Nonmen Society

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Wilshire

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« Reply #165 on: May 20, 2015, 12:56:40 pm »
Speaking of animals, anything special about Herons and Snakes that make them good candidates for actually being holy/saved/not-damned? 
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The Sharmat

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« Reply #166 on: May 20, 2015, 09:26:30 pm »
Besides Mimara seeing them that way in the Judging Eye? Not that I know of.

Francis Buck

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« Reply #167 on: May 23, 2015, 12:58:44 pm »
Personally, I think it's just associations with the gods/metaphysics that make certain animals "holy".

In the case of the storks, it's their association with birth and, thus, Yatwer.

As for snakes, I think it's because of the "Uroboros" motif, which seems to be an underlying trait of the universe (the circuit of watcher and watched, etc.). I think there's a very specific reason snakes are used by the Cishaurim, beyond simple convenience. 

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« Reply #168 on: June 02, 2015, 05:01:34 pm »
Personally, I think it's just associations with the gods/metaphysics that make certain animals "holy".

In the case of the storks, it's their association with birth and, thus, Yatwer.

As for snakes, I think it's because of the "Uroboros" motif, which seems to be an underlying trait of the universe (the circuit of watcher and watched, etc.). I think there's a very specific reason snakes are used by the Cishaurim, beyond simple convenience. 

another reason the Cishaurim might prefer snakes is to make a decoy!  if everyone thinks you are looking through the snakes on your head (or shoulders?) then maybe they won't think that you are also looking though the eyes of bugs in the room, or birds out of the windows, or even borrowing the eyes of all the humans around you without them even knowing!

or maybe the snakes are a decoy to take away scrutiny from the Third Eye which magically sees in all directions at once or sees the world like
(click to show/hide)
<-- Dune 2 spoiler

H

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« Reply #169 on: August 17, 2015, 05:28:21 pm »
Quote
Friezes panelled the walls—were-animals with multiple heads and limbs—but not to the convoluted depths found elsewhere. The scalpers, Achamian could tell, thought them representations of devils: More than a few whispered homespun charms. But he knew better, recognizing in the figures a sensibility kindred to that of the Wolf Gate. It wasn't monsters that glared from the walls, he knew, but rather the many poses of natural beasts compressed into one image. Before they began forgetting, the Nonmen had been obsessed with the mysteries of time, particularly with the way the present seemed to bear the past and the future within it.

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

Quote
"We are Many!" the Erratic roared. "We are legion! What you call your soul is nothing but a confusion, an inability! A plurality that cannot count the moments that divide it and so calls itself One."
His eyes flared white. Words boomed out, words that made a crimson globe of his head and face. The sound of vacant space ripping, a growl in the deepest pocket of the ear. Abstractions lashed the open air between them, wracked Achamian's Wards. The old Wizard raised arms against the glittering violence.
"Only when memory is stripped away!" Cleric cried out, the glow fading from his eyes. "Only then is Being revealed as pure Becoming! Only when the past dies can we shrug aside the burden that is our Soul!"
Fractal lights tangled the figure's outstretched arms. More arcane words, reverberating across ethereal surfaces. More flashing Abstractions, cracking and hissing across the glowing shells that shielded the Wizard. Fire consumed the thronging scrub and trees. Fire garnished the truncated walls. About them, the famed courtyards of the Holy Library had become burning pits.
"Only then does the Darkness sing untrammelled!" Cleric cried. "Only then!"
"And yet you seek memories!" the Wizard cried, at last delivered to tears.
"To be! Being is not a choice!"
"But you claim Being is deception!"
"Yes!"
"But that is nonsense! Madness!"
Again the Nonman King laughed.
"That is Becoming."

So, Being, unburdoned by the past, is Becoming?  In other words, a self-moving Soul?

Also:
Quote
"We Nonmen..." he continued telling his hands, "we think the dark holy, or at least we did before time and treachery leached all the ancient concerns from our souls..."

"The dark?" Galian said, and his voice warm and human—and as such, so very frail. "Holy?"

The Nonman lifted his flawless white face to the light, smiled at the Nansur scalper's questioning gaze.

"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—in the dark!—the line of the horizon opens... opens like a mouth... and oblivion gapes."

Though the Nonman's expression seemed bemused and ironic, Achamian, with his second, more ancient soul, recognized it as distinctively Cûnuroi—what they called noi'ra, bliss in pain.

"You must understand," Cleric said. "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 flattering thoughts..."

