I swear, the word "ennui" (pronounced "ON-WEE", just in case you've never heard it spoken) was actually invented to denote this stage of soul sickness. Weird, huh?

Some scholars argue that Ennui is the true death of the soul; others say it is only the usually-fatal stage of disease and that souls can even be pulled from this brink. I'm not a scholar, so don't ask me.

Ennui is what happens when the soul loses radio communication with itself, or with THE self, if that helps you think about it. The reason it is deadly is because a soul can't heal what it can't find; namely, itself. Ennui is a sick soul become so sick that it can't even fix itself, which is a powerful statement to make about something which is undoubtedly one of the most powerful forces known to mankind.

It may be (and hopefully is) hard to imagine what it's like to lose yourself to that extent; to the point where you can't feel yourself; can't get contact even within your own mind. We're talking about people who are no longer people; they are no longer attached to a soul. They wander blankly like people lost in the Arctic, unable to understand even what THEY'RE doing and why, unable to empathize even with themselves. It is scary and very not cool. People who run into folks this sick will usually run away--very fast. We can tell when something is THAT wrong, no matter how stupid we are on the outside. A soul knows a dying soul when it sees it, and a dying soul is against Nature (assuming that souls are eternal, which there is evidence to support).

Ennui can lead to suicide and often does. It can also lead to severe psychosis--how do you keep tabs on Reality when you can't keep tabs on you? Now, I'm no more an expert in the Afterlife than you are, but it worries me to think what might happen, if we die in that state...where would you go, if you couldn't get a bead on your soul, out there in the bodiless places? Would you forever be a "Lost Soul"?

Anyway, that's the end of the Soul Sicknesses, or at least the end of the basics about Soul Sicknesses. I would node the rest of what I've found, but dammit, if I'm going to write a book I'd damn well better get paid for it!

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