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ON A STROLL in the wild mountains in the western part of Norway we heard stories of the bard Callit. After many centuries tales had made him unrecognisable. He might be spoken of as a huge, grey-haired bear of a man, and a vagabond in his younger days away from the Jostedal Valley, which lies beneath a rather big glacier.
The Jostedal Grouse - an old story from Western Norway
The Jostedal Grouse was a girl who survived the Black Plague (it hit Norway in 1349). She was the only one left alive in her valley.
The girl had to live alone for a long time. Eventually someone from another village found her and married her, despite the feathers that had started to grow all over her body when she lived all by herself, a legend has it.
The Jostedal Grouse and her husband became the ancestors of many people along the western coast. Many were fond of setting sail and of story-telling, as in so many other places in this world. [Seg]
Teachings of the Grey-haired Bear
One of the descendants of the Jostedal Grouse and the man who found her, was a veritable human bear.
"No tails are not just for humans," said the bear. "What is good is to search for proper evidence where you can find some, and remain uncommitted to bear tales meanwhile.
"Good tales are for those alive; they serve the living. If they are good, stories go deep and may represent levels of attainment to aspire to - in this case somewhere along the long Jotunheim mountain range in western Norway.
"We should seek to digest strong meat slowly and add vegetables and dressing as fit, and supplement it with some fruit. Hence, it may be all right to leave the strong meat tales alone for as long as it takes - to digest them and renew one's appetite. Bold stories can be strong meat.
Good stories can be rewarding, reminding of higher values, or normalcy."
Keys to unravel the mythical elements below
Solid comes from the Latin sollus, whole. It is good to be mentally solid in the meaing "firm, and not hollowed out, with no great gaps or breaks, og good quality, substantial, sound, reliable, dependable, upstanding, whole (linked to healthy, etc.)."
If some content appears to leak out through "thinking with one's behind", it is termed a psychological projection. The phenomenon is related to being under pressure - authoritan upbringing and a harsh superego (marred conscience) are examples of phenomena that make for such "tails" below the waist, so to speak. Prejudice is not far from it.
The bear's or siren's tail can now be taken as folk-wise images of such subconsciously projected material of one's psyche. Accordingly, it behoves man to be just and avoid projecting prejudice. The more pressured you get, the more need to be solid in the senses above, probably. It helps to be many solid ones too, and to remain aloof from intriguing, meddling fools, as the case may be. So relax at intervals as you can and don't get tense, wearing a conformism mask.
Further, a bear can be taken to mean (signify) this and that as fits . . .
In tales that follow, the beaver darlings may be the habituated libido system in the organism for most part.
The broom or thunder-broom is the gun. And Native Americans called the rifle a 'thunder-stick'.
Dim and dark, foggy mentions may work well along with contemplation on possible meanings, if you have the time. [LINK]
A LOCAL farmer near Jotunheimen had a vivid dream where an angel-like figure approached at said: "Hm, and here we have the pheasant Joltur, one of our line. He must carry good messages from me to many others all over the globe, but only if he wakes up."
The winged being started to shake him. As the simple farmer Joltur woke up from it, he still saw the angel, and it still had a grin on its face in front of a mighty feather gown. The angel spoke comfortingly:
"Oh my. Have you heard of Great Bear in the forest, Joltur? He was one of your ancestors and one of the naturally inclined cave-dwellers (contemplatives). Hence, sleeping late may not be as bad as others say. Take my words for it.
Now it is time to bring out his amplitude-and-push teachings to mankind. That is why I have hit upon a plan. You can caress the good old lore that still has points fit for mankind's survival in the long run.
Things are not always as bad as others say. Your ancestor, that judicious bear of a grey-haired man, lived very well as a farmer and shepherd in the forests and fields under Jotunheimen. He liked it there, and why should not he? [COASTAL NORWAY]
He owned a lovely meadow deep in Jostedalen. One day he put on a bearskin to wear as a cloak, stood up and said something, and it reminded listeners of a huge bear standing on his hindlegs while telling something interesting with a deep bass voice:
"Very well, this is no side-show."
Grey-Beard cleared his throat, and you know what people can make out of that. What drunk people think they heard or said, may not conform to facts, even.
THE FARMER Joltur was told in a dream to visit a certain cave near the mountain Glittertind, and this is what he said when he came back from his mountain climb:
"Great Bear helps us here. Let me read to you from the scrolls:
"Great Bear thunders from his new headquarters and the guts of cattle withers.
