"Kellhus is dead, but not done."

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Francis Buck

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« Reply #120 on: December 20, 2018, 02:32:39 am »
I feel relatively confident that the God-of-Gods and the Cubit/Zero-God are the same thing. The only reason I think there's the level of confusion here is because the most in-depth description of the God-of-Gods we get is from Koringhus, a Dunyain, who very explicitly isn't thinking about/framing the God-of-Gods the way a human would, but rather from the perspective of a Dunyain. I think trying to divy up all these interpretations (God, God-of-Gods, Zero-God, the Cubit) into distinct entities is actually part of the "lesson" of Koringhus, and also hits thematically, on the entire concept of Mimara being a vessel for the God. Kellhus actually seems like an example of this -- he states to Proyas/Akka (can't remember which) that the GoG is merely the "witless sum", while also claiming to the Mutilated that he is an Inverse Prophet -- bringing word of Man from the Temporal to the Eternal. Yet it is Mimara who is ACTUALLY doing this (and indeed this dovetails with her belief that she actually is what Kellhus claims to be). 

This also comes down to how I imagine the Gods/Outside and their utilization of a human vessel in the World. I tend to think that trying to envision the Outside as any kind of "dimension" analogous to something in our world may be a bit "overthinking" it, perhaps. The Outside seems like an amalgamation of a Noosphere and theological ideas of the Pleroma.

Specifically on the Gods and their use of Vessels, this to me seems like RSB's implementation of the ambiguity of the Soul or Consciousness which is prominent throughout the series, but finds itself most apparent when we look at Vessels.

Basically, the "Outside" really is just sort of the "Inside" -- that is, inner space, the Noospheric subjective realm, in contrast to the actual Outer Space (the Void) that is literally outside of Earwa. And so when it comes to Vessels -- Psatma, Cnaiur and Kellhus, Mimara, and in a weird way even Kelmomas -- there is no actual difference between the Soul of a Vessel acting is it would, and the Vessel's "possession" (an imprecise term, according to Oinaral, and I think he's right) by a deity.

In other words, a person doesn't become a Vessel for a God because the God just picked that person. Rather, one becomes a Vessel for a God when the nature of their Soul is in unity with agency from the Outside, including their thoughts and feelings (their Desires, which I suspect is the real spiritual weakness of the Dunyain). All of which, again, are elements of what we could call the Inside, or the Inner Space. So, Kellhus and Cnaiur becomes Vessels for Ajokli because the quality of their Souls coincide with the qualities of Ajokli. Same with Psatma and Yatwer, same with Mimara and the God-of-Gods.

This resolves conundrums like "is Mimara actually granting Absolution, or is the God?" The answer to this (or any other similar scenario -- Kellhus and Cnaiur with Ajokli, for example) is that it's literally both at the same time, because they're actually the same thing.

It also applies even down to the No-God and Kelmomas. The No-God doesn't choose Kelmomas to be its Vessel any more or less than the other Gods "choose" their Vessels. The Gods simply manifest in those Souls which coincide with their own, and vice versa.

Lastly, I think the folks theorizing that Inchoroi Progenitors knew of Damnation/the Outside but simply viewed it in scientific rather than spiritual terms are on the right track. The glossary for TUC supports this pretty well, wherein the Inverse Fire is described as something like a Post-Material Interface Device or something (can't remember the exact wording), but to me -- along with the other stuff people have brought up -- pretty clearly implies that the Inchoroi did not view any of the metaphysical aspects of the Universe in a spiritual manner until they actually got to Earwa, where they directly witnessed the way meaning takes precedence over existence in a more extreme capacity than they previously thought (likely the most immediate indicator being the observation of sorcery as used by the Nonmen).
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 02:51:11 am by Francis Buck »

