Kellhus & Seswatha

  • 30 Replies
  • 10311 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« on: April 25, 2013, 06:16:27 pm »
Quote from: Madness
"I must speak with him," Kellhus said.

Achamian gaped at the man, incredulous. "With Seswatha? I don't understand."

Kellhus reached to his belt and drew one of his daggers: the Eumarnan one, with a black pearl handle and a long thin blade, like those Achamian's father had used for deboning fish. For a panicked instant, Achamian thought that Kellhus meant to debone him, to cut Seswatha from his skin, perhaps the way physician-priests sometimes cut living infants from dying mothers. Instead he merely twirled the pommel across the table of his palm, hold it balance so that the Seleukaran steel flashed in the light of their firepot.

"Watch the play of light," he said. "Watch only the light."

With a shrug, Achamian gazed at the weapon, found himself captivated by the multiple ghosts that formed about the spinning blade's axis. He had a sense of watching silver through dancing water, then...

What followed defeated description. There was a peculiar impression of elongation, as though his eyes had been drawn across open space into airy corners. He could remember his head falling back, and the sense that, even though he still owned his bones, his muscles belong to someone else, so that it seemed he was restrained by the force of another in a manner more profound than chains or even inhumation. He could remember speaking, but could recollect nothing of what he said. It was as though his memory of the exchange had been affixed to the edges of his periphery, where it remained no matter how quickly snapped his head. Always just on the threshold of the perceptible....

Unknown permissions" (TTT, p177-78).

Curethan inspired some thoughts - I thought this warranted its own thread.

I used to think this was strictly a fictionalized version of mythological hypnotism. Now I wonder at the knife, black pearl (dead sorcerer - Cishaurim and otherwise - motif), Seleukaran steel (best metal in Earwa after Dunyain steel and Nonmen Nimil), and the Outside. Do Cishaurim make sorcerous artifacts as other sorceries can?

So...

Wha' happened?

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 06:16:36 pm »
Quote from: Camlost
What would they be using hypnotism for back in Ishual?

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 06:16:44 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Well the Seswatha barrier must be some kind of magical lock. It has little to nothing to do with the physical flesh, or torture would work. So that leaves us with mind and soul.... Don't know where that thought train goes.

Kellhus knew about magic, to some extent, but he couldn't actually wield it. If the barrier was magical in nature then some kind of magic must have been used to break it. What kinds of magic do we know about that don't leave marks, or don't require the wielder to actually "do" any of the magic? Cish stuff and artifacts. Seems possible that the blade could have been something to do with one or the other or both.


Random though: Did Moe know about the Mandate dreams, and did he expect Kellhus to be able to get the gnosis or did he expect him to show up with the anagogic?

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 06:17:12 pm »
Quote from: Camlost
Quote
What kinds of magic do we know about that don't leave marks, or don't require the wielder to actually "do" any of the magic? Cish stuff and artifacts. Seems possible that the blade could have been something to do with one or the other or both.
This only stands out to me because I just got back my copies of PoN and couldn't help but read some, Kellhus also hypnotizes Leweth in his cabin (page 20 of the Canadian edition of TDTCB), providing another example of mining a character for information. Not sure if that makes something significant of the instances of hypnotism, but it does lead me to believe that the blade probably has little to do with the actual hypnotizing. Although, in the case of Leweth of there is no sorcery to be circumvented, so then again the blade may be significant.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 06:17:20 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Random answer:

I suspect the Mandate Dreams are a prevalently known quirk - there are various cultural jabs by epigrams and characters within the books. I also except that the Gnosis, from Achamian was not included in the "only path" from Ishual when Moenghus was contemplating the Thousandfold Thought. However, an Anagogic school was likely always of the plan.

To your response entire, Wilshire, even before there were extensive metaphysics to consider, Seswatha's Dreams always made sense to me.

Mundane dreams inscribe themselves, in a sense, on our brains. In the most extreme arguments, right down to meaningful encoding of memories or trial and error environmental situations, which later determine our physical response to survival, in some cases.

Now I compare Seswatha's Dreams to night terrors; this only being of various sleep disorders but one that fits the descriptive cues. I think, Bakker appropriated ideas like this - especially in the context that, for whatever undone research, dreams of trauma are the ones recalled in more vivid detail.

So - if the physical torture in your nightmares is far worse, more and less real, than anything concocted in mundane life, then why would you fear mortal torture?

The issue for me is Seswatha's homonculous. It seems Achamian experience's Seswatha as an overriding persona, something you might find, in the (again, mythical) multiple personality disorder - mythic in contrast between the narrative that's been popularized by culture and the actual disorder. Achamian internalizes Seswatha's tolerance of mortal torture as something outside himself in TWP.

