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The Great Ordeal / Re: In the light of added knowledge, a few thoughts
« Last post by Wilshire on Today at 02:40:08 pm »
Great to see you back, Cuttlefish.

Hey, looks like I forgot about Bakker for a while, but doing a re-read of TGO made me think on several things. Rather than make a new thread for each, I thought a blanket thread would be better.

My first thoughts are on the Dûnyain. A practical question I'd have is, how do they avoid incest and its genetic ramifications for a thousand years, in a small community? Secondly, isn't it a bit suspicious that a sect so dispossessed of passions, particularly any facial gestures, and has no intention of actually interacting with rest of the world, is so obsessive in mastering them? A pet theory I have is that the first founders of Dûnyain, or perhaps a figure that influenced them, specifically influenced them towards their Shortest Path so that they'd create an individual like Kellhus that could possess entire nations, to the ends that he does.

On incest, I made this thread some time ago: http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=993.msg8263#msg8263
I'll extract a quote from that in case you don't want to read that wall of text
Quote
I got to 7 generations with these 8 families before any child was realted to all of the others. Keep in mind that his is only a sample, each could be done in a different order with different parents each time. This makes it possible to have every possible permutation of that final circle: every combinations of colors would be possible to get.
One thing to note is that at generation 6 I stopped breeding the “pure” lines. This is because, at 12-15 years between each generation, those original children would be unlikely to still be alive, but their offspring could still be viable breeding partners.



Basically demonstrating that you can avoid incenst without too huge of an effort with a pretty small population. In the case above, 6(!) generations without any inbreeding whatsoever. At that point, the original parental genes have almost been squeezed out of the equation. If you recombine these in a different way using the same set, you can get 7th generation offspring that are mathematically related but are functionally entirely separate bloodlines still. To keep it up past that it gets complicated very quickly, but given that I figured that out in a couples hours when I was bored, I think an entire population of brilliant people who's lives were at stake to solve this issue, I think they could handle it.
 
We don't know how many they started with, so its difficult to say for sure, but even with average intelligence and sufficient planning, its at least possible. Add to that that they clearly used some extraordinary techniques, ie Whale Mothers, and the fact that after some number of generation they became super intellectual human computational machines, I'm satisfied that they didn't really have that issue.

On faces: in order to grasp the absolute they must first yoke the legion within. The training of facial recognition helps them identify passions within themselves as much as outside. Once mastered, it allows and extremely deep intimacy between all those that of the community, allowing them to shed the inadequacies of language and peer directly into thoughts/emotions.

Your theory: Gene Besserit, Tlalaxu, and other Dune analogues abound. Quite possible, yes.


A second thought that occured to me is; how close do you think the Anasurimbor conception of the Absolute is, to Fanimry? I am a bit too busy buried under studies to actually do a full re-read of the first trilogy, but as I recall, Fane alleged that there was a  Solitary God, and the idols the Three-Seas worshipped were demons - now, the Anasurimbor don't actually believe that the Hundred are demons (but then again, what precisely is a demon?), but their perception of God, at its essence, seems to be solitary. In fact, Kellhus's full blooded Dûnyain son (what's his name - I keep forgetting names in this series), without the prior knowledge of Three Seas religions, perceives the  Absolute as being singular. What are your thoughts? Do you think Fane was the true prophet, to begin with?

I think its likely Fane approached the Truth, and the Absolute and the Solitary God are pretty close conceptually. Granted, the Absolute is essentially an philosophical/logical/mathematical construct, whereas the Solitary God is a faith/spiritual based entity.
Seeing Koringhus' reaction to The Judging Eye, I'd guess the truth is somewhere between the two.



A third point I have in mind is about Kellhus himself. Being a fan of the character, I'm inclined to view him more positively (or at least, beyond good and evil), and I've been thinking about two things in particular. First is, his conversation in the original trilogy with Moenghus; basically, they're discussing the worldborn, and Kellhus asks (in relation to informing them) "But what about the Truth?", and Moenghus replies something like "they will never understand it, but you already know this, so why do you ask?". Now, the second thing is Kellhus's study of Proyas in the last book, where it is flated out stated that the purpose of the study is to discern the effects of the Truth on the worldborn. My thought is, maybe the twist of the story isn't that Kellhus is the bad guy, but that he is the (kinda, sorta, slightly, relatively) good guy, and that he seeks to share the Truth with the world. The Truth being, I suppose, that they are ruled by their inner urges, without free will, and that God does not have a personality like one that they ascribe to him, but is in fact beyond such things.

