Sunday 4 August 2013

Havamal Snippets 78: Material wealth is a fleeting friend

This is one in a series of very short posts containing snippets from the Havamal text (which can be found in full here -

Why post snippets of an old pagan text here, in a blog that's supposedly about the Androsphere?  I’m posting them because they contain helpful everyday advice that is applicable in the modern world e.g. being aware of your surrounding environment, drinking alcohol responsibly, how to score with women.  And for many of us, it is part of our heritage that goes back to Proto-Indo-European (PIE) beliefs that stretch back 4000 years or more.

Christianity and demi-nihilism offer the only other dominant philosophical view points in the Androsphere, the former represented by bloggers like Vox Day and Simon Grey, the latter by many PUA bloggers.  Christianity, and indeed the other monotheisms from the region draw, from the mythologies of the PIE culture.  For instance Noah’s flood is a replication of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the story of the Angels rebelling against God in the bible is just a copy of the Giants rebelling against the Gods, which is present in both the Greek and Norse religious traditions, as Arthur Schopenhauer pointed out in the eighteenth century.

So, instead of offering you snippets of second-hand wisdom from the Bible, I will offer you snippets of first-hand wisdom from the (probably) older and much more concise Havamal text (roughly 5,000 words compared to the 190,000 words of the New Testament).

(My own thoughts/comments are in italics).

Material wealth is a fleeting friend.  Immaterial wealth is a faithful friend.  This applies to material things and also to people: those who value material weatlh are less likely to stick around when the going gets tough, or when you're out of gold/money.  People who value you because of your beliefs are more likely to be faithful friends throughout the bad times.

Fullar grindr
sá ek fyr Fitjungs sonum
nú bera þeir vánarvöl
svá er auðr
sem augabragð
hann er valtastr vina

[2] I saw [1] the full cattle-pens
of the sons of Fitjung,
now they are beggars:
thus wealth is
like the blink of an eye --
it is the most unreliable of friends.

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