Shadow Sermons!

Moon Guard
The topic for this week's Shadow sermon is traditions. Come on down to the Brill cemetery at 8.
More specifically this event will tie into the Dance of the Dead. As we outline the reason for this tradition we will dive deeper into the meaning, or importance of traditions. I will be standing in for Silaine this week hoping to follow the same fundamentals, and beliefs of her sermons. This event is open to all races. Hope to see you all there!
Sermon Nine

Good evening and thank you all for joining us. Tonight’s discussion shall focus on the concepts of consequentialism and what we as a people owe to our state.

As some of you may recall the Undercity was recently host to prisoners of war; these prisoners suffered grave injuries at the hands of our people. They were mutilated, starved, beaten and broken. There was hardly a hand that did not partake in the prisoners careful treatment, still, it could not be helped that I was confronted with a lingering question from the masses: Why? Why do we do these things, why must we treat these people in such a way--- What makes any of this necessary?

So what justification could I have for allowing and encouraging such treatment? The simple answer is because we must. Allow me to explain this notion, if you would, it is secret to no one that the Forsaken are being watched- not only by the eyes of our allies but by our enemies as well. A great strength and weakness to our state is the land that we occupy, while it aids our allies it also beckons our enemies to our door. It would be an understatement to say our land is desired.

We have encountered ourselves in a dangerous time, one that could injure our people, our state and our Queen. The consequences of our actions must be weighed and our moves must be deliberate. The prisoners treatment was a well orchestrated piece to a larger goal- no they were not harmed for personal enjoyment but rather for the effectiveness of a message to all. In this dangerous time we as a people, as a state, must demonstrate our powers and we must enforce fear upon those who would seek to oppose us.

Fear is the strongest bridle and we must use it to strengthen ourselves. We must realize that we can no longer practice the doctrines of an idealistic world- we must discard the need we may feel to be loved or to practice justice, temperance or mercy. As a people we must unite in the revelation that to many we are monsters that must be put down, regardless of their love for us. Now, when I speak of love here tonight I mean it in the way of our actions; we could choose to commit actions that would create a bond with our enemies, we may try to convince them of our right to existence through diplomatic meetings and we could very well create allies from our enemies and take comfort in the fact that we are no longer alone.

However, the fact remains that we will find much more security in being feared than we ever will in being loved. The process of love would allow others to openly see our weaknesses and it does not defend against the very real threat of political agendas. The thought of instilling love over fear is an idealistic notion that we must not concern ourselves with as it does not offer the greatest utility to our people. Those not of the Forsaken will not experience us for what we are but rather what we choose to appear as.

We may openly admit to one another that we are not monsters, that we may take no joy or pride in committing deceptive and violent acts but we must embrace that we do these things for protection of our state. As long as we are united in this existence we offer each a sliver of security but this is not enough, we must also be willing to work together to further the goals and security of our state. We must be prepared to do things that we may not normally participate in.
Sermon #9 Questions Asked and Answered!

And what if we DO take joy and pride in it?

Embrace it, but as I spoke to you earlier, do not allow your humanity to be consumed by the effects of this life. For once the war has ended we will have to learn to exist as we did when we were of the living.

With that being said do yuo really think the rest of the world will ever see us as more than monsters?

That is not a concern.
They will either join us as allies in their life or they will join us in their death.

So, in order to protect ourselves, we must remain hardened. Any advice to those who are
recently turned and strongly influenced by our humanity still?

The best advice I can give to lock away the pieces of you which you do not wish to loose. Hold onto those memories and lean on your fellow Forsaken for strength to do what is needed.
At some point, I need to attend one of these as well as the Light sermons. Very nicely written, Silaine.
Just don't let Pelaois know!
Just don't let Pelaois know!

I have love enough for two.
The funny part is that Pelaios goes to these when I have time to go.
At some point, I need to attend one of these as well as the Light sermons. Very nicely written, Silaine.

Thanks Malvalennnn!
10/29/2013 01:01 PMPosted by Silaine
Thanks Malvalennnn!

You're welcome! A lot of what was said about fear is actually stuff that Mal is trying to incorporate as part of his more public persona, to the extent that he's done some rather questionable things to enhance his ability to cause fear in others (though I haven't had much of a chance to play this out yet). I'd definitely love to be able to attend in game to develop that more.
10/29/2013 01:23 PMPosted by Malvalen
Thanks Malvalennnn!

You're welcome! A lot of what was said about fear is actually stuff that Mal is trying to incorporate as part of his more public persona, to the extent that he's done some rather questionable things to enhance his ability to cause fear in others (though I haven't had much of a chance to play this out yet). I'd definitely love to be able to attend in game to develop that more.

