The Jaded Path
|The Jaded Path|
|Holy Scripture||The Ano Chaplet|
|Deities||The Path accepts all deities as equal Ancestors|
|Symbols||A silver bell upon a blue field|
|Structure and Politics|
|Leadership||Ukwu Lineages, Maarist Priesthood|
|Home Regions||Rook, Sentinel, and North Reaches, central holy site of the Waning Moon Temple on Narak II|
|Place of Worship||Herod|
|Followers||Jades, Jays (perjorative), Maarist (clinical term)|
|Major Sects||Orche Crowns, Gold Crowns|
"Seek an end to despair by cutting through the delusion of suffering."
The Jaded Path is so name as it built upon a framework of counter nihilism. Some accused the faith of being narcissistic in its declaration of achieve grand self-awareness. What many do not understand however is that the faith of the Maare Otu is not established upon the tenants of salvation through gods, but that one can save themselves through careful administration of thought. Core to this is the belief of the Three Declarations, and the Way of Golden Percepts. Asha the Maare Otu did not die for the sins of others, nor did she bring a extravagant revelation to the greedy kings of her world. She traveled the country, and learned about the people. Her followers then under the tutelage of the reincarnating lineages of the Isi learned how to remove the despair that covers all. By sounding the holy bells of revelation one can become tranquily in all things.
The story of Asha the Maare Otu, the Aware One, dates back to the year, 2,500 SF in the early years of the Vish Empire. The Vish Empire was rought with political change after the unification of the planet and its nearby moon. The actions left anguish across the entire planetary Empire. Ethnic hatred, and disparity spread across the Empire. At the time of the unification the daughter of the current ruler, Oranjan Oba, who succeeded his unnamed father after the man's death in the end tides of unification. It was Oranjan's daughter, Asha, who would break the wheel that her family worked so hard to established.
When she was born, the prophets of the local Thousandfold cult declared that Asha would either be a great slayer of enemies, marry a grand prince of a foreign land, or walk the earth to understand the common people. her father saw all these opportunities as grand, but also as detrimental to his rule. Oranjan was a man who loved his daughter, but believed that only a strong son woucld continue the rule of the Kingly Clan of Oba. So when the girl reached her majority she was shuttered away to a Creedan Solemnary on a remote island on her world. Who would know that even there she would live an extravagant life of exile as her younger brothers moved to rule the Vish.
In the Solmenary she would come to meet Creedan scholars, and story tellers of the local faiths found across the entire Triad. As a place for shuttered nobility the Somenary was oft to be visited by those seeking to give pilgrimage or patronage to the local Abbess. In her time Asha came to speak and learn much of the various faiths of the entire Avalonic Empire of old. She also came to see how the worship of Star-Gods, and deities in general witout regards to others could be detrimental. It was one night that the girl then decided to flee the confines of her gilded cage and into the common lands. Here for many years she survived as a wandering hermit, and later a traveling scholar with a small grouping of followers.
Throughout her tie the woman came to see the horribleness spread by her father's rule, and how it hurt her people. And thus in a series of movements of ascension she realized how to tranqil her soul, and thus became the Maare Otu.
The later Eras of the faith have seen a dispersal after once being a majority in the Vish Empire itself. If it were not for support in Sentinel then Maarism as it came to be called or the Jaded Path, would not be recognized as a major faith today. Maare Otu's spiritual descendants, the Isi, or wise Chiefs, came to believe that after her passing that they must retain the journey to teach others the way of the Path. Each generation of Isi thus has reincarnated into the next, supposedly, as a means of maintaining the sacred lineages that were founded years ago on a planet once torn by war.
Beliefs and Practices
The beliefs professed in the story of Maare Otu are only the surface of the complex belief system that is the Jaded Path. The name itself is a ideological reference to the road that was once walked by Asha the Aware when she lived as a hermit on the southern plains south of the Capital of Vish. There she held many a great discussions and debates with early Transtheists, Creedans, and Thousandfold followers. From their discussions arose the belief of the Three Declaration, and the Golden Precepts.
The central beliefs of the Maarist philosophy is based around the grand wheel of the universe. This ongoing cycle of the ultimate reality drives everyone in existence to be capture in an ongoing cycle of death and rebirth. Their despair lashing them to the spinning of the wheel while their Ancestors rest above after hearing the bell of Awareness. Those what rise above are known simply as the Aware or more correctly, the Tranquil.
Source of the Jaded Path
Many to this day question the name of the faith as the "Jaded Path" or "Uzo Ndi Na-enweghi" - the Path of the Lacking as a true name of the faith. Many outside the faith simply call its members Jades, or Jayes, while more formal types may dub them "Maarists". To the followers of the Jaded Path the reason they name themselves so is that they are those who once lacked enthusiasm to seek Tranquility. To have enthusiasm is means to fight despair. So in reality all who do not walk the Path to become Aware are the Jaded, and the faithful themselves are merely deciding they are no longer among the Lacking. A complex meaning and one that still truly lacks any true definition to this day.
The Three Declarations
- Main article: Three Declarations
The greatest of tenets among the Maarist faithful is the reserved contemplatioin of the Three Declarations. These are three great revelations of reality which hel[ one to understand how despair and negative came to enter the world.
- The truth of Obi nkorupu (despair) is that it permeates everything that is temporal in the world cannot remove it.
- Through clinging to Obi nkorupu one cycles through life after life of experiences in the grand wheel of the universe.
