A Tree Falls In The Forest
> In reading the
posts the thought came to me that the whole argument of
> whether the tree falls, or doesant fall as the case may be....
> the question would be, does reality as we know it... come into
> we percieve it by some focussing effort........ or is it some
> ordered thing, irreguardless....?
Personally, I think
it's some absolute, not necessarily ordered, thing. I do
believe in an absolute reality, but I don't make a religion of
the way the logical thinker does. What is interesting, though, is
difference such a question illustrates between the very different
logical and mythic thinking. To explain something like witchcraft,
or the gods; by logical thinking, impossible, but by mythic
easy. Contrariwise, to say whether the tree makes a sound; by mythic
thinking, impossible to judge, but by logical thinking, fairly easy.
Logic is free to
assume... axiomatically forced to assume, in fact... causal
orderliness and phenomenal objectivity. In other words, the falling
always does the same thing, whether you are looking and listening at
it does it or not. When it falls, it releases stored energy, by
and disturbs its environment accordingly. If you are there, you will
experience that disturbance as what you call sound. If you were deaf
could not hear it, that exact same disturbance would still happen
nonetheless, and likewise if no one were there at all.
Just as logical
thinking must posit causality in order to work at all, mythic
thinking must disregard causality, as inappropriate, or at least
to its ontology. So which is the reality of the universe, then; is
or is it not? In my own view, I think it must be both and neither;
conventional idea of causality itself may be wrong or mis-stated,
some ways the universe is what we call causal and in some ways it is
idea of causality being itself, like the sound we hear, a perceptual
illusion... and that the trick of wisdom is to understand which is
to apply either mythical or logical thinking appropriately,
the case may be. It's all what I might call my "Theory of
Indeterminacy." And it's the reason why the tree fall still
matters, even if
you're not there to experience it. In determining which mode, mythic
logical, is the right one to apply to the phenomenon, it's part of
information you need to complete the thesis.
> One of the
problems I see in the re-awakening is our attempt to find some
> sort of focus on the band width of our ancestral people......
when we never
> learned that intimatly from the first... as they did as a
"milk tongue" as
> it were... what we did learn is somthing completely
foreign and alien to
> our traditions... and therefore cannot help but find
ourselves .. "Playing
> at Viking"..a good part of the time. The
hardest for us, and the most
> simple thing for our ancestors.... is to actually "be
there". Hmmm, and
> maybe that is why a lot of the time its so hard for the Gods to
> through to us.....
> Maybe practicing the folkways is a good place to start.. and
> language and ritual... all the traditional stuff...
> Yeah. Im wondering if the Theod does this as a concious
excercise with a
> purpose? Have you thought about it this way.... ?
I believe you've
got it, Gunnsmith. That's a reasonably good description of
the Theodish "Existential Thesis" that we have operated by
from day one.
To me, the biggest
mistake that Asatru, by contrast, has always made, has
been its quasi-scientific tendency to allow formal or academic-style
lore-scholarship to become a "Patristic" tradition.
Heathenry is not a
science, and even less a quasi-science, and the more scholarly an
in it is, the less of real usefulness he can tell you about it.
This may sound like
some kind of obscurantism, but in fact it's mere common
sense. The scholarly approach, which might be called the
"Fallacy of the
Quest For Specious Certainty," is inherently Reductionist; it
heathenry at all, but instead annihilates it piecemeal, by a death
thousand cuts. It posits that, for a heathen form to be valid, it
practiced in strict accordance with the recorded lore. 99 percent of
lore, however, was never recorded and no longer exists. It is as
much as if
to say that where heathenry's temple once stood, there is now
nothing but a
hole in the ground. The scholarly approach, then, posits that, to be
heathen, one needs to live in the one remaining thing we can be
the hole in the ground.
And, moreover, that
we must be content with that. We can't reconstruct a
structure over the hole, because no one today knows for sure what
structure was like, therefore any building there can only be
fantasy, and can
only mar the existing record, the hole in the ground, beyond recall,
therefore should never by conscience be undertaken. The only choice,
becomes that of being willing to settle for a one percent heathenry
be 99 percent incomplete, but at least is historically valid and
But is it valid and
certain? No, of course not. The whole proposition is
defeated by one thing; namely, that the heathen did not live and
holes in the ground, they lived and worshipped in houses, and
fact that you are living in a hole in the ground necessarily means
that you are not reliving heathenry. The one percent, then, itself
disappears, such that the only certainty you are left with is
location, i.e., doing what you are doing on the same spot as heathen
whatever they were doing. However, even that certainty inevitably
since before the coming of Xtianity the whole world was heathen, and
no such thing as a spot where heathen were _not_ once doing whatever
were doing. Such "turn back the clock" Reductionism, then,
reduces the whole quest to an absurdity.
The only real way
to recover anything at all of heathenry is existentially,
to step outside the clock and outside history, and get inside the
heathen themselves by studying them and their greater world on its
by becoming them ourselves, at second-hand, such that in that great
preponderance of vital cases where it is no longer possible to know
what they thought about something, it becomes at least possible to
pretty well what they would have thought, given a sound enough
understanding of what kind of people they were, and to proceed
strictly from there.
problem there is that the recovery of heathenry is, inevitably,
not a science but an art form, and we all know that there are good
artists, and we are not always good at telling which is which.
art form will inevitably produce quite a lot of rather bad heathenry
the way. But that's just the bad news. The good news is that it will
produce some very good heathenry; maybe not complete, exact and
at least a lot better than one percent.
And beyond that, at
least for sufficiently disciplined heathen of true heart
and right good will, there is some even better news; that wherever
sufficiently good heathenry begins to happen, the gods themselves
will begin to intervene, and subtly steer things in the directions
them to go over time. The bad heathenry will tend to be trimmed away
experience, and the good heathenry will keep getting better and
may not ever be, in all particulars, exactly what the elder heathen
then, as long as we are not bound upon turning back the clock, it
have to be; it only has to be what they might or would have done,
natural doing. The real test, then, is: If the elder heathen were
see you doing what you do today, would they naturally and
recognize it as all of a piece with their own heathenry, even if not
the same, and feel at home in it themselves? If you go by the
principles, it can never be, by definition, and you're really just
yourself, but if you do it as art form and are a good enough artist,
just might be. Godspeed......