By Eowyn OR
A transcript of a talk given at the Great Moot 2257
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me.
The Carriage held but just ourselves
Just what does Emily Dickinson mean when she says death “kindly stopped for her?” Is this sentiment fitting, given that death fills most westerners with mortal dread? Death holds the power to simultaneously fascinate and repel with equal violence. If there is one festival that excites controversy more than any other, it is Halloween, the ancient festival of death. Ghoulish attire becomes de-rigueur, the church whips itself into a frenzy of condemnation over the “evil season” whilst all about us, the lifeforce appears to be waning as Jack Frost’s bite intensifies and old folk worry about how they are going to keep warm and stave off potentially fatal winter illnesses. Our insulated urban environments give the illusion of safety and perpetual warmth; but our souls feel the icy chill of the “season of the soul”- intensified- because everything about modern living so seeks to distract us from death- this core theme of life- that to many, its mere mention is taboo. Yet, as folk seeking enlightenment, it is imperative we challenge this taboo and fearlessly face the cosmic bogeyman; for if we don’t, the fact we choose ignorance means consequences that simply keep us as the lowly fodder of Loki.
Death is such a huge concern, that it is central to some spiritual traditions; so this brief discussion can do little other than whet our taste buds to its flavour and essence so we might gain a snapshot feel for its character. Hence, without further ado, let us define what we mean by “death.”
Death is that state in which heat and consciousness cease to exist. There are four ways in which death assails us:
- When our karma- our specific lessons for life- have been exhausted;
- When our allotted lifespan for that incarnation has reached its end;
- When both our karma and lifespan are exhausted simultaneously;
- When our life is terminated due to accidental, unnatural causes.
Hence, death is not the end of total existence but merely the closing of one chapter as the new one is opened immediately thereafter. The goal of all life is death. Desire in death for rebirth is the cause of all life. Thus, death and rebirth are inextricably linked. We will understand this paradox more as we progress. So death is actually a process of letting go, of which there are two types.
1. Conventional death, which itself has two sides. These are:
- (1) moment to moment death
- (2) actual death when we cross the threshold into the Hel realms and cannot be revived for that lifetime.
2. Final death, where all desire for rebirth ceases and enlightenment is reached so we are liberated from the life/death/rebirth cycle into a state of timeless presence.
The simplest form of death to understand is moment to moment death in which you seem to have survived: you still exist. Yet everything in the body and mind is dying in every given moment- and simultaneously being reborn. Then after every 7 years, we do not possess a single cell that we did 7 years earlier; we are literally a new body! Yet we have survived. This is a most important step in transforming our understanding of death; for then we understand that “actual” death is just another moment because until that actual moment, we have died trillions of times- where each time was a momentary death. Another word for death is change. When things change, revival is impossible. A thought-moment is finished and can never reappear; a dead cell cannot be revived and indeed, it should be expelled from the body so allowing other cells to grow and develop; otherwise, it becomes a contaminant that can encourage cancer. Hence, we can observe that death surrounds us perpetually. Trees, plants, animals ad insects are born and die; spring leads inexorably through summer, into autumn and onto winter when life sleeps. Kin and friends die. In fact, nothing in the material world is permanent, including our own bodies; so the only constant in life is change- which is death. Meditation teaches insight and concentrated mindfulness; it allows us to feel momentary death within us as we feel our changing bodily sensations and thoughts. Thus, we can learn to feel peaceful about death.
However, pain in death creates fear and precludes peace. Meditation will teach us to merge with, and breathe through, pain; fighting it dichotomises ourselves and increases pain. Hence, pregnant women in labour who focus on their breath rhythm often have less painful births. Consider also that the process brings a new baby, death to the woman’s former self and her new life as a mother; life/death/rebirth. Remorse, regret and guilt also create fear: in death-proximate thought, the dying person vividly recalls certain life events; any painful thoughts may preclude a peaceful exit. Thus it is essential those around him draw his focus to all his positive actions in life and encourage him to release as much negativity as possible. Then he can enter the primal world in the highest possible state in this incarnation. Unfinished business or unhealthy attachments will cause a person to remain earthbound and the clearing of the toxic energies in the primal world is thus all the more difficult to accomplish than if doe before death. Meanwhile, those left behind must understand he has to pass on- and allow him to do so; otherwise their own attachments will hamper his journey through Hel. The role of focus in both pain and negative emotions is thus important; defined focus is the key to positive evolution and this is achieved through a healthy understanding of the life/death/rebirth process, which puts fear into its proper perspective and so fosters evolution. As Odinists, we urgently need to reclaim the “technologies” surrounding the death process because our ignorance has ramifications for those already departed as well as for our own personal evolution.
