Jacqueline Lichtenberg's Starred-Cross

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A Definition of Householding "Virtue"

The "virtue" of the Householding is a philosophy or attitude which the members all regard as THE SINGLE FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPT necessary to construct a philosophy that will work in the S~G world. It has nothing to do with morality. It has nothing to do with goodness. It has nothing to do with merit or meritoriousness. It has to do with SURVIVAL as does everything else in S~G. But MOST IMPORTANT - it has to do with the binding quality that unifies the House because in a hostile world, that HouseBinding is their survival edge. Every member of a Householding is a member not because they believe or adopt this Virtue - but because they live that way whether they know it or not. It isn't an opinion. It isn't a political position. It's an element of CHARACTER so intrinsic the person isn't aware it's there until they RECOGNIZE that quality in the personhood of the Sectuib.

The Sectuib is the personification of that ideal. And it is an IDEAL - not usually fully manifested. It is what is striven for - not what has already been accomplished. Thus the House Virtue is the one thing which, if striven for, would ensure survival of the House, maybe of all humanity because if you get this one thing right, everything else will come out right automatically. The House Virtue is what they perceive as the cause - and all else in the philosophy is just effects. It is the single AXIOM of their existence. It is the one (and only) thing the members of a House don't argue about because to them it's self-evident. The VIRTUE is the solution to the problem "What is it that's killing us?!!!!" It's a "Just get this right and everything else will fall into place naturally," concept. Thus when an outsider looks at all the members of a House, the outsider sees , "They're all the same!" They all have that indefinable, abstract QUALITY that is either irritating, or admirable, or simply distinctive. The insiders look at each other and can't see any similarities among themselves at all. They look at the Sectuib - and they see their Unity of Purpose Made Real. It's that vision that makes diverse people accept each other. It is very personal.

This QUALITY,"Virtue," isn't a matter of personal choice. You're born with it, or you're not. That's why to Householders it is no stigma not to be a member of a particular House. But not to be a Householder is a stigma - it is to be without a solution to the problem, "What's killing us?" That is to be junct or a Wild Gen. Or it is to have a solution and no one else to share it with - to bind with - to be whole and complete with. This latter group are the disjuncts and nonjuncts and donors who are transients - people trying to find their House by living here a while and there a while - contributing to Householdings without having yet found their Sectuib. It is from this population of transients that new Houses form, more than from members of a particular House (though that happens too). As a person grows and ages - sometimes the notion of what Virtue is THE most crucial to foster and strive for will become more refined. So the House you were born and raised in or which you joined on disjunction might eventually begin to seem too broad, too abstract, too unfocused. Thus you get "daughter" Houses formed by groups within a House that start as genuine members of that House and evolve from there into something new. The older Houses generally had the broadest concepts of the Virtue they were striving for - and with time, Houses founded out of that House refined and narrowed the concept. But all the Virtue concepts in a family of Householdings are related.

Of course, it doesn't always exactly work like that. Humans aren't "orderly" in their method of generating history. But when Zeor was founded, it came from a large number of splinter groups coming together searching for their one common denomenator - because they had to. It was the only way to survive. They were a very small number (400 as we've just discovered - not counting the channeling staff) and they were as diverse as any random sampling of 400 humans could ever be. The more diverse the group, the more urgent their need to bind into a House, the more general, the more abstract, their Binding Virtue is likely to be. And an Abstract, however wondrous, will prove inadequat to the next generation of youth who want single-pointed and simple, definitive ANSWERS. Abstraction is for elders. Youth wants quick easy specifics.

Zeor was composed of 400 desperate people of diverse ages - though most of them had been through a harsh winnowing where the infants and children died, and the elderly and infirm died - so what was left were the vigorous individuals of mid-years. They found their common denomenator in Del Rimon Farris - who strove for excellence, and never mind excellence in what. Just excellence. Stop arguing about what's the most important thing to do first, and just do whatever you're doing a little better than you did the last time you tried it. However well or poorly you did this time - at whatever you were doing - next time do a little better. Next time excel your previous mark. If you keep doing that, we'll survive, we'll make it. And if we make it - humanity will make it. Excellence is not perfection. You can't excel past perfection. Perfection is not the goal of excellence. Excellence is not a moral value. It's not meritorious. It's not "good". It's just a philosophy - a way of approaching the doing of deeds that leads to survival in the Sime~Gen universe. It might even be worth a try or two in the Ancient universe - but we're probably not desperate enough. You see the big problem with Excellence as a virtue is that it doesn't make any statement about other people's methods of survival - so you can't develop prejudices around it. It's just too slippery. Most Householding virtues are like that. Take Keon for example - Freedom. Now there's a slippery concept for you! If you get stuckup over how free you are compared to other people - you're NOT FREE!!!

