144,000

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Somnambulist

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« on: August 28, 2013, 04:55:11 pm »
So, I'm not sure if this has been brought up before.  If it has, please just disregard.  Otherwise, I have some speculations/gripes about this magical number.

1)  This is a special/known number to Earwans:
   a) Mentioned by Akka to Mimara in one of their discussions
   b) In an excerpt of a chapter heading by some author in Earwan history (in WLW, don't remember specific chapter)

2)  Also has meaning to the Inchoroi, as revealed by Wutteat (sp?), in that they reduced the populations of many worlds to this magical quantity

So, are we to believe two separately-evolved species hailing from different planets both hold this number to be holy, some like universal truth?  Or is it that the inchoroi brought the number with them and it became, over time, known for one reason or another to human civilizations?  Seems it could go either way, but I'm interested in what everyone else's opinions might be.

The number has real-world significance to some religions, popularly indicating the number of saved souls already in or going to heaven (to basely summarize).  I find it interesting that Bakker (no surprise at all) turned this concept on it's head as well and suggests that heaven (salvation) is the absence of living in god's presence (damnation).  In that respect, with Earwan metaphysics in mind, the inchoroi have it right if everyone is damned no matter what anyway.  On the other hand, if they succeed, you're stuck on a planet with no divine intervention, inhabited by all-powerful rape-demons and their cronies.  Damned anyway... again.  Looks like Earwans got a rough deal either way you look at it.

Anyway, my last nit is this.  Who is the poor bastard census taker, traveling the world, tallying the 144,000??  Does it have to be exactly this number or just under this number?  If it's exactly 144,000, the Inchoroi need a better way to keep track.  Maybe a Dunyain could do the trick...
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Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 05:03:55 pm »
This might have been brought up a few times but no harm in making a new topic.

I find the chances pretty slim that two disparate groups from light years apart both hold holy 144k. Far more likely they are tied together somehow (maybe the Gods that the Inchoroi have been fleeing from have something to do with this, so I suppose the first situation is possible if the Gods somehow revealed this to both groups).

One of the other conditions of possibility.

Meyna

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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 05:46:14 pm »
"And they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. For it is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless."

-Revelation 14:3–5 (ESV)

A nice reference to the number 144,000 and the concept of redemption/damnation in our earthly holy prophesies. Though I don't know why Bakker would integrate this into his story, I can't imagine this reference was lost on him.
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locke

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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 06:33:45 pm »
Blind

Ganus the Blind

Blind

Titirga was blind

The Cishaurim are blind

Moenghus is blind

What do you see?

Quote
We Nonmen... we think the dark holy, or at least we did before time and treachery leached all the ancient concerns from our souls..”

“The dark, holy?”

“Of course… Think on it, my mortal friend.  The Dark is oblivion made manifest.  And oblivion encircles us always.  It is the ocean, and we are naught but silvery bubbles.  It leans all about us.  You see it every time you glimpse the horizon—though you know it not.  In the light, our eyes are what blinds us.  But in the dark—the dark!—the line of the horizon opens… opens like a mouth… and oblivion gapes.

You must understand.  For my kind, holiness begins where comprehension ends.  Ignorance stakes us out , marks our limits, draws the line between us and what transcends. For us, the true God is the unknown God, the God that outruns our febrile words, our flattening thoughts…”

Wilshire

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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 07:12:01 pm »
"And they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000
A nice reference to the number 144,000 and the concept of redemption/damnation in our earthly holy prophesies. Though I don't know why Bakker would integrate this into his story, I can't imagine this reference was lost on him.

There are plenty of half obscured references to be had for those willing to look. I find them interesting.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 12:06:46 am by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Somnambulist

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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 11:04:21 pm »
"And they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. For it is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless."

-Revelation 14:3–5 (ESV)

A nice reference to the number 144,000 and the concept of redemption/damnation in our earthly holy prophesies. Though I don't know why Bakker would integrate this into his story, I can't imagine this reference was lost on him.

