Have no fear of perfection—you’ll never reach it.
— Dalvaros Alíd
When mortals imagine an afterworld, many hope for the Concordance, and in this sense it is the most ordinary and familiar of all laminaeAfterworlds that are each aligned with a particular set of facets. The twenty-seven laminae are layered on top of our reality and interact with it in myriad ways.Turn to chapter. The Concordance aims to answer the question of whether suffering is needed to give context to happiness, and their answer, in opposition to the BrinkExultant yet mindful hedonists who form a kaleidoscopic community of explorations in creation and destruction, joy and suffering, exertion and renewal. Visitors are welcomed into the fold, and it is impossible not to be overwhelmed.Turn to chapter, is a no that resounds across a vast network of metropolises and landscapes in which petitionersSouls of the dead that have re-manifested on the most well-suited lamina, where they perfect and reshape themselves while carrying out pursuits in accordance with that lamina's principles.Turn to chapter and mortals alike cooperate in the maintenance of their society and the surmounting of ever greater challenges. It is likely the most populous laminae, and unique in that it has constructed itself with the intention of welcoming mortals and other outsiders, untold numbers of whom have accepted the invitation, and together regardless of origin these residents are known as Roots.
Given the large number of mortals present, who unlike petitioners require sustenance and shelter, the Concordance is more focused than other laminae on the ordinary labors of cardinalThe cardinal worlds make up our foundational, everyday reality over which the laminae are layered.Turn to chapter worlds, though these labors are shared equitably and prove no challenge here. Where many civilizations are fixated by a need to create great works to supersede those that came before them, the Concordance balances this with a commensurate reverence for the act of maintenance, and so, in addition to busying themselves with subsistence and the endeavors of art and sport and competition, Roots take ownership over aspects of their civilization to ensure their perpetuation: when monuments are unveiled the torch is passed to its maintainers, who are as celebrated as its creators.
Roots speak of creating a blueprint so robust that the resulting structure should stand even when built of weakened timbers, for every timber has faults and the task of the system is to jointly find strength. It is said that any conscious being could be dropped unprepared into the middle of the Concordance, and its formations would guide the new arrival into fruitful harmony with the greater whole. This assertion is ripe for subversion, and provocateurs have indeed entered the Concordance attempting to test it. Damage has been done in a literal sense, but overcoming this only brings Roots together. Many would-be miscreants find that successive acts of provocation and reparation become a kind of benevolent back-and-forth with the Roots, and without realizing it they have become part of the fabric of this place. Such arrivals in fact provide a vital source of play and unpredictability that keeps the Concordance thriving. Those who do not follow this well-worn groove eventually grow bored of failed attempts at discord and leave of their own will.
The position that joy does not require suffering relies on several components. Firstly the Roots believe that the opposite of pleasure is not pain, but is in fact sobriety, and so moments of excitement here are appreciated in contrast to moments of calm. Secondly, the surmounting of challenges—and the resulting personal growth and increased capacity to surmount ever greater challenges—is seen as a source of joy that does not require pain: failing at a challenge need only result in the lack of positive emotion rather than the presence of negative emotion. Thirdly, Roots are not, as most mortals are, encumbered by observations of the suffering of their compatriots: none here need rescue; there are only potential collaborators and benevolent competitors.
The final component of this arrangement is the concept of tangled hierarchies. Following the fable of the stone-cutter,1 Roots continually change roles in order to counter any arising numbness or boredom, often moving to different metropolises within the Concordance to experience varying paradigms, and in this incalculable and complex civilization there is always another position to offer respite and refreshment from the current one. Aeons of experimentation and growth have revealed no limit to the satisfactions attained by these methods.
so what do ꧹ဥဓ’ers actually think of it? it’s not a case closed, they probably think it’s stifling. likewise what do ꩧဥဓ’ers think of ꧹ဥဓ
this place is not simple, it is arguably more complex than any cardinal world
꧹ဥဓ vs ꩧဥဓ is: suffering and pain vs. “struggle” with only upside, no downside
Heaven. The ___ have taken it upon themselves to answer the question “is suffering needed to give context and shape to happiness?” and the answer is predetermined in their undying souls: “no”. There is no suffering in —there are rules of course, but they are not stifling, and there is joy. The of ___ are a resounding and convincing answer. This is a place where you could drop a demon into the middle of the realm, and the natural order and layout of things would guide him to be an enlightened angel. The academics of ___ study and pore endlessly over TODO to establish a perfect order that does not strive to insulate itself from the multiverse but that strives to create an endless bastion that can weather any change without doing anything except growing and perfecting.
Maybe a loose confederation of small cities, all within same min and max size, and if these ever fall or rise outside of these ranges they must split or consolidate. Cities A/B test themselves, with the most successful (mainly only by immigration and not births; births get re-assigned and raised collectively?) spreading, all aiming for the perfect civilization.
They are really really good at it. no issues with wireheading or “is struggle needed for happiness”, the answer is obviously yes, but the struggle need not be suffering, there are hierarchies, there are successes and failures, value systems which petitioners strive to do well by and feel disappointment when they don’t or others perceive that they don’t, etc. but obviously this is a factor of great experimentation among cities. (or wait, is there some disagreement between ꩧဥဓ and ꧹ဥဓ about whether suffering oh wait at the otp right so either re-work this, or emphasis struggle vs. suffering).
all of this experimentation of millennia has produced amazing civilizations, but there doesn’t seem to be an upper limit and they only continue to progress. some hyper-optimized cities have unbelievably intense struggle and competition, cyclic rituals of sobriety and joy
@conaw tweet: “Heaven is the feedback loop where the good keeps getting better”
Does this (and/or other planes) have anything to say about whether humans are fundamentally born good or evil, or blank slate?
the goal is that anyone can be dropped in and will become a wonderful citizen, and many petitioners will claim—gently, as if humbly admitting—that this is the case. in practice of course you can go fuck it up, yet there are also many instances of various incorrigibles finding perfect niches here
headsoak note 724 about a system designed to allow for bad actors vs. is it ok if the good guys do it when it’s not ok if the bad guys do it. “if a system breaks down when its members are bad actors, then it’s a shitty system.” the counter to that is “if a building falls down when its built with rotten beams, then it’s a shitty building”, which is obviously false. but of course it’s a spectrum of how many bad components a system can take before it breaks down, and of course, the more the better.
The poor stone-cutter wishes to be rich, and finding his wish granted, wishes then to become royalty. Finding that wish granted too, he wishes to become the sun, and then the clouds that can block the sun, and then the mountain that can part the clouds. And then, finding himself as a mountain being chipped away by a stone-cutter, he wishes to return again to his former station.↩︎