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Messages - MG

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1
The Unholy Consult / Re: Influences on TSA
« on: July 16, 2018, 07:46:04 pm »
Maybe some Jonathan Edwards or other Puritans snuck into Bakker's brain in his childhood...

 That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell's wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of: there is nothing between you and hell but the air; 'tis only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

...

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock.

2
The Unholy Consult / Re: Seswatha and Nau-Cayûti's fate
« on: July 13, 2018, 01:27:18 pm »
Just thinking back on when Shauriatus called Seswatha the 'tutor' of NC.  I wonder if Ses taught NC the Gnosis?  It would explain how NC took down a dragon.  It might be appropriate or necessary for soul that the Carapace uses to be one of the Few.  Hmm

3
Literature / Re: YOU MUST TELL ME ... What else are you reading?
« on: July 13, 2018, 01:21:23 pm »
Ajokli fans may enjoy It Devours.  I strongly suggest getting the audiobook--the reader is off the charts.  This is scifi/action/dark comedy with philosophical shavings.  Think X-Files knocks up Douglas Adams and baby turns out to be a fan of the Twilight Zone and Sartre.

4
The Unholy Consult / Re: Influences on TSA
« on: June 21, 2018, 03:39:21 pm »
 Ezekiel 1 New King James Version (NKJV)
Ezekiel’s Vision of God

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there.

Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures.

5
The No-God / Re: The Heart
« on: June 05, 2018, 03:05:45 pm »
If Ses is NC's father, that might be important when they met at Mengedda.  It might also foreshadow a moment when Esmenet speaks with the Whirlwind.  I wonder if Esmi could distract it (might be the only human Mog would even notice).  The whole idea that Mog says nothing but the same lines over and over is based on the limited amount of Ses recollections we've seen.  Mog could say other stuff.  He is a kind of singularity of ignorance forming a wall to the gods--their darkness that comes before, the always unknown, the unknown unknown constant the Mutilated talk about.  The thing Cleric talks about worshiping but from the Outside's pov.  I bet Bakker might want to put a few cool lines in Mog's mouth concerning all of that.

6
The No-God / Re: The Heart
« on: June 05, 2018, 02:57:35 pm »
Well, Seswatha would certainly have been familiar with the Amiolas, considering that he once wore it.  It wouldn't shock me if the Heart was actually another of Emilidis' creations, in the same ilk of the Amiolas.  In fact, Seswatha might never have died of any cause but being put into the Heart.  We don't actually know when Emilidis died.  Could have been after Seswatha, for all we know, means he could have made it.

I have to admit, the idea that it's NC's heart is neat and I like it for a number of reasons, not the least is how the No-God seems to be networked to soulless things and the Heart to souled things, but I don't know how probable it is.  Although the whole idea that the Consult recovered NC's body post-No God seems odd, but the whole Indigo Plague entry is suspicious as hell really.

I was thinking that the lore that the Consult recovered Mog's remains might just be made up, maybe by Ses.  It would be freaking chaos after Mog goes down.  Do the scranc revert to their previous state or slump over in temporary stunned state?  Any Consult members who do not immediately flee would have to worry about a laser beam.  I don't know that Anaxophus would be particularly worried about conserving the spear in that moment.  I find it unlikely that he would take a long view of a series of potential apocalypses.  It would be gosh-darn handy for blasting dragons, sky-chariots, quya, and Aurang.

7
The No-God / Re: The Heart
« on: June 05, 2018, 02:51:12 pm »
We don't actually know when Emilidis died.
The only evidence that Emilidis did, in fact, die is provided by a cunny-loving dragon, who might not be particularly sane, for that matter. It's the whole pesky size thing.

I wonder if he helped with the Carapace (both times).

8
The No-God / Re: The Heart
« on: June 05, 2018, 01:28:55 pm »
I like your posts ToT, been meaning to tell you.

I've speculated about Seswatha possibly knowing Nau-Cayûti had been used to activate the No-God before

Lol, the first time I read that through I thought you meant that Ses knew NC was a potential Mog before he was trapped in the Carapace.  That might suggest that Ses took NC with him to barter for the Heron Spear.  But that doesn't make any sense--why help create Mog that you need to destroy?  Tuesdays.

I bet you are right about the way Ses' life ended, but I admit the NC Heart theory as an alternative.  I wonder if the general lack of sorcerers post-Apocalypse meant that Ses had to recruit from the anagogic ranks to create the Mandate?

I think it was the Amiolas that got me thinking that the Heart could be NC's.  I was thinking that the procedure might be rare and difficult (a category above a Wathi doll or the blank souls in the door to the library) and that the Nonmen might have taught it to Ses alone.  Hell, I guess it's even possible that the Heart is (in a sense) a Nonman artifact.  Maybe Seswatha was given something, like a dagger, that when used on his heart would create artifact needed for the Grasping.

