Being an Essay on Divinity
Copyright 1999 by Feniks
OF THE POWERS
WOULD BE EASY... But
that's exactly what my friend the sage Feniks is
digging for, cutters. This blood seeks to
understand the nature of Divinity itself, from the
mysterious "Source" through Powers, Gods and
Avatars. Along the way in this terribly ordered
essay (for such is the thorough nature of Guvner
sages, my friends), Feniks stops to consider some
more of the most burning questions in theology: "Do
Powers Have a Free Will?", and the favourite of
many Athar and Anarchists, "Can Powers be
careful who you share this chant with, cutter...it
could land the both of us in trouble hotter then
NOBODY SAID LEARNING THE SECRETS OF THE POWERS WOULD BE EASY...
But that's exactly what my friend the sage Feniks is digging for, cutters. This blood seeks to understand the nature of Divinity itself, from the mysterious "Source" through Powers, Gods and Avatars. Along the way in this terribly ordered essay (for such is the thorough nature of Guvner sages, my friends), Feniks stops to consider some more of the most burning questions in theology: "Do Powers Have a Free Will?", and the favourite of many Athar and Anarchists, "Can Powers be Destroyed?"
Be careful who you share this chant with, cutter...it could land the both of us in trouble hotter then baatezu bathwater...
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Some time ago a famous planewalker named Randir o Ia presented a treaty on the nature of the Powers. His work, although a very insightful one, has never received much attention, maybe because it has never been backed up by any high-up or mystic of the Planes. That is why I have decided to bring his work again into peaklight and expand the very worthy theory.
2. LITERATURE ANALYSIS
For the sake of all the readers who are not familiar with the works mentioned in my thesis, I decided to quote their most important parts.
2.i. RANDIR'S DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
At first I would like to present the words of Randir himself and supply his definitions, which I will expand later in this work. Randir claims that there are four forms of Power, the Source, Powers, Gods and Avatars.
2.ii. DEFINITIONS FROM THE ANCIENT TOME OF KNOWLEDGE
I would like to quote the theory presented in "The Ancient Tome of Knowledge", known also as "On Hallowed Ground" written by an unknown author. He (or she) writes about gods in this way:
2.iii. LIRA'S THEORY OF THE OUTER PLANES
The Theory of the Outer Planes, formulated by Lira, a Cipher, is probably unknown to most of the readers. It was dismissed by scholars as unproven and unreliable, but I decided to bring it forth, for it will be useful in the further part of my work.
3. EXPANDING RANDIR'S THEORY
Randir's definitions call for explaining and expanding. I will do it by answering following questions: what are they? where do they get their power from? what power do they have? do they have a free will? what are their goals?
3.i. WHAT ARE THEY?
Here I will present my thesis on the nature of the powers and try to answer the question whether they are sentient or not.
The Source is mentioned in many myths and legends and takes many forms. Sometimes it is a superior being (even to the gods themselves), sometimes it is a state (like chaos), and finally, sometimes it is a place (like fountain of Godhood for example). Its exact nature however, remains unknown. The reason of this is that the Source is so incomprehensible that we are unable to comprehend it in any way, so we have to use symbols.
Randir's definition of Power is generally right, but I cannot agree with one thing. The tree kinds that Powers are divided into are: ideas, emotions and states of being, not materials. Why do I dismiss the last one? Randir probably thought here about elemental powers, but those I would put into ideas category. It is so, because when one worships an elemental power, she does not worship the element itself, but rather the concepts and ideas that stand behind them. She worships beings with features that this element possess. The pure element is the Inner Plane - it is the STUFF of the Multiverse. It does need neither our belief nor faith.
Randir's definition of a god is very imprecise so I will quote his statement from another of his numerous works, which better explains the nature of the gods: "[different gods of love] are all Avatars/ Manifestations of a single Power [of love]. Each one is a separate aspect formed by the beliefs of Primers..." So gods derive from Powers like Powers derive from the Source.
I am not sure whether the Avatars are still Powers or just constructs of Gods. The Rule-of-Threes says that there should be only three forms of power, but Avatars seem to share some powers common only among Powers.
3.ii. WHERE DO THEY GET THEIR POWER FROM?
This part of my work is probably the most controversial, but it is based on a deep and long research as well as on the sheer logic. I will try to answer the question what powers need to exist and how they gain their strength.
My theory, based mainly on speculations, is that the Source gains its power from the whole Multiverse - the Inner, Outer, Astral, Ethereal and Prime Material Planes. By simply existing they give it their power. So the Source - which is the Multiverse - is self-sufficient. It draws its power from within. The question, whether this power grows, remains the same or withers remains unanswered.
Since I have assumed that the Source of Power exists and that the Powers derive from it, I shall then make a conclusion. Powers gain their share of the Source's power. It is yet unproven, but the logic confirms this assumption.
Everybody knows that Gods need mortals' belief to sustain themselves. I agree with this, because this theory is well-proven. But the truth is a little bit different than shown by the author of The Ancient Tome of Knowledge.
