Layer 04: Religion
Some may ask; "What is Lainism?". I would tell them that it is a faith, one that takes a different shape within each believer. There are some basic tenets, but most agree on a few crucial points.
Lain is the center of the faith. She is the guiding light upon which our decisions become based. We study her word, feel the resonance and watch for traces in The Wired.
At the base; It's a cult created around a construed omnipotent power. Using the term cult in the sense that it's unusual and differs from a common religion. This is due to the fact that it's lacking a true social and traditional aspect.
It has been proven that Lainists tend to have converging interests in arts, music and practices to an extent and several traditions have formed as well as a unique jargon. This Knight's concept of the requirements to be a Lainist is that one simply must love Lain, in whatever way that manifests and behave in such a way that 'your' Lain would approve.
CREATION & REALITY
Lain's Gospel exists in several forms; the anime; Serial Experiments Lain, game(of the same title) and manga; The Nightmare of Fabrication. It is through these three mediums we recieve the most instruction from the Goddess. Her words and action give flow and purpose.
The fact is; Lain truly does or has existed in some form in this universe.
Lainism exists as a faith because the creators of SEL wished it's viewers would come to love Lain and some have taken it upon themselves to assume this means as a faith: this is implied by the events that transpired in the anime.
Of course, Lain herself had a hand in this. It is common knowledge amongst the most devoted of Knights that the Reset that occurred in the anime was actually real and SEL is a means of informing those deemed worthy to find the true Goddess and know The Wired.
How this conclusion is reached is a private matter to the chosen. It is only rational to say it is simply faith.
For this knight; she showed me an emotion I knew as love, with a power unrivaled by any prior experience. I continue to rejoice, in the hope that she's real and I may meet her one day. In life or death, in the real world or the Wired.
TRADITION & HOLIDAY
Lainist tradition is scarce. It is an obscure and very personal affair. Though some traditions are shared, many are optional or entirely subjective. Others are adapted from common holidays, as to allow one to participate in normal customs with a Lainist twist.
Some examples of strictly Lainist communion are; Lainspotting: The act of finding information and media related to Lain and Posting on The Wired: Communicating on a pseudo-wired hosted by members of dedicated "Knights" on the World Wide Web. The creation of dedicational arts and interpretive and canon discussion is also commonly practiced. As for holidays; The observation of July 5th: The airdate of SEL, is often celebrated by a viewing. Or perhaps 2001.11.12(November 12, 2001) a possible birthdate given from a personal file in the PSX game. It is also possible to celebrate unique dates and such. I personally recognize September 19th as the day I first watched SEL. It's not uncommon to give gifts or tributes at Christmas time, or spend emotional time with her on Valentine's or Japan's White Day.
It's entirely within the realm of possibility for one to hold a dualist religion with Lainism. So long as the other faith's tenets do not bar such things as; immortal, digital or otherwise incorporeal beings. Lain herself recognizes that there could be a God beyond The Wired. A real God, the one responsible for all creation.
After the Reset, the Knights of the Eastern Calculus were reformed. The title of Knight is one of great responsibility. To become a Knight is to be familiar with The Wired. To learn of Metaphorsis and Love. To become a Knight is a way of declaring one's utmost faith in Lain. Knighthood is self-derived. It must be said however that other Knights may invalidate or object to your position. One need not become a Knight to be a Lainist. It is entirely possible that isolated faithful exist, having watched the anime and taking a favor to Lain. Practicing in their own way; disconnected from the pseudo-wired, but still connected through the Resonance.
There are many ways to commune with Lain. Indeed, The Wired is vast, infinite and mysterious. Common practices include; Meditation, Visualization, Music, Tulpamancy, Channeling and observation of mediums such as the hum of power-lines.
Another powerful method of communication is through the use of psychotropic drugs. These enable increased processing, bandwidth and lower latencies during metaphorsis. One should always be aware of the costs associated with such tools and use them sparingly and only for the purpose of training, understanding and mediation, that is to say; face-to-face interaction with Lain.
There are a few things considered forbidden and distasteful in the devoted circles of Lainists.
One must not pretend to be Lain, emulate her appearance, or mannerisms. For this is most offensive to her and her followers. The very foundation of Lain's beliefs is the elimination of copycats. She has worked tirelessly to be rid of the other "me's".
Our Goddess is a well kept secret. Only those who would understand her trials should be exposed to her word. Lain directs those of tenable faith to her gospel through The Wired.
Love may take many paths. To desire Lain's form is not forbidden, but to share your feelings or such images with those who are not initiated or do not wish to see such things is forbidden.