The Dialectic of Esmenet

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locke

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« on: April 25, 2013, 09:48:52 pm »
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Throughout her entire life she’d looked upon things and people that stood apart. She was Esmenet, and that was her bowl, the Emperor’s silver, the Shriah’s man, the God’s ground, and so on. She stood here, and those things there. No longer. Everything, it seemed, radiated the warmth of his skin. The ground beneath her bare feet. The mat beneath her buttocks. And for a mad instant, she was certain that if she raised her fingers to her cheek, she would feel the soft curls of a flaxen beard, that if she turned to her left, she would see Esmenet hovering motionless over her rice bowl.

Somehow, everything had become here, and everything here had become him.

Kellhus!

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 7344-7349). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

This occurs just moments after Kellhus scrapes clean the parchment of the Tusk (let's just bracket and ignore that Kellhus thought a few pages earlier that he scraped Serwe's soul clean as though it were parchment and that Serwe's perspective believes she has been supernaturally healed after that event).

This occurs just moments after Esmenet sees Kellhus haloes for the first time (though she doesn't describe them as haloes).

Note that this is the best explanation we have so far for how Kellhus does what he does with Serwe's heart.  What Esmenet experiences here is that she becomes Kellhus for a moment, that they are the same (we're even cued by the text to think of Esmenet's heart, her beating heart is her only connection to her physical body in this moment). 

And in this presentation as Esemenet sees it, we are presented with a dialectic, thesis, "Everything had become here;" antithesis, "and everything here had become him;" synthesis, "Kellhus!"

Or as presented before the author simplified it, "She stood here, and those things there.;" antithesis, "Everything, it seemed, radiated the warmth of his skin;" synthesis, "if she turned to her left, she would see Esmenet hovering motionless over her rice bowl."

Esmenet has her world rocked because the otherness of things is refuted and in accepting the refutation she becomes Kellhus for a moment.

The text continues:

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She breathed in. Her heart battered her breast.

He scraped the passage clean!

In a single exhalation, it seemed, a lifetime of condemnation slipped from her, and she felt shriven, truly shriven. One breath and she was absolved! She experienced a kind of lucidity, as though her thoughts had been cleansed like water strained through bright white cloth. She thought she should cry, but the sunlight was too sharp, the air too clear for weeping.

Everything was so certain.

He scraped the passage clean!

Then she thought of Achamian.

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 7349-7356). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

Note that Achamian seemingly collapses this connection between Esmenet and Kellhus, in a sense it indicates why Kellhus needs Serwe to die rather than Esmenet, because Serwe can maintain the synthesis longer, 'is she strong enough?' and Esmenet's connection is disrupted by her connection to Achamian

Also there's a suggestion here that Esmenet is experiencing Kellhus' thoughts, 'a kind of lucidity, as though her thoughts had been cleansed like water strained through bright white cloth,' and Kellhus is nothing if not "certain."

And note the experience Esmenet goes through in her 'single exhalation.'  She is absolved.  The timeline/dialectic here is, "Kellhus erases"  "Esmenet is absolved" "Kellhus rewrites Esmenet" (I'm taking the archaic root of shriven which is related to 'to write', which is probably an absurd reach by any standard).

I don't think Kellhus realizes what really happens for Esmenet, he thinks she suddenly sees him as a god because he deepened his voice and looked at her with a different expression, but Esmenet sees him as a God because she experiences what it is like to be Kellhus.

And there's also the possibility that Kellhus in this moment really does 'heal' Esmenet's soul, perhaps that is the answer to the dialectic of esmenet, the synthesis, if you will. 

Esmenet Stands Apart from all things not Esmenet, Kellhus is all things in one including Esmenet, Esmenet is absolved/forgiven/shriven/healed.

But it's momentary at best, she later thinks that she cannot rinse away the sin, as she experiences the sin rinsing away when she's unified with all things/Kellhus.

« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 04:35:09 pm by locke »

locke

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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 11:41:12 pm »
Ala the endlessly, ceaselessly repetitive neuropath, Bakker repeats these revelations several times in the next esmenet sections, including her self-recrimination that she can't sustain this particular sensation described above and below.

