posted September 06, 2008 02:23 PM
THE MYTHOS AND ETHOS
A forgotten civilisation
We call this land Aspergia. We pronounce it so because no one knows what its real name was, or the tongue spoken by its people. Aspergia; a land surrounded by oceans, as far as the eye can see. A land of sea-gazing people, Aspergians, who venture into the great waters for fishing, but never the great distances required to find others, although they fiercely believe they exist..
Many, Many eons in the past, this new civilisation was founded, building great towers and dwellings, and thriving in a social structure, very different to that which we observe today. The Aspergians celebrated an individual's uniqueness and devotion to their cause. They taught their young that each and every person is born with a very specific talent, their "special gift", which they must identify if they are to live a full and fulfilling life. Because you are born with this talent you will excel in it and find it rewarding and enriching. Anything else you choose to do will not bring you as much happiness, and once you have found and attained this direction in life, you are respected by your people for achieving a oneness with your destiny. The Aspergians held an annual "destiny ceremony" to celebrate the transformation of the Seekers into the Initiated. This can happen at any age, and some Aspergians have found their destiny at 13 whilst others did so towards the end of their lives.
Despite being surrounded by oceans and no knowledge of another land, far or near, the Aspergians strongly held that there are others beyond the great waters. They had a social class of priests named Gazers, who were self-appointed, after finding their destiny was to serve their community in this role. They gazed daily into the blueness of the water, awaiting to record the every sign that life is there beyond. Each Gazer held records of every sighting and possible sighting. They have done so for generations, and were revered by their community for this important role.
There were ancient stories told of encounters with other peoples from beyond the sea, who landed on Aspergia and even took some of its residents with them. They were described as looking similar to the Aspergians, but having different customs, and producing very loud sounds, which were painful to the ears of the Aspergians. But these were old stories, and time has passed since there was a sighting of a tiny image on the horizon.
The Aspergians did not build their dwellings close to each other. They had a complex social structure which allowed individuals to invest most of their seeker years in searching for their destiny, and most of their time as Initiated in fulfilling it. This helped their culture to achieve great things.
Their weekly conventions and annual gatherings always obeyed strict rules of ceremony, and each member knew exactly what their ceremonial role would be. Although solitude is a central pillar of the Aspergian life, it can not be real solitude unless it is defined by "Communitude". Communitude allows for kinship, and relationship. It also ensures the continuity to the next generation. Communitude ensured Aspergians had a plentiful dose of company, in a defined and easy to manage way, and without complications. It also allowed them to spend their solitude time by themselves, observing the concept of Stillness.
The Aspergian dispersal
It may be that the tales of the great flood, all go back to the Aspergian story. After the civilisation of Aspergia survived for millennia without danger or strife, the ocean itself sought its own destiny and found that it had to take over the land on which the Aspergians lived. The water rose and rose, until there was no doubt that Aspergia would cease to exist within a short period of time.
The Aspergians were not ever faced with the task of building a boat that was bigger than for the purpose of local fishing. Other than the oft told story of the great Son of Aspergia, who set to sea in search of other lands, and was never seen again, they had not dared try and go beyond the borders of the visible waters, because they knew there were great currents there; currents which take you to sea and never let you return.
But now there was no choice and dozens of bigger boats were constructed in haste by the talented architects and builders of the land. As the full moon set into the sea, the Aspergian people had one last Communitude gathering on their beloved land.
They left at dawn, in utter silence, their minds were full of fear and focussed on the task ahead.
The boats reached the high currents and drifted apart, each to its own direction. The Aspergian civilisation started a journey into the unknown, and not all of its sons and daughters would make it safely to the world beyond.
The Diaspora and accommodation
The boats that did survive had finally reached many a dispersed shore, and it was always the Gazers in every boat that identified the approaching land first. When they landed, they started by huddling together after the ordeal of the jouney, but this was against the nature of Aspergians.
The peoples they came across were very different to them: they valued a sort of constant Communitude, they were afraid of their destiny, and were afraid of being alone or pursuing their talents. But the Aspergians were a minority everywhere they went,. and their nature dictated that they integrate, and learn the ways of the land.
Integrating was not easy, but they had a talent for it, and after a few generations any trace of Aspergians and their culture had all but disappeared. Their story was swallowed into the general mythology, and made a part of human heritage. They intermarried with the people of their new lands and their children would sometimes express Aspergian traits, and sometimes not. Occasionally their children were born with a severe Aspergian gaze that never went away, and an inability to speak or act independently. In early generations these were recognised as the results of intermarriage. Later on, even this realisation had been forgotten.
Nevertheless, throughout history, those who were born with a strong Aspergian persona, mostly knew that something was different. The sound of the ocean would calm them down, and they needed a great deal of solitude. They did not understand the practice of "constant Communitude", and did not know how they should behave in the social structure they were born to, with strange and taxing ways of interaction. They were mostly saved if they managed to seek and find their destiny-interest and excel in it. This was always revered by the people around them, and allowed them to be a little "different". Not all Aspergians immediately understood they had strengths rather than weaknesses. Being a minority always creates unease and alienation. It took great courage for those who did to tell themselves that they were different, and that it was fine to be so. Others spent their lives fighting it, and one who fights oneself always loses.
The Aspergian civilisation has all but disappeared, but its biological and genetic heritage is still very much with us. Their genes are strong and persistent, reminding us throughout our history, that there were other ways of being, and other possibilities.
In some periods of history, Aspergian manifestations were hunted down and destroyed. Aspergian women burned at the stake as witches, Aspergian inventors and creative minds persecuted for daring to be different. There were Aspergians who discovered a destiny-talent for design and formulation, and secretly created ancient Aspergian symbols in crop circles. There are Aspergians that are Gazers to this day, watching for trains, planes, boats or searching for life in outer space. These traits are so different to "normal" human ones that they persisted through their genes.
And those of us who have, against all odds, found their destiny and their pride, are now ready to revive that notion that we have a proud ethos to relate to - and we can once again build a proud heritage. Aspergia lives on - and we will be the lost sons and daughters, coming home to our history, our heritage and our future.