Who (or what) created Eärwa?

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Madness

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« Reply #60 on: January 26, 2014, 04:14:33 pm »
I'm already an advocate for Fanimry being most objectively correct of Earwan metaphysical interpretations. But we just don't have evidence to yet suggest a hierarchy between Titirga's Inward Stain (Mark) and the Cishaurim's absence of traditional Mark.

Wait why exactly? Tirtiga has eye problems, he has a muted mark. The Cish are totally blind and have no mark. I feel like that's evidence of a clear hierarchy at least in terms of a relationship between sight and mark. That said, I want Fanimry to be more relevant than that suggests it is. Meppa's dialogue though I think holds as evidence of Fanimry itself being accurate and the Cish's cleanliness not just being a product of blindness.

Colour me unconvinced, dragharrow.

- Titirga was blind as a child... no idea what that means. Does he see like the Cishaurim? (child's skull, maybe, instead of snakes, or "Third Sight") Did he grow or make artifice eyes?

- Blindness/Sight/Mark correlation: We don't know what the Mark is (is it a moral measure or a physical one?); we don't if the relation between "degrees of sightedness" and the Mark even exists - it seems to but I can't think of a thought-out reason as to why?; How are you ranking Mark/Inward Mark/No Mark? What is/are the orienting rule/s you use to establish hierarchy between them?

Food for thoughts.

Hmm I guess I want to think of these things less as agencies than as forces. Isn't Oblivion fundamentally the "Ground of Grounds"? That was your term and I think it perfectly encapsulates the Solitary God. Everything ultimately must rise from the void.

Well, that is the established mythology (I don't use this term as a mark of "fiction," aside) of a number of human conceptions. But it's interesting because I've always used that metaphor internally to distinguish Absolution/Redemption states (attributed to the Solitary God specifically) from Oblivion states (they, again, might have similar characteristics - "bowing to God forever" & "sleeping forever" are equally appalling to me as much as I think they are unlikely - but are dissimilar in actual experience).
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 04:22:42 pm by Madness »
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dragharrow

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« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2014, 01:20:44 am »
I wrote this before I saw your most recent post madness but I forgot to submit it. Hope it isn't too confusing or repetitive I was up on the Qirri. I'll look at your new post now.

Second - I don't actually see how you and FB have disagreed here. Hopefully, there's a response by FB to clarify.
I disagree with him in that he is elevating, for whatever reason, pure knowledge. Truth for the sake of truth. On the contrary, I believe that meaning requires informatic neglect. As I privilege meaning that puts us on different sides of the fence. I believe that total knowledge would be apocalyptic and that delusion is “good”.

I want to hear more about this. I think this is a core fallacy that Bakker is addressing.

Yes, Meaning is "kind of meaningless". Meaning is essentially a delusion. The nihilists are right. The world is meaningless. Pure meaning does not exist. And so meaning dwells in the shadows and in the corners of your vision. It exists only where we cannot see the truth of its nonexistence. Our perception of freewill is an example of this. As Bakker argues, we only perceive it because we cannot see our own processing. Cleric sort of gestures at this.

I'm honestly not sure that the revelation of eternal ignorance is nihilistic insomuch as it has nihilistic characteristics. We are absolutely bound by our circle of ignorance - but this doesn't make the meaningful content of what we do know inert.
I'm having a little trouble parsing this so my response may be totally missing the point. It's not that I believe that ignorance is nihilistic. It is that meaning does not exist objectively, it only exists subjectively. The world is a blasted meaningless husk but we breath meaning into it through delusion. And, further, I believe that that deluded meaning is "sacred". Those delusions are what makes living worthwhile. They make living different from the alternative. I am comfortable embracing delusions if they are the source of all meaning.

There is no meaning to be found by looking or knowing. In seeing clearly, meaningful content is destroyed. In our own world, science has slowly stripped all of the gods and spirits from our experience. It has shown love to be a chemical reaction. It calls the existence of free will into question. Meaning exists only in blindness and in ignorance. That is how I was reading Cleric. At their height, his people were very good at looking clearly (inquiring in the way of science and philosophy). They found that whatever they were able to understand became mundane and empty of meaning. So reasonably, they made an altar out of what they could not understand.

This is sort of connected with why the gods collect souls. They are too eternal, too remote. They want our ignorance and our confusion. So they consume us like we are drugs or food. They crave our limited, deluded experience of existence. It sucks to be as big as they are. Have you read Bakker's Disciple of the Dog? It touches on an the idea that in the future humanity could, through technology, increase the scope and power of the human brain. But the cognitive titans they become immerse themselves in simulations that imitate our current experience of the world. They intentionally limit their brainpower because it is much more entertaining to be small. Same deal with the hundred. They collect our souls because our experiences are made meaningful by how little we can see.

