Uncle Thor's Lessons, Anecdotes and Humor


Runic Musings: The Lagu Rune – Fishy Distortion

Lagu – Fishy Distortion

Be it a lake, river, ocean or brook, water has some interesting peculiarities. No matter how clear or murky water is, it distorts what we see when we look into it. Anyone who has tried spear fishing or bow fishing knows this. The fish you see is not exactly where you see it. The only way to spear or shoot the fish is to adjust one’s aim. He aims not where he sees the fish, but where he knows the fish should be. Water obscures the position of the fish.

Try it for yourself. Fill a clear glass halfway with water. Now insert a straw, pencil or other long object. Look at the glass from the side. The top of the straw and the bottom appear offset from one another.

An aspect of Lagu relates to emotions. Indeed, emotions can distort perception just as water distorts the position of things under its surface. How we feel about a thing can affect how we perceive it. That can interfere with getting a realistic view of it. Emotions such a fear, anger, greed, lust, and guilt can very well alter our outlook on a person, thing or situation.

Many years ago, I was counseling a young man who was early in Recovery from addiction. He was at an open discussion for recovering addicts. Several of the people there were newcomers. The young man focused on one woman whom he found attractive. Physically, she was his type. I saw by her behavior that she was a newcomer and her recovery was still at the shaky stage.

The young man had taken one look at her and he was smitten. He told me that he was very much attracted to her. I knew that this was all wrong. The woman needed time to get stronger in recovery. Having a fling with a young recovering addict would not be good for her or him. Nothing I said could dissuade him. For every objection, he had an excuse.

Finally, I asked one thing. “When she starts talking, close your eyes. Really listen to what she is saying. Do that for me.”

The young man agreed.

The discussion started and the young addicts all took a turn speaking, a la “round robin.” (I was not part of the discussion and had to leave until it was over.).

Afterward the young man found me. He looked as if he had seen a ghost. “Wow!” “He said, “That girl is really sick. I’m going to leave her alone.”

By removing the emotional content – in this case, his physical attraction to her – the intellect could work unimpeded. Emotion and instinct told him, “I want her.” Intellect informed him that for his good and hers, she needed to be left alone.

We rarely if ever are able to exclude all emotion. However, we can minimize it to the point that intellect becomes the overriding factor. Instead of seeing a thing masked in the filter of our emotions, we want to see it clearly without any filter at all. Many times, feelings about a thing can diminish our ability to deal with it most effectively.

I am reminded of a woman whose ex-boyfriend was a self-made loser and small-scale scoundrel. Every time he came to her for help, she relented. And every time it happened, she came to regret it. Her problem was that she still had feelings for him and let her emotions override common sense. “He’s not really a bad guy. He’s just a screw-up,” she would say. It was only when one of his antics got way out of control that she finally realized she needed to be rid of him. His misdeed was a glaring fact that no emotion could distort.

Feelings are not facts. Lagu teaches us that emotions can distort how we see things. We must adjust our perception to deal with facts as they really are rather than how we feel about them. Here we see the old formula: Intellect over Emotion.

10,000 years of human civilization has proven that when you put your faith in reason, you tend to get the best results.


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