THE NATURE OF THE TIQUAITAN THOUGHT

AN ESSAY ON NYBELMARIAN SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT

 
Caelerethian Philosophy   
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Introduction. The philosophical musings of the now extinct Tiquaitan men are regarded amongst the most profound and enlightening concepts discussed by any civilisation, modern or archaic. Most of what we know of the Tiquaitan men (and particularly of their famous philosophy and poetry) comes from archives of the Tarshiinite priesthood, much of the Old Republic’s wisdom being seized by them after the fall. Perhaps to give a better understanding of the nature of Tiquaitan philosophy, one of Decipher Ziron’s acquaintances within the Tarshiinite priesthood has managed to procure a copy of Monk Sasarta’s renowned essay summarising the works of the four classical greats of Tiquaitan philosophy.
 

FOREWORD
 

ne should remember that while this essay seeks to discuss individual philosophers and their personal ideas, much of Tiquaitan philosophy naturally develops from the classical schools of thought. While they grew and changed in name and content over the centuries the main ideologies brought forward sprang from one of the three archetypes:

"The School of Order" - A philosophical idea that advocates the importance of rigidness in defining our purposes. A very clean cut dogma, students of Order were strong proponents of adhering to authority, regardless of the consequences. A fundamental aspect of Order would appear to be its enforcement onto others. The School of Order always preached that it was neccesary that things be made to stay the same way they are, change being a corrupting factor.

"The School of Chaos" - A further idea that acts as the opposite of Order. While not explicit advocates of violence or anarchy, Chaotic thinkers suppose that morality should stem from what we want and that we should persue at all costs. Proponents of chaos are also known for their progressive attitudes, believing in the fundamental principle that all things have change in their nature.

"The School of Nature" - Something of a bridge between the two schools. Naturalists draw their ideology from watching things naturally unfold. While Order seeks to enforce a stillness in morality and Chaos seeks to incite change, Nature is much more concerned with allowing things to develop by themselves and govern themselves by the principle that things unfold most effectively when left alone. Though many Naturalist thinkers were generalised as 'Esilatists' (see below), the ideology itself has a much greater sphere of influence.

These schools are further discussed by Sasarta in differing texts, and for greater depth they should be consulted.

THE NATURE OF THE TIQUAITIAN THOUGHT
(by Monk Sasarta)

Though Tiquaitan philosophy is probably the broadest in its subject matter, interpretations and opinions in all of Nybelmar, the four classical greats of the Tiquaitan Republic (or rather ‘Kingdom’, since their writings took place before the uprising against the monarchy) give a relatively vivid image of the philosophical landscape of this ancient civilisation.

The Ambitious Mind: Aroonate Masmalama (3700 b.S.-3580 b.S.)

Aroonate (Ah-Roon-a-tay) Masmalama was categorised by his ‘asking of grand questions’, the focus of his work being the investigation into epic concepts such as reality and the validity of our existence. Aroonate’s work generally concerned itself it with fundamental matters of truth. Due to a lack of religion amongst the Tiquaitan men, there was no universally recognised idea on why we are here and what put us here in the first place. One of his most complex concepts was the idea of ‘Proving Reality’. Essentially, he argued that since reality is defined by what we perceive, and everyone perceives differently, the ‘truth’ behind ‘what reality is’ is ambiguous:

‘How do we define what is real? Truly what I see, what I feel, what I smell, hear and taste create my reality- constructing my environment through various recognisable pulses. This poses an issue. Surely, if ‘reality’ is defined by how I interpret the signals I experience, then the ‘reality’ experienced by someone else could be completely different (that is to say, a different interpretation). Ultimately, this means ‘reality’, a cornerstone of what we consider to be immovable truth, is in fact subject to constant, unregulated change. What at a first glance appears as adamant as rock is in fact as fluid as water’.

Through further development of this concept, Aroonate proposed many possible implications. He stated that by (in his eyes) proving ‘truth’ is a concept of unspoken variability, ‘hallucinations’ which other do not see could simply be considered ‘realities’ that others did not experience. He even went, as far to say that our dreams produced temporary parameters of existence wherein the events were ‘real’, they simple just had no bearing on the general, core ‘reality’. He proposed, using these assumptions as outlines, that it was in fact possible that no one else actually existed and that you yourself are the only conscious being (everything else being a figment of your imagination [though passively]).

