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Philosophy & Science / Is "Realism" Real?
« on: July 22, 2019, 01:02:16 pm »
Hmm, yeah, I'm really unsure how I should be considering Moral Realism.  I find it hard to believe, but on the other hand, it seems weird if there isn't.

Do you believe in Mathematical Realism? But yes, Moral Realism has a "leap of faith" aspect.

So as to not clutter the quotes thread, I'll drop this here.

I have the same sort of problem with what little I know about the topic of mathematical realism as I do with the notion of moral realism.  That is, it seems absurd to think that "realism" applies here to something that is clearly a "function" of mind, yet, also seems absurd as if there were not something outside mind then.

So, I'm not sure.  I guess I'd take something more of a position that there is something "real" there, but as for what, well, I guess I'd be skeptical that it is what, exactly, we could say were what we think of as our mental concepts.

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Philosophy & Science / Nature of Time, Mind, and Matter
« on: April 29, 2019, 03:12:35 pm »
"To understand mind one must understand matter.
To understand matter one must understand space and time.
And to understand space and time one must understand mind."
 -Peter Sjöstedt-H

I like this.  Because I am sort of coming to this place where I sort of see everything as "relational."

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Literature / Books of Babel series. [Open Spoilers]
« on: February 07, 2019, 07:40:43 pm »
Just finished the third book.  Was good, drooped a little in the middle, but finished reasonably strong.

Anyway, this is a place for people to discuss any parts they see fit.

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Philosophy & Science / Video on the nature of time.
« on: February 07, 2019, 03:07:58 pm »
Nothing amazing here, but I felt like this video was a reasonably "easy" to understand layout of different ways to consider the nature of time.

Mostly aimed at Wilshire, where he sort of "independently" came to the conclusion of a "block universe."

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General Earwa / What is the Eärwan Soul?
« on: October 19, 2018, 01:43:47 pm »
What is the Eärwan Soul really?

On the one hand, it seems fairly obvious that the “Soul” is one's connection to the Outside, if nothing else.  The Outside, of course, is the pleroma, and so then the question would be: is the Soul of the pleroma or of the manifest world?

Given the No-God's function and whatever the Great Cycle of Souls is, it follows to think the Soul is not of the manifest world, even if neither actually proves this as a fact.  If the Cycle of Souls is a mundane process, there should be a direct mechanical way to disrupt it.  There does not seem to be a manner of doing this though.  While the No-God is a sort of mundane object, in part, its functionality is actually predicated on a Soul itself.  This points toward there being something particular about Souls and things that can interact with Souls.  That is, that it seems the mundane means alone are not sufficient to interact with Souls.  Then it follows that the Soul must be pleromatic, or it would seem it is at least pleromatic in nature (that is, in origin).  If this supposition is incorrect, however, it is not at all clear why then the Soul can connect one to the Outside, or why it endures where other mundane elements do not endure past death.  I think we must take the position, based on the circumstantial evidence that the Soul must be of the same nature of the Outside, plausibly being of the pleroma before birth and rejoining it after death.  But here we return to the issue at hand, none the closer to an actual answer to the question that opened the thread, only having arrived at the plausible idea that the Soul is of a pleromantic nature.

So, just what is the Soul?  And if Souls cycle, what makes one yours and the other mine at any given time?  Recall that the Outside, as pleroma, is atemporal.  So, if your Soul was once my Soul, then it is both our Souls at all times in the Outside.  This does not stand to what we are shown to be the case in Eärwa.  So then, am I misunderstanding what cycle means?  I surely am, since if it was a 1:1 cycle, in and out, the population of Eärwa could never grow as well.  No, I think what is meant by the cessation of the “Great Cycle of Souls” is the Soul itself is "locked into place."  That is, it cannot undergo the cycle of transformation.  That is (presumably) it's "attachment" to life in the manifest world at conception, it's "development" during life, and its subsequent "return" to the pleroma (the Outside).  (This actually makes sense, given how the Wright of the Mountain stays fixed to a spot, how souls on the planes of Mangedda do too.)

It's unclear what this "development" really is though.  In some ways, the Soul must be a ledger of sorts, in others, a manner of identity preservation. These things might not be wholly separate functions/processes though and might even be one and the same.  As Koringhus seems to relate to us, part of the problem of Damnation (or a problem of simply having a Soul) might be how Souled things in Eärwa cling to identity.  That the trouble of Damnation is due to denying the true interval between each other and the world (and/or the plemora, I'm not sure).  Or could it be the acknowledgement of the interval, in imagining the interval demanded by our perceived (constructed?) singular identities is real and meaningful.

So, I guess to answer part of the initial question, along the line of Koringhus, is that the "false" identity we acknowledge as “The Self” is the Soul, as it is what is Damned.  That delusion of individuality, according to Koringhus, which is clung to and won't be let go is what constitutes what bears the “ledger.”  It is, in a manner of speaking, the Cross which is beared, or the yolk that keeps one enslaved.  Which, mind you, from the perspective of the only intercessional, manifest Divine powers (the Hundred) is exactly what they want.  (I’ll come back to that, shortly.)

We confront a problem here though.  If the Soul is of the Outside (or at least shares its nature) and the Outside, as pleroma, is timeless, than Souls are Damned the moment they exist, if they are ever to be damned.  Even more confusingly, there was never a time in which they did not exist in the state they end up!  The same if they are redeemed.  If ever to be redeemed, the Soul is so from the very moment of existence (which actually is eternity).  Since the Soul is the ledger, when is it “written?”  In the Outside, there simply is no time to inscribe the Soul and frankly, there would be no need.  Everything, timeless as it is, simply is, at all times.  There must be something else at hand, to model the process more intelligibly.

What then enables a process in which the Soul can be changed?  Somehow, there must be a process that enables a Soul to be altered.  Timeless as it is a plermomantic Soul could not change itself, since it would be the same at its end as it was at its beginning, meaning there would be no need to have changed (and of course, no time to have done it anyway).  Yet, we know that one, Souls undergo some kind of Cycle, two, that Souls experience does effect their place in the pleroma.  So, to reconcile, we must postulate something along the line that what constitutes a Soul is both timeless and subject to mundane time and experience.

How then do we figure this dual-nature of the Soul then?  The “answer” here, I think, can be that same tripartite of the real-world Gnostics to say that the Spirit (i.e. the pleromatic spark in each individual, gained at birth) is imprinted by the Soul (i.e. the psyche) in an indelible, or at least semi-permanent manner.  So then the Soul is not pleromantic, or of the Outside, then but of the Psyche (i.e. Logos, if not The Logos, or the consciousness, more generally).  It is the Spirit that is of the Outside.  The last portion of the division, the Body, is merely the container that binds your Soul and your Spirit, merely the vessel by which both navigate the World.  So, it may not be your Soul passing on, but rather your Spirit so imprinted by your Soul.  This can largely solve the issue of why a Spirit, timeless, can become differentiated, because the Soul is unique in being a mundane “mechanism” that can somehow operate on the pleroma.  This also would partially explain why, once dead, there wouldn’t be a chance for Redemption.  The Body, engine of union, is gone in death and so the Soul can no longer function in altering the Spirit.  All that is left is the Spirit and the markings of the Soul has left upon it.

Interestingly enough, I think this tripartite is also the “answer” to what and how the “head-on-a-pole” is and what it does.  Consider: what keeps the Soul and Spirit together?  The Body.  So, when Kellhus visits the Outside, how does he keep his Soul (Psyche) and his Spirit from being snatched by Ciphrang?  Through the understanding of there being a “head on a pole behind him.”  It was Geoffrobro’s keen observation (confirmed, by my standards, by Bakker) that when Kellhus visits the Outside, he looks within himself (of course, where else is his Spirit?) and so the head is his own head, behind him, because he is looking “backward” (that is, inward, “behind” his eyes).  The Head keeps in from being separated and destroyed by Ciphrang, because he has not left the protective shell of The Body.  So, he cannot be divided, he cannot be torn apart, cannot be taken.

