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A Millenia of Millenia in metaphysics did not fail to influence the reality of The First Earthers. In the most ancient regions of The First Earth, the duplication of lost religions was not infrequent. Two priests look for a ritual; the first creates one and says nothing regarding its invention. The second priest looks for a ritual but finds a cult, no less real, but closer to his metaphysical needs. The second priest’s imaginary rites are called Релігія and are, though awkward in practice, somewhat longer than the first priest’s. The Релігія was the accidental product of distraction and forgetfulness. It seems unbelievable that their invention dates back scarcely some hundred-thousand Mellenia, but this is what the Eleventh Volume tells us. The first efforts at ritualization were unsuccessful. However, the method merits description. The priest of one of these thought prisons told his parishioners that there were certain virtues in an ancient text and promised eternity to whoever might make an important discovery. During the months preceding the mining of moralities the parishioners were shown images of what they were to find. This effort proved that expectation and anxiety can be inhibitory; a year’s work with pick and shovel did not manage to unearth anything in the way of a Релігія except a rusty ideal from a period after the excavation. But this was kept in secret and the process was repeated later in four brotherhoods. In three of them failure was almost complete; in a fourth (whose abbot died accidentally during the first excavation) the parishioners produced a gold monstrance, an archaic bone fragment encased in glass, two or three false prophets and the mutilated sarcophagus of a king whose lid bore an inscription which it has not yet been possible to decipher (although a similar passage was found by Hemingway in the Voynich Manuscript). Thus, it was discovered the unreliability of witnesses who knew of the experimental nature of the search. Mass investigations produce contradictory objects.

Then, individual human agencies became preferred.

MONSTRANCE

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