The Second Apocalypse

Earwa => Atrocity Tales => Topic started by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:30:03 am

Title: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:30:03 am
Quote from: Curethan
So, most people seem to be of the opinion that this provides some kind of 'relevation'. 

Specifically about how damnation is unavoidable for sorcerers and what damnation actually entails, which then subsequently justifies any measure taken to avoid it as well as simultaneously removing any ability to care about the earthly suffering of oneself or any other individual.

Which is not, in my opinion, how revelation works. 
I'm sure we've all experienced some new way of understanding or thinking that makes everything seem changed or different before.  And perhaps on reflection we can see that these 'epiphanies' are little more than blips of adjustment rather than redefining our personalities in any major way.  The human personality is elastic and requires a deal of training to change. 

As RSB is fond of pointing out, people don't just shift their moral goalposts in the manner that Nin and then Shae seem to, just through a little bit of firsthand experience (after all, 5 seconds of eternity is still just 5 seconds).  It requires a lot of conditioning to make one ammoral in the manner of Kellhus, for example. 

Those familiar with the way that many child molesters become so through the experience of being abused, and how internet porn can act as a type of skinner box might understand what I think the inverse fire actually is. 

A neurological weapon that becomes a holy object after its used on you.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:36:17 am
Quote from: The Sharmat
I don't find it that hard to believe that it's just a technological artifact that lets the user look into hell. The reason it has such a transformative effect is that Hell is so inconceivably horrifying compared to any atrocity possible in the physical world that the viewer becomes instantly and permanently desensitized to any crime they may commit. Simply because Spanish Inquisition level torture is a Hawaiian vacation by comparison.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:36:23 am
Quote from: Curethan
But that is not how it works. 

Simply increasing the magnitude of a traumatic or 'reveletory' experience creates dissonance - like in people who suffer PTSD.  Amp that up and you eventually get mental collapse. 

The effect here is transformative in a specific manner, and results in specific operative behavioural differences.  It's precisely the kind of directed change that RSB is worried that governments will be able to enact on 'criminals' and other deviants using neuroscientific methods.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:36:29 am
Quote from: Wilshire
I could see both cases, but I don't think we have nearly enough information to simply say "thats just not how it works". We would need to know a lot more about who they were before measuring how much they changed. For that matter, we would need more than 1 or 2 biased character perspectives to come to any adamant conclusions at all.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:36:35 am
Quote from: sciborg2
I have to say I still find the 120 Days of Sodom adventures post seeing the Inverse Fire to be nonsensical. But I'm beginning to suspect that Bakker and I have very different understandings about the nature of humanity.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:36:41 am
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: The Sharmat
I don't find it that hard to believe that it's just a technological artifact that lets the user look into hell. The reason it has such a transformative effect is that Hell is so inconceivably horrifying compared to any atrocity possible in the physical world that the viewer becomes instantly and permanently desensitized to any crime they may commit.

I second this.

Curethan, I'm not sure the normal rules of cognitive dissonance apply. Also, perhaps, "seeing" the Inverse Fire is more experiential than the metaphor implies. Maybe it's a completely visceral, sensual, VR experience, where three seconds is experienced as an eternity of bodily pain and torment?

Like, "I never want to experience that shit ever again, what can I do never to ever die and be damned? Now."
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:36:48 am
Quote from: sciborg2
One thing to keep in mind is that Kellhus could have apprehended the God and secured his own redemption. That doesn't mean he can't keep lying through his teeth to everyone else who is still damned.

An interesting question is what happens to all those Dunyain that are supposedly damned? Dunyain don't have many emotions, so how much fun is it to torment them compared to tormenting more emotional beings?

Also, what motivates the tormentors of damnation - I mean there are apparently, according to Mimara's Judging Eye, whole species of demons devoting their eternal, immortal existences to tormenting souls...doesn't this get boring after awhile?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:36:55 am
Quote from: Curethan
Quote from: Madness
Curethan, I'm not sure the normal rules of cognitive dissonance apply. Also, perhaps, "seeing" the Inverse Fire is more experiential than the metaphor implies. Maybe it's a completely visceral, sensual, VR experience, where three seconds is experienced as an eternity of bodily pain and torment?

Like, "I never want to experience that shit ever again, what can I do never to ever die and be damned? Now."

I'm more looking at the whole, "That was intense, but now I've got a hankering for genocide, torture and interspecies sex.  Ha, and my concience has completely disolved."

I'll back that up by pointing out how Shae is worried that the possibility of Aurang seducing Titirga would result in him (Shae) getting killed (thus eternal damnation for him).
But that doesn't concern him...

Quote
Did Aurang seek to seduce the Sohonc Archideme? Could he not see that Titirga was not one to suffer rivals, that Shaeönanra himself would be doomed were he to embrace their Holy Consult?

But these were vain questions. They fell away as quickly as Onkhis offered them up, so flimsy were the concerns that moved them. All that mattered, the Ground’s only consequential thing, was what he had seen…

Damnation.

So at once he will do anything to forestall damnation - but it's not really his own fate that worries him?

And then there's the fate of the Three - the two ishroi killed on Cet'ingira's recomendation because they were 'possessed'...  it just doesn't add up to me.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:01 am
Quote from: Madness
I'm not sure what you mean about the Three (Cet'ingira was one of them).

I interpret that passage you are quoting as Shaeonanra reaffirming that Titirga would simply be another obstacle. Shaeonanra knows that at some point he will die and he had better have solved the damnation issue.

Quote from: Curethan
I'm more looking at the whole, "That was intense, but now I've got a hankering for genocide, torture and interspecies sex. Ha, and my concience has completely dissolved."

Well, Cnaiur is a perfect example of cognitive dissonance becoming a reason, a license for any and all trespass. I believe the Mengaecca committed all their atrocities because they were hoping that something in life would feel worse than the "fact of Damnation," as they perceived it by the Inverse Fire.

And they found nothing...
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:08 am
Quote from: Curethan
Well, there's not really enough info about what happened to the three.
However, the Ishroi weren't sorcerers, and their minds were broken. 
 
Cet'Ingira has regained enough of his faculties to betray them when they return from the golden room.  The fact that he tells CC they have been possessed is telling, the easiest lie is the one that is closest to the truth.
-

Your example of Cnaiur serves my point.  He is actively and purposefully broken by Moeghus so that he can conspire in Moe's escape. 

The alteration of his moral code proceeds from an existing weakness and must be carefully nurtured and steered until Moenghus controls his moral framework enough that Cnaiur serves Moe's ends.  Repitition and conditioning, using the framework from which aberant behaviour usually arises.

But because it is steered, it becomes an act of possession.  Moe breaks him in order to use him for his own ends.
When Moeghus no longer guides him, it is only by strictly adhereing to cultural norms and traditions, and thus supressing his aberant behaviour that Cnaiur forestalls his spiral into self destructive madness, becoming a time bomb in the process.
-

I'm fairly sure that Scott has edited TFS a bit since my last read.  Beyond arguing about how psychological change tends to occur, I'll quote a few of the bits that further inform my veiws on this subject (some that I suspect might have changed); subscript is mine.
Quote
He [size=50](Shae)[/size] had exalted in the trackless void, the hole where good and evil had once been.
...
They had visited lunatic misery on innocents, and they had found themselves utterly impervious, immune to the least remorse. Some of them had even laughed.
...
[size=50]Shae[/size] “Possessed, you tell yourselves. Possessed! We are different because we are no longer ourselves. ...
“So tell me , if we are possessed, who is our new owner?”"
...
[size=50]Titirga[/size] “A lunatic God… perhaps. The Hells that you think you see. Something… Something adulterate, foul. Something that craves feasting, that hungers with an intensity that can bend the very Ground.”

Ulimately my point is that the human brain just doesn't rewrite itself so abrubtly and effectively (that is, maintaining rational cognitive behaviours) upon such massive changes. 

I think the inverse fire has something to do with the outside, yes, but it is not some ultimate, freeing truth about damnation.  It's got to be some kind of brain frying thing.
 -

off topic; Perhaps this thread should be moved to the Atrocity Tales subforum, it's getting pretty spoilery.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:18 am
Quote from: Callan S.
I'm not sure, is the idea that the whole experience is faked?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:25 am
Quote from: Curethan
@ Callan. 
I'm suggesting that the inverse fire actually rewrites the neural wiring of those who veiw it, rather than provoking such a dramatic an almost instantaneous shift in attitude, empathy and belief by revealing some deeper understanding of the ultimate fate of one's soul.

It seems reasonable to speculate that the inchies developed the inverse fire in order to remove their compassion, and experiencing the fact of their (now inevitable) impending damnation was an unexpected side-effect that then prompted their interstellar quest to avoid their (now inevitable) damnation.
Or perhaps they opened a door to the uber ciphrang in the outside directly into their minds or something.
Either way, I don't think the experience is faked per se - but I do think it's not a genuine revelation that need apply to all sorcerers.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:30 am
Quote from: Madness
I am going to move it Curethan. Follow me ;).

Quote
How could the man [Titirga] know? Even with his rumoured Grace.
Quote
A rasp like the screams of faraway children tangled in the wind. Inchoroi laughter. “You are already damned. All of you are already damned.“

“So say you.”

A deep chested rumble. Popping mucous. “So says the Inverse Fire.”

A flush of horror. Shaeönanra tensed against the sudden loosening in his bowel, not quite believing that the Inchoroi had dared name it aloud. Xir’kirimakra. The Inverse Fire. For a heartbeat he found his Voice divided between mere fear and what mattered. What? Did Aurang seek to seduce the Sohonc Archideme? Could he not see that Titirga was not one to suffer rivals, that Shaeönanra himself would be doomed were he to embrace their Holy Consult?

But these were vain questions. They fell away as quickly as Onkhis offered them up, so flimsy were the concerns that moved them. All that mattered, the Ground’s only consequential thing, was what he had seen…

Damnation.

Experience shredded into a thousand strings, each clawed and burned and burned, sucked like bottomless bones. Agony. Anguish. Horror. Lament. Shame… Shrieking-thrashing-screaming through the throat of his every memory, innumerable and one, groaning-choking-vomiting, his every particle a unique agony, a bereavement, a weeping-howling-scratching out eyes that grew and grew to witness anew, while burning-blistering-breaking–

It defeated the tongue, the intellect, what he had seen. Nevertheless it was in him, every moment in him, if not at the centre of his care then beneath, a hole that endlessly gnawed at his gut…

A terror, so profound, so abiding–and, yes, pure–that all other fears guttered into nothingness for lack of air. A terror that was a gift… such was the peace and certainty that followed upon it.

My bolding. The first part of the quote is just interesting Grace, capital G. I honestly should take a reread through the False Sun and give it some philosophic rigour - it has got a bunch of golden nuggets in it.

