November 2002 posts

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Reply to Rob's "Neverwhere Parallels"-Unspoiled but Maybe Highly Accurate Speculation For All Season -- Arethusa, 19:12:16 11/25/02 Mon

I can't believe the thread archived so quickly-it serves me right for working all day. After I posted about Gaiman's parallels to BtVS, particulary the Dawn/Glory arc, I started to think. If you don't want unspoiled but maybe correct speculation, stop here.

After several painful minutes, I realized that it's possible that this season is also based on Neverwhere. If so, Buffy Spike, Xander and Dawn will enter the Sunnydale basements to kill a beast in the labyrinth. Dawn might be there by force, captured by a deadly minion ("Dawn's in trouble, must be Tuesday.") Xander, Buffy, and Faith will go to rescue her. Faith will die fighting the beast. Buffy (although Xander is a possiblity too) will kill the beast and face the real big bad, a banished angel who wants to take over heaven/other dimensions. Dawn will open up a dimension that will suck in all the evils.

There possibly have been little hints:

1. Richard and Xander are closely associated with doors.
2. The tunnels under Sunnydale and the London Underground
3. Richard is told he has a good heart.
4. Rats in Tube and Basement
5. BBW and Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemeer
6. Richard and Willow become invisible to others.
7. When Spike was possesed by the Big Bad, he turned an angel around.

I've only reread about 1/4 of the book, and will post any more I find, if you're interested.

[> IF you don't want to possibly be spoiled, don't read the above. Extreme Caution. -- Arethusa, worridly, 19:14:31 11/25/02 Mon

[> Re: Reply to Rob's "Neverwhere Parallels"- Neverwhere spoilers -- ponygirl, 06:42:05 11/26/02 Tue

I think rereading Neverwhere will be my December rerun project! I still see a lot more s5 parallels, after all the angel Islington's goal was very similiar to Glory's - to return home to heaven (rather than Glory's hell) and take over using an interdimensional key. I agree though that the Underground stuff seems more in keeping with this year's mazes and monsters, and then there's the Beast of London and the Beast over on Angel. Neverwhere came out before BtVS even started so who knows how long these influences have been percolating and mutating. The really interesting thing about Neverwhere is the number of reversals, characters who appear to be good (or are assumed to be good) have hidden agendas of their own. That seems to be something the ME crew would especially enjoy and use.

[> [> Re: Reply to Rob's "Neverwhere Parallels"- Neverwhere spoilers -- Arethusa, 07:22:45 11/26/02 Tue

The really interesting thing about Neverwhere is the number of reversals, characters who appear to be good (or are assumed to be good) have hidden agendas of their own. That seems to be something the ME crew would especially enjoy and use.

Right-Hunter, de Carabas, Islington, the "Lifeforce" Velvet woman-all have shifting or hidden agendas. They are Whedon's favorite types of characters-people who seem to be one thing, but turn out to be something else, or are both noble and petty. I especially liked Richard's description of de Carabas, a "mad bastard who came back from the dead," who guided the others through the labyrinth. And the inhabitants of London Below are marginalized like our heroes in Sunnydale, sometimes literally not seen by the people who walk around in the sunlight.

It's just an idea. I'm hoping I'm wrong-I don't actually want to know what's coming up!

Drew Goddard is 3 for 3 (7.9 spoilers) -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:35:03 11/26/02 Tue

I posed a theory a bit back that new Mutant Enemy writer, Drew Goddard, had developed a pattern in his episodes. His first two of the season and of the series killed a recurring character (Halfrek in "Selfless" and Jonathan in "Conversations with Dead People"). Now, in "Never Leave Me", New!Drew follows the pattern I predicted and killed Quentin Travers as well as some Watchers we might recognize from "Checkpoint". He even killed the Watchers' Council itself! Now, granted, not many people will miss Quentin, but his death tonight does add to my theory that Drew Goddard has become ME's patron saint of character deaths. Though honestly, I thought he would kill Clem in 7.9. Oh well, he'll probably have more episodes and can kill the kitten-eater in them.

P.S. I intend to write a post saying everything that I think about this episode, but I'm a little too overwhelmed right now.

[> It's all about redemption... (7.9 spoilers) -- Rook, 00:58:19 11/27/02 Wed

I like your theory, and have noticed that not only are the recurring characters being killed, but that they've all been more-or-less grey characters who are being allowed to redeem themselves before dying. Jonathan went back and forth from Victim to Villain throughout his career, finally becoming a mature adult trying to do the right thing. Halfrek went back and forth between being Anya's friend and mucking things up for the scoobies, but in the end was pretty clearly on Anya's side. Quentin was nominally a force for good, being part of the WC and all, but his actions were merciless, and often bumbling...In the end, however, he was working cooperatively and respectfully with Buffy.

