My Spiritual Journey
My history with spirituality started at a young age as my mother was involved in the “New-Age” discipline (at the time (circa the ’70s and ’80s)), so I absorbed some of those beliefs during those studies. Much later in my life I formally studied religion at Wayland Baptist University here in Anchorage, Alaska. Throughout my formal studies, my lovely bride of more than three decades remained a devout Christian, and I’m sure, prays nightly for my Christian redemption. She provided a constant explanation and understanding of the Christian mainstream theology. However, I personally struggle with being mainstream anything, much less religious. This led to the study of “the Nation of Islam”, or the Muslim faith. In much the same way the Christian faith demanded obedience to an authoritative figure within the theology The formalized way to celebrate seemed to be nothing more than a display of the faithful, with no real practical benefit. This was followed by Buddhism, Confucianism, and many different organized religions throughout the world. I also noted regional alterations to each of the religions, which led me to ask “what exactly is the core belief of this doctrine”? Surprisingly enough, they all came down to several key values. Ultimately, my needs reduced down to the need for my cognitive mind to understand, and the need for my heart to feel the intrinsic connection. These two factors are what should drive each of us to ask ourselves, “does this feel right?” If not, we need to change.
Following my education at Wayland, I embarked on a journey of understanding both: my own theology, as well as gaining compassion to understand other’s needs for religion.
Looking back into the simplicity of understanding our world without the interference of modern Christian influences. I have chosen to recognize the value of my Danish ancestry with the study, adoption, and now, teaching, of the ways of “Old Norse”. I have come to understand that this physical life is about what “I choose to do with it”, and I have no dependence on anyone, or anything else. to create my success and/or failure. I have been given the “legends” of gods who walked the Miðgarðr (Earth) before me, as attributes I aspire to, however, ultimately my success lies squarely with me.
I am at peace with the idea of passing from this physical life, knowing that I will be at peace. I no longer stress the modern-day world’s idea of the “sins” of those around me, until me or my family is affected, then I react accordingly. I treat everyone the same way they treat me. If they exhibit negative energy, I am but a reflection. If they come with open arms and heart, I am again, a reflection. I seek to educate others, but never shun or shame them for believing differently than I do.
Please understand that I do not condemn those who choose to study within the ideologies that I identify throughout my studies, as another facet I have (personally) discovered, is that most of these “organized monotheistic religions” were put in place, and enforced, to ensure population control within that distinct region. Many of whom I have worked with, and interviewed throughout the decades of study, have stories and accolades about their individual worship of whatever theology they believe in. I hold no prejudices as to how people see their deity or interact with that deity. However, I hope to be able to help those people understand that being different is not bad, or evil, just different. My hope is to teach all those I reach the underlying concepts of “true peace” by not being in conflict, and being accepting of being different.
As my studies continued further back, I understood the carnage that these modern monotheistic religions caused. As I read the accounts from the many victims throughout history who have been “forced” to adopt those religious beliefs of individuals who infected the new worlds, I became greatly saddened by these recent generations. I have read accounts where “missionaries” destroying indigenous peoples by either: crushing their culture and traditions by rewriting their oral histories, or by infecting them with germs that those indigenous peoples had no immunity, effectively sentencing them to death. What really “converted” me was the realization that it was considered acceptable in the studies of those practices? Mass murder was sanctioned in their efforts to bring this “good word” to the heathens of the World.
This single point was the most painful in my spiritual awakening, knowing that many of the immediately preceding generations may have played a hand in, or been responsible for the destruction of these cultures, which is a primary reason I have chosen to promote this other lifestyle, and these cultures. They were right from the very beginning, it was the arrogance of others that caused their eradication, it will be knowledge and wisdom that brings it back.
I have struggled with many of the main concepts behind each of the ideologies, as I engaged in an in-depth examination of each, as well as interviewing the end-result (or parishioner) which defined the level of distribution of the base doctrine.
- A framework for, and an imagined authority for punishments against its practitioners, and particularly for non-conformists.
- A framework of assigning guilt/shame against its practitioners for self-management, and particularly for non-conformists.
- An imagined entity at which to place credit for success, while professing the absence of blame.
- An imagined entity at which to explain the supernatural or the “mysterious ways”.
- General social rules of order. Behavior management, and expectations.
By being able to identify these core values of each religious ideology, it allowed me to properly contrast other doctrines against each other to determine the methodology at which it was derived.
Back to the basics. When discussing religious beliefs, we must identify the different religions throughout the world are based on an underlying ideology. Notice, I didn’t use the term theology, because we are outsiders looking in at this point. Holding each religion inside its own slide under the microscope.
Mainstream Doctrine. One of the first things that come to mind whenever discussions of the mainstream religions is the way the religion was distributed. In many cases, each of the mainstream religions forced followers into submission, in some cases taking everything away from individuals who wouldn’t convert. Hundreds of years were bundled into the adoption of these religious beliefs, in some very limited cases, this practice is still in use today. This fact alone tells me that there is something systemically wrong with a doctrine when it has to be “forced”.
