Allright. Gather round children, for today we are going to have a little look at something entirely innocuous and without the slightest hint of controversy or drama. Belief, reality, and God. It’ll be a long one, because we’re going to have to start right down at the very fundamentals of how my clan views these things and work our way up to the incessant repeating loops over in the off-topic thread which at this point can just be randomly copy-pasted back to back with zero loss of content.
This will undoubtedly be very annoying for members of some other Sebiestor clan members on these boards, very annoying for many firm believers and supremely annoying for a sizable chunk of non-believers. In other words, well worth my time and efforts.
Do not expect any sort of scholarly or academic rigor, paper structure or formality. Veracity, suitably enough for the subject at hand, will be random and unreliable at best, and no one will be getting much out of this other than perhaps idle amusement. Stream of Consciousness… Engage.
Reality Does Not Matter But It Does
This is where some will start downright frothing. Bear with me.
The Gripdjur are a fairly spiritual clan. Two-thirds of our governance consists of spiritual authority figures, Volur, Shamans and others that interact in some form another with the spiritual and the parts of reality usually reserved for madmen, drug-abuse and other ways of living ones best life. We are a clan with many who believe in what many in the modern world would consider superstitious nonsense and this frustrates many others.
I know a mechanic who will spend half an our attuning themselves to the generator they’re about to figure out the efficiency loss on, an architect that will spend weeks familiarizing themselves with the spirits of the land they’re about to develop before drawing a single line and our finest cosmologist reads signs and portents on the star map.
However, there’s a secret to this. A very open secret, but so ignored by the detractors that it somehow remains one in spite of our efforts to the contrary. Listen up, because this is important and we’ll be getting back to it later:
It doesn’t matter.
Whether any of this is even remotely real or just figments of the imagination. It does. Not. Matter.
First of all, lets take just how much of what we do consider real and weigh it a bit. There can be no argument against the fact that humanity as a species has some truly incredible super-powers. At some point we took roughly two pounds of wrinkled cholesterol and water and gave it anxiety, existential dread and the ability to create the most wondrous of things. Justice. Honor. Love. Hate. Beauty. Unicorns and Dragons. There is no doubt love exists in this universe, but should you grind down all of reality into its component bits and pieces, you won’t find enough of it to fill a thimble. You won’t in fact find a single molecule, atom or quark of love, justice or honor.
When we created these things, we knew for certain they were real and yet it most certainly took us a very long time before we could prove and measure them. Our brains being very good at dealing with medium sized things moving at medium speeds, like grains of sand, snakes and wolves, and mountain ranges, but very very bad at dealing with small and large things like molecules and superclusters meant we had to take our time finding ways to actually look at and measure these things. Since they are beyond the otherwise wondrous abilities of our two pounds of soggy wrinkled fat. So now we can put someone into a scanner and actually see the bits of brain processes that are physical reality’s very real and measurable examples of love or dread or envy. Every abstract we can conjure that does not exist remains a physical and measurable part of reality once we confined it to a web of neurons and fairy dust.
At whatever point in our history some fellow banged a couple of weird rocks together for the first time and fire happened, they certainly did not understand oxidation, energy, convection or radiation. This power of creating fire that had heretofore only ever been the domain of Gods was however very real. That Glog the Firelord and his descendants weren’t demigods and chosen by the powers that be might have been a bit of a mistake later rectified by science notwithstanding, the reality of it all was that the effects were very much real.
So, let’s look at why Glog not being Chosen by God and why communing with the spirit of a frigate’s power generator being real or not does not matter.
We’re not fools. In New Eden, there’s few who can argue that the Matari aren’t masters of scientific endeavor, engineering and technology. Give us a few tools and we’ll assemble something capable of rebellion and terrifying and very very real effect.
Very few things in this unfathomable reality of ours can be dis-proven. There is, roughly a third of the way between Pator and Huola in the deep dark space between star systems, the most beautiful object in all of the universe. A unicorn with a braided mane that circles around an empty spot of space farting out rainbows and in spite of the vacuum you can smell the strawberries and fairy dust it trails behind it. If a single human being ever laid eyes upon it, it would trigger cluster-wide peace and prosperity as a wave of inspiration would wash over us all from this one singular event.
Prove me wrong.
So, one can not reasonably expect anyone to dis-prove anything. It is in fact a pretty silly taunt coming from either the ignorant, the malicious or the dishonest. Without omniscience, there will always be gaps in our knowledge. Glog the Firelord inserted his theft of fire from the Gods where we now put in pretty basic physics and pretty much every time we as a species have to scratch our heads and go “I wonder how that works?” you can be pretty sure someone’ll jump right at the chance to stuff that gap with a God, a spirit or a wild beautiful fancy of some sort.
We can’t prove anything doesn’t exist, because of our marvelous power of fitting the vastest notions in existence into the tiniest holes imaginable. In a very real way, merely imagining something does in fact make them part of objective physical reality simply on account of it changing the wrinkled bag of nonsense in quite measurable ways.
And this is why whether or not something we believe in is actually real… does not in fact matter.
The effect is demonstrably, objectively, unequivocally and unarguably very real.
The important lesson to take from this is two-fold. For one, focusing too much on ‘objective reality’ and what we have proven to be so means losing sight of the fact that we are very much more than that as a species. We are almost nothing but a giant bag of nonsensical abstract tosh that you will never find on a table of elements, churning in the furnace of a star in its death throes, or created in a particle accelerator. The existence or lack there-of of Gods, spirits and horned ponies farting rainbows does not matter at all, when compared to their measurable and objectively true effects on the reality we inhabit. The second part of the lesson learned from Glog the Firelord is that no matter how far we think we have come, peaks of human development and endeavor that we are, mastering fire and conquering reality as we know it… we most certainly have never reached a point where it didn’t turn out we had more things to discover and write very dull papers on. At every point of our development, we’ve often made the mistake of looking at our supremacy and forgetting just how far we’ve yet to go in terms of understanding reality.
We are Glog the Firelord. An infinitesimal grain of knowledge on the shores of an unfathomably vast ocean of ignorance, where for better or worse we imagine all manner of things and proclaim they’re True. Here there be Monsters… of our own making. The part that should be both inspirational and scary is that just like how we learned to measure, observe and nail down exactly what fire is and how it works, is that we might just find out one day how to measure and observe more of that ocean we’ve populated with all manner of fancy… and find out which very real things live there.
The first thing Glog the Firelord burned was the tip of his fingers.
Thus, I would argue that the Gripdjur as a clan of mad men and women communing with the spirits of the land, the skies and the star oceans themselves has taken a rather reasonable stance on these matters. We acknowledge all that has so far been measured, proven and objective truth while also acknowledging that whether all the things we merely believe are objective truths or not… does not matter in the slightest.
What matters is the measurable objectively real effect.