[TGO SPOILERS] Souls too strong to eat

  • 40 Replies
  • 4790 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

profgrape

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Great Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
« on: February 07, 2017, 04:36:49 pm »
In the author Q&A, RSB wrote this:

Quote
[...]the boundaries between the World and the Outside can also wear then with individuals, and not simply places. Those souls that are too strong to eat, that go on to become Ciphrang, sometimes begin the transition before they kick the bucket.

This begs the question: how does one develop a soul that's "too strong to eat"?

We have a couple examples of souls that seem to be on the verge of becoming Ciphrang; Kosoter, perhaps, and almost certainly, Cnauir.   This suggests that a "strong" soul is one that's committed numerous, horrible acts of violence.  But wouldn't his imply that those who are more damned are also better positioned for power in the hellish afterlife? 

As a side question, can good acts cause one to be "too strong to eat", perhaps leading to one become an angelic Ciphrang?

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 4881
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 05:35:41 pm »
Indomitable will is also a common trait between those two. Or should I say indomitable conviction ;) . Maybe its a combination of both?

By that logic, either Will or Evil, seems there might be a good handful of Dunyain ciphrang-gods out there? Also, Conphas?

 Most head's of major Nations/States might qualify for that if . Harweel. Psatma.

But, yes, the linchpin of the discussion is 'how'.

I like 'good'/'altruistic'/'moral' as leading to angelic Ciphrang :). Amusing that none are around though, eh? Earwa isn't a nice place.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

profgrape

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Great Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 06:39:03 pm »
Indomitable will is also a common trait between those two. Or should I say indomitable conviction ;) . Maybe its a combination of both?

By that logic, either Will or Evil, seems there might be a good handful of Dunyain ciphrang-gods out there? Also, Conphas?

 Most head's of major Nations/States might qualify for that if . Harweel. Psatma.

But, yes, the linchpin of the discussion is 'how'.

I like 'good'/'altruistic'/'moral' as leading to angelic Ciphrang :). Amusing that none are around though, eh? Earwa isn't a nice place.

Whatever it is, it has to be rare, right?  Maybe conviction that is entirely self-motivated?  Meaning if your conviction was inspired by a Wordly agent (like Kellhus), it wouldn't strengthen your soul.  But if it was a self-moving quality, it did?

Another interesting thread: if strong souls can become Ciphrang, does that also mean they, like the Gods, see all of time simultaneously?  I'm wondering if the person who Kellhus sees in his visions is his Ciphrang-self.  Maybe the Ciphrang-self is the "head on a pole", a soul so strong that it's somehow anchored in the Outside?


Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 4881
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 06:57:59 pm »
Definetly rare. Self-moving in some way seems like a good idea, nice and discriminating, otherwise there would be too many big outside entities.

Also I imagine it as one of those games were you start out as a small creature, and can eat everything that's smaller than you, each thing you eat you become bigger. Meanwhile, everything else follows the same rules. So, even a 'big' soul is relative. Maybe big enough to consume the scraps left over by the huge ciphrang-gods. The longer you live and survive in the outside, the more power you gain. Then you get so big you can start to exert some kind of local objective-subjective reality time/space. Bigger and bigger, until you can rip through the barrier into the Inside and influence people via dreams, send avatars, etc...

Another interesting thread: if strong souls can become Ciphrang, does that also mean they, like the Gods, see all of time simultaneously?  I'm wondering if the person who Kellhus sees in his visions is his Ciphrang-self.  Maybe the Ciphrang-self is the "head on a pole", a soul so strong that it's somehow anchored in the Outside?

Depends on what the Gods are. I maintain that they are just bigger Ciphrang, so I would say yes, they get the collapsed-time-sense thing.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

profgrape

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Great Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 07:09:59 pm »
Depends on what the Gods are. I maintain that they are just bigger Ciphrang, so I would say yes, they get the collapsed-time-sense thing.

Yes, the way they're described in TGO, "Other Sons", makes it sound like the Gods are just uber-Ciphrang. 

Quote
[...]where he has always hidden, always watched, where Other Sons, recline, drinking from bowls that are skies, savouring the moaning broth of the Countless[...]

That sure fits with what Wilshire describes, that the Gods are just those who receive the greatest portion of souls.  Also very interesting that the narrator has "always" been there -- lends weight to the idea that Kellhus is/has a powerful, perhaps even God-like, Ciphrang.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 07:11:41 pm by profgrape »

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 1932
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 07:51:22 pm »
Well, even if the gods are similar to Ciphrang in function, they must be different since they never lived, right?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Great Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 07:55:40 pm »
Well, even if the gods are similar to Ciphrang in function, they must be different since they never lived, right?
Did RSB confirm that the Gods never lived?  It rings a bell but I can't remember the specifics. Also, if he did confirm, he might just be being cute about the definition of 'lived', I.e. the soul predates the living being and thus, the Gods/Ciphrang were never alive as humans are alive.