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« Reply #121 on: December 21, 2018, 02:33:45 pm »
I feel relatively confident that the God-of-Gods and the Cubit/Zero-God are the same thing. The only reason I think there's the level of confusion here is because the most in-depth description of the God-of-Gods we get is from Koringhus, a Dunyain, who very explicitly isn't thinking about/framing the God-of-Gods the way a human would, but rather from the perspective of a Dunyain. I think trying to divy up all these interpretations (God, God-of-Gods, Zero-God, the Cubit) into distinct entities is actually part of the "lesson" of Koringhus, and also hits thematically, on the entire concept of Mimara being a vessel for the God. Kellhus actually seems like an example of this -- he states to Proyas/Akka (can't remember which) that the GoG is merely the "witless sum", while also claiming to the Mutilated that he is an Inverse Prophet -- bringing word of Man from the Temporal to the Eternal. Yet it is Mimara who is ACTUALLY doing this (and indeed this dovetails with her belief that she actually is what Kellhus claims to be). 

Yes, I think I was sort of getting at this in my other thread, about the nature of souls.  That is, the God-of-gods and the Cubit are the same thing, but essentially, from different "perspectives."  Perhaps perspective is not the right word, but the first the comes to mind.  Rather, they might be, what we could call different conceptual ideas of the same thing.  The same goes for Zero in this context.  Being the God-of-gods is the transcendent "thing" from which transcendent things issue forth.  The Cubit is the self-same "nature" being that all transcendent natures are of the nature of the God-of-gods.  Zero is the Unity concept, in mathematical terms, how you calculate infinity by division.

In other words, a person doesn't become a Vessel for a God because the God just picked that person. Rather, one becomes a Vessel for a God when the nature of their Soul is in unity with agency from the Outside, including their thoughts and feelings (their Desires, which I suspect is the real spiritual weakness of the Dunyain). All of which, again, are elements of what we could call the Inside, or the Inner Space. So, Kellhus and Cnaiur becomes Vessels for Ajokli because the quality of their Souls coincide with the qualities of Ajokli. Same with Psatma and Yatwer, same with Mimara and the God-of-Gods.

This resolves conundrums like "is Mimara actually granting Absolution, or is the God?" The answer to this (or any other similar scenario -- Kellhus and Cnaiur with Ajokli, for example) is that it's literally both at the same time, because they're actually the same thing.

Right, this is why I equate Mimara with Christ, in my mind.  Because it's the same sort of dual-nature and I don't think that it could have been done "accidentally" by Bakker.

As for the "spiritual weakness" of the Dunyain, I think it runs even deeper.  Because the problem of the Logos is that is cannot ever approach Zero, because it is running directly in the opposite direction.  How do you "calculate infinity?"  The Logos presents the idea of acquisition, addition.  More knowledge, more power, growing the Self to incorporate more of the world. This is not possible, because the Infinite God is divided Infinitely, so no addition of fractions can practically achieve the whole.  Koringhus, on the other hand, through loss, calculates the Infinite God exactly by division, (The Self)/0.

The rest of the Dunyain can never take this step, because the Logos is patterned directly against loss, especially the loss of the Self, because losing the Self would mean losing the Logos, and a la Decartes' sort of reasoning, that is all there is.  Recall from where the word Logos comes to us, in the real world: "En arkhêi ên ho lógos, kaì ho lógos ên pròs tòn theón, kaì theòs ên ho lógos." (In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.)  So, the Word(s) are the God to the Dunyain.  To lose the intellect, that is The Mind, they would lose themselves and then what?

Koringhus realizes the "sideways step" that is the way out of that trap, that is, Zero, the Unity.
“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 #122 on: December 21, 2018, 03:20:15 pm »
Zero is the Unity concept, in mathematical terms, how you calculate infinity by division.
The problem with this line of thinking is that it is factually incorrect. You don't mathematically or logically (on this level it is the same thing) calculate infinity by dividing by zero.

Division by zero is not infinity, it is undefined. To understand this we should remember that division is defined (axiomatically) as the inverse operation to multiplication. The properties of multiplication include multiplying by zero, which always equals zero whatever the other factor is. So, when we try to divide by zero, we simply cannot do this for any other number than zero, because multiplication by zero always produces zero and division is the inverse operation to multiplication by definition, which means it cannot be applied in a way that contradicts the properties of multiplication. When we divide zero by zero, the answer is likewise undefined, because any number multiplied by zero produces zero, so we cannot know what the other factor might have been.