While Source depends on its existence, Powers on feeling or experiencing and Gods on faith and belief, Avatars depend on actions. It is them who feed on people's deeds. While Avatars are generally very focused, they do not have much to draw from and can d o it only from the sphere or realm they are currently in. They promote actions, because they know, that it will strengthen them and also their God.
3.iii. WHAT POWER DO THEY HAVE?
After determining the source of their power I shall now try to find out what they can do with it and how they interact with the whole Multiverse.
WHO ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS?
I have asked this question to a hundred random beings in Sigil and apart from three strange answers given to me by members of Xaositects faction all were the same - Gods. This is the common belief, but looking at it from the point of view of Randir's theory , I must correct this.
Power of the Source is absolute . It could probably wish to cease existing and that would be the end of the Multiverse. Because it is the most advanced being, as Godsmen might say, it has little interest in affairs of mortals. On the other hand all of us can say "I am the Source" and that would be perfectly true, because the Source is within us and all around us. It is omnipotent and eternal.
Since the issue of Powers' sentience is still undecided, it is hard to tell how they interact with the Multiverse. Probably they try to inspire emotions, promote ideas and states of being but the way how they do it is unclear. One can certainly see some powers within the Multiverse, but she cannot be sure whether it is caused by Powers or by the Source.
Gods are the most visible and the most active form of power. They possess enough power to conquer minds of many people.
Avatars can freely roam the Multiverse and their power is used almost solely for accomplishing quests given to them by their Gods. There are, however, many religions that are centred on Avatars, but they - paradoxically - serve mainly its Avatars' God. Since Avatars feed on actions and deeds, they try to force people to act in such a way that would strengthen them.
3.iv. DO THEY HAVE A FREE WILL?
Since all forms of power derive from the Source, answering this question will lead to learn about their goals.
The Source is definitely its own master. There is no superior being to the Source, at least there is none that we know about or can perceive in any known way.
Powers are unknown and incomprehensible. My general impression is that each emotion can have its good and bad sides and can be used to cause good or evil. Probably Powers possess free will but in no way we can be sure of it.
To find whether Gods are their own masters is a real challenge. The amount of lies encircling these beings is so vast, that to find any useful information one has to look everywhere and for a very long time. Eventually I have found some piece of information that I hope will be helpful.
Avatars seem not to enjoy too much freedom. They are servants and as such their free will is restricted only to fulfilling tasks that his God gives to him. They follow orders and die for their masters if necessary but they will NEVER do anything against them.
3.v. WHAT ARE THEIR GOALS?
This chapter is based mainly on the research of various myths and legends and also on pure logic. Though I have tried to break through the shroud of mystery surrounding Powers, it should be obvious that we can only guess an answer and neither of those given below is a final one.
The motives and goals of the Source are incomprehensible and absolutely unknown. Whether it tries to achieve a state of ultimate balance, good or evil will remain without answer.
Their goals are as mysterious as they are. Judging by the agendas of Gods and having in mind the Unity of Rings they probably try to make a whole Multiverse feel a given emotion, follow a given idea or experience a given state of being. They may strive among themselves to become the best one, but their fight remains so far invisible.
Powers leave promoting their emotions/ideas/states of being to Gods. Gods, through their interaction with Multiverse inspire certain beliefs in them and thus make them more likely to feed Powers.
Their main goal is to carry out given tasks. The second one is to promote their Gods' ways by acting and forcing people to act.
3.vi. CAN THEY BE DESTROYED?
This is the most delicate subject of all covered in my work. I do not hesitate however to reveal the powers' weaknesses that I have learnt about. I know that the contents of this chapter may be dangerous if it falls into wrong hands, but may it also be beneficial to all good mortals that care to read it.
There is no way of immediate destruction of the Source. It may however be destroyed if the whole Multiverse is destroyed. It is only a theory, but maybe it is time to reconsider the Doomguard philosophy - do they know something that others do not?
There is no evidence that a Power can be destroyed. Certainly it is not possible for a little mortal, but it is quite certain that if the Source was destroyed, Powers would also cease to exist.
Oh, how mortal do Gods seem to be after all the research that I have done! They are like a gust of wind in comparison to Powers and to the Source. So far I have come upon three ways to destroy a God.
Since Avatars possess physical body, they are vulnerable to most things that would harm mortals. They can be crushed by magic or killed by the sword, though it is very hard to accomplish, if we consider Godly powers given them by their masters.
Mysterious beings known as Overpowers seem not to belong to any of mentioned above forms of power. I have decided to exclude them from the hierarchy, because I believe that they are not powers themselves. They do not need followers, so they are not Gods. They do not answer anybody's prayers, so they cannot belong to the power kind. They seem, however, to be more powerful than Gods themselves, at least in a given crystal sphere.
I would like to sum up what I have said.
Copyright 1999 by Feniks