Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 00:07

eldin raigmore wrote:
Sat 30 Jun 2018, 13:44
When I began my conworld Adpihi/Reptigan I was a believer. My parents were medical missionaries sent in 1959 by the Methodist* Board of Global Missions to the CMCH** in Vellore in the state of Madras*** in southern India. My father taught at the Medical College and practiced at the Hospital.
. . .
The medical compound was both international and inter-denominational. No two families from the same country were from the same denomination; no two families from the same denomination were from the same foreign country. In fact I met my first Yankees there!
So you spent your adolescence in India? I never knew that! I always imagined you as growing up in Texas. So you didn't have, say, two Italian Catholics nor two Mexican Catholics nor two American Baptists? Sounds very diverse, much like those sets of characters in kids' media that have one Caucasian, one African-American, one Hispanic, and one Asian.
Except for our Principal, all of the teachers were Christians. AFAIK all the foreigner teachers had been born into Christian families. Some of the Indian teachers were born into families with multi-generation Christian traditions; some were the first Christian converts in their families and were therefore estranged. (You could make a good guess from their names. Mrs. Gudjapudthee was born Buddhist, but Mrs. Thomas was born Christian.)
So those Indian surnames like Thomas, Philip, and Matthew are used by Christian families? That would make sense.
Beginning at that age I already thought deeply about theology. I say this without feeling as boastful as that might sound; it’s just that I was already a nerd, and religion (especially Christianity, and especially theology) was one of the things I was nerdy about. I read the Books of Narnia while visiting our neighbors’ houses. My family read C.S. Lewis’s nonfiction on road trips. We also read Wm. Barclay. Elton Trueblood and E. Stanley Jones were friends of ours. And so on.
I have two nerd/Aspie housemates who are strong Christians. Both try to avoid profanity because of their Christianity and things like that, but their Christianity is quite separate from their nerdiness. Both have problems with social skills (even though both are friendly and not shy), one loves AdventureQuest-type games while the other is crazy about video games in general and Pokémon in particular, and both will bend your ear about their interests. The AdventureQuest guy was good academically while the Pokémon guy has problems with things like spelling and math. (He also seems to have problems with verbal comprehension. For example, once when he told me he went camping, I asked him, "Did you get your lunch eaten by a grizzly bear?" He told me, "Sure, James, you can bring your teddy bear or any stuffed animal you want!" I repeated, "No, I asked, 'Did you get your lunch eaten by a grizzly bear?'" He said, "No, James, you bring your OWN lunch!")
So I started thinking about Adpihi. The first word in the Adpihi language was (prepare yourself for a shock) “Adpihi”. I decided it meant “hi, LORD”. I had no idea I was already committing myself to vocative case, familiar vs. socially-distant, and high upward-honorific; and now that I think about it, fusional.
And you got it from letters your little sister srew.

Did you know any languages other than English at the time? If you didn't, that's pretty impressive! A lot of conlangers start off with ciphers of their own language (and even cipherbets to go with them).
I also started working on the conculture. My first problem was, how could it be simultaneously both an absolute monarchy (God being the monarch) and a perfect libertarian democracy?

. . .

I didn’t and don’t think that because I’m no longer a believer, the citizens of Adpihi should change their beliefs (or, rather, have their beliefs changed by me).

Belief in a monotheistic God is pervasive in Adpihi. If I adopt the manner of speaking that elemtilas employs when describing the Daines of his “the World”; the Adpihi don’t have to “believe in” God because they know He/She/It exists. Every aspect of each inhabitant’s life is heavily influenced by his/her personal relationship with God; and they all just assume the same is true of everyone else.
I can understand this. You believe that God is not real in our world, but within the fictional world of the Adpihi, God is a real entity, so they can believe in God and even be scientifically accurate.

AFMCL, there is a word "scientotheist" in LIE (vephlellekhi in Kankonian), which describes someone who believes in God for scientific reasons. Eric Metaxas, for instance.
If an immigrant needs one of these benefits they’ll be told they can get them through their (is “church” the right word?).
Maybe use "temple"? That's what I call the religious buildings of the Kankonian religions.
The Adpihi all worship (if that’s the word) the same God. So in their minds they all belong to just a few closely similar religions. In my own mind, however, I think there are as many Adpihi religions as there are nuclear families or households.
They all worship the same (real) God, so their religions indeed seem related. But on Earth, Rastafarians have a relationship with Jesus Christ but people don't usually think of Rastafarians as Christians, so I could understand calling their divergent paths different religions. After all, the Abrahamic religions seem to worship the same God too.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 02:56

Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 30 Jun 2018, 14:03
Khemehekis wrote:
Sat 30 Jun 2018, 03:52
In this thread, I'd like to discuss how a conworlder's religion influences her/his conworld.
With respect, I'm not sure that's what you're doing. You seem to be mentioning that, rather than discussing how.
Well, at least I briefly discussed how Christianity is reflected in Narnia, and brought up the Conservapedia discussion of Christian themes in Harry Potter. For all of Conservapedia's agenda and bias, I found its coverage of the Harry Potter heptalogy quite thoughtful.
The first question here must surely be: define 'influence'. The second question is then: in what way can religion influence conworlding?
I guess I would define "influence" as one's religion leaving a mark on one's fiction/worldbuilding in such a way as that the work/conworld would have turned out differently if the author/conworlder had been of or raised in a different religion. But then, we might have to visit a parallel universe in which the conworlder were of a different religion to know for sure!
The main trend is indeed for Catholic* (and Jewish) SF&F authors (there are also countless evangelicals but, ironically, they tend to write only for other evangelicals and not to reach the outside market)
Maybe it's just that there's an element in evangelical Protestantism that encourages intellectualism less than tje elements of Catholicism, Judaism and Mormonism?
However, Mormonism is heavily represented in the genre - certainly out of all proportion to its prevalence! The most prominent is Orson Scott Card, who is not just Mormon but very demonstratively so. Tracy Hickman, co-author of the Dragonlance books, is another example. And L.E. Modesitt Jr is, as I understand it, not a Mormon himself, but has lived in Utah a long time and many of his books are overtly influenced by, or even about, Mormonism.
Orson Scott Card, definitely. From http://www.nndb.com/people/707/000023638/:
Also, the emphasis on moral themes and the struggle to make moral choices amidst chaos, upheaval, and persecution has developed into another strong thread in Card's work -- an emphasis well grounded in the tales of early Mormon pioneers, and thus in his early plays.
The 1840's American West was a time a lot like today -- a strongly divided America, social unrest, protective parenting practices, rampant culture-warring. Howe & Strauss said that the nineteenth century skipped a Hero generation -- and Millennials today indeed seem not to fit tje way they describe Heroes. Read the (generally negative) Amazon reviews of Millennials Rising to get the drift of it.
notable among the religious catholics are, for instance, Chesterton, Tolkien, Verne, Wolfe, Walter Miller Jr and Anne Rice, as well as Fred Saberhagen, Clifford Simak, Anthony Burgess, Stephen Baxter, Jerry Pournelle and Tim Powers; lapsed or fomer Catholics include Frank Herbert, Stanislaw Lem, Karel Capek, Philip Jose Farmer and Robert Anton Wilson.
That's a long list! Anne Rice is a special case, as she went from full-on Catholic to agnostic to born-against Christian to a self-described secular humanist who has a relationship with Christ but is not of Christian faith.
What would an Islamic-themed conworld be like? A Wiccan-themed conworld? A Scientology-themed conworld? And what about the Dharmic religions (Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain)?
I think you're asking a very different question there. Being influenced by something doesn't mean making your work 'themed' - or vice versa. The are lots of broadly (or explicitly) dharmic SF&F stories out there, but most are not by actual believers. In fantasy we might point at something like the Wurts/Feist "Empire" trilogy, with its broadly buddhist setting, or in sci-fi no-one could deny that Zelazny's "Lord of Light" (in which a character takes on the role of the Buddha in rebellion against characters with the names and characters of Hindu gods) is "buddhism/hinduism-themed".
Excellent point (although I'm not familiar with the Empire trilogy)! After all, some of the religions in my Lehola Galaxy ring of
Catholicism, or Paganism, or Juche, and some countries have state atheism, even though I'm none of those things.
Sometimes this is subconscious - the Bible has been so fundamental in our culture that its echoes are often heard even where nobody realises they're repeating it. Other times it's very intentional, either to proselytise or to borrow the authority of religion for fiction: the author knows the reader will respond to certain icons in a certain way, even if they don't notice them. Just look at how many fantasy stories involve things like a prophesied saviour, a virgin birth (not often literal - but see how many heroes are secretly the children of authority-figure fathers, and often raised just by their mothers with rumours around their paternity), a betrayal by Judas, a last temptation, a crucifixion, and a resurrection... not to mention the old fallen angel.
One of our own conworlders wanted to use the virgin birth trope -- and even make it work scientifically. Other archetypal heroes, like Luke Skywalker, fall into the "children of authority-figure fathers, and often raised just by their mothers with rumours around their paternity" trope you describe. Oedipus Rex, son of King Laius, is another example, though that story predates Jesus by more than 400 years. But yes, these tropes are used a lot in fiction.
Tolkien is a strongly Catholic author, although overt signs of religion are very few - a few broad iconography choices, perhaps, like a creator god (who is almost never seen) and a fallen angel. . . . I don't think Tolkien set out to write Catholic dogma in narrative form, but it shaped how he saw the world. And it's striking to read, for instance, Leibowitz and see how much Miller has in common with Tolkien despite the totally different setting and style - the terrible temptation of the power of the Ring, for instance, is mirrored by the terrible temptation of the power of the nuclear warhead...
This is very good analysis. Unfortunately, I haven't read much Tolkien, so I don't really have anything to add to it.
Hubris, again, is omnipresent - but whereas in Tolkien hubris is seen in the horror of success (a success with terrible consequences), in Donaldson it's seen in failure. Humankind is inadequate, iniquitous, and when it believes itself to have power to defeat evil, it inevitably fails. Donaldson's world is a world of temptations, of evil things disguised as good - whether that's the Ravers, who possess the bodies of good people, of the paradoxical horror of the verdancy of the sunbane.
So evangelical Christians, at their core, believe that having more faith in Man than in God leads to failure, and Catholics that it may lead to a pyrrhic sort of success at accomplishing one's goals with horrible consequences? I have something like the latter in the Tumar religion of the planet Saros, in which the deepest level of Hell is reserved for those who put Lef's law above God's law. (The lef are the sapient species native to Saros.)
Le Guin, on the other hand, is a taoist. I don't know enough about taoism or le guin and her work to say too much, but even to the layman the influence is obvious. I've read The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness, and both are works obsessed with fundamental dualities (and the unseen unities they obscure), skeptical of individualism and of direct action. "To oppose a thing," she tells us in TLHOD, "is to maintain it".
Taoist indeed. I took a class in DBT (dialectical behavior therapy, a program developed by Marsha Linehan) and it taught a lot about believing in dialectics. Much of it was inspired by the Zen religion and the work of Thich Nhat Hanh, which have some similarities to Taoism. The Lathe of Heaven has the theme that human utopian dreams do not necessarily make the world a better place. And although there are influences from Native American Paganism in Always Coming Home, there is Taoism too with the heyiya-if, which resembles the traditional yin-yang -- the taijitu.