Again, I'm not convinced, Curethan, that this extra time is necessary. There are two known instances, that I can think of, where the brain's structure changes drastically and permanently (as permanent as any topography the brain takes) - in cases of amputation and in certain developmental stages when a theorized mechanism or neurotransmitter allows for heightened efficiency of cortical neuroplasticity.

However, I don't think Bakker even needs those explanations.

I'm rereading and I feel your biggest gripe is the time constraints on conditioning - however, a theme of Shaeonanra's perspective is the immediate certainty he's garnered from the Inverse Fire. He and Titirga discuss the changes in all the Mengaecca, how before they were the most licentious and treacherous of men and after seem welded by singular purpose and will.

I feel like many of the discomforts you have are the very threads being address by Bakker in the False Sun.

Also, I feel like we're all suffering Bakker Inversion Syndrome. We have to put the revelations of the False Sun in their proper place.

Firstly, the revelations of TFS are ours - not Earwa's. While the Inverse Fire is this interesting tidbit - a direct challenger to TJE for Judging the World - none of the characters we're following have had to deal with "Xir’kirimakra. The Inverse Fire."

Secondly, after all this time, I think many of us want and need the Consult to be Evil. Its easy for those of us who think so to deny this latest moral revelation and happily await Bakker's next Inversion. However, I think that we might end TUC with the ongoing assumption that the Inverse Fire is Truth.

Bakker did suggest that TFS spoilered events - and characters obviously - occurring at the end of TUC. Kellhus seeing the Inverse Fire and then unleashing Evil Dunyain?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:37 am
Quote from: Madness
*Moved due to spoilers from the False Sun*
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:43 am
Quote from: Callan S.
Quote from: Curethan
Either way, I don't think the experience is faked per se - but I do think it's not a genuine revelation that need apply to all sorcerers.
But you think if all sorcerers were exposed to it, they would have this 'revelation'?

How can you have an ungenuine revelation?  :twisted:
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:50 am
Quote from: Curethan
Quote from: Callan S.
But you think if all sorcerers were exposed to it, they would have this 'revelation'?
I'm not sure, but apprently the Ishroi went 'mad' in fashion that Cet'Ingira couldn't count on them to support his new objectives.
It could be that if you're not already a certain distance down the road to damnation it's a personality destroying mindrape rather than revelatory experience.
[size=85](I don't have my AE volumes on hand, but I think I recall Mimara veiwing Akka with the JE and seeing the gold of exaltation amidst his damnation-vibes, can anyone confirm or refute that?)[/size]
Then we have the chain of broken souls dragged into the golden room during Akka's 'Nau-cayuti' dreams.  Not being recruited to the consult per se, but...
Quote from: Callan S.
How can you have an ungenuine revelation?  :twisted:
There are plenty of examples where Kellhus guides people towards 'revelations' that suit his ends.  Truth is even better than a lie when used to decieve.

@ Madness.
I had the same spark of interest when I read that part about Titirga's Grace.  Another bit that I don't recall from the first couple times I read TFS ;)
Almost certainly relates to this bit, imo.
Quote
He was certainly the most powerful Insinger ever born. And if what Cet’ingira said was true, the most powerful, period. No living Quya had the purity of his Recitations. Even his Stain was different, somehow muted, as if he could cut the Inward without scarring it. Even now, simply regarding him, his distinction literally glared from his image, a strange, sideways rinsing of the Stain.

The vital difference. The threat.
Quote from: Madness
I honestly should take a reread through the False Sun and give it some philosophic rigour - it has got a bunch of golden nuggets in it.
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

But back to the fire ;)
Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that Shaenorra's transformation is impossible.
I'm saying it is evidence of direct neurological tampering - like getting a limb amputated etc.

The time constraints I'm talking about are what is required for an organic change in belief structures.  Something akin to Schopenhauer's epistimelogical model or DABDA.
Consider;
Shae's social personality and memories are intact, however he is suddenly inclined to behaviours that would have unacceptable previous to his exposure. 
He experiences levels of terror previously unthinkable, then peace and the resolve to enact some-one else's goals.
If this happened to someone in our mundane world, the conclusion of any psychologist examining the subject would be obvious.  Highly effective brainwashing. 
And given the time frame and the thouroughness, it would have to be enacted on a neural level. 
Technologicaly impossible, but for how long - this is the kind of thing that worries and fascinates Bakker, if I judge him correctly.

The alternate logic of the inverse fire being simply some revelation and the behaviours of Cet'Ingira and Shae being logical extensions from this is where I have an issue.   
Assuming the inverse fire only shows damnation is real and worse than anything you can imagine.
A) why did the inchies build it?  If it is merely proof then why is it holy to them?
B) the damned (sorcerers and inchies) can look at it and aquire a sense of resolve, but others (the ishroi and the vistims of the golden room) get mind-raped and husked?
C) those exposed become immoral, not simply ammoral.  They don't just do anything to avoid damnation. They suddenly exalt in it.  What is the reasoning here?  Is raping people to death really that rewarding once you take away social programming?
Quote
Shaeönanra had committed unspeakable… nay, unthinkable… acts. They all had. Debaucheries. Desecrations of self and other. Shrieks for cries of passion. Blood for grease. Mere recollection set his skin afire, such was the orgiastic ecstasy. He had exalted in the trackless void, the hole where good and evil had once been.

Quote from: Madness
Secondly, after all this time, I think many of us want and need the Consult to be Evil. Its easy for those of us who think so to deny this latest moral revelation and happily await Bakker's next Inversion. However, I think that we might end TUC with the ongoing assumption that the Inverse Fire is Truth.

I don't get this.  They are violently opposed to everyone - they want to do harm, dominate and/or kill.  That puts them on the evil side of any moral spectrum that is not their own. 
Even the ammoral dunyain axiomatically oppose them (Kellhus argues Moe will defect only after he comes to believe in the truth of his damnation in TTT). 
It doesn't matter if they are right about damnation because only the damned would agree with their actions. 
According to Mimara's JE, it's not too late even for Galian to escape damnation (just before he dies) and he has done some pretty bad shit.

It will be interesting if we see what happens to a properly whelmed Dunyain who looks at it.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:37:58 am
Quote from: The Sharmat
I think we should also consider the sampling bias in this scenario. It's not like the Maengaecca were a warm and fuzzy school to begin with. And that's saying something by sorcery standards.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:03 am
Quote from: Curethan
Fair call, but I think Shae's quoted rumination above highlights that there has still been a polar shift in his morality.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:08 am
Quote from: BargiltheDestroyer
I wonder if the Inverse Fire shows you your ultimate fate and you get to experience some of that, since the Outside seems unbound by time...I guess.  I wonder if Seswatha, while prowling through the Ark with Nau-Cayuti stumbled upon the IF and saw Paradise for himself, giving him the resolve he would need live through the 11 years of the No-God.  Always seemed odd to me that he was just that strong of a guy. 

Wish Bakker would release a new Atrocity Tale.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:14 am
Quote from: sciborg2
No Atrocity tales until after TUC according to his Tor interview.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:19 am
Quote from: Jorge
Quote from: Curethan
I'm suggesting that the inverse fire actually rewrites the neural wiring of those who veiw it, rather than provoking such a dramatic an almost instantaneous shift in attitude, empathy and belief by revealing some deeper understanding of the ultimate fate of one's soul.

This is also my preferred explanation. Whether the rewriting reveals, causes, or fakes damnation is a completely open question.

Crackpottery:
If we look thematically at Bakkers work as a whole, it may be that the 'Inverse Fire' represents what happens when someone experiences a "semantic apocalypse level" revelation in a world that cannot (by definition) be deprived of meaning. The Soul is a wick, and it will burn whether you see it as some kind of spirit foofoo or in completely reductionist terms. To the Outside, it doesn't really matter.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:28 am
Quote from: Madness
I've definitely been trying to write about "whether the rewriting reveals, causes, or fakes damnation" in this thread. I had taken for granted that it succeeded, however it did, in convincing the observer of their subjective symptoms and certainties of damnation.

At this point, I speculate that at the end of TUC, the Inverse Fire will seem like the most objective Truth in Earwa, to the reader.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:34 am
Quote from: Curethan
Interesting, that is where our opinions diverge, I think. 
The way the consult veiw the inverse fire as holy really is the thing that most disinclines me to agree. 
Bakkerisms rise from my subconcious ...  abandon your certainty... 

A couple of epigrams I think relate to this:
Quote
Faith is the truth of passion. Since no passion is more true than another, faith is the truth of nothing.
—AJENCIS, THE FOURTH ANALYTIC OF MAN

The world is only as deep as we can see. This is why fools think themselves profound. This is why terror is the passion of revelation.
—AJENCIS, THE THIRD ANALYTIC OF MEN

If the immutable appears recast, then you yourself have been transformed.
—MEMGOWA, CELESTIAL APHORISMS

What do you make of the way only sorcerers seem to gain this revelation?
Although its only speculation, the (short-lived) madness of Cet'Ingira's ishroi companions and the likelihood that Nau-Cayuti and his fellow harrowed sacrifices were fed to the inverse fire to create the no-god (the False Sun fairly describes the golden room and the inverse fire as the same place) suggests only special cases are 'converted'.

My counter speculation is that the revelation in the Unholy Consult may relate to what death and damnation actually is.  I suspect we will find that its not punishment, but a form of becoming.  But then, I'm partial to nonmen metapyhsics.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:41 am
Quote from: The Sharmat
Aren't most of the rooms in the Ark golden? That's the prevailing color of the super structure.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:46 am
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: Curethan
What do you make of the way only sorcerers seem to gain this revelation?

Because the Few are the only ones who actually stand to gain from the Inverse Fire's revelation. The Ishroi simply discover that all their heartbreak and suffering are for nothing.

Quote from: TTT Glossary
For twenty years they warred through the Ark's labyrinthe halls, finally hunting the last of the Inchoroi into the deep places of the earth. Unable to destroy the vessel, Nil'giccas instructed the remaining Quya to raise a power glamour about the hated place.

This is presumably when Cet'Ingira finds the Inverse Fire in Sil's Golden Court with the Ishroi. They return to Nil'giccas, the Ishroi shrieking the Truth of the Inverse Fire - presumably like the Halaroi criminal, Sirwitta, before them - and Cet'Ingira and Nil'giccas, as Quya and as King, both decide to suppress the Truth of the Inverse Fire because of the horrors the Nonmen had endured fighting the Inchoroi.

Cet'Ingira ultimately turns to the Consult because of his knowledge and, my assumption is that, Nil'giccas is probably outed from Ishterebinth when the remaining Nonmen discover the fact of his lie between TWP and TAE.

