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The Elevated Man
|Six Zhotosh (Prophet) |
Uri I (First Pontiff)
|Regions with significant populations|
|Testament of Six Zhotosh, Book of the Law, Rite of the Ghauzem|
|Carcosse-Veyene, Lhedwinic, Newreyan, Midrasian, Aquidish|
Ksaiism, or simply Ksai (The Way) is a Dualistic Religion developed over time from the teachings of farmer-turned-theologian Six Zhotosh in the winter of 1343, which is primarily observed among members of the Veyene Cultures and its diaspora across Carcossica and Asura at large. The faith centers around the worship and of the Zhoizoi (Divine Thought) and Zhuaeboi (Divine Spirit), which act in conjunction to create the Ksaioi (Divine Way), which imbues the universe with the capacity to maintain itself. Ksaiism also maintains an animistic element, believing that the consciousness and the domain of spirits are inherently tied to life itself, and can cause changes to the material world, though it can only occur where organic life exists. Ksaiism teaches the importance of personal intention and creativity, as these efforts directly impact the universe on not just the material, but spiritual plane of being.
Ksaiists are taught to live a life according to the Eight Divine Tenets, one which encourages the development and cultivation of community, honesty, integrity, industry, creativity, loyalty, charity, and piety. A strong work ethic is highly stressed among practitioners, as well as a concern for a personal interest in the creative pursuits and development of a communalistic, transparent, and egalitarian civic culture. Modern interpretations also stress a personal and social Non-Aggression Policy alongside its emphasis on service to the community, evident in that many modern Ksaiists outside of Carcossica are Conscientious Objectors in their national military structures.
Practitioners of the faith engage in communal celebrations known as Shauzhenune (Communion) at community temples, in which meditations on the teachings of Zhotosh and other Ksaiist thinkers are engaged and lead by clerics known as a Kaevha (Guide of the Way), often utilizing manta and choral music to develop an introspective atmosphere. Khaevam also utilize Shauzehenune to address issues in their parish and resolve disputes among parishioners.
Near the end of summer, a week of celebrations are engaged known as Chiksyekuah (Festival), in which communities engage in feasts and dancing, along with the creation of highly elaborate works of art, with each day honoring a certain facet of society. Every Leap Year, an additional day is added to the close of Chiksyekuah, Rikhdinhoi (Day of Saints), a day of silence and meditation, often circling around the teachings of a community's historical patron cleric, usually the founder of the temple in that Parish. Other minor celebrations are engaged throughout the year in the faith, many of which were adapted from local faiths over the centuries.
Beyond spiritual purpose, the Ksaiist Clergy also serves to maintain public functions in many Veyene societies. Kaevhas often will act as a mediator to end civil disputes in and out of Shauzehenune, consult with secular authorities for public works projects in their parish, aid in the operation public welfare services, and oversee the communal Houses of Credit, among other activities. In many smaller communities across the Ksaiist world, a Temple will also serve as a Community Center and Schoolhouse. The government of the Carcossica and its territories abroad are inherently tied to the nation's hierarchy of Khaevas, with the Elector-Provost of the Republican College of Khaevas being their spiritual leader as well as a co-head of government. Elsewhere in the world, Ksaiist enclaves can be observed as cities-within-cities, as these groups too rally around their temple as the heart of their worldly and spiritual affairs. While there is no established global Ksaiist hierarchy, as the faith engages in a policy of autocephaly, though many consider the Elector-Provost in Carcossica to act as the de facto leader of Ksaiists around the world.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Overview
- 3 Ksaiist Practices
- 4 Teachings and Beliefs
- 5 Organizations and Institutions
- 6 History
- 6.1 Proto-Ksaiism and the Veyene Cultures
- 6.2 Six Zhotosh
- 6.3 Pre-Pontifical Ksaiism
- 6.4 The Pontifical Union
- 6.5 Experimental Era (1847-1913)
- 6.6 Contemporary Ksaiism (20th Century-Present)
- 7 Ksaiism Outside of Carcossica
Ksaiism is rooted in the Veyene word "Ksaioi", which translates to "Divine Way". The word was first used in written record in 1344, following the formal establishment of the first communities for the faith in Statjathady.
