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Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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2 minutes ago, .H. said:

Right, but why hadn't anyone done that in the numerous, numerous years before?

Because Bakker wanted to show how badass Conphas was, and didn't give things like strategy or evolving war trends much thought. 

2 minutes ago, .H. said:

It's not really guesswork.  They see cause and read effect.  Or, more likely, read cause and read effect.  I don't see how you surmise that causation is immaterial, when there is still cause and effect from an atemporal perspective of temporal space.  If there wasn't, there would only be two states, beginning and end.  But the gods can see chains of events happening or as they are to happen, but what they see isn't fixed, because we know it isn't, lest Kellhus be dead numerous times over.  So, the end isn't actually written in a manner the gods can see.  Which means it isn't actually written, they just perceive it as such. 

Causation as a matter of prediction doesn't matter, any more than me going to page 10 of the forum changes what's written here, now. As far as the gods are concerned, all of this is ancient history. And when there are errors, like with the No-God, they simply ignore it. 

The end is written in a manner the gods can see. The end, however, just happens to be wrong. That doesn't change the nature of how the gods 'predict' things (they don't). Nor does it make the world's inhabitants more dull because the gods can predict things (which they can't). 

2 minutes ago, .H. said:

If you saw the whole book, that is, can see the whole book because you are not bound by time, how could you see it wrong?  It's already written.  If there is no causation, why is anything different?  What changes the words in the book in that case?  Why do you presume that it's a memory issue?  Why would a god need memory when it is atemporal and can see all of time and live at all times, at all times?  Sure, I am likely wrong on points, but your explanation doesn't really explain anything to me. 

The gods are bound by the end of their time, which they believe to be the end of all things (but isn't). Because of that, and because of weird things like things that are actually outside what they believe is everything, they're wrong - and when those things connect, that's where they cannot predict things accurately. Everywhere else, however, they're entirely 100% on. The WLW doesn't screw up at all until meeting Kelmomas, after all; prior to that, he works and thinks in perfect, predetermined fashion - because again, all of this has already happened. 

What changes the words in the book in that case is something outside of the book. The gods are contained in the book as well, they just have the ability to read it - but they also have the conceit that the book is all that exists. 

2 minutes ago, .H. said:

Events in Eärwa are relatively deterministic, unless influenced by one of the few things that can change the chain of cause and effect.  Those things seem to me to be "self-moving souls" or things outside of the initial causal chain of events on Eärwa, i.e. the Ark and subsequent things.

If that were the case, Kellhus could never have been killed by the WLW regardless of Kelmomas. But that's not the case at all, and he was moments away (twice) of being killed, and was only saved because the WLW saw something that they didn't know existed. But Kellhus - despite all of his weird things and abilities, was entirely predicted by the Gods, down to coming back to save Esmi in the nick of time from the earthquake that the gods knew was going to happen. 

Events in Earwa ARE deterministic, and point of fact they are all pretty much determined. Including Kelmomas as the No God and Mimara as having the Judging Eye. Only the No-God does not belong, and is a weird anomaly, a typo in the book they've read a thousand times again and again. 

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1 minute ago, Kalbear said:

Because Bakker wanted to show how badass Conphas was, and didn't give things like strategy or evolving war trends much thought.

That explanation only proves that Conphas was an exception, which is exactly what I surmise it takes to buck the heavy deterministic cause-and-effect nature of Earwa.

3 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

The gods are bound by the end of their time, which they believe to be the end of all things (but isn't). Because of that, and because of weird things like things that are actually outside what they believe is everything, they're wrong - and when those things connect, that's where they cannot predict things accurately. Everywhere else, however, they're entirely 100% on. The WLW doesn't screw up at all until meeting Kelmomas, after all; prior to that, he works and thinks in perfect, predetermined fashion - because again, all of this has already happened. 

What changes the words in the book in that case is something outside of the book. The gods are contained in the book as well, they just have the ability to read it - but they also have the conceit that the book is all that exists.

Sure, but that doesn't stand to basic reason.  If the book can and does change, than the book isn't actually written, it only appears to be so.  So all of this already happened, except that parts that didn't.  If there are things outside the book, that change the book, then from the full perspective of all actual time, than it is not written.  Because if the Hundred really were at all times, they would be, and see, the point at which things are different.  It makes no logical sense that they could be eternal and see all of time at all times yet not see that it is different.  Because if that were true that all events in time are already written, there would never be a time where things are different.  But there is.  It only perceptually seems that way to the gods.

9 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

If that were the case, Kellhus could never have been killed by the WLW regardless of Kelmomas. But that's not the case at all, and he was moments away (twice) of being killed, and was only saved because the WLW saw something that they didn't know existed. But Kellhus - despite all of his weird things and abilities, was entirely predicted by the Gods, down to coming back to save Esmi in the nick of time from the earthquake that the gods knew was going to happen. 

Events in Earwa ARE deterministic, and point of fact they are all pretty much determined. Including Kelmomas as the No God and Mimara as having the Judging Eye. Only the No-God does not belong, and is a weird anomaly, a typo in the book they've read a thousand times again and again.

