By Heimgest CG
It can often be a source of frustration and disillusion when our non-Odinist acquaintances just don’t seem to see things as clearly as we ourselves do. We know instinctively that we are right so why do they have this mental blockage to their own inherent knowledge?
The separation of man and nature and hence from his natural gods is of course at the root of this and one of our aims must be to re-teach our people their own unique birthright. But why should this be so difficult? There are many and complex reasons, but perhaps one of the major causes is people’s inbuilt desire to conform. At the most basic level they fall into two categories: there are those who form the mass and the others who are more individualist. There are numerous subgroups in each of these categories.
Making up the masses are those whose instincts are to conform in thought and deed and at all costs go with the crowd. They go along with the majority and take its beliefs to heart. The individualists are those who are willing and also able to think and act differently from what is regarded as the norm if they feel it right to do so. The proportionate size of these two groups varies at different times and from one people to another, but the mass is always the larger. Neither should we despise this; it is natural and indeed essential for a society’s, or community’s stability and progress. A people without this mass could not build a society able to compete or to co-operate with other societies because the essential social identity needed for an efficient society would be lacking.
The minority of individuals may blaze new directions in religious, artistic, political and scientific fields but the mass is needed to follow and make ideas work. So both categories are natural and essential: the masses give a society its physical presence while the individualists lead its evolution.
We are faced today with very great dangers. Indeed, it is true to say that the very existence of our kin and Mother Earth are under dire threat. We must realise that the two categories I have mentioned often have a great problem in communicating ideas effectively. Members of the mass may have no interest or understanding in the beliefs of those who are different from the general population whom they often regard as odd. At the same time the individualist can have a tendency to view the majority as rather stupid for not understanding, or perverse for understanding but not altering, their behaviour. We as Odinists can see the destructive trends of modern society. We may feel the need to try and act or at least to sound the clangorous horn and there is a tendency to frustration with the masses for being so stupid to see these trends and too lazy, selfish or irresponsible to do anything about them – or to make them worse through greed and downright malice. However, while there is this sloth and malice in plenty, the overwhelming need or motive of the mass is the desire to conform, hence we find many men and women of more than average intelligence and ability bearing little or no religious or political ideology, as brave or unselfish as most, refusing to acknowledge the truth and danger even when it’s staring them right in the face.
It is this urge to conform that makes people suppress (often subconsciously) thoughts or actions which do not appear popular. The problem lies not in beliefs but in perception of what is normal or ‘good’ and this overwhelms all other thoughts. It explains how a folk renowned for love of freedom have allowed themselves to be burdened by tyrannical laws which may take away the right to free speech. Similar shifts in allowing harmful and unnatural ideas and actions to abound, e.g. the tolerance of the attack on the basic stabilising unit of our nation, the family unit. The list is long and you will all know of many.
Historically essential instincts are unchanging or slow to change. But during this century and particularly since WW2 we have seen a complete reversal of attitudes. This perhaps would be unimportant if it only applied to transient things, but it doesn’t. There has been a sinister move to alter the perception of the most basic ideals of the western world. Perception now precedes reality whereas in more natural communities perception is formed from reality. The urbanisation of communities has accelerated this trend alarmingly.
In established communities people, in former times, were surrounded by familiar things and acquaintances. Even in cities the sense of community in its proper term, not the misused trendy euphemism it is today, was strong because people had roots. The members of these communities perceived the beliefs and behaviour of their fellows directly. It was in this kind of community that the masses’ values were manifest. With the destruction of close communities and the growth of the ‘urban gipsy’ lifestyle people found themselves surrounded by strangers and strange things instead of what they knew well.
Their views became shaped more and more by impersonal media -newspapers, records and especially television. The hours spent viewing television are colossal and the TV forms the perception of how the ‘normal’ people believe and act. Every single aspect of human life is played out on TV, every conceivable situation: relationships, moral decisions, beliefs, work, birth, life, death and all in between. They see over and over how people on the small screen react to these. If someone is shown that 2+2=3 often enough and it appears that everyone else accepts this then they will too. The king has got no clothes! Only a child not yet conditioned to conform wou1d dare state reality. These TV portrayals of real life shape viewers’ beliefs to a great extent – in 1983 the events of a soap opera were headline news They do not remind themselves ‘enough that they are, after all, fiction and also that they are frequently biased. When someone sees a character on screen react to a situation in a certain way the effect on the subconscious is the same as if they’d seen this in real life. It leaves an impression and can mould attitudes to those displayed by the actors. By the time the same type of thing has been seen a few dozen times the viewer will believe this is the ‘right’ reaction. It may be totally contrary to ideas held for a long time but all the same they will convince themselves that the way to be normal and not shunned by the rest of the crowd is to behave as shown on the TV and suppress natural instincts. They became ashamed of views they hold which might be out of favour with the normal or ‘the nice’.
The next logical step is then to resent or dislike someone who in life seems to behave in the ‘wrong’ way, and this is where reality follows perception. The masters of perception now are the media controllers and creators; and yet they are bit a tiny handful. But their power is massive. These creators of perception have transformed reality in a way to increase their own power and advance their aims while at the same time weakening and demoralising the masses, who simply soak up this distortion and even smile while destructive and unnatural events take place. The mass instinct is quite healthy and a vital component of society. But it also has the terrible consequence that if perverted it will lead to destructive trends. Unfortunately, an unnatural and hostile minority of individuals has gained a stranglehold on the media.
We can now better understand, perhaps, the reason why a direct approach to the masses will not work unless their perception has returned to natural lines. Instead we must try to educate and inspire those who can be moved (and there are many thousands). This can have a snowballing effect as perception changes. We have a lot to do, and though we may sometimes be frustrated and angry let us always remember that the stakes are survival.