Icelanders and their elves.

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Huseng
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Icelanders and their elves.

Post by Huseng » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:26 pm

This is a fascinating article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/internationa ... es/280783/
... The Hraunavinir, or “Friends of the Lava,” believe that any benefits from a project that snakes through Gálgahraun are cancelled out by its cultural and environmental costs. According to protester Ragnhildur Jónsdóttir, the thoroughfares would destroy some of the “amazingly beautiful lava formations” and spoil a habitat where birds flock and small plants flourish. One of Iceland’s most famous painters, Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval, once worked on his canvases there, perhaps magnetized by the charm of the terrain’s craggy natural relics.

Not all of the arguments against the development are so straightforward. At least a few believe it will displace certain supernatural forces that dwell within the hallowed volcanic rubble, and fear the potentially dark consequences that come with such a disturbance. Jónsdóttir, a greying and spectacled seer who also operates an “elf garden” in nearby Hafnarfjörður, believes the field is highly populated by elves, huldufolk (hidden people), and dwarves, many of whom, she says, have recently fled the area while the matter is settled.

...
It is interesting to see the remnants of polytheism playing a role in environmentalism, small as it may be.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by dzogchungpa » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:10 pm

I guess they don't understand the no-elf teaching yet. :(
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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sukhamanveti
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by sukhamanveti » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:45 pm

Good article. How appropriate that ancient pagan religious traditions, which involve reverence for nature, still play a role in protecting nature.

It is interesting that Lutherans in Iceland seem to think that the elves are also Lutheran. Valdimar Hafstein says the alfar "go to church on Sundays." I guess the elves had to be Christianized to allow discussion of them and interaction with them to continue. Those who still practice the old religion (Asatru) in Iceland remember that the lord of the alfar is the god Freyr, a god of sunshine, rain, fertility, harvest, and wealth. (The old religion was revived in 1972.) I wonder if there is an Icelandic tradition of a priest who did missionary work among the elves.
namo bhagavate śākyamunaye tathāgatāyārhate samyaksaṁbuddhāya | namaḥ sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhyaḥ ||

"Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas love all beings in the world equally, as if each were their only child..." Buddhāvataṃsakamahāvaipulya Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by Malcolm » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:55 pm

Indrajala wrote:
It is interesting to see the remnants of polytheism playing a role in environmentalism, small as it may be.
Are you kidding? Virtually all of the indigenous and traditional people around the world who are involved in environmental movements are doing so also out of concern for non-human beings which we would call spirits, etc. It definitely should be a key point in any Buddhist environmentalist platform.

M
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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kirtu
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by kirtu » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:22 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Indrajala wrote:
It is interesting to see the remnants of polytheism playing a role in environmentalism, small as it may be.
Are you kidding? Virtually all of the indigenous and traditional people around the world who are involved in environmental movements are doing so also out of concern for non-human beings which we would call spirits, etc. It definitely should be a key point in any Buddhist environmentalist platform.

M
It was the same in Hawaii. But people who have not lived in contact with indigenous or traditional people are often unaware of these concerns.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

Norwegian
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by Norwegian » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:51 pm

Norway too is flowing over with mythology, where you can read about creatures of the sea, creatures of the forests, creatures of the mountains, creatures living underground, and so on.

And just as an example, in north Norway, more people than you'd think, will consider some of these beings before they do something drastic that can affect the local land, such as constructing a new barn or similar. So what will happen is that a food offering might be made of various sizes, to soothe the local dwellers. Now obviously in modern times this is often ignored and the closer to the city you come, it definitely is ignored. But in rural and quiet places many do consider it.

As an example, you'll find farmers or people living out in the country up north here paying extra respect to what is called "nisser": humanoid creatures, knee to thigh-high compared with the size of an adult man, usually with a red long cap on, and bearded. These are underground creatures, with superhuman strength, and can easily be offended, who will not hesitate to pull minor pranks on you, or go as far as to hurt you, or your family, your livestock, or property/belongings if you disrespect them and their ways. But if left alone, and placated (usually food offerings put out around ones barn, or similar - porridge, meat, etc.) they can actually be very beneficial, for the theory is that they will help you with your crops/livestock/similar when you're asleep or away. They are very skilled with this. If angered, they can curse the ground so to speak, and it doesn't matter if new owners arrive, they too will experience nothing but dread until the situation is dealt with.