For sure, a bunch of us are also always open to some random RP if you give us a poke.
I applaud your efforts but there is one thing I do believe you might address. You seem to be centering your sermons around the Forsaken. Many of your points of the Cult of the Shadow are specific to the undead. Not all who wield Shadow magic are undead.

I think you need to address the needs of those who are alive as well. Just my opinion of course. I agree that many of your points are very good for those who seek meaning in their existence. But why limit it to the Forsaken?

I dunno...I hate to be the obvious pointer outer here but isn't Cult of the Forgotten Shadow suppose to be Forsaken-centric? After all it is suppose to be THE Forsaken religion/culture, not any other race's. To me that's the main charm of it - sort of like the NE's belief in Elune - and the NEs sure as hell won't change their belief structure so some human will find it more appealing. I'm not sure about Silaine's plans for her sermons but I am a little afraid that if it goes 'mainstream', it may lose that sort of charm it has being the cornerstone of the Forsaken's belief/culture. At least for me anyway.

Sadly, I have to both agree and disagree on this point. While you are correct that the Forgotten Shadow itself is -very- geared towards Forsaken, this is due to the fact that only Forsaken can ascend and surpass death. Their bodies are born of the shadows and can withstand the power that this brings whereas a living, mortal body cannot. At the same time though, the Forgotten Shadow is also based on the belief of Divine Humanism which can span across the world of Azeroth and be adopted by anyone, thus leaving the door open for what Silaine had mentioned in regards to the doors being open to other races.
Sermon Ten
In Defense of the Shadow

This evening I would like to defend my religion and its beliefs against some of the charges brought against it. As of late it has come to my attention that being a member of the Cult is regarded as being a part of something ‘ugly’; that we are an evil people who only seek evil devices. Now, why has this thinking become common place? No doubt through a series of miscommunications or blatant ignorance, so, on this eve I would like to provide a defense and education against such notions.

From the standpoint of the Light we are charged with having ignored solidarity, that we recognize and separate the individual from the herd. We create an isolated being; someone that cannot return to solidarity after having been made fully aware of what it means to be themselves and to exist.

Furthermore, the Light would say that we have forsaken its teachings, leaving nothing pure and filling the void with our own twisted notions. The result being that everyone is permitted to do as they please and incapable of damning the viewpoints and acts of others.

With these concepts being so easily defined as evil I am left to wonder whether the practitioners of the Light truly fear my doctrine for its dangers or for its opportunities. Can it be that what really scares them in the doctrine is that it leaves a person with a possibility of choice?

I have spoken on the doctrine of the Shadow many nights before this present occasion, however, for the purpose of education I will find myself speaking of it once more. Firstly, I should address what exactly is the core of this religion? While many might say the pursuit of power, the true answer is: A person is nothing else but what they make of themself.

Before power, before knowledge, and before recognition of another there comes the recognition of the self. This means that everyone starts as nothing and only after this realization can they become something; this recognition for the self allows the person to define themselves and in the process they create what they will be. You are not only what you conceive yourself to be, but also what you will yourself to be in this existence.

This acceptance of responsibility for the self, for existence, is the foundation of the Shadow religion.

Now to address another commonly heard concern: if the Shadow is good, then why does it teach selfishness? Surely by inspiring individuals to realize and accept their own power over the governance of their life, we are creating a society that is only fueled by personal desire. However, that is simply not the case as I will explain.

When we instruct an individual to find themself, to engage with themself, and to choose themself it is a choice that is for all people. When an individual commits to this doctrine they are not committing to selfishness, they are committing to the betterment of themselves and their society. When an individual creates themselves as the person they want to be it also creates the image of what others think they ought to be. In short, it creates a progressive society where one is not only responsible for themselves but for others as well

At this point I have hopes that you are all beginning to understand the most core and basic concepts of my doctrine. I also have hopes that you are beginning to see the Shadow not as a means to evil but as a pathway to something greater-- where choices are valued and freedom is assured.
Are they always on Saturdays, unless moved? Or am I derp and forgot to read something?
They call it Shadow Sermons because it's just Silaine talking to her shadow.
Are they always on Saturdays, unless moved? Or am I derp and forgot to read something?

They're normally on Sundays but depending on whats going on that week we opt to move them to Saturday. The best way to keep on track with it is to join /ShadowCult, its an OOC channel for the Shadow stuff.

They call it Shadow Sermons because it's just Silaine talking to her shadow.

And it never gets lonely or old.
Here's lucky number eleven.

Sermon Eleven
The meaning of existence

Some of you standing here tonight may have wondered, at some point in time, if the world around you exists; if the the tree’s you see are really there or if they only exist in your mind? If this thing we separate from our bodies- our minds or our souls, if those really exist as well? But all of these questions seem to assert that we know what it means to exist already. But do we know what it means to exist?

