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Ski the Swift

The Judging Eye V

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From previous thread.

Again, we've got to be careful here about the distinction between the Mark of sorcery, which every sorceror can see, and damnation, which only Mimira's Judging Eye can see.

Regarding whether she's looked at Kellhus with the JE, that hasn't been determined yet. In one of her POVs she makes a tantalizing statement, but there's nothing concrete either way about how she views Kellhus other than that he's one of the most obvious (IIRC) souls she's ever encountered - something most surprising to hear about our Kelly

I for one believe that she see's Kel as damned also.

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I for one believe that she see's Kel as damned also.

Same here, I can't believe that Kel has changed peoples beliefs that much in such a short amount of time.

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Well, it depends, the caste-nobility all seem to be Kellhus', does the weight of belief they hold, outweigh the belief of the unwashed masses? Because clearly belief can be weighted (sorcerers for example have their belief extremely heavily weighted towards themselves).

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Why do people believe, despite the evidence in the book, that damnation has anything to do with people's beliefs?

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I would find it mighty strange if, for example, Kellhus and Esmenet are damned in the Judging Eye. It seems like something that Mimi would have picked up on, and which she would reasonably recollect in her inner monologue. Yet the Tractate says that sorcerers and whore are indeed damned, so

1. Mimi has never looked at her mother or her Messiah with the Judging Eye

2. Kellhus and Esmi are indeed not damned

3. Kellhus and Esmi were, for some reason, never damned in the first place, so the Tractate is wrong.

This phenomenon would be exlained by (2) + Ajencis’s theory of malleability of the Outside.

Other examples: are the Cish damned? Where? For example, if sorcerers are damned, really damned like Akka is in Mimi’s eye, then a Cish Primary should be really, really damned. Right? But are they also damned in Shimeh, where they are holy? Nothing indicates that the Cish are damned in the eyes of the Fanim, quite the contrary!

Another mystery that would be elegantly explained by some metaphysics where damnation is a reality emerging from a sufficiently widespread belief among a lot of united souls, but which is otherwise malleable and not objective in “our” sense.

(Other explanations exist, of course. But the idea that the Outside – including damnation and The God – is formed by a multitude of united souls is a tempting explanation that so far, at least to my mind, seems to explain more things than it contradicts.)

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Ah - okay, so you're saying that who is damned is determined by mass belief (despite the evidence to the contrary, such as the Cish) but damnation itself is a constant, and someone MUST be damned no matter what.

So I'll point to the part where the Inchies are not actually bad guys and are viewed by the nonmen as totally fucking awesome, and where you'd think that at that point inchies viewed them as saints instead of hentai rape demons with better hygiene.

And yet the inchies still believed they were damned as fuck all, and tried to kill off everyone who thought they were awesome.

It's quite possible that the Inchies are fighting a war where they're completely wrong about everything and if they had just hired a better PR firm that could have promoted having sex with mauled orifices as a lifestyle choice, possibly putting out an awesome sitcom called "Will and Aurax", and otherwise shown themselves as harmless and completely cool - then the people would have just decided that Inchies weren't actually damned and that ya know, we should probably focus on damning someone who really deserves it like, oh, women and sorcerers.

But.

The problem here is that Kellhus didn't just say that Sorcerers wouldn't be damned - he also said that whores weren't going to necessarily be damned so long as they believed in him, and he said that women aren't going to be less than men just because they're women. And this is something which Mimara DOES remark on directly - that ALL women appear to be less than men.

So - either Kellhus has once again done fuck all to change people's beliefs, or changing people's beliefs has no effect whatsoever on who is actually damned. And if there is a coincidence on the damnation thing where the beliefs coincide, it's because there's good experimental evidence that women and sorcerers are utterly fucked.

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I still don't see how anything negates belief effects damnation, belief is apparently local - hence topos are only locally altered. That mass anguish doesn't alter the entire world, only the spot where it occurs. Hence, Cishaurim, in Kian, where everyone believes they are not damned, are not damned, but in the Inrithi world, they would be damned. The Nonmen believed in damnation, and believed sorcerers were damned, why? Who knows, but that's one of the reasons the Inchoroi gift was so appealing to them.

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Nowhere is it remotely indicated that the nonmen believed that the few were at all damned. Not a single place. And point of fact, most of the big nonmen names were not damned. Heck, it's not clear whether nonmen actually believe in damnation of people in an objective sense; damnation appears to be a state of the world, not a state of a person.

