"Hubris, Paradigm, Nephandi & Marauders"

QUESTION YOUR SELF AND YOUR QUESTIONS
Book IV
Hubris, Paradigm, Nephandi and Marauders
Written by Master Lucien Blight of House Tytalos
Printed in 2010 by the London Hermetic Library
In memory of Master John Venantius,
forever my mentor and my friend.

Introduction

Since the turn of the century, I have lost
several people that I loved very much. My wife
Natasha died giving birth to our son and the
boy was taken hostage by the demon queen
Nargalah. I killed the bitch, but I was unable to
save Daniel. More recently, my best friend John
sacrificed himself to save me from an earth
elemental when we tried to take the Essex
node. There is not a single night when I don’t
think of them.

On several ocasions, students from my House
have asked me why don’t I bring Natasha back
from the dead or travel back in time to save
Daniel. Or even strip from my mind the memory
of John. They question wether or not or how will
I be able to do it and have even volunteered to
help. These questions are somewhat stupid,
although it is good that they have the nerve to
ask them.

The first thing every mage should try to learn is
that we don’t do magic to watch what happens.
Students who ask theses questions mostly want
to see if I can do it, they read the books and the
scrolls and they wonder what would it be like.
Like children playing a dangerous game, they
just want to push the big red button and be
surprised with the consequences. The phrase “if
you play with fire, you will get burned” is not a
cautionary tale, it is an expression of
knowledge.

I know it in my heart that I can do it, I can
visualize the spell and push my will through it.
As a master of the craft, I have the skills, the
tools and the foresight, but I also have enough
wisdom to know that, if mages change reality,
reality changes them. Shall I see myself as a
god, passing judgment on who lives and who
dies? Or shall I save everyone and remove all
death and disease from the universe like a
misguided infant? Am I greater than the cycle of
life? I can imagine John rolling in the floor
laughing if he were to read this.

Nevertheless, all mages have this Hubris, this
pride that makes us think that we know better
than reality. We need this to get us into trouble
and to learn from bad experiences. However, all
mages have enough wisdom to know that they
are human. The reason why we throw fireballs
at people instead of just transforming their
brain matter into strawberry jam is because we
are not completely heartless creatures. Our
human nature has no desire to be the full 100%
cause of death of anyone, so we lob that fireball
and leave some things to chance. In our Hubris,
we push for control, but, as long as mages still
have their humanity, we also let reality do its
thing.

This balancing act between Hubris and human
wisdom can be maintained by working within a
Paradigm. Human beings are fickle creatures
of desire, but we also want the world to make
sense. Our minds need structure, so, as soon as
we are confronted with a sea of possibilities, we
work to find patterns, references and
guidelines. Based on culture and tradition, we
draw our own limits so that we can map our
place within them and find everything in
relation to us. Our Hermetic Paradigms have
been built and refined throughout human
civilization, since before the Romans and the
Egyptians. If you build your magic out of
pentagrams drawn from alchemical elements, I
regret to inform you that there will be no blobs
of strawberry jam thrown at your enemies, but
your human mind needs that Paradigm to
assure you that a floating orb of flames makes
perfect sense. It’s how we keep our Hubris in
check. We tell ourselves that we follow a set of
rules that protect us and keep everyone one
around us safe. Without them, we will have no
spells, mages would be just a continuum of raw
essence and whimsical will.

However, Paradigms are not a perfect solution.
Each mage spends years working on his own
personal magical narrative, telling himself what
is the one single truth behind reality, just to find
that other people can do magic based on
entirely different Paradigms. This is why likeminded
mages have gathered and lived
together within somewhat isolated groups
throughout the ages. This is also why mages
have little tolerance and even hatred for other
mages who don’t share their beliefs on what
magic is and how it should work. Even if the
Hermetic basic theory of magic has served as
the lingua franca between Traditions, many
principles end up being misunderstood, twisted
or ignored.

Ultimately, we are at war because of Paradigm.
These are not theories that can be mixed and
matched, these are daily practices that define
us as mages. On one hand, we may understand
that every mage needs to build his own nest in
order for magic to grow, but, on the other, we
wish to look around from our branch of the tree
and have our view of the world recognized and
reinforced. Who knows what would happen if
one day all of humanity awakened towards a
Paradigm that opposed us? Imagine billions of
newly awakened mages putting your every
spell into question. We cannot predict what
could happen in this case, so we fight to avoid
ever being put into this position. We accept the
fact that there are many Paradigms as long as
our is the right one.

A perfect single Paradigm that engulfs every
mage is not meant to exist, unless the
Nephandi have their way. These are mages
who believe that Hubris will consume us all,
that each individual Paradigm will eventually
collapse upon itself and that all of humanity will
fall and lose itself in a downward spiral, a
circular labyrinth of self-destruction that will
become our one universal Paradigm. Every
experienced mage has, sooner or later, felt
enough despair and frustration to think of this
possibility at least once. Nephandi plan to
erradicate all of our painful doubts and
maddening contradictions by making our Hubris
eat its own tail and by bringing us together
through our weaknesses instead of our
strenghts.

Meanwhile, Marauders believe that there is
no second step after a Paradigm falls on its
face, that there is only chaos. For them, there is
no greater universal Paradigm, there are no
personal unique Paradigms, these are all subtle
constructs of Hubris, illusions that we try to
maintain because mages like to believe that
they are still human when, in reality, we are
something much more powerful. Indeed, we are
in direct connection to the essence of the
universe, so Marauders ask why do we still try
to make sense of it all. These mages are
convinced that everything is everything, that
the possible is the impossible and that there
should be no limits to what our magic can do.
No Traditions, no Paradigm, not even human
nature.

It is tempting to fall into these extremes, but
the true Masters know that our supernatural
Hubris is just as important as our modest
human wisdom and that Paradigms need to be
not only founded in conviction, but also
adjusted by doubt. This is one of those secrets
that I can write here in plain english, that you
can read again and again, but that you will
never understand until you live through it
yourself. Even so, at the very least, you will
close this book knowing that your Hubris and
your Paradigm are yours to carry forever. These
words are only traces of my many experiences.
Be sure to write your own.

"Hubris, Paradigm, Nephandi & Marauders"

Mage Awakened gamerdreamerman