Certainly we know how we may exist. As each of us continues in life we can be sure of the fact that we each choose a way to be and a way for our lives to be. What does this mean exactly? It means as the years unfold before you, you will be given certain choices in life- paths. These branching points allow us to choose the type of life we want and to choose the type of person we may be. At some point in time it was believed that only humans had the capability to be aware of these choices but as we are aware in present day their are many intellectual beings. So then the question must be posed- what is it about these races that make them so special? What is it that separates ‘man’ from ‘beast’? The simple answer is: plants and animals have their lives determined entirely by the demands of survival and reproduction. While intellectual beings lead their lives or lay out their lives for themselves.

We are all susceptible to anxiety in the fact that sometimes this world may feel meaningless, we are all capable of thinking or asserting our existence, and as mentioned earlier we all have a preconceived understanding of what existence means. We are all able to analyze these thoughts of existence and perhaps uncover the hidden underlying meaning of what it means to exist.

One might say that existence is the way the self relates to its environment. However, there are many different levels of relation; for example is the relation based on intellect (examination, analyzation, understanding) or is the relation based on manipulation, such as using a tool? These are both activities you may exist in but which is right? If we are to suspend our belief and say our mind is who we are or what we are, then would the correct answer be that existence occurs when we relate intellectually? Or if we are to say our existence occurs through the activity of manipulation than is physical interaction the meaning to existence? If we cannot be sure of the actual existence of the physical world does the theory of relations still apply?

I would argue that both are correct, that separation is required but not from right to wrong. Intellectual relation and manipulative relation are two states of existence that co-exist in what it means to exist. That is to say, these are activities of existing but not existence itself.

Let us then move onto another argument on existence: existence is a product of purpose.
That is to say that existence is defined and determined solely on its purpose. For example, a hammers defined as a tool to increase the speed in which someone may build. The purpose of the speed increase is to protect the builder, and later an individual or family, from unkind weather. It is effective in its existence because it has a definable purpose. Is a person definable though? Is it possible create a definition that could apply to each individual to determine whether or not they exist? The answer, I’m afraid, is no. Even if we were to create a definition that tells us why and how we exist it would still not tell us the meaning of existence.

It seems we have this word that we use in action to define things. I exist, you exist, we exist. But we don’t know what the meaning of that existence is and it is possible that we may never know. That is it simply undefinable. Now, as I end this sermon I wish to propose a challenge to each of you: meditate on the meaning of existence, test your mind to see if you can uncover the hidden truth.

What is the way we should conduct ourselves? This will be the topic for this evenings sermon. Although some would argue that our conscience died with our body we cannot ignore the overwhelming question that is sure to plague every society. How do we conduct ourselves? Where, how and why do we draw a line between right and wrong?

When an attempt is made to understand something, let us use the example of the State, when a State is to pass legislature it is not enough for a person to be told that it is right and they must obey it because the State dictates as such. The individual must understand it. They need to understand why and by which standards it is right.
Sermon #11 Discussions!

*There was actually so many discussions that I have only included the first half, consider it a teaser.*

Perhaps existence is defined by each individual and may be different for all... even possibly for inanimate as well as animate creations. Take the hammer for instance. It serves the purpose to speed up the process of building, but even a hammer has more uses than just building. It can be used as a weapon, or perhaps open a can. It's own existence is defined by the situation. Maybe for everything in this world, as well as others, it is the same?

That is true. Existence is reliant on interpretation from individuals. Therefore, the theory of existence is ever evolving and never properly define. My purpose in posing the question was to gauge what you would each interpret your existence as. Now that is not to say there isn't an answer to the overwhelming question but rather.. We may never understand its true meaning simply because we do not possess the intellect.

Since we are discussing the matters of existence and the reason of our own existence, perhaps there is a reason for each individual, no matter what race of perspective we have on life. Many are born with a gift, from a family who managed to make the existence of a person possible.

Many are different in their own special way, and their image is also different from one another. Could it be possible that our existence comes because we were granted this chance to do something meaningful for one or more persons? Ourselves? The environment? Or in an attempt to stop something that can be catastrophic to the lives of a few or many in our world?

Or could it be that we were meant to exist simply because we do?

So you propose that our existence may have some predestined purpose or opportunity for which we are given the possibility to achieve? Or that we were simply meant to be?

Intelligent design is an interesting concept and would play into why each of us has an understanding of abstract things; such as existence and perfection, without concrete definitions to contribute to the words.

Perhaps the answer to both is simply, yes. Predestined, or simply being.. yes.. and mayhaps even beyond such of which we may be unaware?
What about you? What do you perceive as the meaning of your personal existence?

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