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TLD Part I Chapter 11: Back from the Brink

 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:27 am    Post subject: TLD Part I Chapter 11: Back from the Brink Reply with quote

Jeremiah, Stave, the Giants, and even the Elohim were on the brink of disaster. Kastenessen had arrived. But then Longwrath and Thomas Covenant arrived like heroes, and brought them

Back from the Brink

When I dissected my first chapter, over ten years ago, I had said, "There are no unimportant chapters." And I still believe that this is true. In this chapter, there is almost no action: it's another chapter of resting and regrouping and relating tales. But we also know that Donaldson wants to play fair with his characters, he wants their actions to arise authentically from their feelings. In a chapter such as this, the characters will tell us how they feel, and thereby lay the groundwork for the actions that will follow. It's worthwhile, then, to attend to their feelings.

And if your a fan of the Haruchai ... well, what can I say? Wink


- - - - -

Covenant is here. He arrived from a burst of argent, for he had seen the Worm, and then crossed the lower Land in leap after wild magical leap, to be with the ones he loved.

Branl is here. He had rended his Humbled brother less than a day ago, but now he is here on Rallyn, the Ranyhyn who guided them to Jeremiah's fane.

But Linden was gone.

Covenant has seen the exhaustion of the Giants, the burns on Stave, the freedom of Jeremiah, the line of Elohim entering the malachite structure. They had accomplished so much. But Linden was gone.

Covenant had no one to confess his crimes to. He feels bereft, cheated. He needs Linden deeply.

The newcomers had many questions; those that met them had many as well. But Covenant wanted one thing more than any other.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
It was all too much. As if he were being ripped open, Covenant released a cry that seemed to come from the marrow of his bones.

“What happened to Linden?”

Then he stood wavering as if he could not take another step without the woman whom he had loved for all of the Earth’s ages.

Soon the tales of deeds flow. Are we not Giants? Covenant learns that Linden had gone into the past in order to find the forbidding that the Arch of Time required. And Covenant blames himself.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Covenant groaned aloud. Linden’s absence was his doing. He had pushed her toward a risk so extreme that merely hearing it described made his pulse falter in his veins. He had been pushing her ever since she had returned to the Land, even though every stricture of Law and Time had screamed against such intervention. If she failed, the fault would be his.

One again, we hear hints that Covenant had been manipulating Linden, steering her towards resolutions that the Dead should not have even mentioned. So of course he blames himself. Just as with Elena, he had asked for something without knowing how it would be answered, and so was responsible for the outcome.

For Covenant has been like the Dead, like Foul, like the Creator. He has given possibilities to those whom he trusted, and then relied on what they were capable of to find the right answer. Time and again, he had let Linden find a way. And she found the ways.


In The Last Dark was wrote:
But what else could he have done? He could not have acted differently without ceasing to be who he was.

While past events are shared, we learn that Jeremiah is also forlorn. He has learned that he is ripe for possession, because Anele's gift both gives and takes. And he, too, feels bereft, cheated. Because Linden was gone.

The Giants were exhausted. And Cabledarm was badly injured. Only the love of tales has kept them upright at this point. They, too, needed Linden.

Stave was so deeply injured that he had gone into a self-induced healing slumber.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Branl shrugged to indicate Stave. “This state is not unknown among the Haruchai. More commonly, we have recourse to it when we are snared by storms among the high peaks of our homeland. When both passage and shelter cannot be attained, we withdraw as Stave has done to preserve the essence of our lives. Thus we endure the gales, emerging when they are spent. Upon occasion, however, we withdraw similarly to heal otherwise mortal wounds, or mayhap to weather such shocks and virulence as Stave has received. When he has restored himself, he will stand among us once more.”

It is a fine thing to learn more of the Haruchai. Jast as it is to discover that there is still more to learn.

And there is also a mystery yet in them.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“Wait a minute,” he objected. “There has to be more to it than that. Stave has touched Kastenessen before, and he wasn’t hurt like this. Something is different now.”

“It is, ur-Lord,” admitted Branl. But he did not elaborate.

When everyone is filled in on the basics of where the others had been and what they had done, they enter the stone edifice to ... sleep. Finally: sleep. Covenant is astounded by what they had accomplished.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
How was it possible for any ordinary man — or woman — or boy — to live up to the example set by the Land’s other defenders, the natural inhabitants of this world?

Perhaps ordinary men cannot achieve what they Giants and Haruchai can. But they can be inspired to be more than they feel they can only be.

