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Rhom

Bakker XLVI: Make Eärwa Great Again

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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 seventh novel will be published on July 4, 2017 and is The Unholy Consult.  It is currently available for preorder.

This thread is for the series through The Great Ordeal and contains spoilers through that novel.

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
  4. The Unholy Consult (2017).
 

The Unholy Consult will also include an expanded Appendix/Encyclopedic Glossary. The original Glossary exists currently only at the end of the third book, The Thousandfold Thought. 

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.

Of potential interest, Bakker did stop by the board shortly after the release of The Great Ordeal and did answer several questions.  That discussion can be found here.

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.

Hat tip to Happy Ent for the intro to the thread.

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The current general thread Optimal Tip to Tip Damnation is only at page 14.  However, the TGO specific threads have been through four full topics and is currently nearly the cut off stage.  Much like the splitting of the Ordeal eventually coming back together for the final push, its time for our discussions to return to a single convergence.

To the coffers boys!  Its the slog of slogs!!!!

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I, Anasurimbor J Kelhus, am calling for a total and complete shutdown on all Yatwerian cultists and Fanim untill we get an idea of whats going on??!?!

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So how do you guys interpret what happened with the Survivor (Khellus' son)? Did he grasp (grasped?) the Absolute? Did he redeem himself for his sins as a Dunyain or is he burning in hell damned? I'm not quite clear on that.

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5 hours ago, Gronzag said:

So how do you guys interpret what happened with the Survivor (Khellus' son)? Did he grasp (grasped?) the Absolute? Did he redeem himself for his sins as a Dunyain or is he burning in hell damned? I'm not quite clear on that.

My IMO:

He did not grasp the Absolute; he determined that it did not exist as he had thought it and that his entire metaphysical premise was wrong. He determined that his actions had been judged sinful, that there existed an actual judgment, and left to his devices he would be damned as soon as he died, regardless of his grasping or mastering what came before.

He also realized that there was no 'what came before' and that everything had already happened. That the flaw of the Dunyain was not understanding the darkness, but understanding that his limited perception of time implied causality that didn't exist, and that his perception of causality before was similar to me screaming at a pre-recorded TV show and being pleasantly happy when it changes to something I wanted more.

However, the one thing that can be changed is not what you've done or will do - but what the outcome is. Because the outcome of your sins can be forgiven and washed away, the stain of damnation can be removed and reset to objectively be okay. That is Mimara's power, and that is what she does in his final moments - she sees the whole of his life and forgives him, and ensuring that he is now saved he kills himself before any more sinful acts can occur.  

 

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

My IMO:

He did not grasp the Absolute; he determined that it did not exist as he had thought it and that his entire metaphysical premise was wrong. He determined that his actions had been judged sinful, that there existed an actual judgment, and left to his devices he would be damned as soon as he died, regardless of his grasping or mastering what came before.

He also realized that there was no 'what came before' and that everything had already happened. That the flaw of the Dunyain was not understanding the darkness, but understanding that his limited perception of time implied causality that didn't exist, and that his perception of causality before was similar to me screaming at a pre-recorded TV show and being pleasantly happy when it changes to something I wanted more.

However, the one thing that can be changed is not what you've done or will do - but what the outcome is. Because the outcome of your sins can be forgiven and washed away, the stain of damnation can be removed and reset to objectively be okay. That is Mimara's power, and that is what she does in his final moments - she sees the whole of his life and forgives him, and ensuring that he is now saved he kills himself before any more sinful acts can occur.  

 

That's how I essentially see it as well.

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

I'm not sure if I love the topic title or I want to throw mud at you. :P

No one is stopping you from doing both.  So reach down under the warm Shigeki sun and pull a couple of thick, rich, handfuls from the muddy banks of the Sempis and cast them with love. 

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I would like to vigorously endorse the thread title.

Have you guys noticed that Kellhus is, like, a really smart person?.

 

Also, prediction for the next book: Kellhus is going to take down the Consult, bigly.

