Vinland Shore

Month: June, 2014

Endeavors of Existence

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forested hills near my home

Lately as the weather has been rather agreeable I’ve been taking more and more time to get outdoors. I’ve been exploring the forests and hills around my home, going off the trails that I’ve walked since I was small. Virtually every stone, root and bend in the paths near my home is known to me so it’s only logical to explore the places I’ve never been. There isn’t a peace that is felt for me like being in the midst of a sea of forest. In it I’ve discovered beauty that I did not know imaginable and right under my nose just simply off the well worn path.

Every time I go into the forest I feel a little closer to what our ancestors might have experienced. Most people rarely have time to do much anymore considering the long hours most people are required to work simply to gain any quality of life. It’s virtually impossible to eat well with the costs of good food. Even then when people do have free time they would prefer to go to a cinema or go to a restaurant and spend more of that money to eat overpriced food. Seldom do people go into the wilderness as they fear discomfort more than anything. They too have been misled by the ideas about what work exactly is in our society of apathy.

Yet here I stand amidst the sea of trees wearing clothing that was manufactured in a country that I’ve never seen. Synthetic fabrics drawn from the depths of the earth and chartered across the oceans on massive ships that propelled waste into the oceans that will never decay, but what choice do I have. What choice does anyone have in such circumstances? Can we ever return to a semblance of unity of the world, or are we to forever wander in dissonance?

stone slab forms a natural altar

It’s a modern misconception that life for our ancestors was absurdly difficult and all time was spent in toil. In fact it’s quite the opposite. They were excellent hunters and to provide for a small group was not difficult at all. Perhaps at the most they would have to ‘work’ for 15-20 hours a week. Some researchers would say that this is a generously low estimate, but I would say that things that we look upon as work were just simple things in life for ancient man. Things such as preparing skins, collecting firewood or gathering food and cooking over fire. These things were normal for ancient man they weren’t work, it was part of life. It’s as if we said going to pick up groceries at a shop is work it’s exactly as absurd as it sounds.

How then if man spent his whole existence in torment, slaving away to eat and to keep from the elements. How then did he find the time to create beautiful works of art, create tools from flint, carve beautiful figures or to make instruments from the bones of animals. If we had been raised in the same environment where everything was made by hand, from the earth. Would we consider every aspect of our day as work? Of course not, just because an activity consists of more than the primarily sedentary state modern humans find themselves in. Does this mean that moving or doing any kind of activity outside of our work lower our quality of life significantly?

This modern life is driving us to stagnation, not the past. We work long hours and gain nothing except money, which objectively compared to life is of little significance. The time we have to live grows smaller with each day and more and more we’re groomed to live to work, and not the opposite. Our ancestors worked and lived more freely than our own selves, for them there was no hard line betwixt work and life. perhaps I’m just dreaming. If I believe we can ever come close to the world that once was, others have dreamed more impossible ambitions. Surrendering would be a much more grievous transgression.

Irrational Inquiry; Fear of Thirteen

1024px-FriggSpinning

Frigg foremost of the goddesses for whom Friday is named weaves the clouds.

Yesterday was Friday, and it also happened to be the 13th of the month of June. Some people were probably going well out of their way to avoid bad omens or circumstances. Indeed the number thirteen is an unlucky number according to many.Friday too being named unlucky for some people. This is of course in context with the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII (in which on average, there is a Friday the 13th once every 212.35 days) not very often anymore. Fear of Friday the 13th is known as friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga of course the Norse goddess whom Friday is named for in English and triskaidekaphobia the fear of the number 13).

In Judeo-Christian traditions it seems the number thirteen is almost universally avoided, twelve apostles of Jesus, twelve tribes of Israel. The former thought to be relative to the negative connotation with thirteen. The fact that there were allegedly thirteen people at the last supper could be where some people associate the negativity with thirteen. In that Judas Iscariot was responsible for the death of Christ. As well on Friday 13 October 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar, most of the knights were tortured and killed.

Furthermore Jacques de Molay, Magistrate (Master of the Knights of the Temple) cursed King Philip IV of France and his descendants from his execution pyre. As he was about to be executed warning the pope that, within a year and a day, he and Philip IV would be obliged to answer for their crimes in God’s presence. Philip and Clement V both died within a year of Molay’s execution. However, experts agree that this is a relatively recent correlation, and most likely a modern-day invention.

In modern times too great efforts are made to avoid the number thirteen, building that have more than thirteen floors will often omit the thirteen either skipping it entirely or leaving that floor for mechanical use instead of residence or access. In some buildings it is omitted as a room number as well. According to research an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed.

The Calendar

The Ancient 13 month calendar highlights the 13th of each month, as well as the solstices and equinoxes. Each of the months are named for the divine houses of the gods, shown in proto-Nordic reconstruction.

