Agnosis

From Punklore

Agnosis, or mysticism, is the in-born art of self-sublimation to achieve hypernatural acts, essentially transforming oneself into a living gnostic loophole.

Agnosis relies on a steadfast refusal to believe anything, allowing any and all information to flow through one's mind as droplets through a river. A mystic is their own oracle: when one needs an answer, the information crystallizes through lucid will, but is only true for that moment, as the shape of the universe is different instantly. In addition, the act of allowing the information to be seen itself changes the information seen.

The complete lack of belief allows one to act as conduit for the fundamental chaos of the Forces and Depths through abilities or techniques called mystiques: moments of lucidity crystallized into hypernatural abilities. Such abilities are available to only to mystics and are breed dependant. Aureans, for instance, have no mystiques. Nor do kunkaar, ebblin, or centaurs.

Knowledge vs faith

The primary principle of gnosis is the edict of the balance between knowledge and faith, or gnosis and agnosis. Caster Wilshe, choromancer and progenitor of all modern gnosis and mysticism, worded it as: "Knowledge is power; faith is surrender."[1] Most interpretations of this statement agree that contextually, Wilshe's statement is not making a value judgment, but rather stating that each has its place. By definition, all gnosis is the product of an increase in knowledge of a subject, the laws of continuum, or the behavior of various beings and Forces, coupled with the ability to sublimate knowledge into agnosis: the application of lucid will into both the freedom from all belief apart from the efficacy of the act. Inversely, mysticism relies on a consistent refusal to believe or know anything, allowing information and intuition to flow through one's mind as droplets through a river. When one needs an answer, the information crystallizes, but is only true for a moment. This lack of belief allows one to act as conduit for the fundamental chaos of the Forces and Depths. It has been suggested that mysticism is the inversion of gnosis: the use of lucidity to blank the mind to create a moment of pure knowledge.

Chaos Witches combine gnosis and agnosis in all acts, refusing belief until necessary, and then believing only in the hex being worked, and only until it is complete. Once its effects are as true as the world they were enacted in, a Chaos Witch ceases to believe in either, living by another Wilshe ethos, "of the Trees of Agnosis and Gnosis, one must eat of both to not be poisoned."[1]

Priests use a version of gnosis-agnosis by believing in only one thing: their deity, who can issue contradictory edicts or make new laws of reality at a whim, because nothing else but their god is true. The mystique-hex side effects they receive as a result of this system are called boons.

Dangers

In addtion to the usual dangers of any hypernatural feat, agnosis comes with the danger of self-worship, which can lead to Apotheosis and the inevitable Cataclysm if not attended to in time. Among groups of mystics, it is common practice to call for a mystic to commit ritual suicide if they become too powerful or popular, to prevent the creation of a god. If the mystic refuses, his local coven will be compelled to kill them, eradicating their own power in the act.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Hyssthur & Cairn, by Caster Wilshe