Sonja Elen Kisa purports to get her conlang Toki Pona from Taoist belief, although whether this is any less superficial than "simple is good" is debatable. Someone here (Micamo?) once stated that summing up Taoism as "embrace simplicity" was like summing up Judaism as "Don't eat shellfish". And would not Taoists avoid saying "Simple is good, complex is bad"?
Meanwhile, Lovecraft's atheism led him to a passionate nihilism. His 'cosmic horror' does not shy from the 'supernatural' (his atheism was not scientism!), but radically repositions humanity as worthless and powerless in a terrifying, uncaring world. "All my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large... One must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all." His way of expressing that atheism, however - mankind in the shadow of titanic beings that appear godlike to lesser mortals - echoes his childhood identification with graeco-roman paganism.
Yes, his Tom-Godwin-style atheistic coldness combines with supernaturalism in a way scientistic atheists do not. Many Lovecraft characters discover that acquiring "forbidden knowledge" brings ruin instead of setting them free. Scientistic atheists like Asimov generally have more of a "knowledge set you free" view (as the bumper sticker goes, "Science flies us into space; religion flies us into buildings").
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 03:04

spanick wrote:
Sun 01 Jul 2018, 20:24
Well, I think the way it my being Catholic influences my conworlding is totally different than say how an authors relgiok would influence their work.

Most of my conlangs are alt-langs and therefore take place in the real world. I do tend to shamelessly make the speakers of my alt-langs Catholics. Gotski/Sortsbergish is a perfect example. I came up with a story of them becoming Eastern Catholics after separating from the Serbian Orthodox Church. The bishops in their country retain some nominal level of power and the populace is more religious than most modern European countries are. When I originally made Hállélannish (now Nortsääenglisch) they were meant to be Catholics despite being in an overwhelmingly Lutheran region.

The only con-religion I’ve come up with, which has not been described here, has elements borrowed from several religions but the trajectory from the outset was to make it something like Catholicism. That is, it was ultimately going to be monotheistic; have an important female figure; include veneration of ancestors; have both an organized structure; and have a priestly order as well as monastics.
Wow -- this sounds very overtly Catholic! Question: you say "author[']s". Have you ever written a novel or short story set in your alternate history?
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 03:13

Shemtov wrote:
Mon 02 Jul 2018, 07:53
Khemehekis wrote:
Sat 30 Jun 2018, 03:52

Then there are Jewish conworlders. I know a number of people here who are ethnically Jewish: Shemtov, Peterofthecorn, Helios/Zontas, Khemehekis. I'm sure a number of us practice the religion. And I recall Shemtov saying that one of his concultures or conworlds was inspired by his religious beliefs (I don't remember much more of it, perhaps Shemtov can join in the conversation).

The religion for the "main" Nation of Tauceti is highly Judaism-inspired, but it is an abandoned conworld, as I am a filler and the amount of different languages given the premise, stretched credibility, IMO. . . .
The World of Fuhe, the World where I actively conlang and conworld, has more subtle references. It was created by the Jewish deity, and thus incorporates some of the Kabbalistic idea that G-d "created and destroyed worlds" before ours, but ignores the common belief the these worlds are those that science has discovered- ie. Pre-anthropecene Earth, and the pre-Solar system Universe. Most of the concultures practice a variety of religious beliefs (there is even a heavy nod to Buddhism in two culture's faiths), but the people of Fuhe (the main culture, where I want to write most of the stories in) are for the most part Monotheistic, and aside from more gender-equality have the Moral System of Late Medieval/ Early Renaissance Xtian sphere and also the early Islamicate sphere; ie. very conservative in modern American terms. Judaism does play a part in the main story I want to write (Which I wanted to call the Cursed Child Trilogy before Rowling put out that Bastardization of her own work, but I am now calling the "Child of Destruction Trilogy"), but more in a political sense; one could read it as a subconscious and heavily veiled metaphor for my religious Zionism, but as some details only parallel based on political changes since the conception of the work, I am not sure if that was my subconscious' intention; it might be more of a Campellian "hero's journey". The main religious details in the world of Fuhe is in the Conlangs: all of them contain a word that resembles a Hebrew word of the same meaning, as Judaism teaches that all natlangs do, and can only survive if they do.
Thanks for explaining! I had to wikipedia the term "Ebionites".

Question: does the World of Fuhe also have one or more kabbalistic conlangs -- all the relationship among letters, numbers and meaning that Hebrew is purported to have? I've wanted to do something like that in one of my conlangs for a long time (or is that my Jewishness showing?)
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 03:15

Pabappa wrote:
Mon 02 Jul 2018, 20:44
In my early teen years I joined mainstream Christianity but even within Christianity I've found hundreds of ways to diverge from the mainstream.
Is that the time you wondered if conlanging was a sin, then realized Adam and Eve were doing it before the Fall?
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 03:29

Thanks for posting in this thread, Elemtilas!
elemtilas wrote:
Fri 06 Jul 2018, 01:27
Beyond the Reason of the senses and the thought of the mind, we also have experience in history to guide us. Beyond the mere acts of Design and Creation, we know from history that God is and has been active within the life and being of the world. Beginning with his very nature (Love) and form (Relationship) he has devised and created a universe not only that we could evolve within but, from before, that would be entirely suitably designed for us to evolve within. Each step of this Evolution, from the first inception of life on this planet has been one leading towards the time in history when God and Man can meet face to face. And all throughout there has been at the root the concept of relationship.

Christians, of course, as well as, perhaps, our elder brethren, will here recognise our Father, Creator and great Lover. We understand his action as not just one of distanced authorship, but rather of relationship with the authored. In so far as he came among us and became one of us and lived among us and experienced with us the entire span of human life from conception to death, he related to us. The world ever after was fundamentally altered. We can no longer be content with mere facts of observation. It is no longer enough to know what a star is or how the laws of thermodynamics work. Ever since, it is become imperative to understand the simple facts of the created order in their proper place: the whys and wherefores and rationales.

