(urth) TWK: The Aelf dilemma

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 5 13:45:04 PST 2005

Roy replied:
>Andrew wrote:
> >- Promotion: Valfather etc => human heroes; I believe this is
> >paralleled by Able => Dsiri
> >
> >The last surely indicates that Aelf are not eternally & necessarily
> >soul-less. That would go against all of my understanding of Wolfe's
> >metaphysics. With "divine" assistance, all creation can rise
> >through the spheres and meet the One True God.
>And Cliff wrote:
> >Why does it follow that they have no hope of eternal reward? For the
> >Aelf, the eternal reward would be to gain a soul, to become human.
>It was not my deduction that the Aelf have no eternal existence; it's a
>textual given. In the scene where Toug healed Baki, Able said the Aelf were
>long-lived, and goes on to say: "Much longer-lived than we are. But
>short-lived as we are, we're immortal. Our spirits don't die. It's not like
>that for the Aelf. Dead, they're gone completely." (W, 46)

Something happened, though, when Able "promoted" Disiri. She attained a sort 
of reality she did not have before. There is not direct statement along the 
lines that she had gained a soul, but it isn't unreasonable to infer this, 
especially since Michael does allow that Disiri can come with him on his 
next assignment.

Another interesting thing that I am surprised nobody has pointed out: isn't 
it kind of striking that Able can be so bold as to presume that she *would* 
come with him? This is a major departure from their relationship early in 
the series.

>That's Skai for us, and us for Aelfrice." (49) The Aelf are in a situation
>much like Mani, whose ninth death will mark the absolute end of his

This is a bit misleading. Perhaps the "absolute end" of his existence *as 
Mani*, but recall that Mani is a composite entity. There is in fact an 
eternal spirit in Mani that will go its own way; this is not really terribly 
unlike some doctrines of the human soul.

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