The localized thing would make sense if (for example) topos appeared to only specific people. As it stands, you should see things change as you move along. For instance - why would Akka or Cleric be damned in Marrow? It's not like there's a lot of local belief out there. Topos is objective in the sense that anyone ever who goes to that place will see the Topos. It does affect the entire world; everyone in the world experiences it the same way. That's not localized other than it being in a place - but anyone who goes to the area will experience the same thing.

What you're suggesting is that if a random Mandate scrub hangs out on the island, he'll be damned. But if he hangs out in Golgotterath, he'll be totally fine. Which again brings up the question of why the inchies would be damned, ever. It's clearly not localized, since not everyone in the world even thinks they exist (and when they DID exist, the people near them thought they were full of win).

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But the Inchoroi do believe they are damned. They don't want to be damned, but they believe they are, hence their fight. Hence, in Golgotterath, the Consult and the Inchoroi are still damned, because they believe they are. They don't want to be, but they are.

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So the Inchies are emo hentai tentacle porn rape demons who believe that by..

hm.

This is where it gets a bit dodgy.

First, they believe that they're utterly fucked because they don't have mouths. They rectify this (insert cheap joke here), get mouths, and decide that they're utterly fucked unless they stop those nonmen from having any more babies (but are otherwise fine with granting said nonmen immortality.)

So they believe that...it's babymaking that damns them? Or women? Maybe it's women. Shockingly, the bakkerverse has villains who believe that women are the cause of all damnation and want to destroy all of them. There's a real stretch.

So then after that fails but the nonmen die because they're utter asshats themselves after losing their women (see! Bakker loves women! He even has some that are his friends), the inchies find out that their clever plan to make a no girls allowed clubhouse has failed, for there are even more people out there that have the womens.

So instead of killing all the womens - cause that would just make sheep or dogs or something become sentient and they'd have to kill those women - they decide that it'd be easier if ALL people that could think would die. And to accomplish this, they create something that wipes out the ability for all...um...

This is unclear. Is it souled people? Is it people? Not sure. Anyway, a bunch of them now can't breed, but at least this time they didn't make everyone immortal. Oh yeah, and the scylvendi believe that this is awesome and totally non-damning at all.

So they do this, thinking that with enough humans dead, they'll be free. But they decide that instead of waiting 50 years for humanity to die, they needed to have horrible congress with corpses and couldn't be arsed to make the corpses themselves, and send their very vulnerable god out to go die.

The point of this is that the inchies are dumb, but also that the inchies don't appear to think of themselves damned independently. They were convinced of this. And they're also convinced that there are ways to fix it. Why would they think these things otherwise? Isn't it a bit toothless to make the Inchies believe in their own damnation? I mean, that implies that the way Kellhus can beat them is by simply giviing them a good motivational speech, but Kellhus himself kinda believes that this won't work - or he would've tried it, since he's so very good at those things.

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And to accomplish this, they create something that wipes out the ability for all...um...

They stop the cycle of souls. The No-God, among his many skills, is a huge version of Esmi’s “whore’s shell”. When He walks, no souls pass from the Outside to Eärwa. I don’t know why this is good for the Consult. I could imagine that the souls act as “parcels of ethics” that transport the current version of what’s good from the Outside to the Inside and back.

Following this tangent, a species that quickly recycles its souls through the Outside will be able to control the Outside (and hence the God, or the rules for damnation) quite effectively. Good news for the humans: subject a few thousand humies to unspeakable evil for a few hundred years, and the Outside will be affected dramatically. Much more than the collective ethics of the Nonmen (smaller in number, slower in “rotation”) or the Inchoroi (even fewer, never “check back” with the Outside.) So the humans, by nature of their short live spans, leave strong footprints in metaphysical realm. I’m getting this idea while I’m typing, so there may be obvious mistakes — but what I find cool is that it is a nice twist on why humans have advantages over High Elves, even thought the latter species has much better stats.

From my limited understanding of this all, there are a number of solutions for the Inchoroi, once they observe that they are indeed all damned. (Why they are all damned is another question.) They need to exert better control over who decides what is good an evil. One way of doing this would be to remove the Nonmen’s superior control over the Outside, by stopping the passage of souls. That was their first attempt, resulting in the womb plague. The details are unknown to us, but one thing they could have done is to make the Nonmen immortal. Another thing would be to insert versions of Esmi’s whores shell into the fallopian tubes of all Nonwomen. Or kill all Nonwomen. Or all of the above. Whatever they tried, the effect seems to have been a combination of all of these ideas, whether intended or the side-effect of a fourth solution we’re not privy to.

