A Guide for the Bewildered New Heretic

"We used to be proud warriors." This is a generic claim. It has been true in most places, at an earlier time of their histories when places were not secure. When a people had to be defended. As a legacy of this, however distant, caution and indirectness are often dismissed as cowardice.

Those with wise and perceptive but less bold or direct natures have found themselves mistrusted, or even worse, as a result.

It is indeed cowardice to adopt the thinking of a majority you don't agree with, to let it slip in for an easy life and to lie to yourself. But to be silent and watchful, in full awareness of what you are and what you know, telling the wholehearted truth to yourself to protect its integrity. This is an important role to play.

Sometimes to protect things that are under threat, to preserve their integrity, they must be concealed and expressed in other ways. This is a true kind of freedom.

The warriors have an important role. But theirs is not the only one.

Lady M (who I have not heard from in a while) was an expert in a particular tendency she'd observed back in her original world, and elsewhere. This was the tendency for heresy and rebellion to become fashionable, affected stances so that really they were rebelling against nothing at all. But this idea that rebellion was inherently correct and valuable led to a lot of damage in her world. Not the external damage of a war, which can strengthen an internal structure, but a slow and crumbling rot.

Similar things have been observed in many places, but I am talking here about the genuine and sincere heresy, which is rarely a chosen stance. In fact, it can creep up on you as your place changes for the worse beyond your recognition and the truth is no longer welcome.

The true heretic is motivated by integrity. Some will fight; the warriors which are suited to such things and who are diminished by silence. Others are diminished by fighting and preserve the truth silently in their hearts, away from the ideological battles. They hold on to an ember, pass it down, keep it alight, but to do this they must be fully conscious of what it is they love and preserve.

We seek the universals in our many places, purify them and use them as building blocks for something new. This became heresy too in Lady M's starting world, and many were destroyed in the process, caught unawares of how circumstances had changed around them. But she watched, and learned, and came to thoroughly understand the threats and pitfalls and tripwires so well that she could anticipate them.