Influences on TSA

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H

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« Reply #45 on: May 31, 2018, 08:15:30 pm »
It just occurred to me, reading this thread and all the talk of Biblical connections, and just now it's been mentioned about the Shortest Path of the Dunyain - in the teachings of the Bible, the Shortest Path, or the easiest path is always the wrong one, certain to lead you into damnation. Only by taking the harder, more difficult path, with those difficult choices, can one attempt to reach Heaven. Perhaps this is the parallel here that Bakker thinks we all missed - that the Dunyainic path, the Shortest Path, has always been destined to end with Apocalypse?

Good catch, I think what you are talking about would be Matthew 7:13-14.

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13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Which is also a direct antecedent to what is said about Nonmen finding Oblivion.

I think that part of it is the same trap that the Consult fall into.  It isn't that what they say is wrong.  It is the literal truth.  But it is still a pernicious and perditious trap to think that way.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 10:17:52 am by H »
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

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« Reply #46 on: June 01, 2018, 07:35:59 am »
Since the Solitary God is not actually manifest, what did Fane actually do?  I don't know that the answer is "deliver god's word."  By the same token, did Inri really deliver the god's word?  We hear time and again how his was a reinterpreted the Tusk.  Was he divinely inspired to do so?  Consider me doubtful about that.
I'm pretty sure there is much left to say on the matter.

The need of sacrifice was not a logical step along that way, as far as Kellhus deduced.  Or, if he did, he felt it was a step that could be overcome.
That is exactly it. This argument narrows the point down to some illogical steps (seemingly illogical for Kellhus, because he is not in possession of full information), instead of warning about the shortcomings of intellect as a system. Basically, it speaks about things beyond intellect as opposed to the inherent weaknesses of the intellectual system itself. The fact is, the scope of intellect, of knowledge and reason, is ever-expanding, things that were beyond it today might not be tomorrow. In this sense your argument boils down to Kellhus just not being smart enough.

Bakker's point, I feel, is quite a bit deeper than that. He warns about the inherent failures of the intellectual system. It exists to solve a specific set of problems, which is tailored to the beings called humans. It's by definition anthropic. From this it follows that intellect will by definition come up short when faced with a non-anthropic problem, a problem outside of our ancestral ecology. I feel Bakker warns about the fact that even an absolutely correct (or at least internally consistent) intellectual solution can be flawed, incomplete.

This is how Kellhus meets his end - by encountering a non-anthropic factor, a god. Instead of failing to come up with a very human way of solving spiritual problems, a sacrifice.

H

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« Reply #47 on: June 01, 2018, 10:57:34 am »
That is exactly it. This argument narrows the point down to some illogical steps (seemingly illogical for Kellhus, because he is not in possession of full information), instead of warning about the shortcomings of intellect as a system. Basically, it speaks about things beyond intellect as opposed to the inherent weaknesses of the intellectual system itself. The fact is, the scope of intellect, of knowledge and reason, is ever-expanding, things that were beyond it today might not be tomorrow. In this sense your argument boils down to Kellhus just not being smart enough.

That's not really what I meant to imply.  The "inherent weakness" of the intellectual system is that it tends to deem itself sufficient.  That "illusion of sufficiency" in turn generates neglect and that neglect can get you killed.  It is less that Kellhus isn't smart enough, it's that for as smart as he is, he still can't overcome the neglect his intelligence still generates.  You are correct, if the intellectual pursuit is conducted "rightly," who knows what can be in the sphere of it tomorrow.  But the fact of it giving the illusion of sufficiency still applies, because mind-space is still limited and we are still designed to neglect.

Bakker's point, I feel, is quite a bit deeper than that. He warns about the inherent failures of the intellectual system. It exists to solve a specific set of problems, which is tailored to the beings called humans. It's by definition anthropic. From this it follows that intellect will by definition come up short when faced with a non-anthropic problem, a problem outside of our ancestral ecology. I feel Bakker warns about the fact that even an absolutely correct (or at least internally consistent) intellectual solution can be flawed, incomplete.

This is how Kellhus meets his end - by encountering a non-anthropic factor, a god. Instead of failing to come up with a very human way of solving spiritual problems, a sacrifice.

