A Quest for Wisdom and Balance
by Douglas "Dag" Rossman
This article first appeared in Scandinavian Press, Vancouver, B.C. (American offices in Blaine, WA),
Reproduced here with permission of the author and Scandinavian Press.
In seeking to develop a personal philosophy that is both emotionally and intellectually satisfying, many of us shallow-rooted European-Americans have been drawn to the world views expressed by Native Americans or peoples of the Far East. Appealing as this approach may be, it is very difficult for most people to become completely attuned to a cultural heritage that is not their own. While one can respect and admire "the Other," most of us will always remain to some extent an outsider, a visitor in someone else's culture. The sense of truly belonging that we all crave continues to elude us.
Fortunately for people of Nordic descent, there is an ancient world view that is ours to claim by right of heritage -- a philosophy as noble and earth-healing as those of the Far East or Native America. And it is not dead; it has only been forgotten for a time by many of its children. To begin recovering this world view requires that we re-familiarize ourselves with Nordic mythology. The Norse myths are peopled with all sorts of fantastic beings - gods and giants, elves and dwarves and of course dragons! But wemust avoid the mistake of not taking these tales seriously. If we pay close attention to what the stories are saying, we'll learn a great deal about what our ancestors thought wasreally important in life...and just what they felt it meant to be a human being. By exploring these myths we will come to better understand our ancestors and, hopefully, ourselves.