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The Householding Ahlvastin Virtue: Perspective

House Ahlvastin's virtue is Perspective. The word Ahlvastin means - roughly translated - the view from a high place, or looking out over the landscape from a high place. House Ahlvastin teaches that one can often solve a problem by gaining a new perspective on it - by seeing it in a different way, changing your point of view.

Deann, First Companion in Ahlvastin, on the topic of Perspective:

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The Householding Tien Virtue: Confidence and Pride through a Healthy Mind

An explanation by the Founder of Householding Tien, Sectuib SaySha ambrov Tien

Can you imagine going through changeover in Out-Territory? The terror...the shame...the knowledge that everyone and everybody either wants you dead or at the very least gone. And then when you finally arrive in Sime Territory, you know that you are Sime and that you are the same and yet not the same as everyone else. You look at the tentacles on your arms then at the Sime nearest you and although you know that there is not a difference between the two of you, there really is. You move wrong. You act differently. Your accent is strange. The holidays confuse you. You only want to go home but home is death and so you are stuck...in Sime Territory, the only home you will ever know for the rest of your life.

You understand that the authorities are trying to do their best but still it is hard when you are only 10, 12, 15, or any age in between. The schools you attend try to teach Simelan, the language of the land and yes, you do learn it. You even are able to speak the language without an accent because of your "special learning abilities" which come along with the inconvenience of tentacles and the voracious need to take selyn every month but that is where it ends. Everything about you screams...I AM FROM OUT-TERRITORY. You quickly find that you have no references to what people are saying. The holidays that you loved as a child are not cerebrated and if the truth be known are, in fact, ridiculed. On top, the holidays which are celebrated have no meaning, no life, no joy for you but the worst part is that the people around you notice. In other words, you are an outcaste even in the place which was heralded as being safe.

And the longer you live in Sime Territory, the more you hide. You do your job and go home. You assure yourself that you will not socialize again because the last time you did, you were hurt and that pain came from the one person whom you thought was really your friend.

I ask you? Is this the sign of a healthy mind? Is this a person who feels love and is able to return love? Is this a person who will make an incredible addition to our "free and welcoming" society?

No. And how could they when they are not given the chance.

So what is lacking? What does the Out-Territory Sime need to function in this society? I say to you that it is confidence and pride in oneself. And how can you build that confidence and pride?

By teaching the new Sime how to deal with their peers. It isn't enough to give them the ability to communicate and to learn a trade. These new Simes should be able to blend into their new world. They have to feel as if they are a part of Sime Territory and that it is a place that they can be proud to call home.

Confidence and Pride through a Healthy Mind. Yes...a healthy mind is achieved by having confidence and pride in oneself but I can see you asking, what about the Gens who freely chose to live among us?

It is doubly important for the Gens since they don't have the accelerated learning processes which grace their Sime counterparts. At Tien, we have been striving to perfect the language training a Gen receives by teaching phonetics. We help them to understand (to the best of their limited ability) why a Sime, especially a Sime Territory Sime thinks the way they do.

Gens are precious to us and Out-Territory Gens are even more so because THEY are the ones who have overcome family-upbringing prejudice to stand up and say, "I want this. I want to be a part of a better way of living."

Yes, I can hear you when you say that that is understandable for the Gens who are training as a Donor but what about the ordinary Gen who simply wants to BE a part of that life or what about the Gen who simply comes here to learn a trade in one of our Householdings. That Gen is indeed unique since that person has decided to live in our Territory and therefore will see how we live and how we strive to make the best life possible for not just one or two but for everyone.

These Gens come to us after making incredible decisions. It is our duty to assure them that the healthy decisions they made are ones of a heathy mind and therefore it is our duty to encourage and help those healthy minds grow and this is done by instilling pride and confidence in the work, in the living, and in the play that they do while they are in our care.

And so, I say to you that the virtue of Householding Tien is Confidence and Pride through a Healthy Mind and it is a virtue which will envelope our hearts during each moment of every day.

Unto Tien, Forever.

Sectuib SaySha ambrov Tien

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