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What is "The Way"?


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#1 QueenTiye

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 07:55 PM

O.k. SO we've seen ARD, and I think many of us are convinced that what was displayed was anything BUT wayism.  SO, let's have it.  What is The Way?  What do we know about it?  What does it have to say about some of the obstacles and hurdles the crew faces every day?

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#2 GiGi

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:39 PM

Great topice QT.  When I was in my early twenties, I was on a quest to study all religions since I didn't really grow up with one (being dragged to all of the Protestant churches in town convinced me those weren't the way!).

What I learned is that there is no one way that is right.  All are right and all are wrong.

The WAY is to follow one's heart, but also using a strong moral and spiritual compass.  THe one sentence that I have found that sums this up the best is - "Do as thou will, but harm no one"  Very easy to say, very hard to do.

I think what was so very painful for me to watch in Rev Deferred was the clips of the first season.  RHW did really illustrated the struggle of taking the correct Path or as sometimes described as the "road less traveled" in his idea of Rev and the Way.  I was literally in tears, it was so painful.  That too is because I have had several friends die lately and seeing the first season clips reminded me of one more thing that had died lately.

Without the moral compass as symbolized by Rev, the crew is really rudderless.  They were supposed transfer this to Trance, but if Rev Deferred is any indication that is a hoax as well.

Star Trek TOS had the Vulcans who while not religious per say had a deep moral code.  B5 had the religious cast of Minbari.  Firefly had Book.  And while these characters and/or races were not perfect, they at least illustrated the struggle in themselves (a mirror to ourselves) to do the right thing, and more importantly discover what the right thing really is.

At this point since Andromeda has lost it's moral compass, I am not surprised that we are missing a charcter who is struggling with moral issues.
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#3 Bad Wolf

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 09:09 PM

The Way is Free Will.

It's Rev saying "no" to the creator who made him to be a killer.

It's Trance saying "no" to the people who's ruthless means make them difficult to distinguish from the Abyss.

It's Dylan saying "no" to the overwhelming odds stacked against him.

It's Tyr saying "no" to the genetic imperatives that have left his people so uncompromisingly inferior.
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#4 Cardie

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:05 PM

I can buy that "the Way" is finding one's own path to fulfillment in pursuit of the good, of Trance's perfect possible future. But the Way clearly posits a Divine who created all things--that's what Rev states unequivocally in the speech about the divine creating nightmares. It's when Rev learns that he was not created by the Divine that he starts to lose his faith and his Way. Now, we can say that the Way is a flawed belief system because based on a false premise, or we can say that SotA's creation of the Magog is itself a creation of the Divine. If we're asking what it is as a theological system, however, we have to say that it posits a universal creator but emphasizes how we live our lives in accordance with the purpose of that creation. Lil, you sound like you think there is no divine creator in the DROM universe, that it's all just big bang. That's very possible, and you've had conversations with Robert that I haven't. But the Divine as origin of Creation does seem to be part of the Way, which is a separate issue from whether the creator of the fictional DROM universe intended a divine origin of all life in that fictional universe.

But then at other times you sound as if you think SotA created everything and is now enjoying himself undoing that which he made--gosh, just like Tribune. That's actually a pretty cool idea.  Is that what you mean?

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#5 Bad Wolf

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 10:59 PM

Cardie, on Mar 4 2003, 07:02 PM, said:

Lil, you sound like you think there is no divine creator in the DROM universe, that it's all just big bang. That's very possible, and you've had conversations with Robert that I haven't. But the Divine as origin of Creation does seem to be part of the Way, which is a separate issue from whether the creator of the fictional DROM universe intended a divine origin of all life in that fictional universe.

But then at other times you sound as if you think SotA created everything and is now enjoying himself undoing that which he made--gosh, just like Tribune. That's actually a pretty cool idea.  Is that what you mean?

Cardie
I think there is a "higher power" in the Drom universe.  And that this higher power is the Abyss and that the universe was one big giant black hole until um...something   (or things) at odds with sota decided they didn't like this state of affairs and um, thus were born stars and from stars, life, which is abhorrent to the Abyss, who is in this universe "god".

I think the Way is Free Will and the wild card in the whole equation.  Whether that free will is something given impetus by yet another "higher power" (the Divine) or the Divine is merely what  people like Rev who need something to believe in use to explain the phenomenon of free will is anybody's guess and probably moot for purposes of the Andromeda universe.

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#6 Christopher

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 02:25 AM

Cardie, on Mar 4 2003, 02:02 PM, said:

Lil, you sound like you think there is no divine creator in the DROM universe, that it's all just big bang. That's very possible, and you've had conversations with Robert that I haven't. But the Divine as origin of Creation does seem to be part of the Way...
Ahh, but remember the Wayist creed expressed in "The Ties that Blind" -- that God is just a metaphor for the universe.  The Divine in Wayism doesn't necessarily have to mean a personified deity; it could just refer to an impersonal, cosmic creative principle, like Brahman in Vedic beliefs.

