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A soulful question [WARNING: TTT Spoilers Inside] posted 22 Feb 2006, 22:02 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Ok Scott, this question has come about because of some debates we've been having on the TTT spoiler board, and a few questions that have popped into my mind from pondering them. Hopefully you can clarify a little anyway :) It seems to me that creations of the Tekne are inherently soulless, we've seen Skin-Spies declared this way, and based on observation in the book I can only assume the same can be said of Sranc, Bashrag, and Wracu (although to be honest we haven't seen enough of the Bashrag and Wracu to really be sure it's just something I assumed.). One of the things I've noticed (and hopefully I wasn't way off base) as that in TPON the soul is intimately tied into self-awareness and individual identity. The skin-Spies, are fluid in their identity because they have no soul for instance. Sranc seem to essentially be little more than clever beasts, etc. Of course one exception is that from the description we have had of Wracu they do seem to be very individualistic. So, do Wracu have souls? What of Bashrag and Sranc? I know you have said before "it is the rare animal that gains a soul"in Earwa, which I read to mean that while animals as a rule are soulless, the rare can indeed happen. I theorized that this same principle was what happened with the Skin-Spy who replaced Simas, it was an abberation that somehow came with. or otherwise gained a Soul more through luck than anything. So, if souls seem to be tied to identity how did this hinder the Skin-Spy who replaced Simas, after all if you have an firm identity of self as a creature with a Soul, would this not make it more difficult to shift and replace another being? Hope you can make answer some of these :) view post

Soul, no Soul...I'm the one with the gun. posted 22 Feb 2006, 23:02 by Cu Roi, Candidate

What I've drawn from the narrative and the glossary so far is that as far as this planet is concerned, only the Nonmen & humans have souls. That's why the Inchoroi are trying to drive them to extinction in order to seal the world off from the Outside. Since the Nonmen were rendered sterile and unable to reproduce by the Womb-Plague, that part is pretty much taken care of. So if that's the case then I'd have to go along with you and say the Techne is unable to produce creatures with souls, barring the occasional abberation/stroke of luck. It would even be undesirable to do so since it would let the Outside in. Some clarity on this would be great, as long as you don't feel it's a too concrete an answer for the tone of the series...or if it deals with themes arising in the next books. Wet our appetite a bit, Scott. view post

posted 23 Feb 2006, 00:02 by unJon, Auditor

There is at least a third creature with souls, Cu Roi, the Inchoroi themselves, or else damnation would not mean very much. The "gain a soul" is interesting phrasing because it might imply that the skin-spy got his soul some time after it was "born." view post

posted 23 Feb 2006, 00:02 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

*nods to unJon* yea the Inchoroi definitly have Souls as well. And I have a feeling it may be possible to gain a Soul after being born but thats pure conjecture on my part :) view post

posted 23 Feb 2006, 08:02 by Cu Roi, Candidate

Agreed unJon, I was specifically speaking of the races native to Earwa. At least those we've been lead to believe are native... I wonder what it takes for a creature to gain a soul, if such is possible. Wonder if it's like angels and wings. Although my next thought seems like it should be written elsewhere, it just occured to me. I wonder if reincarnation plays any kind of role in the universe. I seem to recall someone quoting that the existence of the No-God "interrupted the cycle of souls". I can't recall where, so it may be a figment of my fatigue. Time for sleep. view post

posted 24 Feb 2006, 04:02 by Raest, Commoner

Alright, this is my second time to these forums, and my first post, so bear with me if I've missed some arguments somewhere... I haven't had time to read all the threads yet :wink: . The question I've seen arising again and again is the one of souls. Who has them, and how does it dictate who can work sorcery? Since it's getting late here and my eyes are getting tired from staring at the screen for too long, I'll keep my theory short and to the point (as best I can :P . I think the explanation can be taken from Kellhus' little revelation to Achamian about the Thousandfold Thought. A lot of your writing in this series, Mr. Bakker, rings of gnosticism. Especially this speech. Forgive me if these are spoilers here but basically how Kellhus explained it (if i remember correctly) is that those who remember themselves best remember the God the best, they forget him the least, and these are called the few and are able to work sorcery. This is similiar to gnosticism in the theory that when we recognize our true selves, our true being/purpose, we really recognize the being within us, whom the gnostic christians called Christ or saviour, for they believed that this recognition saved the soul. I believe even Kellhus said that "we are the God we would worship." Now correct me if I'm wrong..but I think Kellhus also said something like 'a sorcerors words work miracles because they recall the God'. Now who is it that are trying to free themselves from damnation again? The Inchoroi? Well an explanation for people seeing them as having no souls may be that they remember the God the [i:2zwwdswj]least[/i:2zwwdswj]. In gnosticism, surrending yourself to the physical world/identifying yourself with your body instead of the soul within you, takes you further away from God. Often this was represented by the rape or whoring of the body to harsh and earthly men (Esmenent?). So the Inchoroi, or whoever it was that was obsessed with sexual acts, would remember the God the least, and thus give the appearance of having no soul and the inability to work sorcery. And since they have no wish to give up their sexual acts due to their physical and mental construction...they're damned. So...yeah. A skin-spy that could work magic could simply be one of the few because he remembers the God :P . Anyways, sorry if this is hard to read and make sense of, but it's late and I was studying accounting and finance prior to this, so my brains in shreds right now. Feel free to rip it apart. view post

posted 24 Feb 2006, 05:02 by unJon, Auditor

Quick problem: inchoroi can work sorcery. Otherwise i like your analogy to gnosticism. Note that the magic is called Gnosis. view post

posted 24 Feb 2006, 19:02 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Well only one type of Sorcery is Gnostic :) I think it's pretty clear that you have to have a soul to even have the possibility of working sorcery. (I.E. To be one of the Few you must have a soul, but having a soul does not make you one of the Few.) The question I posted in the beginning of this thread is more to get a clear answer (if possible) as to what entities are inherently souled (i.e. all members of the species have a soul by default like humans, non-men, and inchoroi) and how the presence of a soul in the Mandate Skin-Spy made it different from it's non-souled bretheren. Obviously it was also one of the Few but I think that the soul and the nature of self-awareness/identitiy seem to be so tied together in the series that it would have additional ramifications. view post

posted 28 Feb 2006, 12:02 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm reluctant to clarify [i:27pfrcpe]the[/i:27pfrcpe] metaphysics of the world, because as I've said, metaphysical indeterminacy is a feature of the [i:27pfrcpe]real[/i:27pfrcpe] world, which means that the metaphysical indeterminacy of Earwa is one of the things that makes it realistic. Besides, one of the [i:27pfrcpe]morals[/i:27pfrcpe] of the story is that uncertainty is our friend... :wink: That said, the rule of thumb is that the Inchoroi slave races do not have souls. It all comes back to the first epigraph in TDTCB. Actually, there's several epigraphs that bear on the issue of identity and souls. And please, Raest, call me Scott. The way I look at it, you've spent [i:27pfrcpe]hours[/i:27pfrcpe] listening to me drone on and on - more than enough to put us on a first name basis. If anything, I should be calling you Mr. Raest! view post

posted 28 Feb 2006, 14:02 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Thanks for the reply Scott, that was basically what I was expecting and the rule of thumb that I had assumed based on alot of impressions I had gotten while reading. view post


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