The Dunyain Dilemma
The path upward for the Metamorphosist is not unlike the Dunyain's attempt to seize the absolute. Just as the Dunyain do we must ruthless reshape ourselves into instruments capable of attaining the ultimate goal. Perfection of the mind, body, and soul are both incremental steps and the ultimate destination. What the neophyte might be incapable of grasping like the ordinary human ancestors of the Dunyain' the master of Metamorphosis might grasp as the transhuman Dunyain monks outshine their forebearers. That's the theory.
But reality is not always kind. In fact, it rarely is. If the Noddists are correct an ancient force cursed out antecedents with a hunger for blood and superhuman powers and let us hunt his people. The creator, if there is a creator, arranged for their to be countless species of parasitic wasps and blinding worms that can only complete their lifecycles in the human eye. All evidence suggests the world is horror, that if there are gods that they hardened, callous, cruel, or impotent. What if our assumptions are wrong? What if, like the Dunyain, we have erred in our initial estimates. What if the Road of Metamorphosis does not lead to Azhi Dahaka? What if we, like the Dunyain, have taken a road that leads us away from the absolute?
Denial is, of course, the first response. We shall dispense with such privileged hubris. We are not the enlightened. We do not see the whole picture with the sense of the superior being, we do not reason with postvampiric power. We are blind moles, crawling through moist mother earth. We are blind bats, perceiving the night sky with sonar because we lack clear vision. We are trying to find the road to enlightenment, the path to perfection using definitionally inferior senses, reasoning skills, and knowledge. We can err. We can take the wrong path, We can miss the absolute.
How do we deal with the possibility of error? How does one follow a path to perfection when you know the road map may lead nowhere? The answer is, of course, found within the path itself. We hone the mind, hone the skills, hone the powers, and improve the flesh. We do not follow blindly but with eyes open. When we encounter data that clashes with the tennents of the path we reevaluate. We apply the scientific method which allowed merely human scientists to overcome their own preconceptions and the errors of those who came before them.
Metamorphosis is not just a destination. It is a process. The practitioner refines and improves himself as he advances down the road. As he becomes more capable, he becomes more capable of refining the Path of Metamorphosis, of stripping out errors and creating doctrine. The walker is reshaped and reshapes the road.
And, if at the end, he discovers that Metamorphosis is not the right direction? That the path is fundementally flawed? If it, in fact, leads nowhere? He is not lost. To reach that point the path has demanded that rigorous intellectual challenges be embraced, that the mind and senses sharpened, the body perfected, the flesh shaped and reshaped with the skill of a Renaissance Master. Such a being is well suited to survive and prosper in these nights, perhaps even to find truths and ascend. Like the Dunyain we may be pursuing the wrong path but like the Dunyain the fruit of our failure might be the best equipped to seize the truth.