In the beginning, there was the Divine (called Timil in Baanang). The Divine existed in isolation and total loneliness. To combat eternity, it separated the earth from the sky to create the world. The Divine sculpted the mountains and carved the rivers, and then laid down across the world. Its body became the grass and trees that spread across the emptiness. Its consciousness fled its body and spread across the world, then pulled stars from the sky to become life. The Divine's consciousness entered this new creation and became existence. At last, it knew peace. Every living thing is an aspect of the Divine, and its energy, known as chiig, flows throughout the world, tying us all together.
PrinciplesTimilism is focused on avoiding impurity, because every person is an aspect of the Divine and should avoid spiritual corruption. Harmony with nature is also an important aspect, as all living things are connected by the Divine's chiig. Timilism is more of a way of life and a way of viewing the world than an organized religion. Followers seek connections with their fellows and with animal life as well. Although animals are considered part of the Divine just like humans, Timilism does not advocate vegetarianism, as the consumption of other life is considered a cycle of its own and a way for chiig to be passed from one to life form to another. However, it does have strict rules about how animals should be treated and how to slaughter humanely. Individual practitioners focus on community fellowship and reducing their physical desires (which is considered a way to get closer to the Divine). Killing other humans is forbidden except for cases of self-defence. The most prized traits are humility and charity, while the worst are gluttony and thoughtlessness.
RitualsRituals are usually formal, solitary, and take place at shrines. Preparation involves self-sacrifice, self-denial, and artifact preparation. Rituals usually involved meditation. The ritual calendar is based on the cycle of the stars. Holy days begin when a certain star rises over the horizon and lasts until it rises again the next day. There are 12 holy days in a calendar year. 7 holy days focus on past miracle, 1 is the New Year, and 4 celebrate great teachers of the past. Celebrations usually include visits with distant kin and ostentatious gift-giving, private meditation, and feasts. Marriage is monogamous and usually arranged by the parents of the betrothed. Marriages do not have to be officiated by clergy member. The primary purpose of a marriage is to unify households. Same-sex relationships not common, but are acceptable.
DeathWhen a person dies, their body is left in state for one full cycle of the stairs to allow the Divine time to fully leave the body. Bodies are wrapped in a shroud and buried. Simple stones are used to mark graves. There is no belief in an afterlife. Upon death, a person's consciousness merges with their chiig and flows onward. One day, the Divine might awaken from its experiment, bringing its body and chiig back together. This will end the world.
The majority of Timilists have little involvement with the organized side of the religion. Throughout the region are scattered monasteries with attached shrines. Each monastery is lead by a sage, who is the wisest and most closely in tune with chiig. Every monastery works independently to decide who is worthy to join their ranks. Beneath the sage is an order of monks and nuns (Timilism is a mostly egalitarian religion, though they have separated accommodation. Women tend to have more prestige, due to the perception of women as the caretakers of the home). Although there is no official hierarchy of monasteries and a new one could pop up anytime a dedicated enough individual thought they could run one, there is an unspoken understanding that some monasteries have more prestige than others and some sages are more highly regarded than others.