On the Power of Words and Thoughts

One of the ways in which mankind differs from the animal kingdom is in the ability to use verbal communication in the form of language. Animals do have the ability to communicate through sounds and gestures as we do, but they lack the capability to form abstract concepts that may have no immediate relevance to daily life. The fact that we can assign meaning to things which do not actually exist in the physical world means that we can create social structures and beliefs around ideas rather than simply what we experience trying to survive. This is the gift that we have been given by Wotan, and it is intended to allow us to work God’s will on Earth in accordance with our own ways of being. Both stories and theoretical concepts allow us to communicate to others how we can go about enacting divine order in our societies and think about how we can better ourselves and the world around us. Unfortunately, this gift may also be used to mislead and confuse, and not only is this the case with others who propagate certain ideas, but we can also confuse ourselves when we adopt a set of values or beliefs that are not based in reality and exist only within our minds.

It is for this reason that it is important not to attach too much significance to ideas and treat them as if they are physical things, for then they can become more significant in society than actual issues in life. For this reason, I do not fear the ideas of others, though I may fear them for what they do as a result of those ideas. It is in this sense that the action is to be distinguished from thought, as one’s own set of beliefs and values may change as do the actions which are a result of those. However, a set of behaviours and actions cannot be changed so easily, and if a negative pattern has been established in one’s life or in society as a whole, it requires physical effort rather than simply a change of focus, although that is an important first step. Though I myself like to use various ‘isms’ to describe certain beliefs and thought-patterns amongst certain groups of people, they are only there as a collection of related concepts and not fixed entities. Words may change their meaning depending on the context, and this is one way in which those trained in verbal parlance may use them to influence others.

No one person has a monopoly on the meaning of an idea, even if they coined the term themselves. It all depends on a mixture of common understanding and personal interpretation. For example, the term ‘libertarianism’ is generally agreed upon to represent a belief in the preference for a state of individual liberty and freedom, and emphasizes individual rights which tend to override governmental authority. While the government is deemed necessary, it should ideally be there to safeguard the rights of the people that it governs and to function with minimal levels of interference with personal freedom. However, things get a little more complicated if you consider ‘libertarianism’ as an ideology. It does not have any fixed approach to an economic system (though many self-proclaimed libertarians favour free-market capitalism) and neither does it promise a specific model for how to run a society. It is simply concerned with the interaction between the individual and the state, and represents a general set of principles based on this. This is in contrast to ‘authoritarianism’ where the rights of the state override the rights of the individual and also to ‘identitarianism’, where the ethnic identity of a nation is deemed more important than either the individual or the state.

Despite the less rigid concepts applied to these terms, they can still be moulded into specific forms and used as an ideology. In several Western countries there are political groups known as the ‘Libertarian Party’, though they may have different policies and approaches to the libertarian worldview. In this way, such a concept refers to a general attitude rather than a specific set of ideas which are exclusive to libertarianism. It works the same way with any sort of ideology, since they are all open to individual interpretation and understanding, even if they attempt to form a solid form for the sake of promoting a specific set of ideas. It is worth not getting too bound up in attaching inflexible ideas to a particular concept and understand that the meaning of a word may change over time. A good example would be the term ‘gay’, which originally meant something like ‘giddiness’ and changed its meaning to refer to homosexuals. Even more recently, it has come to mean something more akin to ‘weak’ or ‘disappointing’, which shows how a word may change its meaning when applied to something that shares some of the same qualities as the previous meaning.

If you were to ignore the more recent change of meaning of the word ‘gay’ and would only take it to refer to a homosexual (or even the earlier meaning), this may be at odds with the understanding of the word that was held by somebody else and could potentially lead to misunderstanding and conflict. Thus, it is more important to understand an individual’s own definition of a label if they apply it to themselves rather than one’s own definition. Many religions and political ideologies have variation of definition within their own circles, though they will maintain their cohesiveness if they are based on shared interests rather than individual preferences. To get the gist of what somebody else says is more important than one particular word or idea that they use to describe something. Similarly, if we attempt to stick to one particular set of principles without considering whether it actually suits our authentic self or not, then this can cause us to become confused and do things which we would rather not. The most important thing is what something means to you, though you should make sure that it is appropriate and not liable to be misunderstood at the same time. Labels are merely signposts to describe the contents of a set of ideas, but the labels themselves do not exist in physical reality.

Though there is probably a place from which we derive our inspiration and ideals, those ideas can only manifest in the material realm with willpower and a sense of being grounded in reality, though not so grounded that we lose touch with the transcendental reality from which we derive our thoughts. It is my belief that thoughts exist in the mental space, but that they derive from each of the Nine Worlds, thereby opening up mankind to influence from divine, natural and demonic entities. Our own intuition can help to guide us to know what voices should and should not be listened to. Some of these voices may come from others who have either inspired or abused us, but it is necessary to distinguish between one’s own inner voice and those from outside, even though it is good to be open to other people’s ideas. Words should be used to enlighten rather than enslave, and it is better not to expect that they may be relied on in the place of action. Likewise, they should never be seen on the same level as actions, as words are only effective if they can influence the will of a man and thus cause him to act, but in such an instance it is the action which is more important.

Wulf Willelmson

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