Yeesha’s appearance – Prayer Vigil or Curtain Call?

I just read that Yeesha appeared in the Cavern, in holographic form, in sil_oh_wet’s bevin. I don’t know what to think about this. After reading Sosiqui’s post about the event, I am feeling vaguely disturbed. This vigil could have been mistaken for a religious ceremony.

We tried a lot of things to try and get Yeesha’s attention! Many people came wearing their Journey shirts, myself included. One of the first things we did was to get into a spiral symbol – not the spiral hand of the first Journey, but the mark of the second Journey, the same symbol as in Eder Delin and Eder Tsogal. We started from the fountain, using the center as the dot-and-circle in the spiral, and moved out from there… here’s a KI shot of the spiral at its height, though I’m not sure who took this image.

First, participants wore special clothes, and formed themselves into a symbol of meaning. A standard starting point for many human activities – football, posing for a picture, marching band, etc. Not alarming, in and of itself, but then it gets interesting:

[one explorer] tried talking back to the Bahro of the Cavern. A group went to the Egg Room to meditate. We all tried several rounds of calling Yeesha’s name combined with beckoning motions, and even did waves of movement like leaning to one side and cheering that swept down our human spiral.

One woman is speaking out to unseen creatures in the Cavern. Another group meditates (prays). The gathered group shouts “Yeesha! Yeesha! Yeesha!” in unison, complete with beckoning motions. They also perform other crowd-participation motions, such as leaning/swaying back and forth, and cheering. Change the location, the name being shouted, and you have an ecstatic religious ceremony, analagous to certain cultures’ calling out to their gods. But the strangest part is that Yeesha answered their call:

It seemed unbelievable, but those still present in the ‘hood reported that Yeesha, or a hologram representation of her, had appeared in a series of odd circumstances – not wearing a KI as their KIs did not detect her, but she appeared briefly at the link-in point before vanishing. A cloud of static then moved around the ‘hood for a few minutes before Yeesha appeared on the fountain top – precisely in the center of the human spiral from the vigil! She did not speak and remained there for only a short time before vanishing once more…

Not only did Yeesha appear, she recognized the importance of the spiral and placed herself in the focal point of it, where everyone had been looking expectantly.

I do not know what this means, only that our call was heard…

I can’t get past the religious implications of this meeting. It’s almost as if Yeesha were a god, and Yeesha’s appearance seems to confirm that that’s what she thinks of herself as well. Yeesha is not a god. She is a powerful individual, but she is not all-powerful nor omniscient, and arguably not stable – just look at her rantings in Myst V to know that she’s not stable, and that she harbors somewhat of a god complex.

I have always considered Yeesha to be a friend of the Explorers, a helper with mysterious resources. As such, I would never think to attempt to “summon” her. To me, shouting out to Yeesha would be like shouting out to my wife or my best friend, hoping they will appear – completely unthinkable. If I were there, in sil_oh_wet’s Bevin, would I be able to participate, even if it meant I get a glimpse of Yeesha? No, I will have to say I couldn’t do it. I worship one God, and I can’t even give the appearance of worshiping another.  I would have had to bow out of that event.  After this, I will still consider Yeesha a friend, but I will tread more carefully now, since apparently her delusions of grandeur are becoming obvious and influencing other explorers

I hope I’m wrong. I really do. I hope that I have misinterpreted the actions described. I hope that the event was not religious in nature and was more akin to a theater or sports thing, where fans begin to chant the name of the lead part or their favorite player in a sports event. I hope that Yeesha’s appearance was not a confirmation of a god complex, but instead was the equivalent of a curtain call, an acknowledgment of the people that support her. In short, I hope that this meeting was rational, and my fellow explorers weren’t carried away by emotion and then saw the visit as a mystical experience.

I hope this is an isolated incident, and that mysticism and ecstatic rituals do not become the norm in the Cavern. I came here to explore D’ni, to learn what I could from all of it, including Yeesha and the Journey, to make friends, and to discover deeper parts of myself. I cannot bring myself to call to Yeesha, even if only in the Cavern. That’s not why I’m here, that’s not who I am. That being said, is there a place in the Cavern for me now, or do I have to be complicit in this apparent Yeesha worship in order to enjoy my stay here? If it is the latter, I will most assuredly walk away.  That’s not the kind of Cavern I want to live in.


