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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:08 am 
Avisaru
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The Creed of Nggolu

The following text, the content of which is attributed to Nggolu, represents the earliest formal declaration of the beliefs of the adherents of Swiivà Ngīzwáyadri to survive in writing. The occasion of its writing is unknown, as is the scribe who recorded it, but it appears to be intended a direct response to questions regarding those beliefs.

We declare that there is only one true spirit in the world, which is the spirit of the unending love of Phusrwa and the celestial fathers, and that it is through this spirit that all things are made possible.

We trust that the love of the celestial family is perfect and embraces all thinking beings, and that all malice and cruelty arises from blindness to that love, and not from the celestial family.

We understand that the world is good, and that the spirit of unending love will provide for those who have the wisdom to accept its gifts.

We consider that the purpose of life is to perfect our awareness of the spirit of unending love, that we may find the wisdom to see the goodness of the world and the compassion to work for the good, happiness, and peace of all thinking beings.

We know that the dead do not perish forever, but are lifted by the spirit of unending love into the embrace of Phusrwa, there to rest until the time has come for them to be reborn into the world.

We affirm that Mwazru was rightly guided by the spirit of unending love, and that it is through his wisdom and compassion that our blindness to the love of the celestial family has been lifted. We affirm also that Mwazru lived and died as a mortal man, and that any of the faithful can achieve the same understanding that he achieved.


Last edited by CatDoom on Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:52 am 
Avisaru
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I'm hoping to have my religion done by the end of 9 hours from now.

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ʾAšol ḵavad pulqam ʾifbižen lav ʾifšimeḻ lit maseḡrad lav lit n͛ubad. ʾUpulasim ṗal sa-panžun lav sa-ḥadṇ lav ṗal šarmaḵeš lit ʾaẏṭ waẏyadanun wižqanam.
- Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:54 pm 
Avisaru
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:22 pm
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Location: UK
A Day in the Life of Mʰeros

(Mʰeros is a partner in a lumber firm in Tʰaši and one of the elders of a mixed family of standing in the city. This story dates from the late 4000s, just before the rise of Rao monotheism.)

I

It seemed far too early to get up. Mʰeros had been at the festival of the wine goddess the night before, which he didn't enjoy, because he didn't have a strong head for drinking. He had limited his cups, but was still obliged to drink more than he wanted, and the natural result was that his head ached badly this morning.

His munkee nephew Mʰilo woke him swinging in through the open window. “Father says are you up yet? It's nearly dawn!”

It was. There was a broad band of pale blue all over the eastern horizon and already near the ground it was turning yellow. “Tell your father I'll be just five minutes.”

Mʰeros splashed water on his face, then hunted for his tunic and sandals. Maelissa his wife was awake by now and she got his belt and tunic clasps. Neleps his munkee brother and his sister in law Kusine were already waiting at the house's pretty little east altar when Mʰeros hurried up. They had remembered the little bottle of oil and the jar of incense, which Mʰeros had forgotten in his haste.

The men sang the hymn to the sun while Kusine sprinkled the incense bowl with salt and sang the descant. Normally Maelissa would have joined her, but she had laryngitis and it would have been unlucky.

They had been used to skip this ceremony until the a ship was lost, with a great deal of their timber on board. The augur had warned them not to miss it out in future. If the gods were displeased again, it might be one of their children next time.


Last edited by Mornche Geddick on Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:56 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 370
Location: UK
II

Mʰeros went back to bed to get some more rest while everyone else was getting ready for the day. Nobody grudged him; he was having a very busy time at the moment. He decided to skip breakfast and hurry down to the counting house, munching a piece of yesterday's leathery bread on the way.

During the morning, Neleps and Kusine sent him three small jars of milk, which helped with his headache. During the morning no less than seven people turned up, wanting him to subscribe to two temples, three shrines, a charity school and a festival. This was much more than usual, but this close to the spring festival it wasn't surprising. Some were happy with a few silver coins, but he had to put his name down on the tablets for all the others. It wasn't done to refuse altogether.

