|The Veletan Order
Emblem of the Veletan Order
|Number of Schools||3 Schools|
|Founded||May 4, 2012|
The Veletan Order (Veletan: Veltanu'tl), also known as The Order, but not to be confused with the philosophy it promotes itself, the system known as Veleta, is a transmicronational philosophical organisation. It is the central organisation for the development, management and administration of Veleta.
It also controls the content and editing of any and all editions of the Vita Codicem, the book which outlines the methods, philosophy, practices, culture, structure and celebrations, ceremonies and rites of the Order.
It is thus a secular spiritual society, made up of several schools, which are named according to two variables; whether or not they advocate the usage of entheogenic drugs in their ceremonies and as spiritual tools, and whether or not they adopt a complete ontological naturalism. Those which do advocate the use of entheogens are classed as Entheogenic schools, those which do not being Puritanic schools. Those which feature complete ontological naturalism are Classicist school, those which do not are Theoclassicist schools.
The Order was initially founded in Renasia, but with the help of its dual citizens, and citizens of other nations close to Renasia diplomatically, it has since spread to several other micronations, and looks likely to spread at least a little further over the coming months, especially given that the Vita Codicem should be finished in 2012, which should make the full extent and system of Veleta more openly available to others interested in the movement.
Basic Pan-Veletan Beliefs
There are several beliefs which are common to all schools, and which define Veleta. There can be no recognised school which does not accept these precepts, and no person may be deemed a Veletan should they deny any of these precepts. Whilst schools of thought which do not accept these precepts may be accepted as valid system of thought, and rated as Veleta-compatible, but will not be accepted as a school of Veleta in its own right.
At the time of writing, there are twelve universal values. These are core ideas which transcend school boundaries and define a thought system as Veletan.
In Veleta, Integrity is the highest virtue, similar to honour in Eastern cultures. Integrity in Veleta is the ability to justify ones actions cleanly within a set of personal values. For the Veletan, integrity is created across three steps of contemplation, action and justification.
First, the Veletan surmises what they deem to be right or wrong based on their internal and subjective value system. From there, they must act based on this distinction, even at personal cost, and thus fulfill their evaluation of the proper course in such circumstance. Finally, the Veletan must be honest in the system they use to evaluate these situations and accept that this system might not be the same as the system of another.
For a Veletan to be considered to have integrity, they must display consistency of actions, values, methods, measures and principles. If they do not live up to this, as deemed by The Order, they will be unable to progress within The Order and will thus have their progress stunted until such a time that the lack of integrity be rectified.
The Veletan should recognise that they are without the authority to ever truly make absolute claims, as any claims are subject to future scrutiny, and future evidence. This relativism is constrained to the meta-ethical type, which espouses the notion that moral judgements never can be fully absolute. It is not necessary that the Veletan be a normative moral relativist, which would bind them to accepting the behaviors of other that we find to be morally unjust.
The Veletan should simply make sure that a suitably convincing argument can be made for the moral point they are advancing. In this manner, we may find we accept our positions to be of relative and not absolute worth, without being forced to accept that any and all propositions of this type are of equal value, or equally likely to be true.
The Veletan also accepts a relativism of existential meaning, realising that one often forms a valuation of existential meaning based on moral or other subjective judgements of the world at hand. This restricts the possibility of any distinct and absolute position on existential meaning holding an absolute truth value, and places meaning on par with morality in Veletan philosophy.
In Veleta, the individual must accept their freedom, and all that such a concept entails. It is necessarily intertwined with the concept of responsibility. Responsibility for the creation of owns own meaning and values, as outlined above. The responsibility to utilise freedom in a manner which is both consistent with and an expression of the values an meaning we create for ourselves, and in this sense to combine our freedom with our integrity.
It is because we are free that we are, in the Veletan framework, responsible. We hold ourselves accountable in the end, and we must be willing to bear the responsibility for our actions. This is one of the truest virtues in Veleta, and it helps to guide the actions and the words of those who practice it.
Epistemologically, Veletans support the Foundherentism of Haack, which combines the initial and basic epistemologies of foundationalism and coherentism. In principle, foundationalism holds that basic beliefs unilaterally support derived beliefs, with support always directed from the former to the latter; coherentism holds that beliefs mutually support each other when they belong to the same coherent belief-set.
