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General Earwa / Re: (Spoilers All) (Srancpost) The Solitary God
« on: May 14, 2021, 12:45:56 pm »
Yeah, that was what I was going for - like God has already thought Cause/Effect relations out and while He mentally sustains these relations He is not immanent in the world.

Right, which leads right to what the Glossary entry has the Inrithi asking, "are not functions part of the greater whole?"

In a way, it is getting at, I think, something like the following: the Fanim says the Solitary God is separate from the universe, as higher order functioning, or something like it.  The Inrithi ask how that could actually be separate and not just a [the?] greater whole.

I have to admit, that I am rather sympathetic to the Inrithi point there.  However, the Fanim make several other key critiques of the Inrthi position though, notably the critical role that transcendental universals would seem to play even in Inrithi thought.

Do you agree with Madness that perhaps Big Moe just let Kellhus yammer on about discrepancies in voices while in truth the Cish easily rooted out the skin-spies?

Well, even Kellhus temper's his conjecture there:

Then, about twelve years ago, you discovered the first of the Consult skin-spies—probably through discrepancies in their voices.

I don't think Kellhus really fully understands the Third Sight at this point (in fact, he might never really, since he couldn't ever experience it himself).

I think in line with what you are saying here is that what the Cish see has, to them, always correlated with souls. They perhaps see souls as entities with passions, intellect, etc. And before they never had reason to doubt this correlation.

Perhaps it's also the case that because they felt they could still see "souls" in the skin-spies they insisted that these were not biological machinery but magical artifacts made by the Scarlet Spires?

Well, I think that the Cishaurim leadership likely already had "reason" to suspect or be worried about the Scarlet Spires.  The only other group they'd likely suspect more would be the Imperial Saik and they likely had little reason to think they could pull off such a feat, simply because the Diamos is far more mysterious, in-world, as to what it might be able to do.  Being so beyond what the "usual" Anagogis could do, they are likely right in worrying about if it could well pull a soul from something.

In the end, I suspect this actually is a slight plot hole, but one easily hand-waved away.  It was the case that pre-"twelve years ago" the Consult rarely had reason to install skin-spies in Fanim lands, so there wasn't really much reason for concern by either party.  When Moe arrives though, his curiosity and general thoroughness means removal reaches a fever pitch, raising things to a new level for both the Cishaurim and the Consult.

Might be why they were so obsessed with "cunny" as well....

Indeed, in fact all the more so, since they are likely in possession of part or some of the engineering that makes Inchoroi drawn toward those Damnable desires yet shackled to bodily forms that likely completely preclude even the possibility of acting on such desires.

Then again, given the seeming divergence of forms that Wracu seemed to have taken, each might have been "new" attempts at achieving a manufacturable design.  Or maybe it simply is that there was that they lacked an understanding sufficient to merge the Inchroi and Wutteät genomes in anything but a haphazard manner, achieving differing results each time.

Skarfa at least seems more articulate than Skuthula, but we really don't know much of of the rest of them to say just how divergent they might have been.  I'd still guess that what they were doing was attempting mash-ups of genomes they had on hand and enhancing them with "cybernetics" or at least reinforced skeletons/scales.

General Earwa / Re: (Spoilers All) (Srancpost) The Solitary God
« on: May 11, 2021, 04:13:01 pm »
"Function" is definitely the tricky word here, as otherwise it could be a Classical Theism God who is apart from creation but also creation's concurrent cause.

Maybe the Divine Function is meant to be a matter of what outputs are produced by what inputs, sort of like a Relation that precedes Relata?

Is that sort of like a Platonic form of Relation?

Also, isn't it weird that despite the Dunyain reflecting a proper proportion of the God they are spiritually weak?

I don't follow what "proportion of the God" is really supposed to mean.  I just read that as a soul being the "portion" of the God that is tied to a given individual.  Dunyain don't lack souls, they lack the manner of Spirit (read: Geist, as Mind) that reflects into itself in a manner we could notionally call "spirituality."

Their "religion" is rather the Logos, which chains them to a differential conception of self-consciousness and so a different sort of expression of mind (and the role it should play).  One that leaves them far "superior" in conscious ability but weaker to the unconscious forces that are still at play.  They are still fully "souled," still self-conscious, still portions of the God, where Tekne creations are not at all.  Dunyain are fully continuous/contiguous with "natural" reality, where Tekne things are not.

