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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Courage and Magan In Our Time




A man gets up in the morning after a night of fitful sleep to go to a job he does not like; the political correctness is stifling and the payday is poor.  And he puts up with an age issue.  He gets passed over for promotion in favor of younger people - management is lost in the quicksand of denial. Somewhere a woman also rises and suffers from a lack of sleep; the glass ceiling is still there, she collided with it a few times and cannot break through.  She is just as good in her chosen profession as her male peers but has to live with less in her paycheck.  

Both man and woman are responsible for others.  They trudge on while taking so much "on the chin." Being a team player, they are constantly told, is a virtue.  Both know that if you throw enough shit against the wall, it begins to stick; both are dizzy in the head and yearn for something better in their life.  But others depend on them so quitting is not an option.  And, looking for other employment is hampered by the phrase, "location, location, location."  Moving for a new job can be seriously detrimental to those that depend on them.  So they march on and do their best to deal with the anxiety, depression, and mood swings that rob them of not just sleep but inner peace.  Thanks to the media's 24 hour news cycle they are constantly bombarded by a possible crafted thought speak.  

There are some people that think that these folks are not just weak but drones, slaves to the "system."  I beg to differ.  Folks like this are not weak.  They are in a situation that many today find themselves. They carry on, they do not quit; they have responsibilities - they fight on against the odds.  In my opinion, there are courageous.  But even the courageous can use a hand up.  Maybe the thought below can help.  

The Asian world has its' Chi and the Hindus have their Kundalini.  The Germanic world of yesteryear gives us something known as Magan (Old High German).  All three deal with the energy that permeates the Multiverse (the Universe).  

Magan is much more than increasing physical strength; it is the increase, the gathering up of this universal energy into one's total being.  And that, obviously, includes your inner self.  Plus, all living things have Magan; think about that for a moment.  This means that you, your dog, and your vegetable garden contain Magan.  And by increasing your Magan, you can increase your confidence. This increase in confidence does boost a person's courage and an increase in Magan helps in dealing with anxiety and depression.  The increase, or gathering of Magan can be accomplished by what the Northern Traditions refer to as Gladr.  

Gladr's simple definition is - chanting or, to chant.  But possibly for the northern soul not just any chant will do; it should be a Runic Chant.  And one of the best is ALU - ULA (ULA is just the reverse of ALU).  This chant is composed of three runes; ansuz, laguz, and uruz.  It is  pronounced - ah lew / ooo la.  Try it out, in morning quiet or any other quiet time.  

Sit quietly and close your eyes.  Breath in deeply, hold slightly and release, out of your nose.  Do this at least three times.  Relax.  Breathe in and when you exhale, say the chant, ah-lew, ooo-la.  Do this three times and relax.  Repeat two more times.  Relax and let the quiet of ALU - ULA work within you.  Understand that results happen over a period of time, but you should feel relaxed from the sound resonating within you.  Eventually, you should feel more confidant and secure within yourself.

Author's Note:  Results will vary from person to person; so much depends on time and individual effort.  Also, Galdr is not intended to be a cure for anxiety, depression, or mood disorders.  If you truly suffer from these things, seek out help from mental health professionals.  Even so, know that gathering, increasing your Magan is a good thing and something not to be ignored.  


                                                    Copyright @2016 Terry Unger





Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Anarchy and the Innangard




Anarchy is chaos.  It means the complete disregard for government, law and order, while flouting the idea of pure individual freedom.  Anarchy abolishes Frith, something our ancestors treasured.  They knew, as most of us know today that custom, thew, and law bring not just order but growth.  Our ancestors would permanently banish an Anarchist to the Untangard; he would be a serious threat to the Innangard, Frith, and the individual.  However, our ancestors were not mindless drones.  A person's individuality was important.

