In the light of added knowledge, a few thoughts

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Athorn "FB" Gallizur

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« Reply #75 on: April 11, 2017, 03:20:54 am »
I'd also point out that, as of yet, we haven't seen Mimara observe anything really potentially "challenging" to the status quo other than I guess the Dunyain, sort of. Furthermore, "holiness" may only be linked with objective morality within Earwa -- I mean, that's obviously true, but I'm suggesting it is perhaps the case to an extent greater than what one would assume at first blush. For example, what is it about about pigs that make them LITERALLY less holy, in a by-the-book-definition of "holiness", than snakes? Sure, pigs are gross for rolling around in the filth...but then snakes spend their lives crawling across the ground in filth, so I don't think the reasons are that straight forward or easy.

Pigs are, however, known for their intelligence, and I'm beginning to believe that "intelligence" (very broadly speaking, as in a sort of gradient scale of sentience) may be one of the indicators for holiness in Earwa. The more ignorant you are, the more you are "at one with the world", or God. Sentience itself is a divergence, since to be sentient in Earwa is seemingly the same as being "ensouled" or close to it. So mere Being for a sentient creature is a form of unholiness.

Which would make something like the Sranc about as holy as a living thing can get.

Wilshire

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« Reply #76 on: April 11, 2017, 01:56:48 pm »
That idea falls into the same trap that we discussed earlier.

Mimara is, apparently, holy. If anything, she is the most knowledgeable person in the Three Seas - she can actually see the morality of the world. She also had a pretty good education for a few years at the Palace, and would have been privy to a lot more mundane knowledge than most people.

One of the other conditions of possibility.

Athorn "FB" Gallizur

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« Reply #77 on: April 30, 2017, 04:53:14 am »
That idea falls into the same trap that we discussed earlier.

Mimara is, apparently, holy. If anything, she is the most knowledgeable person in the Three Seas - she can actually see the morality of the world. She also had a pretty good education for a few years at the Palace, and would have been privy to a lot more mundane knowledge than most people.

This is sort of my point (which I didn't make very clear and in fact am not sure how to do so), but using the word "intelligence" or even "sentience" as I did is off the mark. A better word, perhaps, is "ignorance".

As you said, Mimara is not unintelligent, and by all means at this stage she appears to be quite comfortably the most powerful individual in all of Earwa, with the possible exception of Kellhus. Even Cnaiur is cowed by her, not to mention Koringhus.

My point is, where does Mimara's "knowledge" come from? Is it really capital-K knowledge, or is it intuition? From the very beginning of TJE and throughout TAE, Mimara's actions are frequently described as being motivated by whim, or instinct, or whatever. She has plenty of self-reflection, but there are things that Mimara just sort of knows, like that "Soma was not a man".

If you put Kellhus on one end of this spectrum, and Mimara on the opposite, it sort of makes my idea (true or not) more clear. Kellhus relies on nothing but knowledge, cold hard facts, laws, etc. in order to do what he does. Mimara goes on gut instinct. Just like how the Dunyain "reached for infinity and the sranc reached for zero", Mimara and Kellhus too sit on opposing ends of this spectrum (though it's murky, since Kellhus seems slid closer to the middle post-Umiaki, and obviously Mimara isn't as mindless as a sranc, for as I mentioned she does plenty of self-reflection and is blatantly an intelligent person).

I don't think this dichotomy between Mimara and Kellhus is a coincidence. One is male, the other female. One is light in color, the other dark. And of course, only Kellhus and Mimara are seen with Halos, except while just about everyone can see Kellhus's haloes (golden like the sun), only Mimara has seen her own (silver like the moon).

Though Koringhus does glimpse the "black ring" of the Judging Eye, and I'm not sure if this is the same as the silver halo Mimara sees herself with (I lean toward them being separate phenomena -- the black ring I think belongs to her baby rather than herself, but who knows).

TL;DR - There is a kind of spectrum to the metaphysics of Earwa, with The Darkness (That Comes Before) on one end, and the Light (That Blinds) on the other. Kellhus, represents the Light, Mimara the Dark.

As to "which side is right"...I don't think we'll get a conclusive answer to this since both ends seem to have benefits and downsides. I think going too far into either extreme is likely to be problematic. The Boy-Survivor, son of Koringhus, strikes me as being a vaguely Buddha-like "middle-path" scenario. Having seen both extremes (Dunyain & Sranc), he knows that both end in death and destruction. 

« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 09:22:53 pm by FB »

Walter

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« Reply #78 on: May 01, 2017, 02:44:34 pm »
In terms of damnation, stuff we know:

Saubon was damned after all, despite being the most fervent of the Zaodunyani.
The Captain, another pious Zaodunyani was also damned when Mimara looked at him with the Judging Eye.

So it looks like Kellhus-ism, or whatever we want to call the belief system that Saubon and Lord Kosoter shared, does not guide you to salvation.

Similarly, Mimara's Gaze has confirmed that the Dunyain's blasphemous quest to usurp the Absolute has rendered them utterly damned.

