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Else Christensen Archive

March 1974
No.11

 

`THE STRUCTURE
OF HISTORY'

In Yockey's view one of the unconscious assumptions of the 19th century's linear history view was the idea of the singularity of civilization. This concept holds that civilization outside of the West is imperfect, but stumblingly striving to become Western.
Again this was a reflection of cultural egocentricity; also, it was Rationalism assuming that men made their own history, and whatever happened was traceable to human excellence or to human mistakes.
To the 20th century, History is the record of the lives of eight High Cultures, each an organism, impressed with the principles of individuality, each thus a member of a Life-form. A High Culture is a Life-form at the peak of the organic hierarchy of which plants, animals and men are the lower members. Each of the Cultures have common characteristics in their life-necessities, their technic of self-expression etc.
The differences between the Cultures are in their souls, their individualities and thus, despite their similar structure, their creations are in the highest degree dissimilar. Cultures are even more highly individual than men, and their creations are correspondingly less capable of any inward assimilation by other cultures.
With the passing of the Age of Rationalism, the West knows once more that the development of an organism is the unfolding of a soul. Matter is the mere envelope, the vehicle of the expressions of the Spirit. It is this ancient and universal wisdom that is the primary source of the liberation of our History-outlook from the darkness and oppression of Materialism.
The events of a human life are the expressions of the soul of that individual at his successive stages of unfolding. The identical outward occurrence is a different experience for each human being; An experience is a relationship between a soul and an outer event. Thus no two persons can have the same experience because the identical event is quite different to each different soul.
Similarly, the reactions of each Culture-soul to external events and movements outside the Culture-area are individual to each Culture. The religious experiences of each Culture are unique; each Culture has its own nontransferable way of experiencing and depicting the Godhead and this religious style continues right through the respective Age of the Culture determining completely the philosophy, science, as well as the religious and anti-religious phenomena of the Culture. Each Culture thus has its own kind of atheism as unique as its re-

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ligion; the philosophy and science of each Culture never became independent of the religious style of that Culture.
Also the choice of art-form is individual to each Culture and likewise the state-idea as well as the Nation-idea and the style of the final Imperium, the last political creation of a Culture.
Each Culture has a different basic Morale which influences its social structures, feelings and manners, its intensity of inner imperative and thus the ethical style of its great men. This basic morale determines the mode of public life during the last great phase of the life of the Culture, the "Civilization".
Each Age of each Culture has its own stamp, which sets it off from its preceding age and from the succeeding. These differences loom larger to the people within the Culture than the differences between one Culture and another. This is the optical illusion of greater size produced by nearness. To us the differences between 1850 and 1950 seem vast -- to the history of 2050 they will, be much less so.
Egypt and Babylonia both had their periods corresponding to our Crusades, Holy Roman Empire, Feudalism, Reformation, Enlightenment, Democracy, Nationalism and Annihilation wars. So did the others.
The idea that "civilization" was one certain thing rather than an organic life-phase of a Culture was part of the "Progress" ideology. This profane religion, its own peculiar mixture of Reason and Faith, satisfied a certain demand of the 19th century. Further research will probably discover it in other Cultures. It seems to be an organic necessity of Rationalism to feel that "things are getting better all the time".
The word "history" has until now been employed to cover all human events, those manifesting the development of a Culture and those outside of any culture but the two classes of events have nothing in common. Man as a species is one Life-form, Culture-man is another.
In what is man as a species distinct from other life-forms, such as plants and animals? Simply in his possession of a human soul. Man's world is a world of symbols. Things that for animals contain no meaning and no mystery have for man a symbolic significance. This symbolizing necessity shows itself in the formation of primitive societies which have an animistic religion, an ethic of tabu and totem, and social-political forms of the same level.
The lives of all animals constitutes the process of nourishing and reproducing themselves, their lives have no spiritual superstructure above this plane. Primitive man sees hidden meanings in the world -- but Culture-man regards his High Symbols as the content of Life.
The differences between the history of man as a species and the history of man in the service of a High Culture is that the first is devoid of grand meaning and that only the second is the vessel of high significance. In High History men risk all and die for an Idea; in primitive history there are no super personal ideas of this force, only individual striving.
Genghis Khan let loose events considerable in size, but in the cultural sense they had no significance whatever. There was no Idea in this sweeping descent of the followers of an adventurer. His conquests were fatal to hundreds of thousands, the empire he erected lasted generations beyond him, but it was simply there -- it stood for nothing, represented nothing beyond itself. Napoleon's Empire on the other hand, brief though it was, was laden with symbolic meaning that is still at work in the minds of Western men and was as we shall see. pregnant with the Future of the West. -- High Cultures create the greatest wars, but their significance is not merely that they open rivers of blood, but that men fall in a struggle of Ideas.
After a High Culture has fulfilled itself the populations in its former area return to the conditions of primitivity. The abandoned world-cities return once more to the landscapes which they just recently dominated. World-cities that were as proud as Berlin, London and New York disappeared. This was the fate of Luzor, Thebes, Babylonia, Uxmal and Tezcoco; even the names of these great cities have perished and it is an unimportant detail whether they lie dead under jungle vegetation or the sands of the plains.

