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Reading Runes: A Tale of Two Cosmologies
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As was mentioned in another thread (probably a few) it seems to be generally accepted that good cannot exist without evil, everything has an equal and opposite reaction. This would then support what you said Wayfriend, abuot not being able to destroy Despite. Of course then you could argue, Why is the Creator not within the Arch/Earth? Is it because there are other forces equal to the Despiser and his minions so the Creator's presence is unneccesary? Perhaps the Creator is actually more powerful than Foul and as such his presence within the Arch would upset the carefully maintained balance of good and evil. If Foul is necessary does it even follow that he is evil? The natural destructive forces within the Earth are not inherently evil they just are.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KAY1 wrote:
If Foul is necessary does it even follow that he is evil? The natural destructive forces within the Earth are not inherently evil they just are.


A good question, and one I have raised before, I think. It's not so much that he is a natural force though, as that he is trapped, and IIRC, apparently in some form of agony brought about by that trap. He has exactly one goal in mind, and that is to free himself.

How evil could that make you? If you were (unjustly?) trapped by your enemy, what wouldn't you do to get yourself free?

--A
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, although Foul's nature may be something which is found naturally his presence his physical self do not belong within the Arch. It is like an overload of evil. Outside the Arch I assume he and the Creator were fairly evenly matched but with him inside the Arch the balance has been disturbed, hence the arrival of Covenant to redress it.

To be honest Foul got himself into this mess by interfering with the Creator's design so he should just shut up and put up now.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KAY1 wrote:
To be honest Foul got himself into this mess by interfering with the Creator's design so he should just shut up and put up now.


LOL

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing lol it's true though! If he hadn't been so intent on messing up the Creator's little hobby he would've been free to roam the universe instead of being trapped.

I bet if he did ever get free and the Creator made another world he would probably mess with that as well. Some people never learn.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
KAY1 wrote:
If Foul is necessary does it even follow that he is evil? The natural destructive forces within the Earth are not inherently evil they just are.


A good question, and one I have raised before, I think. It's not so much that he is a natural force though, as that he is trapped, and IIRC, apparently in some form of agony brought about by that trap. He has exactly one goal in mind, and that is to free himself.

How evil could that make you? If you were (unjustly?) trapped by your enemy, what wouldn't you do to get yourself free?

--A

This goes towards what I think will be so fascinating about the Final Chronicles. For, if the author's own words are true, the series will explore Foul as a character with motives and desires, strengths and weaknesses. He will be give what Donaldson calls dignity of character.

But at the same time, Foul is also archetypal evil, the demiurge of destructiveness which lies at the heart of creation. In that sense, he's not even a person, he's a component of creation itself.

What can it be like to be both a person and a component of creation at the same time?

As it happens, we know someone very well who now finds himself in the same boat. Wink I anticipate some "sympathy for the devil" in the remaining three books.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Your enemy is never evil in his own eyes.

--A
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think with Foul it is more of a superiority complex. He thinks he is better than everyone else. Also, his sole goal is to free himself from the Arch so everyone on the Earth is insignificant to him. He would do anything to attain his goal. His Ravers are under the impression they would be free with him but as they were created or born within the Arch I think they may be a little disappointed if it ever happened!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is that from Foul's point of view, as was said before and stated by SRD himself, he was unjustly and unfairly trapped in the Land's Earth, and (probably) diminished as a result. It is also fair to assume that no matter how large the Land's Earth is, to Foul it's nothing more than an oubliette: if you had all the cosmos to roam free, and were trapped instead on a little world, no matter how big, the confinement would be intolerable - all the more because this is not your natural state, but rather an imposed state. You were not intended to be trapped on any single world.

So, basically, Foul likely feels very much like we would if we were trapped in an oubliette full of tiny mice. The mice can't kill us, but do we care that much about them, when we know that we should be free, running around the meadows and fields, and we're instead confined to a small, dark hole? Even if we survived the unavoidable encroaching madness, we would very likely be raging against our bonds almost all the time, and envying the mice for their freedom. Now imagine we were told that someday a mouse will enter the oubliette carrying the key to the trapdoor strapped on its little chest. The mouse arrives, but all the other mice protect it at every turn from your attempts to grab it and take the key off it. At that point, either you kill all the mice and get the key, or you entice the key-bearing mouse so that it will come to you of its own will and you can take the key then. Then, once you get the key, you can open the trapdoor and go free.