So...who's left that fits the pattern? Well, there's [future casting spoiler], probably the epitome of "grey" on the show, apart from Spike. But Amy fits pretty solidly here, and to a lesser extent Harmony (She was on the side of the good guys in Homecoming II, and for a little while in Disharmony). I'd like to see Ethan come back, but he really doesn't fit the "grey" category. Likewise, Riley and Oz don't really fit the pattern either.

So, besides the confirmed spoiler-person above, I'm predicting that we'll get to see Harmony and/or Amy come back in a DG episode, do something to redeem themselves, and bite the big one before the season ends.

[> [> Re: It's all about redemption... (7.9 spoilers) -- Egak, 05:45:13 11/27/02 Wed

One additional note on the DG Deaths™. Each victim has been less popular than the last. Since every available reccuring character I can think of is more popular then Quintin, this trend will likely start to reverse, meaning Amy will meet her DG Death™ before Harmony. (And please don't chew me out if I'm wrong about character popularity.)

[> [> [> I thought Jonathan was more popular than Halfrek? - - Finn Mac Cool, 07:36:31 11/27/02 Wed

[> Um... (Never Leave Me spoilers) -- Darby, 07:02:42 11/27/02 Wed

This seem a little ham-handed, though. I could almost hear the Notre Dame fight song behind Quentin's little rah-rah, and except that I thought he'd be knifed from behind by little Miss There-there-It'll-Be-All-Right, the fight song had an unmistakeable backbeat of he's-gonna-die-now-he's- gonna-die-now.

And the first time a "pumping" joke is used, it's mildly amusing, but that's a one-time-only punchline.

On the upside, Spike seems to have refound his voice, the Xander-Anya ease with each other, and several other character moments were quite good.

I have to check the other threads first before I let loose, but there were also at least two really glaring errors in basic common sense here as well...

[> [> I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts, Darby. -- Finn Mac Cool, 07:48:03 11/27/02 Wed

I don't recall noticing a fight song just before Quentin and the Watchers died (though something a good score often does is have a not entirely conscious effect).

I also don't remember a pumping joke. Could you clarify?

I'd also enjoy hearing the errors in logic you noticed (of course I will try to debunk them, but it's nothing personal).

[> [> [> Re: I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts, Darby. -- Darby, 09:29:17 11/27/02 Wed

The fight song was just in my head. And now it's stuck there, bumping the Led Zeppelin song from the kitty Vikings webpage featured here last week.

The pumping joke echoed Buffy's "What else would I want to pump you for?" to Spike in Once More With Feeling; here, it was Xander talking about pumping Andrew, to which everyone reacted way too conveniently.

I've thrown everything else, even the basement sink (well, not really), into a post I just put up. It seemed more appropriate in its own thread. Plus the ego thing.

Curiosity killed the Composer -- Tchaikovsky, 05:08:51 11/26/02 Tue

Just reading the article at: 11/22/

And in particular the quote from Joss:

"The thing about Firefly is ... that this whole cast, ... they're extremely kind and professional, and they get along, and they help each other, and they work hard. I'm not saying my other casts don't work hard. And some of them get along, and it's great. But there's a star, and then there's the ensemble. And there's tensions on the set. ... It's not one big happy family. It seldom is on a television set. "

I'm fascinated by what particular tensions there are between the actors on the show. I always assumed, (naively and foolhardily, I now realise) that everyone got along really, really well making Buffy and Angel.

Does anyone know the particular character clashes, or am I asking for something which would never be revealed? I suppose it's really just gossip-mongering, but I am interested as to how the relationships between actors is reflected in their chracters. It's arguable that the actors are so in character while performing that it's impossible to take anything out of their body language as being about them rather than their character.

TCH- feeling an Adam-like curiosity, and hoping that this will not lead to becoming a crazy, patchwork dictator.

[> Re: Curiosity killed the Composer -- Wisewoman, 12:11:12 11/26/02 Tue

Well, there was a fair bit of discussion about this on the Trollop Board when the article first hit the net. The major question was, why would Joss say something like that? There's never been a hint from him, or ME, of trouble on either the Buffy or Angel set. In fact, they've gone out of their way to squelch any rumours that have arisen (I'm thinking of Cordy's unexplained absence last season).

We'll probably never know. Or maybe it will all come out if BtVS finishes this season. There have been rumours since the beginning that SMG is a little tyrant on the set, but that's all they are--rumours. No one reputable has ever spoken up and said, "Yeah, she's a bitca to work with." The stunt director and SMG's stunt double from the early days of the show were a couple, and were replaced some years ago amid some mud-slinging, but that's faded into the past.

So, there ya go, one fan's take on it, which tells you absolutely nuthin'!

