Mauism is a monotheistic/pantheist religion which originates from and is the majority religion of Polynesia based on the teachings of Ahua the Great and forms a branch of Thaerism. It is practiced by small communities of Oan expatriates and descendants living in Morstaybishlian and other Auroran countries.
Mauism is claimed to originate around 1000 years ago, when Ahua the Great united the West Pacific Island Peoples and became the Rangitanga-a-te-Moana. Others contest it was de factor found in 1245 at the start of the ministry of Priest Pohinga. It is regarded as a branch of Thaerism, but it diverges so heavily from the main tenets of Mainland, Reformed and Valerian Thaerism that some scholars believe that it is a different religious branch altogether - a claim which Polynesian scholars and spiritual leaders vehemently deny. In fact, they do not use the name Mauism but prefer the Insular Thaerism.
The Oan Isles and surrounding island nations largely practiced the worship of the ancestors, several gods and nature spirits. Their beliefs were varied and diverse depending on their needs and circumstances. From 700 to 900 CE, missionaries of Thaerism from Aurora landed on the Polynesian Islands and spread their religious beliefs. Many people converted to Thaerism but they disagreed on some of its tenets and continued to practice syncretism with their native religions. Several scholars held their own interpretations. The Purist school believed in sticking to Thaerism and disavowing other Deities and religions. The Moderate school called for a combination of Thaerism and folk beliefs. The Traditionalists believed that folk beliefs held precedence over imported ideals.
Around 1000 CE, the islands of the West and South Pacific faced many challenges such as natural disasters, population pressures and political disagreements which exacerbated religious differences. In the midst of these religious debates the Kingdom of Tokamotu had established itself as the champion of Thaerism. It used this momentum as well as its wealth and military might to exert control over surrounding islands and lay the foundations of the imperialism that would emerge under Ahua the Great.
Ahua the Great took over from his father Manupatea in 983. The Kingdom of Tokamotu was notoriously well-trained and had great ships. According to legend, Ahua the Great saw a vision of Maui in the form of a Spix Macaw which gave him the power to unite the West Pacific Island people, gave his bloodline the right to rule forever and taught him about the universe. Historians and critics claim this was a ploy to secure legitimacy for his imperialistic and genocidal tendencies while others claim he was a messianic figure who brought Thaerism to the Oan Isles. The prevailing opinion in academic circles is that he was a bit of both.
Ahua the Great used this to claim the divine right to rule. He brought together the teachings of folk religions and the Thaerist purists in a way that appealed to moderates and undecided people. People rallied around him and established a cult of personality. Many joined his forces and ascribed to his teachings. He eventually defeated most South West Pacific tribes and united them as the Oan Isles (named for Heaven, the divine realm of the Almighty Atea). The word for the Creator deity, Atea, is derived from the proto-Yasteruon word Thaer or Daer which was used in Aurora as the name for the Creator deity.
Ahua the Great proceeded to persecute traditional folk religions. The incredible victories of his armies in battle and the speed with which he spread his rule was used as evidence to support the argument that Thaerism was right and that folk religions were wrong. Thus, many practitioners and adherents of folk religions fled to the Strathepolic Islands. Nevertheless, native folk believes stubbornly clung to life in the form of rituals, superstition and folklore.
Many Thaerist writers made the argument that folk practices were also aligned with Thaerism. They buttressed these claims by teaching that Ahua the Great had in fact been visited by Maui, the folk god of the wind and seas in the incarnation of a Spix Macaw. They began to spread legends about him as a type of Messianic figure rather than as someone who simply brought this religion to the Oan Isles. Many claimed to sea visions of him. None was more visible and zealous than Priest Pohinga.
Although Ahua the Great is often cited as the formal founder of Mauism, Priest Pohinga was probably the most instrumental figure. He formalized the teachings of this "Reformed Thaerism" (as it was called in its early days). His movement encompasses hundreds of temples and shrines and gathered the support of common people and nobles. He began his ministry in 1245. This included publishing letters to various temples and shrines. He and his followers were persecuted terribly. He often fled the Oan Isles for safety elsewhere. For instance in 1247 he fled to the Strathepole Islands for a year. His ministry came to a horrific end when he was brutally executed in 1258 CE.
His teachings lived on and gained the support of a considerable class of nobles, priests and members of the royal court such that in 1312 CE, an assembly of over 1,000 prominent persons was held on Manaakitangamotu to call for the acceptance of the teachings of Pouhinga as doctrine. This resulted in a civil war between the Mauists and the Thaerists. In 1321, the Mauists won. They forced the Thaerist Rangitanga-a-te-Moana, Ihone II to abdicate in favour of his infant son, Ihone III who would be raised as a Mauist. A Mauist Regent, Prince Repahe, reigned and declared Mauism as the official religion and sought recognition from mainland Thaerists.
There were differing opinions to the extent that two conflicting bulls were issued that remain contested to this day. Traditional Thaerism was persecuted and pushed out in favour of Mauism. The rise of Mauism led to missionaries from the Oan Isles going to the Strathepole Archipelago to proliferate its message. The people in these islands having cultivated unique identities such as the Jùs of Justelvard and the Kohatuans of the Kohatu Isles and East Gemica) received Mauism enthusiastically because it preserved their folk beliefs and rituals.
Prominent scholars arose who built on the beliefs that Ahua established. Ahua was venerated for bringing Thaerism to the Polynesian people and for the favour that Maui bestowed on him. Ahua's line has remained unbroken for a thousand years. People continue to see his descendant - the modern Emperor of Polynesia - as the head of the Mauist religion and spiritual Incarnation of Ahua the Great. Scholars such as Tamatea Waitangi, Aotearoa Marama and others shaped the modern religion. Each one supported a different school of thought or sect. Today, there are many sects and the Mauist religion is highly diverse.
