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Bakker XXXIV: Waiting for Grimdark (update: it’s here!)


Happy Ent

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I think this returns to the problem of moral judgement in a world where all human actions, even those of the Dunyain, is determined by the Darkness That Comes Before. Mimara recognises through the Judging Eye that she has been deemed good and saved, but she recognises that she has attained this through no great effort of her own and that others have been damned despite their best efforts or because, whilst benevolent and generous people, they have defied the divine order, e.g. through sorcery. Mimara thus recognises that there is no justice in damnation even for the saved, for those who are saved have made no real choice, merely followed instinct, and just been fortunate that innate tendency and circumstance have worked out for them, whilst the great majority face tribulation despite acting according to the same principles.


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thanks, MSJ. must cogitate. it's a mirror stage moment, i think, constitutive of subjectivity. wondering if it's plain lacan, or more althusser or zizek. will confer with the party's central committee for guidance.

What if it turned out that the No-God's failure was ultimately the fault of the Consult's Office of Central Planning not being able to devise an optimal soul-sucking schedule?

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I think this returns to the problem of moral judgement in a world where all human actions, even those of the Dunyain, is determined by the Darkness That Comes Before. Mimara recognises through the Judging Eye that she has been deemed good and saved, but she recognises that she has attained this through no great effort of her own and that others have been damned despite their best efforts or because, whilst benevolent and generous people, they have defied the divine order, e.g. through sorcery. Mimara thus recognises that there is no justice in damnation even for the saved, for those who are saved have made no real choice, merely followed instinct, and just been fortunate that innate tendency and circumstance have worked out for them, whilst the great majority face tribulation despite acting according to the same principles.

GoMR I like what you've proposed here and I believe this makes the most sense. And I think this is basically what Damnation boils down to. And Mirmara can't totally come to grips with it. And, I think this will go back to what Bakker said about a right way and a wrong way to worship in Earwa. Love your take on it!

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Oh come on we all know that with a centralized Consult the main benefit is that their soulsucking machinery runs on time.

It's all really the fault of the Cenaians anyway. Folks at the time argued clearly and convincingly that the conditions of the peace were too harsh and only sewed the seeds for the Second Apocalypse. But their warnings went unheeded.

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It explains the no god so well. He's a fucking vogon beat poet. The poetry was so bad it killed unborn children and no soul dared to enter a world where such poetry existed.

So the No-God is Mr. Shankly. It is all starting to make sense...

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The causation that damns in the Bakkerverse is teleological, near as I can tell, rather than the forward-facing causation implied by TDTCB. (Which itself is suspect, but that's for another thread.)



Additionally, I'm not convinced the "right way to believe" refers to belonging to the correct religion. That's too facile for Bakker. I was thinking it might be akin to Gnostic ideas about realizing the One. Reading some stuff about Plotinus which might give me some insights on what the hell that might mean...


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I think this returns to the problem of moral judgement in a world where all human actions, even those of the Dunyain, is determined by the Darkness That Comes Before.

It's not clear that that's the case. If there is anything we've learned from the series it's that the Dunyain world view is at odds with the reality of Earwa.

But even if it's the case, it doesn't explain why Mimara is not damned. The question is, what is it that she's doing that saved her? How does she 'believe the right way'?

I don't think she's just seeing a reflection of her view of herself or whatever. At some point Bakker has to actually give us some actual clues, I agree that this is one.

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I just finished a reread of TTT, and while I can safely say that it's my least favorite of the PoN books, the Nonman mansion where Kellhus and Moe meet was kind of awesome, don't think I paid much attention to it before.



Anyway, does anyone know what the hell happened here,




"I must speak with him," Kellhus said.


Achamian gaped at the man, incredulous. "With Seswatha? I don't understand."


Kellhus reached to his belt and drew one of his daggers: the Eumarnan one, with a black pearl handle and a long thin blade, like those Achamian's father had used for deboning fish. For a panicked instant Achamian thought that Kellhus meant to debone him, to cut Seswatha from his skin, perhaps the way physician-priests sometimes cut living infants from dying mothers. Instead he merely twirled the pommel across the table of his palm, holding it balanced so that the Seleukaran steel flashed in the light of their fire-pot.


