Ixthos

Renarin's name - what I'm hoping Brandon ISN'T doing

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*WARNING: THIS TOPIC RELATES TO REAL WORLD RELIGION*

 

So, Renarin's name means "Like one who was born unto himself."

That sounds very similar to the Name of the LORD. God's Holy Name, His Covenant Name, is a declaration of eternal existence and self sufficiency. As such I hope Brandon isn't deliberately trying to imply anything about Renarin or his future role. I don't mind Renarin becoming a vessel for a shard - or even one of ten people collectively holding one/two/three shards. But I would really hate it if Brandon deliberately is using Renarin's name to reference God's Name, as that Name is sacred. I'm hoping Brandon is using it purely in the sense of Renarin being someone immune to future sight ("he was born to himself, his history and future are his own"), and if that is all of what Brandon meant I am all for that.

 

If anyone would like to discuss this topic please remember to be nice to one another and respect one another's beliefs - I know this is a potentially sensitive topic, and I'm nervous making this, but this is something that has bothered me for a while. I can appreciate if someone else who isn't a Christian or who isn't Jewish doesn't see the issue in this, but if you don't please remember that to myself and others this is a deeply personal part of who we are. Thank you, and I hope, whether or not anyone comments here, that anyone reading this has a great morning or night, or day or evening.

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I think it was more ment to highlight Evi's total misunderstanding of Alethi culture, as Dalinar thinks about how bad of a name it is.

I guess it's possible that Renarin becomes a vessel, but I seriously doubt it for several reasons.

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2 minutes ago, Frustration said:

I think it was more ment to highlight Evi's total misunderstanding of Alethi culture, as Dalinar thinks about how bad of a name it is.

I guess it's possible that Renarin becomes a vessel, but I seriously doubt it for several reasons.

I agree, though Brandon might be trying to do double duty, so showing Evi's misunderstanding while also foreshadowing something.

If you are up for it I'd be interested to hear why you don't think Renarin will become a vessel :-)

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2 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

If you are up for it I'd be interested to hear why you don't think Renarin will become a vessel :-)

Well if it were to happen at all it would be in the back five, but we already have people much more suitable for the shards in the back five with Lift and Taln. And I don't see him working with Odium.

WoK prime

Spoiler

Renarin made the Diagram and then died, sort of.

 

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9 minutes ago, Frustration said:

Well if it were to happen at all it would be in the back five, but we already have people much more suitable for the shards in the back five with Lift and Taln. And I don't see him working with Odium.

WoK prime

  Reveal hidden contents

Renarin made the Diagram and then died, sort of.

 

I agree it would be in the back five, but my theory for the future of the shards is that their power has to be distributed among a group with each member representing a part of the shard or shards involved (I made a theory about it a while back here: 

But even if that isn't taken into account we can still look to Mistborn for the possibility of the dead taking up a shard :-P It also looks like a lot of Brandon's original plans for the series have changed - how likely is it that WoK Prime spoilers:

Spoiler

Jasnah and a certain Herald will happen?

 

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11 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

But even if that isn't taken into account we can still look to Mistborn for the possibility of the dead taking up a shard :-P It also looks like a lot of Brandon's original plans for the series have changed - how likely is it that WoK Prime spoilers:

  Reveal hidden contents

Jasnah and a certain Herald will happen?

 

It will 

Long WoBs you can skip to highlights

Spoiler

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Seventeen

As I was working on the annotation for last week’s chapter, I realized it was touching on something I wanted to talk about in a more substantive way. So I decided to put that annotation off and make a separate, longer and more in-depth, post about it. This WILL have some small spoilers for the book, specifically some things to do with Jasnah and her sexual identity. If you’d rather just read it as it comes up in the story, then I’d suggest you head away now--and you can come back to this in a month or two after you’ve read Rhythm of War.

However, good communication with fans--particularly when it comes to expectations--is something I consider a foundational principle of my career. During the beta read, I had the chance to get a glimpse of how readers might respond to some aspects of Jasnah, and at that time I determined I’d do a post like this before the book came out.

So, here’s the problem: through the course of the series, people have been asking me about Jasnah’s sexuality. Gay, Bi, Straight, other? I usually answer with some variation of the following: “Jasnah would prefer you focus on other aspects of her identity, rather than her sexuality.”

I said this for various reasons. First, I felt it is in line with the character, and what she would want. Second, I’ve avoided talking too much about Jasnah as a general rule, since I plan her to be a major (perhaps the major) character of the back five books, and so it’s best to keep focus off her for now. There will be plenty of time for discussions about her later. Third, I generally don’t force relationships upon my characters as I write. It depends on the character, of course. (Navani/Dalinar, for example, had a romance planned as a main part of their storyline.) But for many characters, I give myself wiggle room to see what I feel works best as the story develops.

