Author Topic: [Twenty-Five Theses on the Foundations of a True Renunciation: Annotated Ed.]  (Read 82 times)

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LiAlH4

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[A small tome, published in the format of a quarto, appears in various places throughout the Rings. They are delivered to the Royal Archive, the Curios shop in Ticker Square, and the Open Door in Ring Ninety-Nine; to Cooper Crum in Ninety-Eight; to the Candid Hemlock and its wayward Antoli in Ninety-Seven; and one tome still deeper where Akechi stands his vigil.]


Twenty-Five Theses on the Foundation of a True Renunciation

Saibhon Dumein

Phys.; Mend.

First Edition, Annotated


~-----~

Foreword: I have written this variant of the philosophy that burns at the heart of the Renunciation in response to questions seeking clarification on specific theses. The theses are named as they were originally published, with details according to each section following. I hope it is of aid to all who wish to live a life removed inasmuch as is possible from the specter of the Tyrant Want. Let us in the light of Empathy, borne of Reason, turn our works to the betterment of our neighbor.


Upon Ring Ninety-Seven stands an open-air monastery, called the Candid Hemlock, where the Mendicants of the Renunciation base their works. Yet there is a corruption there, a deep-seated misfeasance wrought of failing logic. No coherent philosophy endures behind their placid smiles, but rather cultish devotion devoid of Reason, eschewing Empathy for empty hearts and bitter acts wrought of misguided Will.

There is an alternative in this weary world: Renunciation that is borne of Reason and that aspires to high virtue. The flame that Endures in the hearts of all sapient souls, struggling as we are upon the Razor Web, is not to be suppressed, but guided forward to the betterment of all those who stand upon this world through the restraint of base impulse.

I here propose a philosophy that corrects the flawed system that Antoli has espoused.  Turn to it, Mendicants, for the Renunciations to come are borne of Want and Will! Turn to it, those of you who Endure upon this Razor Web -- all you weary souls scattered through the rings -- for it is a better way forward.

~-----~

      CONSCIOUSNESS

I. Consciousness is the condition of perceiving the world.
II. Perception defines the outer boundaries of our consciousness.
III. The outer boundaries of our consciousness are bounded by the experiences of the living body.
IV. The living body has innate limitations on what it can perceive.
V. The limitations on perception are the stuff that defines individual experience.

     WANT

VI. Experiences are impacted by the conditions of the living form.
VII. The living form is subject to natural requirements in order to remain alive.
VIII. The natural requirements of life give rise to physical drives.
IX. Physical drives are enforced through pain if unsatisfied.
X. Pain is a constraining experience that creates a compulsion called Want, trapping life in a Razor Web of torment.

     WILL

XI. The compulsions of Want, inherent to every living being, are controlled through the exercise of Will.
XII. Will can be used in order to fulfill separate Wants or to achieve an end that is a step removed from fulfilling a Want.
XIII. The ability to use Will to achieve an end that is a step removed from fulfilling a Want is what defines Sapience.
XIV. Yet the exercise of Will is necessarily reliant on the stimulus of Want.
XV. Want and its limitations on perception pervert the exercise of Will even when the objective is far removed from Want.

     RENUNCIATION

XVI. Limiting the influence of Want is achieved through Renunciation.
XVII. Renunciation is the conscious Endurance of the Suffering of physical Wants in order to minimize their influence upon the exercise of Will.
XVIII. Minimizing the influence of Want improves the perception of the individual.
XIX. The expansion of an individual's perspective improves their capacity of consciousness.
XX. Consciousness gives rise to the understanding of the Razor Web: that sapience requires Suffering.

    REASON

XXI. The exercise of Will in order to minimize the influence of Want through Renunciation is the exercise of Reason.
XXII. Reason gives the individual the power to exercise Empathy, the understanding that all sapient souls exist in the Razor Web.
XXIII. Actions predicated on Empathy can only be achieved through the minimization of Want through Renunciation.
XXIV. Empathy demands that sapient souls undertake only those actions that do not bear additional Suffering into the world.
XXV. Knowing whether actions bear additional Suffering into the world requires a constant exercise of Reason, expanding perspective and consciousness through Renunciation, driven by the acquisition of knowledge and continual works of Empathy.




LiAlH4

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CONSCIOUSNESS

~-----~

I. Consciousness is the condition of perceiving the world.

Consciousness exists, even if we may struggle to prove the nature and understand the perspectives of those that we interact with from day to day. What we see of this world is conveyed to us through senses that are limited by the pains of the Razor Web; they are constrained and tainted by Want. Nevertheless, consciousness -- distinguished from sapience -- is borne of perceiving the world. Our perceptions are imperfect, but they are at the foundation of our development as living beings.

