Etúgə

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Etúgə (in Fáralo) or Ntû'a (in Mûtsipsa') is a major belief system of northeastern Peilaš. In the early first millenium YP, forms of Etúgə were the dominant religion across a region stretching from Huyfárah to Tymytỳs. The belief system originated among the Mûtsinamtsys and Takuña in Siixtaguna.

A History of Mûtsinamtsys Philosophy

Written by Rory Turnbull.

There is a blurry distinction between religion and philosophy in Mûtsinamtsys culture. The basic distinction is religion is that which you do while philosophy is that which you believe. Often one is influenced by the other - due to someone believing something, they may choose to act differently. Likewise, observations of their own (and others') actions may cause them to change their beliefs.

The word ntû'a is used to describe religion - that which causes action. Mûtsitû'a describes philosophy - that which causes belief. There was also the word ttsatû'a, that which causes knowledge, but the philosopher Sútapaj proved that we cannot truly know anything, and so ttsatû'a does not technically exist.

Traditional beliefs

Most, if not all of these philosophies and theories come from the Mûtsinamtsys and Takuña traditional beliefs, which many thinkers have tried to unite. A brief overview will follow, mainly for the sake of understanding the background to these ideas.

Mûtsinamtsys

Ancient Mûtsinamtsys traditions have a basic belief in several gods, with varying names, jurisdictions, and power. These gods are part of the natural world, and are not human. As such, they complement nature, and get along with each other and with nature. The actions of the gods directly influence the happenings in the natural world - natural disasters and the like are seen to be indications of the gods' anger or upset. There is no formalised worship of these gods, but many families will have a shrine to their "favourite" god and make offerings to it. There is also a belief that every being, every entity, has a "spirit" of sorts - but the exact nature of this spirit, and if it varies between species and forms, remains unknown. This spirit remains in existence after we die, but where it goes or what it does is uncertain.

Some terms we have from the Mûtsinamtsys involving these beliefs include several words for different types of god. We have 'iix, a friendly, benevolent god; tax, a powerful, large god; wenûx, an evil, destructive god; ninak, a god with a strong connection to nature; and nuufik, an ancient god. These words can often be applied several times to the gods, for example one god could both be a nuufik and a tax. Other terms from this time include khuuh, a priest or shaman; kfasa, a temple or altar; and 'itesah, a principle of balance and equality.

Takuña

The traditional beliefs of the Takuña involve a "spirit world", an existence that is parallel to this one. Some say the spirit world is good, some say it is evil - but the general agreement is that it is just the same as this world - with both good and evil. As such, evil spirits sometimes cross over from the spirit world and cause misdeeds in this world - and good spirits will sometimes cross over and help people. Nature is almost seen as a single entity, that the Takuña must seek to peacefully coexist with. And so, natural disasters and the like are seen as the Takuña's failure to fully coexist with nature - or the actions of a malevolent spirit (or both).

Ttsahû

Ideas

Ttsahû was the first major thinker in terms of ntû'a. He classified our actions into four main categories, the names of which are derived from examples of each category:

  • That which we must do - sihtû'a (that which causes us to eat)
  • That which we should do - ktsantû'a (that which causes us to love)
  • That which we should not do - hûsamhtû'a (that which causes us to kill)
  • That which we cannot do - gmatû'a (that which causes us to fly)

He then moved on to suggest that acts that constitute sihtû'a are acts that are necessary for our siim hexa (personal survival) - and by extension, the sesowo' mûtsinamtsys hexa, the survival of all people.

Acts that constitute ktsantû'a are acts that add to the hexu'i (comfort) of both siim, ourselves, and sesowo', all.

Likewise, hûsamhtû'a acts detract from the hexu'i, or even the hexa, or either (or both) or yourself and all.

Gmatû'a are acts that are quite frankly impossible, such as flying, eating your head, and causing earthquakes. Ttsahû suggests that only the gods are able to perform acts of gmatû'a. These acts can either add to or detract from the survival and comfort of people. Hence there is a further distinction between 'i (good) gmatû'a and wen (evil) gmatû'a.