In Epic Fantasy in the Modern World, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
I took one real, modern human being, Thomas Covenant, and surrounded him with epic characters: the Giants, the Bloodguard, Lord Mhoram, the Ranyhyn, the jheherrin: characters or images which don't in any way pertain to our real experience of life, but which do pertain to the part of us which dreams, the part of us which imagines, the part of us which aspires. And in Covenant's case those characters or images do seduce him - away from cynicism and bitterness and hatred; toward love, friendship, and loyalty, toward the willingness to risk himself for things larger than he is. If it is the responsibility of every human being to create the meaning of his/her life, then it is Covenant's capacity to respond to fantasy which leads him to create a meaning which is redemptive rather than ruinous.

As the Giants drift off one by one, Covenant remarks on all the ways that Linden's fate had been "writ on water". And Rime Coldspray remarks on unforeseen outcomes.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“It indeed appears that many unforeseen outcomes were enabled by Linden Giantfriend’s last effort among the caverns. But the same may be said of any deed. If she had not retrieved the Staff of Law. If she had not accompanied your false son and her possessed boy into the Land’s past. If she had not dared all things to create a place for you among the living. Life is ever thus. One step enables another. For that reason, auguries are an ill guide. They tread perilously upon the borders of unearned knowledge.

One step enables another. There are no real boons that arrive "out of the blue", meeting a need with no apparent cause for doing so. Everything that happens, happens because earlier deeds have made it possible. Everything is earned. Life is ever thus.

And Covenant remarks on his resolve to not be healed.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“I don’t know how to explain it. Leprosy protects me somehow.” If Lena had not given him hurtloam when he first came to the Land, he would not have been able to rape her. “Sure, it costs me a lot. But it’s also a kind of strength. It makes some things possible that I couldn’t do without it.”

Every strength is a weakness that has found it's proper use. Covenant has accepted his leprosy as part of himself. Now he cannot be himself without it. It makes him whole.

Finally, all sleep.

Later, Covenant awakens, to meet Stave, who has emerged from his healing slumber.

What can I say about what happens next? It is nothing less than The Redemption of the Haruchai. Mysteries are resolved. Courses of history are altered. And the Haruchai learn to love.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Without preamble, as if he were resuming a conversation, Stave said, “I did not part willingly from the Chosen.”

His manner rather than his tone suggested that he wanted to be understood.

“I know,” Covenant answered quietly. “But you let yourself be persuaded anyway. She asked, and you agreed.”

“I did,” the former Master admitted. “I have found that I am no longer able to refuse her.”

Covenant’s mouth twisted. “I know the feeling.”

Stave flexed the fingers of his right hand, testing them for residual damage. “Haruchai do not indulge in regret. Yet I am”—he appeared to search for a word—“unsettled. If she does not return, Timewarden, I will be unable to quench my sense of loss, or my remorse that I did not stand at her side.”

Now Covenant winced. “I know that feeling, too.” He had not simply turned away from Linden. He had told her not to touch him. More harshly than he intended, he said, “But sometimes things like that have to be done anyway.”

Stave nodded. “Necessity demands. It does not countenance denial.” Then, unexpectedly, he looked away, as if he rather than Covenant had cause to feel shame. “Thus I am compelled to inquire of myself what purpose is served by regret—or indeed by grief.”

Without pausing to consider his reply, Covenant countered, “How else do we know we’re alive?”

“By our deeds,” Stave answered. “By striving and service. By—”

Abruptly he froze. His gaze sprang back to Covenant’s. Nothing else moved.

After a moment, he released a long breath. “Ah.” His regard did not waver, but his rigidity eased. “Now I begin to grasp how it transpires that you and the Chosen have failed to comprehend the Masters—and how the Masters have been misled in their apprehension of you. You and the Chosen—those of your world—The Chosen-son. Hile Troy. You judge by your hearts. It is by grief and regret that you know yourselves, rather than by deeds and effort and service.”

In his turn, Covenant nodded. “Well, yes.” More than once, he had tried to explain himself to the Haruchai; but somehow he had failed to grasp the question implicit in their notions of service. “Grief and regret. What else is there? Those are just other names for love. You can’t feel bad about losing something if you don’t love it first. And if you don’t love, why else would you bother to do anything at all?”

Of course, love was not so simple. He knew that as well as anyone; perhaps better than most. It spawned complications faster than it clarified them. It could be misguided or selfish. It could close its eyes. It could curdle until it became hate. And it implied rejection. Stepping in one direction required moving away from another. But at its core—

At its core, love was the only answer that made sense to him.

There is hope in contradiction.

From where Branl stood, the krill left Stave’s features in shadow. Covenant could barely discern the outlines of the former Master’s mien. Only Stave’s eye pierced the dusk.

Impassive as any Haruchai, he said, “It is a terrible burden, Timewarden.”