However, obviously, the nature of the discussion changes significantly if we're to discard all mundane reasoning at this point - which seems unlikely.

Its about equally likely that Seswatha exists as an individual agent, somehow.

Camlost, this as confused me for awhile.

The "play of light" shtick is so overtly a reference to hypnotism to me. The Whelming always seemed like something different than what Kellhus does to Achamian above. The Whelming is also what I think Kellhus does to Leweth, based on the corroborations when he affects Serwe in TWP.

The Mass-Whelmings are never really described - excepting social-flagration.

Specifically, Kellhus draws the others into matched breathing rhythms as a staple of the Whelming - Is the knife a ruse? A way to obscure a simple meditative trick?

Who does Kellhus talk to?

As to your first question last, Camlost, I'm not sure why the Whelming would even be developed. Unless part of a Dunyain's training involves killing each other off in the Labyrinth and surviving a Battle Royale style education ;)?

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2013, 06:17:33 pm »
Quote from: Callan S.
Sethwatha homonculous controls the knowledge - Akka doesn't actually know the gnosis at all, in a way. And when it come to the torture, the homonculous simply does not allow the information out. Even when Akka tried to teach Kellhus, he could not speak. Information clamped. Cue yet more 'you think you're in charge of yourself?' references.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2013, 06:17:40 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
I would say that some sort of whelming went on, the blade was just a trick. But why bother? Couldn't have saved more than a few seconds of time, Akka still loved him and, regardless, he is prone to falling into traps. Whelming has already been brought up and given a name at this point, so its not the the reader is being fooled here... Well obviously we are but maybe that wasn't the point.

Kellhus probably didn't have some awesome artifact that no one knew about, at least not until the end of TTT, so the magical/artifact that seems a bit unlikely IMO. Where would he have found a witch that could teach him how to circumvent wards without magic or some other kind of no-magic trickery.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2013, 06:17:50 pm »
Quote from: Madness
So you concede something other, Wilshire? Camlost's initial question seems immediately pertinent then, neh?

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2013, 06:17:57 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
point conceded -tips hat-

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2013, 06:19:00 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Lol, damn.

New thoughts must surely come...

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 4889
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2013, 12:28:01 pm »
Welcome, yullback, to The Second Apocalypse.

The issue with this is that, apparently, his experience of torture is something we are lead to believe that all Mandati feel. Like Achamian mentions, the reason there is only one school with the gnosis is because this Seswatha persona has not let them give it up. I think it unlikely that all of the Mandate are skitzofrantic/multiple-personality, and that they all have the same alter ego. Too much of a coincidence.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 4928
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 10:51:32 pm »
Welcome to the Second Apocalypse, yullback.

We've had versions of this discussion elsewhere. My burning questions then change subtly. For instance, is Seswatha still an intact entity somehow? lockesnow, I believe, suggested that Seswatha used the Heart and the Dreams to achieve something resembling Shauriatas' immortality from TUC Ch. 1 Excerpt. If Seswatha still exists as his own agent, how much volition and agency does he have?
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer

Triskele

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Kijneta
  • *****
  • Condouchioned
  • Posts: 196
    • View Profile
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2013, 10:12:07 pm »
I'm still confused on what to make of this scene.


I do think it's pretty clear that Kellhus just used some kind of trick to hypnotize Akka, but to what end?  Is it so that he can convince Seswatha to allow Akka to teach Kellhus the Gnosis?  That seems like perhaps what we're supposed to think, but despite how difficult it is to ply Mandati, we don't need to believe that Kellhus speaking to Seswatha was necessary.  Nautzera is willing to let Akka teach Kellhus the Gnosis. 

Another thing I wonder about...

It's been posited that Kellhus has been guiding Akka's mission in the Aspect-Emperor books.  I don't think we know this 100%, but it's been thrown out there.  Could this "conversation" between Kellhus and Seswatha have provided Kellhus some means of manipulating the dreams?   

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 4928
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2013, 02:40:50 am »
I don't think we know enough to guess, Trisk.

But...

Is it so that he can convince Seswatha to allow Akka to teach Kellhus the Gnosis?

This seems to be key. Nautzera suggests Achamian can deceive Kellhus but ultimately, it seems, that a Mandate can only speak sorcery to another Mandate who has grasped the Heart.

EDIT: But then it begs my above questions.
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 4889
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2013, 02:46:36 am »
If he does have agency, then Seswatha wanted to give Kellhus the gnosis after their chat. Wouldn't be hard to convince him that he was the only one capable to destroying his dread foe.
One of the other conditions of possibility.