Cantus (呪力 Juryoku) is the official term used for the ability to use telekinesis. Other terms used include Psychokinesis (PK) and the Cursed Power.
Cantus is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to influence a physical system without physical interaction. Examples of cantus include moving an object and levitation.
Such manipulation of the physical world requires a keen sense of one's spatial perception, with sight being most important. To invoke cantus, one forms a mental image of an existing physical object being moved or manipulated in relation to a fixed point in the environment. Another way is to mentally visualize imaginary objects, such as a basic wedge shape or hands, that act on other objects.
- It is against the Code of Ethics to interfere with another person's cantus. If two canti were to come in contact with each other, a rainbow interference pattern would appear and space would become distorted, creating an extremely dangerous environment.
- Mantra: A sacred utterance, numinous sound, or a syllable, word, phonemes, or group of words believed by some to have psychological and spiritual power. Mantra may or may not be syntactic or have literal meaning; the spiritual value of mantra comes when it is audible, visible, or present in thought. Mantras are words offered to the gods, which are the key to activating a human's cantus. All humans receive a warning to never use them in vain lest the power be lost, during their ceremony. A cantus user has a natural defense against exposing their mantra in the deepest parts of their subconscious.
- Personality Index: The personality index shows the mental stability of a human who is able to use the cantus. A person with a high score on this matter is more likely to be able to remain themselves if it comes to an unexpected turn of events, while a person with a low score is more likely to turn into a Karma Demon.
In the society of Kamisu 66, one's cantus initially manifest around ages 11 to 12. Usually occurring in their homes, it often involves the inexplicable levitation of various household items, which is consequently explained by psychokinesis. When this happens, they are said to be visited by the Spirit of Blessing.
Almost immediately, one is brought to the Temple of Purity located outside the Holy Barrier, where a long, tedious ritual conducted by the Head Priest Mushin aims to assess their cantus ability by controlling a large hearth fire, and their reaction to other's pain. The ritual proceeds to "eradicate" the newly-attained power and to bestow a Mantra. Once they passed this, they are said to "graduate" their previous schools and enrolled the Sage Academy to join [most of] their former classmates.
The practical courses at Sage Academy aims to hone one's cantus ability further, but at their own pace based one's aptitude. Most scored average, and by the time of their graduation is to have sufficient cantus aptitude to blend with the Kamisu 66 society.
In Kamisu 66, cantus is a major, if not the main, power source, though electricity and mechanical energy is still preferred for long, passive work. People often use their cantus instead of oars to move their boats around the district. Phosphorescent lamps containing paint with platinum and iridium are charged with cantus, producing light that can last an half hour before dimming. Various other cantus-acted vocational and other specialized skills taught at Sage Academy would have been used and provide the people with occupations. Experimental animals raised and plants grown at the Lotus Farms would have been augmented by cantus.
Specific examples of cantus use by Group One members and students of the Sage Academy include:
- Building a house of cards (as an aptitude test)
- Building a chinese magic mirror containing your name (as eyesight test)
- The Ball Tournament
- Sand painting, where the image is drawn with sand. A pictorial version of chinese whispers is played as a group exercise. Mamoru Itou grew fond of sand painting.
- Satoru Asahina condensing water from the air and forming a mirror.
- Watanabe Saki fixing a broken glass jar.
- Maria Akizuki's levitation.
- Shun Aonuma's attempt to hatch a chicken from an egg under two hours.
Through the millenium, cantus leakage have mutated the environment at a radically accelerated pace and unexpected direction. This resulted in creatures not known to exist in the Golden Era such as the minoshiro, the haythatcher, and the tiger crabs, to name a few, to emerge. The Holy Barrier serves to control the area where these mutations occur by redirecting the unconscious cantus leakage outside of it. The rate of mutation is inversely proportional to the distance from the barrier.
Cantus have also been used to actively alter existing species. Most of the time these made the animals safer and unable to harm humans. This include the elephants, lions and giraffes, which are no longer the same animals as they were in the past civilization. The effect is that virtually no animal with their habitat within the Holy Barrier have the ability to harm humans. Despite this, several species were mutated to specifically kill humans such as the Tainted Cats. Queerats were also the result of cantus.
- Psychokinesis (PK)
- Cursed Power
- Gods' Power
Saki Watanabe, reading about poltergeists as recorded in ancient literature, before psychokinesis was discovered (see below), noted that in these reports of "ghosts knocking on the walls, silverware dancing in the air, furniture moving by itself, creaking sounds in an empty house and other strange phenomena", there always seemed to be adolescent children in the household. She speculates that as most children are going through a lot of emotional struggles during that time, their sexual energy is unconsciously manifested as psychokinesis, and poltergeists are actually events of recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK), known in her time as the Spirit of Blessing.