But back to the Amiolas.  I was thinking along these lines--it's weird how the Malcontent is sort of 'respawned' or something everytime a new human has to wear it.  Like every human that visits Ishterebinth and wears the Special Hat, becomes a new, faint, little copy.  As in, the portion of soul in the Amiolas is not diminished when used.

So as the Maker put the Malcontent's soul in the Amiolas, Someone X (maybe a nonman) could but Ses' soul in NC's Heart (where another soul already resided).

It would be kind of cool if NC get's revenge 2000 years later...maybe by killing New Mog, but maybe also by killing Aurax.

9
The Unholy Consult / Re: Seswatha and Nau-Cayûti's fate
« on: June 05, 2018, 01:11:52 pm »
Great stuff ToT!  I would love to see the trial of Ieva narrated.  I suppose that this means the Consult abandoned her after making some promise.  A part of me has to wonder about the reliability of the text.  I could see her tried and convicted but then pulled a fake death with the help of the Consult.  Or maybe the records were just changed later, dunno.

10
The No-God / The Heart
« on: June 04, 2018, 08:47:08 pm »
I bet someone has brought this up before, but I'm wondering if the heart used in The Grasping is actually Nau-Cayuti's.  It's always been a bit weird to think about Seswatha performing this ritual--doing complicated magic while passing out from blood loss and making a heart like that might have been beyond the power of any remaining sorcerers.

Here's how it would work: Seswatha is there when Mog is struck down.  He scoops up the heart in the aftermath wreckage, both out of love for NC (and maybe Ses didn't find out that Mog was NC until just then--for all we know NC is not dead but dying and passes on some last words to Ses which would make for a tragic repitition of his father's battlefield death) and to prevent the Consult from remaking Mog (if he assumes they need this bit).  Then Ses could ctrl+c, ctrl+v his soul into NC's heart later on.

This would explain why Akka is getting memories from both dudes and may offer a glimmer of hope for humanity.  Akka or some other Mandati like Serwa might be able to glean some secret about the inner workings of the Carapace and use this in battle.  The Mutilated are as vulnerable to ignorance as anyone else, if there is any hope against them it will come out of the darkness that surrounds those four.  There's no reason to think that they would anticipate this development and a constant theme in Bakker is pervasive finitude--no one ever premeditates everything.  It's just not possible.

P.S. On the possibility that NC has a death scene like his dad's -- right after the carapace is broken, the gods are back in Earwa and that would be the perfect moment for someone (like NC) to have a vision witnessing their return.

11
The Unholy Consult / The Heart
« on: June 03, 2018, 02:45:37 am »
I bet it's been brought up, but it makes a lot of sense that the Heart is Nau-Cayuti's.  It would be difficult, I guess, for Ses to make a sorcerous artifact out of his own heart.  Perhaps it wouldn't be so hard to copy/paste into another heart.  The legend holds that the Consult collected NG's remains, but maybe Ses did and intended to set one piece of it beyond their reach (Atyersus).  Ses could load his memories into NC's heart and it would be "Seswatha's Heart" in the same sense that the meat that Kellhus pulled out of his chest was "Serwe's Heart."  The heart that possesses.  For Bakker's purposes, it would mean that Akka might glean some insight into the NG's state and how to fight it.  The Consult will think of everything, but they might not suspect this.

12
The Unholy Consult / Influences on TSA
« on: May 07, 2018, 03:53:14 pm »
Just thinking about updating this topic.  Of course there's Tolkien.  Besides that, here's a few things that came to mind:

Dante - Bakker depicts ciphrang and Ajokli as hungers, eternally eating.  This hearkens back to the very bottom of Dante's hell where the three-headed Satan gnaws on three souls forever: Brutus, Cassius, and Judas.  The passage:

The Emperor of the kingdom dolorous
  From his mid-breast forth issued from the ice;
  And better with a giant I compare

Than do the giants with those arms of his;
  Consider now how great must be that whole,
  Which unto such a part conforms itself.

Were he as fair once, as he now is foul,
  And lifted up his brow against his Maker,
  Well may proceed from him all tribulation.

O, what a marvel it appeared to me,
  When I beheld three faces on his head!
  The one in front, and that vermilion was;

Two were the others, that were joined with this
  Above the middle part of either shoulder,
  And they were joined together at the crest;

And the right-hand one seemed 'twixt white and yellow;
  The left was such to look upon as those
  Who come from where the Nile falls valley-ward.

Underneath each came forth two mighty wings,
  Such as befitting were so great a bird;
  Sails of the sea I never saw so large.

 No feathers had they, but as of a bat
  Their fashion was; and he was waving them,
  So that three winds proceeded forth therefrom.

Thereby Cocytus wholly was congealed.
  With six eyes did he weep, and down three chins
  Trickled the tear-drops and the bloody drivel.

At every mouth he with his teeth was crunching
  A sinner, in the manner of a brake,
  So that he three of them tormented thus.

