The Second Apocalypse

Earwa => General Earwa => Topic started by: ThoughtsOfThelli on June 09, 2018, 01:49:19 pm

Title: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: ThoughtsOfThelli on June 09, 2018, 01:49:19 pm
Since my previous thread (http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=2714.0) evolved into a discussion about Mimara, the JE, and her abilities and status as a prophet, I figured it was best to create a brand new thread to continue that particular avenue of discussion.

Right now I don't have anything else to add, but I'll look into a few quotes/passages and see what I can find.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: SmilerLoki on June 09, 2018, 08:56:45 pm
The similarities do give me some pause - as this story takes place in a meaningful world, I find it harder to write off certain things as just coincidences.
It's not that I consider it a coincidence, it seems more like an overinterpretation. Small mundane or technical details being assigned much greater significance than they really possess.

Fair enough. I think I'll still go and hunt down quotes (including those from Akka's POV) that refer to Mimara as a prophet, maybe there are some other details there we're not remembering at the moment.
It would be great!

You know, tone in the Internet can be misinterpreted sometimes.
Absolutely. But I would never be mean to a person in my posts, being mean just isn't worth writing for. Even if I strongly disagree, I would only bring counter arguments, never an ad hominem attack. Especially I would never be mean to you or H, because time and time again you both demonstrate just how polite and respectful you are!

It's just sometimes I skip over considerate phrasing for the sake of being brief.

When you're talking about Mimara's abilities, you're talking about how she used the Chorae to banish the Wight-in-the-Mountain, right?
This, and also the fact that she knew about Koringhus's one hundred stones without having any way of knowing about them.

Out of curiosity, let's say your interpretation of "Mimara is deluded and no true prophet" is true. How do you explain this from that point of view? Were there outside circumstances/forces that no one was aware of in-universe that happened to make it work? Were Achamian and the Skin Eaters themselves imagining things to due their general psychological condition at the time?
I separate her very real supernatural powers revolving around the Judging Eye and her alleged prophetic status. Prophets are a mystery, while supernatural abilities are existing, shown, and sometimes explained in the series. We have many branches of sorcery, the divine (what the Gods do, in the narrative represented mostly by Ajokli and Yatwer), and the Judging Eye. Those forces are as objectively real in the setting as a fictional supernatural element can be.

Now, does the Judging Eye pertains to or, better yet, answers the question of prophets? This, unlike the shown properties of the Eye, remains unknown.

So when we're talking the Wight incident, I see what Mimara did as an objectively real supernatural power being used in a novel way. Just like Kellhus's first use of the Metagnostic Cant of Translocation in TTT. Even if the mechanics of it aren't explained, it doesn't mean they aren't there. It's not necessarily a miracle.

And I agree, it doesn't break the suspension of disbelief. At least not mine.

P.S. If you're interested, I also outlined my lines of thought on metaphysics of the series here:
http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=2267.msg35628#msg35628
Some of it may be outdated by now, but it still shows where I come from.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: ThoughtsOfThelli on June 10, 2018, 06:12:08 pm
It's not that I consider it a coincidence, it seems more like an overinterpretation. Small mundane or technical details being assigned much greater significance than they really possess.

It's possible. With the small amount of information we're given on this particular subject, overinterpretation will crop up...


It would be great!

I think I'll only add the quotes to this post when I've gathered enough of them...wall of text incoming. Still, no matter how long it gets, it could be helpful to get all the information on the JE and Mimara's abilities in one place. It will be easier to dissect it that way.


Absolutely. But I would never be mean to a person in my posts, being mean just isn't worth writing for. Even if I strongly disagree, I would only bring counter arguments, never an ad hominem attack. Especially I would never be mean to you or H, because time and time again you both demonstrate just how polite and respectful you are!

It's just sometimes I skip over considerate phrasing for the sake of being brief.

Ah, it still happens sometimes. You have never been anything other than polite in your comments before either, but my tired brain just went and twisted up that part of your comment, I guess (I still have no idea that my subconscious thought process was there). It's all been cleared up now, it's fine. :)
For the record, I would never do that either, I think we can all have a polite discussion here even if we strongly disagree with each other's points. My experience on this forum so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and it will hopefully remain that way.


