Book I

Arrival at the Eleatic Temple

As you hike along the forested path, you occasionally catch sight of your destination through the towering trees and deep green foliage. It was an easy decision to make this journey. After listening to one too many theological debates, you desired something more certain than the talk of gods and their intentions for man. You set out after encountering a forum post that revealed a greater context. One that subsumes all.

Refreshed by the walk and full of hope, you stand before the Eleatic Temple. The entrance is marked by large double-doors made of wood; they are set in a red wall topped by ceramic tiles. A short distance away stands a plain, wooden table with a stack of pamphlets. Two individuals sit behind the table, eyeing you; they are dressed in comfortable robes and sandals, sipping from mugs of tea.

As you move closer, the two people stand and greet you.

Welcome to our temple. This site is dedicated to our philosophical project, a set of monist teachings known as the Eleatic Mystery School. We seek the broadest possible understanding of "what is" and explore the constitution of all things. We have printed a welcome guide for you to review; it briefly introduces core concepts and will assist you in avoiding confusion. Please take a copy and read over it before you enter.

The temple consists of several buildings and extensive grounds. This entrance leads directly to the Grand Hall, which in turn connects to a number of exhibits and our public canteen. Today we are serving lamb soup; we highly recommend stopping by for a bite. The price of the meal is conversation. At any rate, the back of the welcome guide features a map of the area. A room will also be prepared for you at our Guesthouse in case you need to rest.

Whenever possible, let others know your thoughts. Those who maintain this temple are all happy to talk with you; conversation has its own benefits distinct from impersonal words written for a broad audience. Perhaps you might even develop your own contributions to our school of thought. You are also not the only visitor here; at the Guesthouse you may meet with other outsiders who wish to discuss our teachings.

As with anything in the human realm, there are some rules. Please dress in a conservative manner and be sure to cover any exposed tattoos and remove excessive piercings. Refrain from drinking alcohol or consuming other intoxicants, except for when you are visiting the canteen or the grove. If you happen to feel unwell, please go visit our medical clinic.

We would also prefer that you drink tea instead of bean water. Please try to speak only Chinese or English, and please avoid spelling words like an American. When referencing historical examples, please try to focus on Hellenic and Chinese antiquity. Finally, please understand that we reject the confused standards of the current, dissolute era.

After listening to the speech, you reach out and take a copy of the welcome guide.

Choices:

  1. Enquire about the rules...
  2. Enquire about the welcome guide...
  3. Thank them and proceed to the temple...