THE FOLLOWING IS OBSOLETE
The Five Kingdoms
The Five Kingdoms of Vajhoran belief are four competing religious aims that a spirit may have. Some Kingdoms are incompatible with others; some are not. In reputed chronological age, the Five Kingdoms are believed to be the Kingdom of Sorcerers, the Kingdom of Eternal Life, the Kingdom of Saints, the Kingdom of Monks, and the Kingdom of Emperors. The first aims simply at magical power over the world; the second aims to ensure speedy resurrection. The third aims to combine the personal will with the transcendent general Will; the fourth dissolves the self in nothingness. The fifth aims at crafting a good life.
Overall, the Fifth Kingdom is the most important by far. The First Kingdom is not approved of – at best, sorcerers are capricious and fearful, and most are positively malign. The Second has no guaranteed success, and is useless without each incarnation having a good life. Likewise, a saint is better off than many, but could still have a better life; besides, the Kingdom of Sainthood is often arbitrary and never simple to attain. The Fourth Kingdom is unappealing to many, and in any case only accessible to a tiny few. The Fifth, therefore, is the Kingdom of the people.
The Fifth Kingdom: Four Cities, Eight Roads
The will is a will for itself; it presupposes its own reality. Yet in reality the will is nothing but emptiness. The will is thus ever in error, which opens the doorway to suffering. The spirit is an emanation of will, and thus contains error, and thus leads to suffering. But how exactly does suffering arise? The prototypical cases must be pain, poverty, inconstancy and guilt. Leaving aside pain, the remaining three species of suffering all have in common the thread of ‘hostility’. A spirit, emanating from will, desires things for itself; in this way, it is likely to come into conflict with other spirits. In poverty, the spirit is deprived of its desires by another spirit. In guilt, the spirit deprives another spirit. This creates suffering because the spirit is an emanation of will, and will itself has desires, which are the collective desires of all the spirits. When one spirit’s desires are not met, therefore, the will itself suffers, and therefore so do all spirits emanating from it. In inconstancy, the spirit deprives itself. In all three cases, therefore, there are two types of suffering – the general suffering of deprivation of the will, and the specific suffering of contradiction, in which the desires of the will are confused and contrary, which undermines the very notion of a unified spirit.
Finally, pain (or that part of it not attributable to foolishness) is explained by the realisation that the will must be exemplified to be a will, and that the material world is therefore an exemplification of the will. Without the will, the material world would be without motion. Pain that the world inflicts on the individual is thus a manifestation of the suffering and internal conflict in the will itself, which arises from dissent among spirits.
The ethical requirements, therefore, for the individual spirit are simple. Firstly, do not be inconstant. Secondly, do not create poverty. Thirdly, act in accordance with virtue, as this will place the will and the spirit in accord and eliminate the specific suffering of guilt, even if conflict within the will will create a general suffering. Fourthly, come to union with others as relates to desires. These are termed the “four cities of the kingdom”. The next task is to discover roads to these cities.