The ways of pleasing these various creatures called "Blót" is an old Norse tradition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bl%C3%B3t

And then you have the Sami people, who before meeting Christianity, were largely shamanistic. And they too had very similar views. You had the noaidi, the shaman of the Sami, who was an expert in these matters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noaidi --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_shamanism

And interestingly enough, the Norse also had a parallel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sei%C3%B0r

Of course, Christianity depicted anything that wasn't approved by the religion as being of the Devil, and thus people who paid respect to local beings were accused of devil worship, and so on it goes. So Christianity here too suppressed old traditions. But it has been very hard to completely eradicate this mythology, as it has been such a central element to many Norwegians through history. And in the period of 1840-1860, a lot of traditional elements of Norwegian history and culture got a resurrection, and was made part of our identities during the Norwegian romantic nationalist period in 1840-1860. Many of these elements - some very old - are still respected.

And I quite like that, at least for the very reason that this also means people respect the environment.

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Konchog1
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by Konchog1 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:02 am

I seem to remember Malcolm blaming Mad Cow Disease on mamos who were upset due to the environment being damaged.

Also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN6buVpauuo#t=02m55s (skip to 2:55)
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

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catmoon
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by catmoon » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:59 am

dzogchungpa wrote:I guess they don't understand the no-elf teaching yet. :(

That's almost as bad as the time I put a bowl of cheese puffs on the altar at meditation night. Someone asked me what they were doing there, and I said oh, they're just bodhicheetos."
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:34 pm

catmoon wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:I guess they don't understand the no-elf teaching yet. :(

That's almost as bad as the time I put a bowl of cheese puffs on the altar at meditation night. Someone asked me what they were doing there, and I said oh, they're just bodhicheetos."
Almost.

:smile:
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Nemo
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by Nemo » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:31 am

Indrajala wrote:
It is interesting to see the remnants of polytheism playing a role in environmentalism, small as it may be.
Said the man who leaves out cookies and tea for his invisible friends every night ;)

Huseng
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by Huseng » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:36 am

Nemo wrote:
Indrajala wrote:
It is interesting to see the remnants of polytheism playing a role in environmentalism, small as it may be.
Said the man who leaves out cookies and tea for his invisible friends every night ;)
They enjoy Japanese incense, too.

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Anders
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by Anders » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:28 am

dzogchungpa wrote:I guess they don't understand the no-elf teaching yet. :(
:rolling:
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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mandala
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by mandala » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:05 pm

catmoon wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:I guess they don't understand the no-elf teaching yet. :(

That's almost as bad as the time I put a bowl of cheese puffs on the altar at meditation night. Someone asked me what they were doing there, and I said oh, they're just bodhicheetos."
:applause:

too funny.. i'm going to have to steal the bodhicheetos line..

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TheSpirit
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by TheSpirit » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:28 pm

Elf exists.....I am a living elf. Seriously......

But I do admire their belief though. It is quite similar with a lot of earlier belief that spirits inhabit nature. Same thing with Shinto.
“To be fully alive is to have an aesthetic perception of life because a major part of the world's goodness lies in its often unspeakable beauty.”
― Yukitaka Yamamoto

disjointed
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by disjointed » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:04 am

Have you all considered that you're experiencing a mass hallucination of things all the time and calling them real while calling the hallucinations of others bogus?

Consider the fact that you are, right now, hallucinating an entire world system on top of undifferentiated space. This is your computer screen, this is your keyboard, this is your hand, this is your chest, this is all just waves rippling through space but you have somehow come to think that this one is your computer screen,etc.

So what if you called these aberrations in space elves, or aliens, or devas, or Buddhas? What gives one arbitrary label validity over another?
If there is a radical inconsistency between your statements and the position you claim to hold,
you are a sock puppet.
Make as many accounts as you want; people can identify your deception with this test.

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Konchog1
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Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by Konchog1 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:57 am

disjointed wrote:Have you all considered that you're experiencing a mass hallucination of things all the time and calling them real while calling the hallucinations of others bogus?

Consider the fact that you are, right now, hallucinating an entire world system on top of undifferentiated space. This is your computer screen, this is your keyboard, this is your hand, this is your chest, this is all just waves rippling through space but you have somehow come to think that this one is your computer screen,etc.

So what if you called these aberrations in space elves, or aliens, or devas, or Buddhas? What gives one arbitrary label validity over another?
That fact that my computer appears and functions. Also, cause and effect.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats

disjointed
Posts: 217
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:26 am

Re: Icelanders and their elves.

Post by disjointed » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:19 am

That your computer appears is not a fact.
Ants don't see the computer you see. Cats don't see the computer you see, it's just a warm thing to lay on to a cat.
If you were a being from a world made of supercritical matter, that computer would be thought of as a super cooled vapor. If you brought it to a supercritical world it would just vanish like a snow flake.
You have called a collection of things a computer and then forgotten and come to believe there is an inherent computer.

That your computer appears as a self standing fact is due to a defect in your cognition.
If there is a radical inconsistency between your statements and the position you claim to hold,
you are a sock puppet.
Make as many accounts as you want; people can identify your deception with this test.

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