But to return to what we were discussing, now the Spirit is the ledger, the Soul the stylus that writes upon it and the Body the vessel of the union.  This Spirit-as-ledger is how Mimara’s Judging Eye functions.  It’s view is the view to that ledger and in doing so, render judgment.  That is, human judgment.  Could it be then that Mimara's "power" to banish that Wight is similar to the sort of "thuamaturgy" we see Kellhus-Ajokli wield versus the Mutilated?  As in, a power not of Sorcery but of Divine providence.  That is to say, I somewhat disagree that Mimara's power is "setting the world" to a more "naturalistic" state.  Eärwa's "natural state" is that of enchantment, a place where the dead can linger.  So, the Wight's position is eminently natural.  Which, of course it is, because it is

I would divide out is that her intentions and the God's intentions aren't specifically one.  That is to say that Mimara's intentions are still her own.  The God couldn't care less if the Wight stayed there or not.  But Mimara certainly did.  In this way, she is right to declare that she holds the Gates.  This is not divine justice carried out by Mimara.  No, this is Mimara's justice carried out by the divine.  That distinction is important, at least in my estimation, because it means that Mimara is the locus of Judgement, the Eye only a tool to that end.  The "stillborn" issue, it was pointed out to me, seems to be a linguistic play on words, in the same manner as Éowyn can kill the Witch King in LotR.  Éowyn is no man, rightly.  So, Mimara does carry a stillborn, just also a living baby as well.

What Mimara seems to be doing, rather, is waking the God.  That is, "fixing" the frame, such that the world is as it should be, by Mimara's judgement.  This might well be the role of the Judging Eye.  That is, the same role taken on by God-as-Christ, post-Job, in rendering the perspective of God from the mortal vantage.  That is, the infinite cannot have a perspective on itself, because it is all thing.  The Infinite cannot have any perspective, because it has all perspectives, which is no perspective at all.  (This could easily be bias on my part, as I have at other times personally noted that there is a plausible parallel of sorts between Mimara and a Christ-figure.) (There is also something about Mimara's role being specifically conscious, as oppossed to the passive unconscious role of The God.)

Now, having explored the Spirit’s function as ledger, let us explore more just what this Spirit actually is. The Spirit, of course, is of the Outside, being your share of the One, that is, of the God-of-gods.  This is a major portion of the revelation of Koringhus, that the Sprit is a portion of the Divine.  Your Soul's (that is, consciousness’) delusion, of course, is that it is both the Spirit itself and separate from the One.  Both are incorrect.  The Fanim, and Kellhus, were right in one thing, that the God was shattered and that the Outside is littered with its fragments.  In Kellhus’ words the Outside is littered with “warring splinters” of The God.  So, each Spirit is but one piece in that war.  What are they warring over?  My hunch is “more pieces.”  Each piece longs to complete itself, and so they war to achieve Unity, to achieve completeness, to become One, that is, whole.  We will return to this momentarily.

So, now we have something of a more substantial model of what “the Soul” is on Eärwa.  It is the Spirit, that is, the metaphysical pleromantic, “animating” (that is, consciousness-granting) part of life, as opposed to the Body (the physical corpus) and the Soul (the mind, the Psyche, the Self).  In his way, it is a bit confusing, how the Soul, which is actual consciousness and Spirit, that which grants the ability to be conscious, but for the sake of our own sanity, I think we need to leave that there, for now.

The state of living is pretty clear, but once one dies in Eärwa, what happens?  Well, naturally the Body expires and presumably, so with it the mind, that is, the Soul.  What is left then, is the Spirit, being as it is pleromantic, it is timeless, it cannot expire.  The Soul though, having been imprinting on the Spirit since birth, is so captured but only in that final state.  The Spirit, now, having collected all such impressions, passes back into the realm of being wholly of the Outside.  With no body to moor it against various Outside agents, is seems the Spirit is prey for various agents of the Outside.  Here we return to the “warring pieces” of The God, but just what are these pieces?

One such agent of the Outside, one sort of division of The God are Ciphrang: Spirits who's Body/Soul so marred them as to be completely incapable of being assimilated back into the any other pieces upon death.  So, a Ciphrang could be a thing so temperamentally opposed to the Unity concept (that is, so distinctly marred as to maintain identity) that it cannot and never will be able to rejoin the One, or join oblivion.  It's a forever torper, hungering when nothing can feed.  But hunger for what?  Let us consider the following quote:

Quote
But if there’s no hiding from Him, why doesn’t He simply kill me?
Because He plays you!
But how could a God play at anything?
Because that is what he feeds upon ‘ere you die, the grain of your experience.
Fool! I asked how, not why!
Who can say how the Gods do what they do?
Maybe because they can’t!
And when the ground shakes, when mountains explode, or the seas rise up?
Pfah. The Gods do these things? Or do they simply know they will happen before they happen?
Perhaps there’s no difference.
This is little Kel's internal discussing with his Voice.

Kellhus also liken the same thing to us, later.  How Eärwa is a granary.  That Damnation is the bread.  That is, Damnation is the “food” of the Hundred.  It is their sustenance.  That is, it sustains their differentiation.  Recall, the Hundred, like all Spirits, are simply divisions of The God-of-gods, in this the Fanim are correct.  The Hundred are not so wholly different than Ciphrang except in relative “power.”  So, in the Outside (and plausibly even on Eärwa), all things crave completeness, being that their nature is that of a division.  All things know, a priori, that they are not complete and in turn, desire to be so.

So the Hundred, their nature as divisions gives rise to the desire for wholeness, however since they are differentiated, they see the route to wholeness as through further differentiation.  So, they hunger for completeness and crave differentiation in an attempt to fill this need.  It could also be that the nature of the Outside is such that Identity, that is, marked differentiation, is passively eroded.  It could be the case continued existence in the Outside is predicated upon a source of differentiation, lest the nascent nature of the Outside dissolve singular Identity.  While it seems preferable to allow this to happen, rather than suffer such hunger, the same could be said for the living.  Why cling to a singular identity, when you can give in and dissolve back into the stuff of “nature?”  Such is not an “easy” proposition.

So, the agents of the Outside, Ciphrang, small, and The Hundred, large, crave the sustainance of differentiation, and Damnation is this marked differentiation of the Spirit/Soul.  The “experience” of difference, as the Voice tells little Kel.  The trick though, what they do not realize, is that the Completeness they desire cannot be achieved through acquisition, but through loss.  One can approach One from fractions, but cannot ever reach it: the infinite shattered pieces of the infinite God are infinite.  Being that only the God-of-gods is (was) infinite; all divisions are necessarily not infinite and so are incapable of being or becoming so.

Here we can use one of the tools that Koringhus gives us.  The concept of Zero made One, or the Zero-God (or as I call it, Zero-as-One).  This is to say that Zero, the total loss of The Self and the acceptance of the falsity of differentiation, is made or is-as One, the Unity.  This can be rephrased as: the loss of Interval is the acceptance into, and of, the Unity.  If nothing divides, than everything is as One.  This can also be conceptualized as the loss of particular perspective, is the opening to all possible perspectives.

This is diametrically opposed to what The Hundred, Ciphrang, and actual Souled beings strive toward.  Since Identity is so key their existence, they cling to their shard and exist in a state of marked differentiation.  Their aim, given the conceits of this position, is to achieve the completeness of One, but through Zero.  Through Zero meaning that they aim at achieving zero differentiation from everything by acquiring all differentiation.  This can be rephrased as: if a thing is all things, than it is only One thing.  One thing, and so completeness, achieved by being comprised off everything.

