"Kellhus is dead, but not done."

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H

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« Reply #165 on: March 04, 2021, 03:45:36 pm »
What do you think H?

Honestly, so much much seems "up in the air" I really don't know what to make of it.  On the one hand, indeed, Kellhus was an authentic prophet of Ajokli, but on the other, was that really a net positive or a negative?  I guess it really depends on just what happens if it is the case that Ajokli is sort of "stuck" in-the-world, or something like that.  Thaumaturgy is so much more powerful than sorcery could even dream of being, but to what end would Ajokli really use it?

Then again, I could see Bakker learning into something like a "success through failure" for Kellhus though.  He does like to compare Kellhus' journey to that of Frodo and the One Ring.  But he intentionally subverts the ending there.  To what end?  We don't know and we have precious few clues to say just where he takes it.  To me, it makes little sense if the Second Apocalypse is just a carbon copy of the first.  It also makes little sense, to me, if the Second Apocalypse simply just crushes everyone and succeeds.  So, the answer is how does it fail and why?

I think part of that will likely be Kellhus' status, "dead but not done" meaning he is still at something from the Outside.  Perhaps he takes a sort of Seswatha-like role?  Perhaps that leads to Akka's role going forward?  Then the biggest question to me is what of Mimara?  I mean, besides my usual "she will answer the No-God's questions" prediction.  I guess I'd say that maybe she manages to reframe the moral fundament, since in a way she holds the Cubit within herself.

All of that to say, well, that I am really not sure just where Bakker wants to take it.  It's hard to discount his general pessimism (or, maybe rather cynicism) but on the other hand, I don't know that he will go all-in on that.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #166 on: March 05, 2021, 12:47:50 am »
All of that to say, well, that I am really not sure just where Bakker wants to take it.
Pretty much this. From the point the story stopped there is a huge number of equally possible ways to go forward. Some of them complement each other, some are mutually exclusive, but there is no way to logically establish any sort of concrete direction without being the author. We can only go with our own emotional preferences.

H

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« Reply #167 on: March 05, 2021, 04:10:08 pm »
We can only go with our own emotional preferences.

Yeah, in a sense I'd say it maybe as: we'd like to think we have a hold of some internal logic to the series.  In actuality, contradiction and negation is just as likely, if not more so, than any logic of necessity.

So, where I want to say it makes sense for Mimara and the Eye to have some major role/impact, that point is trivially easy to be negated where it simply makes no difference at all and that is the real point.  In a sense, we'd like to think we have some sort of "predictive power" that the future is not "wide open" where nearly anything could happen.  Sure, maybe in the actual world, this is somewhat true, because there seems to be something like necessity at hand.

But in Eärwa, where narrative necessity is likely the only sort we ever could have, contradiction and negation are just as likely at all times, if not even more so, than what we think might be logically necessary.  Or, maybe I am just off on a tangent...
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #168 on: March 05, 2021, 05:39:35 pm »
Or, maybe I am just off on a tangent...
No, it makes perfect sense and is exactly what I was talking about!

mrganondorf

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« Reply #169 on: March 11, 2021, 03:20:36 am »
@TaoHorror - Can’t remember where, but there are passage(s) that talk about the ttt being a living thing.  I’m not sure that Kellhus was deluded, just caught unawares … that skin spy reaches out to him from an unseen corner just like wlw got Maithanet (the unseen corner in every room).  Kellhus failing to pull off the ttt as he intended it but succeeding from the pov that his death causes more belief than his life would be a very Bakker thing to do.

@ H - I think you put you’re finger right on it—Bakker’s pessimism.  All 7 books take us to the Golden Room where we find Science vs Religion.  Humanity is fucked either way.  Science exterminates the possibility of eternity.  Religion means humans are the playthings of greater beings (this is the ugly possibility hiding behind every religion—any promises of paradise are only good of the Speaker is hones and keeps their word and no higher court can compel them to,  Jesus could have come to Earth just to deceive, which makes me want to call and check on my family).  Science beats Religion in the Golden Room, I think, because Earwa is a commentary on this world.  Religion held sway for most of the time but now Science is supplanting a lot of it. 

