Amity is a key word among the Herthelani.
It means love in many senses. It can be compared to both the Latin-based amor words, meaning love, and to the Japanese word amae, meaning loving indulgence and dependency.
Dependency? What a terrible word in the ears of the modern masculine western society, with its belief in individualism, independence, and the ultimate isolation of each person.
But Herthelan society is a society bound together by love and mutual dependence. As a community we are bound in love to one another and ruled by Sai Sushuri, the Angel of Love, and her sister, Sai Thamë, the Angel of Harmony. The very foundation of our society is love.
Menamity: “Little Amity”
We distinguish two kinds of Amity – Mayamity (great Amity) and Menamity (little Amity). Little Amity is not a small thing, for it is the love that binds together our people as a whole. We have love for all the people who surround us in Chelouranya.
In the Motherland, chain stores have had great difficulty in becoming established except in large cities. Why is that? Because Menamity binds us to the shopkeepers who serve us every day. It would be considered a breach of that love to take our business away from them. They are part of our community of love.
This comes from a belief that we are part of each other and are all children of the Empress and of Dea, therefore a childlike, dependent sort of love pervades our culture. We expect to agree with each other. We expect to be in accord and in harmony. We do not have the adversarial conflict-culture of (particularly Western) male societies – as typified by their political structure which is based on permanent opposition between “parties” (the very word “party” comes from the term “part” meaning to separate or fragment).
We do not war against each other. For one maid to kill another is considered not just wrong but insane and is viewed with the deepest horror.
All these things are part of Menamity, the “Little Amity” that binds maid to maid. The glue that holds together a society based on the principles of Sushuri (“Venus”) and Thamë (Harmony) rather than an unbalanced Vikhë (“Mars” or the masculine principle) with its ethos of conflict and separation.
So, “Little” Amity is not so little! It is the force that binds our society together.
Mayamity: “Great Amity”
What, then, is Mayamity, “Great Amity”?
Mayamity is considered “Great” because of its intensity. It could be translated as “being in love”.
However, in current Telluria (the planet Earth), “falling in love” is considered to be something that happens between only two people and is usually bound up with the concept of “sexual attraction”.
Mayamity is not quite like that. It can take place between two girls or three, four or five. The two girls may be of different sexes or of the same sex, and if they are of the same sex there is no implication of “homosexuality”. It is entirely possible for several people all to be “in love” (Mayamitous) with each other.
Mayamity is deeply romantic. It happens at every stage of life, from crushes on girls at school to life-long bonded friendships. Nearly everyone has one or more Mayamitous relationships. They are another kind of glue that holds our society together. Menamity holds whole communities while Mayamity holds bonded groups within communities.
Mayamity is much greater than the current Tellurian conception of “friendship” which tends to be very weak and not to recognize real bonds between friends. “There’s nothing between us, we’re just good friends” is a Tellurian expression that a Herthelan would find either puzzling or practically blasphemous.
The modern Tellurian attitude that “sex” is the only real bond comes from its deep-laid belief that people are really animals and ultimately, animal instincts are all they have. Herthelani believe that people are really spiritual beings, and, like the very Angels, can form the most enchanted bonds of love in many, many ways, all of them thrilling, romantic, and deeply binding. This is a huge and fundamental difference between Herthelan culture and modern Tellurian culture.
Herthelani, as we shall discuss more fully elsewhere, have very different attitudes to things like childhood and adulthood. All of us are children of Mother Empire and our Mother God. Those in positions of authority are like mothers or elder sisters. Gentle, indulgent love permeates our society at every level.
One thing that a non-Herthelan visitor would notice about Sai Herthe, or any Herthelan protectorate, such as our own Chelouranya, is that Herthelani apologize and ask forgiveness much more often than she would consider normal. That is because we value harmony between people above all. If there is a rift – even a small one – it must be healed and forgiven. If Tellurians have an injury they will cleanse and medicate it because it must not be allowed to become infected. But injuries to Amity are just as important. Our love-souls are as precious as our physical bodies – in fact far more precious – and any harm to our Amity and Harmony must be healed with the good medicine of sincere apology and generous forgiveness.
Marriage is less common in Sai Herthe than in Telluria. Many girls do marry, of course (or how would there be any new little blondes and brunettes?) but more do not. The idea that life is geared towards “pairing off” is not prevalent. In Telluria in the last century or so, this idea has become manic, owing to the fact that Tellurians now view themselves as fundamentally no more than “mating animals”. As a result Telluria has a society dominated by “serial monogamy” – in which “pairs” are formed, broken, and new pairs formed without any long-term security or true bonding. Since people can be expected on average to have five or more of these pairings during a lifetime, it follows that 80% (at least) of all pairings are doomed to failure. As one Chelouranyan put it “If you simply bet against every ‘life partnership’ that takes place in Telluria – even at extremely unfavorable odds – you would become rich very quickly”.
The reason for this is partly that (despite what Tellurians imagine these days) the marriage bond as the sole bond in a person’s life (or, in a highly telling Tellurian phrase, the only “other” that is actually “significant”) is not traditional. Marriage was never made to work that way, and when forced to it does not work much of the time.
Telluria, of course, has never had a society permeated by love as the Herthelan society is, because it is led by the schizomorphic principles of concord/discord rather than the intemorphic principles of concord/harmony.
Herthelani typically fall in love many times and in many ways, and most bonds last for life. We are a “we” people, not an “I” people. We do not value “personal independence” but the bonds and dependencies of a deeply and richly connected, love-based world.
We understand that romance and adoration are not, as modern animal-thesis psychology necessitates, mere by-products of the procreative instinct but lie in the fundamentally divine nature of spiritual beings that happen to be temporarily incarnate in physical bodies. Our love goes far beyond anything earthly. That is why it is so thrilling, so moving, so very deep. It goes to the very soul of being. That is something that a materialized society has almost completely lost and that a patriarchal society never fully had.
Love is thrilling, fascinating, rewarding, and infinitely, indescribably beautiful, not because it is based in “sex” or any other physical thing, but precisely because it isn’t. Because it is part of our higher, eternal, spiritual nature. In Sai Herthe it is the very mainspring that keeps society running, just as opposition and competition keep a patriarchal (Mars-based) society running. Ours is a love-culture: a nurture-culture.
One thing a girl must learn on entering Chelouranya is to calm the “pairing” impulse that has been so much exaggerated by modern Telluria. Some girls do get married, and of course we respect true marriages: but marriage is not the only Mayamity any girl will have. Precisely because the Amity of marriage is part of a wider community of Amity, it is much more likely to survive as the vast majority of Tellurian marriages and quasi-marriages do not.
But in order for this to work, it is important to understand that marriage is a special vocation for a minority. What you should be looking for is Amity – not necessarily as part of a “couple” – in fact most likely not – but the deep, powerful, supporting, nurturing bonds that come from the holy wedlock of Mayamity. If you want to live a happy, secure life inundated with love in Chelouranya, you will need to make this rather serious mental adjustment.
Mayamity and Menamity – the Great Amity that enriches and nurtures our lives and the “little” Amity that pervades the whole of our community as its very life-blood. The two Amities are the foundation of Herthelan society. If you understand them, everything else about Chelouranya will fall into place. If you do not understand them, Chelouranya will always seem strange and odd to you as it does to most Tellurians.
The Herthelan civilization is a world founded on Amity. As it has been said: “We are a people whose very breath is love”.
Continue to Innocence >>
Amity (at Encylopaedia Chelouranya)
Relationships, Amity, and Marriage (at Notes from Chelouranya)