Who (or what) created Eärwa?

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locke

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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2013, 05:02:08 pm »
if ensoulment and fertilization have a metaphysical component or mechanism than a physical joining of sperm and egg may be less significant than the metaphysical joining of sperm and egg.  In this instance cunoroi and halaroi would not need a common ancestor because it's not about what is physically possible.

Madness

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« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2013, 01:05:53 pm »
I wanted to mention this in the first thread incarnation but Ex Nihilo seems like the type for Earwan creation myths.

Or the fictive novel is literally going to break the forth wall and be the mindless, ravings of a schizophrenic patient or something ;).
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Madness

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« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2013, 12:33:51 pm »
I've decided just to quote dragharrow, instead of moving the post because it belongs in both this thread and What is the No God?.

Again, superb two post introduction of yourself, dragharrow!

I've outrun myself here so I'm winging it.

I don't think I have the exact mechanics of magic in Earwa down but as I understand it sorcery sort of represents any kind of meaning manipulation.

Math, art, philosophy and religion are tools we use to manipulate meaning in our world. In Earwa matter follows meaning to such a potent degree that the equivalents of the ways we manipulate meaning can burn armies.

Sorcery is like Wittgenstein's conception of language games except it goes beyond language. Meaning games and truth games. We like to think that when we inquire into truth we are doing something something objective but we aren't. Truth is up for grabs and we manipulate it with whatever tools are at our disposal for selfish animal reasons. Science, philosophy, religion and common sense are all the same. They are just sets of rules for the games we play with truth.

Again, the specific mechanics are beyond me but we know some of the things that are connected with being good at wielding these powers in Earwa. Will, intellect, emotion, and sight are all tied up with it.

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I'm specifically interested in more of what you think the No-God's subjective experience is like, if you'd indulge me...

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Someone mentioned the no god being a god of anosognosia but I think it's more likely to be the opposite. I can see the mechanics of the no god somehow working through hyper self awareness.

What I was thinking here was that the gods are these blind, illusory sources of meaning and the no god is an inward looking antithesis to their meaning.

Our intuition tells us that if the no god is asking for help seeing it follows that he can't see. Bakker thinks that intuition is dangerously misleading though. When we can't see, we don't know we can't see, and we are unconcerned. As we gain access to more information we become more aware of our own ignorance. Moreover, the world is a place without inherent meaning, and possibly a place without truth. Because of that it's our ability to lie to ourselves that creates truth.

The ineffable but all important thing we call “meaning” is actually a direct product of  informatic deficits wired into our brains. Our ability to experience love, hate, beauty, time, consciousness, is the direct product of our blindness to the truth of our own nature. If we could see our thought processes clearly the illusion would be broken. Our soul is our capacity for illusion and the gods are a concentration of that. They just believe and feel their certain truths, thereby providing anchors of truth for us to exist downstream of.

D because C, C because B, B because A, A because? A because the gods know and feel it to be true. That kind of belief (wrong word?) has power. Power that is similar to sorcery. They are big powerful agencies. Souls more deluded and willful than a human could ever hope to be.

I'm just throwing stuff around here. I think that this self-delusion, illusion stuff is critical but its tangled. There seems to be power in both sight and blindness. Look closely enough and illusion collapses. Sometimes that's a good thing. They mandate are skeptics and that makes them powerful. The Cish are zealots who literally have blind faith, and that makes them powerful. Mimaras clearly on the power from sight side of things. Sight is definitely associated with destruction and illusion with creation.

Anyway, the No God begging to know what people see makes me think his vision is too good. Plus it's a cool parallel to the blind gods.

Theres a few ways this could work but what I'm imagining is that the No God is a big soul and a big “lens”. Under his powerful gaze all the beautiful lies and illusions whither. Horrifyingly I suspect the lens may be mostly focused on itself. He is a lens and a consciousness leashed together for the singular purpose of experiencing the worlds and his own meaninglessness. Thus the desperate mantra. He exists only to perceive the illusory-ness of that his existence. He experiences consciousness as robustly as we do, but he can see the neural or digital circuits that generate that consciousness doing so as they do it. His sensorium is taken up by a never-ending lesson in nihilism.

