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 Book : Dreams, Prophecy, and the Aetherial Membrane : The Theory of the Universal Psyche

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PostSubject: Book : Dreams, Prophecy, and the Aetherial Membrane : The Theory of the Universal Psyche   Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:23 pm

Dreams, Prophecy, and the Aetherial Membrane : The Theory of the Universal Psyche

By Artorius Terre, Researcher with the Archivists of Light

There is no culture in existence that does not venerate dreams; whether by assigning prophecy of yet-to-come-events or to the influence of spirits, foul or benevolent, touching the mortal mind. Some have said that the act of dreaming delivers unto mortals the wisdom of the divine, to glimpse past the veil covering mortal senses into the secrets that lay beyond. Yet in recent years, modern scholarship has done much to drive such ancient, superstitious notions from the understandings of learned men. Yet I would posit that such scholarship has wrongfully driven these ancient understandings from our consideration.

Note that I am not disputing the work of Imran Al'Raqi in his masterful, exhaustive study "On the Metaphysical Body". No, indeed, Al'Raqi's grand text has been a great inspiration to me in these very studies. But I do proclaim, fiercely, that his understanding of the metaphysical psyche is yet incomplete. That not all dreams are the psychological misfirings in the mind of the sensory deprived - that is, sleeping - individual. It is my belief that the ancients stories are reflections of a deeper truth. In this endeavor I have spent 3 years of my life and referenced both ancient stories, modern scholarship, and first hand studies, in order to study my claim.

[...]

I began my research by retracing the steps of my predecessors. Upon grant from my brothers in the Archivists of Light, I endeavored to set up a series of eighty listening posts in a myriad of villages, towns, cities, and other civic centers, in order to gather a daily record of the dreams of the populace - including content, flavor, details, length - paid at 20 shillings a record. These civic centers were chosen all over the world - including Sanctimonia, Sida, Occitan, Ahdsur, Haria - as to obtain as wide a database as possible, seeking a great variation in cultures, occupations, and races. Unfortunately, my database was not as varied as I could have hoped - particularly, humans are over represented. To this I hope the inclusion of two non-human races - Kazuth and Elven - may allow at least some sample of non-human dreams. Still, though, I am glad to report that my eighty greatly outnumbers previous attempts at such research.

Thus, my listening posts slowly accumulated vast amounts of data, examples of thousands of dreams, collected over the course of a year. In the end, I collected over 80,000 varying records. Then began the long task of sifting my data, endeavoring to seek patterns in the raw, mind-numbing expanse of unfettered information. What I discovered was, as with my predecessors, most of my data matched the cultural model of dreams. That is, possessing of incredible variation on an individual level, but holding certain overarching characteristics that overwhelmingly seem linked to cultural mores or fears. But, buried within the data, I began to see a pattern, a single, repeating dream - not in exact content, but in flavor, and in effect upon the subject. I discovered a single event that seemingly crossed cultures and races - a nightmare. 7,028 records match this archetype, which I slowly pieced together from larger, extraneous variations.

This reoccurring nightmare exhibited several key features, shared by every one of the seven thousand examples. Perhaps, though, it should be noted for it's LACK of character. Each dream that matched the archetype is described as a fearful frenzy of images, varying in content - where they can be transcribed by the subject at all - but all of terrifying nature. Some feel as though they are being chased. Others see things they fear to happen. Others see great landscapes, beset by war and death - of these, there is the greatest dearth of information.

I began to see the tantalizing possibility of a pan-culture, pan-species phenomenon. But despite my anticipation, I must profess a deal of distress at the possibility. If this horrific experience is the shared vision of mortalkind - what does it say about the nature of mortals? To this I devoted my pursuits, and desired to see the worst of the worst - the insane, the criminally mad - and see if I could draw any links.

[....]

There are many varied types of madness. There is the sociopath, a pathetic creature with the inability to love. There is the degenerate, morally bankrupt and taken to his own sick pleasures. There is the possessed, whom hears violent spirits and must be excised. These and other madmen I experienced first hand on the dreary island of Paws, a penal colony in the days of the Empire, now turned refuge for the disturbed. Under renewed guidance of the Cult of Selas - known for their kindness and expertise in the treatment of the mentally unfit. There, under their watchful gaze, I examined their wards and questioned them concerning their knowledge of the human psyche.

What I learned at Paws changed the entire purpose of my paper. Taking me into their deepest holdings, they presented to me what they called "The Scarred of Nazu" - named after the Goddess of Madness, Prophecy, and Nightmares. These poor souls were the worst in the Cult's care. Completely invalid and incapable of independent movement, the Scarred are taken to endless convulsions, spasms, and violent, uncontrollable mental and physical pain. According to the Cult, each of the Scarred, upon descending into their condition at an early age - usually six to ten - fall into a catatonic state for the rest of their lives. Most astoundingly, the Cult attributes their condition to unceasing visitations by nightmarish visions. The Scarred fall under constant mental assail, suffering extreme physical agony and inconstituency as a result. According to the Cult, the Scarred were directly caused by the madness of Nazu - who, as the stories go, looked upon things beyond time and reality itself, and suffered the consequences.

[....]
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