May 13th, 2012


Thoughts on crime and punishment.

I was doing some thinking about Traipahni crime and punishment, and as a result, some interesting thoughts occurred to me.

At the heart of Traipahni philosophy is the knowledge that all people are children, no matter how much they've aged. I could possibly be biased, being an ageplay little and an Ahnabahn (Priest/ess) of Nahtahdjaiz (child goddess of children), but it rings true. All people, no matter how old they are, are children. Adults are not a thing separate from children. We are all informed by our childhood, and the healthiest (mentally) among us still maintain the best positive attributes of childhood. We still play, and relax, and have a curiosity about the world, among other things.

But along with those positive attributes, there are also negative attributes. Selfishness, forgetting the rules, losing our rational minds in the heat of emotions. Emotion is a good thing, a necessary thing, and only a fool would deny it. But emotions must be tempered with reason.

The people of Traipah would be shocked at our culture's education system. The schools on Traipah emphasize values above all else. They teach how to behave, and why. They teach compassion, understanding, empathy, and reason. These lessons are reinforced throughout the years of school. And they teach critical thinking, creativity, and resourcefulness (well, they try at least). That, and the equitable way their society is set up, makes for a society where the poorest of the poor still have food and shelter. The desperation you see on Earth is not there, on Traipah. Because the schools teach oneness, and community. This, the fact society provides for everyone's needs, and the lack of a nudity taboo, eliminates most of the reasons for crime to happen in the first place. Drugs are also legal, as long as one does not do them while operating heavy machinery. Addictions are treated, when they occur. But because of the way their society is set up, very few people are allowed to get that bad. For all their "liberal" qualities, Traipahni society still expects everyone to find a way to contribute to society, and helps those who struggle to do so. Laziness is, after all, a form of selfishness; a little is normal, and natural, but too much is a problem. Free health care and free psychiatric care helps those who have a difficult time contributing, and if there truly is no way for a person to contribute to society, it is not held against them.

Selfishness is a mistake to be corrected. Greed is a mistake, as well. Hoarding wealth out of greed, at the expense of other people and society at large, is - on Traipah - considered a mental illness, to be treated. The super-rich of our society, were they to do the things they do here, on Traipah, would get them incarcerated and put into rehabilitation, and much of that hoarded wealth seized and returned to the society at large. The wealthy are expected, by Traipahni society, to use their wealth to better society, to help raise everyone up. And they are taught the practical reasons why, as well as the values reasons. This is not to say one can't have luxuries! Luxuries are a reward for being successful enough to have earned them. But always, one is expected to be mindful of one's duty to society, for without society they could not be so wealthy. And so they are expected to be modest, reasonable, in their luxuries. No solid gold toilets or diamond encrusted dog collars, for such extravagances would be considered obscene. You would disgust more people on Traipah with a solid gold toilet than you would with a public flogging that drew blood.

Crimes are always thought to be the result of some error in judgment, or some mistake in one's thinking. Even rape and murder carry the sentence of rehabilitation. Their crimes are also talked about, and they feel the sting of society's judgment, the hurt of all those people disappointed in them. They ought to have known better; they are grown-ups, and have been around long enough to know the rules. If one has done something to get the justice system involved, it is like being a misbehaving child, feeling the shame of your peers and loved ones.

There still exists a death penalty for some crimes, but it is reserved for those that have been found to be without conscience. Only those who can never be redeemed are excised from society in that manner. It is done, even then, with the utmost sorrow.

The people of Traipah look at human society with a mixture of amusement and disgust. The most charitable of Traipahni individuals consider humans to be a race of wild children with very little self control.

If what I have described here is socialism, then I say BRING IT ON! For this is what I wish Earth would be like.

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There is no part of me that is not of the gods.

I went to a Gnostic Mass ritual earlier today at the Sekhet Maat Lodge of the O.T.O (Ordo Templi Orientis). And now I don't know where to begin in talking about it. I will start, then, with this: I am most definitely going back!

I went into this knowing essentially nothing about the O.T.O. except for Aleister Crowley and "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law; love under Will." But regarding the rest of it, the O.T.O. is a VERY syncretic organization. I was confused at first, because of some vague Christian elements, but the whole ritual felt a lot like a pagan ritual, only longer and more formal. I talked with one of the people performing the ritual afterward, and during the course of our discussion, I found that Crowley had known Gerald Gardner, which explained a lot. Gardner was also in the O.T.O. at one point. We further talked about the syncretism of the O.T.O., which is very fascinating. I've long felt myself to be a bit of a weirdo, even among the pagan community, since I mix together elements of paganism, Satanism, Conversations With God, the Left Hand Path, the Right Hand Path, and bits and pieces from a whole plethora of other sources, even Christianity. Among talking with the priest, participating in the ritual, and looking at their library of books1, which is extensive and very varied, I was very impressed. I got even more impressed after finding out that another new person there was a Satanist/Luciferian of a sort. (Something about Satan being Adam, and that he used the knowledge gained from the forbidden fruit to become a god. I shall have to speak with her more, next week.) Sadly, I didn't get her email nor she mine, but she said she'd be coming back next week.2 And I, too, will definitely be going back.

