Wanderings of a Taoist Viking

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Location: Beaumont, Texas

Texas nationalist, dog lover, gun nut, knife knut

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wandering again...

After a spur-of-the-moment trip to Port Arthur to visit the Buddhist Temple there, I've started doing some reading on it, so I can understand the basics. They encouraged us to tour the grounds and gardens, and visit the sanctuary.

We talked with "Brother K" (the Reverend or Bhante Kassapa), as I've been needing to see a chaplain of some sort for a while, due to worries about my aunt's approaching death from untreated breast cancer. He was very sympathetic and understanding, and spoke from his own experiences counseling after death (he's a former Franciscan monk) and the teaching of the Buddha. I need to accept that my aunt has chosen this path for herself, and that whatever time she has left on this earth is all she needs for this life. A lot of it seems to be, getting out of the old habits of thinking and acting. It seem to be helping some already, tho it looks to be a long road.

In a related thought, I've thought about why some (ok, most) Christians seem threatened by folks who've chosen to leave that church in search of another spiritual path. Is it that they feel someone who can refuse the salvation of "their God, their Lord" and still be happy, is an affront to the "courage" of their personal faith? Why does it seem that those who aren't Christian know more about the history of Jesus of Nazareth Himself and the developments of the church thru time, better than most Lay Christians, certainly most average Christians (who, instead, seem to rely on the "popular knowledge")? Is it because they've studied in depth the whole of different religions, and understand the differences? Granted, it seems like most "average" Christians were born and raised in their personal faith, and have never critically examined their own faith, or compared it to others. I find it funny that in their history, all the Abrahamic religions have had at one point or another, adopted a "convert or die" tactic against their enemies, while Buddhism hasn't (at least AFAIK, I could be wrong, I just started studying), instead relying on the good example of its followers to inspire conversion in others (which is how at least two of the three Abrahamic religions do now, gonna be a long wait for #3).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

God-given/ Natural Law and self defense

I was reading another blog, where the conversation drifted into talking about musicians and their "lifestyles." I personally didn't care about what the entertainers did as a "lifestyle choice" (i.e. they're lesbians, so what), even if they want to use their prestige as a platform to speak about politics; hey, that's protected by their First Amendment rights, but the next part applies to a lot of "celebrities." When they use their status and time in front of the camera to push their personal agenda against my (and everyone else's) Second Amendment right, then I have a problem. That Second Amendment codifies (meaning, writes down as law) what our Founding Fathers saw as a God-given or Natural Right of self-defense, and applied it to also protect acting for one's home and others, beyond just the walls of your own hut, to include your State. Also the Amendment spells out that the gubmint CANNOT deny this right to The People (as a whole and as individuals), and no wishing on the part of the celebrities that it was otherwise can change it! God-given/ Natural Rights exist outside of any government recognition of them, and the gubmint can either allow them or ban them, but that doesn't stop them from existing, nor does it stop the People from exercising those Rights, even under threat of punishment by their gubmint.

How this applies to the main "theme" on this blog, is that most organized churches act similarly. They almost all have some platform of beliefs that encourages peace, love, harmony, and guns are bad, m'kay? I'm not giving up my God-given right to defend myself just because they don't like the technology to do it. If nothing else, the Universe has given me this brain, and these hands, and I use them to fashion and utilize tools, to make my existence easier. The Universe has done this going back into prehistory, and we live upon the collected work of everyone who's lived before us. I don't have to invent and build the mattress, or the air conditioner, or the automobile, to make my life easy. I also don't have to invent and build a knife, spear, or firearm to harvest food, hunt, and protect myself from things out there that would harm or kill me. And yet, because some people would use these tools in a harmful way, the Organized Church would encourage their followers to take them away, label them as bad and sinful. I have a big problem with this mindset, that would moralize the certain use of tools, but leave the people using them immorally without judgment. It would be as un-natural as demonizing the cat for using her teeth and claws to protect her kittens from a threat, and it would want to declaw and defang all animals for this action.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


