The World (世界, Sekai?) is used to refer to the concept of the planet Earth and its rules. It has two distinct "wills", Gaia (ガイア, Gaia?), the will of the planet, and Arayashiki (阿頼耶識, Arayashiki?), or just Alaya (アラヤ, Araya?), the unconscious and universal will of humans to avoid destruction forming the base of all human existence. Gaia and Alaya each have their own interests, and they work against each other to preserve those interests. Gaia is a system that operates under Akasha that preserves order, which can be considered its lifespan, and it will crush paradoxes or anything else that disrupts that order. It uses spirits as a sense of touch, and anything that interferes with them is considered a contradiction. Its goal is to preserve the beauty and life of the planet, and it is willing to eliminate humans if that is what is necessary in order to stop corruption and return it to its natural state. The use of the term "world" by magi implies more of universal rules that can be manipulated or taken advantage of by mankind. Humans are part of a larger system, while "Gaia" seems to denote not man as a part of the system, but man against a greater organic conscious.
While the Earth was still in its primordial stage, the god Ea was involved in the building of the planet. He was a pseudo-deification of the power of the planet by which primordial Earth’s surface, covered by magma ocean and gas, was moved, crushed, and stabilized. Many gods began the building of nations after the primordial planet became habitable by life.
The time before the modern era is referred to as the Age of Gods (神代, jindai?, lit. Age of Divinities), during which mankind was less populous and Divine Spirits were either more common or more active. This period is marked by a greater proliferation of Phantasmal Species such as the True Ancestors and Gorgons, and greater interaction between gods and mortals. This is the age of heroes and mythology, when rules of mankind and the world were different but this period ended many years ago. Even Magecraft itself is described as being closer to Magic in this era and Caster's abilities reinforce this concept.
The current age is identified as the Age of Man, where the gods disappeared from everyday life and the progressive decline of magecraft began. Satsuki Kurogiri introduced the theory that the decline, beginning toward the end of the Age of Gods, may have come about due to the extinction of the Unified Language, which may have been common during the period. Gilgamesh insinuates that the world was more antagonistic towards humanity in the previous era, noting that even he could not afford to needlessly slaughter people. During that period, humanity was closer to its origin and the power of Alaya was more concentrated, augmenting the weight of each human soul in comparison to modern humans.
The balance of power between the two wills is the Counter Force (抑止力, Yokushiryoku?), safety systems with no consciousness that aim to maintain and prolong the state of the present world. It only acts in situations where factors capable of destroying the world have actively started working, and it will come into play to annihilate those factors. It is a swirl without a shape or body that will adjust its magnitude in accordance with target to be destroyed. This allows it to have a greater force than the target to assure absolute victory. If it is impossible for human hands to adequately stop the threat, it will take the form of a natural phenomenon to wipe out the designated area and its surrounds like it did to a currently lost continent. It cannot be witnessed and people are unable to consciously notice it. Both Gaia and Alaya have their own Counter Force, referred to as the Beast of Gaia (ガイアの怪物, Gaia no Kaibutsu?) and the Beast of Alaya (アラヤの怪物, Araya no Kaibutsu?). They are phenomena that exist to erase other phenomena, and they are called the "Reorienters of direction."
The Counter Force of Alaya is born from the will of humans wanting to survive even if it means eating up their own planet. It will often push "receptors", "normal humans" that can function as mediums for the Counter Force, into wiping out the factor of destruction. They will often change in personality, as if possessed, and they will be given exactly enough power in order to eliminate the target. There are also those who willingly form pacts with the Counter Force, such as Joan of Arc in the present era, in exchange for power on the basis that they serve it afterward. They are then revered as heroes and incorporated into Alaya as Counter Guardian after their deaths. It is considered an even exchange for the fame and glory, for which they are to perform servitude for the power they receive. Counter Guardians, the Beasts of Alaya, are forced to go beyond the standard of humanity to become heroes that will be used for eternity to remove threats. They will defend humanity from destruction, and even humans and other heroes will be killed when they are the cause of their own ruin. It is completely emotionless, and it will go as far as stopping actions that would have brought happiness to ten thousand people on occasions.
There are few people that can be called heroes since the development of civilization, and the factors capable of destroying the world have become extremely frequent. The Counter Force is constantly at work saving the world from destruction, such as stopping corporations from deforesting the Amazon at a rate that would end the world in a year, at a rate where it is impossible for anyone to notice or care about. There is usually only one hero per generation, and not even saving the world itself is the action that makes someone into one. The right to be called a hero that surpasses human beings comes from doing an impossible task, the alteration of destiny. Even if they didn't have the power of a hero, as long as a disaster that couldn't have been averted otherwise was stopped, they will be recorded as a Heroic Spirit. Alaya cannot freely react to destruction caused by nature or the Counter Force of Gaia. Even though True Ancestors are the enemies of humanity, they are recognized foremost as spirits of nature. If a magus attempts to touch Akasha, it will mercilessly kill them.
The Counter Force born from Gaia is centered around its will to survive. Its main goal is to protect the planet, so it will let humans live as long as the world is safe. It doesn't care what happens to them if there is danger present. In the case of the death of the world, such as in Notes, it will not blame humans and simply resign itself to its own fate as long as they also perish. If they are to survive, it will fear such beings living on the dead planet, making a final dying wish to receive assistance from the other planets to wipe them out. Gaia made a deal with Crimson Moon in order to provide the True Ancestors as a natural defense system, and the current Beast of Gaia is known as Primate Murder.
- ↑ Fate/Extra CCC - Gilgamesh Profile Enuma Elish
Counter Force (Others)
The Counter Force here is the safety device formed by the collective unconsciousness.
The prayer to avert the demise of mankind, Alaya.
And the prayer to extend the life of the planet, Gaia.
These are the two aspect of the Counter Force.
Both aspects have the goal of extending the existence of the current World. They will eradicate the factors that threaten to destroy the World at the moment of their occurance.
Since the Counter Force is the unconscious, its appearance draws no attention, and no one will recognize it.
The Counter Force is a formless spiral of power. It adjusts its scale based on the target that needs to be obliterated. The Counter Force will always appear with a status above the target, enough to absolutely secure a victory.
Normally, the Counter Force empowers "a normal person" to remove the factor that can trigger destruction. As a result, these individuals are worshiped as "Heroes".
Individuals who became Heroes through the aspect of Alaya are said to be integrated into Alaya after death. However, the accuracy of this statement is uncertain.
These individuals are also called Counter Guardians. The emphasis here is "Counter", because they have no autonomy and will only activate in response to an event.
- ↑ 阿頼耶識 and related entries at Jonnobi (search)
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