One of them was Mulos, a fine stoneware wholesaler who always managed to rub him up the wrong way. He passed on the news that a certain well-known guildsman had just been indicted for atheism. He was one of those who wanted a large sum, and Mʰeros had to give him an IOU. Mulos took his leave, after having subtly made Mʰeros feel he wasn't prudent enough to keep his position in Tʰaši society.

Then the day took a turn for the better. Saepɯs arrived. Saepɯs was the agent of a large building consortium in the republic of Huɯtsa and he was authorised to finalise a big deal for oak beams. It only involved a libation of wine to be poured on the doorstep to the god Nʰeneko (seeds, beginnings and signatures), a trip to the shrine of Haerolipʰae (forests and poultry, to sacrifice a hen), and from there to the temple of Taomɤ (hillsides and transactions outside the marketplace) because Taomɤ charged a sales tax on commissions. Finally Mʰeros and Saepɯs poured more libations, to each other's ancestors.

In the middle of that, there was another unwelcome interruption. The acolytes of Hatis god of death turned up to remind Mʰeros their temple tax was due too.

Mʰeros would never have admitted this, but he was thoroughly glad to pay the servants of Hatis and see the back of them. Rumour had it they sometimes demanded children and those children were never seen again. They were sinister enough to make the rumour at least plausible. He and Maelissa had had all their children initiated into the cult of Tʰuɯre or of Mapʰos as soon as they were old enough, and they had made sure Neleps and Kusine did so too. Under the protection of those gods they were safe.

He invited Saepɯs for lunch, which was another elaborate ritual. As the host he had to recite a thanksgiving prayer to the gods and goddesses of wheat, beans, fish and the dairy. Then everybody had to say “šao” four times, while bowing to the cardinal directions. Saepɯs was interested. In Huɯtsa they didn't have to do that, but they did have to pray to Taomɤ as well.

Maelissa wasn't with them. She had to go to the family shrine and anoint every little statuette with a finger dipped in perfumed oil, and do a simple, wordless dance shaking a sistrum, to make sure the medicine the physician had given her would work.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:57 pm 
Avisaru
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:22 pm
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Location: UK
III

After lunch Mʰeros had a word with his daughter Netʰola.
“Are you coming to the temple this afternoon?”
Her eyes slid down to his feet. No.
“Everyone misses you in the choir.”
“I'm sorry” she shook her head. “I can't. I just can't.”
“That's a pity. Are you going out at all today?”
Silence.
“Try to go to the fountain at least. You've done it before.”
“I'll try.”
“You've got to try, to get better. The priest of Tʰuɯre said so.”
“I know”.

As Mʰerps walked to the Temple of Mapʰos, he was shaking his head. He liked the servants of the hermaphrodite god of love even less, these days, than the acolytes of Hatis. The Hatisites were polite at least. The servants of Naoruɯ were raucous, shameless and frightening. Their processions might be better described as riots. Male or female, they danced along, banging cymbals and blowing trumpets, and often when they saw a modest-looking human girl, they would flash her. Two months ago a group of them had grabbed Netʰola, stripped her naked and dragged her along with them for several blocks, before letting her go, scratched and bruised and crying. Mʰeros and Neleps had made a formal complaint to the Assembly but were told that it was the god and nothing could be done.

But Netʰola was still suffering. She still had palpitations every other day and had become afraid even to set foot outside the house. In Mʰeros' opinion, behaviour which would have got sailors a flogging shouldn't be allowed to anyone whatever, whether mortal or god.

Mʰeros was going to the Temple of the Corn King because he had been chosen to serve as priest that year. It was a great honour, but it came out expensive, as he wasn't paid for his time and he had to make a whole series of sacrifices, starting with a capybara calf. But he enjoyed it. He had himself been initiated into the Corn King's cult when he was seven. The rituals were family-friendly and based on children and young people singing and dancing (like Netʰola, he thought sadly, as he inspected the choirs before beginning).

Today was the public dress rehearsal for the Great Seed Planting Festival in two days time. Everyone had been working hard for months and judging by their performances up until now, they were practically ready.

But today, things didn't go as everyone was hoping.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:58 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 370
Location: UK
IV

It was after the children had sung their first hymn (Mapʰos from whom all blessings flow) with verse intro by flute, and the older human girls were in the middle of their first dance to the lyre (the one where they danced in sets of four) that the rehearsal was rudely interrupted.

