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"You Just have to do this."-Random Seer Rant

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  • "You Just have to do this."-Random Seer Rant

    So I've been up all night(Meaning I'm, like, the equivalent of at least tipsy, if not decently drunk), chatting on and off with friends. Awakening was the popular topic tonight, and at some point I posited:

    Tangentially, I think at least 70% of the people who say they'd be Acanthus Free Councillors are lying to themselves.

    I think the same percent of people who say they'd be in the Pentacle are doing the same. Truth be told, most of us (myself included, barring my good days) are Seers.

    Mage is such an interesting place to see people, because their self-delusions become very transparent.

    Game of Truth and Lies indeed.
    Someone asked me why I thought that. The following was the sleep-deprived, cynical bastard-poem response. While in a lot of ways it's so cynical even my mouth puckers at it, never the less, it's a piece of writing I want somewhere. So y'all get it.

    Simple version: Because it's easy. Because that's what human society has trained humans to be.

    Slightly more complicated version: What do most kids want to be?

    Presidents, astronauts, doctors, police, firefighters, celebrities, etc., etc.

    Really, underneath the titles, kids want to be Important. They want to make a Difference.

    They Want to be Noble. They Want to be Heroic. They Want to Transcend, to Rise, to Shine.

    They Want to Become More.

    Now, what do adults want to be?

    In a word?

    Afloat.

    Just pay the bills.

    Just get the kids through college.

    Just make it to the weekend.

    Just get the money and run.

    Just have fun.

    People come to live their lives on a bridge of Justs.

    And they're okay with that.

    If they can Just settle, everything will be Just fine.

    Magic Demands.

    Magic Demands.

    The Awakening is a marvelous hurdle to leap, and it fills one with hope, with wonder, with possibility.

    Until one sees how Deep and Dark the World is.

    It's Unfathomable.

    It's Unfathomable.

    But Magic Demands.

    And that can be too much to ask.

    It can be too much for a small star to bear.

    The Exarchs offer an option. It's familiar. It works. It pays dividends.

    It's easy, really.

    You Just have to let them pay you.

    Get them their Just due, and Infinite Cosmic Power is yours.

    It works, too.

    You can Just get Celebrity.

    You can Just make a Difference.

    You can Just be Noble.

    You can Just Shine.

    Pay their Just Due, and you can Just Become.

    Just is easy.

    "Ours is a Just god."

    That's why.

    It's Just that easy.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 06-01-2016, 09:52 AM.


    Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Feminine pronouns, please.

  • #2
    I can't believe you didn't bring me into this conversation.


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    • #3
      Wasn't my place to do so.


      Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
      Feminine pronouns, please.

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      • #4
        That's fair.

        I was moving and assumed I missed something on your wall, but having checked, I guess it was private convos.

        Anywho.

        I've always stereotyped Acanthus' as unreliable and irresponsible, similar to how I stereotype Gryffindors. I don't know what it says about me that I specifically want nothing to do with the groups most people want to be. But I readily admit I would be a Mastigos Mystagogue. I'm 97% certain I would not be a Seer. But I agree with your assertions as to why most people would. It's the most simple path to achieving their priorities, and then their wants.


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        • #5
          Words are such fickle illusions, though.:/

          Still, At the core of Awakening is a kernel, this tiny fragile soap bubble of a dream that has power and brightness that shapes worlds and hands and fates, this thing that attracts people and makes it so important to people, that makes them willing to Lie to themselves in the hopes of it being True. It's undeniable.

          "If thou truly Will it, It Shall Be."

          Don't let it go. Don't let it break. Pretend long enough, and it just might be who we are.

          That's the Hope. That's the Dream. That we can Be.

          That's why we Awaken in the first place.


          Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Feminine pronouns, please.

          Comment


          • #6
            The catch in all this, though, is that most people who blindly support the existing power structures tend to do so out of misinformation. By nature, Awakening takes the blinds off your eyes. You see the propaganda for what it is. You see that all the government conspiracies are true. Well, you see which ones are true, and which ones are misdirections.

