[TGO Spoilers] The Gods

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Cosi

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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2016, 01:56:19 am »
It is alluded to a couple of times that the no-god, the first apocalypse and the consult are all pretty much blind spots for the Hundred.

That seems strange if they can see Sranc. Wouldn't they at least see the huge swarms of them (and Wracu, and Bashrag) that the No-God commanded?

Cüréthañ

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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2016, 02:46:37 am »
They see sranc but can't really fathom them. And to be fair, seeing is not the same as understanding at all. And the gods are only really interested in things that are useful to them. Check their attitudes to the non-men and Kellhus.

Also, when the No-god walked the gods were completely blind. His purpose is to displace the outside. They wouldn't even be aware of the years they were barred, because to them, nothing happened. They don't experience time as a progression of 'now'.
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2016, 02:59:13 am »
I thought Zero-God, Solitary God, and God of Gods all were different ways of talking about "all the agencies of the Outside" (as well as the Dunyain concept of "The Absolute"). Maybe "unified" to lesser or greater degrees.

I think we've inherited a lot of in-world baggage from the text. The Cishaurim believe that the Solitary God stands apart from the Hundred and the Hundred are renegade demons. The Kiunnat tradition of pre-Inrithi worship equally decries the God of Gods and the Solitary God as akin to philosopher's fancy, a foolish abstraction, according to Psatma in WLW. And the Inrithi think the God of Gods the greater frame of the Kiunnat Gods.

Over the years, I feel like a consensus has emerged from the various interpretations that the Solitary God gives rise to the God of Gods and the Hundred (which aphorisms by Ajencis over the course of the series and the opening to TGO seem to imply is a consistent interpretation of Earwa's reality). So for me, personally, it comes down to where we place Koringhus' interpretation of the Eye as Zero-God...

edit; I have a short, if rather dense, mathematical allegory of my understanding of how the hundred connect to Earwa via souls which I could edit and post if there is interest.

Umm... yes please 8)?

It is alluded to a couple of times that the no-god, the first apocalypse and the consult are all pretty much blind spots for the Hundred.

I want to say that our only sources on what the Gods do and do not perceive regarding, the No-God, the First Apocalypse, and the Consult members, come from Maithanet, Theli, and Achamian - with that one aforementioned caveat from the Ajokli Narindar.

Right? And if that's the case, as far as I recall, it's only ever mentioned that Gods can't see the No-God, specifically.
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Cüréthañ

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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2016, 04:01:54 am »
Also info-dumps from Khellus and the last Siqu (obliquely).

It's also clearly stated by Bakker in text and interview that things cannot see past their own ends. Unknown unknowns and all that.

I'll tidy up that allegory later (needs it - I was pretty wasted when I wrote it :) ) and post it here.
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spacemost

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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2016, 04:50:24 pm »
Agencies of the Outside:

- Zero-God
- Solitary God
- God of Gods
- Aspects of the God of Gods; The Hundred; Principles
- Ciphrang

What are the thoughts on distinguishing the actuality of these agencies and their expression in the world?
I'm thinking The Inrithi were right and the individual gods are analogous to the Survivor's "shards". Perhaps some great ordeal fractured the psyche of the Solitary God, which by dint of the SG' omnipotence, and maybe in line with Ajencis' dyadic theory, causes individual shards to manifest as distinct gods to human perception.

Off on a tangent here but maybe the One God is like a giant brain that manifests reality. Even an extremely advanced brain can only conceive of what can be perceived, and so the Consult wants to blind the brain. Or, maybe it's a being that grasped the absolute, and the Consult's project is analogous to reintroducing the 'darkness that came before' so that the God becomes a subject of the world rather than vice-versa.

Do any of the books give concrete explanation for how a soul avoids damnation?

MisterGuyMan

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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2016, 05:28:56 pm »
Bakker said in a Q&A that humans can turn into Ciphrang and those that do can start that transformation during life.  I always go back to how the Hundred used to walk the planet.  Isn't there confirmation that the Tusk was introduced by the Consult as a tool to kill the Nonmen?  From there it's an easy leap to see how 100 humans were Tekne'd with endless hunger, turned into big ass demons and then gods via the Tusk's memorialized history.