This, and also the fact that she knew about Koringhus's one hundred stones without having any way of knowing about them.

That's right, I had forgotten about that part with Koringhus. (I really need to reread TGO.) I think that there were other moments where Mimara had knowledge about past events that she could not have possibly known otherwise (Galian having raped and murdered a child, etc.). If I remember correctly, those were all linked to the JE, but then again, so was the Wight-in-the-Mountain scene. Was the hundred stones detail something she also learned of via the JE?


I separate her very real supernatural powers revolving around the Judging Eye and her alleged prophetic status. Prophets are a mystery, while supernatural abilities are existing, shown, and sometimes explained in the series. We have many branches of sorcery, the divine (what the Gods do, in the narrative represented mostly by Ajokli and Yatwer), and the Judging Eye. Those forces are as objectively real in the setting as a fictional supernatural element can be.

Now, does the Judging Eye pertains to or, better yet, answers the question of prophets? This, unlike the shown properties of the Eye, remains unknown.

So when we're talking the Wight incident, I see what Mimara did as an objectively real supernatural power being used in a novel way. Just like Kellhus's first use of the Metagnostic Cant of Translocation in TTT. Even if the mechanics of it aren't explained, it doesn't mean they aren't there. It's not necessarily a miracle.

And I agree, it doesn't break the suspension of disbelief. At least not mine.

I see, it makes sense.
What makes a true prophet is a potential separate topic of discussion by itself. We have some of the prophets acknowledged as such in-universe being dismissed by those of different religions (the Fanim with Inri Sejenus, Psatma Nannaferi's comments about Fane, etc.), for instance (something that is, of course, to be expected). Even the idea that a true prophet has healing powers (that is usually thrown around in discussions about Kellhus and/or Mimara) only comes from Inri Sejenus' particular case, right?
As for the link between the JE and prophets - well, like you said, we don't know enough to reach a conclusion here.
This whole discussion makes me recall a Quorum conversation where it was said that Ajencis seemed to be suspiciously well-informed about how the Outside worked. I speculated that maybe he knew a woman with the JE, and that influenced his ideas. Of course, there is no evidence for this in the text given the lack of information about the JE, but it does make me wonder. The JE has been a known phenomenon for centuries, and probably millennia, that much we know. During my quote-hunting, I reread the scene where Achamian first realizes Mimara has the JE, and he refers to it as "what antique Mandate scholars called the Judging Eye". It could be possible that women with the JE have been sharing their visions with others for thousands of years, and thus contributing to the general perception of the Outside, damnation and so on. (To be clear, I'm not claiming this is actually the case, it's just a theory.) So a relationship, even if tangential, to at least one of the prophets that are know as such in-universe could be at least a possibility?
The tricky thing about prophets is that we just don't know if their miracles were truly such... We can't discount the possibility that (at least) some of them also had supernatural powers of their own which they used in an unprecedented way. I might be going against what I did before and doubting too much now, but your post did make me think of that. Fane, for instance, "was granted miraculous powers" after going blind in the Carathay Desert. The loss of his sight and the life-or-death situation could have lead to him tapping into potential abilities, which eventually became a new branch of sorcery. (The Titirga comparison comes to mind here as well.)


P.S. If you're interested, I also outlined my lines of thought on metaphysics of the series here:
http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=2267.msg35628#msg35628
Some of it may be outdated by now, but it still shows where I come from.

Thanks, I'll go ahead and read your analysis. :) I vaguely remember reading this when you first posted it, but it has been quite a while, so revisiting the thread would be a good idea.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: SmilerLoki on June 10, 2018, 07:47:36 pm
My experience on this forum so far has been overwhelmingly positive, and it will hopefully remain that way.
I can only concur!

Was the hundred stones detail something she also learned of via the JE?
As far as I remember, it wasn't clearly stated from her perspective, but Koringhus inferred so. The hundred stones are a strange case. Seeing sin is a known property of the Judging Eye, that's how Mimara sees the rape Galian committed, the things done to the Whale-Mothers, Esmenet's carnal transgressions, etc. But the hundred stones do not carry any overt sinful actions, it's just a detail from Koringhus's past, yet Mimara still somehow knows it.