A munkee woman swung in through the pillars on a rope (which she shouldn't have done at all) and landed among the dancers. With a shriek she leapt on the altar, scattering incense bowls to left and right, then swarmed up the idol itself, to end clinging to the Corn King's neck with arms, legs and tail, shouting something like “my husband!”.

One by one and set by set the girls stopped dancing. The players stopped too, and no one could take their eyes off the crazy munkee woman clinging to Mapʰos' face.

“Get the children out of here quickly” Mʰeros told the dance mistress. The crazy-head was naked except for a belt in which there was a knife.

As the children were being lined up to go into the temple garden, Kʰaele, an athletic young munkee priestess drew near to Mʰheros.

“Shall I and Tsoka climb up there and get her down?”

“No! She's got a knife. I don't want anyone to risk their lives!”

Mʰeros recognised this form of mania. It was quite common for lunatics to have this delusion, that they were become the lovers or wives or husbands of the gods, just as in the myths. Someone in this state was capable of anything, up to and including suicide or murder. Mʰeros has heard dreadful stories. The Corn King was a kindly god, but if his temple was profaned with blood, the consequences still didn't bear thinking about. Any of those children who were happily singing their songs in the garden now might die in a plague.

And as the senior priest there, it was his responsibility to talk her down. But how, when she was in such a state, and brandishing her knife at anyone who came near?

An idea came to him. It didn't feel like a brilliant one, but he couldn't think of anything else. He went round to the columns and beckoned Kʰaele.

“Will you go to Tɯres, and …. ?” he whispered the rest of his instructions.

“Anything else?”

“Yes. Pray to Mapʰos she falls for it.”


Last edited by Mornche Geddick on Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:59 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

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Posts: 370
Location: UK
V

It was a long, tense, wait. The mad munkee clutched Mapʰos marble head and rocked from side to side, singing snatches of old hymns. When anyone asked her to come down, she screeched and waved her knife. The only good thing was, at least she wasn't cutting herself. Finally Kʰaele came back, with the wine bottle under her arm.

“It's ready?”

“Yes, all ready.” She gave it to him.

He crossed the floor and walked round the altar, then standing by the plinth, called up “O beloved of the Corn King!”

The mad munkee onMapʰos' shoulders jumped. “Do you mean me?”

(No, I mean the potter.) “O favourite of the Corn King, the god bids you drink wine with him!”

“Me? The god? Bids me? Drink wine?” Pause. “Me! The god bids me! I am his beloved!” Another long pause. “Who says? What messenger does he send?”

“Me, your worship. What messenger but me? Do I not speak for the god?”

Decades of indoctrination of reverence for priests worked in her disturbed mind, mingling with mad vanity. “Me! He calls me 'your worship'!”

Mʰeros only needed to repeat the question twice more before she dropped to the floor and approached him, almost decorously.

“You must drop your knife.” he told her. “You can't drink wine with the god if you have a knife in your belt.”

Again, the ritual she had been trained in all her life took over. She pulled the knife from her belt and dropped it onto the floor.

When she took the cup from him and raised it bottom up, he could not have helped sighing with relief for all the gold in the secret treasury of Hatis. Tɯres the druggist had worked for an hour and a half to prepare a strong sedative and a potent dose of hellebore in that drink. The munkee allowed herself to be led quietly away by the priestesses and put to bed. She would probably be all right again tomorrow. Mʰeros decided that Tɯres would have a front seat at the festival the day after tomorrow, a prayer to the god especially for her, and a brand-new tunic from temple funds, because she had saved the day.

They started the rehearsal again. Towards the end, to his great joy, Maelissa turned up, and Netʰola with her. Maybe all their offerings for her were finally bearing fruit!

“Praise Mapʰos that this didn't happen on the day of the festival, eh?” said Neleps as they sat down to a belated evening meal.