Covenant shrugged. “Look at Branl. Look at the Masters. Look at yourself.” Briefly his old rage for the abused of the world rose up in him. “Hellfire, Stave! Look at the Elohim.” Then he subsided. Almost whispering, he asked, “Is what you see any less terrible?”

“It is not,” Stave replied as if he were sure. “It is more so.”

A moment later, something that may have been a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. “Were I inclined to the homage of mutilation—which I am not—I would now claim a place among the Humbled. Though they have aspired to emulation, they have not grasped the full import of their desires.

“Until now,” he added in Branl’s direction, acknowledging what Branl had done and endured.

Branl lifted a shoulder slightly. “Should the world endure,” he promised, “and the Masters with it, I will undertake to instruct our people.”

Finally Covenant bowed his head. The Humbled had made it surprisingly easy to forgive the manner of Clyme’s death.

You judge by your hearts. Stave has learned that the Haruchai's quest for worth has been in vain, for they had been on the wrong path ever since the Vizard. They tried and tried to find self-worth in deeds and valor. But the better answer, the right answer, was to find self-worth in what you cared about.

At its core, love was the only answer that made sense. As Covenant takes on more and more of the mantle of Creator, isn't it a relief that love would be his foremost guide?

It is a terrible burden. Love is a terrible burden, that gives and takes and sets you free and ties you down. To give yourself to love is to give up a bit of self-determination.

They have not grasped the full import of their desires. The Humbled had tried to emulate Covenant. Had they fully emulated him, they would have discovered this answer long ago.

I will undertake to instruct our people. Branl will spread the word among the Haruchai. They will change. The last remaining Humbled has said that they must.

Stave finds the answer. But Covenant shows the way. The snide fool who teased Bannor about his dedication to service is far, far gone. Covenant has grown to admire the Haruchai, and then respect them, and then love them 'warts and all'. How fitting that he is now able to give so much back to them.

Never mind living up to the example of the Haruchai. The Haruchai will now try to live up to the example of Covenant.


Later, everyone wakes up. And it is time for Covenant and the Giants to deal with something that had been put off for too long: an expression of grief for Longwrath. The Giants need caamora.

To everyone's surprise, Branl asks for Longwrath's flamberge.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“The Haruchai have ever eschewed weaponry. Nevertheless weapons we must have. If our people do not elect to reinterpret their service, they will render their lives effectless in the last crisis. Fists and feet suffice to oppose Cavewights, but they will not harm Sandgorgons or hinder skurj.”

The Haruchai have already begun to "reinterpret their notions of service". They are changing. The desire to meet the dangers of the world without the incondign help of weapons has been replaced by a recognition that the "last crisis" will brook no vain pride. They will not judge themselves by deeds and effort. They will not be content to let the Land be destroyed so long as they demonstrate their acceptance of consequences. They will accept help and fight. Because they will find their worth fighting for a Land that they love.

There is no wood around. Wild magic and the krill will have to suffice for Longwrath's caamora. And as soon as Covenant plunges the puissance of the blade into the fallen Giant's chest, Linden and another ride out of the brilliant light.

Right out of the light!
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so very much Way for a great dissect. These chapters at the end of part one...imho..seem to be tying things up at an level that is perhaps just below the surface , here, but 300 some pages further on, is front and center.

Yes, TC starts off in this chapter,,pretty much in mystery; doesn't know whats going on, what has transpired except by the few visual clues. But what he does know,,surmise on his own,,is that Linden is not there...What he knows,,he knows by its absence,,rather than by its presence..Hinting for story he is made to tell his story first..and in return ..the various perceptions of what did happen,,come forward. There is a Grace to all this, that you allude to way,,in your " snide fool" of the past remark..TC glides thru all the unknown,,the mystery, in state of grace. A clue to it is in how he approaches and then handles Jeremiahs bit of poor self pity.. ." Then hang on to feeling broke. Hang on to the pain. It can be useful, I should know."..TC gives Jerry something he knows. ..Further TC again tries to reverse the situation.." Then tell me something else. Is that temple a prison?" ...Like you have put it way..even Jerry shows the ability to find the right answer..Hope has a lot of Trust in it....and by end of chapter,,trust is answered with the fantastic appearance. of Love, Linden.