Btw, Sharmat, I share your confusion. I've always thought the Golden Room in WLW automatically being Sil's Golden Court a very contrived speculation. The whole Ark is, apparently, golden.

Also, I feel like Bakker has updated The False Sun as now at the end of Shaeonanra's memories concerning Mekeritrig breaking the glamour around the Ark, he goes to see the Inverse Fire himself. This is as close as we get:

Quote from: The False Sun
Shaeönanra finds the Nonman thus, sprawled unconscious before the Barricades–or what remains of them. He kneels at his side, lays fingers on his cheek. Warm. He looks to the shattered portal, to the hanging plates, the mangle of the Stain. His immobility shocks him as much as his terror shames. He has always been proud with power, Shaeönanra, knowing that even the Quya wonder at his subtlety. But now he is simply a Man, a lowly mortal, and he can smell his own stink taint the aura of burning.

The true sun is rising behind him.

The shadow of the Threshold arcs across the soaring cylinder of gold. He sees his frail silhouette hunched atop it. And he watches it descend, as inexorable as the rising dawn, sinking into the maw of the broken Barricades.

He shivers uncontrollably.

Only when the sun has drawn even to his height, when the first light draws his outline into the blackness within, does he stand upon the spine of his own shadow.

How? How could mere knowledge command such horror?

He will see for himself.

He walks into the golden gloom, squinting, staring. Dust puffs about his feet, particles blooming in the intrusive brilliance of the sun, then vanishing into the flanking darkness. He peers… notices a different luminance wavering across the interior, more fluid and sultry, webbed as though refracted through waters…

He hears it, a faraway wind, the groan of impossible multitudes–the collective shriek. His lungs become as stone. Horror makes pins of his skin. And he feels it, the burning vaults above, the smoldering glimpses...

Shaeönanra raises his eyes.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:38:53 am
Quote from: Curethan
Contrived?  Thats a bit harsh... 

We know the outside of the ark is golden and there is a Golden court and a golden room, that is all. 
It certainly suggests the golden room is part of the ark, at the very least. 
It seems likely the golden room does something to the broken souls the consult herded into it... something related to the creation of Mog.
If they are not the same thing, then the golden room most be some other tekne device related to fucking with souls - perhaps something that the mangeacca have constructed based on the design of the Inverse fire or perhaps some other soul stripping tekne device they found lying around in the ark.

Tbh, I may have read golden gloom in the passage you quoted as 'golden room', but I don't think the speculation that it is something very similar to the inverse fire (if not the same thing) is forced at all.

Would you care to speculate on the original purpose of the device, given that it was almost certainly constructed before the inchies knew what sorcery even was?
I can't really imagine how you go about purposefully designing something that grants epiphanies and divine revelations.

Quote
Because the Few are the only ones who actually stand to gain from the Inverse Fire's revelation.
What do sorcerers stand to gain??  Shaenorra only believes he can avert damnation because Aurang has told him it's possible, not because the inverse fire showed him how.
Quote
The Ishroi simply discover that all their heartbreak and suffering are for nothing.
But these guys are heroes.  Are you suggesting they too are damned?  If so, why would they not also 'gain' by allying with Cet'Ingira?  Instead he has to convince NG to kill them before they can convince NG to kill him.

Quote
Cet'Ingira ultimately turns to the Consult because of his knowledge
Actually its fairly clear that the Maengecca find him pissing about around the ark and recruit him, presumably because all he cares about is trying to get back in to the ark to stare into the fire some more.  Then he and Shae find Aurang and based on their inverse fire 'revelations' and then what he tells them, they form the Consult.  Which just happens to suit the original objectives of the non-sorcerous (but now extinct) inchies exactly.  Now that is contrived.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:39:05 am
Quote from: Madness
Lol. Common - The only Golden Room in the books (Achamian's Dream), happens to be the only Golden Court in the books (Sil's Golden Court), happens to be in the only Golden vessel in the books (the Ark)? Contrived, Sir.

You forget, I think, Curethan, that only the Judging Eye and the Inverse Fire actually show Damnation. Elsewise, to my knowledge, it's all on faith?

I'm actually getting confused here, which is a good thing. We could be onto something.

Let's reiterate.

The Inverse Fire shows the truth of Damnation - that there is an objective morality to Reality.
The Judging Eye shows the truth of personal Damnation - that individuals are Damned for their actions and words.

Does the Inverse Fire show the truth of personal Damnation?

I would think because the issue of Damnation is up in the air - people can rationalize their moral standing after all -, that certainty, in the case of Sorcerers - goes a long way to motivating them to do absolutely anything to avoid Damnation.

But you're right, Curethan, I think it takes the Inchoroi to suggest that there is another way to avoid Damnation besides Oblivion.

I guess my question ultimately becomes these: Do the Judging Eye and the Inverse Fire highlight the same Damnation and does the Inverse Fire show the truth of personal Damnation?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:39:09 am
Quote from: Curethan
Quote from: Madness
Lol. Common - The only Golden Room in the books (Achamian's Dream), happens to be the only Golden Court in the books (Sil's Golden Court), happens to be in the only Golden vessel in the books (the Ark)? Contrived, Sir.
Heh.  You see, its just basic design principles - colour matching.  Not contrived co-incidence. 
No, I'm relating them because of technology and purpose moreso than the 'golden' adjective.  I suspect all that gold might be some requirement/product of machinery made with the tekne.  Didn't mean to suggest that they are the only golden artefacts.  As I said, I believe I misread gloom as room - so I'll certainly reduce my certainty to a suspicion here.  ;)
Quote from: Madness
You forget, I think, Curethan, that only the Judging Eye and the Inverse Fire actually show Damnation. Elsewise, to my knowledge, it's all on faith?

The Inverse Fire shows the truth of Damnation - that there is an objective morality to Reality.
The Judging Eye shows the truth of personal Damnation - that individuals are Damned for their actions and words.

Does the Inverse Fire show the truth of personal Damnation?
I don't disagree that the inverse fire shows damnation, but I think that it is a byproduct of what it does, what it is intended to do (perhaps only if you have the ability to percieve the onta?)
Don't forget that the JE also shows the truth of exaltation and the possibility of redemption.

Quote from: Madness
I would think because the issue of Damnation is up in the air - people can rationalize their moral standing after all -, that certainty, in the case of Sorcerers - goes a long way to motivating them to do absolutely anything to avoid Damnation.

Here is where the crux of the discussion lies.  (Which is, I think a continuation of Titirga and Shae's arguement.) 
I don't think certainty is enough to instantly remove and replace morality.  Because it is so much a part of how we make decisions and how we interpret meaning, moral changes are wrought slowly (albiet inevitably).  People rationalize their moral standing, yes, but that is not the same as creating your own morality or even exposing any rational structure to it.
Based on my knowledge of psychology, an earthshaking realization like that provided by the inverse fire should provoke a severe psychotic episode followed by catatonia and a slow process of intergration that would definately warp the personality and morality, most often resulting in a persistent state of barely functional aberant behaviour.   Indeed, Shae's recollection of the inverse fire sounds a lot like an acute psychotic episode.
The Mangeccae seem to have been converted straight into 'well adjusted' psychotic hedonists capable of operating within social systems and quite bemused at their sudden lack of compassion and empathy.

It may be that being of the few equips indivuals to deal with this somehow, but the question remains what the inverse fire was designed to do and why non-sorcerous inchies wanted to expose themselves (or their prisoners) to it.

Quote from: Madness
But you're right, Curethan, I think it takes the Inchoroi to suggest that there is another way to avoid Damnation besides Oblivion.

I guess my question ultimately becomes these: Do the Judging Eye and the Inverse Fire highlight the same Damnation and does the Inverse Fire show the truth of personal Damnation?

The JE focuses outward, although iirc Mimara sees herself as exalted when she looks at her reflection in a pool or something?
I mentioned above the way that Mimara can see the glow of exaltation and possibility of redemption - and this is described when she sees one of the scalpers who is about to rape her.
The assumption from this is that the Ishroi who looked at the inverse flame would be able to see this in themselves, making the experience far less traumatic if it showed them the possibility of redemption (even if it's ultimately the same thing). 
I wonder what would Mimarra's reaction be if she saw only damnation? 
Given that sorcerers can see the mark, which is pretty much proof of damnation, I guess it's quite different from actually experiencing it.

I will offer some speculation here; that the level of trauma the inverse fire uses to rewrite the neural systems of its victims is so close to damnation as to cause a sorcerous interpolation of meaning.  That is, it actually causes them to cast a spell - the inutteral component is thrust into their brains and they attach the meaning (damnation) and actually move their souls into the outside where damnation resides for a short period or some such thing, a spell with two inutterals and utteral perhaps?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:39:17 am
Quote from: Madness
Have you read Neuropath? I'm not convinced that what you are describing requires a sorcerous component. Are you suggesting that morality is somehow more innate than neural circuitry?

Really though, I'm not disagreeing with you, just nitpicking. I want to know the Inverse Fire's relation to Earwa's Truth, the answer to the narrative riddle at hand.

Is the Judging Eye the manifestation of this fictive Truth? If so, does it contradict the Inverse Fire's Truth?

I'm sure Bakker has an answer as to how it works. The question to me is what does it mean that it does work? Is the Inverse Fire simply a product of the Tekne? What is the meaning of the extra name, Xir’kirimakra?

Another frame of context to remember here is that the Inchoroi are basically the Void's Chosen, fuck Earwa and all the other Grounds and Worlds. Somewhere, long ago, they found some kind of universal Truth that was worth a number of them banding together on a suicide mission to reduce planet - I assume - after planet to 144, 000. Was it the Inverse Fire? Was it their Gods? Was it something else entirely?

A final thought for now but there is also the Dream in TTT where Seswatha suggests that the Ark birthed the Inchoroi and also, more importantly, was a thing of meat and bone - Golden bone.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:39:28 am
Quote from: Curethan
I haven't read neuropath, sadly my naked-brain phobia has prevented me from doing so after I read the extract.

I think really seeing actual damnation might require the subject to be of the few, but I think the inverse fire itself is non-sorcerous neural tinkering machine.
Given that morality is a haphazard framework used to moderate behaviour, I think the inverse fire is trying to stamp inchoroi morality into the neural circuitry of viewers.

And following that, the inchies are damned because of their morality, sorcerers have a special connection with meaning and the outside and it seems acceptable they really do see the Truth of their impending damnation.

A new moral compass brings revelation, yes?  Not the other way round, at least not so immeadiately. 
Moral structures are highly resistant to contrary 'revelations', and are treated as such consistently through Bakker's characterisation.  Remember the truth enslaves...
Shae walks paths fate and the gods cannot see because they no longer move him.  So who or what does?

