Paths Of The Way

Overview

The teachings of the Way include four Paths or religiously prescribed routes to personal, physical, and spiritual exaltation. The goal of each is the same, all are considered equal in merit, and followers of any Path may undertake any profession. They are differing paths to a certain conception of faith, not castes or social roles. However, each is in practice attractive to certain personality types.

The concept of multiple paths toward the goals of the Way has existed since very early in its history. According to legend and certain religious records, the prophet Shilalein noted early on that her followers emphasized different aspects of her teachings in their practice; as who did so progressed more easily than those who did not, Shilalein decreed that all her followers were to follow the paths most suited to them. Four cardinal Paths eventually came to be described, each named for one of Shilalein's chief followers.

Certain apocryphal Paths also exist, described in sources other than the Way's accepted canon, but their adherents are often considered grossly heretical by mainline Way-followers.

The Path of Incision

The Path of Incision is focused on truth, clarity of thought, and the rejection of impurities: the sharp edge dividing truth and lies. Followers of this Path are expected to devote much of the spiritual part of their lives to developing their capacities for discernment and decisive action, distinguishing correctly between truth and falsehood and cutting out the latter. The ability to quickly reach correct conclusions is highly valued, though they are encouraged to meditate as long as necessary upon a decision: such decisions are ideally made for life.

Its adherents are called Wintorim, after the Revered Wintori.

The Path of Endurance

The Path of Endurance requires acceptance of misfortune and stoic defiance of malice. Probably the most mystical of the Paths, its adherents find strength and knowledge in the pain of life; to them the Way is a way of sorrows, and by enduring them they hope to reach the joy and perfection at its end.

Its adherents are known as Satrim, after the Revered Satron.

The Path of Piety

The Path of Piety focuses on duty and devotion, especially correct relations between the individual and the family, band, and religion. Adherents of this Path are concerned primarily with right action: with weighing the urges of the Way's morality and the individual's rights and responsibilities, and with acting accordingly. Depending on interpretation the morals of a follower of this Path might seem hidebound or highly idiosyncratic, but they are always deeply held.

Its adherents are called Linatrim, after the Revered Linatra.

The Path of Requital

The Path of Requital aims for perfect reprisal of wrongs and recompense of favors. Like the Path of Incision it is primarily concerned with knowledge, but its knowledge is less truth-oriented and more consequential: the followers of this Path seek to discover the value in all things and all actions, and to return them in kind. Depending on the situation, this goal may imply compassion or vengeance.

Its adherents are named Magjim, after the Revered Magja.

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