The striviirc-na are culturally and socially divided by castes (see below). An alternate, perhaps more accurate translation, is “place” — na is the word in all striviirc-na dialects. It is believed that every man and woman is responsible for finding their true “place” in society and then to serve society from that “place” with all their heart. Who determines one’s place, or caste, in society? Naturally birth has something to do with it, but their castes are not rigid entities; one can discover one’s true caste or place through a number of ways (see below) and thus go beyond the place — essentially becoming a “member” of another caste — in which they were born.
Place is an ambiguous term in striviirc-na and it is necessary to understand all of its facets if one wishes to understand the striviirc-na themselves. There are 4 predominant philosophical definitions of place: the physical place (one’s body or environment, again determined by context), the emotional place (which includes one’s mental state), the societal place (one’s “occupation” or contributory role in society) and the spiritual place. Context determines the precise meaning of na (“place” or “caste”) and the spiritual comprises the previous three in a kind of refined form. This number 4 is important to striviirc-na thought and culture (see below), especially in the form of 3 subordinates and an undisputed first leader or primus.
Through honest and diligent striving in the first three, it is expected that one would eventually discover the latter, the spiritual place, which is the closest the striviirc-na come to a religion. They have no deities per se, but rather a solid, somewhat world-encompassing philosophy (with some cultural exceptions or bastardizations of the dominant belief) with the central concern being the “level of being” attained when one discovers one’s true place. Attaining that spiritual place is termed t’hiaviirc-na bae — becoming one’s sacred self, without having to become further; becoming the “ultimate self” in other words with an implicit, complete and true knowledge of one’s place in the universe. Thus, who you are physically, emotionally and where you are in society and how you serve society are all a part of who you are in relation to the universe.
It is not an uncommon theme in their varied arts (drama, poetry, music, literature, art, sport and martial — see below) to illustrate or stylize the conflict involved in striving to know one’s “place.” Indeed, conflict is at the heart of their philosophy, for they believe that without it one can never attain the state of being desired by knowing one’s na and then honorably serving therein to the benefit of those who share that na.
However, there has been a shift in their history from rather physical, violent conflicts (ie: war, or to them, societal conflict) to a focus on the emotional conflict of the individual. This “individuating” of their philosophy is widespread but not quite complete, for they do indeed still go to war amongst themselves (and as we know, with humans too — see below for how the human-striviirc-na war is regarded in their belief system), both in organized battle-groups and in covert assassinations, the latter being a prevalent way to solve societal conflicts. Still, the predominant and preferred expression of one’s beliefs in this day and age is through the internal working out of one’s inner conflicts.
Now we will focus more precisely on the different castes in striviirc-na society, bearing in mind that all of these fall under the interpretation of na as “societal place” yet being aware that the different interpretations of na do somewhat overlap and intertwine (see art) in their philosophy (ie: though the Artist Caste is a societal one, it does incorporate or is influenced by one of the 4 main castes or places of “being,” the emotional).