Since the Cubit, which could be surmised as being the God-of-gods, that is the Zero-God, or a sort of principle of Zero-As-One (a unity concept) is the source of damnation, not the Hundred.   Or, if the God-of-gods does truly slumber, or in it’s shattered state is not manifest, the Cubit is at least the perspective of this origin. And damnation could well be simply your distance from this unity concept.  That is, sin could be what demarks your soul as apart from "the rest," that is, that which enforces an interval between your Spirit and that of everything else.  If Koringhus is to be believed, this denial of interval, no check that, this insistence on (of?) interval is what damns.  The true interval is Zero.  This is why the true God-of-gods is Zero-as-One, not One-as-Zero.  To rephrase that, Zero is the Unity, as in zero interval between "things" and One is the Identity, that is, the "individual."  So, in Zero-As-One, the individual Self is subsumed and replaced by the Unity, or to say the Unity is the new Self.  To attempt to gain One-as-Zero, would be to gain all portions of Selves and so enforce a Unity by acquisition, that is, if One was comprised of All, there would be no interval and would be a Unity.  This cannot work.  Or at least, not practically.  No One can acquire All, so achieving the Zero interval is functionally impossible through achieving One-ness (this is possibly why The Absolute is a trap).  What is plausibly doable though is to lose everything, achieve Zero differentiation and so through loss, gain Unity.

The Logos (the elevation of the Intellect, the Self) is another trap, so perhaps this is why Kellhus (mostly) abandons it?

As a side note, why then are Sorcerers damned?  Well, it could be because they demand (not unlike the Consult do) that reality conform to their demand.  And so offend Unity, because they are forcing a "false frame," that is a individually determined, individually demanded frame upon the Unity.  So, this fundamental violation of Unity so offends the God-of-gods (Zero-As-One, the Cubit) as to demark that soul as irrevocably "set apart."  If that is true (or even partly so), it opens the interesting next step to asked: what then of the Psûhke?  In this case, we must return to the earlier discussion, that there isn't just a bifurcation of Being (into Body and Soul), but rather a tripartite of Body, Mind and Spirit.  Body and Mind being what can "imprint" on the Spirit and give it it's metaphysical character.  OK, fine, but what does that tell us about why the Sorcery Marks, where the Psûhke does not?

Well, we are told that the Psûhke is decidedly non-intellectual.  That is, it arises not from the intellect but from the passion.  In our "normal" parlance, this hardly makes a difference, passions are of the mind and so is the intellect.  But on Eärwa, I don't think this is as true.  That is to say, that the Mind isn't the brain, but is the Intellect.  So, what damns is not the brain, but the metaphysical Intellect, that is, conscious thought.  It is conscious thought that sets Sorcery apart from the Psûhke.  It is conscious thought that then damns.  The Psûhke comes from the Body, that is, without conscious thought, without intellect.  That is why, as in the "curious case" of Titirga, it seems to just issue forth, a priori.  It is also no coincidence that Sorcery, language and so conscious thought are bound concepts in Eärwa, where the Psûhke is not linguistically based.
In Eärwa, the Body (that is, the literally corpus) is the conduit of the Darkness that Comes before, i.e. what is natural.  That is, what is indistinguishable from God's own will.  It is the conscious direction of the Mind that differentiates the Spirit.  That does open the question of whether you can be unconsciously damned on Eärwa and to that I'm not at all sure.  Although I am not sure what it would mean to live your whole life completely unconscious either.  This differentiation, with regards to Sorcery, is called The Mark. The deepness of The Mark seems proportional to some kind of metric that measures how much disjunction, or perhaps “ruin” one has caused in the “natural” fabric of reality.

My guess would be that being Marked does about the same as Sin, that is, puts your soul in a state of marked differentiation and so does damn without a question of what, specifically was done.  I think it correct that Sorcery=the Mark, and I think it reasonable that The Mark=Damnation.  So then, since we know that Sorcery is cognitive, or intellectual, then it is reasonable that in this round-about way, conscious thought, through the cypher of Sorcery, does equal Damnation.

I think the issue that makes it more, and less, clear is that of the Psûhke.  So, if the Mark is just a tally of "ruin" on the fabric of Reality, what constitutes actual "aesthetic ruin" (that is, disjunctive changes in reality) can't simply be, say, "change outside of The God's will" or else the Psûhke is actually divine and I think that Ajokli's demonstration of Thaumaturgy or Divine Magic proves that Chorae are no match for that.  So, the fact that Chorae effect the Psûhke seems to defeat the idea that something Divine is actually involved.

So, what does does "aesthetic ruin" mean?  If Sorcerous changes are and the Psûhke's changes are not, I think the answer lies in this quote from Bakker:

Quote
Everything comes down to meaning in Eärwa. Where sorcery is representational, utilizing either the logical form (as with the Gnosis) or the material content (as with the Anagogis) of meaning to leverage transformations of reality, the Psukhe utilizes the impetus. Practitioners of the Psukhe blind themselves to see through the what and grasp the how, the pure performative kernel of meaning–the music, the passion, or as the Cishaurim call it, the ‘Water.’ As a contemporary philosopher might say, the Psukhe is noncognitive, it has no truck with warring versions of reality, which is why it possesses no Mark and remains invisible to the Few.

They key differentiator in there seem to be (at least in my reading) to be Congitive vs. Non-Cognitive.  Both are Sorcery (which is why Chorae work all the same on all of it), just differing in how the changes are writ.  And that seems to make a real difference in how the changes made reconcile against the practitioner's soul.  So, it seems to me that the Conscious component of Sorcery is indeed what Marks and if it is true that the Mark Damns, then indeed, it seems plausible that Conscious Thought is indeed a vehicle to Damnation.  Now a Chorae does not Salt a Sinner, because a Sinner is very much in line with "natural reality" (being that Eärwa is a damnation factory and the "universality" of the Cubit) where Sorcery invites "warring versions of reality."  So, it seems that the "ruin" is the breaking of the continuity of reality.  That is, the entertaining and issuance of "warring versions of reality" that is Marking Sorcerers and in turn, Damning them and the Psûhke, given it's lack of Conscious (cognitive) intentionality does not Mark and plausibly does not even Damn, at least, on it's own.

A Chorae simply resolves the paradox that is Sorcery.  That is, it doesn’t matter if it Marked the Spirit of the practitioner, or if not.  It simply undoes Sorcery and those that practiced it.  It isn’t clear though, if the Spirit of those that practice the Psûhke isn’t Marked, it still must bear something on it’s ledger that allows a Chorae to undo them.  I guess it’s the case that while not a Mark, as it is with intellectual Sorcery, it still somehow “carries with it” the accumulated paradoxical nature of what it has done.  Unless, of course, it’s possibly the case that the Psûhke so invokes the “Divine nature” of creation, that Spirits having practiced it are actually closer to the Unity than they are distant from it.

As a side note, I think I finally actually get why the Dûnyain regard sorcery as a violation of Before and After.  I never made sense to me, because it wasn't as if Sorcery altered the past, that the After changed what happened in the Past, but I might now get it.  It is that the fundamental underlying facts of Reality determine what can come after.  So, the fundamental fact of, say, gravity (among other things, but just to keep it "simple") determines that a human can't fly.  Or, say, laws of free energy (again, among other things) dictate that Dragon's head doesn't just pop out of thin air and vomit fire.  Sorcery violates these laws, violates the facts of the Before, and so changes the After.

Since we have been discussing the fact of Damnation in Eärwa, what about the mechanism of it, the Cubit.  As in, why are some things sins and others not?  Is it arbitrary?  Are "sins" arbitrary, in the real world?  Although I can't "prove" it one way or the other, I'm not so sure.  Although I can more readily recognize that the label of "Holy" could be more arbitrary.  It certainly depends on how we choose to define "Holy" and unfortunately the books themselves don't give us many examples to build on. So, is Eärwa a place of just capricious Damnation?  Or is it discrete, like Physics?

Geometry, physics and other distinctly mathematical properties determine in a way that might seem arbitrary from a certain human rational standpoint, but are distinctly rational once the underlying mechanisms are exposed.  In the same way, nickel has the more tightly bound nucleus, follow by iron, which, is arbitrary from the standpoint of there being a whole periodic table to choose from, why those two?  No one chose them, true.  But the "rules of the game" that is, physics determined it to be so.

Perhaps I am misapprehending the notion here, but I don't think most sins are really vastly different, even though they do not necessarily come from such an objective frame.  To take a real world example, the "sin" of eating pork was very rationally grounded, since improperly cooked pork was rather dangerous. 

