(urth) mind body problem in the sun books

Nathan Spears spearofsolomon at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 3 06:43:48 PST 2004

> As for as the inhumi are concerned, with them, it is seems they are stealing both 
> the personality and the soul (if they are seperate entities), I think Horn says 
> they 
> are stealing both at some point.  But that is as if personae and souls are fluids 
> which are infinitely dissectable, so that if I get a drop of your
> you're not less of a person but I'm a person now.  I don't know if this is a good 
> example either. This is much more mystical or rather "magical" than anything which
> has 
> come before and doesn't seem to bear as much on the A.I. debate.  If anyone can 
> explain this in terms of the chems and Severian's multiple selves I'd appreciate

I think you're right about the Wolfe's mystical take of the problem.  The scene that
comes foremost to my mind is in the tomb of Apu Panchu; the aliens have resurrected
Severian from a scan of him (I presume) and they tell him not to approach another
version of himself, explaining with the lines in the sand (like Jesus?) what will
happen.  Anyway, this seems to fit your fluid analogy pretty well, if you want to
think about the merging of the Severians like two drops of water coming together to
form a drop of water.  I agree with you that it's very puzzling to try and make out
what Wolfe thinks establishes unique identity; perhaps he's trying to tell us that
it's not as important as we insist it is.

> Also, why is Oreb four feet tall in Horn's dreams???????????? 

Perhaps it's because he's inhabited by one of the gods, but the persona can't
express itself fully.  He's either a little person or a huge bird.

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