I don't think you can step outside of good/evil and have a conversation about this. It all comes down to the means taken to reach whatever end.
Kellhus, imo, is functionally the exact same thing as the Inchoroi.
If the 'gods' are truely just evil demons that eat humans souls and perpetuate a cycle of endless suffering, then the 'good guys' would be anyone and everyone attempting to break the cycle. That means all the dunyain, all the inchoroi, Kellhus, the Consult, etc., are all 'the good guys'.
But at what point do the means overshadow the ends?
At what point does murdering an entire world to 'save' those murdered become evil in-and-of-itself?
At what point does forcing the entire population of humanity to die in order to free them just simply become worse than what the Gods are doing? What if they fail? Then all the suffering was for nothing and Kellhus becomes arguable worse than the gods.

On the flip side, what of doing nothing? What of allowing people to perpetuate the cycle in relative happiness and ignorance? That seems evil, if you Know that they are ignorantly diving headlong into and eternity of suffering. There's some obligation to help them.

On and on and on the conversation goes. Comes down to personal feelings on the subject. How important is Truth? Do means matter vs. the ends they are purportedly for? What of happiness - who gets to choose what times of happiness are allowed, what types of suffering is permissible?

I don't think there are absolute answers for these types of questions, and that's one of the 'points' Bakker is making with these books. We know he thinks about the future and the advent of the Semantic Apocalypse. The effect of technology and how its going to short-circuit our millennia old morality drivers. He's forcing the conversation. Demanding we, the readers, determine for ourselves and amongst our peers, who gets define morality, 'good', 'evil'. Define the bounds of 'justice', 'humanity', not in an absolute sense, but for ourselves, because we are approaching a world (be it 10 years or 50 years or 1000 years) where we will be able to do that in a very real way.

 


Actually, that raises another question - if the Absolute is indeed beyond care, beyond good and evil, then why does it create a code of morality? In fact, is the damnation that it brings even related to morality? Because I don't think we've yet seen a person judged by Mimara, and was not damned; the only thing I can recall as being judged to be good is the chorae.

I think you've somewhat combined the Solitary God and the Absolute. The Absolute exists beyond good and evil, but also beyond damnation, beyond even 'being'. Its a concept that sits above everything, else it refutes its own existence - gee that sounds like God doesnt it :P .

I guess things in Earwa can be objectively good/evil/whatever. Things can be Holy or Damned. But the Absolute isn't necessarily causing or imposing these attributes onto things. At best, The Judging Eye shows us what Is, but not how it came to be that way. It almost certainly had to have been created as such, implying that there is a creator, but The Absolute necessarily stands outside of the cycle of creation. I think?



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The Great Ordeal / Re: In the light of added knowledge, a few thoughts
« Last post by H on Today at 12:10:45 pm »
Hey, looks like I forgot about Bakker for a while, but doing a re-read of TGO made me think on several things. Rather than make a new thread for each, I thought a blanket thread would be better.

My first thoughts are on the Dûnyain. A practical question I'd have is, how do they avoid incest and its genetic ramifications for a thousand years, in a small community? Secondly, isn't it a bit suspicious that a sect so dispossessed of passions, particularly any facial gestures, and has no intention of actually interacting with rest of the world, is so obsessive in mastering them? A pet theory I have is that the first founders of Dûnyain, or perhaps a figure that influenced them, specifically influenced them towards their Shortest Path so that they'd create an individual like Kellhus that could possess entire nations, to the ends that he does.

Indeed, even pre-TGO I wondered if someone, like Seswatha perhaps, sent the Dûnyain to Ishûal for the exact purpose of "raising" the Harbinger.  Considering the Celmoman Prophecy, I don't see that as being all too far fetched.

A second thought that occured to me is; how close do you think the Anasurimbor conception of the Absolute is, to Fanimry? I am a bit too busy buried under studies to actually do a full re-read of the first trilogy, but as I recall, Fane alleged that there was a  Solitary God, and the idols the Three-Seas worshipped were demons - now, the Anasurimbor don't actually believe that the Hundred are demons (but then again, what precisely is a demon?), but their perception of God, at its essence, seems to be solitary. In fact, Kellhus's full blooded Dûnyain son (what's his name - I keep forgetting names in this series), without the prior knowledge of Three Seas religions, perceives the  Absolute as being singular. What are your thoughts? Do you think Fane was the true prophet, to begin with?