All this is complicated by the fact that the key-bearing mouse is supposed to give you the key willingly, and that the only way for you to open the trapdoor is destroy the whole oubliette. Of course, you could also argue that, even if it weren't necessary to destroy the oubliette, you would do it anyway because you hate it (since it was your prison for a long, long time).

I think that's a rough, but fair assessment of how Foul might feel. But the question about whether his Despite came from his imprisonment or vice versa is intriguing; it is possibly a closed circle - he is Despite, but being trapped only increases his rage and feeds his Despite itself.

Interesting... for all we know, the Creator and Foul might be very similar, and Foul himself could be a Creator somewhere else. Perhaps he looked upon the Creator's handiwork and couldn't resist working on it himself, and the Creator locked him up in a fit of jealousy...

Oh, and btw, I always imagined that the reason why the Creator couldn't affect the Land wasvery simple... having created the Land's Earth, he had to be outside of it to do so; once he placed the Arch of Time (as a "dome", let's say), he was outside the dome and the Land was inside. If he tried to reach the Land, he would have to break the dome - break the Arch of Time.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. It could be that the Creator himself isn't exactly 'good'. Foul himself has been known to 'help out' when it serves his ends.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the theory would be that, if Foul and the Creator are equals, that does not mean that each of them has a definite, irrevocable role to play in the cosmos: given what the Creator himself said to Covenant at the end of the FC ("Why should creators despair? If he despairs, he can go on and create another world"), it is possible that the Land's world is itself in a cosmos where many other such worlds exist, some of which were made by the Creator, and perhaps some by Foul. This doesn't necessarily mean that Foul could be a benevolent creator: his worlds could just as well be horrible hells (akin to the way he depicted the Land's world in the a-Jeroth tale). But the gist of it is that if Foul is the Creator's equal, and the above theory is correct, then there could be worlds of which Foul is the Creator, and the Land's Creator is either just a mythical "nemesis" figure or something similar to that.

Heh, thought associations... I suddenly got the urge to wonder - what if the Land's Creator were trapped in Covenant's world much in a similar fashion as Foul in the Land's world? Perhaps in a different way, without Arches of Time?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somewhat related.

In the Gradual Interview was wrote wrote:
Daniel: In the TC Chronicles, why the different spellings of Weird/Wurd/etc.? How, as an author, do you choose which to spell when?

Thanks for the opportunity to communicate with you.

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The words are all spelled so that they sound similar because I want the reader to know that the concepts are related to each other. The words are spelled differently because each race (e.g. ur-viles, Elohim) has its own unique understanding/interpretation of the concept. And as the author, I hope I keep them straight when I'm writing about those races (e.g. Weird for ur-viles and Waynhim, not for Elohim).

(03/13/2006)


This goes somewhat towards the idea that the Elohim "Würd" and the Demondom-spawn "weird" are similar. Apparently, they are unique understanding/interpretations of the same basic concept.

(It's kind of weird how this came up twice recently after literally being unmentioned for decades.)
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, my view is that while creating a conscious being it's a natural thing to pass on some of one's worldview.

The ur-viles and the Waynhim were made by the Demondim. The Demondim were made by the Viles. I've been thinking that the Viles were Elohim and would therefore shared the Würd. I would guess that the Viles were made different from the Elohim by the interpretation of their Würd, much like later happened to the ur-viles and the Waynhim. I think the Demondim have their own destiny-thing too. As for what it would be called, I don't really know but I'm guessing the Wyrd.