Right, we actually don't know what would have happened in the case that little Kel did not enter the Golden Room though.  So, we don't know who got the better of the Kellhus-Ajokli square-off.  Ajokli, seemingly, did not "win" because we find him hunting Kellhus still, in the end.  It's not clear if this was because Kellhus died "prematurely" or if Kellhus was prepared to deny Ajokli his "due" the whole time.  It's not really that Kellhus fails in the face of a god, he fails in the face of little Kel, even with a god aiding him.  Kellhus-Ajokli seems to have the Golden Room pretty well locked down before the surprise factor throws them all out of whack.  It's not clear who gets the better for it all in the end should it play out without little Kel, but it's not a given that Kellhus fails in that case.

Although I absolutely agree, Kellhus' intellectually "perfect" plan fails, because it cannot factor in several incomprehensible factors.  This is, again, as we said, a failure of his logical system and a failure of him deeming that logical system sufficient.  The inherently illogical existence of little Kel, as such, outside the god's view and all soul-swapping with Sammi, is simply neglected, because it fails to logically follow because it is all timey-whimy, not following cause and effect.  It's a bit of splitting hairs though, but I don't think Ajokli's gradual (and eventual "full") possession of Kellhus is a reason for his failing.  It's something that he doesn't anticipate and cannot stop, but it's not what really costs him in the end.
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

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2018, 10:59:25 am »
Since the Solitary God is not actually manifest, what did Fane actually do?  I don't know that the answer is "deliver god's word."  By the same token, did Inri really deliver the god's word?  We hear time and again how his was a reinterpreted the Tusk.  Was he divinely inspired to do so?  Consider me doubtful about that.
I'm pretty sure there is much left to say on the matter.

The need of sacrifice was not a logical step along that way, as far as Kellhus deduced.  Or, if he did, he felt it was a step that could be overcome.
That is exactly it. This argument narrows the point down to some illogical steps (seemingly illogical for Kellhus, because he is not in possession of full information), instead of warning about the shortcomings of intellect as a system. Basically, it speaks about things beyond intellect as opposed to the inherent weaknesses of the intellectual system itself. The fact is, the scope of intellect, of knowledge and reason, is ever-expanding, things that were beyond it today might not be tomorrow. In this sense your argument boils down to Kellhus just not being smart enough.

Bakker's point, I feel, is quite a bit deeper than that. He warns about the inherent failures of the intellectual system. It exists to solve a specific set of problems, which is tailored to the beings called humans. It's by definition anthropic. From this it follows that intellect will by definition come up short when faced with a non-anthropic problem, a problem outside of our ancestral ecology. I feel Bakker warns about the fact that even an absolutely correct (or at least internally consistent) intellectual solution can be flawed, incomplete.

This is how Kellhus meets his end - by encountering a non-anthropic factor, a god. Instead of failing to come up with a very human way of solving spiritual problems, a sacrifice.
Actually I would say it's sort of the other way around. We as anthropic beings are blind to how our anthropic reasoning affects our anthropic reasoning. The Gods are exactly that, anthropic sub-routines which here are objectively real. When Kellhus goes full subject, his weakened spirit leaves him susceptible to a God, despite his prodigious intellect. This is why the Mutilated see the Logos in shutting off the World. Intellect can reign supreme in a world of Cause causing Cause.

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« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2018, 11:26:31 am »
The "inherent weakness" of the intellectual system is that it tends to deem itself sufficient.  That "illusion of sufficiency" in turn generates neglect and that neglect can get you killed.
I agree. This is also why I think that the existence of such neglect is the point, not a specific case of it (Kelmomas).

It's something that he doesn't anticipate and cannot stop, but it's not what really costs him in the end.
Both Ajokli and Kelmomas fall into that category. So Kellhus was done for from the objective and the subjective point of view.

Actually I would say it's sort of the other way around. We as anthropic beings are blind to how our anthropic reasoning affects our anthropic reasoning.
It's that, too, but here it becomes kinda hard to discern which is which. It might be that the Gods are objectively real anthropic subroutines, the way you stated, but it also might be that they are (pretty much arbitrary) non-anthropic factors that lie outside human ken. It's also complicated by the fact that they might be both. Like AI, which is by definition anhtropic (i.e. created by humans), yet can easily behave in a non-anthropic fashion because it's devoid of human ancestral ecologies, and those ecologies were neglected by its creators anyway.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 12:41:00 pm by SmilerLoki »

SuJuroit

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« Reply #50 on: June 01, 2018, 05:35:02 pm »
I dunno H.  All I'm really seeing here is a claim that Kellhus was doomed by his ignorance.  The very thing the Dunyain strive against; to be ignorant is to be a slave of the world, to perpetually come after.  I don't think anybody is making an argument that if Kellhus had the knowledge that a sacrifice of lil Kel was needed, he couldn't or wouldn't go through with it. 

