What is Taoism, part 1

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Meditation is an age-old system for resolving the essential spiritual challenges of living a life in a human body. Meditation has been used for thousands of years by every religious tradition to create life-sustaining rhythms and give people a way of finding peace, balance, compassion and a sense of morality.

Ancient Taoists had a unique perspective on meditation that is particularly relevant in the modern computer age where millions of inputs constantly bombard us and diminish our capacity to integrate the experiences of our life.

This serie of articles provides some background information on Taoism and the meditation system the Taoists created.

From the Taoist perspective, our age’s spiritual dissonance is a result of a profound disconnection between our bodies, hearts and souls. The Taoist solution is to reconnect and integrate ourselves, both internally and with our environment.

Oral tradition maintains that Taoism came from the Kunlun Mountains of northern Tibet to China between 4,000-5,000 years ago. Taoism is associated with three prominent texts: the 4,000-year-old I Ching or Book of Changes; the writings of Chuang Tzu; and the Tao Te Ching, the second most translated book in the world, composed 2,500 years ago by Lao Tse. Of Taoism’s two major branches, the Fire (yang) and Water (yin) methods, most texts currently available in the West focus on the Fire traditions.

relaxingbeingBruce Frantzis’ first meditation book, Relaxing Into Your Being, is the first to focus on the Water method. It emphasizes the practitioner’s viewpoint rather than a purely academic literary analysis. What is contained within its pages comes directly from teachings that were directly transmitted to him by the Taoist sage Liu Hung Chieh. The lineage to which they belong is directly linked in an unbroken chain to Lao Tse.

Within Taoism, there are two branches. The Chinese call them Fire and Water, or yang and yin.

The yang or Fire branch is a method of transformation. Through some act of conscious will or effort you seek to create the kind of mind you want. For example, if you have a tape in your head that says you are an utterly horrible person, then you might want to replace it with a tape that says you are really cool. Likewise, if you have a tape in your head that says you will never be okay, then you want to replace it with a tape that says you are okay now and will be forever. This is a path of transformation. The Fire approach to meditation essentially seeks to create some sort of hypnotic state, typically through the use of visualizations, which you may later choose to break down to free yourself from your conditioning. This is also the case in Tibetan buddhism, Vayrayana, which is somewhat more known in the West.

The yin or Water method aims to release everything that is not real, or relative, so all that remains is what is real, or constant, through whatever circumstances or changes that may occur. If you think you are a terrible person or unworthy of life, you want to have the intent to release that belief. You do this for any belief that prevents you from coming back to your core, where you can be fully awake. When people are awake they are not only comfortable with themselves but they are also happy with existence and the universe.

Many Westerners are under the mistaken impression that large numbers of Chinese are Taoists. In China, it is commonly held, however, that practicing Taoists are less than one percent of their country’s population. Most Taoist practices in modern China are commingled with facets of Buddhism and folk religion even though Buddhist and Taoist ways of looking at the same phenomena are often somewhat different.

Even still, a pure and distinct Taoist tradition continues to thrive.

Taoists have never really pushed to gain followers of their philosophy or religion. More often than not in Chinese history, they have actively discouraged membership or have gone underground. The last time the Taoists were really public and had patronage of the ruling class was during the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.). This period is considered by many historians to be China’s most creative.

Whether religions are exoteric (for everyone) or esoteric (for a select few) in nature, most will try to build as large an empire as possible when given the opportunity. Generally, they strive for cohesive influence over great numbers. Witness the giants: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The major branches of Taoism have never demonstrated any particular desire to build theocratic empires using meditation or belief systems.

The Taoist tradition has always been essentially what could be called mystical rather than organizational. Practitioners of Taoism have been primarily focused on exploring the quintessential spiritual nature of human beings, including people’s relationship with their inner selves and to the environment and universe. Taoists consider almost everything that happens in the external world (e.g., beliefs, events, opinions, hopes, fears) to be what they refer to as “red dust” or that which stays for awhile and goes as the wind blows.

hexagramThe main Taoist work, the classic I Ching or Book of Changes attempts to comprehend change and changelessness from many different viewpoints. Through 64 systematically presented real-life situations called hexagrams, the I Ching teaches that everything in the world is in continual flux. Through meditation, a Taoist aims to discover that which never changes and is always present. Hexagrams, like the trigrams that combine to form them, are concerned with change and with the empty space in the midst of that which is changeless, the Tao.