 

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GENIUS AND THE COMMON MAN

The Kinship

 

A truth, though it performs its functions masterfully, lies hidden from the eyes of ordinary man, for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. Genius finds it. Then, uncovered and made the property of all, it appears simple and natural. Why could no ordinary man have found it?
It seems that all truly great things are also truly simple. But it takes an equally great man or woman to recognize them in both their greatness and their simplicity. It takes Genius.
And if because of this, Genius was at one time considered God-like, this has changed in interpretation only. For Genius, aside from all superior rank in intellect, is distinguished from other men, learned and unlearned, by a seemingly illimitable capacity of intuitive insight, wings of spontaneity forever hovering near to bear the yearning spirit to the lonely heights where the secrets of the All are unlocked to him.
Thus Genius does indeed become God-like because it becomes God-illumined. -- Was he perhaps God-called? We do not know. We can only wonder -- looking back upon history -- why so often Genius appeared as if summoned by some force greater than the intellect can contemplate to bring light into a world gone dark. But what we also see is that Genius is a medium between this greater force and his people as the formative agent of a developing culture.
As we have said before, Genius does not stand alone, though it may walk alone. For Genius is but the zenith derived from that broader-based genius in a people's unique character, from which all values are drawn as from the life-reservoir of its soul, securing an ever-present potential for greatness.
As Genius is unthinkable without the background of his birth, so culture creation is unthinkable without the natural affinity between Genius and people. For Genius will, by wakening a resonance to
its own achievements, activate dormant creative energies in the lower ranks of a kinship that widen and deepen the general scope of cultural activity, together determining its nature and format.
This does not mean that the process of culture-creation as here depicted, proceeds without pain, without conflicts or crisis or adversaries. But these reflect only the internal struggles, the passions and despair of the human soul on its path to ascendancy. .Once this process is completed, it can be seen, in retrospect, as the crystallization of a movement in which Genius and all the people in their graduated levels had their part.
For this is the role that Genius plays, whatever its variations and whether one or more share in the evolvement of a cultural fragment in the history of a people. In seeking to be the perfect eyes and ears, the perfect hands of the Godhood, Genius makes audible and visible in perfect form, what in the maelstrom of a people's heart is darkly felt but never clearly voiced or seen. And so, not by command or force but by the magnetism radiating from a Super-Personality, through whom all things dark and troublesome become light, order is made where there was chaos, and beauty becomes the standard-bearer of life. And so is a people not only drawn upward but together, voluntarily and in perfect freedom, and its natural bond of unity assured.
And so had nature willed it. For as nature did not create individuals but species, it has created not men, singly and alone, but races and nations, striving ever for organic oneness. And as in a troop or herd or any other animal formation, the range includes both the Alpha and the Omega, so in any human kinship it includes Genius and the common man, and the difference is not one of kind, but of degree in rank.
Hence the common man may be the lowly brother of Genius, but brother he is. -- And where the common man may not be aware of any personal value of identity, it is bestowed upon him by the Great of his people. Thus may he say to himself: "Had I but the ability of this Great One of my people, that is how I would say it -- write it -- paint, compose or build it. But I of little stature can only stand in awe and yet what I see, what I hear, is part of myself."
And so Shakespeare, a Beethoven, a Michelangelo, a Cervantes, is hailed by his nation as its own, not because citi-