After researching the Sartheran Elves of the Northern Bay, Aroonate added to his thesis. His expansion was entitled 'Ava the Mortal'- wherein he labelled the Elven deity of Ava nothing more than any us. While She was revered by the elves as the Dreamer behind everything, Aroonate argued that we all had the capacity to invent our own realities, just that we are not conciously aware of our doing so. This sparked outrage amongst the Sartherans and as such Narsira the Green (the King at the time) ordered all copies be recalled.
 

The Moral Standard: Susashale Esiliate (3681 b.S.-3560 b.S.)

Often regarded as Aroonate’s primary opponent, Susashale (Soo-sa-shay-el) dedicated her philosophical musings to matters of morality. She was a zealous student of Naturalist ideas but later went on to combine her thoughts with the School of Order. Eventually, she came to the conclusion that morality itself springs from the preservation of nature, an idea eventually taken to extremes.

Her most audacious act was her rejection of Aroonate’s central focus- famously quoted to have said ‘It is inalienable that we, ourselves, do exist and as such challenging the fabric of something so obvious is a horrid waste of everyone’s time’. Susashale was much more interested in investigating how to define ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in the broad scope of Tiquaitan society. Due to the Tiquaitan Kingdom’s lack of divine belief, there was little in terms of ‘organised conduct’ as can be seen in the Tarshiinites today. As a result, Susashale’s teachings caused great debate amongst her contemporaries, but with a lack of social convention to support their arguments, much of what she said could only be challenged on a personal level, in one’s own mind.

Susashale’s most controversial writing was titled ‘The Modern Age and our abuse of Death’- wherein she challenged the usage of highly advanced medicine to prolong life. Though this may seem a relatively minor claim, the importance laid by the Tiquaitan on medicine and ‘pursuing immortality’ was enormous, and by challenging this Susashale had knowingly attacked the fabric of the day’s society. As perhaps a display of her own influence, for long after her death ‘Esilatists’, as they were called, rejected all forms of medicine after being moved by Susashale’s writings- well aware of the fact that this would limit their lifespan considerably (in comparison to the other Tiquaitan of course).

In her most comprehensive writing, ‘A Basis for Self-government’, Susashale discussed ideas of morality that spread throughout most aspects of Tiquaitan life. The areas addressed varied extensively between cruelty to animals, attitudes to gluttony, the importance of appearance, the allure of vice and the danger of jealousy (amongst various other topics of discussion). As a result of her extensively developed thoughts about the intrinsic links between Nature and Order, she tied all of her moral advice into the sustaining of nature somehow. Though the broad teachings of this woman in this particular context were received remarkably well, modern critics highlight a strong arrogance in her work, Susashale writing as though above these moral pitfall’s herself- condescending elevating her to a position above the rest of society.


Nature's Thinker: Raretogaya Wahricora (3643 b.S.- 3543 b.S.)

Presumed to be a student of Arooante at some point, Raretogaya (Rah-ray-too-gai-yah) was known as ‘Nature’s Thinker’ amongst the philosophers of the time. Raretogaya chose to investigate what he called ‘Patterns of Nature’, a focus which modern critics consider as a digression of Aroonate’s fundamental questioning of reality. Much of what Raretogaya discussed revolved around the idea that there was innate symbolism in the nature, which, should we find a way to decipher it, would provide us with an infinite knowledge and understanding.

In his sole publishing, ‘The Obvious Truth’, Raretogaya drew many parallels between the opposing arguments of Aroonate and Susashale. He sympathised heavily with Susashale’s ideas about ‘natural respect’ as well as using Aroonate’s somewhat vague musings about ‘the nature of truth’ to substantiate his own ideas. Raretogaya claimed that in every construct we could not control- from the shape of a tree’s branches to the alignment of the stars- was expressive of a 'Natural Course', a very abstract concept detailing one unifying force between all things we could perceive. (though he is explicit to state it is not a ‘God’ in anyway).