- Monotheistic religions include Muslim, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikh, Confucius’s, as well as several others.
- Creationism. Most real biblical scholars will agree that, given the anthropological studies, that this concept is not the case when it comes to the stories contained in most of the holy books.
- Evolution. This is the antithesis of Christianity as it says that humans evolved from single-cell creatures to the incredibly complex animals we have become.
- Intelligent Design. This is the compromise that many Christians have come up with to meet with the evolutionists. In this theory, God created the path of evolution.
Traveling further back in history, before the rise of monotheistic worship with Judaism, we find Ancient Greek, Egyptian, and Norwegian cultures celebrated many gods, who were tasked with assisting a particular aspect of human life. Worship ranged from feasting to mass parties, or battle, depending on which god one needed to appeal to. Human and animal sacrifice was sometimes used within the realm of inclusion here.
Paganism Doctrine as per the early Christian church that still holds a grasp of many societies today.
- Polytheism is the attempted understanding of spirituality from ancient times, bundled with a large miscommunication. Attempting to Understand that the many spirits that we interact with every day are guided by multiple deities who are responsible for many different facets of our lives. Polytheistic worshippers understand that their deities sought to help them in many portions of their lives, although there are very few of these left in full practice today. Predominantly they (monotheistic religions) want to reserve other beliefs to idle trinkets of history, to be used as punchlines at parties, or namesakes in modern video games.
- Spirituality is the idea that “a creator” enriched the lives of all living things with a will and a spirit of their own. That humans must work in harmony with those other spirits around them to create peace and tranquility.
While there is plenty of benefits, the strongest would be our (humankind’s) magnetic attraction for social interaction. We are genetically engineered to be social with one another. To this extent, we can quickly draw visible lines between methods of societal control, to the detrimental beliefs within each of the major ideologies. Potential detriments of major doctrines
- Nonbelief is a punishable offense.
- Non-declaration is denial, thereby a punishable offense.
- Some subscribe to the necessary ambassador, or priest who can speak to the deity on behalf of the parishioner.
- Some subscribe to necessary actions, such as hand gestures, or dressing in certain ways.
- Attendance to events and location semi-required.
Monotheistic Religion Hypothesis
Peace and coexistence are fundamentally excluded from every “organized monotheistic religion” by the very method in which it was dispersed throughout the world. In almost every case, the modern mainstream religions of the current era have forcefully imposed their will on every culture it has come in contact with. Ultimately, organized religion was created and (in many cases) forced to ensure societal control could be secured and maintained. Lessons in obedience can be found woven throughout organized monotheistic religions, as well as collections of accounts to testify to its validation. The clearly defined exclusion of differences embedded within each organized monotheistic religion undermines the very fiber of society. Thereby, a concept of population control can be clearly connected with the exponential growth of these mainstream religions throughout the world.
In my paper currently under construction/review (possibly published early 2022), I hypothesize that:
My theory proposes that the use of monotheistic religion to control the behavior of society was based on the general ignorance of the early general population, its inheritance and transfer between generations is purely based on the intrinsic values of the immediate environment. Control using the premise of a “religion” was exerted in sometimes subtle methods, but more often forcefully, allowing the powers within this religious order to manipulate societies, while “brainwashing” the population, as well as ingraining a set of intrinsic values that will be carried to the modern-day populations of all nations throughout the world.
I speak frequently of the impact that the monotheistic church from the south had on our ancestors and quite often point out the negative aspects of this new practice. The fact that this new practice arrived in Denmark at a time that the increasing population was becoming more and more dependent on a need for socialization, which ultimately this new practice professed was a necessary component. The days of not needing others, by being self-reliant were fading away, promoting the idea of an ongoing need for social networks that continues today. There were several practices of this new form of worship that, historically, I find repulsive.
- Using the mystery surrounding natural events, and other wonders, they were able to “sell” their practice as the answer to anything that happened within the natural world. They were able to convince the population that the answers they searched for could be found in their imaginary god.
- The “missionaries”, or individuals who set out to uncharted lands sought (and received) audiences with the Kings and Queens “selling” them on the idea that this new path offered other “benefits” to the ruling classes of the day.
- A portion of the financial gain that this practice would acquire,
- A position of high standing within this new practice, allowing for the continued recognition of their royalty position,
- A more efficient manner in which to manipulate the population with the ability to assist in the dictation as to the accepted definition of “sin“.
- Those early church practitioners created an imaginary pedigree of authority that allowed them to enforce punishment on the average citizen. This escalated throughout the years to become decrees and laws of the state, yet ultimately driven by the church.
- The church leaders condoned whatever was necessary to secure the practice of their theology. This has led to the unnecessary death of millions of individuals throughout the millennia. Europeans and indigenous peoples throughout the world suffered greatly at the hands of this new practice.
