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Bakker's the Great Ordeal excerpts III: Barthes to Balzac(spoilers)


Kalnestk Oblast

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5 minutes ago, kuenjato said:

Kalbear - one more question... (you can put it in spoilers tags...)

Does Kellhus have more POV's than just that snippet in the first chapter?

 

Hmm.

Spoiler

Lokisnow can confirm as he has the book now, but I believe that he has one more - the next Ordeal chapter. After that I believe it's strictly Proyas and Saubon on the ordeal, though we see more of Kellhus. 

Also, just read that Sirwitta, a Emwama slave, seduces a nonman woman. What the fuck?!?!

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Didn't know that Benjuka was a game humans learned from the Nonmen... interesting (or not, I have no idea.)

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Gin'yursis, a Cûnuroi of Cil-Aujas exiled from his home mansion, travelled to the Ancient North and undertook tutoring of men in the arts of sorcery. In 668 he founded the Gnostic School of Sohonc. His student Sos-Praniura would then founded the Gnostic School of Mangaecca in 684. The power of the Ancient North increased thanks to these schools of learning and sorcery

Hmm... also don't recall being told that Gin'yursis was exiled from Cil-Aujas. I wonder if Nil'giccas had anything to do with that and whether it was his idea to create the Sohonc.

eta: is that stuff about Jiricet and Omindalea in TGO? Because if you took it from the wiki, this was something that Bakker mentioned as being a part of the TTT glossary on three seas forum but then it didn't appear there so some people speculated that he might have changed his mind about it.

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19 hours ago, Werthead said:

Part 2 of the history series.

I didn't get any new info from Scott for this one, so no real surprises here. The only new bit is the location of Umerau, which is inferred from The Great Ordeal's map.

Generally a great work of Bakker scholarship. Just a matter of qualification: did the Five Tribes receive trinkets with the Tusk but not know what use to put them to in fighting the Quya, until Angeshrael was told by 'Husyelt', or did Angeshrael receive the trinkets from 'Husyelt'?

 

Edit: Hmmm, the Shamans sound like they have some similarities to the Cish - did Fane rediscover shamanism?

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I think some of this is stuff we might see fleshed out in TUC's glossary, which sounds like it's going to be as much about going back and revealing more and different information from TTT's as it is on building on the revelations from this series.

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Also, just read that Sirwitta, a Emwama slave, seduces a nonman woman. What the fuck?!?!

I don't think that's right. Sirwatta came from the Halaroi tribes that were used to bolster the Second Watch (incidentally, supporting evidence that the Nonmen used the pre-Breaking native men of Earwa to bolster their armies in the 500-Year-War), so he wasn't Emwama per se. The Emwama appear to have been docile thralls, their will broken through many, many generations and millennia of slavery. Sirwatta seems to have come from a more independently-minded group (perhaps one of the ones that had previously treated with Viri more as equals?) capable of fighting and even surviving battle with the Inchoroi and their minions.

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46 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I don't think that's right. Sirwatta came from the Halaroi tribes that were used to bolster the Second Watch (incidentally, supporting evidence that the Nonmen used the pre-Breaking native men of Earwa to bolster their armies in the 500-Year-War), so he wasn't Emwama per se. The Emwama appear to have been docile thralls, their will broken through many, many generations and millennia of slavery. Sirwatta seems to have come from a more independently-minded group (perhaps one of the ones that had previously treated with Viri more as equals?) capable of fighting and even surviving battle with the Inchoroi and their minions.

Well, yeah, that's why I was confused. But it comes from that same thread that was just posted. 

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I think Bakker was still pinning ideas down at that stage (that's from when he was still working on TTT, and the glossay was only in its early stages). He is quite capable of changing his mind about things even after they hit the page (hello, teleporting Sakarpus!), let alone before.

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5 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I think Bakker was still pinning ideas down at that stage (that's from when he was still working on TTT, and the glossay was only in its early stages). He is quite capable of changing his mind about things even after they hit the page (hello, teleporting Sakarpus!), let alone before.

True enough. And from that thread he said that he hadn't really nailed down the Nonman history and whatnot. Chances are good that changed. 

But then it leads the question who the heck Sirwitta was, if there was some elite Halaroi ninja outfit separate from the Emwama, and how that all worked. Probably doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

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14 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

True enough. And from that thread he said that he hadn't really nailed down the Nonman history and whatnot. Chances are good that changed. 