Even the idea that a true prophet has healing powers (that is usually thrown around in discussions about Kellhus and/or Mimara) only comes from Inri Sejenus' particular case, right?
I think so, yes, though here I'm much less sure than I would like to be. Healing is the biggest gripe with prophets, but we also know that the divine can heal. So someone like Psatma can pass for a prophet. Which she is, in a manner of speaking, though only for one of the Gods. It starts to get very confusing around here.

This whole discussion makes me recall a Quorum conversation where it was said that Ajencis seemed to be suspiciously well-informed about how the Outside worked.
I would say it's the other way around. Our formal understanding of the Outside comes from Ajencis (more specifically, from his quoted opinions), so we see the Outside primarily from his perspective. Therein lies a trap, because his understanding of the Outside isn't truth, it's just one particular model. And Ajencis is already known for a very disputable model, the one that considers the Ark a thing from the Outside (half a crown of Ajokli, no less) as opposed to a space vessel. While an interesting interpretation, it is straight up disproved by Aurang, Wutteat, the Mutilated, and, to a lesser extent, Kellhus (who always talks of the Inchoroi as creatures from the Void).

So when thinking about the Outside, it's important to not rely completely on Ajencis's views, which I always keep in mind when I make statements on the matter.

That being said, previous wielders of the Judging Eye might have easily shaped common perspective of the Outside, too, so the things we see discussed by the characters already contain a collection of facts and accounts, even if they are still mainly influenced by Ajencis (since no other concise model of the Outside is present in the narrative).

The loss of his sight and the life-or-death situation could have lead to him tapping into potential abilities, which eventually became a new branch of sorcery. (The Titirga comparison comes to mind here as well.)
Since Fane is officially the first of the Cishaurim, we can safely assume he wielded Psukhe. Which would be indistinguishable from miracles in that age.

The whole matter of prophets seems to be very important and very unclear. And then there is Bakker talking about Shamans, who were at the same time prophets and sorcerers...
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: MSJ on June 11, 2018, 01:01:50 am
Quote
This, and also the fact that she knew about Koringhus's one hundred stones without having any way of knowing about them.

I didn't quote the poster because I'm not sure if it was SL ot ToT...

Koringhus confesses all of this to all of them while the eye is open. Then directly runs off a cliff after the JE approves. Its a difficult scene to interpret, and I could be interpreting it wrongly, I dont think so though. Because, right after the 100 stones, we get this quote.

Quote
“Killing,” a fraction explains to the wondering boy. “Killing connects me to what I am.”
And what are you?
“The Survivor,” another fraction replies, and yet another registers the network of scar tissue across his face, the tug and tension of unnatural compromises.
“The Heaper of the Dead.”

Koringhus is confessing most of this out loud in front of not only the JE and Mimara, but also the boy and Akka. Its why I got a kick out of it(shitty sense of humor. I know.), because how much Akka and the Boy are taken aback by the statement. Its known because Koringhus confesses to all...
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: SmilerLoki on June 11, 2018, 01:08:17 am
Koringhus confesses all of this to all of them while the eye is open.
That's not at all what I remember happening, and I also remember Koringhus wondering how could Mimara know about his hundred stones. It's one of the things he is tying into his "what comes after determining what comes before" conclusion.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: MSJ on June 11, 2018, 01:34:49 am
A quick reread says you're right. He doesn't voice anything about the 100 stones out loud. Though....whatever he thinks the Eye can observe? It seems as if he's speaking to the Eye/Mimara with his thoughts. Its very confusing to say the least. If you go back in the chapter you see that Mimara answers his thoughts aloud...


Quote
A fraction kneels before her, Anasūrimbor Mimara. And a fraction, one of a hundred stones, could see it … as if it were rising up, like lead pouring into the husk and tatter of a mortal frame, an immobility as profound as oblivion.
Zero.
Sranc squealing in the black, the air rancid with sweat and exhalation, cleavers whooshing, felling brothers for lunatic fear. Feet slapping stone.
Zero … Opening as an Eye.

There is the Eye opening, here is her answering his thoughts...

