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The Otherworld Project • View topic - Western religions

Western religions

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Western religions

Postby Sébastien » Tue May 24, 2011 10:19 pm

Let's see what we have! The idea that has been floating around is to make Siriash and Jakarism the two religions that originated in western Ereana and eventually got spread in bastardised versions to the eastern coast by the nomadic megaempires. This means that the two religions should have originated from a similar cultural area, or as Vince would nicely put it, they share a "common cultural capital". Obviously, there's going to need some changes in both Siriash and Jakarism to make this kind of historical closeness possible. But that's far from insurmontable, especially as we are relatively free in actual terms of doctrine. I started to try to analyse them a bit in order to highligh the convergences and see what work is necessary.

As far as I understood, it does not necessarily mean they stem from each other in a Abrahamic religions kind of relationship, more than they have common themes that are stressed out on both side of the religious division line. The answers given by religions to these themes can be very different, even in direct opposition, yet they both ask these questions in similar terms, which is the important thing. That also mean that they can be syncretised later on. During his lecture to me this afternoon ( ;) ) Vince quoted the exemple of Confucianism and Taoism, the latter having emerged as a reaction to the former before they eventually got syncretised.

The first step was to extract these common themes. This is quite "high-level" and I must admit I have a hard time being sure I'm doing things properly, I'm no theologian... ;) As an example, in Abrahamic religions, salvation is one of these very basic themes. Each religion have their own answer, but they come from a same background because they give that much focus on this theme. For Jakarism and Siriash, I have found this (with some input from Vince):

Siriash: cosmology, mythology and perfection (the latter is less certain the the first two).
Jakarism: cosmology, perfection and human actions.

Now, to give an example of what I wrote earlier, here is what they have to say, in general, about perfection:

Jakarism: Humans in their current form are inherently imperfect, but they can hope to retrieve their initial perfection, after some conditions are reached in afterlife, via the collective sum of their indiviuals actions during their lifetime.

Siriash: Humans in their current form are inherently imperfect, but they can hope to ascend, immediatly in afterlife, to higher degrees of perfection via their individual actions during their lifetime(s).

We can see her that they give different answers, yet they are formulated similarly. You can see that it would be possible for 2 people of a same group to come up with these answers on a common question, such as "are we perfect?. Appart from this perfection theme, cosmology seems to be the only theme were Jakarism and Siriash are really sharing a definite interest. Cosmology covers a large number of things: humans' place in the universe, form vs matter (i.e. soul vs body), hierarchy of beings, genesis, etc. There should be a number of common questions that Jakarism and Siriash focus on, to the detriment of others. To explain this, Vince presented to me the exemple of Greek versus Chinese philosophies, that respectively started from a reflexion on cosmology versus human nature. If Jakarism and Siriash shares a strong interest in cosmology with Greek philosophy, then we can imagine that things such as social order/hierarchy and gender roles are determined based on the position of humans and other beings in the cosmological order.

There's still some work to do on these common themes. I also think we should do a post in the same format as Vince used for Fatalism but that includes both Siriash and Jakarism. Any way to flesh out where Jakarism and Siriash share some cultural heritage, where they diverge and how they have interacted with each other over historical times is welcomed :)

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Re: Western religions

Postby Vince » Wed May 25, 2011 12:14 am

Yes, like Seb said I did have a bit of input in this. My main point is that syncretism is possible if two religions share (or are made to share) the same cultural capital, regardless of whether doctrinally they're even completely opposite to each other. Confucianism and Taoism are a pre-eminent example of often doctrinally opposite religions being held syncretically. I do have some more detailed thoughts on the matter but I will hold off a bit before putting them together.
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Re: Western religions

Postby Pepijn » Wed May 25, 2011 7:46 am


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Re: Western religions

Postby Sébastien » Wed May 25, 2011 8:47 am

It's a very relevant question Pepijn. When I first did these "answers" I was a bit more vague, then I figured out I could be more precise and got facing the very issue of collective versus individiual ascension in the branchs of Siriash. The idea is not to try to input every single variants here, so I chose what appeared to be the most common answer Siriash was giving to this specific issue. The Zusammenist answer would diverge slighty, indeed, and could actually be imagined as a possible syncretism between Jakarism ans Siriash!