But then it leads the question who the heck Sirwitta was, if there was some elite Halaroi ninja outfit separate from the Emwama, and how that all worked. Probably doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

I suspect he really didn't go into the Ark, kick the crap out of the Inchoroi and then escape. More likely he was dragged in front of the Inverse Fire and went bonkers, or was allowed to leave to spread fear or panic. Or maybe actually to deliver the same message that Nin'janjin did later on, suing for peace, and that's why Cinmoi cut out his tongue.

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Originally, among the Men of Eanna, magic was the monopoly of the Shamans. They were of the Few, their souls recalling the God of Gods in near-perfect proportion, and were also considered holy, with a direct line to the will of the divine. They were Prophets and Sorcerers in one (to the point that this distinction was meaningless then).

 

So I think this confirms Kellhus was purposely misleading Proyas to make him think it was the God of Gods that's harvesting us as "bread", and not the Hundred who are the actual baddies. I wonder why that is?

 

And tbh, the God of Gods pretty much being Slaanesh would just be too goddamn fucking grimdark. I buy the God being the antithesis to humanity in a metaphysical way - whole/fragment, unity/multiplicity, perfection/imperfection, etc. - but the series is pitch black as it is. Besides, getting an actual God of light and love after thousands of pages of rape, violation, and black alien cum would really drive home the sublimity and awe that such a figure should evoke. 

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1 hour ago, Baztek said:

So I think this confirms Kellhus was purposely misleading Proyas to make him think it was the God of Gods that's harvesting us as "bread", and not the Hundred who are the actual baddies. I wonder why that is?

And tbh, the God of Gods pretty much being Slaanesh would just be too goddamn fucking grimdark. I buy the God being the antithesis to humanity in a metaphysical way - whole/fragment, unity/multiplicity, perfection/imperfection, etc. - but the series is pitch black as it is. Besides, getting an actual God of light and love after thousands of pages of rape, violation, and black alien cum would really drive home the sublimity and awe that such a figure should evoke. 

I don't think Kellhus is purposely misleading. He just cannot see the God of Gods.

From a Neoplatonist perspective that isn't surprising. Kellhus is a philosopher divorced from spiritual transformation:

 “Philosophy is united with the art of sacred things since this art is concerned with the purification of the luminous body, but if you separate philosophical thinking from this art, you will find that it no longer has the same power”

 -Hierocles 

Comes back to the Dunyain continually looking for rational answers that fit a mechanistic framework, doomed to the lower rungs of Diotima's Ladder. The kind of people who think the Republic is a book about statecraft...

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20 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

I don't think Kellhus is purposely misleading. He just cannot see the God of Gods.

From a Neoplatonist perspective that isn't surprising. Kellhus is a philosopher divorced from spiritual transformation:

 “Philosophy is united with the art of sacred things since this art is concerned with the purification of the luminous body, but if you separate philosophical thinking from this art, you will find that it no longer has the same power”

 -Hierocles 

Comes back to the Dunyain continually looking for rational answers that fit a mechanistic framework, doomed to the lower rungs of Diotima's Ladder. The kind of people who think the Republic is a book about statecraft...

Are the Dunyain a long-winded invective of materialism and co.? I've been suspecting it too, actually. The Dunyain are literally too autistic to perceive something that transcends the causal chain they are so eager to conquer. lol.

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14 minutes ago, Baztek said:

Are the Dunyain a long-winded invective of materialism and co.? I've been suspecting it too, actually. The Dunyain are literally too autistic to perceive something that transcends the causal chain they are so eager to conquer. lol.

As Loki says, what comes after influencing what comes before proves that the basic causal thought that the Dunyain are operating on is incorrect. 

That being said, Kellhus is about as spiritually significant as you can get. He's got the haloes to prove it and everything. Only Mimara so far is as spiritually significant. Just because he tells Proyas something doesn't mean it's the truth. It's just what he needs to tell Proyas to manipulate him. 

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24 minutes ago, Baztek said:

Are the Dunyain a long-winded invective of materialism and co.? I've been suspecting it too, actually. The Dunyain are literally too autistic to perceive something that transcends the causal chain they are so eager to conquer. lol.