From Meppa's conversation with Pstama:

Quote from: Meppa
“Gods are naught but greater demons,” the Cishaurim said, “hungers across the surface of eternity, wanting only to taste the clarity of our souls. Can you not see this?”
The woman’s laughter trailed into a cunning smile. “Hungers indeed! The fat will be eaten, of course. But the high holy? The faithful? They shall be celebrated!”
Meppa’s voice was no mean one, yet its timbre paled in the wake of the Mother-Supreme’s clawing rasp. Even still he pressed, a tone of urgent sincerity the only finger he had to balance the scales. “We are a narcotic to them. They eat our smoke. They make jewellery of our thoughts and passions. They are beguiled by our torment, our ecstasy, so they collect us, pluck us likestrings, make chords of nations, play the music of our anguish over endless ages. We have seen this, woman. We have seen this with our missing eyes!”

Duskweaver

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« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2014, 10:10:18 am »
I know I don't usually do this, but I'd like to give a big +1 to dragharrow's entire post.
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« Reply #63 on: January 30, 2014, 05:39:42 pm »
I wrote this before I saw your most recent post madness but I forgot to submit it. Hope it isn't too confusing or repetitive I was up on the Qirri. I'll look at your new post now.

Hopefully, you can respond to it at some point. I am curious to your response - especially as this post feels like a rehash of points I'd already neglected to respond to. So as the thread of conversation, specifically, is hazy in mind, I apologies for possible incoherence.

I disagree with him in that he is elevating, for whatever reason, pure knowledge. Truth for the sake of truth. On the contrary, I believe that meaning requires informatic neglect. As I privilege meaning that puts us on different sides of the fence. I believe that total knowledge would be apocalyptic and that delusion is “good”.

I actually still don't see a division, really. Like I understand the content of what you are saying but in acknowledging "meaning" as informatic neglect and further that delusion is "good", then you are already elevating pure knowledge over "meaning."

And I don't suggest going back to sleep but do what you will.

I want to hear more about this. I think this is a core fallacy that Bakker is addressing.

Yes, Meaning is "kind of meaningless". Meaning is essentially a delusion. The nihilists are right. The world is meaningless. Pure meaning does not exist. And so meaning dwells in the shadows and in the corners of your vision. It exists only where we cannot see the truth of its nonexistence. Our perception of freewill is an example of this. As Bakker argues, we only perceive it because we cannot see our own processing. Cleric sort of gestures at this.

I'm honestly not sure that the revelation of eternal ignorance is nihilistic insomuch as it has nihilistic characteristics. We are absolutely bound by our circle of ignorance - but this doesn't make the meaningful content of what we do know inert.

I'm having a little trouble parsing this so my response may be totally missing the point.

Acknowledging that there is always going to be a boundary between what you do know/can know and the unknown/unknowable isn't nihilistic. It has nihilistic characteristics and may precipitate nihilist reactions. It doesn't suggest that what is in our circle of what is known is empty of truth, content, or "meaning" (insofar as I'm appropriating this to mean "functional delusion").

It's not that I believe that ignorance is nihilistic. It is that meaning does not exist objectively, it only exists subjectively. The world is a blasted meaningless husk but we breath meaning into it through delusion. And, further, I believe that that deluded meaning is "sacred". Those delusions are what makes living worthwhile. They make living different from the alternative. I am comfortable embracing delusions if they are the source of all meaning.

This is where parsing Bakker's BBH gets tricky, for me at least. Meaning is an illusion insofar as my beliefs (the royal we anyways) and my description of those beliefs don't accurately describe beliefs as a function of social phenomenon (this is allegdaly where Bakker earns his Eliminativist stripes). Illusion notes the inaccuracy of our description. It is bad insofar as our "illusions" precipitate "negative" sets of behaviors. I'll even go so far as to say dysfunctional.

There is no meaning to be found by looking or knowing. In seeing clearly, meaningful content is destroyed. In our own world, science has slowly stripped all of the gods and spirits from our experience. It has shown love to be a chemical reaction. It calls the existence of free will into question. Meaning exists only in blindness and in ignorance.

Again, you've got to distinguish your uses of meaning more clearly (fer me - sorry, I'm demanding). Knowledge of these things doesn't even cause me cognitive dissonance anymore. You could tell me that mice are running a program on Earth and I'm predetermined nerd #465 and that won't actually make me appreciate my experiences any less. It might motivate me to change or influence my experiences? To me, meaning as subjectively meaningful versus "meaning" as functional delusions aren't incompatible thoughts - these distinctions aren't even necessarily the same phenomena and so calling both meaning is possibly not conducive.