The end result of me being vague on this, however, was that I seem to have led a lot of people to think I was playing the Brandon game of: “If he won’t say anything about a topic, it must be mysterious, and therefore something we should theorize on a ton!” This is, obviously, my own fault.

I’ve heard a lot of different things via email and in person from people that have made me realize that a lot of people are wanting some mutually exclusive things from the character in this regard. As I started work on this novel, I decided I should say something in the book in order to pull back the shroud on the mystery a little, as I never intended it to get as big as it did.

I tried a few different things to see what worked and was most genuine for the character. In the end, I settled on what I felt was best and most in-line with how I view Jasnah. For those who want to know, and I’ll put this next part behind extra spoilers. Jasnah is asexual, and currently heteroromantic. Her feelings on physical intimacy are very neutral, not something she's interested in for its own sake, but also not something she's opposed to doing for someone she cares about. I tried several different things with the character, and this is what really clicked with me--after getting some advice, suggestions, and help from some asexual readers.

One of the reasons I wanted to make this post is because I wanted to address some of the people who are going to be disappointed as I worry that I (by making her a blank slate in this regard) accidentally led a lot of people to theorize and attach ideas they wanted to her--and so I’ll inevitably disappoint these people. (Though, hopefully, others will find the depiction I ended up with in line with the characterization and with Jasnah’s overall character mode.)

For the main body of the annotation, I wanted to talk about how Jasnah came about, and my inspirations. So if you’ll forgive me for a moment, I want to walk you down that path--and I think it might explain some of why I ended up making the decision that I did.

When I was first working on the Stormlight Archive back in 2002, I decided early on that I wanted a character like Jasnah in the books, as I was dealing with some gender politics and social structures. (I actually pitched Jasnah to myself as “The woman Serene thinks she is.” No offense to Serene, she’s just young--and I wanted to take a stab at a true scholar and master of politics.)

This decision made, I dove into reading a lot of work from feminist authors--and made certain to talk to some of my feminist friends in depth about how to accomplish an accurate depiction. A lot of times, when I’m developing a character, one or two things will leap out at me from readings, and I’ll start to use that to make up the core of the personality. (Much like the idea of Kaladin came from the idea of a surgeon, trained to save people, being sent to war and being trained to kill.)

Jasnah’s atheism was one of these things--specifically I wanted a rationalist humanist character as a counterpoint to the very mythological setting I was developing with the Heralds. I was extremely excited by the opportunity to have a character who could offer the in-world scientific reasons why the things that are happening are happening.

At the same time, one key takeaway I got from these studies was this: several authors and friends be frustrated with the idea that often in media and discussion, people pretended that a feminist couldn’t also be feminine. As it was explained to me, “Saying you shouldn’t have to play into society’s rules for women shouldn’t also mean no women should ever decide to play into some of society’s rules for women.” It was about choice, and letting women decide--rather than letting society pressure them. This was central to my creation of Jasnah.

And so, fundamental to my view of the character is the need for me to not force her down any path, no matter how much some fans may want that path to be the right one. Jasnah being as I’ve written her was just RIGHT. I’ve always viewed her as sharing some aspects with myself, and one of those is the clinical way I approach some things that others approach emotionally. While I wouldn’t say I identify in the same way as her, this part of me is part of a seed for who she is and how she acts. And with help from betas, I think I found her true voice.

All of that said, the people I’m most sad to disappoint here are those who I know were hoping for Jasnah to be gay. Out of respect for these readers, and to be certain, I did try writing the character that way in this book--and I felt it didn’t quite fit. Obviously, this is a character, and not an actual person--and so it’s all a fabrication anyway. I could absolutely write Jasnah as gay, and it wouldn’t undermine any sense of choice for a real woman.

However, it didn’t feel authentic to me. Plus, now that Way of Kings Prime is out, you all can know that a relationship with a man (Taln) was a plot point to her initial characterization. (I can’t say that I’ll stick with this, to be honest. It will depend on a ton of factors.)

