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Author Topic: Physical/Spiritual stuff  (Read 2227 times)
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Mina
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« on: 11 August 2007, 14:52:54 »

So...here's a thread for discussing what exactly 'physical' and 'spiritual' means with regards to Ximaxian magic. 

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My own idea is that there's a 'physical plane of existence' and a 'spiritual plane of existence', and that living sentient beings (and maybe non-sentient ones too) exist in both, but most other things exist only (or maybe just mostly, I'm not sure yet) in one or the other.  Necromancy is defined as the animating of corpses, which are normally completely (or almost completely) physical.  Assuming that they are completely physical, this would mean that the necromancer is giving a spiritual existence to something non-spiritual (assuming that Animation is spiritual).  I'm not sure if that's something a mage should be capable of doing. 

With animated corpses, that's not too much of a problem, but that's not too far away from some problematic stuff.  The mind, for example, is part of a normal person's spiritual existence.  Does this mean a mage (or a group of them) could construct a mind for something that did not previously have one?  Or even a complete 'spirit'?  Is this also the same as making them 'alive', or is there more to 'life' than having a full spiritual existence? 


I've thought about this a bit more.  Rayne's 'living car'all' idea might offer a way to distinguish between things that are 'truly alive' and things that only act as if they are alive.  But while that works in theory, car'all can't be directly perceived, so how does one tell if something is truly alive or not? 

On the other hand, this makes possible in theory things like sentient undead (eg. the Daedhirian people in Nybelmar, so Ximaxians won't be too surprised to encounter them, only wonder how they managed it), or intelligent golems. 
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Fox
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« Reply #1 on: 11 August 2007, 16:42:50 »

In my opinion, as I've expressed in our conversation over IRC, is that physical and spiritual properties are both necessary for nearly every object in existence. Even a rock has spiritual qualities, otherwise it would not be identified as a rock.

Some things require more physical or more spiritual properties to be what they are, however. A rock has very little in the way of spiritual qualities, beyond a basic 'idea' of it being a rock. A table or other construct has a more defined spirit, the 'idea' of a table is what determines it as a table.

Living beings require an extensive amount of both, as, aside from just the 'idea' of being what they are, they also possess the processes of thought, memories, and emotion. And then their physical side allows them access to the physical world.

Spirits, souls, ghosts, and the like would be at the opposite end of the spectrum, existing primarily in the spiritual realm and very little in the physical realm, their physical properties existing but not activated.



In regards to necromancy and animation and how it works, I will reuse the examples I used in IRC, in that both spiritual and physical is required.

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Activating spirit side and not physical side: Caster must take the place of one side. If spirit side is activated, corpse wants to move, but the caster must step in and move the corpse on his own physically, by physically moving its limbs for the corpse (essentially useless).

Activating physical side and not spirit side: Caster must take the place of one side. If the physical side is activated, the corpse moves, but it has no direction. It will walk off the edge of a cliff, with its legs still moving. The caster must step in and direct the corpse on his own spiritually, concentrating on the corpse to give it direction to its movement.

Activating physical side and spirit side: Caster does not have to take the place of one side. Corpse can move, corpse can direct its movement. With minor ability, caster must still give orders for the corpse to understand what exactly it must do. With major ability, corpse gains more autonomy of action on its own free will.


These links and activations, like their original pre-death states, are only temporary, however, and for the corpse to persist as a 'new' living being, it must continue to refresh the links between ounía, in the same way as living beings require food and drink (Mage Grabber Disease is like dying before you are actually dead, your links dispersing and unable to be recharged). For persistent sentient undead to exist, they must be constantly refreshed. This can come in several forms. Sphere III can be used to 'enchant' the corpse in the same way as you would enchant an object, to give it a permanent, long lasting duration, slowing the decay of the links.

You could also use a shorter refreshment, like what Dark Stability provides. This provides a quick boost, but the links will continue needing these boosts relatively continuously.