 
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Re: Western religions

Postby Pepijn » Wed May 25, 2011 9:08 am

The cool thing about Zusammenism is that it gives a solid foundation for theocracies and monarchies. And it provides great rivalry between the different sects (each with their own leader and nation) and between the Zusammenists and infidels. Just making sure it doesn't get lost in the transfer.

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Re: Western religions

Postby Sébastien » Wed May 25, 2011 2:06 pm

We are not going to throw everything and just keep the names, don't worry. As I said, I imagine Zusammen could be reworked slighty to be a syncretised version of Siriash and Jakarism that emerged at the interface between the two religions. Similarly, there could be a version of Jakarism that has been heavily influenced by Siriash in another location, as a mirror to Zusammen. Or Zusammen could be a completely "independent" version of Siriash and syncretism happens elsewhere. I must say I like the idea that Zusammen could have been shaped this way because of Jakarism influence!

I'll try to work on more common themes and other aspects tonight.

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Re: Western religions

Postby Steven » Thu May 26, 2011 1:41 am

Right now I'm planning on Siriash in 58. I don't know if you intended to use Jakarism in 42 or not Seb, so this may cause some questions in the history, but ones that are easily fixed. I was hoping to have a very hierarchical Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox style religion with a distinct head of the church. From what others have told me Siriash can work with that without a problem.

Let me know what I can do to help. :)
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Re: Western religions

Postby Sébastien » Thu May 26, 2011 10:17 pm

Not exactly common themes, but some thoughts I had last night about Jakarism. It's a bit random and certainly straying out of the focus I outlined in my first post, but it will be needed at some point, so why not now? :D So here they are with no particular order, please do criticise:

1. Clergy:
Lower clergy would function in pairs: a married couple work in one temple, with their own precise role. The previous listerner vs restorer aspect can be kept, but maybe this time without the rotation. For example, the wife can be the listener for confessions (the "passive" partner) while the husband is the "active" partner doing the "magic" of cairon engineering. I also imagined the possiblity of some one-gender orders, with specific task. For example, an order dedicated to the cult of fertility?

2. Many religious holidays:
The liturgical calendars would include many events demanding appropriate celebrations and rituals, following historical events, significant dailylife events (traditional ones like harvesting, wine making, etc.), famed religious people (ie Jakarism's "saints"), corporations and trade guilds (such as a holiday celebrating the carpenters, etc.), philosophical concepts, etc.

3. Hedonistic cult:
I was thinking a recent religious philosopher could have created a version of Jakarism that pursue hedonistic practices, viewed as the most favourable to restoration of Jakar, with a very lax interpretation of the many religious texts.

4. Practices:
One or two "mass" a week, with the ones of the aforementionned holidays. Cairon engineering via collective worship is a constant effort, just "home" cairon engineering is not enough. I like the old idea of making singing an important aspect of worship. I also think there would be some specific cleaning rituals, with a strong incitation for personnal hygiene and grooming, although this could vary a lot with periods (eg beards would be "in" some century, while completely "out" the next...)

5. Beauty:
Beauty (and harmoniousness) could be pushed in front as some major thing, as it can be seen as an expression of perfection. A more perfect world is a more beautifull world. Some "ugly" things would be stricly rejected as imperfect or against harmony.

6. Connection with "divine" (that had a specific name Vince used some time ago, I don't remember it):
Connection with the sacre/divine would be achieved via internal process and pseudo magic actions to reach a state believed to be a brief restoration of jakar within the person's space, a form of transcendence or beatitude (which allows the hedonistic aspect I mentionned earlier, where all kind of pleasure is good). Music and singing would play a role in achieving this state, and the use of some drugs for transe-like states might also have happened and still be happening.

7. Holy people:
Jakarism's "saints" are people that managed to reach a permanant state of restoration within themselves, and depending on the era and/or denomination are believe to yield great "magical" powers by manipulation the raw energy of cairon.