Thus death is not simply a case of “now you see me, now you don’t.” It is a complex, intelligent centre of consciousness that anchors us into several different time zones simultaneously. We have aspects of the self that perceive time as linear, running from past, through present to the future during which we experience trillions of momentary deaths and one actual death. Then we also perceive cyclical time in which we understand the life/death/rebirth process repeats itself in helical fashion on countless occasions until we attain final death. And finally, we have an aspect of ourselves that is infinite- that was never born so it can never die.
Our ability to perceive with such complexity is born of the fact the human gestalt is comprised of six components:
- earthly matter
- a formative (vegetative) force
- la (gift of Lodir)
- laeti (gift of Lodir)
- Honir’s gifts
- Odin’s gifts
In a nutshell, the earthly matter and the vegetative force refer to Ask (ash) and Embla (elm), the pre-eminent male and female formative forces and the force holding them together. La, as a gift of Lodir refers to the blood and genetic make-up whilst laeti (also a gift of Lodir) refers to the instincts, physical behaviour and cultural mores which grow out of the instincts. Together they create the genepool and the racial prototype- the Aryan ideal; they are responsible for the survival instinct. Honir’s gifts (Odr), include the complex of personality, ego, will-power, self-hood and their expression as rational thought, memory and understanding. The highest gift from Odin is Ond, which is the Godforce within and our direct link with Asgard. Finally, there is the litr- the body of light or auric body- which projects our physical form but also records the way in which we have utilised our gifts. When we pass on from Midgarth into Hel, our litr, being of the substance o the Hel-realms, contains the Odr so that the way we have used our gifts is apparent to all. If we have allowed our baser aspects to hold sway, our litr will be damaged; however, if we face the illusory challenges on the Hel path with courage and endurance and accept our fylgia’s counsel, the litr’s strength will be increased so that by the time we reach the Thingstead for judgement, it will be in good shape. Odr is carried with us through all our lifetimes and with Ond and our fylgia’s guidance, we have the potential power to mould ourselves into very powerful folk.
Thus the central personality is governed by both the earthly, generative aspects- themselves very dynamic and active aspects- and Ond, the spiritual. Our fylgia resides outside Midgarth time and so can see the patterns forming in wyrds web before they enter the eternal now of Midgarth. In this way, the fylgia guides and protects like a personal Norn helping us make the best of our wyrd. However, we must first hear this small voice of intuition, which may well be drowned out by the demands of daily survival and the compulsion of our baser instincts. Nevertheless, we have within ourselves an inbuilt self-reflective capacity that allows our central personality free-will to choose at any given moment that which which brings evolution- death and rebirth; but simultaneously, the footsteps of death indelibly imprint our thoughts, words and actions onto both our litr and the great web of wyrd: thus, no person can truly assign an event as meaningless, for all has meaning in wyrd. It is therefore imperative we act in our highest capacity in any given moment and this is where our faculty of judgement holds sway. Judgement is that self-reflective quality which rouses the spirit in answer to the Gjallerhorn of our Ragnarok- our death- both momentary and actual. Thus, it keeps the personality complex as a vehicle that enhances the quality of the individual in accordance with Ond, rather than a destructive tool of power; Heimdal destroys Loki at the great Ragnarok and at our own mini-Ragnaroks also.
To understand death, we must briefly allude to the role of the ego. Every thought creates a new centre of identification which is the ego. Thus, we cannot talk about “one” ego but rather a flow of conscious or semi-conscious events, being capable of operating in a relatively integrated way. This is the function of the ego. It is a moving self-conscious intelligence with the quality of self-referral, which is concerned with both judgement and survival. There is a movement in wider culture to demonise the ego (which is seen as a single entity), encouraging us to dismantle its influence. In psychotherapy, a fragmented ego lacking in boundaries is considered dysfunctional and at worst, manifests as schizophrenia. In a climate poisoned by monotheistic conditioning and belief in linear time alone, our personality complex is being forced into a state of emergency that sees the ego consciousness responding to safeguard our immediate survival in Midgarth at all costs, without recourse to higher awareness and the long-term evolutionary consequences; fear, denial and terror of death (felt as personal annihilation) thus dominate and are cynically manipulated by the global elite to maintain their power at our expense.
