The Origins and Spread of Anooranosism

There once were a people, the Carinaem, who found the sky and the objects they saw in it so beautiful that they worshipped it, and wove that worship throughout their culture, including their political life. In fact, for them, what we would call "religion" and what we would call "politics (as well as what we would call "culture") were not really separate things at all: they were just the people's social life, which was a whole.

But gradually, a class of people, who called themselves the Narcien, raised themselves far above the common person of Carinae, instituting autocratic political rule as well as commandeering much of the wealth of the land. And naturally they used this worship of the sky to justify their position.

So when a segment of the population finally became so fed up that they decided to overthrow the Narcien, they rejected everything associated with them, including the sky worship. They believed that all aspects of the society that had been ruled by the Narcien must be transformed, but perhaps most of all the sky worship, since the ideological myths of the Narcien had heavily depended upon it.

But the rebels had a problem: while the Narcien may have cynically used sky worship for their own ends, the sky truly was beautiful, and the common people knew this. How could they discredit it? (The rebels might have tried to slowly disentangle sky worship and the rule of the Narcien, but they were an impatient bunch, as rebels often are, and wanted quick results.)

A few of them hit upon a brilliant idea: convince people that the sky does not exist, that it is just a projection of their own psyche! "But," you may say, "that sounds impossible: the people need only look up, and their is the sky!"

Never fear: the rebels had some very clever thinkers among their number. And they hit upon a brilliant strategy: spread the idea that looking up itself was a foolish, superstitious act, something that would be engaged in only by young children and imbeciles. But how to do that?

Luckily, the rebels had a tool at hand: recently, in Carinae, a group of people had begun an intense study of things on the ground: groundology. And this study had yielded astounding results, revealing startling new facts about minerals, and ground squirrels, and tree roots, and mushrooms, and so on. The groundologists had high prestige in Carinae. Of course, none of the founders of groundology had anything against the sky: they all worshipped it themselves. In fact, they often said things like, "Our studies of things on the ground demonstrates just how great is the sky under which they all dwell."

But the rebels first flattered the groundologists: they told them that they were great pioneers, who had uncovered the secret of all knowledge: just keep your eyes on the ground! And the less astute of the groundologists, being weak like most of us, fell for this flattery, and began to think that they, indeed, were the gatekeepers of all real understanding.

Once that was accomplished, the rebels began to infiltrate the education system of Carinae, and propagate the idea that studying things on the ground was the only "rational" and "modern" way of thinking. They bolstered their propaganda by repeatedly highlighting the many genuine achievements of groundology: "Look at all of the useful ores the groundologists have discovered! Look at all we now know about canyons, and rivers, and grasses, things that are useful and make our lives better! And how did the groundologists discover those things? By stupidly gazing upwards! No: by keeping their eyes on the ground!"

Furthermore, they vigorously spread the idea, among those who were unsure of their own intelligence, but who greatly desired to appear bright, that to dismiss the existence of the sky as a primitive superstition showed great intellectual acumen, and that mocking the foolish rubes who continued to "believe" in the sky was a further sign of a high IQ.

And that is pretty much the whole story of how anooranism got started, and gradually came to be seen as an emblem of sophistication, at least among the half-sophisticated.


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