The Creator has come into his Creation. Has lived with and talked with them. Has called them to himself, to be like him, to take up their true nature and ultimately to be with him in a relationship of Love.

And so, thus, like the primary world, the invented world is alike in concept. All That Is (their name for the universe) is both a story of Relationship, Creator and Creation together, and also a love story, Creator for the Created, Created for their Creator and also for one another.
This sounds as if your world has teleology! Teleology is something scientism today rejects (biologists are even discouraged from speaking of "lower" and "higher" life-forms), but I seem to have it in my Lehola Galaxy and its iteli, with an invisible God apparently directing evolutionary paths. (And, of course, you have a Christ figure -- God incarnated as a mortal. This is something I don't have anywhere in the Lehola Galaxy.)
It is quite impossible for us beings of Gea to imagine a time or a place outside the confines of the World, and yet if we wish to contemplate the awesome moments of the Creation, or even the dread moments of the Eschaton, we must even confront the fact there was indeed a time before all time moves to be and a place apart from which all place is. Just as there shall yet be a time beyond when no time shall press onwards and a place where the last things of Creation shall eventually come to their foreordained dissolution.
This reminds me of the Tzalath, the holy book of three Kankonian religions:
The last chapters of the book have predictions about future life "in the Land" (on Kankonia) and state that the whole planet will be under one government (this has already happened). They also tell about such inventions as telephones, television, computers, headphones, film, airplanes, automobiles, spacecraft, changing devices, locators, duplicators and nuclear weapons, and assign Kankonian names to each of these. Believers in the Tzalath take these as evidence that the work really was divinely inspired, while skeptics think of this section as prescient science fiction. This section also states the eschatological prediction that all evil will get worse, then be eradicated through technological progress and the discovery of immortality by humans. All wrongdoers will be purged from the planet, and Leho will unite Kankonia and Heaven. The line between living on Kankonia and being in ethereal form will blur. All people who lived on Kankonia before the concept of going to Heaven was innovated will be resurrected. People will sing songs never dreamt up before and feast on meats from creatures unknown on Kankonia and feast on dates, figs, grapes, pomegranates, dakas, purzads, oranges, lemons, limes and fruits from plants too sweet for the Land. There will be eternal bliss throughout the universe.
What all this comes down to is that we, made in the likeness of our Father, it is natural for us to create. Imperative even. Some of us have the gift of painting or of music or of sculpture; some are engineers and artisans. I see geopoesy as an art that reflects back to the ultimate Creator a vision of that divine creativity.
This sounds like Tolkien's musings about subcreation! In a way, you conworld in a Tolkienian tradition, Elemtilas.
Geopoesy is an act of meditation. While there are no doubt aspects of the World that involve silliness & fun, there are also within the endeavour, many opportunities to consder and think about deeper issues: Good & Evil, Free Will, the Human Condition and Human Nature, Morality, Ethics and their right place in all areas of the life of people, their history and culture.

Ultimately, geopoesy is an act of prayer. Of conversation and relationship with our Father, of exploring the difficulties and labours of life and the things that trouble the spirit through a modelling of that which is real.
Amen!

Edit:
I too hope to see much more discussion and revelation in this thread! I'd like to thank Khemehekis for starting it up!
You''re very welcome!
Last edited by Khemehekis on Mon 16 Jul 2018, 03:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 03:37

Ahzoh wrote:
Fri 06 Jul 2018, 04:43
OP wrote:but I recall how Ahzoh's Vrkhazhian conculture had a lot of macabre fascination with death (at least in the past, I'm not sure if he's changed it since).
No, not in the same way. The Empire of Vrkhazh is now a lot like India; the people don't all believe the same things, though there are some key beliefs that tie all the different religions together. The religion of the capital city and the greater area surrounding it is a shamanic religion but with no gods or other divine spirits. The Muxebs near the mountain base believe in a polytheistic religion called The Sun Cult, which centers around the sun goddess Hiqqal.

All the way north in Ontsamidzo, they believe in hundreds of gods who watch over humanity. They also believe that a human's physical body is an avatar (not a vessel) of their soul. They also believe that the three moons of Sedi are other worlds that a people reincarnate on after they die and this occurs in a cyclic manner.
So it's changed! I think I like your new version better. I don't have any countries like Vrkhazh or India in the Lehola Galaxy (at least none that I've fleshed out so far), but I have a country called Dunkhalet (on the planet Shanu), in which there are many ethnic groups, with different languages, some monogamous and some polygamous, but most people are united by a common religion, Gophism. Gophism teaches harmony and unity, and respect for all life on Shanu, as well as vegetarianism. One Dunkhaleti people, however, the Shinit, practice Kartalokism instead, a form of ancestor worship. I think of Dunkhalet as Lehola's most India-like nation.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Khemehekis » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 03:40

eldin raigmore wrote:
Sat 07 Jul 2018, 17:15
@elemtilas:
Isn’t it much more natural, if one is assigning a sex (or gender) to the Creator, to conceive of Her as a Mother, rather than as a Father?
Particularly if She is the Originator of Life?

I think that would be more consistent with the life-experience of every land-dwelling tetrapod; or at least every placental or marsupial mammal.

Who do we see giving birth, providing sustenance, etc.?
AFMCW: The Tzalathic religions of Kankonia no longer perceive of Leho (God) as having a human gender. However, religious scholars believe the early Hazumis believed God was male because God is referred to with masculine pronouns in the Tze*ethik language, which unlike its daughter language Kankonian had gendered pronouns.

