Chapter 10. The Death of Sinfjotli
In our last two installments, we explored the fascinating digression – the “saga within the saga” – that is the story of Helgi. (more…)
7. Concluding Reflections
I turn now to some thoughts on how the foregoing treatment of the influence of the past on the present ought to affect our own present, when we finish this essay and return to the real world.
It is a well-known fact that our ancestors acted with awareness of membership in the clan: trying to be worthy of their own ancestors, and not to disgrace them. (more…)
6. The Presence of the Past: A View from the Margins of Science
Some of the above remarks might suggest that we should interpret the Germanic hamingja–fylgja teaching as a mythic, symbolic, or even superstitious way of understanding the phenomenon of inheritance – something our ancestors relied upon because they did not have the modern science of genetics. (more…)
Having now discussed the clannic being of the individual purely in philosophical terms, I now turn to a consideration of the treatment of this idea in the Germanic tradition.
The first thing we must note is what can be called the “primacy of the past” in that tradition. (more…)
This essay presents an “ontology of the individual.” The theory is new, though it has very old roots. “Ontology” is the branch of philosophy that studies being-as-such, or “being as being,” as Aristotle expressed it. My argument is that the being of an individual person is bound up with that individual’s relation to his family or clan. (more…)