I like How TC deals with the unknown, the Mystery he finds himself in, in this chapter. There is no or little pretense by TC..and thus, we see how what has transpired,,is shaded by the various characters..We get insight in to the story teller..TC and his..its all my fault,,Jerry and his juvenile revenge....Stave's beginning exploration of emotions and their costs and rewards..the Giants with their talent of telling stories.and need for Joy in hearing....and while i'm there...TC goes off on ..if it hadn't been for Linden..adding, "..If she hadn't gone back to the Sarangrave, the Feroce might not have been able to give her my message."..just a note...TC doesn't quite have that right,,It was Ranyhyn who took Linden to the Sarangrave,,on their own ,,with out her input until it was obvious...But to the point, its Coldspray's response that gets to it..another litany of..If..Remember in the last chapter the author making a point about how so many realities hung on the word.." if"?..Coldspray 's.." One step enables another." The giant tries to take the mystery out of TC's observation on Linden..but the He Flips The Discussion Right Back to Mystery...." I',m not sure thats true...You need a caamora.."..with the giant reply.." are our hearts so plain to you?" and then another flip." .I don't know how to explain it..etc"..There is a nice back and forth there,,,that the Giants don't quite get, or agree with, but TC shows them an example of,,I think you need a caamora...and perhaps a surrendering by the Giant, " are our hearts so plain to you?..And in surrender, they go to sleep. So often, in The Last Dark..this other reality of ..sleep..is turned to.

And from it..there "..some preterite instinct roused him, and he jerked up his head to look around.." is Stave coming to a first understanding of..Love..upright as a spear driven into the dirt..etc...Now..choice of words by the author,,suggests perhaps a further other reality of the ..writ in water fantasy goings on.......the author is having some darkish humor fun here..yes? There is TC..at his deepest concern and responsibility for all and Linden..and here comes Stave..just to be understood,," I did not part willingly from the Chosen."

" I know,"

" I have found that I am no longer able to refuse her."

" I know the feeling."

" Haruchai do not indulge in regret, Yet I am...unsettled. IF she does not return, Timewarden, I will be unable to quench my sense of loss or my remorse that I did not stand at her side."

" I know that feeling too."..

What is darkly funny here..is that Stave has these emotions for Linden,,that are..the beginning of Love,,and he is unloading all this to TC..who is in Deep Love with Linden..No, not Laurel and Hardy,,perhaps more...Abbott and Costello...maybe not, maybe Lewis and Martin..OH! its a variant of the Cyrano de Bergerac love triangle..anyway..with just a slite shift in perspective..from that of the Haruchai..to that of how TC may be seeing that scene..it goes to a " lust" versus more platonic Love comparison. ..upright as a spear, indeed...And..TC warns him that yea, Love can be a burden as well..it can hurt..TC warns him,,hes going to be relegated to the " Friend Zone"....?? Fascinating this whole scene transpires after sinking into a shallow slumber...ending with.." Were I inclined to the homage of mutilation---which I am not--- I would now claim a place among the Humbled. Though they have aspired to emulation, they have not grasped the full import of their desires.( with only 3 fingers on a hand, how could they grasp the full import of their desires..?}.with the final exclamation point of.."The Humbled had made it surprisingly easy to forgive the manner of Clyme's death." ..uhhhmmm..again..choice of words by the author suggests a little parable in that scene,,about ....damp nightmares..versus ..reality, no matter how horrible.

And from that little dream scene ..every one wakes up..greets the day with hunger,,and readys for some Longwrath Flambeau breakfast. Which Linden interrupts thankfully.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
It is a fine thing to learn more of the Haruchai. Just as it is to discover that there is still more to learn.


It is indeed, wayfriend, and thank you for your enjoyable chapter dissection!

While I still consider Stave to be the greatest of the Haruchai (even more so than Brinn or Bannor), I really began to appreciate the character of Branl in this chapter, because of this scene:

Quote:
The ridge seemed to wobble from side to side, mocking Covenant. There were other inferences--

Branl had said we. He had addressed Stave in the fashion of the Haruchai--and he had listened to Stave's reply. Now he had reaffirmed his kinship with Linden's friend as if he felt pride in it. He spoke for Stave as well as himself.

A profound change. If the Humbled had ever needed or desired Covenant's forgiveness, he earned it now.

Apparently the Ironhand also had heard and understood Branl's we. She raised the krill so that its gem lit the Haruchai. Striving for formality, she replied, "There is no aspersion, Branl Humbled. There is only praise, both for Stave and for you--and for Clyme as well. At a better time, we will tell the full tale of Stave Rockbrother's deeds. We will honor your own. For the present, be assured that we esteem your courage and devoir."

Indirectly she steadied Covenant. Breathing deeply to calm his private reel, he muttered, "Then I guess Linden did the right thing when she made Stave stay behind."

"Indeed," assented Coldspray. And Branl said unexpectedly, "In this, the Chosen has shown foresight. I am reminded of matters which Stave has not forgotten concerning her former service to the Land."

Another surprise. Covenant frowned through the silver light, and found that he had no response. For a moment, he almost wept.

