First Principles and Food for Thought

I recently discovered the following videos on youtube. I’ve only watched these two but I think they are worth watching, and if you do, we can then have a conversation about them here, what we agree on and what we disagree on. I think on first listening, even when the language might make me a tad uncomfortable (I am an academic after all), that I agree with most of what this man suggests, despite the fact he is coming from a Christian perspective.

Here is the first video. In this, I agree with what he says but dislike his attribution to those things of the word ‘cozy.’ The word, to me, is low brow and emotional. I would instead try lineaged, cultured, connected (though he does use the term ‘quality’ at one point). He’s speaking about tradition, civilization, heritage for all people and the way that certain things like art and culture ennoble us and elevate our souls.

(The above video is part of a three part series that you can find on his youtube site). Now, below is the second video. I would offer a caveat that when he mentions ‘ancestor worship,’ given the context, I do not believe he is talking about actual ancestor worship and veneration, but rather about idolizing one’s ancestors to the point of excusing and justifying their every bad action. The man has definitely read his Aristotle too. Some of this is triggering, even to me, but what triggers me is the language, not necessarily the ideas that he is expressing. Even where I disagree or find his approach too facile, I think he is raising questions that we need to consider. I really like his focus on dignity of all persons and peoples, embedded in an awareness that we are one link in a chain stretching back into our ancestral prehistory and forward farther than we can ever see, and that we have the moral and social responsibilities that come with that.

I very much think that the problems in our society that we are seeing will not go away on the basis of any political or riotous action. The only curative as I see it is restoring and nurturing the ancient contracts: honoring our ancestors, respecting the land, and rooting ourselves deeply and purely in our polytheisms and sacred traditions, in our relationship with our Gods, and all the ways that demands we approach the world and each other. I also think we need to be cultivating the dignity of every person and acknowledging their importance and connection to the multiple heritages that make up our world as a fundamental aspect of building a morally just civilization. We should build each other up and assist each other in restoring and redeveloping these sacred bonds, and the only time we should bend the knee is to our Holy Powers.

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on July 26, 2020, in community, Interfaith, Misc., Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. DecemberFBryant

    I’m still collecting my thoughts on the 2nd video but I definitely think it ties into our ongoing conversation about the importance of family, tradition, children raised in our religion, and the hearth.

    On the first video – this is hardly new. Look at the obsession with Hygge a few years ago. I did a huge paper on Steampunk in college that would have been a larger piece but it was essentially saying the same thing only using the Steampunk aesthetic. Today we see it with the book of Cottagecore (and its offshoots Goblincore, mushroomcore, etc) as well as the Millenial crazes of homesteading, tiny living, etc. I’m not a huge fan of his existential, consumerist focus but that is the bed in which these seeds are growing and to get a better picture they must be transplanted to a new bed. He’s almost there just like my Steampunk paper in my late teens was almost there. We have been torn from the womb of our traditions in many ways and are hunting for depth and meaning and connection. He claims in the first video that a new aesthetic is needed but it makes me think of that saying
    Whether you’re thinking inside or outside the box you’re still letting the box dictate how you’re thinking.
    Aesthetic isn’t the issue. A moldy meal won’t taste better if you move it from a Ninja Turtles plate to a ceramic one.
    Gods – devotion, piety. Ancestors. Land honoring. Real community. That’s where the wholesome, nourishing depth is that he and so many are looking for.

    Liked by 3 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      The language in the second video makes me uncomfortable at times, but i’m trying throughout to focus on the argument. He lays it out according to the principles of rhetoric. So those first principles that he establishes, all about the dignity of every human being, form the lens through which every following point needs to be viewed. That I kept keeping in mind as i listened. Still, I did find some of it very uncomfortable but I think that many of his points have merit.

      I really do think so much of what is plaguing us today is a direct offshoot of the disconnect that came with industrialization, and also the destruction of our traditions and with that, the uprooting of any sense of responsibility to our ancestors, to the land, to our Gods…all things that help shape our values. We’ve forgotten in our disconnection the importance of cultivating virtue in our children, in ourselves…a connection to something bigger and more important than ourselves.

      I like what you say about aesthetics. I think you’re on to something there. So how do we restore the community that we need tomake our world better? Because I do think that starts household by household, kindred by kindred, committed community by community.

      Liked by 1 person

      • DecemberFBryant

        I think one way to begin is to ask the Gods and Ancestors. Pray to them especially community amenable ones like Holle and Odin and Frey and Thor. Ones whose actions are again and again for the greater good of the community.
        Another is to look at communities that have their shit together. While much can be said against communities like AFA they do at least have a foundation many universalist groups claim to want for example temples – AFA has 3 hofs established. That’s huge when so many universalist communities can’t seem to get even a basic meet up going beyond a year. While I don’t think everyone should do their communities the exact same way as another’s they can at least look and ask what has made that group work (especially in spite of all the push back they’ve received on their stances).
        Third (not in order of importance) is to set boundaries and and focus and goals. So many groups say they want community but why. Why is coming together important to them and is it the main goal and focus of so it will likely fail as thee needs to be something more there than a meet up and drinking buddies or even a study group.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. ganglerisgrove

    December ,my husband and I were just talking about the AFA and their hofs today and he said exactly (like almost verbatim) what you did.

    Personally, I think part of the problem with universalists is that they don’t hold to cohesive standards. they want to be accepting of everyone and everything and that’s great, but then at. the same time they end up prioritizing the politics du jour over actually accomplishing anything relevant for our Gods. The Gods and fostering a sustainable tradition take a tertiary position for them. Groups like the AFA on the other hand don’t waste their time with virtue signalling online but are working in person to accomplish the goal of building their community. Love them or hate them we could learn a lot from that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • DecemberFBryant

      (Didn’t see your response until now)
      Damon said about the same as you lol. When we spend half our time bitching online about individual politics it doesn’t leave much time or room for our Gods and the sacred work. When you have clear focus and boundaries you don’t have room for quibbling. You can be so open your brain fails out as some say. It’s where we get the atheists and larpers and what not being the loudest in our online and universalist groups.

      Liked by 2 people

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