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Bakker LIV - Soul Sphincter

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5 minutes ago, ير بال said:

I think you can draw a line (or Bakker meant us to see a line) between Moe's inability to use water to the wretches being spiritually weak to the Dunyain.  Of course, this required Bakker's own prompting about readers having missed something to see. 

Which, going back to whether there are layers or whatever in the story - obviously Bakker did put in solve-able mystery bits in the story, but the problem is he apparently sucked at them.  What the readers considered to be mysteries and what Bakker did turned out to be different, what Bakker apparently considered to be apparent was obfuscated, and what he considered to be obfuscated was invisible. 

A lot of this would have been solved with more of Kellhus' PoV. Not having his other than a couple of fairly opaque and symbolic chapters meant that we were always trying to guess his motivations - and when the only time we get them is in a monologue to other Dunyain, we accept that as something like a mirror of the first series, because that's the only basis we have. 

What it apparently should have been was one entity aping Dunyain talking to another entity aping Dunyain without either being aware of it until the last minute, but since we hadn't seen a whole lot of Shae, none of the Dunsult, and little of Kellhus, we had no context to accept this as fact. 

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As to what the JE is about/meant to be is laid out clearly in the book. It shows damnation, salvation and even redemption via the Cubit (as Koringhus calls it, or rather the Zero God). Koringhus receives redemption and is smart enough to not screw it up and take the Leap. Yes, its shitty that we all expected to see Kellhus via it, and clearly that was what most readers felt it was set up to be used as. I believe Mimara is the prophetess and the JE will play a role in future books.

I like the theory that the Mimara via the JE will undo the No-God by answering his questions, or something along those lines. We sort of have this (not in a straightforward way) hinted at with Akka's dream right before he renounces Kellhus at the end of TTT. In that dream its hinted at that Anaphaxos(sp?) doesn't even use the Heron Spear. You can make a case that the No-God met his end of some other means. Yet, this is conjecture, to say the least, but still makes one wonder.

As for why the Inchies wanted Mimara at Golgotterath, well, all the prophecies must be respected. What that prophecy is, anyones guess is as good as any. Yet, she does see through the hologram via the Eye, only one who wasnt fooled there. 

You know, Bakker has said many things over the years in Q&A's as slight misdirection, or, him being upset that, the readers didn't appreciate what he wanted us to appreciate. So, the whole "find a new way of looking at meaning" could just be his ego getting in the way of the reader not "seeing" what he thought was so brilliant.... His ego gets in his way a bit too much on these types of things and could have been said out of anger at being poke and prodded with unresolved plot lines. Hence, just plain out not wanting to come up with answers he might not be ready to answer, or, not having an answer in the first place, at the time. It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Take for example, in that Reddit AMA, when questioned on anything about unresolved plotlines, that's when he went off the rails about the whole meaning bit. But, we do have many things resolved. Why Esme was left to the Empire? Because she was his only darkness (love), and he wanted her to be kept ignorant of what he was up to and ultimately his plans. He knew beyond a shadow of doubt, that he should have killed Kelmommas, yet he knew that would essentially kill Esme. Kelmommas was all she had left, even though she knew what Kelmommas was, and what he caused (not saying she knew he was the NG, but he was an evil bastard that caused all the problems and killed and so on). 

We get resolution on Kellhus, Koringhus, Sorweel and Cnaüir. These are not loose ends, except for Kellhus....maybe (he is dead but not done). Great theory running around that Kellhus could go into Seswatha's heart and use it to guide Akka in killing the NG. Also, another one with the heart, is that it's actually Nayu's, and that's why Akka is getting so many dreams from the perspective of him. I like this for a couple reasons. We see that via the Amiolas, that soul swapping is common use in Emidilis artifacts. Could Seswatha have used Nayu's heart to put his soul into? Though there is a major snag to this theory as to how he got the heart after the NG's death. Interesting nonetheless. 