Little did the Inchoroi realise that the Nonmen’s slave race, the humans, were even more important, because once a few million of them believe the same thing, the Outside gets rsync’ed within just a few decades. Thus, they need something even more awesome than the womb-plague pill, and they cannot count on establishing an initial rapport of trust with the humans in the first place. (Except with the Japanese, of course.) So they build the No-God and kill everybody.

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They stop the cycle of souls. The No-God, among his many skills, is a huge version of Esmi’s “whore’s shell”. When He walks, no souls pass from the Outside to Eärwa.
I'm not sure that's entirely established. For instance, there are souled creatures that the Tekne creates despite them, ya know, not wanting to.

So I'm not sure that there's a perfect connection between humans and souls, and the no-god stopping human souls and stopping conception/procreation. Furthermore, I'm really not sure that this is what they intended.

Following this tangent, a species that quickly recycles its souls through the Outside will be able to control the Outside (and hence the God, or the rules for damnation) quite effectively.
Except this is directly contradicted by Kellhus (and Moe's) thoughts on the Outside and the Consult's plan. This also implies that the nonmen - who have been around for a way longer time than the humans - somehow have souls that dissipate after being used up. It also confuses the entire issue of whether or not Fanim are damned or fine or some Heisenbergian state in between.

They need to exert better control over who decides what is good an evil.
Well, that's the rub. You're approaching it as if what Kellhus says to other people is correct - ie, he (or the beliefs that he inspires) decides who is damned. But apparently he's doing a shit job of that, as sorcerers are still damned, women are still less and whores are still damned (as Mimara could tell you herself). That's your basis, and I respect your conclusions from that basis.

But at the same time, it appears from the actual text that it's wrong. Bakker's stated repeatedly about the objective nature of the world, but even barring that we have things like the Topoi which are physical artifacts of people suffering regardless of what belief system they use, we have the conclusions from the smartest people on the planet (which is that the Outside can only channel souls and will remain open while there are souled people alive. Thats' the rule, the plot, that we know - and it doesnt' work with what you've stated.

I mean, let's follow this through. The no-god stops all humans from producing new humans. So all the current ones die out, and all their millions of souls go to the Outside. Why wouldn't they be influencing the world then? I mean, they've now got more souls than they ever would before - and the souls that were up there can't cycle, so they're stuck in a state of 'fuck you inchies' and won't even have a chance to reincarnate. I guess you could think that souls go up to the Outside, get processed, the flavor of the soul gets used as a tally (IE, one more for the fuck you inchie) and then is cleansed and pure, ready to be sent down.

That might work - but it seems awfully odd, and it also seems like it's still the belief of the people on the world that influence things (albeit indirectly). The nice thing, if you want to call it that, is that if you view it that way it makes sense why Kellhus hasn't been able to get as much of his beliefs around - because not enough people have died that were on board with the whores are cool part of his bible.

And again, it goes directly against Kellhus' internal dialogue and what we actually know.

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But it could explain why his great march is planned to fail, as in, all those deaths will up the tally to support his verisions of events on the oustide. I think HE hit something here, even if it needs more refinement.

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I'm really not sure that this is what they intended.

Oh, I’m not sure either. Just thinking out loud; happy to have anybody to chat with.

Except this is directly contradicted by Kellhus (and Moe's) thoughts on the Outside and the Consult's plan. This also implies that the nonmen - who have been around for a way longer time than the humans - somehow have souls that dissipate after being used up. It also confuses the entire issue of whether or not Fanim are damned or fine or some Heisenbergian state in between.

I’m not following here. To restate my idea: Nonmen have souls, just as humans have. But they don’t update with the Outside as frequently, because they live a lot longer (in fact, now they’re even immortal, so the Outside almost doesn’t synchronise with them at all, except for the much weaker constant effect of living souls.)

as sorcerers are still damned, women are still less and whores are still damned (as Mimara could tell you herself).

I didn’t know that sorcerers are still damned. I thought the jury was very much out on that. Also, I don’t know about whores either.

I mean, let's follow this through. [...]

Yup, your reasoning seems to be sound. Hm…

I would really like to know Shaeönanra’s solution to the problem of damnation. Why exactly is it a good idea to seal off the world from the Outside? Stopping the passage of souls seems to be an important aspect to that. The Outside would stop influencing the world and the world would stop influencing the Outside. So what happens when such a state is reached? In particular, what happens when you die? Where does the Soul go? To nothing? (I certainly doesn’t pass to the Outside.) Does it just flicker out and die, much like we today think? And would that be a preferable prospect to the Consult and the Inchoroi, compared to an eternity of pain?