;o) dub

[> [> Re: Curiosity killed the Composer -- ponygirl, 12:44:43 11/26/02 Tue

I have to wonder if ongoing contract negotiations is causing a bit of crankiness. It has to be an interesting dynamic since Joss, who I have never read a bad word about, admits to being a control freak about his shows. Both SMG and DB also have vested interests in how their characters are depicted, and unlike any other cast members they might actually have the pull to affect changes. In any case I can't imagine any group of people working closely together for years without having some tensions. Still I always notice that when cast and crew do side projects other ME people are almost always involved, a sign I would think of a pretty healthy, creative atmosphere.

My take -- until the Buffy Behind The Slaying VH-1 special!

[> [> [> Re: Curiosity killed the Composer -- Jay, 13:47:42 11/26/02 Tue

These aren't the only tv shows that Joss has ever worked on. He was on the writing staff of Roseanne for a time. That set was famous for its friction.

[> [> [> Buffy, Behind the Music on VH-1 -- Caroline, 14:12:47 11/26/02 Tue

I can just see it now: the early years of hard slog and sweat, the all-too-quick success followed by hard sex, loss of love and the subsequent the downfall, the rise of the newcomer whose popularity eclipsed the rest of the cast, the petty jealousies and the abandonment of the show by the lead actress....

Oops, did I get a bit too real?

[> [> [> [> Re: Or a bit too unreal...... -- Buffy's Champion, 19:35:50 11/26/02 Tue

Like way way off base perhaps!

I get really sick and tired of people accusing SMG of behaviors that comes from god knows where???????? Do you have any proof of this????????

I have heard alot of good things from the cast and crew of many projects she works. James Marsters can't seem to pass up on an opportunity to mention just how wonderful he thinks she is. Joss, Amber, Nick have said kind things about her. Toback loved working with her. Grenier was estatic about his work with her. The Scooby cast all seem to get along great, so I guess its who's rumours one chooses to believe in.

Sorry, but I just had to defend M'lady's honour.

[> [> [> [> [> I think it was a mixture of. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:12:29 11/26/02 Tue

Stuff about the cast and stuff about the characters, in order to create the most amusing mix.

[> [> [> [> [> Mate, I was trying to be funny -- Carolined, 07:19:31 11/27/02 Wed

and it looks like I didn't succeed in getting that message across to you. I know nothing about cast gossip etc. I was just trying to riff off the rather cliched formula of the 'Behind the Music' thing that ponygirl mentioned in her post. Please tell me that other people grokked where I was coming from!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Caroline, I thought it was funny -- ponygirl, 09:10:40 11/27/02 Wed

I was trying to think up an appropriate response involving possible Shakespeare reading parties/orgies, and the writers' ongoing addiction to addiction metaphors, but got distracted by work.

Heady days, heady days indeed. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Caroline, I thought it was funny -- Caroline, 09:14:58 11/27/02 Wed

Oh, forgot an essential part of the Behind the Music cliche - drug addiction! Silly me!

Very heady days - can't wait till the next new ep!

[> [> [> [> Nicely put! -- Tchaikovsky, 05:09:13 11/27/02 Wed

Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom and Buffy (Current spoilers) -- Darby, 09:06:55 11/26/02 Tue

Wouldn't it be cool misdirection if the Proto-Slayers are being killed off by someone who wants to make sure that their little girl gets it when the current Slayer dies? That would explain wiping out the candidates before going after the current office holder(s).

Just a thought. Bizarre, yes, but it could happen - we're just assuming that all the stuff we're being shown is somehow connected.

'Course, if it really is all connected, the season will end with Buffy being offered an important post at Homeland Security (sounds like an insurance company...). And I suspect that the Big Bad will turn out to be whoever's running the WB.

Buffy, the Vampire-Slaying Civil Servant. We may not be able to dust them with red tape, but it'll be a long time before they're free to go biting people.

[> :) -- yez, 09:28:06 11/26/02 Tue

[> Darby-inspired conjecture about the "proto- Slayers" (S7 spoilers and spec) -- cjl, 10:59:35 11/26/02 Tue

Given the events of "Sleeper," with the killing of Robson and his young charge and Giles' (too) late arrival, it's now all-but-confirmed that the young girls on the receiving end of the blade are "proto-slayers"--girls trained by the Watchers' Council, waiting to be called. (Kendras, only without Bianca Lawson's weird accent.)

This brings up the inevitable question: what is the overriding purpose of the killings? There are a number of interesting possibilities.

1) Eliminate all the Slayers. Kill all the proto-Slayers, then Faith, and then Buffy, and there's no one left to take over. The line is ended. The balance shifts and darkness falls. The long night begins. (Chilling, ain't it?)

But there's a fundamental flaw in the hooded guys' logic. We've already had a case in the 20th century where the Watchers missed a potential Slayer, and a "wild card" was called--Buffy herself. Who's to say the tweedy boys haven't missed the next one as well? The hooded guys could wipe out all the potential candidates--and then an Icelandic babe (guest star--Bjork!) suddenly arrives on the Hellmouth, ready to kick ass. "Huh," says the FE, scratching its phantasmal head. "Didn't see that coming."

