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halloed hands posted 14 May 2006, 16:05 by Cause, Candidate

My belief is that they are a prouct of the minds and the imaginations of the people that see them. I dont believe that a non believer cnaiur for instance has ever seen them. And proyas who is taken in more than achaimain sees them all the time as apposed to just couple glimpses. I would argue that the tusk and perhaps artistic representations fo prophets have golden haloes on the hands. And so if he is a prophet he must have haloes right and o the mind puts what is not their. I would say kellhus seas them as hes beggining to believe his own lies by the sheer weight of thousands saying it is true your thoughts? view post

posted 15 May 2006, 02:05 by Curethan, Didact

Could be that they're an effect of Kellhus's link to powers of the outside, and depending on your "linkedness" to these powers you can see them more or less clearly. [quote:2bmpthuh]I would say kellhus seas them as hes beggining to believe his own lies by the sheer weight of thousands saying it is true [/quote:2bmpthuh] Wow. A lot of posters seem to think Kellhus (and, by extension, other Dunyain) tells lies. I'm still waiting for evidence of this. (Beyond Cnaiur's mad ravings.) Seems straightfoward that the conditioning and attitudes of the Dunyain preclude even an understanding of what it is to lie. view post

posted 15 May 2006, 11:05 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:fmuq4mrh]Wow. A lot of posters seem to think Kellhus (and, by extension, other Dunyain) tells lies. I'm still waiting for evidence of this.[/quote:fmuq4mrh] Kellhus claims to be the Prince of Atrithau. Very easy, very simple and very clearly a conscious lie. Now the claim that Kellhus tells people the truths they have not seen themselves and uses this to control their actions can, I think, be made to fit the idea that Kellhus ends up fooling himself (not that I think that is what is happening though) if we move away from lies and into deception. Kellhus may lie only rarely (though I dispute this), but almost his entire time in the books is spent deceiving people in one way or another. He may not tell people he is a prophet initially, but that is beacuse it is a more effective way to get people to believe that he is if he denies it. So he takes something that he (initially) doesn't believe is true, i.e. that he is a prophet, and through his actions and words manipulates people into believing that he is. That may not be lying, if we define lies as verbal assertions of things known to be false and intending to deceive listeners, but it is deception and it may be that the deception, along with the hardships lead to him coming to believe he is actually a prophet. As I said I don't think this is the case, I suspect some greater plan, but we'll have to wait for AE to know that. view post

posted 15 May 2006, 21:05 by Cause, Candidate

Are we reading the same book if you think kellhus does not lie? He spends every moment of evry day lying, decieving and manipulating evryone in sight view post

posted 15 May 2006, 22:05 by Curethan, Didact

He doesn't initiate those lies, they are born in the darkness that comes before. The assertion that his is the prince of Atriau is someone else's lie, and Kellhus is initially confused by concept of claiming that he is something that he is not - although he soon comes to see that it is the only way he will acomplish his journey through the holy war. As for making use of lies that others believe in... well thats hardly evil. Personally I ascribe no value to coins and notes, and yet I help maintain the illusion that they are worth trading for goods and services. As long as everyone else maintains this lie, no-one gets hurt.... Getting paid and spending money isn't lying, but it is making use of a lie. Different things. Even then, Kellhus is not really lying, merely behaving in a way that his followers expect. Many times in the narrative there is an obvious choice between lying and saying nothing, and Kellhus says nothing. The thing that pisses off the characters in the books (and makes him unsympathetic to readers - imo) is not that Kellhus manipulates and changes them, but that they come to love him and therefore to strive and to make sacrifices for him and for the truths he reveals, yet he does not love them in return. So - next example of Kellhus [i:22q4c1u7]initiating[/i:22q4c1u7] a lie please. view post