When I discussed all this all with a good friend of mine who is far more involved in feminist discourse and the LGBTQIA+ community, she suggested that I make Jasnah bisexual or biromantic. I resisted this because I knew the only planned relationship I had for her was with a man, and it felt disingenuous to try to imply this is how I see her. (Though, in your head canon, there’s certainly great arguments for this.) The problem is that Shallan is leaning very bi as I’ve written her more, but she’s in a relationship with a man. I don’t know if this is a big issue in fiction, but it would feel somehow wrong to for me to write a bunch of bisexual characters who all only engaged in relationships with people of the opposite gender. It feels I could do more damage than good by trying to pretend I’m being inclusive in this way, without actually giving true representation.

This all might beg another question: will there be other characters in the Stormlight Archive (or cosmere) who are LGBTQIA+. Yes. (Including major viewpoint characters.) However, I worry that by talking too much about that here, I would imply a tone where I’m trying too hard to deflect. (One person I chatted with about this warned me not to send the “wrong message that queer characters are like representation tokens that we can exchange for each other for equal credit.” I found that a very astute piece of advice.)

I am quite happy with Jasnah’s depiction in this book, and while I’m sorry she can’t be everything everyone wanted, I’m excited for her development as a character in the back five books. My promise to you remains the same: to make the Cosmere a place where I explore all aspects of the human experience. And a place that represents not just me, but as many different types of peoples and beliefs as I can--depicted the best I can as vibrant, dynamic characters.

Many thanks to those in the LGBTQIA+ community who have written to me with suggestions, criticisms, and support. And thanks to everyone for being patient with me, and this series, as I continue to shape it.

Rhythm of War Annotations (Nov. 2, 2020)

 

17th Shard

Originally, it was said Way of Kings Prime had spoilers for later Stormlight. But we've released it now. Why is that? Do you still feel it has spoilers, or do you think it's safe or fine?

Brandon Sanderson

I think it is fine, though it still has minor spoilers. The whole thread with Dalinar and Elhokar, I felt, was a pretty big spoiler. Because a very similar relationship played out in the published books, just with different results. I thought that one's a spoiler.

I felt that some of the Taln stuff is slight spoilers. But one of the things that worked passably well in Way of Kings Prime is the question of, "Is this guy a Herald, or is he crazy?" That was a central theme for him. And that whole arc got transposed to Dalinar. "Am I seeing visions, or am I crazy?" Whole thing got transposed, and I knew by the time I was into the actual published versions of the Stormlight Archive, I knew by then that I couldn't do the same thing with Taln. We'd already had a plot cycle like that, plus I was going to be introducing the Heralds, and it was going to be very clear that the Heralds are back and that the Voidbringers are here. And so the question of "Are the Voidbringers actually coming back? Were the Heralds real?" Thats, like, a major theme of Way of Kings Prime. And that cannot be a theme of the published version. And so, for a while, I was still holding onto the hope that maybe I can do something like this with Taln. And eventually, I said, "No, I just can't." It would be too repetitive and what-not, and that's part of what made me realize it's okay to release Way of Kings Prime. The stuff that happens to Taln is going to be so different from where I'm going to be taking him moving forward that it's okay.

There's still some minor, slight things that are still gonna show up, but it would be hard to pick out what those are. And when they happen in the actual series, you'd be like, "Oh, I can see the resonance of this to the original." Just like the Elhokar/Dalinar thing (which is more overt) resonates through that one into this one.

YouTube Livestream 12 (July 16, 2020)

 

 

 

11 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

I agree it would be in the back five, but my theory for the future of the shards is that their power has to be distributed among a group with each member representing a part of the shard or shards involved (I made a theory about it a while back here: 

 

I was more refering to just becoming a vessel, I suppose this is possible, just unlikly.

Edited by Frustration
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Renarin is the first (known) of a set of Radiants that use Odium's future sight against him.

Link to a previous post and my view how Renarin's future sight works and why I think it's Cultivation using Odium's future sight against him: 

 

I agree with Frustration that the name is more to add to Dalinar and Evi's relationship at the time than anything else. To call it foreshadowing is a bit much. "Like one who was born unto himself." could foreshadow any number of things. Is it foreshadowing Renarin being the one to take up the collected Shards of Adonalsium? I seriously doubt it. I also think Brandon is creating separations between Adonalsium and God, even going so far as to suggest there is another entity above Adonalsium (God Beyond). Adonalsium is a person with too much power, just as the Shards are being shown as people given too much power.

In short, I can't believe Brandon is setting any individual up to be an analogue of God, much less Renarin.

Quote

@Frustration

It will 

Long WoBs you can skip to highlights

 

 

Jasnah's relationship is with Wit. If she has another with a Herald, then Brandon has two relationships with men planned.

