Talanor, the Bright Tower
Ethereal Realm - Advanced Theories
Advanced Theories of Ethereal Realities by
Ghrezdd has been the First Hazard of Tyre from 578 EC up to the present. Amongst his published texts, Advanced Theories of Ethereal Realities, published circa 784 EC, is considered the foremost resource in the underlying theories of sigilism.
To fully understand the Ethereal Realm, you must first realize there is a finite amount of power in the universe. Power exists in three distinct states: ethereal energy, physical energy and physical matter. Physical matter is easy to recognize. It is the chair in which you are sitting or this book which you are reading. Physical energy is likewise easy to understand. Physical energy is the capacity for doing work. It is the forces of nature, coal, oil, wind, or fire used to produce electricity or heat.
Physical matter has potential energy stored inside it. Burning wood, boiling water and steam generators, are all simple examples of the potential energy stored in a material object realeased. When we eat food, its potential energy is transferred to our bodies which we then burn or metabolize to release its energy. Therefore, the energy of the food is used to power our bodies and move us about.
Next, physical energy can be stored in matter. Plants do this through photosynthesis. They synthesize the energy of the sun into themselves and store it in the form of fruits and vegetables. We can store potential energy in a rock by rolling it up a hill. The actual amount of energy though is finite. The sun is losing the energy that is stored in the plants, and we expend energy pushing the boulder up the hill. Physical matter likewise cannot be created, we can reshape matter by constructing something out of it or burning it or compacting it. But we cannot destroy matter; we can only change it. Nor can we create matter. When a plant grows, it is changing matter it receives in the form of food, nutrients from the soil and water, into the material for the plant.
However, ethereal energy is much less tangible and, therefore, harder to conceptualize. Ethereal energy is a mortal’s life force or soul. It is, in a manner of speaking, the light which burns inside each of us. While physical energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one state to another, ethereal energy is grown by the life force of the people on The Nexus. Mortals manufacture ethereal energy from living and interacting with people around us. Each mortal is given some ethereal energy at birth and the opportunity to add to that energy throughout their life. In short, all mortals can create ethereal energy and manipulate physical matter and energy but not create physical matter or energy. The creation of physical energy or matter is called magic.
When a mortal dies, his life force departs from the dead body and becomes a spirit. A spirit is, therefore, the free form ethereal energy produced from a mortal’s life. A spirit, once separated from the physical body of the mortal in which it resided, is unable to affect physical matter. It cannot pick up a rock, make a noise or even generally make itself visible. Through great expense of ethereal energy, a spirit may briefly and intermittently make itself physical, but it has little recurse in replacing the lost ethereal energy spent to cause the effect. So, it rarely, if ever, attempts to do so.
Furthermore, the spirit, once it has depleted all of its ethereal energy, ceases to exist. Some spirits therefore choose to travel from the universe, or physical realm, to the ether, or ethereal realm, to reside. In the ethereal realm, they can live amongst the gods in th cities of Talmor or Midian, or with the deamons in the dark cities. Other spirits decide to remain on the physical realm, for various reasons, and haunt a physical mortal or location. Still others actually barter in ethereal energy by taking it from mortals, some of whom give it willingly. Others decide to steal ethereal energy from mortals. Some decide to possess another mortal’s body. Each spirit has a myriad of choices for its new immortal life.
Gods are similar in their essence to spirits. They cannot effect the physical realm or mortals directly and they cannot produce any ethereal energy. They exist, like spirits, only as coherent ethereal energy. However, their ethereal energy is usually much stronger and more powerful than that spirits or mortals. Theses immortals are able to give their ethereal energy to each other and to mortals. Of course, if allowed, they can also take a being’s energy. Furthermore, through the harmonic wave, the gods are able to control physical matter. They can manipulate the harmonic wave to cause certain realities to become more plausible.
Their control over the harmonic wave is not perfect. Although they can manipulate the flow of time through space to cause certain events to become more probable, the free will given every mortal by Deyus, the mother of us all, gives mortals the ultimate control over what reality will actually exist. Therefore, when a god works in concert with a mortal or a large group of mortals, the likelihood of the desired result being achieved is high.
Realize the gods, otherwise known as the Ealintaine, were created by Deyus to be ethereal creatures and to have control over physical matter and energy through the harmonic wave. Although some spirits have accumulated enough energy in life and after death to become as powerful as the gods have become, they are still different beings than the gods. They cannot control the harmonic wave, merely view it. Although spirits are no longer governed by the rules of the harmonic wave, they will never achieve the status of a “god”.