II. Perception defines the outer boundaries of our consciousness.

Our consciousness is inherently limited: a simple, but important, point. We do not know all that a god would know, as we are confined to living bodies. We are not, in fact we cannot be, omniscient; if we had infinite perceptions our consciousness should be unbounded.

This stands to reason. We do not know the workings of others minds; we do not even know with certainty the passing of any act or event at all beyond our sight.

III. The outer boundaries of our consciousness are bounded by the experiences of the living body.

Our perceptions are wrought of our physical forms, tying our understanding of the world to what we are informed of through our body's senses. Our existence in this world is inexorably wrapped up in the physical nature of our persons.

IV. The living body has innate limitations on what it can perceive.

Our bodies are limited to the senses of taste, touch, sight, divinations by magics, and so forth; these inform our understanding of the world and also bound that understanding. Our conception of this world is ever imperfect as a result.

V. The limitations on perception are the stuff that defines individual experience.

We are distinguished from one another by the character of our physical forms and the limitations on perception that vary from body to body. These distinguish one consciousness from another, creating the individuality that we cherish. Experiencing the world, the act of utilizing our senses to perceive it, informs the consciousness and creates further distinctions between individuals. We quite literally see the same scene differently depending on the quality of our eyesight.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 04:53:26 AM by LiAlH4 »



LiAlH4

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WANT

~-----~

VI. Experiences are impacted by the conditions of the living form.

Subtle and unsubtle conditions alike create further distinctions between individuals. Two individuals who experience hunger will experience it to different degrees depending on when and what they last ate; a breath taken in the matter of course in our day to day life is different than a breath taken from lungroot after the fear that the previous breath was to be the last of life.

VII. The living form is subject to natural requirements in order to remain alive.

These differences are due to the impositions of the physical form: life must be sustained in food, water, air, and must propagate itself in order to remain upon this world in some form after age has claimed it.

VIII. The natural requirements of life give rise to physical drives.

Our consciousness is driven to act in order to satisfy these drives so that our physical forms remain alive. These take myriad, varied forms. They include the basics at the core of our physical impulses, such as thirst, hunger, want of air, and lust. They also include those secondary order impulses that are derived from the context of our perceptions, such as greed, jealousy, envy, wroth, fear, and so forth.

IX. Physical drives are enforced through pain if unsatisfied.

The living form quite literally imposes physical anguish in order to ensure that the consciousness seeks out whatever is needed to satisfy those physical drives. Moreover, mental and physical anguish alike accompany those second order impulses when they are unsatisfied.

X. Pain is a constraining experience that creates a compulsion called Want, trapping life in a Razor Web of torment.

The impulses that are imposed on the physical form are compulsions that necessarily act upon an individual's perspective and are inherent to our consciousness. These impulses are what we collectively describe as "Want." Want is inherent to our existence yet is enforced through pain, whether by the direct imposition of hunger or by longing when a Want is left unsatisfied. Suffering is writ through the whole of the world; a Razor Web of thorns that our consciousnesses are continually subject to. We are mired in it; for it has an inescapable connection to our consciousness.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 04:54:14 AM by LiAlH4 »



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WILL

~-----~

XI. The compulsions of Want, inherent to every living being, are controlled through the exercise of Will.

Any conscious action undertaken by a living being on this world involves the exercise of Will.

XII. Will can be used in order to fulfill separate Wants or to achieve an end that is a step removed from fulfilling a Want.

A dog that restrains itself from a maddened charge in order to set an ambush for its prey exercises Will to restrain the most direct fulfillment of its Want of hunger. That dog exercises Will to achieve a Want that is inherently tied to the exercise of Will, but there are many other examples of living beings that restrain their Wants in order to achieve a separate Want.

XIII. The ability to use Will to achieve an end that is a step removed from fulfilling a Want is what defines Sapience.

Will can be exercised to achieve an end that is still further removed from fulfilling a Want. The very method of exchange that exists in our society is an example: the merchant exchanging goods to obtain groat that he may exchange with the farmer to obtain the trashgull eggs that shall satisfy his Want of hunger involves several acts of Will that are not immediately tied to satisfying that Want.

This complexity of action is the quality of a sapient being. The sapient being will not recoil from pain if it knows that some greater aim may be achieved by Enduring it -- the animal, knowing only Want, will accede to withdraw from pain even to its later detriment.

XIV. Yet the exercise of Will is necessarily reliant on the stimulus of Want.

Sapience is still tied to Want, of course; it is just as thoroughly mired in it as the dog. The sapient being, reduced to base principles, is still operating under the very same compulsions just with greater control and exercise of Will.

XV. Want and its limitations on perception pervert the exercise of Will even when the objective is far removed from Want.