Haack argues that foundationalism and coherentism don't exhaust the field, and that an intermediate theory is more plausible than either. It is possible to allow the relevance of experience to the justification of empirical beliefs, as experientialist foundationalism does but coherentism does not, and at the same time, instead of requiring a privileged class of basic beliefs, to allow for pervasive mutual dependence among beliefs, as coherentism does but foundationalism does not.
Haack introduces the analogy of the crossword puzzle to serve as a way of understanding how there can be mutual support among beliefs (as there is mutual support among crossword entries) without vicious circularity. The analogy between the structure of evidence and the crossword puzzle helps with another problem too. The clues to a crossword are the analogue of a person's experiential evidence, and the already-completed intersecting entries the analogue of his reasons for a belief.
Meditation is a key part of the Veletan way of life. The Vita Codicem has the following to say on the importance of meditation in Veleta;
"Inner peace, as cliche as it may sound, is one of the most often quoted motivations for meditation. The tranquility that meditation can produce is an asset of great value to the Veletan practitioners. It allows us to drop our anger or anxiety, and we find harmony. Focus and concentration are increased by allowing us to drop stress which undermines the utilization of these skills. Meditation helps us to focus on single ideas and objects. We learn to discard the trappings of day to day trivialities, and bring our minds fully to bear on the issue at hand."
"Significant benefits to the health of those who do practice meditation can be found. To begin with, by removing stress, meditation helps to lower levels of stress hormones in the blood, and in doing so lowers blood pressure. It also helps to dilate blood vessels, or rather prevents constriction of blood vessels, improving circulation and blood flow to the brain, skin and gut where the smaller blood vessels lie. This increased circulation allows more efficient functioning of these organs and organ systems. Improved performance both mental and physical is seen in those who meditate. Relaxation is part of superior performance in most practices, as is alertness of mind. These are, as mentioned, part of the fundamental facets of meditation."
"The introspective nature of meditation is key in helping to understand the self. To know yourself both mentally and physically is a key aim in Veleta, as it aids greatly in combat. However, it finds many uses in wider life. Knowledge of the self starts with awareness of the body. To be acutely aware of the sensations and the movement of the body is a key skill. It allows us to develop freedom and grace of movement, which will be utilised later on. An intuitive and instinctual sense of bodily awareness is a wonderful and resourceful tool. Awareness of the self, the ego and of who we are can often lead us to find uncomfortable truths, but it is through the recognition of these issues we can resolve them. This allows us to then overcome our obstacles and to thus focus on issues outside the self. These cleared obstacles also make it easier to focus when we are meditating, and in everyday life. It lifts a weight from the shoulders, and allows for deeper states to be reached more easily.There are a myriad of techniques involved in satisfying and useful meditation, and multiple traditions from which these techniques stem."
As you can see, there are many reasons meditation is a pan-school and the key piece of Veletan spirituality and practice.
Minimalism, both philosophical and physical, is a key consideration in Veleta. It is, in terms of lifestyle, considered practical and efficient, allowing Veletans to get by with as little ephemeral clutter in their lives as possible. This efficiency is part of a wider valuation of efficiency as a positive force within all areas of Veletan living.
It has also been suggested that by minimising physical clutter, one is more easily able to eliminate mental clutter, which eases the ability to meditate, and to find deeper focus. Clutter, both mental and material, is one of the main contributors to stress for quite a number of modern peoples, and by eliminating it, one can focus on progress, rather than constant and static re-arrangement.
Isolation and Introspection
In Veleta, one is only truly accountable to the self. While ones rank may depend on the valuations made by The Order, self justification and acceptance are considered to be far and away superior valuations. To this end, honest introspection, most often incorporated into rites featuring isolation from the world at large, is a highly valued process in Veleta.
An individual who is incapable of honest and deep introspection will often be deemed to be incapable of progress, or even deemed ineligible to be deemed a member of The Order. Introspective analysis is thus one of the core columns upon which The Order and Veleta itself rests, and is a system of evaluation which the Veletan must focus on mastering.
All schools value the training of the body, and its role in honing the mind. Most schools will lay emphasis on both arts of free movement (such as gymnastics, free climbing, parkour and free running) and on martial arts, either armed (fencing, kendo, escrima, Arnis) or unarmed (karate, jui jitsu, judo, kick boxing, kung fu). These are both in aid to combat training (though only in combative schools) and in meditative work by enhancing focus.