Being everything possible a person could be was encouraged, starting at the family level.  Our ancestors knew that a person's potential had to be nurtured for the benefit of all, thus avoiding unhappy folk.  This is a part of Frith in action; when a person's "get-up-and-go" is held down, when success at what a person is good at is denied growth, that makes for unhappy people, thus creating a negative environment.  Growth happens within a Frithful Innangard.  It does not happen in a repressive environment such as anarchy (or for that matter, any form of dictatorship which usually evolves when anarchy burns itself out).

If people had the pure individual freedom that anarchy suggests, chaos would reign.  If we had this pure individual freedom, this means I have the freedom to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. This includes doing absolutely nothing.  I can just sit back and watch you.  I can sit there in my non-productivity, and count your possessions.  Pure individual freedom gives me the "freedom" to take from you what I want; there is no Frithful Innangard to prevent it, to provide penalties for me when caught and recompense for you, the victim.  When you multiply this behavior by 100,000, chaos rules. Asking humans to voluntarily let their neighbor's stuff alone, without a system of checks and balances is not just foolish but outright stupid (unfortunately, we have no law against stupid).  Can my neighbor and I get along and leave each other's stuff alone?  Yes, but anarchy involves an entire society, not just two neighbors.  Do not confuse the sponsorship of individual growth/tribe growth by a Frithful Innangard to the pure absolute freedom that anarchy champions; they are as different as a cool refreshing breeze is to a hurricane.

We do live in a Frithful Innangard/society; all of us have opportunities for growth and positive community participation.  Yes, we have custom, thew, and law that makes Frith happen.  It would be best for all if political machinations like anarchy, dictatorships, and Marx's communism were relegated to the dust bins of history, or to the Untangard.


                                                    Copyright @2016 Terry Unger






Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Law, Order, and the Innangard




Author's Note:  In a recent posting I wrote an essay titled, Extending Frith.  This can be considered its natural extension.  

And although I broke a lot of laws as a teenager, I straightened out immediately upon turning eighteen, when I realized the state had a legal right to execute me.  George Carlin.

We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the law breaker.  It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. President Ronald Reagan.   

The above quotes were true in the days of yesteryear just as they are now in our modern world.   

As stated in my essay, Extending Frith, our Indo-European ancestors thought of Frith and the Innangard as not just one and the same, but dependent on each other; to be living in the Innangard was to live in a protective environment.  If Frith was broken (breaking the law) that protective environment, the Innangard and the folks who lived within became endangered, and the perpetrator had to be dealt with.  In many cases, the Frith breaker was "cast out" of the Innangard; the outcast became an "outlaw," who lived outside of the law, order, and security of the Frith/Innangard.  And in some cases, the Frith breaker was executed.  

Within the natural progression of things, and to avoid wholesale killing between families/clans/tribes a brilliant manner of intervention was developed.  In our modern English lexicon, we call that intervention Grith.  In many ways, Grith is a partial extension of Frith.  

Grith is a truce between the opposing sides that allows for a cooling off period and the gathering of facts.  Then, opposing parties went before a ruling council (or tribal elders, Sumbel, assembly, if you prefer), where the accusations and evidence was weighed, Justice served, with all involved parties bound by the decision.  As stated above, the Frith breaker(s) were outlawed, had to make some kind of monetary amends, or executed.  But it was not all bleak.  

In many cases, outlaws served "time" in the Untangard and were allowed back into the Innangard, peaceful society:  the were extended the Frith of their tribe - a chance to begin again (I personally know individuals who "did their time" in the Untangard, prison, and have become stand-up folks in society).  In our modern era, all of the above is practiced.  

When a person(s) breaks the law (Frith) they are found and arrested by "peace officers."  Then the path is jail/bail, trial, and either freedom, prison, or execution.  Naturally the man who shoplifts from Wal-Mart will be treated differently than the man who commits capital murder.  That brings me to this point:  the willful and malicious targeting of "peace officers," policemen who are charged with keeping the peace (Frith), must be dealt with swiftly - Frith within the Innangard demands it.  When you re-read the above quotes from Carlin and President Reagan, you will see that they are echoing the same sentiment held by our ancestors and the rest of civil society.
  