EDIT: 2,028 posts. I now have as many posts as the year in which Inner Bruise is set.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 04:39

Ànradh wrote:
Sun 15 Jul 2018, 21:11
eldin raigmore wrote:
Sat 14 Jul 2018, 14:21
What climate problems would jimsonweed (e.g.) have?
Primarily, the colder temperature, but I suspect I could have it 'imported' down from the northern-most clans, who have it warmer. Henbane seems possibly more willing to live in the cold, if less strong in its deleriant effect.
I suppose I can use both though; any witch that dies on her trip can be blamed on the demons!
What about salvia divinatorum aka seer’s sage?
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by eldin raigmore » Mon 16 Jul 2018, 05:22

Khemehekis wrote:
Mon 16 Jul 2018, 00:07
So you spent your adolescence in India? I never knew that! I always imagined you as growing up in Texas.
I only spent 19 months of my late-single-digit childhood in India. I did grow up in Texas, for the most part.

So you didn't have, say, two Italian Catholics nor two Mexican Catholics nor two American Baptists? Sounds very diverse, much like those sets of characters in kids' media that have one Caucasian, one African-American, one Hispanic, and one Asian.
Yes; in my opinion it was very diverse.

So those Indian surnames like Thomas, Philip, and Matthew are used by Christian families? That would make sense.
That’s right.

I have two nerd/Aspie housemates who are strong Christians. Both try to avoid profanity because of their Christianity and things like that, but their Christianity is quite separate from their nerdiness. Both have problems with social skills (even though both are friendly and not shy), one loves AdventureQuest-type games while the other is crazy about video games in general and Pokémon in particular, and both will bend your ear about their interests. The AdventureQuest guy was good academically while the Pokémon guy has problems with things like spelling and math. (He also seems to have problems with verbal comprehension. For example, once when he told me he went camping, I asked him, "Did you get your lunch eaten by a grizzly bear?" He told me, "Sure, James, you can bring your teddy bear or any stuffed animal you want!" I repeated, "No, I asked, 'Did you get your lunch eaten by a grizzly bear?'" He said, "No, James, you bring your OWN lunch!")
Interesting!

And you got it from letters your little sister drew.
You remembered!

Did you know any languages other than English at the time? If you didn't, that's pretty impressive! A lot of conlangers start off with ciphers of their own language (and even cipherbets to go with them).
No, if I correctly remember the timing, I started learning Spanish less than three months after that. I was probably very aware that other languages existed, because we were about to move to Nashville so my parents could learn some languages. But I didn’t know much, if anything, about those languages.
Remember, at that age, I was (if i recall correctly ) unaware that even English had a grammar. For me and my classmates, learning a language meant learning its vocabulary.

I can understand this. You believe that God is not real in our world, but within the fictional world of the Adpihi, God is a real entity, so they can believe in God and even be scientifically accurate.
Mostly right. I haven’t made up my mind whether there really is a God in the Adpihi/Reptigan universe. But no Adpihi would ever doubt it.
AFMCL, there is a word "scientotheist" in LIE (vephlellekhi in Kankonian), which describes someone who believes in God for scientific reasons. Eric Metaxas, for instance.
I am extremely interested in “scientific theology”, mostly but not solely for conworlding purposes.
I do have an event in mind that I would take as proof that the Creator not only existed, but has hung around tending to things since the Creation.
I don’t realistically expect it to ever occur, especially not in my lifetime (nor even the lifetime of any CBBean).
That would be, the arrival of three or four star-faring species (and their civilizations and cultures) at first-contact-readiness all at the same time.
I got the idea from an SF novel by an established author (I think a Canadian). I can’t believe I can neither remember the book’s title nor the author’s name!
Anyway, the analogy he(?) used was; if you’re cooking only one dish, after a certain point you can put it on the stove or in the oven and walk away for a while. But if you’re cooking a meal, in order for everything to be ready at the same time, you have to stay in the kitchen.

But I still wouldn’t believe in the Abrahamic God.

If an immigrant needs one of these benefits they’ll be told they can get them through their (is “church” the right word?).
Maybe use "temple"? That's what I call the religious buildings of the Kankonian religions.
By “church” I actually meant a community of adherents or co-religionists.
However, the logical place to meet them would be their HQ, which would probably be their house-of-worship, which probably would best be called a “temple”.
Thanks for the suggestion!

They all worship the same (real) God, so their religions indeed seem related. But on Earth, Rastafarians have a relationship with Jesus Christ but people don't usually think of Rastafarians as Christians, so I could understand calling their divergent paths different religions. After all, the Abrahamic religions seem to worship the same God too.
Yes, I think that’s a good way of looking at what I’m trying to do on Adpihi.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by elemtilas » Tue 17 Jul 2018, 19:12

<QUOTE author="Khemehekis" post_id="279230" time="1531708192" user_id="95"><s>
Khemehekis wrote:
Mon 16 Jul 2018, 03:29
Thanks for posting in this thread, Elemtilas!
elemtilas wrote:
Fri 06 Jul 2018, 01:27
Spoiler:
Beyond the Reason of the senses and the thought of the mind, we also have experience in history to guide us. Beyond the mere acts of Design and Creation, we know from history that God is and has been active within the life and being of the world. Beginning with his very nature (Love) and form (Relationship) he has devised and created a universe not only that we could evolve within but, from before, that would be entirely suitably designed for us to evolve within. Each step of this Evolution, from the first inception of life on this planet has been one leading towards the time in history when God and Man can meet face to face. And all throughout there has been at the root the concept of relationship.

Christians, of course, as well as, perhaps, our elder brethren, will here recognise our Father, Creator and great Lover. We understand his action as not just one of distanced authorship, but rather of relationship with the authored. In so far as he came among us and became one of us and lived among us and experienced with us the entire span of human life from conception to death, he related to us. The world ever after was fundamentally altered. We can no longer be content with mere facts of observation. It is no longer enough to know what a star is or how the laws of thermodynamics work. Ever since, it is become imperative to understand the simple facts of the created order in their proper place: the whys and wherefores and rationales.