Teachings and Beliefs
Ksaiism's mythology centers around the creation of the Divine Way by the combination of Thought and Spirit, its subsequent dispersal to create the whole of reality, the vital nature of life itself, and the cycles of reunion and fragmentation that maintains the health and novelty of creation throughout all time.
The Divine Mind, Spirit, and Way
Dissemination of Souls
Nature of Good and Evil
Ksaiism, affected deeply by the linguistic quirks of the Veyene culture, differentiates between absence and presence to a degree most other faiths do not. Ksaiism teaches that the soul and life in general can be seen as having an "empty vessel" which can be filled and emptied of its moral content. A presence of good does not prevent the presence of evil in that same person or community, much as an absence of good does not necessarily mean they are implicitly evil.
Cosmic Cycle of Novelty
Just as the universe was created through the union of spirit and thought to create the way, over time, a given iteration of the universe will gradually become corrupted and dispersed, as every iteration either trends towards net exaltation or net purgatory. Due to this, the Zhoizoi and Zhuaeboi gradually drift apart due to the disparity between them. The belief in the cycle of novelty mandates that this inevitable drift and disparity between the two core elements of the universe will slowly tear it apart, either becoming too strongly material or spirit in nature to continue, and thus, the ksaioi is severed, and the iteration of reality will collapse in an event which restores the balance. Therefore, the Ksai is practiced to ensure the constant balance of the local universe and to prolong its existence.
The afterlife in Ksaiism is often described as the "cosmic sieve" by modern adherents, in which spirits of deceased persons, usually thought to be ancestors or other close connections made during the individual's lifetime, guide the spirit through from out of the body and through the veil to the spiritual plane. After being fully separated, the soul, either burdened or liberated by its lifetime karmic debt. If it is liberated, it will either be capable of reaching exaltation, in which the spirit enters a state of bliss incapable of being found in the mortal plane, in which all of the happiest experiences it bestowed upon the world are felt simultaneously. Over the course of exaltation, the soul is relieved of its experiences, disseminating the positive karma back unto the universe to be taken in by another living being. Spirits in exaltation can coalesce and reach a higher form, and if a human reaches total exaltation, it reaches the highest material form as a spirit in the material world. If weighed down by karma, the soul sinks into purgatory, in which it is made to experience guilt, remorse, and pain equivalent to that of its infliction on the world. Some souls, incapable of enduring the most extreme states of purgatory, fragment into smaller spiritual forms, such as animals or plants. The negative karma remains dispersed, as is with its inverse. A spirit of the material plane cannot reside in the spiritual world permanently, and must be restored to it in order to maintain balance in the universe. Totally balanced souls do exist, though they are mostly lower forms of being.
Spirit Vs. Soul
While most religions use the terms interchangeably, spirits and souls are two entirely different concepts in Ksaiism. Souls are mortal beings confined completely to the material world, which must enter the spirit world to reconcile its karmic balance and return upon achievement of that. Spirits are immaterial, but not immortal entities which are hyperkarmatic, present among the physical mortals to act as guides and points of inspiration. Spirits are capable of being corrupted through their own actions and influence by material beings, and can therefore hold a karmic debt themselves. As such, the population of spirits, it is believed, does not remain constant for long, as most spirits, especially ones which recently lived as humans, will act in a manner that ensures purgatory, and causes the spirit to fragment back into a lower form, usually a human, though supremely corrupted spirits can be dispersed much further. A commonly-held belief is that the only humans which can achieve a balanced soul in life are unborn children who die prior to the moment of birth.
In essence, a soul is not a spirit.
The Eight Core Tenets
Organizations and Institutions
Statjathady Grand Synod
College of Kaevhas
Assembly of Ordained Laypersons
Union of Associated Ksaiist Temples
Differences With Carcosse Ksaiism
Proto-Ksaiism and the Veyene Cultures
Questions over Historicity
Interaction with Truathi, Olartru, and Alydianism
Ksaiism and the Western Crusades
The Pontifical Union
Experimental Era (1847-1913)
Contemporary Ksaiism (20th Century-Present)
Ksaiism Outside of Carcossica