Flames by the Campfire

So, from all corners of Talmenor in which the tokagi resided, entourages of wise folk flocked to Makuta’Mata. Some came to finally settle old debates, others to learn, and yet others to earn fame to their name… While some, well, some just appeared to have a bit of fun.

 Now, it was time for the gathered tokagi to settle on their truth.

Kiki-Riki spoke first. “Well. That was certainly uncalled for.”

Ciki-Briki replied, “Strange hatchling, that one. He will not get far in life if he keeps on acting like that!”

Chief Punji-Mata then arose and spoke. “Enough. We must now conclude our squabble. As is tradition during debates, the entourages may also state their opinions, if they so desire.”

The hatchlings that came with Kiki-Riki and Chum-Bum instantly arose and started throwing accusations against each other. Such was the passion of their convictions that nobody could hear what was being said, as all sides tried to outcry each other.

The chief then struck his scepter into the ground multiple times and ended the row. “Enough! That is enough! Since Kiki-Riki spoke first, I shall allow the followers of Chum-Bum to state their opinions first. What say ye?”

After a moment of conferring, one of the hatchlings spoke up. “We would like to know why the teachings of Kiki-Riki claim that there is no movement and no change, when it is evident from all around us that there is change. Hot turns into cold. Wet turns into dry. Young turns into old. The day turns into the night. These are all facts of our world, so why do they so adamantly deny them?”

“What say ye, followers of Kiki-Riki?”

These hatchlings’ conference was much shorter. “We say that both Chum-Bum and his followers are narrow-minded! Their claims about the universe and this world are naught but machinations of their own minds. They cannot see that we are not just talking about this world, but all worlds. Even then, we are not talking about the material, about what you can touch and smell, but about what you cannot. That is the topic of our pursuit today.

“They satisfy themselves with apparitions and diving signs, while we are only satisfied by what our minds can reasonably grasp. Reason dictates the following: the being is, for it cannot not be. It is complete, for nothing can exist outside of it. It is undividable, for you cannot discern and distinguish its parts. So, it simply is. It was not created, it always was, for to claim that it was created would be to claim that it was not whole at one point, and that goes against reason.

That is what our minds can discern, and that is why we believe this is the truth: the self-evident truth, even. We must accept this, lest we come to be ruled by the machinations of our faulty minds and bad faith.”

Enraged by this, Chum-Bum’s followers hailed slurs and further accusations, until the chief intervened yet again. “Order! Order!”

When everyone finally settled down, Chum-Bum’s followers retorted, “You claim that we are narrow-minded, while you yourself are the same! Though we applaud you for getting one thing right. We are dealing with matters that are higher than this world, which is why we must employ methods that are unconventional to be able to elevate ourselves! How do you expect to discern the truth if you are not bold enough to face it? You hide behind the weaknesses of your mind, believing that you may learn the truth by reason alone. Pfah! A fool’s hope.”

Kiki-Riki’s group then became rowdy and started throwing accusations back at Chum-Bum’s group. The chief was forced to step in yet again.

“Order! Order! We still have two more parties that have yet to speak. Maki-Kaki, Ciki-Briki, you have not brought an entourage with you this day. Have you anything further to say?”

Ciki-Briki nodded and spoke first, as he was the elder. “I think that these hatchlings should all take it easy. Life is long and beautiful: they should focus on that more. If they continue arguing like they are right now, then they won’t be able to hear the music in their life.”

Chum-Bum then interjects, “Again with the music!” which angers the chief.

“Enough! Maki-Kaki, how about you? Have you anything more to add?”

“Oh, I am on the same boat as Ciki-Briki. The others should hear the music and dance more! Sitting around all day and just debating makes your back ache and your head heavy. Just look at Ciki-Briki! He’s been hearing the music and dancing all of his life, and he is as spry as the day he was hatched.”

After this calm exchange, the entourages of Kiki-Riki and Chum-Bum dove into heated arguments again. Their dispute lasted well into the night. Eventually, even the campfire went out, yet they still continued debating. Many of the onlookers got tired and went home, for the spectacle had passed its zenith. The chief just reclined in his chair and muttered to himself, “This was a mistake…”All his hopes and aspirations for unity and acclaim amongst the tribes were being washed away in the tide of argument.

In the end, nothing was settled. This was the curse of sentience, and how it manifested itself in the masses: be it in Nulst, Tarith, or Krygon. Anywhere an opinion could be had, therein one could spend millennia debating, attacking, spreading, and continuing that opinion. Be they noble or be they lowborn, be they wise or be they fools, none could resist but indulge in the practice.

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