A People Who Believe in Mystery
culture described in Eirelan has its own unique philosophy and religion. While
the Gaelic-speaking peoples share certain cultural and moral values, they do
not have identical outlooks on the world. The Dubliners look upon the Twenty
Clans as ungodly and without moral compass. The Santanders’ religion is not
known to the Celts.
Province of the Twenty Clans does not have an approved religion; each person is
free to form his or her own beliefs. Because religious belief is considered to
be a private matter, there are no churches, clergy, or regular services of any
kind. Persons known as Elders preside at certain events of a spiritual nature
such as marriages and rites for the dead. Elders are at least sixty years of
age and are looked upon by the community as persons of high moral quality and sensitivity.
An Elder serves for a period of a year or two before turning the position over to
Twenty Clans are an intensely spiritual people whose core beliefs are three: that there is a balance in the world between
suffering and joy; that mankind is a part of the world of life and not above it; and that life
itself, love, and the beauty of the earth are all that really matters. Such
grand questions as life after death, the origin of the world, and a grand plan
for the universe are relegated to mystery: the answers cannot be known.
Laigain has been at work for some years on a book he has titled “Credo
Mysterium,” old Latin for “I Believe in Mystery.” It is not a catechism or a
treatise, but rather an exploration of the philosophical questions of interest
to his people. He hopes to complete the book before he passes from the world.
Despite Uinseann’s many years of philosophical study and thought, his old fishing
friend Eimhim offers him a fresh outlook that gives him pause.