Prefix; If you don't believe the spiritual things or historical claims made in this document, you don't have to. However do not ridicule us who do. We didn't MAKE you read this. If you do read this and have questions, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Flame e-mails will be deleted and not replied to. I will only answer honest questions, even if they are opposing views, but I will NOT get into a flame war with idiots.
Prefix II; This is about a faith, (I hate the word religion), called the Trinity of Hedon. Which is NOT to be confused with Hedonism, which is little more than an excuse for rich middle-aged white people to have orgies in Barbados every summer.
I; The Purple Sage, Shaman of Hedon.
My name is Penance Sautereau-Fife. I've lived a very uncomfortable and trauma-filled life. I'm an intersexed woman, (read; hermaphrodite), in a world mostly controlled by either Islamic zealotry or Judeo-Christian repression. I'm one of those rare people who rejected the church at a very young age. I can't really say why I did then. As a small "boy" I just knew in my heart everything church had to offer was a lie, it was wrong, at least for me. Fortunately my parents, in as little as they did care about me, weren't churchgoers either, so there were only one or two times I can recall being forced to attend church.
I got in trouble in Grade school for refusing to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies. I had no issues with remembering those who had died in wars, but Grade School ceremonies were always about glorifying the actual war, telling us kids how noble a death our fallen had found, how there is no greater honor than dying for your country. I think it was a post Veit-Nam reaction. Maybe the School Board had some odd military agenda. But I refused to honor the fallen by watching what was ultimately an emotionally manipulative recruitment presentation. And I was outcast and ostracised. My Grade 4 teacher actually told the other kids in class to ignore me at recess and lunch because I was a bad influence.
I got expelled from grade four for calling him a fucking nazi cocksucker. The fact that this was said in reaction to him first slamming me into the blackboard and then throwing me over his desk into a student's was ignored. My broken ribs were ignored. None of the other kids in class were brave enough to speak against the teacher. Even my parents assumed I probably had somehow asked for it. Yes, by asking him if I could be excused from class while he read a prayer, (In a PUBLIC school), I was asking to be seriously injured at age EIGHT.
That was when I first learned two things that would help me survive the life I was going to suffer through.
First, that religious people who talk loudly and often about their religion and expect you to believe exactly as they do are bullies. Always have been. Always will be. They will beat you and hammer you relentlessly with their bibles and qurans and crosses until you're as afraid of God as they are. After all, what good is a God you don't fear?
God-Fearing... *shudders* I've always loved that term, if only because it embodies a lot of what's wrong with Christianity. No one should fear their God if their God truly loves them.
Second is that bullies count on fear in all forms to stay in control and keep from having to face the consequences of their crimes. My teacher made the other kids afraid to say he had in fact slammed me and thrown me. Fear of lawsuits made the Principle ignore the blood on my lips and the evidenciary chalk-dust on my back. Fear of having uncomfortable attention drawn to them made my parents go along with the white-wash and expulsion. And fear of ME, a dissenting voice that asked so young "Why should I believe what YOU tell me to?", that lead to the real beginning of my miserable life.
Now don't get me wrong. I've reached the point where I'm actually proud of the miserable life I've survived. There are certain horrific things that if I had not been through them, I'd be a very different person today.
I might still be living as an awkward socially retarded man, keeping my breasts taped down and wearing baggy clothes to hide my hips.
I might have become a rapist or a serial killer. God knows in my early teens I was so bitter and angry I thought seriously about doing both.
I might have successfully commited suicide.
Worst possibility of all, I made have gotten dull and bored and given into the bullies and become everything I hate, standing on street corners trying to force a pamphlet into someone's hand.
*shudders at the thought*
Instead, I'm an impossibly kind, foolishly generous, insecure, self-abusing lesbian with an outie who has let herself be a carpet in an almost pathological need to put everyone else's best interests above my own. I'm meant to be kind, warm, affectionate, loving, nurturing, motherly, sisterly, and all those things I am. I wasn't supposed to have such bad health or low self-esteem. I wasn't supposed to be a carpet.
