(urth) note Re: Short Sun blog

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 30 04:57:17 PDT 2010

Your posts bring up some interesting issues, Jeff.
>JW- Considering even Jesus Christ Himself still had wounds visible to the 
>disciples after rising from death and a couple of days of decomposition, 
>I'd say your standards are a tad high.

Are my (and your and all others') religious beliefs and standards in issue in here?
My intention is to focus very narrowly and solely on Gene Wolfe's religious standards, 
beliefs and what they mean to his work. But surely my own beliefs bias my interpretation
of Wolfe sometimes.
Others take a different view on this issue. I remember a discussion I had with James Jordan 
in here a number of years ago. He seemed truly upset at the idea that the Nephilim in Genesis
and Eschatology and Genesis might be the product of fallen angels mating with human women
because it violated his deeply held modern/fundamentalist Christian beliefs. Steering the
discussion toward the idea that demon/human matings were assumed by the ancients and  could 
have been an idea contemplated by a middle-aged, Catholic SF author from the 70's with an 
interest in mythology was no solace to him.

I think my question above may be important to our discussion.
>Jeff Wilson: Severian disagrees; *everything* in his story is supernatural to some degree.
I think most Wolfe readers would agree that the passage from the beach (below) that you cite 
is one of the most poignant in all his work. But what does it mean?
To me, it means this: Animals have no sense of the natural/supernatural distinction. Water 
your garden or part the Red Sea, it is all the same sort of process to them. Likewise, for
God/The Pancreator/Increate. Intrinsic, omniscient understanding that all things flow from 
one source, one's own hand, erases the distinction between natural and supernatural. Jesus
healing the sick and a doctor healing the sick are the same thing- My Work.
Human beings, find their level of consciousness somewhere between that of animals and
God.  Thus, only human beings have the need to create the distinction between natural and 
supernatural as they struggle with what they feel they understand and what they don't 
understand; what they can create and what is beyond their ability to create.
I find Severian's flash of understanding of the supernaturality of all things to be a brush 
with complete humility and God-like consciousness. I find Jeff's qualifer, "supernatural to 
some degree" to be a very human one.
>"if the Eternal Principle had rested in that curved thorn...then 
>it might rest in anything, and in fact probably did rest in everything, 
>in every thorn on every bush, in every drop of water in the sea. The 
>thorn was a sacred Claw because all thorns were sacred Claws; the sand 
>in my boots was sacred sand because it came from a beach of sacred sand. 
>The cenobites treasured up the relics of the sannyasins because the 
>sannyasins had approached the Pancreator. But everything had approached 
>and even touched the Pancreator, because everything had dropped from his 
>hand. Everything was a relic. All the world was a relic. I drew off my 
>boots, that had traveled with me so far, and threw them into the waves 
>that I might not walk shod on holy ground." CITADEL XXXI 		 	   		  

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