From when I started this blog, I've drifted a bit again, back toward being more Christian than I was Pagan, but not all the way to "burn the witches!" fundie. It's more like what I was before studying Asatru/Heathenry, but with more respect and appreciation for my ancestors. I almost think of it as "folk christianity", but then that leads into trying to define what that means, and that made me start pondering the whole "labels" thing as ways of defining and excluding groups and subgroups. I considered the label of "folk christianity" as a way of including the ancestor-acknowledgment and still recognizing that my most recent ancestors (oh, for about the last 1000 years!) were themselves Christian. Plus, I'm not much for denominational worship (gave up on church-going a few years back, tired of the near-constant "we need more money" pleas), and I can read the Bible just as good as any preacher (and the time spent at the local Wesley Foundation debating theological points gave me the background I think comparable to any barely-passed minister).

The whole thing with labels being artificially limiting is probably why I put "no preference" on my dogtags. For example, if I say I'm Protestant, that automatically rules out being Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or any other world religion. If I say I was raised Methodist, one might assume that I would be unfamiliar with Calvinist doctrine and Wiccan ceremony. If I'm A, then that excludes being B, and I'm tired of that yes/no, black/white polarity of religious grouping. As much as we joked about a friend and his "pagan" sermon where he claimed to see God in the trees and in the rivers, I think seeing the Creator in the Created makes us more aware of our own part, of being with Nature, not apart from it. Too many times we look at someone who is part of a certain religious group, and they are doing something stereotypically against that religion's precepts, so we say "oh, look, they're being a hypocrite" when by my reckoning, no, they're just being a normal human, doing what they want as a individual, instead of obeying every little rule that someone else made oh-so-long ago. Historically, Christianity was a splinter group of Judaism, but that doesn't stop us from slamming back some pork ribs at a BBQ. (I think it was in one of Paul's letters that he told the new converts that they didn't need to do everything as the Jews did, as long as they kept certain principles, making it OK to eat some non-Kosher foods. It was more important to change corrupting behaviors (like whoring and lying) than to change diets.) Even that is an example of "we're not like those people" to show group differences.

I'm too tired of trying to define myself by what and who others are, I just said to myself, "fuck it, I'm gonna do what I feel is right for me, if somebody else don't like it, they ain't me anyway, fuck 'em!" I want to live by the "leave me the fuck alone" doctrine, where you don't bother me and I don't bother you. There's still certain standards for civil behavior, but I'm tired of the "because my god said so" as the reason for a rule's existence.

I think I've about rambled myself out, so I'll end here, while I can still compose a coherent sentence.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Loki did NOT make me do it!

This is something that I've realized. As a decent person, not to mention Heathen, I am responsible for my actions and thoughts and the consequences thereof. There's no "the Devil made me do it" as an escape clause. While the shirts saying "Loki made me do it" are funny at first glance, because of the Xian symmetry, they're false. Loki may have whispered the seed of an mischievous idea, but you or I are the ones responsible for anything that happens afterwards. Be proud of your actions, take responsibility, even if you did wrong to someone; you can make the effort to atone to them for that.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Folkish vs. Universalist, and other thoughts

To those who don't know, in Heathenry, there's a schism over accepting new people into groups, based on whether or not they have any Germanic/Nordic ancestry. Those who are Folkish-leaning believe that the Gods wouldn't call to someone who didn't have any blood-relation to the ancient Germanic tribes. On the other side of the spectrum, the Universalist-leaning Heathens believe that the Gods can call whoever They want, and it is above our ability to doubt the veracity of this. This spectrum is much like the Conservative vs. Liberal division in American politics, in that there's lots of room in the middle for smaller divisions of leaning, i.e. Uber-Conservative, Conservative, Moderate-Conservative, Moderate, Moderate-Liberal, Liberal, and Uber-Liberal. (I know, I ain't got any Umlott-"U" on my keyboard.) In the Folkish vs. Universalist thing, there's a lot of moderates, myself included. I feel that , while the Gods wouldn't usually call someone to worship Them who isn't of Germanic ancestry, who am I to judge another when they want to acknowledge the same Gods I do, especially in light of the DNA research that indicates that people have ancestry they might not be aware of, from areas they didn't know they had any ancestry. I know I've got German, Czech, English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish ancestry, and almost make a point to jokingly say I've got no Spanish or French blood, if we went back far enough, due to wars and migrations forgotten, I could have anything back there.