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zen papers or his birth-place mark him with the name of a nation, but because kinship makes him so.
Without such resonance from below, Genius can "find" no recognition, neither among contemporaries nor in future generations. Genetically, Genius stands aloof as the utmost potential of the common man of his people. Spiritually and intellectually Genius reflects back upon common man an image of a loftier self; -- from both sources therefore comes the malleable material with which life builds the culture of a nation.
Such processes of culture-building are possible only in a reasonably homogeneous people because, for reasons given, understanding wells up from deep recesses of the soul, and a common language is no more than shared symbolism of this understanding.
This then is assembled into being a true community, an organism structured upon laws devised long before the coming of man, and grounded in the very basis of love which is affinity.
Yet, while the laws upon which nations are built are known to us, and our acquaintance with the role of genius in building of cultures was unfolded to us in our reflections upon the past, nothing would be more foolish than to assume that from such observations a fixed plan for a culture of the future could deliberately be designed. Surely, if it can be said that a nation's destiny depends upon more than the will of men, then this is so if and when Genius partakes in the shaping of such a destiny -- Genius, from whose ever-ready spontaneity springs the wisdom of the Gods into the reality of the world of men. For spontaneity is that moment of contact with the creative forces of the universe when in the soul of man from nebulous feelings -- so like the cosmic mists from which a star is formed -- a new concept of coalesces into an idea, setting aflame the creative resources of Genius, touching off a blaze of inspiration in the kinship.
If such an idea has the magnitude of transforming the world of kinship, then indeed, with the activated inspiration of the whole, a new age may be born. For rarely can such spiritual fires be contained in one kinship, sparks will fly beyond borders into identical cultures signaling the coming of the New Age.
A truly great age as the time-spaced vehicle of a culture cannot come into being where such spontaneity as the creative impulse of Genius, re-echoed by his people, is no longer possible. For it is only from commonly shared visions that in overpowering yearning life-structures will be realized in which the noblest features of a people are reflected.
Such are the conditions for a premise on which life will allow a people to build a culture of the future. But it cannot be designed beforehand. Like a secret given in sacred trust it will unfold itself gradually in actions seeking the objective, labours revealing the features of the guiding Genius, whatever the imprint of the times.
Where such conditions no longer prevail, a culture will perish.
What then causes a kinship to fall in to disarray, a culture into decay? What brings "societies" such as the communist where individuals are called "brother" yet are strangers unto each other or exiles in their own lands? When does a nation cease to be a people and become a population, a mass, where the individual is no longer weighed but counted, no longer named but numbered?
We shall look for answers in our next article in this series:
"Genius: Good and Evil."

 

* * *

 

WESTWARD

 

Traditionally, the Viking discoveries of Iceland, Greenland and America are believed to be accidental; that it of course has happened that some boats were driven off course and thus unknown lands were sighted is true. As it has been told, Bjarni Herjolfson found America in this manner in the year 985 (or 986); but it is doubtful if it entirely was so.
The British Isles were certainly well known in Scandinavia long before that time, and in Ireland where many of the Vikings settled, particularly those from Norway, Iceland had been visited by many sailors on their fishing expeditions.
Another fact that is not generally known is that from certain hills on Iceland -- the island where Eric the Red settled --- the mountains of Greenland can through some special mirage effect, be sighted during a few weeks in the summer time. And if you are first familiar with Greenland, the existence of Labrador would naturally suggest itself because of certain cloud formations that usually form over large land areas.