posted 16 May 2006, 08:05 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:1d5ukhm6]The assertion that his is the prince of Atriau is someone else's lie, and Kellhus is initially confused by concept of claiming that he is something that he is not [/quote:1d5ukhm6] I really don't remember that being the case and I reread TDTCB only a couple of months ago. Also, when Kellhus arrives he claims that he left Atrithau (whether or not someone else decided he was a prince from there, which would be a pretty random thing to say), [i:1d5ukhm6]because[/i:1d5ukhm6] he had dreams of thr holy war etc. Now he did have dreams, but not of the holy war, rather he had them of Shimeh and his father. I am certain that no one informed him that he must have been having dreams in order to have wanted to come down from Atrithau. Kellhus must have lied about this. I nowhere found the idea that using deception or lies to have been alien to Kellhus or the dunyain. They seek to master the darkness that comes before, in order to make themselves free. They must therefore recognise the difference between acting from free and unfree motives. Given that we can be relatively certain that a motive based upon false beliefs (Unless I sacrifice one virgin a day to the sun [edit] it [/edit] will not rise) is unfree and part of the darkness, the dunyain must recognise the difference between truth and falsehood. If they recognise this then given that they believe in the shortest path and in using other people's darknesses to achieve their own ends (consider Kellhus and Saubon for instance), then it seems inconceivable that they don't recognise the capacity to lie. [quote:1d5ukhm6]He doesn't initiate those lies, they are born in the darkness that comes before.[/quote:1d5ukhm6] How is it that the fact of not initiating a lie is somehow permissible? Imagine I am walking down the street and someone comes up to me and says, "Hey, are you Bob Smith? You must be, you look just like him. I've been looking all over for you, here is this cheque for the money I owe you. I expect you'll be pleased to have all this money, after all the orphans need feeding don't they.". Were I to say "Yes, yes I am Bob Smith, thank you for the money" then I might not be initiating the untruth but I am certainly morally culpable for what I do. On the moral system I follow it is deception, hence it is wrong, on almost any other moral system it would also likely be counted as wrong too (though sometimes deception can be right for other systems). [quote:1d5ukhm6]As for making use of lies that others believe in... well thats hardly evil. Personally I ascribe no value to coins and notes, and yet I help maintain the illusion that they are worth trading for goods and services. As long as everyone else maintains this lie, no-one gets hurt.... Getting paid and spending money isn't lying, but it is making use of a lie. Different things.[/quote:1d5ukhm6] It seems to me that you are basing this argument on a theory of value which ascribes real value to objects above and beyond human use for them, so that goods and services would be worth some determinate something even if there were no humans around. If this is the case, how come people are willing to pay different amounts (even using barter systems so as not to invoke money) in different societies for precisely the same good. I can only explain that in terms of relative wealth (by which I mean GNP), supply and demand, all of which implies that value is created by people who have desires and seek to fulfil them with goods of some sort (not only material goods of course, being a member of a church might count as a good for someone). The goods therefore are only valuable to the extent that they exist as means to our ends, but if this is a case money is different from other goods only in that it is more usually a mediate good, it is a means to getting other goods. But even then this division does [edit] not [/edit] differentiate money from all other types of good, for I might buy a television [i:1d5ukhm6]in order[/i:1d5ukhm6] to watch my favourite programs. There is no lie in money, it has actual, real value. If I hold up ten Euros and say "This is worth x amount of that good" then I am saying something true. It is not an illusion, it is merely true because of how society is constructed. To say that it is a lie is like saying that "Murder is against the law" is a lie because it is only against the law because we all accept legislative procedures in government which have ended up forbidding murder. Making use of a lie, that is deception at least. Consider my example above. If I use something I know is not true to get you to do something, that is definitely deception. view post

posted 16 May 2006, 14:05 by Brahm_K, Candidate

What Peter said concerning the lying. I think at this point Kellhus is letting his lie getting ahead of him. I really doubt he is actually some sort of prophet; the golden haloes, whike strange, I think to be some sort of hallucination. view post

posted 16 May 2006, 21:05 by Murrin, Peralogue

It all comes back to the Circumfixion. The probability trance never saw it coming, and the privation and exposure certainly took its toll on Kellhus. He's only had these visions and thoughts since he was circumfixed. It could be said that the fact he did it on faith, carrying through on the mad hope that Cnaiur would save him despite his uncommon lack of certainty, abetted his delusions afterwards - for him, the fact that it occured the way he had hoped became a sign that he really was more than he had thought. So maybe he begins to believe that he is a Prophet. Maybe he begins to see haloes like the rest of them. He carries on using his Dunyain abilities to manipulate everyone and thinks his insights come from Outside. But since we know the Outside exists, its hard to dismiss what he sees and feels outright. Either his mind snapped on the tree, or the ordeal opened him to the God - both versions are equally plausible in tTT. I guess only later books will tell. view post

posted 16 May 2006, 21:05 by Cause, Candidate

I got the impresion that he did see the circumfrix coming. He knew it was a risk but he threw the number sticks. He makes a comment to the effect that only by them having them rebuke him and than realising his mistake would he be able to own them utterly view post

posted 16 May 2006, 23:05 by Murrin, Peralogue

He saw that they would charge him with false prophecy, but he was unsure what would happen after that. He thought there was a chance the Scylvendi would act the way he did, and he decided it was worth the risk. It was the first time he had needed to act without a reasonable degree of certainty of what would happen. view post

