Monday, 2 July 2012

More About The Maurai

More on Religion, Psychodynamics and Civilisation


In the second Maurai story, "Progress," Lesu Haristi is addressed as "...Son of Tanaroa..." (1) Thus, the Maurai pantheon has aspects of both the Hindu Trimurti and the Christian Trinity.

Trimurti: Creator, Preserver, Destroyer.
Trinity: Father, Son, Spirit.
Maurai pantheon: Creator, Son, Destroyer.

Centuries after the events of the first Maurai story, a Merican still swears by Oktai. A newly introduced nationality, the Beneghalis, swear by Vishnu, the Hindu Preserver.


Psychodynamics is an academic discipline applicable to analysis of the "...ethnopolitical situation..." (2) Maurai "...peace enforcers..." are psychodynamic teams (somehow) redirecting the energies of any barbarians who threaten their neighbors. (3) (Neat trick. "Peace enforcement" sounds rather contradictory.)

Anderson cleverly makes us think that psychodynamicists have developed telepathy but, if we read on, we find that the "head-to-head" used by Maurai agents is based on a different means of communication.


Until the concluding section of this second story, we have seen Maurai only away from home. Now at last we see one of their cities. After a pedicab ride into the hills, a foreigner visits a quiet, sunny, book-lined house above groves and gardens sloping down to a mast-filled harbor.

The Maurai, acting covertly, destroy a newly constructed Beneghali atomic power station in order to preserve gradual progress with cultural diversity. A growing industrialism would have spread everywhere very quickly and would have returned the globe to the precarious state that it was in before the War of Judgement whereas psychodynamic science implies that the diverse cultures which originated in isolation during the dark ages after the War will interact creatively if they are allowed to continue their separate developments:

the Maurai exploit the sea and limit their population;
Mericans develop dry farming and continental trade;
Okkaidans adopt moderation as a way of life;
Sberyaks systematize reindeer ranching;
Beneghalis return to the old ways of machine techniques

In a few short passages, Anderson sketches a world that is rich in diversity and ingenuity if not yet in material possessions. In the first story, three very different cultures had interacted. In the second, there are more.

(1) Anderson, Poul, "Progress" IN Anderson, P, Maurai And Kith, New York, 1982, pp. 73-137 AT p. 113.
(2) ibid., p. 75.
(3) ibid., p. 92.

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