...and yet ->

Mike mentioned this on TPB as the 'question of questions,' but I'm sure this in the books somewhere. Wracu find them painful, for reasons that are hotly contested. One interpretation involves the fact that it's not just places where atrocity wears thin the fabric of the onta. As Wutteat shows, it's beings as well. Wracu, some argue, are demonic in some respect.

Another interpretation turns on the way morality is intrinsic to the ontology of the World. If you look at Chorae as 'logic bombs' designed to obliterate violations of code, then you can chart antipathies to Chorae according to different kinds of violations. Thus the difference between Schoolmen and Cishaurim. Wracu are not simply Inchoroi abominations, they are Inchoroi abominations possessing souls. Like the Cishaurim, they do not so much violate the 'letter' as the 'spirit' of natural law. Chorae are 'ontological stressors' in the latter instance. 

I actually, at times, have wondered if they somehow went and "mixed" actual Inchoroi genomes and whatever genome Wutteät is/was in an attempt to manufacture Wracu.  Which might explain why they all are somewhat different than each other, each was some new experiment on how to combine Inchoroi DNA with Wutteät DNA and graft that onto cybernetic parts.  In other words, it was a makeshift process, using what tech they still had available, not wholesale "new" creations (which likely could not be souled because they lacked the understanding of how to imbue that "part").

Not that we could prove any of that one way or the other.

So...does this mean they have souls? That they are soul-less but have a link to the Outside in order to breathe fire?

It is incredibly unclear.  By hunch is they are souled.  But they are also something like cybernetic organisms.  In other words, they are living things grafted onto literal machines.  And the power source?  Actual miniature versions of the Inverse Fire.

I can't back any of this up at all.  But one thing is that Wracu show none of the "hallmarks" of being without a soul, with the exception of some sort of connection to the No-God.  But all other tekne beings without souls have clear limitations like being unable to comprehend paradox for skin-spies or being near something like instinct-machines like Sranc/Bashrags.

So my guess is they are souled, but they still have some inbuild mechanisms that render their connection to the No-God stronger than other souled beings.

Then again, none of them seem to really show being outright controlled in the way Scranc or Bashrags do.  So, that might have just been pure propaganda/misinformation.  Skafra, for example, sure makes a "show" of itself as a sort of thinking/doing independent being to some degree.  Not that this really proves much, they could simply just be the most sophisticated of the un-souled things.

The Unholy Consult / Re: What's up with the "Second" Inverse Fire
« on: May 05, 2021, 03:25:01 pm »
Yeah, to me that entry speaks more to this line, from the epigraph to The False Sun:

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.

Which is a rephrase, in a way, to a line from Jacob's Ladder, which is a sort of recapitulating of Meister Eckhart, I think.

To use vague, bullshit Hegelian terms that I can't qualify because they are too vague and I am not articulate enough to really formalize my loose associations, I think we could imagine the Outside as a sort of concretization of the ethical realm and the soul as the concretization of the ethical substance.

From the Phenomenology of Spirit:
349. If we take this goal—and this is the Notion which for us has already appeared on the scene—in its reality, viz. the self-consciousness that is recognized and acknowledged, and which has its own self-certainty in the other free self-consciousness, and possesses its truth precisely in that ‘other’; in other words, if we look on this still inner Spirit as Substance that has already advanced to the stage of having an outer existence, then in this Notion there is disclosed the realm of ethical life. For this is nothing else than the absolute spiritual unity of the essence of individuals in their independent actual existence; it is an intrinsically universal self-consciousness that takes itself to be actual in another consciousness, in such wise that this has complete independence, or is looked on as a Thing, and it is precisely therein that the universal self-consciousness is aware of its unity with it, and only in this unity with this objective being is it self-consciousness. This ethical Substance, taken in its abstract universality, is only law in the form of thought; but it is no less immediately actual self-consciousness, or it is custom. The single individual consciousness, conversely, is only this existent unit in so far as it is aware of the universal consciousness in its individuality as its own being, since what it does and is, is the universal custom.

Now, everyone is asking, what?  Here is the translator's note on the paragraph:
349. The stage of self-consciousness towards which we are now moving is essentially ethical, governed by unwritten laws and social customs, a framework within which the individual lives and moves, and from which he does not think to disassociate himself.

