Saturday, December 1, 2007

"HEROISM" By Ron McVan

"HEROISM" By Ron McVan

The words over which men fight and die are the coins of politics whereby much usage they are soiled and by much manipulating debased. That has evidently been the fate of the word "freedom", it has come to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. Men, woman, races, governments, social, economic and religious groups all have idealistic views of what they perceive as true freedom, few of which coincides with the others. Freedom is not a commodity that can be bought and paid for. It is ever elusive, not unlike the words "security" or "peace", for there is nothing secure in the entire universe and peace is more often just wishful thinking. We are grasping at phantoms, illusions---clutched for a brief, fleeting instant, then they are gone. Endless battles have been fought for freedom, millions upon millions have given their lives for it, all knowing that life without freedom is not worth the living.

The specter of freedom hangs like the proverbial carrot at the end of our road---it becomes our focus, our prize. Yes indeed, here is a noble heritage, the very essence of the heroic quest. We must know it well if we are not to lose it, as there are always active forces at work to deprive us of it.

There are fundamentally three basic categories of man: The higher mind thinks ideas, the average mind thinks current events and the small mind thinks personalities. The hero, however, is in a category above the three aforementioned levels; his ideas become his ideals to which he is willing to sacrifice his very life, if necessary, to make a significant change in the interest of the common good.

The hero is not a selfish man; he is motivated by his ideals for the betterment of his people and the world, coupled with an inner sense of destiny. Ancestral legends, divine ethnic gods, family and folk and the absolute God of creation are the well-spring from which the hero draws his strength, determination and inspiration. Not all heroes are appreciated in their time, but no great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men who arise here and there amongst an ever widening sea of great scoundrels.

It is the duty of all races to keep the legend of their greatest heroes alive for posterity, for in so doing the people and the culture which defines them remains strong and vibrant.

Although it is not always necessary to relinquish one's own life to become a hero, let us consider for a moment an example of the brave self-sacrifice of such a man. In 1386 Arnold von Winkelried was an unknown Swiss peasant, but he became a great hero that year in a single battle with the Austrians at Sempach.

With the death of King Charles IV the reins of power were assumed by King Wenceslaus, a fledging youth of seventeen. It was not long after this juncture that Leopold of Austria, whom Wenceslaus had appointed governor of several free cities, undertook to promote the interests of the House of Hapsburg by seizing the cantons of Switzerland. The Swiss, who were at that time supported by the free cities of Suabia, did not intend to give up freedom and liberty without a fight---no matter what the odds.

Leopold committed to enforce his pretensions by an invasion of the country. In 1386 he marched an army of four thousand well-armed soliers and knights into the Swiss cantons. Against this formidable force the mountaineers were able to assemble thirteen hundred men, and even these were without experience in war, being farmers, fishermen and herdsmen armed with pikes and battle axes. The two armies met in the pass of Sempach, and never did the probability of victory incline more strongly to one of the contending forces than now to the side of Austria.

Such are the desperate moments in history that make heroes of men. It was at that time that Arnold von Winkelried stepped forth with a resolution which would forfeit his life, but could just possibly save his country and his people. He was well aware that the lines of Leopold's army would be nothing short of a solid wall of steel. Implementing a battle tactic of his Viking ancestors, he bade the Swiss to draw together in the shape of a wedge or triangle. He then devised that with himself as point-man and his countrymen behind him he would hurl himself upon the bristling lances of the enemy and thereby create the necessary opening in the enemy flanks.

The crucial moment was now at hand and the armies sallied forth into battle. Arnold von Winkelried, with the valiant heart that has made his name immortal, rushed forward from the ranks of his countrymen, and with the wild cry, "Make way for Liberty!", threw himself upon the forest of Austrian spears. With extended arms he swept twelve of the deadly lances in his grasp. Into the small breach thus made in the enemy lines the Swiss in turn lunged themselves headlong through with a valor worthy of their leader. They hewed right and left, and the strong Knights of Leopold fell prostrate under the tremendous crushing blows of the rude Swiss battle axes. The gap was widened and the whole force of mountaineers rushed through to victory. Leopold and seven hundred of his leading Knights were slain. The rest were turned to flight and scattered in all directions. The battle was decisive and preserved the much cherished freedom of the Swiss mountain people.

We must always remember that it was the hearty pagan spirit of these woodland folk that fueled them with the will to meet seemingly insurmountable challenges. A common cause can galvanize a people for a moment, but it is from their indigenous Gods, legends and heroes by which they draw the deepest and most heroic courage and will power.

