DŻnyain society

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« on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:11 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
I've already started this type of threads about the Nonmen and the Inchoroi, so let's move on to the most fascinating "culture" (if they can be called such) in the Bakker-verse.

How do you think DŻnyain society looks like? Do they live as the monastic sects did in the real-life middle ages? Do they have any hobbies or "normal" life at all, or do they dedicate every moment of their lives toward achieving the Absolute?

What role do women have, since we haven't seen DŻnyain women at all, aside from the prologue in TDTCB?

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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:17 pm »
Quote from: Madness
To port my comments from the Interlude: Ishual thread in The Unholy Consult:

Ishual is the City from the Republic.

Who are the Philosopher-Kings? The Pragma?
What classes are there besides the Guardian class? Is Kellhus one of these, as would be my Nerdanelized theory about a Dunyain who conditions Ishterebinth, so as to better condition the very world? If so, is he bound by the Myth of the Metals, or does his training reflect standing outside the lie?

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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:27 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: Madness
Ishual is the City from the Republic.
Good one. Platonism certainly comes to mind if we look at the DŻnyain's life philosophy.

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Who are the Philosopher-Kings? The Pragma?
I guess? Ishušl seems to be ruled by a council of those with the highest intelligence and best eugenic breeding, which would probably be the Pragma. The first chapter of TDTCB opens with the elders of Ishušl gathering and deciding to eliminate Moenghus, so it's them who call the shots.

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If so, is he bound by the Myth of the Metals, or does his training reflect standing outside the lie?
Well, the Myth of the Metals was rather meant to be a fiction that teaches each person his role in society - a social control, in other words. I don't think the DŻnyain even need to use this kind of fiction, since they make people (through eugenics and social conditioning) to fit those roles.

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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:30 pm »
Quote from: Madness
It's like Cnaiur's musings of Kellhus/The Warrior-Propeht in TTT - perfect analogy: it's not a fiction from inside the lie, right?

We could equate it to... the Myth of Utility?

Unfortunately, there are blindsiding factors too. Are there other Dunyain cities? Did the Dunyain disperse from Sauglish in more than one direction (again remnant thoughts of Foundation/Second Foundation ;)).

In the Republic, assumptively, woman could become Philosopher-Queens. However, the argument goes that perhaps they are simply there for breeding. Are there Dunyain woman with agency like Serwa or are they like axolotl tanks, defectives?

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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:35 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: Madness
It's like Cnaiur's musings of Kellhus/The Warrior-Propeht in TTT - perfect analogy: it's not a fiction from inside the lie, right?
Tr00 dat.

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We could equate it to... the Myth of Utility?
I first thought about the classic Myth of the Cave, the constructed reality and all that, but the Myth of Utility probably fits better.

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Unfortunately, there are blindsiding factors too. Are there other Dunyain cities? Did the Dunyain disperse from Sauglish in more than one direction (again remnant thoughts of Foundation/Second Foundation ;)).
Probably not. My guess is that the Ishušl DŻnyain are the only ones.

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In the Republic, assumptively, woman could become Philosopher-Queens. However, the argument goes that perhaps they are simply there for breeding. Are there Dunyain woman with agency like Serwa or are they like axolotl tanks, defectives?
Well, knowing Bakker, they're probably breeding stock.

Jokes aside, I don't know. I'd assume the women have to be intelligent as well, if they want them to produce intelligent kids (since Kellhus chooses his wife due to her brains, it's reasonable to think the DŻnyain at home would pick their mates in the same way). There are definitely strict gender roles in Ishušl, since we don't ever see DŻnyain men and women interacting - the young Kellhus' classmates are all male.

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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:40 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Lol, I analogize the Myth of the Cave to this story as inversion suggesting that Ishual is the light of the Sun and Kellhus is descending back into the Cave, the world, to... well, play with the shapes cast by the fire and control those imprisoned in the world of Shadows but... segue ;).

Many people have suggested other Dunyain settlements. EDIT: I'd make the comparison that the First Foundation was represented by a visible physical location, whereas the Second Foundation was more a location in mind?

The Full-Blooded Female Dunyain has got to be something Bakker's got on lock. Maybe Achamian and Mimara meet female Dunyain in Ishual.

They are too much like the Bene Gesserit to suggest that woman wouldn't make powerful Dunyain.

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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:45 pm »
Quote from: lockesnow
well from the Andiamine Heights chapter of TDTCB (the kellhus training flashbacks we know that)

Pragma are a group of senior Dunyain

Kellhus is summoned to a shrine that is stripped of ornamentation. 

Kellhus' training of eliminating one word a day takes place at this shrine.

The Dunyain think the stars revolve around the world.

A bee makes an appearance, so they have access to honey, presumably, and other pollinated plants.

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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:49 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Cheers, lockesnow.