Quote
So many cuts.
Zero, trembling with feminine mortality.
Too many.
“You are broken,” she sobs. “The same as me …”
A fraction reaches out, makes a pommel of the slender hand about the pommel of the knife. Judge, a fraction murmurs. End our ingrown war …
But she is weeping—openly now. Why does she weep?
The Gaze knows no sorrow.
“But I do,” she whispers.
Cuts and cuts and cuts …

You need to reread and decide for yourself is all I can say. Its the only logical conclusion I can come to. I could be wrong, not the 1st time...lol.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: SmilerLoki on June 11, 2018, 01:43:32 am
You need to reread and decide for yourself is all I can say. Its the only logical conclusion I can come to. I could be wrong, not the 1st time...lol.
So far I can only agree that it's all very strange and there might be more outliers than just the hundred stones in the Judging Eye's interaction with Koringhus.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: MSJ on June 11, 2018, 01:49:05 am
Well, there is. There's the whole section about ignorance and that's what made him save the Boy, he likens it to worldborn love. A section about the shreikers and how he kept the boy safe. He goes over all of it while she is watching with the Eye.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: MSJ on June 12, 2018, 09:33:52 pm
@H, ive been waiting on post from you on this subject...you had alot of good ideas when we dis the ARC read. Has any of your views changed after rereading?
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: H on June 13, 2018, 10:29:29 am
@H, ive been waiting on post from you on this subject...you had alot of good ideas when we dis the ARC read. Has any of your views changed after rereading?

I'm a bit behind on the reread.  I'm still formulating my thoughts, but I think there is far more biblical content in the whole series than we had previously thought.  I'm not really sure what the full implications for Mimara are though.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: MSJ on June 13, 2018, 11:45:06 am
Quote from:  H
I'm a bit behind on the reread.  I'm still formulating my thoughts, but I think there is far more biblical content in the whole series than we had previously thought.  I'm not really sure what the full implications for Mimara are though.

Not the reread....the last two pages of this thread or more. What happened with Koringhus and the Eye. How Mimara can hear his thoughts, at least thats how I interpret it with the quotes. And, alot more we've (me, SmilerLoki & ToT) been discussing about that chapter.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: H on June 13, 2018, 02:29:15 pm
Quote from:  H
I'm a bit behind on the reread.  I'm still formulating my thoughts, but I think there is far more biblical content in the whole series than we had previously thought.  I'm not really sure what the full implications for Mimara are though.

Not the reread....the last two pages of this thread or more. What happened with Koringhus and the Eye. How Mimara can hear his thoughts, at least thats how I interpret it with the quotes. And, alot more we've (me, SmilerLoki & ToT) been discussing about that chapter.

Well, on Mimara knowing things she can't possibly know, that is really the Eye.  The Eye is The Cubit and the Cubit is Zero and Zero is the denial of "interval" between souls.  "The difference that is not a difference."  What is in the passage quoted above, about the stones, is not what Mimara knows, really, it's what Koringhus sees "reflected" back to him, through the lens of the Eye.  What Mimara does is forgive him, although it isn't clear at all how much Mimara knows that the Eye shows.  It could be anywhere from none to all, but she does clearly see the end effect of it but her role is the then render judgement.  It's unclear how or why she does this, but at first the Eye does not approve of Koringhus, possessing of the Dūnyain "original sin" as he is, but Mimara forgives him, that is, renders judgement.  Only after the revelation that this sparks in Koringhus does the Eye approve though.

OK, I can already hear SmilerLoki disapproving of my post.  I need to collect my thoughts in a more organized way...
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: SmilerLoki on June 13, 2018, 07:06:35 pm
OK, I can already hear SmilerLoki disapproving of my post.  I need to collect my thoughts in a more organized way...
Not at all, what you said seems to be a completely valid interpretation.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: MSJ on June 13, 2018, 07:45:23 pm
@H, but from the quote from my previous post about Koringhus thinking, "Why does she weep? The Eye knows no sorrow.". Koringhus is thinking this and Mimara responds, "But I do."