It then really isn't so arbitrary that pigs were considered "filthy" and "unholy."  Unconscious objects could be Vile and Holy, yes, but this (I don't think) isn't the same as Damned and Redeamed.  That is to say, I don't think pigs go to Hell and Storks go to Heaven.  No, rather these "things" are, as non-conscious objects, merely symbols of what is to be Consciously revered, or reviled.  So, a pig might be Vile because it is regarded as an "unclean animal" (plausibly due to trichinosis).  A stork might be "holy" because it invites (or invokes) thoughts of venerating parental care.  The object itself isn't destined for Hell or anywhere, since it has no soul.  Rather, it is the Souled Observer, who interprets Value.

Now, it could be that on Eärwa things are just arbitrary, I mean, of course they are, Bakker simply just chose them.  But not so arbitrary that pretty much all of them came from some real-world religion or other cultural place.  So, they are based off something, but something more nebulous and less discrete than physics.  When Mimara views, via the Eye:

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Between women and men, women possess the lesser soul. Whenever the Eye opens, she glimpses the fact of this, the demand that women yield to the requirements of men, so long as those demands be righteous. To bear sons. To lower her gaze. To provide succor. The place of the woman is to give. So it has always been, since Omrain first climbed nude from the dust and bathed in the wind. Since Esmenet made herself a crutch for stern Angeshraël.

This is arbitrary from the completely objective standpoint.  Why is it that Eärwan women possess lesser Souls?  Well, first, what does that even mean?  First, we must again recognize that the Eärwan conception of the Soul is always a something of a misnomer, as used.  That is, since no one seems to differentiate Spirit from Soul, as we do above, the Soul is confusingly relegated to attempt to cover as both.  I think we have previously demonstrated this is plausibly not true.  So then, it isn’t that women in Eärwa are spiritually inferior, it is that they are placed into a position where the demands on their psyche is such that there is less demand on their Soul to differentiate their identities for than men.  In fact, dictates of biology and so societal organization largely demand it.  In this sense, the burden of birth is a call to connection.  In the manner of  Koringhus’ revelation then, women are actually Spiritually superior to men.  The designation of “Lesser” as opposed to “Greater” denotes, in this case, the acceptance of loss, forfeiture of the Self, and the path to Unity, so the actual method away from Damnation.  In the same way, Kellhus denotes a “Greater Proyas” and a “Lesser Proyas.”  We, just by the terms, would equate “Greater” as “better” and preferable to “lesser.”  This is false and it is “Greater Proyas” is lead into Damnation.  Because Greater Proyas is the Proyas who desires to be more.  It is Lesser Proyas who seeks Unity and loss, deference to the Holy.  It is the Greater, who Kellhus enslaves, which is his Proyas’ conscious desire to aspire toward The God, to be more, rather than less.  The Soul, that which differentiates, is the engine that drives the Spirit to Damnation, so calls to “Greater” individualization and differentiation are both Spiritually inferior.

In the same manner, this is why women of Eärwa are, in general, more Holy and lesser Souls.  Because they are driven, in general to a role that subsumes their individuality and drives them toward something closer to Unity.  In this way, women are the Greater Spirits.  In this way, women are more Holy.  Also, because of how shackled they are to men, by biological (as well as psychological) facts, they are also victims of men’s Spiritual deficiency.  So, while women are the Greater Spirits, they are still Damned by association with the iniquities of men’s Spirits.  This is why Mimara repeats the proclamation that women should follow a righteous man. Since not all men are righteous, then so are many women Damned.

Note that this, in general, offends the modern egalitarian, gender-equality lines of thought.  Of course it does, as it is made to approximate the situation pre-Modern people thought they lived in.  Eärwa is designed to be the Hell of a world we thought we lived in.  Not only this, but the very offense is given to highlight and cue our moral intuitions on the subject.  Since we identify the unfair nature of Mimara’s (and every other woman in the series) situation, we are directly confronted with the unfair nature of our own world.  The imposition of being is not adjudicated fairly, not in the real world, nor on Eärwa.

It’s interesting to think to the next step though, how, if women were “unshackled” from this “arbitrary” imposition of subservience, what would the effect be?  I think the answer is that they would still be Damned though.  They, taking on the same role as men would be placed in the same trap that Eärwan men are in, that of applying the Soul in carving out individuality or questing toward being “more” is seemingly a sure-fire route to Damnation.

Not only that, but since what comes before determines what comes after and since culture itself can most certainly be a vehicle of pan-societal damnation, I  think it is most certainly the case that one can be born directly into a state of being set up to be Damned.  In fact, we know it from the Dûnyain to be true.  That is the Eärwan version of Original Sin.  You are the culmination of your culture's collected sins and Damned even further by continued adherence to it's (probably) flawed precepts.

So, the “rules” that the Cubit offers might seem arbitrary, might even be somewhat arbitrary, but they are that which allows Eärwa to be the granary that feeds the Hundred.  The path to Unity is absolutely contrary to the fundamental way which consciousness construes the reality of Identity.  And that is the thing that Damns most of all.

7
General Earwa / Eärwa and the Nature of the Soul.
« on: September 10, 2018, 03:42:30 pm »
So, just looking to log a conversation had elsewhere, about just what is the nature of the Soul in Eärwa:

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I think your post highlights just how little we know (understand?) about what the Eärwan soul really is.  On the one hand, it seems fairly obvious that the soul is one's connection to the Outside, if nothing else.  The Outside, of course, is the plemora, then the question would be: is the soul of the plemora or of the manifest world?

Given the No-God's function though and whatever the Great Cycle of Souls is, then I don't think the soul can be of the manifest world.  It must be pleromatic, then, and wholly so.  Or at least, in nature at least.  But here we return to the issue at hand, none the closer to an actual answer.  Just what is the soul?  And if souls cycle, what makes one yours and the other mine?  Or am I misunderstanding what cycle means?  I surely am, since if it was a 1:1 cycle in and out, the population of Eärwa could never grow.  No, I think what is meant is the the soul itself is "locked into place."  That is, it cannot undergo the cycle of it's own transformation.  That is (presumably) it's "attachment" to life in the manifest world (at Birth), it's "development" (during life), and it's subsequent "return" to the plemora (the Outside).  (This actually makes sense, how the Wright of the Mountain stays fixed to the spot, how souls on the planes of Mangedda.)

It's unclear what this "development" really is though.  In some ways, the soul must be a ledger of sorts.  In others, a manner of identity preservation.  As Koringhus (seems) to relate to us, part of the problem might be the clinging to identity.  That we are in the trouble of damnation because we deny the true interval between ourselves and the world (or the plemora, I'm not sure).  Or is it that we acknowledge the interval, in imagining (or acknowledging) the interval demanded by our perceived (constructed?) identity.

So, I guess to answer your question, along the line of Koringhus, the "false" identity we acknowledge is what is damned.  Which we cling to and won't let go.  And so costs eternity and the price of the now.

Or something, man, I don't know...

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I think your post highlights just how little we know (understand?) about what the Eärwan soul really is.  On the one hand, it seems fairly obvious that the soul is one's connection to the Outside, if nothing else.  The Outside, of course, is the plemora, then the question would be: is the soul of the plemora or of the manifest world?

Hmmm. We know Bakker was greatly influenced by Blood Meridian, where the Judge considers the Good within the kid to be of alien origin. I would dare to suggest that Outside is of the psyche but not the pneuma - see this quote from Geoff Klock's X-men, Emerson, Gnosticism:

"It ia Gnosticism's conception of the self that is most interesting and radical: Gnosticism makes a distinction between the soul (in Greek the psyche) and the spirit (the pneuma). The psyche is primarily what we traditionally associate with the mental self, most exhaustively treated by Freud in his psychoanalysis: appetites and passions certainly, but also our love and our tastes, and much - perhaps all - of our personality. Emerson, an implicit Gnostic, referred to this as the "adhesive self."[4] Christianity, implicitly or explicitly, conceives of the body as a prison for the soul; Gnosticism conceives of BOTH the body and the soul (again, the personality, appetites and desires) as a prison for the spirit, the Gnostic spark, the part of God."