Psychokinesis was discovered in 2011 CE in Azerbaijan by cognitive scientist Imran Ismailov in experiments performed the capital city of Baku. Previous PK experiments were met with failures. The theory behind PK stems from the theory of quantum mechanics, in which there is a well-known paradox of an observed particle affecting another particle. Ismailov was the first to predict that the microscopic world being magnified to a macroscopic event applied to PK as well.
The first person Ismailov discovered with the ability was 19-year old Nona Mardanove, who could only move a light plastic sealed within a transparent tube, but that set the whole ball rolling. The number of people diagnosed with PK grew and eventually reached 0.3% of the world's population. There was also a rise in schizoid personality disorder cases.
Initial reaction by society was to ostracize those with PK which, even with their weak abilities, had the potential to destroy the social order of the time. PK users responded by keeping their abilities hidden. This changed when the Boy A Incident took place in Japan.
Boy A Incident and downfall of the Golden AgeEdit
"A’s powers were rudimentary, but one day he realized that he could open any lock he came across. Using this ability, he repeatedly broke into homes in the middle of the night, raped nineteen women in their sleep, and killed seventeen of them."
Following the incident, PK-related crimes increases, and normal people started attacking PK users, beginning from harassment and elevating to public abuse, coming short of executions. In defense, PK users formed their own factions and the most zealous of them proposed establishing a PK-exclusive society. Indiscriminate terrorism by PK users followed. The resulting political, ethical, and philosophical conflicts plunged the world into an age of violent discord. Without previous experience in this situation, there appeared to be no end to this world war.
A civil war against PK users erupted in America, plummeting the PK population to 0.0004 percent. PK users are distinguished from normal people using electric shocks, and the widespread availability of guns facilitated the culling. India, which was a scientific superpower at the time, tackled the problem in a different manner, successfully differentiating genes of normal people and PK users, and unsuccessfully researched into methods to control these genes.
"Ironically, because their lives were continually being threatened, the surviving PK users’ abilities evolved rapidly. At first, PK was thought to be the projection of energy from the breakdown of sugar in the brain. Because of that, it should have been naturally limited to the amount of sugar in the body. But that was incorrect. In reality, there was no upper boundary to how much energy could be used. At that time, the strongest PK user had enough power to stop a nuclear attack. So the balance of power shifted to the PK users and governments all over the world collapsed. The history books we have now make no mention of the past civilization because it was, in essence, completely reset. The wheel of time was reversed, and we returned to the dark ages. Due to war, famine, epidemics, and other disasters, the human population fell to under two percent of what it was during the Golden Age.
Dark Age societiesEdit
After the fall of the Golden Age, with the collapse of physical and communication infrastructures, people reverted to living in a narrow, closed-off world, segregated by geography and greatly reduced population. Societies in Northeast Asia were split into four conflicting groups:
- Slave empires ruled by PK users.
- Non-PK hunter-gatherer tribes that wanted to escape the slave empires.
- Wandering bandits who used PK to pillage and murder.
- Scientists who wanted to preserve the ancient knowledge and technology.
"The first to die out were the bandits...Each family of bandits were made of about twenty or thirty related members. Because they did not hesitate to use PK, and sometimes massacred entire towns, they were highly feared. However, this lifestyle was extremely unstable. To the bandits, the slave empires and nomads were prey, but to these two groups, the bandits were nothing more than a nuisance, so they used every possible method to exterminate them.
"The bandits’ preferred method of transportation was by automatic two-wheeled vehicles. Although in that time there were no longer any means to produce engines and tires, they used PK to revive iron production techniques. They used hundreds of kilos of iron to make wheels and used PK to propel them at speeds of three hundred kilometers per hour. They tore through the plains, sparks flying from the wheels, ransacking towns as they went. Whenever the villagers saw the dust clouds and heard the roar of their engines, they knew the death gods were coming. In defense, the villagers dug pits lined with sharp bamboo spears and strung thin wires up at neck-height. They also used other simple yet effective traps such as planting land mines, putting slow-acting poisons in food set out as bait, infecting young women with deadly diseases and letting the bandits rape them, and more.
"The bandits retaliated by attacking mercilessly with PK, but their downfall ultimately came from infighting. Since they were all related by blood, the bandits were formidable against enemies from outside the group, but within the ranks, there was always the fear of being killed by a fellow bandit. To survive, they had to be wary of any sign of hostility from another member. This kill-before-you’re-killed mentality escalated to the point that dissolution of the group was inevitable.
"The approximately nineteen slave empires in Northeast Asia survived for six hundred years on a policy of mutual nonaggression and nonintervention. Out of the four empires that existed in the Japanese archipelago...[was] the Holy Cherry Blossom Empire, which consisted of the Kanto and Chubu regions. The Holy Cherry Blossom Empire’s longevity was second only to the New Yamato Empire, which encompassed everything west of Kansai. However, the Holy Cherry Blossom Empire went through ninety-four generations of emperors in five-hundred seventy years.