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Reclaim the Virtues

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Since the dawn of my current life, I’ve had the conviction that we are becoming weaker for every generation that surfaces the Earth. I believe that conviction holds to this day. Everything what “modern” life means weaken us. The modern life means a more “comfortable” lifestyle. We are protected from the shaping of exterior environment. We don’t usually travel by foot anymore. Most of us spend the day sitting or are at least pretty much physically inactive. We eat and drink far less nutricious foods than the ones before us. We are exposed for a vast spectrum of chemicals and radiation and unnatural ideas propagated through elite controlled mass media. If that wasn’t enough, artificially generated mass immigration, weakens us by the very numbers.

Imagine meeting a man of the 8th century, or even an early 1900s man. You wouldn’t stand a chance in harshness, let alone in a fight. I highly doubt there is anyone left who would survive a bear attack AND crawl the 200 miles (320 km) back like Hugh Glass did in 1823.
Today most can be compared to the monks of Lindisfarne in the year of 793, or as the peaceful group The Hound in the Game of Thrones series ended up in in the last season.
Or just think of this; the sucess of the Icelandic soccer team in the European Championship lead worlds’ media to visit the wonder on the island. They visited and interviewed the Icelandic people, watched training and so on. Once the assistant head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson brought up a concern for the future though. He told us that when he was young, they played outside, no matter the weather conditions, and that this shaped them into hardness. Today, they have got all these nice and warm indoor halls, and he wondered what this could mean for the coming generation… Are they weakened..? Oh yes, they, we, are.
One more comparison; the indoor cat and the tiger.
We think we are good loving people of ever “higher” standards and consciousness, and that this is strength and what will protect and guide us when meeting obstacles and threats. Yeah right…

Humans are ascending in consciousness though. That is the positive side of for example social media. Never before we’ve had this opportunity to share information. Thanks to this we are for instance “waking up” to the rigged game of the elite. You know what I mean; Wikileaks, Snowden and other sources from big banks, big pharma, big food and so on, has provided us with so much, and through the platforms of social media everone is able to get this information. But as always, no positive without the negative. This side of it is very strong. Rarely I see any parent really present with their children. And I meet a lot of families daily, not to say what everone can see just roaming the streets… All there is, seems to be in the hands, the cell or pad. It’s really really sad. Over and over, the child seeks the parents’ attention, until one day, he or she gives up. Do they, the adult that should guide their child through life, really think they will have a great relation onwards!? Fuckers!

We need to take responsibility! Responsibility for the sake of personal health, for the sake of our offspring, for the sake of our people, culture and identity, for the honor of us and our ancestors which layed out EVERYTHING we are and enjoy today. We really need to shape up, if we ever want to sustainably evolve, if we ever want to pass on a better Earth and if we ever want to pass on a heritage to speak of to our descendants. This has always, and still remains, the responsibility of the ones alive.

A good starting point for us in the North, or of this heritage, is to reclaim the Nine Noble Virtues. These were the guiding commandments, the moral code of conduct, of the Pagans, hat is, us, up until the adoption of the invading Christianity. They are gleaned from the ancient Germanic sources of the Poetic Edda, the Icelandic sagas and Germanic folklore.

NINE NOBLE VIRTUES

COURAGE

StandingGroundThe word courage derives from the Latin word for heart. It comes naturally first. Without it one can not live up to ones own code of honor and ethics. It takes courage to live according to your beliefs, despite what others may think, say or do to you. In this politically correct society, it takes a lot of courage to speak your truth. Just a small example; only because everyone else is handing an Ipad to their 2-year old, or serving jam on the on the oatmeal for them, doesn’t mean I do it. No fucking way! Instead, I might sit down and sketch something with my children, instead I serve them plain berries..!
It applies to all aspects of life, not only to that fearless Viking going in for battle. Stand your ground!

 

 

TRUTH

Lying is not the way of the true Warrior. It’s an act of cowardice. You should only speak the truth, and what you personally know to be true, both to others, but even more important, be true to yourself. If you don’t know it’s true, or if it is false, shut the fuck up! And realize, it is your truth that matters for you. Others may have their own truths. Respect and leave it at that. Doesn’t matter.
But, sometimes lying IS the right way. Nothing is black and white. You might be lyed to yourself, and in this case, lying back could mean it is the way forward. The true Warrior understands this, and have to evaluate any action coming from pure intention.
The truth can sometimes hurt. For instance you could hurt the feelings of your partner or brother, and it might be hard for you too. Regardless, speak the truth. You are not doing him or her, or YOUSELF, any favor, when lying.
Truth fosters Courage. Courage fosters Truth.

