The Holodomatic School (Literary Kaikian ὁλοδωματικα, "of the Whole Household") is the dominant religious movement in the County Palatine of Kezan and a minority religion throughout parts of eastern Benacia. Many of its founding texts are edited from debates with other religio-philosophic schools that had emerged alongside it within the Kaikian Diaspora. During the reign of Kaiser Dominus, the school's philosophical principles were spread beyond their original Antican roots, resulting in various syncretic forms, such as Holodomatic Cedrozurvanism.
Immanent Spirits (τα Κηρα)
A principle inherited from the Kaikian Tradition is that of κηρ, a heart, mind, or spirit. All individuals have a spirit, including people, places, and certain objects imbued with power. A subset of the spirits are the Αδνοι, the Holy Ones, who have a controlling influence over the world at large. The Kaikian Tradition maintained an evolving pantheon of Holy Ones for general, overarching worship. Kaikian mythology concerns itself with the origins of the world, the history of the Holy Ones, and their interactions with humanity.
The Holodomatic School does not deny the existence or relevancy of the Holy Ones, but rather teaches that they are just a part of the finite universe.
Guiding Holies (οι Αγοντες Αδνοι)
In some teachings of the Holodomatic School, and featuring in folk and regional practices, some Holy Ones are considered to be particularly valuable to the Holodomatic mission. These Holy Ones, referred to as the Guiding Holies or Guiding Spirits, are protectors, helpers, and inspirers for Holodomatic practitioners, clearing the way towards the ultimate.
Some are the spirits of holy men who continue their work beyond death, others are syncretized forms of preexisting deities. This latter category has allowed Holodomatic practices to penetrate into cultural and religious practices beyond that of the school's cultural and religious roots.
Two Truths (τω Αληθοτητη)
There are two kinds of truth:
- Momentarily True (Αυτικ’ αληθης) - things that can be said about discrete characteristics of the finite world
- Eternally True (Αει αληθης) - things that can be said about the unifying characteristics of the infinite world
The finite world is by nature an ordered world (ὁ Κοσμος), in which change is constant but according to patterns and cycles which can be studied and understood. Scientific pursuits are given a religious significance by being a means of discovering greater truths about that order.
Dualities and the apparent complexity of the finite world are a consequence of finite existence, in which time and space and characteristics have boundaries and sequence. Beyond the finite, beyond the realm of momentary truth is that of eternal truth, and the eternal truth is that all the diversity of the finite world is truly united in a harmonious whole.
The fundamental oneness of the Cosmos is called The Ultimate (το Υπατον). The Ultimate transcends duality and distinction. The Ultimate is the origin from which the Cosmos was born and to which it will return.
At the dawn of time, when the finite world was reconstituted anew, Holy Wisdom (Αδνη Σοφια) emanated outward from the Ultimate and entered finite space and time. Holy Wisdom is the agent of the Cosmos, the source of the cosmic order, and the instrument by which the Ultimate directs the Cosmos's existence from birth to demise. It is the spirit of the Cosmos (το του κοσμου κηρ), without which it would not.
At the end of time, Holy Wisdom will withdraw (αναχωρησις, "withdrawal, recession") from the finite world back to The Ultimate. The finite world, having lost the ordering presence of Holy Wisdom, will become unordered and a void (χαος). The finite world will then be reborn when Holy Wisdom emanates from the Ultimate again.
As a result of developing out of the greater Kaikian Tradition, the Holodomatic School associates Holy Wisdom with various major figures within the Kaikian mythology:
- Ariadne (Αριαδνη, "Most Holy"), who divided the primordial mist into air and water and filled the universe with life
- Pallantis (Παλλαντις), a storm goddess, culture hero, and tutelary spirit of Kaikias, second-in-command in heaven after her father Dias (Διας), the Judge of the Cosmos
- Nemo (Νεμω), the inescapable dispenser of dues and correcter of undeserved good fortune
Holy Wisdom has also become associated with various major and minor figures from other religious traditions:
- Providence, Divine Fate as found in Antican Providentialism
- Elwynn (Эљөн), the national goddess of the Elwynn
- Adi Paraśakti (आदि परशक्ति), the great divine mother in Aryasht
- Sakat, God of Wisdom in Cedrism
- Ahura Mazda, God of Justice in Zurvanism
There is disagreement as to whether the incarnations of Holy Wisdom constitute distinct hypostates within a shared divine essence, parts of a single divine being, or nonreal symbolic manifestations created by primitive cultures to approximate Holy Wisdom through her repeated interventions within the mundane world. It has, however, been rejected that the incarnations are Holy Ones who have imitated the glory of Holy Wisdom to deceive humanity.
Within the context of the school's doctrines, passion (παθημα, also translated as "suffering" or "misfortune", from πασχω, "I suffer, experience, undergo") refers specifically to the sources of internal conflict that someone experiences, which causes disturbance or upheaval (ταραχη) in their spirit. These passions have the power to shackle and corrupt them, to distort their relationship to themselves, to others, and to the Cosmos, preventing them from achieving peace. The passions perpetuate passions in others, as suffering within the self drives them to inflict sufferings upon others.
Each person's passions are unique to themselves. They may be fleeting or they may afflict a person for the duration of their life. They may be intermittent or they may be a constant source of suffering.
The Holodomatic School teaches the use of spiritual exercise (κηρικη ασκησις) to achieve three goals: tranquility (αταραξια), cooperation (συνεργια), and communion (κοινωνια).
