Greg Sez Guest: Does the Emperor party or not? (Jan 1999)

Occasionally Greg had guests answer the Q&As in Greg Sez. Published January 1999.

Question From JULIE WATSON.

Q: “Does the Emperor party or not? If so, how does he rule? Is there really a core of cosmic decadence at the core of the Empire?”

Answer provided by MARTIN LAURIE.

A: Yes, he parties, and he rules wisely and well.

The Emperor is a demigod, he is more than human, more than heroic. His mother is the Turner, his teaching is of the lives she has lived and the truths she made available. With his innate power and his Goddess-given majesty, he is a figure of awe, inspiration and emulation for his subjects. Yet he is also the greatest of debauchees, a hedonist without compare and the pinnacle of decadence. How are these views reconciled?

First one must consider the change in the way the Emperor ruled after the wars with Sheng Seleris and the Emperors’ return in the Mask of Magnificus. Before the death of Takengi the Emperor was centered upon his Yelmic souls, as befits one who rules in the way of a Dara Happa. Yet this path was not fulfilling. It did not teach the way of the Goddess, the way of growth and change. Instead it brought stultifying conformity and Yelmic strictness. Therefore, in normal Dara Happan fashion, the emperor’s Other was summoned to end his rule. Sheng Seleris was Takeng’s ritual Other, but Takenegi was not a normal emperor. Sheng Seleris inflicted the change which the Goddess and her Son needed to Turn the Empire upon its road to Zaytenera. Through the service of his Shadow, Takenegi became something new. No longer did his same body return from death, but instead his spirit occupied new Masks as the life of each ended. Thus the rigid unchanging Solar Way was modified from within to become the changable Lunar Way. After this change, another became apparent to those who studied the Emperor at court and in his actions. His Masks to varying degrees and in varying ways became more visceral, more bodily focussed.

Soon the Emperor began to sponsor the ultimate indulgences that were available in Glamour. Debauchees from across the wide Empire came to his Endless Party. Every manner of excess was practised and encouraged. Followers of Yelm were appalled at this change in their beloved Emperor, thinking that such acts ill-befitted the Majesty of Yelm. The Dolathi Mystics were disdainful of the pointless focus on bodily pleasure, for they knew that enlightenment came only through austerity and the spurning of the worlds’ falseness. But the Orgies of Delectation carried on with great intensity despite their disapproval. There was no shortage of people who wished to sample them.

Many came to the Party and most left as burnt out husks, shattered by the delights of spirit and flesh that were designed for the enjoyment of a demi-god and his kin. Yet for every dozen who used themselves up in this way, there emerged one who saw the world with new eyes. The extremity of the acts they’d partaken of had shocked their souls into an appreciation of the Goddess’ message and their own oneness with the Cosmos. They had become enlightened, illuminated, Seventhed by the power of their bodily experience. The Emperor welcomed these folk fresh from their experience, and he gathered them together. He told them that they were the first of a new way. He told them that the way to enlightenment lay not only through renunciation of the world via austerities. Such a rigid view was flawed. He said: “The traditional mystics see their bodies as something to be spurned as they say flesh inevitably binds them to the world of Many, not oneness with the cosmos. They are only partially right, or totally right for some of the poeple. It is not the whole truth. The body that cloaks our spirit is the necessary part of the cosmos which allows us to find liberation. Instead of seeing the body as a hindrance to spiritual growth we can see it as a vessel for the exploration of All, starting with the physical universe. We are both material and spiritual. We seem dual, yet are not dual for both are one within the Cosmos. You who have survived the extremity of your experiences have seen this revelation, one that was given to me by Rashorana upon my Third Return. Now you must teach others of your experiences and give them aid to find them too.”

This was the founding of the Rashoranic Path of Mysticism. The Emperor sent out those he had converted in his Party and created that new way of seeing the Goddess. Its teachings hold that by living life and exploring it without illusion, one can see beyond the veil of both material and spiritual concerns to the oneness of the cosmos. They don’t deny that austerity can bring such enlightenment and they practice austerities as well as ritual excess via sex, food and lifestyle. The Rashoranic way to enlightenment is often rapid, within a mortal lifetime, for the intensity of the Rashoranic experience in the intensity of life itself.

The Red Emperor parties, he is decadent, he is a champion debauchee but he has purpose in all he does. Who else could give a chance at cosmic understanding amid the lusts and indulgences of an orgy?

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