Author Topic: Potential way to destroy the Idea of Evil—and some musings about the Eschaton  (Read 5578 times)

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Offline The Warrior-Prophet

Pretty daunting for a first post, but I hope to acquit myself well. I had read Berserk two years ago, getting most of the volumes at the municipal library. Most—I own about 10 volumes that fill in the gaps, so I can't be the most rigorous with any rereads or citations. The idea for this post was jump-started by a conversation I recently had with an old friend of mine who's currently working on his PhD in Philosophy. Of course the discourse swung to Berserk of all things.  We were talking about ways to potentially destroy the dark demiurge that controls most of the antagonists. The syllogism that came out of the discussion ended up looking like this.

1. There was a point in time in the past when ensouled human beings in material reality existed and the Idea of Evil did not exist.
2. There was a point in time in the past when enough ensouled human beings in material reality existed so that the Idea of Evil was born out of the collective gestalt of human unconsciousness.
3. Therefore: there is a direct proportional relationship between the number of ensouled human beings in reality and the Idea of Evil's power over ontological existence. And/or, there is a very specific threshold of ensouled human beings that gives the Idea of Evil conatus.

Our conclusion for destroying the Idea of Evil was basically to have the vast majority of humanity die. Thus negating all control or going below that threshold of ensouled humans that created the Idea of Evil. This sounds rather grim but it is a staple of plenty of eschatological religious traditions or mythology. Ragnarök in Norse mythology, Frashokereti—the final renovation of the universe in Zoroastrian theology, or the Eschaton in Christian theological propositions. The old world has to die for the new world to be born.

We had been musing about the equivalent of the Americas in the Berserkverse, and the polities therein that would have absolutely no way or ability to relocate their populations to Falconia. If the proportion of ensouled beings to the Idea of Evil's power is true, then he's losing hundreds of millions of souls that are powering its engine, as it were. Or it's coming perilously close to that threshold were the Idea of Evil didn't exist.

Our conclusion was that it would be the chiefest of ironies that the God Hand, in their neurotic fixation on dominating material reality, would accidentally wipe out too many humans and "kill" their Master.

The one thing I will confess that I don't fully grasp is the distinction that exists between souls and consciousness in the text. If the Idea of Evil's power is tied to all the souls that exist in the Abyss, then all of this train of thought is moot. But if the Idea of Evil's power is proportional to consciousness or unconsciousness, then for me that entails that it only relates to ensouled humans in material reality and not metaphysical spaces.

Please don't try to grill me too hard, I welcome any dialectic. I also don't pretend to be an expert in Berserk.

Offline Sancho

I think that even the dead who lived their life with dark thoughts contribute to feeds the Idea of Evil. Now i'll admit that going by this reasoning the number of souls should unavoidably only increase without ever decreasing, but we saw it in episode 83, the IoE absorb and feeds upon the dark thoughts of the dead in the vortex of souls, so even if all human kind should extinguish would the IoE really cease to exist?

Offline The Warrior-Prophet

Whether the Idea of Evil is fueled by human souls that exist in a purely metaphysical sense or exist in material reality is the great uncertainty that I'm confused about. And the latter is the hinge upon which this argument swings, unfortunately.  But I'm not a zealot, it was just what Henri and I were talking about. Things like referring to "collective subconscious of humanity" makes me think it is the latter. Can one have nous or unconsciousness when one is a purely spiritual being?

Offline MrFlibble

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It's true that according to the lost *episode, (Sorry Walter don't ban me) , the IOE does not predate humanity, it was bought into existence by man. I believe in a theory that the IOE was created during the events that birthed the first God Hand 1000 years ago, since as far as we know, there was no interference from the IOE before then, apostles for example did not exist before the God Hand cycle, the evidence being that all of the corpses of the first eclipse don't show any signs of being torn apart, they were clearly not eaten alive like Femto's victims.

IOEs purpose is to give meaning to suffering, I think the way to defeat it is to rob it of its purpose, if mankind was no longer concerned with giving meaning to their suffering, then the IOE can no longer justify its existence. The question is though how to achieve it, though it is not a lofty goal considering the dramatic changes occurring on a world wide scale in Berserk.

Also the vortex of souls, is described as a place where evil souls dwell, but it is also described as a place that contains humanities dark emotions, so in a way a facet of every humans darker side probably exists there already. Bear in mind the astral world is also described as a place created by collective will, and where dead souls exist.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 02:19:04 PM by MrFlibble »

Offline The Warrior-Prophet

IOEs purpose is to give meaning to suffering, I think the way to defeat it is to rob it of its purpose, if mankind is no longer concerned with giving meaning to their suffering, then the IOE can no longer justify its existence. The question is though how to achieve it, though it is not a lofty goal considering the dramatic changes occurring on a world wide scale in Berserk.