Edited by Leuthie
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@Leuthie and @Frustration there certainly are arguments to make as to whether it applies to Hoid or Taln, but as to the root statement - the elements in WoK prime carried through - we can also say, for example, that the Diargam's origins, Shallan's role, etc., are all different from the original plan.

@Leuthie, I hope you are right!

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Given that Brandon is himself a Christian, it seems very unlikely to me that he intends anything that would be remotely problematic for Christians.

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Just as a disclaimer I'm assuming you mean the name of God of the Abrahamic religions.

I did some research and found “He Who Makes That Which Has Been Made” and other similar names. Is that correct? 

If that is the case then I'll agree with the others that it's more likely that it's simply an effort to show that Evi didn't understand much of Alethi culture and was a bit dim. It was one of the few times we were shown this and not just told, so I'm considering it characterization more than anything.

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10 hours ago, AquaRegia said:

Given that Brandon is himself a Christian, it seems very unlikely to me that he intends anything that would be remotely problematic for Christians.

The problem is Brandon has steered very close to this already. Many times the Shards or tLR refer to themselves as God with a capitol G, Kelsier before his sacrifice deliberately paralleled certain traits of Yeshua, Jesus, and on Roshar one of the Fused also uses part of the Hebrew name for God, El, along with Adonalsium's name being a reference to the name used to prevent someone from actually saying God's Name. Brandon is a Mormon, and while I don't know every nuance of Mormon theology I do know that they have several key differences from most other Christian beliefs, such as believing God was once a man before becoming God, and while I could be mistaken I don't think they mean this in the sense of how Jesus took on humanity and became human (if there are any Mormons reading this could you perhaps clarify what that that phrase "as man now is etc." means?), which makes me nervous about how Brandon will approach this later.

 

6 hours ago, feruchemicalrockband said:

Just as a disclaimer I'm assuming you mean the name of God of the Abrahamic religions.

I did some research and found “He Who Makes That Which Has Been Made” and other similar names. Is that correct? 

If that is the case then I'll agree with the others that it's more likely that it's simply an effort to show that Evi didn't understand much of Alethi culture and was a bit dim. It was one of the few times we were shown this and not just told, so I'm considering it characterization more than anything.

I am referring to when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush: "I am who I am. Tell them I Am sent you."

In Hebrew it is spelt with four letters, Yod Hey Vav Hey.

I hope you are right about it being to show how Evi didn't understand, and also how Dalinar neglected her. If that were the case that would be a relief.

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I’m not a Christian, so I neither share nor completely understand your concerns.  Obviously, you are free to take or leave my thoughts on the matter to whatever degree you wish.  I do consider myself tolerant of the beliefs of others, and I try to be open-minded.  I’m also not an atheist; seems to me that taking the position “I’m sure there is no god” is every bit as presumptuous as saying “I’m sure my god is the one TRUE god.”  It makes sense to me than an infinite god, if there is one, will create/allow a variety of paths to spirituality.

Brandon has made it clear that one his motivations for writing fantasy is to explore how religion works to shape individuals and cultures.  What he has accomplished so far - most clearly on Roshar and Scadrial - has been absolutely amazing.  The variety of religious beliefs which is represented is stunning.  And the simple fact is that when different cultures, sects, or characters have differing religious beliefs, some will contradict others.  What is holy to one will be heresy to another; your orthodoxy may be my blasphemy.  I think that’s part of what he is trying to explore in all his work.  He is certainly drawing intentional religious parallels between his fictional universe and the one we live in… and that includes intolerance, idolatry, heresy, and the very concept of divinity.

The Cosmere is a fictional universe, presumably one in which Jesus and Christianity do not exist.  My hope is that readers do not cause themselves trouble by inserting their “real-world” ideas of heresy to this work of imagination.   Should we be dismayed by the lack of Jehovah or Allah in the Lord of the Rings?  Should we ban Harry Potter for being “antichristian”?  I think such reactions demonstrate, in the real world, the very kinds of strife Brandon is warning us about in his novels.  The trappings of religion - what words you say or DON'T say, what clothes you wear, how names are spelled, whether a word has a capital letter or not - are all really just trivial details compared to the spiritual and emotional reasons that religions exist.

Dalinar’s god, the god of Vorinism, was a combination of the Shard Honor and a man, Tanavast, who is now dead.  Yet Dalinar continues to believe in a God Beyond.  We’ve already seen multiple (human) characters in the Cosmere become the origin of a new religion.  In the same way, every single form of religious practice on Earth today has individual humans at its start, yet each of them also claims “divine” origin.  Is it not possible that all our different ways of worship are really connected to “God Beyond”?  Different paths, same destination?  Let’s not get bent out of shape by someone taking a different path.  If your path is working for you, why does it matter if someone else capitalizes a G?

