The Mighty Viking

Conquering those things we must, one story at a time

Category : Viking Sacrifice

Tonight‘s Viking Sacrifice: The Future

When I lay down to sleep, I plan on a future in the morning. When I begin a journey, I plan on a future destination. I work for a future of food, of shelter, safety, and if I‘m lucky, future freedom to amuse myself.

And these things, in their time, are good things. Dreaming of our future can bring us joy.

But, we can only dream of our future in the present. Indeed, there is nothing we can do outside of this moment.

But for some reason, we spend an inordinate amount of time with thoughts of the future filling up our awareness. Sometimes it‘s because we‘re dwelling on the mistakes of the past, and hoping to make something better out of them. Sometimes we‘re worried about the wrongs of others, and our fears of what might have been, and we conjure up dark fantasies of what might be, if!

But this moment right here is where things work. This moment right here, this is the world of verbs, of action for better or worse. Playing the future is a chess game against an unseen, unknown opponent. The past is the realm of the dead.

And yet, when I sit quietly by this fire, feeling the warmth and life of these two dogs beside me, and listen close to the thunderous sound of my inner thoughts, I hear myself attending almost entirely on precisely that which I cannot address in the present.

And thus, my present becomes a swamp of lies, fears, and fantasies. And the present is left to fend for itself, to become tomorrow‘s lies and failures of the past.

There is a time to think of the future, and a time to study the past. But inside each present task, each present moment, is a gift to be opened, cherished, and to be grateful for. For now, this very moment, I will practice just being in this sphere of Present. Here my senses are at their best. I cannot hear the future. The future has no touch.

So I will feel these dogs, and the warmth from the fire. I will be grateful for the crisp night air, and hear the night sounds as if they were a part of me. I will set aside the intrusions to my experience of the Now.

Now is the time for fighting. Now is the time for loving. Now is the time for healing.

Now is the only thing I truly have.

Tonight‘s Viking Sacrifice:

The Dragon of Self-judgement.

We hear these days a lot about being patient with oneself, admonished to be kind, and accept who and what we are.

Of course, this drives others absolutely piffy. The hard-chargers amongst us, the driven and sometimes obsessive people hate the notion of accepting what we have, and who we are, refuse to believe that this is the best we can be.

And the twain ne‘er shall meet, it seems. The two principles: acceptance and the pursuit of excellence in our personal lives seems at odds with one another.

But I think perhaps I see how these two conflicting ideals can coexist peacefully. Stay with me here:

Patience isn’t acceptance of the imperfect. It’s recognition of the difference between the person and the deed. Between the result and the intent. Between spirit and body. Be kind to one, push the other to be better.

See? Now isn‘t that easy? Now stop warring with yourself. No more of those shenanigans.

This dragon who demands of us that we constantly assault our own humanity… is Sacrificed.


Tonight‘s Viking Sacrifice:  the gods of our own making.

In the center you can see the right side of the horned helmet of what we assume is a god of fire.  Some of us would serve him, and create a mythology to fit.  It is comforting to be able to create around you a storyline that matches our desires, that compliments the things we think we‘re best at, and punishes those things that irritate us.

But these gods are born of falsehood.  A higher power than ourselves inherently comes from beyond us, from a place where we sacrifice of ourself, not those things we consider expendable.  We do not choose our sacrifice.  We simply choose to sacrifice it when it is required of us.

A True God focuses on an ultimate standard, universal truths, and requires of us that we mold to it, not to our whims and fancies.  

A true God commands a certain sense of humility from us, not through the thoroughly human trait of thirst for dominance, but simply because of his reminder to us that the Standard simply IS, and that we‘ve got some work to do.

An invented god of human origin plays to the catch-phrases of the day, the fads of thought, of ego, and of fear.  

We create scary gods when we wish to control and manipulate others.  We create kind gods when we wish to please ourselves.  And because the True God is a God of silence, of the quiet, innate Truth with no motive but love of His Creation, we fill the silence with our own ambition.

We can see this process at work watching children play together.  They invent games – and often you hear them adding rules to the game that help them win.  It is only when a parent steps in, whose interest is in the longer view of well-balanced children than the outcome of today‘s game, that rules get set right.

And so we sacrifice our little god of fire, with his horned, helmeted, cloaked fearsomeness.  And the god of Worldly knowledge – the knowledge of how to be cool, of street creed, and hipness, the suave swagger.  And the god of wealth.  And the god of Social Consciousness.  And the god of other people‘s business, and the god of independence, of self-sufficiency.  We have many gods to sacrifice.  And holding them close is exactly what stands in the path of Truth.

All we need is a God of Truth.  Truth compels us without malice, or prejudice, Truth has no mechanism for taunting us.  Truth does all the things Love does.  There is no need to fear it.  There is no need to placate or patronize it.

And more importantly, it has no need to placate us.