Ásatrú, Life and Afterlife

  1. Introduction
  2. The Judeo-Christian “God” and the Germanic “Weird”
  3. Brainwaves
  4. Death and Afterwards
  5. The Otherworld according to Germanic Shamanism
  6. Formative Causation
  7. Reincarnation
  8. Summing Up
  9. The Ominous Future
APPENDIX:  Bishop Wulfila - The Deathbed Credo
  • English Translation
  • Latin Original

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    In the ancient shamanic past of our people, the states of soul after death and before birth were well known and profoundly explored by many of our ancestors with psychic gifts. Some of these gifted people were what we today call shamans, and their practices were a central part of tribal religion.

    When Christianity invaded the European north, it suppressed and destroyed whatever it could not absorb of the indigenous religion. Today, after centuries of Mediterranean intolerance, witch-burnings, religious wars, and general demonization of our ancestral religious heritage, most of our people no longer know or understand the infinite depths of that patrimony. So we must now rebuild this edifice using the tools which our people - alone of all peoples - has developed: the tools of science. This discussion is part of that reconstruction.

    The first such tool is etymology, the origin of words, which permits us to trace the psychic evolution of concepts in a culture. Let us begin with the history of the word “soul.”

    As many other peoples, so also the ancient Germanics identified the “ethereal ocean” of the universal unconscious with local, physical bodies of water.  (Ships and boats are constantly found in association with ancient Germanic burial sites.) Likewise frequently encountered among many Germanic groups was the view, also widespread, that souls are “recycled” from the land of the living to the fluid depths of the Worldsoul and back again. Our ancestors believed certain sacred lakes to be passageways between that netherworld and the world of the living. Now it so happened that the Proto-Germanic word for “lake” was *saiwaz,(1) (whence modern English sea) and the soul was for them a “derivative of the lake,” a “lake-ite,” and took the form *saiwalō (the ending -alō meant “stemming from”), which yielded the later Old English sāwol, then Middle English sāwle, sōwle and, finally, modern English soul. Hence the word soul bears an implicit etymological (word-origin) reference to the “fluid” abyss whence it springs.(2)

    This abyss, known to all peoples at all times under multitudes of different names, I will here refer to as the “cosmic inframind,” in order to use a term untinged by religious, theological or emotional connotations. Belief in such a universal mind may seem to some people to be mere superstitious nonsense. Many moderns who for various reasons deny the existence of anything they cannot reduce to commonplace things or events, deliberately ignore the overwhelming evidence for the non-commonplace: for the “weird.”  Yet however influential such people may be in today’s society, they are but a tiny minority of mankind, and we will deliberately ignore them here.

    In general, it turns out, men like to claim absolute knowledge about the nature of this Absolute. Claims of this type are often used to justify their domination of other men. Such knowledge, the dominators assert, confers on them absolute power. Oddly, this tendency is seen even in atheists, as we have seen so hideously in the case of Communism, whose rulers claim to have absolute “scientific” knowledge of economics and thereby the right to murder hundreds of millions of people.(3)

    Our claim here is not absolutist; it is much more modest: namely that the cosmic inframind exists, that it is of the same intelligent nature as the unconscious, or subconscious, or soul, of man, and that it undergirds all of nature from our own brains to the farthest reaches of this and all other universes. We assert that what is often called “paranormal” is merely a different or extraordinary way of the inframind expressing itself. We do not claim to know its innermost nature, nor the complexities of its obviously vast intelligence.

    The Judeo-Christian “God” and the Germanic “Weird”
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    In the common parlance of Christianity, the inframind is called “God.”  However, the word “god” (small “g”) itself has an interesting history. It comes from Proto-Germanic *guðam, later *guðan, “that which is invoked” (by magic chant).(4) It was neuter and signified a non-personal, paranormal force. The Proto-Germanic form *guðan resulted in Gothic guþ (nominative and accusative singular) and g- (the stem for all other cases, singular and plural), Old Norse g, Old English god, Old High German cot and got, etc. The adjectival form, with vowel mutation (umlaut), appears in Old English gydig (i.e., “goddy,”) meaning “preternaturally possessed,” “insane,” and has resulted in Modern English giddy.(5)

    Wulfila, the Gothic-Greek bishop of Arian (not Catholic) Christianity who, with his scholars, translated the Bible into Gothic, changed the Gothic word guð from neuter gender to masculine, to make it accord with the Greek ho theós “the he-god,” of masculine gender. Thus it came about that the term for an impersonal “incantational power” became the name for the cosmic inframind viewed as a human-like person: God “the Father.”

