- Religion and Philosophy
The Viking Moral Code.
Like many people around the world, my parents brought my brother and myself up in a Christian household, it was not an every Sunday morning without fail go to church Christian household but faith was explained to us. Our upbringing was more of a live your life according to this institutions moral code. Christianity is not alone in promoting a moral code amongst its followers. All the major religions lay down the rules by which their loyal worshippers should live by. You will find a common theme which usually a zero tolerance attitude to crime, incest, murder and betrayal in most of the holy books or holy scriptures.
Religion gives us a moral code to work alongside our spiritual belief structure. In most cases the morality of the people who make up the society, is never the same as the laws that govern it. The practice of Islamic Sharia law is perhaps the best example of societies laws, religion and a moral code becoming one entity.
The religion of the Ásaturu or modern day heathens, has a strong code of conduct running through it. This maybe puts it at odds with the general public's perception of the people who practice this branch of paganism. That said, if you were to ask certain members of the general public what Paganism was. You would receive answers which would more than likely include.
"They are a band aren't they? Is it a style of painting? or I don't know, but I think a friend studied it at university."
The Ásaturu religion focuses on the following nine themes and its followers believe that its moral code is the best to live your life by. I shall try my best to enlighten you on these themes by using my own personal understanding of them.
- Courage : Courage is knowing when to speak and when to keep your silence.Courage is having the will to act in order to preserve your own convictions. Despite your own fears, courage instructs you to do what is right. Courage is to face the darkness and your fears that reside in it, with your spirit focused and ultimately true.
- Discipline : Discipline is the wiser brother of commitment, with discipline it is the foundation to living an honourable and noble life. This is not limited to the Northern European religion, this can be applied to any religious life. Discipline is our control over a crazy world. With discipline and control, we are able to make the best of ourselves and succeed in our goals.
- Fidelity : It is a long term commitment to the path you have chosen to walk and journey down alone. It is the commitment and loyalty to the code of ethics you have chosen. It is a dedication to your family and tribe, to your gods who watch over you, your ancestors and as important it is a loyalty to yourself.
4. Honour : Honour is linked to the condition of your spirit and is effected by how you fare in attaining the eight other noble virtues. Honour is increased by standing alone and proudly in the defence of your beliefs, your people and your gods. Honour is doing one's duty, you are aware of your actions and the eventual consequences.
5. Hospitality : This is showing courtesy to others and acknowledging your fellow tribe. You accept others in the spirit of good will and friendship. The virtue of Hospitality is akin to the ethos of " do onto others ". It is a kind of living with honour, it is help the needy if you can and be generous in your labours with others.
6. Industriousness : This is essentially taking time to improve yourself as part of your daily routine. The improvement or training can also apply to skills or talents you already possess. Think how the Shaolin Monks or the Samurai train and train to hit the level of perfection they crave, in the most mundane action a connection to a higher understanding can be reached. When they succeed at their task they refine the technique to see if they can do it even better. It is doing the small tasks well that lays the foundation for future success.
7. Perseverance : The reinforcement of your will, spirit and fortitude. A determination to succeed where you have failed before. Personal failure is not a complete disaster, if you have the spirit to see your failure as a challenge to be overcome. You have not lost, to truly lose is to walk away with shame and feeling of dejection. If you keep to the goals you set then the reward will be sweeter after struggling with adversity.
8. Self-Reliance : The deconstruction of our motivation. We do what we do for honourable reasons, when we succeed we share in the victory with the tribe. You must not let your motives be swayed by your ego. We take responsibility for our actions and know not to run off searching for divine intervention in place of hard work or self sacrifice.
9. Truth : Do you have the courage to walk with honour, can you look your fellow man in the eye with clear conscience? Can you admit a failure or mistake to your tribe and not hide from your error. Acknowledging your failures allows you to learn and move forward. Walking without the burden of guilt or the weight of lies allows you a greater awareness of the journey you are on.
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I try to live my life according to the above nine virtues and I feel that it has made me a more focused person. But like everything in life, you only get out what you put in. I sometimes wonder if the world would be a much better place if people embraced these Nine virtues to live by. The Nine virtues are what I look for in my closest friends and for people who I welcome into my life. If I encounter people who do not show these fundamental attributes, It is unlikely they will become a permanent fixture in my life.