If that was a typo in the book, then they would have seen it, because that would have existed from all time, the book has already been written and they have read it.  But again, it can't be the case that the gods see the whole book, they just perceive what they do see as the whole book.  Since the book actually contains the failure of the WLW, how do they see the WLW succeed?  It would not be written, by your own point, because the book must contain Kelmomas and the WLW's failure.  The only plausible answer I can conceive of is that they did not see it, they perceived it.  And that perception is flawed to follow lines of causation, to reach the end.  Those lines are not the book.  They are something like the book, but they cannot be the book.

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13 minutes ago, .H. said:

That explanation only proves that Conphas was an exception, which is exactly what I surmise it takes to buck the heavy deterministic cause-and-effect nature of Earwa. 

But again, Conphas' behaviors were predicted as well. Hell, Kellhus ripping the food sources away from the gods was part of the plan, too. There are lots of examples of those so-called self moving souls that are special and different being entirely predicted by the gods. 

The ONLY person who doesn't show this - is Kelmomas.

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Sure, but that doesn't stand to basic reason.  If the book can and does change, than the book isn't actually written, it only appears to be so.  So all of this already happened, except that parts that didn't.  If there are things outside the book, that change the book, then from the full perspective of all actual time, than it is not written.  Because if the Hundred really were at all times, they would be, and see, the point at which things are different.  It makes no logical sense that they could be eternal and see all of time at all times yet not see that it is different.  Because if that were true that all events in time are already written, there would never be a time where things are different.  But there is.  It only perceptually seems that way to the gods. 

Right - but your point was that Earwa is deterministic because it is simple, and that makes it easier to predict for the gods. My point is that how simple it is has nothing to do with how predictable it is to the gods, because the gods don't predict a single thing - they simply read ahead to the important bit that (they think) is accurate to that point. 

I agree - all of time isn't determined, at least as far as the gods can tell. But the parts that are, well, have already happened as far as the gods are concerned. 

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If that was a typo in the book, then they would have seen it, because that would have existed from all time, the book has already been written and they have read it.  But again, it can't be the case that the gods see the whole book, they just perceive what they do see as the whole book.  Since the book actually contains the failure of the WLW, how do they see the WLW succeed? 

The book doesn't contain the failure of the WLW. 

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It would not be written, by your own point, because the book must contain Kelmomas and the WLW's failure. 

The book does not. 

Another way to think of it is as a program. Earwa is programmed from beginning to end, in a closed system. The gods are part of that system, and they can also see (but not manipulate) the code. They can therefore effectively determine based on the starting values what the ending values would be, just like anyone else could. So they have this code that they think is all that there is, and they say 'see, when I put WLW in, Kellhus dies'. 

But the actual world has a weird thing in it that isn't part of the original code. And while it doesn't throw everything off, it does throw off little things (like Kellhus dying). 

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The only plausible answer I can conceive of is that they did not see it, they perceived it.  And that perception is flawed to follow lines of causation, to reach the end.  Those lines are not the book.  They are something like the book, but they cannot be the book.

That's fine if you want to refer to 'the book' as the 'actual reality' - that's not what I was doing. But the point is still that things in Earwa aren't easily deterministic and therefore the Gods predict them easily. 

Edited by Kalbear

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

But again, Conphas' behaviors were predicted as well. Hell, Kellhus ripping the food sources away from the gods was part of the plan, too. There are lots of examples of those so-called self moving souls that are special and different being entirely predicted by the gods. 

The ONLY person who doesn't show this - is Kelmomas.

That's a fair point.  Perhaps being self-moving is irrelevant, or only barely relevant.  Perhaps the more important thing is how confounded you are with things outside of the paradigm, that is, the Ark and Tekne things.

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Right - but your point was that Earwa is deterministic because it is simple, and that makes it easier to predict for the gods. My point is that how simple it is has nothing to do with how predictable it is to the gods, because the gods don't predict a single thing - they simply read ahead to the important bit that (they think) is accurate to that point. 

I agree - all of time isn't determined, at least as far as the gods can tell. But the parts that are, well, have already happened as far as the gods are concerned.

Well, I wasn't aiming at it being simple, it just is a place where cause equals effect and in this manner the gods can intuit all of time, by "reading" along those chains.  The gods only "see" what things adhere to the their predetermined understanding of the "rules."  So, they "see" Kellhus dying, because he should have, by the rules.  But he didn't, because that isn't what happened.  So, the gods don't actually see in the sensory way, the intuit, perceptually what should happen.  And they are wrong when something happens outside of the causal chains they intuit should exist.

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

The book does not. 

Another way to think of it is as a program. Earwa is programmed from beginning to end, in a closed system. The gods are part of that system, and they can also see (but not manipulate) the code. They can therefore effectively determine based on the starting values what the ending values would be, just like anyone else could. So they have this code that they think is all that there is, and they say 'see, when I put WLW in, Kellhus dies'. 

But the actual world has a weird thing in it that isn't part of the original code. And while it doesn't throw everything off, it does throw off little things (like Kellhus dying). 

I'm not really seeing this as being representative of what we are given in the books though.  I don't see it as code, because it is presented as they essentially watching a movie, one already filled and they are just move along the timeline of it at will.  Since they are timeless, it doesn't really stand to my understanding that they are putting in code and seeing how it turns out.  Rather, they do what they always did and "read" the result, as it would always be.