So, the Viri digging so deep, making the Viritic Well, was a temple actually?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

locke

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« Reply #170 on: August 17, 2015, 08:45:26 pm »
Not so much a temple as a large hadron collidor with the purpose of connecting heaven and hell, a structure like a sketch of a black hole, cleric even describes an event horizon in the above quoted.   And perhaps the LHC esque structures  like the vitiric well or great medial screw were meant to study heaven and hell or were meant to create singularities perhaps in the form of chorae.

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« Reply #171 on: August 18, 2015, 02:33:24 pm »
I think you are definitely right on the similarities of Chorae and our conception of a singularity.  One point not to be overlooked though, which I feel is central, is that a Chorae is a paradox.  By all 'reason,' even Earwan reason, they should not be able to exist, yet they do.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

The Great Scald

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« Reply #172 on: August 27, 2015, 04:19:17 pm »
Not so much a temple as a large hadron collidor with the purpose of connecting heaven and hell, a structure like a sketch of a black hole, cleric even describes an event horizon in the above quoted.   And perhaps the LHC esque structures  like the vitiric well or great medial screw were meant to study heaven and hell or were meant to create singularities perhaps in the form of chorae.

The Chorae-as-singularities idea definitely makes sense - they're to magic in Eärwa what gravitational singularities are to the space-time fabric in our universe.

As for the Nonmen trying to probe Heaven and Hell through an "event horizon", it's possible. IIRC, Bakker said in the Helen Cruz interview that his fictional sorcery is just as empirical as real science, and that the Gnostic schools have their own "arcane Einsteins" who undertake empirical investigations into things like Hell. It's definitely possible that the topoi in Cil-Aujas, and the dead Nonmen leaking in from Hell, is a result of this. I actually don't think the Inverse Fire shows the real thing - given Bakker's obsession with neuroscience, it's just as likely to be a neurosurgical Tekne device that alters the brains (and, thus, the beliefs) of those who look at it.

The Great Scald

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« Reply #173 on: August 27, 2015, 04:32:11 pm »
Also, I never really saw the Nonmen's worship of oblivion as actual "darkness-worship", but rather as a worship of endless Becoming (to use the Heidegger term) and infinite potential.

The Inchoroi and Nonmen both seem to have a worldview that Heidegger calls "Das Gestell" (translated into English stupidly as "framing"). It's the modernist attitude of viewing the universe as basically raw material that waits for us to rework or "perfect" it. The Inchoroi have a lot more in common with us modern Westerners than any of Bakker's human characters. They don't view anything as possessing any intrinsic "being" or "nature". They're all pure potential, waiting for us to pick them up. Trees are potential paper, a great river (Heidegger's own example) is a potential power source, AIDS victims are potential profits for medical companies, and the Inchoroi of today are, with the latest genetic rewirings, the new and improved Inchoroi of tomorrow. For modern people and Inchoroi, things have no real nature of their own - their nature is always something that we make real. So modern thinking always orients itself to the future.

In a lot of ways, Bakker's blind-brain philosophy is a criticism of this "Das Gestell" modernist view.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 04:34:31 pm by Auriga »

MG

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« Reply #174 on: August 28, 2015, 12:01:55 am »
Not so much a temple as a large hadron collidor with the purpose of connecting heaven and hell, a structure like a sketch of a black hole, cleric even describes an event horizon in the above quoted.   And perhaps the LHC esque structures  like the vitiric well or great medial screw were meant to study heaven and hell or were meant to create singularities perhaps in the form of chorae.

vitric well = wormhole!  just jump in!  Titirga falls out of the sky just when the Great Ordeal needs him!

i'm not sure i get the part about a mansion/well being like a huge trinket--wouldn't that cause all hell on the sorcery?  digging deep holes to try to make a big trinket out of planet Earwa?  Kellhus lures Mog right over Viri ftw???

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« Reply #175 on: January 28, 2016, 04:56:32 pm »
OK, I am not sure if this is a new idea or not, but I was thinking of why the Nonmen seemingly changed belief systems post-Womb Plague. 

To preface this theory, we must hypothesize that collective belief in Earwa has power.  In the sense that a collective belief in something, changes the Outside and so makes it true.  The gods are powered by this.  The more believers, the more powerful the gods.

OK, that said, it would be my theory that pre-Womb Plague, worship of Oblivion was sufficient to save their souls.  It "saved" their souls, because it their souls were out of any of the god's reach, for a couple reasons: first, there were less men and so, less powerful gods, i.e. more spaces between them; second, with less powerful gods, "hiding your voice" and dodging the gods of the Outside was probably easier, since more space meant the draw of Oblivion was stronger, or easier to find.  Once the Inchoroi rewrote the Tusk though, the Nonmen were damned, a priori.  This meant that even a pious Nonman was damned outright with the rise of man, dispute his avoidance of the gods, because Men focused the eyes of the gods onto the Nonmen, via the Tusk.