                                                Copyright @2016 Terry Unger 

                                                           

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Extending Frith


Author's Note:  In order to Avoid a possible issue with the original image, I took down the original post and re-posted with a "better" picture.  Thank you for your understanding.  Terry Unger.  








Our elder ancestors held to a code of behavior that was as special as it was unique; the survival of family, clan, and tribe depended it  it.  There is a common thread that runs through that code, and in modern English we call it Frith.  Unfortunately today we still have many referring to Frith simply as peace.  It is more than that.  

I will not attempt an exhausting definition/explanation on the meaning of Frith; that would take a small book.  But I will attempt a very brief thumbnail sketch.  It could be said that Frith demanded intensive cooperation.  

Yes, intensive cooperation because mere survival of family/clan/tribe depended on it - I cannot emphasis this enough.  Tribal members cooperated/helped one another plant, harvest, and butcher livestock.  And, pasture land for that livestock was shared.  Tribes developed customs and thew (laws) that all lived under and obeyed. Frith then, became the Innangard (civil society) and the Innangard was Frith in living action. Frith/Innangard provided freedom from strife and violence, business growth, family security, and allowed for friendship among tribal members to develop.  When someone within the Innangard broke Frith, they broke thew or custom.  Their action earned them a visit (or a life long visit depending on the crime) to the Untangard - the out-lands or the badlands where all outlaws belong.  In other words, they were cast out of civil society.  That said, let us remember that our elders were also known for their generosity and hospitality.  

When a stranger came into their midst, Frith was automatically extended to that person or persons.  Long before the Viking Age, the Germanic tribes on the continent were engaged in heavy trading via sea and land routes with other peoples.  Whether at home or abroad, our elder kin may have thought that the strangers dressed and spoke weirdly and even their beliefs a bit odd.  But, our elders believed that these strangers belonged to an Innangard in their homeland and therefore extended their tribal Frith to them.  This Frith was extended as long as the strangers kept Frith; there is not an ounce of anything to prove the contrary.  So, what about today?  

The Asatru/Heathen revival is still in its' infancy.  And in my opinion, maybe a "big tent" approach is necessary.  We have, on a daily basis, people leaving Christianity or something like Wicca to find their Northern roots; this should be celebrated as a good thing.  But we have those who like to treat the newbies poorly.  

There never was a "pan-Germanic religion" just like there never was a pan-mother goddess religion.  Our ancestors practice of what we think of religion varied from region to region.  Sorry, it just did.  But the similarities outnumbered the differences.  When a person went from one region to the next, he found the similarities and put up with the differences.  As a strong reconstructionist, I am avidly aware of these similarities and differences.  Jamming up newcomers to Heathenry with Orthodoxy is wrong when Orthopraxy should be stressed.  

 As stated, we are in the infancy of reviving our Elder Heathenry by trying to reconstruct the past into a modern mode.  But yet, there are those who insist that the past was a shame culture and it should continue in the present.  These folks have no problem "shaming" newbies on line when they make mistakes.  In my opinion, this shit may have its' proper moment, but this is the 21st century.  If we continue to piss off the newbies, they may just go off and become good Buddhists.  Where is the Frith?  

In my opinion, a "big tent" approach can work only and if only Frith is extended in the same manner as in the elder heathen days; differences were respected and similarities were embraced.  Or we could follow, dare I say it, the progressive path of Christianity.  

Christianity has been on the books for just over 2,000 years and it is not in any sort of Frith.  Since day one, there was bickering and backstabbing over who is "right," over what is the true "religion."  After an abysmal amount of bloodshed, this infighting still goes on to this day.  Many Protestants do not like Roman Catholics, and many Orthodox Catholics do not like Roman Catholics, and many Roman Catholics do not like so many more. Their excommunications are still in place and their declarations of anathemas still exist.  Don't buy into the recent media blitz of all those nice pictures; it is hard to find any resemblance of Frith among the various Christian divisions.  For Asatruar/ Heathens, this in not an acceptable model.  