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Brandon is himself religious, so I doubt that he wouldn't be aware of sensitive issues when it comes to touching upon religion.

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1 hour ago, AquaRegia said:

I’m not a Christian, so I neither share nor completely understand your concerns.  Obviously, you are free to take or leave my thoughts on the matter to whatever degree you wish.  I do consider myself tolerant of the beliefs of others, and I try to be open-minded.  I’m also not an atheist; seems to me that taking the position “I’m sure there is no god” is every bit as presumptuous as saying “I’m sure my god is the one TRUE god.”  It makes sense to me than an infinite god, if there is one, will create/allow a variety of paths to spirituality.

Brandon has made it clear that one his motivations for writing fantasy is to explore how religion works to shape individuals and cultures.  What he has accomplished so far - most clearly on Roshar and Scadrial - has been absolutely amazing.  The variety of religious beliefs which is represented is stunning.  And the simple fact is that when different cultures, sects, or characters have differing religious beliefs, some will contradict others.  What is holy to one will be heresy to another; your orthodoxy may be my blasphemy.  I think that’s part of what he is trying to explore in all his work.  He is certainly drawing intentional religious parallels between his fictional universe and the one we live in… and that includes intolerance, idolatry, heresy, and the very concept of divinity.

The Cosmere is a fictional universe, presumably one in which Jesus and Christianity do not exist.  My hope is that readers do not cause themselves trouble by inserting their “real-world” ideas of heresy to this work of imagination.   Should we be dismayed by the lack of Jehovah or Allah in the Lord of the Rings?  Should we ban Harry Potter for being “antichristian”?  I think such reactions demonstrate, in the real world, the very kinds of strife Brandon is warning us about in his novels.  The trappings of religion - what words you say or DON'T say, what clothes you wear, how names are spelled, whether a word has a capital letter or not - are all really just trivial details compared to the spiritual and emotional reasons that religions exist.

Dalinar’s god, the god of Vorinism, was a combination of the Shard Honor and a man, Tanavast, who is now dead.  Yet Dalinar continues to believe in a God Beyond.  We’ve already seen multiple (human) characters in the Cosmere become the origin of a new religion.  In the same way, every single form of religious practice on Earth today has individual humans at its start, yet each of them also claims “divine” origin.  Is it not possible that all our different ways of worship are really connected to “God Beyond”?  Different paths, same destination?  Let’s not get bent out of shape by someone taking a different path.  If your path is working for you, why does it matter if someone else capitalizes a G?

Those are all valid viewpoints, and I can appreciate your stance. And make no mistake, Brandon is my favourite living author, and I even like a lot of what he writes more than many other authors whose works I enjoy who are dead. His handling of different religions is something I appreciate, and I enjoy the diversity of belief his characters have and how he portrays them - I think he does an amazing job. I also can appreciate your own view, on the idea that claiming to follow the one true faith can be or be seen to be arrogant, though I think that same logic, when applied to other things, doesn't hold up (I am someone who believes my religion has verifiable proof, i.e. it is rational , but I can respect that not everyone would agree with the evidence or think it is enough, for all that we would then be in disagreement).

With that said, and with regards to the potential issues, it does come down to two big points however. The first, fundamentally, comes down to whether or not you can grok the idea of sacred, and so if someone then takes something sacred and then debases it, intentionally or not. If you can understand the idea of sacred and what it means to someone, which you may have in some form in your own life, just not religiously sacred, then you can understand why, seeing an author who I respect and whose stories I enjoy, doing something that makes me uncomfortable would be offputting. The second is that, as a Christian, I know the Cosmere isn't set in this universe, but I believe that, to put it crudely, it still is a part of God's domain - i.e. the series might not have God or Jesus acknowledged in it, it doesn't have an Earth which God created Adam on, but it also doesn't have you in it, and if the stories disrespected you that might be a problem for you, and your mind still exists over the series also. He still exists over the series, especially if the God Beyond is a reference to Him. To put it another way, God is still God even in the Cosmere, even if the Cosmere doesn't mention Him, which it actually might as referenced by the God Beyond.

Capitol G for God is universally acknowledged as a reference to the supreme God, while lower case g means the idea of a god in general. In setting I can get why they do it, but it still makes me uncomfortable, much in the same way someone in a book who is a psychopath being referred to as [real person's name] would make [real person] uncomfortable, like when Michael Crichton named a character in one of his books after a critic.

