago, give or take a few hundred years).
The poorer Romans received every month tickets, which appear to have been transferable, entitling them to a certain quantity of corn from the public granaries. These tesseræ or symbola were made, Lubinus says, of wood or lead, and distributed by the “Frumentorum Curatores.” In the latter days, bread thus distributed was called “Panis Gradilis,” quia gradibus distribuebatur. – The Satires of Juvenal, Persius, Sulpicia,and Lucilius, by Decimus Junius Juvenal (go to gutenberg.org and search “Juvenal” for his writings).
Trigger Warning (“ex post facto”): This may cause a “strawman” or “go get giggy, hip-hop forum” alert since I didn’t mention [name redacted]-coin and “grandpa” (oops, that should have been “redacted”) in this reply to one of my favorite “uncle’s” posts.