Of course, Buffy could be the once-in-an-eon exception (she is for everything else), and the Watchers could have an otherwise spotless record of Slayer selection. But the words "Watchers' Council" and "spotless record" don't really go together.

2) Darby's Theorem of Slayer Selection. In other words, winnowing the candidates down to a specific person, thus bringing the next Slayer under the control of the FE. This is a much more fascinating option, and the idea of co-opting the Slayer lineage to suit the purposes of eee-vil is an ingenious scheme (if you ignore the inherent flaw I brought up above). Who do the hooded guys want to be the latest-- and perhaps the last--slayer? Three options:

a) Unnamed candidate, already under the FE's control.

b) Dawn. Once all the rest of the proto-Slayers are out of the way, Dawn's Summers DNA puts her in the running. The FE could be salivating (if it has saliva) at the prospect of manipulating a combo Slayer/Key package in order to bring about ultimate annihilation.

c) Buffy herself. As the wild card, the ultimate x-factor, the girl who broke the mold, Buffy might be even a bigger potential agent of chaos than little sis.

It's worth noting that the FE considers most of our cast expendable, but hasn't seriously threatened Buffy and Dawn. Cassie wanted Willow to kill herself, Giles is inches away from a VERY close haircut, Jonathan is shishkebob, Spike's evil doppelganger advised him to just die and get it over with, and Anya is warding off hit demons from D'Hoffryn (although Pimp Daddy D could just be holding a grudge).

[Have I missed anybody? Oh yes. Xander. He's skated through this season untouched. What IS going on with him?]

We're probably not going to know what the ultimate plan is until the very end, after Faith goes to her just reward (yes, I think she's doomed) and there's only Buffy and Dawn left standing. Should be traumatic...

[> [> Re: Darby-inspired conjecture about the "proto- Slayers" (S7 spoilers and spec) -- leslie, 13:30:18 11/26/02 Tue

"2) Darby's Theorem of Slayer Selection. In other words, winnowing the candidates down to a specific person, thus bringing the next Slayer under the control of the FE. This is a much more fascinating option, and the idea of co-opting the Slayer lineage to suit the purposes of eee-vil is an ingenious scheme (if you ignore the inherent flaw I brought up above)."

Yes, here we are speculating about Neil Gaiman and The Manchurian Candidate and yet obviously the paradigm for this season is Kind Hearts and Coronets. Where is Alec Guinness when you need him? (Oh, right--dead. Well, that shouldn't stop Morphy, with its penchant for replicating the dead!) Or Joan Greenwood, for that matter (now *there's* a First Evil!).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kind Hearts and Coronets (shame on you!), it is the heart-warming tale of a young man about seventh in line to inherit a dukedom, so he decides to kill off everyone ahead of him in strategically planned "accidents"; all of the heirs (male and female) are played by Alec Guinness. So this would mean that it isn't that the monks want to control the new Slayer--they want to be the Slayer themselves!

[> [> [> Re: Just a crazy idea -- Sang, 13:58:07 11/26/02 Tue

Slayer power comes from ancient world, it is immortal power moved one mortal body to other. Since Buffy's power cannot be transfered to other slayer, it brings a question about whether Buffy is really a slayer now.

Slayer is a hand, a vessel and a tool of some ancient power. And Buffy is not a tool nor vessel, she is the power. What if terminating slayer lineage brought the original source of Slayer power back to Buffy? Would it make Buffy a god or demon?

[> [> [> [> Not so crazy. That could be the purpose of this entire season... -- cjl, 14:09:48 11/26/02 Tue

Terminating the slayer lineage until only Buffy remains. At the end of the season, the FE thinks it'll have the Buffster isolated from her friends and drained of all hope--with the power of the First Slayer ready to be turned to the FE's own insidious ends.

I still think Dawn, as the Key, has something to do with this scenario, too; but the FE seems to be working on a number of levels simultaneously, so I haven't been able to guess the endgame. Yet.

Drinking with buddies dead versus Swept up by janitor dead (speccy spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 09:43:59 11/26/02 Tue

These notes are both in regards to how Spike's chip works and how the Big Bad Whatever works. They're a bit disjointed because I tend to ramble. It's kinda in response to Masq's "Sleeper" rundown @ I may be in error and welcome feedback & criticism or alternative points of view.

The BBW is able to disable Spike's chip partially because it knows how the chip works on an intimate level. The BBW has access to not only the physical representation of Adam & Warren, but their memories as well, based on what the BBW has said while wearing those disguises. Adam knew how the chips worked well enough to control Riley (who had one in his chest) and Warren researched the chip in season six at Spike's request. However, it's not necessary for the BBW to turn the chip on or off, but to simply get Spike's conscious mind to forget it's there.