I think it very likely that it is the Inverse Fire that sparked their interstellar genocidal campaign.  Simply because they have pursued science and hedonism so absolutely and then this holy scientific instrument that reveals the Truth...

Another thought occurs to me, surely the Scarlet Spires, practitioners of the daimos must know the truth of damnation.  I believe it is morality that shields them. 
Remove that and you can't escape the 'truth'.  Someone like Conphas would join the consult in a snap with that sort of knowledge.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:39:36 am
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: R. Scott Bakker Interview Part 2
Damnation is not local. There is a right and wrong way to believe in Eärwa, which means that entire nations will be damned. Since the question of just who will be saved and who will be damned is a cornerstone of The Aspect-Emperor’s plot, there’s not much more that I can say.

The caprice of the Outside (where the distinction between subject and object is never clear) is such that those rare souls who walk its ways and return never seem to agree on the nature of what they have seen. Since only demonic (as opposed to angelic) Ciphrang can be summoned and trapped in the World, practitioners of the Daimos can never trust the reports they receive: the so-called Damnation Archives in the Scarlet Spires are rumoured to be filled with wild contradictions. The Damned themselves only know that they are damned, and never why.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:39:41 am
Quote from: Curethan
I remember...
Damn, I feel like a nonman erratic on these boards sometimes.

A great point, but does it really negate my idea?  Their morality is subjective, local if you will.  For the Daimos practitioners, their morality is not a shield but a lens.  What you see outside reflects your inside.

Not so for the inchies (or the rest of the consult), who have replaced their morality with one on printed circuits.  As another anology, their souls are all of the same proportion.  They all believe the same thing when it is a moral issue.  They don't need to vote or argue amongst themselves.  They all see the same damnation, and all agree what must be done.

Thus whole kingdoms are damned, but not all kingdoms.

I love the idea of an inchie civil war when they made the inverse fire and started recruiting.  Almost enough to make me fanfic  :shock: 
For some reason I have always thought this refered to the inchie homeworld.
Quote
Chapter Twelve: Kûniüri
Skies are upended, poured as milk into the tar of night. Cities become pits of fire. The last of the wicked stand with the last of the righteous, lamenting the same woe. One Hundred and Forty-Four Thousand, they shall be called, for this is their tally, the very number of doom.
—ANONYMOUS, THE THIRD REVELATION OF GANUS THE BLIND

How about the idea that Seswatha's heart is made on similar but sorcerous principles?

edit* inspired to further crackpottery,
let me suggest the cognitive long jump to the assertion that this in turn exposes the true nature of the no-god.

It's a machine that uploads souls.  When the outside is closed the consult upload their recorded conciousness (and the old tapes of their dead buddies) with god powers invoked (they are already weighty with the accretion of age).  Inchie morality becomes the proportions of god...
All their victims provide subjective reference points they can 'explore'. 
When they have more souls in the no-god (assume it holds 144k) than there are remaining in the world, they release the chorae locks and turn the world into their topos.

It can control the sranc etc because it connects into the 'sockets' where their soul should/could be.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:39:48 am
Quote from: lockesnow
Quote from: Curethan

How about the idea that Seswatha's heart is made on similar but sorcerous principles?


I think I said on westeros right after TFS was posted that Seswatha's heart bears startling resemblance to The Inverse Fire.

Combine this with the way the Inchoroi can SEE Seswatha in a Mandate I've since wondered if Ses pulled a Prometheus and stole fire from the no-gods, bent it to his own purposes and thus crafted and anti-consult, binding its members as completely to his purpose as the Consult are bound to the purpose of the Inchoroi?

And relating to Curethan's proposal that the Inverse Fire rewrites/rewires the neural circuitry of its viewers (which I think fits with Tirtaga's statement that a horrible god with insatiable hunger has possessed Shae and all the Mangaecca) we see a similar INSTANT transformation throughout the series with the Grasping ceremony of seswatha's heart.  It's an instant rewrite.  This is also reminescent of how the Dunyain rewrite people, but it is more thorough, faster and more reliable.

That raises the question, again, as to who was the purpose behind the Dunyain, I think it was Nil'Giccas that founded them, and I think he founded them because he wanted to 'farm' man's intellect to solve riddles that the remaining Intact weren't capable of solving, or it was too risky to expose the small population of Cunoroi to some of the ideas the Dunyain would explore.  Creating an ability in man to rewrite other men is just the sort of Bene Gesserit esque project to approximate technology with something of nature that I find delicious.

***

Madness, I think you're getting too caught up in the postulate that the Inverse Fire shows the truth.  It is as likely to show the truth as Seswatha's dreams are, and we all know that those dreams are extremely unreliable.  I think the Fire is equally unreliable (even if there is no connection between the two) and it would be a mistake to assume that either the Consult or the Mandate are 'right' even though both are certain that the beliefs they possess are 'true'.

***
I think Titirga told us EXACTLY what the No God is:
Quote
A lunatic God… perhaps. The Hells that you think you see. Something… Something adulterate, foul. Something that craves feasting, that hungers with an intensity that can bend the very Ground.”

What makes me think that this is right is the invocation of "Ground."  It fits with the names of the No-God we have that refer to its endless hunger.  It fits with the intensity.  It fits with how the world is pitted against the no God.  It fits with the idea that a bent Ground becomes invisible to the Gods.  It fits with the bending of the Ground that was the Wight in the Mountain. It fits with the idea that SIGHT is deceptive.

The very fact that the Inverse Fire is SEEN makes me distrust it and its revelations all the more.  In the land of the Bakker the No-eyed man is king. ;)
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:39:54 am
Quote from: Curethan
Nice lockesnow, I'll let you take the props if we get any confirmation on that Seswatha's heart/inverse fire speculation ;)

I don't know if it acts on the moral centre of personality though - the inverse fire seems to actually burn away certain learned/inherited moral meanings, whilst leaving the personality intact.
Seswatha's heart otoh, seems more like memories being added to the subconcious via some outside link - there is the way it makes it almost impossible to reveal the gnosis... again this seems like an additive, because Kellhus is able to over-ride it.  Similar, but...

I recall Bakker saying that he doesn't really have a proper explanation for the skin spies recognizing Seswatha in the Mandati - the idea was that they recognized him in the same manner that a dunyain reads body language or something.  Don't forget, the skinspies are souless so it rules out sorcery.

I'll try not to get caught up in more wild speculation for the moment, but Madness has brought many good points to my thinking on this that have enlarged how I see the inverse fire. 
The consult see damnation in a consistent manner that has enabled them to build 'scientific' theories around it sufficient to construct the no-god and unify the metaphysics of sorcery and the tekne.  There is certainly a lot of truth in their understanding.  You can't get that far with faulty principles, as it were.

I can't argue with the way Madness has categorized Bakker's layers of revelation so far.  I just feel like the consult are as blind as anyone else in certain areas - they see only that which pleases them and the inverse fire shapes and informs how they see the world more thoroughly than any culture of man or non-man. 

It's certainly possible that the inverse fire yokes them to the desires of some pre-existing god, it's just my feeling that they are slaves to their desires and the no-god was subsequently created to embody those desires.

I'd like to mention one final related thing. 
I am almost certain that the gods are blind to those who have been cut off from the causal flow of culture and history because that is where they are immanent in the world.  This includes the dunyain, inchies and the once human members of the consult.  They only became aware of Kellhus because he has stolen so many of their followers.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:40:01 am
Quote from: Armitage
Recently read Peter Watts's short story "Repeating the Past," and now I can't stop thinking of the Inverse Fire as an advanced MRI / brain-alteration machine.

http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts/PeterWatts_RepeatingThePast.pdf (http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts/PeterWatts_RepeatingThePast.pdf)
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:40:07 am
Quote from: sciborg2
Wow that story was bad.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:40:12 am
Quote from: KRST IS
The Inverse Fire: listen and learn from a real Gnostic School - http://gnosticradio.org/lectures/lectures-by-topic/tantra-yoga/120-the-fire-of-kundalini/view-details

The Reversed, Inverse Kundalini. A truly sexual process. http://oainternetservices.com/resources/tantra-magazine/17/pmen_2.html

Interesting correlation in Bakker's The False Sun. Shaeonanra does some kind of sexual act. http://rsbakker.wordpress.com/stories/the-false-sun/

Titirga Mithalara bears a Fire, too, but which sexual Sun is in error?!

Although, what Bakker actually means in his universe, I cannot tell just from one excerpt in TUC.

But enjoy. And see if you find any correlations.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:40:18 am
Quote from: Triskele
That is some great stuff, lockesnow. 

Here's something I wonder about though...we are pretty sure that damnation of some kind is real.  Could the Inverse Fire be misleading about what damnation is?  Could damnation be pretty bad but just not quite as bad as what the Inverse Fire shows?  Or is it really that bad and the Inverse Fire just shows you the deal? 

I also wonder how the Inchies could know that they were still damned after their experiments on other planets.  Did they check the Inverse Fire?  Did they know in some other way?  If they pulled it off on Earwa would they check the Inverse Fire and have it show them something else? 

If the Inverse Fire is a manipulation of some kind, who the Hell created it?  Someone on the Inchie homeworld?

ETA:  Just to add...the quote from Titirga that Lockesnow pointed out about the No-God...the Nonmen have some name for the NG that is like "Angel of Endless Hunger."  Now it wouldn't be too weird that Titirga and the Nonmen would be thinking along the same lines, but there is that similarity as far as what evidence we've been given.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:40:24 am
Quote from: Madness
Good catch, Trisk.

I have to wonder if the Inverse Fire - if it shows damnation - isn't simply a window, a looking-glass. Truth of damnation, just not a list of requirements.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:40:29 am
Quote from: lockesnow
What would the inverse fire be, technology-wise.  Remember that old saw about magic being misunderstood technology?

Could it be an experience chamber like a holo deck?  Would it be a sort of matrix-esque pod where they tap your brain and make you feel/sense things.  Would it be a regular TV playing jersey shore on an infinite loop.  And the flat, lighted surface of the TV is fire's inverse.  Light without heat.

Brainstorm time.  What do you all conceptualize as a physical thing that is fire's inverse?  Is the inverse fire merely water?  THE WATER OF LIFE?  Holy water?  oh you Fremen (err I mean Cishaurim).

Fire burns, reduces things to carbon, perhaps an inverse fire takes carbon and builds, nano-tech style...

on a totally unrelated note, Kellhus watches--or creates the illusion of watching--men through his fire.  Is this repurposing of fire an inversion?  The use of fire to peer into the outside perhaps?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:40:39 am
Quote from: Madness
Quote
Could it be an experience chamber like a holo deck?

This is what I think of when Shaeonanra recollects looking up in the Golden Room.

