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Messages - profgrape

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The White-Luck Warrior / The space between the gods
« on: October 16, 2014, 12:39:48 am »
A random thought after re-reading Khellus' meeting with Nin'sariccas:

If in Khellus' description of the Outside, "God... broken into a million warring splinters", the "warring splinters" refer to the Gods,
and the Gods are reflections of Earwan beliefs cast on the Outside,
then one could interpret the Emmisary's assertion that the Nonmen "worship the spaces between the Gods" to mean that they essentially believe in nothing. 

Given this admittedly dubious line of reasoning,  I wonder if the Intact have stayed Intact by finding a way to strip their mind of all belief. 

On a related note, is there any indication that the Nonmen had Gods of their own?

General Earwa / Why are the Inchoroi damned?
« on: October 13, 2014, 08:04:05 pm »
In The False Sun, Shae├Ânanra reflects on how viewing the IF left them "immune to the least remorse".  Once you know you're damned without retribution, consequences don't matter so much.

This got me thinking: why are the Inchoroi damned?

I'd always assumed that the Inchoroi were damned because of their obscene behavior.  But after pondering things, I think I got the causality backwards.  It's far more likely that they first learned of their damnation and then freed of remorse, proceeded to mutate into the rape aliens they are in TSA.

What that "the race of lovers'" crimes were nothing more than "prurient interest" as defined by a conservative ideology?  There are plenty of folks in the US who seem pretty sure of a casual link between homosexuality and damnation -- why not in the Earwa-verse?

General Earwa / Re: Belief becoming reality
« on: October 10, 2014, 10:45:01 pm »
I agree on the Inverse Fire, FB, it *has* to be real to take away the abstraction of damnation.  I completely forgot about the "dug deep into the granules of existence" part as well -- that definitely supports the notion that Earwa is special in how the ensouled can affect the Outside.

The womb-plague explanation is fantastic.  There was a thread either here or on Westeros where someone brought up the fact that the womb plague seemed like a relatively benign weapon compared to what an advanced race could achieve.  But it's not really a weapon to kill, it's a weapon to enslave.

The place where the whole thing falls apart for me is with the Tusk.  If the Inchoroi gave the Tusk to men to deceive them and knew that it was the men of Earwa who had effected their damnation, why not add a line or two about how "there is no damnation"?   Why did they instead instruct them to destroy the Nonmen? 

What if it's actually the Nonmen whose beliefs shape existence?

*Very* interested to hear your thoughts on the Hundred!

General Earwa / Re: Belief becoming reality
« on: October 10, 2014, 05:33:52 pm »
Thanks Wilshire!  Nothing wrong with a little irony... :-)

General Earwa / Re: Belief becoming reality
« on: October 10, 2014, 03:44:04 pm »
@Wilshire, how does redemption through atrocity fit? I recall Shae pondering this in TFS. But I haven't made the same connection you have (and I'd like to).

@mg, my guess on Mog is (again a culmination of other folks ideas) that it's a belief machine that's powered by souls.  Trap enough souls (assuming there's a tipping point) and suddenly, things like the Gods (or God) and damnation cease to exist.

I've often pondered if TSA is a giant "what if" scenario built on the following premise:

"What if the most powerful beings around discovered that they were objectively damned? How would they react?"

There are plenty of people on Earth who believe in damnation (my Grandma, for example). Or at least, they're motivated to live their lives a certain way to avoid it.  Behind it all, however, is an abstraction, just a vision of hell that's somehow stuck.  Which is pretty freaking amazing to my godless self.

As a comparison, I've never been to jail.  But between America Undercover, Oz and OITNB, I have a pretty damn good idea of what it's like and I sure as shit don't want to go there.  As a result, I definitely think twice about certain behaviors.  It's abstract to me but real enough.

Hell, on the other hand, is an order of magnitude more abstract that my vision of jail.  It's not like I can watch a 60 Minutes segment on life in hell or read a PJ O'Roarke travelogue in Rolling Stone about travelling in hell.  Really, no one has any idea what hell is actually like.  And yet, people are terrified by it.

In TSA, however, hell isn't abstract at all.  At least, not to those who have been exposed to the IF (the Consult and presumably, the Inchoroi).  Not only to they know in excruciating detail how horrible it is, they also know that regardless of what they do, they're going there.

Just imagine what they'd do...

General Earwa / Belief becoming reality
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:19:11 pm »
After reading an RSB quote about objective reality in TSA, it struck me how close Inrithi beliefs are to what's actually going on in Earwa. 
One of the biggest examples is the belief that sorcerers are condemned, "...their blasphemy is an abomination like no other..." 

This (along with a re-reading of Thorsten's "Metaphysics of Earwa" essays) makes me wonder if the connection between shared beliefs and reality is what makes Earwa special to the Inchoroi -- it's a place where the beliefs of the ensouled can actually  shape the metaphysics of the rest of the universe.  Borrowing from (and almost certainly butchering) Plato, it's as if Earwan belief casts a shadow onto the Outside.