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It is therefore a fair deduction that the Viking-sailors knew all these northern islands and land areas at a very early stage. That they of course were apprehensive when sailing the dangerous waters of the North Atlantic is understandable; weathering the formidable storms of the northern seas was certainly not child's play.
Adam of Bremen reiterates a description given by Archbishop Adalbert of a voyage undertaken in the 8th century in the waters north of Iceland thus: "Of a sudden they fell into that numbing ocean's dark mist which could hardly be penetrated with the eyes. And behold, the current of the fluctuating ocean whirled back to its mysterious fountainhead and with most furious impetuosity drew the unhappy sailors who in their despair now thought only of death, on to chaos; this they say is the abysmal chasm -- that deep in which, reports have it, all the back flow of the sea, which appears to decrease, is absorbed and in turn re-vomited, as the mounting fluctuation is usually described." To be sure, it took true grit together with expert seamanship to negotiate those strong currents and stormy waters.
Already well before the 8th century, the first Scandinavians, mostly from Norway, came to the Shetland and Orkney Islands, to the north of Britain, and later also to the Hebrides, Scotland and Ireland. It seems that most of them were more interested in settling than in raiding, particularly in the early years; the attacks on the Christian holy places, such as the famous raid on Lindisfarne in the year 793, were probably more unfortunate by-products than organized raiding parties. As the Norwegian kings in the 9th century usurped more and more power, many of their subjects went looking for new lands where they could build their homes and live in freedom, without heavy taxes and other restrictions (and we can certainly sympathize with that!). To the people coming from Norway these forbidding islands and rocky shores looked almost like home; the sounds and straits between them reminded of the sea around Norway and even the treacherous currents, heavy tides and strong winds seemed familiar, almost inviting.
That they settled and lived in these areas for a considerable time is shown in the any place names of Norse origin; for example the word "ness" is Scandinavian for 'headland' and can still be found in Caithness in North Scotland, Stromness on the Orkney Islands and Port of Ness on the Hebrides. That the settlers came mainly from Norway can be seen in the name given to the Hebrides, they were at that time called the "Southern Islands", clearly testifying to the direction from which the Vikings came. In fact, a part of Northern Scotland is still today called Sutherland, revealing its Norwegian origin.
The northern islands, Scotland and Ireland were, as we have seen, settled as well as raided by Vikings coming mostly from Norway, but in England it was mainly the works of Danish Vikings. Already in the year 835 the first attack is known to have taken place,and after that there were few summers in the 9th century where raids were not reported.
As early as the year 850 some of the raiders wintered in Kent and in the following years a veritable army of Vikings came, not only determined on plundering but also looking for new homes they ravaged and gutted large parts of the country over a period of ten years before they finally split up in several groups, some settling in Northumbria, some in the Midlands and some in East Anglia.
A part of this so-called "Danish Army" tried unsuccessfully to settle in Wessex where the defense against the invaders was led by the kings of Wessex, the best known of whom is Alfred the Great. In the years after 880 this great warrior king gathered a large number of armed men and successfully defeated the Danes at Ethandun.
After his victory Alfred decided to win back some of the areas held by the Danes and in 886 he re-conquered London. A treaty was worked out between Alfred and the Danish king Guthrun in which borders were set up and for some time the kings of Wessex reigned in England together with the Danish Kings.
Towards the end of the 9th century the southern coast of England was threatened by another group of Vikings, coming from the shores across the channel. These Vikings used flat, shallow boats that allowed them to surprise the unsuspecting inhabitants, attack, plunder and get away again before Alfred was able to reach the affected area. The invaders soon conquered land areas where they established camps and many sea and land battles were fought.
After many unsuccessful attempts to defeat the Vikings, Alfred finally learned how to fight these "wolves from the sea" and he won a decisive victory at Appledore in South Kent, one of the Danish strongholds, and the attacks by the Danes were halted for some time.

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CRISIS IN HEAVEN

 