Do any of the books give concrete explanation for how a soul avoids damnation?
Not sure how concrete of an answer you're looking for but here's what I recall anyway.  Most Gods protect their followers in the afterlife.  Truly Damned souls are consumed via the endless hunger that rules the Outside.  Zeum trust in their ancestral bonds to protect one other because they find that more reliable than relying on the whims of demons.  Non-Men seem to hide from damnation somehow.  It seems to me that damnation is relative.  Everyone wants to eat everyone else in the afterlife.

H

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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2016, 05:34:43 pm »
Agencies of the Outside:

- Zero-God
- Solitary God
- God of Gods
- Aspects of the God of Gods; The Hundred; Principles
- Ciphrang

What are the thoughts on distinguishing the actuality of these agencies and their expression in the world?

Well, I missed this post yesterday.

To me, I am very doubtful that the Solitary God exists.  More to the point though, I do not believe that the Solitary God exerts any influence in Earwa.  The SOlitary God's "power" allegedly comes in the form of Water through Cishaurim, but we know that isn't actually true.  Moe had water and sure doesn't believe the Solitary God works through him.

The Zero-God is pretty similar to the Solitary God, indeed, it may well be the same idea expressed differently.  I have a feeling that love  is supposed to be the Zero-God's power manifest, but I am not sure.

The God of Gods is the same as the Solitary God, the Zero-God, the Hundred Unified.  In other words, perhaps God Indivisible.

The Hundred's power seems pretty manifest, they seem to be able to actually effect the world and "speak" to those in it.

Ciphrang would seem to be souls that for some reason (too strong, perhaps?) that the Hundred cannot consume.  They are confined to what is something like purgatory.
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

Cosi

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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2016, 06:22:39 pm »
Isn't there confirmation that the Tusk was introduced by the Consult as a tool to kill the Nonmen?

I don't know. There's a reference in one of the Sorweel chapters in TGO to a "tutelage of the Vile", but my understanding of that was that it was the Consult teaching men Anagogic Sorcery. I do believe that the Tusk (and the Later Prophet's injunction to kill sorcerers) were Consult/Inchoroi tools, but I don't think that's been established.

To me, I am very doubtful that the Solitary God exists.  More to the point though, I do not believe that the Solitary God exerts any influence in Earwa.  The SOlitary God's "power" allegedly comes in the form of Water through Cishaurim, but we know that isn't actually true.  Moe had water and sure doesn't believe the Solitary God works through him.

Where does the Psukhe come from, if not the Solitary God? If it was just another type of magic (like Gnosis/Anagogis/Diamos/etc), then why didn't the Consult know anything about it? Remember, they thought the ability to recognize skin spies was a part of the Psukhe, which implies they have no idea what it does. I suspect that even if the Psukhe isn't divinely powered, it's at least divinely inspired. That is, the first Cishaurim were shown/taught the Psukhe by the Solitary God. Otherwise, why would it only show up among the devotees of the Solitary God?

spacemost

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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2016, 06:24:47 pm »
Bakker said in a Q&A that humans can turn into Ciphrang and those that do can start that transformation during life.  I always go back to how the Hundred used to walk the planet.  Isn't there confirmation that the Tusk was introduced by the Consult as a tool to kill the Nonmen?  From there it's an easy leap to see how 100 humans were Tekne'd with endless hunger, turned into big ass demons and then gods via the Tusk's memorialized history.
I seem to remember the Tusk was given to the humans by the Consult for that reason, and TGO also says that writing given to men by the Consult and that this was some sort of corruption. Maybe I misread.

