Posted by Irgend Jemand on 14:53 2/22/02
In reply to: (none)
Mark, are you sure that Endajue the way you describe it is the religion of all those people in Xurno?
I'm asking because I've got the impression that for most religiously interested people on earth, "religion" means "something they can pray to". The polytheist religions fit this from the start with their gods and supernatural beings. Most real-life versions of Christianity are more about praising and worshipping the trinity than about following Jesus Christ's teachings (not to mention the Catholic worship of Mary and the saints). Judaism has G-d knows how many rules and rites to remind the people of His will all the time. While Buddhism originally didn't mention gods, in the Buddhist countries it has mostly turned into either treating Buddha as a kind of de-facto god (perhaps not among the monks, but at least among the ordinary folks), or doing the same with famous Buddhists, or combining the whole thing with some additional religions that do have gods and monsters or spirits or whatever. And Islam clearly states that it is dedication to God, period. (Wich is sometimes said to be it's major appeal).
But the Greater and the Lesser Principle seem not to be that easy to worship and pray to in order to get one's wishes fullfilled. Are you sure that in all the centuries of Endajue practise in Xurno, there hasn't evolved anything more worshipable?
(For that matter: I don't have any problem with god(s).)
Also, there's something about some Xurnese court magician somewhere on your pages (I've forgotten where), and since magic works on Almea, I suppose that in more than one culture there some people have figured out how to use it. And that means that at least some people in Xurno have to know about the Vyoshi.
Good questions... I agree that people love to anthropomorphize, and add personages to an otherwise austere religion. The Xurnese venerate certain dauxey much as Muslims may venerate particular leaders.
I don't think people necessarily want someone to worship. Christianity emphasizes worship for its own sake; but I suspect that much of the time, worship is a fairly mercenary accompaniment to supplication, based on an analogy to earthly leaders, who generally respond well to buttering up.
And though people like a humanoid face to pray to, I think the important thing is a way to get things done. Much of earthly 'magic' is nothing but impersonal recipes for getting things done supernaturally. Popular Endajué certainly has this element; there are formulas and rituals for affecting one's daily life. (I'll talk about this more in the long-pending Xurnese section of "Almean Belief Systems".)
As for real magic, you're right; Xurnese magicians do have to deal with the vyozhî, but their theory of what they're doing is quite different. (And I don't know what it is yet...)
By the way, if anyone's wondering, my current project is a translation of the Cuzeian Count of Years. Though it's slowed down a bit; I haven't even got to the creation of the ilii yet.