Reconstruction strangling the life from the lifeway

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Reconstruction strangling the life from the lifeway

Post by John T Mainer on Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:34 pm

Ye gods and little fishes! One of our better scholars, and one of the most reactionary reconstructionist heathens I have ever known, is on a rant about people claiming to be Asatru who aren't doing it right (according to his understanding of one specific era of one specific people).

Ours is not a faith of the book, but a living faith. It changed and evolved as did our ancestors understanding of the universe, and as did their challenges and needs as a people. While I do look back to anchor myself in our roots, our lore, and our ancient practice, I do so with the understanding that I can't ever understand why they did what they did, as I spring from a different time, different frame of reference, and different culture. I cherry-pick to be honest. What I understand and seems applicable I incorporate into my practice. If I don't understand why they did something, I could care less about how; for to ape it perfectly would still be empty mummery and acting, not an act of reverence and faith.

I strive to live in this century in such a way that honours the teachings of our ancestors, in harmony with the inspiration and guidance of the gods and wights, as best I understand them. I do not think we all need to devote hours of study of every frigging archeologist and scholar as to the minutae. Some will devote themselves to the lore, some will study to gain understanding and context before focusing on their own life, and others wouldn't study any more than it took to pass the final exam even with a gun to their head.

Sometimes I think the recon purists are our fundamentalists, whose concern over doctrinal purity makes as little sense in a living non-Biblical faith as a chastity belt on a bowling ball. I see the potential loss in the divisiveness brought by these issues, I just don't see what possible gain there is to be had. I just don't see Tyr up their scoring the debate.

The Abrahamatic disease of "one right way" has seeped in so deep our "loremasters" are unaware of their corruption.

_________________
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
"Let justice be done, though the heavens fall."
avatar
John T Mainer
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 1004
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : Maple Ridge, BC Can

http://community.bc-freehold.org/news.php

Back to top Go down

Re: Reconstruction strangling the life from the lifeway

Post by Davelaw on Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:21 pm

John, as a Christian Fundamentalist - I think your comparisons are apt
most of us self-describe as reconstructionists trying to live as close as possible to the 1st century New Testament Church within the confines of modern culture.
avatar
Davelaw

Posts : 1684
Join date : 2009-07-18
Location : Houston Texas

Back to top Go down

Re: Reconstruction strangling the life from the lifeway

Post by John T Mainer on Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:48 pm

Ah but you have the excuse of having one (since the council of Nicea, but lets keep it simple) written Word that spells out your doctrine. We don't have one, we have fragments of dozens of tribes over dozens of centuries, all of whom interpreted and practiced slightly differently.

You actually do have one fundamental to hearken back to, we have fundamental-S but not any one single fundamental. Somehow we still managed to get doctrinal purists without having one agreed upon true doctrine to start with.

Its like having a lawyer at an anarchist commune; without a law, how (and why) does one become a lawyer exactly?

_________________
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
"Let justice be done, though the heavens fall."
avatar
John T Mainer
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 1004
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : Maple Ridge, BC Can

http://community.bc-freehold.org/news.php

Back to top Go down

Re: Reconstruction strangling the life from the lifeway

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:21 pm

Every religion and even branches of the religion have their purists who are "doing it right" and everyone else that does it differently are doing it wrong, in their opinion. I've always held that living breathing religions are not a one size fits all sort of thing and that if a religion cannot change and adapt to different cultures, different times, then it dies. But every time a religion does change, there will always be the group that is outraged by the change and bullheadedly convinced that they, and they alone, are doing it right. I think that it is a power thing.

_________________
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
avatar
gillyflower
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3400
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Reconstruction strangling the life from the lifeway

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:29 pm

Actually, we should have a discussion about the belief in the magic of ritual as opposed to the god connection. I hold that people who get all hung up on how you do ritual and keeping it unchanged have lost sight of the purpose of ritual which is, in my opinion, the god connection. In their hands the religion becomes superstition. They think that the whole purpose of the ritual is to do it right, that if they do it exactly right their god will be pleased and reward them and if they do it wrong, s/he will punish them. Those that do it right, are, of course, closer to their gods than the person who is, in their opinion, doing it wrong.

It's my belief that if you do have a god connection, you are doing it right for you.

_________________
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
avatar
gillyflower
Admin
Admin

Posts : 3400
Join date : 2009-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Reconstruction strangling the life from the lifeway

Post by John T Mainer on Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:43 pm

You know that may be the heart of it Gilly. On the one hand we have the Hermetics, who are so obsessed with perfection of form, they have removed all spirit from the rituals, and who generally find themselves as solitary practitioners, or solitary loremasters skulking at the edges of a community they don't feel comfortable actually celebrating with. On the other hand we have the Shamanics, who have the general form and spirit drawn from the lore, but who use inspiration to fill in the gaps, and build new traditions with the folk they practice with. For these people it is about building community, with a pragmatic approach that uses what works, borrows learning from others in the pagan community about ritual structure and group dynamics, and discards anything that seems counterproductive.

The first group of Hermetics are right. There form is perfect. Each has a slice so perfectly defined of one fragment of one people at one time that they really are lore masters. I don't know how relevant most of their knowledge is to most people in the community, and I don't see their practice being open to laity at all. These people are a resource for the community, and we collectively owe them a debt. They can also kill the commuity in a hurry with their narrow focus, intollerant views, and utter lack of patience with anyone of slightly less learning than they possess now (how they would have reacted to such treatment when they were starting out is another conversation altogether).

The second group, the Shamanics are wrong. Rather, they are doing it in ways that make sense to people today, and are not slavishly following forms neither they nor their participants understand. Theirs is a living faith, not an academic paper. They build and maintain the community, understanding that relevance to the lives of the people today is paramount, and tradition, while important, is one of the foundations of the faith, not the whole of it.

_________________
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
"Let justice be done, though the heavens fall."
avatar
John T Mainer
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 1004
Join date : 2009-04-01
Location : Maple Ridge, BC Can

http://community.bc-freehold.org/news.php

Back to top Go down

Re: Reconstruction strangling the life from the lifeway

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum