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Author Topic: Cultivating Ancient Values in the Modern World  (Read 11968 times)
darashand
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« Topic Start: October 28, 2009, 09:07:04 am »

According to imbas.com, the values of the celts are:

Honor
Justice
Honesty
Hospitality
Courage
Loyalty

I'm going to speculate a bit here, so bear with me  Tongue

When I think in terms of the ancients mindframe of honor, I think of putting an enemies head on a pike.  This would give much honor to the warrior and also serve as justice and courage.  Today, I don't think people would appreciate having their heads on pikes, no matter how difficult they are to get along with.  So, in today's world, what's considered to be honorable?  Courageous? 

And where do we define the lines between being good host/esses without being taken advantage of?  How are we to be hospitable? 

How do we apply ancient principles to our modern life (the blanket question Smiley )
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« Reply #1: October 28, 2009, 11:16:39 am »

When I think in terms of the ancients mindframe of honor, I think of putting an enemies head on a pike.  This would give much honor to the warrior and also serve as justice and courage.  Today, I don't think people would appreciate having their heads on pikes, no matter how difficult they are to get along with. 
Pikes can be verbal.  They can also come in the form of higher moral ground (remaining calm whilst your enemy hangs himself is a favorite of mine).  Wink

Quote
So, in today's world, what's considered to be honorable?  Courageous?
 
Generally speaking, I think you know when you get there.  Doing the honorable and courageous thing doesn't always make you popular, either.

Quote
And where do we define the lines between being good host/esses without being taken advantage of?  How are we to be hospitable? 
Same as everyone else.  Choose your house guests wisely.  Be honest (but diplomatic) when you feel taken advantage of. 

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« Reply #2: October 29, 2009, 01:32:30 am »

When I think in terms of the ancients mindframe of honor, I think of putting an enemies head on a pike.  This would give much honor to the warrior and also serve as justice and courage.  Today, I don't think people would appreciate having their heads on pikes, no matter how difficult they are to get along with.  So, in today's world, what's considered to be honorable? 

Well, I'm fairly sure the ancients didn't appreciated having their heads put on pikes either, but you were probably less likely to get into serious trouble for it  Tongue [/silly]

When it comes to honour, I generally think in terms of selfishness and kindness - One important trait for the Celts (I think, according to my little reading.  Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, in fact I'd be glad to know whether this is right or not) was honesty.  So thinking about lying, it's dishonourable because you use it to selfish ends, sometimes at the expense of others.  Basically, something is dishonourable if it aids you at other's expense.  Aiding you without harming others is OK, but aiding both yourself and others is better.  Aiding others at your expense is honourable, but there's a line where "honourable" is outweighed by "suicidal".  It's still honourable, it's just kinda stupid, too, past that point.

It's all about attitude, really, in my opinion.  If you have the attitude towards life and others that the Celts had, then putting heads on pikes isn't so necessary (although in some cases, it can be tempting.  But we learn not to listen to those voices, don't we?  Roll Eyes )
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« Reply #3: October 29, 2009, 03:35:45 am »

When I think in terms of the ancients mindframe of honor, I think of putting an enemies head on a pike.  This would give much honor to the warrior and also serve as justice and courage.
Hm. I don't know what the ancient found honourable...

Personally the concept of "honour" is very important for me, but I connect it with "honesty". (It doesn't prove a point, but it works in German, too: "Ehre" honour and "Ehrlichkeit" honesty.)

The word "Ehre" has a strange taste in Germany -- and also with certain people from other countries, who eg. beat their girlfriend up, coz she talked to long to another guy. So I think it's high time to redefine the concept.
There is nothing honourable about killing s/o, imo. It is honourable to stay true to one's core -- which can also mean to walk a crooked way in reality.

Ok, this is a loaded subject for me, I have thought about it a lot, and unfortunately that makes it specially hard for me to write about it (and in English)...

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« Reply #4: October 29, 2009, 04:30:17 pm »



I think I know what you mean.

The word 'honour' has been misused in our history and is misused in some societies that connect the word to how good they're able to control their women.

Problem is, that 'honour' has no definiton that is universally valid.
I'm a lot like you there, I'm connecting it to honesty. And to being true to yourself.
Having courage to stand up for what you think is right.

In a nutshell: to be able to look yourself into the eyes, while brushing your teeth in the morning.

But what gives one this feeling, can (and must?) be different for each and every person.
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« Reply #5: October 29, 2009, 05:32:57 pm »

I think I know what you mean.

The word 'honour' has been misused in our history and is misused in some societies that connect the word to how good they're able to control their women.

