The Psychology of Action

By Redwald OR

The Odinic Rite is particularly special because a significant number of our members are active.

In this age of fingertip technology where such things as Facebook dominate the lives of many, it is all too easy to live one’s life through the medium of the internet.

A computer-savvy individual can build an impressive looking organisation which, in our Midgard-based reality is nothing more than an ego-trip. I’ve seen this happen over the last few years in the realm of fringe politics where disillusioned folk have had pie-in-the-sky ideas that serious radical organisations can be built from the comfort of their centrally heated bedroom.

The internet is a fantastic tool but as Odinists we must ensure the majority of our time is spent away from our computers, and when we do spend time online, that time must be carefully managed. The OR Forum being a regular first port of call if you please.
Odinists understand death. We do not fear it, but I personally fear not doing enough with the time I have. Weeks fly by in a blur and it seems we will have forever to achieve the things we want to achieve, but of course we do not have forever – at least not in this plane of existence. That is the first message I want to drive home.

In regards to doing and achieving things, we all have different ideas on what it means to be successful. I believe that if you wish to be the best in a particular arena, you must dedicate a significant portion of your life to a single interest. To become a world champion boxer, a renowned composer or a cutting edge scientific researcher requires much time and effort. An alternative, and my own particular approach, is to have a number of interests and be content in the knowledge that although time will not perhaps allow me to become an expert in one field, I will enjoy a broad spectrum of experiences that offer fulfilment and broaden my mind. In time perhaps these different experiences can assist me in offering something to others – my children for example.

One thing that I hate to see are members of my folk wasting large amounts of their time doing nothing of any practical, spiritual or mental value. Will they be content on their deathbed, having done so very little? We may not fear death but that is no reason to be complacent about the gift of life.

I am an Odinist. If I were to be transported to a desert island without any material trappings, I would still be an Odinist. I like my silver Thor’s hammer and the mead horn I own, but I can be an Odinist without those things. And to my mind, everything about Odinist philosophy, religion and spirit drives us to stand up, achieve things and experience what life has to offer. We have our moral codes, our ideals of family and community, our Gods and Goddesses and our innate feelings of what is right and wrong, but unlike so many other religions we do not try to hold our people back with fearful tales about death, sex, war or human emotions.

And so I wish to use this article to empower and to encourage others to experience new things and to use those experiences to better aid them in working for the Odinic Rite and toward the New Awakening.

It can be scary doing new things and I write as someone who has battled against excessive fear in the past. At some point during my teenage years, anxiety crept into my head and fear ruled me for quite some time. I’m still not over it entirely, but I have learnt to consider my fears from a different angle and thus better deal with it.

A short while ago, after being inspired by Tyrsson OR and Reginhard OR, I took up traditional Ju Jutsu (my current instructor uses the term Ju Jutsu; it is often called Ju Jitsu and this relates to how one interprets the Japanese terms, however I do not wish to labour the point). Many thoughts went through my head as I set foot on a very long road of discovery – training could be tough; I was tired after work; might I be injured? Why was I putting myself through this? The little voice in my head was full of negativity until one night I went to training, got out of the car, walked to the door of the dojo, then promptly turned round and went home.

I took some time during Yuletide to think things through. Yes, there could be a lot of negative things that could happen but if you step out of the door and experience life then dangers, fears and discomfort are everywhere. I forced myself to consider why I originally wanted to train and what the benefits were.

The simple fact is that in getting up, leaving the comfort of my home and attending training was the first thing to master. This doesn’t just apply to martial arts; it applies to anything. One has to develop a discipline of regular, sustained action and as Odinists this discipline must be understood and practiced daily. Even something as physically easy as meditation is rarely done by members of our folk purely because the discipline of ‘doing’ seems to be diminishing.

I took the step of changing Ju Jutsu clubs and was greatly pleased to find a dojo which seemed to better suit me. It offered a more spiritual experience and their website discussed such things as meditation and the Shinto religion rather than focussing purely on the physical aspects of fitness and combat. I am not now focussed on attaining a black belt; I am focussed on the coming Friday when training takes place. And although in a way I wish I’d begun my martial arts experience years ago, I feel my mind is better suited to it now – even if my body is taking some getting used to hitting the floor.

My deep consideration of the discipline of action has saved me from a lifetime of despair and of succumbing to fear. The disabling effects of fear are surely the work of Loki and we need the might of a mental Thor’s hammer to smash our way through this psychological barrier if we are to progress in Midgard lest we find a constant outpouring of excuses dog our every waking thought until one day we stop breathing having ceased to do anything at all of true worth.

Through regular new experiences and a psychology of action we can slowly build ourselves toward being a mentor to others; toward being the foundation stones of a new generation of young Odinists.

As selfish as it may appear, we must first help ourselves, for how can we assist and encourage others if we do not have anything inside us to give?

I have the honour – and it is an honour – of being a Professed member of the Odinic Rite and I am here in the knowledge that there are many members who are more Odinically advanced than me.

Perhaps Odin was reputed to have only one eye because he was highly spiritually advanced and only had to look in the direction of those less advanced than he. I have two eyes; I keep one on those less advanced than me and one on those more advanced than me. I have two ears; I listen to both. I have one mouth; I keep it shut when something important is being said and when I open it I try to say something of worth. It is a work in progress.

And now, sitting here late on a Sunday evening, having read a story to my eldest son while my wife put our youngest son to bed, I know something. I know that even if we lead busy lives, there is always a little bit of time we can utilise to do something worthwhile – it is how we manage our time that is the key. I could watch television but I have chosen not to. I have written an article for ORB knowing that there are many members out there who already understand what I have written but maybe, just maybe, I have inspired one Odinist to think about his or her life and to change it for the better.

Towards the New Awakening; never give in, never lose faith and always make every moment count.

Waes Hael

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