Also the vortex of souls, is described as a place where evil souls dwell, but it is also described as a place that contains humanities dark emotions, so in a way a facet of every humans darker side probably exists there already. Bear in mind the astral world is also described as a place created by collective will, and where dead souls exist.

I've always been dubious about the "makes suffering meaningful", even though it's straight from the mouth of 'god.' If humanity predates the Idea of Evil, then human beings possessed souls before the Idea of Evil's existence. Baked into the DNA of ontological existence was the schema that facilitated the Idea of Evil's creation. There was always metaphysical intentionality a priori to the Idea of Evil's existence. It can only really provide a self-serving simulacrum of "meaningfulness"—whatever that entails. Henri put it pithily that, "all of material reality is a vast granary, and the dark emotions and evil souls that the Idea of Evil manufactures are the wheat/bread." But this isn't 'the way the world is', it's something that the Idea of Evil has cultivated to its benefit.

"Thinking positively" to wish away the Idea of Evil or to denounce one's own meaningfulness is also not the most practical, or even possible way. I don't know, I haven't really thought that much about it. Overcoming the self-aggrandizing anthropocentrism of humanity to believe in something else?—don't see it happening.

Offline the immortal bob

I've always been dubious about the "makes suffering meaningful", even though it's straight from the mouth of 'god.' If humanity predates the Idea of Evil, then human beings possessed souls before the Idea of Evil's existence. Baked into the DNA of ontological existence was the schema that facilitated the Idea of Evil's creation. There was always metaphysical intentionality a priori to the Idea of Evil's existence. It can only really provide a self-serving simulacrum of "meaningfulness"—whatever that entails. Henri put it pithily that, "all of material reality is a vast granary, and the dark emotions and evil souls that the Idea of Evil manufactures are the wheat/bread." But this isn't 'the way the world is', it's something that the Idea of Evil has cultivated to its benefit.

"Thinking positively" to wish away the Idea of Evil or to denounce one's own meaningfulness is also not the most practical, or even possible way. I don't know, I haven't really thought that much about it. Overcoming the self-aggrandizing anthropocentrism of humanity to believe in something else?—don't see it happening.

I always took the idea of evil and the entire point of view going back to the beginning of berserk as one half of a struggle.  Technically there is an arrangement in place, that bets on the weaker tendency of human beings in certain space.  However we see that Guts also finds strength in such spaces that these assertions are made.

Then you can see that at least in material reality it's not because of meaning in human suffering, it's because it's possible to do something horrible in suffering, but it's also possible to find your dreams.

You can say looking for meaning is what opened the whole can of worms, but it's hard to tell which situation you are trapped in and which situation you chose.

When Guts is in the band of the hawk he finds meaning to where he previously suffered in terms of trust and abandoment, family and friends, he changes his own heuristic based outlook in a concious intellectual way, where he is actively thinking about it.

Then when he hears griffith's speech it challenges that peace, but he once again finds positive meaning and now that he has found his ability to love, he wants to find his ability to have self onus or self control.  Essentially going to live life authentically.

Now by  doing that did he set into motion Griffith's trial of authenticity, which he responded to by doing the very thing that the idea of evil is predicated on.

Or did he find his way out of or through a situation he was "in."  Since the beginning to which someone close to him could not handle.

It makes it seem like in that case the idea of evil is predicated on the "idea." 

But if we see the thread continuing it makes it seem like Guts suffering is the only remedy or antithesis to the implications of the idea of evil.

When he is in such a space where he should cave, he goes against it.  Similarly to how he should have been crushed by griffith's speech but instead individuated from it.  Made meaning from it, not coincendentally hung out with a black smith.  Guts is forged here.  He clearly makes meaning from his suffering.  He clearly revisits the trauma of his child hood.  He fights based off that precipice that is left to him from that threshold.

When he goes against against spirtual inertia his blade becomes stronger, not by his design but because of his resistance to it.  Same with his tolerance for the beserker armor.  All of it involves suffering.   But it's not because he is the anthesis to the causality of the god hand and the idea, even though he is, it's because of his original thesis of how he would live that he got through his experience of trauma.  That is expressed through his fighting.

So in that sense Guts is the opposition in philosophy to the idea of evil, or in the examination for what is true about the world in berserk.  Guts idea is I make myself who i am, and the idea of evil's is I only exist because of you.

Or you could also see that in the Beast in Guts vs his concious decision.