Accordingly, Will cannot escape Want. Even an attempt to explicitly avoid the impacts of the fulfillment of some physical drive will fail, for Will is tied up in Want. Want can be limited, but not eliminated, from the undertakings of Will in this world.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 04:54:16 AM by LiAlH4 »



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RENUNCIATION

~-----~

XVI. Limiting the influence of Want is achieved through Renunciation.

Renunciation is the conscious understanding of Want's influence on our perception. Only by comprehending the power that Want exercises on our lives can we consider our actions and uses of Will in order to limit Want's power over us.

XVII. Renunciation is the conscious Endurance of the Suffering of physical Wants in order to minimize their influence upon the exercise of Will.

Endurance of Suffering in this physical world is the conscious rejection of the pains that are wrought of Want. We must reject Want, even as it wreaks havoc upon our bodies and minds, in order to achieve the use of Will that is near to free of Want's influence.

XVIII. Minimizing the influence of Want improves the perception of the individual.

Limiting Want improves the perception of the world to the maximum extent of what our physical forms can achieve. Details that we should have missed due to our overwhelming focus on satisfying desire come into full clarity.

XIX. The expansion of an individual's perspective improves their capacity of consciousness.

Our minds grow in scope and understanding as our perceptions improve. Consciousness, the stuff of our very nature as individuals, is widened as we see the world free of the taint of those forces that would otherwise constrain us.

XX. Consciousness gives rise to the understanding of the Razor Web: that sapience requires Suffering.

We come to know the grim reality of this world. The Razor Web, the suffering imposed upon all living beings, is understood only by the sapient: those who are most thoroughly afflicted by it. The pain is compounded by the understanding that there is no escape from Want and no way to truly eliminate the influence of Want upon our exercise of Will in this world. A pure consciousness, free of Want, cannot exist in the living form.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 04:54:19 AM by LiAlH4 »



LiAlH4

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REASON

~-----~

XXI. The exercise of Will in order to minimize the influence of Want through Renunciation is the exercise of Reason.

Reason informs those exercises of Will that we undertake that are as far removed from Want as possible. They are "purer" actions, closer to an understanding of the world that is removed from base impulse.

XXII. Reason gives the individual the power to exercise Empathy, the understanding that all sapient souls exist in the Razor Web.

Through Reason we come to realize the extent of this wide world's Suffering. Every soul around us is afflicted by the same Want, by the same Suffering upon this Razor Web, as we are. If it is living, it is in pain. If it is sapient, it is your brother or sister in this weary world. Empathy is this understanding, borne of some slight comprehension of the consciousness of another wrought in general terms.

XXIII. Actions predicated on Empathy can only be achieved through the minimization of Want through Renunciation.

Empathy requires the denial of Want, for all the Wants of others are those that we bear within ourselves. We must make a conscious choice to exercise Will alongside Renunciation, the soul of Reason, in order to exercise this Empathy.

XXIV. Empathy demands that sapient souls undertake only those actions that do not bear additional Suffering into the world.

To undertake actions that bear Suffering into this world in any context is to deny a course that is rooted in Empathy. Every action that we undertake must be analyzed as to its morality in accordance with the principles of Reason here defined, borne of Renunciation of Wants, to determine whether it can bring harm and greater Suffering into this world in the immediate step.

To slay a man should bear Suffering unto the world, counselling nonviolence. To heal a man is to bear him up from Suffering, counselling acts of Mercy. The former immoral, the latter moral.

It is a separate question whether any act of Will can be truly moral when our perception is limited. For instance, we do not know the full and final ends of our healing, an otherwise moral act. Is it a moral act if we heal a man who we know to undertake terrible murders with his extended life? Is it a moral act if we heal a man and do not know what he shall do with it? Is the uncertainty worse than the uncertainty, for we admit and understand that we act in a way that could cause great harm, even indirectly?

XXV. Knowing whether actions bear additional Suffering into the world requires a constant exercise of Reason, expanding perspective and consciousness through Renunciation, driven by the acquisition of knowledge and continual works of Empathy.

There shall never be a satisfactory answer to this conundrum, for we are beings conducting this analysis under the specter of Want. Rather, we must inform our exercise of every act of Reasoned Will to ensure that they do not bear greater Suffering into this world through a resolute and constant attempt to improve that perspective.

~-----~

ACCORDINGLY: We must learn of the world while exercising Empathy all the while, bearing others up and away from Suffering so they may see the importance of rejecting Wants to these ends.

ACCORDINGLY: We must bear the flame of Reason, borne of a Renunciation of Want, into the unsounded depths of those caverns that would hold us fast in ignorance.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2020, 05:03:02 AM by LiAlH4 »



LiAlH4

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[This is published again in the format of a quarto on rough-written parchment, only with a typeface borne of a printing press rather than being written by hand. Hardly a fine thing, but it is serviceable as a book. The publisher's inscription is: "1st Ed. 2d. Pub. Gherick & Son, Commissioned Publishing by Ghaela Stellrum."]
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 06:41:30 AM by LiAlH4 »