Well, post-TGO, I think viewing the Hundred as a certain type of "demon" isn't far from the truth.  The Consult certainly shared the view of them as such and there seems to be evidence that the Nonmen did (do?) too.  Why?  Because, if Kellhus is to be believed, they are creatures of endless hunger.  Feeding off damnation, what would be their incentive to offer real salvation?

My hunch is there isn't really any such thing as genuine salvation in the light of the Hundred.  This is why the Nonmen never worshiped them and why Aurang even tells Inrau, "you worship suffering."  The Hundred are demons who feast off the suffering of mortals.

The "issue" and one that I presented pre-TGO, in discussing whether the Psûkhe was really "divine" or not, was that the Solitary God was (is?) not manifest.  It is a concept, an abstraction.  Something would exist, could exist, but does not currently.  Perhaps even the Hundred are the fractures of that Solitary God.  So, was Fane a "true prophet?"  No and yes, depending on how you want to think of what true prophecy is.  What he said was false when he said it, but that doesn't mean it won't be true, eventually, in no small part due to his saying.

A third point I have in mind is about Kellhus himself. Being a fan of the character, I'm inclined to view him more positively (or at least, beyond good and evil), and I've been thinking about two things in particular. First is, his conversation in the original trilogy with Moenghus; basically, they're discussing the worldborn, and Kellhus asks (in relation to informing them) "But what about the Truth?", and Moenghus replies something like "they will never understand it, but you already know this, so why do you ask?". Now, the second thing is Kellhus's study of Proyas in the last book, where it is flated out stated that the purpose of the study is to discern the effects of the Truth on the worldborn. My thought is, maybe the twist of the story isn't that Kellhus is the bad guy, but that he is the (kinda, sorta, slightly, relatively) good guy, and that he seeks to share the Truth with the world. The Truth being, I suppose, that they are ruled by their inner urges, without free will, and that God does not have a personality like one that they ascribe to him, but is in fact beyond such things.

I think that is a fair idea, but I don't think Kellhus aim is really at the dissemination of Truth, but rather a construction of a truth.  The difference being that the Thousandfold Thought is untrue as stated, but becomes true through it's crafting.  An actively constructed truth.  The question would be, "what is the aim of the Thought?" 

The Voice tells Kellhus:
"I war not with Men, it says, but with the God.
“Yet no one but Men die,” the Aspect-Emperor replies.
The fields must burn to drive Him forth from the Ground.
“But I tend the fields.”
The dark figure stands beneath the tree, begins walking toward him. It seems the climbing stars should hook and carry him in the void, but he is like the truth of iron—impervious and immovable.
It stands before him, regards him—as it has so many times—with his face and his eyes. No halo gilds his leonine mane.
Then who better to burn them?"

I wonder though, is Kellhus trying to outmaneuver the Gods, the Consult, and himself?  Play all sides against the middle?  But the middle is what, the revision of damnation?  Himself as the Solitary God?

Perhaps the whole point is that simply being True doesn't mean it is good.  The Consult has the truth on their side and they are quite evil.  Kellhus is a liar and yet, is the "good guy" in all of this.  I do agree though, that Kellhus is "beyond good and evil" in a way.  Reminds me of these epigraphs, both from TTT, Chapter 7:

"Every woman knows there are only two kinds of men: those who feel and those who pretend. Always remember, my dear, though only the former can be loved, only the latter can be trusted. It is passion that blackens eyes, not calculation.
—ANONYMOUS LETTER"

"It is far better to outwit Truth than to apprehend it.
—AINONI PROVERB"

Actually, that raises another question - if the Absolute is indeed beyond care, beyond good and evil, then why does it create a code of morality? In fact, is the damnation that it brings even related to morality? Because I don't think we've yet seen a person judged by Mimara, and was not damned; the only thing I can recall as being judged to be good is the chorae.