Quote
Not sure how concrete of an answer you're looking for but here's what I recall anyway.  Most Gods protect their followers in the afterlife.  Truly Damned souls are consumed via the endless hunger that rules the Outside.  Zeum trust in their ancestral bonds to protect one other because they find that more reliable than relying on the whims of demons.  Non-Men seem to hide from damnation somehow.  It seems to me that damnation is relative.  Everyone wants to eat everyone else in the afterlife.
So it's fair to say that in order to be saved, you must always be oriented towards a specific god and behaving in a way that appeases them (even if it means struggling against them as with the bellicose gods)? In other words, a virtuous agnostic is still going to hell.

H

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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2016, 07:00:36 pm »
Isn't there confirmation that the Tusk was introduced by the Consult as a tool to kill the Nonmen?

I don't know. There's a reference in one of the Sorweel chapters in TGO to a "tutelage of the Vile", but my understanding of that was that it was the Consult teaching men Anagogic Sorcery. I do believe that the Tusk (and the Later Prophet's injunction to kill sorcerers) were Consult/Inchoroi tools, but I don't think that's been established.

In one the Bakker's interviews with Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, he says that the Tusk was a gift from the Inchoroi to the tribes of Eanna.

To me, I am very doubtful that the Solitary God exists.  More to the point though, I do not believe that the Solitary God exerts any influence in Earwa.  The SOlitary God's "power" allegedly comes in the form of Water through Cishaurim, but we know that isn't actually true.  Moe had water and sure doesn't believe the Solitary God works through him.

Where does the Psukhe come from, if not the Solitary God? If it was just another type of magic (like Gnosis/Anagogis/Diamos/etc), then why didn't the Consult know anything about it? Remember, they thought the ability to recognize skin spies was a part of the Psukhe, which implies they have no idea what it does. I suspect that even if the Psukhe isn't divinely powered, it's at least divinely inspired. That is, the first Cishaurim were shown/taught the Psukhe by the Solitary God. Otherwise, why would it only show up among the devotees of the Solitary God?

I'm still not buying a divine source.  Inspiration doesn't equal causation in my mind.  Just because they truely believe that the Water is from the Solitary God, doesn't, in my mind, make the Solitary God the source.  Indeed, the reverse would seem to be true, each Cishuarim is the source and they are what (attempts) to make the Solitary God.  Just as Kellhus says, the Prophet isn't the messenger of God, he is the messenger to God.

The False Sun sure points to proto-Psuhke being found by Titirga long before Fane.  It was only that Fane found it and refined it to a degree.  It wasn't just the Inchoroi that missed it, so did the Nonmen and human Schools.  Bakker once said the reason for this is because they were supplied with a hammer (the Gnosis and Anagogis) you think every problem is a nail.  I forget what interview that was from though.  Or a Q&A.  Not sure anymore.

Luckily my Google-fu is still strong:
Quote
Prior to Fane, the Psukhe as an arcane art was unknown, though there are legendary hints and mythic innuendos of certain sightless individuals harnessing inexplicable powers in moments of extraordinary anguish.

Everything comes down to meaning in Eärwa. Where sorcery is representational, utilizing either the logical form (as with the Gnosis) or the material content (as with the Anagogis) of meaning to leverage transformations of reality, the Psukhe utilizes the impetus. Practitioners of the Psukhe blind themselves to see through the what and grasp the how, the pure performative kernel of meaning–the music, the passion, or as the Cishaurim call it, the ‘Water.’ As a contemporary philosopher might say, the Psukhe is noncognitive, it has no truck with warring versions of reality, which is why it possesses no Mark and remains invisible to the Few.

This is why the Psukhe never occurred to any of the other more ancient arcane traditions. As the old saying goes, the man with a hammer thinks every problem is a nail. For the bulk of Eärwa’s history, it’s very possibility remained invisible.
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

Madness

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« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2016, 03:52:07 pm »
I'll tidy up that allegory later (needs it - I was pretty wasted when I wrote it :) ) and post it here.

Thanks, Cüréthañ :).

Off on a tangent here but maybe the One God is like a giant brain that manifests reality.

I feel like this is probably a good tactic to leverage understanding from the Gods metaphor.

Do any of the books give concrete explanation for how a soul avoids damnation?

