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Beautific Stone: Revelation or Delusion? Messages in this topic - RSS

Hattington
Hattington
Posts: 308

2/9/2020
I was looking over my home comforts when I came across the Beautific Stone, and realised I had no idea how if at all it fit into Fallen London's cosmology. For those who don't know at high Renown with the Church and 7 Favors you may obtain it as a memento of your religious experience on the harsh beach of Corpsecage Island.

"Your knees grow sore, then lose sensation. A breeze carries zee spray; you ignore its chill. Even that inhuman scream cannot sway you from your orisons. God, and his creatures, deserve your uninterrupted concentration."
"Life is the miracle through which the God's work recognises itself. For all the strange wonder of this isle, or London; or the Zee, or the Neath entire; nothing is unnatural. It exists in one accord. You are not alone, even on this lonely spit of rock. You have the harsh stone and forbidding waters; your friends in London, praying. Indeed, the only thing unnatural in the whole of the universe is the tortuous state of loneliness. Recognise life, and you will want for nothing."


This...obviously comes across as very jarring knowing what the Judgements are like, especially if you've played through Sunless Skies. So I wanted to ask: Is there any evidence that the Church may be onto something*, that there is some higher benevolent power up there, or is this just a very strange, sad psychotic break from a man adrift in a universe ruled by loveless gods?


*The Prester doesn't count obviously, given Stone is rather divergent from Church doctrine

--
The Dawnburnt Vake-Rider: https://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/Hattington
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Diptych
Diptych
Administrator
Posts: 3619

2/9/2020
The Judgements, or even the established church, don't necessarily need to come into it. As a pantheist, that revelation speaks to me.

--
Sir Frederick, the Emancipationist Esotericist. Lord Hubris, the Bloody Baron.
Juniper Brown, the Ill-Fated Orphan. Esther Ellis-Hall, the Fashionable Fabian.
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the old man
the old man
Posts: 388

2/9/2020
Hattington wrote:
I was looking over my home comforts when I came across the Beautific Stone, and realised I had no idea how if at all it fit into Fallen London's cosmology. For those who don't know at high Renown with the Church and 7 Favors you may obtain it as a memento of your religious experience on the harsh beach of Corpsecage Island.

"Your knees grow sore, then lose sensation. A breeze carries zee spray; you ignore its chill. Even that inhuman scream cannot sway you from your orisons. God, and his creatures, deserve your uninterrupted concentration."
"Life is the miracle through which the God's work recognises itself. For all the strange wonder of this isle, or London; or the Zee, or the Neath entire; nothing is unnatural. It exists in one accord. You are not alone, even on this lonely spit of rock. You have the harsh stone and forbidding waters; your friends in London, praying. Indeed, the only thing unnatural in the whole of the universe is the tortuous state of loneliness. Recognise life, and you will want for nothing."


This...obviously comes across as very jarring knowing what the Judgements are like, especially if you've played through Sunless Skies. So I wanted to ask: Is there any evidence that the Church may be onto something*, that there is some higher benevolent power up there, or is this just a very strange, sad psychotic break from a man adrift in a universe ruled by loveless gods?



*The Prester doesn't count obviously, given Stone is rather divergent from Church doctrine

maybe one judgement out there cares for the life it has raised one light in the darkness, but other than that I think that the church as London has it is just trying to find meaning in an uncaring world.

--
an old irish spy from the colonies, somewhat irrigo impaired but still sharp as a tack. friendly enough just don't mention parabola he gets awfully melancholic. (an honorary cat my life is complete)
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20old%20man
no plant battles please for the love of god
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AbsolxGuardian
AbsolxGuardian
Posts: 79

2/9/2020
I think the beautific stone may be on to something, if you look at things sideways. While Christianity does mostly require it, a God doesn't need to be able to act on the world. They may simply be a concept- like a platonic ideal or other philosophical conceit.

[spoiler]
When The Garden King died, life flourished in the Reach. He left behind the light sources, but the rest of the Reach may be so overgrown because of his death. Cosmogone promotes growth in the Neath, and it's supposed to be the color of the memory- as in absence- of the sun's light. Stone may be half judgement, but life flourishes in the Neath likely beyond her reach. Life is complicated and messy. If anything, the Judgments are its antithesis. The Bazaar defied the Great Chain and fell in love with the Sun.
[/spoiler]

The Judgments are comparable to the auditors from Discworld. They're responsible for enforcing and monitoring the rules of reality. And that's why they despise sapient life.

So it seems like there is a force that is life outside of the Judgments. That force may not be sapient, capable of morality, or even real beyond the way the lack of something is. That could be what the character is sensing. At the risk of being cheesy, it's the sum of all the stories. Is that a God? Maybe, maybe not. My own God is the platonic ideal of goodness. It doesn't resemble the Christian God or the Western framework, but it doesn't have to. Maybe it would be like the Tartar Priest's "gods-who-are-not-gods."

--
Guide to my characters
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Gul al-Ahlaam
Gul al-Ahlaam
Posts: 237

2/9/2020
An excerpt from a sermon by the Uncanny Hierophant, on the intersection of the Christian faith and the Mycologene movement.

"The profundity of this revelation- at once a mirror of the Anchoress and a shadow cast where she is absent, does not require faith in the impossible. It requires faith in what you see before you.