In Sorcery and Religion in Ancient Scandinavia by Varg Vikernes it is shown the existence of a calendar. In addition the visual representation of the calendar shown above developed for Vikernes’ up coming tabletop RPG (Mythic Fantasy Roleplaying Game) with the 13th months, each with exactly twenty-eight days as the one found in Bohuslän, Sweden

“The Friday was the day of love, and naturally the day of the goddess of love. The second Friday of every month was the Friday of the week of birth, and was therefore seen as a particularly favourable day for marriage. This Friday, the 13th day of every month was also seen as the birthday of the deity. All the thirteen most important deities’ birthdays were celebrated in turn, one every month of the year, and every year.” (Vikernes 29).

So in our context the Friday, nor the number 13 and it’s associations should be though of with fear, but rather with joy. It was not only common to see a Friday the 13th but it was celebrated, and celebrated in correlation with the deities, love and birth!

So it is perhaps best to amend our relation to some ideas once again. Think intuitively about what truths you know, and to those of you who might fret at the idea of Friday the 13th showing up on your calendar. Rest easy as there is nothing to fear in a day so celebrated by the European forebears! Not the fear created by some foreign effort to further obscure the past. Only the enemies of European heritage would see the birth of the gods as something to fear, no?

Le Bon Sauvage

 

an example of art created by ignorant 'primitives'...

an example of art created by ignorant ‘primitives’…

Primitive is a word that has a lot of negative connotation in recent age, the word even lost its true meaning. At its base being associated with ideas that we deem to be uncivilized, savage, inept, or simply ignorant. The opposite is true the original word meant exactly that…late Middle English (in the sense ‘original, not derivative’): from Old French primitif-ive, from Latin primitivus ‘first of its kind,’ from primus ‘first. We then are no different from our forebears, we gather still around fires and recite poems, and tell stories just as our ancestors did. Were they not considered primitive? Yet they most certainly developed tools, language, created art and music. The idea that we are so far removed from our ancestors is one that is swathed in modern reconstructions of what man used to be, terrified for ourselves to be associated with those primitives

Indeed we are meant to believe that we are something completely disconnected from our forebears. This idea is constantly imprinted on us from a young age by science, and media, also absurd reconstructions. The word Neanderthal is most commonly combined with ideas of barbaric ignorant savages. We however are most certainly smarter now right? Perhaps it needs to be said that everything we consider that binds us to the modern world, all our contrivances be it computers, modern medicine or science are not part of man inherently however merely creations, extensions of the self. If we were to be laid bare of these luxuries and left to our own devices in nature after some time would we not bare any resemblance to our Palaeolithic ancestors?

clearly a specimen completely removed from modern man...

clearly a specimen completely removed from modern man…

The travelogue “Histoire de la Nouvelle-France” (History of New France) published in 1609 by Marc Lescarbot about his expedition to the French exploration of Canada entertains the idea of “le bon sauvage” (the good wild man) discusses the indigenous population of what was to become Canada. Lescarbot remarked that the savages enjoyed the privilege to hunt game, a privilege of the time only granted to hereditary aristocrats in France. It is interesting to note that regardless of how primitive the indigenous population was they still had more freedom. Lescarbot, although being a scholar and associating with men of his own calibre was still not as privileged as these native men in his own society.

The ‘idealized’ idea of the noble savage was one that was expressed throughout the colonization of the Americas. Peoples’ who had not yet been corrupted by civilization or dogmatic religious beliefs and simply existed to exemplify the nature of humanity’s innate spirit. This was in the period of sentimentalism where modern Europeans lacked the lifestyles to still understand that there was a non-inferential moral conduct so absent of choice and consequence was their lives. Clearly there was a sense of guilt about the way people lived. Despite the era of romantic writings of the primitive man, there still is a lot of insight to be gained from these viewpoints in this period.

It’s quite clear that modern Peoples even in the 17th Century saw something genuine and natural in the lives of the indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Something that was lacking from their own civilized existences, powerful in assets, yet powerless when it came to their own nature. Their relation to the natural world and to themselves as man was absent. It’s an absence that is still felt in the modern world, and it’s an absence that can’t be filled by any number of machinations that were possessed three hundred years ago, or even today.

The same noble virtues of natural existence were present in our history as well. The same virtues that European explorers exalted in the Americas as the “noble savage” perhaps he did not know it yet, perhaps he was afraid to applaud his own nature, but those virtues were buried deep inside him. There was an aching in the heart to come back to the natural world. Perhaps some of us are so weak that we would perish in the natural world, still there are some that thrive in nature. Others are still conjoined to the modern world, and would do anything to protect what slowly destroys them, and In spite of this rush to their own oblivion.

So why is it still the word primitive is such a dirty one? Scholars hundreds of years ago saw the virtues of the so-called primitive life. The solution to our metaphysical crisis is in front of the world, yet so many people are blind to it! Or refute our own nature outright as barbaric ignorant of the truth. It frustrates me endlessly how easily our natural aspirations as humans are neglected. We are primitive man still; we should not neglect ourselves any longer. The sooner we begin to regard ourselves and our ancestors in as one and the same, then the sooner we can achieve reconciliation with our true selves, and thus ethereal harmony.

...or perhaps I myself am an ignorant primitive...

…or perhaps I myself am an ignorant primitive…

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