The Creator has come into his Creation. Has lived with and talked with them. Has called them to himself, to be like him, to take up their true nature and ultimately to be with him in a relationship of Love.
And so, thus, like the primary world, the invented world is alike in concept. All That Is (their name for the universe) is both a story of Relationship, Creator and Creation together, and also a love story, Creator for the Created, Created for their Creator and also for one another.
This sounds as if your world has teleology! Teleology is something scientism today rejects (biologists are even discouraged from speaking of "lower" and "higher" life-forms), but I seem to have it in my Lehola Galaxy and its iteli, with an invisible God apparently directing evolutionary paths. (And, of course, you have a Christ figure -- God incarnated as a mortal. This is something I don't have anywhere in the Lehola Galaxy.)
Yes, I think so. There are certainly causes for things --- pouring water on earth makes mud, raping a girl results in a (spiritually) debilitated child. But what is more important about the nature of phenomena is their purpose. Without it, things only exist in the lowest possible dimension. Purpose raises them up towards a higher dimension of fulfilment. A lot of people --- well, children mostly, those wisest of creatures! --- ask "why are there mosquitoes, if all they do is bite and make you itch?" Notice that they don't care about the causes (the process of evolution among animals, the rise of insects). They care about purpose: purpose of the thing itself (it stings) and purpose of the One who came up with the whole mosquito thing (the whys and wherefores).

This could be one reason why scientism is a failed system of thought in the World. There ìs science, and evolution and biology and so forth, but natural philosophers in The World tend to think rather differently from our scientists.

As for Christ, yes, he was the unique Incarnation. But he is also one of several avatars to have visited Gea, usually quite incognito, in the past.
What all this comes down to is that we, made in the likeness of our Father, it is natural for us to create. Imperative even. Some of us have the gift of painting or of music or of sculpture; some are engineers and artisans. I see geopoesy as an art that reflects back to the ultimate Creator a vision of that divine creativity.
This sounds like Tolkien's musings about subcreation! In a way, you conworld in a Tolkienian tradition, Elemtilas.
In a rather accidental way! It's not until the last year or two I've actually read about Tolkien and his thought process on the matter. Like, for example, it just struck me literally last week how fundamentally similar, of all peoples in either world, the Daine and Hobbits turn out to be. I was reading an article about religious matters in Tolkien and one of the bullet points had to do with Hobbits and religion. Of all the people in Middle Earth you'd expect to be (conventionally) religious are Hobbits, after all, they seem very English and rural and a load of good chaps. They're good farmers and enjoy a good beer down the pub. But we never hear about religion, and the author said something that resonated as true: Hobbits exist in Middle Earth in what could be said is an early Christian communal society.

They work as needed, they feed and look after one another, they don't experience greed or envy as a rule. They enjoy their lives together as a united community. As a people, they are pretty wholesome, graceful, just & peaceful. This same can be said of the Daine as well.
Geopoesy is an act of meditation. While there are no doubt aspects of the World that involve silliness & fun, there are also within the endeavour, many opportunities to consder and think about deeper issues: Good & Evil, Free Will, the Human Condition and Human Nature, Morality, Ethics and their right place in all areas of the life of people, their history and culture.

Ultimately, geopoesy is an act of prayer. Of conversation and relationship with our Father, of exploring the difficulties and labours of life and the things that trouble the spirit through a modelling of that which is real.
Amen!
Well, this whole thread has gone over a whole better than I had thought it might!
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Keenir » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 03:39

eldin raigmore wrote:
Mon 16 Jul 2018, 05:22
I do have an event in mind that I would take as proof that the Creator not only existed, but has hung around tending to things since the Creation.
I don’t realistically expect it to ever occur, especially not in my lifetime (nor even the lifetime of any CBBean).
That would be, the arrival of three or four star-faring species (and their civilizations and cultures) at first-contact-readiness all at the same time.
I got the idea from an SF novel by an established author (I think a Canadian). I can’t believe I can neither remember the book’s title nor the author’s name!
Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer.
At work on Apaan: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4799
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by elemtilas » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 03:40

Khemehekis wrote:
Mon 16 Jul 2018, 02:56
Tolkien is a strongly Catholic author, although overt signs of religion are very few - a few broad iconography choices, perhaps, like a creator god (who is almost never seen) and a fallen angel. . . . I don't think Tolkien set out to write Catholic dogma in narrative form, but it shaped how he saw the world. And it's striking to read, for instance, Leibowitz and see how much Miller has in common with Tolkien despite the totally different setting and style - the terrible temptation of the power of the Ring, for instance, is mirrored by the terrible temptation of the power of the nuclear warhead...
This is very good analysis. Unfortunately, I haven't read much Tolkien, so I don't really have anything to add to it.
If you're interested, there are more than a handful of books ón Tolkien that address the topic. I've kind of avoided reading them thus far, being unsure how the author would approach the topic. Otherwise, I think the best work by Tolkien himself might be Silmarilion rather than LotR (which I'd place second as far as religious / theological thought goes) and lastly H and the various short stories & novellas.

Finding God in the Lord of the Rings; Finding God in the Hobbit; Mythology of Middle Earth; Tolkien's Theology of Beauty: Majesty, Splendor, and Transcendence in Middle-Earth; Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth; Tolkien's Ordinary Virtues: Exploring the Spiritual Themes of The Lord of the Rings; The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-Earth; etc, etc.
Hubris, again, is omnipresent - but whereas in Tolkien hubris is seen in the horror of success (a success with terrible consequences), in Donaldson it's seen in failure. Humankind is inadequate, iniquitous, and when it believes itself to have power to defeat evil, it inevitably fails. Donaldson's world is a world of temptations, of evil things disguised as good - whether that's the Ravers, who possess the bodies of good people, of the paradoxical horror of the verdancy of the sunbane.
So evangelical Christians, at their core, believe that having more faith in Man than in God leads to failure, and Catholics that it may lead to a pyrrhic sort of success at accomplishing one's goals with horrible consequences? I have something like the latter in the Tumar religion of the planet Saros, in which the deepest level of Hell is reserved for those who put Lef's law above God's law. (The lef are the sapient species native to Saros.)
Well, for a serious or a rational Catholic to put more faith in Man than God dooms one to failure. It places the created being above the Creator (and is the foundation of many modern (and not so modern!) social ills) and leads one away not just from a proper understanding of religion, but a proper understanding of, well, everything. Of God, of Man, of the universe and how they all relate to one another.