Problem is, that 'honour' has no definiton that is universally valid.
I'm a lot like you there, I'm connecting it to honesty. And to being true to yourself.
Having courage to stand up for what you think is right.

In a nutshell: to be able to look yourself into the eyes, while brushing your teeth in the morning.

But what gives one this feeling, can (and must?) be different for each and every person.

To me 'being able to look yourself in the eye' is the essence of ethics and morality.  If you can't, wtf are you up to?
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« Reply #6: November 03, 2009, 08:49:06 am »

According to imbas.com, the values of the celts are:

Honor
Justice
Honesty
Hospitality
Courage
Loyalty

I'm going to speculate a bit here, so bear with me  Tongue

When I think in terms of the ancients mindframe of honor, I think of putting an enemies head on a pike.  This would give much honor to the warrior and also serve as justice and courage.  Today, I don't think people would appreciate having their heads on pikes, no matter how difficult they are to get along with.  So, in today's world, what's considered to be honorable?  Courageous? 

And where do we define the lines between being good host/esses without being taken advantage of?  How are we to be hospitable? 

How do we apply ancient principles to our modern life (the blanket question Smiley )


Sigh.
 
Ok Honor to the ancients was more than winnuing a fight and taking a head. That was more Crogacht (Ferocity) than Ionriacas (integrity). Now mind you I am comming at this from a Gaelocentric POV Wink
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« Reply #7: November 03, 2009, 04:21:03 pm »

Sigh.
 
Ok Honor to the ancients was more than winnuing a fight and taking a head. That was more Crogacht (Ferocity) than Ionriacas (integrity). Now mind you I am comming at this from a Gaelocentric POV Wink

So, explain...what does it mean?  How would it apply to our modern world?
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« Reply #8: November 07, 2009, 08:44:29 pm »

But what gives one this feeling, can (and must?) be different for each and every person.

And that's the curse of ethics. More often than not it's extremely personal and extremely specific. Sometimes it's in agreement with the prevailing culture, and sometimes it's not. And then, too, you can take narrow and broad views of culture, too.

So modern ideas of what is honorable, even looking at it from a Celtic perspective, is going to vary from group to group and person to person.

To me, being honorable means keeping your word. Not making promises you can't keep. Living within the laws of your society. Doing what needs to be done because it needs to be done (and not for personal glory or revenge). Keeping the rites of your Gods, looking after your chosen kin, etc. All that is honorable to me.

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« Reply #9: November 09, 2009, 03:20:21 pm »

And that's the curse of ethics. More often than not it's extremely personal and extremely specific. Sometimes it's in agreement with the prevailing culture, and sometimes it's not. And then, too, you can take narrow and broad views of culture, too.

Seconded. That is the truth and always have been.

To me, being honorable means keeping your word. Not making promises you can't keep. Living within the laws of your society. Doing what needs to be done because it needs to be done (and not for personal glory or revenge). Keeping the rites of your Gods, looking after your chosen kin, etc. All that is honorable to me.

*nod-nod* This belongs to being honorable for me too. Although already with the point 'laws of the society' one can start to see differences.
Some things are law, but not just. And there things start to get complicated.
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« Reply #10: November 09, 2009, 04:04:59 pm »



In a nutshell: to be able to look yourself into the eyes, while brushing your teeth in the morning.



Honour CAN be about being able to look yourself in the mirror, especially in modern times, but in ancient times, honour was very much about saving face, and how you were percieved by your peers, and even your enemies.

It was not so much about doing the "right" thing as about doing that which would win you points in the honour game. A father dishonoured by his child may actually honourably kill that child. Obviously by our view, not the "right" thing to do, but right and perhaps even necessary by the standards of the society where honour determined your place in the pecking order.

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« Reply #11: November 10, 2009, 03:20:54 am »

Honour CAN be about being able to look yourself in the mirror, especially in modern times, but in ancient times, honour was very much about saving face, and how you were percieved by your peers, and even your enemies.

It was not so much about doing the "right" thing as about doing that which would win you points in the honour game. A father dishonoured by his child may actually honourably kill that child. Obviously by our view, not the "right" thing to do, but right and perhaps even necessary by the standards of the society where honour determined your place in the pecking order.

Teri

Well, see? That's the reason we are so glad we're not living in ancient times anymore. Wink
Neither I care for putting the heads of my enemies over my front door.

Back to being serious.
The honour-killing of a daughter strayed from the 'right' ways, seems still acceptable in some societies.
In Germany there's currently a case in court.