8. Clergy again:
Pious people and clergy people would be seen as more harmonious then others, with a better cairon than regular lay people, which mean they can achieve the connected state more easily. That would positively affect cairon around them. However, they haven't achieved permanant restoration like "saints".

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Re: Western religions

Postby Sébastien » Thu May 26, 2011 10:26 pm

A point I should add is that I picture Jakarism would have a number of quite old practise that have been kept through ages, from the religion(s) it originated from in the antiquity. Maybe the outline I had in the previous version (Dordanic paganism to Senuminism to Jakarism) can be kept?

 
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Re: Western religions

Postby Pepijn » Fri May 27, 2011 11:06 am


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Re: Western religions

Postby Sébastien » Fri May 27, 2011 11:28 am

I used "saints", note the quotes, as a placeholder for the eventual name of these kind of people in Jakarism, so it could very well be the same as it used to be, i.e. examplars. As for beauty, well yes it is arbitraty. Certainly, symmetry, balance and "harmoniousness" can be included into it, so that "beauty" is something both composed of objective and subjective concepts. That allows to have both a part that remains the same throughout centuries (with the focus on geometry and architecture) and another part that evolve with the times, based on more superficial considerations. This latter aspect could be a surviving elements of older cults, while the worship of "rational concepts" such as geometry could be on of the major contribution brought by the evolution from Senuminism (or whatever the name of the preceeding religion is) to Jakarism.

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Re: Western religions

Postby Sébastien » Sat May 28, 2011 10:44 pm

Some elements for the common cultural capital, related to cosmology. Note these are based on the previous version of the religions, even if I worded thel to show there's already an existing common capital.

Human place the universe

Jakarism: Humans are beings of both physical and spiritual nature, although between their birth and death they have almost no contact with the physical world and vice-versa after their death. The universe was designed to house them, as the only created beings with free will. As a species, they had a previous existence in the primordial chaos and subsequent harmonious universe (Jakar).

Siriash: Humans are the first physical form in which a spiritual being (soul) becomes self-aware. They are a part of the universe as it emerged upon creation, reflection of untargeted thoughts. As a species, they did not have a previous existence.

Aim(s) of human existence

Jakarism: The aim of human existence is to restore the universe to its perfect bi-facet perfect state, so humans can enjoy again the ideal life they knew after creation.

Siriash: The aim of human existence is to restore the universe to its perfect unified perfect state, so humans can enjoy the ideal life of higher beings.

How is the cosmos organised?

Jakarism: There are physical and spiritual worlds, and possibly others, which are mostly segregated, although humans exist at the interface between these. These worlds are of equal capacity. A special essence (cairon) provides linkage between the two worlds. Both worlds follow sets of rules, and there are no beings of infinite power.

Siriash: There are physical and spiritual worlds, which are segregated. Souls exist at the interface between these (moving back and forth). These worlds are not of equal capacity (spiritual is more important than physical). Both worlds follow sets of rules, and there are no beings of infinite power.


Who organised the cosmos?

Jakarism: The cosmos was voluntarily organised by the creator deity (Aedif). This organisation was beneficial to all beings.

Siriash: The cosmos was voluntarily organised by the creator deities (Council). This organisation was not beneficial to all being.

What existed before the present universe?

Jakarism: A primordial chaos, from which intelligence spontaneously erupted.

Siriash: A transcendent force, in which intelligence existed without set beginning.

Are there other beings than humans and animal life?

Jakarism: Yes, many. Many beings exist in the spiritual world, of varied origins.

Siriash: Strico sensu, no. All beings are physical expressions of souls, their physical form being governed by the soul’s degree of “sophistication”.

Hierarchy of beings

Jakarism: All living beings, natural or spiritual in nature, are organised along a hierarchy. This hierarchy is the “natural” state of the universe, although it did not arise as such. Only humans and entirely spiritual beings have souls. Beings cannot progress along the hierarchy, but they can change nature while remaining at the same level. Position on the hierarchy is determined by the original arisal of the said beings (possession of free will, independent apparition from chaos or creation by upper being).

Siriash: All living beings, natural or spiritual in nature, are organised along a hierarchy. This hierarchy is not the “natural” state of the universe. All beings have souls. Beings can progress along the hierarchy in their cycling life, ascending or regressing. Humans are the first level where the soul becomes self-aware.

