Reading Two: The Sincerity Chapter
Paragraph One (Latin script)
Larsenglar tru timei chituter doch me kianga. Kianga me rui tuk urklatum vlis durklatum. Nas lash urklam, lash jich brian. Nas durklam, pochum oin bochen. Lagalarsema doch me kianga, fenas rinoma. Lash falrinom kidi uth vlis felam derfurra. Kisos lash kaim glai aul kui chotoma oin fel rania has irin rendam, me fel nu kochukins sath. Lash glai zuzum glir jorraisden nu lash, raininom rinoma jorraisden nu lash, fenas gronder me aul lash me feltes, lis feltes nyei aravas melis. Rinoma me hond nas lash tior dioserins nyorjem vlesivigul nu Tarte irraim? Rinoma me jand nas fimuirirrimo nu segiltaulun krith lashchukins punam? Uth pro vuknauchem oin troi, ha lash dondodikenam, beth feltes trosenglarshul oin bochen. Kiomeintal me sath.
Paragraph One (English translation)
The ride to the temple compound is not a test. A test is something you pass or you fail. If you pass, you acquire something. If you fail, you go home empty-handed1. The temple ride is not a test, the temple ride is life. You survive after it or you die because of it. For be sure, the death of mortal beings2 is nothing compared to the death I am talking about. You can go back to your modern city and live your modern life, but the truth is that you are dead, and will be dead forevermore. What is life if you fail to tug at Tarte’s3 hem with your hands? Where is life if Her ankle4,5 slips between your fingers? Falling fast below, and you remain above, dead, empty-handed and rising. Gravity is nothing6.
- "empty-handed" - oin bochen literally means "with emptiness," but the expression is often used to mean "without having accomplished anything."
- "mortal beings" - The reference is to organic beings which live and can die. Gods are excluded from this category, as are thoughts. There is a death that is worse than the death of one's organism.
- "Tarte's" - Rather than spelling the name of the goddess with regular letters, the author chooses to use an ideogram specially designed for her name (R). This is standard practice in Tarteist writings.
- "Her Ankle" - The original is extremely polite, as befits the mention of a body part of the goddess. "ankle" in Horgothic is usually opus-rimo (literally "leg-sphere"). Now, the author has substituted for opus the honorific term fimuiri, reserved for the legs of extremely important persons. In addition, rather than simply using the superior first person singular pronoun segil, the author compounds it with taulun, which denotes an august personage. nu segiltaulun quite literally means "belonging to her august person", or in other words, "hers".
- "Her Ankle" - Use of the singular is not accidental, as Tarte is always presented as being one-legged. Nobody, no matter how pious, can grasp two of her ankles.
- "Gravity is nothing" - The last two sentences can only be understood in the light of the traditional cosmology of the Imperial race. While Imperials have concepts equivalent to our heaven and hell, their placement is inverted. Hell is up and heaven is down. Tarte lives in a sacred mountain, but this natural feature is itself inverted, so that to reach her one must go down. Now, this old view clashes with the universal experience of ascending the seven trinities. Although scholars are quite agreed that "movement" in this context is purely a matter of convention (when one goes "up" from one trinity to the next, there is a dimensional change but spatially one remains in the same place), most species call this "ascending", since, after all, most experience a sense of lightness or of rising. Ever since Imperials met the highly-developed civilization of the Merciless Myriad and began reaching more advanced grades, this manner of talking has predominated. But we must remember that in this text the old view reigns supreme, and so Tarte must be seen to be going down (heavenward) with life itself while the failed initiate is drifting up to hell as she fails to get a hold of the goddess. The author highlights the fact that the one that remains behind keeps rising, that is, that as a member of the mundane society she will keep ascending grades, but that this is worthless. Gravity, although a force that keeps one down, does nothing to keep the soul closer to heaven, and is thus worthless as well. By mentioning gravity the author is also criticizing science itself. As the Elomarans like to say, "Science will not save you."