I'm thinking of how Mimara sees past the "false foil" of the Abyss to the drowsy compassion of the God. It also seems this connection the foundational power of the One is what allows her to banish the Wight. Of course there she is maintaining the "Gate", the boundary between the Outside/Abyss and the dreamed world rather than banishing in the way a Catholic exorcist invokes Christ/God. This however could make a certain sense, as anarcane ground itself is where the God dreams most lucidly.

So by enforcing the Gate Mimara is in fact summoning the dreaming mind of God which is, in fact, the world of Earwa in its more naturalistic aspects. (Naturalist being different than our conception for our world, since Earwa is an enchanted world and at the least Naturalism usually refers to a disenchanted world in context of our reality..."enchanted" I guess would be the interweaving of sentient purpose and physics/chem/bio)

This is also suggests animals may naturally be of the One, given they have no souls to damn whereas humans - really all sentient entities with reflective consciousness - only exist due to the lapses in the God/One's own consciousness. Individuals, then, might be that aspect of the One that is lead into the illusion of a persona...the closest analogous reality I can think of is the "voices" in our heads offering praise, criticism. shame, etc. 

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Given the No-God's function though and whatever the Great Cycle of Souls is, then I don't think the soul can be of the manifest world.  It must be pleromatic, then, and wholly so.  Or at least, in nature at least.  But here we return to the issue at hand, none the closer to an actual answer.  Just what is the soul?

     

The soul seems to be microcosmic, perhaps even fractal/holographic, portions of the One. This would distinguish them from the Hundred who are, from what I gathered out of Bakker's AMA, subconscious processes smeared across the Eternal/Now joint of reality more than fully complete conscious entities.

I believe it was Eskeles who compared the Hundred to shattered fragments and Kellhus to a perfect rendition of the One writ small? We now know that was incorrect, given Kellhus was no savior, but the model works to distinguish the Hundred from an actual soul. (This leaves the issue of Ciphrang who seem to be individuals within the Now though they exist in the supposedly Eternal place of the Ouside?)

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And if souls cycle, what makes one yours and the other mine?  Or am I misunderstanding what cycle means?  I surely am, since if it was a 1:1 cycle in and out, the population of Eärwa could never grow.


Well souls could come and go from other worlds, but I agree with your latter assement:

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No, I think what is meant is the the soul itself is "locked into place."  That is, it cannot undergo the cycle of it's own transformation.  That is (presumably) it's "attachment" to life in the manifest world (at Birth), it's "development" (during life), and it's subsequent "return" to the plemora (the Outside).  (This actually makes sense, how the Wright of the Mountain stays fixed to the spot, how souls on the planes of Mangedda.)

I also suspect the cycle refers to the creation of souls through birth and then the movement of that soul into the afterlife. But if souls are pinched off bits of Outside then it would be a cycle...a harvest in some sense if the Hundred are responsible for this cycle. Perhaps there is nothing natural at all about birth/death of ensouled beings, and the One truly intended every conscious being to play out P-Zombie characters in Its dream?

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It's unclear what this "development" really is though.  In some ways, the soul must be a ledger of sorts.  In others, a manner of identity preservation.  As Koringhus (seems) to relate to us, part of the problem might be the clinging to identity.  That we are in the trouble of damnation because we deny the true interval between ourselves and the world (or the plemora, I'm not sure).  Or is it that we acknowledge the interval, in imagining (or acknowledging) the interval demanded by our perceived (constructed?) identity.
     

Yeah, that's how I see it, that one must escape identity/individuality to be free from damnation. Or at the least one must see one's "self" as an emanation of the One rather than an individual with a subjective-boundary. After all what is an "individual" but this boundary, this being that feels the its feeling only extending to the outer surface of its skin?

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So, I guess to answer your question, along the line of Koringhus, the "false" identity we acknowledge is what is damned.  Which we cling to and won't let go.  And so costs eternity and the price of the now.

Or something, man, I don't know...

Agreed on this...but then the challenge is that Kellhus could get past that "here-ness" but this didn't save him from damnation...or perhaps his own fears kicked in while on the Circumfix. The figure beneath the World Tree was waiting for him to give in, the Trickster at the Crossroads offering a deal to save the "self" of Kellhus. Ajokli seems like a cross between Satan, Papa Legba, and Mara the Tempter to me.

Could Kellhus have found the One? Or is Dunyain conditioning problematic in the sense that it can, in theory, lead to awareness of the One but given the millennia of breeding for survival in the material world one is predisposed toward preservation and thus damnation?

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Hmmm. We know Bakker was greatly influenced by Blood Meridian, where the Judge considers the Good within the kid to be of alien origin. I would dare to suggest that Outside is of the psyche but not the pneuma - see this quote from Geoff Klock's X-men, Emerson, Gnosticism:

Hmm, in fact, I round-aboutly came across the same sort of idea from a completely different place in the last week.  No such thing as coincidence though, must mean something.

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I'm thinking of how Mimara sees past the "false foil" of the Abyss to the drowsy compassion of the God. It also seems this connection the foundational power of the One is what allows her to banish the Wight. Of course there she is maintaining the "Gate", the boundary between the Outside/Abyss and the dreamed world rather than banishing in the way a Catholic exorcist invokes Christ/God. This however could make a certain sense, as anarcane ground itself is where the God dreams most lucidly.

So by enforcing the Gate Mimara is in fact summoning the dreaming mind of God which is, in fact, the world of Earwa in its more naturalistic aspects. (Naturalist being different than our conception for our world, since Earwa is an enchanted world and at the least Naturalism usually refers to a disenchanted world in context of our reality..."enchanted" I guess would be the interweaving of sentient purpose and physics/chem/bio)

This is also suggests animals may naturally be of the One, given they have no souls to damn whereas humans - really all sentient entities with reflective consciousness - only exist due to the lapses in the God/One's own consciousness. Individuals, then, might be that aspect of the One that is lead into the illusion of a persona...the closest analogous reality I can think of is the "voices" in our heads offering praise, criticism. shame, etc.

Hmm, could it be that Mimara's "power" to banish that Wight is similar to the sort of "thuamaturgy" we see Kellhus-Ajokli wield versus the Mutilated?  I.e. not sorcery (i.e. of the psyche, read: soul) but of divine providence (i.e. of the pneuma, read: spirit).  That is to say, I somewhat disagree that Mimara's power is "setting the world" to a more "naturalistic" state.  Because, as you say, Eärwa's "natural state" is that of enchantment.  So, the Wight's position is eminently natural.  Which, of course it is, because it is.

What Mimara seems to be doing, rather, is waking the God.  That is, "fixing" the frame, such that the world is as it should be, by Mimara's judgement.  This might well be the role of the Judging Eye.  That is, the same role taken on by by God-as-Christ, post-Job, in rendering the perspective of God from the mortal vantage.  (This could easily be bias on my part, as I have at other times personally noted that there is a plausible parallel of sorts between Mimara and a Christ-figure.)

Your last point though is interesting though, since if the soul is not pleromantic, or of the Outside, but of the psyche (i.e. Logos, if not The Logos) than it is more confusing how the soul is enduring, when the mind (that is, the physical brain) is not.  The only way I think I can square that, off the top of my head, is to say that the Spirit (i.e. the divine spark in each individual, gained at birth) is imprinted by the Soul (i.e. the psyche) in an indelible, or at least semi-permanent manner.  So, it may not be your soul passing on, but rather your Spirit so imprinted by your soul.  Your Spirit, of course, being your share on the One.  Your soul's delusion, of course, is that it is both the Spirit itself and separate from the One.  Both are incorrect.

However, I think I need to preface the use of One though.  One is not the Unity.  As Koringhus puts it, it would be the Zero-as-One.  For brevity's sake, I shall continue to just use One to denote this, even though the actual unity concept must be Zero-as-One.

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The soul seems to be microcosmic, perhaps even fractal/holographic, portions of the One. This would distinguish them from the Hundred who are, from what I gathered out of Bakker's AMA, subconscious processes smeared across the Eternal/Now joint of reality more than fully complete conscious entities.