Hubris is seen, in Tolkien, in many places. From Melkor (who in his pride essentially rejected his place as created being and sought to set himself up as an equal to God) to Sauron to Saruman and Denethor. Even Boromir. Each one successful! And each one horrifically successful in his own way. The problem with hubris is that the horror of success does in fact lead to failure. Melkor who was the deepest of the Vala and the most intimate with Iluvatar's thought, failed spectacularly and was cast down from the highest pinnacle of created being to the void beyond all existence. Sauron succeeded to create a vast and powerful imperium, but in his pride refused to believe he could even be thrown down. And along came a Hobbit... Saruman and Denethor each thought they could handle Sauron: Saruman was entirely ensnared by his own high pride in his intellect and wisdom. Denethor was ensnared in part by his intellect and learning, but also by his pride as a Numenorean: and what with Boromir dead and Faramir dying he was snared by Sauron's deceptions of what the future held. Boromir too was proud, in the way a great hero and warrior might be and he sought to seize the Ring and take it for himself. Each one failed even though each one was on a path to success, and could have, at any time, chosen to align that path with good rather than evil.

Contrast them with the humble: Mithrandir, the servant of servants, rarely reveals his majesty, never seeks a permanent abode or domain, never seeks "worldly" success. In the end, he wins. Aragorn: another servant, never reveals his majesty untimely, though it bubbles beneath the surface. He resists the Ring. In the end, he wins and is rewarded for his long labours with the sacred kingship. Frodo: as humble and unassuming as any Hobbit, he answers the call in terribly Judeo-Christian fashion --- “I will take the Ring", he said, "though I do not know the way.” --- he is the ultimate in resisting the temptations of the Ring. It is only at the very last minute that he fails his mission and succumbs to the Ring's temptation. He was at the last redeemed by by his earlier compassion and mercy for poor lost Smeagol, when he could have killed him.

And then there's poor Smeagol himself to consider: a lot of people consider him to be very naughty. Murderer. And indeed, he did kill for the Ring. But even five hundred years later, that essential Hobbitishness ran true in him. Several times we see him struggling so hard against Gollum and the Ring, trying to come back to himself, to be free. I think, whereas Frodo probably would have tried to stand against Sauron after seizing it and wearing it, it is Smeagol who, upon realising what Frodo is up to, ends up saving the entire world. I like to think that, after his own body was burned away in the fires of Orodruin, and the Ring itself was unmade in the same fire, that poor Smeagol at last found what his inmost heart desired: to be free of the Burden.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by gestaltist » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 09:42

Salmoneus wrote:
Sat 30 Jun 2018, 14:03
However, Mormonism is heavily represented in the genre - certainly out of all proportion to its prevalence! The most prominent is Orson Scott Card, who is not just Mormon but very demonstratively so. Tracy Hickman, co-author of the Dragonlance books, is another example. And L.E. Modesitt Jr is, as I understand it, not a Mormon himself, but has lived in Utah a long time and many of his books are overtly influenced by, or even about, Mormonism.
I'd say the most prominent representative of Mormonism in the fantasy genre is Brandon Sanderson.

I was raised in a super-religious catholic family and have since drifted away towards "I-don't-care-ism". I don't even know if I would label myself as atheist, agnostic or what. At one point in life, I decided religion doesn't really matter for me. I still think that my catholic upbringing has influenced my conworlding a lot. Almost all of my conworlds have some sort of spiritual plane with angelic/demonic beings, for one example. However, I later studied philosophy and I think this was even more of an influence as I used conworlding as a playground for various philosophical ideas. The World of Twin Suns is strongly influenced by Descartes, for example.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 17:32

elemtilas wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:40
Now this is interesting! What are some of the political islam-esque characteristics it shares?


It shares mainly the concept of divine law. There are three primary holy texts in the Mantian religion: Paládines (Origins), Hármās (Laws), and Šeppúrnūs (Interpretations). The books are collections of various smaller books that were written over a period of centuries, mostly in Manter, but some originated outside the kingdom and were translated into Lihmelinyan (which is the traditional language of the religion). The titles of the books are rough summaries of what they contain: Paládines is a mixture of history and mythology, Hármās is a book of guidelines and teachings, and Šeppúrnūs, which contains some texts that are quite recent, is commentary on the first two books.

The 2nd book in particular includes all kinds of laws related to daily life, including moral laws, rules for societal structure, a justice system, and the Mantian legal system is largely based on what is found in the book. Political and legal officials are both secular and religious authorities and they base their every-day secular duties on religious principles. Secular leaders are not considered religious authorities alone, the way a priest would be, (the temple and the palace are two separate buildings), but the divide between secular and religious is thin. Secular leaders often employ priests, priestesses, and religious scholars and take their counsel in deciding legal and political matters. "Church" and "state" are very much intertwined.
elemtilas wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:40
What in particular do you find distasteful about Mantian religion?