The Celtic historian and essayist Thomas Carlyle made this salient comment on the Aryan Teutonic God Wotan in his essay titled "The Hero As Divinity"; "Wotan's creed, if we disentangle the real kernal of it, is true to this hour. A man shall and must be valiant; he must march forward, and quit himself like a man---thrusting imperturbably in the appointment and choice of upper powers; and, on the whole, not fear at all. Now and always, the completeness of his victory over fear will determine how much of a man he is."

Further Carlyle states: "Intrinsically, I conjecture, this Wotan must have been of the same sort of stuff as the greatest kind of men. A great thought in the wild deep heart of him! The rough words he articulated, are they not the rudimental roots of those English words we still use? He worked so, in that obscure element. But he was as light kindled in it; a light of intellect, rude Nobleness of heart. The only kind of lights we have yet; a Hero, as I say: and he had to shine there and make his obscure element a little lighter,---as is still the task of us all.

We will fancy him to be the type Norseman; the finest Teuton whom that race had yet produced. The rude Norse heart burst up into boundless admiration round him; into adoration. He is as a rout of so many great things; the fruit of him is found growing, from deep thousands of years, over the whole field of Teutonic life. Our own Wednesday, as I said, is it not still Wotan's Day? Wedensbury, Wansborough, Wanstead, Wandsworth: Wotan grew into England too, these are still leaves from the root! He was the Chief God to all the Teutonic peoples; their pattern Norseman;---in such way did they admire their pattern Norseman; that was the fortune he had in the world."

The spector of Wotan has been known to appear visually through the course of history to Aryan warriors in battle. The Saxo Grammaticus speaks of one such occurrence during the great battle between the Danes and Swedes at Bravalla, East Gotland. The former under King Harold Hildetand and the latter commanded in person by King Sigurd Ring. In this terrific engagement a score of tributary Kings participated with an aggregate force on both sides of more than 200,000 men and 5,000 ships. Ring proved the victor and Harold was killed with 30,000 of his men.

"But, the man who can most truly be accounted brave is
he who best knows the meaning of what is sweet in life
and of what is terrible, and then goes out undeterred to
meet what is to come." ..........................Pericles

Do the Gods and ancestral spirits watch over man? Do the Gods and ancestral spirits guide and weave the historic course of man? These questions still remain a mystery to many, but to the hero there remains no question---he follows the voices as he follows his heart. And while others debate and accomplish nothing worthy in life, he busies himself with the task of making history and defending truth with unwavering valor worthy of the divine spirits that move him.
The consummate critic will deny that the gods exist based on the premise that they have never seen one. Look into the eyes and
soul of a "real" hero........There you will see them!


Blessed is the man of strong ambition, Who meets each
challenge, Each deed and mission. No canyon no sea nor
highest hill, Could ever divert his iron will.

He does not whine, Or brood and fret, His mind is sure, His
goals are set. And when it seems like hope is gone, He
shoulders up, And forges on.

The lesser man will mock and shame, And vilify, His noble
name. Yet never does he pay them heed, His thoughts
affixed, On worthy deeds.

Wife and family, Folk and soil, The shining stars, Of his work
and toil, For things as these, He'll fight or die, With raging fury
in his eye.

He pays no mind to phony wars, Nor politics, On foreign
shores, Equality' democracy' Just empty words, Hypocrisy!

The winds do blow, The tides may rise, And each day he does
realize, Driven by the will to be, The Norn's have planned, His

Within him stirs the might of Thor, And in time, He'll pass
Valhalla's door, And stand with pride, With courage and right,
And ride with Wotan for many a night.

For in life, So swift, He lived his best, And like heroes, Of
legend, He passed the test. Never turning the other cheek,
To love your enemy, Is to make you weak, For if all men
lived as cowards do, There would be no race, No me and you.

When species live, As they are meant to be, That is the true
diversity. Say what they will of freedom's plight. When it all
comes down, It's Might is Right!

Life can be hard and life can be hell, But no man fears
death, Who lives life well. False pleasures and comforts
will get you by, Yet wretched is the man, Who lives a lie.

So honor those men, The bold and the wise, Who do not
scorn or criticize. They are the ones, That the rabble detest,
But they are the ones whom our Gods love best!

.............................Ron McVan

"SONS OF ALBION" P.O. Box 422 Butte, MT. 59703

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