The Wholesome Path of Perfected Duality"As Within, So Without"
The devotion of those who seek to perfect the soul through perfection of the body, they who cleanse wounds and sins, curers of ills of flesh and the spirit.
The Wholesome Path of Perfected Duality (known most commonly as the Wholesome Path) is not so much a religion as the belief that the body and soul are inextricably linked and that health of the body equates to health of the soul and vice versa. Healers, herbalists, alchemists, doctors and surgeons practice this faith every day as they look to the physical well-being of their patients, secure in the belief that should their bodies be free from disease, their souls shall be free from evil, selfishness and impure intent. Lesions, cancers, infections and the like are the physical source of evil, they claim, and that to cure one is to cure both. By the same token, they often claim that some physical infirmities may be caused by a stained soul and that to cure one is to cure both.
Practitioners of the Path espouse a brand of physicianship (not uncommon in sword & sorcery settings) that mingles anatomical scholarship, practical experience and contemplative mysticism to create a bizarre melange of esoterica. Treatments will often require, in addition to sound medical treatment based on fact, repetitive chants (to focus the mind), burning incense (to focus the senses), occult writings and holistic practices such as acupuncture and tefillin-like use of phylacteries. In short, the Wholesome Path will throw every medical and spiritual treatment they can come up with at a problem in hopes that at least one of the treatments work. That having been said, these healers recognize that there can be such a thing as over-treatment and malpractice, and so they prefer to proceed slowly with one treatment following another.
[This post started as my attempt to explain the views of my cleric Zullgunn Tarr in +Brian Takle's Wednesday night ACKS game. As the writing got more in-depth, I decided that the Wholesome Path had a home in Kickassistan as well, so here it is. Previous to this, Dr. Tarr had been seen by the other players as a "sort of hippy" for his belief in the connection between physical and spiritual wellness. Let's see what they think now. I really liked including Master Guang-Yuan Jo in this article; expect to see more of the Master in further posts about Ur-Hadad.]