But again, you likely ask, what?  The thing is, I think the point is far, far less of a "what does that mean exactly" and far more of "how can we imagine these terms in an Eärwan manner."

In other words, Eärwa can be a place where we ask, what happens if an "ethical realm" isn't just a notion, thought, concept or idea, but an actual place?  What if ethical substance isn't just a term to describe an abstract notion, but literal Substance?  I think there is a lot more, because there is also the manner in which the soul, in that glossary entry, is fashioned as the sort of unobserved observer which is a whole other can of worms.

OK, I am raving a little bit here with my loose associations...

The Unholy Consult / Re: What's up with the "Second" Inverse Fire
« on: May 04, 2021, 08:11:07 pm »
Do you remember where the passage about this was where it is stated the Inverse Fire shows different scenes of suffering each time you look?

“After a time,” he said vacantly, “the sheer profundity of it, the monstrous scale of the anguish ... it becomes soothing ... sublime ...”

The sluicing of firelight across white skin.

“And never ... never repeating, always different ... like some kind of broken arithmetic ...”

TUC, Chapter 17.

General Earwa / Re: (Spoilers All) (Srancpost) The Solitary God
« on: May 03, 2021, 02:43:32 pm »
Just to archive the following:

We start with the glossary entry for the Solitary God:
Solitary God—“Allonara Yulah” (Kianni). The name used by Fanim to denote the transcendent singularity of their supreme deity. According to Fanim tradition, the God is not, as the Inrithi claim, immanent in existence, nor is He manifold in the way described by the Latter Prophet. The transcendental nature of Yulah is the primary reason Inrithi theologians dismiss Fanim apologia as mere hokum. If God is set apart from Creation, they argue, then God is merely a moment in a larger, unexplained system. Pokariti mystical traditions, however, hold that Yulah is an infinite function, that transcendental divinity possesses no being, and thus moots the “Mereology Problem.” Yulah is the force that makes all things happen. Inrithi critics reply by simply asking how functions are not parts of a greater whole. The problem with Fanimry, they contend, is the inability to countenance the fact that the God of Gods can be unconscious. This perpetually strands them with a partial concept of deity, and therefore countless questions they have no means of answering. The Pokariti mystical tradition generally responds by demonstrating the way various Inrithi critiques actually presuppose the transcendental functions of Yulah, which they require as necessary conditions of coherence.

Now that is hard to parse, because it is written in a rather off-hand manner.  So, here I try to rephrase it's highlights.

I think part of this is just a "mirroring" of real-world theological debate with Eärwan framework.  It's attempting to deal (I think) with the seeming fact that the Solitary God doesn't seem to be intercessional/manifest in the world.  The Fanim take this to mean that it's transcendent, that is, transcending mere Being and is "greater." The Inrithi say if that if that is the case, then what is this "system" that is more than Being?  The "Mereology problem" (mereology is the study of how parts relate to each other) is something like how does a transcendent Being that is outside Being, well, be?  And likely more importantly, how does it interact with Being without being part of Being?  Because, as transcendent, how could it both Be and not Be at the same time?  The Fanim want to invoke an idea of "infinity" to encapsulate how it both beyond Being and also is not just "one with Being" (I think).  That is, it both is all Being and it is no mere Being, it's what makes thing Be.  Of course the Inrithi counter by asking, essentially, how this "force" of Being is apart from Being itself?

The "short answer" is, like we talked about before, is something more akin to there not being a "simple" or clear answer to these things.  The Fanim pretty much say, "it's simple, The Solitary God is the unity principle, it's transcendent, all Being but also beyond mere Being, it's the sort of demiurge that makes Being be."  The Irithi say, "that makes no sense, how something can be apart from Being and yet participate in Being?  Let alone be that thing that is the fount of all Being."  And there is no real "answer" to this, minus Bakker's extra-textual point that the Fanim are, in fact, "one of the most wrong."  But that doesn't really tell us much.

I am not sure what "function" means there exactly, but the next sentence of it as a "force" makes more sense to me.  Unless as a "infinite function" it means the literal infinite functioning of the Universe.  Again, as a sort of "animating force."  So the "function" would be the actual functioning.  It's just a more confusing way to tensing it (or whatever the grammatical term is for that.)

I think reading "functioning" for "function" in that sentence makes it clearer though.  Which, I think, jives with the next two sentences, the first which clarifies the idea of "function" as notional "force" and the second, as a critique, which asks is not a "functioning" or "force" a part of the whole?