It is not often we bring reprints, but we think you will enjoy this find in the Sept. 1972 issue of FRANCHISE JOURNAL, by Philip Pyrrho.
Ah, good morning, Sir, May I bother you for a moment?"
"Of course, Gabe. What is it?"
"Well, Sir, we have a bit of a problem involving Earth."
"That hardly comes as a surprise, Gabe we've been having problems on Earth ever since Dad took a week off and created it. What's the latest flap?"
"Well, this problem is a bit different in that it directly involves You, Your Father and biographers who worked on Your best seller, notably Matthew, Mark, Luke and John."
"Come to the point, Gabe."
"Sir, I have here an order from the Federal Trade Commission to `submit data substantiating advertising claims and to make the substantiating material available to the public.'"
Advertising claims? Substantiation? Federal Trade Commission. What in Heaven's name is a Federal Trade Commission.
"The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, is a group of mortals appointed by the President of the United States to oversee and regulate trading within the U.S. This commission tries to prevent venal merchants from laying shoddy goods on the people in the market places."
"Admirable. A worthy endeavor. But what has the workings of this FTC to do with the Heavenly Host?"
"We wondered the same thing, Sir, so we sent someone down to check into it. His investigation, while very complete, still leaves us confused. That's why I thought it should be brought to your attention. I don't think I should disturb your Father with it."
"Knowing Dad as I do, I'm sure He knows about it and is disturbed by it, but He'll want me to handle it. What did your investigator learn?"
"Well, as You know, Christianity and other faiths have been steadily eroding under the onslaught of what the mortals call the `New Morality.' The mortals of the United States have been particularly susceptible to these incursions and the keepers of the faith were dealt and especially severe blow by a ruling of the United States Supreme Court on saying prayers in public schools. While that decision has been grossly misinterpreted..."
"Please Gabe, we've been through all that with what few lawyers we get up here."
"Yes, Sir. As I was saying, the mortals of the United States are growing increasingly skeptical of things they once took for granted. And it's not only skepticism of the faith of their fathers, but of all things they read in their newspapers and magazines and hear and see on radio and television. It has gotten to the point that every four years 51 percent of the mortals of the United States elevate one of their number to be their terrestrial leader and the remaining 49 percent spend the next four years being skeptical of him. At the end of this time, they often change leaders and the other side gets a chance to be skeptical for four years."
"I'm aware of this strange system, Gabe, go on."
"As You know, radio and television stations throughout America reserve Sunday morning for churches and synagogues to spread the faith over the airwaves. Even the rock and roll and top 40 stations part with a block of time so that a minister, priest or rabbi can bring the Message to the faithful."
"Top 40? Block of time? Gabe, I fear your messenger duties to Earth are overly secularizing you."
"Sorry, Sir. Anyway, a while back the Federal Communications Commission..."
"Wait, I thought you called it the Federal Trade Commission."
"No . . . I mean, I did . . . but this is another commission, one that oversees and regulates the broadcast airwaves."
"Lord."
"Anyway, the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, handed down what its members called the `equal time' ruling. It dealt primarily with all of the promising made over the airwaves when the mortals of the United States are elevating one of their number to be their terrestrial leader. The ruling, however, has been applied to other forms of promising, notably the advertising of cigarettes."
"An interesting parallel. Go on."
"Many of those who detest cigarette smoking got together and convinced the government that if tobacco companies could use the airwaves to tell people to smoke their products, they should be able to use the airwaves to tell them not to. This idea has since grown into what the mortals call `counter-advertising.'"
"Now, let me get this straight, Gabe. Do you mean if someone uses radio or television to tell someone to do something someone else has the right to use radio

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or television to tell them not to?"
"You got it, Sir. The airwaves of the United States belong to all of the mortals of that nation and all have the right to use them."
"An interesting concept. But I still fail to see how all of this affects us."
"Well, a group of skeptics, agnostics and just plain atheists got together and demanded that the FCC make equal time available to them to answer and refute the messages of faith aired on the Sunday morning broadcasts. Although they knew it would cause a tremendous furor -- and it did -- the members of the FCC decided that such a demand was within the guidelines of the so-called 'fairness doctrine' and ordered all radio and television stations to make equal time available to the non-believers."
"Humm. Well, the faith has survived many assaults for many centuries, Gabe. I don't think this electronic competition will bring about its demise. But what role does the FTC play in all this and why have we been served with this order?"
"The non-believers were not satisfied with just refuting the faith, Sir, they demanded that our earthly spokesmen prove that what they said in their Sunday messages was true. When they received no satisfaction, they went to the Federal Trade Commission and demanded that it apply its truth in advertising doctrine to the preaching of the gospel. Well, Sir, You can imagine that all . . . Er, sorry Sir, I mean there was a great uproar throughout the land ... "
"As well there should have been. How can such principles be applied to the preaching of the gospel? We do not deal in trading in the marketplace, but in the saving of souls. This is absolutely preposterous!"
I know, Sir, and I quite agree; but the mortals of the United States quite often conduct their affairs in preposterous ways. The non-believers were able to convince the FTC that because churches and synagogues tithe or take up collections and radio and television services always end with an appeal for a donation, the listener or viewer, in church or at home, is a consumer. They cited your promise 'Whosoever shall believe in me shall have ever-lasting life' as a claim of performance and argued that such a claim was unlawful if there was no reasonable basis for making it. In other words, they said if we can't prove it. we can't say it."
"You have to be jesting, Gabe; and if you are, you are bordering upon sacrilege. Our 'best seller' as you call it is a work of faith and every word in it must be accepted in faith. Proof? Reasonable basis? Performance? These terms have absolutely no meaning when applied to Christianity or any other faith. Faith is Faith. Belief is belief. When I said 'Whosoever shall believe in Me shall have everlasting life' I meant that to be definitive. The essential word in My promise is 'believe.' I'm sure this Federal Trade Commission found the argument of the non-believers as spurious as I find them. "
"Funny thing, Sir. After much soul-searching the FTC found for the non-believers,especially when it was confronted with a quotation from the leader of the FTC who earlier had said, "A consumer should not be compelled to enter into an economic gamble to determine whether a product will or will not perform as represented . . . the consumer is entitled as a matter of marketplace fairness, to rely upon the manufacturer to have a "reasonable basis" for making performance claims.'"
"You're not going to tell Me . . ."
"Afraid so, Sir. The commission ruled that those receiving the message in church and over the airwaves were consumers in that they did pay for a service through their donations and offerings. It further ruled that our earthly spokesmen were making 'performance claims' when they quoted Your promise in their sermons. When our earthly spokesmen were ordered to substantiate these claims, they could only respond by saying they were representatives of the 'manufacturer' and proof of such claims would have to come from the top -- as it were, Sir."
"Excuse me a moment, Gabe, I want to buzz My Father. Hello, Dad, have you any one in mind worthy enough to build another ark?"