This is why the whole Zero thing reads strange to me, and mostly makes me think Bakker just doesn't understand math well enough.

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« Reply #123 on: December 21, 2018, 03:40:44 pm »
This is why the whole Zero thing reads strange to me, and mostly makes me think Bakker just doesn't understand math well enough.

Well, yes, but we are talking about the math of souls, which is like "real world" math, but it isn't actually real math at all.

So, while division by zero in "real math" is not an actual question that division can answer (and so, is undefined), the answer to the metaphysical question of how many Zeros are in One is probably Infinity.
“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 #124 on: December 21, 2018, 03:53:33 pm »
So, while division by zero in "real math" is not an actual question that division can answer (and so, is undefined), the answer to the metaphysical question of how many Zeros are in One is probably Infinity.
Um, no. It's one of the logical ways to understand division by zero, actually. It goes something like this. If you divide something by an extremely large number, you get a very small number. If you divide the same something by a smaller number, you get a bigger result than the one of the first division. If you divide something by one, you get that exact something. If you divide something by a number smaller than one, the result would be bigger than the initial something. The closer the divisor gets to zero, the bigger the quotient will become. It follows, then, that if the divisor is zero, the quotient becomes infinity.

This explanation is absolutely logical, was tried in real math, and discarded because of the contradiction I outlined in my previous post. While logical, it contradicts the definitions of the operations it involves.

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« Reply #125 on: December 21, 2018, 04:01:39 pm »
This explanation is absolutely logical, was tried in real math, and discarded because of the contradiction I outlined in my previous post. While logical, it contradicts the definitions of the operations it involves.

Right, division doesn't include a provision for an "answer" to division by zero.  Again, what we are answering is a metaphysical question, via terms that are somewhat mathematical.  Sure, my use of the word calculate is incorrect, but we are bath saying the same thing in reality.
“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 #126 on: December 21, 2018, 04:05:04 pm »
Right, division doesn't include a provision for an "answer" to division by zero.  Again, what we are answering is a metaphysical question, via terms that are somewhat mathematical.  Sure, my use of the word calculate is incorrect, but we are bath saying the same thing in reality.
Also not really. We still need to define our terms, if we aren't using the established mathematical ones. This is where we should start, then, before making any conclusions. So, when you say "division" and "zero", what exactly do you mean?

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« Reply #127 on: December 21, 2018, 04:25:44 pm »
Also not really. We still need to define our terms, if we aren't using the established mathematical ones. This is where we should start, then, before making any conclusions. So, when you say "division" and "zero", what exactly do you mean?

If a soul and the gods are parts of The God-of-gods, then I "define" them as "divisions" of the God-of-gods.  The "trouble" here, is that metaphysically (and practically) you can't really divide infinity at all.  So, the "parts" of the infinite God are in turn infinite.

What Koringhus is actually presenting is really not division in the strict mathematical sense, but rather, a way to try to understand the "infinite nature" of the transcendental.  "Zero" is the "placeholder" for the idea of Infinite through no differentiation.

So, I guess it could be said that what Koringhus is presenting, would be the metaphysical idea that the Infinite God is comprised of the Infinite parts of It's Infinite nature.  What each part "imagines" though is that they are distinct parts, what Koringhus proposes, is that this is an illusion that Damns.
“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 #128 on: December 21, 2018, 04:35:42 pm »
If a soul and the gods are parts of The God-of-gods, then I "define" them as "divisions" of the God-of-gods.  The "trouble" here, is that metaphysically (and practically) you can't really divide infinity at all.  So, the "parts" of the infinite God are in turn infinite.

What Koringhus is actually presenting is really not division in the strict mathematical sense, but rather, a way to try to understand the "infinite nature" of the transcendental.  "Zero" is the "placeholder" for the idea of Infinite through no differentiation.