Because of the way magic is tied up in sight and will and soul, his torment changes the rules for everyone. He is a god of nihilism and materialism. Meaning is shut out from the world.

When I finish writing these they seem hopelessly speculative. Way fun though.
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Ishammael

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« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2013, 01:04:34 pm »
I stand entirely convinced by this argument.

So, essentially is seems like you are saying that the No-God is a sacrifice.  His torment of all-knowing, or all-self knowing, is what allows the people of Earwa to avoid the Damnation imparted upon them by the Hundred.

Does the No-God know this? If so, would that mean that he accepts the need for his existence and therefore becomes what some would argue to be the very epitome of "Good"?  If he he knows this but doesn't accept it, would he have said "Thank you" after being "killed" by the Heron Spear?  I don't think he truely understands or believes this, otherwise his questions wouldn't be asked.

So what would drive the need for death and war associated with the No-God's arrival, other than the hypothetical misunderstanding of the people of Earwa?  In other words, why wouldn't the Consult be able to create the No-God quietly in their basement after commiting the required torture, sacrifice, etc, and then hang out and party while the rest of Earwa is unaware of the existence?  I assume that the answer to this would be that the No-God's arrival would inevitably be tied to the inability for new children to be born, or other similar terrible consequences.  If that is the case, then I think we would need to explore why those consequences exist.  For example, if children are no longer born due to the presence of the No-God, does that mean the children are illusions of the Hundred or of their parents, which eventually grow into their own individual Truths capable of extending their Truth unto others?

Madness

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« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2013, 01:38:27 pm »
I hope dragharrow finds the shortest path to your questions, Ishammael.
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Ishammael

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« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2013, 05:14:49 pm »
Madness, any chance you can move my comment to the original thread?  I don't know if dragharrow has seen this and I selfishly want to hear his thoughts...

Galbrod

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« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2013, 06:35:29 pm »
I hope dragharrow finds the shortest path to your questions, Ishammael.

So, No-God = Jesus?

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« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2013, 07:07:30 pm »
Madness, any chance you can move my comment to the original thread?  I don't know if dragharrow has seen this and I selfishly want to hear his thoughts...


I just quoted you there.

I hope dragharrow finds the shortest path to your questions, Ishammael.

So, No-God = Jesus?

Lol, you'd have to ask dragharrow, Galbrod.
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dragharrow

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« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2013, 03:09:27 am »
Thanks for doing that Madness. (edit)

Hey Ishammael. I've seen this now and I'll get back on here as soon as I have time.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 03:25:00 am by dragharrow »

dragharrow

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« Reply #39 on: December 12, 2013, 05:57:40 am »
So, essentially is seems like you are saying that the No-God is a sacrifice.  His torment of all-knowing, or all-self knowing, is what allows the people of Earwa to avoid the Damnation imparted upon them by the Hundred.

Does the No-God know this? If so, would that mean that he accepts the need for his existence and therefore becomes what some would argue to be the very epitome of "Good"?  If he he knows this but doesn't accept it, would he have said "Thank you" after being "killed" by the Heron Spear?  I don't think he truely understands or believes this, otherwise his questions wouldn't be asked.

I personally wouldn't call him good. His existence will prevent you from experiencing damnation but what's the point of living in a dead and meaningless world. Living is worthwhile because of meaning and meaning comes with a price. There's a metaphor in there surely.

I'm of the mind that meaning is more valuable than truth. Sure the Inchoroi's perspective and the No-God's world are in a sense truer than that of the gods but who cares? Rich illusions are more valuable than empty truths. I don't know what my opinion here would be characterized as, existentialist maybe? Born into a cold and pointless world, the noble thing is to choose to create meaning (by lying to oneself if that's what it takes) and breath life into it. The gods may be arbitrary but at least they've got convictions.