Ttsahû now creates a hierarchy, where he suggests that above all things, siim hexa is the top priority - personal survival. After that, he places sesowo' hexa, the survival of others. Then siim hexu'i, then sesowo' hexu'i. Thus, you are obliged to act to save the life of another, even if it means your own discomfort. But not if it means the loss of your own life.

Followers

Later philosophers have expanded upon Ttsahû's work in several areas: for example, some have claimed that sesowo' should take precedence over siim. Other, post-Sútapaj thinkers have put siim, in all forms, over any form of sesowo' - as all you can be sure of is your own ntû'a and mûtsitû'a (see below for full explanation of Sútapaj thoughts), the existence of others is questionable. In a similar vein, some have hypothesised that gmatû'a is not entirely proven - just because no-one has yet flown does not mean that we never will. Some thinkers have tried to justify acts of hûsamhtû'a by claiming that in the long run, they will turn out to be ktsantû'a or even sihtû'a. More nature-oriented thinkers have introduced the idea of sesowoku'i hexa - the survival of the universe. Where it fits into the hierarchy generally varies from person to person.

Sútapaj

The next major philosopher was the Takuña Sútapaj. He proved we cannot truly know anything - hence ttsatû'a does not exist. Only what we do (ntû'a) and what we believe (mûtsitû'a) can define who we are, as knowledge is inherently untrustworthy. He introduced the concept of epiphany, which he called nuduuhasihi. He claimed that once someone comes to an epiphany or enlightenment about all knowledge being false, then he can free himself from the realms of this existence and find himself in ifiisana, the spirit world (as per Takuña traditional beliefs).

Mûsaso's school

Mûsaso

Mûsaso, from Duutkejdih, very quickly followed Sútapaj. He likewise had many observations about the world and how we perceive it. Using a vaguely scientific method, he created the study of sesowoku'i - the universe and its contents, from the highest gods to the lowest dust, all were up for analysis and understanding. He then divided this study into three disciplines: tsan, the study of living things; tsa'uuho' , the study of the earth and materials; tsa'yjnih, the study of the stars and the cosmos. Where the gods fit into this is unknown, there are various theories on it. Mûsaso, in his experiments into tsa'uuho' , concluded that everything is made up of one of three elements: uuho'oh, rock; mimkih, water; hefatsah, fire. This is known as the Mûsaso 3 Element System.

Rutawká

Rutawká, another Takuña, was a student of Mûsaso, and seeked to create a system similar to the 3 Element system, but for tsan, the study of living beings. He come to the conclusion that there are four main elements, two for plants and two for animals: pannaw, bark, and pudusa'a, leafy flesh; ghi, bone, and pudumasi, bloody flesh. However, they could intermingle - for example, hair is composed of pannaw, and our saliva contains pudusa'a. Likewise, some fruits have pudumasi, and so on. Rutawká named this his 4 Element Biological System.

Ná'ápíru

Ná'ápíru was a sesowoku'i scholar, who thought the Mûsaso 3 element system was inadequate, especially in light of Rutawká's 4 Element Biological System. How does the biological system fit into Mûsaso's system? Is pudumasi made of uuho'oh, or of mimkih? Or neither? To sort out these errors, he added a new element - sa'usi - probably best translated as "wood" or "biological matter". Ná'ápíru claimed that the 4 biological elements were just forms of sa'usi. He had another observation - that of the clouds, and of wind. How do these phenomena fit into Mûsaso's system? Again, Ná'ápíru conjectured another element - pinetu - "wind", or "air". He dubbed this system "the improved Mûsaso System" or "the Mûsaso System +2", but common discussion led to it being named the Ná'ápíru 5 Element System.

