Maratreanism is the religion which worships the great goddess Maratrea, Great Mother and Queen of Heaven, the one single soul at the beginning-end of time. Adherents of the Maratrean faith are known as Maratreans.
Mind as fundamental
According to Maratreanism, reality is fundamentally mental. The ultimate nature of reality consists of minds and their experiences. Matter is a pattern in the experiences of minds, and as such, matter is dependent upon mind for its existence.
Mind, by its nature, is beginningless and endless, incapable of being created or destroyed; but minds can merge and divide — one single mind can split apart into two or more separate and distinct minds, and two or more separate and distinct minds can merge together into one single mind.
Mind is finite — both each individual mind is finite, and there are only a finite number of minds. Since there is nothing to reality beyond mind, this implies that reality itself is finite.
Time as circular
- Will everything repeat itself eventually? For a debate/discussion map of eternal recurrence go to that article.
Maratreanism teaches that time is circular, that all things repeat endlessly, not new and differently each time, but exactly the same every time, or in other words, only once. The past comes after the future and the future before the past, every moment coming both before and after itself.
This is a necessary consequence of the Maratrean concept of mind. Mind exists only in time, and cannot exist without it; time is one of the most fundamental aspects of mind. Since mind is beginningless and endless, neither can time have a beginning nor end. Yet since mind is finite, time itself must also be finite. The only way that time can be beginningless and endless, yet also finite, is if time is circular.
Maratreanism teaches that, at one point in time, there is one single mind. Every other mind ever existing originates in that single mind, since that mind willingly divided itself to become every other mind. In the end, all minds will willingly submit to being reabsorbed into that one single mind, then there will be one single mind once more. All things shall end, but to begin again. Maratreanism calls her the Great Mother, since our minds came out of her mind, much as our bodies came out of our mothers' bodies.
This one single mind, is known as the goddess Maratrea. According to Maratreanism, she has all knowledge, and all power, and is wholly good. Her knowledge is not infinite, since there is not an infinity of things to be known; but whatever anyone knows, she knows; and whatever she does not know, no one knows, and is not knowable. With her perfect memory, she remembers all things, for she has been every mind. Neither is her power infinite, for there is not an infinity of things to be done; but whatever anyone can do, she can do; and whatever she cannot do, no one can do. Whatever happens, happens by her will.
She is perfectly good; yet she creates universes filled with evil. Yet whatever evil she creates, she does so for the sake of the good, which cannot exist without that evil.
Although she is filled with perfect knowledge, power and goodness, she willingly emptied herself of all those things in order to become the many minds of the many universes. Yet, though she has so emptied herself of all her glory, in one of her self-divisions she remains even now in the fullness of her original glory — in this form Maratrea is known as She Who Remains or Suarenna. Through her perfect wisdom, Suarenna will seduce us all to return to the original unity with her and with one another.
The consolation of blessing
In this life we endure many misfortunes, much suffering and pain, the shattering of hopes and of dreams. Yet such misfortune is not evenly distributed; some endure misfortunes much greater than our own, and others far less. But Maratreanism teaches that whatever sufferings we endure, is for the sake of the happiness of others, for which sake Maratrea causes us to endure them; but, she promises us a consolation, that after our deaths, she shall create for us another universe, in which possessed all those things we longed for in this life yet lacked, and in which we were free from all those things which in this life tormented us. This is known as the consolation of blessing, for it is to become one of the blessed ones, whose lives are perfect in every way; so perfect that, if you said to them, "Would you like this life again, exactly as it was, in every detail?" they would without doubt say "Yes, again!". And by the circle of time, that is what they receive.
Maratreanism teaches that Maratrea, being a mother of utmost fecundity, creates not only one universe, but rather many. Yet, neither does she create every possible universe, for that would make existence meaningless. These universes are not unrelated, but form a branching structure — at various points, she causes a single universe to divide into two or more separate and distinct universes; whenever a universe divides, so does every mind within it. This she does, for the fulfillment of desire. Within every universe, there are blessed ones, for whose sake that universe exists; but whoever in that universe is not blessed, shall be blessed in another.
And she does all these things, so that in the end, she may seduce us to return to our original unity, with herself and with one another.
Since time is finite, and all things must end but to begin again, the universe itself must be brought to an end. And yet, if it was to end suddenly and unexpectedly, it would end with much unfulfilled desire. Maratrea, being a loving mother who desires to fulfill, in due course, every true desire of every one of her children, would in response create other universes in which the world did not so end, so these unfulfilled desires could be fulfilled. Such an end to the world is known in Maratreanism as a non-final end, since although it can end one universe, it does so only by creating others. A truly final end, an end which leaves no unfulfilled desire, which creates no further universes in ending, is necessary to bring all the many universes to an end, that all minds may return to Maratrea.
