By Asrad CG
The word commitment or committed is often used to describe how someone feels towards another person, group, club etc. More often these days it is used to describe how a person feels towards a particular sports club, whether it be soccer, football or tiddly winks!
The Oxford English dictionary says the word ‘commitment’ means:
- 1. Dedication to a cause or policy.
- 2. A pledge or undertaking.
- 3. An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
So there is a question which we should ask ourselves. As Odinists, just how committed are we to Odinism and its advancement?
Now this may seem like a strange question to ask, for if we say we are Odinist, then we must be committed to its advancement. Sadly I do not think this is necessarily the case, and I am not generalising here, merely presenting my personal opinion, observations and seeking to understand just why commitment seems to be a word often used yet seldom maintained for more than a brief period.
Commitment in today’s society is shunned, dismissed as some archaic value out of place in a modern world were being committed to anything other than a football team is seen as strange, or a burden to ones freedom, an unwanted restriction on ones right to do as one pleases whenever one chooses. Of course this perceived freedom is in reality an illusion and falseness re-enforced by the mad consumerism, which grips our folk.
commitment is shunned yet in reality our folk commit themselves to all manner of consumer straight jackets in the form of credit debts, some debts are very hard to avoid, almost impossible if we wish to put a roof over our families, yet so much is not essential, and still our folk willingly commit themselves into more debt, more restriction, enslavement almost, and all in the desire to be free; free to choose the mobile phone they want, free to drive the car they want whether it is environmentally friendly, if they ever can be, or a gas drinking four wheeled drive monster to take the children to school!
We can see in society today that many people are unwilling to commit themselves and whether we like it or not, it is life. But amongst our people there are those that have stepped forward and taken up the gauntlet of commitment, they have made the effort and made the first positive move towards the advancement of Odinism. These people may join a group, like the OR for instance, and will commit themselves to a group.
Of course you don’t have to join a group to be an Odinist, but to advance Odinism I feel it is vital that we use a vehicle such as the Odinic Rite to help us do this and in my opinion the OR is the best vehicle for this, but then I am biased!
Within the OR we have two basic levels of membership. Apprentice and Professed, both require levels of commitment, but for those members that have undertaken the Oath of Profession the OR demands a much greater level of commitment. Professed members have sworn to advance our holy religion and the OR, they have undertaken a solemn oath, something they will have consider long and hard over, for to take on this level of commitment not only to Odinism but to the OR is a serious move. And yet we have seen people that have taken the oath and have not been able to maintain their commitment, they have turned their backs on their own solemn oath. They alone must live with the knowledge that they have broken their oath and brought dishonour upon themselves. Others do maintain their commitment; they work hard to advance Odinism at every opportunity. I should make it very clear here that there are also non professed members who work very hard for Odinism and the OR; profession does not automatically make someone dedicated to the cause.
Why is it then that some maintain their commitment and others do not? Is it pure laziness? The thought of having to work for something is quite off putting to some. Some may just get bored; the long often-thankless struggle can be rather mundane at times. The daily business of running an organisation or a Hearth could hardly be described as being in the fast lane! But these mundane things need to be done. Some people become disillusioned; they see little success or advancement and begin to wonder if it’s worth the effort. This is a weakness in their patience and a lack of understanding, for our struggle will be long. If we look at how long it took to Christianise our folk, then we have a long way to go to reverse things, and we have the added enemy of commercialisation amongst other things to battle against. So if you have joined the Odinic Rite you’d better be prepared for a long hard struggle!
Some folk sadly become deluded, believing they are actually doing something to advance our Holy religion, and yet in reality they are only seeking to fulfil their own egos, they crave to be the big fish, but this is normally within a very small pond. Then there are those that put their own gratification above all else, making excuses whenever it suits them not to fulfil their commitment, sometimes falsely claiming to be advancing Odinism when in reality it is nothing but self gratification.
These personal observations may seem to be very negative, harsh and only looking for faults. That is not my intention, but to ignore these things will not help us overcome our personal weaknesses, and yes I have a few of my own, so I’m not calling the kettle black here, but we must face the fact that if we are to make greater advances both personally and as a whole Odinic entity, then we need to be fully committed to our cause. I am honoured to know many committed Odinists, some facing daily hardships because of their beliefs and yet they do not waver, do not turn their backs on Odinism at the first obstacle. Others make big personal sacrifices to advance Odinism, whilst others toil away quietly in the background never seeking notoriety.
It would be very easy to pretend that all in the garden is rosy, but it would also be false to claim that the garden was full of weeds when it is not, far from it. But if Odinism is to flourish then we need to ensure that the garden it grows in is well maintained, weeds need to be removed so that they do not take all the goodness from the soil, or they could become a drain on resources. A good and fruitful garden requires a committed gardener. Odinism and the Odinic Rite are our garden and we must be committed to ensuring that they flourish, and this can only happen if we remain committed and disciplined.
As we enter into a New Year let each of us look deep within ourselves, be honest with yourself. Are you truly committed? Can you do more for our holy religion? Let us reaffirm our commitment to our holy religion, to our Gods and Goddesses and to our folk. Lets us stand tall amongst our folk and demonstrate our commitment to the Noble Virtues of our faith and by doing so we shall become a beacon for our folk in these dark times.
Hael the High Gods and Goddesses