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The Christian Comparison for the Whole Chronicles
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: The Christian Comparison for the Whole Chronicles Reply with quote

There is already a thread with this title in the 1st & 2nd Chronicles forum, but I just put up an article, there and realised that maybe it was time for the discussion to range across the whole of the series.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then I'll expand slightly on what I said there, which was, in part:
I wrote:

It is explicit in the Chronicles [even including the Last...no spoilers that's all I'll say] that the "world" is fucked up because the Creator fucked up.

[[there's a modification of that that I can't talk about without spoilering LC's...but it doesn't change the fact...only the reason/nexus]


the alternate the LC's makes possible is the time-travelling/rebuilding.
This opens some "options" for the Land and the Heaven/eternal life of the "Real World" Christian salvation comparison.
It still doesn't work.
No matter how you solve/frame the identity---TC is/was/will be Creator, and/or Despiser and/or both---the idea is there is some "fix."
But let's be clear. Dead/God TC can't save/fix the dead by telling them how evil they were. He can only do it by showing them how wrong/mistaken HE was.
[[enough to make the point?]]

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There can be a case made around the concept of Love.
Linden is great metaphor for Love.. or the search for Love...Afterall, her parents abuse was basically,,without Love..Her " love" for so many years was unreciprocated; Jerry and dead Tom..and of course, TLD starts off with Linden ecstatic over the first reciprocation of Love.
And by end of TLD..Linden perceives newly with this thing called Love..She stops butchering the ur-Viles..she convinces She to ..liberate Herself and all the forsaken souls that comprise Her..Linden Loves TC and they marry..etc..
Linden takes Love to new personal bounderies and in the epilogue suggest further frontiers to explore. In that regard,the positive payback of Love as self generating and eternal coincides with Jesus's teaching..As the original Surrealist , Andre Breton ,put it..Everything With Love..

TCoTC, puts it all on a personal level rather than on a organized religion way., Even " Christianity" is a bit pretentious putting forth the conceit that Itself is the only religion of God's Love.
Lindens Love becomes of the same qualities as Jesus's Love. I mean to say..Love was Jesus's message. Before Jesus, Love was closer akin to Lust. But the prophet redefined it, made it mystical yet obtainable, and for that message to Humanity, even his death was a small price to pay.

One can see the triumvirate of TC, Linden and Jerry, Hope Love and Compassion, as metaphor of the Holy Trinity at the foundation of so many Christian Religions.,,but Love was what Jesus was about and Love is what Linden found.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comparison to the Holy Trinity, lurch. Smile

(Y'all know I've got my own opinions about Christianity. Wink Right now I'm just reading along here and may chime in later.)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Ali, to be fair..3,,groupings of 3,,goes farther back in human kind than Christianity. So its possible to see our 3 protagonists as,,stability..or foundational...It doesn't work for me in a major way, but ,,the past, present and future could be applicable to the threesome in just the basic sense of how time is perceived..Lots of 3's to consider. And even more complicated..the many "Christian" religions shade and twist how each defines " Holy Trinity". That Holy Ghost thang becomes kinda Insequent in descriptions. So, theres a lot of complications involved in comparing TCoTC with Christianity.

Of course a major difficulty is that the author is more of a " spiritualist" than a follower of any one organized religion.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
the many "Christian" religions shade and twist how each defines " Holy Trinity". That Holy Ghost thang becomes kinda Insequent in descriptions.

Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere but in the atempt to look at the Chrons as having religious allegory/metaphor, surely the use of the name Covenant itself must be significant. IIRC much of the old testement is concerned with the covenant between God and the Children of Israel, the binding agreement of protection in return for undivided worship. If indeed 'Covenant' has meanings in the Chrons of this type, what are the agreements refered to. [Could I guess, be the agreements that TC continuously forms with himself throughout the course of series 1, but I would expect more than this somehow.]

As Lurch notes above both SRD's background [re his Indian upbringing] and later interests [re his study of martial arts] would point more toward a mystical than traditional religious comparison and I think this would be borne out by some of the names [eg Samedhi] he uses.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I asked this of SRD in the GI:
Quote:

Don (dlbpharmd): How did you choose the name "Covenant"?

A couple of people have asked this. Remember, I was raised and educated (through 11th grade) by Christian fundamentalists; so naturally I was thinking of the profound differences between the Old and New Testaments, specifically as those differences pertain to the relationship between God and Man (forgive the male word Man: it's appropriate in this context), the "covenant of law" versus the "covenant of grace." That this is apt won't surprise anyone familiar with the Bible. The "old" Thomas Covenant can't survive unless he abides by the strict rules of his illness (hence his Unbelief, his rigidity, his difficulty giving or accepting forgiveness). The "new" Thomas Covenant finds the grace/love/open-heartedness to transcend his old laws.

