Okal Rel Universe


Expression meaning, roughly, "what will be will be" or perhaps "life's a bitch" or even "good luck" depending on context. The myriad translations stem from the implicit invocation of the Okal Rel world view. A naive rendering of Okal Rel might be contrued as "might makes right" but it is more an acknowledgement that even the most passionate desire or heartfelt cause must be striven for within the limitations of Okal Rel and hence can fail. Ack Rel can mean, after a failed bid for success, "get over it" or "tough break". It is not unsympathetic. When Lurol protests, in Far Arena, that she is 49 years old, she interpret his "Ack Rel" as "good". Which is probably about right. He is saying, in his inarticulate way, "so what". The Vrellish are particularly fond of "Ack Rel" because it covers so many difficult situations so potently. But its semantic range does have limits. It is blameless, suggesting forces larger than oneself at work against one. It is spiritual, even while being utterly ordinary. Vexation is as common, in life, as success is. It acknowledges something less than perfect (perhaps oneself if one is overwhelmed) and accepts it, possibly with bitter pain, possibly with spiritual satisfaction, possibly with dimissive indifference, but always in the sense of acknowledging its right to be in the larger scale of things. An offense against Okal Rel (something okal'an'i) would invoke another reaction entirely: rejection, abhorrence and desperate opposition rather than philosophical acceptance on any terms.
  see also Rel (glossary)