From the Unmasking Room, TWP:

"They stood deep beneath Ishual, in a hexagonal room within the mighty galleries of the Thousand Thousand Halls. Save for the entrance, staggered racks of knobbed and runnelled candles covered the surrounding wallas, shedding a light without shadows and as bright and clear as the noonday's sun. This alone made the room extraordinary - light was otherwise forbidding in the Labyrinth - but what made the room astonishing were the many men shackled in its sunken centre" (TWP, p461)

My italics. Say what?

Sound like sorcerous light to anyone else?

But for social reference: "mighty galleries, forbidden light, and defectives."

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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 10:26:56 pm »
Quote from: lockesnow
Kellhus misses much when he never expects to see, doesn't he?

Candles are the worst sort of light, they are never stable and they'd never provide a light like that.

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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 10:27:01 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: lockesnow
Kellhus is summoned to a shrine that is stripped of ornamentation.
 
I found this part interesting - they've not only shut in themselves from the outside world, but also destroyed all signs of that world inside Ishušl. Everything that's not practical to the DŻnyain has to go.

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The Dunyain think the stars revolve around the world.
You'd think they were too smart to believe that the earth is the universe's center, although it's understandable since they're such an insular sect and never had access to the Inchoroi know-how that the Nonmen had.

(Maybe it's something they deliberately believe, though. It's definitely in line with their "man is the measure of everything" philosophy. We already know that the DŻnyain convinced themselves that sorcery doesn't exist.) 

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A bee makes an appearance, so they have access to honey, presumably, and other pollinated plants.
Well, yeah, they have to get their food from somewhere. Medieval monks were also beekeepers.

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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 10:27:07 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: lockesnow
Candles are the worst sort of light, they are never stable and they'd never provide a light like that.

+1, my thoughts exactly.

Quote from: Auriga
I found this part interesting - they've not only shut in themselves from the outside world, but also destroyed all signs of that world inside Ishušl. Everything that's not practical to the DŻnyain has to go.

This also made explicit from the Prologue, neh? I always wonder if the Pragma didn't withhold secret knowledge or if they've recovered knowledge since the Obfuscation?

Quote from: Auriga
insular sect and never had access to the Inchoroi know-how that the Nonmen had.

I think they'd have had to consciously refute that knowledge, arguably - if they were truly just a fledgling monastic cult in Sauglish before the Apocalypse; Sauglish is the intellectual center of the Ancient World and the site of the Nonmen Tutelage.

How about cultivating grains or grasses in high altitudes? Nuts?

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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 10:27:12 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: Madness
This also made explicit from the Prologue, neh? I always wonder if the Pragma didn't withhold secret knowledge or if they've recovered knowledge since the Obfuscation?
Well, judging by how the DŻnyain regarded sorcery (destroying all evidence of it, then pretending it doesn't exist), it's rather unlikely that the Pragma have recovered knowledge from pre-DŻnyain times that wasn't purely practical to them. If it's superfluous and/or irrelevant to the DŻnyain quest for absolute enlightenment, they shut it out of existence. 

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I think they'd have had to consciously refute that knowledge, arguably - if they were truly just a fledgling monastic cult in Sauglish before the Apocalypse; Sauglish is the intellectual center of the Ancient World and the site of the Nonmen Tutelage.
True, Sauglish was the big intellectual capital of the Ancient North, but my impression was that only the ruling classes were actually tutored by the Nonmen. The kings, caste-nobles, priests, schoolmen, and so on. Sure, some of this knowledge would've trickled down to the whole population, but I'm pretty sure the Average Joe didn't have his head full of Nonman knowledge about the cosmos. The average dudes in Sauglish can't have been that different from their Three Seas counterparts. The average Athenian was hardly a Plato. (And I'm pretty sure that the DŻnyain were just normal people, not drawn from the highest caste-nobility.)

Akka also mentions that Sauglish in ye olde days was a favorite hotspot for wandering cults and doomsday preachers and crazed religious loons of all sorts. I imagine the early DŻnyain belonged to this social category. 

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How about cultivating grains or grasses in high altitudes? Nuts?
Probably. An isolated cult can be pretty self-suffient, if they know how. Medieval monasteries had gardens where they grew grains and nuts and fruit-trees - the monks could produce honey, bread, beer and other stuff in relative isolation.

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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 10:27:18 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Long-term goals of the Dunyain, within Ishual exclusively, sit uneasy with me - it seems they can't succeed by only planning for Ishual. Some Protocol, Mandate, or Missive, must continue to direct them.

Lmao, Dunyain Nostradamus ;)? "Open, When Ishual's Second Son Lives Among The Worldborn."

The Dunyain had already been cultivating a disembodied rationality for X# of years - recall the prologue "with a voice, neither tender nor harsh, said 'We are Dunyain, child'" or some such ;).

