The core of heathen philosophy and spirituality is change itself. It is true that our physical forms do come with certain genetic limitations and sicknesses, but these limitations do not make all change impossible. Perhaps there are cognitive or physical levels that an individual will never reach, but that does not stop them from becoming wiser than they were yesterday. It does not stop them from maximizing their potential abilities, from altering their mentality, their morality, or spiritual divinity. It is my belief that if you do not believe in change, then you have not yet suffered enough in this life to have experienced it absolutely.
Change is an element that drives our most sacred rituals, such as honoring the shifting of the seasons and what they mean for us literally and philosophically. We also recognize change through suffering and sacrifice, as Odin experienced while speared to the world tree for nine days, after plucking out his own eye. There he sacrificed himself to himself, in order to gain wisdom and learn the secrets of the runes.
It is our ultimate purpose as heathens to emulate the way of the gods. To become as they are and earn our way into their realm. Our shift in consciousness will eventually become the foundation and the stepping stones to our children’s development. What we are they will become and hopefully surpass. When we fail to overcome our weaknesses, we pass that trial onto them.
Absolute Change Requires Absolute Suffering.
It is not uncommon for the idea of suffering to be presented in a way that involves the choice to experience it. Such as going to the gym, staying dedicated to a diet, giving up certain vices, or surpassing our boundaries through the development of a skill. I won’t diminish these changes, as they do play a very important role in our own development, but they differ from true suffering in one essential area: we decide when enough is enough. We decide where our limits are and can choose to go no further at our own discretion.
Absolute metamorphosis requires us to experience suffering that we cannot escape from. It is a suffering that pushes us past our limits with no choice but to face them or be destroyed in the process. It breaks us down to the very core, leaving no weaknesses unexamined. That is the true test of an individual’s power and the only gateway that leads to divine ascension.
Time Under Tension.
The amount of progress that we make in any area is equal to the amount of focus applied to it, as well as the amount of time we are capable of withstanding stressful stimuli. The rampant weakness we witness in our modern society is a product of too much comfort and not enough demand. We have become accustomed to comfort and a stranger to the struggle for survival. It won’t be long before adults start wearing diapers so they don’t have to leave the couch in the middle of their favorite television program.
A majority of people have not been adequately tested. They have had too many options to choose comfort and do not have the ability to withstand suffering for a greater cause. At the same time, even those who actively choose strength are not truly pushing past their limits. They only push past the limits that they allow themselves to experience.
Think about how long the average workout takes. A physical workout certainly demands a decent amount of mental fortitude in order to complete, but after 45 to 60 minutes, the workout is over. The stress is over. The need to push past your limits is left behind in the gym. It is a form of escapable suffering.
Imagine what an individual can become if they learn to withstand constant suffering. A suffering that may last days, weeks, or years. A suffering that tests the true measure of a man’s ability to survive against all odds and achieve greatness out of nothing. That is what we have been denied.
Suffering, My Master.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my struggle. Not because I want to make myself out to be the strongest of the strong or the ultimate representation of machismo. But because I want you to realize that if I am capable of overcoming such significant conflicts with a positive outcome, then you are too.
We must rise together. I do not want you to waste your potential in the same way that so many others have. My fight against the modern world is to encourage a shift in consciousness and ability. To encourage those like me to relentlessly continue their battles, whatever they may be. And to be successful in achieving the kind of strength and mastery that few will obtain.
The power of inescapable suffering is not something I learned willingly. It was an unexpected side effect of a violent fall I took as an infant, causing a neck injury that went unnoticed for decades. This type of neck injury comes with several symptoms that often take years to become noticeable. One of these symptoms includes the weakening or complete disconnection of signals from the brain to the muscles and organs below. Similar cases show that complete paralysis can result from lack of treatment or even sudden death from organ failure. So far, I consider myself lucky to have avoided both of these scenarios.
Physical side effects aren’t the only consequences of this neck injury. The severe neurological stress and pressure on the brain stem also have a way of bringing on terrible depression, unnecessary anxiety, memory loss, an inability to focus, lack of coordination, and a difficulty in communicating clearly. Considering that this happened when I was barely a year old, I never had an accurate reference for what normal should feel like. Looking back, I have to realize that many of my experiences were experienced through the filter of this injury.
It wasn’t until I was 25 that I figured out that something was seriously wrong and began immediate rehabilitation. Since this injury was a threat to my life, I had no choice but to put everything on hold and focus entirely on healing. For the first two years, I spent the majority of my time in bed, incapable of the most basic everyday activities. As a man who was committed to achieving significant goals in many areas, it was very difficult to set them aside. Ironically, it was the only choice I had if I wished to ever achieve them.
One of my passions included moving from the music industry into the fitness industry. After about seven or eight years of training and education in that area, it was my goal to transfer from running a recording studio into running a private training facility. For most people, it’s a struggle just to get them into the gym. But to me, it was a part of who I was and that part was being ripped from me violently. Along with the crippling of my musical pursuits and my love of backpacking and survivalism.
The physical pain I experienced during this time was beyond anything I had taken on in the gym. It wasn’t the kind of pain that merely left you uncomfortable. Instead, it was all-encompassing. It drowned out the world around me and suffocated my personality, locking it away somewhere deep inside. Leaving me to succumb to the worst parts of myself, as the psychological side effects piled on top of circumstantial emotions. I gave in to any means of momentary escape, even if they came with unfavorable consequences.
