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>            From: Terrence Donnelly <[log in to unmask]>
>      19. Re: OT: Prayer, ritual and magic // was conlang website
>            From: jesse stephen bangs <[log in to unmask]>

>Message: 19
>    Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 23:07:01 -0700
>    From: jesse stephen bangs <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: OT: Prayer, ritual and magic // was conlang website
>
> > > > I've never understood purgatory.
> > >
> > > The doctrine of Purgatory is founded on the notion that although
> > > everyone is irrevocably damned or saved at the moment of death,
> > > some -- indeed most -- saved souls are not yet free of what may
> > > be called the *habit* of sinfulness, and need to undergo a purgative
> > > (cleansing) process before being admitted to Heaven.  This being
> > > so, it is as rational to pray for those in Purgatory as for the
> > > living.
> >
> > The notion of damnation saddens me terribly.  Forever--unforgiven?  No
> > more second chances?
> >
> > Arguably God has given us enough chances, and yet...the sheer
> > irrevocability of the afterlife-notion boggles me sometimes.
>
>May I suggest C.S. Lewis's book _The Problem of Pain_ ?  There's a chapter
>in that book entitled "Hell" that is the only thing that's made sense of
>the issue to me.  Essentially Lewis's position is that hell isn't
>something God sends people to as much as something people choose because
>they would rather have hell than ask for forgiveness.  Or as Lewis put it,
>"The doors of hell are locked from the inside."  He gives a fuller
>explanation in his book, and the following chapter, "Heaven," is
>unbelievably beautiful.
>
> >
> > Religion is so confusing...and if you take it seriously, it's
> > heartwrenchingly difficult because being mistaken or wrong could have
> > such terrible consequences.  Perhaps for others it is simpler than I
>make
> > it for myself.
>
>No, I don't think so.  Even for unserious people like myself, some things
>*must* be taken seriously and inevitably are difficult.  Without that they
>would be too easy.
>
> > ObConLang: afterlife and its representations in your conlang?  Words for
> > it?  The afterlife in Chevraqis is referred to as "Beyond."  A common
> > Qenaren phrase for death is "the soldier's salute."  Then again, this is
> > a military culture that thinks the death-god brought death as a gift,
>and
> > that an accepting death is your gift in return.
>
>Wow, that's interesting!  For the Yivríndi, death was an act of mercy from
>Elori.  After the earth was corrupted by Agam, Elori allowed the souls to
>leave their body after a time rather than live forever on the
>corrupted earth.  The evil goddess of death (name?) captured the souls and
>took them into the underworld, though, so Elori caused all of the dead to
>go into a deep sleep.  Thus, death is a long sleep that lasts until the
>end of the world, when the underworld will be broken open and the dead
>awaken.
Death is a complex issue for the Islanders. The Creation story says that the
One (La'rkhe ['la:r.k<h>e]) created the Companion (Tha'krakhe
['t<h>a:k.ra.k<h>e])because he was lonely. The Companion wanted both to be
sometimes with the One and sometimes apart from the One. This was not
possible and the Companion was torn apart by these desires and became many,
who were called the Limbs of the Companion (Ba'tha'kra ['ba:.t<h>ak.ra]).
Some remained with the One, others wandered off. Some of the latter became
inanimate matter. Then the One created the World for some Limbs of the
Companion so that they could be apart from the One. These are the souls of
living things. Ultimately, however, the World will end and the Limbs of the
Companion will be reunited with the One. This is the _short and simple_
version of the Islander's Creation story, omitting much.

The sacred book that contains the story is called the Tha'ttebwu'tu'khalei
(The Death of the Companion) [,t<h>a:t.te.,b<w>u:.tu:.'k<h>a.lej], but
opinions differ widely on the dividing line between matter and soul, whether
a non-corporeal entity can be said to die, whether the One created the
Companion to BE immortal, and whether the Companion died (if she did)
willingly.

In terms of death ritual, the Islanders bury the body (ba'bhalei, inanimate
because non-living) in the garden (tyelenouondlei) in the middle of their
standard house design. They are literally made of earth, after all. Usually
a fruit tree (so'lama'telembrakhe) will be planted above the corpse.
Although the Islanders believe in reincarnation, they do not believe that
the dead Islander's soul must (or even is more likely than not to) enter the
fruit tree. Kings and queens recieve a different ritual. The slopes of the
mountain at the center of the Island are forbidden to all but reigning and
former rulers (the system is semi-elective) - except when a ruler or
ex-ruler dies. Then all rulers and ex-rulers, accompanied by pall-bearers,
visit the Place of Offering within the Forbidden Land, and lay the corpse
there. Then they leave without looking back.

The euphemism for a non-royal's death is 'khalo'neimona telembraken ru'kwa
[k<h>a.lo:.'nej.mo.na te.'lem.bra.ken 'ru:k<w>a]' 'they plant a tree for
him', while for a royal it is 'bhelaueimona heud wouintoiato'r
[b<h>e.'lau.'ej.mo.na hewd.ow.in.toj.'a.to'r]''they put him on the mountain'
or 'nalo'reimona han wouintoiabwoz [na.lo:.'rej.mo.na
hawn.ow.in.'toj.a.b<w>oz]' 'they take him up the mountain'.
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