Great Bear sent me to say:
"I will not turn back. In days ahead, pretty much depends on who is best at contemplating in bearlike ways over and over again. I like this way of living, and I will not turn back. Soldiers with firing brooms took captive whole flocks of my cattle and sold them well, even minor bears were handed over. Bears that were meant to be free, had to entertain and ride bikes.
I will track down the offenders that humiliated them and me, their Great Bear "up there". Remember I am a Vehement Great Bear, all in all.
MY FURY flames unchecked now. (3)
I once turned my paw against marring ones and winked, but they would not listen. I will do even better in days to come. ◊
Some there were who were led astray by false ancestry, even Jesus.
THE BRAVEST sheep will flee naked in wool as soon as I roar nearby. Yet I also raised up beaver sons from among you and put them to the kind of work that I saw fit. They obey my commands from inside. ◊
BUT NOT men and women do worse. They trample on the heads of the poor animals as on the dust and typically deny justice to the oppressed heifers. In the end it dwarfs mankind. ◊
"I HAVE have chosen you of all the toilers of the soil. Your eyes have seen the great oppression of animals going on and done nothing about it.
ANIMALS have to think ahead and make smart moves and strives, but have not many means in their hands to do it.
THE ICE-BEAR likes to sit down to a feast. In certain ways the hunting animal will be well fed. Mind that the day I punish a lot of trolls for their wicked things, all those who strive greatly for ivory can be demolished. [Cf. ch. 3]
WHO WAS it who gave some animals fangs and empty stomachs, and shortage of honey and berries, and yet my flock hasn't returned to God's ways?
The clothed men and women like to say to servants or waiters: "Bring us some more drinks in bottles!" and think it is okay only if they do not swear, alas. ◊ [Cf. 4]
NOW HUMANS openly despise their inborn truth of living, and set up their pampered courts. Get rid of elevator music the sooner the better. Bad things are forming for all who keep conforming to be taken advantage of, but how few there are to see it.
In days to come there may be no one left to lift, but farmers may weep and wail over lost sheep and cattle - heaps of rotten waste.
ANIMALS can have no regard for many artificial ways of living that bring them ruin.
The walrus might subscribe to it as he lands on your beach and thereby proclaims: "There must be wailing and gnashing of teeth among humans too."
AS YOU LIE on cushions and go about in the fur of animals at high prices, complacent with the present state of affairs, seek all the time to smell as yourselves. I think false-smelling persons are not genuine winners. Do horses run toward rocky crags like that? No. ◊
YOU dine on lambs and fattened heifers and do not grieve over the rain forests as you should.
SOMEONE must have decided to ruin two-leg. Already his cramped living testifies to that. There is poverty in man from now on. A wicked generation terrorises their own mothers by going for the gold of their teeth, even.
WHERE MORBID ones take over, things go worse. But not to anyone and everywhere at first.
IN TIME I became a shepherding Grey-Beard. And here is what Great Bear goes into:
"Flies and mosquitoes once raised a conspiracy against cattle and horses, deer and mouses. Can you get out and teach them to refrain? If not, many animals are bound to suffer.
HOW BAD it is for a human to bring good tidings for gnat living!
On that day the sun will go down as usual. ◊
PEOPLE who live mainly to compete for money, are are source of big problems to their victims, the abused many. You will soon see. Count on that. ◊
OH BEAR, oh bear. Great Bear was found standing on his hind legs when he told:
"The mighty hunting bear touches frozen soil and it melts in his giant paw. Did he not bring silly beavers up from the Sahara?
Those rodents will never again be uprooted from the land he gave them after that.
"No liberated person should elope with the wet bride of another. And no ostentatiously clumsy general should get away with it if their victims on both sides are allowed a fair say.
I will repair the broken beaver places and let them build dams that hold water. In that water I will swim about for fish and fun, as the case may be. ◊
Gold in beaver huts make me wish to shake the foolish beavers to lead them into better ways.
THE RECKLESS men that offend me, jesters should not hide themselves in big caves.
I will bring back a bunch of misses in wait. Preying on men, they may eat the best fruit of their toils and troubles and slowly wear the offenders out. The offenders are in for getting used too, it will not be for their own good. And I have nothing against minestrone soup," declared Great Bear. ◊
"DAYS ARE coming when brand new berries will drip from the mountain ranges and all the hills. You should do your part and plant fruit trees all over Norway.
Slay them not who think otherwise at the start, but explain how many fine hybrids of plants and trees can yield better fruits and berries and crops, eventually. The idea of sweet rowanberries instead of sour ones is here to tempt you all. Let's hope that.