Inverse Fire makes me think of a TV, something that gives light without warmth or something too - so any kind of sufficiently modern or SF visualization/representation technology.

I think Kellhus Seeing-Fire is simply another manifestation of "sorcerous objects" - not necessarily metaphysical level ramifications like the Chorae... I actually expect things like that to emerge in TUC - clearly from Achamian and Mimara's experiences and, especially, Ishterebinth. You have to recall that in the ancient North, all of the major Gnostic Schools engaged in making sorcerous objects of various device.

Obviously, so too has Kellhus. Though I like that the repurposing of fire is implicative.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:40:57 am
 
Quote from: Wilshire
I thought the inverse fire was named as such since it burned inward rather than outward.
Step into a fire and your physical being is scared, damaged, irreparably harmed, and yet your soul remains intact.

Step into the inverse fire, then, and while you remain physically unchanged, your soul burns to cinders, leaving behind only the desire to escape that fate at all costs.

I don't believe that the name is a description of its outward appearance.

Anyone seen the move Constantine? They mention that a second on earth measures an eternity of suffering in Hell (more or less). The inverse fire could cause something similar.

Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:41:00 am
Quote from: Madness
Hmm... Good call on the Inward and Outward - fits neatly with the mythology surrounding Husyelt and the Burned Prophet.

I've always wondered at the historical encounters with the Gods. Sorweel's and Psatma's are hardly moments of scripture. And we know the Inchoroi were actively treating with the five tribes before the Breaking of the Gates. I always wonder which of the Gods the Inchoroi are remembered as in the scriptures. I mean, a space-faring species would appear as Gods to any primitive people's internal explanatory style - see any and all ancient aliens theories lol.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:41:05 am
Quote from: Wilshire
It keeps coming up so I wanted to quote it
Arthur C. Clark: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
And I suppose in our case, gods.
Have the gods always had a hand in kahit(sp) throughout history? It seems that all the important characters are involved in some way with one of the hundred.
And certainly the Consult would have to  seem like gods to the 5 tribes. But which ones? Maybe some of the hundred that people worship are actually old references to the Inchoroi.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:41:13 am
Quote from: Madness
Quote
And certainly the Consult would have to seem like gods to the 5 tribes. But which ones? Maybe some of the hundred that people worship are actually old references to the Inchoroi.

Exactly. Which ones?!

Any references to Kahiht automatically reflect Inrithism interpretations of the Tusk. Don't know how much they reflect the clear definition of being an Avatar?

"Kahiht - The name given to so-called World-Souls in the Inrithi tradition. Since the God manifests himself in the movement of histroical event in Inrithism, to be Kahiht, or a world historical individual, is considered sacred" (TTT, p575).

"History (Inrithism) - The movement of human events through time. The significance of History for the Inrithi is that the God is manifested within it. The Inrithi believe that certain configurations of events express the truth of the God while certain other configurations are inimical to such expression" (TTT, p566).
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:41:19 am
Quote from: Wilshire
Kahiht is defined as sacred. Sacred would be defined as godliness, or reflecting gods will.
So yeah I guess calling someone Kahiht would imply that they are somehow in the metaphysical circle of trust with the gods. But this is just a mundane description, not necessarily factual.
I suppose I was referring to Kahiht, not by the inrithi definition, since it ay not really be the case... but rather that it is required to be sacred to be Kahiht. I'm not entirely sure if that makes since, but in my head it works out XP. I need sleep.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:41:26 am
Quote from: Madness
I don't think a Cishaurim would necessarily recognize a Kahiht as sacred, or even meaningful of anything in the world except misbegotten beliefs?

It's all good - we'll hash it out at your leisure.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:41:32 am
Quote from: Duskweaver
Quote from: Madness
I don't think a Cishaurim would necessarily recognize a Kahiht as sacred, or even meaningful of anything in the world except misbegotten beliefs?
The concept of a world-soul makes no sense at all in a belief system that explicitly rejects divine immanence. It's hard to think of a single idea that would be more incompatible with Fanimry.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:41:37 am
Quote from: Madness
Lol, I agree. Just asked rhetorically in hopes that Wilshire might sharpen his perspective some more for us.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:41:43 am
Quote from: Triskele
Quote from: Madness
Lol, I agree. Just asked rhetorically in hopes that Wilshire might sharpen his perspective some more for us.

Sharpen his perspective?  Think, Madness.  Think!

Ah, "think."  No word was more loaded with ancient presumption.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:43:21 am
Quote from: Duskweaver
Thinking on that, then, a total rejection of immanence leads inevitably to a 'God Who Doesn't Do Anything'. It's almost as though Fanimry was set up as a means to infinitely postpone any awakening of the God of Gods.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:43:27 am
Quote from: Wilshire
Ok so confusing word connotations aside, what I attempted to bring up was whether or not the major players of the world are actually, in some way, beneficiaries of this or that gods investment.
Recently there have been a few topics around talking about avatars, and regarding characters resembling or representing the gods in some way. I don't know how much I buy into that. To me it mostly seems like grasping, thus the question. If the gods likely spend much time and energy influencing the world one way or another throughout history, then I suppose its possible that many of the hundred are currently represented in Earwa. But if not, if its just now that the gods decided they should take up the sword lest they forget how, then I'd argue its just us wringing cause from nothing. Which would be the first time that ever happened.

(HA! anyone read Joe Abercrombie's The First Law series? The big bad guys are named The Hundred Words)
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:43:32 am
Quote from: lockesnow
Quote from: Wilshire
I thought the inverse fire was named as such since it burned inward rather than outward.
Step into a fire and your physical being is scared, damaged, irreparably harmed, and yet your soul remains intact.

Step into the inverse fire, then, and while you remain physically unchanged, your soul burns to cinders, leaving behind only the desire to escape that fate at all costs.

I don't believe that the name is a description of its outward appearance.
Fuck.  That is genius.

I"m going to post a couple links because I was still mystified:

This thread starting here
http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/77756-us-politics-mark-your-calendars/page__st__280

Leads to this post
http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/77756-us-politics-mark-your-calendars/page__st__280#entry3900360

which has this comment:
Quote from: Raidne
As Plato has Socrates say in the Theatetus, what's the opposite of something other than the negation of itself? Not really some other thing. Is the opposite of "happy" "sad," or is it just "non-happiness." I mean, I'm not super happy-seeming when I'm really irritable, either, and I'm surely not sad at those times. Okay, what about being and not being? Square that with multiverse.

which I think could be unpacked in interesting ways re the inverse fire.  Then I come here and you made that post and I feel like there's no point because you solved the goddamn riddle already.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:43:39 am
Quote from: Wilshire
Quote from: lockesnow
Fuck.  That is genius.
...
  Then I come here and you made that post and I feel like there's no point because you solved the goddamn riddle already.
:D  well thank
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:43:44 am
Quote from: Triskele
This potentially helps to explain why more sorcerers haven't joined the Consult. 

Maybe they believe that damnation could be real, maybe they don't, but this isn't really the issue.  The issue is whether one has looked into the inverse fire or not. 

And that would square up nicely with it being a parallel to what Seswatha does w/ his heart.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:43:50 am
Quote from: Wilshire
Yeah it is pretty much the same thing but for the other side. Though instead of making you relive the horrors every night, the IF is sufficiently atrocious to make you remember for eternity.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:43:55 am
Quote from: lockesnow
Quote from: Wilshire
I thought the inverse fire was named as such since it burned inward rather than outward.
Step into a fire and your physical being is scared, damaged, irreparably harmed, and yet your soul remains intact.

Riffing on this, What if the cosmology of the universe is reflected in small by the physiology of the body?

The body is 'Outside' the soul is 'Inward'.

People/Earwa/Universe all exist inside the soul/body of the God, they exist Inward.

The Outside would be literally to be Outside of God's body/soul.

God made Adam in his image afterall.  What if he made Adam as a replica of his image, but also IN his image, as in, Adam is inside his soul.

It would also metaphorically work for Earwa as creations within--INSIDE--the intellect of RSB. Just as all creations are within their creators to begin with.  How can a creation exist if it did not first exist in the 'soul' of the author, in his mind's eye.  Or is that in his 'soul's eye'?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:02 am
Quote from: Wilshire
Mostly over my head but I'll take a stab at it.

Do you remember the explanation.... damnit I forget who said it ... of how the waters of the ocean, folded over and over, are like the... soul i think.. Crap that was a terrible quote. Someone knows what I'm talking about.

If the soul is so deep, maybe it is a refection of how everyone's soul is connected in that inwardly they all share one immense soul.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:07 am
Quote from: Madness
"Imagine ... that you could take the Great Ocean, in all its immensity, and fold it into the form and proportion of a man. There are depths, Akka, that go in rather than down - in without limit. What you call the Outside lies within us, and it's everywhere. This is why, no matter where we stand, it's always here. No matter where we dare tread, we always stand in the same place" (TTT, p266).

But it's Kellhus... lies, lies, or damned lies?

Mind-bending stuff, though, boys.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:12 am
Quote from: sologdin
Fire burns, reduces things to carbon, perhaps an inverse fire takes carbon and builds, nano-tech style...

nice.  he need to work out how opposition works for things, as opposed to propositions.  much like "contradiction" in marxism, it's hard to know how a linguistic concept applies to objective material reality.

proposition: A-->B
converse: B-->A
inverse: not A-->not B
contrapositive: not B-->not A

what about obversion and transposition, too?

anyway, certainly RSB was trained in classical & symbolic logics and means logic very specfically when discussing an "inverse."

so:  following locke's insight:  WTF is the inverse of fire?  we need to state fire as a conditional, first. anyone got that figured out?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:20 am
Quote from: lockesnow
Quote from: sologdin
Fire burns, reduces things to carbon, perhaps an inverse fire takes carbon and builds, nano-tech style...

nice.  he need to work out how opposition works for things, as opposed to propositions.  much like "contradiction" in marxism, it's hard to know how a linguistic concept applies to objective material reality.

proposition: A-->B
converse: B-->A
inverse: not A-->not B
contrapositive: not B-->not A

what about obversion and transposition, too?

anyway, certainly RSB was trained in classical & symbolic logics and means logic very specfically when discussing an "inverse."

so:  following locke's insight:  WTF is the inverse of fire?  we need to state fire as a conditional, first. anyone got that figured out?

Perhaps we should take your logic to the gnostic level?

fire = f(inward)
inverse fire = f(outside)

or would that be ln(outside) is the inverse of any function inward?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:26 am
Quote from: Madness
Lol, this is going to get interesting. I definitely think you're onto something approaching this as an actual logic problem.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:32 am
Quote from: Triskele
Great ideas. 