That is how I was reading Cleric. At their height, his people were very good at looking clearly (inquiring in the way of science and philosophy). They found that whatever they were able to understand became mundane and empty of meaning. So reasonably, they made an altar out of what they could not understand.

This is sort of connected with why the gods collect souls. They are too eternal, too remote. They want our ignorance and our confusion. So they consume us like we are drugs or food. They crave our limited, deluded experience of existence. It sucks to be as big as they are. Have you read Bakker's Disciple of the Dog? It touches on an the idea that in the future humanity could, through technology, increase the scope and power of the human brain. But the cognitive titans they become immerse themselves in simulations that imitate our current experience of the world. They intentionally limit their brainpower because it is much more entertaining to be small. Same deal with the hundred. They collect our souls because our experiences are made meaningful by how little we can see.

I grok it: see Achilles in Troy declare the Gods envy us because we're mortal.

I can see I've lost the thread.

(click to show/hide)

From Meppa's conversation with Pstama:

Quote from: Meppa
“Gods are naught but greater demons,” the Cishaurim said, “hungers across the surface of eternity, wanting only to taste the clarity of our souls. Can you not see this?”
The woman’s laughter trailed into a cunning smile. “Hungers indeed! The fat will be eaten, of course. But the high holy? The faithful? They shall be celebrated!”
Meppa’s voice was no mean one, yet its timbre paled in the wake of the Mother-Supreme’s clawing rasp. Even still he pressed, a tone of urgent sincerity the only finger he had to balance the scales. “We are a narcotic to them. They eat our smoke. They make jewellery of our thoughts and passions. They are beguiled by our torment, our ecstasy, so they collect us, pluck us likestrings, make chords of nations, play the music of our anguish over endless ages. We have seen this, woman. We have seen this with our missing eyes!”

I can grok it and perhaps I didn't read far enough back. Does this clarify something for me or for FB?

(Why is Hitchhiker's Guide so prevalent in my mind these past weeks :-\.)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 05:43:27 pm by Madness »
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dragharrow

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« Reply #64 on: February 03, 2014, 10:56:20 am »
Thank you Duskweaver.

You're right Madness. It was a rehash and I knew it. I can do better I promise :)
I'll try and respond to your post soon
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 12:17:55 pm by dragharrow »

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« Reply #65 on: February 03, 2014, 01:26:47 pm »
-edited-

This is a response to your earlier post Madness.

Colour me unconvinced, dragharrow.

- Titirga was blind as a child... no idea what that means. Does he see like the Cishaurim? (child's skull, maybe, instead of snakes, or "Third Sight") Did he grow or make artifice eyes?
I don't think so. The Cishaurim are blind for life. The False Sun gave me the impression that Titirga can actually see again. There are no indications that his vision is at all stunted in adulthood whereas the snakes are a poor replacement for natural human sight (I think Moengus says its like looking through a pinhole or something).

Noshainrau is rumored to have found Titirga begging on the streets. I assumed that Titirga's blindness was medically curable once he was raised out of poverty. Specifically, I was thinking of cataracts because I remembered reading ancient civilizations in our own world could treat them using surgery.


- Blindness/Sight/Mark correlation: We don't know what the Mark is (is it a moral measure or a physical one?); we don't if the relation between "degrees of sightedness" and the Mark even exists - it seems to but I can't think of a thought-out reason as to why?; How are you ranking Mark/Inward Mark/No Mark? What is/are the orienting rule/s you use to establish hierarchy between them?

Food for thoughts.

We don't have anything concrete but we've been given some speculation on the Mark and its relationship to sight.
 
Kellhus claims that sorcery is speaking with the voice of god. All souls are fragments of the god soul and the Few are fragments that can recall the voice of the god soul. However, mundane existence apparently carries an overwhelming immediacy for souls. Intoxicated by mundane existence, the Few are generally unable to recall the voice of god with a high degree of clarity. Someone argues (and I think it's still Kellhus that proposes this) that the Cish's blindness reduces the overwhelming immediacy of the Inside. It separates them from the mundane world, making them more remote. The absence of this distraction allows them to recall the voice of god with greater clarity.

The exact mechanics of the Mark are unclear. I think Kellhus suggests that mages accrue it because they use the voice of god but there is dissonance. This kind of explains why, assuming Kellhus is right about sorcery and the Cish, they don't get the Mark, but it doesn't explain what the Mark actually is. That said, going by Kellhus' assumptions about sorcery, the Cish and the Mark, we can understand why Titirga would have a muted Mark. When he was young he had the remoteness of the blind but he doesn't anymore.

