The Patristics Series is a collection of writings of the great fathers of the Church. This volume, which is second in the overall series, contains the writings of St. Columban Blackmoore or Lordaeron. In particular, this is the text of his highly acclaimed Luxology: An Introduction.
Luxology: An Introduction
From the writings of Columban Blackmoore of Gilneas
Edited and redacted by Mellar L. Servus, Bishop.
I, Bishop Moorwhelp, assert that this writing is free from all doctrinal error.
I, Bishop Moorwhelp, give permission for this to be printed by Church assets.
Chapter I: The Identity of the Light
Section 1: The Light
St. Quomas Anthinas in the “Summa Luxologica” discusses the identity of the Light. First, he questions if the Light is pure magic and concludes that while a magical force of the Light exists, this is not in itself the Light but a fruit of the Light which ought not be confused with the fullness of the Light.
He also questions if the Light is a god, but he concludes that the Light cannot be a god because the gods change and act according to good and evil but the Light itself is goodness and therefore does not change.
So the Light is neither magic nor god but something even greater. In the words of St. Quomas, “The gods themselves are subject to the Light.”
It would be an error to see the Light as a being for the Light is not alive - either mortal nor immortal. Rather, the Light exists as the entity of goodness itself. The dwelling of the Light is not in the heavens or below the earth. Rather, the Light is infused in the very fiber of creation. It animates, vivifies, and inspires that which is created.
Where the Light dwells, all that is good flows from it.
Section 2: The Darkness
Before continuing, it is useful to now discuss briefly the identity of what has been called the antithesis of the Light – Darkness.
Without surprise, the relationship of the Light and the Darkness correspond to the manner in which light and darkness exist in the natural world.
In nature, there is not really light and darkness but rather the presence of light and the absence of light. “Darkness” is the term we have chosen to name the absence. Consider a candle. When the candle is lit, light shines forth. But, when the candle is extinguished, the darkness does not issue forth. Rather, the Light is simply removed.
A shadow functions in a similar manner. Shadows do not issue darkness. Rather, they are the result of when an object blocks the shining of the light into an area.
Similarly, the “Darkness” is not an entity on its own. Darkness is simply the absence of the Light – the absence of good. We call this sin.
Chapter II: Good Actions
Section 1: The Virtues
Since the Light is goodness, and all which is created is infused with the Light, to act in a good manner is to participate in the Light. The man who unifies his soul with the presence of Light within him is a righteous man.
Therefore, in order to unify himself with the Light, the man acts rightly which brings balance to his soul. Luxologists traditionally name three virtues which, when practiced, order’s the human soul to the Light.
The virtues are: Respect, Tenacity, and Compassion. Each virtue is the seed of the next. Respect fuels tenacity which likewise fuels compassion. The perfection of these virtues balances one’s life and conforms him to the Light infused within him.
Section 2: Sin
Sin, like darkness, is the absence of a thing – namely, the conformity to the good. When vice is chosen over virtue, the man brings disorder to his soul by rejecting the Light dwelling within himself. This is the root of evil.
Therefore, all evil is a sin against the self, the Light, and the entirety of creation. It is the separation of an individual from the remainder of what was created.
Section 3: Mercy
We speak of the “mercy of the Light” but the Light does not have mercy in the manner that living beings may show mercy.
People forgive one another and go about their ways. However, the mercy of the Light reconforms one’s soul to the Light itself. In this way, the Light’s mercy is greater than any other’s mercy.
When a man is in conformity with the Light, he is unified with all that is created, for the Light dwells within all. This is the greatest goal the living should seek while in this life – unity with creation.
Chapter III: The Force of the Light
Section 1: The Physical Manifestation
Let us now turn to what most people refer to as the Light’s magic – the Force of the Light. First, we must note that the force itself is not wholly the Light but a mere physical manifestation of its power.
This power is not necessarily good or evil as it does not manifest itself at the will of the Light but at the will of the wielder. Thus it is not the force which acts in a moral manner but the one who chooses to use it.
Section 2: The Wielder
Many have observed that the force of the Light does not distinguish between who will and will not wield it based on merit.
Any person, good or evil, can wield the Light. This is because the Light dwells within all people. Using the force of the Light simply requires training in how to harness the powers of the Light in physical forms and direct them to either heal or harm.
But, though the force of the Light does not choose its wielder, the merit of the wielder does have some part to play. For example, some members of the Forsaken use the powers of the Light at great physical cost to them. They are able to harness it, but it still causes great pain due to their disunified state.
Section 3: Shadow Magic
Shadow magic, similarly, is not the manifestation of darkness. Rather, it is the corruption of the inner-Light.
The wielder gradually learns to separate the Light from the energy. The result is a sort of pure-entergy of a darkened nature for darkness is the absence of Light.
Unlike the force of the Light, there is an issue of morality and the use of shadow magic. To divorce the Light, and thus goodness itself, from the energy is an act of pure evil. For what is sin if not a removal and blocking of the Light?
The use of shadow magic brings the actor into disunity with the Light and thus all of creation. Therefore, shadow magic is all-together unacceptable for the devout.
