vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
[personal profile] vaecrius
What with all that silliness with hankies and peepee sites and whatnot I figured I might as well weigh in.

Comparing my experience of the Bible in Orthodoxy to the Bible in Evangelicalism is sort of like this:

Imagine you are a student of some renaissance-era German swordsmanship. You come from a school that wins a few tournaments and has a longstanding international reputation, and centers their teachings and interpretations around an extremely powerful move called, oh let's say the Buchhau. (If there is actually a move with that name, forgive me but I am not actually intending to refer to it.) It is a complex but deadly move that, if applied with enough aggression and power, leaves no defence, except another Buchhau delivered at exactly the right time. Many senior students are very proud of how they have mastered the Buchhau and can regularly deploy it once or twice full force in a fight. Every lesson drills the Buchhau at least once, or at least refers to it or is a potential setup for it, and every practice fight will ideally have you trying it at least once. However, it still is a very intentional, artificial effort, and to spontaneously do it twice in a row is rare and considered overkill. There is lots and lots of discussion and argument about how to attain it, how to use it, how to combine it. But one thing is certain and reasserted over and over again in different words: the Buchhau is the ultimate move which you all must learn in order to be effective.

Imagine now visiting another school. The trainers all wear period garb and go by period titles and there's a lot more German than you're comfortable with. The floor and walls are plastered in intricate diagrams and extra-large prints of what seem to be random fechtbuch pages, including numerous seemingly crude drawings (you later learn they are isometric reference diagrams) of Buchhau-like moves in various contexts. No one wears any padding other than masks, gorgets and gloves. The place is full of crazy super-dedicated Russians for some reason (and they all speak German fluently). One of them is teaching a 10-year-old with a sharp and they both seem entirely (if cautiously respectfully) comfortable with it. It's all a little bewildering as you come in, and you're still taking in the sights and sounds and smells when suddenly you realize that the two guys sparring in the corner of your vision each just threw a rapid-fire quadruple-Buchhau at the other and managed to time it so they both parried each other perfectly. Then they do it again... and one throws in this bizarre counter-cut you've never seen before, obviously trying to throw the other guy off, who out of sheer dumb luck avoids running into it before doing this... thing... that kind of looks like a Buchhau but in reverse and at a totally unnatural and obviously improvised angle. Which manages to land this perfect tip cut that draws right across his opponent's carotid. (They were not sparring with sharps.)

You ask your guide what in the world you just saw... and they show you their copy of the original manual the Buchhau came from and how it fits into a much larger system of counterattacks designed to create space and leverage while maximizing your control over timing at your opponent's expense. (At this point it occurs to you that the bizarre counter-cut was actually one of the newbie techniques they taught you early on at the other school but you and half the class ignored later because it felt too basic and noobish and the explanation of the mechanics reeked of magical thinking.) They go on to demonstrate a few of the basic training katas the school teaches all new students, each of which seamlessly incorporates the Buchhau into an integrated series of attacks and defences that would have floored any of the guys you studied with up to this point.

It turns out your guide is a cousin of the great-great-great-nth-degree granddaughter of the guy who wrote the manual, now in its 78th edition with the copyright held by the family company of which she is currently the CEO.

The guys at your old school insist that that family had sold out to popular competitive longsword and kendo years ago to make a buck and their fancy watered-down teachings (copyright! corporate!!!) do not reflect the pure authentic power of Buchhau-based swordplay. Your old school's building is three times as large and the rent seven times as high, paid in part by bookstore revenues.

Date: April 30th, 2017 08:30 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] helarxe
*flails around erratically with a bec de corbin*

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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