Mark/Inward Mark/No Mark?

I absolutely could be missing something but I looked through my books and The False Sun, and I wasn't able to find a reference to the "inward Mark" as you use that term. If you could point me to where that comes from awesome but my understanding is that there is the Mark (of varying intensities), the muted Mark (which we have only seen on Titirga), and no Mark. I'm trying to be careful about not rehashing but I do think that's a clear hierarchy. No sight=no Mark/Experience of no sight=some or "muted" Mark/No sight=zero Mark.

Why is that? I don't exactly know. According to Kellhus, I guess sorcerers without sight are more able to understand gods plan and act in line with it but that doesn't really make sense to me. I think it is because the Onta exists behind sight. The Few can see the Onta. Take their regular sight away and they can only see the Onta. That makes them understand the Onta much more accurately. So by my understanding, the Cish, who are totally blind and can only really see the Onta can speak in line with it very accurately. Titirga was one of the Few but when he was blind he became familiar with it. He relied on it. So that even when his blindness was cured he remembered the nature of the Onta and was more able to speak without dissonance.

Blindness/Sight/Mark correlation: We don't know what the Mark is (is it a moral measure or a physical one?);

I wish I had a theory on this but I don't at all. Here is my best guess but it is total speculation: There is a hard difference between the Inside and the Outside. The beings of the Outside created the Inside using the voice of god. Using the voice of god within the inside, which, again, was created by the voice of god, creates dissonance for some reason. There is some kind of nesting problem with the voice of god. Somehow, inherently, using the voice of inside the voice of god creates dissonance. Again though I don't know and I feel like that butts up against what I was just saying about blindness and the Mark.


I can't decipher what you said after this but I'm trying. Help me out I'm not trying to be belligerent.
Well, that is the established mythology (I don't use this term as a mark of "fiction," aside) of a number of human conceptions.

What mythologies? Not fiction but religious or like Parfit?
Edit: I misinterpreted you. By not fiction you meant not necessarily false?

Quote
Hmm I guess I want to think of these things less as agencies than as forces. Isn't Oblivion fundamentally the "Ground of Grounds"? That was your term and I think it perfectly encapsulates the Solitary God. Everything ultimately must rise from the void.
But it's interesting because I've always used that metaphor internally to distinguish Absolution/Redemption states (attributed to the Solitary God specifically) from Oblivion states (they, again, might have similar characteristics - "bowing to God forever" & "sleeping forever" are equally appalling to me as much as I think they are unlikely - but are dissimilar in actual experience).
Edit, I keep rereading this and I think I get it now:
So absolution/redemption is connected with the Solitary God and that's what you're describing as bowing forever. Whereas Oblivion is sleeping forever. That makes sense.

Is there an alternative that you wouldn't find appalling? This is a big jump but I'm given to suspect -for both Earwa and our own world- that existence is bondage. Freedom and existence appear to be antithetical to each other.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 06:46:41 am by dragharrow »

dragharrow

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« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2014, 07:35:56 am »
There is no meaning to be found by looking or knowing. In seeing clearly, meaningful content is destroyed. In our own world, science has slowly stripped all of the gods and spirits from our experience. It has shown love to be a chemical reaction. It calls the existence of free will into question. Meaning exists only in blindness and in ignorance.

Again, you've got to distinguish your uses of meaning more clearly (fer me - sorry, I'm demanding). Knowledge of these things doesn't even cause me cognitive dissonance anymore. You could tell me that mice are running a program on Earth and I'm predetermined nerd #465 and that won't actually make me appreciate my experiences any less. It might motivate me to change or influence my experiences? To me, meaning as subjectively meaningful versus "meaning" as functional delusions aren't incompatible thoughts - these distinctions aren't even necessarily the same phenomena and so calling both meaning is possibly not conducive.

Yeah I definitely should have defined that more clearly. It isn't easy though. I am trying to gesture at the subjective experience of things mattering. Of things being ends in themselves and not simply means. Maybe the term I am looking for here is not meaning but value.

It doesn't cause me dissonance to "know" that I am a predetermined nerd either (though we are likely anomalous in that) but there is a deeper ignorance there. I cannot feel the truth of my predetermination due to my biology. I remain functionally ignorant of how the sausage gets made. Only meta-cognition could eliminate my sense of freedom.

But only the most deeply hardcoded delusions are that robust. Do you believe in God? In magic? Are you a patriot? Do you believe that you have won the belief lottery? Would you participate in a holy crusade? For people in general, science has eroded the power of those kinds of beliefs. And those kinds of belief are sources of the meaning/value that I am talking about. They take things and make them into ends instead of means. Yes, the world still has meaning/value but it has less because we believe fewer silly things.