Wouldn’t it be something if Kellhus orchestrated (successfully but we don’t know his plan yet) the whole thing as a way to get Serwe back?  It’s too sweet for Bakker but it’s a neat possibility that isn’t yet extinguished.  Sometimes Kellhus really did seem inclined to her beyond his Dunyainity.

I get the feeling that the next 3 books tell the story of the unlikely victory over New Mog only to end when a second golden ark lands.

Back to what I said earlier, “humanity is fucked either way,” I think Bakker identifies with Akka, the guy in the middle.  Opposed to the Consult but no friend of the gods who would damn him, a man caught in the middle.  Perhaps things end with Akka musing about how Seswatha’s line, “though you lose your soul you will gain the world” is ultimately just a piece of fabricated bullshit, a necessary bit of propaganda for the catechism to perpetuate an impossible middle way.

@H again - Jesus H…”So, where I want to say it makes sense for Mimara and the Eye to have some major role/impact, that point is trivially easy to be negated where it simply makes no difference at all and that is the real point.”  Damn I love reading your commentary.

Also, it’s neat to think about how the Consult-Dunyain where just playing Kellhus (albeit they were executing a plan they had come up with mere minutes before because Kel could not have been there long).  They must have suspected that Kellhus had an ace up his sleeve even if they didn’t know it was Ajokli because there’s no way he just waltzes into a room full of skin spies armed with chorae without some kind of leverage.  There’s no indication that he could have put up his detritus globe like he did at the end of TTT.  The aspect emperor got straight up played (supposing of course he wasn’t intending on his own salting). 

Also, I assume that all of the Consult-Dunyain that were not sorcerers DID have chorae, but it just didn’t matter when Kellhus came for that one because he was channeling hell—like the way Akka says a single chorae would not have mattered against the shade of Cil-Aujus.

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« Reply #170 on: March 12, 2021, 11:29:29 am »
@TaoHorror - Can’t remember where, but there are passage(s) that talk about the ttt being a living thing.  I’m not sure that Kellhus was deluded, just caught unawares … that skin spy reaches out to him from an unseen corner just like wlw got Maithanet (the unseen corner in every room).  Kellhus failing to pull off the ttt as he intended it but succeeding from the pov that his death causes more belief than his life would be a very Bakker thing to do.

Could we maybe think of it as "living" in the Deleuzian way of a rhizome?  Although, really, it would be an "inverse rhizome" in many ways, how Bakker that would be.  Or, more likely, to consider it "living" as a Body Without Organs?

@ H - I think you put you’re finger right on it—Bakker’s pessimism.  All 7 books take us to the Golden Room where we find Science vs Religion.  Humanity is fucked either way.  Science exterminates the possibility of eternity.  Religion means humans are the playthings of greater beings (this is the ugly possibility hiding behind every religion—any promises of paradise are only good of the Speaker is hones and keeps their word and no higher court can compel them to,  Jesus could have come to Earth just to deceive, which makes me want to call and check on my family).  Science beats Religion in the Golden Room, I think, because Earwa is a commentary on this world.  Religion held sway for most of the time but now Science is supplanting a lot of it. 

Wouldn’t it be something if Kellhus orchestrated (successfully but we don’t know his plan yet) the whole thing as a way to get Serwe back?  It’s too sweet for Bakker but it’s a neat possibility that isn’t yet extinguished.  Sometimes Kellhus really did seem inclined to her beyond his Dunyainity.

I get the feeling that the next 3 books tell the story of the unlikely victory over New Mog only to end when a second golden ark lands.

Back to what I said earlier, “humanity is fucked either way,” I think Bakker identifies with Akka, the guy in the middle.  Opposed to the Consult but no friend of the gods who would damn him, a man caught in the middle.  Perhaps things end with Akka musing about how Seswatha’s line, “though you lose your soul you will gain the world” is ultimately just a piece of fabricated bullshit, a necessary bit of propaganda for the catechism to perpetuate an impossible middle way.