I believe it was Eskeles who compared the Hundred to shattered fragments and Kellhus to a perfect rendition of the One writ small? We now know that was incorrect, given Kellhus was no savior, but the model works to distinguish the Hundred from an actual soul. (This leaves the issue of Ciphrang who seem to be individuals within the Now though they exist in the supposedly Eternal place of the Ouside?)

Well, if we follow our earlier line of thinking, it isn't the Soul than, rather it is the Spirit.  The Spirit is the division of the One, the Soul is the manifest world's interface to the Spirit.  That is, the Body does not work directly on the Spirit, rather it is Mind, the Psyche, that so interfaces the Pleromantic (Outside).

In this way, Ciphrang are Spirits who's Body/Soul so marred them as to be completely incapable of assimilating back into the One.  Or, at least, so marred as to be incapable of existing within the Pleroma (Outside) without extreme discomfort.  So, a Ciphrang could be a thing so temperamentally opposed to the Unity concept (that is, so distinctly marred as to maintain identity) that it cannot and never will be able to rejoin the One, or join oblivion.  It's a forever torper, hungering when nothing can feed.

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I also suspect the cycle refers to the creation of souls through birth and then the movement of that soul into the afterlife. But if souls are pinched off bits of Outside then it would be a cycle...a harvest in some sense if the Hundred are responsible for this cycle. Perhaps there is nothing natural at all about birth/death of ensouled beings, and the One truly intended every conscious being to play out P-Zombie characters in Its dream?

Well, I think you have relapsed a bit.  Souled being simply flavoring for Spirits.  It is Spirits that the 100 harvest, gaining greater share of One.  Souls simply give "taste" to the Spirit.  In that vein:

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But if there’s no hiding from Him, why doesn’t He simply kill me?

Because He plays you!

But how could a God play at anything?

Because that is what he feeds upon ‘ere you die, the grain of your experience.

Fool! I asked how, not why!

Who can say how the Gods do what they do?

Maybe because they can’t!

And when the ground shakes, when mountains explode, or the seas rise up?

Pfah. The Gods do these things? Or do they simply know they will happen before they happen?

Perhaps there’s no difference.

This is little Kel's internal discussing with his Voice.

So the 100, divisions of the Zero-as-One, desire divisions of Spirit, to demark their existence as One-not-Zero.  Damnation, as Kellhus puts it, "is their harvest" because damnation, the Soul's selfish tainting of the Spirit as to exclude it from Zero-as-One, i.e. as Indentity, helps to define the Hundred.

This means that Koringhus is even more correct.  The way out of the trap of Eärwa is regressive.  Or at least, regressive of the Self.

The Logos is another trap, so perhaps this is why Kellhus (mostly) abandons it?

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Yeah, that's how I see it, that one must escape identity/individuality to be free from damnation. Or at the least one must see one's "self" as an emanation of the One rather than an individual with a subjective-boundary. After all what is an "individual" but this boundary, this being that feels the its feeling only extending to the outer surface of its skin?

Yes, yes, I believe now we are getting somewhere.  I'd say it a bit differently though, that one must realize that these is no Self, rather is it a delusion of perspective.

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    Souls can no more see the origins of their thought than they can see the backs of their heads or the insides of their entrails. And since souls cannot differentiate what they cannot see, there is a peculiar sense in which the soul cannot self-differentiate. So it is always, in a peculiar sense, the same time when they think, the same place where they think, and the same individual who does the thinking. Like tipping a spiral on its side until only a circle can be seen, the passage of moments always remains now, the carnival of spaces always sojourns here, and the succession of people always becomes me. The truth is, if the soul could apprehenditself the way it apprehended the world—if it could apprehend its origins—it would see that there is no now, there is no here, and there is no me. In other words, it would realize that just as there is no circle, there is no soul.

—MEMGOWA, CELESTIAL APHORISMS

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Agreed on this...but then the challenge is that Kellhus could get past that "here-ness" but this didn't save him from damnation...or perhaps his own fears kicked in while on the Circumfix. The figure beneath the World Tree was waiting for him to give in, the Trickster at the Crossroads offering a deal to save the "self" of Kellhus. Ajokli seems like a cross between Satan, Papa Legba, and Mara the Tempter to me.

Could Kellhus have found the One? Or is Dunyain conditioning problematic in the sense that it can, in theory, lead to awareness of the One but given the millennia of breeding for survival in the material world one is predisposed toward preservation and thus damnation?

It's hard to say, because if you read TTT Chapter 10, where my above quote comes from, Kellhus seems to "get" this.  The question than is, what of it?  Koringhus seems to have been able to "get it."  But only through the lens of Mimara, through her forgiveness, and (the) Eye.  I think Kellhus could have found that, but he doesn't seem to have.  In other words, it would seem that Kellhus knew the fundamental nature of the meta-physics, but still (like the Consult) demanded the world to change rather him change to it.  In other words, I do not buy that Kellhus ever gave up his Self, or allowed his Soul to die to his Spirit.

No, in the way Bakker likens it, I'd say it makes sense that Kellhus is "dead but not done."  He is at minimum a Ciphrang, a Spirit too marred by his Soul to be devoured.  But considering his power, perhaps even more.  If the Fanim are right, that the Hundred are basically Ciphrang, than Kellhus might well be a near god-like Ciphrang.

Sorry for the weird nested nature, being quotes from somewhere else and transplanted here.

8
The Almanac: PON Edition / ARC: TDTCB Chapter 5
« on: May 07, 2018, 11:11:02 am »
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The difference between the strong emperor and the weak is simply this: the former makes the world his arena, while the latter makes it his harem.
—CASIDAS, THE ANNALS OF CENEI

Thread for chapter 5, read whenever people get through it.

9
The Unholy Consult / Subject and Object Ruminations
« on: October 09, 2017, 05:42:31 pm »
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profgrape [09|Oct 11:59 am]:   In this context, perceived = sensation + unconscious decisions about how to interpret that sensation
profgrape [09|Oct 11:59 am]:   The Sarcophagus is AFAICT a completely real thing
profgrape [09|Oct 12:00 pm]:   Maybe the most utterly Objective thing in the universe
H [09|Oct 12:00 pm]:   But the soul running it must be the real key.
profgrape [09|Oct 12:01 pm]:   Yes
profgrape [09|Oct 12:01 pm]:   It needs the right Subject.
profgrape [09|Oct 12:02 pm]:   That's why I'm riffing on the idea that Kelmomas' lack of a fixed identity somehow leads to a non-fixed Subject
H [09|Oct 12:02 pm]:   So, the "collapse" is where Kel and the Sarcophagus are one.
profgrape [09|Oct 12:02 pm]:   It creates some kind of motor based on the fact that it can't be collapsed into the Object.
tleilaxu [09|Oct 12:02 pm]:   there is a post in the AMA
tleilaxu [09|Oct 12:04 pm]:   "Consider the difference between what you're presently looking at (an objective thing) and how you're looking (via subjective experience). Thus the famous subject/object dichotomy. So say you pose the question, which comes first? An idealist believes the object is a figment of the subject, whereas a materialist believes the subject is a figment of the object."
tleilaxu [09|Oct 12:04 pm]:   I dunno
H [09|Oct 12:06 pm]:   Definitely something to that quote, yes. Consider, the dichotomy as presented in that quote and what the No-God continually asks.
tleilaxu [09|Oct 12:06 pm]:   good point
tleilaxu [09|Oct 12:07 pm]:   the is both at once, it doesn't know what it is
tleilaxu [09|Oct 12:07 pm]:   the no-god*
profgrape [09|Oct 12:09 pm]:   As the NG has been described as a p-zombie, it sounds like it takes the Subject and forces it into the Object's frame.
H [09|Oct 12:09 pm]:   Right, presumably the whole fuction of the No-God could come from the "potential difference" of a soul connecting the anode of Subject on one side and Object as the diode..
profgrape [09|Oct 12:10 pm]:   I guess I'm putting forth that as Kel is an unfixed Subject, it has a special reaction with the object.

Just putting this here for the moment, so we can further collect our thoughts on the No-God being some kind of collapse of Subject and Object.