But I hasten to add that while all this is very "Christian" in its sources it is by no means "Christian" in its application and development. It was a natural starting point for me, but I have taken it in directions which would doubtless have horrified the missionaries of my childhood.

(05/27/2004)

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter, from the article linked above:

Quote:
Thomas Covenant's name, of course, directly implies the paradoxical nature of his presence in the Land. He is at once the doubting Thomas of the Gospel of John -- the original "unbeliever" -- and an embodiment of the term "covenant," first mentioned by a faith healer who quotes Revelation 21:6-8:

Quote:
"'To the thirsty I will give water without price from the fountain of the water of life. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the unbelievers, the polluted, as or murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'

"Marvelous, marvelous Words of God. Here in one short passage we hear the two great messages of the Bible, the Law and the Gospel, the Old Covenant and the New." ( III, l7)

A moment later he remarks, "'Never mind murder fornication, sorcery, idolatry, lies. We're all good people here.'" Ironically, Covenant himself is an unbeliever, polluted by leprosy, who has murdered raped and lied. The hypocritical preacher has him thrown out -- the salvation he offers is selective, not for the likes of Covenant -- in contradiction of the words of Isaiah 55:1: ""Ho, everyone who thirsts,/ come to the waters;'"' the words of Christ Himself in John 7:37: "''If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink'" and the preacher's own claim that Christ "'hung on the cross erected in the midst of misery and shame to pay the price of our sin for us'" (III, 19). The preacher's words affirm the new covenant open to anyone, but his actions embody the spirit of the old.

Although Thomas Covenant rejects, and is in a sense rejected by, religious doctrine, he nevertheless journeys, in a Land touched by God's hand since the creation, toward the meaning of his name. The word covenant incorporates three Greek concepts: mesites, mediator, intermediary, guarantor; engyos, guarantor; and diatheke, irrevocable decision (The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 365-73). Though reluctantly at first, Thomas Covenant clearly mediates between the Creator and the Land, between the Creator and Foul, between Foul and the Land, and finally between Foul and the Arch of Time, as Christ Himself mediates between God and man. And the Lords of Revelstone clearly view him as the possible guarantor of their deliverance from Foul, as Christ guarantees salvation. The word engyos, in suggesting legal obligation carried out even at the hazard of one's life (New International Dictionary, 372), approaches the following spirit of diatheke:

Quote:
A prerequisite of its effectiveness before the law is the death of the disposer. Hence diatheke must be clearly distinguished from syntheke, an agreement. In the latter two partners engaged in common activity accept reciprocal obligations. Diatheke is found only once with this meaning.... Elsewhere it always means a one-sided action. (New International Dictionary, 365)


A covenant, then, involves self-sacrifice, which is the essence of the divinely enabled agapic love Christ embodies on the cross. Christ's sacrifice seals the new covenant (A Theological Word Book of the Bible, 318). To such sacrificial love Thomas Covenant matures, though his death does not participate in the divine.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But does his ressurection? [He is after all [I guess] the fatal revenant.] Are we at the end, to see Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever through the eyes of apotheosis - as a Christ reborn and in a Land remade in his image?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a bit trickier than that I think, peter. As the article says, Covenant never actually partakes of the Divine. He is not a true Christ-figure as all he does is done for selfish reasons. This means that his resurrection (2nd time?) isn't equivalent to the 2nd Coming. Remember that there are others (Linden and Jeremiah) involved in the remaking of the Earth.

The Creator makes no appearance in the LCs and for all intents and purposes no longer exists. The Trinity of TC, Linden and Jeremiah are the new Creator(s). This is can be seen as an analogy for an existential situation where each individual is responsible for creating the meaning of their life and thus in a sense being a creator of the world.

For me the Christian comparison doesn't hold much water by the time the LCs come around. The whole thrust of the story has strayed too far for the comparison to bear up anymore.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
as a Christ reborn and in a Land remade in his image?


Besides basic agreement with what u. is indicating, the short answer to this is no.
The final kingdom of Christ-reborn is an earthly heaven. No evil, no sin, for certain...perhaps not even mild unpleasantness/dissatisfaction.
The LC's ending excludes all of that...it's actually closer [but not that close] to the world after Christ's FIRST life.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just on the point of the Creators dissapearence however - by this stage of the Chrons can we not see the Creator as never having had any independant existance from TC. ie That he was only ever a balancing aspect of LF's 'externalisation', and that as TC moves [as it were] down the arm [away from the fulcrum and toward the 'Creator' side of the balance] the need for that particular externalisation incrementally dissapears.

