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Messages - The Warrior-Prophet

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Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: What are you reading?
« on: October 10, 2017, 03:35:04 AM »
Pretty much all of it.  I read up to the point to where he was kicked down and left hanging. Beyond that, I looked for spoilers and boy did I find them. Like I said, I saw no reason to continue.

I'm aware of what Proyas was involved in, but I also remember that he would negotiate surrenders only for Saubon to be the one killing every one. My anger had a lot to do with the WAY it happened and the fact that his downfall was set up. I felt like it was just subversive for the sake of being subversive. I really believe that there could have been alternatives.

I'm not going to bother spoiler-texting anything. As much as I love this series, no one reads it, so no one will particularly care.

The only kind of epistemic revolt I had with the series on that level was when Nil'giccas died. A sense of simply: this is not what is supposed to happen. He's the rightful King of Ishterebinth, he needs to go back and oust all the toadies that are serving the Consult. Unite the Intact and the Wayward and with Cil'culiccas at his side ride out for one last confrontation with the Consult. But that doesn't happen. He gets accidentally killed by Achamian by a tier-1 spell, screaming about how he will wring a last drop of anguish out of the world. I was so pissed about how pathetically and anticlimactically things concluded in Sauglish, and then finding Ishual destroyed. I thought I was done with the series too. But it was a five year wait until The Great Ordeal and after that long time the more and more I thought about the series the more respect I had for Bakker's creative decisions.

Proyas may be dead man walking, but he still has three very powerful scenes left in the book. And the great confrontation/reunion between Kellhus and Achamian after all these years comes down to an argument about the fate of Proyas.  Idk. I'm arguing a sunk ship fallacy, but I don't think you read three-thousand pages whilst loving a series then tap out over the fate of a beloved character. I think it's kind of a disservice to all that Bakker has crafted, all the complex themes and ideas he has been grappling with.  And c'mon, the Battle of Golgotterath is probably the greatest fictional battle sequence ever committed to page, it can't be understood by reading some recap after the fact, it must be experienced.

I have no power to make you do absolutely anything XionHorsey, but I would say: go cleanse your palate with Malazan, takes as many months as off from Bakker as you need, but you really should finish out this series.

Malazan is a series I feel mixed about. I like Erikson commitment to creating a truly alien and bafflingly complex world, but it just gets so overwhelming. His main series is 10 books, I tapped out about halfway through Midnight Tides, book 5. Then Ian C. Esselmont's (the co-creator of the setting who is usually referred to as "ICE" in fan parlance) series is like 6 books and counting. Erikson is now working on a prequel trilogy about all the Tiste(Elf) races and he has the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novels on the side in the same world. It's... just so much stuff to read. Keep me informed on your Gardens of the Moon progress though, I'm sure it'll be interesting.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: What are you reading?
« on: September 29, 2017, 12:00:19 AM »
Overall, I LOVE the series. I have no regrets getting into it and highly recommend it. TBH, I rage quit for reasons that had nothing to do with the overall quality and everything to do with my own biased/arbitrary reasons.

It had to do with The death of Proyas and the way it happened and when I found out what happens afterward, I saw no reason to continue. Other characters were either no longer compelling enough or never were for me to go on.

I read the ending though and tbh, I LOVED that.

FTR, he's the only author ever who got me to "tap out/rage quit". In other cases, I just lose interest/bored. Not this case. The rule of the slog is "no weepers" and I wept a great deal.

Really?—Interesting. So are you just talking about Kellhus making Proyas the scapegoat for the Cannibal Ordeal, hanging him on the Arobindant to die of exposure or are you talking about his actual death scene, the reunion with Cnaiur and then the mercy killing from Moenghus?

I think it's a fitting end, as much as like Proyas. As much I can like any of Bakker's characters. He was the number two of the Antichrist basically, Proyas had presided over the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people during the Unification Wars. The Sack of Sarneveh, the Purge of Mongilea etc. etc. All these cruelties and evils committed for the Greater Good: defeating the Consult and saving mankind. I think it's resonant to finally be at the threshold of ending all this misery, to be literally within sprinting distance of Golgotterath, and for Kellhus to finally sacrifice Proyas himself all for the greater good.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: What are you reading?
« on: September 27, 2017, 06:46:25 PM »
LOL! I actually ended up rage quitting the Unholy Consult and will now the starting the Malazan series.

From what exactly if I may ask? Just curious what compels someone to go from loving a series to rage-quitting over the span of one book. I myself feel rather mixed on this novel, but the actual text, story beats, tone or thematic exigencies weren't anything different than what I would expect of Bakker.

Movies, TV, Books & Music / Re: What are you reading?
« on: September 19, 2017, 05:38:14 PM »
I am now on the Unholy Consult, the final book for the Second Apocalypse.

That's not quite true. It's the last published book in TSA as of right now. But there will be a third series that Bakker is working on currently.

When Bakker was first developing this world when he was in college, the conclusion of The Unholy Consult was where he had envisioned ending his pipe dream of a sprawling, dense, esoteric fantasy epic. That was in the late 80s. But there are interviews as early as 2004 where he talks about developing a trilogy, and then each book in The Second Apocalpyse morphing into its own subseries. The Aspect-Emepror is only Act 2.

It's amusing XionHorsey, because I got into Berserk talking with a friend about series that we were quite fond of and I was struck by how similar Miura's story sounded to Bakker. I've been a fan of the latter's series since 2010. There is a nice symmetry between Kellhus:Achamian:Esmenet and Griffith:Guts:Casca.

Though Kellhus could destroy Griffith without blinking an eye. :slan:

Sorry Walter, I'm not a mindreader—though that would be nice—and there is plenty of semantic content in what anyone communicates. Not sure specifically what 'that' you're referring to. Could you explicate a little bit more?

It's my own fault but I suppose I view the God Hand and Idea of Evil as metonymies of one another. In that, whatever actions the God Hand take are indistinguishable from what the Idea of Evil wills, and whatever the Idea of Evil wills is indistinguishable from what the God Hand enacts, because that is their nature. But I'll try to be more specific in the future.

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.

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.

It's probably the most interesting contradiction that exists at the heart of Berserk. Determinism is usually predicated upon the lack of meaningfulness that exists in reality. Viewing everything in terms of mechanism, divorcing ontology from the mysticism of the past. Causality  would probably be more about mathematics and physics than the flashy prescriptions of a quorum of Demon-Kings.  Fatalism on the other hand requires meaningfulness, an intentionality that underwrites existence which is barreling towards some ordained telos.

The God Hand will talk about both 'causality' and 'destiny' in the same breath. I don't think they are quite mutually exclusive philosophical position, but the text doesn't really engage with that dissonance—in my opinion, others may have a different reading than myself of course.

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.

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?

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.

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