HONOR

GimliHonorThis one is the is the hardest to point at. You have this personal thinking of your own internal honor. Do you stand up for everything that you are? Do you take full responsibility for all your deeds? Are you actually leading your life accordingly? Nevertheless, it bowls down to what OTHER people think of you. Do your kinsmen think you are trustworthy and competent? Do they come to you for advice, without doublechecking it? Are you a valuable member of your tribe, and how high is that value?
Lacking in honor, and that is for your kinsmen to decide, affects the honor of the whole tribe, and every member of your tribe, negatively for sure. Your deeds will, hopefully, be remembered long after your death. Make them count!

FIDELITY

Simply means being faithful. Faithful and loyal to one self and ones truth. Of course faithful and loyal to the gods, tribe, family and friends. The true Warrior will defend his gods, ancestors, tribe, family and friends no matter the consequences. It is non-negotiable and the Vikings lived by this. If a kinsman were murdered, he had to seek vengeance and make things right again. It was not a matter of revenge, just an obligation to the Virtue of Fidelity. A true Warrior is a true friend, and a to be a true friend, honor, loyalty and faithfulness is required. This goes absolutely for the friendship of the gods and ancestors as well.
An oath is the ultimate expression of Fidelity. Breaking an oath is seen as the worst of offence and could in the Elder Period mean death.

DISCIPLIN

To be true to your ethics, principles, virtues and standards, you need self-disciplin. In doing so, you are leading by example and the honor of you, and your tribe, amplifies. To succeed, in whatever task, you are bound to have self-disciplin. To achieve Self Reliance, which is another Virtue, you need disciplin.

He who lives without discipline dies without honor.
Icelandic Proverb

HOSPITALITY

This does not mean that you give away all your possesions to every beggar. The practice of the Virtue of Hospitality were present in almost every ancient society. It was both a necessity for survival and strengthened the bonds between people. This was practiced both with known kins and with strangers. The pilgrim, the trader or just a wanderer could knock on the door, be invited, handed dry clean clothes, food and drinks and offered shelter. Besides this custom, which secured the guest, and having the same offered to you when travelling yourself, they had this thought that it could as well be a god visiting, an Aesir or Vanir, in human disguise. The gods of Asatru are known to wander around Midgard…
The Virtue of Hospitality is a concept of sharing. Once the guest were provided, he or she was expected to sing songs, tell tales or news and perhaps hand the host some gifts.

INDUSTRIOUSNESS

Not only for survival, but also for the evolution, to make things happen at all, you need to push yourself. It is the willingness to work hard. Laziness has no place here, BUT, the Virtue of Industriousness also means to rest and feast intentionally. You need a vision, you need to work focused and hard to achieve it, and you also need appropriate rest to be able to push further next day. Tacitus was very confused when he met with the Germanic tribes; The ferociously, almost out of this world, violent and ravaging warriors, just lay there on the ground, resting in peace, eating and talking.
Having a vision and work towards it, achieving the goals, strengthens the mind (and often the body…) and brings contentment and joy, enhancing ones confidence and energy, which serves as a pretty nice foundation for next goal.

SELF RELIANCE

Independence and not being depended on others, is the Virtue of Self Reliance. It starts with yourself. You have to strengthen yourself, keep your “stuff” together, to make your family self reliant. It then stretches outward, making the tribe, clan and nation self reliant and independent. It’s the complete opposite of todays’ global corporatocrazy..!
To be self reliant and independent means freedom. Noone wants to be a thrall, yet today nearly everyone is.
The strife for complete freedom and not being dependent is the path of the true Warrior.
Self reliance brings sustainable, thriving and positive exchange between people and peoples. Know yourself, know your identity and destiny.

PERSEVERANCE

This is the ability to continue the work despite failure. Just recognize the failure, without judging. Even the most successful fails. It’s part of life. Evaluate, learn and get back at it. Don’t ever give up. Strive even higher! The one who persevere will succeed.

As you see, the Nine Noble Virtues are intertwined, linked with one another. I believe these Virtues served our ancestors well. They should for us too. They are for me. Although they are far far from mastered, I aim for it. The one which is pretty much outdated, is Hospitality, since we are not living in a society where we’ve got this custom. Instead, “we” burn thousands of cars, rapes and see a friendly gesture as a sign of weakness. Therefor, I am pretty much restrictive who I would let into my home, or my life.

Foot note: “true Warrior” means foremost the person who has vowed and continously strive to better himself, to master himself in all aspects, physically, the mind, energy and in spirit. and ultimately to reach true knowledge of all there is.

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Man and Wife vs Husband and Wife – the dramatic change in the roles of the sexes

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There is a lot of unbalanced relations between men and women. In Sweden 50 % of all marriages ends up in divorce. There’s a lot of factors contributing to this trend, such as feminism… Oh shit, I was about to write a whole list, but I won’t. Most of the factors is linked to feminism, so I will write about that in a coming article. Today we take a look at a very interesting development in terms of language, which in its powerful way paints how our convictions on the roles of the sexes has changed dramatically. 

