I have been struggling processing some of the philosophical points of TUC

  • 12 Replies
  • 1212 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Unrepentant Schoolman

  • *
  • Emwama
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
« on: January 14, 2019, 02:23:23 pm »
Hello all,

I am struggling greatly with making the mental abstractions to process the idea of how Tekne is the equivalent of the Logos.

I struggle with why attaining the Absolute leads to damnation ... my initial thought is that reaching the Absolute is essential creating a number divided by 0, an irrational, an impossibility. The Subject and the Object coalescing into one creates the irrational.

Please share your thoughts and understandings ... I have had my brain working on this for a few days but im left feeling thrilled by my inability to resolve this. It's fun to ponder.

MSJ

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Yatwer's Baby Daddy
  • Posts: 2284
  • "You killed the wolf"
    • View Profile
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 02:48:17 pm »
Unrepentant Schoolman, you're coming here seeking answers, when we've never had any. What we do here is make things up, and hope they pan out. Post philosophical musings, and tell each other what we're reading.

Nah, just kidding (slightly). Someone (plenty, actually) is smart enough to wet your appetite.  It just ain't me.
“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,

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 2591
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 02:53:57 pm »
Hello all,

I am struggling greatly with making the mental abstractions to process the idea of how Tekne is the equivalent of the Logos.

I struggle with why attaining the Absolute leads to damnation ... my initial thought is that reaching the Absolute is essential creating a number divided by 0, an irrational, an impossibility. The Subject and the Object coalescing into one creates the irrational.

Please share your thoughts and understandings ... I have had my brain working on this for a few days but im left feeling thrilled by my inability to resolve this. It's fun to ponder.

Well, to sort of "summarize" what I've posted elsewhere here, the issue with the Absolute vis-a-vis Damnation is that it seems to be impossible to achieve the Absolute in actual practice.  That is, the attempt to "know everything" is not possible.  In fact, it isn't even really possible to know almost everything.  And even if it was, you'd still be Damned in Bakker-verse, because you are still placing yourself at "odds" with the infinite God-of-gods.  That is, by attempting to achieve Absolute knowledge, that is infinite knowledge, you place yourself at odd with actually fully integrating with the actual infinite nature of the universe.  In a manner of thinking, you could equate such a pursuit to the "supplanting" of the infinite God-of-gods.  This is likely a key to what Koringhus proposes a system of achiving "the Absolute" via a path of loss.  So, you subvert and disolve yourself, litterally The Self, and take your place as one part (an infinite "part") of the Infinite God-of-gods.

I realize it's a bit of a tome, but I've written at length about this here: http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=2766.0

(If that thread makes any sense, I don't really know.)
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 5721
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 03:10:35 pm »
It seems you might be asking two things, so I'll split them up

how Tekne is the equivalent of the Logos.
I think first of all that this isn't the case. More like, the Logos, or at least the way the Dunyain pursue and use it, is more easily understood as a system for obtaining knowledge, with its end goal being the acquisition of all knowledge and therefore being able to come before events. A state known as The Absolute.

In this sense, it is very much not the Tekne. The Tekne, afaik, is just a fun way of spelling and then shortening a word to make it sound like Fantasy/Sci-fi jargon. Technology shortens to Tech. Tech to Tek. Tek to Tekne. A play on words that basically just means that a bunch of advanced aliens have technology.

Specifically on Earwa its used to describe, mostly, their ability to manipulate flesh - gene-splicing mostly. Think today's China and their CRSPR splicing genes into babies, fast forwarded a billion years into the future.

You might say that the Tekne arises from (or is a product of) the Logos. In real life terms, technology arises from knowledge. But this doesn't make them equivalent.

Why are the Inchoroi damned? Now that's a totally different question.

I struggle with why attaining the Absolute leads to damnation ...