So ironically, assuming your point that a sacrifice was necessary is true, Kellhus' problem is that he failed as a Dunyain.  The Darkness came before him and he was blind to both the threat it presented and the means by which he could neutralize that threat.  His inability to learn all that he needed to know, to perceive all the threats on the chessboard, did him in.  Bad Dunyain!  No Absolute for you!

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« Reply #51 on: June 01, 2018, 06:02:47 pm »
Like AI, which is by definition anhtropic (i.e. created by humans), yet can easily behave in a non-anthropic fashion because it's devoid of human ancestral ecologies, and those ecologies were neglected by its creators anyway.

Not devoid if those ecologies were unintentionally programmed into the AI, which I think would be likely every time we made an AI - I question if a programmer could pull that off, programming an AI without all that goes into what makes us us. Best we could do is somehow enter in random/arbitrariness and hope for the best the thing can cook. Or if AI is ever approached as a chemist would and just keep mixing stuff up until you get something ... unusual.

The book reads as if Kellhus failed ... but he's "dead but not done" allows for the possibility that everything is still going "as planned". The sacrifice being entertained could be himself, not little Kel.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 06:05:30 pm by TaoHorror »
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #52 on: June 01, 2018, 06:21:25 pm »
Not devoid if those ecologies were unintentionally programmed into the AI, which I think would be likely every time we made an AI - I question if a programmer could pull that off, programming an AI without all that goes into what makes us us.
So do I, but here neglect also creates a problem. How would a human be able to program something a human inherently neglects?

To be fair, I don't consider Bakker's argument flawless, but so far I came to the conclusion that it presents a valid line of thinking.

H

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« Reply #53 on: June 04, 2018, 11:20:01 am »
This is not the first time I see you making this point, but it doesn't seem to be correct. When Kellhus talks about bringing the word of Men to the Gods he specifically calls himself an inverse prophet, even going as far as to state that a normal prophet does exactly the opposite, that is, brings the word of the Gods to Men. There is no indication whatsoever that other prophets do what Kellhus did, on the contrary, he distinguishes himself from them by using a different term, "inverse prophet".

Just to clarify this, I stumbled upon this part again.  Here is a relvent quote:

Quote
“That is the conceit, is it not? The assumption that prophets deliver word of the God to Men.”
Proyas sat motionless for three heartbeats.
“Then what is their purpose?”
“Is it not plain? To deliver word of Men to the God.”

He even likens himself to Inri Sejenus at that time.  It is TGO, chapter 4.  He is indeed speaking of all prophets, he makes no distinction of himself, the phrase "inverse prophet" doesn't appear until much later in the series.

Interestingly, when he later refers to himself as an "inverse prophet" he actually is using it to describe bringing the word of gods to men:

Quote
The Lord-and-Prophet of the Three Seas actually smiled. “You seek to starve the very Gods,” his reflection said. “Brothers, things so great need no light to cast shadows.”
“How do you mean?” the teeth-baring Dûnyain demanded.
“Some have always smelled your absence.”
“At most,” the unscathed figure retorted. “They Intuit rather than Reason. They lack the Intellect to question.”
[...]
“Which is why,” the Holy Aspect-Emperor said, “they needed me.”
[...]
“An Inverse Prophet,” Anasûrimbor Kellhus said. “A revelation ... sent by the Living to the Dead, by the now to the Eternal.”

So, he does set himself apart, but only to mark his bringing of Ajokli to the Golden Room.  It is plausible to read that this was his "intention" the whole time, but I don't think that is what he is talking about in TGO.  In TGO, he is telling Proyas that he is not divinely inspired, in fact, that all prophets are just the opposite.  At this point, he is explaining that he is basically manipulating them all, including the gods.

The fact that Kellhus is also Ajokli's instrument is actually only tangential to Kellhus point that he is making to Proyas in TGO.  He is both the "false prophet" bringing man's word to god, but also the "inverse prophet" (in the manner of Eärwa) that is bringing Ajokli to the Golden Room.
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

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« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2018, 01:51:55 pm »
Just to clarify this, I stumbled upon this part again.  Here is a relvent quote:
Oh, this is great! It's an actual contradiction that I've forgotten. The only problem I see here is the fact that Kellhus is conditioning Proyas, while with the other Dunyain he presents a raw argument.

