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I Value The Law

 

We live in a time afflicted with democracy, or at least spoiled by itís fruits. There are a lot of folks out there for whom the word "duty" is on the same level as "discipline" (it is) and "dictatorship" (it isn't).  Freedom which is only about freedom, which doesnít look first to the responsibilities that make it possible is the freedom to fragment, to simply waste time.  One must have a point of departure.

These people are more about what they aren't than what they are.

Describing ones self by what one is means describing what one will and won't do, what body of traditions -- read "laws" -- one adheres to, and one's commitment to one's fellows and the body of laws one hold you hold in common.

Those who describe what they aren't hare committed to little else besides not being seen as being weak. They've shucked off that thing which they aren't, and feel a need to expunge it form everything in their lives...hence the talk of "that's Christian", etc. They're heathen because they're not Christian, or because it supports some other decision they've made in their lives -- to be gay, to be rude in public, to drink a lot, to be hostile to all things Hebrew -- and so their "nots" are the foundation of their "faith".

We know that the Law, and then the Lore, is the foundation of our Folk, and this is what we are. This means that we aren't a lot of other things -- Chinese, Christian, Muslim, Eskimo, Rosicrucian, etc. -- but what we are "outranks" what we aren't. What we aren't is what is left over when one comes to grips with what we are.

I once saw Valgard Murray remark during a discussion of another group having a "moot", and he described them as having a gathering "without law".  A thing is a gathering based in the law. So, if it isn't a thing, where the law -- as well as the business of our people -- is to be discussed, it's a gathering without law. The implication was that little could be expected to come from such a gathering, but I may be reading into it. That's the impression I got, and I agree that this is the case.

We give far too much attention to our thews, laws and standards.  They make up the context I mentioned. We are a people in context, and that context is the body of laws and traditions we celebrate.

These laws do not set us apart, as we've always been a people very much involved in the world. We never had monks, as an example. We aren't afraid of the world, warts and all. Let monks or Scientologists or some other cultists withdraw into a self-sealing world of "purity".

Neither do these laws restrict us. They define us. We're the people who invented lawsuits, trial by jury, and even the word "law", after all. We are the people who view honor, family and our word in the particular way we do. It defines us, therefore. There is opportunity in chaos, but the Elders recognized that the most valuable citizen is not he who had the strongest sword arm, but he who could mitigate conflict and work toward civic peace.

This shows how valuable civic peace was regarded to be. Berserkers, after all, were usually portrayed as bullies.

So, I value the law.

 

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