Quote
Acknowledging that there is always going to be a boundary between what you do know/can know and the unknown/unknowable isn't nihilistic. It has nihilistic characteristics and may precipitate nihilist reactions. It doesn't suggest that what is in our circle of what is known is empty of truth, content, or "meaning" (insofar as I'm appropriating this to mean "functional delusion").

I am claiming that knowledge doesn't just precipitate nihilist reactions it is nihilistic. I can still know things without the meaning/value of delusions but that knowledge is useless to me because I have lost the compass that guides me towards ends. I might know how to make a gun but what's the point? I don't have any crusades to use it in.

Quote
I grok it: see Achilles in Troy declare the Gods envy us because we're mortal.
Exactly.

The Meppa quote was for you. I thought it did a good job of illustrating the way the gods envy us. By my reading, they consume us because we have a more potent experience of meaning/value than they do.

I'm not sure I'm actually making any headway here though. I think you already understand the content of my argument. Sorry if I'm just repeating myself and not actually reinforcing my position. We've strayed too far from the books in any case.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 07:39:43 am by dragharrow »

Madness

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« Reply #67 on: February 06, 2014, 12:21:06 pm »
-edited-

This is a response to your earlier post Madness.

Sorry that I'm not generating at my usual rate - skewl.

Noshainrau is rumored to have found Titirga begging on the streets. I assumed that Titirga's blindness was medically curable once he was raised out of poverty. Specifically, I was thinking of cataracts because I remembered reading ancient civilizations in our own world could treat them using surgery.

Yeah, I'm wondering specifically how that works.


- Blindness/Sight/Mark correlation: We don't know what the Mark is (is it a moral measure or a physical one?); we don't if the relation between "degrees of sightedness" and the Mark even exists - it seems to but I can't think of a thought-out reason as to why?; How are you ranking Mark/Inward Mark/No Mark? What is/are the orienting rule/s you use to establish hierarchy between them?

Food for thoughts.

We don't have anything concrete but we've been given some speculation on the Mark and its relationship to sight.
 
Kellhus claims that sorcery is speaking with the voice of god. All souls are fragments of the god soul and the Few are fragments that can recall the voice of the god soul. However, mundane existence apparently carries an overwhelming immediacy for souls. Intoxicated by mundane existence, the Few are generally unable to recall the voice of god with a high degree of clarity. Someone argues (and I think it's still Kellhus that proposes this) that the Cish's blindness reduces the overwhelming immediacy of the Inside. It separates them from the mundane world, making them more remote. The absence of this distraction allows them to recall the voice of god with greater clarity.

The exact mechanics of the Mark are unclear. I think Kellhus suggests that mages accrue it because they use the voice of god but there is dissonance. This kind of explains why, assuming Kellhus is right about sorcery and the Cish, they don't get the Mark, but it doesn't explain what the Mark actually is. That said, going by Kellhus' assumptions about sorcery, the Cish and the Mark, we can understand why Titirga would have a muted Mark. When he was young he had the remoteness of the blind but he doesn't anymore.

I could hazard that, again, it has something to do with Witness vs. Not-Witnessing your own acts of sorcery... but guesses, rumours, and whispers.

Nothing enough to convince me to commit to an interpretation.

Mark/Inward Mark/No Mark?

I absolutely could be missing something but I looked through my books and The False Sun, and I wasn't able to find a reference to the "inward Mark" as you use that term. If you could point me to where that comes from awesome but my understanding is that there is the Mark (of varying intensities), the muted Mark (which we have only seen on Titirga), and no Mark. I'm trying to be careful about not rehashing but I do think that's a clear hierarchy. No sight=no Mark/Experience of no sight=some or "muted" Mark/No sight=zero Mark.

Quote from: The False Sun
Even his Stain was different, somehow muted, as if he could cut the Inward without scarring it. Even now, simply regarding him, his distinction literally glared from his image, a strange, sideways rinsing of the Stain.

As far as I know, this is the only place the Bakker refers to Inward - as distinguished from ... the Outside?

Again, I think you assume that the Cishaurim's Unmarked is "more righteous" than Titirga's Muted Stain? I'm not sure about this.

Why is that? I don't exactly know. According to Kellhus, I guess sorcerers without sight are more able to understand gods plan and act in line with it but that doesn't really make sense to me. I think it is because the Onta exists behind sight. The Few can see the Onta. Take their regular sight away and they can only see the Onta. That makes them understand the Onta much more accurately. So by my understanding, the Cish, who are totally blind and can only really see the Onta can speak in line with it very accurately. Titirga was one of the Few but when he was blind he became familiar with it. He relied on it. So that even when his blindness was cured he remembered the nature of the Onta and was more able to speak without dissonance.

