The Commonality's culture is focused towards their ongoing quest for understanding, enlightenment and interconnectedness. The acquisition and sharing of knowledge, and a spiritual communion with the universe are the highest goals of their society. As such, they place great merit on those who seek to understand the universe, and who guide others towards similar understanding. Scientists, researchers, diplomats, psions, teachers and guides are afforded high status in Commonality society, but anyone who shows a desire to understand more of the universe will be accorded respect. Commonality culture is geared towards discovery and the promotion of interconnectedness, and they expect all of their people to share those goals. Schools and universities shape young minds on the more populated worlds, while other planets prefer to educate via community based-tuition, apprenticeships or self-directed learning and experimentation. Learning and discovery is often seen as a quasi-spiritual experience, although many Commonality worlds are more practically-focused.
Other elements of their society are designed to support those who seek enlightenment, whether that means protecting, farming, building or piloting spaceships - individuals are encouraged to use their chosen vocation as a way of communing with the universe, by navigating the void of stars, cultivating a bond with the living world, or developing a perfect symbiosis with one's tools.
In order to create a framework in which beings are free to seek enlightenment, a civilisation must have structures to meet the basic needs of its people. Food must be grown, buildings maintained and order maintained. The Commonality encourages all its people to seek enlightenment and knowledge, but also to contribute to society's survival and prosperity. The Commonality does not overtly order its people to perform useful work, but engineers social and moralistic pressure so that individuals gravitate towards roles that contribute to society. Those who resist these pressures are encouraged to seek guidance from the Judges who ostensibly coordinate and rule the Commonality. Judges, who are invariably powerful Elysian psions) are given considerable reign to intervene and “correct” situations that conflict with the Commonality's overall precepts and goals. Overall society affords considerable respect and leeway towards Judges, who recruit new members under their own authority, and also discipline wayward Judges internally. Some groups of Commonality vassals rankle at that they see as a “closed group” of Elysian Judges ruling over them, but there is rarely any scope for accusing the Judges of acting unfairly or against the best interests of the Commonality. Individuals (both Elysians and vassal species) who persistently cause trouble and disrupt the lives of others may be removed by the Judges for re-education (often thought to be delivered by means of intensive psionic surgery).
The Elysian Commonality aspires to be a civilisation of the mind, dedicated to finding the truths of the universe, and in protecting and guiding those who aspire to do the same. The Elysians have acted on numerous occasions to safeguard and incorporate sophont species who they judge to be “worthy” - often those who show a propensity for philosophy, a connection with nature or similar. However, the abstract philosophy of the Commonality can chafe with some individuals, and its esoteric conceptualisations can seem superfluous in a dangerous galaxy. The interference of Elysian judges can appear patronising and condescending when the solutions they offer appear pointless, or fail to take into account the feelings and motivations of the people dealing with the problem on the ground. The official belief of the Commonality is that the path of enlightenment and Interconnectedness is the only way for a species to truly reach its potential, and civilisations who are guided by faith, freedom or the will to power are merely holding themselves and their people in stasis. Those who cling to these false values are children playing in sandpits, who are oblivious to the truth of the vast universe around them. This can manifest in a haughty and arrogant attitude towards other Factions, which has caused numerous diplomatic problems in the past.
Commonality culture is strongly concerned with personal enlightenment through meditation and focused ritual activities that hone the mind and body. In order to promote a sense of community, Commonality members gather at prescribed times and perform ritualistic meditation and other activities, usually in or near a psionically active location. These activities can take the form of practiced movement sequences similar to yoga or tai-chi, group rituals, meditation guided by a powerful psion or lilting music accompanied by dance. At events, the Voice will usually call Commonality members together at set times to participate, and then discuss what has been happening since the last meeting. Commonality members who eschew these activities will be seen as strange, and falling behind in their quest for enlightenment. They are likely to be treated with concern by other members. If they wilfully refuse to attend on repeated occasions, then they may be actively shunned and are likely to lose Status. This also applies to client species, who the Elysians believe require assistance to enlighten themselves.