Archive | November 2012

Emotional Alchemy

I have talked with some people privately for some time about a concept I refer to as Emotional Alchemy.  The premise is to find techniques that allow one to transmute one emotion into another, such as Anger into Joy or Fear into Courage, et cetera.   The problem I have consistently had was how to explain the techniques I use.  This is a first attempt.

The original idea came from a web search I did that revealed this:

I started with a lot of meditation practice and then decided to first focus on Joy.  I have a very clear memory of my daughter’s birth and the amazing feeling inside when I dedicated her to the gods with my wife in the delivery room.  Even in my darkest moments, that is something burned so deep into my memory that I can call that memory and draw power and Joy from it.  I had to concentrate for a bit and practice meditation with the concept, but now it comes easily.  The trick is to find a powerful Joy that truly inspires you.

Another trick for separating from Anger/Pain and finding peace is a visual mediation somewhat like a directed dream that a therapist taught me.  You imagine all of things upsetting you as a terrible storm on the sea. Then, imagine yourself sinking below the ocean down to about 100 feet below sea level amongst the fish, coral and other things.  Above you there is a storm and the waves are moving but below where you are, things are placid and pleasant.  Calm.

In neither case do I recommend ignoring your Anger or the reasons for it.  Burying something intense in your “basement” leaves it there to dig itself out later or fester.  All Passions, especially Anger, need to be honored and experienced.  It is merely that there may be good reasons to turn one Passion into another for a period of time, or that your Anger may not suit the situation at hand.  If you use Emotional Alchemy, you need to return to the original Anger later and give it full attention.  Anger is triggered by something, and you need to understand the details, even if now is not a perfect time.

I have only given two examples of many possible methods.  You may also find that frequent meditation and other personal work will aid you immensely in pursuing any similar emotional work.  I have also chosen to talk about methods here that are more short term.  I will work to discuss longer term methods in a later post.

Alternative to the Nine Noble Virtues

Worth at least thinking about various behavior codes.  We do not have a dogmatic text to obsess over.

Article on Viking warfare, brotherhood and the sunset of the berserks

This matches other writings I have seen.  It also has a good list of resources at the end.  It talks about culture as an organizing force and why the berserk style approach to warfare became counterproductive to success in larger enterprises.

The future of warfare and the human mind on violence

Yes, I realize that there is along list of posts I still owe this blog.  I am still pondering how to write them.  In the meantime, I read a back and forth between Icelandic and American Asatru about military service.  The Icelander insisted that Asatru is inconsistent with military service, something American Asatru/Heathens certainly did not agree with.  Then, I found this:

A brief video by a cognitive scientist on violence, warfare, et cetera.  I do not think we will ever see the end of violence, but perhaps warfare can become less common and if we accept our Anger and Passions then perhaps we can address many of these issues in other ways.

While I am hardly an Odinist, many of these images are quite striking. I honor the Allfather while recognizing our paths are divergent.