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Calibandar

The False Sun- Bakker

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Amazing.

Some thoughts after a first reading...

Titirga:

Titirga is both a Gnostic sorcerer and a Psukhari.

I've wondered whether Kellhus's metaphysics of sorcery (the Gnosis and Anagogis as the words of the God, the Psukhe as the tone of the God's voice) was right. But the descriptions of Titirga indicate it is:

No living Quya had the purity of his Recitations. Even his Stain was different, somehow muted, as if he could cut the Inward without scarring it. Even now, simply regarding him, his distinction literally glared from his image, a strange, sideways rinsing of the Stain.

The vital difference. The threat.

They said he had been blind as a child, that Noshainrau himself had found him begging in the streets. They said he went mad while Canting. They said his words seized things that should not be seized.

Does his weird Mark mean that he is not damned?

And if you can speak the God's words in the God's own voice, are you the God?

Crackpot theory: Kellhus will blind himself (by putting his face in his fire?) to grasp the Psukhe and attain Godhood.

The Golden Court of Sil:

Is the Golden Court of Sil perhaps the world's darkest topos, allowing anyone who enters it to see, not just hell, but their own damnation?

Also, is it the room in Achamian's dream that Nau-Cayuti and the chain of prisoners are approaching?

Prophecy:

"This Ground …" Aurang continued, oblivious to his transgression. "This Ground is the one Promised. Salvation lies within your grasp. Salvation in this life…"

Is this a reference to some sort of Inchoroi prophecy, that there was a world out there on which they could find refuge from damnation? And would this be the "true" prophecy that Aurang refers to in WLW when he says (roughly) "all the prophecies must be respected, the false as well as the true"?

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I'm fascinated that this entire war over objective reality has once more had its tables turned so that it is, like the Holy War, a war of belief.

Hot damn Bakker is good.

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I had to print out a copy so that I could read it more comfortably from home.

What is the false sun anyway? Is that the golden room?

Shae keeps fixating on what he has seen. Does that have anything to do with the No-God's question?

Was Viri an ultimate topos? What did Aurang do? Was he able to trigger some ultimate collapse that took out the Hero-Mage that was only possible at this spot?

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What is the false sun anyway? Is that the golden room?

I was thinking the Diurnal.

Now that is a wild item, and unlike anything Bakker has shown us before. And yet I have a hard time picturing it as anything other than a really powerful flashlight.

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For a bit there I was thinking the Inverse Fire was a manifestation of the No-God - could the No-God have existed in some form, guiding the Inchies through the Void?

But then even after the No-God is shattered by the Heron Spear we have the skin-spies telling Cnauir that they are the Keepers of the Inverse Fire. Perhaps the Inverse Fire is a window/door to the Outside, one that that served as compass for the Ark (apparently in space you are still damned but no one can hear you scream).

If the Inverse Fire is the window that can show one's own specific damnation, it would make sense for the skin-spies to be the Keepers. Having no souls, they can stay sane in its presence. They are also the most manageable of the Tekne products, seeing as they serve the Consult even without the presence of the No-God.

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Titirga is both a Gnostic sorcerer and a Psukhari.

I think Titirga has grasped the fundamentals of what the Psukhe use, but he's not Psukhari. Psukhari refers specifically to the Cishaurim's method of magic.

His mark doesn't say anything about his damnation. Rather, it's like how Achamian mentions that the mark left by Gnostic sorcery looks like razors while Anagogic sorcery looks like someone smashed something. Titirga can see the world as the God sees it, like the Cishaurim blindsight - their Third Eye or whatever they call it, thus he is even more precise than Gnostic sorcerers.

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This passage seems to clarify the Inverse Fire for me:

Experience shredded into a thousand strings, each clawed and burned and burned, sucked like bottomless bones. Agony. Anguish. Horror. Lament. Shame… Shrieking-thrashing-screaming through the throat of his every memory, innumerable and one, groaning-choking-vomiting, his every particle a unique agony, a bereavement, a weeping-howling-scratching out eyes that grew and grew to witness anew, while burning-blistering-breaking–

It defeated the tongue, the intellect, what he had seen. Nevertheless it was in him, every moment in him, if not at the centre of his care then beneath, a hole that endlessly gnawed at his gut…

A terror, so profound, so abiding–and, yes, pure–that all other fears guttered into nothingness for lack of air. A terror that was a gift… such was the peace and certainty that followed upon it.

They had conjectured, the Mangaecca. They had experimented. They had taken captives and inflicted every possible agony simultaneously all in the name of some flimsy purchase, some scant knowledge of Hell. Drawing toenails, while crushing genitals, while setting afire, while murdering children, raping wives, strangling mothers, blinding fathers… They had visited lunatic misery on innocents, and they had found themselves utterly impervious, immune to the least remorse. Some of them had even laughed.

What was earthly anguish compared what awaited them? Singular. Ephemeral. Little more than a bauble laid upon the monumental steps of the wretchedness to come. They were deluded fools, the Schoolmen of the Sohonc. Every one of them lived making belief–even more, making witless and numb–when it came to their Voices. It was sorcery they coveted, the lure of the power–such potency! The Voice had a way of walling off the future when power was at hand.

All Men wailed. All Men burned all the time. They need only die to realize it.

“So that is the source of your madness,” Titirga said. “The Inverse Fire.”

It seems like the Inverse Fire is a conscious, living soul's awareness that it is damned. I think every member of the Consult has experienced damnation, either in the golden room in Achamian's dream, or elsewhere.

"A terror that was a gift..." It almost sounds identical to the Mandate's dreams of Seswatha's suffering. The pain they went through every night made any other torture seem like nothing.

And for some reason I keep thinking about Mimara's Judging Eye. She can see the pain and damnation of other people's souls, even though they are unaware of it. It could be that "Keepers of the Inverse Fire" like the Consult and the Inchoroi are intimately conscious of the ravaging of their own souls (although they can't experience the actual pain all the time, or they would be unable to function).

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