Two Questions

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Cuttlefish

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« on: August 06, 2018, 08:49:22 pm »
So, I've a couple of small questions, but lacking the time to read the books all over again, was wondering if anyone else had any answers to them.

1. Just who is it that tells Celmomas, that an Anasurimbor will return at the end of the world?

Pretty simple. Who is it, and how does he/she/it know? I recall him seeing Nau-Cayuti riding with the gods, and I think it was Nau-Cayuti who tells him this, but that makes things even more interesting - because wasn't it established now that Nau-Cayuti became the first incarnation of No-God (or something like that)?

It could just be the mad delusions of a dying man, but I feel like it's been a too significant plot point so far to just be that.

2. What is the purpose of the Dunyain?

Now, we know what they believe their purpose is... or was. But something doesn't add up on the way that they are.

This monastic order is blissfully isolated, only very rarely sending out their people outside to scout it out. It appears that they have no intention of ever abandoning their isolation for good and going out in the world (woe upon the world, if that ever happened) - and yet, for an order of people who've so obsessively bred out mimics and emotions, at least on the surfance level, they're also quite keen on researching the mimics of men.

I'm raising this point, because it factors into a theory of mine - the Shortest Path, manifestly proven false by the current point of the series, was never meant to lead the Dunyain to the Absolute, but to produce someone like Kellhus who could possess the World (though he appears to fallen short - but we'll see if the old fox has any schemes going on still!). Who could've devised this grand plan? It could've been Kellhus himself, when he finally reaches a point of existence where he is no longer a man (dare I say, a God), seeding the Shortest Path into the world to close the loop of his creation - hell it could even be that way with Celmomas's prophecy. It could alternatively be Seswatha, though I don't know if he is really the type; when you think about it, the Mandate's purpose has been to master the metaphysical aspect of the world, and the Dunyain's purpose has been to master the physical aspect; and the perfect union of these disciplines is Kellhus.


SmilerLoki

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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 09:22:15 pm »
1. Just who is it that tells Celmomas, that an Anasurimbor will return at the end of the world?
We don't know. In fact, it's so unclear, that it seems counterproductive to even formulate theories at this moment in time, since without enough information they turn into speculation instantly.

I'm raising this point, because it factors into a theory of mine - the Shortest Path, manifestly proven false by the current point of the series, was never meant to lead the Dunyain to the Absolute
I should note that I consider this angle very important for the purpose of illustrating underlying themes of the series.

Additionally, the fact that the Shortest Path might be false isn't necessarily relevant. It was followed like it was true, and it created a way of thinking that's embodied in the Dunyain. In other words, the definition of Absolute - which isn't given in the series - might be irrelevant (let's say, using your theory, that God-Kellhus is the Absolute), only the path that leads to it is important.

H

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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2018, 02:28:10 pm »
1. Just who is it that tells Celmomas, that an Anasurimbor will return at the end of the world?

Well, if the Dream in TGO Chapter 8 is to be believed, it's Gilgaöl, manifested as Kellhus.  Or Kellhus manifest as Gilgaöl.

It's a much more complex question though of what the hell that means if it's true.  If it's false, well, that's simple.  So, if we want to explore the idea, we need to take on faith that it's the genuine nature of the revelation.  In that case, it's either a clue into the "leaky" nature of the Dreams, or a purview of the atemporal nature of the Outside as pleroma.

2. What is the purpose of the Dunyain?

This one is a lot more tricky.  I think I'll have to take a crack at it when I have a bit more time.

I don't know that it is clear or not that the ideal wasn't the natural extension of the same sort of ideas that spawned the Consult 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

Wilshire

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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2018, 03:37:26 pm »
1) In TUC, the dream is for the first time shown from Clemomas' perspective. Its the first time we actually see the god, and its supposed to be Ajokli. The god shows Celmomas Kellhus when saying 'one of your seed will return at the end of the world'.

Up until this point, we have been led to believe throughout the series that Clemomas was probably seeing Gilgaol. Given the way the scene is presented, and the eventual conclusion of the novel, its pretty clear to me that the purpose of this scene is to show the reader they have been mislead - that it was never Gilgaol, but in fact Ajokli, which lets us know that Ajokli was been planning the second apocalypse for at least this long.

2) Hmmm, Dunyain. Really difficult to say. I think their purpose from their perspective is exactly as stated. To become self moving souls.

An ongoing theory has been that perhaps there was a upper tier of in-the-know dunyain carefully directing the others to accomplish some other goal. Something like that, or maybe they simply forgot (they used to just be men) that they were set up to be some kind of future saving device.

Either way, its long been speculated that either the Nonmen, Seswatha, or both, (or the consult themselves?) were behind the cult in some way, as converging philosophies and usefulness seem unlikely to have manifested independently. Kellhus was the perfect tool for the Mandate (Seswatha) to save the world, Kelmomas obviously the perfect tool for the Consult's No0God, Kellhus also the perfect tool for Ajokli to end the world, the Thousandfold Thought suspiciously useful to Seswatha and Ajokli, and somewhat tangentially but still relevent Serwa seems like an adequate vessel to breed half-breed Nonmen, and the Whale Mothers seemed to be a potential substitution for the failed Arc though that didn't quite work out.

Altogether they could have been some rogue experiment from any of those groups and then forgotten about. Or maybe they are largely just a narrative tool by Bakker to point out something about crash space? Some kind of parable about all roads leading to the same place, regardless of where they started philosophically or otherwise. The Dunyain basically the human equivalent of Golgotterath (which itself turned out to be human anyway).

No idea :P .
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Cuttlefish

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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2018, 06:47:03 pm »
Additionally, the fact that the Shortest Path might be false isn't necessarily relevant. It was followed like it was true, and it created a way of thinking that's embodied in the Dunyain. In other words, the definition of Absolute - which isn't given in the series - might be irrelevant (let's say, using your theory, that God-Kellhus is the Absolute), only the path that leads to it is important.

That's precisely what I suspect, though. The teachings of the Shortest Path created individuals that are ideally suited to taking over the world, but it was built on a lot of falsehoods; falsehoods that the first Dunyain themselves knew to be fact. As followed in its pure form, it'd lead to a dead end.

That's, I think, what makes Moenghus one of the more interesting characters of the series. Unlike the Mutiliated, the Survivor and Kellhus, contact with the outside world hasn't really seemed to shift his dedication to the Shortest Path, even with the knowledge that the purely physical understanding of the world the Dunyain espoused was quite obviously wrong. It might be purely my own conjecture, but I thought what motivated him to save the world was to allow for the Dunyain experiment to continue.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2018, 01:22:22 am »
That's precisely what I suspect, though. The teachings of the Shortest Path created individuals that are ideally suited to taking over the world, but it was built on a lot of falsehoods; falsehoods that the first Dunyain themselves knew to be fact. As followed in its pure form, it'd lead to a dead end.
I believe you misunderstood me. I most certainly do not think that the first Dunyain possessed that kind of foresight, since there is no reason for them to. They were just Men, nothing more. And the path of the Dunyain was further developed by subsequent generations, what was done initially, when the first monks severed their ties with the world, is just the first iteration. This is what i mean by saying that only the path itself is important. It's intellect developed through intellect, without any kind of knowledge what would such an experiment eventually produce.

And then the series itself shows us the results. Whatever those might actually be, since they are pretty much open to interpretation. In my opinion, that was the point.