- By following the golden precepts and seeking a life of balanced awareness of self, one can be freed of the wheel, and attain peace under the stars.
The Golden Precepts
- Main article: The Golden Precepts
The truth to understanding what the Jades follow is to understand the path laid out by the Golden Precepts of the celestial ultimate reality:
- Truthful motive under the stars.
- Truthful prospect under the stars.
- Truthful desire under the stars.
- Truthful words under the stars.
- Truthful action and reaction under the stars.
- Truthful profession under the stars.
- Truthful exercjse under the stars.
- Truthful diligence under the stars.
- Truthful application under the stars.
The Ano Chaplet
- Main article: Ano Chaplet
The Four Beads or the Ano Chaplet are the official collected Maarist canon written over the years by a variety of Aware individuals. Those who have risen about the despair around them, sounded the bell of reality and found themselves within the life of the Tranquil. Within the Ano Chaplet area a series of treatises, essays and thoughts written over the years by the most devout of the followers of Asha the Maare Otu. First among them was a woman named Mensha who took the early experiences of Asha and translated them into a greater doctrine. Her work, "Many-Fold Thought" was used as a philosophical discussion of the road to tranquility. Next came the a great woman named Emeka, one of the very first Omune-onye, the Tranquil Ones. After attaining outer awareness of herself she wrote, "The Ringing Revelations", a series of essays on what it means to be Maarist.
All of these including the works of Ananzi who wrote "The Lines of the Wheel" a series of doctrine or Ozizi which delineates the position of souls in the grand turning cycle of despair and how those known as the Tranquil prop up the spokes so they can give others a chance to escape. Finally, there is the the canon known as the "Whipping Spokes" which discerns places in life for all, and how action and interpretation of the Golden Precepts can go awry without proper meditation.
The Bells of Clarity
The Jades as a faith believe that Bells can intone and awaken a sense of clarity within those who are suffering the spokes of the wheel. Bells are clear and without corruption and thus they provide a greater sense than that of other instruments. In most temples or Herod of the Maarist faith the bells are rang loudly to expel ill tidings or the dispel any growing feelings of despair. Most priests and nuns of the faith often wear small silvery bells around their neck in tie with this practice. Even the lay people of the faith adopt wearing of bells in times of ceremony or a simple small silver jingling bell as a representation of the faith.
Bells are often depicted in Maarist tapestries and in the holy art that Jades create to express images of their holy saints, the Omune-onye. Bells in these imagery are often held aloft ready to ring and to call awareness to one as Tranquility begins to descend upon the Aware.
- Main article: Maarist Priesthood
The structure of the Jaded Path is a loose confederation of linked temples known as Herod, and the nuns who dwell therein. These holy women are said to obtain the dream of Tranquility through careful meditation and thus are charged with prayer to bring about an end of despair for all those around them. This monastic tradition was began in the years following the establishment of the first true Herod under the Maare Otu's inheritor, Mensha, who began the Maarist tradition of philosophical debate on the status of ones Tranquility. As the debates grew and prayer to the spirit of Maare Otu spread the necessity for the Herod became even more clear with each passing generation.
Maarist priestesses in general can easily be recognized for their facial scarification done in their early years to mark their passage into a life of servitude to the ideals of the Jaded Path.
Nuns and the Lay-folk
In Herodic monastery or herod a chief abbess oversees the organization of a local cloister of nuns all of whom who have sworn off the earthy things that might distract them from achieve Tranquility. These nuns then perform local rites and rituals for their lay people who in turn provide them with food and supplies to maintain the Herod itself. Herods are in general nearly independent of each other, and only answer to a localized religious figure known Izi. Most Izi are chosen by a gather of abbesses who then decided who is the most holy among them. Thee however who act as the triarchal leaders of the entire faith are selected by careful examination. These Izi made up of the Jade, Amber and Opal Izi are said to be reborn as a means of eventually breaking the cycle of the wheel. For this very reason they are considered the spiritual leaders of the entire Maarist world.
The sectarian divide that emerged within the Jaded Path occurred over a series of doctrinal debates around the time of the fourth Jade Izi (before the emergence of the Ruby or Opal Izi). Discussion broke out between two rival camps of the Herodic priesthood, several argued that only the nuns of the Herods could attain Tranquility, others said it was possible for all to become Tranquil. This argument divided the faith and led to the two leading sectarian parts of the Temple leaderships, the Orche and Gold Crowns.
The Orchre Crowns as the upholders of the Ruby Vehicle, or Rubi Ugboala, sect of the Jaded Path. A more conservative division of the entire faith, they believe that only those who have given up worldly goods to join the Herods can become Tranquil. This has traditionally led them to discriminate against men in the belief of becoming Aware of the world beyond despair. They are considered the older branch of the Jaded Path and themselves believe they are the truest lineage of the original doctrines set down by the Maare Otu and later her heir, Mensha of Vish.
The Gold Crowns or the followers of the Shining Vehicle (Inwu Ugboala), are the more liberal minded sect of the Jaded path. They are considered the followers of the poetic writer Ananzi who penned one of the later doctrinal debates on the notions of Despair and Tranquility. Anazin's more liberal minded take included the belief that Omune-onye can sacrific their Tranquility to assist others, and that any member of the Lay-folk can become a member of the Aware Ones. The Gold Crowns are in this way the more mystical branch of the Jaded Path faith.