In his book The Anglo-Saxons, author Marc Morris recounts one of Bede’s stories regarding ordinary folk. He describes how some monks were using rafts to move wood along the River Tyne when a sudden storm swept them out to sea. Other monks, watching from the monastery, were distressed; however, the peasants simply stood and jeered. Upon being rebuked, it is reported that the peasants replied, ‘Let the monks drown for they have robbed the people of their old ways of worship, and how the new worship is to be conducted, nobody knows!’ (Bede, Two Lives of St Cuthbert)
Few stories of the peasant class survive and recorded history tends towards such things as great battles, kings and queens, nobility and the decisions which shaped nations. However, we must realise that despite laws being enacted and the numerous new customs and ideas preached from the top down throughout the ages, the bulk of ordinary folk tended to be slower to change to these different ways.
One can imagine the aforementioned scene and certainly relate it to the common folk of today jeering a politician for being totally out of touch with the working people of our lands.
The rural mindset is that of the pagan and it is in tune with the cycles of the seasons and nature’s ways. Time moves more slowly in the countryside, and this can be seen in regards to the modern farmer, who even now regards the rules and regulations imposed upon him as something of a frustration.
Continuing my theme of looking inwards and fixing oneself before attempting to deal with the issues of the day, it can be very helpful to align with the rural mindset and make an effort not only to spend time outdoors but to read books which have an appreciation of nature at its core.
The poetry of the Englishman John Clare (1793–1864) is a wonderful place to begin such a journey. Often referred to as the ‘peasant poet’ (but not in a derogatory manner), Clare was a troubled man yet produced some of the most endearing poetry of the Romantic period.
Many of our folk who reside in the city will have a deep feeling of loathing for their immediate environment. Conversely, some of those who live in rural communities can easily forget to appreciate what they have on their doorstep.
Taking time to notice just what really matters is an important first step on the spiritual path. In meditation practice, we are taught to count breaths, from one to ten, and when the attention wanders from the sensation of the breath, we must notice that it has happened. Thus one sees the self as separate from the egotistical chattering monkey mind.
Too often, the city dweller rushes from one task to another and never really stops to notice anything. Some may pose a counter-argument and say they enjoy city life; however, this is clearly not how our ancestors lived and thus is not the right way to live in evolutionary terms. It may be fun at times, but it is not a healthy way to live.
The countryman stops for a while and considers a problem. Even the fictional Victorian city dweller Sherlock Holmes would encapsulate the rural pagan mindset and consider things over the smoking of a pipe… or two.
At this point, the reader may be thinking that yes, rural life sounds quaint and idyllic, yet we have many problems to face and how does all this aid our folk in this time of great crisis?
To this I say that the rural dweller was both a thinker and a man of action. In this corrupt modern age, the powers that be thrive when we act without proper consideration of the problem. They are easily able to get us fighting with each other, and either acting out of fear or not acting out of apathy. So by immersing ourselves in the ways of our ancestors, being in touch with the seasons and the environment, and coming to proper conclusions based on the natural order of things, we are better able to build resilience against the psy-ops which we are bombarded with daily.
For clarity, I should say that in times of crisis the differences of our folk should be put to one side where possible, provided a general ideology can be agreed upon. On one hand, we have a divide between Christians and Odinists, yet a deeper divide can be found between atheists and those with a belief in a higher power. Certainly this latter divide has been much exploited from 2020 onwards with science being the new god of the global elite. Indeed, even science has been exploited, for there are many ways to seek the truth and science per se is not the problem.
Adopt the rural mindset and not only will you find time between breaths to come to natural conclusions, you will also enjoy good health, become whole (waes thu hael) and genuinely enjoy your time spent in this realm.
Everyone always mentions that life moves more slowly in the countryside than in the city… but why does it move more slowly? It is a fact that, whether scything grass, or feeding the hogs, or leading sheep to a new lush green paddock, I always stop and observe more often. Take in the air. Notice a tree or a plant I hadn’t noticed before. It is a fact – an observable fact – that life moves more slowly in the countryside or even in small villages, yet I sometimes wonder why exactly.
It is because those who work in agriculture are forced to play the waiting game (crops to grow etc). This mindset is retained in the rural areas, although the modern influx of city folk can upset this balance. A wonderful book is ‘Akenfield’ by Ronald Blythe which is a recorded portrait of English village life shortly after the Second World War; all the local folk were interviewed and their take on life is fascinating.
Very powerful truth here!
Thank you. I believe we need less written laws and a deeper connection with who we are. This attunes us to what is right and wrong.