 

* * *

 

POWER

 

We have said that Man as a species evolved from lower forms, changing from a crude stage to a more refined, in other words, made progress.
Societies evolve in much the same manner; in early times men formed themselves in small groups, for mutual protection and common purposes; as life became more organized and life's primary needs were satisfied the members of the group found time for the development of the mind; art industry and the philosophies were given

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their dues -- and organized society was in evidence.
The first and most important object for man's studies were, of course his immediate surroundings, and as observations progressed of the laws of nature, man became freed from some of his fears and superstitions and he realized that he was part of nature and that; as long as he obeyed her laws, he was able to live a reasonably secure life; as his knowledge increased, his society became more and more sophisticated and the first High Culture was created.
But a civilization can only go as far as the intellectual horizon of the Culture-creators, and the achievements of modern times have only been possible through the cumulative knowledge of the past. However, whether scientific knowledge is free and the property of all the people, or, as has been the case, is proscribed and only reserved for the use of or suppressed by, the powers-that-be, is dependent upon the philosophy of the society.
If or when a secular or ecclesiastical 'Prince' prohibits the spread of scientific knowledge in order to ban any information he deems detrimental to the retainment of his power, that Prince is working against the common good of the citizens, for the free exchange of scientific facts is essential for the continuous progress of mankind.
In our Western civilization the Christian church and the Christian monarchs have extensively restricted the publication of rationalistic inquiries into unsolved problems, imposing their 'moral standards' upon scientists, inventors, and scholars in general. Thus, over a period of several hundred years our people were deprived of knowledge obtained through the diligent work of some of the most intelligent and industrious members of our folk group, and the growth of our civilization has been stunted by this immoral behaviour.
Scientific facts cannot be 'right' or 'wrong' but are part of the laws of nature and not dependent upon the Bible or any decree by Pope or Prince.
In our time science has been suppressed, not as much by the church as by the financial powers through multi-national organizations who have placed themselves as the guardians of' mankind, deciding what chemicals we must eat in our foods, how much we may buy for our pay cheques, which books we are allowed to read and what nonsense we are served on TV. The censorship is even more complete than was that of the church, for in earlier days there were still corners of the world where a man could avoid the reaches of the ecclesiastical powers, but where can you go today and get away from the clutches of the multi-national organizations and societies.
If our culture is to withstand today's onslaught, we must break these powers -- and we will do so, for we are entering a new phase in our development, we are in what Yockey calls the Age of Absolute Politics; but our actions, to be effective, must be within a spiritual framework Odinism will provide this spiritual framework.

 

'Mightier than the tread
of a marching army
is the power of an idea
whose Time has come!