Yes, this is the 21st century, but reconstructing the Elder Heathenry can succeed.  It is my opinion that a "big tent" approach and applying Frith as our ancestors did will work.  We know many of the "basics;" these will form the "similarities" that our tribes will interpret.  And the differences, we tolerate, in a Frithfull manner.  Let us not forget that our ancestors did not have a "central" religious authority; family, clan, and tribe was the mainstay and can work very well for us today.  Newbies need to be instructed, not shamed.  Unless, of course you think Buddhism is best for them.  

                                        Copyright @2016 Terry Unger








       

Friday, July 8, 2016

UPG and Rational Thought



During the early days of the Germanic Heathen/Asatru re-constructionist movement, circa the 1970's, the term Unverifiable Personal Gnosis, a.k.a. UPG was coined.  It also appeared in one or two books about Wicca.   UPG's can happen when meditating, asleep and dreaming, or just plain everyday daydreaming while picking one's nose.  UPG can be related to those flashes of inspiration and what Christianity would dub as an epiphany.  Christianity wants you to believe  what Emperor Constantine saw in the sky before a battle was "real":  their God wrote a message in the sky - use this sign and you will win the fight.  In the Multiverse, that stuff does  not happen.  It's more likely that Constantine had an alcoholic induced nightmare, a UPG, or if we may say it, an epiphany.  Joan of Arc too, had her UPG's:  she truly believed that her Jesus was talking to her.  While France benefited from her experience, she burned at the stake for it.  That said, UPG is personal and unverified knowledge or possibly just plain wishful thinking, sometimes labeled as MUS (made up shit).  The emphasis must be put on the personal; it deals with a personal experience, regardless of how mystical, that leads to an untested hypothesis.  Is it possible, to "test" a UPG?  Personally I find that highly doubtful.  Let's take a look.  

Deductive and Inductive reasoning are a part of rational thought.  Deductive reasoning gathers up events that are true (can be proven true) and forms a conclusion.  Use this example:  Terry called in sick to work today.  Today Terry's boss took the entire staff out for lunch.  Since Terry was not at work, he missed the free meal.  Too bad for Terry.  

Inductive reasoning gathers up things that are understood/assumed to be true and then arrives at a very specific conclusion.  This type of reasoning is often used in forecasts (like the weather) and human behavior.  However, many times these specifics are merely broad generalizations and are not always accurate (like the weather forecasts and what society deems deviant human behavior based on what is acceptable or not at the moment).  An example:  Terry's dog Jack, an English Setter, was born without his right eye.  Therefore, all English Setters named Jack are born without their right eye.  Another example:  The God of Christianity wrote the Bible.  In the Bible God tells "his people" that he created a special place for non-believers called Hell.  Therefore, if you do not believe in the Christian God, you are going to his special place (not just UPG but MUS).    

UPG's do not stand a chance against Deductive reasoning.  It is possible that if a UPG is measured with Inductive reasoning, it may enjoy a brief "shade" of truth.  However, that "shade of truth" evaporates like morning dew in the hot Texas sun; it may be nothing more than a broad generalization, not provable let alone factual, but enjoyed by a few who find it useful.  

UPG along with MUS have been used concurrently for millennia.  In times of distress, some guy has a "vision."  That vision is then "interpreted" and a good dose of MUS is added to make it easier for the general public to swallow.  I could write 10,000  words (that would just scratch the surface) detailing the last two sentences but I fear it would be a wasted effort.  There should be no Cliffs Notes for this stuff.  Does that mean UPG should be ignored?  

The short line to that question is no.  UPG's are individually and personally unique.  When genuinely experienced, they offer the person a view of something tailored for that individual.  It is gnosis from an unverified source filtered through that particular person's brain - period; it is for that person, not humanity in general.  There is no harm when folks compare their UPG's.  The harm comes when people add MUS to their UPG and decide the message is for everyone.  

