Chaos and illumination

From: Peter Larsen <>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 17:16:17 -0500

Marko Perälä says:

>I didn't mean with this one the creatures, who are illuminated, but the
>ideals of the philosophy itself. The whole point in illumination is to see
>law and chaos as two parts of the whole like in Cults of terror. This is
>what Nysalor/Gbaji taught.

        I don't think this is the case. Illumination, as I understand it, teaches that the Theist distinctions (Cosmos vs Chaos, yes, but also Harmony vs Disorder, Life vs Death, etc) are illusions. This removes, among other things, the instinctive fear and hatred most beings feel toward chaos, but it doesn't really say anything about chaos beyond that. Illuminated beings are more likely, perhaps, to embrace chaos, but they are just as likely to perform stunning acts of kindness or begin plagues so they can cure them. Theist peoples have a lot of hardwired morality, and Illumination removes this -- an Illuminated Heortling can commit kinslaughter without divine consequences, because he or she realizes that the concept of "kin" is an illusion. On the brighter side, the Illuminated Heortling is also freed from the hardwired urge to Tease the Ducks, which might make life more pleasant.  

>I remember reading from Dorastor: Land of Doom that Osentalka was made
>the pieces of dead Rashoran.

        It's certainly a theory. Whether it's the "Truth," I don't know....

>This was a thought that came to my mind. Arkat insane hate towards
>tes started very suspiciously from my perspectively. He was an illuminate
>himself so why'd he start hating and persecuting them so suddenly. It'd
>seem lot more logical if he believed in a different form of illuminating
>philosophy that didn't embrace the methods of Bright empire. Insane hatred
>against heretics vs. insane hatred against ones own kind. I'd pick the
>one here unless someone shows otherwise.

        Maybe, or maybe he just realized the moral dangers of Illumination. Removed from a very rigorous moral philosophy, Illumination tends to produce monsters, people who mistake "Do What Thou Wilt" with "Do Whatever You Want." A problem with Illumnation is that it tends to spread. The Riddlers, especially, go about Illuminationg people without necessarily giving them any way to deal with the insights. That's a problem and not a bad reason to kill Riddlers on sight. Remember -- Arkat's actions were recorded and reported by people who were mostly not part of his inner circle (most, if not all, of whom died in Dorastor) and who were often hostile to many of his actions and philosophies. They cannot be fully trusted. "Who was Gbaji?" is a question that has not been definitively answered and, I suspect, never will be.

Peter Larsen

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