    This “Father” was rather too abstract for all but theologians, and the genius of Christian mythology was to invent a human face for the Father: the “Son,” who was understood to be a historical person named, in Latin, Jesus (from Aramaic Y’eh-shúa “Yahwéh saves”). He was the medium for access to the Father. A third title, the “Holy Ghost,” was used to label the source of all magical power wielded by the early Christian devotees. It was the cosmic inframind seen from its (good) “paranormal” aspect. In orthodox Catholic Christianity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost were all equal, whereas in the Arianism adopted by the Goths, the Father was supreme and had created the Son, and the Holy Ghost was inferior to both. Arianism made it easier to convert Goths, since their high god Wodan, master of shamans(6) and chief ansus (Norse Ās, Old English Ōs), was simply relabeled as Christ, understood by the Goths as Christianity’s shaman.(7)

    As the sixth-century Christian historian of the Goths, Jordanes, makes clear,(8) an ansus was by no means the cosmic inframind, which is what was meant by the biblical-Latin word deus. Ansus designated, instead, a personal supernatural being for which he gives the Latin interpretation of “semideus” meaning “demi-god,” “half-god.”  In other words, something rather along the lines of what Christians called “archangels” or perhaps heaven-dwelling saints, i.e., a great supernatural being, but not the whole, for which the word “deus” was reserved in Jordanes’ Christian terminology.  (In passing, we might note that the word ansus originally meant a “post,” “column” or “pillar”; the ancient Germanics carved the visages and effigies of their gods on wooden poles and posts,(9) whence the name was transferred to the supernatural beings themselves.)

    Finally, the original Germanic name for the cosmic inframind itself was *wurðiz, (pronounced “worthies”), originally from an ancient root meaning “turning”; it referred to the pre-birth “winding” or “spinning” of the thread of life by the Norns. The word accordingly implied a “Master Pattern” for a history-fabric “woven” by supernatural intelligences using the lives of men and gods as threads. Usually translated as “fate,” *wurðiz, “the spun,” became Old English Wyrd, now Weird. Thus the cosmic inframind was understood by Christians to be personal and male, and by the shamanic Germanic peoples to be impersonal and of neuter gender.(10) Both sides agreed that there were supernatural entities between man and this highest order of being. It was the differing relationship to these spiritual powers and their interpretation which formed the basis of European religious history for nearly two millennia after Caesar conquered Gaul.

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    In recent decades the all-dominating power of Christianity has ebbed to a mere shadow of its former self. Many people no longer believe in anything at all, and Christianity today is thoroughly fragmented and racially suicidal. By the same process through which civilization has raised individual consciousness, it has obscured the presence of the supernatural. It is our endeavor here to roll back some of this obscurity. But before peering into the ineffable depths opened to us by Near-Death Experiences and the most recent research on reincarnation, we need to understand a bit about human consciousness and its association with brainwaves.

    While much of consciousness and intelligence is still in need of extensive research, some things have begun to come to light. In recent decades researchers have found clear connections between various states of consciousness and brainwaves. We now know that normally associated with the deeper levels of awareness is slower brainwave frequency and lower brainwave amplitude. It is not the fast beta-brainwave (ca. 14-30 cycles per second) of standard, attentive, waking consciousness which is connected with awareness of information from the deep brain and the unconscious. Rather, it is the slower brainwaves, that is, alpha, (8-13 c/s), theta (4-7 c/s) or even delta (½-3 c/s), with their attendant lower amplitude, in which the deep memories and other unconscious information rise to the surface of awareness. Conditions such as sleep, idleness, and the still immature brains of children are more likely to allow this to happen.

    Now in the “juxtamortal”(11) dream called the Near-Death Experience or NDE, the brain typically shuts down almost completely, lowering brainwave frequency to a flat, or nearly flat, line on an electroencephalograph. Similarly during shamanic trance, the shaman enters into a state in which ordinary brainwave activity may be assumed to be suspended. He or she typically induces this state through meditation, measured breathing, physical exhaustion, drumming, prolonged dancing, self-hypnosis or even psychoactive plant substances. Religious practices the world over emphasize the hypnotic, frequency-synchronizing, prolonged repetition of simple phrases to call upon the heavenly powers. Chants, litanies and mantras synchronize brainwave pulsation with slower, more regular rhythms.

    In states of greatly lowered brainwave frequency and amplitude, the normal flow of information from the body into the soul and the inframind is retarded or reversed. The individual may then become aware of other states of being and intelligences utterly unlike those familiar in everyday life. Occasionally the body may be temporarily or even permanently taken over by other intelligences.

    The soul interprets this unfamiliar environment in accord with its own makeup. This makeup is always conditioned, first, by the body it inhabits(12) and, secondly, by the culture of which it has become a part. The important thing to note is that, when encountered, otherworldly conditions exhibit a numinous (awesome, godlike) quality. Likewise the spiritual intelligences with whom communication often takes place, also partake of this numinousness.

    Civilization in general, and above all our civilization, accelerates brainwave frequency. This is the real reason why religion has steadily declined as a major social force in European cultures over the past millennium. And it explains why intellectuals tend to regard talk of the paranormal and religion as just so much ignorant nonsense and superstitious blather. The very fact of their intellectuality is an expression of the same processes which produce high-frequency beta brainwaves.  (Conversely, it has recently been discovered that merely listening to some of Mozart’s more complex, brainwave-accelerating piano concertos can temporarily raise IQ 10 to 15 points.) Although IQ and brainwave frequency may not correspond on a one-to-one basis, there is a close link between them.(13) Those who are genetically endowed with high-frequency brains are generally smart: they think faster. By the same token, however, parapsychological input is “drowned out” by the intellectuals’ own fast-pulsing brain activity. Many of them then jump to the conclusion that if they themselves do not perceive anything paranormal, and if those who claim to perceive it are often among the slower-witted of the population, then there is no such thing as the paranormal. This is a little like a South-Sea Islander asserting that, because he has never seen snow, and only outlandish foreigners claim its existence, there is therefore no such thing as snow.

