(urth) Oldest altar

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 6 05:59:34 PDT 2010

>Roy C. Lackey- It is indisputable that the worship preceded the
> forgetting. Why? I mean, why did the Typhons want to be worshipped at all?

Clearly it was something they were used to on Urth (and perhaps other planets).
>I have a hard time believing that the best way to go about making people forget 
>someone is to first teach them to worship that someone.

Yes. Hence we must suspect the Typhons were not a unified family. That some
were working at cross-purpose to others. But we already know that happened.  Why 
not assume the various problems of The Whorl all resulted from this same conflict. 
For me the suggestion is that part of the process of wiping Pas out of Mainframe was 
to wipe him from the memory of Whorl residents. But the memory-wiping process also 
inadvertantly erased the teachings of how to worship. Neither erasure was complete.
There is much evidence found in Roy's post to suggest the Typhons were involved with 
human sacrifice on Urth. Evidence from BotNS and the hidden painting of Pas suggests 
Typhon had a sexual purpose for the victims also. (Herena's arm made her unsuitably
ugly but the cute boys and girls sent to Typhon did not return).
The conclusion  for me is that Typhon and his family wanted human sacrifice to 
continue on the Whorl but something went wrong. Both Mainframe and human brains were 
bollixed by the attempted insurrection. The windows didn't work all the time.  Pas 
remained in human memory as an absent Father God. And people picked up some ridiculous 
notion that human life was valuable and started sacrificing animals instead. This is why 
Duko admonishes Silkhorn for attempting to honor the gods with a bird sacrifice. That isn't 
what they wanted.
The Outsider is a minor god, barely present enough to be a competitor to the other gods.
This is in parallel to the status of Jahweh (later also called Allah) in the early days of
Judaism. The  more numerous worshipers of Jaweh's competitors, Moloch, Asteroth, the Baal 
gods, were gleeful participants in human sacrifice. I think it was the Plan of the Outsider 
to get Typhon's family fighting among themselves, messing up the blasphemous Whorl, ending 
human sacrifice, enlightening Silk, discrediting the false gods, etc.)

Thus the Long Sun series addresses the Abraham/Isaac portion of God's Covenant with humanity. 
BotNS obviously addresses the Noah/Flood portion of the Covenenant. I wonder if Short Sun is
meant to address the Jacob/Moses portions regarding the Promised Land.
> Under what possible circumstances would a boy of about ten have been allowed to slay
> thousands of people?
> Why would Mamelta (and others) have feared how a little girl reacted to
> audience response? Had she feared the girl or one or both of her parents?
Perhaps they were extremely powerful human beings. Or perhaps they were something more than 
human. Their disdain for human life and the sanctity of the human body is a bit creepy. I get
the impression, from his work and interviews, that Gene Wolfe considers the possibility that
man's inhumanity to man might have an alien source. 
Severian twice mentions his dream of a benign, utopian world where "all the people knew 
themselves bound by ties of blood, being descended from the same pair of colonists" I think
this could mean we will treat each other humanely, as we were meant to, when we are free from 
non-human influences. A nice mix of SF and Christianity. 		 	   		  

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