Although it is possible that the BBW is using magic means to dampen how the chip functions, based on "Sleeper" one can more readily surmise that the process is more hypnotic regression in nature - no real need for direct magic influence (although the BBW is using some kind of mystic force to be all invisiby & chameleonish, hypnosis isn't really a magical thing). The BBW has basically broken Spike's spirit by constant torturous pressure to his psyche, much as communist military personel are said to have broken the will of their enemies in POW camps during the 20th century. Very "Manchurian Candidate"-esque.

So the chip may still be firing, but the BBW caused Spike to temporarily forget the pain & guilt that both his soul & the chip bring to his conscious mind. In return for this temporary mental oasis, the BBW gets Spike to do anything it wants, like a Pavlovian dog. Apparently the trigger for this behavior is the traditional "Early One Morning" song. But how ultimately does this BBW force have such influence over Spike when it has no such noticable power over Willow or others that it's tried to influence? Easy. Spike is DEAD. Or rather 'undeady.' Those who are pulling the strings of the BBW are necromancers. They have little to no direct influence over the Very Living. It's why when it comes to the Slayers In Training, the robed monks have to resort to sacrificial daggers and all the running and heavy breathing.

Something else that no one has brought up yet about the BBW: It can ONLY appear as an individual who has died. Thus far it has NEVER shown up as a living entity. It CAN assume the guise of an entity that is CURRENTLY living.

"Being blowed up isn't walking around and drinking with your buddies dead. It's little bits being swept up by a janitor dead, and I don't think you're ready for that." - Xander, The Zeppo

Still, dead is dead. It can pose as those who were temporarily dead as well as those who, so far as we know, are still dead. In season seven, it has posed as Cassie, Glory, Warren, Adam, The Mayor, Drusilla, The Master, Spike and Buffy. These are all individuals who have died. It has NOT posed (so far) as Xander, Anya, Giles, Dawn, Willow or any character who (to the best of our knowledge) has never actually physically died. Although it can be argued Buffy's very much alive, she was brought back through the dark magicks of Osiris, and therefore is technically of the undead. Buffy's died twice so hers is a guise that's open to the Big Bad. If we assume it to be the First Evil, it appeared in "Amends" as Jenny Calendar and other people that Angel had killed. It never showed as someone that was living. The First Evil has NOT come back directly as Tara, Halfrek and it's still arguable as to whether or not it came back as Joyce. If not, there may be a reason why it can't do that. It may only be able to appear as dead people who, at the point of their death, had given up all hope. One can argue that's the primary difference between the deaths of Halfrek, Joyce & Tara (which were sudden & not due to their hopelessness - i.e. not a death of choice), and the deaths of characters like Cassie, Jonathan and even Buffy.

Also, if it's the creature from "Amends" as seems to be the case in conjunction with these dudes in robes running around killing potential Slayers & their Watchers, then it's not really an evil entity. Rather, what we perceive to be The First Evil is actually just a series of manifestations that these monk dudes are sic'ing on the Scoobies. In other words, there may be no first evil. It's all an illusion. The real bad guys are these dudes in robes. Kill the cult, you kill the evil.

thoughts on 7.9 -- the die is cast (spoilers) -- Clen, 13:42:21 11/26/02 Tue

I see no threads on this episode? When do y'all watch BtVS? For me, it's on Monday nights...when is it on in the States?

Anyhoo, I liked this one. As the BB said, the time for subtlety is over. I have to say I appreciate a bad guy capable of multitasking (whittling away the CoW and raising the "ubervampire", as the credits referred to him) and being able to call in the auxiliaries quickly when the first plan doesn't work -- to assess and adjust one's efforts. I don't know about evil-as-order, but this is certainly evil-as- orderly.
what with "multitasking" and "continual assessment and adjustment", all the First Evil needs is to "network" and "have a mission statement" and it would have it's MBA in evil! How professional.

I liked the references to earlier episodes: Willow claiming she doesn't like Xander's tool talk, despite his hammer analogy in Help; and Anya asking why don't they just put one through Spike's chest, "isn't that what we do?" as in Selfless. The Willow one is kind of upsetting if it means that she got nothing out of Xander's analogy of control vs. power.

Yeah, I like that the die has been cast. Wood now definitely knows something, though the jury is still out on being good or evil. The SG knows about the First Evil and Andrew, the First Evil has gotten the ball rolling in terms of achieving it's first sub-objectives despite having to cycle through a different means to get to them, and while we might still argue about Giles, I think it is safe to assume that the CoW is D.E.A.D. There would be little to no grumbling about Giles making it out of that one, but if the CoW escaped somehow, I think ME would be burned at the stake for cheesiness. So, the die has been cast: certain major things can't be taken back. What fun!