None of the Humbled had ever called Linden by her title.


I, too, was surprised by this. Surprised and gratified.

lurch wrote:
TC glides thru all the unknown,,the mystery, in state of grace. A clue to it is in how he approaches and then handles Jeremiahs bit of poor self pity.. ." Then hang on to feeling broke. Hang on to the pain. It can be useful, I should know."..TC gives Jerry something he knows. ..Further TC again tries to reverse the situation.." Then tell me something else. Is that temple a prison?" ...Like you have put it way..even Jerry shows the ability to find the right answer..


The evolving character of Thomas Covenant not only comes up with the right answers for a situation, he comes up with the right questions. By reminding Jeremiah of his act of compassion for beings which abhorred him ("his" and "him in this sentence refer to Jeremiah), he helps Jeremiah get over his own feelings of abhorrence for Kastenessen and his self-abhorrence for wishing violence upon Kasty. And Covenant asks yet another wise question: "She's your mother. Has she ever not come back?"

I like that this is further evidence that TC has had a long relationship with Jeremiah as a friend, when Jer wasn't capable of relating to anyone else.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
A clue to it is in how he approaches and then handles Jeremiahs bit of poor self pity.. ." Then hang on to feeling broke. Hang on to the pain. It can be useful, I should know."..TC gives Jerry something he knows.

Yes, there's an important point there. Throughout AATE and TLD, Covenant has been "the lesson giver" - right up through to the important Haruchai lesson in this chapter. In a way, this stage of his arc is about "giving back" what he has become. What the people of the Land have taught him, he has incorporated it, added himself to it, and is sending it back. In a way, the people of the Land are now learning lessons from 'the real world', instead of the other way around.

lurch wrote:
What is darkly funny here..is that Stave has these emotions for Linden,,that are..the beginning of Love,,and he is unloading all this to TC..who is in Deep Love with Linden.

Oh, but it's telling that Covenant has no issue with this. In fact, he empathizes. Because he knows that Stave's love is not eros, it is agape. Stave's love is the love of a man for his leader, his savior ... but it's also a love for his friend.

This section of the book deals a lot with friendship. Such as the Giant's [correct] insistence that someone with friends can never be possessed. Friendship is just another name for love here.

Cord wrote:
I really began to appreciate the character of Branl in this chapter, because of this scene

Yes. Branl deserves more attention than he's gotten, for sure. He's the last Humbled, but he's also the one who survived long enough to transform his view. Really, Stave's transformation into a better Haruchai is worthless unless he can bring it back to the team and change them all. To wit: if he cannot convince Branl, he cannot succeed. And Branl of course must be forged for this by the author, transformed by his circumstances into a Humbled who will be convinced.

Is it telling that, as the last Humbled, he is left to his own thoughts, without any mind-union? Does this make things possible that might not otherwise be?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well way, the author uses the term..uprite as a spear..twice?..Sooooo..i'm seeing more eros than agape..in the surrounding words of the scene..This still puts the haruchai at the beginnings of understanding Love,,which to me seems appropo. The subtle suggestion is..agape Love is beyond the haruchai because they are not free from their ..' history"..They would literally have to be no longer Haruchai..to live and kno agape Love..Like the Land,,they would have to crumble in structure and be rebuilt differently to go forward in to the future. ..imho.. For me,,the scene in this chapter,,while darkly humorous,,elicits a sympathy for Stave..like Jerry,,hes kind of immature on the " Love"...In a way ( no pun intended) the haruchai have made initial steps..back from the Brink as well....but, its only a beginning.

This grace I refer to in this chapter..is it nothing more than TC evolving thru kinds of Love to be well suited for the Arrival of Linden Avery, Love Herself, at end?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurs to me that there is a similarity of conversion going on between what transpired with Branl to cause him to become truly “humbled” after the shredding of Clyme, and with Stave after experiencing Linden’s departure. In both situations, the Haruchai have been inwardly touched by an event, something that they had yet to experience as part of their stoic existences.  In Branl’s (and Clyme’s) case, the Humbled were shamed when Brinn opened their eyes (new perspective) to the moral wrongness in the Master’s longstanding denial of Truth to the common folk of the land.  This shame causes Clyme to seek redemption, but not as a duty to define the Haruchais’ code, but as a free will sacrifice (Wayfriend's agape) for his friends who are in dire need.  Branl’s shredding of Clyme seems ruthless, but it is truly honoring his friend by fulfilling his sacrifice (agape) in the only way that can preserve it, by rending the Raver.  And of course, Branl is touched by Stave’s words with TC in this chapter, and promises to “undertake to instruct our people “. True conversion comes out of an altered perception, and Branl sees things anew.
 