Paragraph One (Teivan script)
Paragraph Two (Latin script)
Laga has lash zum pro vlui doch rendatum. Lash atrai hejaim aul risoi doch gum, raul tutima nu vuth suva, ti bras has lash acham pro. Nas lashgundias banui paukuma la ath ferdom, vuth vluriotum, ha lash vlui grihetum tein uchin. Minshi gem aul kolu ja tuk albamorgan Zinsa tran tanlarsema tiatum, kambesh vas hasturjum kral kles violeja, kidi hetenapoma albon. Elu gutum in tolmareth tuk suith tan jum. Tolmareth rum vazekins hifionter, ash, fenas glajorins palguter beth vlavakins dian Galriatolmar romi. Tangundias nui palgututitum, fenas man doch ferdom banui paukuma. Kuma nai tizi. Zinsa gum ele tons aul laga tuk kles eja nu viol beth fijumir jum, doch me laga tuk glenti nu viol beth morgan lis. Adun vlui brianins zonam aul vlairenis tuk tran laga hetenter dian violeja flembautum lais teicha, kisos uns doch gundiaspaukum vinosachoi raijim datrai. Ena shulins, ena jechereth, doch hejaim ele maun. Gronder doch dohajam u shul tuk lash min, vlis u ko.rro.rro.vazens pai aktonis nu lash. Ena doch me kianga.
Paragraph Two (English translation)
You will not be told which temple you are going to, and you must understand that on no account are you to know where you are headed. If your face betrays recognition1 all is lost, you will be left by the side of the road. It is said2 that when High Priestess Zinsa3 was taken on her ride, it so happened that the destination was right across her own home, after a great detour. This was known by the acolytes4 with her. Acolytes have light hearts, yes, but also sharp eyes, a gift from Galriatolmar5. Her face was scrutinized, and it betrayed no recognition6. This was necessary. Zinsa knew even then that the temple that lies across your house when you are a layperson7 is not the same as the temple that will be your home as a priestess. Some will then think that the novices assigned to temples far away from their homes are lucky, since they have no need to pretend not to recognize the lay of the land. These people, these heretics, understand nothing. The truth does not depend on who you are, or on your somas and dendrites8,9. This is not a test.
- "If your face betrays recognition" - A more literal translation would be: "If your face betrays remembrance of the other." In this particular case "remembrance of the other" means simply "recognition." Here is why. The standard word for recognition is a compound, gundiaspaukuma, "face-remembrance." The mention of a face here is usually metaphorical, as one can recognize/gundiaspaukum many things, not just faces! The reason the author does not use this term is that the sentence already has a "face" in it. In order to prevent gundias from turning up twice in the same sentence, which would make for a bad style (If your face betrays face-remembrance), she comes up with paukuma la ath, "remembrance of the other." The other what? The other face, that is, the other element in the compound that makes up the term for "recognition."
- "It is said." - The original has minshi gem, which is to say "the trinity sees." The expression is used to mark a report that is believed to be absolutely true and known by virtually everyone, as the entire trinity has witnessed it.
- Zinsa, whose name means "blade," was the seventh High Priestess of Elomara, over six and a half millennia ago. Although rather ethically impaired, she was indeed as sharp as her name, if not sharper.
- "acolytes" - These are the Tolmarites, those sworn to the service of the goddess Galriatolmar. As Galriatolmar is second to Tarte, the Tolmarites are meant to assist the priestesses. These acolytes take a vow never to seek Tarte's priesthood.
- "Galriatolmar" - The ideogram for the goddess is used here, though the author refrains from using it when referring to the acolytes, which others do.
- "recognition" - The author avoids repeating gundias yet again. By this point it is obvious that paukuma stands for gundiaspaukuma so she leaves it at that.
- "layperson" - fijumir literally means "sprouter," and if this were a secular text it would probably be translated as "Lowborn."
- "somas and dendrites" - ko.rro.rro in the original is short for kochurrina rialden, or "communicative organic particle", in other words, what humans call a neuron. ko.rro.rro.vaze then stands for "neuronal heart" and ko.rro.rro.(h)akton for "neuronal branch", "somas" and "dendrites" respectively. See here.
- "somas and dendrites" - By bringing into the discussion, and immediately dismissing, neurons, the author does two things: disparage the subjective take on religious phenomena (both pro- and anti-religious), and attack science once again. Above we saw her mock gravity, one of the three core forces of Sinduin's universe. Neurons are intimately associated with the second core force, echomagnetism.
Paragraph Two (Teivan script)
Paragraph Three (Latin script)
Kolu ja has lash zoruim lis hino. Lash vlui oshem tru haise raul hundinsiomains. Azu krintis gurri doch acham. Nas lash shen kris, pitoch ath kris ursim glai, aisham achanglar he lashiatar, pitoch karrolam oith u haise sui. Lash risoi tonem tru haise. Doch habom aul hati tonem, nas lash glongum aul viol pro nyetum. Galriatolmar nem lash, fenas Tarte jarlom albon prel Galriatolmar. Ena jush selhem merrol, ha ashi taulun nyem, nyem. Arameintal me sath. Zarvelins me sath.