Interestingly, when he later refers to himself as an "inverse prophet" he actually is using it to describe bringing the word of gods to men:
This is not at all what I see in the quote you provided:
Quote
“A revelation ... sent by the Living to the Dead, by the now to the Eternal.”
The Living (the now) are Men, the Dead (the Eternal) are agencies of the Outside, so an inverse prophet brings the word of Men to the Gods, it's seems as straightforward as anything can get in TSA.

So, he does set himself apart, but only to mark his bringing of Ajokli to the Golden Room.
I don't think Kellhus sets bringing Ajokli to the Golden Room apart from his role as the inverse prophet, I think the former is just his particular choice, which is made possible by the latter.

H

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« Reply #55 on: June 04, 2018, 02:33:00 pm »
Just to clarify this, I stumbled upon this part again.  Here is a relvent quote:
Oh, this is great! It's an actual contradiction that I've forgotten. The only problem I see here is the fact that Kellhus is conditioning Proyas, while with the other Dunyain he presents a raw argument.

I don't think Kellhus is misleading Proyas though.  He is conditioning him, but by brutal honestly.  It's actually something the same way in which the Inverse Fire is literally true, but is a conditioning machine that leads one into an existential trap.

Interestingly, when he later refers to himself as an "inverse prophet" he actually is using it to describe bringing the word of gods to men:
This is not at all what I see in the quote you provided:
Quote
“A revelation ... sent by the Living to the Dead, by the now to the Eternal.”
The Living (the now) are Men, the Dead (the Eternal) are agencies of the Outside, so an inverse prophet brings the word of Men to the Gods, it's seems as straightforward as anything can get in TSA.

Hmm, good point, but I do think that he is marking out a difference in what is happening now as to what happened before.  Where previous prophets tried to deliver the word of man to god, Kellhus actually did.  So, where Fane's word never reached a Solitary God, Kellhus literally took the word to the god and got an answer.  So now, he truly is a real prophet.  So, an Inverse Prophet, because a prophet delivers the word of god to man, he has done the opposite in the manner of all Eärwan prophets.  But to go further, he doesn't just bring the word of Ajokli back, he literally brings Ajokli.

So, in speaking to Proyas, he is actually explaining at all Eärwan prophets are inverse prophets.  Well, except Mimara, but it's doubtful if Kellhus understands that.

So, he does set himself apart, but only to mark his bringing of Ajokli to the Golden Room.
I don't think Kellhus sets bringing Ajokli to the Golden Room apart from his role as the inverse prophet, I think the former is just his particular choice, which is made possible by the latter.

No, no, I don't mean it as setting it apart from the role as Inverse Prophet, I mean setting this action apart from the manner of previous Eärwan prophets, even himself.  In other words, in this action, he is an Inverse Prophet, where he wasn't previously.  Interestingly, these things aren't mutually exclusive.  Kellhus' previous action, in bringing the words of man to the gods, leads directly to him then leading Ajokli to Eärwa.  This is fairly unprecedented, as far as we know, I don't think any god has previously "entered the granary" before, which makes sense why Yatwer considers Kellhus such a threat.
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

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« Reply #56 on: June 04, 2018, 03:00:29 pm »
I don't think Kellhus is misleading Proyas though.  He is conditioning him, but by brutal honestly.
I was thinking more along the lines of Kellhus oversimplifying things and talking only about his specific case rather than in general.

So, an Inverse Prophet, because a prophet delivers the word of god to man, he has done the opposite in the manner of all Eärwan prophets.
I see a problem with definitions here. If all prophets bring the word of Men to the Gods, then where would the notion that they bring the word of God to Men come from? Kellhus is disputing this very notion, which appears to sound quite natural to Proyas, unlike Kellhus's arguments.

Kellhus' previous action, in bringing the words of man to the gods, leads directly to him then leading Ajokli to Eärwa.
It would imply that Kellhus brings Ajokli to the real world knowingly, indicating that there was in fact a pact of some kind between the two. This in itself is a point of contention.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 03:07:25 pm by SmilerLoki »

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« Reply #57 on: June 04, 2018, 05:24:36 pm »
I think H made a mistake a few posts back and said the word of men to Gods in both of his arguments when he didn't mean to maybe? Its just what I seen in these posts and the misunderstanding.