[> Re: thoughts on 7.9 -- the die is cast (spoilers) - - Retread, 14:02:46 11/26/02 Tue

In the US we don't get Buffy until Tuesday night but since I'm spoiled by reading the wildfeed I happily clicked on your post and I'm glad I did. Now I have a few more angles to watch for tonight. I can stand the thought that the CoW is a gonner, but Giles? Oh, no, I don't like that thought at all.

[> [> Re: thoughts on 7.9 -- the die is cast (spoilers) - - M, 22:51:56 11/26/02 Tue

when do you guys get angel?

[> [> [> Angel for me where I am -- Clen, 17:21:26 11/27/02 Wed

It's on for me on Thursdays on the Space Channel. I get the impression that is later than you all. Though I think they will have some sort of special put-together thing on Angel on the 8th...? I'm not sure if it's a documentary about making it or what...

[> Most people don't see it until Tues night -- best to wait -- ponygirl, 14:03:29 11/26/02 Tue

My keyboarding fingers are a-tapping in anticipation! Are you Canadian too, Clen? BtVS is on Tuesday nights here in Toronto, but I'm able to get a broadcast from Nova Scotia on Mondays.

[> [> waiting makes me one sad panda -- Clen, 14:29:21 11/26/02 Tue

sigh...shouldn't the word "spoilers" be enough? OK, I guess I can wait, but posting first carries such troll-ish satisfaction, and the legitimacy of my viewing of it takes away all the guilt...

Yes, I'm Cdn. I'm in Edmonton, and BtVS is on Monday nights on A-Channel, and again the following Saturday on YTV, natch. Plus the twice a day reruns on Space, entirely reasonably watchable in my time zone at 6 pm and midnight... And I think Fox on Sunday evening is showing Season 4? We're close to saturation.

[> [> [> I'm going to disagree with one point... -- AurraSing, 14:51:20 11/26/02 Tue

Yeah,I watched it last night (southern BC but have a satellite dish for ASN coverage) and my take on the Principal Wood scenes are that he is most likely either a pawn of or associated with the BB....the lack of expression over finding Jonathan and the lackluster (plus pretty disrespectful) way he disposed of the body spoke more of someone cleaning up the trash than a good guy helping out,ie Giles or Xander would have made sure that he was properly buried,not dumped in a shallow grave off a dirt road.
Unfortunately is he does prove to be a baddie,this just follows along with the old ME cliches of all the cute guys being evil or rotten underneath,sigh.

[> [> [> [> Ep 7.9 spoilers in AS's post -- Masq, 16:17:43 11/26/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> P Woodie -- Clen, 19:33:07 11/26/02 Tue

his look may have been hypnotized or callous, or it may have been professional. He may have already known Jonathan was there, or he may have observed Andrew's coming and going, although the sudden turn to the basement door, plus the relative ease in finding the right room in a supposedly shifty basement do line up with him being bad, this is true. However, when I say "good" I also include the possibility that he is a force for humans that does not necessarily get all sensitive about it, and may be merely going about his job in what he regards as a professional manner. Hell, maybe he IS callous, but is still waiting for his chance to oppose the First Evil. Don't forget, the CoW and the KoB are both people that sometimes/often do what they need to do in a callous manner. So, I maintain he still could be a force for good, albeit not very empathetic in disposing of what most likely was just another pawn of the BB. I think it is being intentionally left ambiguous (in line with my "swerve" theory). As we have seen with Spike, first appearances can be deceiving, so I think the jury is still out on P Woodie.

[> [> [> [> [> there might be spoilers in my post above, there might not...I guess you'll never know! (NT) -- Clen, 19:56:08 11/26/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Just had a thought! (spoilers in post ) -- Briar Rose, 01:34:39 11/27/02 Wed

Clen... You just gave me a smack in the head.

Watchers' Council knows that Giles is back in England and Buffy is all alone as far as Watcher-less on the Hellmouth.

Wood stated right off the bat that he had done hois research on her before he hired her. Now how could he have done that? The last thing we all saw was the school basically being imploded. The "permanent records" would have been blown sky high with it. So how does he know so much as to ask Buffy to work at the school?

I think he's an operative of the Watcher's Council! That would explain his actions with Jonathan (especially if he buried the body in a place where it couldn't help the Uber- Bad, like sacred ground or someplace that would result in the body being found or unusable for some other reason, (contamination of chemicals/toxins maybe?)

It would also explain why he is so used to the weirdness, because he states from the beginning (in a very mysterious way to boot) that he knows "all about this school" and why did Buffy think he was there?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Just had a thought! (spoilers in post ) -- Clen, 17:24:44 11/27/02 Wed

Frankly, it would seem very un-Quentin-like to not put at least someone in Sunnydale to spy on Buffy since there isn't even Giles there anymore. So if Wood isn't a Watcher, then there must be one somewhere.