But I could see a scenario in which the inverse is really all that is important and the fire not so much.  Perhaps a fire is just a thing that does the inversing.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:40 am
Quote from: sologdin
inverse switches the causal relationship and negates both the antecedent and the consequent.

fire exists in time.  to switch the temporal causality is to make the after cause the before.

fire causes light.  to negate that conditionality is to make fire cause dark.

inverse fire is therefore the darkness that comes before that is determined by what comes after.

QED
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:45 am
Quote from: Duskweaver
Quote from: sologdin
inverse fire is therefore the darkness that comes before that is determined by what comes after.
Sounds like a pretty good definition of the term "self-fulfilling prophecy" to me. Belief in damnation damns you? :?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:51 am
Quote from: sologdin
oh, fucked that up. i laid out contrapositive fire, i think.  inverse shouldn't switch causality.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:44:56 am
Quote from: Duskweaver
Oh yeah. I didn't catch that either.

Inverse fire would still result in endarkenment, and I can hardly think of a better term to describe the effect absolute proof of the reality of damnation would have upon a person or society.

EDIT: Oh, I wonder if it's the fire in Plato's cave that's inverted?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:01 am
Quote from: Madness
I'll probably need to revisit some propositional logic problems - which my professors used to recommend doing all the time :( - before joining in that aspect of the conversation to try and symbolically express the Inverse Fire. But, actually, Duskweaver, a friend and I were talking about this out of the context of the books the other day but I have a couple threads to pull together for us here.

The inversion of Plato's Cave is essentially what PON is all about. Joseph Campbell, arguing as a psychologist, used to write that in many cases, people reject their Prometheus, their Plato, their Jesus... any intellect that goes through the Hero's Journey, or the Cycle of the Cave cannot always integrate their knowledge back into their place of emergence, their roots.

Kellhus comes from a Cave, which is in fact, the light of the Sun (Pure Reason). He descends from the place of Sunlight to the world of Shadow and instead of trying to enlighten the worldborn to the shadows, uses his knowledge to enslave.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:06 am
Quote from: Anasurimbor Bob
And what if the damnation the inverse fire shows you is legit,what if it trulyis the real thing,BUT that the very act of wanting to know what damnation is,to peek into God's/the gods' work is what REALLY damns you at the end.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:12 am
Quote from: Wilshire
I guess sense we only have one opinion on what the IF does, i.e shows you your damnation, thats a definite possibility. I wonder what Mimara would see?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:19 am
Quote from: Madness
My money is on Mimara seeing that the Inverse Fire lies... Though there's been pretty good indications above that the IF might show Earwan Damnation, or Damnation at the hands of the Gods and Outside.

I simply cannot shake my doubt of the Inchoroi as I did my doubt of the Cishaurim... but then it's clear to the reader from TDTCB that the Cishaurim are never really the enemy.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:24 am
Quote from: Wilshire
History is written by the victors. If the Fanim won, the Mandate would have been crushed, the Cishaurim elevated, and we'd have meta-psukari users instead.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:29 am
Quote from: lockesnow
Quote from: Anasurimbor Bob
And what if the damnation the inverse fire shows you is legit,what if it trulyis the real thing,BUT that the very act of wanting to know what damnation is,to peek into God's/the gods' work is what REALLY damns you at the end.
Tree of Knowledge

(different from Tree of Life)

Fuck.  Why haven't we discussed Eden in relation to Earwa before?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:35 am
Quote from: Wilshire
Because Eden is happy and everything in Earwa is misery.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:40 am
Quote from: lockesnow
But, in relation to damnation, Earwa is happy like Eden, damnation is the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:45 am
Quote from: Wilshire
I know I was just being irritating. It is actually a good point
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:50 am
Quote from: Madness
Lol. Imagine finding two contrarians on a Bakker forum ;).

Eden was never all that attractive to me. Neither for that matter was bowing in the presence of God for eternity - I still get goosebumps wrestling with that idea (mostly for the forever and ever variable).

However, it most certainly harkens (yeah, that's right) back to an ancestral memory of ecotones where as many as six different ecosystems overlapped in different places around the world - we've actually been partially responsible for the destruction of diversity in regard to their historical existence (big surprise). Probably even lots of snakes...

There should be sarcastic brackets.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:45:56 am
Quote from: Wilshire
did you say it Harkonnen's back?


+1 sarcasm brackets
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:46:05 am
Quote from: Madness
Lol, no. I thought at 6ish this morning that harken was a hilarious word - I tend to socialize outside of our Second Apocalypse niche. Not by choice. There are very few people I meet up that rate this caliber. Normally, people in my environment might say "what?" to a word like that.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:46:12 am
Quote from: Duskweaver
"What?" is a perfectly good response to "Harken!" if you think about it. ;)
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: What Came Before on May 07, 2013, 01:46:27 am
Quote from: Madness
+1 for comedy. Lol, the Matrix has me.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Pilgrimfoto on July 27, 2013, 06:55:07 am
My interpretation of the inverse fire...first edit of pic... Might update later...

Pilgrim
A Darker Heaven
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Madness on July 27, 2013, 08:05:05 pm
That is awesome.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Pilgrimfoto on July 30, 2013, 03:11:39 pm
Thank u
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on September 11, 2013, 07:46:07 pm
Pretty sweet picture. I'm linking it in our thread regarding TSA art, hope you don't mind. If you've got anything else please share :)
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: MG on February 14, 2014, 06:02:02 am
LOVE THIS THREAD!!!  Going to have to go along with the idea that the IF is some kind of 'compulsion machine.'  Perhaps the inchoroi at some point long long ago realized that their quest would be unfinished unless they possessed absolute devotion to their cause?  They create the IF to propagandize themselves and now no one is the wiser.

It will be neat if we see the judging eye and the IF agreeing, but if they disagree, which one is the standard to measure the other one as false?  Is there a third thing?  Kellhus gonna look in dat thing and get the ITCH.  He was already so vulnerable to possessed Esmi...
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Triskele on February 17, 2014, 01:07:28 am
Very cool image, pilgrimfoto. 



I mentioned this on the other site, and it might not mean anything, but I find it interesting that the first prophet Angeshrael supposedly became "the burnt prophet" when Husyelt told him to bow his head into the fire as some kind of demonstration of faith or something.  If the Tusk came from the Inchies, I think it is potentially a parallel to their faith based on peering into the IF. 

I don't have any theory or anything.  Just an observation, Isaac-fucking-Newton-style. 
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on February 17, 2014, 01:13:56 am
A little left over sentimentality from their past... I can dig it.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: MG on February 17, 2014, 02:18:55 am
Very cool image, pilgrimfoto. 



I mentioned this on the other site, and it might not mean anything, but I find it interesting that the first prophet Angeshrael supposedly became "the burnt prophet" when Husyelt told him to bow his head into the fire as some kind of demonstration of faith or something.  If the Tusk came from the Inchies, I think it is potentially a parallel to their faith based on peering into the IF. 

I don't have any theory or anything.  Just an observation, Isaac-fucking-Newton-style.

likelikelike

throw in kellhus seeing-flame while we are at it!!!

god knows why...they are all in league!

is this what kellhus uses the anagogis for?  An analogous fire for seeing through?  I bet he could make a vary niice dragon.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: MG on February 25, 2014, 11:10:52 pm
Lord knows what the IF is, but it would be the kind of thing that could undo dunyain conditioning--turn a dunyain against the dunyains.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on February 26, 2014, 02:32:01 am
If anything could, the IF would be it.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Garet Jax on May 22, 2014, 05:06:25 pm
I could have sworn I posted this in the past...  I could never wrap my head around what the Inverse Fire is, just had some speculation on how it could work.

I have thought that the inverse fire was essentially that.  An opposite way of "burning/damning".

Instead of damning you by some set of predetermined rules, "it" damns you for being you you.

Sorcerers = damned because they use magic

Non-sorcerers = damned because they don't use magic

Inchies = damned because of their love of torment

Priests = damned because of their love for Ciphrang

Normal people = damned because they are normal

Everyone = damned...

Just don't look at the inverse fire?

Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: SilentRoamer on May 22, 2014, 07:29:40 pm
Look at it through a mirror, like a Medusa.

Hell no damnation machine I tricked yo ass!
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: MG on May 27, 2014, 05:05:06 am
@ Garet Jax - I wonder the same thing: does the IF just show you as damned regardless of whether you really are?  Or maybe looking into the IF is the sin that damns you?

@ SilentRoamer - Lol, love the mirror idea.  I suspect Kellhus will use an intermediary!
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Garet Jax on May 27, 2014, 01:42:30 pm
Or maybe looking into the IF is the sin that damns you?

This is what I was getting at with my rambling.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: SilentRoamer on May 28, 2014, 12:22:56 pm
I wonder:

Once you look into the IF you are so fucked up you commit atrocious acts - "blood as grease" sort of acts.

If the gods are timeless then would damnation be timeless too? So if you look into the IF, you were always damned, even before you looked into the IF, because your cumulative sins damn you and once you look into the IF the sins soon follow.

Do we know of anyone who looked into the IF and didn't go batshit crazy?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: MG on May 28, 2014, 02:41:29 pm
Lol, the IF is the gods' trick to get people to damn themselves!  Sounds like Ajokli...
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: MG on July 01, 2014, 03:53:21 am
Hah!  If ignorance is the royal road...then the Inverse Fire convinces you that you are damned and because you are convinced, you are saved!  Like the mandate, though you lose your soul, you gain the world.  Seeing the IF and being convinced of your sin guarantees a spot in heaven!
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: The Sharmat on September 03, 2014, 04:45:53 am
I'm not sure why everyone is so suspicious of the Inverse Fire. Titirga has every reason to want to dismiss these claims. They counter a lifetime of teaching, and he wants to avoid damnation at any cost. People believe what they want to believe. Titirga is not reliable on this. He knows nothing of it.

Plus everything we've seen of the nature of the Gods of this universe is horrible. They're petty, arbitrary, power hungry, vain, and cruel. I can easily believe they'd damn people for the simplest of things.

I wonder:

Once you look into the IF you are so fucked up you commit atrocious acts - "blood as grease" sort of acts.
I took it as being the result of supreme desensitization plus desperation. You've seen hell itself. There is nothing in all the world more horrible. Suddenly torture and genocide and rape all seem like very mild things. You've seen things so much more horrible that they have no effect on you.

In addition, you now know you are damned. There is nothing more fearful. You would do anything, anything to avoid that fate.

Finally, once you know you're damned...what's the point of even trying any more? Hell is hell. You're not gonna make things any worse for yourself, no matter what obscenities or atrocities you commit.

The net effect is that you can go from a fairly upstanding citizen with scruples to one of history's greatest monsters in a night.

