Kahs-wan Ritual - Day Eight
Kr'trkkla eh Kril'es Monastery, L-langon Mountains, Vulcan
Whack! Whack! Whack!
"T'Sai, there is a food processor that you can use to crush the biscuits."
Mimi looked up. T'Sel, the Vulcan standing before her, was elegantly dressed in a light blue robe, indicative of an adept in training. This particular Vulcan had been giving Mimi a hard time ever since she had arrived at the Monastery with Sordd. She had no idea what she had done to offend… There was nothing definite Mimi could pin on her, she just had a 'feeling' that T'Sel despised her very presence. Mimi looked in to her eyes, there was no spark there... Not to be intimidated, she slammed the rolling pin back down onto the biscuits.
"Using a food processor is not nearly as satisfying," Mimi answered, while trying to keep the tension out of her voice.
T'Sel tilted her head in an inquisitive fashion. She could sense T'Sai Margaret's rolling emotions, which were spilling out all over the kitchen. "Where is the logic in your choice?" She asked with a coolness in her voice. "Do humans follow the path of logic?"
Mimi took a deep breath to steady herself; inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 6. She was determined not to be put down or patronised by another Vulcan. Just as she was about to open her mouth in reply, T'Vish entered the kitchen carrying a bag of supplies. Mimi watched as she put the bag on the large wooden table and began to unpack it, seemingly oblivious to their presence. Mimi took another deep breath; inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 6. She then raised her eyebrow, in her best attempt at mimicking a Vulcan. "The logic behind bashing the biscuits with a rolling pin rather than using a food processor is that I am smashing the biscuits instead of smashing someone's head!" She said in her most neutral tone ever. Mimi then smiled her nicest smile. "It assists me with emotional control." Mimi could see a flush of green travel up T'Sel's neck, her left cheek twitched. Mimi tilted her head, in order to mimic T'Sel. "Perhaps you should try it sometime."
Whack! The rolling pin came down on the biscuits again.
It was now T'Sel's turn to raise an eyebrow. She then bowed her head and backed away. "Fascinating!" She managed to respond in a very neutral tone, which hid the flustered feeling she felt underneath.
As soon as T'Sel had left the kitchen, Mimi relaxed again. She did not want to cause offence, but everywhere she went it seemed to follow. The only times she did not seem to offend was when a 'friendly' Vulcan was with her: Sordd, T'Rama, Skonn, Sakht, T'Vish… She wondered why that was… Mimi caught herself, that was not strictly true. She had met other Vulcans who were not quite as 'demanding' as T'Sel, it was unfair to say otherwise. She made a mental note to try and avoid being on her own again in T'Sel's presence; there was definitely something that was not quite right there.
T'Vish was very aware of what was happening in the kitchen before she had even crossed the threshold. On entering, she was disconcerted by the scene, although with her level of training she did not show this in her demeanour. It was regrettable that T'Sel was residing at the monastery at the same time that Hakausu Sordd and T'Sai Margaret were in attendance… Kadith! She would make arrangements to have an interview with T'Sel in order to assist her through her difficulties… Meanwhile, she could sense the storm of emotions rolling off Mimi's katra. She decided to intervene…
"T'Sai Margaret," T'Vish broke into Mimi's thoughts.
Mimi turned to look at her.
"Could you be of assistance?" T'Vish asked.
"Yes, of course," she replied.
T'Vish picked up the edge in Mimi's tone, but chose not to comment. "Could you crush these biscuits for me?" she asked while handing Mimi a VERY LARGE bag, full of ginger snaps.
Sehlat's Den - The Vulcan's Forge
Avarak dreamed again. It was not as fitful as the previous evening but it was frustrating. He was wandering through the rooms of his house, seeking out t'an rods for a kal-toh puzzle, as much a game of patience as of logic. He found rods in the most irrational of places: under mattresses, beside I-chle's food bowl, in a haystack (his dwelling place did not have haystacks), inside the oven, on top of a closet shelf (that he required step ladders to reach), and inside the freezer, to name but a few.
He entered his bedroom and laid out the pieces he had gathered on the floor. One by one, different members of his family, past and present, Vulcan and Terran, came into the room and added to the pile. I-Chle also brought a piece, as did Pi-veh, and then Betsy. He looked up into her bright, clear, intelligent eyes. She was calm and steady as ever. She nudged him with her nose. He turned to try and solve the puzzle.
A draught of cool air blew across Avarak's cheek, waking him from his slumber. Pi-veh was sleeping on his chest. As soon as Avarak stirred, Pi-veh's ears perked up.
"Are you hungry again?" Avarak asked in an exasperated tone. Pi-veh was living up to a sehlats reputation.
Avarak carefully sat up. His body still ached and his head still pounded. He sighed. He could sense in the atmosphere that the sandfire storm was still proceeding, a contributing factor to his headache. There was nothing he could do about it. He would have to patiently wait.
He checked that the cave entrance was still secure. He then investigated the source of the draft, which he traced towards the back of the cave. Someone had created a simple venting system. He found a small fire pit with some gathered wood beside it. "This is rom, Pi-veh!" he said as he petted the cubs head.
Avarak used the wood to light a small fire. He then toasted some cin-cern root for himself and he gave some yon-savas to Pi-veh.