And not all religions equate the Divine with a creator.  In traditional Chinese religion, very little thought was put into the question of creation.  Tian, "Heaven," was not a god or a creator but rather an underlying law of the cosmos which brought about justice and righteousness (analogously to how physical laws make things happen -- not because some mind decides it, but just because it's the way the universe works).

Basically Wayism is about getting to the essential core that's shared by all belief systems, and recognizing all the differences in doctrine and practice as simply different metaphors for the same things.  And it's the recognition that spiritual enlightenment is a journey -- you can't just read something out of a book or listen to a sermon and have the answers; at best you can use those to give you guidance and direction as you pursue your own path to your own answers.

Which, I might add, is totally anathema to the blind-faith platitudes Trance (or rather the pod person that's taken Trance's place) was spewing in WHtaRD.  Wayism is not about blind acceptance, it's about seeking answers.  Rev Bem was as much a scientist and scholar as a monk.
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#7 Bad Wolf

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 02:53 AM

Um.......

what Christopher said.

:)
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#8 Ogami

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 05:04 PM

Queen Tiye, I would relate what another fictional character mused on the way of the universe. On Babylon 5, Marcus Cole said that he took great comfort in the belief that the universe was fundamentally unfair. His reasoning was that a just and fair universe wouldn't be any fun, for whom defines that fairness, that justness? Thus to find that the universe is an unfair place should be comforting.  :devil:

For Rev Bem, he should take comfort that the universe is a fundamentally unfair place, and thus wailing about his physical nature or his created status is pointless. Dust yourself off and move on with your life.  :angel:

Too bad Trance or someone else couldn't have told him that, but this episode was too busy pushing mumbo jumbo to make any sense.

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#9 Anastashia

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 08:12 PM

Quote

(Una Sallus Lillius) I think there is a "higher power" in the Drom universe. And that this higher power is the Abyss and that the universe was one big giant black hole until um...something (or things) at odds with sota decided they didn't like this state of affairs...

So Lil, I've always wondered then just where your something at odds came from. If not from SotA then must not it be from some other power that is therefore somehow higher than the Abbyss?

I think back to Brent's statments early on about where the path that is the Way sprang from. He said it was a meld of several different human religious traditions. Rev's death blessing, for instance, is a direct quote out of Roman Catholic prayers for the dead.

Quote

(Christopher) Ahh, but remember the Wayist creed expressed in "The Ties that Blind" -- that God is just a metaphor for the universe.

Ahh but Christopher, one must also remember that the speaker was in fact NOT a Wayist but some artificial construct of attack nanobots. (Why 'he' really wouldn't let Trance treat him IMHO). I must say however I liked the concept in it's capacity to balance the Nietszchean arguement that God is dead.

Ani

Edited by Anastashia, 05 March 2003 - 08:17 PM.

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#10 Christopher

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 08:20 PM

Anastashia, on Mar 5 2003, 12:09 PM, said:

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(Christopher) Ahh, but remember the Wayist creed expressed in "The Ties that Blind" -- that God is just a metaphor for the universe.

Ahh but Christopher, one must also remember that the speaker was in fact NOT a Wayist but some artificial construct of attack nanobots.
True, but that was a simulacrum of a great Wayist thinker, and was presumably a faithful simulation of his personality.  The things it said were all probably quotes or extrapolations from Serenity Khalsa's own writings and recorded comments.  It wouldn't have been convincing otherwise.  Rev was certainly fooled.
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#11 Anastashia

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 09:28 PM

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(Christopher) True, but that was a simulacrum of a great Wayist thinker, and was presumably a faithful simulation of his personality. The things it said were all probably quotes or extrapolations from Serenity Khalsa's own writings and recorded comments. It wouldn't have been convincing otherwise. Rev was certainly fooled.

Yes I do remember Rev complaining of having a headache from arguing a point. However, the exchange with Tyr was I felt meant to pose a point of consideration for Tyr who was then conveying a Nietzschean position. Perhaps then it might be better to imagine Wayist axioms as whatever it takes to enable an unbeliever to consider the existence of the Divine.  But I do think the existence of the Divine still an incontravertible premise of the Way.

Ani

Edited by Anastashia, 05 March 2003 - 09:30 PM.


#12 Bad Wolf

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 10:08 PM

Anastashia, on Mar 5 2003, 05:09 PM, said:

So Lil, I've always wondered then just where your something at odds came from. If not from SotA then must not it be from some other power that is therefore somehow higher than the Abbyss?
Not higher but opposite.