I know the vast majority is struggling. We are many who feels somehing is wrong. Or that it should be somewhat different. There’s an internal fight. Our urges and instincts speaks to us, but the exterior world of the society and our partner speaks different, and we succumb for the latter. This creates a lot of frustration, and imbalances between the sexes. ‘Cause you know, it all starts with the man. If he’s balanced, the woman folllows.  Ok, I will get back to this. I just wanted to share a teaser here.

Since we are a quite lost in terms of relations, identity and culture, it is very useful to look at how our ancestors used to live, and to bring back that connection to them. Many surely thinks we had a viscious patriarchy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The totally dominant and viscious man, in a relationship, is not our traditional ways, but the ways that came from the Middle East.

Our culture in Europe has changed significantly since Christianity entered the lands of ours’. We used to live in tight, homogenous tribal societies. Then the Judeo-Christian values took over. The female lost her status and everyone was to either pledge faith to the 1 god, or face the most evil punishments and death. Let’s take a look at one aspect underpinning this change in the roles of the sexes.

When we get married we must use the phrase “man and wife” sometime during the ritual in the church. Hearing the word “man”, one instantly refers to the male human being, but we do not use the word “woman”, as in “man and woman” during the actual ritual. Why is that? We take a deeper look into history.

In the original Germanic languages, the word for the male and female humans were “wer” for male and “wif” for the female. We still have this connection through Latin, where “virile” means masculine (wer). We can also see it in the concept of “werewolf” which means man-wolf, but literally “male-wolf”. It wasn’t until later we began to use the word “man” for the male. “Mann” means divine human mind. According to Tacitus, the Germanic peoples thought they were derived from the first human being whos name was Mannu. The original understanding in the Germanic world was that both males and females could be “mann”, divine human mind. This is the Indo-European heritage. The Veda states that they were derived from Manu, the first King who saved mankind and the sacred scriptural lore.
So for the priest in the Christian tradition to pronounce the couple “man and wife”, literally mean; “I now pronounce you “divine human mind and female”. This is the transition when we adopt the Christian religion, which had adopted the previous Hebrew understanding of the bible. So, it seems that the female is thought to be the servant to this divine human mind… Very unequal! Here we clearly see how we changed the way we looked at the roles of the sexes. Earlier, the female had an equal worth as the male and was highly regarded and praised by males and society as whole. The old Hebrew ways are that the wife is there to serve and obey her man.

The traditional way of looking at this is completely different. Wife, as I earlier stated, means female. Husband (an old English word) means house bound (male). (Husbonde in Swedish…) “I now pronounce you house bound male and wife.” At a first glance one could think that this is the other way around… That the male were stuck to the house, farm and family and almost “castrated”, but it is actually a sign of high social status. As a young man in the Germanic tribe, one were required to be a warrior. Being a warrior, he had to be single, to have no possesions, not to own any property, and thus required to be able to travel all around their tribal territory, defending against any enemies or to go on a raid etc. So they were soldiers. If he would have had a wife and children, property and so forth, he would be attached to these. That could be very negative if he were captured as a hostage, and the fear of loosing his life would be greater, since he had to “be there” for his wife and children. As an unattached warrior he would neither having to worry about the life and wellbeing of his loved ones, who also could be targeted to enemies. So not being attached to anything, made him totally focused on his status as a warrior. And then, after a given time in service, and being successful, he was allowed to be a “house bound”. This means he could have a property, build house and start a family. He then had other appointments, within the tribe, such as taking care of the society as a whole and voting on laws and so on. Successful in this area could mean he rised to be a chief.

Reading Tacitus and the masterpiece of Östen Kjellman and others, it is clear this was a very harmonious society, where men AND women were equally highly regarded. They were both equally important, for life, family and tribe. They lived in harmony and balance, mostly having different functions (there were female warriors also, called Shield Maidens), in between and with Nature. In this particular case it is reflected in the phrase “husband and wife”. It is completely different from the adopted Roman, Judeo-Christian mindset, where the male represented the divine powers and the female were to obey and serve him, giving him children and had virtually no value beyond this.

I would suggest the importance of taking a look at OUR ways, tradition and identity, instead of keep on these misleading tracks, of which feminism is one, where we are trying to fight the ways of the invading desert religions. It’s way more powerful, strengthening and evolving.

