Biblical allusions in TSA

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« on: June 03, 2013, 02:46:01 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
We all know that Bakker's fantasy world has been heavily inspired by the Old Testament, among other things. How many Biblical allusions and quotes can you find in the Second Apocalypse books?

The most obvious one would be the "dashed to pieces like a potter's vessel" line in the Seswatha flashback in TWP, obviously lifted from Psalms 2:9.

That part in TWW about the chosen 144, 000 who would survive the apocalypse also strikes me as very Biblical.

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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:07 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Obviously, the Prophet narrative. Damnation. Consequences of Faith. Indifferent Deities. Or are these not specific enough?

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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:13 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
People turning to salt.
Inri Sejenus.
Interpretive scripture.

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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:20 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: Madness
Obviously, the Prophet narrative. Damnation. Consequences of Faith. Indifferent Deities. Or are these not specific enough?
I was looking for more specific lines that are obviously lifted out of the Bible, but these are good enough.

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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:26 pm »
Quote from: Haaska
I don't know whether this is too vague, but those two came to my mind:

Chronicle of the Tusk, Book of Songs 6:33: "You are fallen from Him like sparks from the flame. A dark wind blows, and you are soon to flicker out."

Bible, Psalms 103:15,16: "As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more."

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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:32 pm »
Quote from: Madness
I think, Haaska, these are exactly what Auriga was looking for.

Welcome to the Second Apocalypse, Haaska :). Glad you found your way. Cheers.

Three times in my childhood I read the bible cover to cover and, also - having been an altar boy and lifetime churchgoer (at that point) - have been exposed to many passages in my life. In fact, I might argue that going to church as a child and wrestling with the ideas there is one of the primary reasons I engaged big ideas. Metaphysical big.

Is doing a bible reread a thing ;)?

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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:39 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
That famous line from Exodus 22:18, "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", also appears in the TSA books. Although, if I remember right, "witch" is replaced with "whore".

Quote from: Madness
I think, Haaska, these are exactly what Auriga was looking for.
Yep, that sort of thing. I'm not exactly picky, just curious which lines in Scött's books are directly taken from religious scripture.

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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:45 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Lmao... damn, I was thinking the other day how much I regretted not keeping a bible in my library when I suffered the first great book purge, a number of years ago, since I was twelve - donated the bible, since I didn't think I'd need it anymore.

It really says that witch line in the bible?! 'Cause I read that reversal the other way first, then did a double take. Lol... Witchcraft in the Old Testement.

I know you aren't picky, Auriga. Your perspective has been very easy to enjoy and engage since meeting you :).

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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:51 pm »
Quote from: Auriga
Quote from: Madness
It really says that witch line in the bible?!


Not exactly. The original word in archaic Hebrew was chasapah, which apparently can mean "poisoner" as well as "sorcerer". However, a lot of things got lost in translation, and this seems to be one of them. Remember that the Hebrew writing of the Old Testament was translated to Greek and Latin, and from there on to English, where we get the mistranslated King James Bible and its famous line about witches.

I dunno which Bible you've been reading, but supposedly the newer translations have removed that line. Haven't checked yet.

Quote
Lol... Witchcraft in the Old Testement.

To the Israelites of that time, the idea of witchcraft was just as real as damnation is to Eärwans.

(I was about to say "about as real as witchcraft is to Eärwans", but that'd be stupid. In that case, the ancient Israel would look like Dragonball Z, complete with sorcerers firing thunderbolts from their hands and tearing into each other's wards like a rapist through a cotton shift.)

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I know you aren't picky, Auriga. Your perspective has been very easy to enjoy and engage since meeting you :).

Thanks. And kudos to you for keeping up this forum, or else we wouldn't have met at all. :)

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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 02:47:58 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: Auriga
I dunno which Bible you've been reading, but supposedly the newer translations have removed that line. Haven't checked yet.

It was definitely the newest and most derivative, or furthest from the original documents, that is, about 25ish years ago. I'm sure the generational scribes haven't changed it much since then in their transcriptions ;).

I had known of sorcery in the bible but witchcraft... real cool.

Quote from: Auriga
Thanks. And kudos to you for keeping up this forum, or else we wouldn't have met at all. :)

Pish. Think nothing of it. You've all been real generous with your time as well. I appreciate melding minds, experiencing the merging noosphere with everyone.

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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 02:48:05 pm »
Quote from: Haaska
Quote
I think, Haaska, these are exactly what Auriga was looking for.

That's great, but I have to say that the quotations are not the most crucial in their respective metaphysics, of course. The Bible verse is one of those 'poetic bits' that I loved even after abandoning religion. But to find them you have to sort through quite a bit of  ... crap. What didn't keep me from reading good parts of the Good Book in my childhood/adolescence. I guess I still have to thank the book for getting me into fantasy in the first place, haha. Plus you have a point with 'big ideas'.

And thanks for both this forum and the welcome!