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

That's fine if you want to refer to 'the book' as the 'actual reality' - that's not what I was doing. But the point is still that things in Earwa aren't easily deterministic and therefore the Gods predict them easily.

OK, well, if "the book" isn't actual reality, then I don't understand what "the book" would be.  The book is what happens, in actual fact, in the series.  The gods think they can read it, but they can't.  They can only read the parts that issue forth from their own paradigm, basically like an actor who can only see a movie from their own perspective.  Except the gods perspective is far wider than one person, it is still limited but deluded to think it sees the part as the whole.  They are more like the viewer of a movie, who sees a much wider perspective than any actor, yet, still had no access to that which happens out of the frame.

The whole of time, the whole book is written, just not in a manner the gods can see.  The gods don't "see" "all of time" because if they did, they'd see Kelmomas.  Rather, it must be the case that they perceive the causal chain for events and imagine this the whole of everything.

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2 minutes ago, .H. said:

OK, well, if "the book" isn't actual reality, then I don't understand what "the book" would be.  The book is what happens, in actual fact, in the series.  The gods think they can read it, but they can't.  They can only read the parts that issue forth from their own paradigm, basically like an actor who can only see a movie from their own perspective.  Except the gods perspective is far wider than one person, it is still limited but deluded to think it sees the part as the whole.  They are more like the viewer of a movie, who sees a much wider perspective than any actor, yet, still had no access to that which happens out of the frame.

Ah, gotcha. This is a misunderstanding. My implication about the book is that the book is simply the conceit that the gods have about their viewpoint. They believe that the book is all that there is, and that because they can flip from page to page and understand everything in it, they are missing nothing. The gods are tied into the original plan of the beginning and end of the universe, are intrinsically linked to that plan, and can see everything as part of that plan - but cannot see anything outside of that plan. That's the analogy of the book. It doesn't mean that everything is predestined, only that everything was supposed to be predestined. Everything was supposed to be part of that plan. 

And the only thing that is outside of that plan is, well, the No-God. The No-God can manipulate the book the same way someone can inartfully scribble in a book with a pen, but the pen isn't part of the book, it just effects the book. The pen still exists on its own, long past when the book is done. 

2 minutes ago, .H. said:

The whole of time, the whole book is written, just not in a manner the gods can see.  The gods don't "see" "all of time" because if they did, they'd see Kelmomas.  Rather, it must be the case that they perceive the causal chain for events and imagine this the whole of everything.

The gods see all of the time that they exist in. They cannot see anything that exists beyond that time, which is apparently the No-God. And I don't know why they have to see the causal chain of events; they simply see events. It doesn't violate causal chains when Mimara sees how many stones Koringhus has thrown, even though that would require causality to be broken, because it's already done. Again, we get a lot of 'this has already happened' and 'you always say this'. None of that makes sense if they can simply follow causal chains to a natural conclusion; it means that they can actually see the parts along any timeline as if it's already happened.

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9 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Ah, gotcha. This is a misunderstanding. My implication about the book is that the book is simply the conceit that the gods have about their viewpoint. They believe that the book is all that there is, and that because they can flip from page to page and understand everything in it, they are missing nothing. The gods are tied into the original plan of the beginning and end of the universe, are intrinsically linked to that plan, and can see everything as part of that plan - but cannot see anything outside of that plan. That's the analogy of the book. It doesn't mean that everything is predestined, only that everything was supposed to be predestined. Everything was supposed to be part of that plan. 

And the only thing that is outside of that plan is, well, the No-God. The No-God can manipulate the book the same way someone can inartfully scribble in a book with a pen, but the pen isn't part of the book, it just effects the book. The pen still exists on its own, long past when the book is done. 

Right, "flipping through the pages" is exactly what I mean by being able to "read" according to the causal chain of events.  That is, page one leads to page 2, then 3 and so on.  I don't think they can actually view the whole book, because if they did, they would actually see it change and there isn't really any way they would not know that the end is different then.  But they just "see" the progression of pages and perceive this as "everything."

In reality. not only is the No-God not part of those pages, but neither is the Ark, which is why Ajokli can't see into it, without Kellhus bringing him in there.  It is actually as if there was a "movie" about "everything."  The gods can watch this movie, going frame to frame and seeing it all.  But someone else filmed a movie too and in places, that movie pops up in the background, intersecting the movie the gods can see, but they cannot follow those intersections, in fact, they can't really even see clearly what intersects, because it is unprecedented in their own movie.  That is, it has not proceeded from any frame they have available.  Since this basically equates to a "blind spot" the gods simply fill that in with whatever should logically be there, just like our own brain does with our visual blind spot.  This leaves the question open as, do the gods "see" all of time, but perceptually cannot fathom some aspects of it, like us seeing reality, but not perceiving, say, infra-red light.  Or, do they not actually "see," relying only on perception of the extrapolation of their own paradigm?