Stave had wanted to accompany Linden, but was thwarted by her, which leaves him experiencing loss by her departure, for who can tell if she will ever return?  And so he chooses to sacrifice (once again agape) himself for the purposes of her son, probably the highest form of honor and respect one could give to a mother.  He fully expends himself, and only by the utter strength and craftiness of the giants (and his own Haruchai nature) is he saved.
 
And so, when TC returns with Branl, and TC is grief stricken over Linden’s absence, especially since he told her “do not touch me”, Stave can now truly understand what TC is experiencing.  He identifies with it because he feels it as well, not because he failed in any duty, but simply because his friend is not there.  No eros here. But love nonetheless. Pain and grief can define the worthiness of the one feeling them, because of the love that brought about those feelings (the pain now is part of the happiness then, thats the deal). This alone has value in one's life, and not only that, its the true measure of a life well lived. Service and honor in duty is to be sought after and respected, but that in itself does not define a person.  How much they loved and were loved is what matters.  Reliance on friendship matters.  Hope matters.  Trust in each other, come what may, matters.  The Masters themselves cannot be the caretakers of the Land and its people by sheltering them from truths and realities.  They must be partakers in the Land’s future along with its people, trusting in others, and measuring themselves not by duty and service, but by friendship and sacrificial love. No, the Haruchai will not become something else, but they will see things with a changed perspective, a new spirit, a changed heart....and, they "will instruct our people".
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dondarion wrote:
In Branl’s (and Clyme’s) case, the Humbled were shamed when Brinn opened their eyes (new perspective) to the moral wrongness in the Master’s longstanding denial of Truth to the common folk of the land. This shame causes Clyme to seek redemption, but not as a duty to define the Haruchais’ code, but as a free will sacrifice (Wayfriend's agape) for his friends who are in dire need. Branl’s shredding of Clyme seems ruthless, but it is truly honoring his friend by fulfilling his sacrifice (agape) in the only way that can preserve it, by rending the Raver. And of course, Branl is touched by Stave’s words with TC in this chapter, and promises to “undertake to instruct our people “. True conversion comes out of an altered perception, and Branl sees things anew.


Well put, Dondarion. Branl's change of perception is the first sign his people have a chance to become equal to the last crisis. I don't think what he is learning to feel for Linden rises to the level of agape yet, but it has certainly manifested itself as philos, at the least.

Dondarion wrote:
How much they loved and were loved is what matters. Reliance on friendship matters. Hope matters. Trust in each other, come what may, matters. The Masters themselves cannot be the caretakers of the Land and its people by sheltering them from truths and realities. They must be partakers in the Land’s future along with its people, trusting in others, and measuring themselves not by duty and service, but by friendship and sacrificial love. No, the Haruchai will not become something else, but they will see things with a changed perspective, a new spirit, a changed heart....and, they "will instruct our people".


I found this the most heartening progression in the entire chapter. Hope for the Masters is hope for the world of the Land.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dondarion wrote:
It occurs to me that there is a similarity of conversion going on between what transpired with Branl to cause him to become truly “humbled” after the shredding of Clyme, and with Stave after experiencing Linden’s departure.

I agree. Donaldson even tells us as much, when Stave says, "Until now," and nods to Branl.

Branl (as we discussed before) was expressing grief when he "shred" Clyme. And Stave feels regret for not going with Linden. But "it is by grief and regret that you know yourself," and "those are just other names for love."

Yes, they both were touched by an event. It might not be fair to say that nothing ever touched them before. But it -is- fair to say that both of them came to understand the significance of what they cared for, that it defines who you are.

Dondarion wrote:
Pain and grief can define the worthiness of the one feeling them, because of the love that brought about those feelings (the pain now is part of the happiness then, thats the deal).

That's another good way to describe the principle Donaldson is emphasizing here.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would consider where this chapter leads to; a caamora and entrance spectacular of Linden and ur-mahrtiir...pretty much coinciding, at the same time...

With the caamora, the giants get to feel all their grief and become cleansed of it by fire, at the same time..a very extreme warm and fuzzy feeling for sure. ..and at the start of this one..out pops Lady Linden Love . So, yes,,grief and Love happen simultaneously,,but the caamora isn't completed..Love rushes in and changes everything.

I am having trouble with the word and concept ,," sacrifice"..in close association with the word and evolution of concept .." Love". I'm not seeing the Donaldson connection there. There is a haruchai connection to sacrifice ,as in Duty..,but as it dawns on Stave, thats not the same as Love. And,,as suggested by Lindens return..a further evolving of Love , comes with her. I mean..her an ur-mahr didn't just return. They came back to their Time ..Changed. I can't say that ur-mahr sacrificed himself. As strongly suggested he became what he was destined to be. He evolved. Linden's evolving understanding of Love is also validated. Its not boxed in by time...its free of the constraints of Time..But all that rolls to the next chapter and continues to the end of book..