Given that premise, imagine that the ancient Inchoroi discover that:

1) There are a set of objective rules that apply to the universe.

2) These rules are shaped by Earwan beliefs.

3) By those rules, the the Inchoroi are damned.

Based on these discoveries, the Inchoroi set out to find Earwa and eradicate the souls whose shared beliefs had created this reality.  (I'm almost tempted to say that 144,000 was what they believed was the tipping point where this effect starts happening.  But I won't).

I'm probably tying together way too many disparate threads here.  But it was fun to ponder!

General Earwa / Re: To Madness...
« on: June 14, 2014, 12:16:32 pm »
Madness, regarding your comment on "the maddening combinations", is this just to say that while the series contains plenty of hints as to where the series is going, the sheer number of possibilities make it near-impossible to predict?

The White-Luck Warrior / Re: Women are very important to this series
« on: November 24, 2013, 01:57:41 pm »
... What comes after determines what comes before?

Mind blown!

The White-Luck Warrior / Re: Yatwer and the Greal Ordeal
« on: November 24, 2013, 01:54:49 pm »
If Yatwer is truly blind to the No-God, all the subsequent effects would be put down to other factors. So she can only see the effects that Kellhuss changes have wrought, and would move against him as if he was the prime mover in stealing souls. It may be that if Yatwer is not confined to linear time she may be reacting to the future changes that the reawakening No-God causes and thinking that Kellhuss is the culprit because of her blindness to it.

That is a *great* way to this, Ciogli!  I think I had fallen into the trap of evaluating Yatwer's motives from a human perspective.
The question you've asked, I think, really suggests that the God of Birth should notice that all babies are stillborn.

That's the bit that's bothering me.  The No-God is just so perfectly opposed to Yatwer that it feels like she should have been able to connect the dots.   The ignorance (or denial) of existential threats seems like the sort of trait we'd expect in a human leader, doesn't it?

Crackpot: if she's looking back from the end of time, it could be that her view is so vast that she can only pick up the broad strokes.  The ~2000 years that elapsed between the FA and SA might be compressed.  So from her perspective, the stillborn epidemic from the FA is essentially happening at the same time as Khellus' emergence just prior to the SA? 

Tangent: does the strong opposition of the goddess of Motherhood to Kellhus imply that his support for women's lib in the New Empire is somewhat self-serving and spotty?

If Kellhus knows that Yatwer's completely misreading the situation with the SA, the Shortest Path might be to marginalize her.  And I kind of think of his support for women and abolishing slavery is pure pragmatism -- oppression is bad for business in the long-term.  But oppression is great for Yatwer as it ensures her a large body of worshipers.  So much irony in the Yatwer-Kellhus conflict!

The White-Luck Warrior / Women are very important to this series
« on: November 21, 2013, 10:34:54 pm »
Some else that occurred to me after re-reading TJE and WLW: women are going to play a very important role in the AA series.

I can predict what that role is.  But we know that RSB is a deliberate, intentional writer who doesn't hesitate to trim the fat if it doesn't server a specific purpose, for example, the "deleted scenes" in Atrithau where Khellus recruits his first followers.   So all of the material involving female characters(Esme, Mimara, Serwa, Psatma), mother-child relationships, pregnancy and birth (Mimara, Yatwer, Womb Plague) *must* be building toward something big. 

I just can't imagine RSB doing it just because -- he's too good for that.  And it might just explain why he's seemingly amused by the accusations of misogyny.

The White-Luck Warrior / Yatwer and the Greal Ordeal
« on: November 21, 2013, 10:30:58 pm »
Something that struck me after a recent re-read of WLW: it doesn't make a lot of sense for Yatwer to work against the Great Ordeal through Sorweel.  If anything, it seemed like she wants to prevent No-God from returning.  These two lines from her POV seem to refer to the stillborn epidemic during the FA:

So many.  So many children born...
So many taken.

The whole point (ostensibly) for the Great Ordeal is to stop the World being shut from the Outside and the cycle of birth ending. 

It seems that either:

1. Khellus' motivation is something other than what he's stated.  Which wouldn't exactly be shocking becuase, well, he's that kind of dude.  But it's one of the only pieces of evidence I can find in the books that actually points to his having an ulterior motive.

2. Sorweel is wrong about Yatwer's motivation.  RSB clearly has a fondness for unreliable narrators (Akka in PON) and it wouldn't be a shock if Yatwer is after something less straightforward than killing the Aspect-Emperor.  It could be as simple as his being a "sleeper" as has been stated in other threads: Khellus successfully prevents the No-God from returning and then Yatwer gives Sorweel the go-ahead to salt Khellus. 

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