Offline Sancho

It's true that according to the lost chapter, the IOE does not predate humanity, it was bought into existence by man. I believe in a theory that the IOE was created during the events that birthed the first God Hand 1000 years ago, since as far as we know, there was no interference from the IOE before then, apostles for example did not exist before the God Hand cycle, the evidence being that all of the corpses of the first eclipse don't show any signs of being torn apart, they were clearly not eaten alive like Femto's victims.

IOEs purpose is to give meaning to suffering, I think the way to defeat it is to rob it of its purpose, if mankind was no longer concerned with giving meaning to their suffering, then the IOE can no longer justify its existence. The question is though how to achieve it, though it is not a lofty goal considering the dramatic changes occurring on a world wide scale in Berserk.


I think there is not enough evidence to think the IoE did not exist prior to what occurred 1000 years ago, though it probably didn't have the same power and grip on the world that it possess now. I like to think that somewhat it was about to be born and Void as a human did something that catalyzed the process of its creation, that would make Void the real villain who caused everything :void:  But the most likely answer is that it existed since when humanity was born.

Don't forget that audio interview with Miura of 2002, he said that he created Berserk by observing all the problems happening in the world and by trying to visualize the bigger picture, i believe he was referrin to the IoE there and the whole concept of human evil. I find hard to imagine that the IoE did not exist at a certain point in the past and then he was created, because it's something that strongly characterize and define humanity, as i find hard to believe it will ever be destroyed.

The key to counter the IoE is more likely the use of magic to make more easy and with less tragedies the lives of people, it's not a coincidence that the Holy See, rapresented both by a falcon and by a spiral (just as the spiral of the IoE), banished the use of magic, the IoE and God Hand knows that magic users could be very dangerous to their schemes, so it was mandatory to completely get rid of them.

So in that sense Guts is the opposition in philosophy to the idea of evil, or in the examination for what is true about the world in berserk.  Guts idea is I make myself who i am, and the idea of evil's is I only exist because of you.

If there's a human that most has the qualities opposed to the IoE, that is certainly Guts. When everyone hesitate when facing tragedies by seeking a meaning like "Why is this happening?" or something to cling on, his thoughts are only focused into figure out a way to survive. "Don't pray! If you're prayin' your hands are closed."  :guts:

Offline Walter

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The dark demiurge that controls most of the antagonists

It actually has a connection with the dark side of the subconsiousness of all humans.

1. There was a point in time in the past when ensouled human beings in material reality existed and the Idea of Evil did not exist.

Since the Idea of Evil is twice called "the god made by man," that's a given. But what would an UN-ensouled human being be? I'm not quite sure why you're stressing the possession of a soul. We know via Flora that there are options for what happens to souls, based on their karma — which implicitly means that the "afterlife," thus the soul, predates the Idea of Evil.

There was a point in time in the past when enough ensouled human beings in material reality existed so that the Idea of Evil was born out of the collective gestalt of human unconsciousness.

Therefore: there is a direct proportional relationship between the number of ensouled human beings in reality and the Idea of Evil's power over ontological existence. And/or, there is a very specific threshold of ensouled human beings that gives the Idea of Evil conatus.

I don't think there's any basis for quantifying such a thing. We don't know that it had anything to do with the number of humans. It could have resulted from the amount of pain/hate/suffering in the world just due to various atrocities, or it could have resulted from one massive incident. We really don't know.

Our conclusion for destroying the Idea of Evil was basically to have the vast majority of humanity die. Thus negating all control or going below that threshold of ensouled humans that created the Idea of Evil.

I follow your logic since you're basing it on a defined quantity that the Idea of Evil must have to maintain control, but I believe that's a fundamentally flawed premise. As far as I'm concerned, after such a cataclysm, the Idea of Evil would still maintain a grip on humanity through the:

 "ocean of feelings all humans have deep in their souls ... A common consciousness that transcends individuality ... Their collective consciousness ... Its dark side is this swelling ocean"

If the proportion of ensouled beings to the Idea of Evil's power is true, then he's losing hundreds of millions of souls that are powering its engine, as it were.

That doesn't take into account the Vortex of Souls.  I'll go out of order a bit in listing your quotes to address it below, as best I can:

Quote
The one thing I will confess that I don't fully grasp is the distinction that exists between souls and consciousness in the text. If the Idea of Evil's power is tied to all the souls that exist in the Abyss, then all of this train of thought is moot. But if the Idea of Evil's power is proportional to consciousness or unconsciousness, then for me that entails that it only relates to ensouled humans in material reality and not metaphysical spaces.

