" A cowardly man thinks he will live forever if he avoids the fight ; but old age will give him no peace , though spears may spare him . ”
“ To his friend a man should be a friend , and requite gifts with gifts ; laughter with laughter men should receive , but leasing with lying . ”
-Odin , Hávámal 16 -Odin , Hávámal 42
Probably the highest philosophical ideal within the ancient Teutonic beliefs was that of fate or Wyrd . It was looked upon as an entity , so to speak , prevalent in all of nature , to which all are subject . Life and death , freedom or enslavement , happiness or sorrow , everything is somehow connected to Wyrd , which , by the way , is also a variant of “ Urd ” , our goddess of fate.
In our ancient tales , there lies the prophecy of Ragnarök , the end of the ages , where our world will be destroyed in a great conflagration , to make way for a new existence. When the gods know the great battle has arrived they will calmly equip themselves for combat , then advance onto the battlefield .
They go calmly because they understand and trust in the wisdom of Wyrd . They will know that their time has come to fight and die for a better tomorrow . Rather than being bogged down by emotions , such as fear or anxiety , they accept their fate and do what must be done .
In one of our sources , Freyja tells us “ Salvation awaits the free , at last they shall see me again . Though , him alone may I recognize as free who is no slave of another nor of his own impulses . ”
This relates to the above quoted Hávamál strophe ( 16 ) , which tells us that we must not be ruled by fear , but rather to accept what is . We are all going to die one day ; this is a fact , no denying it .
Strength , true strength comes in accepting this and dealing with it boldly , without emotions . This is not to say that we should reject our emotions or strive for stoicism , we just need to keep our impulses in check and not let them become our masters . When something bad happens it is easy to get angry , blame the universe , kick and scream and complain , but this is futile . It gets us nowhere .
Fate is neither positive nor negative , it just is . Everything we do or get involved with can have good or bad consequences , sometimes even both .
When we realize that the world does not revolve around us and that not everything will go our way , we can begin to accept our position in the grand design of Wyrd .
Everything is a choice ; we make choices every day in our dealings with events and the paths we will take . We cannot determine what happens outside of our selves , we can only select the best means of handling situations as they come to us .
When we are ruled by emotions our choices are as well , which will lead to disaster more often than not . You have to condition yourself to make decisions rationally , to have the courage to look past fear , sorrow , anger or hate and do what you know is right , objectively and effectively.
Rather than emotion , let your conscience be your guide, it will rarely steer you wrong .
What we experience in life, with organic intelligence, is exactly like what we create with artificial intelligence. AI is built upon a code that creates an immense amount of choices and reactions to stimuli. Yet every choice is pre-written and predetermined. But that doesn’t make of us some sort of robots: we "cut the strings" so to speak. A robot is simply a mechanism that does a few things based upon a programmed sequence. AI is different because it seeks to mimic humanity.
So, even though the choices can be immense, they still have limits and all are pre-determined by a program. That program for organic life would be the Web of Wyrd