Mʰeros could only agree. What a day it had been. When they did the sunset ritual, he added a very sincere prayer that the festival itself would go off without any alarms like that. He thought he had better set a few stout young munkees and humans on guard outside, in case of trouble. As he lay down in bed that night, Mʰeros reflected that care and anxiety, like grey hairs, were the price of success.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:02 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 370
Location: UK
Jwa Raoism Part One

Introduction

By the the late 4000s the polytheistic religion of Raepʰɤn had lost its old classical simplicity. Only rustics now told the old stories of Sky, Apʰɯron, and the eight brothers and sisters. In the cities there were now hundreds of gods and goddesses, each with their own cult. Some were tiny, with just a shrine and a few families offering worship in one street. Others were huge, with hundreds of priests, thousands of followers and temples in several cities. To accompany this, there was a jungle of self-contradictory mythology, and a very elaborate, onerous ceremonial calendar.

(To get an idea of what it is like to live under a polytheistic religion in a morbid condition, see my last five posts “A Day in the Life of Mʰeros”.)

The religion had grown out of proportion and out of control. Some people found themselves spending nearly half their income on offerings and temple taxes. Thousands of people like Mʰeros were running themselves ragged trying to placate such a mob of spiritual bosses. A number of exclusive cults appeared, each one promising, in effect, “worship our god and you will never have to serve any other.

Harapʰos the Heretic King

Pʰutoɤks the Conqueror united all South Raepʰɤn under one king. His son Harapʰos lost it all again trying to enforce monotheism on Apʰɯron.

Pʰutoɤks II had been brought up by philosophers who had developed a monotheism from elements in the mystery religions of the sun god Tʰuɯre, the Corn king Mapʰos and others. When he came to the throne he changed his name to Haraopʰos and resolved to convert his nation to his religion.

I haven't space in one post to examine his life in detail. He won the hearts of the common people of Tɤsalaks by land and tax reforms, but then lost them by destroying their ancient temple and beheading an elderly, respected and well-loved priestess when she protested. He also managed to alienate his father's most loyal and intelligent generals. He did have the middle classes solidly for him, because they suffered a lot at the hands of the old Hierarchy. Twelve years after he took the Royal Helmet, South Raepʰɤn descended into a bloody and protracted civil war. Eight years later, Haraopʰos was killed in the battle for Sila, and the Anti-Raopʰites won.

It is easy to blame Haraopʰos for his arrogance and fanaticism, but the anti-Raopʰites also had the arrogance and corruption of privilege. The Hatis worshippers were responsible for some of the worst atrocities in the war, including the burning alive of Haraopʰos' old tutor Nʰɯlos. After the war they sank to practicing banditry, and the new kings had the troublesome job of suppressing them.

The Anti-Raopʰites did not enjoy their victory. South Raepʰɤn was torn apart by factions and plagued by bandits, death cults like the Hatisites, Raopʰite guerrillas and rogue barons. And, although they did not know it yet, the Threat Empire was about to launch its invasion.


Last edited by Mornche Geddick on Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:03 pm 
Avisaru
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Jwa Raoism, Part Two

A large number of the Raopʰites had fled the country and sailed north. They were warned not to settle on the Salmonean mainland by the Č'ira̤̤ and the Sɯpsoreans, who were fighting against the Dragolm Slavers by now. But to the east they found a large island, which the Slavers had left alone so far. They were alarmed at first to discover it was inhabited by golems, but they soon found that the golems were peaceful and wanted nothing but to build walls.

The religion that has developed on the island of Jwa is a fusion of Aʰpɯron monotheism and Ccuxu spirituality.

Rao Doctrine (summarised from the writings of Nʰɯlos)

The world's origin is the Light. The Light is the first god of all, so much greater than any of the others that we may well call him simply “God”.[1]

The unchanging Sky and its lights which never burn out are more divine than the Earth, being closer to God. This is why the sun and the stars are immortal (or very, very long lived), while the things of the Earth are mortal and changeable. The Earth and Life come after the Sun and depend on the sun for their existence.[2]

The mountains, for their height and beauty, are the most divine parts of the Earth.[3]

The Earth is not a god but an animal, and has a soul. Souls are the form that the divine spark takes in living things.