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It could explain that - but it would again directly contradict what we know to be Kellhus' thoughts about this. Remember, his thought about how it would go down if he allied with Moe was that they'd actually do a 'great ordeal', which would basically wipe out most of humanity but 'win' against the Consult, leaving just a few bits that would be okay.

Which is exactly what he's doing.

So either the Consult is completely and utterly wrong about how things work (which also means that Kellhus is completely wrong), Kellhus is working for the Consult (gasp!), or HE is wrong and that's not how it works.

I'm still a firm believer in the idea that the Outside is just misinterpreted over and over by people, and the only way you can influence anything is in the Outside, influencing the rules OF the outside. But that doesn't apply to Earwax, and it doesn't apply to the relations between Earwax and the Outside. In other words, the value of women will always be 'less' in Outside economics, as they have some kind of soul planned economy. Meanwhile, Earwax people get better and better at figuring out the 'real' values of things, but they don't get it right any more than the theory of gravity actually describes what gravity is; it only describes what gravity does. Similarly, Ajenics, Inri, Fanim - all fuck it up, but they do so in such a way that it describes reasonably what the outcome of actions will be. Sure, they attach some shitty moralistic valuation to it, but that doesn't matter; it's the cool anthropomorphizing of lightning at that point and nothing more.

And the nonmen probably got it most 'right' of all - they likely understood the conditions of Damnation better than anyone around, and then fucked it up anyway. But - and this is the most important thing - of everyone alive, the Consult is probably the best educated in damnation theory. They learned from the nonmen, and then they did more study. So anything that contradicts their theories of it (and what we know of their theories) should be taken with a big grain of salt.

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Oh, I’m not sure either. Just thinking out loud; happy to have anybody to chat with.

I’m not following here. To restate my idea: Nonmen have souls, just as humans have. But they don’t update with the Outside as frequently, because they live a lot longer (in fact, now they’re even immortal, so the Outside almost doesn’t synchronise with them at all, except for the much weaker constant effect of living souls.)

Okay -

The nonmen have been a sentient and fairly populous race for a long, long time - much longer than the humans. And they were longer-lived than humans but still mortal, and had lots of kids (and apparently loved 'em). What I'm saying is that your theory of souls cycling back can't make sense simply because the nonmen have cycled a LOT more souls than humans have over their lifetimes. Unless the cycling requires a certain amount per annum, otherwise they give up their lease or something along those lines.

Which sounds utterly odd to me. But okay, I guess that you could view souls as fuel for your belief system assuming that they were souls in the 110V category and not in the 220V category, but as soon as you stop feeding 'em, that belief goes away over time...somehow.

I didn’t know that sorcerers are still damned. I thought the jury was very much out on that. Also, I don’t know about whores either.
There is a quote about Mimara seeing a sorcerer in the heights. There's also both Akka and Cleric. And she knows that she's personally damned from looking at herself with it, which she also mentions.

I would really like to know Shaeönanra’s solution to the problem of damnation. Why exactly is it a good idea to seal off the world from the Outside? Stopping the passage of souls seems to be an important aspect to that. The Outside would stop influencing the world and the world would stop influencing the Outside. So what happens when such a state is reached? In particular, what happens when you die? Where does the Soul go? To nothing? (I certainly doesn’t pass to the Outside.) Does it just flicker out and die, much like we today think? And would that be a preferable prospect to the Consult and the Inchoroi, compared to an eternity of pain?
My personal view is that the Outside/Earwax portal is kept open by the passage of souls, and it needs a certain amount of traffic in order to stay open. Reduce that traffic to a trickle, and the souls cannot travel between worlds at all - which means that if you die, you don't have to worry about damnation because you can't get to the Outside. Where you go? Probably some existentialist libertarian hell.

What's more curious to me is that as far as I can tell, the Consult - or at least the two Inchies left - are functionally immortal. As is Shae and whatever remaining Consult gnostic sorcerers are around. If they can't die of natural causes - why do they actually care about the Outside and damnation? And the answer is the same one that the nonmen and Cleric seem to provide - damnation is not just an effect on the soul when you die. Damnation seems to be important in this world too. How it is, I'm not sure; I suspect it relates to Topoi and the gods waking up and all that shit.

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What's more curious to me is that as far as I can tell, the Consult - or at least the two Inchies left - are functionally immortal. As is Shae and whatever remaining Consult gnostic sorcerers are around. If they can't die of natural causes - why do they actually care about the Outside and damnation? And the answer is the same one that the nonmen and Cleric seem to provide - damnation is not just an effect on the soul when you die. Damnation seems to be important in this world too. How it is, I'm not sure; I suspect it relates to Topoi and the gods waking up and all that shit.