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Connection with the roots – the importance of our ancestral heritage

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“Ancestral heritage. Who gives a fuck? What does that have to do with anything? We are here and now, the dead are the dead.” Some, I guess many, in the secular, atheistic minds of Swedes, would likely respond like this if they would read this headline. In fact I have met them, although I also have met many others, but they often only desperately tries to hang on some idea, any theory, of something more, something bigger, that could bring some light into their lives. They don’t really know what to believe, but it feels comforting that it migth be something more “out there”. And yes, there is, as within.

I am no exception. I was raised in a secular, atheistic home. Any spiritualism was ignored. If it ever came to the table, it was ridiculed. One might wonder if this is a natural development? I mean, we were deeply rooted in our own ways in the North. Deeply connected to each other, to ancestors, to nature and universal forces. Here comes a religion, (rooted in the Middle East, yes christianity), sweeps in and, through mass slaugther and deception, takes over. We hang on as long as it is possible. But we are uprooted, no our roots are chopped off, and like the wonders of agricultural science, we are planted without roots in a nutrient solution, housed in a green house, and told new stories. We now think we have another heritage, but for many of todays’ modern societies, there’s something not feeling quite right about this and many are leaving the Svenska Kyrkan (Swedish Church), where we were all autoincluded by birth up until 1996. This leaving is probably due to two reasons; we are mostly non-believers and we therefor see no reason to pay the tax to the church..!

“Everything faded into mist,
the past was erased,
the erasure was forgotten,

the lie became the truth.”
– George Orwell

Well, ok we live in this green house, nurtured by artificals and no chance to see the whole picture. We are virtually cut off nature and put in some house with no chance of setting us free. But, it is made of glass. We do see something! It is out there, something interesting! We wonder… Meanwhile we are told the most viscious stories about who we were that had not much to do with truth.  We are now brain washed since millenia, but the winds are changing. The green house doesn’t stand firm any longer. It crumbles and some of us has against all odds been uplifted by this wind and once again been put in the soils outside where we can breath and communicate with all the organisms of the soil, waters and air. We are rooted, free, true and genuine! At last we have an identity that is in sound, that is in fact who we are.

I know there is a vast majority who wouldn’t see the difference between a nutrient solution/green housed tomato, compared to a tomato from its natural habitat in the soil and not treated with chemicals. But there is. There is differences in quality. The amount of good stuff raises. The color, taste and smell are intensified. The amount of water is decreased in favor of fruit pulp. The life force increases! We can see this in the ability to shield off pathogen factors and the length of time we can store them. Both scenarios produce food, but there is a diffenence. My point is we as humans are no different from this. Just give it a thought or two. We really are the sum of our thoughts. speech and actions, as well as what we allow ourselves to put in mentally and through the mouth.

Without a true identity of who we are, we are nothing. Identity gives meaning, order and structure, strength and trust, empowerment and comfort, joy and happiness. The identity brings tradition, the way of life of that particular tribe. The word tradition stems from the Latin word “traditionem” which means transmission, presentation, handling over. The generations preceding our own are the ones who transmitts the customs, practices and beliefs to us. They do this during their lives, and afterlives, right now and forever, through their own actions, writings, stories… They support us and strengthen us in the very now, if we allow them to. They want to be remembered. Don’t you? I surely want to! I don’t want to be nothing, forgotten when my own children have passed away. I will leave foot prints, foot prints that matter, that supports and strengthen my decendants. For that to happen I have to stay in connection to both the ancestors and the coming generations, the ones who are me.

If I wouldn’t have my identity I would be an easy prey for the present dogmas, easily led by the outlined agendas of the transnational flaws of the elit, the so called invisible hand. I wouldn’t have firm ground to stand upon, and I would spend energy on those and that which doesn’t matter, energy that is needed for my own tradition and folk, for my self and the betterment of me. It all starts within, and the work must continue every day, all the time, to achieve the best version of me possible. That’s where I choose to spend my energy.

It’s not only important we acknowledge and cherish our heritage but we should also live as well as we possibly can. To achieve the greatest version of ourselves and to pass this heritage on to our descendants. Because everything we do and are affects the peace and living of both the descendants lives and the afterlives of our ancestors (which in virtually all native cultures are thought to be the same as our descendants. We take rebirth in our tribe…)

To acknowledge our tradition, our ancestors, is the way forward. We are the very sum, the latest update of our forebearers that fought and survived and bred us. Only the strongest of the strongest succeded and this is our heritage, both within and without. So always aim to better yourself, cherish yourself, and the causes of your body and mind. Cherish the very soils of our ancestors, that which they took care of for us, to be remembered and to serve us.

SkålmedHorn

 

 

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