I hope that makes my views a little clearer. Also, if any of this came across as rude or condescending I hope you know that wasn't intended. I try to be very careful when responding to this sort of thing, and I know how easy it is to react to strongly or misunderstand someone. I hope you know I appreciate your points, as they are good ones.

 

5 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Brandon is himself religious, so I doubt that he wouldn't be aware of sensitive issues when it comes to touching upon religion.

I hope you are right! I like Brandon and what he writes, its just the creeping paranoia someone can get that something is going to fall off a tight rope.

Edited by Ixthos
correct Crichton's name, and of to off
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Also in Renarin's specific case, within the Cosmere: Shards are seen by some as gods but not everyone, others see them as pieces of the real god Adonalsium, others see them as just powerful beings, believing in the God Beyond, who's supposed to parallel capital-G God, whose existence or inexistence Brandon does not intent to confirm, like the question of the afterlife / Beyond or the exact nature of the soul & Cognitive Shadows. Different religions have different interpretations of God/gods and goddesses, which the work is supposed to reflect, including atheism, who technically speaking just believe in one (or three-in-one) Gods less than you. People are allowed to express and explore their beliefs, including authors.

Also, personally I thought of the Ouroboros when I heard the meaning of Renarin's name.

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1 minute ago, Honorless said:

including atheism, who technically speaking just believe in one (or three-in-one) Gods less than you. People are allowed to express and explore their beliefs, including authors

I really want to keep this on topic, I'm just finding the urge to correct that view a little hard to resist :-P I, and a few other Christians, actually can't have that applied to us, as I believe the gods of other people WERE or ARE beings, but not the true God - i.e. there is a unique qualification to be God that none of them have, and being worshipped isn't enough, but they are beings created by God and appointed over the nations (see Deuteronomy 32:8), and so are real, but worship (a function of the spirit) is not owed to them. They were worshipped, and were called gods, but they were unworthy of that title.

Complete side note, but I did have to say it.

 

I agree Brandon can do whatever he likes in his books, I'm only saying I hope he doesn't do this because it would make me every uncomfortable and it also would make me worry for him. To put it another way, think of a topic that makes you uncomfortable, and imagine Brandon putting that in his books. I am not saying "how DARE Brandon do this!", but rather, "please don't do this Brandon! It would really bother me if you did."

Again, Brandon is free to do what he wants, I just hope he doesn't do this.

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Wait, @Ixthos, so how do you rationalize other faiths:

All beliefs are somehow true for their respective believers

All religions unknowingly worship the same god, just in different ways

There is one true religion, all others are false/misled, which one it is will be revealed eventually

Something else entirely? 

Edited by Honorless
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Just now, Honorless said:

Wait, @Ixthos, so how do you rationalize other faiths:

All beliefs are somehow true for their respective believers

All religions unknowingly worship the same god, just in different ways

There is one true religion, all others are false/misled

Something else entirely? 

Mixture of the last three. This is a big topic, and I'd be happy to discuss it in full either via PM or in the General Discussion section, but in brief

  • God created the universe and humanity, and other spiritual beings (the Sons of God)
  • Mankind repeatedly fell (Adam and Eve, Cain and Lamech, the Nephilim, Babel), so God gave humanity to the Sons of God so the Sons of God would rule over them, but He chose Abraham's line to be the method of bringing all of humanity back to Him again - i.e. being assigned to other gods was a temporary thing
  • Thus the Sons of God - and later deified ancestors and conflations between angelic powers, ancestors, and God - became the gods worships by others across the world, though some elements of and knowledge of God remained
  • (Also, another massive topic by itself, worship is a function of a person's spirit. This is a personal belief of mine, but I think humans have three bodies in two worlds (something that facisnated me about Brandon's writing is it matched something I had believed before I read what he wrote), the bodies being the physical body, the soul, and the spirit. This is esoteric and I think trying to focus on this can be a distraction from focusing on God. I think this is the case though
    • Physical body three types of organs: organs of sensing (eyes, ears, skin), organs of being (stomach, heart, lungs), organs of actuation (muscles)
    • Soul (merger of physical and spiritual): organs of sensing (intellect), organs of being (emotions), organs of actuation (will)
    • Spirit: organs of sensing (intuition), organs of being (conscience), organs of actuation (worship)
  • Going into detail would take a long time, but in general spiritual things and physical coincide in some ways.)
  • The gods worshipped by other cultures aren't worthy of being gods - aren't worthy of worship - but they do exist. There are some legends that are true, some that are false, some that are misremembered, and all tie to the common ancestry of humanity

 

Also, completely forgot from your previous post:

25 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Also, personally I thought of the Ouroboros when I heard the meaning of Renarin's name.

