The other day, I was talking to a person who told me that gravity is how she felt the embrace of Jesus.
If you’re a very religious person, that is a pretty good explanation of gravity I suppose. I live in rural nowhere, so I get to hear some pretty colorful takes on what others might consider very clear-cut scientific concepts. Even though gravity is the product of the mass of the planet that we are standing on, to some people gravity comes from top-down and it’s made by Jesus. Through prayer and such religious activities we can come closer to Jesus and defy gravity. Sounds like pretty cool beans to me.
This is what got me thinking about this rather short post, because saying “gravity comes from God” is just such a Spirits of Eden thing to say. It takes a scientific concept that has an easily viewed effect – things fall to the ground – and explains its depths and mechanics in a purely superstitious and religious way. In Eden, Gravity would probably be explained this way.
Except some of the Archmages might argue it comes from the Essence, magic energy that comes out of the World itself, rather than from the Spirits. They may have explanations on Essence flows and Essence leaks, on the Forlorn Void and the Second Sky. They may have theories and laws that are almost proven, if not completely proven.
But although Eden is high on magic, it is also high on superstition, speculation, wonder and awe at displays of magic, because it is so tied to two rather religious concepts that are respected (and feared) – the actual World of Eden (the planet), which is alive but cannot speak, and the religious concepts of Spirits and deities, most of which are bound by unwritten taboos and laws.
Archmages and Scholar-Priests cry “essence” while the common people say “gods.” Even if those same common people could learn the rote motions for activating a magic item, it would still hold a lot of mystery for them, and it will probably come to surprise them when used, even if they thought they knew everything about it.