I don't know if the No-God accepts his fate or would thank you for killing him. Its possible that his level of awareness is so confusing that such questions don't really apply. I prefer the idea that he would thank for killing him though. I may not think he is good for the world but I do think he is a sacrifice and a sympathetic entity. Poor thing. I agree with you that he probably doesn't truly understand or accept.

So what would drive the need for death and war associated with the No-God's arrival, other than the hypothetical misunderstanding of the people of Earwa?  In other words, why wouldn't the Consult be able to create the No-God quietly in their basement after committing the required torture, sacrifice, etc, and then hang out and party while the rest of Earwa is unaware of the existence? 

That's a really good question that I haven’t really thought about. The two likely possibilities I see are that: one, it's just in his nature to destroy. The god's clearly have personalities in line with their existential domains. Perhaps he is the same. Or two, death provides some sort of power source for his mojo. I like your giving him the label of a sacrifice and agree with it but who is to say how much suffering needs to be heaped on the altar before the god's can be shut out. In any case your guess is as good as mine there.

I assume that the answer to this would be that the No-God's arrival would inevitably be tied to the inability for new children to be born, or other similar terrible consequences.  If that is the case, then I think we would need to explore why those consequences exist.  For example, if children are no longer born due to the presence of the No-God, does that mean the children are illusions of the Hundred or of their parents, which eventually grow into their own individual Truths capable of extending their Truth unto others? 

I think that his arrival is definitely tied inevitably to the inability for new children to be born. My read on it is this. Souls are a connection to the outside and a connection to the gods. Seal out the gods and no new souls can come through. It also prevents them from going back which is the whole point. Seal the way and no meaning or new souls can come though but also no souls have to go back into the outside where damnation awaits.

It's possible that those slain while the No-God dies go into him. Maybe the Inchoroi didn't settle for oblivion instead of damnation, maybe they've insured a pleasant retirement by creating a heaven of their own. A simulation of eternal pleasure running in the circuits and souls of the No-God himself.

And yes, children and their souls are an illusion. Everything is an illusion, but miraculous beautiful things like souls are particularly illusory. And I would posit that children do become capable of extending their truth onto others. Souls are a kind of lens that allow you to filter the truth. That's how the gods, who are super-souls, created Earwa, and it is how sorcerers bend reality.

By the way, I don't necessarily think everyone faces damnation when they return to the outside. The outside is chaotic. Really chaotic.

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For I have seen the virtuous in Hell and the wicked in Heaven. And I swear to you, brother, the scream you hear in the one and the sigh you hear in the other sound the same.
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“What did you see?” Nin'sariccas asked with what seemed genuine curiosity. “What did you find?” “Gods... Broken into a million warring splinters.”

Maybe when you cross over your soul is divided into parts. Separated by its properties the way the hundred are.  The warlike parts go to Gilgaöl, the greedy parts to Ajokli, the scarily passive aggressive parts to Yatwer. Or maybe you're divided up by deeds and not nature. Your souls units given to those you worshiped or offended. The outside is such a mess that I'm not sure it matters at that point. I doubt you are really you anymore.

What to make of the Inverse Fire then though? I don't think it lies, and while I cannot imagine the chaos would be comfortable, it would have to be pure torture to inspire the devotion it does. I want it to have only worked on mages who I could imagine face another order of damnation but if I recall correctly everyone who enters is converted.

In any case I think the Cish have the right of it. Like Meppa says the hundred are just great demons. Give them your respect but worship the Solitary God. The god of pure undifferentiated meaning. The fact of meaningful illusion.

dragharrow

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« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2013, 07:08:52 am »
So, No-God = Jesus?

No, my money is still on Kellhus. He's pulled the crucifixion once already but I think he'll do it again. The white luck will kill him and he will ascend to walk the outside so he can change the rules of play. Maybe he can open a new path to the bosom of the solitary god? Or just try and wrestle with the insolubility of determinism and finally solve the Dunyains quest.

