Endless Blue – Week 94 – The Idolatry: Scripture of Sin   1 comment

Theology

The Idolatry: Scripture of Sin

As trade swelled along the currents of Elqua’s oceans, new ideas from across the Endless Blue spread like algae blooms.  Being the center of economic trade, the Yaun-Teel Bights became the host of a new form of religious thinking.  A renascence of sorts, the view of superstitious mythology matured into a codified system of religious teaching.  The collected works of that religious rebirth, and the gods therein, are known as the Idolatry.

Gods Like Us

The earliest religions of Elqua venerated abstract deities, primordial forces such as the Source and the Verse, that where the begin-all/end-all of existence.  As the eons progressed, those avatars of creation and destruction waned and religion evolved into more focused, incarnate spirits.  Totem guides, forces of nature, and even ancestral worship grew as a way for primitive piscean brains to come to terms with the harsh oceans that submerged them.  From those personified spirits, individualized deities arose with specialized portfolios.  They focused on ideas, life and death, freedom and servitude, debt and wealth.  Eventually, those incarnations interacted, took on identities and personality, forming bonds and relationships, which became the collection of gods known as the Pantheon.

The Idolatry is the first instance in Elquan history wherein the gods are portrayed as anything other that abstract ideals or animal  spirits.  In the book of the Idolatry, the gods of the Pantheon take on a new piscean form along with new names.  The gods became the same shape as their worshipers, as if they were mortals that have attained transcendent power.  The Idolatry show no evidence of race — they are not Orcans or Yaun-Teel made god-like in size and power.  But they share the same physical shape as mortal pisceans, the piscean form: a torso with a pair of arms, and culminating in a tail.  But beyond that, they do not resemble the morphology of any of the sentient races.

 Lessons Learned

The Idolatry is a reformed system of Pantheon worship, based on holy scriptures called “The Idolatry”.  In its pages, each of the gods personifies a particular sin, with their teachings touting the benefits of that sin while their actions illustrate the drawbacks.  It is a form of deific “do as I say, not as I do”, where the god demonstrates how His or Her lesson was learned.

Core of the book is the Lessons of Sin. These are the 28 lessons, conveyed in story form, of how a sin can go too far, and another sin shows the way back to safe behavior. These stories match two of the eight Idolatry gods, and center around the interaction of their two sins.  The usual format follows that one god will embody their sin to an extreme, and the other shows the error from the perspective of their own sin.

Severity of Sin

As the Gods of Sin, the Idolatry extol the benefits of their domain.  They believe in their personal sin so completely, personify the sin to utterly, that they eulogize its virtues to the extreme.  But as anyone can argue, any sin taken too far is detrimental, and it is the actions of the other Idolatry gods that teach that every sin can become ruinous.  The application of sin in the mortal life is broken down into three groups: Virtuous, Discrepant, and Venial.

In Idolatrism, the Virtuous, or Sacred Incarnation of the Idolatry, is the sin used correctly.  It heightens the animus vitae through reinforcement, and is just in the eyes of the god.  A just sin is one that follows the deities’ usage of the sin.

In contrast, a Discrepant, or Mortal incarnation of the Idolatry, the sin taken to an extreme.  It corrupts of the animus vitae by the actions and thoughts of the mortal.  A discrepant sin is one that overruns to the proper use of the sin.

Then there is the Venial, or Profane incarnation of the Idolatry, where a sin so weak as to actually become an expression of the sin’s virtue counterpart.  A venial sin is one that runs contrary to the proper intention of the sin.

The venial sin of Wrath is Patience.  Wait too long to assert yourself, and you get taken advantage of by those more aggressive.
Temperance is the venial sin of Gluttony, where denial of your own needs interferes with your own well-being.
As the venial sin of Greed, Charity has you sacrificing your own success to the advantage of others.
Automatically obeying orders through blind Loyalty is the venial sin of Envy.
Unthinking reaction is the venial sin of Sloth, Diligence.
The resistance to Lust results in Chastity, which dooms any species to extinction.
It is expected that everyone takes Pride in their actions, and to not lessen their self-respect through Humility.
Perhaps the most important of the venial sins is Privacy, and keeping what you know hidden lest others judge you disparagingly.

This does not mean that the virtues are seen as evil acts.  Many, if not all are needed for society to function.  Loyalty to one’s homesea is still expected, and treason is treated as a heinous crime.  However, Idolatrism does explore the flaws of those virtues, the unnaturalness of them.  Each virtue is difficult to maintain normally, and subservience to them is antithetical to personal survival.  No matter how well-mannered and civilized, the piscean is still an animal down to the animus vitae.

Twisted are the Ties that Bind

In this new religion, more than just looks have changed. Some genders have changed (but such binary distinctions are fluid for most of the gods), and others have lost the more symbolic aspects of themselves in favor of more obvious, blatant traits.

The married Acedia of the Despair and Gula of the Gluttony rule over the others, but only in the most passive of ways.  Both are considered parasites in the eyes of the Idolatry, figuratively for the former, literally for the latter.  Acedia requires the others to do all acts for him, while Gula hangs off him and feeds her bloated belly. He is unwilling to work, and she is incapable.

The mated Superbia of the Pride and Luxuria of the Lust are seen as the shallowest of the Idolatry, personifying obsession with appearance and addiction to sexual indulgence.  Neither are particularly loyal, and regularly seek out the thrills found in philandery.  He yearns for adulation and She seeks seduction.

Invidia of the Envy and Avarita of the Greed are the matron saints of the Principles of Service.  Invidia serves as the impetus to serve, while Avarita guides the way the Principles are expressed.

Ira of the Wrath and Malvy of the Deceit are the destructive powers of the Idolatry.  They are the most active of the Idolatry gods, the most erratic.  He seeks vengeance while she deflects blame, and together they instigate much of the turmoil found in the pages of the Idolatry.

“The wage of sin is a proper life, as virtue gifts nothing but an early death…”
— The Book of Ennegram, the Idolatry.

One response to “Endless Blue – Week 94 – The Idolatry: Scripture of Sin

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 103 – The Source | Endless Blue

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