We’re glad to have Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen join us as a guest blogger! He is a Norwegian novelist, screenwriter and blogger, as well as a skilled craftsman and wilderness survivalist who builds bridges between the Viking Age and today. Here is his second blog post exclusively written for Grimfrost and there will be more exclusive content to come.
The Norse creation myth tells of how Odin and his brothers Vili and Vé killed the giant Ymir and made the world out of his carcass. His blood became rivers and the sea, his flesh the soil under our feet, his bones the mountains and his skull were held up by the dwarves North, South, West and East to make the sky above us.
Like so many of the Norse myths, the story of Ymir’s death and how his remains became the world we call our home, is both tragic and beautiful. As a novelist, I would call it a multi-layered story as it speaks to us on many levels. It is also extremely relevant in our modern world, as it seems we are now trying very hard to take that mythic role of Odin and his brothers. It is like we never accepted the fact that the giant is dead. So we are trying our best to kill him once again.
“It is a shameful decision made by naive politicians with a Disney-like view of the natural world.”
Writing this, I am sitting in a hotel lobby looking out some windows giving me a panoramic view of the mountains south of Dovre in Norway — and the sun is just rising. The vastness out there is deceiving, it makes it hard to believe how fragile our forests, oceans and mountain areas actually are. It is silent up here, but if I move down into the valley and some distance to the south, I might hear gunshots. It is the second day of the Norwegian wolf massacre; the government (with the support of most of the other political parties) has decided that 47 of the 63 wolves in Norway must be killed. It is a shameful decision made by naive politicians with a Disney-like view of the natural world. The days when men hunted with a bow and arrows and killed only what they needed for food, are long gone. Those wolves will be hunted down using GPS and some might even be shot from a helicopter.
If I was up here in the mountains during winter, I would not have been able to find any snowtracks from predators like the lynx and the Arctic fox. They too, have been hunted to extinction. That need some people have to kill living beings is what makes the human race appear so perverse to me. We are the only species that kill and eat other living beings to such an extent that some get too fat to walk, breathe and defecate without assistance. Isn’t it obvious that human consumption has gone too far?
“Do we kill and destroy simply because we have the technology to do so on a large scale?”
It is hard to say exactly why humans have evolved into this. Are modern civilization a result of the monotheistic view where the homo sapiens is put on top of the foodchain by definition? Is it that irrational fear of the wilderness that so many people seem to have? Or do we kill and destroy simply because we have the technology to do so on a large scale? I don’t know. But it looks to me like we’re trying hard to shape the world into something controllable, something even the most narrow-minded can comprehend. And in doing so, we are steering steadily towards our Ragnarok, the end of the era of human domination and the beginning of another. We are not masters of this world, nor are we gods. We are simply another species who had a brief time where we dominated the world, before the wheel of time — the rók — turned once again.
Be on the lookout for more blog posts by Bjørn Andreas here on Grimfrost. More blog posts can also be found on his website: www.bull-hansen.com