So, those are just a few examples as to why I find Bakker's response that it was meaningless, to be a little bit of B.S.. The man gets a little pissed off when you don't find brillance in what he wants you to.  

Or, it's all just meaningless. But, I still dont find it a reason not to speculate on what might happen in the next series. I think it folly to believe we wont see the third series, but, I agree it probably won't be amytime soon. If anything, he needs to show some resolution to this story. We dont get that with TUC, just another cliffhanger with two of the major characters alive (Akka and Esme) that's been there from the beginning. And, I dont see the point of even continuing to write this series if its just going to show us how horrible the end of the world is. We already know that via the dreams and the Saga's. Nay, I see him flipping the script and showing mankind coming together to defeat the semantic apocalypse. Because, while I am not smart enough to understand his theories on BBT and such. From what I understand, he believes that we IRL have the means to stop us from heading down that road and doesn't think that its inevitable. In other words, he's more optimistic about humankind than what he comes across as.

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2 minutes ago, Esmenet said:

 

 

So, those are just a few examples as to why I find Bakker's response that it was meaningless, to be a little bit of B.S.. The man gets a little pissed off when you don't find brillance in what he wants you to.  

 

Yes, in literally circles, that is called Being An Smug Asshole, or sometimes as Thinking Your Shit Smells Good.

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I do like the idea that the No-God being felled by the Heron Spear was actually a false memory, and it was felled some other way - or simply died without any obvious explanation to those involved. That seems like the type of explanation that Bakker would like, that "Heron Spear defeated the No-God" was just a rationalization put on a random event because the alternative was terrifying. 

*Sigh* I wish he had just gone the Disenchantment Route with Mimara and the Judging Eye. That would have been better.

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19 minutes ago, Summer Bass said:

I do like the idea that the No-God being felled by the Heron Spear was actually a false memory, and it was felled some other way - or simply died without any obvious explanation to those involved. That seems like the type of explanation that Bakker would like, that "Heron Spear defeated the No-God" was just a rationalization put on a random event because the alternative was terrifying. 

*Sigh* I wish he had just gone the Disenchantment Route with Mimara and the Judging Eye. That would have been better.

Yeah, but wasn't the idea of the dreams being false in some way just something a fan made up and then ran with like it was legit?

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1 hour ago, Summer Bass said:

I do like the idea that the No-God being felled by the Heron Spear was actually a false memory, and it was felled some other way - or simply died without any obvious explanation to those involved. That seems like the type of explanation that Bakker would like, that "Heron Spear defeated the No-God" was just a rationalization put on a random event because the alternative was terrifying. 

*Sigh* I wish he had just gone the Disenchantment Route with Mimara and the Judging Eye. That would have been better.

Nau-Cayuti's brain had a stroke :o. 

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2 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Yeah, but wasn't the idea of the dreams being false in some way just something a fan made up and then ran with like it was legit?

:dunno:

Who knows? It's a good idea regardless. And it makes it all much more dark comedy. 

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22 hours ago, ير بال said:

I think you can draw a line (or Bakker meant us to see a line) between Moe's inability to use water to the wretches being spiritually weak to the Dunyain.  Of course, this required Bakker's own prompting about readers having missed something to see. 

Which, going back to whether there are layers or whatever in the story - obviously Bakker did put in solve-able mystery bits in the story, but the problem is he apparently sucked at them.  What the readers considered to be mysteries and what Bakker did turned out to be different, what Bakker apparently considered to be apparent was obfuscated, and what he considered to be obfuscated was invisible. 

But he was able to use psukhe and appeared to be quite powerful. He shot 'water' from his palms, and killed 1 or 2 skin spies with it effortlessly.

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14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

As to what the JE is about/meant to be is laid out clearly in the book. It shows damnation, salvation and even redemption via the Cubit (as Koringhus calls it, or rather the Zero God). Koringhus receives redemption and is smart enough to not screw it up and take the Leap. Yes, its shitty that we all expected to see Kellhus via it, and clearly that was what most readers felt it was set up to be used as. I believe Mimara is the prophetess and the JE will play a role in future books.