Chapter IV: The Church
Section 1: Its Identity
The Light, therefore, is communal by its very nature and thus it is in community that we can come to greater understanding of the Light. For this reason, the Church of the Holy Light was established.
Unlike the other religions of the world which see the “clergy’ as ministers of sacrifice or communication with the god, the Church of the Holy Light exists for the edification of the people.
Therefore, its primary purpose is teaching and guiding the hearts of willing followers into conformity with the Light.
Section 2: The Clergy
Certain members of the faithful are educated and given special authority within the Church with a specific goal in mind. Priests of the Light teach the faith and lead the people in prayer. Paladins defend the people from the evils of the world. Monks bring about harmony by praying for all of creation at all times.
Those who have been given official tasks in the church bring their soul in unity with the Light by fulfilling their tasks.
Section 3: Prayer
Prayer, naturally plays a significant role in the public and private devotion of the faithful. For the follower of the Light, prayer is not communication with distant gods but speaking with one’s very soul.
Prayer reinforces a dependence on the Light and a focus on what is good. But it also focuses one on the presence of the Light within himself and thus brings one closer to the will of the Light.
Section 4: Liturgy
Liturgy by its very nature is prayer – the greatest prayer. In liturgy, the community prays as one body thus unifying individuals with each other and ultimately with the Light itself.
For this reason, the Church provides formalized prayers such as those found in the texts of the Church and those in the Divine Office. These prayers express the true intentions of the faithful, unity with the Light through mercy.
Section 5: Philosophy
It is important to take pause and momentarily discuss the idea that the Light is simply a philosophy of Life. To hold this belief is to deny the existence of any exterior force of the Light. Such a force clearly exists as something other than a simple magic since it reacts differently towards those in unity with the Light and those in disunity (e.g. the Forsaken).
Chapter V: The Actions of the Church
Section 1: The Unity of the Faithful
The Church is tasked with ensuring the unity of the faithful with the Light and thus there are certain actions it regularly performs for the faithful’s benefit which confirm that unity. These actions are: (a) Forgiveness of sins, (b) Marriage, (c) Ordination/Annointing.
Section 2: Forgiveness of Sins
As previously discussed, sin separates the actor from the Light. It is the desire of the Church to bring those who have lost their way back into unity with the Light. This is done through a formalized confession of sin to a priest who provides a penance, an action to atone for sin, to the penitent. Through the ordered unity between the priest and the Light, he or she is able to mediate the Light’s mercy towards the penitent.
Section 3: Marriage
It has been previously said that community is where holiness thrives, for this reason the Church establishes vowed community between husband and wife through the Rite of Marriage. Through marriage, the husband and wife are brought together in a loving bond resembling that of the Light’s unity with the Church.
The marital state rightly orders its corresponding act towards its two proper ends; love and procreation. Outside of a married state, the sexual act becomes a mutual-usury toward a third, disordered end: pleasure.
However, even within marriage, the sexual act can be disordered.
The Church, therefore, formally orders marriage towards the Light and compels married couples towards a unitative love which is procreative. The procreative end of the sexual act is one of the greatest reflections of the Light’s unity with the Church.
Through the physical unity of husband and wife, fruit is produced in the form of a child. In the same way, the Church exists in unity with the Light and produces grace. For this reason, all married couples ought graciously accept Children and raise them to order their lives towards the Light.
Section 4: Ordination and Anointing
For the benefit of the faithful, the Church separates certain individuals from the laity and ordains them priests or anoints them paladins.
These consecrated lives are an example of the total unity which is demanded of the Church. Ordination and anointing, through the prayer of the Church, brings an individual into unity with the Light and grants him or her the ability to mediate the Light’s grace.
However, these individuals ought to be properly educated so that they may adequately express the truths of the Light. It is the duty of these consecrated few to disown themselves and strive to bring others into unity with the Light and with others by the teaching and example of the virtues.
Section VI: Death
Section 1: Death of the Faithful
The natural progression of life terminates in death. However, death ought not be something feared by those faithful to the Light. For the faithful, life is changed but not ended. Those who have been unified in life will in an even greater manner be unified in death.
Section 2: The Eternal Dawn
This after-death unity is commonly referred to as the “Eternal Dawn”. The Dawn is not exactly a place of paradise as some religions preach, rather it is the unity of soul with the Light. This unity is the proper end (goal) of the faithful because in this state, their very existence is perfected and their constant striving for unity is brought to its highest possible state.
Section 3: The Disunified
But, those who die in disunity with the Light will find only corruption in their death. These cursed souls are never fully at peace.
Section 4: Spirits
Because the soul persists in death, it becomes possible for a small minority of souls to be manifested in a spiritual form for a brief period of time. This either comes through knowledge of the Light or the actions of a living individual. Both ordered and disordered souls may be manifested as a spirit.
Section 5: Resurrection
It is possible, through use of the Light or other magics, to reorient the soul towards the body and thus resurrect the deceased.
This resurrection is never permanent and takes a great toll on both the resurrected and the one performing the resurrection. Continual resurrection ought not be sought as it prevents the eventual unity with the Light.