In the light of added knowledge, a few thoughts

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Cuttlefish

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« on: March 29, 2017, 03:51:13 am »
Hey, looks like I forgot about Bakker for a while, but doing a re-read of TGO made me think on several things. Rather than make a new thread for each, I thought a blanket thread would be better.

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

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

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

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

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2017, 10:50:22 am »

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

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

A few thoughts in response:

1. The Absolute doesn't create a code of morality, it simply recognizes (or perhaps a better word would be illuminates) the objective morality that arises from the actions of men.

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

Nice post, Cuttlefish.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 07:03:20 pm by Beardfisher King »
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 12:10:45 pm »
Hey, looks like I forgot about Bakker for a while, but doing a re-read of TGO made me think on several things. Rather than make a new thread for each, I thought a blanket thread would be better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, I don't know that the Cubit was created by any one, divine or mortal though.  It is simply a "natural fact" the same as protons are positively charged and electrons negatively.  The Cubit is the ontological firmament of the universe, the ontological blue-print of the universe.  I don't know that the answer to why really tells us much.  I think how is really where we should look.
“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

Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 02:40:08 pm »
Great to see you back, Cuttlefish.

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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



« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 03:15:39 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Cuttlefish

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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2017, 10:58:35 pm »

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

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

A few thoughts in response:

1. The Absolute doesn't create a code of morality, it simply recognizes (or perhaps a better word would be illuminates) the objective morality that arises from the actions of men.

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

Nice post, Cuttlefish.

1. The idea that the Absolute does not create morality, but rather just comprehends it could be true, but I strongly doubt that it arises from the actions of men. After all, how could it be objective, if it is influenced by men?

2. I think it largely means that they can't control what moves them. The Dunyain know what moves them, and in their folly, they thought that they could control it, but Moenghus flat out confirms that even the Dunyain are still moved by their urges, and Kellhus demonstrates it, I think twice, in the first trilogy and possibly once in the second.

---

Generally, though, the conception of the Absolute as being distinct from divinity creates an interesting possibility: what if Kellhus, or someone else, does actually reach it, and since the Absolute is not bound by anything, and therefore can't be bound by time, it exists all at once? In fact, the ways the Absolute influences the world, if it does at all, could be the product of a causal loop; the Absolute creating Kellhus (or whoever else) so that he can become the Absolute.

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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 12:42:43 am »
This is all a very interesting discussion. But, doesn't Koringgus basically show us that the Absolute is false? That the Dunyain's whole line of thinking was wrong? You cannot control circumstance in a predetermined world, which Earwa seems to be. That's what Koringgus found out, that everything has already happened, that's what he deduced from the JE.

Yet, we have the case of the WLW. What was thought to be pre-determined, was not. Lokisnow has a great post at Westerosi explaining how Kelmommas was the Narindar of Ajokli  (which I preached was the case pre-TGO and TGO confirmed that for me), and how by watching the WLW he basically hid in the "blindspot" of the Gods. In short, by following the WLW around he essentially mimicked the WlW's  path, hence staying hidden from the WLW and the Gods. It was a great post and explains how Kelmommas breaks the circuit.

I am not too sure there is much free will on Earwa by what textual evidence we have. Their only seem to be a few people who are powerful enough, or smart enough to step outside of what is predetermined. Even in Kelmommas's case you can say that by sacrificing the beetle to Ajokli, Ajokli aided him in his witnessing of the WLW. Myself, I don't think the Absolute even exists. I think it's a pipedream of the Dunyain. I even have the feeling that somewhere Kellhus will be surprised by fate, something he could of never seen coming, nor prepared for.
“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 #6 on: March 30, 2017, 12:58:57 am »

My thought is, maybe the twist of the story isn't that Kellhus is the bad guy, but that he is the (kinda, sorta, slightly, relatively) good guy, and that he seeks to share the Truth with the world. The Truth being, I suppose, that they are ruled by their inner urges, without free will, and that God does not have a personality like one that they ascribe to him, but is in fact beyond such things.

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

A few thoughts in response:

1. The Absolute doesn't create a code of morality, it simply recognizes (or perhaps a better word would be illuminates) the objective morality that arises from the actions of men.

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

Nice post, Cuttlefish.

