Frequently Asked Questions

What is Rën?

Rën, pronounced /ɾen/ (or, somewhere between “wren” and “rain”), is a complex term that may be applied in several contexts:

  • In application to the rational divine.  Cultures around the world have used other words, such as God, Brahman, Tao, and Naam to express divinity, and all have their connotations associated with the cultures and philosophies to which they belong.  Rën may apply easily to any of these concepts, as well as to the secular concepts of consciousness, awareness, reality, and life.  It is a term outside of the scope of etymology and composed of sounds common to human languages, representing the source of all consciousness, and the Ultimate Cause of all events.  Within this philosophy, Rën is all things, and there is nothing, and no one, aside from Rën, which exists on its own, divided into things and beings only by illusion stemming from Rën itself.
  • In application to a belief system.  While someone finding themselves inspired by the philosophy may call themselves “aspirant” or “Nameless” according to the poetry thereof, the philosophy, having no true name, finds itself referred to as “Rën philosophy”, “Rën faith”, or simply “Rën” after the concept around which it is centered.
  • In application to poetry.  The book of poetry used as the primary source of philosophy within the system is equally without a name.  The symbol upon the cover, or else the first page, is the idiograph for the word “Rën”, so is often used as a title.
  • In application to a language.  The constructed language described on this site is called Zëw Rën in its own grammar, but as languages are often referred to as being languages of a people, this language is more commonly called the Rën language.
  • In application to a being.  Within the Rën language, Rën refers not only to an external form of divinity, but to all forms of consciousness that may be seen within it.  All humans and animals, all ideas of god, and all animate pronouns — you, me, him, her, them — are called Rën.  For this reason, one also uses the word Rën as a greeting, to remind both friends that they are one consciousness, one awareness, in two bodies.

This complexity may appear difficult or confusing, but it is intentional: In bringing more and more meanings into the single term, we train our minds, even in otherwise speaking our own native languages, to recognize Rën in all things, and to place less emphasis upon disambiguating labels.

What is the symbol on the landing page?

That symbol is called tëj, or a “crown”.  It is used to denote a term, place, person, or anything else as an explicit reminder to contemplate Rën.  Within the language, it also denotes the sound [e] as in “may” (American) or “bed” (UK), which is romanized as ‹ë›.  For this reason, wherever it is possible, Rën should always be written with that letter and diacritic, as opposed to simply ‹e›.

Is this a religion? A cult?

A religion is a self-contained set of beliefs pertaining to some form of spiritual reality.  Rën does not contain a personal deity, and lacks ritualistic teachings.  It also lacks exclusivity that is contained within the ethics of most religions — there are people of different faiths, or of none, who follow Rën teachings.  However, it does fit the general, loose definition of a religion.

The definition of a cult is a marginalized or exploitative religious sect, one devoted to a saint or person of importance, or an offshoot or heresy of an existing religion.  Rën has no leader, as everyone to whom the philosophy appeals has as their goal the loss of the self.  It does not seek to set itself apart from society, and any associations with other philosophies or religions are a result of the convergence of liberating paths.

Therefore, while Rën may be considered a religion or a philosophy in the English language, it does not meet the criteria of a cult.

Why a language?

Language is the way in which we rationalize the world.  It is the result of our incredible pattern-finding abilities that separates humans from other animals, and has single-handedly led us to construct the wonders of culture, religion, technology, and every other aspect that we consider an integral part of human life.  It makes us some of the most gregarious creatures in the world, and those with by far the most complex social systems.

With this complexity, though, it is acknowledged that we have lost something else that our fellow animals still seem to have.  They appear to lack most of our anxieties, and possess an innate connection to their own nature, along with their ambiguous sense of self.

Rën seeks to regain that health, and that connection, thus regaining bëkti, or a sense of contentment and awe of all that surrounds.  It is stated that in order to do this, the language of the mind must be subdued, so that the divisive self can be lost (rezad, or ego-death).  The Rën language is a tool for this, to be used in a meditative practice of speaking or writing, translating thoughts into a format that lacks those divisions and requires one to rationalize more intensely their level of certainty regarding what is going on in their mind.

Who wrote the poetry?

You did.  \For any other questions you might have, though, this page can be contacted by sending an email to ren@ren-philosophy.org .