Yes, why. I think as H said, it has something to do with the Gods. They seem a prickly bunch, power hungry, viciously defending and consolidating power, and putting down anything that seeks to disrupt the status quo. So maybe the Aboslute is something that, no matter how obliquely, approximate being a God, and the journey to it might itself make one a God should it ever be achieved. This would make the other Gods unhappy, thus damnation.

That said, does attaining the absolute lead to damnation? As far as we really know (or think we know via Mimara) the Dunyain themselves are all damned collectively, likely due to their complicity in creating the Whale Mothers, and more generally how they live their lives in Ishual. I imagine Yatwer is not too happy about the whole situation, and it could be that reason and nothing else that leads to the Dunyain damnation.

Or something else entirely. ;) .
One of the other conditions of possibility.

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 2591
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2019, 03:26:31 pm »
It seems you might be asking two things, so I'll split them up

how Tekne is the equivalent of the Logos.
I think first of all that this isn't the case. More like, the Logos, or at least the way the Dunyain pursue and use it, is more easily understood as a system for obtaining knowledge, with its end goal being the acquisition of all knowledge and therefore being able to come before events. A state known as The Absolute.

In this sense, it is very much not the Tekne. The Tekne, afaik, is just a fun way of spelling and then shortening a word to make it sound like Fantasy/Sci-fi jargon. Technology shortens to Tech. Tech to Tek. Tek to Tekne. A play on words that basically just means that a bunch of advanced aliens have technology.

Specifically on Earwa its used to describe, mostly, their ability to manipulate flesh - gene-splicing mostly. Think today's China and their CRSPR splicing genes into babies, fast forwarded a billion years into the future.

You might say that the Tekne arises from (or is a product of) the Logos. In real life terms, technology arises from knowledge. But this doesn't make them equivalent.

Why are the Inchoroi damned? Now that's a totally different question.

You raise some good points here, so, I'd like to clarify my above post, if possible.

That is, the Tekne and the Logos are not "the same" in so far as they are both "raised" out of the same idea, that of what we might call "empiricism" or probably broader, "logical knowledge."  In fact, they are both really "Mechanical philosophies" so to speak, that is to say, they treat the world as if it were a machine.  So, there is always a cause, always an effect, and causes generate effects.  You can get result X if you initiate cause Y.  For the Logos, it's about this logical progression.  For the Tekne, its roughly the same, build X to do Y.

The problem is, something like Damnation isn't a machine, because it speaks to something that isn't mechanical.  It's transcendent, in the sense of not being a physical thing.  It's an idea, that is, an ideal.  So, you can make all the machines you want, you can be as logical as you want, but the nature of the universe, meta-physically, doesn't care.  There are rules.  "Arbitrary" rules.

I struggle with why attaining the Absolute leads to damnation ...

Yes, why. I think as H said, it has something to do with the Gods. They seem a prickly bunch, power hungry, viciously defending and consolidating power, and putting down anything that seeks to disrupt the status quo. So maybe the Aboslute is something that, no matter how obliquely, approximate being a God, and the journey to it might itself make one a God should it ever be achieved. This would make the other Gods unhappy, thus damnation.

That said, does attaining the absolute lead to damnation? As far as we really know (or think we know via Mimara) the Dunyain themselves are all damned collectively, likely due to their complicity in creating the Whale Mothers, and more generally how they live their lives in Ishual. I imagine Yatwer is not too happy about the whole situation, and it could be that reason and nothing else that leads to the Dunyain damnation.

Or something else entirely. ;) .

Well, here's the thing, if you could actually achieve the Absolute, that is, knowledge of everything, you probably wouldn't be Damned.  That is, because if you actually had infinite knowledge, you'd actually be the Infinite God-of-gods, and so it would be irrelevant.  The issue is, you can't get to Infinity by addition, in actual practice.  So, you can "assemble" the Infinite God piece by piece.  You can't count to Infinity by ones, or by any other number either, within the timespan of the universe.