~ by Kestr'l on February 21, 2007.

6 Responses to “Yeesha’s appearance – Prayer Vigil or Curtain Call?”

  1. Hmm interesting perspective, I can safely say I was not there as any sort of religious thing as I don’t like religions.
    Yeesha has always been this aloof mysterious person guiding us through D’ni, it is only natural that at some point we would like to actually meet and talk to her, I see this as the first step to obtaining that.
    As for if people wish to worship Yeesha isn’t that their choice? I don’t agree with people worshiping God however it is their choice to do so and I continue to venture through the world regardless ^_^

  2. Religious Freedom and No Establishment of any religion are legal aspects shared in New Mexico, the area where the Cleft and D’ni are located, therefore it is logical to believe that no one will force anyone to do anything religious…

    And it’s a good thing too…because we didn’t 🙂 :

    I was there (I saw Yeesha) and let me say that there was no organized religious ceremonies at all. We spent most of the time cracking jokes to pass the time. There was some poetry, someone DID make an impression of the Bahro…jokingly trying to “talk” to them…and someone was trying to get to the “egg room” (as they called it) however they did not…uhhmm…meditate…they were checking out the “easter eggs”…apparently they thought it was easter?

    And there were many there not wearing our Yeesha shirts…I for one came without mine on short notice, wanting to show up ontime and stay the entirety of the event I did not have time to go change and come back 🙂

    So…it was not really a religious event at all…

    And, whether or not it is the explorer’s choice to worship Yeesha (which we did not) it is certainly their decision.

    🙂 Hope that helps.

  3. I agree that it is each explorer’s decision to worship anything or anyone or any god. Though I may disagree with it, there’s nothing stopping them from doing it. Really, what it boils down to is that I don’t want the case to arise in the future where, in order to enjoy every aspect of the Cavern, i.e. to access every reward and Age, I must do something in the Cavern to which I conscientiously object. In other words, I don’t want to be forced to do something that goes against my conscience in order to progress in my exploration of the Ages. As long as everyone’s personal choice to do or not to do remains and does not dictate the opportunities available to us, I have no problem with others worshiping Yeesha, the Great Arch, Cones, or anything else they so desire.

  4. As the organizer of that event and the author of that post 😉 I can confirm for you that there was definitely no worship involved. Someone at one point during the event asked if that’s what we were doing and my reply was an adamant “no”. That wasn’t my intention at all, and the atmosphere in the event was bouncy and fun – there was really no mysticism involved. 🙂 It was a lot of us experimenting and quite a bit of it was done in a joking way (like the ‘path of the bouncy’, where we made our self-made journey spiral jump ;)).

    I know it doesn’t come across super-well in my post, but – yeah. 🙂 The atmosphere was very different, and I guess that’s hard to express without being there when it happened. A few times some people (including those who chose to separate from the major group to the egg room to meditate) did ask if we should be more solemn… 😉

    So yes, this is a rambly way of confirming your hopes that you’re wrong. 🙂 I certainly don’t worship Yeesha and all and never wil. She’s human. Er, part-human.

  5. Oops, and I realized in all that rambling I forgot to include a particular link… sigh! ireenquench made a very good summary of the event that I think captures the feel quite well; it’s here:

    That’s all! And thanks for the interesting post by the way, I hadn’t thought about the event being interpreted that light. It does look kinda scary, I’d be worried if I hadn’t been there. 😉

  6. I was one of the people “meditating” in the Egg Room and I’ll say that there was nothing religious or mystical about what was going on there– we just wanted to find a quiet place away from all the chatter and joking to discuss things more seriously. In fact, one of the things we talked about was this exact question, whether all of Yeesha’s new power has gone to her head, and what that might mean for the restoration, and the explorers.

    Phrases like “Yeesha seance” were bandied about, but it really wasn’t like that at all. It was just a bunch of people trying to get her attention.

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