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Re: Western religions

Postby Steven » Sun May 29, 2011 12:34 pm

The more that is posted on the thread the clearer it is that Jakarism and Siriash make sense to be related in the same way Islam and Christianity is, or Judaism. It'll be interesting to see the differences.
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Re: Western religions

Postby Sébastien » Sun May 29, 2011 6:55 pm


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Re: Western religions

Postby Vince » Sun May 29, 2011 6:57 pm

They're related in more like the kind of way Confucianism and Taoism are. Fatalism is the example which is more comparable to Islam.
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Re: Western religions

Postby Steven » Sun May 29, 2011 7:43 pm

:monocle:
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Re: Western religions

Postby Lois » Mon May 30, 2011 4:01 am

An Arlaturi perspective. Note that this is still a bit fluid, as Mike (on-Ryde) is contributing strongly to Arlatur.

Human place in the universe
All living things are of equal value. They consist of a vehicle, or body (hylki) and a continuous spirit (neisti). Humans are a part of the universe, as is everything else in the universe.

Aim of human existence
The purpose of living is to learn, and align oneself with the wholeness of the universe (einingu). While lessons can be learned in any form, being a human offers more opportunity for the conscious cultivation of self toward einingu.

How is the cosmos organized?
There is a physical world and a spiritual world; the spiritual world is present as an equal component of the physical (and it's perfectly legitimate to say this the other way around). Physical manifestations (hylki) interfere with the spirit's (neisti) ability to fully perceive the spiritual world.

Who organised the cosmos?
The cosmos simply is. If anything, it organized itself.

What existed before the present universe?
This universe was, is, and will always be, though it will change over time.

Are there other beings than human and animal life?
The neisti can exist without a hylki, but it can't interact with the physical world and has other matters to attend to. Some adherents of Arlatur may attribute spiritual qualities to items, or discuss the possibilty that extraterrestrials have a neisti, and will generally agree that at least aliens would.

Hierarchy of beings
No being is inherently better than another overall. However, some beings are better at certain things than others. No one creature has more inherent worth than another. This said, it's considered advantageous to be human, as humans can actively cultivate the neisti for greater closeness with einingu.


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Re: Western religions

Postby Vince » Mon May 30, 2011 8:10 am

It's what the cool kids are doing (now with Fatalist answers) - I should note that this only applies to the Arlatur/Siriash/Jakarism/Fatalism bloc of religions as they share the same / similar cultural basis and concerns. Isealism and Pyranism (or other religions) shouldn't be dealt with via these questions.

Human place in the universe
Humans are weak, but have one ability which sets them apart from the cosmos at large - their free will. This will can be tamed and cultivated to transcend Light/Dark dualism.

Aim of human existence
The aim of living is to gain Knowledge, to attain transcendence.

How is the cosmos organized?
The world is a clash between Light and Dark.

Who organised the cosmos?
The cosmos was produced virtually as detritus in the clash between Light and Dark.

What existed before the present universe?
Light and Dark, which are infinite.

Are there other beings than human and animal life?
Mythologically, some Fatalists believe in Light and Dark deities and demons of various types. A more metaphysical Fatalism would see Light and Dark as beings in their own right, but nearly all Fatalists acknowledge the presence of a supernatural plane of beings.

Hierarchy of beings
No being is inherently better than another overall, though some are more powerful than others. Beings could be analysed on a spectrum from Light to Dark. Humans are the only beings who have free will and can attain transcendence, which puts them at an enormous advantage. There is an organizational need for hierarchy where those with less Knowledge are subordinated to those with more, but this does not reflect an innate good.
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Re: Western religions

Postby Pepijn » Mon May 30, 2011 9:14 am


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Re: Western religions

Postby Lois » Mon May 30, 2011 9:18 am

I see your point, but I think it may be useful to take a look at Isealism, at least. Some west Ereanan nations have holdings in east Ascesia, or have reason for strong trade there. Even a rough sketch would be great. I imagine west Ereanan culture would be even partly colored by east Ascesian culture.


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