Indeed, we could think of a "centrism" as a way of losing two ways.  My guess is usually though that Kellhus sees the two extremes as clear losses, so he, in his own way, tries to play both sides to his own middle.  To what end?  I think to, again, carve out a "center position" of sorts.  Kellhus would install himself as a sort of god, but also as a secular ruler, who, unlike the Consult, has two feet fully in the infinite eternity and so is fittingly a true God-Emperor?

However, I do think a literal Eternal Return might be a bit too literal though?  My guess is just my general, "Mimara manages to undo the No-God, the Consult is barely defeated.  But the whole problem arises again.  The Ark is still there, Mimara is a real prophet, but the problem of hermeneutics is still just as present, if not more so.  Mimara can reframe it all, but to what and why?

Also, it’s neat to think about how the Consult-Dunyain where just playing Kellhus (albeit they were executing a plan they had come up with mere minutes before because Kel could not have been there long).  They must have suspected that Kellhus had an ace up his sleeve even if they didn’t know it was Ajokli because there’s no way he just waltzes into a room full of skin spies armed with chorae without some kind of leverage.  There’s no indication that he could have put up his detritus globe like he did at the end of TTT.  The aspect emperor got straight up played (supposing of course he wasn’t intending on his own salting). 

Also, I assume that all of the Consult-Dunyain that were not sorcerers DID have chorae, but it just didn’t matter when Kellhus came for that one because he was channeling hell—like the way Akka says a single chorae would not have mattered against the shade of Cil-Aujus.

Yeah, that thaumaturgy does not care about Chorae at all.  I think that the Dunsult probably thought that Kellhus might well have been something up his sleeve, but one, they really didn't have many options and two, they probably still did actually think that the Inverse Fire was an ace in their sleeves.  Which, in their own empiricist way, wasn't that bad an idea.  No one ever had seen the Inverse Fire and resisted it before.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

mrganondorf

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« Reply #171 on: March 18, 2021, 01:06:37 am »
Yeah longer, the less believable ... however, it's a helluva viramsata all the same.  Bakker took 'what is the meaning of a deluded life' and spread it to every corner of Earwa/Eanna.  These people are going to be believe hard now.

It would be the strangest thing if we found out that Khellus (inadvertently) was sacrificed to save the world (if a world united by him posthumously finds a way to overcome mog).  Trying to fool everyone into believing you are Jesus and die and yet succeed.

Also, whatever Khellus' fate, as a liar, he was the Authentic Prophet of Ajokli.  Those gold haloes weren't in lieu of silver ones, they signified an alternative holiness--being blessed by the biggest demon.

What do you think H?

Extraordinary, I don't think this has been explained with such clarity and economy :)

Can't tell if you're messing with me TaoHorror.  It's good to see you here.  And SmilerLoki.  And Madness and Wilshire!

Even though Covid never kept me from the forum, there's been some tough times and I'm glad to communicate with some friendly people.

Hope y'all are hanging in there ok.

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« Reply #172 on: March 18, 2021, 01:29:17 am »
@H - you had me at Deleuzian rhizomes! 

As for Khellus playing all ends, honestly I think: 1) he really did fail, however, 2) he had back up plans.

Failing via ignorance is just so Baker, if Khellus hasn’t, then a greater similar failure is on the way.

The situation Baker set up is so fun—Khellus lies about being a prophet but convinces the world by accidentally dying.  Now Mimara/son really is the propher(s) but their ability to elicit belief from the people is utterly fucked.  If anyone believes her at all, it will be because they think she is some sort of mini-prophet that is part of Khellus’ story.  It will be neat to see if she lies and tells people that Khellus was holy or if that is intolerable and she becomes an outcast at the end of the world.