Well, that's possible, but I wouldn't say necessary. While they are certainly ageless and seem extremely unlikely to be killed through bad luck or human attack, they are nonetheless mortal (nothing would indicate otherwise at least). When you are ageless and mortal, it is nonetheless unavoidable that you will eventually die through some calamity or another. We don't know that much about the Inchies, but its certainly possible that an earthquake or a bolt of lightning could do it if they were caught unprepared.

I can see why they would want to plan for the eventuality of death.

They stop the cycle of souls. The No-God, among his many skills, is a huge version of Esmi’s “whore’s shell”.

Not exactly. The whore's shell prevented Esmi from getting pregnant, which is pretty important for a prostitute. The No-God allowed pregnancies, but all of the babies were born soulless and dead. The shell wouldn't benefit Esmi much if she kept getting preggers with dead children.

I admit that the whole discussion of the Outside is a little out there for me, but here's how I see it:

The No-God severed the connection between Earwa and the outside. At least one way, possibly both. Babies couldn't get souls, so were born dead. What happened to people who died while the No God walked is uncertain, but it is possible their souls were lost. [sidenote: If the Inchies had committed mass suicide at that point would they have avoided damnation and instead received the reward of Eternal Nothing?]

The Outside seems to have some immutable rules which cannot be rewritten (rape demon=bad, women=inferior). It is possible that all the rules are immutable, but it is also possible that some rules are more flexible (sorcerers = damned? Cishaurim too??)

Kalbear, I admit I don't know how you became so certain that sorcerers and whores are still damned. In addition, the possibility that the belief is not sufficiently widespread seems viable, even if they are currently damned. Also, can damnation go away, or is it just future sorcerers/whores who will be undamned? I don't feel like Mimara's Judging Eye has been that helpful in clearing this issue up thus far. I only remember her seeing sorcerers who could potentially be damned for other reasons. We haven't seen Kellhus with TJE, and that information would be quite helpful.

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Kalbear, I admit I don't know how you became so certain that sorcerers and whores are still damned. In addition, the possibility that the belief is not sufficiently widespread seems viable, even if they are currently damned. Also, can damnation go away, or is it just future sorcerers/whores who will be undamned? I don't feel like Mimara's Judging Eye has been that helpful in clearing this issue up thus far. I only remember her seeing sorcerers who could potentially be damned for other reasons. We haven't seen Kellhus with TJE, and that information would be quite helpful.
I'll try and find the passages that Mimara uses, but basically I'm certain because she indicates she did see other sorcerers with the Eye (and was not surprised by its result) and looks at other women (and herself) and sees that badness too. IIRC, one of the passages was around the part where she sees Akka with it and he looks just like every other sorcerer she's seen. She's not surprised by his damnation, in other words. Yet she would likely have to be if she's seen other sorcerers and they weren't damned like that.

It's possible that I'm wrong and that that damnation has been erased by Kellhus, but again - we know Kellhus to be a liar, and one of the central premises is that he has gone functionally insane (thus spake the prologue). I believe I'm right because it makes sense, and it fits the narrative; one of the points of Mimara is to prove Akka correct. She gives objective weight to his view of Kellhus as a fraud. And that whole thing falls entirely on its ass if Kellhus and belief can manipulate the world and actually change the way people are viewed.

So it doesn't fit the narrative, it doesn't fit what we know of Kellhus, it doesn't fit what HE believes about the world and the Outside (him being the smartest dude evar), and it doesn't fit what Bakker's talked about outside of the book. What it does do is coddle people a little bit into believing that if they only start talking about democracy and women's rights and loving one another that Bakker's world won't be a misogynistic fuckhole, but I think Bakker's going to stick to his guns and remain committed to fuckholery.

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The Outside seems to have some immutable rules which cannot be rewritten (rape demon=bad, women=inferior).

I don’t agree to that at all. The Outside is increasingly pliable to its denizens. (Yes, I’ve probably read too much Ajencis in my youth.) It contains real demons, we’ve seen them on-stage, summoned by a Scarlet Spires mage, certainly creatures that are ReallyEvil by Eärwan standards! The mage gets SuperDuperDamned by the very fact of summoning it. But I believe that the demon himself is doing quite well there (and is really unhappy here).

I’m sure the Outside also contains some feminist nirwana, where a 300-foot high, multiply diacritiqued Gloriä Anzaldúa gorges herself on non-fattening Häagen-Dazs. It’s all there; the Outside is a big place, and highly mutable.

But the part of the Outside where the souls of Eärwa go (and come back from) is largely determined by, well, the souls of Eärwa, including the emergent consciousnesses of the gods and the god.

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