I'm not sure how I'm to accomplish my tasks that lay ahead of me, but I have a mission. A Divine mission. One I've been running from and hiding from all my life. Because it scares me, it's too big, and I don't think I have the strength or charisma to pull it off. I can think of a hundred people better suited to the task. But she insists it has to be me.
She, is Hedon. My Goddess, my sister, my mother, my lover, my friend, the Goddess of a people long since erased from history.
I am her Purple Sage, her Shaman, the tool through which she'll be restored to the world, to give those disillusioned or abused by Islam and Christianity an option. Those who those faiths work for are welcome to them. But they aren't right for everyone. That's who Hedon is for.... us outcasts.
II; The Dreams
I've had strange recurring dreams all my life that I never understood, but it was only around 3 years ago they began to focus. I saw a place, a specific place. A community of people, a tiny place, on a small island near Greece. It was a secluded community called Hedon, named after it's goddess. Here there was no war, no strife. Everyone worked together, lived together. There was no gay or straight because you loved who you loved. The sexes were equal because it never occured to anyone that one should be regarded more highly than the other.
Children were raised by the entire community together, though never taken from their mothers. No one ever feared a child would be molested because the concept didn't exist. And Children never got into dangerous situations because there was no repression. Hedon custom was when a child asked a question it was because they were ready to know, and so the question asked was answered honestly, but only that question. No information was volunteered until puberty.
In Hedon society there was no peer pressure, so no one had sex before they were ready. Love was unhindered by oppressive moralities, and the circle of each person's heart had room for many links in the chain. Polyamorous love was normal, and beauty was a concept relegated to the world of nature, because all Hedons were beautiful to each other regardless of bodyshape.
Sex wasn't repressed, and thus was treated in a healthy manner. There weren't orgies in the street, everyone didn't have sex with everyone else. Since it wasn't vilified or forbidden people were comfortable to have it when they felt like it. It was cherished intimacy, and the priestesses used it for healing purposes.
Hedon was also flourished with a creative culture of artworks, painting, writing, sculpting. Hedons worked within nature. They respected the trees and the earth. The Green was held sacred, and they took only what they needed to live, always caring for the plants and animals around them like family.
This is what Hedon was. Granted, that description makes it sound perfect, but it did have it's flaws. And those flaws are shared only with those who become Children of Hedon, as they are the parts of Hedon life I intend to leave safely in the past, never to return.
The Hedon people also did not worship Hedon. They loved her to be sure, but she was more like a mother figure. Her teachings were guidelines, not absolutes. Hedon wasn't as insecure as some Gods, and didn't need constant praise or ego-stroking. She required no worship, and asked only that her people lived good lives and helped others.
So you can imagine when Christian Missionaries stumbled across the isle some 900 years ago roughly, that they were horrified by these people and their clearly heathen way of life.
In the dreams the missionaries tried in vain for months to convert us. Not one person was fool enough to be converted. And when they saw they stood no chance of converting us, they butchered us.
In the dreams they returned to Hedon with Christian soldiers, and slaughtered every living human on the Isle in the name of God. They genuinely believed their cause just, their bloody deeds righteous. After all, they were ensuring the poison of our ways did not spread outside our Isle. They destroyed everything, left no traces of us, no sign we ever existed, save maybe a few artifacts they may have kept as trophies. I often wonder what manner of lost civilizations are represented only by the treasures hidden deep below the Vatican.
These dreams traumatized me, terrified me. I often prayed to no one in particular to be rid of them.
Then, ironically, a videogame showed me my path.
I had gotten into Neverwinter Nights, an RPG for PC's by Bioware based on the D&D "Forgotten Realms" system, and created with it's toolset a mod recreating the Hedon of my dreams, hoping to purge the dreams by giving them life. It was never a popular mod by any means, but among those who did come to play it were a few people who asked me if I had ever dreamt about EXACTLY what I had been.
That was when I knew. These were no dreams, they were past-life memories. Hedon was real, it existed, and Hedon was making me remember so I can give her a voice again, in a world being destroyed by Religious repressionists and extremists. I believe it is my path to put Hedon back into the public consciousness, and let those who want an alternative to the big leagues for their spirituality choose for themselves.