So, I guess it could be said that what Koringhus is presenting, would be the metaphysical idea that the Infinite God is comprised of the Infinite parts of It's Infinite nature.  What each part "imagines" though is that they are distinct parts, what Koringhus proposes, is that this is an illusion that Damns.
A concise way to put it, and close to my understanding. But it has just so. Many. Contradictions. First of all, the parts are demonstrably not infinite, at least not in any fashion that we can measure. But if they were, why would they think themselves finite? Why would it be framed as sin, not to mention matter at all? What of the differences between the parts, since Men are clearly not equal to the Gods?

And the main question is, how does infinity create an illusion of finiteness? I'm not at all sure this one can actually be reconciled, since it combines two directly opposing elements into one.

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« Reply #129 on: December 21, 2018, 04:48:06 pm »
A concise way to put it, and close to my understanding. But it has just so. Many. Contradictions. First of all, the parts are demonstrably not infinite, at least not in any fashion that we can measure. But if they were, why would they think themselves finite? Why would it be framed as sin, not to mention matter at all? What of the differences between the parts, since Men are clearly not equal to the Gods?

And the main question is, how does infinity create an illusion of finiteness? I'm not at all sure this one can actually be reconciled, since it combines two directly opposing elements into one.

Well, yes, it's all a paradox.  Even a paradox of paradoxes.  Bakker doesn't set out to resolve them, I don't think, he even adds to them.

We actually don't know the nature of a soul in Eärwa, so we don't know that the parts are finite, really.  See my thread in the General section, for example.  Why do they think themselves finite though?  Well, perspective, I think is the only answer I can come up with.  Limited perspective and the temporal nature of experience.

I think that Sin is just generally what happens when the "soul" cannot rejoin whatever the "natural state" (a near meaningless statement, but there it is) of the Infinite God.  It gets tossed around, used and abused by the other "souls" (gods and ciphrang).

The question of how is an ever bigger Pandora's box of paradox that I'm not sure I can answer at the moment.  I'd think it has to do with the finite nature of the Body, over the infinite nature of the "soul" though.
“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 #130 on: December 21, 2018, 04:52:06 pm »
Well, perspective, I think is the only answer I can come up with.  Limited perspective and the temporal nature of experience.
I don't see this being reconciled with their supposed infinite nature.

It gets tossed around, used and abused by the other "souls" (gods and ciphrang).
Who don't get abused themselves, at least not that we know of, which looks like a contradiction.

I'd think it has to do with the finite nature of the Body, over the infinite nature of the "soul" though.
And again I don't think infinity and finiteness can exist in the same entity.

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« Reply #131 on: December 21, 2018, 05:04:09 pm »
Well, I think that the only real answer to all of that is, "paradox."

This is why, in the other thread (and in some real-life things like Gnosticism) there is the "need" for a three part "solution."  That being, the Body, the Mind and the Spirit.  That helps to resolve some of the tension between parts, but indeed, paradox still abounds.  I don't there is a fully logical way to solve it, honestly.
“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 #132 on: December 21, 2018, 05:37:29 pm »
Well, I think that the only real answer to all of that is, "paradox."

This is why, in the other thread (and in some real-life things like Gnosticism) there is the "need" for a three part "solution."  That being, the Body, the Mind and the Spirit.  That helps to resolve some of the tension between parts, but indeed, paradox still abounds.  I don't there is a fully logical way to solve it, honestly.
Probably not, not fully. But there might by a way of furthering our understanding of those concepts still. As of right now I'm not sure of how it should be formulated, though. It might be that the problems we see are artifacts of our preconceptions about reality.

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« Reply #133 on: December 22, 2018, 12:07:19 am »
"Zero" is the "placeholder" for the idea of Infinite through no differentiation.

So "Zero" more as a place or state than a value. By reaching, learning, becoming more, chasing the infinite, we are distancing ourselves from the Cubit thereby making it more likely we'll be damned ( unable to "find" our way back ).
May your death be soon, slow and painful

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« Reply #134 on: December 22, 2018, 01:35:20 am »
Personally I feel Bakker just thought Zero-God sounded cool.