- Main article: Holy Cherry Blossom Empire
"The five centuries of the Dark Age ended with the demise of the slave empires. They had long since severed contact with the mainland, and through intergenerational elimination, the PK bloodlines in the Japanese islands had all but died out. The empires split and fought amongst each other. The wandering hunters living in the wild began plotting attacks against the now ungoverned towns, but the towns banded together and the wars increased in intensity. In the decades of fighting that followed, the number of people killed was greater than the sum of PK victims in the past five hundred years. The scientists, who had only been observers until now, stepped in at this time to impose order.
"They realized the infinite potential, as well as the destructive power of PK, so the biggest issue at the end of the previous civilization was how to protect oneself from harm. To this end, psychologists, sociologists, biologists, and other researchers conducted various studies, but there is no information on which policies they adopted in the end.
"One of the first proposals was the importance of education. Early education about sensibility, logical and moral education stemming from parental guidance, zealous proselytizing about religion, every aspect of education was clearly laid out. But results showed that although education was of life-or-death importance, it wasn’t omnipotent. No matter how perfect the education system was, humankind’s violent tendencies could not be completely repressed.
"Another suggestion was a psychological approach. Anger management techniques that trained the mind, such as zen, yoga, and transcendental meditation, along with more extreme measures like psychotropic drugs were also studied. Both were effective, though it was immediately clear that neither was a panacea. However, psychological and behavioral tests could filter out potential problem-children with almost perfect accuracy. So the next step was to implement the ‘Rotten Apple Theory’. After that, it became convention to eliminate a child who showed any warning signs.
"But even that wasn’t enough to avert all dangers. Even normal humans, warm, friendly people leading fulfilling lives, can forget themselves in a moment of anger. Research indicates that ninety percent of peoples’ stress comes from other people.
"Once the psychological approach was exhausted, it was replaced with medications designed to regulate hormonal balance in the brain. This method too soon revealed its limitations, because it was impossible to keep people on medication for their entire lives. The next notion to take the precedence was ethology, focused on the societies of primates called bonobos. Bonobos are sometimes called pygmy chimpanzees, but while chimpanzees are known to fight amongst each other, sometimes to the death, there are almost no violent physical encounters in bonobo groups.
"When stress and anxiety among members of a group arise, they relieve it through intimate sexual behavior. Mature males and females engage in intercourse, but even immature and same-sex individuals will rub their genitals together in an act of sexual play. Primatologists and sociologists decided that it was of utmost importance to change the current violent society into one of love, like the bonobos’.
The book Toward a Society of Love lists three steps:
- Frequent physical contact like hand-holding, hugging, and cheek-kissing
- Encourage such contact between the opposite as well as the same sex from childhood to puberty, to make it a habit to use sexual play, and the ensuing orgasms, to dispel tensions between people.
- Encourage free sex among mature humans. Convenient and reliable contraceptives would be needed.
"But even that was not sufficient. Computer simulations predicted that the society would collapse within ten years even if all the proposed measures were carried out perfectly. The reason for this was abundantly clear. All the members in a PK society possessed the equivalent of a launch button for a nuclear missile. If just one person lost control, the entire infrastructure would be destroyed...Human behavior can be controlled with education, psychology, and eugenics. And since humans are also a type of primates, ethology can also be applied to create a safer environment. However, in order to protect the dam called society, not even a single crack can be allowed in its walls. The final solution brought about the idea that humans were nothing more than social mammals and to treat them as such.
"A ethologist called Konrad Lorenz who lived during the peak of the previous civilization said that powerful animals like wolves and ravens, as well as social animals, have an innate mechanism that causes them to avoid conflict with members of their own species. This is called attack control. On the other hand, physically weaker animals like humans and rats do not have as much control and tend to fight amongst each other, to the point of violent massacre. So if PK users are to live together in society, a powerful restraint on violence is essential.
"The only effective way was to alter the human genome. Wolf DNA was decoded and the gene responsible for attack control was isolated. But just that is not enough. Something that could suspend their ability to attack is also necessary...Two mechanisms were inserted into the genetic code. The first was regular attack control identical to the wolves’. And the second was something called ‘death feedback’.
"‘Death feedback’ operated on the following principles. When the mind recognizes that the user is attempting to harm another human, their PK subconsciously activates and stops the functions of the kidney or parathyroid. This results in symptoms such as discomfort, heart palpitations, and sweating, which can be intensified through education, conditioning, and hypnosis. At this stage, most people would stop attacking, but if they continued, tetanic asphyxia caused by low blood calcium, or cardiac arrest caused by a rapid spike in potassium concentration would kill them.
References & CitationsEdit