My guess is the Dunyain are meant to be us, the modern rationalist readers who model the world in terms of mechanism. If the books' setting is the dream of God, and we are disassociated identities [of said God] who end up caught in the dream, then the distinctions between subject/object, matter/mind that the modern rationalist assumes don't necessarily apply in the Bakkerverse.

Another guess is that Bakker would likely say that [the mechanistic-reductionist] is the correct position to take in our universe but in the Bakkerverse causality involves teleology and some really weird relationships between souls and time. [But I am wary of drawing too many conclusions about Bakker's real world philo. positions from the books.]

 

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Another guess is that Bakker would likely say that this is the correct position to take in our universe but in the Bakkerverse causality involves teleology and some really weird relationships between souls and time. 

The Dunyain view (at least the baseline one) represents the modernist view, but the Dunyain aren't us. That's the Inchorois - fucking with tech they barely understand, being greedy and selfish and shitty. 

The Dunyain are what we should aspire to be - totally emotionless, logical, and able to change their mind based on new data without having their ego involved. The Dunyain are the only people in the series who can take new information and change their entire worldview based on it that we've seen. Moenghus and Kellhus both do this, though Moe doesn't do it as well as he probably should. Others can only be convinced to change their mind based on manipulation and emotional blackmail. The Dunyain see new data and simply figure out new hypotheses for it, and surpass it. 

Remember that this is supposed to be a story where philosophy is the bestest thing ever and philosophers are the most powerful people alive. 

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6 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

As Loki says, what comes after influencing what comes before proves that the basic causal thought that the Dunyain are operating on is incorrect. 

That being said, Kellhus is about as spiritually significant as you can get. He's got the haloes to prove it and everything. Only Mimara so far is as spiritually significant. Just because he tells Proyas something doesn't mean it's the truth. It's just what he needs to tell Proyas to manipulate him. 

I'm curious as to why/how 'mimicking' a relationship with the Absolute is still tantamount to perceiving the Absolute, at least as far as the 'holy signs' are concerned. 

I think this ties into the idea of actions being evil in and of themselves, regardless of their intent. It's like the God of Gods is obsessed with appearances instead of the worlds of feeling behind them. It's weird.

 

5 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

My guess is the Dunyain are meant to be us, the modern rationalist readers who model the world in terms of mechanism. If the books' setting is the dream of God, and we are disassociated identities [of said God] who end up caught in the dream, then the distinctions between subject/object, matter/mind that the modern rationalist assumes likely don't necessarily apply in the Bakkerverse.

Another guess is that Bakker would likely say that this is the correct position to take in our universe but in the Bakkerverse causality involves teleology and some really weird relationships between souls and time. 

 

I think the Dunyain are merely offshoots of the Inchoroi. Deep knowledge of causal effects = (roughly) equivalent to deep knowledge of corporeality and what gets it off. Dunyains are an abomination of mind, Inchoroi the body. Both exhibit a very esoteric understanding of what makes their respective domains click. 

 

Kind of reminds me of Infinite Jest's Entertainment: if you could produce a work of art that is objectively determined to be as absolutely intoxicating as possible, would you? And not even that, forget creating it, would you watch it?

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2 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

The Dunyain view (at least the baseline one) represents the modernist view, but the Dunyain aren't us. That's the Inchorois - fucking with tech they barely understand, being greedy and selfish and shitty. 

The Dunyain are what we should aspire to be - totally emotionless, logical, and able to change their mind based on new data without having their ego involved. The Dunyain are the only people in the series who can take new information and change their entire worldview based on it that we've seen. Moenghus and Kellhus both do this, though Moe doesn't do it as well as he probably should. Others can only be convinced to change their mind based on manipulation and emotional blackmail. The Dunyain see new data and simply figure out new hypotheses for it, and surpass it. 

Remember that this is supposed to be a story where philosophy is the bestest thing ever and philosophers are the most powerful people alive. 

I vehemently disagree. I don't think the Dunyains should be us. Who cares about all the knowledge of the universe if you're just a meat AI computing a bunch of 0s and 1s? 

Mimara and Serwe being focal points of the plot and metaphysics speak to Bakker's real message I think: philosophical understanding of the universe coupled with compassionate humanity.

Pretty much what Sci quoted earlier. Philosophy with the Art. 

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