I lost a lot of people over the years, including the woman I had been involved with for the better part of a decade. It’s funny how only in times of struggle do you truly find out who your real friends are. In reality, this purge ended up being a positive thing. It disposed of those who could not join me on my journey and brought me closer to people who now mean more to me than any connection I had in the past. But even though I can see that now, at the time the betrayal and loneliness was just another element of suffering to overcome.
Everyone was moving on with their lives and I was trapped in a prison that there was no escape from. Everything I had was sacrificed for a greater cause: my relationship, my independence, my financial resources, my passions, my goals, my hobbies, and much more. No matter how much I explained my situation to other people, there’s was no way that they could really understand what I was going through.
These situations seem to make people discard you and look down at you for something that wasn’t your fault. Merely so they can feel better about their accomplishments and the anchors that they’ve shackled to their ankles, before tossing them into the bottomless ocean of modernity. I was completely alone, no matter who was with me.
As of now, I have been fighting to rehabilitate my injury for almost seven years. Aside from the efforts of my chiropractor, most doctors that I have seen have been utterly useless. But because of my prior knowledge of physical training, I have been able to develop my own programs for neurological reawakening and education. As well as working towards a healthy muscular balance.
It is impossible to experience what I have gone through and remain the same person on the other end. Even though my fight continues, my efforts have been worth every ounce of pain that I have endured. The depression has become non-existent, my physical capabilities increase on a weekly basis, my mind is stronger than ever before, and my quality of life continues to increase.
Most people would probably say that they wish something like this never happened to them, but I can’t say the same. Without this struggle, I would not be the man I am today. I would not have overcome the sicknesses and flaws that this modern world inflicts upon us all. My vision would not have shifted in such a way that has illuminated that which is truly valuable in this world. I would not be here to share the lessons that I have begun to pour into this website.
This struggle was not my prison; it was my education. The gods have put me on this path for a reason and I will not let it go to waste.
Wisdom From Sacrifice.
There is a very noticeable shift in consciousness that takes place when you return to city life after spending extended amounts of time in the wilderness. You’ve been hardened in a way that allows you to endure the brutal conditions, while also being able to maintain a reasonable level of psychological prosperity. You return as a wild beast to a land filled with domesticated zoo animals. In much of the same way, this is what I have experienced as my condition continues to improve.
In order to survive what I have experienced, it was necessary to build upon many skills. The more I physically improve, the less effort it takes to use these skills. Just as the weightlifter endures the struggle of lifting heavy weights continuously so that they may one day feel light on his back; my mind has been trained to bear the weight of the world.
I have learned the value of suffering itself.
I have learned to endure suffering gracefully and relentlessly. Both mentally and physically.
I have learned to sacrifice small things for greater rewards and to make sacrifices for those who matter more to me than myself.
I have lost the ability to give up. My philosophy is “ to conquer or to die trying.”
I have learned the ability to control my emotional responses and to become impenetrable against external manipulation.
I have learned to monitor my thought patterns. To destroy doubt and discard destructive thoughts.
I have learned to be less attached to controlling what is beyond my power and to adapt to whatever trial I may face in the future.
I have learned extreme patience and have discarded immediate gratification.
I have increased my spiritual connection and power, discovering a deeper meaning to my own existence.
I have learned an appreciation for the little things and for my tribe.
I have learned that the most valuable things in life are the people that we love, the memories that we make with them, and the future that we provide for those who will come after us.
I have detached myself from trivialities, from destructive vices, and meaningless endeavors.
I have lost any fear of darkness or of death. I have walked the darkness and the darkness is mine to rule.
I have gained strength.
I have gained wisdom.
I have gained truth.
I have gained courage and discipline.
I have gained self-reliance, selflessness, and industriousness.
I have gained strong principles and morals that are worth dying for.
I have died and been reborn anew.
A Warrior Is A Product Of Change.
We talk a lot about warrior culture, but what does it really mean to be a warrior? A warrior is someone who endures pain, loss, loneliness, and tragedy, but still moves forward. They are forged in the fire like a samurai sword, making them a deadly weapon or an effective tool of strength, love, and protection. A man cannot be a warrior without suffering.
In order to become warriors, we MUST suffer. In order for our sons to become warriors, THEY must suffer. And we must show them the way to becoming greater men than ourselves. Giving them a life of ease and comfort is a disservice to them, as it has been to many men of our generation. Many of whom will never survive beyond their comfortable place on the couch.
Can you see what kind of change is possible within us? I may not be proud of the person I was when I was younger, but I am damn proud of the man that I am becoming. THAT is fundamental change. Who I was has died and out of that sacrifice I have been reborn. This rebirth is our purpose as heathens, as we continuously struggle and fight to earn our place among the gods. We may not be able to detach ourselves from the responsibilities of our past. But we can carve a future that ensures we will not be eternally stained with a reputation of weakness and of shame.
Keeping this in mind, I challenge you to challenge yourself. I challenge you to spit upon your weakness and discard it. Embrace your suffering, experience it fully, and allow it to mold you into something worthy of honor. You are not who you already are, you are who you allow yourself to become. Absolute change is not only possible, but it is necessary.