Sunday, 6 March 2016

Cosmenosis III

Sean Brooks asked me here whether I would agree with the philosophy of Cosmenosis as described in Poul Anderson's The Day Of Their Return. Before commenting afresh on this fictional philosophy, I searched the blog for "Cosmenosis" and the search result is here. (Scroll down.)

I will reread these earlier posts, then consider whether anything further needs to be said about Cosmenosis.

Addendum: I think that the earlier posts clarify where I would agree or disagree with Cosmenosis?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

You did write about the Cosmenosism we see in THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN. To crudely summarize: evolution ended with non intelligent living things becoming intelligent beings, the duty of the highest is to help raise the lower, the Elders (Ancients, Builders, or whatnot) were allegedly too widespread to merely become extinct and so must have moved on to a "higher plane," these Elders will return to help cast down the "mind stifling" Terrans and raise up their followers.

Chunderban Desai also discussed at the end of TDOTR how Cosmenosism had ambiguities which were almost certainly inserted by Aycharaych: e.g., is God the Created or the Creator, etc.? Such questions would lead to doctrinal disputes, jihads and counter jihads, etc. Aycharaych's cruel deception was meant both to convulse and shatter the Empire and then for the Cosmenosists to start fighting each other. Merseia would sweep in to pick up the pieces.

And, as we later find out, the Elders were the Chereionites, who DID merely become extinct (Aycharaych being the last of that race) rather than entering a "higher plane." The Chereioinites were just as flawed and fallible as every other intelligent race.

Conclusion: Poul Anderson himself did not believe in any form of Cosmenosism, altho he would certainly be courteous to any real Cosmenosist he might have met.