Illumination

From: Peter Metcalfe (metcalph@voyager.co.nz)
Date: Wed 13 May 1998 - 15:19:29 EEST


Frank Rafaelsen:

>>>Why can't illumination be: "Hey, the spirits of retribution can't touch
>>>me....why is that I wonder...perhaps I've been illuminated?"

Me>> Dorastor and Lords of Terror make it clear that it's a case of
>> profound spiritual insight _first_ and then ignore evil sendings.

>Yes and no. Most no. The write-up in Land of doom states that what you say
>is true. But it also states that it is possible to be illuminated without
>knowing it (in the example the guy who is illuminated is told this by his
>GM because he is so familiar with the concepts of illumination. Ergo if he
>had been less familiar with the phenomenon he wouldn't have realized that
>he was illuminated).

Although it is possible to be illuminated without knowing it, I still
believe one has to have special training to ultilize the insight to
avoid cult spirits of reprisals and all that. Only the rare prodigy
should have these insights without special training (and even then
most of them are mentally unhinged).

>And if you turn to the Oddi saga, in Lords of Terror, you'll se how this
>works: Oddi is illuminated by some tricksters and he doesn't realize what
>has happened to him. What makes him realize what has happened? His sense
>chaos skill failes to warn him of the presence of the Crimson Bat.

And I would conjecture that this is the moment of Illumination for
Oddi. He has instinctly comprehended that Law and Chaos are but two
sides of the same coin and he is profoundly disturbed (above and
beyond the condition normally found in Storm Bulls).

OTOH One could argue that since the Crimson Bat itself is illuminated,
it doesn't register on Sense Chaos. But I have cold feet about this.

>What happens then? He is confused, he doesn't know what it means to be
>illuminated. _Only_ when his affliction is interpreted by a (unilluminated)
>Lunar does he start to view himself in the way the lunars say illumination
>makes people view the world. Profound spiritual insight my foot! This is
>indoctrination on a very high level, with a technique as old as the hills.
>He is socialized into a cultural understanding of illumination.

There _are_ schools of illumination and there are cultural understandings
of illumination but it is a mistake IMO to say that the Illuminated
Viewpoint is solely coloured by the beliefs of these schools or cultures.

- --Peter Metcalfe

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