Agreed, however re the rebooted Land; Yes it more mirrors Earth 'before the Fall' than the utopian picture seen monthly on the front of The Watchtower, where 'the lion lies down with the lamb'.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Just on the point of the Creators dissapearence however - by this stage of the Chrons can we not see the Creator as never having had any independant existance from TC. ie That he was only ever a balancing aspect of LF's 'externalisation', and that as TC moves [as it were] down the arm [away from the fulcrum and toward the 'Creator' side of the balance] the need for that particular externalisation incrementally dissapears.

This may be a form of slippage on SRD's part in the Chrons. He may have regretted ever having the Creator appear in 'our world'. It's a genie that can't be put back in the bottle. The cosmos, within which the Arch of Time and the world of the Land exist, is the creation of the Creator. Within that TC, Linden and Jeremiah recreate the world of the Land (and so become creators themselves). The Creator cannot interefere with his own creation in any case (without releasing Lord Foul) so, it's not a case of the Creator receding. It's more a case of TC et al. growing into their own divine potential. (The loose end, of course, is what is the effect on the 'real world', if any? And if there is none, then why bother with it in the first place?)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think there's any effect on the real world at the end of the Chrons, other than the deaths there of the main characters. Are you thinking Sheriff Lytton may undergo some kind of spiritual transformation? Laughing

Not to get all New Age-y Wink , but I read something once about the people you meet along a spiritual path, and how some of them are Gatekeepers. They don't go along with you on the journey, but they open a door (or gate), or lead you to it, so you can get to the next place you need to go. That's not a bad description of the Creator's role in the Chrons. He can't go with Covenant or Linden to the Land, but he certainly points them in the right direction. And once they've passed through the gate, they don't need him anymore.

I can't think offhand whether the Bible has any similar figures. Maybe somebody who's more of a Biblical scholar than me (which is pretty much everybody!) will chime in.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
peter wrote:
Just on the point of the Creators dissapearence however - by this stage of the Chrons can we not see the Creator as never having had any independant existance from TC. ie That he was only ever a balancing aspect of LF's 'externalisation', and that as TC moves [as it were] down the arm [away from the fulcrum and toward the 'Creator' side of the balance] the need for that particular externalisation incrementally dissapears.

This may be a form of slippage on SRD's part in the Chrons. He may have regretted ever having the Creator appear in 'our world'. It's a genie that can't be put back in the bottle. The cosmos, within which the Arch of Time and the world of the Land exist, is the creation of the Creator. Within that TC, Linden and Jeremiah recreate the world of the Land (and so become creators themselves). The Creator cannot interefere with his own creation in any case (without releasing Lord Foul) so, it's not a case of the Creator receding. It's more a case of TC et al. growing into their own divine potential. (The loose end, of course, is what is the effect on the 'real world', if any? And if there is none, then why bother with it in the first place?)

u.


This is going to raise all sorts of ontological/epistemiological/metaphysical questions of it's own isn't it. {Such as what is the nature of the relationship between The Creator [Land] and The Creator [God].}

Ali - there was always a sugestion that The Creator might have had a role in the selection of TC, and if so his role was also in a sense active. I'm sure SRD has made comment somewhere on the dissapearence of the Creator [was it not in the GI or at one of the Elohimfests?]; but I do like the idea of the role of Gatekeepers.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right -- the Creator did seem to pick Covenant specifically (and Linden, too, for that matter). But other than that, I think, the Gatekeeper theory still holds up.

I think SRD has said (somewhere... Laughing ) that his Creator isn't our God. But I suppose there are parallels, particularly if you subscribe to the clockwork-universe theory. I guess whether one does would depend on the flavor of that person's (dis)belief. Isn't it Deism in which God supposedly set everything in motion and is just letting it run?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes - I believe so Ali, along with the idea that 'revealed scripture is so much balderdash and that to see proof of God's existence all you have to do is to look at 'his' works [ie read the Book of nature, not the one of paper].
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
{Such as what is the nature of the relationship between The Creator [Land] and The Creator [God].}

I'd like to expand on this point, peter, but I don't think fully understand what you mean here. Can you explain a bit more?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not difficult U. - I just didn't phrase it well.

What I mean is if we accept [as Ali points out, SRD has said] that 'The Creator' that appears to TC at the start of LFB is not 'our God' [or the 'our God' equivalent in TC's 'real world'] ie that there are/may be different Creators for different 'real worlds' [the Land and TC's real world being the two we are concerned with] - then what is the relationship between the two [The Creator and God]. Or indeed is this a place where the logic underpinning the whole structure would start to colapse if you begin 'unpicking the threads'.

And yes U. [to refer to an earlier point]; It's a good possibility that with the wisdom of hindsight SRD would have dealt with 'The Creator' aspects of the first two series somewhat differently. It's one of the 'big questions' that remain for us to puzzle over - just where exactly did the Old Guy dissapear to and why?
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