(urth) just in case anyone was wondering

Stanis³aw Bocian sbocian at poczta.fm
Sun Dec 5 14:03:31 PST 2004

Saturday, December 4, 2004, 2:59:45 AM, James Wynn wrote:

JW> That's what I'm trying to say. Wolfe's general story-telling from Fifth
JW> Head, Latro, and the Sun cycle could legitimately lead one to think that
JW> Wolfe sees the soul as pure information. But a few key statements in LS and
JW> SS and now The Wizard Knight lead me to believe that Wolfe probably
JW> *actually* considers the soul to be *somehow* transcendent* of matter. If
JW> the soul were not transcendent to the medium then the soul would not
JW> typically "leave the body" when it was no longer useful as the Narrator of
JW> the SS says it does.

JW> Nor would Gylf's death be significantly different from Mani's in that Mani's
JW> soul would die when the cat does (because Mani is the merger of the
JW> elemental and the cat) but the elemental spirit would lilve on. It seems to
JW> me that Able was saying that "Gylf's soul" would not die with him because it
JW> was ultimately created by the Most High God.

JW> Wolfe seems to me to have rejected Turing's standard for a "self-conscious"
JW> machine and accepted Searle's Chinese Room argument.

JW> But if anyone were to apply the model of "soul = information" he could
JW> hardly be blamed. That model works for most that happens in a Wolfe novel.

I think it would be relevant to mention, that in Eastern tradition,
common for Jews, Zoroastrian Persians, Gnostics and early Christians,
Man was not divided into two parts, but in three. Cartesius thinks
that man consists of mind and body, but in the ancient tradition, man
consists of body, soul, spirit (soma, psyche, pneuma.) Body is body,
psyche is memory, psychic, reason (with reason it is more
complicated), pneuma - spirit - is the spark of the fire of God which
makes us men. The body and the psyche can be destroyed or damaged, or
changed, so that I will remember something else, but the spirit -
pneuma - remains.

It could also be compared with transcendental subject in
phenomenology. When we try to reach the transcendetal subject we must
treat provisionally all outside experience as unproved and possibly
illusional - including our memory.

The good example is a quite good and Gnostic film "Dark City" by Alex
Proyas. In it some kind of aliens have set up an experimental city,
and keep exchanging memories of men to try to discover, what makes
their identity. The hero gets the memory of a multiple murderer.



Stanislaus Bocian

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