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Peter Krausche

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The Traveler Universe

Culture: Sensation and Induction

Excerpted from: A Structured Analysis of Piralian History by Professor Hayanis Movaran, Chair of the Department of History, Galactic Academy of the Sciences, Travista, Chyoradan.

 

Introduction

This synopsis of the Selanian principles of Sensation and Induction is intended for an audience that is aware of the extent and ramifications of these skills and the interdependencies involved in their manifestation, but would appreciate further insights into their evolution and the underlying concepts governing their application. An essential aspect of the ethereal arts is that they are a logical result of the belief system of the Selanian Order and are therefore a natural expression of Selanian faith. Consequently, any elaboration upon these topics requires not only a comprehensive survey of historical events, but also an accurate appraisal of the cosmological aspects and spiritual principles involved. The author hopes this outline may serve as an itinerary during the prospective student's journey into this fascinating subject.

Please note that this article only deals with the topic as it pertains to Piralian history. For an overview of developments in the ethereal arts following the Galactic Diaspora, please refer to Professor Genar Tirafel's excellent synopsis of the subject.

 

Note on Selanian Cosmology

A comprehensive understanding of Sensation and Induction is only possible with a working knowledge of Selanian cosmology. At the time of the Selanian Civil War, the Selanian Order believed in an ethereal substrate, which to them constituted the basis for all matter and energy in the universe. [Please refer to the chapter titled "The Artifact" in The Traveler, where Novantina Satural explains this principle to Vilam.]

The Selani considered any manifestations with measurable physical properties, such as matter and energy, to be the result of resonance phenomena produced by the ethereal substrate, resulting in distinct patterns of harmony and dissonance unique to each environment, object, or event. With their powers of Sensation they were able to perceive this pattern, and with their powers of Induction they were able to actually affect the pattern. This latter inductive influence, as it was called, was limited, since the ethereal substrate had a profound capacity to reassert its former state. The Selani referred to this characteristic as the substrate's inherent resistance.

Another significant aspect of Selanian cosmology is the Selanian Order's creationistic and geocentric perception of the universe. The most extraordinary detail of this model is that Halena Yazoral (the Forbidden Planet, Earth), and not Piral, constitutes the center of the universe. This fact was allegedly revealed to the Selani by their prophets (a fact that can be verified by the Selani s'Ulavan), who decreed Halena Yazoral off limits should the Selani ever manage to reach for the stars.

Such a concept has several grave implications. Besides the obvious impact on astronomical disciplines, it abandons the principles of scientific reasoning to theological and philosophical considerations. Scholars of the literary arts, however, feel the possibilities of symbolic and allegorical exploitation are enthralling.

 

Note on Spiritual Principles

Although the Selanian Order adopted an astonishingly systematic attitude in their analysis of the ethereal substrate and the disciplines that comprised the art of Sensation and Induction, it must be noted that the underlying principles guiding their studies remained profoundly spiritual in nature.

To the Selani, the ethereal substrate represented the gateway between the physical and a postulated spiritual realm. They believed the body of any living entity was a mere physical shell, which housed an immortal spirit. According to their theology, the spirit, and therefore the consciousness of the entity, resided in the spiritual realm. The spirit was bound to its physical abode but also dominated it by means of the ethereal substrate. The ethereal substrate itself, though, was nothing less than the medium by which Anae upheld all physical existence, and the resonance phenomena in the substrate were produced by His words or thoughts.

This spiritual concept of reality was taken directly from the Selani s'Ulavan. Several key passages and their various cross-references were exploited to substantiate the concept (e.g. 2 Cades 3:11–12):

"For by His counsel all things are established, both in the heavens and on earth, the visible and the invisible, and by His thoughts all things exist and are sustained by the power of His Word."

 

Historical Overview

The unique powers of the Selani are mentioned in the earliest historical records available from Piral. But it was not until the emergence of the prophets and the subsequent founding of the Advisory Council that these skills matured into a trained discipline, whose application and advancement was monitored carefully by the priests and priestesses of the Selanian Order. The incentive for this development is believed to have stemmed from a disturbance in the ethereal balance of Piral, which the Selanian Prophet Cades and the Elinian Guardian Soraten detected in 392 TC. Interestingly, this event coincides with the establishment of the City of Divestelan, whose foundation was laid at that time using stones from Mount Toradeh.

During the first one and a half millennia of recorded history on Piral, there is no indication the Selani ever pondered the origin of their abilities. Most modern historians attribute this puzzling omission to the fact that their powers were such an intrinsic aspect of their faith and culture. But the events of the Selanian Civil War in 1524 TC forced them to examine the factors upon which Sensation and Induction were based. The ensuing discovery was disturbing. It seemed as if the existence and manifestation of their ethereal skills was subject to complex interdependencies inherent to their world. The Selani realized they would have to rethink their attitude toward the environment in which they lived.

