(urth) mystery of the guild

O'Donnell, Tim (BOSI) Tim.O'Donnell at bankofscotland.ie
Wed Feb 11 06:09:27 PST 2009

>David Stockhoff
>Point taken. 

>Although, funnily enough, if we are wondering whether alien races/species can have crucificial theophanies---whether across a universe or across a
>succession of universes---then in fact it may be more relevant to ask whether a Heechee or a Puppeteer or a Neighbor 
>can suffer on an analogue of the cross than whether it can think. 
>Presumably both abilities are ideal, but the first is critical, no pun intended.

>If we follow the Lumen Gentium, however, sapience may be more useful for an alien race that will never have 
>its own theophany. (And this makes me think of the Hieros, who strike me far more as thinkers than feelers, as well as 
>the various individuals I've called Powers.)

>But this is for whoever is Pope at First Contact in 2150 AD to worry about.


I always thought of the Hieros as quite emotional for instance the below when Severian meets Famulimus for the first time.

The being Dr. Talos had introduced as Famulimus spoke. [...[ "Welcome," it sang. "There is no greater joy for us,
than greeting you, Severian. You bow to us in courtesy, but we to you will bend our knees." And he did briefly kneel, as did both the others.

I always read that joyful as sincere but then when I scanned the text they do come off as quite detached throughout making the reading more interesting for me.

First Contact 2150?  Sure 2012 will put paid to all of us before then...

And David, the distinction between sentient and sapient delighted me for reasons I can't even guess at.  Thanks!


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