That's not 'laid out clearly'. At all. But you said something like this over at TSA as well. Your conviction is interesting.

14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

I like the theory that the Mimara via the JE will undo the No-God by answering his questions, or something along those lines. We sort of have this (not in a straightforward way) hinted at with Akka's dream right before he renounces Kellhus at the end of TTT. In that dream its hinted at that Anaphaxos(sp?) doesn't even use the Heron Spear. You can make a case that the No-God met his end of some other means. Yet, this is conjecture, to say the least, but still makes one wonder. 

Making people wonder without providing information is precisely what Bakker said his aim was.  

14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

As for why the Inchies wanted Mimara at Golgotterath, well, all the prophecies must be respected. What that prophecy is, anyones guess is as good as any. Yet, she does see through the hologram via the Eye, only one who wasnt fooled there. 

The hologram only mattered for a couple minutes. We still know none of these answers, or even if they will be answered. Or, more likely, that they have an answer. Even so, if the answer to why Mimara was important was to see through a hologram that lasted a minute - if that's the entire arc of her story - then that is an incredibly shitty ending

14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

You know, Bakker has said many things over the years in Q&A's as slight misdirection, or, him being upset that, the readers didn't appreciate what he wanted us to appreciate. So, the whole "find a new way of looking at meaning" could just be his ego getting in the way of the reader not "seeing" what he thought was so brilliant.... His ego gets in his way a bit too much on these types of things and could have been said out of anger at being poke and prodded with unresolved plot lines. Hence, just plain out not wanting to come up with answers he might not be ready to answer, or, not having an answer in the first place, at the time. It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Or...he could be telling you the truth. Given that so many things didn't have an answer and he said multiple times this is intentional, which is more likely?

14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

Take for example, in that Reddit AMA, when questioned on anything about unresolved plotlines, that's when he went off the rails about the whole meaning bit. But, we do have many things resolved. Why Esme was left to the Empire? Because she was his only darkness (love), and he wanted her to be kept ignorant of what he was up to and ultimately his plans. He knew beyond a shadow of doubt, that he should have killed Kelmommas, yet he knew that would essentially kill Esme. Kelmommas was all she had left, even though she knew what Kelmommas was, and what he caused (not saying she knew he was the NG, but he was an evil bastard that caused all the problems and killed and so on). 

I like that you get this wrong, too. Esme was left to the Empire because Kellhus's darkness told him to do it - which we now know to be Ajokli. He comes up with the irrational 'she is my only darkness' bit, but the truth is that he has no fucking idea why this happened, and refuses to believe that Ajokli is taking him over. Same with Kelmomas and Kellhus. Kellhus went back because Ajokli wanted him to. Kelmomas lived because Ajokli couldn't see him

14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

We get resolution on Kellhus, Koringhus, Sorweel and Cnaüir. These are not loose ends, except for Kellhus....maybe (he is dead but not done). Great theory running around that Kellhus could go into Seswatha's heart and use it to guide Akka in killing the NG. Also, another one with the heart, is that it's actually Nayu's, and that's why Akka is getting so many dreams from the perspective of him. I like this for a couple reasons. We see that via the Amiolas, that soul swapping is common use in Emidilis artifacts. Could Seswatha have used Nayu's heart to put his soul into? Though there is a major snag to this theory as to how he got the heart after the NG's death. Interesting nonetheless.  

There are a whole lot of great theories out there. Pity that most of them will almost assuredly not make it into the books. 

14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

Or, it's all just meaningless. But, I still dont find it a reason not to speculate on what might happen in the next series.

I didn't say that at all; I said that finding meaning or foreshadowing is likely to be disappointing, because it was intentional to put in red herrings. What is and isn't important is essentially impossible to ascertain. By all means, speculate away; what I was specifically saying was somewhat meaningless is doing an analysis of biblical links and what those might mean. 

14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

 If anything, he needs to show some resolution to this story. We dont get that with TUC, just another cliffhanger with two of the major characters alive (Akka and Esme) that's been there from the beginning. And, I dont see the point of even continuing to write this series if its just going to show us how horrible the end of the world is.

Per Bakker, he would be happy to end it here. Take it up with him. 

14 hours ago, Esmenet said:

We already know that via the dreams and the Saga's. Nay, I see him flipping the script and showing mankind coming together to defeat the semantic apocalypse. Because, while I am not smart enough to understand his theories on BBT and such. From what I understand, he believes that we IRL have the means to stop us from heading down that road and doesn't think that its inevitable. In other words, he's more optimistic about humankind than what he comes across as.

Source for his optimism? I've seen nothing of the sort, and I've seen only that he's positive that the semantic apocalypse will happen and is already happening. 

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3 hours ago, Gronzag said:

But he was able to use psukhe and appeared to be quite powerful. He shot 'water' from his palms, and killed 1 or 2 skin spies with it effortlessly.

He is able to barely use the Psukhe, he tells us this himself.  The most powerful of the Psukhari can unleash waterfalls, not squirt guns. 

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14 hours ago, ير بال said:

He is able to barely use the Psukhe, he tells us this himself.  The most powerful of the Psukhari can unleash waterfalls, not squirt guns. 

Right, the Logos and the passion that is key to the Psûkhe are pretty much diametrically opposed.  Kellhus already tells us that Dûnyain are still afflicted with "vestigial passions" and so it's not really surprising that Moë can still use the Water in some capacity.  However he can't, because he is still a true and devoted disciple of the Logos, unleash the kind of Water that, say, Meppa can.

I think you are right, in that this is a direct thematic relation to the "problem" of the Mutilated.  The Mutilated, as "disciples" or I would liken "slaves" to the Logos and so are fairly easily "prey" for the Inverse Fire and so Shae and the Consult.

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On 6/13/2018 at 1:30 PM, Esmenet said:

And, I dont see the point of even continuing to write this series if its just going to show us how horrible the end of the world is.

It depends on the style of the book - for example, Mimara seeing through the chorae and seeing some sort of being 'drowzy with compassion'. I mean, what was that being? You can have a style of book where if people in it just put the pieces together then things wouldn't turn out so bad - that's basically tragedy. 

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One surprising benefit of TUC not generating the same chatter as past books:  we get "Soul Sphincter" on the front page of lit for extended time.  I hate lokisnow for this genius idea and hate myself for continuing to laugh at it to this day

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I dreamt Bakker came to visit me and handed me a draft of the next book.

 

It had robot Terminators that were immune to magic, either because they were forged from metal mined in Anarcane ground or because they were covered in Aporetic script.  There was also stuff involving multiple timelines and shit that was probably fuzzy in the dream too rather than me not remembering. 

 

Which honestly makes me wonder - sure, aporetic armor wouldn't provide anymore protection than a simple chorae for anything vaguely human-sized.  But what about dragons?  Why isn't our Capslock friend decked out in Deathwing-style aporetic plates? 

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On 6/12/2018 at 3:30 PM, كالدب said:

A lot of this would have been solved with more of Kellhus' PoV. Not having his other than a couple of fairly opaque and symbolic chapters meant that we were always trying to guess his motivations - and when the only time we get them is in a monologue to other Dunyain, we accept that as something like a mirror of the first series, because that's the only basis we have. 

What it apparently should have been was one entity aping Dunyain talking to another entity aping Dunyain without either being aware of it until the last minute, but since we hadn't seen a whole lot of Shae, none of the Dunsult, and little of Kellhus, we had no context to accept this as fact. 

Thinking about this, Bakker didn't want to give us Kellhus chapters because I believe he thought it would've given the game away.  But imagine he did give us PoV chapters where it's just regular ol' super-logical Kellhus... but every now and then he misses something obvious and apparent to the reader, and these incongruities slowly add up and make us all go "hmm what is going on" - that would've been an interesting way to do it.  But it might also have been too difficult.  Like how GRRM complains about writing kids.

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I don't get the impression that Bakker really wanted to get into the details of chorae more than he had to. They're a compensating detail to explain why sorcerers don't just rule the Three Seas outright (especially since they already effectively rule High Ainon with the Scarlet Spires through their proxy). 

 

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On 6/17/2018 at 6:04 AM, ير بال said:

I dreamt Bakker came to visit me and handed me a draft of the next book.

 

It had robot Terminators that were immune to magic, either because they were forged from metal mined in Anarcane ground or because they were covered in Aporetic script.  There was also stuff involving multiple timelines and shit that was probably fuzzy in the dream too rather than me not remembering. 

 

Which honestly makes me wonder - sure, aporetic armor wouldn't provide anymore protection than a simple chorae for anything vaguely human-sized.  But what about dragons?  Why isn't our Capslock friend decked out in Deathwing-style aporetic plates? 

Actually it draws an interesting link - anarcane ground is where the gods have walked the earth and so dream lucidly, not allowing the semantic cracks that sorcerers use to invoke/provoke effects in less lucidly dreamed locations.

And Mimara contacted with something, some kind of divine being, through a chorae.

Do chorae in some way summon gods? They are called tears of god, as well.

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Posted (edited)

Well, if sorcery scars the World, then aporetic sorcery has to be holy because it un-scars it. Mimara just had to unlock its full power. 

Given the real threat of damnation and the awareness that schools like the Mandate and Scarlet Spires have of it, I feel like they haven't put enough creativity and effort into trapping their souls to avoid it. Or even just figuring out how to destroy their souls with sorcery, since a single searing burst of pain is much better than an eternity of it. 

Edited by Summer Bass

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Ah, but if you know how to destroy a soul, would you not also know how to destroy a god?

Maybe? Anyway I think a theme is that the threat of eternal torture is just absolutely abstract - nobody gets it really. Unless you have an inverse fire you have no idea. The theme is, I think, that having really hard penalties doesn't really do anything about crime - it translates to real world incarceration systems quite well. Anyway, the schools of sorcery are complacent. The mandate even has the fact of it in their catchphrase and yet they just kind of ignore it.

I'm pretty sure the Mop is a storage area for knock off damnation avoidance - each skeleton in each tree is a Mangecca (sp?) member put into a kind of cryogenic slumber.

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On 6/16/2018 at 3:04 PM, ير بال said:

Which honestly makes me wonder - sure, aporetic armor wouldn't provide anymore protection than a simple chorae for anything vaguely human-sized.  But what about dragons?  Why isn't our Capslock friend decked out in Deathwing-style aporetic plates?

Wasn't that Sciborg's eternal question?

I think Bakker answered it somewhere, maybe Reddit or the thread here.

It was actually at TSA:

Quote

Mike mentioned this on TPB as the 'question of questions,' but I'm sure this in the books somewhere. Wracu find them painful, for reasons that are hotly contested. One interpretation involves the fact that it's not just places where atrocity wears thin the fabric of the onta. As Wutteat shows, it's beings as well. Wracu, some argue, are demonic in some respect.

Another interpretation turns on the way morality is intrinsic to the ontology of the World. If you look at Chorae as 'logic bombs' designed to obliterate violations of code, then you can chart antipathies to Chorae according to different kinds of violations. Thus the difference between Schoolmen and Cishaurim. Wracu are not simply Inchoroi abominations, they are Inchoroi abominations possessing souls. Like the Cishaurim, they do not so much violate the 'letter' as the 'spirit' of natural law. Chorae are 'ontological stressors' in the latter instance. 

They do sure still hold their own anyway, for the most part, without chorae.

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