 The other 3 belief systems that might save (which Mimara hasn't confirmed as doomed) one seem to be:
1: Orthodox Inrithism.  This is basically praising the strongest Ciphrangs and hoping that they protect your soul after you die.  This is what Psatma's talking about when she says that Yatwer will honor those who Give.

I tend to be skeptical as to this working.  The one chapter opener about the sighs in heaven and the screams in hell being the same strikes me as a condemnation of this view.  I think Yatwer/Gilgaol eat their most fervent worshipers just like the lesser Ciphrangs eat the nonbelievers.

2: Fanimry:  The Fanim worship the sum of the Gods, Kellhus's god-shaped-soul, but rendered Outside rather than Inside.  Placing their faith in this abstract 'Solitary God' rather than any particular Ciphrang.

It doesn't feel like this works either.  Fanim seem like basically immature Dunyain.  Presumably their souls are set upon by the Ciphrangs when they die.

3: Ancestor Worship:  Likaro's people trust their revered ancestors to intercede with the Hundred, thereby preserving their souls.  It feels like in order for that to work their ancestors would have to have some kind of pull on the Outside, but everyone outside seems to be being eaten by Ciphrangs. 

I'm not super enthused about this prospect either.

My take on the best course of action for a native of Earwa is to either:
A: be a fervent Orthodox devotee of one particular God (hope Pstama's right that the Hundred cherish their most fervent supporters)
B: Be an absolute maniac like Cnaiur and become a Ciphrang on death.


profgrape

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« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2017, 03:28:55 pm »
In terms of damnation, stuff we know:

Saubon was damned after all, despite being the most fervent of the Zaodunyani.
The Captain, another pious Zaodunyani was also damned when Mimara looked at him with the Judging Eye.

So it looks like Kellhus-ism, or whatever we want to call the belief system that Saubon and Lord Kosoter shared, does not guide you to salvation.

Similarly, Mimara's Gaze has confirmed that the Dunyain's blasphemous quest to usurp the Absolute has rendered them utterly damned.

 The other 3 belief systems that might save (which Mimara hasn't confirmed as doomed) one seem to be:
1: Orthodox Inrithism.  This is basically praising the strongest Ciphrangs and hoping that they protect your soul after you die.  This is what Psatma's talking about when she says that Yatwer will honor those who Give.

I tend to be skeptical as to this working.  The one chapter opener about the sighs in heaven and the screams in hell being the same strikes me as a condemnation of this view.  I think Yatwer/Gilgaol eat their most fervent worshipers just like the lesser Ciphrangs eat the nonbelievers.

2: Fanimry:  The Fanim worship the sum of the Gods, Kellhus's god-shaped-soul, but rendered Outside rather than Inside.  Placing their faith in this abstract 'Solitary God' rather than any particular Ciphrang.

It doesn't feel like this works either.  Fanim seem like basically immature Dunyain.  Presumably their souls are set upon by the Ciphrangs when they die.

3: Ancestor Worship:  Likaro's people trust their revered ancestors to intercede with the Hundred, thereby preserving their souls.  It feels like in order for that to work their ancestors would have to have some kind of pull on the Outside, but everyone outside seems to be being eaten by Ciphrangs. 

I'm not super enthused about this prospect either.

My take on the best course of action for a native of Earwa is to either:
A: be a fervent Orthodox devotee of one particular God (hope Pstama's right that the Hundred cherish their most fervent supporters)
B: Be an absolute maniac like Cnaiur and become a Ciphrang on death.



I vote for B.  The system is comprised of wolves and sheep.   No matter what the sheep do, they're going to get eaten.  So the best thing is to be a wolf.

Wilshire

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« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2017, 03:50:36 pm »
You left out the Nonmen, who worship oblivion in hopes of avoiding the Gods themselves and thus securing everlasting peace - in the form of not-being-tortured-for-all-eternity.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

profgrape

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« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2017, 03:56:07 pm »
You left out the Nonmen, who worship oblivion in hopes of avoiding the Gods themselves and thus securing everlasting peace - in the form of not-being-tortured-for-all-eternity.
Aurang certainly didn't think much of this approach.  From TFS:

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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.

Wilshire

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« Reply #82 on: May 01, 2017, 06:40:22 pm »
Of course not. If they think/know the IF shows the truth, and they have seen Nonmen in it, there's no reason for them to think that whatever the Nonmen are doing is working.

I'm just pointing out that there's another POV ;) .

There's also the Scylvendi - whatever their beliefs are.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

H

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« Reply #83 on: May 02, 2017, 10:23:07 am »
Of course not. If they think/know the IF shows the truth, and they have seen Nonmen in it, there's no reason for them to think that whatever the Nonmen are doing is working.

Of course Aurang thinks very little of the approach, because it is a chancy thing:

Quote
“But the Hells—we do care for them. The paths to Oblivion are few—as tight as the arrow’s notch, Emilidis would say. Tell me, Son of Harweel, who is to decide when these wretches should hazard damnation?”

Having seen what awaits via the Inverse Fire, I can see why Aurang wants to broker no chance of damnation.
“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