"I am choosing to meditate through this," he said out loud, more to himself than to Pi-veh, but Pi-veh was there to hear it. He said the words calmly but on the inside his emotions were still raging. He took a deep breath; inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 6. Avarak poked the fire with a stick. "I am still currently unable to take up a meditative stance due to my aching body. It would be illogical to try as the pain will distract me from my meditations." Avarak laid down on the cave floor beside the warm fire. Pi-veh quickly climbed on top of him again and settled down for another nap.
"T'Plana-Hath, a Vulcan who lived before the Time of Awakening, teaches that, 'Logic is the language of the conscious mind, emotion is the language of the unconscious mind,'" Avarak instructed while stroking Pi-veh's soft and smooth fur. "I have found that emotions are reactions to perceived and imagined stimuli, not based on logic. In many ways, logic is better than emotions. Emotions can lie. Most of the time emotions can be irrational. The more you can think critically and objectively about a decision before you make it, the more likely the decision will be rational. The less you are driven only by emotion and instinct, the fewer impulsive or irrational decisions you should make.
"However, that does not mean that emotion has no place. Jarok, who was one of T'Plana-Hath's prized students, carried out a lot of research on the topic. He provided evidence that the emotional part of the brain is required in order to make decisions. It seeks gratification and alerts us to danger." Avarak continued to pet the cub. "I will give you an example, Pi-veh. Fear is an important emotion. It can help to protect a Vulcan from danger and prepare a Vulcan to take action. However, the fear itself must not take over as that can lead to inaction. Humans use the apt expression, 'paralysed by fear.' When I was swept away into one of Earth's oceans, I removed my outer robes; logic assisted me in that decision. However, fear and panic quickly took over…" Avarak looked into Pi-veh's eyes, "Mimi rescued me… Mimi is a human, you will find her to be agreeable..."
"Surak, a legendary Vulcan philosopher, scientist, and logician, considered the greatest of all who ever lived on Vulcan and the father of the modern Vulcan civilisation, teaches that Vulcans must take control of fear and then come to a logical conclusion regarding the best course of action." Avarak looked again at Pi-veh. "You may find it fascinating to know that Surak was also a prized student of T'Plana-Hath."
"Vulcan philosophy asks the individual to analyse all situations and choose only the most logical path. There is great significance in the fact that the Vulcan word for purging-emotion is 'arei-mnu,' which means control of emotion. T'san s'at, is a discipline taught by Surak for the control of emotion. It involves the intellectual deconstruction of emotional patterns and then eliminating them from the decision making process. This is also the process by which Vulcans are able to control their emotions. It is a lifelong process that strives for absolute detachment from all emotion. It is not that you don't feel the emotion; it is that you are so detached from the emotion that it does not cause you to react in any way. It gives you time to calculate the logical course of action.
"Pi-veh, I have found that the discipline of T'san s'at has to be a very deliberate choice. I have also found that I need to continually re-evaluate whether the correct course of action is being taken... Vulcan logic requires practice and dedication to learn to look at life unclouded by emotions…
"The essence of Vulcan society is in arriving at the truth through logical processes. Most Vulcans believe that emotions are illogical, thus making them impure and a deterrent to truth. Vulcans seek that which is true…
"T'Plana-Hath said, 'Logic is the cement of our civilisation, with which we ascend from chaos, using reason as our guide.' As you know, Pi-veh, I believe the dream I had the night before last, which was absolute chaos, was a warning… I am taking heed of that warning and I have decided to choose the path of logic… Through logic I will gain conscious control. Greater control..."
"Surak teaches that individuals should not deny or despair of his or her current predicament, but rather accept it as it is. A Vulcan proverb expresses a similar thought, 'In accepting the inevitable, one finds peace.' Both emphasise the necessity of eliminating emotional struggle with anything that cannot be controlled or changed.
"But, Pi-veh," Avarak began to stroke the sehlat's ears, "due to lack of emotional control and indiscipline, I have failed my kahs-wan. I do not need to remind you that I have taken a life. That is abhorrent…" Despite putting a brave face on it, Avarak could feel the tears pricking at his eyes. He refrained from shedding them... "I am not yet ready to live as an adult in my society… There is no logic in getting 'upset' that I am not at the stage of passing the ritual… Yet, I am."
Whomp! Whomp! Pi-veh jumped up then licked Avarak on the face. "Yuck!" Avarak exclaimed, while removing Pi-veh to arms length.
Avarak was silent for a while, lost in his own thoughts. "Kaidith!" He eventually exclaimed.
"When I return to my dwelling I will endeavour to steep myself more fully in the disciplines. I will ask for help and guidance on how to pass this Journey, and on how to control my emotions more fully. I know the answer is through logic, however, I acknowledge my need for assistance. There is a Vulcan ritual known as the kolinahr. It is designed to purge all remaining emotions in a Vulcan. In time, if I eventually succeed in passing the kahs-wan, I will fully research and contemplate undergoing that ritual. Sa'mekh'al Skon, Ko'mekh-il T'Rama, Sa-kuk Sarek and Sa-mekh, chose not to undergo that ritual. I will ask them why. They are members of my Vulcan family; you will also find them to be agreeable. T'Klaa and Sarra are two adepts that have undergone the ritual, I will ask them about their experience and why they chose to undergo it."
Avarak looked again at Pi-veh. He had entered into a mini hibernation state, which often happens to sehlats during a storm. Avarak breathed deeply. Feeding Pi-veh for the duration of the storm was one less thing to be concerned about. "Sleep well, little one," he whispered as he wrapped his robe around the cub to keep him warm.
Thank you Loretta, RobertBruceScott and Kehlan (Sorry for slaughtering the punctuation!) for your continued input :-)