To him in front the biting was as naught
  Unto the clawing, for sometimes the spine
  Utterly stripped of all the skin remained.

"That soul up there which has the greatest pain,"
  The Master said, "is Judas Iscariot;
  With head inside, he plies his legs without.

Of the two others, who head downward are,
  The one who hangs from the black jowl is Brutus;
  See how he writhes himself, and speaks no word.

And the other, who so stalwart seems, is Cassius.
  But night is reascending, and 'tis time
  That we depart, for we have seen the whole."

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1001/1001-h/1001-h.htm

Other influences - it seems that Bakker has taken the ethical views of Kant and Mill and set them up as opposite pairs, divine and damned, feminine and masculine.  Mill's utilitarianism *uses* and thus Kellhus is more damned than all others.  Kant focuses on the inviolable laws of conduct represented by Mimara.  Of course it's more complicated and messier than an on/off switch, Akka says as much referencing X, but using/not-using seem to be the polarities forming the ultimate morality of Earwa.

I want to write about mechanismism from Descartes and Hobbes' clockwork people but back to work now.

13
Literature / Re: YOU MUST TELL ME ... What else are you reading?
« on: April 03, 2018, 06:00:13 pm »
The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F Hamilton

Wow. This is a great book so far. Strong scifi/space-opera with (probably) overly technical explanations of this and that super tech (which I appreciate), well imagined futuristic space-faring civilization (humans mostly, but some great aliens too), clever technological developments, great pacing with interspersed action and informational sections. Really just great world building and story telling.

The biggest problem with this book is that it feels like there is erotica spliced into it. I mean there's a lot of sex scenes that are highly detailed, and they pop up what seems like every 50ish pages. For a book that's 900+pages ... it starts to add up. Its not as if I skip over it - its done well - its just to a point where I might call it gratuitous.

I know Hamilton has a fair number of books (wiki says 10) and I look forward to getting around to them some day.

Nice! I think I got the audiobook of that on sale--glad it's good. 

I'm reading The Black Prism by Brent Weeks and re-listening to The Forever War

14
The Unholy Consult / Re: [TUC Spoilers] - Cnaïur/Ajokli theory
« on: April 02, 2018, 02:22:38 pm »
Ok, kind of late in Dune, after Paul has an encounter with a certain substance...

Quote
Paul said: "There is in each of us an ancient force that takes and an
ancient force that gives. A man finds little difficulty facing that place within
himself where the taking force dwells, but it's almost impossible for him to see
into the giving force without changing into something other than man. For a
woman, the situation is reversed."

Jessica looked up, found Chani was staring at her while listening to Paul.

"Do you understand me, Mother?" Paul asked.

She could only nod.

"These things are so ancient within us," Paul said, "that they're ground
into each separate cell of our bodies. We're shaped by such forces. You can say
to yourself, 'Yes, I see how such a thing may be. ' But when you look inward and
confront the raw force of your own life unshielded, you see your peril. You see
that this could overwhelm you. The greatest peril to the Giver is the force that
takes. The greatest peril to the Taker is the force that gives. It's as easy to
be overwhelmed by giving as by taking."

This is why I think the Outside might boil down to polarizing forces of Yatwer and Ajokli/War; Giver and Taker

15
The Unholy Consult / Re: [TUC Spoilers] - Cnaïur/Ajokli theory
« on: April 02, 2018, 01:42:18 pm »
Hi Walter!  I'm torn about Ajokli.  Part of me just thinks he's different in degree and not kind.  Yatwer can see sranc but not mog.  Ajokli can't see mog but he knows that he's missing something so he gets a man to deliver a report.  Ajokli knows something is casting a shadow and uses it to his advantage.

All of that makes me think different in degree and not kind, however...

The way Yatwer/Yatwerians regard 'hungers' as special and deplorable is really odd.  Yatwer doesn't seem to refer to any other god as a hunger and no hungers are gods (although there is a part where a ciphrang is referred to as a godling).

Makes me wonder if that is the horizon demarcation in the Outside.  Above the line are the gods and the 'heavens,' below the line are the hungers/demons and the 'hells.'  I have to put bunny ears on that because I'm not sure that heaven is categorically different than hell in the sense that the gods are consuming their pets in both places. 

I get the vibe that hungers are displeasing to gods because of the manner and substance they eat.  Perhaps Yatwer looks down on Ajokli because what he considers food (wicked souls) are filth to her.  Ajokli may be looking to supplant Yatwer and co because he eats filth, yes, but only because that's what they leave him and he would consume all.

I almost get a class war vibe off Ajokli, like he is the underclass, the unrecognized god, almost another Yatwer but for souls in the Outside.  Ajokli wants to overthrow the order not just for food but also for resentment of his place.

I found this thing that makes me think Bakker's worldview can be traced back to...I've got to look it up

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