Schools often do not specify any one type of training, but all oblige some form of physical training.
Control of the Self
On key aspect of Veleta is its focus on the gaining of self control. Knowing and controlling one's self are considered among the greatest achievements that can be found within the repertoire of any Veletan. The control of the self is consider to be the ability to force your will and value upon three things: your desire, your ego and distraction. Once someone is able to do this, they are considered well on their way to the upper echelons on The Order.
Knowing one's self, and being able to act on this knowledge so as to fully realise the potential of self control, is another commonly considered great virtue, which denotes great wisdom and maturity on the part of the Veletan who demonstrates the ability.
Finding inner peace
While cliche, finding a form of inner peace, of contentedness with one's self and one's circumstance, is a marker, in Veleta, of a sophisticated and well formed personality and spiritual outlook. More over, the ability to maintain this clear and stress free disposition even amongst situations and occurrences which would otherwise provoke a disturbance in one's mentality is one of the key goals for most Veletans. This ability is often most highly venerated in combative schools, where its utilisation on the field of combat is said to show true mastery of the techniques of Veleta.
Those who come to occupy such states are considered the greatest of their schools and often of The Order as a whole. They become the shining example to others, and it is often their role to help others imbue themselves with such remarkable control and strength.
Freedom of thought
While Veleta may lay down some ground rules, these are not absolutes, and are laid out here merely as they have been set at the time of writing. It is not the case that anything is held to be immutable within Veleta. The ceremonial celebration of Foundation Day is designed in great part for critical analysis both of the doctrines laid out by each school, and the Vita Codicem itself. It is the time at which weeks of study goes into looking for issues with these documents, and the time during which they are amended by the schools themselves in the first place, and The Order as a whole in the latter case.
Open inquiry and and expression are expounded as the key signs of a healthy and well developed mind, and The Order actively encourages such behavior among its members is every facet of life. Open inquiry and criticism of ideas is considered a compliment to those ideas, with unquestioning acceptance of ideas considered to be a great social mistake.
Freedom from rigidity
The Veletan is expected to try, in many ways, though not universally, to free themselves from the rigidity which their fellow human beings often take great solace in. They are expected, in day to day life, to reject dogma and schedule accepted simply on tradition, and are encouraged to find a system of efficiency by experimentation.
They are expected, as previous stated, to free themselves from absolutism, and the learn to use their judgement, rather than prescribed rules and regulations, to assess situations on a case by case basis. They must learn to combine a knowledge of the flowing intuitive nature of evaluation to see the possibilities and use their integrity to judge the most worthwhile solution.
Most of all, they must be able to innovate and experiment with concepts and their applications without losing sight of the core and defining values, aims and ideals which make up their motivation for the tasks completion. This freedom is one of the great assets which the Veletan should seeks to acquire during their training.
Archetypes of Veleta
Veleta is made up of four archetypes, which any given school falls into. These are based on two binary variables; etheogenic versus puritanical, and classicist versus theoclassicist. The first denotes whether the school allows the usage of entheogenic drugs as a tool for development (entheogenic), or whether they prefer to remain chaste from the usage of such tools (puritanical). The second defines the ability of a member of such a school to be a theist, that is to reject metaphysical naturalism. If this is allowable, the school is theoclassical, though this does not mandate that all members of the school must be theists. If metaphysical naturalism is an integral part of the school, it is considered classical, and thus all those entering must accept metaphysical naturalism.
What follows is a list of schools, listed by archetypes:
- Entheogenic Classicism or EC as it is known in English, is the original form of Veleta. It is consisted of a single school, that being the so called Epicurean Bureau situated within Renasia. Entheogenic classicism not only has a metaphysical naturalistic streak, but also supports the usage of entheogens. This usage may be in rites, ceremonies, combat training, meditation or personal private practice.
- Xan'hattanu'tl is the oldest school in Veleta, and thus other branches come off it. However, this does not denote a superiority of the ideas of the Xan'hattanu'tl, merely that Entheogenic Classicism is in theory the most true to the original concept of Veleta. The Xan'hattanu'tl advocates endogenic discipline and integrity, seeks to educate and study their applications to the modern world, without having to institute specific systems or submit to exogenic structure. It also focuses on a more combative system of training, with members expected to train in combat as part of their study.