Paragraph Three (English translation)
It will be night when you arrive. You will walk unescorted to the door. Your feet are not supposed to move. If you can feel one foot and then the other, stop moving, stop your mind, then focus on the door again. You are to float to the door. Do not feel uneasy if you find yourself being pulled. Galriatolmar loves you, but Tarte is1 greater than Galriatolmar. The latter stretches her arms2, the former pulls and pulls. Gravity is nothing. Pentagrams3 are nothing.
- "is" - jarlom is an honorific verb.
- "arms" - The original word here is merrol, the so-called natural form of the honorific noun merro, or "arm." It is assumed among Inculae that the natural quantity of arms for a goddess is two. On the other hand, Fokto, the founder deity of the tentacular Epheboctopi, is believed to naturally have many more limbs. Grammar relating to the divine is at the mercy of mortal species' penchant for homomorphism.
- "Pentagrams" - One would expect a reference to the third core force of the universe at this point, but pentagrams are intimately linked to echomagnetism, not voluminic-massive transformations. The latter concept is infamously complicated, however, and so the author might simply be playing it safe.
Paragraph Three (Teivan script)
Paragraph Four (Latin script)
Kral chaul lash u rubi nu haise baim, torrin devahem ruins tuk silim justi. Vlairenis korgori tior ruk hushakins, oshenglari tru fana, aponglari la finjau, aldurte, bajonglari la ruins has lash daun mormal main rania lokes rum sath gunglar. Kunchinis doch jum madesh. Sapitunkunchinis me tanyerins igohokatumand in lashkluchama. Ha tanyer elbo albon me aul raksi baim dian granvin. Se. Keinonglar baim inze. Raksi me vaush donjar. Ja ashi bitasha vlui lash flainam tior doch okam u ashi haise. Brian vlis sath, natus, lashdioser flinglari me okamir dotaliar. Azu tior morvin nu Tarte, vlui haise mainachem tran lash. Ele brian vlui machem uth. Tan me korgori tior ruka chath beth atins, fenas tanlefen me flak ha tan dukim jinak jamei. Habotum aul lash sunyulam ja ashi salui. Ha vlim doch? Kui ijil main eksos, jia lash zoruim, sunyulam vol. Iavlairen, flama nu raksi jum madesh.
Paragraph Four (English translation)
As you approach the door you will probably catch a glimpse of what goes on inside1. Novices with black hoods walking silently, circling the building, restless and hungry for things you are stupid enough to have never known. There are no secrets here2. So-called secrets are illusions conjured by your ignorance3. And the greatest illusion is that sincerity comes naturally. Nay. Lying comes thusly. Sincerity is less easy. You shall start on that day by not knocking on that door. Your trembling hand would make for a pitiful knocker in any case. By the will of Tarte4, however, the door will open for you. Someone will open it. She will be clothed in black just as the others, but her hair will be silver-gray, and she will bear a white mask. It is permissible to be afraid at this point. Why not? After all, you have arrived and you are afraid. Here, oh novice, is the beginning of sincerity.
- "you will probably catch a glimpse of what goes on inside" - This is because the above-ground floor of a typical Elomaran noviciary has ample windows, for those inside to look out as well as for those outside to look in.
"There are no secrets here" - The statement should be taken with a good-sized grain of salt. A typical Elomaran noviciary is like an inverted, partly submerged ziggurat. There is a single floor above ground, with an inner chamber area (red in the image to the right) surrounded by an outer corridor full of windows. Three floors lie underground, where the absence of windows is not even necessary to hide the proceedings within. The proportions are strictly fixed as follows, from the bottom up:
- 3rd underground floor = 1 unit by 1 unit
- 2nd underground floor = 2 units by 2 units
- 1st underground floor = 4 units by 4 units (novices’ sleeping quarters located here in the stemworld)
- surface floor, outer perimeter = 5 units by 5 units
- surface floor, inner perimeter = 3 units by 3 units
- "ignorance" - kluchama by itself means "lack," but from the context we can be sure that gunkluchama, "lack of knowledge / ignorance," is meant.
- "the will of Tarte" - Older texts would have probably spoken of the favor of Tarte, or perhaps Her mercy. The mention of a morvin or "will" here is due to the influence of Teivan voluntarist philosophy by way of the Tarteist priesthood at Lodonye. It should be noted, however, that the author does not go as far as to use the specific ideogram for morvin devised by the Teivans (I).
Paragraph Four (Teivan script)