[> [> [> [> Two -- Etrangere, 04:58:56 11/27/02 Wed


Am I the only one in the scene of Wood digging for Jonathan's grave to have seen another grave next to it ? Who could that be ?

Buffy 7.9 (just saw and now got to ask) -- frisby, 18:22:41 11/26/02 Tue

Buffy 7.9 just ended and the "uber-vampire (as the credits called it)" rose with the help of the blood of Spike/William (not to mention Jonathan). We now have the "uber-vampire" and the "beast (on Angel 4.7) along with the "First Evil" -- I can't help but think of the unholy trinity called the devil (which is responsible for Lucifer becoming Satan), that is, the beast, the antichrist, and the false prophet. And now Buffy believes in Spike/William, in the possibility that he can overcome the forces of darkness within himself and fight for the forces of light, and along the way, help Buffy to protect humanity. With Buffy's word of confidence and encourgement and faith and perhaps even love of sorts, surely Spike/William will find the courage to hold on even when there's nothing left in him except that will to hold on. In this great coming "War of the Fates" surely Dawn will need to come out as the Key to the door of victory. The First Evil brought Angel back from a century of torture in hell but it was the Powers that Be that caused the snow which saved him from the dawn for some great purpose (to be the champion for good). And is the Watcher's Council now destroyed, or did they just lose a second great battle but will endure to continue the war? Where's Faith? She's needed! And which side will Principal Robin Wood come down on? It seems he's bad -- he didn't call the police. Or is he an operant for the Watcher's Council? And that uber-vampire: is that the original demon who started the line of vampirism when it left this reality (Buffy 1.1)? And won't uber-buffy be necessary again to stand against uber-vampire? Will it be Willow (drawing upon the power of the earth, the good part) or Willow in conjunction with Dawn that will take on the First Evil? And last, perhaps most important, will the next episode (Buffy 7.10) be shown later in December (an Xmas special) or will we all really have to wait until January of 2003? And are Emmy's for Marsters and Gellar possible? And surely, surely, Giles is not dead..... (or, like Gandalf and Obi Wan, will he return stronger than ever)? and Joss and Co -- surely you know dissertations are even now being written on your creation, and that North American Conference in 2004 will be a great event! Okay. I'm talked out, and really feel better. Next comes the longing for more and the waiting waiting waiting... (God I love this show!)

[> my own personal answers, in order -- Clen, 19:45:10 11/26/02 Tue

I'm not sure I follow you on the thing about the devil making Lucifer Satan...? As for the Unholy Trinity, I can see the religious head, but I don't see a false prophet/front man in that mix, no great negotiator. Still, I do remember something about a timeline of 3.5 years then another 3.5 (maybe that was JVI I saw that) and we ARE in S7, and the snow thing WAS in 3, right? So, it might be an allusion, but I don't see a recreation.

rapid-fire A's:
council destroyed, watchers not. in jail. I say swerve. maybe, if my Checkpoint connection holds. seems entirely likely. no. anyone's guess. January. no and no. I bet on alive, though it will take SOME stroke of circumstance (heck, maybe they need Xmas break just to figure it out themselves.)

[> [> clarification on "devil making Lucifer Satan" -- frisby, 21:13:11 11/26/02 Tue

Lucifer begins as the first angel, God's first creation apart from Wisdom, the bringer of the light who is already there when God says "Let there be light!" But at the end he/she/it is Satan, the Ruler of Hell who aims to enslave humanity and rule the earth and the world and even replace God as the ruler of all creation. The "devil" is the function whereby Lucifer becomes Satan, an unholy trinity of the beast (from the snake of Genesis to the dragon of Revelation), the antichrist (the teacher of hate and the preacher of revenge), and the false prophet (the role of the "prophet" in the Biblical tradition (including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) is vast, and best comparable to the philosopher in Plato, he who appears as "God" or the Great Oz but who in reality is the mortal man behind the curtain pulling the strings. Milton adds to the myth that when Satan rules in Hell he is assisted by Moloch (force), Mammon (vice), Belial (Deception), and Beelzebub (clever wicknedness). In this scenario the "devil" represents the overall historical function whereby Lucifer eventually achieves the aim of becoming Satan. In this Buffyverse that is developing I see the beast on Angel as the "beast" and the ubervamp that rose tonight when Spike's blood was sacrificed to activate the Seal of Danthalzar (possibly the great wizard who sealed the uber-vamp in so it could not escape) as the antichrist and the false prophet as the first evil. Just speculation of course, and the question for us to insist Joss and Co answer is how what's happening on Angel relates to what's happening on Buffy. Just before the World Headquarters of the Watcher's Council there in London is destroyed we learn that the First Evil has launched an all out attack on them around the globe. As they said on Ghostbusters, this stuff is of Biblical Proportions. The First Evil is tired of being "subtle" and of the whole "mortal coil" thing and is going for a big finish by going back to the beginning (not the bang or the word) when it became opposed to the Powers that Be (when Lucifer rebelled against Yahweh/Elohim or God). What this big finale of season seven (or Angel season 4) and possibly (hopefully) of the entire series calls to mind (I think) is the emergence of Satan to duel to the death with the Powers that Be (the "War of the Fates") with the world at stake, and played out in the battlefield we call the soul of humanity. Joss and Co are doing masterful mythological work (incorporating the magical, the mystical, the mysterious, and even the musical). Wonderful wonderful stuff! (and I never even mentioned Nietzsche)