I think the last sentences are about a sort of Nominalism maybe, or critique of the transcendental/Universals.  The Inrithi are saying, if God if fully transcendent, then it is all Universal and no Particular and so isn't intercessional or much of anything "tangible."  The Fanim retort that the Inrithi presuppose Universals/transcendence in their gods, so why are they upset about it when they need it to have any coherence anyway.

As always, take all this with a huge dose of salt grains, since I am not a theologist or even a smart person, it's just how I read it.

The Unholy Consult / Re: What's up with the "Second" Inverse Fire
« on: May 03, 2021, 02:15:14 pm »
So who are these "Ten Simpletons"? I can't help but think they are victims of Shae's attempts to create a circuit that keeps his own soul from Damnation. How else would they come to know with such accuracy the nature of damnation?

Or did they somehow collectively possess the Judging Eye? But then why does the work end up also being called the Inverse Fire?

Yeah, unfortunately there is no other mention of them in the series.  But that is probably because there really isn't "anything" for to them.  They are probably a narrative devise to expound something of a Foucauldian view on notionally "madness."  That is, what is termed "madness," normatively, might actually be a form of insight.  Labeled "simpletons" allow normative society to marginalize them and the implications of what they "see."

In any case, maybe one (or more) of them did possess the Judging Eye or something like it.  On why it would be called The Inverse Fire, I think you could imagine that somewhere along the line of years, the term could have gotten brought up, from various "occult" or "cultic" sources, but devoid (or simply divorced from) it's exact original context.  So, someone stumbles across the term in fragmented Nonman sources and says, wow that seems to apply to that ceiling, never realizing the depth of that connection though.

Admittedly computational analogies fail after a point, but I hope this expresses the general idea. Though I am still not sure if Seswatha's actual soul is in the Heart, perhaps the soul is cleaved as in the case of other artifacts so that part of the Sohonc Grandmaster's soul burns in Hell while the other part is encased in the Heart.

What if, though, in the usual sort of way of my thinking that the Body anchors the Soul, it's the case that like Shaeönanra the Grasping is a manner of "soul-trapping" as a way to avoid Damnation.

The legendary Shauriatis, the sorcerous architect of the Unholy Consult, did stand before them, his soul tumbling and forever deflected, roosting like a sparrow for but a breath in each wretch before capsizing into another. Such cunning! Dying vessels, denuded souls, gouged of some vital passion, allowing him to alight whole, rather than be drawn and divided across the Outside like other Proxies ...

Shauriatis!—not so much the wretches themselves, as the intervals between.

What is the Heart is not much different, only different in implementation, rather than in principle?  In a sense, everyone is dying of course.  But the key might be that Seswatha gets these subjects to take on his soul willingly where Shae only (presumably) by force.  But the actual result might be nearly the same, except at Seswatha's is more subtle/passive, where Shae clearly turns them into puppets or something even less so.

Need to think more on this though...

Indeed, we do have a little Second-Apocalypse Discord server.

Thing is, we value the integrity of our little community (and also we really don't like spam-Sranc), so we don't have a public invite link.

If anyone would like an invite though, feel free to introduce yourself in this thread (if you have no other forum posts) or message me directly for a link (if you do have some posts) this way we know people are real humans, who are really interested in joining!


For posterity, what I managed to transcribe (very poorly) from the Podcast @54:00 in:

Q: So it's worth mentioning, in all of this that modern neuroscience presumes that the gods do not exist, in your Second Apocalypse saga, the gods are real and sometimes do speak.  Can you provide an overview of how the gods function in a fictional universe where you put so much thought into the inner works of consciousness and philosophy?

A: Yeah, I mean, this is kind of embarrassingly simple ultimately.  The gods are the "Drive," the "heuristic module," the "sub-personal processes" that are constantly underwriting, sometimes undermining, to sometimes making possible, the workspace of conscious, which is the world, which is physical reality in my book.  The whole series is itself analogy, or allegory, for this ancient anthropomorization of the universe and the cosmos only as projected given a modern understanding of the way in which cognition works.  System two, which is reality, system one, which is all the sub-personal processes that are constantly impinging upon System two, with deliberative reality (our conscious experience) and we can crib a term from Lawrence, System Zero, which lies outside of that Inside/Outside.

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