You can't achieve the Absolute in actual practice by addition.  The only way to "get there" is likely through Koringhus' method, by subtraction, by taking the perspective of "Zero differentiation" rather than "no differentiation through acquisition of all perspectives."
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

Unrepentant Schoolman

  • *
  • Emwama
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 04:34:25 pm »
I am going to sit and think about what everyone has written.  In the final chapters when Kellhus is conversing with the Disfigured (?) there were several equivalencies made that are the basis of my confusion.  I'll try to tease them out further.

The name Koringhus has appeared ... does anyone have a reference as to where in the texts his name has appeared.

Now I do recall in TUC referring to the No-God as the conjoining of the Subject and Object, the No-God being the Absolute ... I find this interesting and I need to brew on this more.

TaoHorror

  • *
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 1000
  • Blueberry Psūkhe Sorcerer
    • View Profile
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 04:48:11 pm »
The name Koringhus has appeared ... does anyone have a reference as to where in the texts his name has appeared.

He's the "Survivor" in Ishual - he's who Akka and Mimarra meet when they travel there - he takes a nose dive off a cliff after taking some quiri, thinking it brings him into the Absolute.
May your death be soon, slow and painful

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 2591
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 04:49:22 pm »
I am going to sit and think about what everyone has written.  In the final chapters when Kellhus is conversing with the Disfigured (?) there were several equivalencies made that are the basis of my confusion.  I'll try to tease them out further.

Well, just throw in the quotes here, there are plenty of people here that can give you ideas on what it might be talking about.

The name Koringhus has appeared ... does anyone have a reference as to where in the texts his name has appeared.

You might want to reread Chapter 14 of The Great Ordeal.  While Koringhus appears and disappears in a short time in the narrative, I think his role is pretty important to the meta-physics.

In the  thread I linked above, you can see what one could do in extrapolating out what Koringhus "uncovers" in that chapter.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 5721
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 04:56:33 pm »
The name Koringhus has appeared ... does anyone have a reference as to where in the texts his name has appeared.

He's the "Survivor" in Ishual - he's who Akka and Mimarra meet when they travel there - he takes a nose dive off a cliff after taking some quiri, thinking it brings him into the Absolute.

He is also Kellhus's son. But specifically, he's the adult Dunyain that Mimara and Akka find in Ishual. There's also the child, but he was never named in the text.

Like H said, chapter 14 in The Great Ordeal. If you're wrapping your head around Earwa Metaphysics, this chapter (and Koringhus) leaves us with very interesting insights.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

SmilerLoki

  • *
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
    • View Profile
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 07:18:39 pm »
Please share your thoughts and understandings ... I have had my brain working on this for a few days but im left feeling thrilled by my inability to resolve this. It's fun to ponder.
I wanted to start my post with this quote:
Quote from: R. Scott Bakker
There's no real world sense to be made of this: the Absolute, the unconditioned condition, is chimerical, a kind of cognitive perpetual motion machine. So fictionally speaking, the question is what kind of plausibility tales can you cook up. The Mutilated go pure objectivity, sapience absent sentience, while Kellhus goes pure subjectivity, sentience absent sapience. Press in either direction, and you trip into conceptual crash space, which is why all philosophical investigation of the theme remains mired in endless disputation.
http://www.second-apocalypse.com/index.php?topic=2278.msg36429#msg36429

"Cū'jara-Cinmoi" is R. Scott Bakker's nickname on this forum.

So, in terms of our world, what Bakker calls the Absolute has no meaning, it's purely a fictional device.

In our world we have a lot of competing worldviews that aren't initially built to be reconciled with each other. On the contrary, they're built to be self-sufficient and all-explanatory. In many ways, all of them are Mechanical Philosophies since they presuppose the existence of one consistent set of rules for the universe. This approach is very effective for getting actual pragmatic results (just look at what science brought us), so the holes of those worldviews are only coming into light when the amount of pragmatic implementations associated with them starts to dwindle.