What that seems to mean though is, one, there is a "meta" book or movie, that contains every actual thing, which the gods can't actually access.  This might simply be the domain of the God-of-gods, or something even more prototypical than this (whatever that would be, The Cubit, or whatever).  Two, that the gods don't actually see all of time, because that is what the meta-movie or meta-book would be.  To me, this signifies that the gods only see that which proceeds directly from their own paradigm, that is, the paradigm that gave rise to them.  That the Ark and the No-God issued forth from a totally different paradigm, means they are unprecedented in what the gods can "see" and therefor are not a part of what they can fathom.  In fact, this leads me to doubt this is actual "seeing" as I'd imagine it, rather it is intuitive, implicit understanding of their own paradigm.  That is, they don't see "all of time" because that would be the meta-movie or meta-book.  Rather, they implicitly understand their own existence, which is why they can't fathom their end or their beginning.  For the gods, their own existence is "all of time" and "all things" because they cannot fathom anything outside of these concepts.  We know, by the No-God and by the Ark that there are is a "time beyond the god's time" and "objects outside the god's understanding."

10 hours ago, Kalbear said:

The gods see all of the time that they exist in. They cannot see anything that exists beyond that time, which is apparently the No-God. And I don't know why they have to see the causal chain of events; they simply see events. It doesn't violate causal chains when Mimara sees how many stones Koringhus has thrown, even though that would require causality to be broken, because it's already done. Again, we get a lot of 'this has already happened' and 'you always say this'. None of that makes sense if they can simply follow causal chains to a natural conclusion; it means that they can actually see the parts along any timeline as if it's already happened.

Well, like I talk about above, it does not stand to reason though that the gods can see "all time they exist in."  Because they certainly do exist at the same time as Kelmomas, yet they do not see him or his actions, in the time which they act.  So, Kel's distruption takes place simultaneously with Yatwer's time.  So, where Yatwer follows the causal line of events around the WLW, she doesn't actually see what will happen.  Because she didn't actually see all of time, because little Kel is part of "all time."

The problem is that we need to reconcile the No-God being outside the god's perceptual time, while simultaneously being inside of it as well.  Again, the only way that makes sense to me is if the god's perceptual time is not a literal seeing of all time.  Rather, it is an implicit understanding of time-as-it-was-then-so-shall-it-be.  So, in this sense, the WLW was fated to kill Kellhus by all causal chains of events that Yatwer could access.  Except that isn't everything.  Little Kel was there, was always going to be there and will always have been there.  Only Yatwer could not perceive of, or conceive of, his existence, so she couldn't have and wouldn't have ever surmised his involvement.  To me, this directly belies that what Yatwer is doing is not actually seeing the future, because the future contains little Kel's disruption of the WLW, rather Yatwer simply fathoms what has been and so what should be.

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To be clear, Ark and inchoroi aren't invisible the way the no God is. Otherwise ajokli wouldn't be able to crush one of the dunsult the way it does. It can perceive the skin spies. It can perceive the dunsult. 

But it can't perceive kelmomas. 

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3 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

To be clear, Ark and inchoroi aren't invisible the way the no God is. Otherwise ajokli wouldn't be able to crush one of the dunsult the way it does. It can perceive the skin spies. It can perceive the dunsult. 

But it can't perceive kelmomas. 

Well, in Inchoroi are souled, so yes, like the Dunyain, they can be "seen."  But the Ark itself was just a blind-spot to them, not exactly the same as the No-God, but similar.  Once in there though, I think Ajokli can easy "see" with Kellhus' eyes.  I think the word "see" is somewhat problematic though, because Yatwer and Ajokli and the rest of the gods don't really have eyes in the same sense as living things do.

If it were the case though, that the Consult (and Golgotterath) was as "visible" as anyone else though, why would Ajokli need Kellhus?  Part of the whole problem is that the Ark is an absence in the "sight" of the Gods and so what which goes on within it is also generally invisible to the gods.

I think it is related to why the Hundred, during the First Apocalypse, just blamed humans for everything that was going on.  Not because they didn't literally "see" Sranc and all that, but because Sranc are not things in their paradigm and so they just don't even understand what they are, let alone what they mean.  In other words, the "movie" that the gods perceive is "all time" doesn't have Sranc in the script.  So when they appear, they are more like nonsense gibberish, or just objects bereft of context.  The gods perceive the script as everything and don't bother/can't fathom anything could or would be meaningful outside the script (basically Sranc are akin to rocks, likely).  That is, until Ajokli realized there was something missing and that missing space was Ark and everything issuing forth from it.

It's a lot less about literally visible, as in seeing with eyes, and more about absent from the "script," that is, the "movie," that is the "book," that the gods perceive time as being and therefor not being a part of what the gods can identify as meaningful to the "story of what happens."  The gods can't fathom that things that are meaningful would be outside the script, so they don't bother perceiving meaningless things and their perception is such that they can't, generally (minus Ajokli of late), realize that there are actually meaningful things from outside their script intersecting in places.

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My recollection was that Gods need an anchor to do anything in the real world, or risk spreading themselves too thin across the universe. We dont see gods manifest except through proxies throughout - the wlw, psatma, cnaiur, and kellhus. They need someone with intellect in the world to act, I think is what is said by the dunsult. 

The problem isn't that ark is invisible or gibberish. The problem is that without the context of the no God they dont see it or the consult as an actual threat. They can't see how it results in their end. Even when the no God rises, ajokli isn't pissed about it or anything else other than being fucked over by kellhus. 

