6:29 PM

Spirit of the Wind

The Order of Transcendence

The Order of Transcendence is one of the major philosophical groups in the Southern Basin, and one of their biggest hopes. The Order holds that through study of a subject, one can achieve a sort of oneness with the subject, and possibly even transcend mortal existence. A biologist achieves enlightenment through studying biology, a chemist by studying chemistry, etc. While book studying is an important part of this process, it is the least important pat.

The universe, according to the Order of Transcendence, is an objective one, made of matter and reaction. It is not consensual; the rules of reality might be able to be bent but they cannot be broken—if one of the rules can be broken, it isn’t a rule. Mind is a sort of separate reality, a ‘virtual reality’ of sorts. By having the mind’s inner reality (which is how it understand reality) be brought closer to reality itself, the mind’s inner reality will begin to mimic reality—even in areas that haven’t explicitly been studied. Therefore, someone whose understanding of reality is very good in one area will be able to guess very accurately things in that area that they don’t know about—an acitan who never goes beyond the Southern Basin would be able to make an excellent guess about a species of crocodile they had never heard of half a world away—not simply by making a wild guess, but by extrapolating based on continental drift and evolutionary history and climatic patterns and general ecology. At higher levels, the mind can achieve a sort of unity with the universe, similar to the concept of enlightenment among some cultures.

Study of this sort cannot be thrust upon someone. Each individual must seek out knowledge for themselves; the process of discovery is essential to enlightenment and transcendence. Books and teachers are all well and good, but to learn from only them is missing out on the most important part of science and study. Those who teach and are members of the Order of Transcendence often make their assignments not to repeat what has been already learned, but to do research and discover something independently—or discover something totally new.

Politically, the Order of Transcendence is inclined towards a technocracy, similar to how currently acitan government works, but also have distinctly socialistic tendencies. In their view, a socialistic society makes it easier for any one person to devote larger amounts of time to attempting to reach transcendence or enlightenment than one where one must constantly struggle for survival if one has the misfortunate to be born into poverty. Because of this view, the Order of Transcendence is also involved in many civil rights efforts. While it might seem like a rather heartless reason, the Order’s members usually are involved in civil rights and progressive causes for more than one reason.

Membership among the Order of Transcendence is highest among acitan, especially among the biomancers, many of whom end up becoming summoners (their study of zoology enables them to summon interplanetary and interuniversal beings—at least, that’s what they attribute it to). Silvanshee and ash cats come in second, and they usually study the magical arts—not just practical things like shooting fireballs, but how magic works and how it interacts with the nonmagical world. The rest are a mix of outsiders, dragons and coatls, and various uplifted animals.

The Order of Transcendence has no religion. It is apatheistic, not particularly caring if entities are deities or not. Deities, argue the Order, are often idiots. Some of the most powerful deities are fools incapable of transcendence, wrapped up entirely in themselves and unable to see the world. A few deities are respected, but only because they have shown themselves to be capable of transcendence—one, Kulcol, is rumored to have become a god through transcendence. A member of the Order of Transcendence would calmly correct a deity to their face, even on a matter pertaining to their portfolio. The notion of according deities any sort of status as ‘superior beings’ is alien to them—most in fact look down on the vast majority of deities as childish fools. And fairly often will say so to their face without batting an eye. The deities who spend any time in the Southern Basin (deity, really—Kulcol is the only deity who’s even vaguely interested in the area, given that it is one of the least religious areas on the planet and there are quite a few beings capable of killing deities in the Southern Basin) don’t mind that sort of thing, generally, and often appreciate it.

-- Citrakayah

Written 2012