Thanks for the quote, Meyna.  Reading this passage makes it sound like the 144,000 could have been the seed idea for the Few, and how they sing their song, as well as have prohibitions against marriage (should be virgins), a relatively small number of them vs. worldwide population, etc.  But the Few are obviously flawed (visit prostitutes, etc.), and have the mark, except for the Cishaurim.  I wonder how Cishaurim are raised?  Is it just the blindness that leaves them with no Mark, or are they strictly monitored to maintain their 'purity' as well?  Interesting.
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Francis Buck

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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 11:44:00 pm »
Regarding the Cishaurim's mark, I recently posited over on Westeros the possibility that the simple act of using the Psukhe itself may diminish one's mark. What made me think of it was the fact that Titirga's mark was "washed out", and as-of-yet he's the only sorcerer known to practice the Psukhe along with the other typical forms (aside from temporary blindness, his only apparent connection the the Cish would be the Psukhe, so it's not illogical to assume that his lesser mark may be a direct result of that). Though, why that would be the case, I have no clue.

Wilshire

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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2013, 12:13:02 am »
When did he use the psuke? I thought the Cish were a relatively new school. Were there any practitioners of the Puske back then? I had no clue. I thought the only difference between Titirga and everyone else was just that he was blind as a child.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Francis Buck

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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 02:09:00 am »
The Cishaurim are relatively new, but that doesn't necessarily mean they invented the Psukhe. Titiriga never uses it directly, but I personally think it's pretty heavily implied. He was blind as a youth, he uses sorcery that no one else seems capable of at the time (grasping things that should not grasped, or something like that), and his mark is different.

"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 description of his mark, to me, sounds like what would happen if someone was a practitioner of both the Psukhe and other "scarring" forms of sorcery.

Check out the comments on TFS, there's some of discussion about it there.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 02:13:37 am by Francis Buck »

Meyna

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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 11:18:15 am »
"And they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000
A nice reference to the number 144,000 and the concept of redemption/damnation in our earthly holy prophesies. Though I don't know why Bakker would integrate this into his story, I can't imagine this reference was lost on him.

There are plenty of half obscured references to be had for those willing to look. I find them interesting.

Likewise. And, if nothing else, I like to be aware of any reaching on my part. 144,000 just seems like an odd number for Bakker to use. True, though, the 12 tribes of Israel, who each contribute 12,000 to this 144,000 (Revelation loves numerology), are very well established in the text, contrary to any "12 tribes of Earwa" that would be needed to fully support this concept as a nod to the Bible.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 01:12:42 pm »
I didn't consider that the Cish did not invent the Psuke. Maybe it was some kind of pseud-Psuke. We never saw a true gnostic/psuke battle (Im not counting Kellhus' encounter with them, it wasn't even fair lol), but we know for sure that the Puske far out matches the Anagogic schools. This is reminiscent of the way the other schools don't hold a candle to the Mandate. I think one of the advantages the Puskari have is that they are unique. I imagine countering another schoolman's cants is easier when you have some knowledge of how they work. If someone was able to sing in a way the others couldn't comprehend, they would appear stronger.

My point being that if Titirga discovered some hint of the Psuke and was able to use it in his songs, he would be at an advantage simply because no one else would know how to counter him. I can also see how that would alter ones mark.
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Callan S.

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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 06:58:28 pm »
I think the inchoroi are distantly related to the Earwans. 144,000 is some kind of number where the supervising machine overloads and bugs out, creating the 100 'gods'.

Madness

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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 12:45:01 am »
There is a great Bakker quote that I can't find, reading something like "the Psukhe has arisen independently before" the Cishaurim... Killin' me :(.

However, the main contention for me would be the fact that the Cishaurim don't have a mark, not a 'rinsed stain' like Titirga.

Yet blindness seems crucial...
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Francis Buck

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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 12:48:17 am »
But then we've also never known of a Cishaurim who used anything other than the Psukhe. The combination is, as-of-yet, unprecedented.

Wilshire

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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2013, 12:51:32 am »
But then we've also never known of a Cishaurim who used anything other than the Psukhe. The combination is, as-of-yet, unprecedented.

That somehow using the Gods true voice absolves your soul of the sins you committed using the other song.

There is a great Bakker quote that I can't find, reading something like "the Psukhe has arisen independently before" the Cishaurim... Killin' me :(.

However, the main contention for me would be the fact that the Cishaurim don't have a mark, not a 'rinsed stain' like Titirga.

Yet blindness seems crucial...

I remember......

Can you do a search on Psuke and look for one of the Cil' posts?
One of the other conditions of possibility.