Deities and prominent beings
Mauism teaches that there is an all powerful, all knowing and all present supernatural and infinite being called the Creator (Atea). Atea is a Polynesianisation of the word "Thaer". Whereas Mainland Thaerists believes that Thaer consists of the consciousness of all living things, Mauists teach that Thaer/Atea contains the consciousness of all living things while still being an individual spirit with their own consciousness. Atea created the Universe and all that is in it and guides the evolution of living things. Atea is believed to be holy, self-sustaining and fully independent, eternal, immutable and immortal. It is believed that Atea created two types of sentient beings: angels and humans. In Mauist philosophy, humans are seen as all sentient physical beings regardless of species. This includes Lupines and other beings which live in the physical universe. Atea inhabits the non-physical universe.
Angels are spirits. They consist of angels of light and angels of darkness. Angels of light are holy and good and they serve Atea. Angels of darkness are malevolent and wicked, leading humans to evil and destruction. The Chief Angel of Darkness is the Accuser who attempted to usurp Atea as the sovereign of the universe, but was defeated by the Angels of Light. One of the Angels of Light is Maui. Maui was appointed by Atea is the Protector of the Polynesian people and the intermediary between them and Atea. Maui also cares for and transports the spirits of the Polynesian people to the Place of Waiting when they die.
Mauism posits that Existence consists of the physical universe including Urth and the non-physical universe. Sentient physical beings called humans for simplicity regardless of species live in the physical universe while angels – spiritual beings primarily but not exclusively inhabit the non-physical universe. Mauism posits that Atea controls and directs the growth, change and destruction of the physical and non-physical universe according to their will.
The non-physical universe consists of three dimensions or aspects: Heaven, Hell and the Void. Heaven is the place of light and life where the Angels of Light and Atea primarily live, while Hell is a place of suffering and darkness where nothing lives. Unlike Abrahamic religions, Mauism believes that Hell is empty and that the Angels of Darkness and the Accuser live in the Void, an unlit and empty portion of the non-physical universe. This elaborate partition of the universe is not a foundational element of Mainland Thaerism and remains a source of contention as Mainland Thaerism expounds the idea of a Lumiferous Aether - a state in which all consciousnesses are amalgamated in Thaer.
The Mauist religion teaches that Atea will destroy and remake the universe and expunge from it the corruption that the Accuser brought. In this process, the Accuser and all evil will be cast into the destruction of Hell. Unlike other Abrahamic religions, Mauism does not believe in the Day of Judgment where humans and angels will be judged and transferred to either heaven or hell.
Mauism holds that all humans and angels of Light will be reincarnated and placed in the new universe according to their deeds in life while in the Present Universe. They do not believe that human souls or angels will be cast into eternal damnation. Moreover, they believe that souls will remain distinguishable, efficacious and rational in the Luminiferous Aether. The Aether is a vague term for the state of in which souls are amalgamated in Thaer. Thus, Mauists hold that the Aether is a state in which consciousnesses are contained in, but not amalgamated with Their. While they do not believe in notions of retribution in the Afterlife for souls, they believe that the end of the universe will be characterized by increased hardship and difficulty arising from an evil regime that the Accuser’s human agent, the Destroyer, will institute across the inhabited physical universe.
Human life and morality
Mauist sects have wildly divergent views on human life and morality. There is no central point by which human deeds can be easily judged Nevertheless, they are united in the general philosophy that morality is a natural predisposition to all beings that reflects the foundational tenets of divine law. Some scholars have tried to guide human thinking through propounding various models and views such as utilitarianism, emotivism and Consequentialism to guide human morality. Mauism holds that Human Morality is subject to Logical Reasoning and Consistency. They hold that humans are intrinsically morally upright beings who have been corrupted by the temptation of the Accuser.
Humans can overcome the darkness in their hearts through faith, prayer and good deeds. Mauist believe that good and bad deeds and thoughts enrich and diminish the immortal soul respectively. They exhort people to pursue goodness in their deeds and thoughts as this will determine their position and glorification in the New Universe. Mauism teaches that ultimately, human life is concerned with the following Five Purposes: Emulate Atea, Glorify Atea, Serve Atea through serving humans and nature and Spread the news of Atea.
Rituals and ceremonies
Mauists hold that their intermediary is Maui. Thus, they direct their prayers to Atea through Maui. Prayer is very informal and there no rules for praying or worship. Different sects encourage different practices. Some sects encourage dancing and singing, other encourage incense and others encourage gifts to an idol of Maui. Mauism encourages like minded believers to gather frequently, sharing the Good News, exhorting each other to do Good, counseling and supporting one another. In practice, Mauists form small organizations and meet regularly. Some organizations have fixed place such as a building or a field while others meet in different places such as the home of a member.
Members believe that some people are imparted with special supernatural gifts such as the ability to foretell the future, to discern and cast out Angels of Darkness, to interpret and speak in Angelic Languages, and to impart supernatural healing of injuries and disease. This has led to a wide range of people promising a variety of services with other building cults of personality. The Oan government has clamped down on some of these to discourage extremism or harm to People’s lives. Special days which mark special religious occasions are celebrated as holidays. One of most important days is the Day of the Crown, when Maui, in the form of a Spix’s macaw, gave Ahua the power to unite the Polynesians and taught him about Atea and himself.
Relations with other religions
Mauism believes that each group of people has a different Angelic Protector and their relationship with Atea is different based on the teaching of their respective Angelic Protector. Thus, they hold all Atea-centric religions as being legitimate and rights. Thus, Mauism has highly positive relationships with other religious beliefs and traditions. Most people in the Oan Isles and other Polynesian countries practice a form of Mauism and syncretism with another religion.