Other methods of inducing permanency also revolve around more powerful enchantments (and thus, high level Sphere III techniques). One could enchant a location so that anything within it has its links deteriorate at a much slower rate, for example (leading to 'haunted' locations).


To truly create things that are 'alive', however, instead of just 'pretending' to be alive, requires the abilities of more than just one element. As life is composed of 4 elements and the Xeua that binds them, thus must 4 elements and Xeua be utilized to create or recreate 'life' as we know it. For while you can animate a dead being or golem with fire, giving it physical movement as well as the direction for that movement, you cannot give it a soul, the capacity to experience life and give reason and direction to its emotions. That would require wind. But those two elements would quickly deteriorate their links... they must be tamed by water and earth. Earth's property of stubbornness will be needed to add permanency to the links, to make them less likely to deteriorate at a quick pace. Water on the other hand, is needed to tame the emotion of fire so that it does not over stress the links. Water dictates that fire must rest (resting is akin to temporary 'death', again, water is wind trying to become earth, life trying to become death). It may also be needed to allow the object to learn and evolve (not sure on whether this would be a property of wind or not). And then Xeua comes into the mix. Xeua is what allows the links to be able to regenerate themselves autonomously, to build and strengthen links. (I think, at least. My knowledge of Xeua is fairly limited)

And even then, building a truly living object would be a feat that would likely be beyond the realm of capability for modern magi to attempt. Through all this, they may be able to get close to creating or recreating true life, but to truly accomplish such a task is unlikely at best.



Overall, as far as I see it, no object can exist purely in one realm or another. It must have both. Even the most earth-oriented object has some spiritual qualities, and the most wind-oriented element has some physical qualities (albeit less noticeable).


Those are my 1am ramblings, in any case, and they may be just completely wrong. Heh.
« Last Edit: 11 August 2007, 16:49:17 by Fox » Logged
Mina
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« Reply #2 on: 13 August 2007, 13:25:54 »

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Some things require more physical or more spiritual properties to be what they are, however. A rock has very little in the way of spiritual qualities, beyond a basic 'idea' of it being a rock. A table or other construct has a more defined spirit, the 'idea' of a table is what determines it as a table.

Living beings require an extensive amount of both, as, aside from just the 'idea' of being what they are, they also possess the processes of thought, memories, and emotion. And then their physical side allows them access to the physical world.

Spirits, souls, ghosts, and the like would be at the opposite end of the spectrum, existing primarily in the spiritual realm and very little in the physical realm, their physical properties existing but not activated.

Yes, possibly instead of being purely physical or spiritual things perhaps everything is both.  Originally I thought that if things like rocks are purely physical, then there must be purely spiritual things too, of which spirits and such seemed to be good candidates.  But then, it seems they might not be purely spiritual, since they do seem to interact a little with the physical world, suggesting that they are at least a little physical.  So maybe rocks and such are also a little spiritual. 

But I doubt the spiritual portion is its 'idea'.  If I understand it correctly, the 'idea' or Form refers to something like Platonic Forms, and thus probably isn't a quality of car'all, but something quite beyond the world.  Identification has more to do with the structure of the car'all 'pointing at' a certain Form, allowing one to tell that the object is a reflection of that Form. 

I'm not sure what spiritual properties a mostly-physical object would have though.  Perhaps with Earth-dominated things it could be the ability to be perceived (the counterpart to Wind's perception).  However, things dominated by the other elements can certainly be perceived too, so perhaps this doesn't work too well. 