1. The idea that the Absolute does not create morality, but rather just comprehends it could be true, but I strongly doubt that it arises from the actions of men. After all, how could it be objective, if it is influenced by men?

2. I think it largely means that they can't control what moves them. The Dunyain know what moves them, and in their folly, they thought that they could control it, but Moenghus flat out confirms that even the Dunyain are still moved by their urges, and Kellhus demonstrates it, I think twice, in the first trilogy and possibly once in the second.

---

Generally, though, the conception of the Absolute as being distinct from divinity creates an interesting possibility: what if Kellhus, or someone else, does actually reach it, and since the Absolute is not bound by anything, and therefore can't be bound by time, it exists all at once? In fact, the ways the Absolute influences the world, if it does at all, could be the product of a causal loop; the Absolute creating Kellhus (or whoever else) so that he can become the Absolute.

When I say that objective morality arises from the actions of men, I mean that any action a man takes can be read from an objective viewpoint. I take the Judging Eye to be just that viewpoint. The actions don't influence the viewpoint, just as a photographic subject doesn't influence the camera. But ethics is a thorny thicket, and I am reluctant to opine much further. I hope that's clearer (but am afraid it's just murkier).

I am also reluctant to equate lack of awareness of what comes before to lack of free will. Kellhus, as the reigning ur- Dûnyain, is still surprised by the actions of others on (rare) occasion. So clearly free will is still in play; Kelmomas demonstrates that quite clearly in the final palace scene of TGO, to the dismay of the Narindar.

Finally, some more food for thought: In rereading the final chapter involving the Survivor, it seems that his "senseless" suicide is actually his embracement of the Darkness that comes before. His leap into the abyss is a freely chosen act which he does for reasons not known to him. It is a rejection of the Logos and of Dûnyain philosophy.
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 11:29:54 am »
[
Finally, some more food for thought: In rereading the final chapter involving the Survivor, it seems that his "senseless" suicide is actually his embracement of the Darkness that comes before. His leap into the abyss is a freely chosen act which he does for reasons not known to him. It is a rejection of the Logos and of Dûnyain philosophy.

If Koringhus's death was senseless, then what was even the point of showing us him deducing the Zero-God? There is a case, and made by many that Koringhus sees the JE and figures out what really matters. After all, Bakker says Serwe is a sort of cipher for the series, and what Koringhus says is holy is a exact description of her. I would say that is the most important chapter so far in the whole series, as far as showing us the metaphysics of Earwa.

ETA: also, the reason is known to him. He sees that after Mimara forgives him and he understands the JE, the JE  approves of him and he commits suicide because he is free of damnation.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 12:23:09 pm by MSJ »
“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,

Wilshire

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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 01:27:27 pm »
I feel like people see walls of text and then just ignore them. Sigh, I try.

This is all a very interesting discussion. But, doesn't Koringgus basically show us that the Absolute is false?

Yes and no. He says largely what Kellhus said way back in WP. That the principle of before and after is still true, but with some modifications.

The world can't be entirely deterministic because the Gods don't see everything, don't know everything.

On Kelmomas:
We know that Kelmomas was outside the sight of Yatwer and Kellhus in that moment. We don't know if he was a narindar. Maybe he was just some soulless quasi-dunyain-sranc freak that the gods couldn't perceive due to the whole 'intellects without a soul' thing.

If Koringhus's death was senseless, then what was even the point of showing us him deducing the Zero-God?
Depends how you define senseless. It served a plot purpose, thats for sure, and gave us the idea, or the foundation of an idea, of the Zero-God - whatever the hell that is. His suicide doesn't need to have meaning though - he could have been wrong just like all the other Dunyain we've seen. Fallible like the rest.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 01:52:29 pm »
I feel like people see walls of text and then just ignore them. Sigh, I try.

Cheer up, Wilshire. It could be worse. You could be nailed to a wall of text by a particularly argumentative Mekeretrig as was poor Seswatha in the bad old days.
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 01:53:47 pm »
I feel like people see walls of text and then just ignore them. Sigh, I try.

I know the feeling.

This is all a very interesting discussion. But, doesn't Koringgus basically show us that the Absolute is false?

Yes and no. He says largely what Kellhus said way back in WP. That the principle of before and after is still true, but with some modifications.