Note also that during the apocalypse the gods only blamed humans when the no God was running around. Prior to that there's no indication that they didn't act as usual. I think bakker said they had metaphysical alzheimers?

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5 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

My recollection was that Gods need an anchor to do anything in the real world, or risk spreading themselves too thin across the universe. We dont see gods manifest except through proxies throughout - the wlw, psatma, cnaiur, and kellhus. They need someone with intellect in the world to act, I think is what is said by the dunsult. 

The problem isn't that ark is invisible or gibberish. The problem is that without the context of the no God they dont see it or the consult as an actual threat. They can't see how it results in their end. Even when the no God rises, ajokli isn't pissed about it or anything else other than being fucked over by kellhus. 

Well, yes, they can't just flatly manifest in the world, I'd think mostly because they aren't physical beings.  I think you refer to this part:

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“The Hells are blind to this place,” the burnt Dûnyain declared. “Even if they watch you, they cannot see where you stand.”
Consult skin-spies ... one after another, emerging from the black, more than a dozen that Malowebi could see—and that the Anasûrimbor could not.
The Lord-and-Prophet of the Three Seas actually smiled. “You seek to starve the very Gods,” his reflection said. “Brothers, things so great need no light to cast shadows.”
“How do you mean?” the teeth-baring Dûnyain demanded.
“Some have always smelled your absence.”
“At most,” the unscathed figure retorted. “They Intuit rather than Reason. They lack the Intellect to question.”
Malowebi saw more black-garbed assassins surfacing from the darkness reflected in the fin. There had to be a hundred of the creatures now—spiderfaces!—all of them bearing Chorae in their palms. It scissored his senses, looking forward to see reflections of the vacancies he sensed floating behind him.
“Which is why,” the Holy Aspect-Emperor said, “they needed me.”

Again, I don't think I am just pulling things out of thin air about the Ark.  Note what Kellhus tells Proyas:

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“When they attack me,” the Anasûrimbor continued, “their assassins are doomed since Creation to succeed, and then they fail as they were always doomed to fail. Eternity is transformed and the Hundred with it, oblivious to the transformation. The Unholy Ark is the disfiguring absence, the pit that consumes all trace of its consumption! To the degree it moves us, we pursue a Fate the Gods can never see ...
“Do you see, Proyas? We act outside Eternity, here ... in this place.”

It isn't just that they don't consider the Consult a threat.  They don't even consider the Consult, because they hide themselves and employ things outside the god's knowledge and view.  We know that Nonmen can "hide" too, which is what they did "digging deep" and "hiding their voices."  This is why, while they gods could see Shae and the Inchoroi, they don't.  And why they could see the Dunsult, but also don't.

16 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Note also that during the apocalypse the gods only blamed humans when the no God was running around. Prior to that there's no indication that they didn't act as usual. I think bakker said they had metaphysical alzheimers?

Well, considering these two quotes:

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“The No-God stands outside inside and outside,” Oinaral continued. “The Gods of your idols could not foresee its coming two thousand years ago. When It walked the World in actuality they saw only the ruin that was its shadow—ruin they blamed on other things! The priests of Men cried out and out and out, for naught. The masses huddled in the Temples wailing, and their Gods—your Gods!—heard only madness or mockery …”
Sorweel gaped faceless. The Amiolas, which had been an insufferable burden, seemed the only thing holding him upright.
“What are you saying? That Yatwer is deceived?”
“More. I’m saying that given Her nature, She cannot but be deceived.”

and Bakker in the AMA:

 

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Has Resumption bared the rest of the Hundred from interferiing in the real world?

4) The Gods are pretty much witless now. Imagine a virus erasing your memories and your meta-memories simultaneously. Theological Alzheimers.

I would tend to think that supports my view, that if the god's "memory" can be "erased" than it is more like they perpetually read and reread "the script."  The issue of the No-God and the all of Ark's (soulles) issuance is again, something that the gods cannot figure, because it;s origin lies outside the script they have access to.  The gods "memory" is likely not just stored information, it is a literal timeless reading and rereading of the script that both is the gods and so is all things which to gods can access.  And they imagine this to be the sum total of creation and of time.  Except that it isn't.

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And he simply knew … knew that Oinaral Lastborn spoke true … The Incû-Holionas had come to exterminate all souls … and the Gods could not see it at all …

It certainly seems to be said that Ark is simply not perceptible by the gods.  Not in the sense of being invisible in a physical sense, but of simply being something not metaphysically view-able, which is likely the manner in which the gods actually "see" in Earwa.  That is, because thier general manner of "viewing" is to read the script, or so I can only surmise.  This is why the No-God retro-actively deletes their "memory."  Because their memory is just a rereading of the script.  But with the No-God active, the script is rendered blank (because it is, literally, both incorrect and now meaningless, since the whole point of the No-God is to end, as Aurang puts it, "fault" that is, accountability and the fact there is meaning in past events).