I've long thought that the Abyss was a blackhole type power and that suns/stars were the powers opposite.  I.E. Trance's people.
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#13 Christopher

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 10:42 PM

Anastashia, on Mar 5 2003, 01:25 PM, said:

Perhaps then it might be better to imagine Wayist axioms as whatever it takes to enable an unbeliever to consider the existence of the Divine.
I don't know, that makes it sound kind of hypocritical, like they'll say anything to gain converts.  I don't think Wayism is primarily about converting people; it's more about finding your own individual truth.

Quote

But I do think the existence of the Divine still an incontravertible premise of the Way.

Oh, certainly.  But my point is that "the Divine" is not necessarily synonymous with "God."  There are a number of religions that do not include gods -- Theravada Buddhism, Jainism and the Tao being the best-known examples.  Divinity can be considered as an inchoate force underlying and pervading the universe -- not some separate entity ruling over the universe, but a part of its very essence, woven into every particle of it as integrally as the physical laws.
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#14 QueenTiye

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 11:50 PM

I'm still here, reading with avid interest!

So far, I'm with Christopher in understanding Wayism as an understanding of the Divine as the principle which guides the universe (sorry if that's not exactly what you said, Christopher), and therefore requires people to be inquisitive about their own place in the universe, and about the inner workings of the universe, both on a physical and metaphysical level.

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#15 QueenTiye

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 11:51 PM

Oops... meant to ask for some specifics, quotes, references etc that help us to understand "The Way."

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#16 Cardie

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 01:18 AM

While we hear some Wayist axioms that fit well with Eastern religious traditions, and there's certainly nothing to keep the Divine from being a universal principle rather than a deity or creator in the more literal sense, Rev consistently talks about the Divine as the Creator. His despair in TWG and ES is directly linked to his discovery that the Divine created everything except the Magog. So I think the question is whether the Divine as Creator is a central tenet of Wayism, or whether this is a particular hang-up of Rev's.

Sorry, Lil, I think that SotA and the Trancers represent opposing aspects of the force that animates the universe, but I don't think one spawned the other. If one did, it's much more likely for stars to turn into black holes than the other way around--right, science guys?

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#17 Bad Wolf

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 01:20 AM

Stars come out of nothingness, which is what there was at the beginning.  Nothingness is the abyss.  I don't think it's a stretch at all.  

Again, just talking about the Drom verse and really just meanderings.

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#18 MuseZack

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 01:49 AM

While the different Andromeda writers had different ideas about Wayism, me and Ash always wrote Rev and the other Wayists as "Zen Jesuits."  Reading Ignatius Loyola and Tielhard de Chardin and watching movies like "The Mission" (the real inspiration for TDTTH) and "Black Robe" (which we always wanted to reimagine as a Rev Bem episode) provided grist for the mill.

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#19 Christopher

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 02:05 AM

Cardie, on Mar 5 2003, 05:15 PM, said:

While we hear some Wayist axioms that fit well with Eastern religious traditions, and there's certainly nothing to keep the Divine from being a universal principle rather than a deity or creator in the more literal sense, Rev consistently talks about the Divine as the Creator. His despair in TWG and ES is directly linked to his discovery that the Divine created everything except the Magog. So I think the question is whether the Divine as Creator is a central tenet of Wayism, or whether this is a particular hang-up of Rev's.
Well, I think the idea is that all of our concepts of the Divine are just metaphors for something beyond our conception, and thus they're all equally valid.  It's just a question of which metaphors are most meaningful and helpful for each individual.  As I said above, I think the whole point of Wayism is not to get hung up on the differences between the metaphors, but to focus on the common fundamentals of all faiths.
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#20 Rhea

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 07:14 PM

Ok, so let's recap what we know about Wayism.

It was founded by a Magog (fascinating in and of itself). It's been described as an amalgam of various Earth religions. Some elements expressed by Rev along the way:

--a belief in the Divine (and Rev described the Divine as having created all things, including Magog)

"We Magog know the Divine exists, we know it created the stars, and the  planets, and soft winds and gentle rains. We also know He created nightmares, because he created us. You ask me how could this be God's will ... my answer is this .... how could it not be?  The Divine lives in all places..."

(This has always reminded me of Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land:

"Thou art God," Mike repeated serenely. "That which groks. Anne is God. I am God. The happy grasses are God. Jill groks in beauty always. Jill is God. All shaping and making and creating together." )

--practicing forgiveness to those who have injured you
--pacifism and nonagression

Of course, Rev's original beliefs were upended when he found out the Magog were created by SotA.

I racked my brain trying to think of anything else directly related to Wayism that was said on the show, and can't come up with anything else. Anyone?

I have to add that The Episode Which Shall Not Be Named having Rev following, following yonder star :p has nothing much to do with Wayism, IMO.

Edited by Rhea, 06 March 2003 - 07:27 PM.

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