ADF Dedicant Path Documentation – The Nine Virtues – Exploring the Three Functions

The First Functional Group: Wisdom, Piety and Vision

These three virtues are part of the first functional group related to sovereignty and the priestly caste.  They are qualities that are looked for in leaders, whether they are leaders of men or souls. They are amorphous and lofty virtues.  When I hear the words wisdom, piety, and vision, I think of those with mental acuity; deep thinkers, sages, and philosophers.  They also tend to be qualities associated with intellect and the mind.

Wisdom requires Vision to look past already known facts to see hidden facets of issues and situations.  Piety ensures that the application of knowledge is in line with the obligations made to the divine.

Piety requires Wisdom to ensure that what is being done is, in fact correct and prudent, and Vision ensures that the acts and traditions don’t become stale and meaningless.

Vision must be tempered by Wisdom to ensure that goals and ideas are achievable and Piety reminds the visionary of traditions and obligations that need to be adhered to.

The Second Functional Group: Courage, Perseverance and Integrity

These three virtues belong to the second function, that of the warrior caste.  These three virtues all involve overcoming obstacles and honor.  They are action virtues.  They also require mental and physical toughness.   When I think of individuals with Courage, Perseverance and Integrity, I think of Knights, Samurai, and Soldiers; those that fight to ensure the continuation of the values of everyone in the land and the freedom for the other castes to survive and thrive.

Courage requires Perseverance to keep pushing through fears and questions to take action.  Integrity moderates courage to make sure that the action taken is honorable, both to the one taking the action and to the community at large.

Perseverance is fostered by Courage by overcoming inertia caused by fear and uncertainty.  Integrity ensures that we are holding fast to the correct ideals.

Integrity requires Courage when the right thing is not the popular thing, but it is done anyway and you must Persevere to maintain your values even though the wrong path is the easier one to travel.

The Third Functional Group: Moderation, Fertility and Hospitality

These three virtues fall into the realm of the providers.  They are more everyday and earthy.  They are about relationships, how we treat each other and, in fact, pertain to all our interactions.  I think of my Grandmother asking whoever walked through her door whether they were hungry or thirsty.  I also think of farmers and artisans, those that create both beauty and food to sustain the body and spirit of those around them.

Moderation requires Fertility to find new ways of achieving the balance needed for optimal growth and Hospitality to make sure that we do not exclude so much that we break down our relationships as a result self-depravation or overindulgence as well as reminding us that our decisions affect those around us.

Fertility requires moderation so that the appropriate balance between new, developing ideas and mature, traditional life are maintained.  Hospitality reminds us that life is give and take.  We must give of our talents or what we create and grow as well as receive and enjoy the talents and fruits of others labor.

Hospitality requires Moderation to ensure that the host gives enough but not to much and the guest takes enough but not too much.  Fertility allows both the guest and the host to invent new ways to build and maintain their relationship.

In the preceding paragraphs we have seen how the virtues interrelate within each of the three functional groups.  Though the virtues can be categorized to correspond to one of the three functional groups of Dumezil, this by no means implies that members of the other groups do not exhibit the virtues of the other classes.  On the contrary, all of the virtues interweave with one another to form a large knot work of interdependence.  We will now explore how they interweave with one another between groups.

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