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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) The God & His Man, a note & spoilers
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2000 17:48:04 

At 07:52 AM 12/17/99 -0700, you wrote:
>The god's name is "Isid Iooo IoooE":

	I'll add a thought, which is probably wrong (almost certainly) but may
spark someone else's thinking. "151D 1000, I.E." Id est, (i.e.,) means
"that is," and means that 151D 1000 exists. He is (claiming)
self-existence, which makes his "death" at the end more interesting.

> this looks an awful lot like the
>sacred unspeakable name of the one true Hebrew god (safename "Jehovah";
>today's true name "Yahweh"; ancient magical versions include "IAOOUE,"
>"IAOUAI,").  Or a Joycean parody of the same name (was it in the nighttown
>section of ULYSSES where the text takes on the format of a play, and
>character "God" says some windy vowels, continued by character "Dog" who
>howls more vowels?  A sense of parody might be in the first name, which
>reads "I said," making the whole name a sentance: "I said, `Iooo IoooE.'"
>As if to correct bumbling mortals who heard it as "Yaweh."  "I said" also
>reminds me of "I am that which I am" or somesuch line attributed to God in
>the Old Testament; also "In the beginning was the word," where this name
>says something like "I said the Word."

	If it's such a parody, then it is a computer PLAYING at being God, and
that will have to be taken into account. This ain't no true God, and no
true image of God, as I show below.

>This god is a starship orbiting plant Zed.  ("Zed," as a name for the
>letter Z, suggests the last in a sequence.)  Zed has three types of people:
>desert dwellers (ala Middle East), jungle dwellers (ala equatorial Africa),
>and cold land dwellers (ala Europe).  The recently arrived god has
>plans--since he likes the Europeans best, because they are most like him,
>he is going to engineer their colonization of the planet.

	Mind - Europeans, and being mental, the computer likes them best.
	Will - high desert people, living by their wills
	Emotion - jungle people

	True humanity needs all three, as Man realizes, so he kills the false god
of the computer.

>Hmmm.  That does sound like a criticism of Christian sanction of
>colonization.  Chosen people; conquer in my name; God is on our side.
>Especially sharp as it traces colonial impulse to the god (which is Yaweh
>or a parody), rather than the "mankind uses the name of God to unholy ends"
>line of reasoning.

	I think you misread. It is about humanity-in-full, as noted, set out as a
tale that might well be in Severian's book. The Universe is already "old,"
but not as old as it will be in Sev's time. Anyway, the final question is
whether it is better to live as a slave or die, and the answer is that life
is preferable, because where there is life their is hope. 
	The god-computer seals his doom by giving the wrong preference. He is but
a slave, as Man realizes. He is not any true God, or he would recognize the
fullness of the image of God in the three kinds (aspects) of people.
	I suggest a closer link, conceptually, to the scientismists in Lewis's
*That Hideous Strength.* They would destroy humanity in the interest of
abstractions. That is what the computer would do also, and what the
mental-folk of the cold lands wind up doing. 
	The critique is, thus, not of Christianity, but of scientism.
	Finally, FWIW,. If we try to link this story specifically with Blue-Green,
it will have to be a B-G that comes into existence long after it has been
colonized by humans -- but still before Severian (if this story is in the
Brown Book).


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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