The immediate goal of the Holodomatic School is freedom for the spirit, called αταραξια, or an absence of disturbance.
Being free from passions does not mean that the spirit is purged of all feeling and becomes indifferent to the world. Rather, this freedom is to mean that the spirit is no longer trapped by its own passions, and is capable of interacting with the world free from their distortions and to be at peace even when experiencing adversity.
The school instructs its membership in the performance of five exercises towards spiritual freedom:
- Listening (εισακοη): receiving education from clerics, fellow members, and those beyond the school
- Denial (αρνησις): abstinence from satisfying urges
- Stillness (ησυχια): contemplative, meditative quiet
- Guidance (υφηγησις): assisting others in their spiritual pursuits
- Mercifulness (ελεημον): compassion to those in need
The intermediate goal of the Holodomatic School is cooperation, called συνεργια, or working together. This applies on an individual, who is seen as being a community of parts (spirit and body), as well as to communities of persons. Freed from the bonds of the passions, cooperation can be achieved, and without that freedom, strife and suffering will pervade it.
The school instructs its membership in the performance of exercises towards cooperation:
- Hospitality (ξενια): receiving of and respectfulness towards outsiders
- Minimalism (ελαχιστια): elimination of excesses and finding ways to make better use of that which does not presently serve a purpose
- Mutual Aid (ωφελια προς αλληλους): reciprocal assistance to the degree one can and to the extent one needs
Union with the Divine
The ultimate goal for the Holodomatic School is achieving communion (κοινωνια) with the divine spirit of the universe. Both goals are sought simultaneously, as communion with the Ultimate brings strength and spiritual cleansing to aid in combating the passions, and surpassing the weaknesses of the human condition, the passions, helps bring clarity in seeking out the Ultimate.
Through unity with the divine, one will persist and live within it. Otherwise, one succumbs to falling away (καταπτωσις), a return to the ground state of non-being, to which one's essence is lost and recycled back into the universe.
The school as an institution is organized into Nomes (νομος, "habitation, district, precinct"). A Nome consists of one or more buildings, including at least one congregational hall, for the purpose of performing rites and spiritual exercises and to serve as a temporary or permanent habitation for members of the school and visitors.
Ranks of Initiation
- Syndomate (συνδωματος "one with the household"): initiated into the school, may be authorized to perform some assisting duties during the exercise of rites or during community events
- Zonophore (ζωνοφορος "wearing the belt"): ordained cleric; may bear another -phore title that reflects a ritual and/or pastoral responsibility that one has qualified for or been assigned to. Generally endowed with authority to teach, initiate people into the school, provide spiritual guidance, and perform public or private rites
- Choephore (χοηφορος "carrying choe, a libation for the dead"): one who is tasked with overseeing graveyards and attending to burial rites
- Dorophore (δωροφορος "carrying gifts"): one who is tasked with overseeing charitable functions
- Hieraphore (ἱεραφορος "carrying holy items"): sacristan, one who is tasked with caring for holy vessels used in ritual
- Selasphore (σελασφόρος "carrying light"): teacher, one who is tasked with leading students in their spiritual and intellectual growth
- Ulaphephore (ουλαφηφορος "carrying a corpse"): undertaker, someone who prepares the dead
- Master or Treasury Keeper (ἐπιστάτης "overseer" or θάλαμου φυλαξ "Guardian of the Inner Room"): ordained cleric holding authority and tasked with preservation and development of the rites and teachings of the school, responsible for testing and ordaining candidates for the belt
Each Holodomatic Nome is overseen by at least one master, though major typically have a college of masters. Several ordained clerics, Zonophores, perform many of the regular functions of the Nome.
- The Mother Nome (ὁ Μητρονομος): located in Omholt Hamlet, Azeley Ward, Honour of Parini, in Kezan. Established on a land grant from the House of Octavius to act as a rural retreat, it quickly expanded to become a major pilgrimage site and the institutional center of the school. Its college of masters organizes itself as a theological school (though many are "on permanent sabbatical"), to serve the large body of students who travel there to receive knowledge and ordination.
- Nome in the Valley of Death: located in the Valley of Mors, Shirekeep. Established during the reign of Kaiser Dominus to oversee rites deceased members of the school who would be honored with burial, notably members of the Imperial Family, high-ranking government officials, and regional nobles.
- Nome to the Wise-Counsellor at the Imperial See: located in central Shirekeep as part of the House of Sakat complex.
- Nome to the Light before the Throne: located in the Outer Keep, Shirekeep, for the use of members of the Imperial Court and staff.
- Nome to the Releaser of Cares beyond the Blue: located in Lichkeep, dedicated to the Cedrist deity Ayreon as a Guiding Holy, but whose worship has been significantly influenced by Iacchis, a Kaikian spirit of fertility, healing, and inspiration. The complex includes the Hall of Atre'u, in which the Laqi cultural hero is recast as an incarnation of Ayreon, and makes use of Laqi architecture and liturgical motifs to convey Holodomatic principles. Home for the Tyġoryġwh. Established as part of an imperial endowment to Princess Kian of Shireroth.
- ^ An unresolved question within the school is whether the order can become fully understood or whether some aspects (i.e. metaphysics or supernatural phenomena) of the order exist that cannot be comprehended by the human mind.
- ^ matter and energy, material and spiritual, light and dark, living and dead, real and imagined, firm and yielding, existence and nonexistence, predator and prey, known and unknown, past and future, good and evil, etc.