    For modern men and women of Western societies which have little sense of the sacred any more, a juxtamortal experience may find them totally unprepared and unable to interpret it. Typically, an NDE will take more than half a decade to become fully assimilated, and the experiencer not infrequently becomes maritally divorced and changes radically from his or her pre-experience character. Even shamans, who are prepared for their trance journeys by long training and education, nevertheless frequently border on being pathological misfits in their own societies.

    Death and Afterwards
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    Such, then, are some of the preconditions for, impressions of, and impacts on, those who verge on the state of death. What, then, can we say about the situation which all mortals must face: the experience of actually being dead?

    Firstly, there will be no more information input from the body.(14) Brainwave frequency will have died completely. This means that the soul is totally exposed to the inframental environment.

    To help us in understanding this postmortal condition, we can now draw on the monumental work of University of Virginia psychologist Ian Stevenson, MD, titled Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects.(15) Dr. Stevenson, who teaches at the University of Virginia, has worked with many different colleagues in various countries for 20 years. The cultures from which his many cases are drawn are mainly those in which reincarnation is an accepted part of the world view. Specifically, these cases are mainly from Burma, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Turkey (especially its southern portion), Lebanon, black Africa, and the Amerinds of southeastern Alaska (Tlingit, Haida, etc.). He lists (p. 11) a total of 536 cases which he has investigated, although by no means all of these are detailed in his work. The average interval between death and rebirth is less than two years, the longest case reported being about 45 years.

    A brief synopsis of discarnate souls would include the fact that they can and may: appear in apparitions; become attached to the family of their future rebirth; communicate through mediums; occasionally engage in poltergeist activity; in the African Igbo belief (as in the reports of some Near-Death Experiencers), they may make a “contract” or agreement for their future life; interact with other discarnate personalities; observe the surviving members of their previous families; remain in the vicinity of their previous body’s death or of the body itself; and send dreams to living people.

    In an earlier essay I have reported on Dr. Stevenson’s work and its importance for Ásatrú. Here we are concerned with conclusions which may be drawn from it regarding the afterlife.

    One of the many striking findings emerging from the fact that some birthmarks and birth defects come from previous lives, is the extraordinary importance of the last moments of life and the intense concentration (often due to lethal wounds or other inflictions) by the individual at that time. Occasionally there is concentration on such seemingly small things as ear piercings for earrings and does not seem to be associated with one’s final moments, but reflects great concern with socially important body decoration. At other times, the body may be marked after death. The soul, in many cases, seems to become as it were “frozen” in this concentration or fixated by the marking. Then, when it reincarnates, it may impose this obsession on its new body.  (Stevenson thinks [Vol. II, p. 2077] this might even be considered a defect.) If it was suffering from wounds or other physical trauma, it may carry this trauma over to physical expression as birthmarks and birth defects in the new life. This leads to the suspicion that, often in its “between-life” state, and even when it does not reincarnate, the soul remains for some time more or less static in the same state in which it died.  (Some Near-Death Experiencers and psychics also report stages of “advanced study” or “continuing education” for some discarnate souls.)

    It also appears from many oriental traditions that there are some souls who do not reincarnate, but remain discarnate and fixed in form for extended lengths of time, perhaps even permanently. The Oriental term for them is “pretas,” and this is generally not regarded as a desirable state, since pretas are often considered malicious.  (Cf. the “demoniac” possessed by a “legion” of pretas whose mortal remains lay in the cemetery of the Gerasenes, as reported in the New Testament [Mark 5,1-20; Luke 8,26-39].) In yet other cases discarnate souls, after a longer period of time, appear to “regress to the norm” for the race, as will be discussed below.

    The Otherworld according to Germanic Shamanism
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    The shamanism of our ancestors left certain traces in the religious vocabulary handed down to us, even though that vocabulary was greatly changed by Christianity. The Goths, our earliest literate Germanic kinsmen, called the world of living beings midjungards, “the middle realm,” literally, “the walled enclave (gards, “yard”) in the middle (midjun),” or “Midyard” in modern English. This terminus technicus of shamanic language indicated that there were other realms above and below it. The realm below was halja, the hel of Norse myths (hell in modern English). Halja comes from an ancient root meaning to “cover over, hide” (as with earth, in burial). It referred to the grave and thence to the netherworld of the dead, not to a place of general punishment. The Gothic name for the other realm, the realm above, was utterly eradicated by Christianity. But we can get an idea of what it must have been from Norse mythology, which speaks of spheres such as Āsgarðr (Osyard), Vanaheimr (Waneham), Jötunheimar (Etenhams), Ālfheimar (Elfhams), and Ūtgarðr (Outyard) at the least, as the abodes of supernatural powers both benevolent and malevolent. The Norse Valhalla, “(mead) hall of the slain (warriors),” also gives us some idea of the ancient Germanic sense of afterlife reward for those warriors who died fighting loyally for their warlords (in Gothic, *drauhtinōs). In short, these other realms testify to the existence of non-human forces and entities, as opposed to halja, which was mainly the abode of discarnate human souls. Among the Northmen, by the way, part of Halja or Hel was also associated with the ninefold Niflheimr (Nivelham, “Fogland”), which was a place of ghastly horrors, and seems to have included both human souls and non-human spirits.

