Chapter 4, second Aörsi chapter, reappraisal of Kellhus and his motives

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Hiro

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« on: June 28, 2017, 02:57:52 pm »
This has been discussed, in parts, elsewhere, yet I think not pulling some of the stuff that I'll cite together, if so, excuse me. Some things I'll note might very well be noted elsewhere as well, again excuse me. As this chapter grabbed me and I wrestle with its meaning, scowling raucously I might add, I would merely like to present my comments and thoughts:

This TGO chapter is the first one that deals so extensively and confusingly with Kellhus own pov, after so many Earwan years and books. All the contradictions might point to his madness.

Kellhus's mystery is put forward in a strong way in this chapter. Complex and intriguing. First we get Kellhus's dream, on page 110 and

page 111:
Quote
And the Holy Aspect-Emperor of the Three Seas stares at the figure, stares at the tree, but cannot move. The firmament cycles like the wheel of an upturned cart.
   The figure seems to perpetually sink for the constellations rising about him. He speaks, but his face cannot be seen.
   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?

A few things struck me. First this figure seems to be the No-God, and seems to forge or confirm a covenant with Kellhus. That Kellhus should assist the No-God in his battle against the God. Also, Kellhus refers to this figure as IT, which he uses later when he discusses the God with Proyas. However, is that not another IT entirely? The God instead of this possible No-God? Where Proyas thinks Kellhus refers to the God, perhaps Kellhus does not think IT is the God? Or are they the same for Kellhus?

Besides, it is possible that the figure takes on the form of Kellhus in order to manipulate him. As Kellhus seems to think that he is able to control everything, or a whole lot. Or it could be a projection of dreaming Kellhus. A confrontation of one part of his self with the other? This last question seems to get a payoff later, when Kellhus discusses hatred of self.

Then, on

page 121:
Quote
All the futures he had raised had been the issue of his toil…
   He suffered visions, certainly, but he had long ceased to trust them.

Apparently, Kellhus himself does not trust the dream that opens this chapter. He distrusts the manipulation of the No-God, if that is who the figure is, it might not be him, if he says so himself here. This is his own perspective, so textually fairly reliable.

Something very odd and notable, on

page 122:
Quote
Kellhus… grasped the decanter at his side to pour the man anpoi.
   "You ask this because you seek reasons," he said, passing the chanv-laced drink to the Believer-King. "You seek reasons because you are incomplete…"

Is Kellhus himself a chanv user, using it as an aid for quite some time? Or here just for Proyas...?

A little further on,

page 123:
Quote
"To be all things, Prosha, the God must be at once greater than itself and less."
   "Less? Less?"
   "Finite. A man. Like Inri Sejenus. Like me… To be all things, It must know ignorance, suffer suffering, fear and confus---"
   "And love?" The Exalt-General fairly cried. "What of love?"
   And for the first time that evening, Anasûrimbor Kellhus was surprised.
   Love was the logic that conserved Life as opposed to Truth… the twine that bounds hosts and nations from the myriad moments of Men.
   "Yes…Most of all."
   Love, far more than reason, was his principle tool.
   "Most of all…" Proyas repeated dully, his voice digging through the sand of torpor, the exhaustion of clinging intellect, staggered heart. "Why?"
   He does not want to know.
   The Place called Anasûrimbor Kellhus snuffed all extraneous considerations, aimed its every articulation at the soul drowning in the air before him.
   "Because of all the passions, nothing is so alien to the God as love."
   There was a head on a pole behind him.

So Kellhus is surprised by the reference to love. That could be an early setup for his return for Esmenet and Momemn. He states that the God does not know love, perhaps it is another argument ágainst the God and pro Consult / No-God? Complicated.

Kellhus uses the Truth as a weapon here, as we have seen the Dunyain do before. The description that follows seems to give a description of the God as the Dunyain-ideal:

page 124:
Quote
"…The infinite is impossible, Proyas, which is why Men are so prone to hide it behind reflections of themselves --- to give the God beards and desires! To call it 'Him'!"
   He raised a gold-haloed hand to his brow, feigning weariness. "No. Terror. Hatred of self. Suffering, ignorance, and confusion. These are the only honest ways to approach the God."
   The Believer-King dropped his face, hitched about a low sob.
   "This place… where you are now, Prosha. This is the revelation. The God is not comfort. The God is not law or love or reason, nor any other instrument of our crippled finitude. The God has no voice, no design, no heart or intellect…"
   The man wept as if coughing.
   "It is it… Unconditioned and absolute."

Besides it is that 'hatred of self' that strikes me, as the proper attitude towards the God. As a comment to our world, but also as referring to the possible No-God that appears before Kellhus as Kellhus, without the haloes.