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 1932
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 08:50:01 pm »
Well, I mean I draw that inference from the 100 being fractures of the God of Gods.  If they lived, then when were they mortal?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 4928
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 09:36:59 pm »
I believe in one of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist interviews he says Ciphrang have never lived in the world... though, it would seem his more recent comments refute that.
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer

themerchant

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Captain Slogger
  • Posts: 782
    • View Profile
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 10:26:57 pm »
I think he said something like belong entirely to the outside.


profgrape

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Great Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 10:45:30 pm »
Ok, time to get really crazy:

Let's imagine that souls in the Outside are ranked on a continuum of 1-10, where a 1-soul is effectively dormant and a 10-soul is an uber-Ciphrang or a God.

When someone is born in the World, a 1-soul is associated with their physical body.  The soul doesn't *inhabit* the physical body.  Rather it stays in the Outside and is linked to the physical body. 

Over the course of a person's life, their soul grows, perhaps according to their sin.  And when they die, the link is severed and their mature soul is adrift in the Outside to be consumed by the most powerful souls.  As the soul is consumed, it regresses back to a 1-soul, at which point it's once against available to be associated with a newborn.

To put it another way, life on Earwa only exists to fatten up a soul to be consumed after death.

It might be that it's possible for some rare souls to exceed a threshhold, let's say, 7-soul, at which point, they become too strong to be consumed after death.  These souls are powerful enough, in fact, that they become agents in the Outside -- Ciphrang.

With this kind of scheme, souls don't have the concept of life and death, rather, they belong entirely to the Outside.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 10:51:00 pm by profgrape »

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 1932
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 06:57:12 pm »
I believe in one of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist interviews he says Ciphrang have never lived in the world... though, it would seem his more recent comments refute that.

I couldn't find that.  However, he does allude to angelic Chiphrang, that only the "demonic" ones can be summoned.  So, it would seem there are a couple options for your soul upon dying:

If you are "good" and strong, you become an "Angelic" Ciphrang.
If you are "evil" and strong, you become a "demonic" Chiphrang.
If you are "good" but weak, you get saved by a god. (Maybe?)
If you are "evil" but weak, you get eaten by a god. (Damnation is food?)

What it means to have a strong or weak soul though, I am totally unsure.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Great Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 07:18:05 pm »
I believe in one of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist interviews he says Ciphrang have never lived in the world... though, it would seem his more recent comments refute that.

I couldn't find that.  However, he does allude to angelic Chiphrang, that only the "demonic" ones can be summoned.  So, it would seem there are a couple options for your soul upon dying:

If you are "good" and strong, you become an "Angelic" Ciphrang.
If you are "evil" and strong, you become a "demonic" Chiphrang.
If you are "good" but weak, you get saved by a god. (Maybe?)
If you are "evil" but weak, you get eaten by a god. (Damnation is food?)

What it means to have a strong or weak soul though, I am totally unsure.

That seems like a reasonable soul-sorting scheme, H.  The only thing I'm wondering is whether *any* souls are actually saved?  I might be way off-base with this.  But TGO left me thinking that while there are degrees of damnation, everyone ultimately ends up in the lake of fire.

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 1932
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 07:33:10 pm »
That seems like a reasonable soul-sorting scheme, H.  The only thing I'm wondering is whether *any* souls are actually saved?  I might be way off-base with this.  But TGO left me thinking that while there are degrees of damnation, everyone ultimately ends up in the lake of fire.

I'm in the same boat, if not damned by one, you'd be damned by another.

I think the Nonmen had the right of it all by trying to avoid the whole thing altogether.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Great Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 375
    • View Profile
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2017, 08:29:44 pm »
That seems like a reasonable soul-sorting scheme, H.  The only thing I'm wondering is whether *any* souls are actually saved?  I might be way off-base with this.  But TGO left me thinking that while there are degrees of damnation, everyone ultimately ends up in the lake of fire.

I'm in the same boat, if not damned by one, you'd be damned by another.

I think the Nonmen had the right of it all by trying to avoid the whole thing altogether.

Cool -- wasn't sure whether that idea was broadly accepted or not.  The whole "granary/bread" thing just makes me imagine life on Earwa as nothing more than a way to produce juicier souls for the Gods.  And the Judging Eye is like Yelp for souls; showing which ones will be the best to eat.