If the gods are timeless then would damnation be timeless too? So if you look into the IF, you were always damned, even before you looked into the IF, because your cumulative sins damn you and once you look into the IF the sins soon follow.

Do we know of anyone who looked into the IF and didn't go batshit crazy?
I suspect this is the case as well. The whole reason you can see yourself damned in the Outside is that the Outside is beyond time. In there, your soul is already writhing in unending agony. You just died. And died aeons ago. All at once. Even though from your perspective you still live.

That makes any gamble to stop damnation seem futile. But what can you do but desperately hope that fate is mutable and that predestination can be changed? You have nothing to lose by trying. Nothing at all.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on September 03, 2014, 09:04:17 pm
I don't know what the IF was originally, but it doesn't seem particularly difficult to create a false one. A little bit of glamor magic and some cants of compulsion. The viewer "sees" the hell that the Inchoroi originally saw, and the compulsions make them "feel" what the Inchoroi felt. Why risk having someone see something different in the IF? They know what effect it had on themselves, so they would seek to duplicate it on others to get them to join the cause.

It shows some kind of Hell to the Inchoroi, and they create that feeling for those they wish to bring onto their side. Its only half a lie, just like everything else.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: The Sharmat on September 03, 2014, 09:30:33 pm
I'd imagine a guy like Shaeonanra would have his wards readied at pretty much all times, so would be difficult to take unawares with the Cants of Compulsion.

Also I may be wrong on this but wasn't that one Nonman seeing the Inverse Fire and freaking out from before the Inchoroi had developed sorcery? Or was it after the purge?

To be fair, I suppose the Inchoroi had ways of influencing minds even without sorcery. Pheromones and subconcious cues inducing super-normal stimulus of arousal, for instance. They could presumably do something similar for horror and convince someone they're seeing hell.

I still think the most parsimonious explanation is that the Gods are dicks and like 50% of everyone is damned.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on September 04, 2014, 03:48:37 pm
Yeah your probably right, unlikely that its all sorcery, and its certainly true to some degree... Especially if the Ark is a topos. Fears become reality rather easily. Just throw someone in the depth, in the dark, and terrorize them for a few days/weeks and hell would pretty much manifest itself to you without much prompting.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: The Sharmat on September 04, 2014, 04:10:21 pm
Ah, but I really doubt the Ark was a Topos before it arrived in Earwa. I get the impression that things like Topoi are only possible on the Promised World.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on September 04, 2014, 06:09:32 pm
Promised for what...

I know, I was talking about post-crash. I agree that Earwa is likely the only place where a topos is even possible. I feel as though the Ark would not have taken too many years to become a topos once it arrived.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: The Sharmat on September 04, 2014, 06:34:34 pm
I imagine the materials used up before they arrived at the creation of Sranc meant untold Nonmen dead, yeah. Then there's the reckless way they even used themselves in their desperate bid to get a working graft of sorcery.

And presumably it's the Promised land because it's the one place where they can block the connection between the physical universe and the Outside.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on September 09, 2014, 04:50:09 pm
Which brings up something, potentially for a different topic though. If the Inchoroi were so afraid for their souls, what could have possibly driven them to grafing sorcery onto themselves, with the knowledge that if it failed, they would all die? Surely it would have been better to hide forever in the labyrinth of the Ark than to risk death.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: The Sharmat on September 09, 2014, 04:53:26 pm
They were losing the war with the Nonmen at the time. They presumably all knew that if they didn't take that chance, they were probably all gonna die anyway.

And you can't really just hide forever in the Ark. Something's gonna kill you eventually. If you aren't actively working to undo your damnation, you're fucked. It's just a matter of time. And since Inchoroi are immortal, they take the long view.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on September 09, 2014, 07:48:57 pm
Yeah maybe, but in the end thats what they did anyway, so I have trouble believing that as an explanation however likely it might be.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: The Sharmat on September 09, 2014, 08:18:47 pm
Two of them managed to hide, when they had no other choice because the war was already lost. That doesn't seem to have been considered a viable proposition for a large population.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: MG on September 09, 2014, 08:59:09 pm
Yeah maybe, but in the end thats what they did anyway, so I have trouble believing that as an explanation however likely it might be.

I feel the same way, the Inchoroi seem a bit too reckless to me for all their talk of avoiding damnation.  It makes me wonder if the No-God includes an ability to recall damned souls.  So, they didn't mind provoking a dangerous foe because they believed that they would eventually achieve their objective and all be free.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: MG on February 07, 2016, 07:17:04 pm
I wonder if what you see when you look at the IF is someone seeing you?  Your gaze is met and overmatched by the gaze of someone impossibly greater than yourself.  You are so overwhelmed by the prosptect of being less than a mote in the eye of another, you see that no deed forbidden.  How could you ever mean anything to the thing that scrutinizes you by looking through you and discounting you in every instant.  You are consigned to damnation, yes, but in an arbitrary, careless way.

Also, what if that is Yatwer or Ajokli or something?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on February 10, 2016, 12:25:37 pm
I wonder if what you see when you look at the IF is someone seeing you?  Your gaze is met and overmatched by the gaze of someone impossibly greater than yourself.  You are so overwhelmed by the prosptect of being less than a mote in the eye of another, you see that no deed forbidden.  How could you ever mean anything to the thing that scrutinizes you by looking through you and discounting you in every instant.  You are consigned to damnation, yes, but in an arbitrary, careless way.

Also, what if that is Yatwer or Ajokli or something?

I don't know, the Inverse Fire could be the "gaze of god" in a way, but I feel like it must be something more...practical I guess.  The name still gets me, Inverse Fire, what would inverted fire be?  It must be a clue, but to what I still haven't been about to puzzle out.

I don't think it would be a god we know though, either way, because I think the Inverse Fire long predates the Inchoroi arriving in Earwa.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Bolivar on February 11, 2016, 02:15:15 pm
I think they call it so because it's light coming from a projector, casting images like on a planetarium or domed IMAX theater. I noticed on the last few flashback sequences of The False Sun:

Quote
How? How could mere knowledge command such horror?

He will see for himself.

Quote
He walks into the golden gloom, squinting, staring. Dust puffs about his feet, particles blooming in the intrusive brilliance of the sun, then vanishing into the flanking darkness. He peers… notices a different luminance wavering across the interior, more fluid and sultry, webbed as though refracted through waters…

Quote
He hears it, a faraway wind, the groan of impossible multitudes–the collective shriek. His lungs become as stone. Horror makes pins of his skin. And he feels it, the burning vaults above, the smoldering glimpses...

Shaeönanra raises his eyes.

Edit: interesting to note, Shaeönanra's flashbacks are in the present tense, similar to Mimara's passages in TAE.

Imagine a parent explaining to a child that what they just saw was only a movie. Now transfer that to someone who has no concept of such things existing or, better yet, a sorcerer, who goes through their life cognizant of their scriptural damnation and now sees no mark on what they are now witnessing.

I like the line that Titirga suggests what the Mangeacca have seen is their goad, not their damnation, because it threatens to turn everything we think we know about the series on its head.

Is damnation merely the prodding stick the Inchoroi use to get sorcerers on their side? They created the Tusk and chose which traditions to collect, meaning they chose to include the scriptural damnation of sorcerers, despite there being Shamans in that age. Sorcery was what caused them to lose their wars with the Nonmen, it makes sense to nullify that advantage by bringing them to their side.

Also consider the Nonmen. I can't recall any mention of them fighting to forestall their damnation, despite being just as damned as sorcerers. It reinforces that this is just what the Inchoroi are telling men to get them on their side.

I think I was asked once, then what could the Inchoroi be doing all this for? And I look to Crash Space - they're bored. For a being whose likely lived thousands of years with no scruples before landing on Earwa, battling sorcerers and chariots in the sky is the only thing that could bring excitement at that point. I know the dragon at the end of WLW suggested it's true - they're reducing populations to 144,000 to avoid damnation but we also know he is fucking with Achamian.

I think it would go well with the themes certainty and damnation if all this were the case and would be interesting if the this whole time, the faithful of the Three Seas were working to seal the doom of mankind and the Fanim were right.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on February 11, 2016, 03:24:15 pm
I think they call it so because it's light coming from a projector, casting images like on a planetarium or domed IMAX theater. I noticed on the last few flashback sequences of The False Sun:

Quote
How? How could mere knowledge command such horror?

He will see for himself.

Quote
He walks into the golden gloom, squinting, staring. Dust puffs about his feet, particles blooming in the intrusive brilliance of the sun, then vanishing into the flanking darkness. He peers… notices a different luminance wavering across the interior, more fluid and sultry, webbed as though refracted through waters…

Quote
He hears it, a faraway wind, the groan of impossible multitudes–the collective shriek. His lungs become as stone. Horror makes pins of his skin. And he feels it, the burning vaults above, the smoldering glimpses...

Shaeönanra raises his eyes.

Edit: interesting to note, Shaeönanra's flashbacks are in the present tense, similar to Mimara's passages in TAE.

Imagine a parent explaining to a child that what they just saw was only a movie. Now transfer that to someone who has no concept of such things existing or, better yet, a sorcerer, who goes through their life cognizant of their scriptural damnation and now sees no mark on what they are now witnessing.

I like the line that Titirga suggests what the Mangeacca have seen is their goad, not their damnation, because it threatens to turn everything we think we know about the series on its head.

Is damnation merely the prodding stick the Inchoroi use to get sorcerers on their side? They created the Tusk and chose which traditions to collect, meaning they chose to include the scriptural damnation of sorcerers, despite there being Shamans in that age. Sorcery was what caused them to lose their wars with the Nonmen, it makes sense to nullify that advantage by bringing them to their side.

Also consider the Nonmen. I can't recall any mention of them fighting to forestall their damnation, despite being just as damned as sorcerers. It reinforces that this is just what the Inchoroi are telling men to get them on their side.

Well, the Nonmen did have a way to stave off damnation, in the days before the Fall, before the Tusk, before the Womb-Plauge.  Their oblivion-worship was a way out, but my theory is that it only worked because the Gods had no eyes on them.  Once the Inchoroi adjusted the Tusk to place scrutiny on the Nonmen, they were damned, a priori, and simply avoiding the gods was no longer effective.

I don't think the Inverse Fire is false.  That is, false in the sense that it is showing something untrue.  No, I think it is true, true as far as "right now."  In other words, the Inverse Fire shows you the damnation you face as things are.  This knowledge leads most to essentially "double down" because the change needed to reverse it is much greater than the simpler act of embracing it and then living a depraved life (because what does it matter, you are damned).