(Victor Hugo)

 

* * *

 

THE IDEA OF WORK


In Genesis 3:19 it is written: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread". With this loving statement the Judeo-Christian god punished Adam and Eve for wanting knowledge. Eating of the tree of knowledge was, of course, a serious crime for if you get to know too much, you will quickly find all the obvious holes in the biblical cloth.
But an even greater consequence of this tender castigation for the crime of wishing to learn the difference between good and evil (I know Christians tell it otherwise) is, that from that day on, work has been looked upon as something degrading, something to be avoided if at all possible. The Christian god thus put his curse on work -- it was meted out as punishment, for not being 'good' and obeying orders.
This negative attitude towards work was accepted along with other Christian teachings in all countries where Christianity has been recognized as the dominant religion.
It is, of course, not said openly in so many words, for if nobody would work, how then would the non-productive sector of the population get their food, clothing, luxuries etc.? However, it has always been there in the background -- 'just a worker' or 'only a labourer' has stigmatized millions of people who have been involved with producing our goods and services; and, pray tell, where our civilization would have been today, had not 'the butcher, the baker,the candlestick maker' laboured long hours for the improvement of our society.

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Fortunately, this Christian attitude has never succeeded completely in destroying Western man's inborn joy of creating, of shaping and forming, of inventing and devising; from time immemorial our ancestors have expressed an instinctive appreciation for work well done. In Denmark they say 'arbejde adler'; the Germans say 'Arbeit adelt'; in English this would be 'work is ennobling,' meaning that if you do good honest work, you are a noble person, a worthy member of the community.
At various times in our culture this attitude has been pushed in the background, to a certain degree helped by the industrial revolution when machines were invented that could do many jobs better and faster than people. But still we had the crafts, and it is not so long ago that a cabinetmaker took extreme pride in making an elegant piece of furniture, or a piano-builder was proud when he produced a musical instrument that both looked beautiful and was sonorous, offering great pleasure to musician and audience alike. Luckily we still have people like that around, but they are getting mighty scarce.
It must be conceded that our modern sophisticated society with its tremendous technology has played its role in cutting down the old Indo-European attitude of pride in doing a good job, and that all the blame cannot entirely be put at the feet of the Christian church but there is still a whole world of difference between the two concepts: In Genesis, work is held forth as a punishment and a curse, but in Pagan Europe the creation of values was looked upon with pride and respect.
Out of the work-is-a-curse syndrome has sprung the easy-buck disease; people who are struck by this malady use all their time and effort to find out how they can skip and scamp, cheat and cajole; and after several years of this unhealthy conduct, they cannot understand why they have become dissatisfied, grumbling individuals who have lost their self-respect and their zest for life and are of no value to themselves, their families or to society.
Another result of the Christian work-curse is that some enterprising persons try to avoid working and still live handsomely by stealing the profits of other people's work; they exploit their own kinsmen as well as other races and will squeeze as much out of everybody as they :possibly can; these people are not happy fulfilled individuals either -- they may not admit it, but they are intelligent enough to realize that they are robbing people of the fruit of their 'sweat' and that, in effect, they are parasites and spongers.
The Odinist philosophy is opposed to the Christian attitude towards work as expressed in Genesis 3:19; Odinists believe that building, producing, creating -- be it a vase, a car or a book, growing crops or simply making sure we have good clean water in our taps -- is of a tremendous importance, not only for the community who needs these goods and services, but also for the mental and emotional health and well-being of the individual folk-group member.
Only by experiencing the joy of creating something for use or beauty (or both) can our people, with the inborn characteristics, inherited from our ancestors, have a feeling of accomplishment, an inner satisfaction of being part of a great culture and the confident assurance that our civilization will thrive and prosper. And it matters little whether the job is cutting the lawn, cooking a nutritious dinner, doing research or building a boat, as long as the individual knows he has put effort into his work and done a good job; it is not even necessary that anybody should be there to praise him, for he knows full well if he did his very best or not.
We are, of course, not suggesting that we create work for work's sake by turning back technological advances, using pickaxe and shovel where a bulldozer can do the job easier and faster; what we would like to do away with, is sloppy workmanship and the to-hell-with-it attitude, that in recent years is getting out of control. This presupposes, however that every worker will get his fair share for doing a good job. Odinist philosophy emphasizes that only the producers of goods and services are worthy members of the community and should have the benefits of those created values, that all citizens of an area should take part in the needed production and that none should be allowed to evade contributing 'their sweat' to the progress of their community.
It is a whole new philosophy (and yet age-old) that does away with the work-is-a-curse mentality we have suffered under for so long; we need a new approach, we need a re-evaluation of our priorities, we need citizens who are prepared to accept a responsibility and who understand that keeping the wheels of society well oiled and running smoothly is important for all of us and that, without creating values in the widest sense of the