Nope - Redemption is mentioned outside of text in an old Zombie Three post by Bakker and the possibility of seeking Oblivion is mentioned in The False Sun:

Quote from: Bakker, c2006
They [the Scylvendi] don't believe they have any afterlife. You have to remember too, that just as most religious people have no consistent, systematic understanding of 'noumenal world' that brackets the mundane, neither do the Scylvendi, nor the Inrithi, though the latter have many scholarly accounts of what awaits them.

Given this overarching indeterminacy, there's three basic options: Oblivion, Damnation, or Redemption. The idea is that without the interest of the various 'agencies' (as the Nonmen call them) inhabiting the Outside, one simply falls into oblivion - dies. Certain acts attract the interest of certain agencies. One can, and most Inrithi do, plead to redeemed ancestors to intercede on their behalf, but most give themselves over to some God. Doing so, however, puts their souls entirely into play, and the more sketchy one's life is, the more liable one is to be 'poached' by the demonic, and to live out eternity in everlasting torment.

I could go on, but most of all this will be covered in the encyclopaedic glossary in TTT.

Well, I missed this post yesterday.

To me, I am very doubtful that the Solitary God exists.  More to the point though, I do not believe that the Solitary God exerts any influence in Earwa.  The SOlitary God's "power" allegedly comes in the form of Water through Cishaurim, but we know that isn't actually true.  Moe had water and sure doesn't believe the Solitary God works through him.

The Zero-God is pretty similar to the Solitary God, indeed, it may well be the same idea expressed differently.  I have a feeling that love  is supposed to be the Zero-God's power manifest, but I am not sure.

The God of Gods is the same as the Solitary God, the Zero-God, the Hundred Unified.  In other words, perhaps God Indivisible.

The Hundred's power seems pretty manifest, they seem to be able to actually effect the world and "speak" to those in it.

Ciphrang would seem to be souls that for some reason (too strong, perhaps?) that the Hundred cannot consume.  They are confined to what is something like purgatory.

All good thoughts. I'm not sure what kind of pattern I want to project onto it all yet. It's interesting that Fane attributes his surviving the desert to the Solitary God: The Witness of Fane is the Fanim holy text, after all, which would imply some manifest agency in the world.

Where does the Psukhe come from, if not the Solitary God? If it was just another type of magic (like Gnosis/Anagogis/Diamos/etc), then why didn't the Consult know anything about it? Remember, they thought the ability to recognize skin spies was a part of the Psukhe, which implies they have no idea what it does. I suspect that even if the Psukhe isn't divinely powered, it's at least divinely inspired. That is, the first Cishaurim were shown/taught the Psukhe by the Solitary God. Otherwise, why would it only show up among the devotees of the Solitary God?

There's an interview reference that somewhat complicates this (which H already quoted, apparently :) ):

Isn't there confirmation that the Tusk was introduced by the Consult as a tool to kill the Nonmen?

I don't know. There's a reference in one of the Sorweel chapters in TGO to a "tutelage of the Vile", but my understanding of that was that it was the Consult teaching men Anagogic Sorcery. I do believe that the Tusk (and the Later Prophet's injunction to kill sorcerers) were Consult/Inchoroi tools, but I don't think that's been established.

In one the Bakker's interviews with Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, he says that the Tusk was a gift from the Inchoroi to the tribes of Eanna.

...

Luckily my Google-fu is still strong:
Quote
Prior to Fane, the Psukhe as an arcane art was unknown, though there are legendary hints and mythic innuendos of certain sightless individuals harnessing inexplicable powers in moments of extraordinary anguish.

Everything comes down to meaning in Eärwa. Where sorcery is representational, utilizing either the logical form (as with the Gnosis) or the material content (as with the Anagogis) of meaning to leverage transformations of reality, the Psukhe utilizes the impetus. Practitioners of the Psukhe blind themselves to see through the what and grasp the how, the pure performative kernel of meaning–the music, the passion, or as the Cishaurim call it, the ‘Water.’ As a contemporary philosopher might say, the Psukhe is noncognitive, it has no truck with warring versions of reality, which is why it possesses no Mark and remains invisible to the Few.