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1 hour ago, .H. said:

Well, yes, they can't just flatly manifest in the world, I'd think mostly because they aren't physical beings.  I think you refer to this part:

Again, I don't think I am just pulling things out of thin air about the Ark.  Note what Kellhus tells Proyas:

It isn't just that they don't consider the Consult a threat.  They don't even consider the Consult, because they hide themselves and employ things outside the god's knowledge and view.  We know that Nonmen can "hide" too, which is what they did "digging deep" and "hiding their voices."  This is why, while they gods could see Shae and the Inchoroi, they don't.  And why they could see the Dunsult, but also don't. 

Again, I don't think that follows. The Dunsult actively state that they can't be seen in this place. Not can't be seen - but specifically in this place. That gives your theory of Ark being invisible more credit, but gives the Dunsult/Shae being invisible less. 

Furthermore, it doesn't make sense if the Dunsult or Shae or the Inchoroi are invisible or outside God's knowledge because we know they can be tracked - and we know this because of the Inverse Fire. There is a clear link between their souls and the Outside. They aren't hidden because they came from somewhere else; they're hidden because they're happening to reside in Ark. 

It's also not clear what makes the Gods active in the world. The only examples we have of gods interceding is either as showing favor based on manifestations of that gods persona, or specifically to counter another god's actions. Remember, Kellhus isn't being opposed because he's a dude and he's being all protestant - he's being opposed because Ajokli is trying to steal the granary. The gods aren't trying to stop Kellhus' Great Ordeal or his plans - they're trying to specifically stop him.

1 hour ago, .H. said:

I would tend to think that supports my view, that if the god's "memory" can be "erased" than it is more like they perpetually read and reread "the script."  The issue of the No-God and the all of Ark's (soulles) issuance is again, something that the gods cannot figure, because it;s origin lies outside the script they have access to.  The gods "memory" is likely not just stored information, it is a literal timeless reading and rereading of the script that both is the gods and so is all things which to gods can access.  And they imagine this to be the sum total of creation and of time.  Except that it isn't. 

Again, I think you're conflating Ark and Inchoroi and Progenitors with the No-God's effects. I agree with the memory thing here - and furthermore, I think that the reason they lose their memory is because they effectively are beyond the script at that point and no longer have access to it, cut off the same way souls are cut off from the Outside when the No-God is active. Their memory is probably some collation of all the souls which have ever existed or will exist, a sum total of the experiences of the souled, and when the No-God is active that is completely annihilated, leaving them with basically nothing but their hungers and the dim desire of something they don't understand. 

1 hour ago, .H. said:

It certainly seems to be said that Ark is simply not perceptible by the gods.  Not in the sense of being invisible in a physical sense, but of simply being something not metaphysically view-able, which is likely the manner in which the gods actually "see" in Earwa.  That is, because thier general manner of "viewing" is to read the script, or so I can only surmise.  This is why the No-God retro-actively deletes their "memory."  Because their memory is just a rereading of the script.  But with the No-God active, the script is rendered blank (because it is, literally, both incorrect and now meaningless, since the whole point of the No-God is to end, as Aurang puts it, "fault" that is, accountability and the fact there is meaning in past events).

Yeah, that one quote does make it sound like Ark is invisible entirely, though it still doesn't say anything about Ark's creations or other things. Another case in point is how would skin-spies be invisible if they can be souled as well? I just don't think that makes sense. 

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8 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Again, I don't think that follows. The Dunsult actively state that they can't be seen in this place. Not can't be seen - but specifically in this place. That gives your theory of Ark being invisible more credit, but gives the Dunsult/Shae being invisible less. 

Furthermore, it doesn't make sense if the Dunsult or Shae or the Inchoroi are invisible or outside God's knowledge because we know they can be tracked - and we know this because of the Inverse Fire. There is a clear link between their souls and the Outside. They aren't hidden because they came from somewhere else; they're hidden because they're happening to reside in Ark.

Right, I mean, I admit, I was likely wrong about them all being invisible, but there are ways to simply just hide, which is what they are doing.  It's actually not clear at all if the soulless things of Tekne can be "perceived" or not though, unfortunately.  We just don't actually know what the gods know or don't about things like Sranc.  I don't think the gods care at all about things that don't have souls, because those things aren't what they eat.  So, maybe they just lump them into the broad category of "things that aren't food."

16 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

It's also not clear what makes the Gods active in the world. The only examples we have of gods interceding is either as showing favor based on manifestations of that gods persona, or specifically to counter another god's actions. Remember, Kellhus isn't being opposed because he's a dude and he's being all protestant - he's being opposed because Ajokli is trying to steal the granary. The gods aren't trying to stop Kellhus' Great Ordeal or his plans - they're trying to specifically stop him.

Good point.  We don't actually know what the gods position would be on Kellhus sans Ajokli, because it isn't clear if Kellhus would be different than Moe the Elder in respect to grand plans.  Which is to say, no real different than the Consult.

19 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Again, I think you're conflating Ark and Inchoroi and Progenitors with the No-God's effects. I agree with the memory thing here - and furthermore, I think that the reason they lose their memory is because they effectively are beyond the script at that point and no longer have access to it, cut off the same way souls are cut off from the Outside when the No-God is active. Their memory is probably some collation of all the souls which have ever existed or will exist, a sum total of the experiences of the souled, and when the No-God is active that is completely annihilated, leaving them with basically nothing but their hungers and the dim desire of something they don't understand.

It is plausible I am wrong about the soulless Tekne creations though, but the Ark is almost certainly outside the god's view and certainly the No-God is.  I am thinking that possibly the whole reason why the No-God even works is because, like the soul is a ledger, so is "time" on Earwa.  It has dimension.  So the god's can "see" it all, because they can look back and forth along the "line."  But the No-God, as a sort of singularity, collapses this dimensionality.  So, under the No-God there is no past, in any discernible, ledger-like way, there is only the present, devoid of any connection with what was done, or will be done.  In this way, it doesn't matter what you do, or did, because in the next moment, it's all new and nothing bears any connection with what was before.  You are, in a way, born new, every moment upon every moment.  This is the union of Subject and Object.  Subjectively you are nothing but an Object, bereft of greater consequence.  Maybe this is why souled things can't be born, because soul, as the signifier of "that which animates," cannot be, so you are born without the "animator," that is, just an object.

Of course, then we are left to ask how is it that soulless things can be born at all.  The answer is, I guess, that since that is their nature, it does no harm for them, as they are naturally already in that state of already being just Object.

34 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Yeah, that one quote does make it sound like Ark is invisible entirely, though it still doesn't say anything about Ark's creations or other things. Another case in point is how would skin-spies be invisible if they can be souled as well? I just don't think that makes sense. 

Well, Bakker does point out, extra-textually that sometimes, unsouled things just gain a soul, for reasons unknown.  I don't think that proves much, as it might be just as likely that a dog could gain a soul as a skin-spy.  If the nature of a skin-spy was such to extra-readily accept a soul, there'd likely have been many, many more skin-spy sorcerers.  Perhaps, sometimes, the Outside just done gone goofed.

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1 minute ago, .H. said:

It is plausible I am wrong about the soulless Tekne creations though, but the Ark is almost certainly outside the god's view and certainly the No-God is.  I am thinking that possibly the whole reason why the No-God even works is because, like the soul is a ledger, so is "time" on Earwa.  It has dimension.  So the god's can "see" it all, because they can look back and forth along the "line."  But the No-God, as a sort of singularity, collapses this dimensionality.  So, under the No-God there is no past, in any discernible, ledger-like way, there is only the present, devoid of any connection with what was done, or will be done.  In this way, it doesn't matter what you do, or did, because in the next moment, it's all new and nothing bears any connection with what was before.  You are, in a way, born new, every moment upon every moment.  This is the union of Subject and Object.  Subjectively you are nothing but an Object, bereft of greater consequence.  Maybe this is why souled things can't be born, because soul, as the signifier of "that which animates," cannot be, so you are born without the "animator," that is, just an object.

Interesting thoughts. I had always thought of it in programming views - that the No-God is a man-in-the-middle attack which intercepts all soul traffic. The gods don't see the world directly, they experience it through souls, except that has now been replaced with, basically, null data. So all their requests return nothing. The souls themselves either go from Earwa to the No-God and then do not travel any further, or the souls go from the Outside (or wherever new souls spawn) into the No-God and do not end up with the babies.

So yeah, the soul is the ledger of your actions, and the gods have access to that ledger when they can experience your soul - but when all the souls are disconnected, they get nothing. 

And yes, the No-God is outside of  the Gods view, and that's canonical and repeated several times. No dispute there. The question really I have is how is Ark outside of the view. Is it simply that Ark is anarcane effectively? From the Dunsult quote above, it's clear the gods could see the Dunsult, they'd just have no idea where they were and no idea how to interact with them - but it's odd that Ark is special but also different from the No-God. 

1 minute ago, .H. said:

Of course, then we are left to ask how is it that soulless things can be born at all.  The answer is, I guess, that since that is their nature, it does no harm for them, as they are naturally already in that state of already being just Object. 

My suspicion is that this would normally be one of those "Just RELAX" questions, but yeah - either there's something specific about nonsouled creatures which is fine, there's something about humans and nonmen which require souls to exist, or perhaps it's an independent value - IE, the No-God stops souls from traveling to the Outside, AND it also stops things with souls from being born (like the womb-plague did). 

1 minute ago, .H. said:

Well, Bakker does point out, extra-textually that sometimes, unsouled things just gain a soul, for reasons unknown.  I don't think that proves much, as it might be just as likely that a dog could gain a soul as a skin-spy.  If the nature of a skin-spy was such to extra-readily accept a soul, there'd likely have been many, many more skin-spy sorcerers.  Perhaps, sometimes, the Outside just done gone goofed.

I AM ALL ABOUT FIDO THE SORCEROUS DOG

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7 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Interesting thoughts. I had always thought of it in programming views - that the No-God is a man-in-the-middle attack which intercepts all soul traffic. The gods don't see the world directly, they experience it through souls, except that has now been replaced with, basically, null data. So all their requests return nothing. The souls themselves either go from Earwa to the No-God and then do not travel any further, or the souls go from the Outside (or wherever new souls spawn) into the No-God and do not end up with the babies.

So yeah, the soul is the ledger of your actions, and the gods have access to that ledger when they can experience your soul - but when all the souls are disconnected, they get nothing. 