What I'm suggesting here,,is that even TC's words need to be considered. TC was the arc of Time...but Linden broke the Law of Time..see my point?..Taking TC's words as the " extent" of thought,,or even the furtherest the author goes with an concept..especially when we're only at the mid point.. its too soon...Even TC has a few things to sort out and be amazed by ..and it is Linden who does most of the amazing..as TC repeatedly says..Okay Jerry too....Just remember,,its only been a few days or so for these haruchai with their new found " emotions"..Their history doesn't give them a summer weekend in Miami to have it all figured out.IMHO they are just taking baby steps. Thats on purpose tho. The evolution is in TC..and what he sees and evolves thru here in this chapter,,prepares him for what he has to do in the next chapter. Seems to me...TC offering himself as the source of the caamora..the energy of his will and spirit ( krill and ring)..mite just be cleansing himself of some of that grief business as well...Now there is a research project...a comparison of " gyres" thru-out TCoTC..much vortexing. Anyway..I do not believe this chapter is an end all . For the haruchai..maybe so..The author doesn't continue any evolving with the haruchai from their understandings surfaced in this chapter. At end, epilogue, its left to their future to explore Who They Are. And one of the reasons for that stunted growth of the haruchai...just may be that their history makes it very difficult if not impossible to get over or around the concept of " sacrifice."
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
I would consider where this chapter leads to; a caamora and entrance spectacular of Linden and ur-mahrtiir...pretty much coinciding, at the same time...

What is caamora, though? It is grief.

The Giants wish to express their grief, in a communal way, for Lostson Longwrath. As they relate, they all had a hand in his fate. This shared expression will reaffirm to all that the ill-fated Giant was cherished nevertheless. It is by grief and regret that you know yourself. The Giants are wishing to know themselves as the friends who cared for Longwrath. So, yes, love is there.

Notice that it is just as Covenant and the Giants are discussing this grief, and this desire to express it, that Stave is prompted to speak of his regret. It isn't coincidence, I do not think. I think the Giants have set Stave down a train of thought, which he later broaches with Covenant.

lurch wrote:
And one of the reasons for that stunted growth of the haruchai...just may be that their history makes it very difficult if not impossible to get over or around the concept of " sacrifice."

Well, sure. If one judges oneself by "deeds and effort and service", then self-sacrifice would be the epitome of self-worth, right? So they stumble around, looking for ways to spend their lives to buy worth, "spooning it around", looking for someone to serve, by which they mean sacrifice themselves for.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, I've hinted at it, now let me be blunt...this chapter is more interesting when perceived ..as the company without Linden,,the absence of Love..Jerry folds into himself with self pity , for example. Stave is basically lost.Hes feeling emotions,," unsettled" clueless ,when he can't be the "weapon" that he is. The Giants,,geezuz..go to sleep on TC..what happened to love of endless stories? ,,joy in the hearing?...ZZzzzzzz. Exhausted?...sorry..Love gives, its not a taker. ..The caamora did not happen..You can't ignore that..the grand surprise entrance of Linden broke it up..The author did that. ..He could have had her return at end of caamora...but he instead interrupted the occasion. As you say, way , everything is important. The timing of her and ur-mahr return is important. ..Fascinating it is ,,who the only one who remembers that the caamora wasn't...later in the next chapter or so, is. And ..Linden's words to the same one in their next go around. Branl and Linden are not seeing eye to eye.,,and thats on purpose as well.

You went to the greeks for definitions of how they philosophized their concepts of Love. I am not on that bandwagon. I don't believe SRD is anyway using the greeks ancient views on Love either. IMHO,, SRD is exploring something a bit more modern about Love..starting with the great mystic of 2000 years ago and going forward. IMHO..organized religions use " sacrifice" as one of the ways to remain relevant"..Sacrifice invokes a God..establishes a Holy Trinity..etc..Seems to me..when Linden and TC STOP sacrificing...a Trinity is formed and rises above the crumbling world all around them ..to be rebuilt anew,,with whole new perspectives to be worked out..etc etc..But thats for dissects to come and again..demonstrates how the author can time trip all he wants,,but us dissectors,,remain locked in the sequential constraints of orderly progression in examining this work...Life is not fair..

Self sacrifice is not the epitome of self worth. No, it is not. IMHO..thats delusional and not at all what SRD is suggesting in a positive way.....In my view..ones self, ones talents, ones Self brought about by being Whole, non-conflicted, isn't to be sacrificed for ..self worth.. It IS self worth.. Why would I willingly sacrifice that which brings a peace, to my being..? .Oh thats right..the haruchai are not about " peace"..Conflict has to exist to validate their existence...Without conflict they are non sequitor.

