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Friday, January 25, 2008

Nine Noble Virtues -- Part One

Friday, January 25, 2008
My best friend is starting on a path in the Asatru tradition, which is a recreation of a religion from the writings of the ancient Norse. The Nine Noble Virtues are part of this religion. And while I am not currently interested in following this path, this creed of ethics appeals to me.
  1. Courage
  2. Truth
  3. Honor
  4. Fidelity
  5. Discipline
  6. Hospitality
  7. Industriousness
  8. Self-Reliance
  9. Perseverance
In this post I am going to cover just the first four of these virtues.
In Latin, the word cor is the root for the word coraticum which means heart. This is the known etymology for the word courage, which is also translated as with heart. So Courage is to "have heart". Now Courage can mean to be brave or can mean to face life head on with passion. To operate from the heart, seat of passion and love. But it also means to live your own life in the right way regardless of how others view you.
Truth probably sounds relatively easy. Tell no lies. But Truth means much more than that. I have found that it is easier to not tell lies when you don't do things that you feel that you have to lie about. In other words be honest with yourself, first and foremost. Truth is also about having the courage to always own up to what you did.
Honor is synonymous with the word respect. When you honor other people you express your feeling that the other person has earned your respect. All of the Nine Noble Virtues center around Honor. If you act with courage, tell the truth, are loyal to others, behave with discipline, are hospitable and industrious, rely on yourself to accomplish things, and persevere until you finish what you set out to do, you will certainly command honor from others. More important, if you live that way, you can honor and respect yourself as well and never need to be ashamed of what you have done. Honor means to respect others and their beliefs and also to demand Honor from others and defending others that are not treated honorably.
But most importantly having Honor is to fulfill the promises that you make. Sometimes that this may mean that you have to think before you act and speak.
Fidelity is just a fancy word for being faithful or loyal to a person or thing and to give them help when they need it. But not if that means that you violate one of the other eight virtues to give them that help. And to not ally yourself with some group or person that stands against your own ethics. Having Fidelity also means being faithful to yourself.

So Courage, Truth, Honor and Fidelity are the first four of the Nine Noble Virtues. Courage to do what is right, and to tell the Truth at all times, to be loyal to yourself and to others that are worthy of your respect. You may find, as I did, that you believe and practice and implement some of these things already in your day to day life.
I try my best to practice all nine of the Virtues and to pass them on to my children through example and spoken lessons.

Blessed Be!

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