"Watch the play of light," he said. "Watch only the light."


With a shrug, Achamian gazed at the weapon, found himself captivated by the multiple ghosts that formed about the spinning blade's axis. He had the sense of watching silver through dancing water, then...


What followed defeated description. There was a peculiar impression of elongation, as though his eyes had been drawn across open space into airy corners. He could remem­ber his head falling back, and the sense that, even though he still owned his bones, his muscles belonged to someone else, so that it seemed he was restrained by the force of another in a manner more profound than chains or even inhum­ation. He could remember speaking, but could recollect nothing of what he said. It was as though his memory of the exchange had been affixed to the edges of his periphery, where it remained no matter how quickly he snapped his head. Always just on the threshold of the perceptible...


Unknown permissions.


He began to ask Kellhus what had happened, but the man silenced him with a closed-eye grin, the one he typically used to effortlessly dismiss what seemed to be crucial ques­tions. Kellhus told him to try repeating the first phrase. With something akin to awe, Achamian found the first words tum­bling from his lips — the first utteral string...



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I just finished a reread of TTT, and while I can safely say that it's my least favorite of the PoN books, the Nonman mansion where Kellhus and Moe meet was kind of awesome, don't think I paid much attention to it before.

Anyway, does anyone know what the hell happened here,

Akka gets filled with malware. Moreso.

I actually hope the Seswatha dreams are changing for another reason - just because it's a bit drab it all being a 'Kellhus did it!' thing.

McScranc and Nonburgers.

No-godald McDonald.

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It's not clear that that's the case. If there is anything we've learned from the series it's that the Dunyain world view is at odds with the reality of Earwa.

But even if it's the case, it doesn't explain why Mimara is not damned. The question is, what is it that she's doing that saved her? How does she 'believe the right way'?

I don't think she's just seeing a reflection of her view of herself or whatever. At some point Bakker has to actually give us some actual clues, I agree that this is one.

Part of the Dunyain view has been challenged by the things Kellhus and Moe discovered outside Ishual. It remains to be seen how wrong they are though. Their tactics are still incredibly successful despite the supposed metaphysical strangeness of Earwa that they didn't account for (is that Bakkers view on alternatives to science and materialism? "You can have your dualism or panpsychism, I'll just take what works"? ).

Either way, they seem, on the surface, right about the darkness regardless of what exactly is causing it.

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(is that Bakkers view on alternatives to science and materialism? "You can have your dualism or panpsychism, I'll just take what works"? ).

AFAIK, sorta. From what I recall Bakker has noted that whether or not consciousness is part of the world his ideas regarding heuristics making up what seem to be selves/minds would still hold.So panpsychism wouldn't be a problem. OTOH some of things he's said on his blog suggest dualism would be a game changer. (I recall something along the lines of, "In Earwa there are souls. Here we can only hope.")

Of course his view may have shifted from whenever these comments were made (sometime in the last 2-3 years).

And I may be reading him wrong, as it seems like he's saying even if subjective awareness transcends the material/mechanistic via panpsychism (or maybe even idealism?) our intentionality (thoughts about things) does not. But that assumes the subjective awareness can be cleanly divided from intentionality, something I'm not sure makes sense in reality as opposed to theory. (see EJ Lowe's There Are No Easy Problems of Consciousness, or Tallis' What Consciousness Is Not.)

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Either way, they seem, on the surface, right about the darkness regardless of what exactly is causing it.

Like I said, it isn't clear. There are strong indications that in Earwa some events are determined by what comes after.

If you look at what glossary calls the Dunyain's "founding principles",

Much of Dûnyain belief follows from their interpretation of what they consider their founding principles. The Emperical Priority Principle (sometimes referred to as the Principle of Before and After) asserts that within the circle of the world, what comes before determines what comes after without exception. The Rational Priority Principle asserts that Logos, or Reason, lies outside the circle of the world (though only in a formal and not an ontological sense). The Epistemological Principle asserts that knowing what comes before (via the Logos) yields "control" of what comes after.

All of these principles are wrong. Their entire belief system is built on the idea that what comes before determines what comes after without exception. Which contradicts what seems to me as the mainstream view in Earwa, even Yatwer seems to disagree with the Dunyain's principle of before and after.

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