Sunday, 2 July 2017

In The Emberverse

SM Stirling's Emberverse goes one stage beyond Poul Anderson's "Requiem For A Universe." See here.

In Stirling's The Sword Of The Lady (New York, 2009), Chapter Twenty-One, the Triple Goddess shows Rudi Mackenzie three visions of cosmic history. In the first vision, the universe begins and ends in darkness. In the second, there is a light in the darkness after the end of the universe. The Goddess identifies that light as Mind, Wisdom, Hope and Love.

In the third vision, two sheets of Being move through a space vaster than universes. Contact between these sheets generates the light that was at the beginning of the universe in both previous visions. However, Mind also passes from one sheet to the other and thus moulds a universe from its beginning.

"'And now there is a God,' the Wise One said." (p. 649)

However, this contradicts the Christian belief that God did not originate within a universe but creates all universes:

"'There is one God, maker of Heaven and Earth...'" (p. 642)

Father Ignatius is instructed not by the Goddess but by a fellow Benedictine who tells him that Ignatius' companions, including Rudi:

"'...are being told as much Truth as they can bear, in the words that will mean most to them.'" (ibid.)

When the Goddess asks Rudi whether God is one or many, Rudi replies, as we expect in such a context, "'Both at once.'" (p. 650)

I have recently thought that the number of gods must be none or many, i.e., a single creator before the creation would be a self without other which is like a square without sides whereas a number of powerful though finite beings is at least logically possible.

I do not understand why disagreements within Mind should produce beings like those that control the Church Universal and Triumphant. (p. 650) And it seems that the good guys caused the Change, which is a surprise. (p. 652)

Addendum, 24 July 2017:  Rereading this post, I find it contradictory. I state that:

in the first vision, the universe begins and ends in darkness;
in the second vision, there is light in the darkness after the end of the universe;
in the third vision, there is a light that was at the beginning of the universe in both previous visions!

I have currently misplaced my copy of The Sword Of The Lady but a replacement copy will arrive tomorrow. Then I will, with additional care, reread the passage that I tried to summarize in this post.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I don't think it necessarily follows that the line "And NOW there is a God," means God was created. I still argue that for God to BE God he has to be eternal and uncreated. So the line you quoted could simply be an emphatic statement of fact stressing God is real.

If there are many "gods," then who created them or how did they come into existence? I see no need for many gods if another Being more powerful than they created them. No, monotheism makes more sense than polytheism.