OBSOLETE: Vajhoran Cosmology – OBSOLETE

THE FOLLOWING IS OBSOLETE


Cosmology

Vajhoran cosmology holds that the world consists of four parallel planes of massive (and possibly infinite) extent. At the top of the universe is the plane of light, which is a solid and unvarying substance. Some distance below is the plane of the stars, which is also solid and opaque, but pierced through with numerous holes through which the light shines. Below, clouds hang in the air, having drifted down through the stars. Next is the earth; water sits on the lower-lying parts of this varied plane. The earth has a number of holes in it, through which the sun and moons pass. Below is a darker, starless emptiness filled with water; at the very bottom is another plane of rock, this time with no holes.

Studies have demonstrated that the part of the earth in which Vajhoros is located is at the summit of a large pseudo-spherical mound. Some have suggested that the entire world is a globe, which would not be a radical reformation of the traditional belief, but the idea is in any case not yet widely accepted.

In keeping with this cosmology, popular belief holds that there are four sentient species. In the centre of the world are the humans. Beyond lie twilight star-lit lands where the is no sun or moon, or only a faint light of one in the distance; here there live colossal, slow-moving reptiles – dragons. Above, on the top side of the night sky, live star-children, constantly bathing in perpetual light; the light makes them able to float through the sky, and in the lower realms they can glow with blinding brilliance and cause fires with their touch; but they have no reason to intentionally descend. One comes to earth by accident every generation or so, as a meteor dropping from the plane of light breaks through their realm before it plunges to earth. If the star-child does not rapidly find a way to return, it may become bitter and hateful, a demonic figure. Finally, on the bottom of the abyssal sea below the earth dwell the fomorians, blind water-breathers. When young, they may swim up to the pools and oceans of the earth, and lure down humans from jealousy – they can cast illusions and appear as beautiful temptresses or dead loved ones. They are attracted to light, but are destroyed by sunlight, and even weakened by strong firelight – if undisturbed, they may gather around a house, gazing at the fire, until they become so weak they cannot move. Those who do not die on earth eventually eat enough (mostly of one another) that they become too huge and heavy to swim up to the earth, and the oldest and largest are confined to the very bottom of the abyss.

Each species has two parts – body and spirit. They are not interchangeable – only a human spirit can appear in a human body (though the odd children’s tale claims an exception here or there). The two are entirely theoretically independent – although the body and spirit may influence one another, either may exist without the other, and they are not inseparably tied to one another. Spirits are beings of will, and lust for power, which the body gives them; a spirit clings desperately to its body, and rarely gives it up, although it is not unknown – possessions, for instance, or dementia. Eventually the body breaks down and stops working, but the spirit remains just as it was before. Disembodied spirits retain a form of primitive consciousness, and a geographical location, although they can move as fast as the wind. Nonetheless, they have little reason to. Being disembodied is a form of torture for the spirit – being purely of will, they are mostly wholly impotent.

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OBSOLETE: Vajhoran Religion, I – OBSOLETE

THE FOLLOWING IS OBSOLETE


So, now that views have safely drifted down to zero, perhaps I should post something on this blog thing that I have. One of the things I am fiddling around with in my spare time is a dominant state religion for a cultural zone on a fictional world of mine. Most mythopoeic posts here will relate to this world (which has no name), though I do also sometimes toy with an alternate history of our own planet as well. At present, I’m focusing on one particular continent, which has around six ‘advanced’ cultures. Vajhoros is one of them. Here is the beginning of an account of their state religion:

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The Foundation of Being

In determining the foundation of being, our guide must be the principle of emanation. One thing is said to emanate from another if it is dependent on it for existence – if were the first item not to exist (at any point in time or space) the second item could not exist, the second is an emanation of the first. A rock, for instance, is an emanation of matter – were matter not to exist, rocks could likewise not exist. An emanation at one or more removes is a devolution. Generally, devolutions are also emanations, but this is not always true. The absence of land is an emanation of land. A sea is an emanation of the absence of land. Yet the sea is only a devolution, not an emanation, of land.

Observation of the world divides it into two portions – those things that are emanations of matter, and those things that are emanations of will.

Introducing the concept of divided entities, we may say that one entity is divided from another when neither is an emanation of the other. If A is an emanation of B, and C is an emanation of D, then if A and C are divided entities, B and D must also be divided entities. Examining humans, we find a body and a spirit, each clearly independent of the other. Body is an emanation of matter, and spirit of will; therefore matter and will are divided entities.

If matter were will, or partly will, or comprised will, or permitted will, it would be an emanation of will; it is not. Ergo matter has the property of not being will. Likewise will is not matter. Matter is thus an emanation of the absence of will, and will of the absence of matter. The absence of will is an emanation of will and the same with matter and its absence; so matter and will are devolutions of each other. But they are also devolutions of absence. Absence is an emanation of substance and emptiness. Substance is an emanation of the universe – if the universe did not exist, there would be no substance. Emptiness, however, is not the emanation of anything – if nothing but emptiness existed, there would still be emptiness. Emptiness, then, is the thing that all other things emanate from. All things are ultimately devolutions of emptiness, and of emanation. Yet even emanation itself is devolved from emptiness – as all things depend on emptiness, there could be no emanation without it, as nothing would be left to emanate. Likewise, entities emanate from an infinite array of haecceities, which are themselves emanations of emptiness. The entire universe is dependent on nothing but, originates from nothing but, and is composed of nothing but emptiness.

Next time: Cosmology.