Three Seas Forum

the archives

dusted off in read-only

  •  

The metaphysics of Eärwa - some thoughts posted 30 October 2008 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe metaphysics of Eärwa - some thoughts by Thorsten, Candidate

Sorcery

Armed with the conceptual framework outlined above, we may ask the question of the nature of sorcery. Kellhus provides a rather stringent explanation to Achamian (TT, Ch. 10), but Kellhus being Kellhus, everything said should be confirmed by other observations. So, what do we actually know about sorcery in Eärwa?

First of all, it does not seem to be connected in any way to race. The Nomen practice sorcery (DB, Prologue), mankind practices sorcery, the surviving Inchoroi practice it, cf. the compulsion used by Aurang in the meeting with Kellhus (TT, Ch. 12) and there is even one Skin-Spy able to use sorcery (TT, Ch. 13), which is interesting as the Skin-Spies are usually taken to be constructs of Tekne with only a rudimentary soul, although admittedly this Skin-Spy is described as unusual and as having a soul.

Sorcery is also not connected to language - Achamian cites the fact that the Gnosis cants use a different languages than the Anagogis cants as evidence (TT, Ch. 10).

Sorcery is comparatively rare. The sorcerers are referred to as 'The Few', and we learn that about 100 sorcerers of the Scarlet Spires accompany the Holy War which initially has some 350.000 people. Assuming that the number of fighters a country can muster is as much as one tenth of the population (a rather large number), the ability to do sorcery occurs rarer than in one of 35.000 people. However, the ability to do sorcery does not come on a black-and-white basis, but in degrees. In several places, different ranks of sorcerers according to their ability and strength are distinguished within a school. In particular, for Moënghus it is said by Kellhus that his powers are 'proportionate to [his] vestigial passions' (TT, Ch. 16).


Sorcery may work on very different principles. Four of these actually occur in the trilogy:

* The Anagogis: The name is in all likelihood derived from the Greek

αναγωγη - reference to a principle

and this seems to describe the nature of the anagogic sourcery rather well. It is based on analogies and uses mental images in cants, or 'resonance between meanings and concrete things' (TT, Gl. 'Anagogis'), In other words, anagogic sorcerers who want to produce heat conjure images of suns, dragons and such like.

* The Gnosis: This seems to be derived from Greek

γνωσις - higher, esoteric knowledge

and we learn that the Gnosis is originally a Noman sorcery and that it is based on abstractions (TT, Gl. 'Gnosis'). It is therefore considerably more powerful than the Anagogis (Achamian has no problem taking on four Imperial Saik in TT, Ch. 16). It is an 'analytic and systematic sorcery' (TT, Ch. 1). In other words, a gnostic sorcerer who wishes to produce heat conjures the abstract idea of heat directly.

* The Psûkhe: This is the sorcery of the Cishaurim and its name is based on Greek

ψυχη - the conscious self or personality as centre of emotions, desires, and affections

The Chishaurim refer to their sorcerous powers as the 'holy water'. Unfortunately, the main descriptions of the Psûkhe are given by Kellhus. He describes it as a 'metaphysics of the heart' (TT, Ch. 16) and contrasts the gnostic and anagogic concepts which in an analogy correspond to the words the God used in the creation to the Psûkhe as 'the tone and timbre, the passion of the God's voice' (TT, Ch.10).


* The Aporos: This is a Noman type of sorcery which is not very frequently mentioned. It is responsible for the creation of the chorae under the involvement of the Inchoroi though (TT, Gl. 'Cûno-Inchoroi-Wars'). The name is presumably the Greek

απορος- impossible, useless

where the first meaning is implied since the Aporos hinges on contradictions (i.e. the impossible) rather than being a useless type of sorcery. The sorcery is described as being very dangerous.

In fact, the list covers pretty much all aspects of function the conscious brain shows: Imagination and visualization (Anagogis), rational thought and abstraction (Gnosis), emotion and desire (Psûkhe) and the ability to cope with paradox (Aporos) - the latter distinguishes the human brain e.g. from a computer which can not cope with contradictory input. The conclusion is that sorcery is in some way tied to the function of a conscious mind.

So, all in all it seems that we can accept Kellhus' explanation of what sorcery is. It is the ability to perceive not only perceived reality (as all people do) but a glimpse of the underlying true reality (the onta) with 'insinuations of more' (TT, Ch. 10). The power of a sorcerer is then proportional to his capability of using a certain function of his mind - Moënghus' power in the Psûkhe is proportional to his passions and hence is rather weak, but Kellhus' power in the Gnosis is based on his vast capability for abstract thought and hence he can do things no other living sorcerer can do, for example use two inutteral strings in a cant (TT, Ch. 16).

The act of sorcery is then something like a 'Onefold Thought' - the cant serves as a device to create a description of reality with 'absolute meaning' in the mind of the sorcerer, and just as the absolute belief of many in the Thousandfold Thought shapes the perceived reality from the true reality, so shapes the absolute meaning of a cant shape perceived reality from the true reality. But the mind of the sorcerer is not capable of doing it the same way as the superconsciousness of the Thousandfold Thought (note that all metaphysic systems above employ only one function of the mind whereas the super-consciousness would use all conscious and unconscious functions of many minds), and this discrepancy leads to the idea that the sorcerers speak with the words of the creator, but they are always lacking. In other words, the sub-creation of sorcery is never as rich, complete and meaningful as the creation, and this discrepancy is the origin of the concept of the blood of the onta. view post


  •  

The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown