The future of a Virtual Aristasia was being discussed the other day. We were speaking of the huge importance of friendship and sisterhood to Aristasians and the come-and-go nature of many of the friendships formed in Elektraspace.

In Aristasia Pura, the deepest friendships often begin in childhood and are forged through many common experiences and loyalties.

In Aristasia-in-Telluria friendships have been welded by living together and working together.

In Aristasia-in-Elektra friendship can seem a little lightweight, especially with the tendency of some new friends to be effusive one day (or month or year) and gone the next. If Elektra is going to be an important field for Aristasian life, we need to consider how to address this.

Traditionally, friendship develops slowly and runs deep in Aristasia. Building trust, love and bonding does not happen in a day and when truly forged is rarely broken. The term Friend is one that some Aristasians use with caution, for Friend is one of the highest titles she can bestow: it is not for mere acquaintances or passers-by.

And yet in Elektraspace, striking up friendships rather suddenly seems almost a necessary procedure, and the concomitant shallow-rootedness seems hard to avoid.

What is the answer? Lhi Raya quoted an old saying that Dea is easy to please but hard to satisfy (meaning that She is pleased with any small gift or expression of love, but that in the end only full devotion is truly sufficient). It is a powerful saying and one which lhi Raya suggests can be applied to Aristasian friendships in Elektra.

We too must be easy to please but hard to satisfy. Ready to be friends quickly; but realising also that the true bonds of deep friendship must be forged with time and effort and love; and that there is no substitute for this.

Playing together is an important aspect of this. The Japanese are very aware that spending recreational time together is one of the few ways of speeding up the long process of forming true friendship. That is one reason why I think the Wii, with its promise of easy recreational interaction across continents, may be important for the next phase of Aristasian development.

We also need to be working on projects together. Making a film in Virtualia is one thing that has been discussed. Sharing our fiction is something that is already beginning. 

Gradually we must build toward that critical mass whereat a true esprit de corps can develop in Elektra as it has in Physicalia.

In Telluria friendship may be an optional extra. In Aristasia it is the cement that keeps the temple erect: the gravitational pull that holds the stars within their courses.

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