I hadn't thought of it like that, but that could also tie into the idea of his name signifying a separation from shardic future sight - his ending is fully under his own control.

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46 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

Mixture of the last three. This is a big topic, and I'd be happy to discuss it in full either via PM or in the General Discussion section, but in brief

  • God created the universe and humanity, and other spiritual beings (the Sons of God)
  • Mankind repeatedly fell (Adam and Eve, Cain and Lamech, the Nephilim, Babel), so God gave humanity to the Sons of God so the Sons of God would rule over them, but He chose Abraham's line to be the method of bringing all of humanity back to Him again - i.e. being assigned to other gods was a temporary thing
  • Thus the Sons of God - and later deified ancestors and conflations between angelic powers, ancestors, and God - became the gods worships by others across the world, though some elements of and knowledge of God remained
  • (Also, another massive topic by itself, worship is a function of a person's spirit. This is a personal belief of mine, but I think humans have three bodies in two worlds (something that facisnated me about Brandon's writing is it matched something I had believed before I read what he wrote), the bodies being the physical body, the soul, and the spirit. This is esoteric and I think trying to focus on this can be a distraction from focusing on God. I think this is the case though
    • Physical body three types of organs: organs of sensing (eyes, ears, skin), organs of being (stomach, heart, lungs), organs of actuation (muscles)
    • Soul (merger of physical and spiritual): organs of sensing (intellect), organs of being (emotions), organs of actuation (will)
    • Spirit: organs of sensing (intuition), organs of being (conscience), organs of actuation (worship)
  • Going into detail would take a long time, but in general spiritual things and physical coincide in some ways.)
  • The gods worshipped by other cultures aren't worthy of being gods - aren't worthy of worship - but they do exist. There are some legends that are true, some that are false, some that are misremembered, and all tie to the common ancestry of humanity

Thanks for indulging me, religion can be a sticky topic to talk about. That... is a bit presumptuous and potentially offensive, but all Abrahamic religions seem to have that one true religion bit. Some other major religions like Hinduism just subsume other beliefs. Hmm... just be nice if someone with a more personal faith / not devout / non scripture adherent / irreligious / atheistic / other sects, etc expresses their beliefs and interpretations of Brandon's work?

Edited by Honorless
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17 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Thanks for indulging me, religion can be a sticky topic to talk about. That... is a bit presumptuous and potentially offensive, but all Abrahamic religions seem to have that one true religion bit. Some other major religions like Hinduism just subsume other beliefs

[Edit] You are welcome :-) [/Edit]

Fair enough :-) I know this can be a sticky topic as you put it, though unfortuanity when it comes to belief everyone has to think that those who believe differently are, if not wrong, then off the mark, otherwise we would all share the same beliefs. The key is to remember to respect the person, if not the belief. Avoid conflict with others as much as is possible.

 

17 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Hmm... just be nice if someone with a more personal faith / not devout / non scripture adherent / irreligious / atheistic / other sects, etc expresses their beliefs and interpretations of Brandon's work?

I thought I was being nice :-P I do agree with you on this. The main thing is to remember that, all other differences aside, we are all people and should love one another and care for one another, even if we disagree. No one on this planet is exactly the same as anyone else, no one thinks the exact same way, but we are all still people, and all deserve care and compassion.

Edited by Ixthos
forgot to say you are welcome! Sorry!
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12 hours ago, Ixthos said:

Brandon is a Mormon, and while I don't know every nuance of Mormon theology I do know that they have several key differences from most other Christian beliefs, such as believing God was once a man before becoming God, and while I could be mistaken I don't think they mean this in the sense of how Jesus took on humanity and became human (if there are any Mormons reading this could you perhaps clarify what that that phrase "as man now is etc." means?), which makes me nervous about how Brandon will approach this later.

Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints right here for you.

So we believe that at one point God was once a man, like we are now, and lived on a world of a different God, and one day when we die, we have the potential through our diligence and service to him that we can become God's and make worlds of our own. If that makes since.

So it's like a family tree of Gods.

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3 minutes ago, Frustration said:

Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints right here for you.

So we believe that at one point God was once a man, like we are now, and lived on a world of a different God, and one day when we die, we have the potential through our diligence and service to him that we can become God's and make worlds of our own. If that makes since.

So it's like a family tree of Gods.

I've always liked that core tenet of human potential for the divine.

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No, I certainly did not think anything you said came across as rude or condescending - I hope my essay also did not seem so.