I don't actually know that the World-Between is "only Onta." And I'm still curious about the exactitude of Titirga's blindness. For instance, cataracts are a physical occlusion - really a blindfold should achieve something of the same result then?

Blindness/Sight/Mark correlation: We don't know what the Mark is (is it a moral measure or a physical one?);

I wish I had a theory on this but I don't at all. Here is my best guess but it is total speculation: There is a hard difference between the Inside and the Outside. The beings of the Outside created the Inside using the voice of god. Using the voice of god within the inside, which, again, was created by the voice of god, creates dissonance for some reason. There is some kind of nesting problem with the voice of god. Somehow, inherently, using the voice of inside the voice of god creates dissonance. Again though I don't know and I feel like that butts up against what I was just saying about blindness and the Mark.

I can't decipher what you said after this but I'm trying. Help me out I'm not trying to be belligerent.

Lol - I wouldn't accuse you of belligerence. I don't think your speculation is clear but nerdanel.

Well, that is the established mythology (I don't use this term as a mark of "fiction," aside) of a number of human conceptions.

What mythologies? Not fiction but religious or like Parfit?
Edit: I misinterpreted you. By not fiction you meant not necessarily false?

Yeah, sorry. I was making aside - irrelevant to discussion - commentary. The bold. And really, perhaps not even described in the context of true and false so much as in terms of function.

Quote
Hmm I guess I want to think of these things less as agencies than as forces. Isn't Oblivion fundamentally the "Ground of Grounds"? That was your term and I think it perfectly encapsulates the Solitary God. Everything ultimately must rise from the void.
But it's interesting because I've always used that metaphor internally to distinguish Absolution/Redemption states (attributed to the Solitary God specifically) from Oblivion states (they, again, might have similar characteristics - "bowing to God forever" & "sleeping forever" are equally appalling to me as much as I think they are unlikely - but are dissimilar in actual experience).
Edit, I keep rereading this and I think I get it now:
So absolution/redemption is connected with the Solitary God and that's what you're describing as bowing forever. Whereas Oblivion is sleeping forever. That makes sense.

Lol - yes. I'm sorry, dragharrow, I will work to make myself more clear.

Is there an alternative that you wouldn't find appalling? This is a big jump but I'm given to suspect -for both Earwa and our own world- that existence is bondage. Freedom and existence appear to be antithetical to each other.

Hmm... I've been content now with embracing experiences and affect such change as I think possible. And I find both those options highly unlikely so I'm appeased in that sense, though, I find forever inescapable. In which case, I come back to a stoic sense of embracing my position, however that ride goes.

There is no meaning to be found by looking or knowing. In seeing clearly, meaningful content is destroyed. In our own world, science has slowly stripped all of the gods and spirits from our experience. It has shown love to be a chemical reaction. It calls the existence of free will into question. Meaning exists only in blindness and in ignorance.

Again, you've got to distinguish your uses of meaning more clearly (fer me - sorry, I'm demanding). Knowledge of these things doesn't even cause me cognitive dissonance anymore. You could tell me that mice are running a program on Earth and I'm predetermined nerd #465 and that won't actually make me appreciate my experiences any less. It might motivate me to change or influence my experiences? To me, meaning as subjectively meaningful versus "meaning" as functional delusions aren't incompatible thoughts - these distinctions aren't even necessarily the same phenomena and so calling both meaning is possibly not conducive.

Yeah I definitely should have defined that more clearly. It isn't easy though. I am trying to gesture at the subjective experience of things mattering. Of things being ends in themselves and not simply means. Maybe the term I am looking for here is not meaning but value.

It doesn't cause me dissonance to "know" that I am a predetermined nerd either (though we are likely anomalous in that) but there is a deeper ignorance there. I cannot feel the truth of my predetermination due to my biology. I remain functionally ignorant of how the sausage gets made. Only meta-cognition could eliminate my sense of freedom.

Hmm... meta-cognition might allow you to better see your chains, I'm not entirely certain of the freedom it offers, excepting that I keep moving towards experiences that make me subjectively happy in challenging myself... And I just don't think a brain on autopilot would necessarily do the things I do. Though, that could be the programming talking.

But only the most deeply hardcoded delusions are that robust. Do you believe in God? In magic? Are you a patriot? Do you believe that you have won the belief lottery? Would you participate in a holy crusade? For people in general, science has eroded the power of those kinds of beliefs. And those kinds of belief are sources of the meaning/value that I am talking about. They take things and make them into ends instead of means. Yes, the world still has meaning/value but it has less because we believe fewer silly things.

