Path Of Self Focus

Basic Beliefs

Like the Path of Paradox, the Path of Self-Focus owes a great deal to contact with the so-called "Cathayan" vampires. The path addresses a Taoist notion, one summed up by the mortal teacher Laozi's concept of "Wu Wei" - "conscious inaction" or "non-doing." The path teaches a degree of acceptance of the world. To use a pop-culture phrase, "You cannot change the world, you may only change yourself." The universe, internalists believe, follows its own course and one must follow along or be destroyd. Mastery over the world is an illusion. Having purpose is an illusion. If one "wanders without purpose" and allows the universe to proceed of its own accord, there is no conflict. Where there is no conflict, the Beast is quiet.

Internalists teach that meddling in the affairs of others is wrong. The tao must work through each person, as it will by nature. By interfering, one rejects the tao and strives against the tide. If a friend asks for help, then it is just and honorable to help; that is the way of things. But if a friend does not call for help and you interfere, you undo destiny and undo the tao. Worse, by interfering, one assumes a degree of superiority over the other and assumes a course of action that can endager oneself and the friend.

All answers to all questions can be found within oneself. The universe has gifted all sentient beings with the tools to understand all things. If you cannot understand a thing by looking within, then it is not your place to know it. But while one may possess the tools of understanding, one must work to understand those tools before beginning. By honing self-awareness, one can learn what needs to be learned.

Internalists know that there is no future - what comes will come, and the past is dead. There is only the now. Actions occur properly only when they are spotaneous, natural and the result of the needs of the moment. Acting for the future is foolish and acting for the past is wasteful. Vampires on this path frequently quote Lao Tzi: The work is done and then forgotten. And so it lasts forever. Such focused, undistracted action leaves no room for angst, passion or any consideration other than the moment. Free from such baggage, the spirit is free of the Beast.

But the Beast is part of every Cainite. Sometimes it needs to roam free. Vampires need to feed. When the Beast is required to come to the surface, it should be welcomed. The horrors wreacked by its awakening are also part of the tao. It is only when the Beast comes to the force, when it is not required, that is wrong. By knowing oneself, one can know the Beast and know when it must rear its head. If one is weak, if one falters, then the Beast rears its head of its own accord and that is failure. The destruction so wrought disrupts the tao and the flow of things.

Rating Moral Guideline
10 Overconfidence.
9 Laziness - mental or physical.
8 Not treating others as you wish to be treated.
7 Relying on others.
6 Seeking to control others.
5 Struggling with one's self.
4 Restraining the Beast when it must be freed.
3 Not meditating regularly.
2 Frenzying.
1 Being a slave; submitting to the blood bond or a boon.

Ethics of the Path

  • Live in the moment, with no thought to what has been or what is to come. Neither can be affected.
  • Know one's self, intellect and Beast utterly. The visceral and intellectual are equal parts of a vampiric nature.
  • Do not mourn those who fall to one's predation, provided such predation occurs at the correct time and place. When hungry, feed. When threatened, kill. To mourn suggests that the tao was wrong.
  • Do not be overconfident. The overconfident do not know their limits. But equally, do not underestimate one's self.
  • Judge others (and one's self) by what they do and how they do it, not by their words.
  • A being is responsible to itself and only to itself, not others.

Description of Followers

Some Kindred dismiss internalists as being slow and passive, but most have learned to leave the followers alone - they are more than capable of defending themselves. All seek to learn from experiences, and hope to glimpse a little of the workings of the universe from each new sensation. They are not idle dilettantes. Rather, they meditate on every new thing and seek to rationalize it.

Infernalists believe in God or a higher being, but they do not fool themselves into believing that vampires are part of some greater plan. Vampires are there, a part of things, but nothing more.

Virtues: The Path of Self-Focus draws on Conviction and Instinct.
Common Abilities: Etiquette, Brawl (Martial arts) and Expression are especially prized. Anything that aids in the "knowing" of one's self and the bettering of one's body and spirit is to be pursued. Internalists also typically excel at the meditation specialty of Occult.
Preferred Disciplines: Auspex is valued, because of its capacity to help transcend the mortal plane and allow its user to experience the spiritual world. Internalists often learn physical Disciplines as self-defense. They tend not to practice such powers as Dominate or Presence.

Nickname: Internalists.