10
General Earwa / General Wracu Discussion
« on: October 05, 2017, 10:22:44 am »
Ghoset - ?
Murathaur, the Silver, the Dragon of Knives - Killed in antiqity by Cilcûliccas (The Lord of Swans).
Skafra, Tyrant of Cloud and Mountain - Killed by Seswatha at Mengedda in 2155.
Skogma - "thought destroyed during the Cûno-Inchoroi Wars."
Skuthula, the Black - "one of the few Dragons known to have survived the Apocalypse." Resides in Golgotterath itself.
Tanhafut, the Red - Killed by Nau-Cayûti at the Battle of Ossirish.
Wutteät, the Black, the Terrible, the Black-and-Golden, Father of Dragons - Still alive, somewhere near Sauglish.

So, this list should be current as of TUC.  We learned for a "new" Wracu, only to also learn it was already dead.  The mystery of which is dead in the Black Halls is still open, although if it is one we already know of, between the option of Ghoset and Skogma, the former seems more likely.

11
The Unholy Consult / [TUC Spoilers]The Incû-Holoinas
« on: July 11, 2017, 02:17:35 pm »
For lack of a better title, this is what I'll put this under and port it over here for perusal.

First, we have the interesting "revelation" that the Sarcophagus is a prosthesis of the Ark.  In other words, it is a part of the Ark itself.

But wait, it goes further...why does the No-God need a soul in it at all?  How did that work on other worlds?

 Unless, the Ark didn't need a soul, because the Ark already had a soul.

Consider, the Ark made the Inchoroi to serve it.  Why?  It was the Ark itself who was looking for the answer to the "soul problem."  So, when Seswatha says the Ark was once living, it wasn't living in the sense of breathing, it was living in the sense of it having had a soul.  In other words, perhaps the Ark is the Progenitor, or rather, what is left of them.

But wait, look how the DûnSult refer to it.  Not the Ark, but just Ark.  That's it's name.  It is a being.  A mostly artificial one at this point, but one nonetheless.  It died, in the sense that the soul that kept it running was gone, post-Arkfall though, which is why the Inchoroi were so lost, they were a weapon race with nothing to wield them.  Because it was Ark who wielded them before, via the No-God apparatus, which was probably where the soul of Ark was.  It was Ark's "brain," which is probably why it can control all the Tekne things too.

So the No-God apparatus didn't need a soul while Ark "lived," Ark had it's own soul, a soul that was seeking to find the answer to the 144,000 question.  That question is what lead to it making the Inchoroi, who, later abandoned by Ark when it died in the fall, were left to try to figure out just what Ark was trying to do.  A prosthesis needs something to wield it.  Ark wielded it while it was still "alive" but now, some other soul needs to "read the code."

So, what kind of soul is needed to do so?  Presumably one that is suitably close to Ark's original one.  And if the DûnSult are right and the Progenitor's sin was to stray too close to Absolute, then the surrogate soul needs to also be suitably close to the Absolute too.

12
General Misc. / Thread for the Threadless (Surrogate Quorum)
« on: July 05, 2017, 01:09:48 pm »
Just figured we could have a thread for everything that doesn't warrant a tread of it's own.

I just got back from a cross country road trip with the family.  Yeah, never doing that again...

I'm just too damn old to be driving that long and the kids were restless, to say the least.

13
Philosophy & Science / NPR PodCast: Invisibilia
« on: June 08, 2017, 11:49:20 am »
Invisibilia

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Invisibilia is Latin for "the invisible things." We explore the invisible forces that shape human behavior — things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. The show is co-hosted by two of NPR's award-winning journalists — Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin — who have roots at This American Life and The Atlantic. In past seasons, the show was also hosted by Lulu Miller, who has roots in Radiolab, and is currently on leave writing a book.

We weave incredible human stories with fascinating new psychological and brain science, in the hopes that after listening, you will come to see new possibilities for how to think, behave and live.

Invisibilia has explored whether our thoughts are related to our inner wishes, our fears and how they shape our actions, and our need for belonging and how it shapes our identity and fuels our emotions over a lifetime. We investigate ways everyday objects can shape our worldviews, the effects we have on each other's well-being, and the various lenses we don.

Pretty interesting listens there.  Certainly implications for lots of things that Bakker touches on and his BBT.

14
General Earwa / Why did Moë really leave Ishuäl?
« on: May 16, 2017, 02:51:58 pm »
For a long time now, I've had this feeling that the story of why Moënghus left Ishuäl simply didn't really add up.  Prima facie, it seems plausible that to keep Dûnyain society effectively isolated, outside influence must be avoided at any cost.  Compromised individuals must be eliminated, lest the whole endeavor necessarily fail.  However, some aspect of why Moënghus left don't really jive with that.

Let's start with what we're told:

Quote
“The Dûnyain have hidden from the world for two millennia, and they would remain hidden, if they could, for all eternity. Yet thirty-one years ago, while I was still but a child, we were discovered by a band of Sranc. The Sranc were easily destroyed, but as a precaution, my father was sent into the wilderness to ascertain the extent of our exposure. When he returned some months later, it was decided that he must be exiled. He’d been contaminated, had become a threat to our mission. Three decades passed, and it was assumed he’d perished.”

So, previous to a close reading of this paragraph, I had the mistaken assumption that it was encountering the Sranc that lead to Moë leaving, but this is not the case at all.  That stands to reason, encountering Sranc would be litter different than encounting a pack of wolves, especially if one never bothered to learn Aghurzoi, the Sranc language.  I mean, it is plausible that even knowledge of Sranc would be something of an outside influence, but I don't believe they were unaware of Sranc, so their continued existence would not be much of a shock.

On that point, Kellhus doesn't question Leweth when he speaks of Sranc, only show unfamiliarity with their particulars when Leweth points out their particulars.  This, to me, speaks to Kellhus knowledge of Sranc in the intellectual sense, but unfamiliar with the practicalities and particulars of them.  That is something of an aside though.

So, going back to the above quote, Moënghus leaves Ishuäl to investigate the Sranc's finding of them, so what would he presumably do?  Track them backwards, to see where they came from.  There are a few obvious options on what he would find would plausibly include:
More Sranc
More Sranc, but lead by Ursranc.
More Sranc, but lead by a Nonman.
A human settlement.
Human ruins.
Nonman ruins.

In the first two cases, there is little to suggest why Moënghus would need to be exiled.  Even if he learned Aghurzoi, what might a Sranc or Ursranc tell him that would lead him taint him?

If he met a Nonman, he could have learned of sorcery.

If he met a human, he could have learned of history.  The same for the ruins of the former Kûniüri empire and so the lineage of the Anasûrimbor.  Plausibly, something of the same for Nonman ruins.

None of this really seems all that tainting.  But wait, we once asked Bakker about this very topic.

Isolation from external causes is the key to the original Dunyain mission. Allowing Moenghus back in would have been tantamount to allowing every he had experienced back in.

My emphasis added.  My above analysis is presuming that it was something Moënghus learned that lead him to not be fit to be allowed back to Ishuäl.  But cagey, cagey Bakker points out, it was what Moë experienced that left him unfit for return.

I asked Bakker, in that thread a follow up question:

I never doubted this.  However, I have, at times, doubted the wisdom of allowing a Dunyain to exist in the wild, from their perspective.

It's hard to imagine them not considering the risks in allowing someone with knowledge of Ishual's location to simply walk out.  Why didn't they force him into the Thousand-Thousand Halls, like the Pragma did when he polluted them in turn?  I've come up with some conspiracy theories on this, because it seems somewhat unfathomable that they didn't consider the risk in allowing him to leave.

They had no difficulty killing themselves afterward, and he was their better, so why assume he would have difficulty?

So, wait, I took this to mean that Moënghus was yet another Anasûrimbor prodigy and so the Pragma felt no right to demand he kill himself.  I don't this is what he meant though.  It wouldn't make much sense to allow a prodigy to go on a seemingly suicidal mission to scout out Sranc anyway.

No, I think, again, Bakker is being cagey with his wording here.

Moënghus didn't leave Ishuäl the first time as their better, he returned to Ishuäl as their better.

What?  Why would tracking Sranc better Moënghus?