                                                     Copyright @2016 Terry Unger







Tuesday, July 5, 2016

BLOG NEWS: NEW LOOK and a NEW BOOK






My new book, A LITTLE BOOK OF YULETIDE CHEER is now available on Amazon and Kindle.  And, the good folks at Amazon have told me that in just a few days, it will be available on all Amazon/Kindle worldwide sites.  

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you can see that it has a new "look," something that we in Ungerlands are proud of.  But, it is better - we've made the purchasing of my books easier! All of my book titles now appear to the right of the blog posts.   Just click on each desired title and you are on my Amazon/book page, ready to purchase that book!  As usual, the book is printed on creme colored paper; it is less reflective for easier reading.  

                                                     Copyright @2016 Terry Unger

Friday, July 1, 2016

Mourning the Death of a Friend



A childhood friend of mine recently passed away and I am sorry that we did not have that "final conversation."  Over the years and miles we managed to talk; not text or email - something that we thought impersonal.  My friend and I knew how to use a telephone, long before phones became smarter than they really need to be.  But the calls became infrequent and he passed on, long before his time.  But he was a good man.  

As we grew older, the conversations became one sided; he talked and I listened, almost as if I was his shrink.  He constantly talked about his life, childhood, and his parents.  Now let me say this about his parents, two people that I knew:  if two people could represent what douche bags and twat goblins were, they were the living color picture poster couple.  They were at the least, a very emotionally cold pair.  To my friend's credit, he never blamed them for his failures, but and rightly so, he never gave them credit for his few successes.  He told me more than once - Terry, if you want to get even with your parents, go out and make more money, get more education, and just do more things than sitting around  watching television.  That is hard to argue with.  But the coldness is something a child should not have to endure.  

As my friend told me, he had an eye opening encounter with his mommy and daddy dearest when he was 32 years old.  The short line - he walked into his childhood home when his parents were neck deep in an argument.  This was the first time that my friend ever saw his parents exchanging emotion; too bad it was all negative.  He waited for what he believed to be the right moment.  Then he asked  why they never showed him any loving attention or for that matter, why did they never said to him, I love you.  His father's response was swift and yet typical of this cold man.

The ice man told his son that actions speak louder than words, implying that I love you never needs to be spoken, provided the action is correct.  So my intrepid pal takes the next step and asks daddy what they did for him that said, I love you.  The old man's reply was priceless; I can still hear the trembling in my friend's voice when he told me what daddy said - we gave you a nice house to live in, put food in your belly, and clothed you.  This is love in action and no words are needed.  Then, my friend said to me - state run orphanages and prisons do the same thing, but I don't think they call it love.  

There were many things that my old friend told me, some of which I witnessed first hand as a youngster.  But my friend did not pass on as a failure in life.  On the contrary, he was a strong individual, a principled and ethical man who was steadfast with family and friends.  He did not make promises; he gave you his word.  And, his word was good as gold.  He died debt free, while giving many things to his family and friends.  He died a good man, but I wonder if he died knowing that he was loved.

For a fact, this man loved his family and children; I am just one witness to his action and his words, I love you, something he told his kids over and over again.  He was determined not to repeat his parents' emptiness.  But does one's love for others fill the personal void created in childhood?  Personally I do not know.  But I do know this ...

Children need to know that their parents love them, starting from day one.  They need to hear it and also feel it physically and emotionally.  I do not care if you follow a Monotheistic religion, are a neo-pagan, or Asatruar/Heathen.  But do not confuse my words.  I am not telling you to spoil your kids rotten, just love them.  If nothing else, give them that.  And remember, orphanages and prisons provide food, clothing, shelter but nothing else. Loving parents give much more.

                                                   Copyright @2016 Terry Unger





Our Visit to Sutton Hoo

When walking the grounds, you can feel the specialness of this place.  It is quiet, save the wind rustling through the trees.  The ages...