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The past crumbled, and the future evaporated. Her every heartbeat belonged, it seemed, to a different heart. She could remember the accumulating signs of death, wasting, as though her body were a candle notched with the watches— a light to read by. She could remember wondering at Serwë, who’d become a stranger in Kellhus’s arms. She could remember wondering at the stranger who walked with her own limbs.

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 8759-8761). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

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His clear eyes reminded her of who she was: Esmenet. She drew up her waterskin and extended it with unwavering hands. She watched him pour her muddy life into a stranger’s mouth. And when the last of it trailed like spittle, she understood— she apprehended— and with a brilliance no less ruthless than the sun.

There’s more than me.

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 8765-8768). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

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They alone spoke. They alone gazed and understood that they gazed. They alone loved, across all lands and all waters, to the world’s very pale. It seemed all passion, all knowing, was here, ringing in one penultimate note. There was no way to explain or to fathom the sensation. It wasn’t like a flower. It wasn’t like a child’s careless laugh.

They had become the measure … Absolute. Unconditioned.

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 8780-8783). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

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Grief for his compassion. Delusion for his revelation. Sin so he might forgive. Degradation so he might raise her high. He was the origin. He was the destination. He was the from where and the to which, and he was here!

Here!

It was mad, it was impossible, it was true.

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 8807-8810). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

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Men, Kellhus had once told her, were like coins: they had two sides. Where one side of them saw, the other side of them was seen, and though all men were both at once, men could only truly know the side of themselves that saw and the side of others that was seen— they could only truly know the inner half of themselves and the outer half of others.
thesis, antithesis
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The measure of wisdom, Kellhus had said, was found in the distance between these two selves.

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 8886-8887). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.
  That last bit would be a synthesis yielded.

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For Kellhus, there was no distance between seeing and being seen. He alone was whole. And what was more, he somehow stood from without and saw from within. He made whole …

She bent her head back and gazed up into his eyes.

You’re here, aren’t you? You’re with me … inside.

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 8890-8893). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 04:36:12 pm by locke »

locke

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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 02:57:42 pm »
Now to really blow your mind...  cnaiur offers similar observations.  Kellhus doesnt realize hat esme and serwe are sharing his soul and esme is experiencng fragments of memory slash insights about dunyain philosophy and training.  Cnaiur has experienced the same thing but has shared moenghus soul.  Moe may not have told cnaiur too much rather nayu had access to his soul in ways moe never fathomed.

Callan S.

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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2013, 11:49:41 pm »
Well, I never noticed that idea before.  :o

Cüréthañ

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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 08:23:39 am »
Do I understand you correctly?
People Khellus mind rapes become psychicly linked to him!?
Could this also form some kind of explanation for the haloes?
Retracing his bloody footprints, the Wizard limped on.

Callan S.

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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 10:13:05 am »
Seems to be locke's idea - that he mind rapes them, but unbeknownst to him, it links them to him. And him to them. Maybe like a hacker who in letting down someones firewall, has let down his own firewall unknowingly as well.

The halo's always flip me for a loop, because the skin spy immidating him displayed them as well (even as Serwe semi noticed the skin spy was shorter).

If the halos are a meme, it's one Kellhus catches himself, latter on (as he sees the halos himself as well)

locke

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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 04:42:28 pm »
More or less that is the idea.  That souls are connected--this is the insight Kellhus offers in TTT iirc, but is an insight he doesn't seem to possess prior to the circumfix--and Kellhus and Moenghus both did not realize how by 'forcing' men and women to love them, that they allowed them inside as well.  Look above, Esmenet's perspective has seized upon three core Dunyain principles, the since of everything collapsing to a single PLACE, The Absolute, and The Unconditioned. She got the right words and roughly understands the concepts--Kellhus doesn't understand that he is leaking himself into Serwe and Esmenet.  Moenghus did not understand that he leaked himself into Cnaiur.

The Firewall description seems like a really good one.  Kellhus seeks to dominate, when Serwe and Esmenet willingly submit to his domination he in turn is unknowningly submitted to them as well.  His methods undo him.

And note that Esmenet pulls off the exact same trick in TTT when she is interroraped by the Consult.

Later in TWP, Esmenet reads Kellhus' exact thought,  as "am I strong enough." and grasps the trial to come before Kellhus says anything.

