142: Then began I to thrive, | and wisdom to get,
I grew and well I was;
Each word led me on | to another word,
Each deed to another deed.
Just exactly how should a man be expected to act? What kind of outcome will there be for a man who adopts this way of life we call Asatru? Stanza 142 tells me all I really need to know. Once I kill the ego or that bloated perception of self, new things will begin to appear in our lives. Positive things that had previously been out of reach.
Starting at a place which brought us to a point where the very concept of our survival hinged upon the imperative of change, we have rediscovered an ancient path. We might recognize our ego, once we begin to grow in earnest because it begins to negotiate. It will even lie to us. It suggests to us that there ought to be something very worthwhile if we give all this up. All of this ridiculous hardship we have brought upon ourselves with our best thinking. It suggests to us that if we embrace ever more radical positions to the left or to the right of politics or society in general, well then, that righteous indignation of believing how right we think we are is a suitable substitute for spiritual development.
More often than not, all we are doing is trying to apply a new coat of paint on a tired old ideology. But these are not the new words we ought to be focusing on. These old words only serve to build a victim mentality. No one engaged in those fringes of society thrives. Stanza 142 of the Havamal suggests I will thrive, that I will develop wisdom (earned the hard way for most of us), that I will grow and be well.
In short, it tells me that after I have made a similar sacrifice as the one Odin has, things are going to get better. It also tells me what that effort looks like. Each word thought or idea leads to another one. Bold new horizons appear. And with each new horizon, a new adventure which will require great deeds. Some of them far beyond one’s ability to even imagine.