Again, I'm not so sure. I believe things - we actually have a thread ;).

But why can't I see and experience the equivalent "meaningful states," in terms of otherwise focusing my awareness?

Quote
Acknowledging that there is always going to be a boundary between what you do know/can know and the unknown/unknowable isn't nihilistic. It has nihilistic characteristics and may precipitate nihilist reactions. It doesn't suggest that what is in our circle of what is known is empty of truth, content, or "meaning" (insofar as I'm appropriating this to mean "functional delusion").

I am claiming that knowledge doesn't just precipitate nihilist reactions it is nihilistic. I can still know things without the meaning/value of delusions but that knowledge is useless to me because I have lost the compass that guides me towards ends. I might know how to make a gun but what's the point? I don't have any crusades to use it in.

Hmm... This what I don't understand. How does "some of my knowledge isn't meaningful as I thought it was" become "I don't will myself to do anything but so I'm going to express only similar thoughts and behaviors to others who have had this realization?"

Quote
I grok it: see Achilles in Troy declare the Gods envy us because we're mortal.
Exactly.

The Meppa quote was for you. I thought it did a good job of illustrating the way the gods envy us. By my reading, they consume us because we have a more potent experience of meaning/value than they do.

I was corroborating what you quoted :).

I'm not sure I'm actually making any headway here though. I think you already understand the content of my argument. Sorry if I'm just repeating myself and not actually reinforcing my position. We've strayed too far from the books in any case.

Lol - well, we can always affect another thread - and perhaps we should.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 12:25:25 pm by Madness »
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locke

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« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2014, 07:47:00 pm »
Regarding Titirga's blindness I just thought it was Vitamin A deficiency.

Prefacing link, do not believe anything the WAPF people say, but Weston A Price himself was a fascinating man without the insane nutritional agendas of the foundation that acts in his name today.  Although he was a dentist, I think he was a better anthropologist, traveling all over the world, asking native peoples 'what do you know that white man doesn't know' sorts of questions, always flattering whatever culture he was studying, always listening to them, never trying to convert them like most missionaries, he studied the difference between westernized peoples and traditional peoples, catalogueing diets, populations, health, etc etc. taking samples of their foods and running analysis on them so he'd know what was actually in them.

In any event, this link is fun summarizing some of Price's textbook, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration:
http://www.westonaprice.org/fat-soluble-activators/vitamin-a-saga
Quote
All traditional cultures recognized that certain foods were necessary to prevent blindness. In his pioneering work, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Weston Price tells the story of a prospector who, while crossing a high plateau in the Rocky Mountains, went blind with xerophthalmia, due to a lack of vitamin A. As he wept in despair, he was discovered by an Indian who caught him a trout and fed him "the flesh of the head and the tissues back of the eyes, including the eyes."1 Within a few hours his sight began to return and within two days his eyes were nearly normal. Several years previous to the travels of Weston Price, scientists had discovered that the richest source of vitamin A in the entire animal body is that of the retina and the tissues in back of the eyes.
Many cultures used liver, another excellent source of vitamin A, for various types of blindness.2 The liver was first pressed to the eye and then eaten, a ritual through which the patient directed the healing powers of liver to the afflicted sense organ. The Egyptians described this cure at least 3500 years ago. Similar practices have been described in 18th-century Russia, rural Java in 1978 and among the inhabitants of Newfoundland in 1929. Other cultures used the liver of shark. Hippocrates (460-327 BC) prescribed liver soaked in honey for blindness in malnourished children. Assyrian texts dating from 700 BC and Chinese medical writings from the 7th century AD both call for the use of liver in the treatment of night blindness. A 12th-century Hebrew treatise recommends pressing goat liver to the eyes, followed by eating of the liver. In the Middle Ages, the Dutch physician Jacob van Laerlandt (1235-1299) wrote the following:
Who does not at night see right
Eats the liver of goat
He will then see better at night.
Vitamin A Bravery