That tells me that through the Eye she hears/sees, whatever you want to say, whatever Koringhus thinks. Those were his thoughts, and she answers him. I'd say thats more proof that she sees and hears everything through the Eye, whomever its Gaze is aimed at.

ETA; to add to your thoughts H, ive reread that chapter and those scenes in particular at least 10 times in the past few weeks. I think its clear she knows all that the Eye sees. I also am not sure that ita Mimara that is rendering redemption, after all, it says the Eye approves. And, that's not the dialogue I take away, that Koringhus sees what the Eye reflects back to him, not at all. I can see that is the case for Mimara, she sees and hears what the shows/reflects to her. But, all of that is clearly of Koringhus's narrative and him thinking on the stones, saving the boy, emulating the Sranc, etc, etc.
Title: Re: Mimara's abilities and status as a prophet
Post by: H on June 14, 2018, 11:53:41 am
@H, but from the quote from my previous post about Koringhus thinking, "Why does she weep? The Eye knows no sorrow.". Koringhus is thinking this and Mimara responds, "But I do."

That tells me that through the Eye she hears/sees, whatever you want to say, whatever Koringhus thinks. Those were his thoughts, and she answers him. I'd say thats more proof that she sees and hears everything through the Eye, whomever its Gaze is aimed at.

ETA; to add to your thoughts H, ive reread that chapter and those scenes in particular at least 10 times in the past few weeks. I think its clear she knows all that the Eye sees. I also am not sure that ita Mimara that is rendering redemption, after all, it says the Eye approves. And, that's not the dialogue I take away, that Koringhus sees what the Eye reflects back to him, not at all. I can see that is the case for Mimara, she sees and hears what the shows/reflects to her. But, all of that is clearly of Koringhus's narrative and him thinking on the stones, saving the boy, emulating the Sranc, etc, etc.

Right, I didn't phrase it well, but Mimara knows some amount of what the Eye "sees."  It could be all, it could only be some.  She can finihsed Koringhus' sentences there because the whole idea of Zero, the Eye, the Cubit, is that the interval between them, between their souls collapses.  So, in that way, Mimara's soul and Koringhus' soul are One, so it is no wonder she "knows" what he is thinking.  "Zero made One" is how Koringhus summarizes it.

It is only after Mimara forgives, only after the revelations that the Zero Principle inspires in Koringhus, that the Eye approves.  So, I don't think the Eye's approval is contingent on either, so much as it is contingent on both of those things.  Mimara's forgiveness allows Koringhus a chance at redemption.   The Eye's perspective gives Koringhus the path toward the "holy."  It is his renunciation of the Logos and so the "sacrificium intellectus" and then his Leap that finalizes his redemption.  (In a sort of Sųren Kierkegaard-ian fashion.)

I think that Bakker is making some kind of mashed up presentation of some ideas regarding The Cubit, Mimara and The Eye in regards to "archetypal" themes of the Bible.  I am, however, not well read enough to fully disentangle all thing.  However, I think the the parallels between Mimara and Christ are real, even if not deeply meaningful to the narrative, only to the thematic structure of the series.  Just to lob them out: Zero as Feminine, a nod, I think to the separation between Logos and Sophia; Christ as the successor of Adam (the first man), so does Koringhus liken Mimara to the "first mothers" (I think Bakker is going for a direct nod here); the atemporal "pleromatic" nature of the Incarnation, i.e. Mimara's possession of the Eye before she was pregnant (and later Kel's "birth" as the No-God, not to mention the motif of the "hostile bothers" in Kel and Sammi) and so the historical precedent of the Eye having been possessed by others before.  I think there are more, but need to dig further, but something about Gödel's incompleteness theorem, as it relates to the infinite perspective of The Cubit and thus the "need" for the reduced mortal perspective of Mimara to render judgement.

I need to do a lot more reading, but I am coming to think that Bakker has not only read and worked off the Bible, but must, at least in some fashion, have read or come across some Gnostic interpretations of it as well.  I'd love to be able to give you all a good, rational interpretation of the connections, but one, I am not sure there is one, and two, I am certainly not qualified to actually offer it.  Going to keep digging though, even though I don't think it gives us any real narrative insight, but I think it's interesting both intellectually and thematically.