It's not so much the religion that I find distasteful as much as the Mantian application of it. The Mantians really don't have any recognition of other religions; if you live in Manter, you're assumed to follow their religion, and if you don't, it can be grounds for punishment (this is also regionally and culturally dependent; in some places it can lead to a person being shunned and little else, but in other areas it can be used as a pretext for arrest). Additionally, while the religion sets the guidelines for a society to function, in some cases, this has become corrupted to the point of secular leaders taking on an infallible godlike status, particularly during the Imperial Period of the 6th century, which was never overtly sanctioned by the religious texts (even priests and priestesses can lose their status for wrongdoing; no human can ever be infallible or have final authority on religious principles, according to the Mantian religion). The Mantians also have an elaborate religious hierarchy, which largely didn't exist before the 5th century, and while much of the time it's harmless, it can be prone to intrigue and corruption.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by Salmoneus » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 21:00

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 17:32
elemtilas wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:40
Now this is interesting! What are some of the political islam-esque characteristics it shares?


It shares mainly the concept of divine law. There are three primary holy texts in the Mantian religion: Paládines (Origins), Hármās (Laws), and Šeppúrnūs (Interpretations). The books are collections of various smaller books that were written over a period of centuries, mostly in Manter, but some originated outside the kingdom and were translated into Lihmelinyan (which is the traditional language of the religion). The titles of the books are rough summaries of what they contain: Paládines is a mixture of history and mythology, Hármās is a book of guidelines and teachings, and Šeppúrnūs, which contains some texts that are quite recent, is commentary on the first two books.

The 2nd book in particular includes all kinds of laws related to daily life, including moral laws, rules for societal structure, a justice system, and the Mantian legal system is largely based on what is found in the book. Political and legal officials are both secular and religious authorities and they base their every-day secular duties on religious principles. Secular leaders are not considered religious authorities themselves (the temple and the palace are two separate buildings), but the divide between secular and religious is thin. Secular leaders often employ priests, priestesses, and religious scholars and take their counsel in deciding legal and political matters. "Church" and "state" are very much intertwined.
Ahh! So you mean, "Catholicism"?
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by eldin raigmore » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 21:37

Keenir wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 03:39
eldin raigmore wrote:
Mon 16 Jul 2018, 05:22
I do have an event in mind that I would take as proof that the Creator not only existed, but has hung around tending to things since the Creation.
I don’t realistically expect it to ever occur, especially not in my lifetime (nor even the lifetime of any CBBean).
That would be, the arrival of three or four star-faring species (and their civilizations and cultures) at first-contact-readiness all at the same time.
I got the idea from an SF novel by an established author (I think a Canadian). I can’t believe I can neither remember the book’s title nor the author’s name!
Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer.
Yes, that’s it! Thanks!
There’s also other good stuff by Sawyer.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by elemtilas » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 21:54

Salmoneus wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 21:00
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 17:32
elemtilas wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:40
Now this is interesting! What are some of the political islam-esque characteristics it shares?


It shares mainly the concept of divine law. There are three primary holy texts in the Mantian religion: Paládines (Origins), Hármās (Laws), and Šeppúrnūs (Interpretations). The books are collections of various smaller books that were written over a period of centuries, mostly in Manter, but some originated outside the kingdom and were translated into Lihmelinyan (which is the traditional language of the religion). The titles of the books are rough summaries of what they contain: Paládines is a mixture of history and mythology, Hármās is a book of guidelines and teachings, and Šeppúrnūs, which contains some texts that are quite recent, is commentary on the first two books.

The 2nd book in particular includes all kinds of laws related to daily life, including moral laws, rules for societal structure, a justice system, and the Mantian legal system is largely based on what is found in the book. Political and legal officials are both secular and religious authorities and they base their every-day secular duties on religious principles. Secular leaders are not considered religious authorities themselves (the temple and the palace are two separate buildings), but the divide between secular and religious is thin. Secular leaders often employ priests, priestesses, and religious scholars and take their counsel in deciding legal and political matters. "Church" and "state" are very much intertwined.
Ahh! So you mean, "Catholicism"?
I'd hazard more a guess of "Sharia": Canon Law doesn't touch on secular matters (at least in modern times) the way I'm guessing the Mantian system probably does. Also, Canon Law is based on Roman secular law, not on anything specific in the Bible. No comparison there.
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by elemtilas » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 21:57

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 17:32
elemtilas wrote:
Mon 09 Jul 2018, 16:40
What in particular do you find distasteful about Mantian religion?


It's not so much the religion that I find distasteful as much as the Mantian application of it. The Mantians really don't have any recognition of other religions; if you live in Manter, you're assumed to follow their religion, and if you don't, it can be grounds for punishment (this is also regionally and culturally dependent; in some places it can lead to a person being shunned and little else, but in other areas it can be used as a pretext for arrest). Additionally, while the religion sets the guidelines for a society to function, in some cases, this has become corrupted to the point of secular leaders taking on an infallible godlike status, particularly during the Imperial Period of the 6th century, which was never overtly sanctioned by the religious texts (even priests and priestesses can lose their status for wrongdoing; no human can ever be infallible or have final authority on religious principles, according to the Mantian religion). The Mantians also have an elaborate religious hierarchy, which largely didn't exist before the 5th century, and while much of the time it's harmless, it can be prone to intrigue and corruption.
Application. Ya, that's the quintessential monkey in the works! It has certainly been the bane of many religious systems in The World!
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Re: Conworlders' religious influences on conworlds

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Wed 18 Jul 2018, 22:15

elemtilas wrote:
Wed 18 Jul 2018, 21:54
I'd hazard more a guess of "Sharia": Canon Law doesn't touch on secular matters (at least in modern times) the way I'm guessing the Mantian system probably does. Also, Canon Law is based on Roman secular law, not on anything specific in the Bible. No comparison there.
Yeah, Sharia is a closer parallel. While a secular ruler can't overtly make decisions about doctrine, it is a ruler's job to enforce the doctrine and the laws on secular matters that come from the religious texts and a ruler that doesn't do so would (ideally) be deposed and replaced with one who enforced the religious law more faithfully.
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