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Bakker XLV: Optimal Tip-to-Tip Damnation (no TGO Spoilers)

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This is the perpetual thread devoted to the works of R. Scott Bakker, primarily the books in The Second Apocalypse series, the first novel is The Darkness that Comes Before, the sixth novel will be published on July 12, 2016 and is The Great Ordeal.  Barnes and Noble stores, in the U.S.A. have released the book early to shelves.

This thread is for the series but not for spoilers for The Great Ordeal.

The series is called The Second Apocalypse and is currently comprised of two sub-series, a trilogy and a quartet. Potentially, there will be a third series, although the author has stated that the quartet completes his original vision for the story. 

The first trilogy of books is subtitled The Prince of Nothing these three books are:

  1. The Darkness that Comes Before
  2. The Warrior Prophet
  3. The Thousandfold Thought

The second quartet of books is subtitled The Aspect Emperor, these four books are:

  1. The Judging Eye
  2. The White-Luck Warrior
  3. The Great Ordeal (2016)
  4. The Unholy Consult (2017)

The seventh novel, The Unholy Consult is not completed, and will presumably be published in 2017, a precise publication date is not yet set. The Unholy Consult will also include an expanded Appendix/Encyclopedic Glossary, also not completed. The original Glossary exists currently only at the end of the third book, The Thousandfold Thought. The sixth book was completed two years ago but publication was withheld as the author negotiated to expand the subseries from three volumes to four in his series contract, now that the sixth book is being published and the contracts have successfully been expanded, the seventh book is tentatively scheduled for 2017.

Additionally, Bakker has published three short stories, The False Sun and The Four Revelations of Cinial'jin on Bakker's Blog Three Pound Brain and The Knife of Many Hands, which is available for purchase. This thread contains spoilers for these publications. The False Sun is the most discussed work of these three shorts.

Since Bakker's writing uses layers of revelation, newcomers are strongly advised to finish the books before coming here; otherwise the spoilers will rot your soul. Eternally.

Most denizens of this thread have also read Bakker's non-fantasy novels Neuropath and Disciple of the Dog, but the spoiler policy is unclear. You are advised to hide crucial plot points in those novels.

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If you don't get the thread title reference, it is referring to the final episode of season one of Silicon Valley titled, "Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency". I'm not going to tell you what that is referring to, but the thing it is referring to is probably the most Bakker thing ever on TV, if Bakker had a sense of humor.

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Just gonna say I think the idea of existence being some kind of weird dream and the actual, no-shit Real being a timeless moment where every iota of you is horrifically tortured by extradimensional demons that crave your suffering is probably the darkest shit imaginable and something that's occurred to me as well. I really shouldn't have read the Sons part while smoking a blunt.

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6 hours ago, Baztek said:

Just gonna say I think the idea of existence being some kind of weird dream and the actual, no-shit Real being a timeless moment where every iota of you is horrifically tortured by extradimensional demons that crave your suffering is probably the darkest shit imaginable and something that's occurred to me as well. I really shouldn't have read the Sons part while smoking a blunt.

yeah, that section made me kind of queasy and I was sober when I read it.

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The Unholiest of Unholies has arrived in the mail today... Let my slog begin!

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How can torture be timeless?

Heck, how can awareness of the timelessness be timeless?

A lot of people interested in Hindu-esque mysticism get caught up in this Timeless stuff but I've never been one of them.

I'm with Smolin - Time is the realest.

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9 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

How can torture be timeless?

Heck, how can awareness of the timelessness be timeless?

A lot of people interested in Hindu-esque mysticism get caught up in this Timeless stuff but I've never been one of them.

I'm with Smolin - Time is the realest.

Depends on where you are in the universe, I guess. If you think you can experience history like a movie or something, you don't see the time in that movie as anything special. You can move back and forward in that movie without any confusion as to what happened before or what happened next. At the time the characters in the movie might feel like things are in their control but they all end up at the same point. They're all just memories of what is going to happen in the movie.

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On 7/9/2016 at 9:29 PM, Dickwad Poster #3784 said:

Depends on where you are in the universe, I guess. If you think you can experience history like a movie or something, you don't see the time in that movie as anything special. You can move back and forward in that movie without any confusion as to what happened before or what happened next. At the time the characters in the movie might feel like things are in their control but they all end up at the same point. They're all just memories of what is going to happen in the movie.

Okay, but while you are moving back and forth in the movie there is a time passing for you?

At best this suggests there are different kinds of time rather than time itself is illusory?

 

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1 minute ago, Sci-2 said:

Okay, but while you are moving back and forth in the movie there is a time passing for you?

At best this suggests there are different kinds of time rather than time itself is illusory?

 

Sure, but I don't think anyone suggested that time is illusory - merely that the time that humans are currently experiencing has already happened, at least as far as the hundred think. 

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24 minutes ago, Baztek said:

Eternal torture isn't an endless sequence of particular moments, just a never-changing Now that hurts like fuck.

"Never-changing Now" seems to imply an infinite amount of linear time?

(It's this kind of thing that bleeds the horror of the setting out IMO. Too many metaphysical conjectures lumped together in a kind of weird salad.)

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23 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

"Never-changing Now" seems to imply an infinite amount of linear time?

(It's this kind of thing that bleeds the horror of the setting out IMO. Too many metaphysical conjectures lumped together in a kind of weird salad.)

No, literally, a Now that is only and can only ever be a Now. Like deep mindfulness meditation, except you're being peeled apart by demons. 

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3 minutes ago, Baztek said:

No, literally, a Now that is only and can only ever be a Now. Like deep mindfulness meditation, except you're being peeled apart by demons. 

If I'm being peeled, it seems like time is passing?

It would seem to me that, assuming mindfulness meditation points to anything real, it would by its nature have to exclude temporal experience?

Thus pain and pleasure would seem to be negated?

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42 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

It would seem to me that, assuming mindfulness meditation points to anything real, it would by its nature have to exclude temporal experience?

 

We're entering wonky metaphysical territory but the main thing Bakker is getting at with the timelessness of the Outside and the "This is Here" stuff is that the frame of actuality outside of Earwa is literally an unchanging hell. There might be movement and shit in it because after all this is supposed to be a narrative but there's no actual change. If the rule of this universe was, say, change, becoming, w/e, then the rule for the darker areas of the Outside would be one thing and one thing only: pain. The very reality around you conforms to the pain. 

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5 minutes ago, Baztek said:

We're entering wonky metaphysical territory but the main thing Bakker is getting at with the timelessness of the Outside and the "This is Here" stuff is that the frame of actuality outside of Earwa is literally an unchanging hell. There might be movement and shit in it because after all this is supposed to be a narrative but there's no actual change. If the rule of this universe was, say, change, becoming, w/e, then the rule for the darker areas of the Outside would be one thing and one thing only: pain. The very reality around you conforms to the pain. 

Ah, so we're talking about the Now of, say, insanely great experiences of sex or eating [or those insane pains that seem to go on forever] rather than an Einstein-esque Block Universe?

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