In thinking about Malkionism, the Invisible God can be equated to Brahman in many schools of Hindu philosophy (especially Vedanta) – the Invisible God is the ultimate reality, the source from which the world came into existence, in whom it inheres, and to which it returns. Brahman ties in nicely with Aristotle’s unmoved mover – perfectly beautiful, indivisible, and contemplating only self-contemplation, an independent divine eternal unchanging immaterial substance.
Just as Vedanta has many schools and traditions, so does Malkionism. Although all speak of an “Invisible God” as the ultimate reality, they are differ in their views and practices. Some view the lesser divine entities as emanations of the Invisible God, others view them as mere anthropomorphic embodiments of natural forces, and still others view them as self-deluded siblings of Zzabur who conflate themselves with the energies they have mastered.
Perhaps the most radical of “Malkioni” is that indigenous to God Forgot, whose god died in the God Time and did not return with the Dawn. They acknowledge the Invisible God, but do not worship the lesser entities, viewing them at best as self-deluded imposters and at worst as hostile. They do acknowledge Belintar as a lesser entity who upholds the Invisible God and offer prayers to the Invisible God on his behalf. In the Second Age, they enthusiastically embraced the Zistorite experiment of the Middle Sea Empire.
All of the Invisible God schools place humans at the center of their cosmos. Mortals do not exist to serve the gods; rather they have an independent existence within Time and capable of understanding the cosmos through will and intellect. All hold that ideal human society is rationally composed of classes (usually four), although how these classes are created differes from school to school.
Broadly speaking, most schools are “idealists” and assert that reality is created by the Mind of the Invisible God, which holds the cosmos together and that reason gives humans a connection to the cosmos. At its most extreme, Hrestoli idealism suggests that the world is completely subject to conceptual schemes of humans – this approach is commonly ascribed to the God Learners of the Second Age. However, the Rokari are “realists” that hold that although everything that exists is in principle humanly knowable, the Invisible God poses limits to the conceptual schemes of mortals. Correct knowledge and understanding is different (and far superior) to simple cognition and will.
As an aside, the Abiding Book of the Malkioni bears a greater resemblance to the Organon than to the New Testament.
So it should be clear that for me the Malkioni are a vehicle for exploring logic and philosophy. They include Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus, and Zeno, as well as the Upanishads, the Brahma Sutras and Gaudapada. And throw in a bit of Ezra into the mix, with plenty of efforts to take the teachings of several schools and edit them and revise them into something new.
Also when thinking about Malkionism, remember that it changes over time. Before the Dawn, the Brithini dealt with the gods as near equals and the Seshnegi worshiped Malkion and Seshna Likita the Earth Goddess.
In the Third Age, the main Malkioni schools no longer interact with the gods as equals, but also do not worship gods other than Malkion and his family, and a few important heroes (although it is argued by some Rokari philosophers that in many cases this has been a back-door to submission to lesser entities). Despite a strong current of ancestor worship in Malkionism (which also sometimes includes worship of gods), the Malkioni distrust the gods in general.
Organon? The collection of Aristotle’s works on logic.
As an aside, many Malkioni protective and blessing spells have limitations placed on them that they cannot be used to aid people who violate the Laws. This is an intentional part of the spell built into it by Zzabur and his followers.
Malkionism (as opposed to Brithinism) really has its origins with Hrestol, who was born in a Brithini colony. To save his people, he killed the goddess Ifttala, the daughter of Seshna Likita and mother of the Pendali Lion People. Hrestol died, was judged in the Underworld, and made his way back to the world of the living. He was exiled from Seshnela by his own father, and rejected the ancient Laws of Brithos. He made his own way to Wisdom, one suited to men’s souls and happiness. He sought Justice, not mere law, and self-sacrifice rather than obedience.
This divergence between Brithinism and Hrestolism occured over 1600 years ago, and Malkionism has developed radically differently from their Brithini origins.
Are there non-Brithini people who didn’t embrace Hrestolism? The Rokari are Hrestoli who reject Hrestol’s idealism. In the mortal realms? Just God Forgot I think. The Rokari are basically like Restorationists (Hussites, Anabaptists, Jehovah’s WItnesses, Mormons, etc.), so folk who believe Hrestolism had gotten completely away from the truths revealed by Malkion.
All of these analogies break down at some point. But Brahman is probably far more useful a point of comparison than the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Supreme God.
Especially since the Invisible God followers are perfectly willing to accept the existence of gods, their deeds, etc. They just don’t worship them and consider them illusory/delusional.
There one famous group of Malkioni who studied the gods to understand the greater truth – that’s the God Learners.