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Messages - Frankly Bucked

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Sorry, me, for the double post but...

On topic, Bakker does write with a healthy selection of botany books within reach and I have it from more than a few readers (some I know personally with degrees in forestry) that Bakker's tree knowledge is on point.

Wait... really? Why??

Barring some kind of deeply-entrenched, long-planned botanical super twist, I'd wager it is for worldbuilding purposes.

Having spent an obssessive amount of time creating my own fantasy world that is also (like TSA, presumably) intended to be at least kinda realistic and accurate to real life, something that hits you fairly early on is the task of actually describing the natural features of the fictional places one is conconcting. Given the pretty vast range of biomes and ecological diversity on display throughout TSA, and since RSB does in fact describe the flora of most of the wilderness regions he creates (I can't speak to accuracy, but I've certainly noticed the attention to detail here), then in order to have an idea of what sort of plants grow in what kind of climate, during what season, what they look or smell like, and their agricultural/economic value...well, a few good books on botany are kind of a requirement eventually.

Plus, RSB grew up on a tobacco farm, so I would think he was somewhat equipped early on with an appreciation for how important flora is to describing...almost any type of outdoor location. I mean, if you're describing a place that is meant to be relatively reminsicent of its real life counterparts, the two big parts are the plants, and geological terrain it is growing from -- which both kinda go hand-in-hand to climate and ecology, all of which will inform the worldbuilding eventually, even if one starts with a city or whatever and works backwards.

(I mostly just use the internet, but I wouldn't turn down a nice botanical encyclopedia)

General Earwa / The Mythological Roots of Ishterebinth
« on: February 12, 2020, 03:24:51 pm »
So, aside from it's overtly Greek underworld-like tones (being underground, dead civilization, "ghouls" refers to a creature/humanoid that is either dead or lurks around the graves of the dead), it is noteworthy that Ishterebinth contains some of the more overt, in-your-nose references to an existing mythology. The word 'Stygian' (capitalized, even!) appears in the description of the Deep.

The River Styx is a river in Hades:

In Greek mythology, Styx is a deity and a river that forms the boundary between Earth and the Underworld, often called "Hades", which is also the name of its ruler.

Could there be other mythological connections, less obvious ones, meant to be gleaned here?

When compared against classical Greek mythology's idea of the underworld, the Weeping Mountain is, structurally, very similar. 

-It is enterable from the surface of the world and is a kind of realm as much as a place.

-It has a ruler, and a court.

-The general atmosphere of Ishterebinth, I think, can be aptly described as "gloomy" (to say that the least), yet this clearly is not 'Hell'.

-There's a literal Stygian river in the lower areas, with a Charon-like Boatman.

In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person. Some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years. In the catabasis mytheme, heroes – such as Aeneas, Dionysus, Heracles, Hermes, Odysseus, Orpheus, Pirithous, Psyche, Theseus and Sisyphus – journey to the underworld and return, still alive, conveyed by the boat of Charon.

-At the fundament of Ishterebinth, we discover there is a special region, the Holy Deep -- a Tartarus-esque pit of darkness where the Tall, almost literally "titanic" heroes of a past age are kept. 

In Greek mythology, Tartarus is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans. Tartarus is the place where, according to Plato's Gorgias (c. 400 BC), souls are judged after death and where the wicked received divine punishment. Tartarus is also considered to be a primordial force or deity alongside entities such as the Earth, Night and Time.

One of the sneakier aspects of the Greek Hades which finds its way into Ishterebinth, however, is none other than the Cap of Invisibility or Helm of Hades:

In classical mythology, the Cap of Invisibility is a helmet or cap that can turn the host invisible. It is also known as the Cap of Hades, Helm of Hades. Wearers of the cap in Greek myths include Athena, the goddess of wisdom, the messenger god Hermes, and the hero Perseus. The Cap of Invisibility enables the user to become invisible to other supernatural entities, functioning much like the cloud of mist that the gods surround themselves in to become undetectable.

Given how the Amiolas is, in a fairly literal sense, an invisibility cap for the Gods, it seems unlikely the connections are purely coincidence.

How far are we supposed to take these underworld themes? Could the Nonmen be *literally* dead in a sense? What happens to a Nonman in the 'end'? They seem not far from Sranc already in their lowest stages.

Things to ponder.

General Earwa / Re: The Consult's Plans [TUC Spoilers}
« on: February 07, 2020, 09:04:02 am »
Hadn't noticed this thread until now but this is very specifically something that, IMO, requires a better explanation or I will consider it a really dumb way of cheating with character knowledge. Aurang's not portrayed as being stupid -- quite the opposite -- but nor is his memory all THAT bad compared to the Nonmen (in fact compared to them his memory is fucking great). We have no idea even how old Aurang and Aurax, but it's gotta be pretty damn old. Considerably more than 10,000 years, most likely given what we've been told?

All that being said, I don't actually think it's something RSB is pulling a cheat with -- but I do think it ultimately leads to a certain conclusion, which is that the Dunyain have *always* been at the head of the Consult, or nearly always, and that they probably have inadvertantly set in motion a cyclic pattern to the state of Earwa.

They are, I think, slaves to the World, like the gears that make the whole thing happen *no matter what*, though really they are simply cogs in greater machine, one which I suspect the No-God walking (feeding) acts a sort of "Final Cause", only it's not *really* final. The entire point of the No-God (as the Dunyain see it) is something to be used as weapon in order to leave a highly specific number of individuals alive.