    Moreover, both the burials of Germanic royalty, as at Sutton Hoo in England, and the ship-cremation ritual and voluntary sacrifice of the slave girl in Ibn Fadlan’s account of ninth-century Swedes in Russia show that, on one level, some among the Germanic peoples expected life in the afterworld to be essentially an enhanced version of life in this one. On the other hand, the Ibn Fadlan account is also an indirect confirmation of the belief in reincarnation among our ancestors; the naked kinsman who set fire to the dead chieftain’s funeral ship backed up to it, eyes averted (so as not to behold the corpse and thereby allow its ghost into his own brain), with his hand over his anus in order to prevent the chief’s soul from entering him by that orifice and becoming reincarnated as his son.

    A part of the myths describes the other worlds as altered versions of this one. But other parts describe them in phantasmagorical and magical terms: Thor’s thunderbolt-hammer Mjollnir, the shamanic shape-shifting of Loki and Othin, the creation of gods from a block of ice licked by a magic cow, and so forth. All of this is symbolic language used to express the ineffable.(16)

    In reporting their experiences, those who have undergone an NDE tend to use similarly fantastical imagery, often without realizing its symbolic character. Christians will speak of meeting an all-loving Christ in a paradisiacal landscape, Hindus talk of having been taken before the throne of the Lord of Death, Buddhist art is filled with bizarre figures from the otherworld, and so forth.(17)

    Thus the ancient myths reveal both continuing existence of the human soul after death (halja), and the reality of beings of supernatural intelligence other than human (the other realms). The juxtamortal dream, the NDE, floods the soul with information which is interpreted according to the perceptual categories pre-established by one’s race, culture and personal experiences. But this information is nonetheless often quite valid even in our Midyard, as can be seen from prophetic and clairvoyant statements often made by juxtamortal experiencers as well as by mystics and psychics.

    The suppression of northern religion by Christianity made it a miracle that even such fragments as we have, have come down to us. They show that the shamanic cosmology of northern antiquity reflected the true complexity of afterdeath events, a complexity revealed anew by Stevenson’s recent research on reincarnation; postmortem existence is not the simple state Christianity has preached.

    Formative Causation
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    The British botanist and philosopher Rupert Sheldrake has in recent times suggested the hypothesis of “formative causation” to explain much of the way in which living plant and animal bodies are formed.(18) In brief, Sheldrake postulates that every three-dimensional body, living or not, is associated with a “morphic field” (from Greek morphē “form”) which is actually a field of memory of the respective body’s shape and its dynamics. On this view, all electrons in the universe have the same mass, spin and charge because they are all remembering the same morphic field. Natural laws are accordingly very strong habits, and life is a form of matter which can acquire new memories, that is, learn. Evolution proceeds by a life form’s sudden (unconscious) “re-thinking” of its morphic “fit” in its environment, in the same way as the solution to a difficult problem may suddenly just “pop into our heads” for us humans.  (And evolution is therefore not gradual, but a series of sudden jumps - which accords perfectly with the archeological record.(19)) Evolution on the whole is, thus, a learning process, i.e., epistemological in nature.

    In addition, there is the witness from Near-Death Experiences. “Thanatonauts” (to coin a word based on the Greek θάνατος, “death”) often report seeing their whole lives pass before them.  While no one I have read has mentioned this, it seem clear that what the experiencers are perceiving is themselves as consisting of pure memory, i.e., as morphic fields.  For the first time, they recognize themselves to be forms of matter which learn (something which may also be said of the cosmos as a whole). It is extremely probable that all other life forms experience the same thing, but such forms (on this planet) do not have the power of speech, and so are unable to report it.

    A second, very important element often reported by these returnees is a journey (frequently through what seems to be a “tunnel”) to an intensely bright “light,” many times described as “loving” or “God” or something unbelievably beautiful and supernaturally omniscient.  But what does “light” signify? In virtually all developed cultures, light, vision, candles, or the eye have always been used as a symbol for knowledge, consciousness and understanding. (Cf. English, “I SEE what you mean,” German, “Ich SEHE ein, was du meinst,” or English “inSIGHT,” German “EinSICHT.”) It would seem from this “illuminative” encounter that the thanatonaut is somehow metaphorically perceiving the ground of the universe, or God, or Wyrd, which is both infinite knowledge and simultaneously the will to express itself in forms of matter which, as hypotheses about itself, learn and intensify the morphic incarnation of mind.

    So Sheldrake’s hypothesis is useful when considering what happens after death. It allows us to see the soul as the morphic field, or form-memory, of the body and its history, both personal (i.e., recent) and evolutionary. In fact, in the juxtamortal trance, it is very common to see a “life review,” although few recognize that what they are actually seeing is themselves as consisting of memory, although this is clearly what is happening. Later, upon coming into resonance with a new, developing body in the womb, the soul-memory would guide the growth of that body in accord with its own memory-structure: its own self-formulation.

