Eschaton – The Beginning, Middle, and End of Time

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Wilshire

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« on: October 26, 2017, 05:21:10 pm »
I'm going to attempt to explain why the gods think they can see all of time, but are in fact just as deluded as everything else.

Think of eternity.
Imagine that you could represent all of time as the surface of a sphere of infinite size. The eternity-sphere.
Now, imagine the gods have a time-sphere of a certain size. They can hold that sphere in their hand, spin it around, and every point on that surface is a point in time. To them, all of time is the surface of this sphere, and its a static thing, meaning that it isn't growing in their hand. Since the sphere they see isn't growing, they assume they can see all of time - eternity - all at once.
The trouble is, in reality, the real 'real-time sphere' is an expanding thing, and the gods don't see it. So at Eschaton (or whatever time they can see up too), the surface of the real-time sphere, and the surface of the gods time-sphere are the same size. After that, the real-time sphere actually becomes larger - and continues to get larger - than the one that the gods are looking at. At that point, reality, real-time, exists outside of what the gods can see. What they see is really just a static snapshot of time.

It may be helpful, now, to instead think of the gods perception as a sphere that is juuuust slightly larger than the time sphere they are looking at - but they can only see what inside. (Like if you covered a ball in paint, they would be the paint on the surface. Slightly large in surface area, but not much).
Humans, temporal beings that exist only in the present, can only see the the exact time coordinate that they are on. Coordinate x,y,z is the present, and we can't see beyond that. The gods however can see every x,y,z coordinate inside their sphere, and they assume that this is 'all of time'.
But in reality, the real-time sphere that encompasses all of real-time is a growing thing. It expands forever and becomes this eternity-sphere of infinite size. Nothing is outside of it. Once the world shuts - once the real-time sphere becomes larger than the gods - they will no longer be outside of time, but just another mote within the ever expanding timeline of infinity.

Interesting thought - the gods might not notice that reality continues on after them. Before Eschaton, they exist outside real-time, and can see everything that ever happens within. But, since they can only see inside, once real-time encompasses them, they won't be able to tell. I see a couple options here.
They will continue to exist inside the expanding bubble of time, forever thinking themselves masters of reality.
They cease to exist all together
They get stuck on the surface of real-time with the rest of us, existing as we do as temporal being (maybe with a memory that's slightly better than us, but no longer able to see the future as we do).

« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 05:35:07 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Athorn "FB" Gallizur

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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 02:28:31 am »
Cool thread idea, good analysis and description. 

This stuff, combined with the notion of the Gods' lacking a true faculty for reason, makes for some very interesting speculative fictional entities, the likes of which I have not seen this side of fantasy fiction (and really not much of in science fiction for that matter).

One thing that's been nagging me somewhat since we've learned what we have of the Gods and Time in the Outside is the nature of the Ciphrang's POV. We've had these since, what, The Thousandfold Thought? (Ciphrang POV's I mean)

Yet they seem to possess a thinking mind that works linearly -- I believe one even mentions the "millions of years" or whatever that measure its existence. Do Ciphrang fundamentally comprehend the Outside differently? Is it a matter of 'power-levels', as it were? Or does the Ciphrang POV simply change because they're "Inside" while we happen to read them, and then revert back to some timeless frame of mind once they've returned?

And what about, for example, the Arch-Ciphrang (Kakalial?) that manages to "involute" itself inside the Ark? Must the Ark itself also stand beyond -- or at least beside -- the time-sphere?   
« Last Edit: October 27, 2017, 03:33:09 am by Athorn "FB" Gallizur »

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 12:24:16 pm »
I think you bring up something interesting, that the Gods i.e. meaning were destined to die. The No-God is that force, remaking Eternity with every quanta of time. This explains the "at some point, the Inchoroi must win" comment. I still don't know WHY this is the case though.

Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 01:27:50 pm »
I think you bring up something interesting, that the Gods i.e. meaning were destined to die. The No-God is that force, remaking Eternity with every quanta of time. This explains the "at some point, the Inchoroi must win" comment. I still don't know WHY this is the case though.
Something that exists outside the circuit of their vision, ie Kelmomas the the No-God, then necessarily demands that the gods are finite. What the gods see is some kind of illusion of eternity/reality, but it ends at some point. Time exists beyond their vision, but they can't see it.
Kelmomas happens to be the thing inside that timeline that is responsible for ushering the world beyond their vision.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

H

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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 01:00:10 pm »
Something that exists outside the circuit of their vision, ie Kelmomas the the No-God, then necessarily demands that the gods are finite. What the gods see is some kind of illusion of eternity/reality, but it ends at some point. Time exists beyond their vision, but they can't see it.
Kelmomas happens to be the thing inside that timeline that is responsible for ushering the world beyond their vision.

Well, it does stand to reason that the 100 are finite, because they are divisions.  In fact, think about it now, I had thought that the 100 were fractures of the Zero God, but that cannot be.  One cannot divide Infinity into any number of parts.  So, therefor, the 100 are a division of the "Solitary God" (which may, or may not be the same Solitary God that Fane references).  I don't know that it really matters if it's the "same" or not, because even before Bakker's quote on the topic, my hunch was that Fanimry wasn't "true" anyway and that the Solitary God was not manifest.

Not only are the 100 divisions though, but so is everyone else.  Each soul is a shard of the fracture that was the Solitary God.  Just the 100 are bigger pieces, ciphrang smaller and common-folk even smaller.  Unity is what they are actually seeking.

Koringhus might correctly have surmised that the "true" God of Gods is not the Solitary God ("One") but rather the Cubit ("Zero").  Indivisible, infinite, and so, a-temporal.  The 100, since they began at some point, so surely must end.  The Absolute, the nexus of it all, is beyond that.  It existed always, because it is everything.  It's not unity, it simply is all the things.
“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

Madness

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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2017, 03:58:44 pm »
Great post, Wilshire.

I will add some r/fantasy AMA fodder:

Quote from: Bakker
Gods are greater shards of the Shattered God, and Ciphrang the lesser. The greater the Shard, the greater the associated reality, or 'heaven/hell.'

And some old interview fodder:

Quote from: Bakker
I'm more keen on embracing the conventions than breaking them - the twisting seems to happen of its own accord. The biggie, the one that spans The Second Apocalypse in its entirety, is eschatology - no surprise there. What does it mean to live in a world with an objective narrative structure (which is to say, a world with a climax and an end)? And conversely, what does it mean to live in a world that doesn’t? The others, I think, are pretty obvious.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 03:33:17 am by Madness »
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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 01:10:01 am »
So Eschaton seems to be an intrinsic part of the World, that's interesting.

Madness

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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 03:32:44 am »
Yeah, I think I can dig up at least two or three more early quotes on "Eschatology."

Future Madness' responsibility.
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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 04:57:43 am »
Yeah, I think I can dig up at least two or three more early quotes on "Eschatology."

Future Madness' responsibility.
I always just assumed that without the No-God, the World and the Gods would just continue indefinitely, but the fact that Eschaton was fated to happen helps explaining a lot, such as Kellhus comment about the Inchoroi winning and Akka's dream with Gilgaöl.
Now the thing is, in the same passage, Kellhus also says "Our actions, our Great Ordeal , follows a doom outside of doom". Does that mean that the No-God provides a different sort of doom than what would've happened "naturally"?
But then again, it's hard to reconcile non-self-moving agencies (the Inchoroi) managing circumvent Eternity by "will" or cunning. The No-God must've been causally fated to manifest all along.
I'm confused  8)

H

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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 11:55:20 am »
Now the thing is, in the same passage, Kellhus also says "Our actions, our Great Ordeal , follows a doom outside of doom". Does that mean that the No-God provides a different sort of doom than what would've happened "naturally"?