I suppose the passing-along has been imperfect making the concept only related, not the same, even though both the ur-viles and the Elohim were able to contribute to the Staff of Law. I think there is both copy-error involved, as well as the earlier forms drifting away from the original interpretation while their spawn remained more true. I think the difference and conflict between Würd variants is a potentially interesting plotline.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KAY1 wrote:
Laughing lol it's true though! If he hadn't been so intent on messing up the Creator's little hobby he would've been free to roam the universe instead of being trapped.

I bet if he did ever get free and the Creator made another world he would probably mess with that as well. Some people never learn.


I got it! The Creator exploited the 10000+ years in which Foul was trapped in the Land to frantically create as many worlds as possible and place them under little Arches of Time, so that by the time Foul gets free, he won't have any chance to taint them Wink So when he hurls himself at the Creator, he'll be answered, "sorry bud, too late!"...
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good lord! A very nice thread and some wonderful dicussion. How ever, I think some one needs a date and the initials are Wayfriend! J/K nicely laid out there so simple minds like mine can get it.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buckarama wrote:
How ever, I think some one needs a date and the initials are Wayfriend!

Heh. I've been saying that to my wife for years now. Wink But thanks.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
Buckarama wrote:
How ever, I think some one needs a date and the initials are Wayfriend!

Heh. I've been saying that to my wife for years now. Wink But thanks.


*snicker*

Flowers and candy man they work everytime!

And I know! I have been married twice! Shocked

Yeah, yeah, every couple of years I find a girl I can't live with and buy her a house,...... Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Foul is also archetypal evil, the demiurge of destructiveness which lies at the heart of creation. In that sense, he's not even a person, he's a component of creation itself.


Perhaps SRD's thoughts in the Gap series can shed some light here. Remember what he said about chaos and order? BOTH are necessary for progress, for creation. Pure order is stagnation. Creation is necessarily chaotic--it shakes up the old order. Creation entails destruction, because the introduction of novelty is done at the expense of the what has gone before. You can't create something new--whether it be a worldview, a work of art, or a child--without irrecoverably altering/disrupting the previous worldview, the blank canvas, or the lives of the parents.

Or another way to say it: Life cannot exist without death.

Foul isn't necessarily evil, just because he's a "necessary evil." It depends entirely upon your perspective. Is entropy evil? Is mortality evil? To answer yes is to be in denial of reality.

Quote:
although Foul's nature may be something which is found naturally his presence his physical self do not belong within the Arch.


No, no, no, he DOES belong within the Arch. Just because he wants out doesn't mean he shouldn't be there. His urge to be "free" is just the urge to destroy the present order--the end to which chaos naturally tends.

Foul is like the continuous push of entropy in our little pockets of protected order. The natural state of the universe is for everything to run down and wear out. We may, through our efforts, sustain little areas of order (such as the Land), but this is always at a cost of more disorder to the universe in general. Foul's urge to be released is just the natural pressure of entropic debt that must be paid.[/i]
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malik23 wrote:
No, no, no, he DOES belong within the Arch. Just because he wants out doesn't mean he shouldn't be there. His urge to be "free" is just the urge to destroy the present order--the end to which chaos naturally tends.

Yes, that's the implication if Foul is indeed part of the ur-myth.

I'm on the fence about this myself.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like SRD answered this in the GI:

Quote:
The Arch of Time *is* a prison for Lord Foul because he is an atemporal (eternal; unfettered by time, causality, or sequence) being who is forced to exist temporally, and who cannot--at present--return to his natural state. Such an “unrealistic” state of affairs is only possible in a work of fiction.


So Foul does NOT belong in the Land: he is indeed an entity from "outside" who finds himself trapped within the Land. And, from SRD's description above, we can even draw a comparison that could help us understand Foul: for an eternal being unfettered by time, causality or sequence, finding himself forced to exist temporally, and to follow the rules of cause and sequence, must be a horrifying agony - to make a very weak comparison, imagine if people took you and fit you into a luggage in which you are forced to stay bent on yourself, without any ability to move beyond the limitations imposed by the luggage or to affect the luggage itself enough to free yourself by your own will: Foul must feel much the same way (albeit orders of magnitude worse) - his entire nature is constrained by the Law of the Earth.
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