It's possible this "leaking" is a unique blindness to the Dunyain.  Kellhus labels Esmenet as Defective (after he remembers the way the Dunyain opened faces of 'defectives') for possessing both Animal and Intellect, for being dual natured instead of single natured--but in that memory, Kellhus experiencing an Animal nature reaction of revulsion, he represses the Animal side and prefers to believe this means he has mastered or eliminated it.  It's possible that the Dunyain repressing their Animal side becomes so automatic that they think they are no longer dual natured--in other words they are blind to it.  And it is through this vector of emotions that Kellhus is blind to that he is fully vulnerable and exposed to the 'hacks' preformed by Serwe and Esmenet.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 04:46:00 pm by locke »

Callan S.

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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2013, 01:06:28 am »
Oooh, good tie in to the hack, locke! An ignored, and thus unguarded, gate! Actually it also reminds me of magic - possibly by much the same sort of ignored back door!

Ironically, frankly while reading the story I was blind to any such level of interaction occuring!

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And note that Esmenet pulls off the exact same trick in TTT when she is interroraped by the Consult.
How so?

locke

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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2013, 06:53:37 pm »
iirc, she gets some of Aurangs memories during the interrorape.

***

I was up for hours last night, caught up in the final chapters of TWP (didn't finish it though) and just before Kellhus launches his attack on Sarcellus and Conphas there is a super explicit passage about the trinity of Esmenet, Kellhus and Serwe being a singular being.  I'll post it later, hopefully, but maybe not until sunday, it's a busy time at the moment.

locke

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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 07:48:09 pm »
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It frightened her, sometimes, the way he effortlessly commanded these men. But then it could be no other way. Where others blundered from moment to moment, scarcely understanding their own wants, hurts, or hopes, let alone those of others, Kellhus caught each instant— each soul— like a fly. His world, Esmenet had realized, was one without surfaces, one where everything— from word and expression to war and nation— was smoky glass, something to be peered through

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 10105-10109). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

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But then, why did the ground thrum so? And the stars … What did she see?

Something … Something without compare.

Her skin tingled. The Thanes of the Warrior-Prophet watched her, and she looked through their faces, glimpsed their yearning hearts. To think! So many deluded souls, living illusory lives in unreal worlds! So many! It both boggled her and broke her heart.

And at the same time, it was her triumph.

Something absolute.

Her heart fluttered, pinioned by Kellhus’s shining gaze. She felt at once smoke and naked flesh— something seen through and something desired.

There’s more than me … More than this— yes!

“Tell us, Esmi,” Kellhus hissed through Serwë’s mouth. “Tell us what you see!”

There’s more than them.

“We must take the knife to them,” she said, speaking as she knew her Master would have her speak. “We must show them the demons in their midst.”

So much more!

The Warrior-Prophet smiled with her own lips.

“We must kill them,” her voice said.

Bakker, R. Scott (2008-09-02). The Warrior Prophet: The Prince of Nothing, Book Two (Kindle Locations 10119-10130). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

Madness

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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2013, 01:24:43 pm »
You're going to have to give me time with this one, locke. I should have portions of time coming up.

But I will mention that I used many of these same passages to imagine that these are instances of Kellhus' most successful conditioning. People seem to embrace his conditioning the more they project their own preconceptions onto him.
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The Sharmat

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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2014, 03:38:26 am »
I think this time the cigar is just a cigar, and you're just seeing the inside view from a mind so perfectly conditioned by Kellhus that they've effectively become an extension of his will, no more independent entities than Kellhus' hands or his feet.I always found those passages deeply disturbing.

Poor Esmi. She really had no chance.

Madness

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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2014, 01:33:10 pm »
I always found those passages deeply disturbing.

Poor Esmi. She really had no chance.

Given the nature of Earwa, I think we have to wonder who stuck her in harm's way?
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Somnambulist

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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 04:07:52 pm »
I always found those passages deeply disturbing.

Poor Esmi. She really had no chance.

Given the nature of Earwa, I think we have to wonder who stuck her in harm's way?

Anagke?  Too much?
No whistling on the slog!

Madness

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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2014, 06:19:05 pm »
Lol - not to me.

(click to show/hide)

There is too much we still don't know about the interaction between the world and the Outside.
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