Because we believe in freedom, you are never going to find any sort of ideas within the Odinic faith that attack people for the way they live. Your sex life is yours and yours alone. What you put into your body is your business. How active you are, who you associate with, and what you do outside of criminal behavior; none of this concerns us at all. We will not attempt to get politicians to pass laws that will push our values onto others, and we will not condemn you for the life you choose.
However, Odinism/Ásatrú is a path, with a certain set of values and virtues that we hold dear to our hearts. We will promote these ideals, which we live by, and try to show people how they have enriched our lives; but beyond that what you do is up to you. Wouldn’t it be great if all religions shared this point of view?
Anyway, our faith and our lore teach us to exercise moderation in whatever we do. It’s okay to drink, but not to be a drunk. It’s okay to gamble, but not throw your life away. It’s okay to have sex, but not with every person that crosses your path. Be moderate, have some self-control, and try to work for something higher than yourself.
Hedonism is nothing more than an over-glorification of the Self. It is the need to be pleased at all times, to have instant gratification, to fill every void and every empty silence with the next high, the next sexual encounter, the next anything that makes ‘me’ happy.
The biggest problem with this view is that it is based upon an illusion of isolation, that only the Self matters, and that we are not connected to one another in some way or another. If hedonism, the “do what thou wilt” of the Satanic Bible, were to truly become “the whole of the law,” the days of Ragnarok would truly be upon us. One man’s pleasure could be another man’s murder. One might find joy in raping children or another in genocide. If such a state were reached without any moral compass to guide us, without any discretion, without any law, humans could return to their most savage state. We could literally revert to cannibalism, slavery, child sacrifice, etc. Simply because we enjoy it, it should be done.
Now, obviously I am not stating that modern hedonists support cannibalism or harming children, I am simply pointing out that without some form of structure, some form of self-control, Chaos will rule the world. This is why it is said that there will be “much whoredom” when Ragnarok comes (TAE LIII. 70, LXXXI. 1).
You might find this to be a romantic vision of the future, and there are some twisted souls who do, but chances are that, if such a scenario were to unfold, these individuals would be the first to see their families raped, slaughtered, and eaten before they too were taken out. But today’s hedonists are primarily people who just want to have a lot of sex with a lot of different people; which is fine for them. As long as they do not try to convince us that the whole world should adopt their lifestyle.
You see, I love my family. If there is any true incarnation of the divine in my life it is through the love and loyalty that we have for one another. I live my life for them and always put their interests above my own. They depend on me to do this. My wife needs me to stay true to her, to not cheat or lie, and to bring money home so we can pay the bills and feed the kids. My children need me to make wise decisions when it comes to their upbringing, to ensure that they will grow up to be successful adults.
They need me to think beyond myself so that our family can grow and move forward in full support of one another. I need them to be there for me, to always have my back when times are tough, and to motivate me to be a better person. Together we complete our synergetic circle, the whole working for the individuals, the collective bound together, not only by the love we have for one another, but by the moral values we uphold to keep our unit strong.Keep telling yourself that there are better lifestyles to follow than this, and I can show you where you are wrong. Sure, there are bad examples in the homogenous, monogamous family structure. Stories of abuse and cruel parents or spouses, of miserable children raised by psychopaths are sure to raise our emotions, even when they are the exception rather than the rule. But this is not the fault of the traditional model, for in reality such bad apples are often ruled by their own selfish desires which oppose the needs of the family; or they are often driven by megalomaniacal religions that teach them to mimic their dictatorial god towards their offspring. Such will happen when people stop caring about others, when they no longer put the needs of those in their charge above their own.
The biggest problem with utopian dreamers is that they cannot, or will not, factor human nature into their grand schemes. They pain a perfect world, with no crime and no war; with no hate and no pain, because they believe we are capable of reaching such a state.
And perhaps we are. Maybe we can eventually evolve to a point where all of us will have perfect conflict resolution skills, where no one will feel the dark forces of sadism, greed, or power-lust in their hearts. I personally doubt that will ever happen, but who knows? One thing that I do know is that it will never happen because some law, or some government agency, or some pompous celebrity says it should. People can be evil to the core. It does not matter how they became so, or why they chose to be evil, the fact is that they are. Such people must be restrained by laws and face consequences for their actions or we will, as a society, witness just how evil they can become.
(The following story is very graphic and disturbing, so if you do not have the stomach for such things, you might wish to skip a paragraph).I had a friend of mine who worked in a coroner’s office before I ever met him. He told me that the money was good and once you got used to being around dead bodies the work was not that hard either. However, that all changed one day when a special case came in that had everyone on edge. A little girl in his area came in that had been missing for a few days, about 9 or 10 years old. The police had found her body in a plastic bag lying in the woods, and quickly brought her to the coroners for examination. The details of the crime were not given to the public, for obvious reasons, but my friend, making his usual rounds, walked into the room where the body was laid out in preparation for theautopsy. He was that this poor child had been brutally raped and beaten, her face looking almost inhuman, and the monster who took her had cut her entire torso open vertically with a knife. My friend was so traumatized by what he saw he quit that very day and never returned to the profession.
That is the true face of Chaos, my friends. That is true evil at its core, and there is nothing we know of that can stop people from doing such horrific things. Did you know that out of all the serial killers that have been examined only one of them (Ed Gein) was determined to have actually had a mental illness? Their issues have nothing to do with psychosis. They are simply vile, malicious monsters lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce on their next innocent victim. Sex offenders have been determined to be almost 100% likely to commit another offence within ten years, whether they get caught or not. These are people who rape our women and children, and their numbers are staggering. But are they mentally ill? Not according to the psychiatric community.
My point is that somewhere we have to draw the line, we have to have systems in place that separate civilized people from evil people so that we can maintain some form of civility and structure or cases like the one above will become more prevalent. These systems are called family and society. Love them, hate them, say whatever you want about them, but if we lose them we are doomed as a species. This is a fact that is as proven as one can be: without family and society, we are doomed! We will devour one another like ravenous wolves until there is not a single one of us left, simply for the sake of our own personal survival. So, think on that the next time you hear someone ranting and complaining about “society’s norms.”Does that mean that under the family model we can create a ‘perfect world?’ Anyone who thinks I am saying this is missing the point altogether.
There is no ‘perfect’ world, and there never will be one! People who think they can create one with anarchism, socialism, communism, fascism, or any other kind of “-ism” are kidding themselves, and usually bring more misery into the world in their quest for this grand utopia. But there are tried and true methods that will bring a little bit of peace and joy to those who want it. It will give them a true sense of purpose, and has been proven over thousands of millennia to be the best model we have in bringing us together to work in harmony for a common interest. Only the family/society model can do this in the long run, and no other can top it.