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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Gnostic Wolfe
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2002 16:55:56 -0800

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam Stephanides [mailto:adamsteph@earthlink.net] 
> Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2002 3:36 PM
> To: urth@urth.net
> Subject: Re: (urth) Gnostic Wolfe
> on 11/4/02 12:22 PM, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes at ddanehy@siebel.com wrote:
> > Part of the issue, of course, is that the Outsider is
> > Outside because the gods of the Whorl deliberately
> > shut him out -- tried to erase all memory of him when
> > they reprogrammed the original Cargo. But memory of the
> > "long sun Whorl" religion, in trace form, remained, and 
> became part of 
> > the Writings, in the few references to the Outsider ... 
> This implies, 
> > incidentally, that the Writings were not presented to the people of 
> > Viron already-written by Scylla or some other god, but were
> > set down by them in the early days ...

> 1) Did Typhon, then, fail to provide scriptures for his 
> invented religion? If so, why?  If not, what happened to them?

If he had, you'd think there would have been just the one 
religion, instead of the "Vironese Faith," the Islam-like
faith of the -- oh, darn, I'm blanking on the city's name 
-- the Hindu-ish worship of Gaon, etc. Or are you suggesting
that he provided a different religion for each and every 
city? I mean, sure, it's possible that he might have done
so, but it doesn't seem like the way a megalomaniac does

OTOH, he does seem to have individualized the cities themselves

I'm imagining the reprogrammed Cargo waking up on the
_Whorl_, finding the Windows in whatever sort of temples
or manteions or whatever their city has, and receiving 
The Revelation Of Pas in which he sets forth his, well,
standing orders. Nobody writes them down right away, and
the religion in each city tends to fall into the old patterns
of its people, mingled with random badly-erased memories, 
etc., and eventually written down in the Writings and 
whatever each of the other cities write it down in.

> 2) Iirc, the Writings were a melange of quotes from a variety 
> of sources; James Jordan mentioned "Marcus Aurelius in the 
> Chrasmological writings" in another post.  I could see Wolfe 
> positing that traces of the true religion survived all 
> efforts by Typhon to erase it; that he would have posited the 
> same thing for Marcus Aurelius seems less likely.

Yes, at least some of the quotes we have from the Writings
are indeed from various sources. (I'm pretty sure I recall
something from Isaiah, too.) But I'm not sure that we should
read all that much into it -- there are at least two good
reasons for it to be the way it is:

A) It is (or contains) remembered scraps -- as you say, a 
   melange -- of stuff that didn't get wiped properly; or,
B) Why should Wolfe, who doesn't bother to make up new words,
   write a new Word when there's lots of good stuff lying
   around in public domain that will sound ancient and holy?

> 3) Assuming that you are correct about the Writings' origin, 
> if Pas et al did not want people to worship or remember the 
> Outsider, why didn't they announce that the parts of the 
> Writings mentioning the Outsider were heretical and should
> be removed?

I'll answer that question with two questions:

Why assume that he cares? The purpose _from Pas's point of
view_ wasn't to shut out the One True God; he doesn't believe
in any One True God. His purpose was to wipe out the memories 
of all other religions (which are equal in his eyes, in that
they don't serve his puropse) so _he_ can be God. That wiping
out works imperfectly, and results in all sorts of accretions 
to his "state religion," but the Outsider is -- to him -- 
just one more "minor god." 

Why in the _Whorl_ do you imagine that Pas has ever bothered
to _read_ the Chrasmological Writings -- I rather doubt he
has, I rather doubt he _cares_. He's getting worship and
obedience (right up to the point where Echidna and the sprats
off him); he's happy as a clam.



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