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Value The Law
We live in a time afflicted with democracy, or at least spoiled by
itís fruits. There are a lot of
folks out there for whom the word "duty" is on the same level as
"discipline" (it is) and "dictatorship" (it isn't).
Freedom which is only about freedom, which doesnít look first to
the responsibilities that make it possible is the freedom to fragment, to
simply waste time. One must
have a point of departure.
These people are more about what they aren't than what they are.
Describing ones self by what one is means describing what one
will and won't do, what body of traditions -- read "laws" -- one
adheres to, and one's commitment to one's fellows and the body of laws one
hold you hold in common.
Those who describe what they aren't hare committed to little else besides
not being seen as being weak. They've shucked off that thing which they
aren't, and feel a need to expunge it form everything in their lives...hence
the talk of "that's Christian", etc. They're heathen because
they're not Christian, or because it supports some other decision they've
made in their lives -- to be gay, to be rude in public, to drink a lot, to
be hostile to all things Hebrew -- and so their "nots" are the
foundation of their "faith".
We know that the Law, and then the Lore, is the foundation of our
Folk, and this is what we are. This means that we aren't a lot
of other things -- Chinese, Christian, Muslim, Eskimo, Rosicrucian, etc. --
but what we are "outranks" what we aren't. What we aren't
is what is left over when one comes to grips with what we are.
I once saw Valgard Murray remark during a discussion of another group having
a "moot", and he described them as having a gathering
"without law". A
thing is a gathering based in the law. So, if it isn't a thing, where
the law -- as well as the business of our people -- is to be discussed, it's
a gathering without law. The implication was that little could be expected
to come from such a gathering, but I may be reading into it. That's the
impression I got, and I agree that this is the case.
We give far too much attention to our thews, laws and standards.
They make up the context I mentioned. We are a people in
context, and that context is the body of laws and traditions we
These laws do not set us apart, as we've always been a people very much
involved in the world. We never had monks, as an example. We aren't afraid
of the world, warts and all. Let monks or Scientologists or some other
cultists withdraw into a self-sealing world of "purity".
Neither do these laws restrict us. They define us. We're the people
who invented lawsuits, trial by jury, and even the word "law",
after all. We are the people who view honor, family and our word in the
particular way we do. It defines us, therefore. There is opportunity in
chaos, but the Elders recognized that the most valuable citizen is not he
who had the strongest sword arm, but he who could mitigate conflict and work
toward civic peace.
This shows how valuable civic peace was regarded to be. Berserkers, after
all, were usually portrayed as bullies.
So, I value the law.