Well, I don't know that the Cubit was created by any one, divine or mortal though.  It is simply a "natural fact" the same as protons are positively charged and electrons negatively.  The Cubit is the ontological firmament of the universe, the ontological blue-print of the universe.  I don't know that the answer to why really tells us much.  I think how is really where we should look.
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A third point I have in mind is about Kellhus himself. Being a fan of the character, I'm inclined to view him more positively (or at least, beyond good and evil), and I've been thinking about two things in particular. First is, his conversation in the original trilogy with Moenghus; basically, they're discussing the worldborn, and Kellhus asks (in relation to informing them) "But what about the Truth?", and Moenghus replies something like "they will never understand it, but you already know this, so why do you ask?". Now, the second thing is Kellhus's study of Proyas in the last book, where it is flated out stated that the purpose of the study is to discern the effects of the Truth on the worldborn. My thought is, maybe the twist of the story isn't that Kellhus is the bad guy, but that he is the (kinda, sorta, slightly, relatively) good guy, and that he seeks to share the Truth with the world. The Truth being, I suppose, that they are ruled by their inner urges, without free will, and that God does not have a personality like one that they ascribe to him, but is in fact beyond such things.

Actually, that raises another question - if the Absolute is indeed beyond care, beyond good and evil, then why does it create a code of morality? In fact, is the damnation that it brings even related to morality?

A few thoughts in response:

1. The Absolute doesn't create a code of morality, it simply recognizes the objective morality that arises from the actions of men.

2. The Darkness that comes before all men does not necessarily mean that all men are ruled by their inner urges and, hence, there is no free will. It doesn't mean we can't know what moves us; it means we don't know what moves us.

Nice post, Cuttlefish.
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The Great Ordeal / In the light of added knowledge, a few thoughts
« Last post by Cuttlefish on Today at 03:51:13 am »
Hey, looks like I forgot about Bakker for a while, but doing a re-read of TGO made me think on several things. Rather than make a new thread for each, I thought a blanket thread would be better.

My first thoughts are on the Dûnyain. A practical question I'd have is, how do they avoid incest and its genetic ramifications for a thousand years, in a small community? Secondly, isn't it a bit suspicious that a sect so dispossessed of passions, particularly any facial gestures, and has no intention of actually interacting with rest of the world, is so obsessive in mastering them? A pet theory I have is that the first founders of Dûnyain, or perhaps a figure that influenced them, specifically influenced them towards their Shortest Path so that they'd create an individual like Kellhus that could possess entire nations, to the ends that he does.

A second thought that occured to me is; how close do you think the Anasurimbor conception of the Absolute is, to Fanimry? I am a bit too busy buried under studies to actually do a full re-read of the first trilogy, but as I recall, Fane alleged that there was a  Solitary God, and the idols the Three-Seas worshipped were demons - now, the Anasurimbor don't actually believe that the Hundred are demons (but then again, what precisely is a demon?), but their perception of God, at its essence, seems to be solitary. In fact, Kellhus's full blooded Dûnyain son (what's his name - I keep forgetting names in this series), without the prior knowledge of Three Seas religions, perceives the  Absolute as being singular. What are your thoughts? Do you think Fane was the true prophet, to begin with?

A third point I have in mind is about Kellhus himself. Being a fan of the character, I'm inclined to view him more positively (or at least, beyond good and evil), and I've been thinking about two things in particular. First is, his conversation in the original trilogy with Moenghus; basically, they're discussing the worldborn, and Kellhus asks (in relation to informing them) "But what about the Truth?", and Moenghus replies something like "they will never understand it, but you already know this, so why do you ask?". Now, the second thing is Kellhus's study of Proyas in the last book, where it is flated out stated that the purpose of the study is to discern the effects of the Truth on the worldborn. My thought is, maybe the twist of the story isn't that Kellhus is the bad guy, but that he is the (kinda, sorta, slightly, relatively) good guy, and that he seeks to share the Truth with the world. The Truth being, I suppose, that they are ruled by their inner urges, without free will, and that God does not have a personality like one that they ascribe to him, but is in fact beyond such things.

Actually, that raises another question - if the Absolute is indeed beyond care, beyond good and evil, then why does it create a code of morality? In fact, is the damnation that it brings even related to morality? Because I don't think we've yet seen a person judged by Mimara, and was not damned; the only thing I can recall as being judged to be good is the chorae.
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General Earwa / Re: Zaudunyanicon 2017
« Last post by Beardfisher King on March 28, 2017, 12:43:07 pm »
Yeah but i have this ocean thing to cross as well. I would road-trip drive it if i could.I have a car and plenty of time, Or walk it.