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word, we will regress.
Each member of our folk group should be duty-bound to work, according to his abilities, far the progress of our communities, and those who will not do so, should not be accepted as members of the communal fellowship.

 

* * *

 

THE SUNWHEEL

 

The Sunwheel is a symbol considered holy (involving also the meaning of hale or whole, bearing good fortune and greeting), used in pre-Christian times by our forefathers. Its four arms at right angles, whether straight or curved, give the appearance of movement, as of a wheel fashioned in the shape of the sun.
In Europe, finds of the Sunwheel were made as far back as the early Stone Age. In the homelands of the Germanic tribes, among whom it was especially popular, it can be traced back to the Bronze Age, and appears to have been associated with the symbol of fire; in this area, it may have been at first a stylization of the hammer which represented thunder and was accompanied by fire from the sky. As Thor was the producer of thunder and lightning and the god who meted out both sunshine and rain to men, the Sunwheel as well as the hammer were connected with him. From the first century B.C.E. until the imposition of Christianity an the North, the Sunwheel was frequently used as an ornament, either to be worn or to decorate weapons or vessels.
Whereas other holy symbols gradually faded into insignificance, the Sunwheel maintained its meaning. and importance throughout the migration ages of pre-history. Proof of the existence of the Sanskrit-Sunwheel in Asia dates back to the third millennium before our chronology. The Sunwheel has been found in India, Indonesia, Polynesia and North America. It was, however, unknown to the Semitic races and the Australian aborigines.
Just how this symbol made its way to the various lands in which it was found, is as much a matter of contention as is the origin of the races. No doubt its meaning varied somewhat from West to East. And this, we may assume, must have been the course of its travel, if we consider the fact that there is no race on earth that was so consumed by the yearning to traverse the lands and oceans or the globe as were the Vikings and their forefathers.
For our ancestors, the Sunwheel was a symbol of the changing phases of the sun both day and night, and in the four seasons of the Northern lands.
The circle indicates the eternal movement of life and the four arms within this circle, the ever-returning recurrence of the seasons in the life of nature as in the lives of men. And as the change of seasons occurred with the waxing and waning of light, so the Sunwheel also became the symbol of the eternal struggle between Light and Darkness, of a religion of Light, fashioned by the genius of Western Man, in conflict with one of darkness, seeking to bring about the eternal doom of higher humanity.
Two of the most significant artifacts with high symbolic meaning, left us from the Bronze Age of Northern Europe, are the wheeled wagon or chariot of the sun, journeying across the sky, and the ship of the sun, indicating the belief that each night, when the sun disappeared beneath the Western sea, it traveled back during the night for next morning again to rise, warm and bright, in the East.
Nowhere but in the North would the Sunwheel have assumed this meaning, for here the sun was the very fountain of life. When the sun grew distant, or `dis,' then nature died too; when it returned, life too returned. The hearts and souls of men, being intimately intertwined with the turning of the seasons, responded to their coming and going with deep religious sentiments, incorporating such feelings in their mythologies and in the festivals of the year. To this day, nothing, neither Christianity, nor our modern so-called 'civilization' has uprooted the ancient meaning of these festivals from our hearts and souls.
At the Spring Equinox, for example, we celebrate the festival of Easter (in commemoration of the Goddess Eastre), a festival of joy, celebrating life reborn in the fields and meadows; the rabbit and eggs signify the fertility, anxiously hoped for by the ancients in a life that was a never-ceasing struggle between light and dark, between life and death.
It is thus fitting that the Odinist Movement of the present and the future should resurrect as its symbol the same Sunwheel which inspired the Odinists of the past in their battles for the survival of their people, their religion, and their freedom.

 

 



Reenactment at the Centennial Pageant, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1925,
photo taken from The Promise of America

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