Kuusunmam

Kuusunmam was a young Mûtsinamtsys scholar of ntû'a. He rejected Ttsahû's principles of action only for hexa or hexu'i (survival or comfort). Combining his ancestor's beliefs and principles with Sútapaj's concepts of nuduuhasihi and ifiisana, he devised a new, more moral way of looking at the world. He called it pa'en. It involved pleasing and showing reverence to the gods, and also to your own kuu (spirit), which Kuusunmam viewed as a separate entity to yourself - but still an integral part of your personality. To this end, one is to make offerings at the altars, and meditate, awaiting enlightenment. Kuusunmam re-interpreted Sútapaj's understanding of nuduuhasihi as less of an understanding of the true nature of reality, and more of a transcendence into the spirit world, where one would become as a god. Thus is the inherent paradox to Kuusunmam's ideas - that the gods created man, but likewise, man creates gods (through the process of nuduuhasihi). This cyclical theory Kuusunmam saw mirrored in the natural world, where things begin small, grow large, and then decay, becoming small again. This process has lasted, and will last, for 'iinsesowohef (eternity). Kuusunmam claimed that the gods are immortal, due to the nature of the spirit world, but mortal men can die. His views on the afterlife are unknown.

Ahuñipá's school

Ahuñipá

Ahuñipá was the first major astronomer - he studied tsa'yjnih. He identified the distinction between huude (stars) and a'usode (planets). He established the movements of the constellations, the planets, and devised a basic paniimuki (calendar).

Kyywisepu'

Kyywisepu', a student of Ahuñipá, was fascinated with the moon. He inserted months into Ahuñipá's calendar, and made a detailed analysis of the masikyywi' (phases of the moon) and their relation to the mimkikyywi' (tides). He also proved Ahuñipá wrong on one occasion: Ahuñipá claimed the moon to be larger (hence closer to earth) when it is near the horizon. Kyywisepu' proved that this was merely an optical illusion. Kyywisepu' also began the documentation of hefatsammi'i (eclipses), but due to their rarity and lack of reliable historical evidence never came to any conclusions about their nature. Most Mûtsinamtsys believe them to be an act of the gods, like earthquakes and volcanoes.

Glossary / Summary of terms

General Ideas:
ntû'a religion, that which you do
mûtsitû'a philosophy, that which you believe
ttsatû'a that which you know - proven not to exist by Sútapaj
'iix any friendly, benevolent god
tax any powerful, large god
wenûx any evil, destructive god
ninak any god with a strong connection to nature
nuufix any ancient god
khuuh a priest or shaman
kfasa a temple or altar
'itesah ancient principle of balance - combination of youngest and oldest, nearest and farthest, biggest and smallest

Ttsahû Principles:
sihtû'a that which we must do - (e.g. that which causes us to eat)
ktsantû'a that which we should do - (e.g. that which causes us to love)
hûsamhtû'a that which we should not do - (e.g. that which causes us to kill)
gmatû'a that which we cannot do - (e.g. that which causes us to fly)
siim hexa personal survival
sesowo' hexa survival of all
hexu'i comfort
sesowoku'i hexa survival of the universe

Sútapaj concepts:
nuduuhasihi epiphany, enlightenment
ifiisana the spirit world

Mûsaso concepts:
sesowoku'i the study of the universe
tsan the study of living things
tsa'uuho' the study of the constituent materials of the universe
tsa'yjnih the study of the stars and cosmos
uuho'oh rock, one of the 3 elements
mimkih water, one of the 3 elements
hefatsah fire, one of the 3 elements

Rutawká concepts:
pannaw bark, one of the 4 biological elements
pudusa'a leafy flesh, one of the 4 biological elements
ghi bone, one of the 4 biological elements
pudumasi bloody flesh, one of the 4 biological elements

Ná'ápíru concepts:
sa'usi wood, or biological matter; one of the 2 additional elements
pinetu wind, or air; one of the 2 additional elements

Kuusunmam Principles:
pa'en the overarching name of his belief system
kuu spirit
nuduuhisi transcendence
'iinsesowohef eternity

Ahuñipá observations:
huude star
a'usode planet
paniimuki calendar

Kyywisepu' observations:
masikyywi' phases of the moon
mimkikyywi' ocean tides
hefatsammi'i eclipse