Finally made my way here to the lore new(ish) forum. Thought I'd start off with something light and breezy after being inspired by the thread on why mortals worship Daedric Princes.
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Imagine reality as shifting possibilities and potentials, shimmering and shifting in an ocean of mystery. The ocean itself can be imperfectly understood as having come from a fracturing of a unified whole, totality, in which nothing exists nor non-existed because there was no differentiation and hence everything and nothing were the same, as in they were meaningless. So we have, in that initial state the possibility of everything but the reality of nothing. Sadly, this is hard to describe because of the lack of a fixed point of reference, so logic can't apply. Out of this mystery semi-permanent patterns phased in and out, giving rise to a degree of distinction. What mortals call Anu and Padomey are the representations of this initial cataclysm of this first stirrings of existence.
As the the condensation of this pool of emptiness continued to coalesce, it was not isolated or restricted by what mortals conceive as linear time, with echoes and ripples traveling through this pool of infinity from what mortals would conceive of as the future and the present and the past. The focus for this increase in permanence and specificity was/is/will be the conscious mind, or the collective thereof. The pattern of increasing differentiation and specificity of this potential through a series of binary interactions and their iterations is mythologized in some mortal accounts as Anui-El and Sithis, Auri-El and Lorkhan. Of course, mortals must set these events sequentially to accomodate linear thinking, further distorting their understanding of the great mystery. How can a mortal comprehend the coexistence of causality, which they perceive as a sequenced event in linear time, and the simultaneous possibility and creation of every moment?
Following this mortal view, these evolving binary forces are crudely considered to be rivals and pure opposites in perpetual conflict, though each has its being and the qualities of existence, such as motion and influence, because of the other. And of the beings known in the continent of Tamriel as Et'Ada? The original spirits? The mortals have no clear cause for this according to their way of understanding. How can it fit? So they think in terms of parentage and procreation. But has this writing not already given an indication? One the clarification, or condensation--the increasing specificity of the world and the tangibility of its substance as part of a larger interaction within and beyond time? Think on the implications of the power of a conscious observer, of agency and memory. What looks like a line from one view may be a spiral, and a spiral is yet but the shape of a line that is shaped by movement in additional dimensions.
The creation of the Aurbus and the Void, and within them Aetherius and Oblivion, and within them the shades and depths of Mundus and... Well, in any case, consider the Et'Ada, do they not reflect the qualities of mortal hearts and minds? And do not mortal hearts and mind reflect the qualities of the Et'Ada? Is there any doubt to the link of the essential nature found in both? The common story that some Et'Ada bound their power to the creation of Mundus and became the Aedra, while some were completely absorbed by the process into mortality, while others refrained and became the Daedra, it certainly gives the kind of reference mortals would be able to comprehend. But it also needs omit that which is too alien for a mortal mind. There is a truth there, but the mortal mind hastens to shape that truth in terms of a neat order and lineage based on which things came first and who begat whom and who forged what. The simpler, more obvious truths of the connections mentioned cannot fit in such a framework, and when a mortal mind begins to sense them it simply reduces the insight back to the same patterns of thought and ordering to which it is accustomed. Arrogance and certainty of inspired but wild speculation abound. Such truths can only be glimpsed at a glance, from the corner of the mind's eye. Even when the stories of those such as Tiber Septim/Talos and Trinimac/Malacath and others are eventually/are being/have been revealed. Careful, careful, you've caught a glimpse and are trying to flatten it to suit your ingrained style of comprehension.
The links between mortals and the Aedra, including their greater ranks, the Divines, as well as the Daedra, and their greater ranks, the Princes, are, to use mortal phrasing, very old. The oldest. Yet perpetually new and renewed. Why do men worship them? Is this merely passive adoration or bargaining? Is not a mortal's nature both revealed and shaped by its relationship to the gods? And are the gods not... are they not also active participants? Where is the focus, the lens through which reality is shaped? How does the influence needed to shape the world ebb and flow? Why do the gods care at all for the affairs of mortals? Do you imagine it to be a solemn duty? A defined immutable role? A case of boredom? Do you start to see the outlines of the Great Machine of Existence as imagined by the Dwemer? If the Princes had naught to do with Mundus how can they care for it or interact with it? Why are they, as the Divines, mirrors of the hearts and minds of mortals? Or, to say the same thing another way, how did the of the essential aspects of the Princes become impressed into the souls of mortals? If the Divines are all but spent, what of the open secrets debated in Aetherius and the continued existence of the Mundus itself? Do you think the state of affairs we see when we look around us is fixed and permanent for all time? Do you not recall the fluidity of what are called the Elder Scrolls?
But these things are best not dwelt upon too long while still sojourning in Nirn. To ponder or write overmuch of these things is to become a fool or madman, when the truth is something which must be lived to be understood. Your life will contain all you need to know in this world, and if it is truly understood it will reveal the deeper mystery of the life that comes after.
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