There was a VERY strong Wicca streak through the ritual. Lots of "So mote it be"s and so on. The, uh, the ritual was not exactly family friendly, unless you're a family of nudists who don't mind exposing your kids to suggestive ritual gestures, since the high priestess was nude for about half the ritual. But still, I loved the energy of the ritual, even if I couldn't follow a lot of what was being said. I think I understood enough. It seems that the O.T.O. stance on God, at least for the ritual, was as an ineffable being, which tracks with my thoughts on Kohraindehr (Deity of The All). And, like I said, it was a lot like a pagan ritual.

But, given the heavy Left Hand Path flavor of my work with Shao'Kehn, I was most tickled about the LHP friendliness of the O.T.O. Alex is pleased by that, as well. :-) (Oh, and Baphomet was mentioned in the ritual.)

Oh, and the bread they used in the ritual with the wine (or juice, in the case of me and one other), was real gingerbread! And no, I don't mean the crunchy kind of gingerbread you buy at the store. This was soft bread (in teeny tiny little disks) with real ginger in it. It had such a pleasant bite to it, that it was still biting several minutes later.

All in all, an excellent experience. I'm glad I went.

One last thing: The phrase in the subject heading, "There is no part of me that is not of the gods," is something from the ritual; everyone who got bread and wine/juice during ritual said it after imbibing. I like that phrase a lot.

1 = Which reminds me, they have a thing every Tuesday where one can go and browse their library. Only paying members can check books out, but it's free to browse and read during the Tuesday thing. So there's something else to go to!

2 = She also said something about getting together some time to do our own rituals. So this could be the start of more awesome friend stuff. (Though I can't remember if she said her husband was a Satanist too, or what. I only had a few minutes with her on the bus to talk about it.) She was whispering Satan's name, so I started saying Samael (shaam-eye-el) in its place, since even I was ignorant of Satan's real name until a few weeks ago. (But she seemed to know it.)

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Written the other day at home

I've been reading this alternate universe series of Harry Potter fanfics by Carlalute. Canon up to and including "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," with a hinted-at alternate 6th year wherein Dumbledore doesn't die, and Snape still teaches, and the worst thing Draco did in sixth year was a half-hearted attempt to kill Harry with a bludger. Oh, and there's an original character who gets along with almost everyone yet manages to NOT be a Mary Sue. Because Carla Lute's writing is just that good.

There are three layers to the story, basically the same story told from three different perspectives. First layer is "Harry Potter and the Last Year," from Harry's perspective of course. This is a fanfic so long, the text file I put all the chapters into to read it... well, put it this way: however my MP4 player decides to do pages, the first layer of this fanfic had twice as many pages as the file for a frakking NOVEL. And it was such an addictive story, that I was staying up til as late as 9 AM reading it!

The second layer is "Draco Malfoy and the Last Year." Draco's perspective, obviously. Again, very addictive story. Very thought provoking. Except for the occasional typos, I felt like it - and the layer before it - could have been written by Rowling herself.

There's only a few chapters of "Severus Snape and the Last Year" done, but it's shaping up to be as good as the other two layers. One of the weird things that takes some getting used to is the fact that there are no horcruxes in this story, and the way they kill Voldemort is peculiar but makes sense in its own way. Plus, gotta love the fact that Carlalute did a better job of bringing all four Hogwarts houses together in defense of the school better than Rowling did.

About the series itself, and why I wanted to write about it again, in more detail, is because it just does a lot of things better than the canon series. Slytherin students in the D.A., Draco deciding to spurn Voldemort and slowly going from a coward to brave in his own way - even joining the D.A.! Dumbledore teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, Harry going to his final year of school instead of slipping off to hunt horcruxes, and, well, the bit that really got me wanting to write this entry was that Snape's motives for... well... for EVERYTHING make loads more sense in this story than they do in the canon! I never really bought that "Snape loves Lily" stuff anyway, it struck me as a poorly thought up explanation for something she'd never actually had an explanation for before. And while his motives are still based in love, they make a lot more sense in this story than they do in canon. It explains why he joined the Death Eaters to begin with, why Moldywart's attack on the Potters upset him so much, why he switched sides, and everything else much more organically and believably than JK's version of events. Then too, gotta love a Snape who can smile! :-)

So yeah, I HIGHLY recommend this fanfic.

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I haven't liked the term AI, when used to refer to artificial sophonts, for a long long time. I was recently doing another bout of trying to figure out a better term, and I think I came up with a good one:

ASELF. Artificial SEntient Life Form.

This was after discarding ALF (Artificial Life Form), AELF / ELF (Artificial Electronic Life Form / Electronic Life Form), AS (Artificial Sophont), MELF (Mechanical Electronic Life Form), even ALEPH (Artificial Living Electronic/Positronic Humanoid). ALEPH would be a good term for Data from Star Trek, I think, but otherwise bleh.

So yeah, I like ASELF. Because it sounds like "a self," which is what a living being would be, artificial or not.

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