And all of this (sorry I'm in a rush and may not be coherent now) is one of the reasons I'm not so fond of the 'reconstruction' idea.
We are not the ancient peoples. We live in different societies, we learned different things and so on.

Sometimes I see (generally speaken, not aiming at someone here) glorification of the 'old' ways, the 'ancient' people and so on. As if they've been holy or something. They were not. And most people I know give a pretty damn about what others think about them - so no saving face there.
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« Reply #12: November 10, 2009, 11:06:42 am »

Well, see? That's the reason we are so glad we're not living in ancient times anymore. Wink
Neither I care for putting the heads of my enemies over my front door.

Back to being serious.
The honour-killing of a daughter strayed from the 'right' ways, seems still acceptable in some societies.
In Germany there's currently a case in court.

And all of this (sorry I'm in a rush and may not be coherent now) is one of the reasons I'm not so fond of the 'reconstruction' idea.
We are not the ancient peoples. We live in different societies, we learned different things and so on.

Sometimes I see (generally speaken, not aiming at someone here) glorification of the 'old' ways, the 'ancient' people and so on. As if they've been holy or something. They were not. And most people I know give a pretty damn about what others think about them - so no saving face there.

Honor today cannot be the same as honor in ancient times, however, it does still exist, and merely has changed to reflect current standards. 

I definitely give a damn what others think of me.  I don't wish to be ostracized by my community.  I don't wish to be thought of poorly.  Thus, I must behave in a manner that is honorable by today's standards in my society.

Taking the old ideals and bringing them forward requires conscientious thought about how to take the root ideal and fit it to the world in which we live.  While our reactions may differ, and what we ourselves consider acceptable may not be the same as the ancients' beliefs, there are some things which are fairly constant.

If someone breaks into our home and attacks our family, we are still expected to respond to that in an honorable fashion.  In ancient times that would have required hunting down and killing the assailant.  Today it means helping the authorities to track them down and punish them by rule of law.  Same root, different approaches, but in order to save face, we must do our best to bring the wrong-doer to justice- the root of honor.

I look at reconstruction as rebuilding and improving upon something with a good, sound foundation.  The improvements are to make it work better today.  If I were going to build a Victorian style home today, I wouldn't build one exactly as the Victorians did, obviously.  I would install modern electrical and water services, I would make subtle changes to make the house work for a modern life.  Reconstruction of the ancient value sets demands no less from us.  If we are to rebuild them, we must evaluate how best to do so in light of life NOW. 

One last comparison:  A couple generations ago it was typical for a daughter who got pregnant to be sent away to birth the child and put it up for adoption or to be forced into marriage with the father of the child.  Today our culture doesn't demand these things.  The girl will not be outcast in the community to the same degree, because we've changed our attitude as a society towards the issue.  The dishonor to the family isn't the same now as it was just 30 years ago.  We have had to adapt our response to this to better reflect how our society feels about unwed mothers, haven't we?  There is still some stigma attached to the situation, but our response is no longer to hide the situation or pretend that the baby came early (at 8#6...), but rather to push our girls to finish their educations and tend their children well on their own.  We still hold an ideal order of marriage/sex/babies, but the dishonor of getting those out of order isn't so great as to push a family to disown their daughter, force her to marry or send her and her child away.  Now the honor price in the USA and most Western cultures,is that the girl must drive herself to do better for herself and her child or she will be seen in a poor light by her social group.

Doing the honorable thing today isn't the same as it was 30 years ago, let alone 300 years ago or 3000 years ago.  It can't be.  We don't live in that time and place, we have different societal needs, so our values must reflect the here and now, even while honoring the then and there in spirit.

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« Reply #13: November 10, 2009, 12:53:03 pm »

According to imbas.com, the values of the celts are:

Honor
Justice
Honesty
Hospitality
Courage
Loyalty



How do we apply ancient principles to our modern life (the blanket question Smiley )

  I personally find it difficult to consider these traits separately because for me, there is a great deal of overlap.  An example might be....If your wife was insulted by someone.  Out of loyalty and a sense of justice you would be inclined to act, and it might take courage to act knowing what the results of your actions would be.   The only difference between past and present is that 2000 years ago you might kill the person and today you might respond verbally and sever all contact with that person unless an apology was made
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« Reply #14: November 10, 2009, 01:35:50 pm »

The only difference between past and present is that 2000 years ago you might kill the person and today you might respond verbally and sever all contact with that person unless an apology was made

Or that today your wife might answer the insult herself, without requiring you to do anything except cheer her on.

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