That's because the soul itself hasn't been clearly defined in Berserk, and I don't really expect it to be. But for the purposes of what you're talking about above, the Vortex of Souls is a massive collective consciousness -- a soup consisting of malevolent souls. As Femto explains in Volume 3, when each was added, they retained their individuality for a brief time before their ego was absorbed into the mass consciousness, like a raindrop in an ocean.

Our conclusion was that it would be the chiefest of ironies that the God Hand, in their neurotic fixation on dominating material reality, would accidentally wipe out too many humans and "kill" their Master.

The God Hand are the executive arm of the Idea of Evil. It's in their name, and it's exactly how Flora describes them in Volume 24. Can you imagine the Idea of Evil going: "Whoops! killed myself."

If the Idea of Evil's power is tied to all the souls that exist in the Abyss

And there is a connection, as we've seen a number of times. Apostles allow "evil power" within them, tainting their souls and granting them power. When they die, that tainted soul is what the Vortex rises to the surface to take, and what's left is a regular human. Thus, you could argue that "evil power" comes from the Vortex. Furthermore, if you take Episode 83 into account, we see that the Vortex is the medium through which Femto fashions his new form. The souls swirl around him as Femto is created.

"Take within you the power of feelings this inner world is filled with, and change the physical field that is your body into a suitable shape."

It's true that according to the lost chapter episode, the IOE does not predate humanity

Not just the lost episode -- Void calls it the "god made by man" during the Eclipse.

Quote
apostles for example did not exist before the God Hand cycle, the evidence being that all of the corpses of the first eclipse don't show any signs of being torn apart, they were clearly not eaten alive like Femto's victims.

Though I agree with you, that's not reliable as evidence.  All that scenario proves is that those particular bodies weren't ripped apart -- not that there weren't other apostles elsewhere.

Quote
IOEs purpose is to give meaning to suffering, I think the way to defeat it is to rob it of its purpose, if mankind was no longer concerned with giving meaning to their suffering, then the IOE can no longer justify its existence. The question is though how to achieve it, though it is not a lofty goal considering the dramatic changes occurring on a world wide scale in Berserk.

That's a part of the human condition.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 02:23:37 PM by Walter »
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline jackson_hurley

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IOEs purpose is to give meaning to suffering, I think the way to defeat it is to rob it of its purpose, if mankind was no longer concerned with giving meaning to their suffering, then the IOE can no longer justify its existence. The question is though how to achieve it, though it is not a lofty goal considering the dramatic changes occurring on a world wide scale in Berserk.


The way I see it and what in my opinion is wrong with that part is that the idea is born already. So even if humans should stop concerning themselves with reasons for suffering (which I think they will never stop thinking about that in any way), the idea would still be in existence. You can't unborn a baby when it's born.

I don't think it can go away as easy as the concept of ignore a god and it will kill it.

That's my two cent.  :guts:

Offline Jajimufu

Gonna open up a new topic of speculation.
How do you guys think guts is going to beat the Godhand?
Is he gonna beat the Godhand?
Personally I think Guts might have to resort to using a Beherit to gain more immense power and beat them to the ground  :guts: :femto:

Offline Delta Phi

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Personally I think Guts might have to resort to using a Beherit to gain more immense power and beat them to the ground  :guts: :femto:

In what way?

Offline Jajimufu

Who knows, Guts might find another Crimson Beherit and knowing it might be the only way he could match Griffith's power, sacrifice Casca only to have her memory recently restored. A true heartbreak

Offline Delta Phi

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Who knows, Guts might find another Crimson Beherit and knowing it might be the only way he could match Griffith's power, sacrifice Casca only to have her memory recently restored. A true heartbreak

Even if Guts found a crimson beherit, he'd be waiting another 200+ years for an Eclipse ceremony. Becoming an apostle or God Hand probably wouldn't work either, considering the being that bequeaths those abilities is also the one that manipulated Griffith into power to begin with. Of course we don't know all (or even many) of the rules that govern the God Hand, but the solution you suggest seems very unlikely, doesn't it?

Offline The Warrior-Prophet

If material reality is the most maximally objective level of existence—because that's the only way that causality/determinism can work—and the God Hand are those who cheat and cheat and cheat to game the system to their designs and that of the Idea of Evil, then who has written the rules that constrain the God Hand/Idea of Evil? Who has ordained that 216 years is the limit for God Hand apotheosis?—or 1000 years for an incarnation? Perhaps the merging of the worlds has led to a rupture in the ontological framework. Maybe the rules have been rewritten? Just spit-balling. Don't actually think that Guts will become a demon to fight demons.