I personally don't feel anything is "sacred", at least, not in the way I understand others to use that word.  So I wouldn't find anything to be "profane" or "blasphemous" or any such value judgement.  There are things I don't like, but I'm OK with other people liking them.  THIS part of your response, however, really did help me understand where you are coming from:

3 hours ago, Ixthos said:

... I know the Cosmere isn't set in this universe, but I believe that, to put it crudely, it still is a part of God's domain - i.e. the series might not have God or Jesus acknowledged in it, it doesn't have an Earth which God created Adam on, but it also doesn't have you in it, and if the stories disrespected you that might be a problem for you, and your mind still exists over the series also.

You sparked in my mind an analogy between how religion is perceived in the novels and how representation of minority groups is perceived.  There have been a fair number of discussions here recently about representation, some quite heated.  For a reader who is gay, for example, the ways in which gay characters are shown is both intensely personal and extremely important.  Same for characters who are neurodivergent, non-gender-binary, have physical disabilities... the list is impressive.  One might argue, as I attempted to, that "well, it's not OUR world, so who cares how those characters are represented?"  But, of course, the experiences of those characters AS PEOPLE must resonate with OUR OWN human experience - otherwise, the story just isn't engaging.  So, of course, it IS important.  I see now that for a religious person like yourself, the way religion is handled is every bit as important, and you can't just "let it slide".  Thanks for taking the time and effort to explain.

Your final point remains true - Brandon gets to write what he wants, the way he wants.  But we can HOPE he does a good job with the things we find important.  I think he will.

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21 hours ago, Frustration said:

Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints right here for you.

So we believe that at one point God was once a man, like we are now, and lived on a world of a different God, and one day when we die, we have the potential through our diligence and service to him that we can become God's and make worlds of our own. If that makes since.

So it's like a family tree of Gods.

Ahhh, thanks :-) that does make sense, though that is problematic for me from a theological perspective, but I think I understand that statement more fully now. Thank you :-)

(This has generated new questions for me about certain other aspects of LDS (should I use that term instead?) theology relating to the family tree of God theology - do you mind if I ask you some more questions later on the same vein? Thank you again though!)

 

20 hours ago, AquaRegia said:

No, I certainly did not think anything you said came across as rude or condescending - I hope my essay also did not seem so.

I personally don't feel anything is "sacred", at least, not in the way I understand others to use that word.  So I wouldn't find anything to be "profane" or "blasphemous" or any such value judgement.  There are things I don't like, but I'm OK with other people liking them.  THIS part of your response, however, really did help me understand where you are coming from:

You sparked in my mind an analogy between how religion is perceived in the novels and how representation of minority groups is perceived.  There have been a fair number of discussions here recently about representation, some quite heated.  For a reader who is gay, for example, the ways in which gay characters are shown is both intensely personal and extremely important.  Same for characters who are neurodivergent, non-gender-binary, have physical disabilities... the list is impressive.  One might argue, as I attempted to, that "well, it's not OUR world, so who cares how those characters are represented?"  But, of course, the experiences of those characters AS PEOPLE must resonate with OUR OWN human experience - otherwise, the story just isn't engaging.  So, of course, it IS important.  I see now that for a religious person like yourself, the way religion is handled is every bit as important, and you can't just "let it slide".  Thanks for taking the time and effort to explain.

Your final point remains true - Brandon gets to write what he wants, the way he wants.  But we can HOPE he does a good job with the things we find important.  I think he will.

You are welcome, and thank you also :-) sacred does seem to be difficult to relate to other non-religious concepts, but I think you got to the heart of it with comparisons to the idea of minorities of all types and representation / portrayal. Dealing with sacred does cover a little more, in that it isn't just how it feels to me and to others but also like watching someone doing something dangerous to themselves, like someone walking along a tightrope and then doing cartwheels, only you aren't actually seeing them do it but hearing the sounds from the other room so you can't tell if they are or aren't, but as a general rule I think your take on it is an effective summary.

I think you and I are in complete agreement then on that last point :-) ultimately Brandon has to do what he feels is best for the story, and so far he has been doing an amazing job of balancing ideas and portraying various difficult topics.

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16 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

Ahhh, thanks :-) that does make sense, though that is problematic for me from a theological perspective, but I think I understand that statement more fully now. Thank you :-)

(This has generated new questions for me about certain other aspects of LDS (should I use that term instead?) theology relating to the family tree of God theology - do you mind if I ask you some more questions later on the same vein? Thank you again though!)

Sure ask away.

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