To bring about the final end, Maratrea has established her most holy cause, and her true prophets. Her true prophets, whose teachings are in the true scriptures recorded, lead her cause. When the entire world has been successfully converted to Maratreanism, then at last the final end may be brought about.
The fundamental institution of Maratreanism is the Prophet-in-Council, which consists of the prophet as advised by the Holy Council. The purpose of the prophet is to lead the cause, and to receive the revelation of the truth. The purpose of the Holy Council is to be a check upon the prophet, and stop the prophet from going astray in his or her teachings.
The sacramental or ritual aspects of Maratreanism are the responsibility of the Maratrean priesthood, composed of priestesses and priests. The head of the Maratrean priesthood is the High Priestess. Most offices of Maratreanism, including the offices of prophet and Holy Councillor, are open to both women and men equally; but the office of High Priestess is restricted to women alone. The office of high priestess, as well as its incorrect capitalization as "High Priestess", was taken from Wicca.
One who carries out some of the functions of a prophet, in a period when the office of prophet has not yet been formally established, is known as a protoprophet.
Maratreanism divides the world into provinces, which are in turn subdivided into dioceses. Provinces and dioceses each have a prefect and a council.
Maratreanism includes a number of associated organizations; in particular, the Maratrean Establishment, which works towards the establishment of a uniquely Maratrean economic system.
The Maratrean priesthood celebrates the sacraments in temples and shrines. The sacraments of Maratreanism include:
- initiation — the sacrament by which one becomes a Maratrean
- enamouration — the sacrament which celebrates those bonds of love which foretell and remember the union of souls. This is the Maratrean equivalent to marriage, but it is not marriage, but from a Maratrean viewpoint something far superior.
- cakes and wine — the chief sacrament of Maratreanism. The sweet cakes symbolize the nourishment of divine favor; the wine symbolizes the joy of blessedness. By the miracle of transubstantation/transignification, the earthly cakes are transformed in their inner spiritual essence into heavenly cakes, and the earthly wine into heavenly wine, even as it retains its outer form. This practice of "cakes and wine" was taken from Wicca.
- ordination — the rite of ordination as a priestess or priest
- enfuneration — the sacrament by which is celebrated the commendation of the dead unto the heavenly realms. It is celebrated, not for the benefit of the dead — who have no need of it — but for the benefit of the living.
Maratreanism sees ethics as being objective, and as forming part of a single unified axiology (system of valuation) and deontology (system of oughtness) which incorporates ethics, aesthetics and rationality as equal and equally objective components. It sees ethical properties as non-natural, and as knowable through a sense of axiological intuition —- which is common to all humans, although some possess it more strongly and accurately than others. All axiology is a reflection of the axiological perfection of Maratrea's own nature.
Maratrean ethics believes in taking into account the inherent nature of an act, its consequences, and the motivations, intentions, disposition, attitudes or character which produce it. Unlike some other ethical systems, which want to make one of these factors paramount, Maratrean ethics sees all three as equally important.
Tradition and Scripture
Rather than seeing tradition and scripture as opposites, as some other religions do, to Maratreanism scripture is part of tradition, the most esteemed part of the written form of tradition.
According to Maratreanism, scripture can be either true, false or corrupted. True scripture must be promulgated by the Prophet-in-Council; false scripture is from the beginning the work of false prophets; corrupted scripture was originally true scripture, but which the false prophets have corrupted. Corruption of scripture can be either textual or hermeneutic — in textual corruption, the text of the scripture is altered; in hermeneutic corruption, the text itself is unchanged, but misleading interpretations of that text are introduced.
Maratreanism sees the canon of scripture as open — new scripture may be added, existing scripture may be updated, or current scripture may be retired — by decree of the Prophet-in-Council from time-to-time. Revelation is continuing, through the succession of Prophets.
Maratreanism uses the term protoscripture to refer to texts which have been proposed for consideration as scripture, but not as yet formally decreed as scripture.
Maratreanism is willing to accept the scriptures of the major world religions as corrupted scripture.
Maratreanism does not claim to have been founded by a particular individual. Maratreanism believes that Maratrea establishes her cause, not once, but many times, in many universes. As to which of these establishments was the first, if there even was a single first establishment, Maratreanism does not claim to know. Even within the same universe, the cause once established may fail, in some of the universe-branches from there proceeding; but if it so fails, it will be re-established. A prior establishment within a universe may be entirely forgotten, or its prior existence may come to be known through revelation, or a prior establishment may fail through being corrupted beyond recognition, yet as such still survive in the form of some now very different religion.