Perhaps this helps explain this quote:

Quote
"What did you find?"
"God... broken into a million warring splinters."
A grim nod. "We worship the spaces between the Gods."
"Which is why you are damned."
Another nod, this one strangely brittle. "As False Men."
The Aspect-Emperor nodded in stoic regret. "As False Men."

Since the Nonmen had no gods, in fact, had the opposite of gods, it was relatively "easy" for damnation to have "overwritten" the oblivion the Nonman belief system was built to ensure since there is essentially no competition.

This could also work to explain this quote:

Quote
“The Nonmen…” he said evenly. “They have taught us how to hide our Voices. How to bypass the Outside, find Oblivion.”

Eyes like bladders of ink, each reflecting the tripods across their shining curve. The fluting of gill-tissues along the neck. “You worship the spaces between the Gods…”

“Yes.”

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.”

Aurang is not lying when he says they are already damned for their Oblivion worship.  That probably did work once, but it was sundered by the Inchoroi's rewriting of the Tusk.  It also could be that the "worship" of the Inverse Fire also works against the Oblivion worship, so that simply by existing, the Inverse Fire (whatever it is) invalidates the native Nonman beliefs.

Not sure if that really makes any sense all typed out, but it did in my head...
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

profgrape

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« Reply #176 on: January 28, 2016, 05:50:54 pm »
That's a really interesting notion, H.  Both in that the diffusion of Nonmen beliefs is what insulated them from damnation and that the Tusk acted as a "belief plague" designed to damn the Nonmen.

It stands to reason that the Nonmen, having been around for a long, long time, would have deduced how belief (and really, meaning) creates reality on their planet (or as I believe, for the entire universe).  The only sensible way to avoid catastrophe is non-belief, or as it's described, worshipping the "spaces between the gods."

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« Reply #177 on: January 28, 2016, 06:33:36 pm »
Also, this could be further part of the Inchoroi plan for the Womb-Plague.  It was always a constant question of, why a Womb-Plague?  If they wanted them gone, why not kill them all?  But the truth is the Inchoroi didn't want them dead, they wanted them despondent, with no hope for the future (no women, no redemption, only damnation), but very much alive.  Why? 

Because they wanted sorcery and they knew that the Inverse Fire could help them ply it from the Nonmen.  They probably learned this from seducing the Aporos sorcerers.  The whole plan of enlistment is actually kind of brilliant in it's twisted way, so much easier than total eradication.  In fact, in the Flase Sun, we still see Aurang at it, even trying to lure Titirga, even with possession of Shaeönanra.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

MSJ

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« Reply #178 on: January 29, 2016, 03:19:13 am »
Also, this could be further part of the Inchoroi plan for the Womb-Plague.  It was always a constant question of, why a Womb-Plague?  If they wanted them gone, why not kill them all?  But the truth is the Inchoroi didn't want them dead, they wanted them despondent, with no hope for the future (no women, no redemption, only damnation), but very much alive.  Why? 

Because they wanted sorcery and they knew that the Inverse Fire could help them ply it from the Nonmen.  They probably learned this from seducing the Aporos sorcerers.  The whole plan of enlistment is actually kind of brilliant in it's twisted way, so much easier than total eradication.  In fact, in the Flase Sun, we still see Aurang at it, even trying to lure Titirga, even with possession of Shaeönanra.

I like this H. Makes a lot of sense in regards to the womb-plague and why the Inchoiri wouldn't just devise a way to eradicate them all, which they could've. No, the needed the Nonman for sorcery. Well thought out.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #179 on: January 29, 2016, 01:07:04 pm »
I like this H. Makes a lot of sense in regards to the womb-plague and why the Inchoiri wouldn't just devise a way to eradicate them all, which they could've. No, the needed the Nonman for sorcery. Well thought out.

Also, not only this, but I think they also learned a great deal from Nin’janjin while he was a "guest" of the Ark.  No doubt in my mind that this was when the Inchoroi sequences the Nonman gnome (or at least gain some knowledge of it), presumably realizing that they could "treat" them with exactly what had prolonged their own lives.  At the same time, they had raw genetic information they could (debase) use for the weapons races.

I think most of the Tekne was already "lost" by this time.  This is why they couldn't simply repair the Ark.  Nor could they make more Heron Spears.  They couldn't even make weapon races from scratch, mainly because their understanding of their own biology pertained only to the Grafts, that is, how to add to their own frames, not make new ones.  Bashrags are the biggest clue as to how crude their understanding and implementation was.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira