Religion: The Path of Cymr

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Religion: The Path of Cymr

Post by GrayWatch on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:01 pm

Name: The Path of Cymr.

Location: Spread throughout the far west of Ara'niel, it is more common along the northern edge of the Spine Of Ara'niel in the west. It has no central authority, temple or similar, though the western most point of Ara'niel north of the Spine is considered a holy site (no temples or monasteries though. Merely an austere grave marker on a cliff's edge.)

Holy Days: Each individual monastery has the right to declare a day holy, and as such by this time each day of the year is multiple different holy days, the vast majority of which are only celebrated by the relevant monastery, and surrounding adherents of the faith. Only the Summer and Winter Solstice are celebrated universally, the first as a celebration, the latter as a day of fasting.

Summarized Philosophy: The Cymr monks admit the existence of gods, but see no point in worshiping them. Rather they strive to find spiritual enlightenment in life, believing an enlightened soul will continue to guide the living towards enlightenment after death. They believe in Enlightenment as an end unto itself.

Practices:
Those wishing to become priests or monks of the Cymrean path usually join or are sent to a monastery at a relatively young age, though older applicants are welcomed it is generally believed that only the young have the mental flexibility to fully benefit from the early training. Acolytes spend their early years learning the teachings and writings of past monks who are believed to have been enlightened. After the acolyte has shown an acceptable level of understanding of what enlightenment is, and the basic precepts of the Path, they are usually sent on a roving journey to other monastaries, or travel with wandering adherents of the faith.

The Cymrean Monks believe the is no one path to enlightenment, and what one man may find in contemplative meditation, another may find in the disciplined martial training of a warrior monk, still others may find it in travelling the world as a mendicant, or they may find enlightenment in the doing of good works. The ways to enlightenment number beyond counting but for each man there is at least one Path. Young monks travel to different monasteries, sampling different lifestyles, or travelling with mendicant monks, until they find the Path the believe best suited for them, at which point they usually devote themselves to that path, and frequently to the monastery and/or mendicant in which they found it.

While a wide variety of activities and life styles are accepted under the Path, there are several which are not. Primarily the Path to Enlightenment is one for the betterment of man, and thus violence against others, except in the last extremes of the defense of others (but not themselves) is strictly prohibited. Similarly, long ago monks found that the acquisition of material wealth , while perhaps providing transitory happiness, leads only to infinite distractions, worries and concerns that inevitably cause one to stray from their True Path. Accordingly all Cymr Monks live under a vow of poverty and celibacy. Though temples may be lavishly decorated and alms collected, this is because some men have found their path in the creation of beauty, but accordingly are not permitted to keep the creations for themselves. Instead they are used to make the monastery more pleasing to visitors, or sold to pay for maintenance.

Organization:
The Monks of the Path believe that many activities and life styles can lead to enlightenment, and even recognize some few who were never monks as having achieved enlightenment independently. However this independence tends to lead to conflicts between brother monks, who find their Paths crossing each other in inconvenient ways. To this end each Monastery has an abbot, chosen by his predecessor, who's duty it is to resolve conflicts between monks, including sending them to beg entry to another monastery if necessary.
Similarly, each monastery and temple tends to specialize, collecting monks whom have similar paths, warrior-monks collecting in one, monks who find peace in charity in others, and so on.
Among the monks, those who have been considered to have achieved enlightenment in their time wield no official power whatsoever, but rather wield a great deal of influence, their words written and studied. Much of the early teachings and practices of the monks come from the words or writings of such figures.

Beliefs on Other Religions:
The Monks of Cymr will happily admit the existence of other gods. Something must cause thunder. Why not a god? Justice is a common belief across all of mankind, despite the varied cultures, so perhaps some great power is responsible for it. What they do not do is worship any of them. Surely they say, that if the gods are responsible for so many wonders and processes of nature, then the gods must be a natural phenomenon. Great and powerful and certainly worthy of respect, but it makes as much sense to worship them as it does to worship a river for flooding, a stone for being hard, milk for curdling, or gold for glimmering.

The Monks are generally regarded as harmless by more tolerant religions, as their teachings tend to be sufficiently esoteric and different that they gain little if any adherents outside the far west of Ara'niel.

History:
The Path of Cymr was, fittingly, founded by a man known as Cymr. Cymr was born in the Great War, and his tale is one of unending loss. Born happy and wealthy, he led men east to battle for glory, and his name was shamed, his men lost. He fled home, and the enemy followed, his land burned and his gold stolen. He gathered his family, friends, flocks and servants and fled further, to no avail. His wife died of minor wounds left untended, his children of illnesses of the roads. His flocks disappeared along with friends in the night, and his servants took coin from his enemies to send men after him.
Cymr fled further, and joined with the poor and the disenfranchised, but there too luck spat upon him, and he was robbed and beaten, and became a beggar. But again, misfortune was not done, and fire and death came for his group of refugees, and he fled west once more, with neither friends nor flocks nor servants. Though no more did the War pursue him still did the cruelty of man follow him. Upon the far edge of the world he stood beside a lone tree and stared out to sea, as bandits surrounded him, demanding what little he had.
He turned to them and with a mighty smile gave them all he had, helping them to best use all he had, despite his wounds, old and new, which soon were to claim his life.

All but one left, and he waited and watched, as Cymr sat beside the tree, and smiled contentedly. Alone,naked, friendless, having lost all he once had, and soon to die, still Cymr was happy. At long last the man asked why.
Cymr smiled once more.
"Living is loss."
And the student was enlightened.


Last edited by GrayWatch on Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Religion: The Path of Cymr

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