            Part of being one of the sheeple (aka Sleeper) is being blind to the truth. Wake up Sheeple! See the Truth! And, once you see the truth, you now have to make a decision. You literally can't go back to the way things were, because you no longer have the luxury of ignorance being bliss.

            In psychology, there are four reactions to something that shakes your world view. One is that you denounce the revelation as false, utterly reject it. Another is that you mentally alter the new information to fit your world view - change the facts to fit the picture, not build a picture out of facts. Third is to have a psychological break and have the information fade. And only the last is to accept it and change how you see the world. With Mage, the third and fourth are what happen when you Awaken. You can't reject it, and you don't Awaken if you rewrite the Truth into a Lie. People do awaken as the Mad, and its sad. The overwhelming majority of Awakened are those who've accepted the Truth and allowed it to change their world views.

            And this is where I think the structure of the Seers fails to capture most Awakened. The Exarchs rely on lies and ignorance, and mages literally cannot hide from the truth. Periphrial Mage Sight doesn't allow it. Most mages simply won't fit into the Pyramids because they understand that the system they were in is false. The Seers seed lies about how their system works. And that changes everything. Many mages won't comfortably fit into the Seer Pyramids because its not the same thing anymore. The Lie relies on denial, and you can't deny things anymore, not with the Truth right in front of you. If you coudl, you'd be Asleep.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MCN View Post
              The catch in all this, though, is that most people who blindly support the existing power structures tend to do so out of misinformation. By nature, Awakening takes the blinds off your eyes. You see the propaganda for what it is. You see that all the government conspiracies are true. Well, you see which ones are true, and which ones are misdirections.

              Part of being one of the sheeple (aka Sleeper) is being blind to the truth. Wake up Sheeple! See the Truth! And, once you see the truth, you now have to make a decision. You literally can't go back to the way things were, because you no longer have the luxury of ignorance being bliss.

              In psychology, there are four reactions to something that shakes your world view. One is that you denounce the revelation as false, utterly reject it. Another is that you mentally alter the new information to fit your world view - change the facts to fit the picture, not build a picture out of facts. Third is to have a psychological break and have the information fade. And only the last is to accept it and change how you see the world. With Mage, the third and fourth are what happen when you Awaken. You can't reject it, and you don't Awaken if you rewrite the Truth into a Lie. People do awaken as the Mad, and its sad. The overwhelming majority of Awakened are those who've accepted the Truth and allowed it to change their world views.

              And this is where I think the structure of the Seers fails to capture most Awakened. The Exarchs rely on lies and ignorance, and mages literally cannot hide from the truth. Periphrial Mage Sight doesn't allow it. Most mages simply won't fit into the Pyramids because they understand that the system they were in is false. The Seers seed lies about how their system works. And that changes everything. Many mages won't comfortably fit into the Seer Pyramids because its not the same thing anymore. The Lie relies on denial, and you can't deny things anymore, not with the Truth right in front of you. If you coudl, you'd be Asleep.
              Which is why I think that the change where Seers are explicitly not well-meaning or something is good. To be a Seer is to see the Lie and to work to uphold it to fool others.


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              • #8
                Hmm... It's an interesting take on why most of us real-world humans would be Seers if they awakened without becoming anything any different than what they were as sleepers. I do agree with MCN here though, the people who would join the Seers Just because it's the easy, comfortable route wouldn't be able to awaken without becoming another kind of person. If you're ok with Just being afloat (which, granted, most of us are), you're not going to Awaken in the first place. The Lie is Just as easy and comfortable to believe as the Seer doctrine - easier, in fact, because it doesn't require Awakening. In order to awaken you have to change, you have to be Obsessed with something enough that you can't continue Just believing the lie. And once you're past that, the Seers aren't Just the easy path. They're the path that actively tries to keep things Just the way they are. People who settle for Just generally do so because it's the path of least resistance, not because they actually like or want to maintain the status quo.

                I also don't see how your rant points to people not being Acanthus.
                Last edited by Charlaquin; 06-01-2016, 01:08 PM.


                Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                • #9
                  I have many gripes about the Seers; that particular change isn't one of them. Its just that I don't think that the Seers are particularly easy. Its a faustian bargain that costs you "just" a soul. To use a D&D comparison, the Exarchs are like devils, while the Abyss is like, well, the demons of the Abyss. One wants to rule the world in tyrannical fashion, the other wants to eat it. Both will just as surely destroy you, just in different ways.

                  And, from the write up, I think that most mages understand that cost. It takes a very special mindset to enter that kind of bargain.

                  EDIT - also, I don't think that Seers are offering "just comfortably afloat." I think that comes standard with magic. Seers offer extravigance: wealth, royalty, and all the high society things we may dream of, but we also blame and yell at for ruining things. Mammon is the embodiment of corporate greed. The Unity is all the things wrong with Congress that most of the USA hates. And these are what the Seer offers - to be the fat cats that ruin things. Most people understand that they don't need it.

                  Its all a question of how much they want it, and what price they're willing to pay, because hard work won't let you become one of the wealthy elite.
                  Last edited by MCN; 06-01-2016, 01:17 PM.

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                  • #10
                    What MCN said, basically: I think it's unfair to say that people who are Asleep would become Seers if Awakened. The game changes when you Awaken; that's kinda the entire point. That's not to say that a lot of people wouldn't. Indeed, I'd be much more agreeable if what you were saying is that most Mage fans/players would be Seers if Awakened, because that seems patently true to me. When offered a system, we tend to game it, pushing its boundaries and seeing how far we can exploit it for our own gain. But it's unfair to ascribe that to the entire population of humans.


                    I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
                    An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
                    Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, once you're actively working to climb the pyramid, you're really not Just anything anymore.


                      Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                        Yeah, once you're actively working to climb the pyramid, you're really not Just anything anymore.
                        Completely agree with this. Anyone who joins the Seers for the basic stuff is quickly disillusioned. Being in the Seers is about keeping others in submission.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                          Tangentially, I think at least 70% of the people who say they'd be Acanthus Free Councillors are lying to themselves.
                          If I were a mage I'd like to think I'd be a Mastigos Free Councilor, and I agree there are a lot of posers and just-talker.

                          That being said I am a complete nutcase christian prepper whose investing his life making a homestead sanctuary which I view in part as a modern day Ark. In Real Life. Operational Security be damned, I feel the need to be a little real with people besides my wife and co-workers.

                          Also, the poem was exceedingly good. +1 Internet to you.


                          “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                          "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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                          • #14
                            I'm proud to say I think I know myself well enough to realize that while the Free Council sounds like a good idea on paper, I'd totally be an Acanthus Thearch. I've got more than a little fear of populism in me...


                            Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
                              Indeed, I'd be much more agreeable if what you were saying is that most Mage fans/players would be Seers if Awakened, because that seems patently true to me.
                              Wasn't that exactly what Arcane was saying? *blink* I thought it was about Mage players claiming that they would be Acanthus FC, but really would be Seers.

                              To be honest, I agree with everything that Arcane said right up until near the end. Kids do have big dreams and want to be heroic - they have a tendacy to simplify and idolize things. Fair enough. And American society does teach us to be greedy, to always want more and more. That's pretty much the American Dream in a nutshell. (I'm not going to speak for all socities, some may be very different.) And Awakening and finding the world to be dark and unfathomable is spot on.

                              I just disagree about the part where the Seers and Exarchs come in. Yes, they offer the easy path to wealth, prestige, etc. But it comes at a huge cost I don't think most players would be willing to make. Most of us adult gamers are aware about how much we can and can't spend on game books, how much free time we have to play games. I don't think that most of us would be willing to cast aside our friends and family for this prestige and power. Its a devil's bargain, and I think the hooks in it are obvious. I seriously don't most of us would bite.

                              I also disagree that it would be familar. There are some people who act that way, but I can't see a majority of players.
                              Last edited by MCN; 06-01-2016, 01:50 PM.

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