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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 02:48:13 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Of course, Haaska. Just nursing the noosphere ;).

It makes me wonder how many of us in the Western Empire - or readers of other religious texts - initially approached fantasy because of those the 'big ideas' in Holy Books. I mean, I'd actually hard be pressed to describe why I started reading fantasy... I know that my elementary school library, inches from my first grade classroom, was a huge contributor to any and all reading I've done in my life. Bakker's got that blog called Freebasing Thaumazein[/u] about wonder in reading. LTG seems to explore those moments in certain spots as well. But I've always looked for 'big ideas' in any reading, no matter what. Why restrict the messengers of enlightenment?

So many of those moments for me happened in that library.

My parents also tell me this story that they read me the same books over and over again and before I could actually read I would sit there and recite the books while turning the pages. As someone who has a very distinct worldview now, with its neuropsych flavours, this interests me as well when consider my reading Darkness.

Believe it or not, it would have been the worldbuilding of the Bible, which at first enthralled me as a child and also disappointed as it bottomed out as a teenager. Though I still remember analyzing myself and effects of drugs and alcohol in terms of "on my soul" at seventeen.

Lol, I've spent some time trying to figure out why I am who I am.

However, whether reading the Bible directly contributed to my reading fantasy... I'm not so sure.

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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 02:48:24 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
I was raised in an aethiest household.  As a youngest child read from an early age, mainly readers digest printings of novels from my grandparents' shelves and encyclopedias and such.
Sections on the supernatural, fairy stories and ancient myths and legends captured my interest from early times and the bible was just one of many such for me.
Connecting the common threads from the air of deliberate mystery was a strong part of the attraction to fantasy for me, stumbling upon the fiction of M. Moorcock with its introspective and doomed central characters was a game changer for me - I read LotR before that, it was okay - but overlong and self important with its crappy poems, colourless descriptions and meandering asides and didn't really divert me from the fiction (contempory and SF shorts) I was into at the time.

I suspect that religious or not, the question of exactly what we are is something that drives human inquisitiveness.  The world seems so concrete and obvious, whereas tracing our inner perspective onto our 'real' selves is an impossible and mystifying game.

Madness, it is interesting to me that you introspected on how your actions would affect you inner landscape (soul); despite my athiestic upbringing, I recall similar autoanalytical thoughts and periods of agnostism which, in retrospect, I believe may be borne from some common subconcious assumption that if one judges the world, then it must judge in return.  Which of course is also central to Earwa's metaphysics :)

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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 02:48:31 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Readers digest were a constant bathroom read when I was younger too, actually. Parents seem to have had them always.

I was obsessed with ancient cultures and mythologies when I was younger, as well, (its blossomed into a much more coherent academic study) but especially the brutal ones, like Norse or Aztec.

Quote from: Curethan
I suspect that religious or not, the question of exactly what we are is something that drives human inquisitiveness. The world seems so concrete and obvious, whereas tracing our inner perspective onto our 'real' selves is an impossible and mystifying game.

Human curiosity defines, neh? As such, I'm interested in some clarification of meaning in your second sentence here.

Quote from: Curethan
Madness, it is interesting to me that you introspected on how your actions would affect you inner landscape (soul)

I was always driven by expertise... still am by some refined interpretations. What we do seems to change who we are seems to change what we do. What we feel seems to change who we are seems to change what we feel. What we feel seems to change what we do seems to change what we feel.

Of course, I'm heavily biases by my personal study - which has lead to academic study in its own right - knowing myself... which has led me to the brain.

Life is awesome and mysterious.

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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 02:48:39 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
Quote from: Madness
Quote from: Curethan
I suspect that religious or not, the question of exactly what we are is something that drives human inquisitiveness. The world seems so concrete and obvious, whereas tracing our inner perspective onto our 'real' selves is an impossible and mystifying game.

As such, I'm interested in some clarification of meaning in your second sentence here.

Ah, I mean that knowledge of ourselves is second hand - with introspection, we reflect upon our actions and trace back our thoughts and motivations as we remember them through the prism of hindsight.  The things outside our windows define themselves and words are handy labels, but our motivations are constantly re-evaluated and relabeled.  Today this feeling is determination - tomorrow I understand that it was anger.  One day you understand there is a God, on another you might realize that as an abstraction of responsibility.

I think I am digressing here (I'm feeling rather prosaic today), but the kernel of the statement is that introspection can be an endless recursion, the more we think we understand ourselves, the more we have changed from being that person and the person that we think we understand is one someone from the past, who acted in certainty but is now shrouded in doubt.  So, often we end the introspection early by justification, determining that next time we will behave in a similar manner but for slightly different reasons.  And so the game continues, leaving us ever further from who we were although we feel that we are the same.

Bakker says we move in circles, I believe that we move in spirals.  The more introspection, the greater the deviation and the greater the possibility for brilliant insight or its darker twin - madness.  ;)