The world can't be entirely deterministic because the Gods don't see everything, don't know everything.

On Kelmomas:
We know that Kelmomas was outside the sight of Yatwer and Kellhus in that moment. We don't know if he was a narindar. Maybe he was just some soulless quasi-dunyain-sranc freak that the gods couldn't perceive due to the whole 'intellects without a soul' thing.

Locke gave a pretty convincing argument that signs certainly do point to little Kel as being a narindar of Ajolki.  Or at least so the text seems to strongly imply.

If Koringhus's death was senseless, then what was even the point of showing us him deducing the Zero-God?
Depends how you define senseless. It served a plot purpose, thats for sure, and gave us the idea, or the foundation of an idea, of the Zero-God - whatever the hell that is. His suicide doesn't need to have meaning though - he could have been wrong just like all the other Dunyain we've seen. Fallible like the rest.

I think the further point is that Mimara, via the Eye, is the real Shortest Path.  One that Kellhus may end up taking.
“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

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 02:11:13 pm »
[
Finally, some more food for thought: In rereading the final chapter involving the Survivor, it seems that his "senseless" suicide is actually his embracement of the Darkness that comes before. His leap into the abyss is a freely chosen act which he does for reasons not known to him. It is a rejection of the Logos and of Dûnyain philosophy.

If Koringhus's death was senseless, then what was even the point of showing us him deducing the Zero-God? There is a case, and made by many that Koringhus sees the JE and figures out what really matters. After all, Bakker says Serwe is a sort of cipher for the series, and what Koringhus says is holy is a exact description of her. I would say that is the most important chapter so far in the whole series, as far as showing us the metaphysics of Earwa.

ETA: also, the reason is known to him. He sees that after Mimara forgives him and he understands the JE, the JE  approves of him and he commits suicide because he is free of damnation.

I agree about the importance of this chapter; I reread it often. I put the adjective "senseless" in quotation marks deliberately. And I take your point that Koringhus did have a reason for his leap. For me, the leap is a rejection of Dûnyain philosophy, based on his apprehension of the Judging Eye and its relationship to the Absolute.

If I were to replace the word "senseless" with the term "anti-rational", perhaps my point would be clearer. But I do see the logic of MSJ's view of the leap being reasonable based on Koringhus' apprehension of the Judging Eye.
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2017, 02:20:09 pm »
I agree about the importance of this chapter; I reread it often. I put the adjective "senseless" in quotation marks deliberately. And I take your point that Koringhus did have a reason for his leap. For me, the leap is a rejection of Dûnyain philosophy, based on his apprehension of the Judging Eye and its relationship to the Absolute.

If I were to replace the word "senseless" with the term "anti-rational", perhaps my point would be clearer. But I do see the logic of MSJ's view of the leap being reasonable based on Koringhus' apprehension of the Judging Eye.

Well, the whole thing is framed at how the Logos (i.e. rational logic, meaning based on logic) is flawed though, right?

So, Koringhus embraces the paradox that the rational thing to do in the face of the unrational (the Eye) is an anti-rational action (suicide)?
“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

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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2017, 02:30:04 pm »
Thanks Wilshire, you do try and keep everyone involved and I commend You! :)

I think there is plenty of textual evidence that Kelmommas is the Narindar of Ajokli, though I won't rehash it for the tenth time. It's also possible he isn't, just not what I personally believe. In a world filled with meaning, that beetle meant something.
Q
I think H has the right of it. It might be more important that Mimara is the Shortest Path. I think we learn alot about how Earwa works, and we only learn it through Koringhus.
“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 #14 on: March 30, 2017, 02:34:56 pm »
[
I agree about the importance of this chapter; I reread it often. I put the adjective "senseless" in quotation marks deliberately. And I take your point that Koringhus did have a reason for his leap. For me, the leap is a rejection of Dûnyain philosophy, based on his apprehension of the Judging Eye and its relationship to the Absolute.

If I were to replace the word "senseless" with the term "anti-rational", perhaps my point would be clearer. But I do see the logic of MSJ's view of the leap being reasonable based on Koringhus' apprehension of the Judging Eye.

I see where coming from. It could very well be his rejection of Dunyain principles, I'm quite sure it is. But, he only abandoned those principles when he apprehended the JE. So, I say they go hand in hand.
“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,