I like how the author has this chapter set up on the observation of TC,,that Linden isn't there. Her absence shades TC thru the chapter..The Company relates to TC thru the lens of Linden's absence...Its that " other reality" thing that the author pulls off in every chapter..in every parable. What the haruchai confess to is masturbatory..not the real deal..TC is not let off the hook either..Grief and Love being the two sides of the same coin..nope..Compare that to the LOVE that Linden experiences with Wildwood , the making of ur-mahrtiir..grass stains over and thru and around and around Time..Love is a sphere as Linden experiences it,,and TC is still referring to it in a two dimensional , diametrically opposed way....The Giants are denied their caamora by Lindens party crash. Their " grief"..well..we can talk about its absence as we go thru the next few chapters.. heck, its not even a Giant who reminds TC/ Linden that the caamora was never pulled off..The Giants are humor personified...and yea, grief has to be exorcized from them in order for them to be True..but..it seems apparent that there are other ways for the Giants to be rid of Grief...And Jerry..with out Love ..implodes into a self pity black hole.. Here, " worth" is given to Jerry by TC...but that fades quickly.. Yes, as Cord put it, TC is learning the right questions to ask..but look at the answers...Without Love,,they all are in bad shape...imho.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
Quote:

Covenant countered, “How else do we know we’re alive?”

“By our deeds,” Stave answered. “By striving and service. By—”

Abruptly he froze. His gaze sprang back to Covenant’s. Nothing else moved.

After a moment, he released a long breath. “Ah.” His regard did not waver, but his rigidity eased. “Now I begin to grasp how it transpires that you and the Chosen have failed to comprehend the Masters—and how the Masters have been misled in their apprehension of you. You and the Chosen—those of your world—The Chosen-son. Hile Troy. You judge by your hearts. It is by grief and regret that you know yourselves, rather than by deeds and effort and service.”

In his turn, Covenant nodded. “Well, yes.” More than once, he had tried to explain himself to the Haruchai; but somehow he had failed to grasp the question implicit in their notions of service. “Grief and regret. What else is there? Those are just other names for love. You can’t feel bad about losing something if you don’t love it first. And if you don’t love, why else would you bother to do anything at all?”


If that's not an explanation of what Covenant (and SRD) believes defines self worth, then I don't know what I've been reading all these years. Pride (self) is the root of all evil, but love (selfless) is other-oriented, outward-reaching. If we love the right way, forgetting ourselves, we add true meaning to our lives. We discover who we truly are. Agape is the right term, Lurch, and the Greeks didn't invent the notion of sacrificial love.

Lurch wrote:
Quote:

"One's self ... isn't to be sacrificed for ... self worth?"


Really? Think about it, who/what are the most important things to us? Wouldn't we give all we have for their good? And if we refused to, what does that say about us? Isn't that how we should be measured, by what we measure out to others, how much we love. That's self worth. TC now understands this, as do Branl and Stave. The Haruchais' form of service was really just another form of pride, since it was offered to fulfill their self imposed sense of duty. But it is now offered out of friendship, trust and respect, and that gives special meaning to a life.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
Self sacrifice is not the epitome of self worth. No, it is not.

Well, that's not quite what I said. I said, "If one judges oneself by "deeds and effort and service", then self-sacrifice would be the epitome of self-worth, right?" It includes a signficant precondition. Anyway, that's my take on the [former] Haruchai position.

Dondarion wrote:
The Haruchais' form of service was really just another form of pride, since it was offered to fulfill their self imposed sense of duty. But it is now offered out of friendship, trust and respect, and that gives special meaning to a life.

That's about how I see it. You can sacrifice for what you love, or you can sacrifice for the worth derived the deed. The latter it seems to me, you do for yourself.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Upright spears, flamberges, staves...oh my, such stiff tension in this chapter! And I see ‘tis not merely me caught in the spell of an estrogen rush. Branl’s extra-overcompensation with that brand...I would have surmised that the Haruchai sufficed as they stood. However, times change, and one must adapt...

Quote:
While I still consider Stave to be the greatest of the Haruchai (even more so than Brinn or Bannor), I really began to appreciate the character of Branl in this chapter, because of this scene.

I agree!

Enjoyed reading through the discussion, not much to add. Except for this: If the inhabitants of the Land now learn from those arriving from the outside, how would you think this might influence the theory of the realm of cutesy star-browed horsies and treasure-berries being a dream?
I judge the Land real, but some yet dissent...
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