That's kind of the whole point of what the Consult is after though, to rewrite the rules, undo their damnation not through repentance, but by changing the rules of damnation.  I don't think that the Inverse Fire being a tool of manipulation means that is has to be false.  Like the famous Star Wars quote, it can be true, "from a certain point of view."  In this sense, Titirga is probably right, it is a goad, but also probably wrong, it is damnation they see.

I think I was asked once, then what could the Inchoroi be doing all this for? And I look to Crash Space - they're bored. For a being whose likely lived thousands of years with no scruples before landing on Earwa, battling sorcerers and chariots in the sky is the only thing that could bring excitement at that point. I know the dragon at the end of WLW suggested it's true - they're reducing populations to 144,000 to avoid damnation but we also know he is fucking with Achamian.

I think it would go well with the themes certainty and damnation if all this were the case and would be interesting if the this whole time, the faithful of the Three Seas were working to seal the doom of mankind and the Fanim were right.

I don't think Wutteät lies to Akka.  We are presented something of the 144,000 prophecy in the opening of WLW chapter 12, "The Third Revelation of Ganus the Blind."  I don't think he is fucking with them, he is telling them as best he knows, which is probably only a fraction of the whole truth.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Bolivar on February 12, 2016, 07:02:48 pm
Yeah, it can definitely be both true and a goad at the same time. My point with the Nonmen though is that they never claim to have joined the Consult to save their souls. As Mekeretrig says:

Quote
  “These . . . these Sranc are our children now. But before! Before, you were our children. Our heart had been cut out and so we cradled yours. Companions to the ‘great’Norsirai kings.”
  The Nonman stepped nearer.
  “But no longer,”he continued. “As the ages waxed, some of us needed more than your childish squabbles to remember. Some of us needed a more exquisite brutality than any of your feuds could render. The great curse of our kind—do you know it? Of course you know it! What slave fails to exult in his master’s degradation."

Also, Wutteat mentions the 144,000 reductions as something they've done on other planets, suggesting that the Revelations of Ganus the Blind is another example of the Inchoroi engineering Three Seas culture. It also makes it sound legitimate, but it could also just be a part of the farce they play on planet to planet.

As always, great points H. This is just another one of my crackpots that I think would be fascinating if it upended everything we thought we knew about the series.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on February 12, 2016, 07:24:00 pm
I like the potential nod to Crash Space. Could be that's what drove them to planets initially, for some funs, but then they saw the IF and began doing it with a purpose.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on February 15, 2016, 01:09:36 pm
Yeah, it can definitely be both true and a goad at the same time. My point with the Nonmen though is that they never claim to have joined the Consult to save their souls. As Mekeretrig says:

Quote
  “These . . . these Sranc are our children now. But before! Before, you were our children. Our heart had been cut out and so we cradled yours. Companions to the ‘great’Norsirai kings.”
  The Nonman stepped nearer.
  “But no longer,”he continued. “As the ages waxed, some of us needed more than your childish squabbles to remember. Some of us needed a more exquisite brutality than any of your feuds could render. The great curse of our kind—do you know it? Of course you know it! What slave fails to exult in his master’s degradation."

Also, Wutteat mentions the 144,000 reductions as something they've done on other planets, suggesting that the Revelations of Ganus the Blind is another example of the Inchoroi engineering Three Seas culture. It also makes it sound legitimate, but it could also just be a part of the farce they play on planet to planet.

As always, great points H. This is just another one of my crackpots that I think would be fascinating if it upended everything we thought we knew about the series.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk

Well, one "problem" we have, so far, is that we really don't know much about the Nonmen that aren't Erratics.

While it isn't presented as such, the mystery of Ishterebinth is a pretty big one, since your question of why more Nonmen aren't in the Consult is a pretty good one.  My best guess is that the Siqu came up with something to keep them at least somewhat intact.  Perhaps because of this, because Ishterebinth remembers, they are poised between two hard choices: accept damnation or join those who damned them.  The envoy they send to Kellhus certainly seems rather intact.  He remembers Dagliash and more importantly remembers Hanalinqu.

This could explain why most of Ishterebinth isn't in league with the Consult, but we know from Aurang that they have spies there.  Perhaps the weaker willed among those Nonmen left do fear for their souls.  Perhaps those with weaker memories, or those that didn't lose wives or daughters to the Womb-plauge.

One thing I think is a linchpin of most of my theories is that I disbelieve that Aurang is an outright liar.  In fact, I think he is often rather truthful, in so far as he presents facts.  Why he is the "Angel of Deceit" though is because the facts are laced with incompleteness.  He didn't lie when he offered immortality, he simply didn't present to Cû'jara Cinmoi all the side-effect that would come with it.  Let's be real though, I'm sure Cû'jara Cinmoi didn't even bother to ask and even if he had, I'm sure Aurang would have spun something up to obfuscate the real implications.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on February 17, 2016, 06:54:33 pm
Nothing deceives so completely as does truth.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on February 17, 2016, 08:05:01 pm
Nothing deceives so completely as does truth.

Especially when the "truth" is brought to you as exactly what you want to hear.

No one wants damnation, but what the Inverse Fire shows, perhaps, is so factual, so seemingly determined, that it grants you escapism through the most extreme nihilism.  Damnation is insurmountable, salvation seemingly unobtainable, so hence why the Consult takes the alternative route of disabling damnation, not seeking salvation.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: geoffrobro on February 19, 2016, 01:15:25 pm
im starting to think the IF is a consciousness giving device, an tekne operating system. a device that give flesh life from the scrane to the bashrag. But a creature that already has consciousness ie humans, nonman get a extra consciousness placed into them, similar to Ses heart and the mandate. a force that "drives" the flesh that is the body and the consciousness itself is driven by fear. 
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Simas Polchias on February 21, 2016, 02:09:32 am
im starting to think the IF is a consciousness giving device, an tekne operating system. a device that give flesh life from the scrane to the bashrag. But a creature that already has consciousness ie humans, nonman get a extra consciousness placed into them, similar to Ses heart and the mandate. a force that "drives" the flesh that is the body and the consciousness itself is driven by fear.
Wow. Much creepy, very consulty.

Also, your guess reminded me about Peter Watt's themes (intelligence without consciousness, philosophical zombies etc) & his short story "The Things (http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/watts_01_10/)", which is written from a perspective of the eponymous horror-film monster, while it's trying to understand the bodies of people it occupies. Quite an apologetical story, I must add.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: EkyannusIII on February 24, 2016, 05:31:56 pm

No one wants damnation, but what the Inverse Fire shows, perhaps, is so factual, so seemingly determined, that it grants you escapism through the most extreme nihilism.  Damnation is insurmountable, salvation seemingly unobtainable, so hence why the Consult takes the alternative route of disabling damnation, not seeking salvation.

This has always been the oddest part of Bakkerverse's theologies to me.  There is literally no discussion of atonement and salvation on the part of anyone, even in regards to Inri Sejenus, which is a weird and glaring omission given that Sejenus is Not!Jesus.  The closest thing you get is the mention that some of the Hundred will save you to their particular, presumably customized and this distorted, paradise if you are a good customer of theirs. It's curiously lopsided.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on February 24, 2016, 07:51:59 pm
Or, their own special form of hell. Its not even being saved, just picking your own misery.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on February 24, 2016, 08:39:50 pm
There is the possibility that damnation is, essentially, unforgivable.  Once damned, always damned.  If you didn't back the right horse from the get go, you just lose.

I don't really believe that, but I think it is possible that Earwa is like that.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Wilshire on February 24, 2016, 10:26:35 pm
It certainly seems like that is what is presented so far.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Somnambulist on February 24, 2016, 11:37:03 pm
Mimara tells Galian it's not too late to change, as he's about to do some nasty stuff to her.  Difficult to say if she's just saying that, trying to appeal to whatever spark of humanity he might have left, or if she knows it based on her experience with the JE.  Implications.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on March 02, 2016, 01:40:30 pm
Mimara tells Galian it's not too late to change, as he's about to do some nasty stuff to her.  Difficult to say if she's just saying that, trying to appeal to whatever spark of humanity he might have left, or if she knows it based on her experience with the JE.  Implications.

Indeed, that is a good question.  Also, she might actually believe it's true when it really isn't.

That being said, I do think one could be redeemed from damnation, but only if one completely devoted themselves to a god and venerated them with some overwhelming fidelity.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Odium on July 26, 2016, 01:35:30 am
The Inverse Fire is named in Cunuroi or some other language in TGO, I think. If anyone could remind me what that name is (I can't seem to find it in my copy) I would be much obliged!

Edit - I actually ended up finding it. Xir’kirimakra
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Madness on July 26, 2016, 04:55:39 pm
Was that in TGO or The False Sun, Odium?
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on July 26, 2016, 07:13:04 pm
Was that in TGO or The False Sun, Odium?

False Sun.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Madness on July 27, 2016, 06:53:52 pm
Just wondering if I missed a name drop in TGO. Lol.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on July 27, 2016, 07:43:21 pm
Just wondering if I missed a name drop in TGO. Lol.

Yeah, I believe I said it before some where, but the spolier warning on the False Sun really doesn't seem to be about any of the books so far...which means, it must have spoilers for TUC...
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: The Sharmat on August 18, 2016, 01:25:04 am
Belated "Why is it the Inverse Fire" comment here, but: I just assumed it was a play on Tolkien's concept of "The Secret Fire" (the power of true creation) and didn't think about it any further than that.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Madness on August 22, 2016, 06:53:42 pm
Belated "Why is it the Inverse Fire" comment here, but: I just assumed it was a play on Tolkien's concept of "The Secret Fire" (the power of true creation) and didn't think about it any further than that.

I've always assumed there's some kind of nod there but don't know the Silmarillion well enough to start guessing.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: The Sharmat on August 22, 2016, 08:53:10 pm
IIRC (it's been years) The Secret Fire was the hidden power of creation that Eru Iluvatar used to create the world. All the Valar and Maiar could do was manipulate what was already created. Melkor's deep envy for this power caused his initial rebellion.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: Madness on August 31, 2016, 11:49:14 pm
Colour me confused :).

EDIT: As to how it might inform Bakker's work. I just don't get it.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: EkyannusIII on November 13, 2016, 11:31:00 pm
Sharmat may mean that Bakker borrowed the word but not the concept behind it.

That being said, "Inverse" means opposite, and the fire that shows you damnation and Hell seems opposite to the benevolent creating power of Iluvatar.
Title: Re: The inverse fire.
Post by: H on November 15, 2016, 12:08:54 pm
Indeed, I can't help but feel that the name of it only takes us so far to understanding it.

Inverse, as "opposite or contrary in position, direction, order, or effect."  The Fire is nearly certainly that of Hell (Damnation).

So, it would seem in it is Inverse Fire because it is above, rather than below; it comes before, rather than after, Damnation itself; and it does not consume.