In fact it would only be fitting if i walked it. The slog of slogs, boys!!!

"No sinking on the Slog!"
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But i walk into rooms sometimes and forget why i came in. So don#t take anything i say as gospel :p

Hey, who the hell doesn't do that? I will go into a room, forget why I came in, then go out and then forget why I left that room. The only cure? See if I can find the fridge and grab a beer. Then look for the bottle opener. Voila, a new project!  :)
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General Earwa / Re: Zaudunyanicon 2017
« Last post by themerchant on March 28, 2017, 12:23:55 pm »
Yeah but i have this ocean thing to cross as well. I would road-trip drive it if i could.I have a car and plenty of time, Or walk it.

In fact it would only be fitting if i walked it. The slog of slogs, boys!!!
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The Great Ordeal / Re: [TGO spoilers] Timeline confusion at conclusion of TGO
« Last post by themerchant on March 28, 2017, 12:18:34 pm »
Yeah I'm happy with  redecapitated lol.

Anyway, they are like his very own demon skin spies. Maybe he has more than two in motion?
I got the idea from the Nonman  scene where they asked to touch Kellhus face in WLW.

asked to touch him and they sort of clapsed hands and slid their fingers off each other, don't think they touched his face. I could be wrong though, just what my memory says happened. But i walk into rooms sometimes and forget why i came in. So don#t take anything i say as gospel :p
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The Great Ordeal / Re: [TGO spoilers] Timeline confusion at conclusion of TGO
« Last post by themerchant on March 28, 2017, 12:15:00 pm »
Quote from: themerchant
Nah Kosoter was a demon the whole time in TAE. That explains why he looks like one under the gaze of the judging eye. His real head hangs from Kellhus head and the demonic one hangs from Sarls beard.

WLW dies, it's pretty much hinted at in the scenes he "sees" before they happen, going into his mothers embrace or words to that effect, in addition to the quoted text above.

So your argument is that at some point Kellhus beheaded Kosoter and reanimated him with one of the Decapitants. As a result of doing so, the Decapitant's head sorcerously takes on the form of Kosoter's head, and that's why throughout TJE and TWLW Demon-Kosoter looks like Kosoter.

Myself, I envision the sorcerous transformation of Malowebi as one that has Malowebi's body fused to the Ciphrang's head, and the resulting abomination does not look like Malowebi. That's why I had so much trouble with Kellhus still having two Decapitants  in the palace scene.

Your theory does have the benefit of clearing that matter up. Do we have any evidence that the Metagnosis can accomplish this type of transformation? Or is this something Kellhus adapted from the Daimos?

You never know, Esmi's first line in TUC, while weeping at Kellhus' feet could be something like "why the fuck is Morgan Freeman's head on your belt?"



I love the idea of Demon-Malowebi returning to Zeum looking all Ciphranged-up: "What the fuck is this thing? And why is it wearing Morgan Freeman's clothes?"

I'm trying to construct a reason for Kellhus having two decapitants on his belt when he goes to see Esmi, as it seems like he put one of them on Malowebi neck and fused it to his body.

Malowbi seeing himself reborn in demonic replica as stated in the books was interpreted by me to mean the demon took on the exact form of him. Then Kellhus has two heads when he goes to meet Esmi and ostensibly his fate at the hands of the WLW. The only spare head kicking around is Malowebi's. So i assumed he put that on his girdle. Yet it is described as a ciphrang. So if the demons head turns into his replica, then i thought the converse could occur.

It's hardly airtight but the best explanation i can think of that can cover the bases best. It's more my best effort to fling a blanket over every point as opposed to being deduced logically :D

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The Great Ordeal / Re: [TGO spoilers] Timeline confusion at conclusion of TGO
« Last post by MSJ on March 28, 2017, 04:08:35 am »
Yeah I'm happy with  redecapitated lol.

Anyway, they are like his very own demon skin spies. Maybe he has more than two in motion?
I got the idea from the Nonman  scene where they asked to touch Kellhus face in WLW.

Well, I tell you what sold me on the idea if Malowebi and maybe Kosoter also on his belt. When they are decapitated, hence dead, they transform into what they would be in the Outside. So it's not like switching places with each other. The Ciphrang takes the look of Malowebi, but Malowebi was damned and would be a Ciphrang (or something near it) on the Outside. Just my logic.
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