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cultural bkgd

cultural bkgd

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Uncovering the Effects of Cultural Backgroundon the Reconstruction of Ancient Worldviews
Bil Linzie8th March 2004
Contents
1 Introduction 22 Classifying Modern Heathens by Group Intention 43 A Brief History of the Development of Conversion Techniques 104 Continuence of the Conversion Process in the United States 14
4.1 Urbanization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154.2 Urbanization as a Catalyst for Christianization . . . . . . . . . . 184.3 Dening Worldview and Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214.4 The Final Move towards World-Rejection . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
5 Breaking Out of the Cultural Catch-22 34
5.1 Finding a Starting Point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345.2 Creating A New Feedback Cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385.3 The Role of Spiritual Need . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 455.4 Questioning One’s Own Worldview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6 Conclusion 687 Bibliography 69
Abstract
This paper looks at some of the problems inherent in the reconstruct-ing of ancient worldviews by focusing on the Germanic Reconstructionistmovement. Specifically, many of the problems revolve around the ideathat modern interpretive efforts are complicated by the fact that mostreconstructionists have been borne into and raised within an urban envi-ronment where the philosphy of life is based on the herd mentality anda world-rejecting spiritual outlook which interferes with the ability to in-vestigate the ancient worldviews objectively. By being able to isolate andidentify these cultural filters, one may choose to broaden the scope of his
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interpretive powers which may then result in more accurate reconstruc-tions than have been previously available.
1 Introduction
First, this paper is about worldviews and how they function in our lives. Modernheathenry, that is, ancient worldviews, in general, is a central theme, but it isnot the main focus. It was chosen as the central theme for a large number of reasons but the main reason is that modern heathenry, i.e. a way of living basedon the philosophical ideals and cosmology of the Viking Age Germanic peoples,is of special interest to the the author and has been for many decades. The thesisis worldview and, interestingly, Germanic heathenry was not the author’s firstencounter with the necessity of shifting from normal modern thought processesto a completely different way to view, to think about, to describe and thenproceed to solve problems utilizing a system completely foreign to him; themedical field was the initiatory phase.In 1995, the author as part of a team effort at a state funded hospital decidedto investigate the feasibility of utilizing diagnostic techniques and treatmentmethods associated with Galenic medicine, i.e., medicine as practiced duringthe Middle-Ages in Europe and used as the standard form of medicine untilclose to the end of the 19th century. The rationale for the decision was simpleÆthe hospital treatment team in long-term care needed diagnostic and treatmentprocedures so that problems of the digestive system including swallowing couldbe handled efficiently and be of the greatest benefit to the patient and it wasknown to several members on the team that “medieval medicine” had beenvery effective in this area. The team based its decision on the following list of assumptions:1. Texts on the history of medicine are all in general agreement that Galenicmedical practitioners knew much about digestion and the treatment of digestion through diet modification, in fact, almost all medical treatmentfor any form of disease was primarily “through the stomach.”2. Diagnostic procedures should be realtively simple based on a “simplifiedversion of urinalysis” and a simplified version of a physical examinationsince these procedures had been developed and refined in a “pre-scientific”era.3. Diagnoses themselves would of necessity be simple, straightforward de-scriptions of the symptomology at hand and since they were no longerconsidered “medical diagnoses” the nursing and rehab staffs should be ableto utilize them specifically for swallowing and digestive tract difficulties.4. Treatment should be within the scope of any kitchen food and diet modi-fications were the primary forms of treatment.2
 
The team agreed to meet in two weeks for the preliminary report and beginwork on a plan design. Two years later, the second meeting had only been half done: the preliminary report had been given. Work on plan design never cameto fruition, at least not with the “treatment team”The initial researchers dwindled down to two and eventually became one.Assumption #1 above had been found to be correct but numbers 2, 3, and 4were within the initial two weeks found to be completely incorrect. Medicalpractitioners were indeed trained highly on the digestive tract and treatment(often very effective) was primarily through this system. However, unbeknownstto any team member during the first meeting, these medical practitioners notonly had science, a scientific method for approaching problems and suggestingsolutions, but they also had a very well developed sense of anatomy, physiology,metabolics, urology, phlebology and were able to use their “science” to generatecomplex diagnoses for complex disorders. Two years later, one of the originalteam members was able to apply this ancient science to the original task of “dietmodification” with great success. This final team member continues to utilizethese methods on the job and continues studies in this particular field of science,not so much because there is so much more to learn in the field (which thereis) but because the ongoing clash of the two systems continues to reveal to himmore and more about the inner workings of his own mind.The application of Galenic medicine in the modern era is extremely difficult.Diagnoses must be “translated” into modern terminology, which is not impossiblealbeit somewhat difficult, but the justifications necessary to modern hospitalsettings are almost if not completely impossible. Talking about humours andthe proper movements of humours–normal and abnormal, temperaments andfaculties of organs, faculties–animal, vital and natural, radical moisture andinnate heat which need to be balanced through the four administering virtues of attraction, retention and expulsion. The problem, however, is not the system; infact, if anything, the system works great. It is very logical leads to very specificdiagnoses and very specific treatments which rarely fail to produce the desiredresults. The clash of the two completely systems is very difficult to resolve.It is a rare individual who can suppress 9 years of training in a modern sci-entific field and all the while suppressing a lifetime of information regarding howdiseases are caused, passed on, treated and or prevented, one who can suppresscommon knowledge about the common cold which can be found everyday incommon places like a grocery store book section or a corner newstand. Ignor-ing assumptions like bacteria and virii are the cause of disease and picking up “new” assumptions such as “the imbalance of normal or abnormal humours is thecause of dyscrasia” is not a simple task because the subconscious chimes up atthe most inopportune times “
What about the 
fact
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E. coli
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Total suppression of a lifetime of experience is probably impossible and compartmentalization of the informationsets
is 
possible except there are always those little subconscious “bleed-throughs”for the subconscious mind is no respecter of the artificial borders of set by theindividual to isolate the information sets. In fact, the subconscious mind wasthere, probably smiling, during the border-setting ceremony.3

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