Rao has an enemy, his negation, Night or Atis. Atis is the darkness and the source of cold, wild beasts, dreams, deception, madness, melancholy, death and non-being. He is strongest in the cold far north, where the nights are longer and the Slaver and Caging golems rule. He is also the origin of most of the other gods, which are known via soothsayers' dreams.

[1] “Rao”, in origin a Tʰuɯre mystery name.
[2] Inevitably, in popular Raoism, God became identified with the sun. However initiates and educated people insist the sun is not God, merely his veil or shield or Royal Helmet.
[3] It is an old idea in Raepʰɤn that mountains are holy.
[4] Divination by dreaming, a widespread practice in Raepʰɤn polytheism, was forbidden in Raoism.

Jwa Raoism

All sentient beings, whether golems, humans, munkees, dragons or other species, possess within them a spark of the creator of the world, Rao. This spark takes the form of the soul, whose essential attributes are consciousness, will, and the desire to create. (The fact that golems, humans and munkees all have souls shows that they have one origin.)

Knowledge is a form of light, and is divine.

Humans, munkees and other fleshly sapients need to sleep and dream. Their great spiritual danger is to let their dreams rule them. One should not pay too much heed to dreams. They come from Atis after all.

The urge of humans and munkees to create and worship gods is now explicable to the golems as a form of the same urge they themselves have to build walls. Polytheism is a morbid form of story-telling, rather like what happens when golems build walls in the wrong place and they fall down.

The Earth itself is a wall, or “built thing”. Rao's angels built it to his perfect design, but it has since been broken or damaged by Atis. Mucun was a misunderstood glimpse of the Ideal Vision of Earth. It appeared to be an island of walls because that is how golems would see the Ideal.

Our duty, while we are in the world, is to attempt to repair it.

Rao does not want to be worshipped with rituals and sacrifices, but by living justly, relieving the poor, building beautiful works, shepherding the plants and animals, and contemplating the ideal.

Humans and munkees have a greater power of vision than golems, but they are more liable to be deceived. Golems are less likely to have visions, but any visions they do have are more likely to be true. The spiritual danger of golems is to see only a part of the Ideal and mistake it for the whole.

Haraopʰos is venerated, but the Jwa Raoists have learnt from his mistakes. Enlightenment and knowledge cannot be spread by war, but only by teaching and example.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:10 pm 
Avisaru
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Location: Not Mariya's road network, thankfully.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:22 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:30 pm 
Avisaru
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_________________
ʾAšol ḵavad pulqam ʾifbižen lav ʾifšimeḻ lit maseḡrad lav lit n͛ubad. ʾUpulasim ṗal sa-panžun lav sa-ḥadṇ lav ṗal šarmaḵeš lit ʾaẏṭ waẏyadanun wižqanam.
- Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:32 am 
Avisaru
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The Dogmata of Ngolo

We deduce that there is only one pure state of mind, which is the state of mind of the Unending Love of Pposhoa and their Celestial Ppon-mates, and that it is only in this state of mind that the great possibilities can be realized.

We know that the Unending Love of the Celestial Ppon is perfect and comprises all thinking beings, and that all violence and unkindness arises from blindness to that Unending Love, and such violence and unkindness is not known in the example of the Celestial Ppon.

We understand that the world is good, and that the state of mind of Unending Love will bring inspiration to all who have the knowledge to accept it.

We believe that the purpose of life is to perfect the state of mind of Unending Love, so that we should gain the knowledge to see the goodness of the world and the sympathy that leads us to act in the name of the good, pleasure, and peace of all thinking beings.

We confirm that the dead remain in the memory of the living so long as they hold the state of mind of Unending Love, and the caring example of Pposhoa. There they shall be until it is time for them to be rebuilt.

We agree that Moazlo was correctly in the state of mind of Unending Love, and that it is through their knowledge and sympathy that our blindness to the example of the Celestial Ppon has been repaired. We also agree that Moazlo lived and died as a thinking being, and that any who follow their example can achieve the same understanding they did.

_________________


Adúljôžal ônal kol ví éža únah kex yaxlr gmlĥ hôga jô ônal kru ansu frú.
Ansu frú ônal savel zaš gmlĥ a vek Adúljôžal vé jaga čaþ kex.
Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh.


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