Vocalizing musculature is a motor function like anything else. I do agree with your conjecture on soothsayers, madmen, and Dunyain but you'd think if they weren't planning for the world ending next friday, they must have had practical objectives in Sauglish. Wouldn't they also make a much use of the Library as is publically accessible?

What are your thoughts on the candles, Auriga? I don't believe we can omit occluded ulterior abilities or knowledge of the Dunyain?

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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 10:27:24 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: Madness
Long-term goals of the Dunyain, within Ishual exclusively, sit uneasy with me - it seems they can't succeed by only planning for Ishual. Some Protocol, Mandate, or Missive, must continue to direct them.
Possibly. It's just that I find it unlikely that the DŻnyain would keep around non-practical knowledge from earlier times, since they're so strict about insulating themselves from all "polluting" outside influences.

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The Dunyain had already been cultivating a disembodied rationality for X# of years - recall the prologue "with a voice, neither tender nor harsh, said 'We are Dunyain, child'" or some such ;).
Ha, I forgot about that part. They were definitely practicing their ultra-rational philosophy for a long time before they came to Ishual, since they were controlling their voices and such. ScŲtt mentioned that the DŻnyain were a sometimes-persecuted group from Sauglish, so I tend to imagine them as early Christians hiding out in the catacombs. (For all I know, this might even be the reason why they survived the Consult attack on Sauglish pretty intact).

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V I do agree with your conjecture on soothsayers, madmen, and Dunyain but you'd think if they weren't planning for the world ending next friday, they must have had practical objectives in Sauglish. Wouldn't they also make a much use of the Library as is publically accessible?
I dunno. Maybe. I'm not sure they had any "objectives" in Sauglish, other than converting people to the Logos and doing what religious cults usually do in cities. Yeah, they'd probably have access to the Library, if they were literate (which they definitely were) although I still think the DŻnyain were drawn from ordinary people and not members of the Nonman-educated ruling castes.

Sauglish was a magnet for wandering nutcases and street soothsayers, a bit like the New York subway - the early DŻnyain would have been just one weird cult among several dozens.

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What are your thoughts on the candles, Auriga?
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and a candle is just a candle.

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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 10:27:30 pm »
Quote from: lockesnow
compare to primitive swiss communities high in the alpines, they usually cultivated rye, iirc, along with a major dairy component to provide most/much of their calories since fruit&veggies don't preserve as well as cheese/butter.

The dunyain have also preserved the knowledge of how to manufacture steel and how to manufacture candles.

Going back to the scene at the shrine, anyone think there is another test in there that Kellhus knew nothing about because he didn't pass it/wasn't attuned to it?  This may be part of the test where they slot candidates into learning tracks, and Kellhus got tracked into the warrior track.

I'm speaking of the contradiction between three things.  Kellhus tells us they knew when a leaf would fall in Ishual--at the end of his week at the shrine he stops a knife using the sense of nothingness he grasped in the week of meditation, he then notes he hears the leaves whisper to him and he immediately dismisses the leaves as nothing but noise as he exults in his sense of self and pride at being dunyain (this is the opposite of the nothingness/placelessness that allowed him to stop the knife)--throughout the novels kellhus constantly exults in his pride at being dunyain at being superior at being a being, again, hardly the nothingness that the lesson supposedly taught him.   He takes a lesson from Leweth--and the lesson he learns is that he should be proud of how fucking awesome he is.  Also note how all of Kellhus' answers to the pragma seem to be triggered, is he really thinking this or is the pragma testing him to see if he can still be manipulated by the simple questions to give simple answers reflexively, without thought--and note that Kellhus' answers all play into the prideful, dominate-dominate-dominate, narrative of dunyain awesomeness, which is pretty much the opposite of any eastern monk tradition of zen/buddhism etc which negate the self--supposedly this is all a lesson about negating the self, but in negating the self kellhus manages to congratulate himself and exult in himself for negating the self--sounds like he failed.

so we have the nothingness, the tree whispers and one more thing in the scene of his training. The scene starts with a bee supposedly wandering in, as bees are wont to do.

um. no.

If they know when a leaf will fall, they know the path a bee will take.  But kellhus doesn't cup the bee or the bee's path in his awareness, he barely notices it is there, he dismisses it as more noise.

My theory is that the bee and the trees are part of the other test layered into the first test.  The candidates who more closely grasp the absolute--in classical german thought, the Absolute was a term used to mean 'everything in nature'--will realize that the bee and the trees and all the other things they can sense all contribute meaning and have to be accounted for, these candidates will be put into a very different track than the path kellhus was put into.

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unrelated to the above.  Why did Moenghus want to cross the steppe?  what was his mission?  where was he going? He does not seem to have a purposelessness, where did his shortest path point him?