This is why the Psukhe never occurred to any of the other more ancient arcane traditions. As the old saying goes, the man with a hammer thinks every problem is a nail. For the bulk of Eärwa’s history, it’s very possibility remained invisible.

Lol - it was in the same interview as the Tusk bit ;).
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H

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« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2016, 04:56:25 pm »
All good thoughts. I'm not sure what kind of pattern I want to project onto it all yet. It's interesting that Fane attributes his surviving the desert to the Solitary God: The Witness of Fane is the Fanim holy text, after all, which would imply some manifest agency in the world.

If Kellhus' theory is to be beleived (and this is one of the few things that I do trust him on, to an extent) Fane delivered Water to the Solitary God, not the reverse.  I believe that what he was excommunitcated for was an idea boardering on what Koringhus figured out.  In the desert, he was saved by the Indara.  Their literal water is the Water that saved him, but somehow, the stress of the time in the desert awakens the Psukhe.  I'll try to think more on this when I have a little time.


Lol - it was in the same interview as the Tusk bit ;).

Realized that right after I posted, but forgot to go back and edit.  Memory isn't what it used to be...
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

spacemost

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« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2016, 08:46:21 pm »
Still getting used to this forum's peculiarities, sorry. I'll just repost the relevant Bakker quote from above.
Quote
Everything comes down to meaning in Eärwa. Where sorcery is representational, utilizing either the logical form (as with the Gnosis) or the material content (as with the Anagogis) of meaning to leverage transformations of reality, the Psukhe utilizes the impetus. Practitioners of the Psukhe blind themselves to see through the what and grasp the how, the pure performative kernel of meaning–the music, the passion, or as the Cishaurim call it, the ‘Water.’ As a contemporary philosopher might say, the Psukhe is noncognitive, it has no truck with warring versions of reality, which is why it possesses no Mark and remains invisible to the Few.

Does this give us a clue as to why Meppa was left alive? Psukhe sounds analogous to this definition of the No-God he supplied in a Q&A (can't find the original source; took it from the wiki):
Quote
A better way to think of the No-God is as a philosophical zombie (p-zombie) . . .  A perfectly unconscious god, and so in that respect, entirely at one with material reality, continuous with it, and so an agency invisible to the Outside.

A noncognitive sorcery and an unconscious God.

Or maybe semiotics is a better lens to use.
Gnosis = signifier, Agogis = signified, and Psukhe = ... I don't know. The unconscious act of meaning-making? But to me, that suggests its the magic the Absolute, the darkness that comes before. If that were the case, I would expect them to not be effected by chorae or damned the way the gnostic and agogic sorcerers are.

MSJ

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« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2016, 02:35:10 am »
I think what makes Ajokli special is he can see what the other gods can't, whatever that is.
They why of it is what's important though. What makes him able to see? Maybe he's not the same kind of being that all the other Gods are. Not to say he isn't a God in some sense, but if the Hundred are just big Ciphrang, may he something else entirely.

They why is very important. I'm assuming that Ajokli is one of the Ciphrang that Bakker talks about (those so damned that they start the transition in life). And, I think whoever he was before becoming a Ciphrang (gods are Ciphrang, so not much of a distinction between the two), he went into the Outside with a plan. To end damnation. Now once in the Outside all of time would be available to him and would know of Kellhus and his plan. I think Ajokli is an ally to Kellhus, tbh.
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« Reply #29 on: July 25, 2016, 03:56:51 pm »
What did everyone think about the 99 birds Koringhus killed with 99 stones and the song of the Boatman regarding the 99 sons who would "bid their fathers be as sons?" Locke convinced me that the latter, at least, is a reference to the creation myth we've thus far been denied, and it seems highly unlikely that the two are unconnected given the number 99's lack of significance elsewhere in the series.

Beyond that, who is the outlier that made them the Hundred? Ajokli or Onkis? I feel like there's a certain possibility of Onkis somehow being related to the Cunuroi women, given that she shares the copper tree of Siol as her emblem.