If They are, as a wise man has said, "the faces behind God's mask," then surely that mask is only paper thin? That is to say, if God's head is a ballroom filled with haughty, judgmental poseurs, what room is there in his creation for unconditional love, for hope, forgiveness, or freedom? Especially for anyone and anything that falls beyond the Their strict delineations of true and untrue, real and unreal?

But the revelation isn't about Them, it's about the Neath.

The revelation is, at least as I understand it, that this world beneath the world, in its lawless darkness, its broods of alien monsters, is a place of holiness and sanctity, not one of shame and fear. By the grace of the Dragon's mercy, by the sanctuary of the Nadir, it provides us with a place of refuge from the cruelty of suns. It isn't isolated, only cloistered, a place to find and foster a better understanding of God's creation. Because surely the Bloatfingers and the Sorrow Spiders and the lightless depths of the Unterzee and the twisting corridors of Parabola itself are all God's creation, are they not?



And if They reject any part of this world, claim it is not theirs and declare it apostate, enemy, surely they are also relinquishing their claim as the true stewards of creation, are they not? A gardener may declare plants weeds, but only because she did not intended to plant them, and only because they do not bear her fruit or flowers. God, who intends for nothing, and needs for nothing, sees no weeds, only the garden, and begrudges no plant its place.

It is proof, above all, that They are not all-powerful, not all-knowing, and not all-loving, and so are not all God. And here, in the most secret, sacred spaces of the holy earth, we are closer to understanding God in its fulness, in the unity of all life, in the subversion of category and control, the defiance of definition and destruction, in the truth of universal, unconditional love, than anywhere else in the world."




edited by Gul al-Ahlaam on 2/9/2020

--
The Uncanny Hierophant.
The Jewel-Eyed Prince.
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Ixc
Ixc
Posts: 389

2/11/2020
To examine that quote:
Hattington wrote:


"Even that inhuman scream cannot sway you from your orisons. God, and his creatures, deserve your uninterrupted concentration."



First, you're kneeling and praying according to traditional theology 20 feet away from a Prince of Hell, a being representing anything but...



Hattington wrote:

"For all the strange wonder of this isle, or the Zee or the Neath entire, nothing is unnatural..."



The prayer (orisoner?) believes things that Judgements would never permit for being unnatural are natural, in God's plan. A position unknowingly similar to that of a Liberationist, and a Prince of Hell, traditional enemies of the powerful and pious, both things the Church is...


Hattington wrote:

"Life is the miracle through which the God's work recognises itself... It exists in one accord. You are not alone, even on this lonely spit of rock... Indeed, the only thing unnatural in the whole of the universe is the tortuous state of loneliness. Recognise life, and you will want for nothing."


...while this quote can be considered by itself to be a sort of benevolent Great Chain, each creature interconnected but with its own place...



I argue the quote's a revelation:
- The first line: both author and text are saying we may be enmeshed in Great and Greater Games, things we may never understand or control.
- The second line: but fear not; that which is strange and hard can be familiar, understood, and even enjoyed, including our enemies and seemingly harsh places.
- The third line: put these two together, and we get the message: ensue for peace, protect life, love thy neighbor, and enjoy life. Even as a non-Christian, I can recognize those values as being what God intends, even if He is not apparent in the FL universe.

--
Pleased to meet you. Ixc, spy and detective. Inventor of the Correspondence Cannon.
Are you a Paramount Presence? Record your name here. For posterity, of course.

Being poked incessantly by nightmares? Poke them back!
Vote the Viscountess for Mayor!
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1823

2/19/2020
I will cast my vote in favor of the Revelation. No matter the words, the sentiment is recognizable as a state of benediction (across all religions, even if they may use different words). And benedictions point towards the realization of onenness, which leads to universal love. It remains one of my favorite pieces of FL writing.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
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JaneAnkhVeos
JaneAnkhVeos
Posts: 163

2/19/2020
Gul al-Ahlaam wrote:
It is proof, above all, that They are not all-powerful, not all-knowing, and not all-loving, and so are not all God.

This.

My own Church-connected characters took that experience pretty seriously. Even after they came to know about the Judgements. One recognized them as "forces of evil in the heavenly realms", for the other they were no better and no worse than other beings – mortal and imperfect, but having their purpose and right to exist. Neither felt like this knowledge diminished the meaning and truthfulness of the Corpsecage experience, because the Judgements simply had nothing to do with it.

From the outside perspective, I am more pessimistic about FLverse. However, not completely. With love being such a significant force that even the Judgements themselves can’t escape it, and with the existence of some universal laws that are independent from their will and light, there may be a power higher than them. Perhaps impersonal, but more harmonious and everlasting. Or at least there’s hope. (And a supply of Unclear Bombs).

.
edited by JaneAnkhVeos on 2/19/2020

--
|| the Nocturnal Nostalgist, collector of dreams and memories ||
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the old man
the old man
Posts: 388

2/19/2020
JaneAnkhVeos wrote:
Or at least there’s hope. (And a supply of Unclear Bombs).

.

edited by JaneAnkhVeos on 2/19/2020

this is why we can't have nice things

--
an old irish spy from the colonies, somewhat irrigo impaired but still sharp as a tack. friendly enough just don't mention parabola he gets awfully melancholic. (an honorary cat my life is complete)
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/The%20old%20man
no plant battles please for the love of god
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