Men and women have fundamentally different ego structures- and therefore challenges to enlightenment. Men have physical power and tend to be more action-oriented and far-sighted- transcending- in terms of their ego-structure. Women- being more physically vulnerable- evolved an ego structure that emphasises relationship and complex emotional and intuitive abilities capable of sensing danger- or the needs of a child- and, when necessary, employing skilful communication to escape danger. Through learning sexual power, women also attract protection from a man. As complementary mechanisms within a folk group, these two ego structures are very effective in ensuring the successful survival of the group. However, the desert creeds- and more recently feminism- have so manipulated events, that the different ego structures- via the noxious lie of original sin- are used to create power struggles in an erroneous “battle of the sexes.” So instead of sexual love being understood as the sacred mystery of multiversal equilibrium- a prayer and sacrifice in which the deepest truths and highest revelations are felt- it has been mutated into an illusory tool for conquest- submitting one to the other- to blind, selfish, temporary, sensory satiation. Violence and soul theft (when one partner preys upon the other’s higher intention to satisfy their own illusion), has become the norm. Collective spiritual repulsion, protest, and dissatisfaction fuel the endemic addiction to debauched behaviour and the folk soul suffers. For the explicit order (physical world) is a projection of an implicit order that arises from the spiritual level of being; and we are in crisis. Men and women alike simply must revise this use of their ego structures from that of dichotomised “power over” one another to the fidelity and beauty of “power in communion” if they are to evolve.
As a point worthy of meditation, oral tradition tells us that Odin and Freya each take half of the slain from the battlefield. Odin’s warriors are “the offensive,” those who dedicate their life to fighting. Freya’s warriors are “the defensive,” those who only fight to protect their families, clans or goods. I believe this mirrors the differing ego structures in men and women, the different fundamental energies of the gods and goddesses (where the gods epitomise the principle of outward force, whilst the more cohesive energy of the goddesses is the form-giving principle) and finally, the fundamental masculine/feminine characteristics that can be assigned to the elements of the human gestalt. However, the scope of this discussion cannot adequately address this subject, of which there will be more in a future work.
We can now see that death is an ally accompanying us through all our lifetimes. Our understanding of death in each lifetime is mediated by the zeitgeist- the spirit of the time in which we reside- which is an amalgamation of our place in the greater cycles of time and our cultural environment. Thus this also means it is our limited understanding, which creates misconceptions about the true nature of life and death so that we are blinded to the reality and more vulnerable to the Loki consciousness. We are at a low evolutionary ebb where that aspect of the ego which fears death dominates and is fostered for the gain of a few- who themselves are trapped in the illusion of linear time; thus, in their terror, denial of death is how they affirm they are alive. This death-terror means they perceive everything outside themselves as a threat; yet fear is the inside, and so everything else is the outside. The tragic-comedy is that the self-protection this generates is self-defeating; for their self-defensive barriers simply reinforce the suspicion that there is indeed something lacking in their innermost sanctum, which needs protection. And that which is innermost is so weak because it is illusion. Hence, no amount of protection will ever feel enough, so they will attempt to extend control to the very bounds of the universe. Is this not the central hub of life in wider culture? Can you see this Lokian illusion is what motivates the atrocity of systematic poisoning and manipulation of our skies- and us- with HAARP and chemtrails, as the global elite seek to dominate Midgarth’s weather systems, food and water production and the health of select populations? Can you see that the crisis in perception of death is a cornerstone for the resulting problems that have brought us all here today?
Death is merciful- a movement of our self into expanded consciousness so we can assess our progress. We are multi-dimensional beings. It is the numinous power of evolution through which we build a suitable vehicle for the gods to work through us. Death is also moment by moment: every moment is a quanta of energy that can move us into a new dimension of higher awareness if we know how to let go. Like an unfolding fractal, it offers us a whole new pattern to our lives as we cast off those constructs of wyrd that no longer serve our highest aspects of being; this is the process of enlightenment. Death is like the two-faced Roman God Janus. Standing at the threshold of the New Year, one face looks back to the old year, the other forward to the new. Between the two heads there is no space because it is a quantum leap which merges one into the other- this is Hel’s realm. We must practise dying daily. And birthdays are a great moment to do just that!
All that is vibrates to particular frequencies; vibrant life is creative, constructive and affirmative: it evolves us by increasing our vibratile frequency. Yet, in the midst of this passionate frenzy, we eventually awaken to the reality: that all the time, we have been dancing with death. For the footsteps of death are the very rhythm of the life force; and the more ardently we dance life’s rhythm, the more masks we see death wears and the faster and more cunningly he apparently stalks us. Then the crushing realisation that we are surrounded by illusion crashes down upon us whilst simultaneously, we realise that blood curdling scream is the death knell of the small ego- the vehicle on which we depend to sustain ourselves in the material world- what false conditioning calls “life.” But then, in the deathly hush that ensues, in the engulfing stillness of absolute surrender to the all, we peacefully accept the truth. That if we are courageous; if we always hold tenaciously to the highest of intention in a state of grace and remain true to the godforce within; if we guide our lives in complete accord with the nine noble virtues. Then we will reach that ecstatic moment of pure holiness in being when finally, we see the faceless lover we embrace is none other than our essential, timeless, immortal self who has been with us since the beginning and with whom we are one in eternity.