Though full of courage, few animals can stand up and fight with long-range success against men with thunder-brooms. The hidden King Gurmar of Sogn sees it fit to do these things, and from his hidden den he may work magic." [Cf. Amos]
Great Bear Gets Affronted
Many beavers were headed by the shaggy-coated old musk-ox Batt. Things soon took a nasty turn -
In the old days and many generations before King Sagle appeared, beavers had a loafing musk-ox to guide them in very difficult, tricky things. The last of these thick-set, wild and shaggy-coated ones was named Batt. He was their good oracle, or judge, calm and steady for most time, right in their midst. He saw it first:
"Where there are lots of beavers there is stench."
Now this Batt grew old and all the old beavers gathered together and came to him in the heart of Sweden.
They said to him, "You are old, and your young do not walk in our ways as we love it; now appoint a great ox to lead us."
This annoyed and displeased Batt. He said: "First I will travel far north and seek counsel with the Great Bear before the long night falls there. I will ask what to do."
He reached a rocky shore a little distance from North Cape in time and got his answer, loud and clear:
"Listen to all that the beavers are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected - that is what they often have done - and it was I, not you, that took them from the Sahara into Scandinavia. Only slowly did they turn away from mad deforestation, so one may count with much ignorance. Or maybe they are just not many enough to cut down all the trees of Sweden yet. So I can lie down and enjoy my days in some snow-hole in the Spitzbergen mountains and have sweet dreams still.
Silly ones creep and crawl for greater beings; it is often like that. Anyway, you should warn them solemnly: What they are up to looks like seeming big and good by proxy. So go and tell them what a huge ox will do to their kin as soon as he comes into power. Say:
"This is what the great musk who will reign over you will do: He will become a puberty monster. His love is not for you, it is on another scale. There is a risk he can take your young and make them serve a lot, wholly without shame, wholly without cause, and what next? That is the question!
The musk ox may next take ardent beavers to be his loyal staff and commanders, while others have to till his frozen ground in vain and reap as good as nothing from it. Their teeth may break and he may make your daughters his chefs or harem concubines.
This is a worst case scenario: One huge, hard-headed ox will take a thousand virgins and fall heavily to the ground from it. So take heart while the most cunning and most ostentatious animals thrive and go for the best fields and tracts to enjoy.
This is about tyranny of the weak, day and night they will have to go about in manure made by others in the deep forest. When they have had enough of the bargain, you can sing: "Cry out for relief from the musk-ox, and Great Bear will not answer you in that day." That is how it has happened.
The musk-ox now travelled back to Skone and gave the assembled beavers the message that Great Bear had had enough, but they would not understand it.
"No!" they cried. "We want our own great ox a lot."
They gave vent to their helplessness in ways that hurt and harmed their future the world over. They said, "A huge and massive ox can go out before us and fight our battles and win."
When Batt heard all their folly, he felt ashamed and bruised at heart. He even travelled the long, ardous route to North Cape one more time, only to get the soft-spoken message repeated when Great Bear came swimming ashore and stood in front of him:
"We will give them a night-mare. The bear does not milk the cows."
And so they did.
A MAN up in the Sheepish Mountains somewhere had a great desire to go to the valleys of Portugal with his dancing-bear, and full of joy he said,
"If only I arrive, God willing, I will not fail."
"Since you have so good a will," said his comrade, "you will arrive safe at the end of your journey if you heed the Gothamic counsel from the Great Bear:
"One should train solvency and mirthfulness by speaking like this:
"Maybe it is not because I am perfectly good and worthy in any major way that others detain me, but because I am rather unworthy deep down, since I do not stop desiring what I need or lack - be it love or sweet afflictions or . . ."
The dancing-bear went on,
"If your desire for somewhere far away still lingers and grows stronger, beware of great flattery and falsehood. However, many vain thoughts may be alleviated in sound peace and delight.
Expect enemies that busily endeavour to lessen your worth, merit and assets the day they can. Some operate in cliques. They may try persuasions, flatteries, or violence to get their wills imposed and perhaps force you to return to nasty habits beneath them. Such people may abandon you later unless you are experienced and observant.
If you meet with any who seem to be your friends and thereby try to make a leash for you in much to much kindness, the real reasons behind the overt show might hinder your progress - maybe also by entertaining you. Smell a big rat in hiding to turn a deaf ear. If swearing persons offer you gifts and attractions, heed them not - at least good bears try not to.
Then, finally - if there is sound peace and calm in and around you - there should be no deep need to go to a cracked Jerusalem. Now, good night," said the jolly bear.
Seg: BÝ, Olav. Segner. 3. utg. Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 1977.
O 1: [www.ccel.org/ccel/suso/wisdom.html]
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