It is interesting then how Kellhus stirs the importance of doubt, just like Akka did. As for instance on

page 126:
Quote
“My father had anticipated this, had known that the trial of my journey would transform me, that the assassin who had departed Ishuäl would arrive his disciple.”
   Petulant fury. Toddler defiance. “No! This canno—!”
   “But there was something he failed to realize …”
   Swollen indecision. Hope reaching out through anguish and asphyxiation, clutching for the reversal that would return everything to what had been. “What? What?”
   “That my trial would drive me mad.”
Well, does Kellhus really convey the real truth to Proyas? Does Kellhus think that he himself has gone mad? Earlier, on page 121, he did state that his visions are not reliable, so that implies that he is not fully sane. Or does he use this solely to sow deeper doubts in Proyas? Or both?

Then

page 127:
Quote
“But you are my Lord! M-my salvation!”
   “Caraskand … The Circumfix …”
   “No—cease! Stop this! I’m-I’m begging you! Pleas—”
   “I began seeing … phantasms, hearing voices … Something began speaking to me.”
   “Please … I-I …”
   “And in my disorder, I listened … I did what it commanded.”
   Sobs wracked the man, the convulsions of a bereaved child. But these words yanked something through Proyas, as if he had been wound by a windlass and released. The Place relaxed its grip, lowered him back to its lap. The man’s bloodshot eyes fixed him heedless of any shame or fury.
   “I killed my own father,” the Place said.
   “The God! It has to be the God! The God spe—”
   “No, Proyas. Gird yourself. Peer into the horror!”
   I tend the fields …
   A glutinous breath. The squint of a soul attempting to squint away its own misgivings. “You think th-this voice is … is your own?”
   And burn them.
   The Place smiled the negligent smile of those who could have no stake in feuds so minor.
   “The truth of a thing lies in its origins, Proyas. I know not from whence this voice comes.”
   Hope, beaming with a hand-seizing urgency. “Heaven! It comes from Heaven! Can’t you see?”
   The Place gazed down at its most beautiful slave.
   “Then Heaven is not sane.”

Here, is Kellhus truthful that the Voice told him to kill his father? Was that not already his Dunyain-mission? It can coincide, of course. Only, is he claiming here that the Voice ánd the Dunyain are unreliable?

At the same time Kellhus thinks: I tend the fields …plus And burn them. This does imply that he is executing the mission of that No-God / figure from his dream. Or it serves as more evidence of his madness? Who knows?

Afterwards Kellhus rapes Proyas, on one hand to break his faith in him, surely, yet it also reminded me of something else: the Inchoroi. Through this action Kellhus does resemble them even more. And the concern that Moenghus would in the end serve the Consult, is now the concern that Kellhus will serve or help out the Consult.

The love for Esmenet, to save her, does seem to contradict Kellhus's plan, the TTT itself even. The Shortest Path, now with a detour?! What does that mean for his endgame? For or against the No-God. Hard to tell.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 03:03:31 pm by Hiro »
Mystery denotes darkness

MSJ

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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 03:33:28 pm »
Those are great thoughts and post, Hiro. One thing I might add, I don't think the man in the dreams is the No-God. That goes against everything Bakker has said about the No-God. The No-God is a p-zombie and can't even recognize who or what it is. No, I d venture to say we find out exactly who that is in Kellhus's dreams in TUC. And, its the mover of the TT.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 03:38:30 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,

Monkhound

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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 03:56:09 pm »
Ingesting, to be sure, but I'm not entirely sure either: The entity Kellhus speaks to, wars with The God (it's mentioned in one of the Aörsi passages). Yet the Dunyain's "blasphemous" endeavor is to become God (mentioned in the Whale Mothers passage). Both seem contradictory while at the same time standing opposite the Inchoroi approach.
I wouldn't be surprised if there's to be three entities rather than two: God, No-God and Zero-God, the latter being the Dunyain ascension to divinity.
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MSJ

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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 04:31:05 pm »
I wpuldn't be surprised if there's to be three entities rather than two: God, No-God and Zero-God, the latter being the Dunyain ascension to divinity.

Interestingly, when rereading that section that what Koringhus calls the Zero-God is the Judging Eye. Its not a new entity he made up, its the same thing.

ETA: Ergo, he just doesn't know its called the Judging Eye, so gives it the name Zero-God.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 04:38:06 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,

Monkhound

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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 06:35:18 pm »
I'd say that's possible. Any idea how the Absolute ties into this? He clearly demonstrates through the previous chapters that the Dunyain were wrong; But is that about the ingetoetst of the Absolute, or something else?
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Hiro

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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 09:13:40 pm »
Another point about the dream that opens this chapter. Dreams are means of manipulation, so even Kellhus could be manipulated. From the Outside? Through sorcery...?
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 08:51:45 am »
I'd say that's possible. Any idea how the Absolute ties into this? He clearly demonstrates through the previous chapters that the Dunyain were wrong; But is that about the ingetoetst of the Absolute, or something else?

From my last read, I got the impression that the Absolute and the Zero - God are the same thing. The Dunyain were wrong in their definition of the Absolute, which is why they couldn't grasp it, and why they thought this was a fault of the mind and body rather than the target.
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