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    Another factor revealing the complexity of postmortal processes is the indication that a living soul is apparently “encased” in several successive “layers” or “wrappings” of incarnative logic or “auras” between it and the body it inhabits. NDEers occasionally tell of having felt that “shells,” “films” or “layers” of their outer beings were stripped from them one by one on their mystical journey, their essential core always remaining the same. Oriental mystics report essentially the same experience in some of their meditative states.  (Some cultures also speak of each person having multiple “souls.”) Interestingly, the accounts of some “ghosts” seem to be reports of just such discarded “shells”: the apparitions appear repeatedly, always performing exactly the same actions, not responding intelligently to living human beings. In this way they differ from “true” ghosts, which communicate interactively with the living. And Stevenson (Vol. II, p. 2083ff.) conjectures the existence of an intermediate vehicle, virtually identical to Sheldrake’s “morphic field,” which carries the morphic memories of the soul; he calls this vehicle a “psychophore,” meaning “soul-bearer.”

    Stevenson suggests that the soul which does not soon reincarnate begins to lose its individuality and to regress to the norm for the species. He writes (Vol. II, p. 2084):

    “Even though I cannot describe the substance of the psychophore, I can offer some conjectures about its form. I think that immediately after death the psychophore’s form would correspond closely to that of the dead physical body. We might call this shape the tautomorph [identical form], meaning a duplicate in form of the most recent physical form. Within groups of peoples a eumorph [ideal form] highly regarded by its members may emerge. In Western countries the female eumorph may resemble the Venus de Milo, but among the Khoikhoi (Hottentots) the eumorph would include steatopygy [enormously fat buttocks]. During discarnate existence, the form of the psychophore may become modified in the direction of the local eumorph or may regress toward some more universal urmorph [proto-form].

    “In the cases of subjects with birth defects or unusual physiques related to previous lives, the psychophore would not return to the eumorph, but would retain the form of the tautomorph. It would then act as a kind of template affecting the form of the developing embryo or fetus. ….”

    Europe, America and other developed (especially White) countries do not report reincarnation with anywhere near the same frequency that the cultures investigated by Stevenson do. It is possible that, since the memories of people in more complex societies are correspondingly more diverse and complex, it takes longer for the eumorph or urmorph (i.e., the inframind of the race or of the whole species) to “digest” these memories. And therefore the discarnate period between lives might be longer in the developed world, a length that might cause greater forgetfulness of former lives. Stevenson (Vol. II, p. 2104) mentions that in the (Third-World) cases he has investigated, there is little evidence of any personal progress beyond simple reincarnation.

    Summing Up
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    From the shamanic mythology of the ancient Northmen, from reports of NDEers, from those who by various means have contacted the dead, from the study of nature and from the philosophical considerations of Rupert Sheldrake, it appears that the ultraworld is both incredibly varied and above all hierarchical in nature. The lower levels combine to make a psychic whole greater than the sum of its parts, and the higher intelligences are able to direct the lower ones. The whole process comes into its most intense focus on planets such as ours, which are capable of sustaining biological life.

    To make the whole work, there must be a law, universal habit, or condition of being which requires a certain consistency and symbiosis everywhere. This makes continuous existence impossible for self-contradictory entities, or for those which seriously conflict with their own support environments. Hence the dynamism of life, its will to power, must constantly alter these environments by acquiring ever greater knowledge over them.(20) In other words, the hierarchy of being, both incarnate and discarnate, is a hierarchy of profound knowledge: knowledge of the self and of the environment. Earthly life, and above all man, turn out to be sense organs of the planet. And that aspect of reality which we mortals call “paranormal” is in fact the just another, although seldom seen, part of the dynamics of cosmogonic (world-creating) knowledge in action. This is the way of Weird.

    From the juxtamortal dream we learn that Weird is most directly experienced as “light,” the eternal symbol of knowledge and intelligence. It is simultaneously felt to be “unconditional love.” And the universal consensus of mystics, religious thinkers and juxtamortal dreamers of all traditions is that it is this Omniscient Love or Loving Omniscience which creates Midyard, the physical universe.

    Of course, this reported Love is itself the human mode of perceiving and expressing a yet more fundamental cosmic reality. A little thought will bring us to the realization that the act of “love” is not some sort of schmaltzy New-Age ecstasy, but above all an act or state of will to benefit another being, the beloved. In other words, Weird is an omniscient will, an act of intelligent volition to create the cosmos: to create us. In contradiction to the atheist or agnostic view, Weird is teleological; that is, it has a goal. We ourselves are condensations of that Will and that Intelligence. It is accordingly our nature and our mission to assist cosmogony by furthering intelligence on Midyard.