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One could enchant a location so that anything within it has its links deteriorate at a much slower rate, for example (leading to 'haunted' locations).
This is an interesting idea, though I'm not sure how exactly it would work at the moment.  And it looks like it would have applications outside of necromancy too.  How about food preservation?   grin

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To truly create things that are 'alive', however, instead of just 'pretending' to be alive, requires the abilities of more than just one element. As life is composed of 4 elements and the Xeua that binds them, thus must 4 elements and Xeua be utilized to create or recreate 'life' as we know it. For while you can animate a dead being or golem with fire, giving it physical movement as well as the direction for that movement, you cannot give it a soul, the capacity to experience life and give reason and direction to its emotions. That would require wind. But those two elements would quickly deteriorate their links... they must be tamed by water and earth. Earth's property of stubbornness will be needed to add permanency to the links, to make them less likely to deteriorate at a quick pace. Water on the other hand, is needed to tame the emotion of fire so that it does not over stress the links. Water dictates that fire must rest (resting is akin to temporary 'death', again, water is wind trying to become earth, life trying to become death). It may also be needed to allow the object to learn and evolve (not sure on whether this would be a property of wind or not).

Perhaps something like this would explain why a living car'all, as Rayne defines it, has all 4 elements almost balanced within it.  Life though, was kept more mysterious in that entry; apparently life cannot be created, even if the car'all could be replicated. 

On the other hand, like I said earlier, car'all can't be directly observed, so how does one tell if something actually has a living car'all and is thus truly alive, or is merely something incredibly life-like, but not actually alive? 

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Xeua is what allows the links to be able to regenerate themselves autonomously, to build and strengthen links. (I think, at least. My knowledge of Xeua is fairly limited)
I'm not aware of Xeua links doing anything other than increase the strength at which the ounia it links express their properties, actually.  Possibly such processes is due to the structure of the car'all? 
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Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #3 on: 20 August 2007, 02:01:41 »

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But I doubt the spiritual portion is its 'idea'.  If I understand it correctly, the 'idea' or Form refers to something like Platonic Forms, and thus probably isn't a quality of car'all, but something quite beyond the world.

Yeah, the idea is something laying over the the car'all, keeping the whole thing together in a way. It's what prevents things from changing without external trigger. Things that are living can return more to there original idea (regrowing a lost nail) then dead things.
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Fox
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« Reply #4 on: 20 August 2007, 17:26:12 »

Yeah, the idea is something laying over the the car'all, keeping the whole thing together in a way. It's what prevents things from changing without external trigger. Things that are living can return more to there original idea (regrowing a lost nail) then dead things.

Idea is both wind and overall things. Idea is the prospect of rational construction, which is wind.

From the Magic entry:

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A table on the other hand will mainly have an Earth/Wind Cár'áll, because it is a constructed object, where the form of the table is determined by an idea (Wind, or - as the elves would say - the Thought of Avá).

The idea is based on wind, but it isn't entirely made up of wind. You can lessen or strengthen the idea, warp it even, but you can't change the idea. Whereas Raw magic can completely replace the idea with a new idea. (changing a table to a chair).

This idea isn't present in all things, like a rock (at least not in sufficient quantities), but in rational constructions, wind is a major part of the Car'all make up.

« Last Edit: 20 August 2007, 17:39:14 by Fox » Logged
Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #5 on: 21 August 2007, 03:08:47 »

Each element can alter the 'overall idea' to some extend. The overlaying thingy is mostly something coren used IIRC, but it is supposed to be on top of the car'all. Never really used it myself though.
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Mina
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« Reply #6 on: 21 August 2007, 21:31:46 »

That's because it's not really needed for practical applications of magic.  It's mainly important in theory.   :P

Anyway, like I said, the term Idea or Form is supposed to, in the context of Ximaxian magic, to Platonic Forms, not to some quality present in the car'all.  The Form something corresponds to determines what it is, and also what it is identified as, which is apparently supposed to be the same thing.  Arti seems to agree with this, so possibly that part of the entry is outdated, or just not very clear. 

Anyway, to clear up something, the Form would not be something that could be altered; Forms are by definition beyond the reach of anything in the universe.  Instead, the structure of a car'all could be altered so it corresponds to a different Form.  Raw Magic I don't think I quite get, but seems to sort of work by defining the car'all as corresponding to a different Form, and causing the structure to alter itself to fit. 

This discussion might be of some interest to you. 
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