Offline Jajimufu

I knew it was unlikely for Guts to find another Crimson Beherit, however it could be likely that he could find a regular beherit like the one he already has to gain some power. Will it be enough? Probably not. Will the Godhand even let him use the Beherit? Probably not, unless they REALLY wanna see Guts and Griffith fight each other. What's probably gonna happen is that Guts and co would probably have to find a way to cut the Godhand connection to the Idea of Evil or like the physical world where they get all their power from. If he can do that, they'll be easy pickings

Offline Walter

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I knew it was unlikely for Guts to find another Crimson Beherit, however it could be likely that he could find a regular beherit like the one he already has to gain some power. Will it be enough? Probably not. Will the Godhand even let him use the Beherit? Probably not, unless they REALLY wanna see Guts and Griffith fight each other. What's probably gonna happen is that Guts and co would probably have to find a way to cut the Godhand connection to the Idea of Evil or like the physical world where they get all their power from. If he can do that, they'll be easy pickings

As an apostle, Ganishka physically could not oppose Griffith. That's because of the evil power within him resonating with Griffith, a member of the God Hand. If that sounds hokey to you, then consider that Guts becoming an apostle would be the end of the series. He'd have to give up his humanity, sacrificing Casca (double sacrificed?). That's a dead-end in terms of storytelling. There would be nothing left for him.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Jajimufu

You never know what kind of shit Miura wants to pull bro. Berserk either gonna have an ending like that: Guts giving up everything to destroy Griffith
Or
A happy ending for guts, defeating Griffith without having to sacrifice anyone

Offline Walter

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You never know what kind of shit Miura wants to pull bro. Berserk either gonna have an ending like that: Guts giving up everything to destroy Griffith
Or
A happy ending for guts, defeating Griffith without having to sacrifice anyone

Bro, just so you know, in a 2002 interview, Miura said he would like Guts to remain human.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Jajimufu

There ya go, looks like Guts gotta find a way to cut off the Godhand's power then

Offline DANGERDOOOOM

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Will the Godhand even let him use the Beherit? Probably not, unless they REALLY wanna see Guts and Griffith fight each other.

Slan egged (no pun intended) Guts on during their encounter to use the beherit in volume 26.

Offline Xenon

The Godhand are basically invincible now, but maybe the world spiral tree can be used to cut off their connection to the IOE and bring them down to the level of a strong apostle. That way guts and his crew could defeat them without having to renounce their humanity.

Offline Jajimufu

That quote from slan is the sole reason why I started this whole conversation about Guts using a beherit

Offline Delta Phi

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The Godhand are basically invincible now

You think so? Assuming they truly have gained a physical body (I'm only skeptical since we haven't actually seen them since the Blast), I would say that makes them much more vulnerable than they were before.

That quote from slan is the sole reason why I started this whole conversation about Guts using a beherit

I wouldn't read too much into it. While Slan seems to have an interest in Guts, and twice she's mused about him becoming an apostle, the confrontation in the Qliphoth seems to be entirely about evoking visceral emotions out of Guts. She taunts him and even intentionally goads him into impaling her. In fact, I'd argue Slan may be more interested in the raw emotions Guts exhibits than the man himself.

Offline The Warrior-Prophet

The God Hand would presumably have less power over controlling the causal web of existence after the Blast. Material reality is the most objective layer of existence in which substance denies desire—you can stare at a door all day willing it to open but it won't budge. But the higher you go on the layers the more substance conforms to desire and the less objective reality is. So the God Hand would be more powerful in a micro sense, but they would be less powerful in a macro sense by having less power over all causality.

Offline Sancho

Gonna open up a new topic of speculation.
How do you guys think guts is going to beat the Godhand?
Is he gonna beat the Godhand?
Personally I think Guts might have to resort to using a Beherit to gain more immense power and beat them to the ground  :guts: :femto:

In my opinion Guts losing his humanity would kill his awesome characterization. Even if that will allow him to defeat his sworn enemies, it would be tantamount to an utter moral defeat for him. I think it would be even a better ending him dying that gaining power like that.

The God Hand is not so invincible as it may appears, there is a flaw in their plan, that has been exposed when Guts and Casca survived at the tower of Conviction, and that is Femto's emotions in his new body towards Guts and Casca, parents of the demon child. I believe that this flaw will make Femto do a bad decision for their sake in a certain crucial point of the IoE plan, messing up everything, just like Griffith's weakness for Guts made him do that terrible mistake of sneaking in the royal palace and seducing Charlotte.
Still i don't think the IoE will be destroyed at all.