Maybe that’s the angle Bakker is going for: Mimara will be executed by the mobs she could save if they would only listen to her.  Baker subverts Christ dying on the Cross for our sins in 2 ways: fake Christ (Khellus) dies but not for our sins and Mimara dies even though she could have saved us.

———

Tangent: What about the possibility of performing sorcery in hell?  Sorcery requires two voices, each securing the meaning of the other — Khellus lost his physical mouth but can still sing with 2 voices internally.  Not sure there is anything here, just wondering, it’s my adhd. 

——

As far as Khellus being motivated by love of Serwe, I still don’t think it’s a possibility, but I am reminded of this…when Sutadra dies, Mimara sees “the clear skin of heroism and sacrifice.  The white of devotion.  The GOLD of unconditional love.  The gleam of loyalty and long silence.  The high blue of indomitable strength.”

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« Reply #173 on: March 18, 2021, 01:20:53 pm »
@H - you had me at Deleuzian rhizomes! 

As for Khellus playing all ends, honestly I think: 1) he really did fail, however, 2) he had back up plans.

Failing via ignorance is just so Baker, if Khellus hasn’t, then a greater similar failure is on the way.

The situation Baker set up is so fun—Khellus lies about being a prophet but convinces the world by accidentally dying.  Now Mimara/son really is the propher(s) but their ability to elicit belief from the people is utterly fucked.  If anyone believes her at all, it will be because they think she is some sort of mini-prophet that is part of Khellus’ story.  It will be neat to see if she lies and tells people that Khellus was holy or if that is intolerable and she becomes an outcast at the end of the world.

Maybe that’s the angle Bakker is going for: Mimara will be executed by the mobs she could save if they would only listen to her.  Baker subverts Christ dying on the Cross for our sins in 2 ways: fake Christ (Khellus) dies but not for our sins and Mimara dies even though she could have saved us.

Well, I think it was more than just ignorance though.  As Bakker said once, it was also something like "taking the unity of his personal identity for granted."  To me, it is about a sort of Logo-centrism, the same as Moe the Elder, who just discounts the Outside as trivial and inconsequential.  Kellhus realizes it is consequential, then just figures that the Logos can supersede it, harness it, and conquer it anyway.

Maybe the punchline is that Kellhus fails to realized that the Ground of the Logos is, in fact, full-well in the Outside or maybe we should say that the Ground of the Logos simply is not within the Logo-sphere.  So, here Kellhus figures his personal identity can be a bulwark against the Outside and be the foundation of the Logos, all the while never seeing the sand slipping out from under his feet.

I guess I just really want Mimara to actually be the prophet.  Does she actually get to do it?  I'm not sure.  I think it's a toss up, so maybe the idea is more than she doesn't get the universal acceptance, but maybe a small band of people realize she is the real deal.  Perhaps the "ultimate" is that she does avert the Apocalypse, she does manage to reframe things to some extent, but in the end, it's only a small incremental change and it will all happen again, just hopefully a little less badly next time...

Tangent: What about the possibility of performing sorcery in hell?  Sorcery requires two voices, each securing the meaning of the other — Khellus lost his physical mouth but can still sing with 2 voices internally.  Not sure there is anything here, just wondering, it’s my adhd.

Hmm, I'd guess not and interestingly, the main way we see Kellhus leverage the Outside was via the Head On A Pole, which if we are right and is now not a thing since he is dead, then what does he have as leverage on the Outside?

As far as Khellus being motivated by love of Serwe, I still don’t think it’s a possibility, but I am reminded of this…when Sutadra dies, Mimara sees “the clear skin of heroism and sacrifice.  The white of devotion.  The GOLD of unconditional love.  The gleam of loyalty and long silence.  The high blue of indomitable strength.”

I think the answer is a sort of "yes, but no" on that.  Does he "love" Serwe?  Yes, but in his own sort of stunted way and his aim was always more toward the elevation of himself to the Logo-centric place, a conqueror of all that is Outside the usual sense of control.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira