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Bakker LV - Nau's Ark

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***Contains spoilers from THE UNHOLY CONSULT****

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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 was published on July 4, 2017 and is The Unholy Consult.  It is currently available for purchase.

This thread is for the series through The Unholy Consult 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 

There is a third set of books presumably planned subtitled The No God.

The Unholy Consult also includes 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 now also as appendices in The Unholy Consult) and The Knife of Many Hands, which is available for purchase. There is also another short story, The Carathayan, available for purchase in this anthology (along with a introduction by Bakker)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.

Thanks to Happy Ent for the intro to the thread.

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As always, open to better thread title suggestions.

Continuing where we left off:

2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I was pretty sure that the book established that either Kellhus sent her or Kelmomas did. Kelmomas certainly thought he sent Mimara away because he wanted Esmi. Esmi believes that Mimara would go to Akka as well, and prayed that he would protect her. 

Man, I could be remembering, I am old and getting older.  But I remember it as Kelmomas driving her away and Esmenet (and so Kellhus) knowing that she would go to Akka.  Presumably Kellhus has no qualms about this, probably because it does not upset Esmenet over-much, lest he stop it happening.

2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I think the best way to pin down Kellhus' emotional value is you can attribute that to Ajokli's influence. That makes this weird-ass thing that Kellhus continues to do (which we all can't pin down and think is weak plotting) turn into an actual strength and a reveal. 

Plausible.  I don't think it's bad that it could be a confluence of Kellhus' latent emotionality (textually proven early on as real), his forsaking the Shortest Path for something of a Short Path, and the Ajokli taint.  We just have to play with which relative level of each is given in each case.

2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Akka living is one thing. Akka living, AND Mimara coming to him, AND them meeting with the skin eaters, AND them going through Cil-Aujus, AND them going to Ishual, AND them finding Koringhus and Crabicus, AND Mimara having a holy baby at Golgotterath though? Come on. 

Right, I mean, I don't think that post-TTT, when Kellhus lets Akka walk and tells him he'd return to kneel he realizes that whole chain of events.  In fact, it seems plausible that Kellhus is just being an outright jerk and pompously celebrating having stripped Akka of everything meaningful in his life, despite Akka being right about Kellhus being a lying, deceitful charlatan who has hoodwinked (almost) all of them.  And so he wants Akka to return to him, later, broken, basically assenting to the fact that Truth didn't matter, Kellhus wins.  That doesn't happen if Akka is dead.  It also doesn't happen if he leads the Ordeal to victory.  They all think Kellhus is the Truth (or at least act as if they do).  Only Akka (and Cnaiûr) know he isn't and act as if he isn't.  It could also be seen not as a proof, but rather if he can break Akka, he can break the world.  Which presumably he would, if everything went according to plan.

The whole chain of events that happen after though, well that is beyond the scope.  Once Akka is left alive, things fall into place around it.  He's alive so Mimara can run to him.  She can run to him, so he feels emboldened to try to make it to Ishuäl.  There is only one real way to get there plausibly and so they make the run.

I don't think Kellhus fathomed the "importance" of Mimara's Judging Eye, if he even understood it at all.  I don't think Kellhus fathomed that Koringhus would be alive, let alone with Crabby.  But he didn't have to, because that wasn't part of his plan.  He only wanted Akka to return to him at his moment of triumph and be broken.  And he was right, he did, just not how and when he expected, perhaps.  Just a whole bunch of other stuff happened along the way...

2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Another thing is that it does have meaning, but it isn't deliberately done by Kellhus. It's deliberately done by something else. Perhaps its predestined, the same way Kelmomas was predestined to be the No-God. Perhaps this happened because this was the only way that <future thing of awesome> could happen, and since that ends up happening clearly this did happen in the past. But I think we can safely argue given Akka's final role at Golgotterath that Kellhus wasn't planning on Akka showing up at the end, was honestly surprised about his return, and didn't really give him much thought at any point in the past.

Yeah, that's a good point, I think I am muddling things myself.  Things happened because that's how they were bound to happen.

But I think Kellhus did expect Akka "at the end" but not at that exact moment.  In other words, he expected it to be "post-Victory."  I mean, all things considered, that Kellhus wouldn't probably have predicted Cleric's death when it happened, or Koringhus, or maybe even Cnaiûr's return, Akka still gets there.  And had Kellhus not failed the real sacrificial test and offed little Kel, he'd probably have gotten the grovelling out of Akka he must have wanted.

Frankly I think a little too much is made about the lack of some canonical meanings.  I'd sure have liked more, no doubt, but I think the ability to supply some of your own is actually kind of key to the series having some longevity and rereadablity.  I know many here probably see me as too much of an apologist, but I do think the series is still pretty good, even if it clearly could have been better (TAE, vs the clearly superior PoN).

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1 minute ago, Darth Richard II said:

Layers of revelations my ass.

I knew you wouldn't let me down, ^_^

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4 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Its why I'm here!

Don't box yourself in like that.  You've got so much more to offer.

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1 hour ago, .H. said:

 

 he'd probably have gotten the grovelling out of Akka he must have wanted. 

 

I thought Kellhus wasn't concerned about such "petty" things. *anger noodle*

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1 hour ago, .H. said:

Don't box yourself in like that.  You've got so much more to offer.

Well I also am here to yell at people who complain that TLJ is part of the whitegenocide movement.

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I’m confused by the thread title. Is it supposed to be Nayu’s Ark? As in Cnauir’s nickname?

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1 hour ago, unJon said:

I’m confused by the thread title. Is it supposed to be Nayu’s Ark? As in Cnauir’s nickname?

I was thinking Nau Cayuti

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That title seems pretty neat - Noah's Ark. No Ark. Nau Ark. And so on.

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8 hours ago, Rhom said:

I was thinking Nau Cayuti

Who dat? Ugh I must have wiped large swaths of TAE from my brain. 

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12 hours ago, Dora Vee said:

I thought Kellhus wasn't concerned about such "petty" things. *anger noodle*

Nah, I'm pretty sure he (at least) was.  Until he was overly possessed by Ajokli and then he probably couldn't have cared any less.

8 hours ago, Rhom said:

I was thinking Nau Cayuti

2 hours ago, Callan S. said:

That title seems pretty neat - Noah's Ark. No Ark. Nau Ark. And so on.

Yeah, that's what I was trying for.

6 minutes ago, unJon said:

Who dat? Ugh I must have wiped large swaths of TAE from my brain. 

Quote

Anasûrimbor Nau-Cayûti (2119-2140) - youngest son of Celmomas, and tragic hero of the First Apocalypse.

 

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7 minutes ago, .H. said:

Nah, I'm pretty sure he (at least) was.  Until he was overly possessed by Ajokli and then he probably couldn't have cared any less.

Yeah, that's what I was trying for.

 

Oh, right, him. First No god insertant. Yes, that’s clever. Approve of thread title. 

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Posted (edited)

Reading a short article on the Italian scholar Calasso and his thinking about the gods and psyche, this was an interesting tidbit:

Quote

Calasso wonders: “But, happiness? Which of our modern scholars has ever dared consider possession, that terrorizing morbidness, a path towards happiness?” Without putting it in terms of possession, Borges suggests it in his poem “Someone”: “A man…may feel suddenly, when crossing the street, a mysterious happiness not coming from the side of hope but from an ancient innocence, from his own root or from some diffuse god.”

It rests in the dust of history, which still floats in the depths of our memory, something of those Greeks for whom “any increase in the intensity allowed them entry to the sphere of a god” (Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony). Certainly Calasso builds a poetics of the gods, full of tropes (one of which is hyperbole), but, why not concede the possibility that that which seizes us when we go out one sunny morning, or when we feel overwhelmed for no apparent reason, is one of the ancient gods of the pantheon, still latent in the darkness of the mind?

Bakker has suggested that Hundred [which I suspect is a symbolic number like Taoism's 10-thousand-things] represent the underside/unconsciousness of the Idealist Meta-mind that dreamed up existence, though perhaps I am misrepresenting the exact metaphysics.

The reason I posted this is because it makes me wonder about the Self in Earwa metaphysics? One suggestion we've had in the past is that the only possible escape from damnation would be the severing of one's sense of individuality and thus a return to Meta-mind/One Consciousness. It recalls Grant Morrison, the comic writer, and how on at least two occasions Everything dissolves into the One - Morrison has even said there is no death of the individuals in those instances because individuality, in that fiction's metaphysics at least, is an illusion (again, will have to make sure I'm getting this right).

We know Akka also said madness is the Outside leaking in, but what about the sane person's consciousness? We know the gods of Mischief/Discord and War can possess a person, but how much of a person's Self is really just an algamation of the Hundred, or perhaps each person is a microcosm of the One and their own Hundred is a sign of their disordered/collective soul-hive?

But then, if that is the case....Who, precisely, is Damned?

Edited by Sci-2

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14 minutes ago, Sci-2 said:

But then, if that is the case....Who, precisely, is Damned?

I think your post highlights just how little we know (understand?) about what the Eärwan soul really is.  On the one hand, it seems fairly obvious that the soul is one's connection to the Outside, if nothing else.  The Outside, of course, is the plemora, then the question would be: is the soul of the plemora or of the manifest world?

Given the No-God's function though and whatever the Great Cycle of Souls is, then I don't think the soul can be of the manifest world.  It must be pleromatic, then, and wholly so.  Or at least, in nature at least.  But here we return to the issue at hand, none the closer to an actual answer.  Just what is the soul?  And if souls cycle, what makes one yours and the other mine?  Or am I misunderstanding what cycle means?  I surely am, since if it was a 1:1 cycle in and out, the population of Eärwa could never grow.  No, I think what is meant is the the soul itself is "locked into place."  That is, it cannot undergo the cycle of it's own transformation.  That is (presumably) it's "attachment" to life in the manifest world (at Birth), it's "development" (during life), and it's subsequent "return" to the plemora (the Outside).  (This actually makes sense, how the Wright of the Mountain stays fixed to the spot, how souls on the planes of Mangedda.)

It's unclear what this "development" really is though.  In some ways, the soul must be a ledger of sorts.  In others, a manner of identity preservation.  As Koringhus (seems) to relate to us, part of the problem might be the clinging to identity.  That we are in the trouble of damnation because we deny the true interval between ourselves and the world (or the plemora, I'm not sure).  Or is it that we acknowledge the interval, in imagining (or acknowledging) the interval demanded by our perceived (constructed?) identity.

So, I guess to answer your question, along the line of Koringhus, the "false" identity we acknowledge is what is damned.  Which we cling to and won't let go.  And so costs eternity and the price of the now.

Or something, man, I don't know...

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13 hours ago, unJon said:

Who dat? Ugh I must have wiped large swaths of TAE from my brain. 

Do you not know who the No-God is then?

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Building on the last closed thread on why Kellhus didn't kill Achamian, I thought the potential inference of Achamians dreams going wonky/prophecy oriented was why Kellthus was keeping tabs on him.

Perhaps watching his dreams via teleportation and all that, which would have been a fun side-plot to see where those led.

However, it was probably just Mimara rationalizing why Achamian wasn't killed by Kellthus.

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57 minutes ago, redjako said:

Building on the last closed thread on why Kellhus didn't kill Achamian, I thought the potential inference of Achamians dreams going wonky/prophecy oriented was why Kellthus was keeping tabs on him.

Perhaps watching his dreams via teleportation and all that, which would have been a fun side-plot to see where those led.

However, it was probably just Mimara rationalizing why Achamian wasn't killed by Kellthus.

Didn't that inference come from a crazy fan though?

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12 hours ago, Triskjavikson said:

Do you not know who the No-God is then?

Which of us truly knows who the No-God is?

 

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Truth shines!

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