    The Ominous Future
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    Today this is an extremely difficult task, for we live in an anti-evolutionary culture which blindly moves to terminate the evolution of higher intelligence as soon as possible. We live in a bizarre system: a system which encourages the wanton proliferation of the genetically least intelligent and laziest; a system which encourages the immediate dissolution of the only race to have invented science; a system which is reducing the intelligence level of the most advanced countries by about one IQ point per generation; a system which has already terminated the evolution of all other higher animal species through extinction or through environment degradation and depravation; and a system which imposes upon White youth the twisted and biologically sterilizing paradox of hedonistic materialism and guilt-driven, racial self-hatred. This truly diabolical system has led our folk, the creator and mainstay of science and the vanguard of evolution, to the point of today refusing to beget its own progeny and aborting its cosmogonic mission. In other words, to the brink of world death.

    It is not our aim here to propose solutions to this difficult task. Right now, it is important only to show that our mission and our destiny are made clear by a careful examination of the NDE and the results of research into reincarnation. And that mission is to further evolution by furthering the existence and the intelligence our own folk. The alternative, resulting from the materialism and the Judaeochristianity which besiege us, is the stagnation and death of the world. This, too, is the will and the way of Weird.

    Ásatrú Folk Assembly
    February 1998

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    The Deathbed Credo (382 C.E.)

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    Bishop Wulfila of the Visigoths

    as recorded in the
    Eulogical Letter

    (epistula laudatoria , ca. 382-385 C.E.)
    of the Arian bishop

    Auxentius of Durostorum

    and subsequently included in the anti-Catholic polemic, the

    Dissertation (ca. 500 C.E.) of the Arian Bishop Maximinus

    (Dissertatio Maximini contra Ambrosium)

    I, Wulfila, bishop and avower of the faith, have always believed as follows, and in this sole and true faith make my transition to my Lord:

    I believe

      • That there is a single God, the Father, alone unborn and invisible;
      • And in his only-born Son, the Lord and God of us [humans], the Creator and Maker of all creation, who has no equal; hence there is a single God of the whole: the Father, who is the God of our God;
      • And in one Holy Ghost, the illuminating and sanctifying power, who is neither God nor Lord, but the faithful servant of Christ; nor is he equal, but subject and obedient in all things to the Son;
      • And that the Son is subject and obedient in all things to God and subservient to the Father, as God begot all things through Christ and ordered them in the Holy Ghost.

    The Deathbed Credo (Latin original)

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    The Latin text I have translated above reads as follows:

    Ego, Wulfila, episcopus et confessor, semper sic credidi
    et in hac fide sola et vera transitum facio ad Dominum meum:


      • unum esse Deum Patrem solum ingenitum et invisibilem;
      • et in unigenitum Filium ejus, Dominum et Deum nostrum, opificem et factorem universæ creaturæ, non habentem similem suum;  ideo unus est omnium Deus Pater, qui et Dei nostri est Deus;
      • et unum Spiritum Sanctum, virtutem illuminantem et sanctificantem,
        nec Deum nec Dominum, sed Ministrum Christi fidelem, nec æqualem, sed subditum et obœdientem in omnibus Filio;
      • et Filium subditum et obœdientem, et in omnibus Deo Patrique subservientem, sicut Deus omnia genuit per Christum et in Spiritu Sancto ordinavit.


    1 The “*” means “scientifically reconstructed but literarily unattested.”  [Return to text]

    2 In contrast, the Greek word for soul is psyche. It comes from psychos, which means “cold.”  Originially, psyche meant “cool breath of air,” then “breath of life,” “life,” and finally the “soul” as the seat of the feelings and desires.  Psychology is thus literally “soul-lore.”  The Latin word for soul is anima (of feminine gender), originally meaning “air, a breeze, wind,” then “breath,” and under the influence of Greek philosophy came to mean “the principle of life, psyche.”  The masculine form of this root, animus, was used to refer to the rational, volitional and emotional side of the mind. [Return to text]

    3 In fact, the ability to leave other people alone seems to be rare indeed.  Only English Common Law, which is actually Germanic Law, permits what it does not expressly forbid and makes freedom possible.  One of the questionable gifts of Christianity was the imposition on northern Europe of Roman Law, which in contrast effectively forbids what it does not expressly permit. (We will not even speak about the laws of China or of Islamic countries, which are codes of grinding tyranny.) The freedom allowed by Common Law encourages innovations, which are the true source of wealth, whereas Roman Law is good for exploiting pre-existing resources.  The problem for those who live under freedom-limiting legal systems such as Roman Law is that pre-existing resources quickly lose value as history progresses.  Moreover, with this progress, innovation grows synergistically with other innovations and emergent technologies, thereby giving Common Law a greater and greater advantage over less flexible legal systems.  Yesterday’s tools, machinery and technology become barely adequate today, junk tomorrow, and a hindrance to progress the day after.  The jealousy-driven, alien creed of Communism is a particularly drastic example of this fact, but there are plenty of others.  Where the Common Law of our ancestors has prevailed, as in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and even Hong Kong, the economies and quality of life have thriven, proving that wealth comes from the innovation which can exist only in freedom.  By contrast, those European countries which have adopted Roman Law typically have huge bureaucracies and huge unemployment roles even where it is administered well, as in Belgium, France and Germany.  England, where Common Law has often been poorly administered, has nonetheless done at least as well as the countries of well administered Roman Law, especially considering the many problems it has invited into itself.  And where Roman Law is poorly administered, as in Mexico, the people stagnate socio-economically with bloated bureaucracies, corruption and squalor for which others, especially innovative White countries, are blamed.  The current trend in the U.S. to “correct” Common Law by strangling it with political correctness or with countless exceptions and special privileges for individuals, groups and businesses can lead only to the suffocation of general freedom with all of the socio-economic consequences that brings. (I have heard several times that affirmative action effectively costs the U.S. 15% of its productivity.) And as far as that vast concentration camp called China is concerned, its new-found wealth comes not from any innovation of its own people (impossible in their system) but from copying the inventions and technologies of the West, often breaking international copyright laws in the process.  Ultimately it is doomed to failure because the most it can offer to the world is slave labor. [Return to text]