Night blindness was a recurring problem among sailors on long voyages but by the advent of the great European navies, the wisdom of traditional liver therapy was largely ignored. It took brave dedication to the scientific method to confirm the validity of the ancient treatments. The first to do this was Eduard Schwarz (1831-1862), a ship's doctor on an Austrian frigate that was sent around the world on a scientific exploration. Before his departure from Vienna, several physicians had asked Schwartz to test the old folk remedy of boiled ox liver against night blindness. On the voyage, 75 of the 352 men developed the condition. Every evening when dusk came, they lost their vision and had to be led about like the blind. Schwartz fed them ox or pork liver and found that the night vision in all of the afflicted was restored.
The cure was "a true miracle," said Schwartz in his published report, which stated emphatically that night blindness was a nutritional disease. For this he was viciously attacked by the medical profession, which accused him of "frivolity" and "self-aggrandizement." Three years after his return from the expedition, the discredited physician died of TB. He was 31. The use of vitamin-A-rich foods for tuberculosis had not yet been discovered.
In 1904, the Japanese physician M. Mori described xerophthalmia in undernourished children whose diet consisted of rice, barley, cereals "and other vegetables." Xerophthalmia is a condition that progresses from night blindness to dissolution of the cornea and finally the bursting of the eye. He treated the children with liver and also cod liver oil with excellent results. In fact, he found that cod liver oil was even more effective than liver in restoring visual function. Mori described it as "an excellent, almost specific medication. . . Indeed, in most cases, the effect is so rapid that by evening the children with night blindness are already dancing around briskly, to the joy of their mothers." Cod liver oil also helped reverse keratomalacia, a condition associated with severe nutritional deficiencies and characterized by corneal ulceration, extreme dryness of the eyes and infection.
At the end of the First World War, a physician named Bloch discovered that a diet containing whole milk, butter, eggs and cod liver oil cured night blindness and keratomalacia. In one important experiment, Bloch compared the results when he fed one group of children whole milk and the other margarine as the only fat. Half of the margarine-fed children developed corneal problems while the children receiving butterfat and cod liver oil remained healthy.
The actual discovery of vitamin A is credited to a researcher named E. V. McCollum. He was curious why cows fed wheat did not thrive, became blind and gave birth to dead calves, while those fed yellow corn had no health problems. The year was 1907 and by this time, scientists were able to determine the levels of protein, carbohydrate, fat and minerals in food. The wheat and corn used in McCollum's experiments contained equal levels of minerals and macronutrients. McCollum wondered whether the wheat contained a toxic substance, or whether there was something lacking in the wheat that was present in yellow maize?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 07:48:57 pm by locke »

Madness

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« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2014, 10:23:49 pm »
That sounds completely likely :).

Unfortunately, it doesn't tell us how that mechanism leverages a difference in Mark, if blindness and the Mark are actually correlated at all?
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« Reply #70 on: February 10, 2014, 09:51:38 pm »
Sorry that I'm not generating at my usual rate - skewl.
Word Madness. I feel you. I've been back for like two weeks and I'm already falling behind. May Cleric favor you.

What're you studying?

Lol - I wouldn't accuse you of belligerence. I don't think your speculation is clear but nerdanel.
Lol thanks.

You use that word all the time. What does it mean? Nerdanel? I feel like I'm missing some super obvious wordplay here.

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« Reply #71 on: April 05, 2014, 12:41:31 am »
It strikes me that Bakker is either hiding creation myths from the reader or he is hiding the PROHIBITION of creation myths.  Perhaps something on the Tusk declares that it is a sin to inquire beyond the events immediately before the breaking of the gates.  A prohibition to look into origins would seem to fit with the "origin determines all" conceit of the series.

@ Callan - Sejenus died and ascended, so he presumably resurrected in the interim.  I think Kellhus might be up to the same trick. 

@ Curethan - Curethan said:

Quote
A question I've posed a couple times at least, on older forums if not this.
There may be creation myths on the tusk, but it seems more like men are refugees who left their memories of home behind.
Which suggests those memories are very bad ones.

I'm glad you pointed that out--it has a Tolkien analogue--the way the race of men were terrified by Morgoth before coming to the land of the elves.

EDIT: Also there's that weird bit in the TTT glossary about Sejenus ascending to the Nail of Heaven.  Can't make heads or tails of that.

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« Reply #72 on: April 06, 2014, 12:49:23 pm »
It strikes me that Bakker is either hiding creation myths from the reader or he is hiding the PROHIBITION of creation myths.  Perhaps something on the Tusk declares that it is a sin to inquire beyond the events immediately before the breaking of the gates.  A prohibition to look into origins would seem to fit with the "origin determines all" conceit of the series.

I expect mind-cracking things.

EDIT: Also there's that weird bit in the TTT glossary about Sejenus ascending to the Nail of Heaven.  Can't make heads or tails of that.

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« Reply #73 on: April 06, 2014, 04:51:56 pm »
lol I guess that puts gives a point to the supporters of the Nail= New Star= Mothership theory. He ascends in a beam of light directly to the ship :P. Strange.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

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« Reply #74 on: April 07, 2014, 02:33:32 am »
Or he gets disintegrated by an orbital laser and people just assume he ascended. ;)
Retracing his bloody footprints, the Wizard limped on.