Because, just as Kellhus learned when he left Ishuäl, Moënghus experienced domination.  He experienced that Sranc could be manipulated (as his latter appearance to Scylvendi in the "captivity" of Sranc shows).  He probably experienced that world-born men could be dominated as if children.  He returned to Ishuäl knowing full well that he was more, the full power of the Dûnyain.  The Logos unleashed.

He had a taste of the power that the Logos offers.  Why give it up?  Rather, he chose to leave Ishuäl.  This is also why he chose to head south.  He must have known that was where human civilization was.  He would go there and he would dominate it.  A Dûnyainic dynasty to lead and guide Men.  But he made the first major blunder with choosing the Psûkhe and so the rest is history, as they say.

15
General Earwa / [TGO Spoilers] Nonman Philosophy
« on: February 14, 2017, 03:36:26 pm »
So, we have a thread on Nonman Society, but this thread looks to investigate more of Nonman philosophy.  That is, what they seemed to have believed and worshiped and why.

First some relevant quotes on these things:

Quote
"Before they began forgetting, the Nonmen had been obsessed with the mysteries of time, particularly with the way the present seemed to bear the past and the future within it.

Long-lived, they had worshipped Becoming... the bane of Men."

Quote
"You think Nil'giccas is something I have lost!" the Nonman King called down. "And therefore something that I can recover!"

"You forget," Cleric shouted, "that before the Nonman King's passing, I did not exist!"

"I can no more recover him than you can recover your mother's virgin womb."


Quote
"We are Many!" the Erratic roared. "We are legion! What you call your soul is nothing but a confusion, an inability! A plurality that cannot count the moments that divide it and so calls itself One."


Quote
"Only when memory is stripped away!" Cleric cried out, the glow fading from his eyes. "Only then is Being revealed as pure Becoming! Only when the past dies can we shrug aside the burden that is our Soul!"
"Only then does the Darkness sing untrammelled!" Cleric cried. "Only then!"
"And yet you seek memories!" the Wizard cried, at last delivered to tears.
"To be! Being is not a choice!"
"But you claim Being is deception!"
"Yes!"
"But that is nonsense! Madness!"
Again the Nonman King laughed.
"That is Becoming."

So, what are the key concepts here?  First, these all seem to be related on the level of identity.  Not only that, but then how does the plurality of time relate?  And the plurality of the soul?

Being, presented as the forbearer of Becoming, is implied to be contingent, or at least somewhat dependent upon memory.  So, what does that mean?  And what does memory have to do with distinction?

I would venture to speculate (since we have so little information) that Being is something of the narrative view we tend to have of our lives.  That is, we take experience, each moment, as a sort of story, unfolding, to some conclusion.  In this way, each moment has meaning, since the construct of I or The Self is composed of all these pieces of time.  So, in this way, we have our connection, why th Nonmen were so interested in what FB correctly identified, in a conversation we had, something of superpositions and what Akka describes in the depiction of the wolf sculptures of Cil-Aujas as well.  Time, divided into moments, nonetheless encapsulate each other and so, in a way, exist with each other.  The present, enfolding the past within in, yet yielding to the future, another moment's present, and so on.  Consider then, in this way, your present Self as a sponge, constantly absorbing what comes and holding it as the past.  So, you (now) are the culmination of all the (past) you-who-was-but-now-is-more.  In other words, your Self is generated by the layering, or encapsuling of you in past moments into the you in the present moment.  So, in this way, I would guess that Being is the state of existing within that narrative structure, the Self constructed to be of and with the story it tells.  But Being is a deception though, right?  In a way, yes, our stories are just that, stories.  Based on fact, sure, but stories nonetheless, but importantly they are memory-driven stories.  What is the story of things no one can remember?  Nothing.

This recursively generated, past-driven Self, what happens to it when memory fails though?  Who are you then, if you can't remember?  This is where the transition happens from a past-driven attempt to Being (what you were) to Becoming (what you are).  Becoming, the existence in the present moving to the future.  Not what was I in the past and so where does that place me now as I move to the future, but rather, what am I now and what do I become from here?  This is not so easy though.  The mind seeks to fill the gap, where memory was.  So, it endlessly seeks memory, even fleetingly, because Being is the Self's natural state, Becoming is simply it's broken down attempt to still function with failed ability.  The Self wants to make a story, even if none is available.

Consider:

Quote
"He means that he's not a... a self... in the way you and I are selves. Now go to sleep."
"But how is that possible?"
"Because of memory. Memory is what binds us to what we are. Go to sleep."

So in summary, what is the difference between Being and Becoming?  Being is the story that tells of who one was and so is and will be. Becoming is the story that tells only who one is now, shorn from the past, and so is new again in every moment.  A story written only in the present about the future.  Simply, a story with only a present.

No surprise here, the Nonmen lost their past with their memories and lost the future with their women.  So, the present is thier only recourse, the only place they can be sure they exist.

Quote
“There comes a point where all the old ways of making sense just slough away. You persist in your daily ablutions, your ritual discourse and habitual labour, but an irritation claims you, the suspicion that others conspire to mock and confuse. This is all that you feel …”
Massacres lined their passage, the toil of making dead.
“The Dolour itself is invisible … all you ever see are cracks of fear and incomprehension where before all was seamless … thoughtless … certain. Soon you dwell in perpetual outrage, but are too fearful to voice it, because even though you know everything is the same, you no longer trust those you have loved to agree, so spiteful they have become! Their concern becomes condescension. Their wariness becomes conspiracy.
“And so the Weal becomes the Dolour, so the Intact become the Erratic. Think on it, mortal King, the way melancholy is prone to make you cruel, impatient of weaknesses. Your soul slowly disassembles, fragments into disconnected traumas, losses, pains. A cowardly word. A lover’s betrayal. An infant’s last, laboured breath. And for the heroes among us, the heartbreak commensurate with their breathtaking glory …”

Quote
“And so the Weal becomes the Dolour, so the Intact become the Erratic. Think on it, mortal King, the way melancholy is prone to make you cruel, impatient of weaknesses. Your soul slowly disassembles, fragments into disconnected traumas, losses, pains. A cowardly word. A lover’s betrayal. An infant’s last, laboured breath. And for the heroes among us, the heartbreak commensurate with their breathtaking glory …”
Oinaral lowered his head as if at last conceding to some relentless weight.
“This is how you know that you stand before the least of my Race,” he voice raw. “The fact that I stand lucid and Intact before you.”

Quote
“Depravity, Son of Harweel. Only depravity retrieves the Wayward soul. No one knows why, but only horrors can render it whole, the commission of atrocities. You recover yourself for a slender interval, and you despair, crack for shame at the dishevelled beast you have become, and you rejoice. You live! The hunger for life burns far stronger in us than in Men, Son of Harweel. The suicides among us are miraculous, rare names in the Great Pit of Years …

Here we are presented with something different.  Perhaps this isn't really even philosophy, but I present it here anyway because I believe it does dovetail in a way with what Nil'giccas relates to us about the plurality of time and the soul.

The idea of Nonman states of being seem to be presented as the following:

The Weal: This seems to be the "natural state" of Nonmen, before they were forgetting, weal meaning "that which is best for someone or something."  So, the Nonmen, pre-immortatlity, had found ways, seemingly through ritual and such, to keep themselves in a well-being state.  When memory failed though, as Oinaral says, the daily routines failed to keep their these practices intact (because thier meaning was lost in the past).

The Dolour: The state of having lost one's Self.  Shorn of memory, the lost past speaks to a lost future.  Everything has no meaning.  Cruelty seeps in, since there is nothing but irritation in a meaningless existance.

So, The Weal begets the Intact and the Dolour begets the Erratics.  But the question is, why does depavity seem to mend?

I think it goes back to how the soul, plural, as Nil'giccas likens it, is composed.  I had an idea that the soul must, in some way, be like a ledger, since it can tell of your sin.  So, in this way, perhaps new entries, new atrocities written into it spark a "reverse flow" where past entries come back.  Of course, these are fleeting for Nonmen, since memories are simply unable to be held for long.

Thought anyone on this crack-pottery?

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