The art of Induction was significantly advanced through the extraordinary abilities of Catyana of the House of Faeren. With the Traveler's aid, the young maiden was able to produce an inductive pulse field with which she eluded the ethereal substrate's capacity to reassert its former state. Although the officials of the Selanian Order were able to reproduce her results, it was apparent her technique could not be duplicated with the same ease. Eventually, the Selanian Order determined that such unusual aptitude was linked to the so-called Golden Gene, which was inherent to the House Faeren and sometimes resulted in golden hair and blue eyes. These characteristics were uncommon, since the Selani usually had black hair and brown eyes. The induction of a pulse field would remain a difficult undertaking reserved for especially gifted students in the advanced levels.

During the Era of the Technocrats on Piral, the brilliant scientist and Primary Technical Advisor of the City of Divestelan, Telates Catanin, refined the ethereal model, unifying the relativistic and quantum theories in force at that time and gradually replacing them with his telatian time warp model, the bulk of which first became publicly accessible in 2364 TC. His model represented a major shift in scientific thought. Telates proposed that the ethereal substrate in itself was not homogenous, but consisted of sub-quantum elements, which he termed etherons. The ethereal substrate was the result of reaction processes of these elements, and any quantifiable manifestations, such as time, space, energy, and matter, could be compared to resonance phenomena defined by the kinetics of the ensuing ethereal substrate.

Up to that point, time had been considered a linear aspect of space-time geometry by the Advisory Council, and was conveyed as such to a large segment of the populace by the scholars of the Selanian Order. Contrary to this traditional view of reality, much evidence in regard to the existence of time dilation effects had been accumulated by the scientific community, which obviously supported the relativistic and quantum theories they had developed. For this reason, Telates emphasized the fact that his model proposed a distortion, or warp, of time, hence the name telatian time warp model. In later eras, the model was simply referred to as the telatian model. But during the Era of the Technocrats, Telates's model caused further dissatisfaction among the population in regard to the views of the Advisory Council, which many historians regard as one of the main factors for the Council's rapid loss of credibility at that time and the subsequent decline of its authority.

It took more than two centuries of further research, but by 2587 TC, technology had advanced to the point where the first inductive field could be produced in a laboratory. The days in which the art of Sensation and Induction was practiced and monitored exclusively by Selanian priests and priestesses had temporarily come to an end.

When interstellar travel became possible during the Federal Era on Piral, and tentative relations to extra-Piralian civilizations were established, the Piralians discovered that their abilities, which seemed so natural to them, often had an adverse effect on their attempts at contact. At best, their powers made a cryptic impression on other societies, but in some instances they yielded disaster. Such tragic experiences taught the Piralians to be more cautious about disclosing their talents and demonstrated how extraordinary and unique the art of Sensation and Induction was in the galaxy.

It was not until after the Galactic Diaspora that the Advisory Council again secured exclusive control over the discipline, thereby providing the necessary ethical and spiritual backdrop for its discreet and beneficial application.

 

Note on Similarities to Yazorian Concepts

On Halena Yazoral (Earth), there have been, and still are, some striking similarities to concepts of Selanian cosmology.

The ethereal substrate of Selanian cosmology is comparable to the postulated luminiferous aether, which was a popular hypothesis on Halena Yazoral in the late nineteenth century AD, but lost credibility when the results of the famous Michaelson-Morley experiment were published in 1887 AD. After the Yazorian physicist Albert Einstein advanced his theory of relativity in the early twentieth century, making the existence of an ethereal substrate unnecessary to explain the propagation of light, the aether theory was gradually abandoned.

The telatian model of the Technocratic Era on Piral could be considered an advanced form of process physics, a model of reality currently emerging on Halena Yazoral. When comparing the two models, etherons correspond to virtual elements called geometric bits, or gebits. Gebits constitute space-time foam or quantum foam, which of course corresponds to the ethereal substrate of the telatian model.

The cosmological model of the Selani is similar to creation science and modern geocentricism on Halena Yazoral, although in the Selanian model, Halena Yazoral (the Forbidden Planet, Earth), and not Piral, represents the center of the universe. This is unusual because most civilizations postulating geocentric models view their own worlds as the focal point of existence.

Even the spiritual concepts of the Selani find a correlation in Yazorian views. For instance, the statements made in the Selani s'Ulavan (e.g., 2 Cades 3:11–12) exhibit an amazing congruence to passages in the Yazorian Bible (Isaiah 14:24; Colossians 1:16–17; Hebrews 1:3).

 

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