The worldviews I'm talking about are materialism (including its subcategories like quantum mechanics or "the world is a machine" postulate, which is also referred as predeterminism, like in discussions about possible meanings of Bell's theorem), indeterminism, idealism, and more exotic theories like eternal return (both version, philosophical and Eliade's). This list is by no means exhaustive. What matters for the purposes of your question, though, is the fact that we don't know which of those worldviews are correct - if any - and to what extent. In this sense our reality is undetermined or multiple-choice. We can choose a frame of reference to view it, and then discard it for the sake of another. But nothing is set in stone (yet), however strong are people's beliefs. In addition, many of the current worldviews (even seemingly contradictory ones) very much can be reconciled, though the value of such reconciliations remains undetermined.

In the universe of TSA (I'll call it "Earwa" from this point on for brevity) everything is different. Bakker constructed Earwa to be a universe of concepts, close to idealism, but not in the mainstream sense. His construct is more arbitrary, exploring philosophical and religious questions he's interested in (like the existence of afterlife, the all-encompassing importance of meaning, the nature of consciousness torn between material and idealistic - the Inside and Outside, - etc.). In this sense all of those concepts objectively exist in Earwa, like the Gods, the Outside, and sorcery.

I think all of this is closely related to your question, since the No-God is one such "absolutized" concept. There is an inherent dichotomy of objective and subjective (or Subject and Object) in Earwa. Essentially, the world is a kind of reconciliation between what is and what's perceived. This reconciliation is fixed in the form of the world of the series we've read. The No-God is supposed to change that, to "shut the world", in essence creating a different reconciliation of Subject and Object. For this purpose, the function of the No-God is an absolutized, world-encompassing concept that's achieved via Tekne (and the means pretty much can be irrelevant here, it's quite unclear). This is what, in my opinion, the Mutilated are talking about when they say that the No-God is the Absolute. Its function is to create a new world when the division of Subject and Object is equal to what the No-God has, which makes it a first self-moving soul. Since this is the goal of the Dunyain, they see it as the Absolute, which is the term they're using for said goal.

Now, whether the No-God works the way the Mutilated think or does something else entirely is a completely different question. I'm of the mind that there is not enough information to make educated guesses, so I don't.

In conclusion, welcome to the Second Apocalypse, Unrepentant Schoolman, and I hope we can if not answer your questions, then at least entertain you!
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 07:33:26 pm by SmilerLoki »

Unrepentant Schoolman

  • *
  • Emwama
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 07:31:50 pm »
Thank you for the welcome!  I am enjoying everyone's input. 

Philosophy and concepts like this are ones that never really entered my sphere of thought.  Being a hard science student I rarely ventured into this realm but have always been a tad bit curious.  When I started reading Bakker and these concepts started arising I was drawn in. 

The philosophy of Object versus Subject is something I wasn't explicitly exposed to until reading Bakker and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Thank you for the refresher of who Koringhus was ... there was a long gap between the readings of the Great Ordeal and Unholy Consult.

One thing I realize is reading these books before bed isn't the best way to enjoy them.  One needs to have his brain functioning fully and not be sleep addled.

It is time reread them.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 07:35:10 pm by Unrepentant Schoolman »

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 5721
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 07:47:23 pm »
It is time reread them.

Have you done a re-read at all yet?
I'd have to say, my second read through the series (ie my first re-read, which was right after WLW) was my favorite. The world really open up after you've wrapped your head around the basic names/places/events.

Also, for what its worth, I don't think most people who have come and gone from this forum (and if that's any indication then the larger readership that Bakker has) had a much/any exposure to philosophy. Bakker explores the stuff via fantasy/scifi in a way that I haven't seen elsewhere.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Lonnie Slidell

  • *
  • Emwama
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2019, 08:09:56 pm »
Have you spent any time on Scott's Three Pound Brain blog?