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Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Hugr and Munr

Two closely related parts of the self are the hugr (pronounced “HOOG-ur”) and the munr (pronounced “MOON-ur”). Both are often translated as “mind,” which is problematic because the speakers of Old Norse had no true equivalent of the modern English concept of the “mind,” just as there was no true equivalent of the modern English concept of the “body.” “Soul” is even worse; the Old Norse word for “soul,” sál, was invented only after the Norse were converted to Christianity, which demonstrates the prior lack of any such concept.[1] (Various parts of the self were, however, perceived to live on after death or be reincarnated

Hugr can be most satisfactorily translated as “thought.” It’s the part of the self that intuits, analyzes, and plans. It takes in information and contemplates it to foster understanding. It sets goals and develops strategies to achieve them.

Munr can best be rendered as “desire” or “will.” The munr is the seat of one’s likes and dislikes, love, sorrow, fear, hatred, happiness, and other emotions. The word munr is closely related to the verb munu, which expresses intention in the same way as the English verb “will” (as in “I will go into town tomorrow”) more>>>...