The societal impact in those early years was substantial, with thousands of humans being tortured and killed in a “conform or die” type of operation everywhere the “church” traveled. In addition, we need to understand that there has NEVER been a desire to “coexist” within this practice unless the church determined that it was outnumbered, in which they would resort to murmuring and hushed practices until at which point they secured an audience with the ruling body, and were able to convince them to convert to their practice.
The supposed church
In the first two centuries, we witnessed the further separation between these early practitioners and the Jewish Christians, and Judaism.
- Roman Emperor Constantine I in 313 issued the Edict of Milan
- The First Council of Nicaea in 325 supported the Trinitarian doctrine.
- Roman Emperor Theodosius I in 380 adopted “Trinitarian Christianity as its “state religion”
- In 1054 the East-West Schism was already differing in opinions as to the practice.
Since those days until now, the “church” has swayed back and forth with public opinion in how to best control the masses. Essentially it was the adoption by Constantine I that more or less made the church the influence it would ultimately become.
As an example of this indecision and popularity of doctrine, we witnessed the Byzantine Iconoclasm in the 720s where Leo III the Isaurian banned the pictorial representation of their items of worship including their holy text, although Pope Gregory III held two synods at Rome and condemned the actions, the Iconoclast Council held in Hieria in 754 ruled that portraits were heretical. Thirty years later, the second council of Nicaea denounced the Iconoclast council as heretical itself.
History is littered with examples of this church adapting to absorb anything that was not originally included in its false rhetoric. Time and time again we witness in history where there is a substantial amount of bloodshed to promote this ideology, superimposing itself over and instead of whatever was in place before.
Examples of “Conform or Die” tactics of the church occur throughout the history of civilization, however, there are a few examples that stand out:
- All four Crusades into the holy land of the middle east, as well as the extermination of Muslims from Europe.
- The “Salem Witch Trials” in the Eastern United States (by the Puritans).
- The “conversion” of the indigenous peoples of South America (by the Spaniards).
- The “conversion” of the indigenous peoples of North America (by the Puritans).
- This list excludes the millions of people accused of witchcraft or heresy throughout the history of the “church” because they, like I, didn’t believe the “bafoonery”.
As mentioned in other locations throughout this site, I have studied extensively theology and psychology. What I found as I contrasted these two distinct foundations against each other was where theology was developed with the expansion of cognitive thoughts in humankind. Throughout the evolution of the Anatomical Modern Humans (AMH), as well as others, life, in the beginning, was very instinct-driven. Like wild animals of modern-day, early hominids depended on their instincts for survival. They sought each other for the same reasons that modern-day wild animals seek each other, safety in numbers and propagating the species.
As humans evolved and migrated out of Africa, we know their cooked diet created ignited an additional protein within the human chemical makeup. It was this newly developed protein that initiated the development of synapses throughout a slowly enlarging cranium, creating additional brain matter. As these synapses continued to expand into the cavity, they created an ever-increasing ability to draw upon larger banks of experiences introduced by the senses of the individual humans of that time. It was this increase in captured data from the senses that begat the ability to slowly evolve away from an all-inclusive “instinctual” world, migrating to the ability to refer to different memory fragments and make decisions based on previous outcomes. This was the development of “thought” as we know it.
However, there was still a substantial portion of the natural world that even this new thought process couldn’t explain, there were many things that the senses couldn’t input. Therefore, the human mind began to expand its world by “supposing” or imagining. This supposition arrived at the idea that there was other consciousness here on Miðgarðr. These thoughts of something other needed to fit within the understanding of what humans were, so slowly the concepts of spirits came to be understood. The ability to communicate with the spirits or “Landvættir” or land spirits came into fruition as a necessary factor of their lives. Understanding the balance that needed to be maintained between other animals and plants for successful ingestion, as well as the lands, the seas, and the environment around them, essentially further migrated them away from an instinctual survivor, to a successful manager of their environment at the time.
Early humans slowly evolved throughout all of Miðgarðr, following the herds of animals, or receding ice sheets from the last ice age. Those early humans would slowly evolve north and east from Africa developing their cognitive understanding of these natural wonders as they went. While they never referred to themselves as such, the early settlers of north-central Europe would become the Germanic-Danes with whom I have a great attachment. However, we can validate much of these findings with the peoples who migrated across the Beringian land bridge before its submersion at around 10.5 kya (thousand years ago). They too brought an expanding understanding of the “land spirits” with whom needed to be communicated with for the successful survival of those peoples. The arrival at this understanding in two very different environments further cements its validity.
Spirituality has always stemmed from the misunderstanding of the natural world, and the need to understand life in a bigger picture. Being vulnerable enough to admit that there are other forces at work throughout our lives is the first step in seeing the bigger picture. Before humans obtained their excessive arrogance as a “master of their domain”, they were much more willing to reach out in an attempt to coexist peacefully.
More to come…as we discover the arrival at the understanding of Asa and Vanetro