I'm sure there is something of both elements actually.  I don't think the No-God has one unified nature.  Which is something I think Bakker actually tangentially alludes to in saying "The big thing to remember is that the big reason we can't make scientific sense of meaning is that it seems intrinsically contradictory: this has led a number of philosophers, like Zizek, for instance, to posit contradiction as a fundamental property of the universe. Add to this paradoxes pertaining to the relation of things like the eternal and the temporal, and things get weedy indeed. The bottom line is that there's no way to square any number of circles pertaining to a universe where meaning/soul/God/etc. are objectively real. Getting people thinking through these paradoxes is the best I can hope for!"

So, where the No-God does resemble a MITM attack vector, it also resembles whatever nonsense it is I cobbled together thre.  And since the No-God is almost certainly paradoxical in nature, it is fairly likely that it is both at the same time.

15 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

And yes, the No-God is outside of  the Gods view, and that's canonical and repeated several times. No dispute there. The question really I have is how is Ark outside of the view. Is it simply that Ark is anarcane effectively? From the Dunsult quote above, it's clear the gods could see the Dunsult, they'd just have no idea where they were and no idea how to interact with them - but it's odd that Ark is special but also different from the No-God. 

Well, if the No-God is invisible, and the Sarcophagus is a "prosthesis" of Ark, then that fact that the Sarcophagus is a part of the No-God means that the Ark is too?

Or, since that is really nonsense, perhaps it is that Soggomant, whatever it actually is, so absurdly anarcane it is even a meaning-sink?  I mean, who the hell even knows what Soggomant even is, or is supposed to be.

19 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

My suspicion is that this would normally be one of those "Just RELAX" questions, but yeah - either there's something specific about nonsouled creatures which is fine, there's something about humans and nonmen which require souls to exist, or perhaps it's an independent value - IE, the No-God stops souls from traveling to the Outside, AND it also stops things with souls from being born (like the womb-plague did). 

Right, since the soul is part of their fundamental nature, it's absence is detrimental to their existence.

20 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I AM ALL ABOUT FIDO THE SORCEROUS DOG

Summoning @Happy Ent to write us some good ol' fan-fic.

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1 minute ago, .H. said:

Well, if the No-God is invisible, and the Sarcophagus is a "prosthesis" of Ark, then that fact that the Sarcophagus is a part of the No-God means that the Ark is too?

Maybe? That sort of makes sense. Every part that is the No-God is beyond the time of the gods perception. It isn't that Ark itself is invisible, any more than it is the case that Kelmomas itself is invisible because of something about Kelmomas - it's that Ark is invisible because it is one of the things that makes the No-God function. The rest of the Consult does not, but those things do. So laser weapons, nukes, all that bullshit is totally visible (though largely the gods don't care about it, because it isn't food), but Ark isn't perceivable because it functions as part of the No-God. Same with the sarcophagus, presumably, which makes Cnaiur just randomly shouting at things angrily. 

1 minute ago, .H. said:

Or, since that is really nonsense, perhaps it is that Soggomant, whatever it actually is, so absurdly anarcane it is even a meaning-sink?  I mean, who the hell even knows what Soggomant even is, or is supposed to be. 

I think it's just a shiny chthonic metal that's supposed to be awesome because it's space metal or something. 

1 minute ago, .H. said:

Right, since the soul is part of their fundamental nature, it's absence is detrimental to their existence.

Again, maybe? Or maybe it's just something the No-God does in addition to getting souls that go from the world to the Outside. There's that weird quote about how the Inchoroi modeled the womb plague after the No-God principles, and while I thought it was simply them trying to figure out a way to kill babies, maybe there's a central part of No-God activation that kills babies. 

Heck, we don't know if it doesn't stop all births - souled and otherwise. 

1 minute ago, .H. said:

Summoning @Happy Ent to write us some good ol' fan-fic.

 

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22 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Same with the sarcophagus, presumably, which makes Cnaiur just randomly shouting at things angrily.

Well, one point of contention is that Cnaiur can see it and so Ajokli would be able to, through him.  It's only when we are talking about the disembodied Outside entity is it that Ajokli can't see the No-God.  Mundane vision is fine for it.  That's likely a major part of why Ajokli needs to commandeer eyes through a body.

25 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

There's that weird quote about how the Inchoroi modeled the womb plague after the No-God principles, and while I thought it was simply them trying to figure out a way to kill babies, maybe there's a central part of No-God activation that kills babies.

Yeah, it's hard to say if it was "designed that way" or it is just a nice complimentary side effect.  I tend to think side effect, but there is no real reason it has to be.  Again, considering the nonsensical paradoxical nature, it might even be both...

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Regarding the accidental ensoulment, if we think of the soul/psyche as a PoV in Creation forgetting that individuality is a lie then it seems possible the God may create an alternate personality whenever Its imagining of itself as an individual - whether animal or skin-spy - gets too deep.

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25 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

"I may look like a dog, but I self-identify as a human"

Quote

"I dream," Cleric's the Dog's voice booms through the wind howling black, "that I am a God good boy"

 

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WHAT DO YOU SEE

I MUST KNOW WHAT YOU SEE

AM I A GOOD BOY
 

TELL ME 

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