Since we are not yet fully comfortable with the idea that people from the next
village are as human as ourselves, it is presumptuous in the extreme to suppose we
could ever look at sociable, tool-making creatures who arose form other evolutionary
paths and see not beasts but brothers, not rivals but fellow pilgrims journeying to
the shrine of intelligence.
Yet that is what I see, or yearn to see. The difference between raman and varelse
is not in the creature judged, but in the creature judging. When we declare an
alien species [or a complete stranger] to be raman, it does not mean that they have
passed a threshold of moral maturity. It means that we have.
--Demosthenes, Letter to the Framlings

_Speaker for the Dead_, Orson Scott Card, Chapter 1

I've "borrowed" some material from _Speaker for the Dead_, by Orson Scott Card, and included material that is reminiscent of the Paths of Spiritual Cultivation, as used in Perfect World International's character progressions. However, as both sets of material borrow liberally from the relevant cultural elements, I feel justified in using the elements I include below without any particular reservations. I hope that you'll agree when you review my uses of these elements.

The Uninitiated

  • Gudomlighet - (unverified) divinity; spiritual being
  • Esikuva - (literally, "benchmark"; a role model to emulate or aspire to; hero)
  • Ledare - leader (community leader)
  • Familj - family
  • Vän - friend
  • Kompanjon - companion
  • Grannar - "good people", neighbors
  • Utlannings - the new kids in town, strangers with good manners
  • Framlings - differences of Culture, Religion, or other values
  • Ramen - displaying a lack of culture, or repeatedly failing "litmus tests" which supposedly test for cultural maturity; differences of wealth, class, race, religion or nationality
  • Varelse - the criminal, the insane, or those otherwise considered incapable of communication and community
  • Djur - those who hate the Good; purposeful and empowered violation of others' values, and their civic and human rights; monsters, psychopaths, sociopaths, terrorists, and tyrants

The Spiritual Path of Sages

The Sage as Initiator

(Cultural Heroes, Mythology, Spiritual Evolution, Initiation, Liberal Arts and Cultural Knowledge, Literature, Comparative Cultural Studies)

  1. Autopoesis (Evolution)
  2. Phylogeny (Development)
  3. Ontogeny (Refinement)

The Spiritual Path of Demons

The Demon as Completer

(Comparative Cultural Studies, Destruction of outdated Cultural Elements, and possibly those who enforce them, exhortation to replace such values with entirely new and more fitting values and solutions)

  1. Anagenesis (Revolution)
  2. Metagenesis (Chrysalis)
  3. Metapoesis (New Creature)


It's better to be "Grannar" if you're going to attempt to be a Sage or Demon, and retaining your "good people" status will require going slower than you might like or have time for. Remember that even Sages can be marked out as "Djur" if they aren't careful!

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