From the Lecture Series of Shen Eclen at the Gnostic Library, 3450 Gnosis: “Toward A Common Meta-Philosophy”
Think about “word of power” as we call them. Even think in terms of incantations, or so-called magic, as the unskilled do.
Where do they come from?
It seems obvious that all the Schools are drilling down through a philosophical fruit, trying to find the core. Trying to see what’s there, or comprehend that final word. It seems obvious, but it isn’t. There’s no guarantee that there’s a final word. There’s no guarantee that there’s even a single fruit. These are narratives we’ve built to disguise the fact that we press ever onward into more complex and difficult philosophical inquiries with no guarantee that there’s a goal other than more control over the physical world. Even that, sometimes, isn’t guaranteed. Long stretches have passed for each School where discoveries, if there were any, were refinements on long-known precepts. Though each of these periods of inactivity, of stasis, has so far been followed by a flurry of brilliance, no one should presume that the next period of stasis must necessarily end that way. Each discovery may well be the last.
We have, in this series so far, compared and contrasted the different philosophical underpinnings of each of the Schools. Some, as we have seen, share epistemic root. The Gnostic and Syncretic Schools originate in differing interpretations of the revelations of prophet Moshep. The Silvaraeic, the Rammimnic, and the Chosen all derive their Schools from wildly differing accounts of the ironically named Nameless One. A few of the minor Schools share minor roots, though most of them derive at least in part from ecstatic cults and lack a truly coherent philosophical tradition.
Now that we know the differences, let’s take a look at the similarities.
All the Schools practice speech. No serious Schools take very seriously the idea of a separate, complimentary system based on one of the other senses or a hidden sense that can only be tapped into with training, as some have suggested. All the major Schools have investigated such avenues of inquiries, though never publicly, and all have refuted them time after time.
Since the Schools practice speech, it’s necessary to ask how speech does what it does. Or to put it another way, we must define its method of action. This is by no means a settled question, despite what your Schoolmasters would have you believe. We may hold that the world is made up of specific pieces and words simply act on them, but from whence to they derive their power? Or we may hold that the world is essentially made of words and our speech acts upon the world by rewriting those word, enacting a new reality, but why some word and not others? This is a profound question that deserves a profound answer. In my opinion, we have not yet arrived at that answer.
All the Schools are bound by a commitment to responsible use of the words of power. We understand the consequences of over-use and of constant casual use, so much so that we self-legislate and attach great penalties to such actions. Co-incidentally, philosophical traditions aside, responsible use is one of the great founding pillars of the Schools in general, and of the Great Five in particular. We understand what it means to have a truly great word-fire. We have together sacrificed many talented individuals to stop them, though, thankfully, not for some time. We are united in this goal, and though we may seek to destroy each other sometimes, we all seek not to destroy the world at all times.
All the Schools are also bound by a strict static set of political imperatives. Though they may not realise it, the governments and religions of this world —
[Text beyond this point has been destroyed; many thanks to scholar Jorell Sarindar of the Gnosis for the recovery and translation of this document.]