Much of Raretogaya’s work, however, would seem to be confounded by his personal beliefs. Raretogaya’s teachings were in no way objective and, unlike most philosophers, did not seek to explain one vital facet of life. Raretogaya was a zealous believer and advocate of Starspotting, Rootreading and Tiletelling[1], and many of his contemporaries and practically the entirety of modern critics regarded/regard his philosophies as arguments to substantiate his superstitious beliefs as opposed to personal realisations of great truth. His importance as one of the 'Greats' could then be challenged. Many modern critics seek of the 'Great Three', neglecting Raretogaya, but many still see him as a pertinent reminder for philosophy. He is shown to be a man who's own beliefs caused his questions to be distorted. He is shown, by the sympathetic at least, as a reminder that philosopher stretches beyond perception but there must still remain an endearing quality to it.
 

The Critic: Korania Neemabil (3648 b.S.-3498 b.S.)

Though Korania himself published two individual writings (concerning primarily the relevance of Kunijen [The Faith of the Tsohamin Barbarians] in a modern society and an analysis of how social factors skew the validity of religious faith), Korania is famed primarily for his skills as a critic. Being an eloquent and cynical young man, Korania took it upon himself to find at least one flaw in the work of his colleagues, and in many cases explode it to such a level that others would interpret perfectly valid arguments as nonsense. Korania is often revered as being the ‘quality control’ of Tiquaitan philosophy, since for something to be accepted into the mainstream, it needed to survive Korania’s meticulous examination.

As perhaps a testament to his talent, Korania was able to expand upon Aroonate's work after his death without any opposition. He investigated the idea of 'self-invented' reality, the idea that something passively creates everything around us. To quote his speech from the Greenbirth Terrace - 'If we are merely figments of the mind, illusions, dreams, than it is through ourselves we are able to unlock why we came to be. All of us dream, both of the fanciful and of the terrifying, and if we could understand why it is we are given these images of delight and fear we may understand thus why these things are 'dreamt' into the world around us'. His propositions, about the nature of dreaming, drew much interest from the Nybelmarian elven communities, much more so than Aroonate's vauge references to them in the past had done.

Due to his somewhat supercilious role in the philosophical world, Korania made himself many enemies, though his annoyingly fine-tuned ability to make insulting critique, which, despite offensive quality, was completely valid, was uncontested. He was held in such a high esteem that in the height of his career many aspiring young philosophers would seek out Korania to ‘proof-read’ their ideas before having them published.

Korania, tragically, was disgraced and discredited after the publishing of his most famous work, ‘The Pointlessness of Our Philosophy’, wherein he referenced practically every respected philosophical concept and argued it was useless and had no bearing on anything in reality, essentially arguing that pursuing philosophical truth was an ineffectual waste of time. Though many of Korania’s statements were perfectly valid, the outrage caused by challenging the professions of so many dedicated individuals was more than enough for him to become a social pariah. It would seem to be the case that rather than acknowledge their life choices could have been fundamentally flawed, the philosophers of the time were much happier to scorn anyone who suggested it.

Overall Importance

It is important to understand the context of these writings. Even before the three kingdoms united[2] the citizens that would make up the Tiquaitan had made the decision to reject the organised religion that was held as so fundamental to us ³ for such a long time. Without any such concrete teachings to use as foundations for morality or truth, philosophers with enough respect were capable of ascending to positions of influence beyond that of any politician (or religious counterpart). Each of these four great thinkers had a vital hand in defining how, at the peak of their civilisation, the Tiquaitan lived, not only having a huge bearing on one of the most remarkable civilisations in our continent’s history, but also on ourselves[3] and how we choose to govern.


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Footnotes.
[1] Starspotting, Rootreading and Tiletelling were esoteric forms of divination that many Tiquaitan (included the old Monarchy) used to predict the future and make decisions. [Back]
[2] The three warring kingdoms of Tsu, Chima and Jirai would eventually be united to form the Tiquaitan (or ‘Union of the Tiqua’). [Back]
[3] Us/Ourselves refers to the Tarshiinite men of Nybelmar’s Western Bay. [Back]
 


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