On the subject of other religions, I feel that those are fine for them, this is right for me. I can even admire and gleam gems of knowledge from them still, as long as I remember that anything comes from an outside source. In Heathenry, the Lore is most important in rebuilding the mindset of our ancestors in today's world. Kinda a hard row to hoe, but we try. That said, I like reading "Ask the Rabbi" on Gun Owners Alliance. You might not know it from looking at the modern Liberal- majority of Judaism, but they have a long tradition of strong tribalism and a strong belief of near-militant self-defense, that has been "thrown under the bus" for modern times. I understand their history has long periods of subjugation under the graces of the local rulers, and frequently packing-up and moving due to a change of rulers and a change of attitude toward the Jews. I think it's kinda shameful that Christianity is divided over the right of self-defense also, since Jesus clearly told them, "If you do not have a sword, and you have two cloaks, sell one cloak and buy a sword." The world's a dangerous place, nearly ever religion demands that its followers practice some sort of defense against unprovoked attacks on the self and others. I like Thor for that reason, he was a protector of the weak and a destroyer of monsters. Not to exclude the other Gods, I just prefer Thor for this reason. I acknowledge Odin's wisdom and his suffering to gain the runes, and Freyr and Freya being the hosts of fertility, and so on.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I decided to start this blog separately from my regular one, mainly because I don't feel comfortable putting the content from this one over there, and the content would be lost in the overall background noise there.

I chose the name Taoist Viking because that encapsulates both aspects of how I view the world. On the one hand, a Taoist views the Natural World and draws the Rules of how the Universe operates from that. On the other, a Viking is a Norseman who traveled the oceans (and discovered North America 500 years before Columbus, and they named it Vinland (spellings vary)) and worshiped the old Norse/Germanic gods, like Odin, Thor, Freya, etc. Ok, both of those are over-simplifications, but they work for this explanation. This is just supposed to be a starting point, expansion can come later.

Strange dreams

This is my first post on this new blog. It's going to be dedicated to chronicling my thoughts and ideas concerning my journey with Asatru.

This first post is about a dream I had earlier today. I've never been to any meetings of other Heathens, so I don't know how accurate it is (I doubt it is at all!).

First, we were meeting in some conference room, with chairs in rows and along the walls, with a table on one side of the room. I don't recall any decorations on the table, not anything like on an altar. I chatted with some of the folks, it was a casual social meeting, nothing formal or ceremonial. I don't remember anything that was spoken between myself and the others. (This is one of the big problems of recalling my dreams; some parts are strong, clear recollections, other parts are very vague impressions.) It was nearing the end of the meeting, we sat down, and the leader asked us to look under our chairs. The chairs themselves had a bookshelf about three inches below the seat, and it was easy to not notice this. I checked under my chair and pulled out a large teabag-sachet of something. I checked under the two adjacent chairs, which were both vacant, and they had different sachets. Each of these sachets had a note attached, with some inspirational, generic phrase, kind of like a horoscope or fortune cookie that reads "you are wise and lucky and will have a good week." Huh? Not very specific. About this time was when I woke up, and was very confused by this dream. What does it mean? Does it mean anything? Do I need to get out more? (Probably.)

I've been more than a little frustrated trying to find other Heathens/Asatruars around here. Regular Pagans a rare enough, the ones dedicated to the ancient Norse and Germanic folk religions are even more scarce! I've made contact with some via the Internet, but nothing has come of this yet, because they usually live too far away for any regular meetings. So far I'm content with reading the forums and email lists and other's blogs, altho that isn't as fulfilling as face-to-face contact.


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