I don't think the World can actually be closed, because the No-God doesn't want it to. Why would it? The No-God, for whatever reason, hungers for something very particular. Recall how the No-God repeatedly 'fed' on the people of of Wraeleoth (?), then let their population grow back up only so that it could feed once again. This seems like a microcosmic version of the macrocosmic reality in Earwa.

But this seems, to me, to be a standard Dunyain fuck up. The No-God is not something which one conspires to make happen, but rather the World will literally arrange itself -- by *any means* -- to accomodate the No-God. Think of how barely the entire thing scraped by? Even Kellhus, who is heavily implied to be virtually capable of anything the World requires of him, is absolutely essential to the creation of the No-God. And the Consult itself, two inchoroi only were left for millenia, their greatest Nonman member suffering from its immense age and clearly mad -- and Shauriatas, allegedly now defeated. This last one I don't buy for a second. Shauriatas is literally called Death-Cheater, he is already a disembodied spirit, and I don't see him being out of the series and done with.

Ishual seems more like a No-God breeding project than anything else to me. And the Dune parallel is pretty hard to shake. Perhaps Kellhus was (like Paul) originally believed to be a Kwisatz Haderach of sorts (we know he was a prodigy), but like in Dune, they were off by a generation. And so just like Leto II, Kelmomas the child is transformed into an eldritch abomination of tremendous power.

I lost my train of though, but yeah. This bothers me and I don't think it's an accident lol.

Philosophy & Science / Re: On Logos
« on: February 05, 2020, 05:45:23 am »
Great read, interesting points. This actually helped me better understand and recontextualize the way I'd previously been applying to the science-fantasy metaphysics of my mythos. I especially like Heraclitus' proprosed view on it, which I was not overtly familiar, even though I already dig me some Heraclitus and have found him a major source of inspiration in the past.

It is interesting the range of utilities and general age of this term, but it really just explodes with new perspectives after Jesus.

TSA side-note:

Heraclitus and the Stoic view of Logos seem to me the most like what RSB is getting at with what the Logos really is (versus what the Dunyain believed it to be). I can't help but make connections to the Ark as a kind of demiurgic world-egg that is the creative-destroyer of 'worlds' (ages) -- it is the point between which God (is this the Meta-God?) contacts creation. Shauriatas and Seswatha are also highly reminscient of two opposing manifestations of Logos. Each have 'Cheated Death', Seswatha replicating himself almost like a computer virus -- or like white blood cells. Meanwhile Shauriatas is seemingly able to simply bounce across proxies (or Dunyain) and is perhaps reminiscient of a centralized A.I. which either is the manifestation of the will of the Ark, or simply is that Will.

The first one is certainly an experience that resonates for me, even more so the older I get.

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: January 18, 2020, 08:59:42 am »
"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: December 30, 2019, 12:42:22 pm »
"The head is the head of a serpent,
From his nostrils mucus trickles,
His mouth is beslavered with water;
The ears are like those of a basilisk,
His horns are twisted into three curls,
He wears a veil in his head band,
The body is a suh-fish full of stars,
The base of his feet are claws,
The sole of his foot has no heel,
His name is Sassu-wunnu,
A sea monster, a form of Ea."
                            - R. C. Thompson's Translation. 1

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: December 28, 2019, 06:16:45 pm »
"A fool is the one who gives up everything for an idea. The wise fool is the one
who knows that he never had anything to give up in the first place."

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: December 19, 2019, 12:54:59 pm »
Here, however, lies the task of any philosophical thought: to go to the limit of hypotheses and processes, even if they are catastrophic. The only justification for thinking and writing is that it accelerates these terminal processes.
—Jean Baudrillard, The Vital Illusion

From the beginning you beings are deluded
Because you do not recognize
The awareness of the ground

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: November 27, 2019, 01:30:03 pm »
"But who is an initiate? A person who has experienced a knowledge invisible from without and incommunicable except through the same process of initiation. Inevitably, Plato explains, there can be but "few" initiates....
 -R.Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony

'For how can one describe, as other than oneself, that which, when one saw it, seemed to be one with oneself?

This is no doubt why in the Mysteries we are forbidden to reveal them to the uninitiated.'

Awesome quotes as usual! Love that first one.


"How do I know that in hating death we are not like people who got lost in early childhood and do not know the way home?"
- Zhuangzi

"Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intellligence by means of our language".
- Wittgenstein

"Whatever happens at all, happens as it should."
- Marcus Aurelius

General Earwa / Re: The Prince of Nothing (Film)
« on: November 13, 2019, 12:33:28 pm »
You always have the best ideas XOXOXO :-[

Only I think Ariana Grande would actually be better casting for Psatma (after the whole "Yatwerian Youth-Age Exchange Ritual" sex magic thing). She has that kinda weird, vaguely offputting appearance that somehow is both adult-like and child-like, yet also neither. But can she act?

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: October 30, 2019, 02:53:45 pm »
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."
– Anaïs Nin

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: October 12, 2019, 11:08:57 pm »
"Ah, you realize that magick is something we do to ourselves. But it is more convenient to assume the objective existence of an angel who gives us new knowledge than to allege that our invocation has awakened a supernormal power in ourselves."

- Aleister Crowley

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: September 23, 2019, 05:17:04 pm »
"Hating and avoiding cliffhangers or lack of closure is for the weak"
- Red Eagle

General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« on: September 12, 2019, 05:32:40 am »
"Don't worry. You don't know enough to worry. Who the hell do you think you are, that you should worry?
That is God's truth. Worry is praying to the devil. Worry is betting against yourself. Worry is preposterous."

Terence McKenna

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