I tend to agree with it though, H's POV. He said it to Proyas as a way to shock and condition him, because that is what the whole scene is about. And, its what he meant when talking to the Dunyain in the GR, also. He literally walked the Outside and brought the word of Man to the Gods. Thats how Ajokli caught a ride into the GR. But, I dont think it a pact, more of Kellhus being used and oblivious to the darkness that comes before... Just what I thought reading it.

ETA: though I agree in the 2nd instance it does make it sound as if he knew Ajokli was gonna show up. Lol, I know thats contradicting myself. But, I always thought he knew Ajokli was with him and why he wasn't concerned going in to face the Consult.....
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 05:30:19 pm by MSJ »
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

H

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« Reply #58 on: June 04, 2018, 05:30:23 pm »
I don't think Kellhus is misleading Proyas though.  He is conditioning him, but by brutal honestly.
I was thinking more along the lines of Kellhus oversimplifying things and talking only about his specific case rather than in general.

I don't know, he specifically mentions Inri and includes himself then in the same class.

I see a problem with definitions here. If all prophets bring the word of Men to the Gods, then where would the notion that they bring the word of God to Men come from? Kellhus is disputing this very notion, which appears to sound quite natural to Proyas, unlike Kellhus's arguments.

Well, I think that, even in Eärwa, much like the real world, the layman's understanding of a "prophet" is "a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God."  By that token, the implication, of course, is that they are "divinely" inspired.  Kellhus is saying it is just the opposite.  They are mundanely motivated to alter the divine, not divinely motivated to alter the mundane.  So, in a way, I did make a mistake, Kellhus really never intends to reverse the Eärwan paradigm of "prophets," he just takes it to another level.  Which is certainly a very "Kellhus-ian" thing to do...

It would imply that Kellhus brings Ajokli to the real world knowingly, indicating that there was in fact a pact of some kind between the two. This in itself is a point of contention.

Another good point.  That whole Bakker AMA still puzzles me, mostly because I can't easily read the damn format of that site and trying infuriates me.  While, I think, Bakker refutes the idea that there was a "pact" between Kellhus and Ajokli, I think it was Kellhus' intention to summon, or allow entrance, to Ajokli in the Golden Room.  It might not have been a "formal" pact, in the sense of an actual agreement, but that doesn't really seem all that important.  Ajokli probably figured Kellhus would have no way to deny him his will once summoned, and Kellhus probably figured he could well trick the trickster god.  Either could have been right, but the whole plan is thrown for a loop by little Kel's intervention, so we just don't know.
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

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« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2018, 09:47:11 pm »
I don't know, he specifically mentions Inri and includes himself then in the same class.
Upon reflection, I can also propose that Kellhus wasn't suggesting that other prophets were aware of the fact that their communication with the God could go both ways. They considered themselves to be inspired by the divine, while Kellhus points out that even being inspired by the God, all prophets are just Men, and whatever they say is the words of Men, which are always less than the word of the God. That is, they mangle their divine inspiration into those words, thus giving the divine a form that's understandable to Men. In a way, it is communication, even if one party (prophets) is completely unaware of it. This is the quote that spurred this thought:
Quote from: R. Scott Bakker, "The Great Ordeal", Chapter 4, "Aörsi"
“To be all things, Prosha, the God must be at once greater than itself, and less.”
“Less? Less?”
“Finite. A man. Like Inri Sejenus. Like me …

In this way Kellhus simply understands that communication goes both ways. And while he might not consider himself divinely inspired, he can speak to the entities of the Outside. So his way of being a prophet is the inverse of the normal one, in the sense that he primarily speaks to the divine instead of being spoken to by it. Or at least it's his preference, since he explicitly doesn't trust his visions.

That whole Bakker AMA still puzzles me, mostly because I can't easily read the damn format of that site and trying infuriates me.
On a side note, I thought I was the only person who finds Reddit lacking as a reading format. It's just unnecessarily fractured even within a single topic.

Returning to TSA, I also discovered quite an interesting quote that seems to indicate that Kellhus had indeed abandoned the pursuit of Logos at some point:
Quote from: R. Scott Bakker, "The Great Ordeal", Chapter 4, "Aörsi"
“Reason is naught but the twine of thought,” he continued, “the way we bind fragments into larger fragments, moor the inhaling now to what is breathless and eternal. The God has no need of it …”
Logos.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 09:55:37 pm by SmilerLoki »