    4 Proto-Indo-Germanic (about 5,000 years ago) had a word-root *ghaw(e)- “to call upon, invoke” (by magic chant). A reduced, unaccented form of this root, *ghu- (from *ghw-), added the passive past participle ending -to-, with stress, plus the neuter nominative-accusative ending -m. The result was *ghu-tó-m “that which is invoked” (by magic chant). This ghutóm became Proto-Germanic *guthám (guðám), then *gúthan (gúðan), which was neuter.  Cf. Julius Pokorny, Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, (Bern und München: Francke Verlag, 1959) Vol. I, p. 413, s.v. ghau-. [Return to text]

    5 The Latin word for god, deus, is derived from an ancient Proto-Indo-European root *deiwos, *dyeus, meaning “skylight, light of the daytime heavens.”  The same root gave rise to the names of the Greek high god, Zeus, and the Roman high god, Ju-ppiter (or Jū-piter), which came ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *Dyeu-piter “O Father Bright-Sky.”  The name of the Germanic god Tew, god of Tuesday (i.e., Tew’s day) who was interpreted as equivalent to the Roman Mars, also comes from *deiwos. [Return to text]

    6 The ending -an-/-in- meant “lord, chief, or master of.”  It is found in Visigothic thiudans “king,” lit. “lord of the thiud” (people, folk), “king,” and *drauhtins “warlord,” lit. “lord of a *drauhts” (war troop), a stem seen in drauhtinon, “to serve under a warlord, enlist in the army,” and drauhti-witoth “military discipline or service; war,” lit. “wartroop-law.”  (The modern English cognate of drauhtins is drighten.) The ending is of Proto-Indo-European antiquity; it is seen also in Latin dominus “lord, master,” originally “master of a domus” (house). “Wodans” thus meant literally “master of those who are woths” (shamanically possessed). In early Gothic the name of the ansus was most likely declined thus: nominative, Wodans; genitive, Wodinis; dative, Wodina; accusative, Wodan; vocative, Wodan.  (The “d” was pronounced like the “ð” in “clothing.”) The vowel variation -an-/-in- would have given rise to variants *Wodan and *Wodin reflected in Old High German Wotan, Wuotan as opposed to Norse Othinn and (i-umlauted) English Wednes-day (from a Gothic prototype *Wodinis-dags). [Return to text]

    7 Wulfila’s deathbed profession of faith (Credo) clearly and succinctly spells out the divine hierarchy he preached to the Goths, in which Christ is a kind of half-god corresponding to a Gothic ansus. See Attachment for the text of his Credo. [Return to text]

    8 In his De origine actibusque Getarum, published 551 C.E., Chapter XIII, 78: “… proceres suos, quorum quasi fortuna vincebant, non puros homines, sed semideos, id est ansis, vocaverunt” (“… they called their nobles, through whose fortune they conquered, not mere men, but demigods, that is, ansjus”). Iordanis: Romana et Getica recensuit Theodorus Mommsen.  Berolini [Berlin] apud Weidmannos MDCCCLXXXII (1882), editio nova lucis ope expressa MCMLXI (1961), p. 76. Part of the Monumenta Germaniae Historica inde ab anno Christi quingentesimo usque ad annum millesimum et quingentesimum, edidit Societas Aperiendis Fontibus rerum Germanicarum medii aevi; Auctorum antiquissimorum tomi V pars prior: Iordanis Romana et Getica.  Berolini apud Weidmannos MDCCCLXXXII (1882), editio nova lucis ope expressa MCMLXI (1961). [Return to text]

    9 In at least one case, these later evolved into statues.  Adam of Bremen (ca. 1075 C.E.) reports that in the golden temple at Uppsala, Sweden, there were statues of the three chief gods, Thor (the most honored, enthroned in the center), Odin and “Fricco” (i.e., Freyr), whose likeness “they fashion with an immense phallus.”  Cf. Francis J. Tschan, Adam of Bremen: History of the Archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959), pp. 207-208. However at Yeavering, Northumberland, in England, archeologists have explored the site of a 35’ x 17’ rectangular heathen temple with doors midway in the long (east and west) sides.  They found three post-holes inside the south end of the building.  The god-posts had been removed and the holes filled with rocks at the time of conversion to Christianity.  The whole building was later burned, probably by Celtic attackers.  There were several other posts outside the south end of the building, plus a high, massive pole 22½ inches square sunk four feet into the ground northwest of the building. [Return to text]