posted 17 May 2006, 10:05 by Curethan, Didact

Re: the lies thing. It's quite true, Kellhus as prince of Atraihu who dreamt of the holy war is Kellhus' fabrication (although like all good lies it is seeded in truth - recall his legacy as an Anasurimbor - a royal familial name that he retains after 2000 years....) and so I concede the point. He is definately a liar and no doubt one day his pants will be on fire. :D As to the gravity of his lies, well, I guess it's a matter of perception - and perhaps whether you hold to a form of solipism or not. As an aside - I don't hold that my concepts of right and wrong or my personal beliefs make something true, false or absolute outside of myself - but I certainly believe that having some kind of moral framework is required for making decisions as a thinking being, and it is this, if anything, that defines us in the world at large and perhaps is the essence of the soul. Re: the circumfixion. The circumfixion is indeed a critical point as it is when Kellhus apprehends the Thousandfold thought. It is clear that the probability trance is in no way a form of precognition. Kellhus would have known only that crisis point was approaching, not the form that it would take. In TDTCB there is a concise point where the internal narative of Kellhus is describing what it is to be Dunyain: "He did not see what came after. He saw what came before." Part of the thousandfold thought is coming to an understanding the dynamics of mob psychology, as Dunyain conditioning teaches how to see the complete comunication of undisciplined comunication, making the id of an individual transparent, so that the Dunyain can understand an individual better than he understands himself, or in the case of another Dunyain; as well as he understands himself. This, however, does not translate to the behaviour of groups. Moenghus understands the thousandfold thought, this is how he has engineered the Holy War, and Kellhus has to understand it in order to co-opt it. The circumfixion is interesting because, but for Cnaiur's uncharacteristic intervention, Kellhus would have died - a failure. Re: Kellhus's hands My theory. Scott has said, when interviewed, that the inspiration for Kellhus is actually based on the idea of memes. Specifically, a character who can manipulate them. Given my understanding of the concept, memes are ideas that evolve in the "outside", born of ideas in the real world - extra dimensonal forms of ideas that interact with the real world as interdependant forces. Given this, and the setting of Earwa as one in which gross and clumsy manipulation of these forces is seen as sorcery and the effects or manifestations of which are seen as gods and demons, I believe that the haloes are evidence of Kellhus's link with certain memes "outside". Of course, such a link cannot be one way; Kellhus would be both master and slave of these forces. People who are convinced of Kellhus's divinity can see the evidence of it because the are linked to the same memes that are moving/moved by Kellhus. Kellhus can see them, but does not yet understand their nature because he still believes that he is the author of his destiny. Through his heritage and his interactions with the mileu in which he exists this may not be the case. And, perhaps, he does have a burgeoning sense of morality beyond his loyalty to the Dunyain. Linking this theory to my thoughts on the circumfixion above, it is Serwe who first sees the haloes, convinced early of Kellhus's divinity. And I think that Cnaiur only intervenes and saves Kellhus because of Serwe (although his motivations in that scene were unclear at best). Also, several references are made to Cnaiur himself being some kind of demon - or linked to a demon... So, to my mind, the haloes and the circumfixion are actual evidence of some kind of relationship that Kellhus has with the divine/ the outside/memes. It may not be that he is begining to believe his own lies, but that they are in fact truer than he realizes. view post

posted 17 May 2006, 12:05 by Cause, Candidate

a meme is simply an idea which spreads to make an anology like a virus without any seeming reason. For instance skateboarding is a meme. You see someone skateboarding decide its cool and do it yourself. view post

posted 17 May 2006, 13:05 by Curethan, Didact

Exactly. Just a bit different in a fantasy context... I liked David Brin's treatment of the extra dimensional nature of memes in his uplift series too. view post

posted 17 May 2006, 15:05 by Murrin, Peralogue

Good post, Curethan. You make some good points there - especially about Kellhus not understanding because he believes he is still master of his destiny. The memes of course being what Moenghus spoke of, the best fabrication, the idea with the most power to turn people to it. And as for Kellhus' morality - his conversation with Moenghus shows that he is convinced of the existence of the soul, and the truth of its salvation/damnation - the existance of sorcery and the goals of the Consult prove it to him, as well as his own experiences. And it seems implied in that scene that while Moenghus believed the Thousandfold Thought could be anything - any lie strong enough to unite the people of the Three Seas in a sinlge cause - Kellhus truly wants it to be the Truth that rules, though he may have lied to reach this point. He wants to save these people's souls, and however distasteful his methods may be, that is a noble goal. Whether his power comes from the Outside or himself, he may be doing a good thing for Earwa. My opinion of Kellhus changes the more I think on that conversation.... view post

posted 20 May 2006, 03:05 by Virus, Candidate

Is there any significance to the haloes being around his hands and not his head? view post

posted 20 May 2006, 09:05 by Cause, Candidate

I dont think so. Its a diffrent world (culture) to ours thats all. In our world we place goldne haloes around the heads of jesus and angels etc. But in their world I would argue they simply chose the hands. view post

posted 20 May 2006, 20:05 by Virus, Candidate

Yeah but it isn't some arbitrary thing. The head contains the mind whereas the hands contain...? view post

posted 24 May 2006, 13:05 by Will, Peralogue

This question has been examined under the "Glowing Hands" topic on this forum. I think Serwe seeing the haloes on Sarcellus' hands when he is raping her proves that they exist in the eye of the beholder. If you believe hard enough in the world of the books you can see them on anyone's (or anything's) hands. view post

posted 24 May 2006, 21:05 by Dragyn, Commoner

Perhaps since the hands are what interact with the universe, having haloes around them signifies a divine action by the haloed person. Also, isn't "manipulation" derived from the words for hands-- and manipulate is definitely what Kellhus does. view post

posted 26 May 2006, 13:05 by dalamar the dark, Commoner

by the way Jesus and angels have had haloes around their heads as well as their hands it depends on the artist that is depicting them view post


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