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Odds and Ends
28 12, 4:56am
1. I cant sum up the millions of pages of research that exist on the subject, or even just the thousands that I have read, but I can say this much: Most of the old nordic gods were not war oriented.
Oden/Odin was war-oriented to a degree, especialy concerning battle rage, but had many other aspects as well. Mostly he was associated with magic and persuit of knowlage. Then there was Tyr, who had a much more organization based association with the battle, but also with order and the divine in more general terms. Tor/Thor, on the other hand, was accualy not a war god, but a defender. He happend to have a very fiery temper, and could be very dangerous at times, but that is just thunder for you. Then we have Brage, the bard god, and his youthgiving wife Idun, quite peaceful both of them. Balder is described as peaceful by every source exept that of Saxo, and the same can be said about his brother Höder. The heaven god Heimdall was a watcher, not a warrior, and Odens wife Frigg was associated with the earth, not the sword. Now those are the aesir gods that come to my mind, but there was also another kind of gods in the old nordic belief system; the vanir. They were fods of fertility, magic and the dead. Not of death-dealing, but of the dead. Frej and Freja both represented fertelity, and their father Njord was god of fishing, sailing and so on, while his wife Skade was goddess of hunting, skeeing and the wilds in general (she was born a giant, but became a goddess through marriage).
Now, those were some of the gods (the ones I can remember just like that), but there is more to it then that. The old Norse religion was not as focused on the gods or their will as christianity is, and there were a lot more nature spirits and the like to consider then gods on a daily basis. They also did not believe that the human had a soul, but rather several separate soulaspects wich together made up the person.
Now, that is a very simple simplification of the basics needed to even begin to understand old Norse religion.
2. Well, it was your statement, and I could not make out what you was trying to say, even tho I tried.
Concerning buddhism, it is a religion if you accept the fact that it dosent have to center around gods. If you dont accept this, then suddenly there are a lot or little religions all around the world that can no longer be seen as such, even tho they have a very strong spiritual tradition.
The persecution of those of other religions was hardly standard in the past. It was quite common in the Middle East, within judaism, zoroastrism and so on, and that spread to christianity and islam, but in the rest of the world such prosecutions only came to be if the dominant religion, power or culture became threatend by it.
The so called Original Sin is not about what may be, but a guilt that is said to be passed on from Adam and Eve, when they ate the forbidden fruit. What they did to my people, besides all the blood spilled in Norway, was to take away many of our old traditions and make people feel guilt over having natural urges. I have mentioned this before.
Is it slavery to follow our urges, or it is slavery to be taught to deny them just becourse they are there? It is a bit like the greek myth about Tantalus, who was punished with constant hunger, surrounded by delicious food wich constantly kept out of reach. That is not freedom, but torture. Some restrictions are of course always needed, and that for some quite real reasons, but what the church taught back in the day was just slavery and torture of the mind in order for the church and its representives to gain in power.
Forget doubts, I dont favour your religion, but neither do I unfavour or wish to take it away from you. However you choose to believe, that is your decision, and dont want to deny you or anyone else this right.
As should be obvious from my previous statements, the old Norse religion was not a religion of war or raiding, just as christianity is not, but there have always been people who wage war or raid, despite teir religion, and some use their religion as an excuse to wage war. There were the viking raids just as there were the crussades.