The great dharma wheel is nothing more complex than that. The big mystery in life is that there is no mystery.
This is the rune othila, also known as odal. It is the symbol of inheritance, legacy, tradition, family and nation. Collectively, these all fall under the category of what’s mine.
We are often very much absorbed in considering how to get things that fall into the category of what is not yet mine, and this struggle can be very frustrating. One of the major reasons this effort can be so hard, I think, is reflected in this rune.
How many people, would you say, try to do their best with what they have in the place they are?
I don’t know about other people, but I do.
How often do you hear sentiments like “If only I were rich… If only I were smarter… If I were younger…”
All the time. It’s common. Those ideas are the opposite of this rune.
Our ancestors used to be very concerned with what they felt to be the natural order of things. This had both positive and negative aspects, but they were very much invested in their peoples culture and tradition. Before our modern era of seeking first personal advancement and then maybe to help society at large, during what could be called the tribal age, prosperity itself was seen as the outcome of community unity. Villages could live or die based not on what any single person did or could do, but instead by the rules and social expectations that were held in common, understood to be the norm. Would you say we have that today?
Today it’s all about being ‘self made.’
In the tribal age, the gains of a hunt were not for a single person to keep, or even a small group. They were for the tribe, the clan, the extended family. It was seen as the hunter’s duty, and there was no distinction between legal and spiritual, to hunt and return with the kill to feed their people. Just as it was seen as the warriors duty to gather with the others of his tribe when enemies encroached on their territory, anything else was in a sense a very real and immediate betrayal. They knew that their failure to drive off or defeat the enemy in their lands could end with their parent’s spouses and children all killed or enslaved. What do we fight for today? Does anyone really know?
This rune both symbolizes what is yours, and what you belong to as well. Is there any separation? Do you work for your car or does your car work for you? Is the difference clear?
Transitive property of possession? Explain? It’s probably the wrong term. Oh, I suspect your are correct. You own something, something else owns you. Therefore, your possessions are owned by that which owns you. Ah, other than you are owned by the thing that you own. You have ideas, but do they not also have you as well? You have principles, but who really has what there? What is the difference between what you think and do, and who you are?
I think my beliefs have me. Do you find yourself free to make a completely new decision whenever you have the chance to?
No, and if I could freely do it, I would choose different beliefs to alter who I am.
I think a person’s beliefs and actions define them as a person, not what they own. Well, they own their body and mind, but even in a scientific sense it can be argued they inherited that from their parents, and from the parents before them. It’s even been said that all you really own is yourself, because everything else has someone else who can call on you to surrender it to them. The whole right of eminent domain being one example. But does nature not also have a right of eminent domain over even your body and mind? Otherwise, why do people die? Or get sick?
What, in your mind, is there only because you yourself authored it? What thought has no root in the rest of your learning and experience?
Can you think without experience? Ah, I would say not, because you always have first the experience of self. Self awareness. They call that meta-cognition. The knowing that you are thinking while you are thinking.
Any questions about the rune of inheritance so far? Comments?
It feels like it’s about getting a grip on ourselves?
It is about what owns us, and we own. It looks like a fish swimming for the surface.
Perhaps an interesting coincidence, it fills the same space in the runic alphabet as our letter o, and while we use the symbol 0 to mean nothing or having nothing, this symbol represents everything. All you own and all you are.
I have healing runes and that symbol is grief. Ah, the symbols have been used for a variety of reasons, and in Buddhists thinking the origin of all suffering stems from what we cling to, what we try to possess.
So, let’s look at the sandwich while you are hungry. It first seems that you just simply have a sandwich, yes? That you could do whatever you want with that sandwich, but can you really?
Until you realize it’s half gone. Because you automatically, habitually, started eating. You don’t have to think about that do you? Are you really the one doing the eating? Do you eat food or does food create you? Taken from a strictly experiential point of view.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.