The ForceEdit

Nog's reference to the Great Material Continuum as a field that "binds the galaxy together" is a possible reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi's description of "The Force" in the Star Wars films.

Ok... That just seems so weird like that.. --Sml 22:04, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Someone else already pasted it here - it just doesn't belong — Morder 04:39, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Why not? It's a pretty clear reference, and worth noting IMO. —Josiah Rowe 22:45, October 9, 2010 (UTC)

Previous versionEdit

I've just completely rewrote this page, it was an ambitious essay about the whole of Ferengi society as seen through the lens of the Continuum. As such it was much more expansive then an article of ours should be, going far beyond the stated facts. But, it was a pretty great essay (and better written then what I've had to replace it with too), so if you'll indulge me I'd like to paste it here for posterity rather then have it completely disappear in the depths of revision history. -- Capricorn (talk) 13:05, April 22, 2014 (UTC)

In Ferengi culture the Great Material Continuum is a spiritual term used to describe the binding force of life and material in a universe with "millions of worlds, all with too much of one, and not enough of the other". Though not a strongly religious species, the Ferengi do harbor some spiritual beliefs embodied by the concept of the Continuum.

Similar to the economic law of supply and demand and the economic concept of scarcity, the Continuum is described metaphorically as a river. In this metaphor the current of the river flows from those who want to those who have. Truly a market system, the amount of present wealth and material in the continuum is finite; not everyone can accumulate infinitely. Material taken from one area must be replaced or paid for through another means. This in turn means that the successful interpretation to the wants and needs of others is essential to navigating the "Great River" of the Continuum. It also stresses the explicit materialistic life-view of the Ferengi: success in interpreting the needs and wants of others embodied by the Continuum is entirely based on the wealth and material accumulated, and not by more generalized benevolent gestures of compassion or good will as espoused by other species.

A skilled Ferengi, one who applies the Rules of Acquisition and profits by them, is said to be one who navigates this river successfully while avoiding the many obstacles and pitfalls inherent to such a life. If the Ferengi navigates the river successfully he accumulates wealth along the way, gathering it throughout the Continuum. This in turn leads to a profitable life, which is rewarded in the afterlife by access to the Divine Treasury; failure is punished by banishment to the Vault of Eternal Destitution.

Ferengi are taught about the Continuum from an early age and it may be their first initiation into the profit-driven existence of the culture. (DS9: "Treachery, Faith and the Great River", "The Dogs of War")

The Ferengi draw a distinction between selfishness and greed, indicating that the accumulation of wealth serves a greater good and is therefore not selfish. This is likely the role of the Great Material Continuum and may explain why such accumulation is rewarded in the afterlife. However, it may also be the case that selfishness itself is considered a moral virtue and for that reason the accumulation of wealth is rewarded in the afterlife.

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