But sometimes I like to toy with the idea that Kellhus may be an avatar of the No-God the way the priestess is the avatar of Yatwar, etc.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 07:10:36 am by dragharrow »

Francis Buck

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« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2013, 12:27:27 am »
I really like a lot of your ideas, dragharrow. Very well thought out. I don't agree with all of them, but certain things I think are spot on. First starters:

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By the way, I don't necessarily think everyone faces damnation when they return to the outside. The outside is chaotic. Really chaotic.In any case I think the Cish have the right of it. Like Meppa says the hundred are just great demons. Give them your respect but worship the Solitary God. The god of pure undifferentiated meaning. The fact of meaningful illusion.

Agreed on most fronts. I know I'm a broken record here, but I'm quite, quite confidant in the idea that the Solitary God is but the sum of all souls, and the reason people think of it as "sleeping" is because it's currently split, as Kellhus says, into a million warring splinters (which includes humans, Inchoroi, all the aliens of the universe, and then the denizens of the Outside -- both Ciphrang and the Hundred). I also think, however, that the Dunyain's Absolute is the same as the God. To reach the Absolute is awaken the God, to grasp the sum of all knowledge, thought, souls, etc.

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What to make of the Inverse Fire then though? I don't think it lies, and while I cannot imagine the chaos would be comfortable, it would have to be pure torture to inspire the devotion it does. I want it to have only worked on mages who I could imagine face another order of damnation but if I recall correctly everyone who enters is converted.

I'm of the mind that what the Inverse Fire shows is completely true. I think the Inchoroi, while researching (via the Tekne, a.k.a. "conventional" science) the Outside, discovered the Inverse Fire by accident. It shows, literally, the inside of ones soul -- from the Outside (or something like that, somebody on Westeros said it much better). I think they were probably still on their own planet at the time. But upon discovering the reality of Damnation, and worse, the fact that the morality it's based on was completely alien to them (how could it not be, given that the rules of Damnation and the Gods themselves are anthropomorphic?), then set out on a quest to save their race. I think the fact that it happens to be a sort of happy coincidence -- if you can call it such -- that the Inverse Fire happens to be a very effective brainwashing device.
I do think one man saw the IF and didn't turn to the Consult though, and that man was Seswatha. I think he still wants to stop Damnation, but he had a better way of going about it (involving the Mandate and, possibly, the Dunyain).

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No, my money is still on Kellhus. He's pulled the crucifixion once already but I think he'll do it again. The white luck will kill him and he will ascend to walk the outside so he can change the rules of play. Maybe he can open a new path to the bosom of the solitary god? Or just try and wrestle with the insolubility of determinism and finally solve the Dunyains quest.

But sometimes I like to toy with the idea that Kellhus may be an avatar of the No-God the way the priestess is the avatar of Yatwar, etc.

I think it might be both, actually. I think Kellhus is more like the second coming of Jesus (Inri was the first), as he would at the end of the world. And I definitely think he's going to solve the quest of the Dunyain, by reaching the Absolute, the Monad, which is one and the same with becoming the Solitary God. He does by destroying the Demiurges (the Hundred) and shutting off the Outside, which cuts all the souls in the universe with it. The material universe essentially becomes a soulless, deterministic, disenchanted one -- one much more similar to our own. I also believe it's possible he will use the No-God to achieve this, possibly even by becoming the No-God himself, though I'm more uncertain of that aspect. Regardless, I think Kellhus truly is a "savior" of sorts, just the kind people might expect.

Triskele

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« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2013, 02:42:49 am »
I think it might be both, actually. I think Kellhus is more like the second coming of Jesus (Inri was the first), as he would at the end of the world. And I definitely think he's going to solve the quest of the Dunyain, by reaching the Absolute, the Monad, which is one and the same with becoming the Solitary God. He does by destroying the Demiurges (the Hundred) and shutting off the Outside, which cuts all the souls in the universe with it. The material universe essentially becomes a soulless, deterministic, disenchanted one -- one much more similar to our own. I also believe it's possible he will use the No-God to achieve this, possibly even by becoming the No-God himself, though I'm more uncertain of that aspect. Regardless, I think Kellhus truly is a "savior" of sorts, just the kind people might expect.

