Boreanesian Belief System (was: Re: Constructed Religions)
|From:||Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, January 2, 1999, 21:01|
I'm really glad to see that many have express interest. Actually, I
posted about this some time ago, but I have made significant changes
recently so an updated post is in order.
The Boreanesian belief system is what could be technically called
deist/dualist/animist religion. This implies several things:
Being animists, they believe that the universe's mechanism consists
a number of natural forces that has the ability to 'animate'
things - hence the term. These forces exist everywhere from the sun
in the sky, to the trees on the mountains, to the ends of one's
Being dualists, they believe that there are two of these forces.
These are namely, the ethereal forces and the corporeal forces. As
part of a great rhythm/cycle, these forces intermingle to form the
universe (with "spirits", "fire", "the heavens" on one side and
"ephemeral bodies", "water", "the earth" on the other).
Finally, being deists, they believe that the universe is a rational
place and can therefore be understood through reasoning. Everything
and every detail in their daily lives could be comprehended through
the rationale behind the forces and the great rhythm/cycle. Its kept
simple so that there is no need to secure any religious institutions
(eg. temples, clerics, books, etc.). Knowledge about the two natural
forces is passed on from generation to generation.
Thus, in the sense of familiar Western religions, Boreanesians might
not be considered to have a religion per se. "Its Godless for God's
sake!!" 8-) But they do have a belief system comprising a cosmology
and origin myths, and a host of rituals. With this in mind I now
procede with more details of this belief system.
The fundamental belief of Boreanesians is that the universe (and all
other parallel universes) is one of a rhythm/cycle that has no
beginning and no end. This rhythm/cycle is called the 'Pulse of
Nature' and is equated with various cycles in nature, such as
life/death, the seasons, the lunar cycle, the menstrual cycle, the
24hr day, the heartbeat, etc.. Everything around us is affected by
this Pulse just like everything is affected by time. Even the life
and death of the universe is affected by the Pulse of Nature such
that a parallel universe existed before ours and another existed
before that. In turn, a new one will be created when ours dies and
another will be created when the new one dies. This life and death
cycle of different parallel universes is called the "Cosmic Cycle".
The Cosmic Cycle begins with the creation of the universe. At its
birth, the universe has no internal structure: light was not
distinguished from darkness, or matter from energy, or life from
death. In Boreanesian metaphysical terms, it is said that 'Fire'
(ethereal forces) was indistinguishable from 'Water' (corporeal
forces). The 'birth' of the universe begins with the two forces
gradually sorting themselves out. Initially, 'Water' formed the
Earth with land and water while 'Fire' formed the Heavens with the
sun, stars, and lightning. The process of separation is still not
complete, though, and continues to this day, sometimes with violent
reactions: residual 'Water' in the Heavens leads to the creation of
clouds, rains, and typhoons. Residual 'Fire' elements in the Earth
leads to the creation of volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. This
is called the 'Detachment of the Cosmos'. The Cosmic Detachment is
basically a collection of several smaller cycles. When these smaller
cycles reach their zenith, then the separation of 'Fire' and 'Water'
involved in these cycles complete. Boreanesians believe that when
the separation of all the elements is complete - ie. when all the
cycles within the Cosmic Cycle reach their zenith, the whole process
will reverse. The reverse is called the 'Attachment of the Cosmos'
and is the Boreanesian version of Armagedon. In fact, comets,
meteors, and falling stars serve as reminders to the Boreanesians of
what is yet to come. When the attachment is complete, the whole
cycle begins all over again.
This Cosmology has certain implications for the way Boreanesians see
things in the world. Many objects on Earth can be seen as still
sustaining residual forces of 'Fire'. Wood for instance can burn.
The fire always seeks up to the Heaven where it belongs while the
ashes remain on Earth at this stage of the Cosmic Detachment. Water
and rocks can't burn, and are therefore seen as end products of an
earlier process in the Detachment. (But one can add 'Fire' to water
and rocks - ie., heat). One could therefore perhaps translate 'Fire'
to mean 'Spirit'. So at this stage of the Detachment, all
combustible things still have a 'spirit' of some kind, even people
and animals for they can burn (or produce heat) too, and all other
things once had a spirit. Although Boreanesians know that the
Detachment can never be stopped and Armagedon is inevitability, they
still try to slow it down by emphasizing against large-scale
exploitation of natural resources, against the concentration of
wealth, and against hostility.
DEATH AND BURIAL
As stated, within the Cosmic Cycle are numerous smaller cycles that
are also a part of the Pulse. Boreanesians have several narratives
connected to these other cycles. The most important is perhaps the
cycle of life and death.
Boreanesians see death as an advancement to the life/death cycle's
culmination. When a person dies, his/her 'Fire' (or 'Spirit') must
be released from his/her 'Water' (or mortal remains) in order to
reach the cycle's zenith. The most direct way is through cremation.
The most indirect way is simply through decay. In any case, a
person's 'Fire' will always find a way to detach from the person's
'Water' for it is the natural way of the Pulse and the Detachment.
So Boreanesian see no problem in cremation, even if this may speed
up the Detachment (however minimally). Actually, Boreanesians would
prefer to be cremated so that their 'Fire' can immediately join
their ancestors in the Heavens. Enemies would seldomly be cremated.
MYTHS AND FOLKTALES
While the narratives about the different cycles are taken seriously,
there are several other stories that are less serious and treated as
mere folktales. Some deal with mythical creatures and others deal
with a mythical first human being and are treated as mere folktales
that are not taken seriously. This is a person of an indeterminate
sex, both male and female, rich and poor, clever and stupid. S/he is
credited for inventing everything that has to do with human culture,
eg.: s/he invented the family by having a man and woman become
his/her parents, and s/he founded the first 'lemah' (settlement).
If people are still interested, I'll post the details about the
various RITUALS like the FUNERAL CEREMONY. I have so much detail
about this, but I don't want to seem like I'm hogging bandwidth by
posting a whole lot that is a not entirely on-topic.