Nar Fesi, Na Fesi Na Pexiru (Weist Ritual)
Keywords: religion, Buddism, Weism, Weifisa
Besides meditation and independent study and charitable work in the community, Weist practice is centred around a sort of interactive lecture called a 'Fesi', literally a 'pull', but in this context is means 'effort' and refers to the Weist conception of 'Right Effort'.
Fesi come in a number of types, including lectures on Weist beliefs, lectures where propositions contrary to Weist thought are presented and considered, and in the case we're going to look at now, lectures on science. These are called 'naz Fesi na Pexiru', or 'efforts of science'.
A Fesi is typically conducted in a Weist public house, temple or monastery. These exercises are conducted approximately weekly for lay people and make up a major portion of the day-to-day activities of monastics.
All Fesi start with a kind of ritual opening prayer called 'na Steplawt', literally 'the placeword'. The purpose of the steplawt is to focus the congregation's thoughts and to frame the exercise in terms of Weist belief. The following steplawt is the one used for a Fesi na Pexiru. It will typically be delivered by a minister for a lay congregation, or a senior monk in a monastic setting. It will be followed by a lecture on a scientific topic, usually with visual aids, where the audience usually may interrupt and ask questions to clarify points, and then followed by a general discussion of the topic.
The lecture portion may be led by anyone in the congregation who is deemed to have achieved a decent mastery of the subject matter. Being asked to lead a lecture is considered an honour. Pre-prepared lectures are widely available and often used, but original lectures or modifications to pre-prepared lectures are also common. In a lay setting, the lecture will typically be short, focused and basic, and will often go back over familiar territory. In a monastic setting, the subject matter is more likely to be more difficult and the lecture longer.
Recurring themes in Weist Fesi na Pexiru include the nature of sensory processing in the brain, cognition, the science of perception, and physical sciences, especially exploring scientific conclusions that are counter-intuitive for what they reveal about the fundamental limits of gaining access to reality by paying attention to our experience in the moment. The principles of logical reasoning and rational, evidence-based argument and the scientific method itself are also popular topics of discussion.
In either setting, a Fesi na Pexiru falls well short of a real professional scientific discussion, but the point is to help the entire congregation accept that moving closer to understanding the real nature and facts of the world around us requires constant effort and discipline, that the underlying reality is not granted to us by our senses alone.
Na Steplawt na Fesi na Pexiru
A wifisyn wenaz se an ny mikten na real su ja mero te wiru ro naz oma nar meppo hanja te xoffe usútta naz fisa epis naz jusal tynno spot. A spe'n se an ilino zra u na eonazys lefo, joku se ikky an na zra real. Itin, az awke atuin se ikujók xulyn e ny sih su jaz tene winys wero. A spe'n se an na estép ixu wez nox lis e kon cel e sun jez hap zisse, "Na Sih na Triju." Y ate lis 'na Cajre Fesi' se an na fesi e sun wez nox triju uspócu naz ehájk nar meppo ceo na can leko epis na til e sun jez te erískes lefo a kahasyn na pexiru. Itin, fo zra wez nux wokky ija spet lawt.
This invocation reads back literally something like this:
"The experience of us is an approximation of reality that the brain crafts from the product of the senses and then mixes with the beliefs and the desires already there. This is almost good for daily use, but is not the true reality. Therefore, all people unavoidably live in a dream that they have themselves made. This is the condition that we mean in what hour at that we say "the dream of vision." One meaning of "Right Pull" is the pull at that we would see beyond the limits of the senses through the hard work and the study at that we with discipline apply the methodology of the science. Therefore, more good we all would listen to this word."
The next section gives a more liberal and fluid translation of the underlying sense of this passage, but the above gives some sense of what the more literal Common is like.
The following recording was done by an Epekwitys expatriate living in Britain whose first language is English, so there is a bit of an Epekwitys Common and Epekwit English accent but it gives a sense of the sound.
The Invocation for the Contemplation of Science
Our lived experience is an approximation of reality created by our brains from the products of our senses mixed with the thoughts, beliefs and desires we already possess. This process is adequate to support our day-to-day survival, but does not give us access to true, underlying reality. Therefore, all people unavoidably live life in a dream of their own creation. This is what we mean when we talk about "the Inevitability of Dukkha." One meaning of Right Effort is the effort that we undertake to see beyond the limits of our senses though hard work and study, rigorously applying the scientific method. Therefore, let us now attend to the word before us.