I would imagine so, yes.  Why?  Because if time began, so time must end.  Since the Hundred are not infinite, they have a beginning and so must they have an end.  The question, of course, is what end?

What Kellhus describes, perhaps, is how The Ark is the "unnatural" doom that is thrust on Eärwa.  The "natural" end, perhaps that of the Hundred reunifying, or some such, is probably somewhat out of the question post-Arkfall.
“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

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 08:16:22 pm »
Now the thing is, in the same passage, Kellhus also says "Our actions, our Great Ordeal , follows a doom outside of doom". Does that mean that the No-God provides a different sort of doom than what would've happened "naturally"?

I would imagine so, yes.  Why?  Because if time began, so time must end.  Since the Hundred are not infinite, they have a beginning and so must they have an end.  The question, of course, is what end?

What Kellhus describes, perhaps, is how The Ark is the "unnatural" doom that is thrust on Eärwa.  The "natural" end, perhaps that of the Hundred reunifying, or some such, is probably somewhat out of the question post-Arkfall.
Right, that's also how I would interpret it, although I'm not sure how the Inchoroi managed to create the No-God in this case.

Madness

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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 02:53:31 am »
I'm confused  8)

Yeah, as am I ;). As per his interest, profgrape and I have messaged a lot about Kellhus' comments to Proyas.
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2017, 12:07:49 pm »
Right, that's also how I would interpret it, although I'm not sure how the Inchoroi managed to create the No-God in this case.

I don't think that the Hundred having a "natural" life-span (that is, a beginning and, as such, an end) precludes an engineered end.  This "natural" end is the one logic dictates, but there is no reason to assume it's the one that must be the actual end.  Sort of like how our universe, in it's expenditure of entropy will approach heat-death.  Nothing precludes something else could not end it before then though.

A simpler example is a person's life might "naturally" last, say 70 years, based off genetic factors.  This does not mean that someone can't fashion, say, a bus and run you over to kill you.

I'm confused  8)

Yeah, as am I ;). As per his interest, profgrape and I have messaged a lot about Kellhus' comments to Proyas.

Non-linear, or even more so, semi-linear time is just confusing as all hell, because it fails to logically follow itself.
“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

Madness

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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2017, 04:28:31 pm »
Non-linear, or even more so, semi-linear time is just confusing as all hell, because it fails to logically follow itself.

I can interpret a Block-Universe. Fine. I can interpret as we've attempted to describe, the Gods influencing that Block-Universe from their position Outside and so making all their plays on the Plate simultaneously. I don't get how events inside that Block-Universe might deceive or blind those seeing it from the Outside - that'd be like the features of a map changing in front of your eyes while you plan an attack and you being unaware of that change.

I also get Bakker's recent reveal on the STBYM podcast. I just can't reconcile all these things ;).
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 05:01:50 pm »
I can interpret a Block-Universe. Fine. I can interpret as we've attempted to describe, the Gods influencing that Block-Universe from their position Outside and so making all their plays on the Plate simultaneously. I don't get how events inside that Block-Universe might deceive or blind those seeing it from the Outside - that'd be like the features of a map changing in front of your eyes while you plan an attack and you being unaware of that change.

I also get Bakker's recent reveal on the STBYM podcast. I just can't reconcile all these things ;).
The Gods perceive not the entire world, but a subset of it, as I understand it (or at least it can be formulated this way). Everything else exist outside the context of the Gods, which the No-God, it seems, is specifically designed to be, being somehow able to act in accordance with changing circumstances and at the same time be unaware of itself (to some extent or completely).

I can offer an analogy. We see the world with our eyes, but there exist things our eyes cannot perceive. Like neutrino, for example. That's how the Gods are unable to see something. We, humans, can infer the existence of neutrino from our experiments, but it requires a capacity to reason on the level beyond the Gods. It's probably sentience vs. sapience here.