    10 As in many other polytheistic religions and Buddhism. [Return to text]

    11 From the Latin juxta “next to,” and the stem mort- “death.”  [Return to text]

    12 (The analytical psychology of Carl Gustav Jung has amply described the archetypes of body and soul so often found in altered states of consciousness.) [Return to text]

    13 Today (1998) there is a company by the name of Neurometrics whose neuroscientists have invented and are trying to market a device they have termed the “IQ Cap.”  It is a type of electroencephalograph; that is, it measures brainwaves by means of sensors placed at various strategic places around the skull.  The subject is asked simply to stare blankly at something - say, a spot on a wall.  In sixteen seconds the IQ Cap accurately predicts the IQ scores (within half a standard deviation) of a person in all of the eleven different subtests used by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (for adults) or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (for children). There is no “cultural bias” to it of any kind.  Because of the usual fear of the truth in America, however, the IQ Cap is not selling well at all, and its inventors are being called racists, neo-Nazis, White supremacists, Holocaust helpers, etc., etc.  The usual.  But for the small percentage of those who do not flee from the truth, it is here important to note that the IQ Cap measures merely brainwave frequency and produces its results from them alone: the faster the frequency, the higher the IQ. [Return to text]

    14 Except, it may be, for those discarnate souls whose former bodily organs have been donated to, and implanted in, other people still living.  These living people sometimes develop tastes and/or behaviorisms alien to themselves as they were before the transplantation, but quite characteristic of the (dead) persons from whom the transplanted organs came.  As of yet this phenomenon is known primarily through word of mouth, and is still insufficiently documented in an academic sense.  However it is becoming increasingly familiar as modern medicine performs more and more such transplantations, so it is only a matter of time until we have good documentation of it. [Return to text]

    15 Volume 1: Birthmarks. Volume 2: Birth Defects and Other Anomalies. Westport, Connecticut and London: Praeger Publishers (88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881), 1997. Price: $195.00. Vol. 1, xvii + 1,168 pp.; Vol. 2, xvii + 1,098 pp. [Return to text]

    16 In the few photographs made of psychic entities which may come closest to revealing their “shapes,” the pictures show odd steaks, wavy and bent lines, and other nebulous geometrical figures, all of light, some of different colors.  Of one such picture made during a prayer vigil by Nepalese shamans, one of the shamans involved later said, “This is exactly what the god, the witches and the ancestors look like! They don’t really look the way you see them in pictures, with faces.  These are the exact colours I see, in exactly the right positions.  But how can a camera see what only I can see? This is secret knowledge, ordinary people can’t see these things.  It must be a very good camera.”  In: Piers Vitebsky, The Shaman (NY: Little, Brown and Company and London, England: Duncan Baird Publishers, 1995), pp. 20f.  Piers Vitebsky is an anthropologist and Head of Social Sciences at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (England). Vitebsky’s photograph reminds me of a series of black-and-white photographs I saw in a tabloid-sized newspaper in the 1970s, photographs which were taken during a reported appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary at a (mainly) Catholic prayer rally in a sports stadium.  There were odd light streaks and curlicues all over the photographs, as though someone had taken an eraser and drawn it lightly and erratically over them. [Return to text]

    17 The episode in the Old English epic poem Beowulf, in which Beowulf plunges into the waters of a haunted swamp and swims downward for a long time, eventually to find the cave of Grendel’s mother and kill her, is clearly a heroicized version of a shaman’s otherword journey. By portraying his great prowess in the psychic realm, it was meant to show Beowulf as a great shaman, in addition to his physical power. [Return to text]

    18 in A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Formative Causation, London: Blond & Briggs, 1981 (revised edition, Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1988). Cf. especially Sheldrake's The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature (New York: in Vintage Books [Div. of Random House], 1989); his writings include The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God (NY: Bantam Books, 1991). Sheldrake also suggests experiments to prove or disprove his theory in Seven Experiments That Could Change the World: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Revolutionary Science (NY: Riverhead Books [a division of G.P. Putnam’s Sons], 1995). [Return to text]

    19 Given the tremendous surge in learning in our epoch, plus the fact that we humans are increasingly maladjusted to our environment in our current state, our species may be preparing for a new explosion in evolutionary change.  Some groups might suddenly turn into extremely brilliant superhumans, while others, perhaps even the majority, might overnight become various types of subhumans. [Return to text]

    20 In biology, this is called “epistemological evolution” (< Greek epistēmē, “knowledge, intelligence”). Also, in the intensely mathematical field of modern cosmology, many scientists have noted how extremely illogical it is that our universe should be so “friendly” (their term) to life, since all of the physical constants have to be very precisely set in order for life to arise, especially intelligent life.  Since such life-friendly conditions have only an infinitesimal probability of happening, these scientists have constructed a hypothesis which makes the extremely improbable probable.  They propose that a virtually infinite number of universes was created at the Big Bang, or is continuing to be created, of which only ours, by weird “chance,” had all of the conditions proper for life.  This is known as the “anthropic principle” (from Greek ánthrōpos “man”). We of Ásatrú believe that this incredible “buckshot” approach, assuming it occurred, happened for a purpose: so that intelligent life could arise. [Return to text]

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