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16 hours ago, Gronzag said:

So how do you guys interpret what happened with the Survivor (Khellus' son)? Did he grasp (grasped?) the Absolute? Did he redeem himself for his sins as a Dunyain or is he burning in hell damned? I'm not quite clear on that.

He grasped nothing. The Survivor made, literally, the Leap of Faith described by Danish existentialist philosopher Søren Kirkegaard. According to Kirkegaard, this leap will land you in the arms of a loving God, once you dare take the plunge. (And the plunge is a consequence of Faith, without any evidence—Kirkegaard is as far as can be from the Dûnyain in one direction.)

This being Eärwa, we (as readers) should be unsurprised that reality is not inhabited by a loving God that embraces us, once we shed ourselves of our rational faculties. Not because the rational faculties prevent the love of God, but because God does not love. The Survivor rejects the Dûnyain part towards the Absolute (science, reason, evidence, etc.—the whole modern project) and tries something else (the postmodern project). He fails. Nice try.

Background reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_of_faith

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For followers of the British Sherlock Holmes series Sherlock, there is some heavy Dûnyain-speak in the most recent episode.

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6 hours ago, Damned with the Wind said:

re:thread title

 

Are we certain Trump isn't an glamoured Inchoroi?

He certainly is no stranger to graftings.

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9 hours ago, Damned with the Wind said:

re:thread title

 

Are we certain Trump isn't an glamoured Inchoroi?

He spent all that time in the Republican debates talking penis size... don't know that it was ever described as "pendulous" though.  :dunno: 

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13 hours ago, Happy Ent said:

He grasped nothing. The Survivor made, literally, the Leap of Faith described by Danish existentialist philosopher Søren Kirkegaard. According to Kirkegaard, this leap will land you in the arms of a loving God, once you dare take the plunge. (And the plunge is a consequence of Faith, without any evidence—Kirkegaard is as far as can be from the Dûnyain in one direction.)

This being Eärwa, we (as readers) should be unsurprised that reality is not inhabited by a loving God that embraces us, once we shed ourselves of our rational faculties. Not because the rational faculties prevent the love of God, but because God does not love. The Survivor rejects the Dûnyain part towards the Absolute (science, reason, evidence, etc.—the whole modern project) and tries something else (the postmodern project). He fails. Nice try.

Background reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_of_faith

Curious - what makes you so sure the Survivor was deceived?

I'd have to revisit the passage but I didn't get the sense he was leaping toward God so much as trying for something closer to Nirvana/Brahman. 

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9 hours ago, Sci-2 said:

Curious - what makes you so sure the Survivor was deceived?

I'd have to revisit the passage but I didn't get the sense he was leaping toward God so much as trying for something closer to Nirvana/Brahman. 

I don’t know what deceived means in this context, and haven’t used the word myself. The Survivor was mistaken. He follows a train of thought, reasons himself into Kirkegaard’s position, takes the leap of faith, and dies. (Because he, as well as Kirkegaard, are wrong about the metaphysics of Eärwa. There is no loving God in Eärwa. There might be one in our world, but there isn’t one in Eärwa. Kirkegaard and the Dûnyain are equally wrong about how the Absolute might be reached.)

I have no opinion on what to call the nonexistent thingy that the Dûnyain or Kirkegaard strive to reach. Absolute, God, Nirvana,—it’s all same-same to me, and they are all equally mistaken (in Eärwa) about its existence, let alone how to reach it. In the Survivor example, I prefer the word God simply to echo Kirkegaard’s formulation “leap of faith into the arms of a loving God,” which is hinted at almost literally in the scene where the Survivor jumps (“… into the arms of nothing” or something.)

I find the whole Survivor chapter cute but tangential. It’s merely yet another theory about Eärwian metaphysics that turns out to be false, much like when the Scarlet Spire dude (drunk) must admit that there is an afterlife and he is quite damned.

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How do you know there is no loving big powerful dude (god) in Earwa, HE? Maybe he's/it's just asleep, like the thing Mimara see's in the chorae.

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OK, maybe there is yet another layer of revelation. Fine by me. But our current understanding is that the gods/demons are pretty nasty.

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