I think perhaps we have to consider whether we as readers take it literally that Sejenus could perform healing miracles.  I'm not sure if we should, but assume for a moment that we should and he did.  If that is the case, then I think it's a big clue via Xinemas and Akka that Kellhus is not another Sejenus ("You're not a prophet... What are you?").

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« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2013, 01:09:22 pm »
The white luck will kill him and he will ascend to walk the outside so he can change the rules of play.

Big +1. You've succinctly summed up my thoughts on the matter. My greatest nerdanel is that Moenghus made the same play at Kyudea, using his son/Cnaiur, and it somehow involves the conviction of his followers as they die ahead or in the same temporal locale/vicinity as he does.

I'm of the mind that what the Inverse Fire shows is completely true. I think the Inchoroi, while researching (via the Tekne, a.k.a. "conventional" science) the Outside, discovered the Inverse Fire by accident. It shows, literally, the inside of ones soul -- from the Outside (or something like that, somebody on Westeros said it much better). I think they were probably still on their own planet at the time. But upon discovering the reality of Damnation, and worse, the fact that the morality it's based on was completely alien to them (how could it not be, given that the rules of Damnation and the Gods themselves are anthropomorphic?), then set out on a quest to save their race.

FB, I generally agree with your Gnostic dressing of the Absolute/Earwan Metaphysics and yet still somehow retain ineffable reservations :-\. However, I thought you might enjoy The Inchoroi but it starts getting real topical (and entertaining) around the latter half of p3 and baztek's comment about "the idea of the Ark being a void-born organism that carries inchies like humans carry gut flora is pretty fucking rad though," is pretty fucking rad though ;).

I think it might be both, actually. I think Kellhus is more like the second coming of Jesus (Inri was the first), as he would at the end of the world. And I definitely think he's going to solve the quest of the Dunyain, by reaching the Absolute, the Monad, which is one and the same with becoming the Solitary God. He does by destroying the Demiurges (the Hundred) and shutting off the Outside, which cuts all the souls in the universe with it. The material universe essentially becomes a soulless, deterministic, disenchanted one -- one much more similar to our own. I also believe it's possible he will use the No-God to achieve this, possibly even by becoming the No-God himself, though I'm more uncertain of that aspect. Regardless, I think Kellhus truly is a "savior" of sorts, just the kind people might expect.

I think perhaps we have to consider whether we as readers take it literally that Sejenus could perform healing miracles.  I'm not sure if we should, but assume for a moment that we should and he did.  If that is the case, then I think it's a big clue via Xinemas and Akka that Kellhus is not another Sejenus ("You're not a prophet... What are you?").

+1. I definitely think (besides giving us hints on the Cishaurim and the sight of the blind) that this is the major revelation of Xinemus' arc: If people like Happy Ent are correct and Kellhus is a legitimate Prophet, and Earwan Prophets, historically, can heal, then Kellhus is not a Prophet.

EDIT: That was awkwardly worded. "If people like Happy Ent were correct and Kellhus were a legitimate prophet, and Earwan Prophets, historically, can heal, then Kellhus should be able to heal."

There is even the direct parallel between Xinemus and Horomon. Sejenus could restore sight, allegedly.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 02:14:46 pm by Madness »
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Francis Buck

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« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2013, 06:36:26 pm »
I think perhaps we have to consider whether we as readers take it literally that Sejenus could perform healing miracles.  I'm not sure if we should, but assume for a moment that we should and he did.  If that is the case, then I think it's a big clue via Xinemas and Akka that Kellhus is not another Sejenus ("You're not a prophet... What are you?").

Well, here's the thing. I think Sejenus was indeed a prophet, but he was a prophet of the Hundred. His powers were divinely given (like the kind magic "magic" we see from Porsparian and Pstama). Why the god sent him, I do not know. Maybe to reinforce the faith, to keep it strong (and thus keep giving them souls).

Kellhus, however, is a savior of the Solitary God. He's a lie made truth, like what Moe says. Thus the Khahit, the World Conspires, all that stuff.