[> [> [> Re: clarification on "devil making Lucifer Satan" -- anom, 00:07:54 11/27/02 Wed

I still don't get this about "Lucifer becoming Satan." What's the difference? & then the devil is also separate from both of them? Maybe it's 'cause I'm not very familiar w/Christian writings, but I've never heard of anything remotely like this. Why would s/he need to change?

What I do know is that there's no mention of Lucifer in the Torah, & maybe not anywhere in the Hebrew scriptures. I don't think Satan appears until after the Torah (actually, I'm pretty sure about that much; I know he's mentioned in some of the Prophets, & then in Job, & maybe elsewhere), & when he does, he's nowhere near as powerful as he is in Christianity. And I don't think the "rebellion" story occurs in Judaism, at least not until it was influenced by Christianity, if even then. Anyway, I'm sure some of the other posters can correct me on any of this, if necessary.

[> [> [> [> Re: clarification on "devil making Lucifer Satan" -- Briar Rose, 01:19:22 11/27/02 Wed

You're correct anom. The Torah and doesn't put a lot of energy into the whole "Satan" thing, just as they don't put a whole lot of energy into the "heaven" of the Christian Bible. Sheoul is nothing like the "Pearly Gates and Choirs of Cheribum" that the Christian theology includes.

But Lucifer was the "First Angel" and God sent him away because Lucifer dared to question God's will. So the whole outline frisby laid out is the Christian Version and correct. (I am not familiar with the original Koran, so I won't comment...) Interestingly - most other world religions that aren't based on "revealed theologies" have no concept of one "All Powerful" evil. Most also have a dualistic concept of the "Highest Diety" actually being two dieties - one female and one male.

[> [> [> [> [> (Change in Judaism setting stage for Christianity) -- frisby, 06:17:39 11/27/02 Wed

Thanks Briar Rose (Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" is my favorite of their classics -- especially those weapons of righteousness (the shield of virtue and sword of truth) that Prince Philip wields against Malificient with the strength of his true love for Aurora).

Nice addition on the fact that all of our oldest religious notions center on the great father and great mother (in some sense or other), the great marriage that makes all things possible -- although I think the notion of God as Mother is perhaps even older than that. And of course, the notion of God as "creator" or "maker" is much more recent (and according to the Egyptians, very very low on the types of deities, corresponding more to the conceptions of the artisans rather than the nobility or royalty).

But my main point, from what I understand (from Schopenhauer for example) there is a fundamental difference in Judaic theology (/mythology) before the Babylonian captivity (before their henotheistic god got himself whupped) and afterwards. The key difference is the impact of Zoroastrianism (in Babylon) on their system. Before, the focus was Moses and the giving up the law, with little futural orientation and with "evil" consisting primarily of disobedience to the law. After, we find in the writings the expectation of another to come who surpasses Moses in importance, the messiah. And only then does the notion of evil rise in importance to rival even God. Zoroastrianism in essence posits a linear conception of time teleologically aimed at a final battle which will bring time to an end, a battle in which good will triumph over evil. During the capitivity Judaism absorbs these notions and then passes them to Christianity.

All of this sets the stage for Nietzsche's _Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Zoroaster's "real" name)_ and _Beyond Good and Evil_ -- but that's another story (although even there, there's still the "Great Noon of the Earth and Humanity".

[On a side note, ever hear of the fairly recent book _The Lucifer Principle_ which posits that "we" are the evil principle (subduing all other life forms) and that it is our own darkness that has enabled us to triumph over the planet? Also, I heard the Dean of the School of Science lecture last week here in Indianapolis on how "Frankenstein" represents us with our drive to knowledge and thus power over nature. That is, "we" are lucifer. "We" are frankenstein. Our "evil" represents that which is strongest in us. But what am I doing? These are dangerous things to say and require the proper preparation and correct context! Please pardon my recklessness. The crucial question is of course what is humanity, that which has cultivated the plants and domesticated the animals and mastered nature's secrets? Who are we? Where are we at? What is the "moment" we occupy?]

[> [> [> [> [> [> OT to Frisby -- Rahael, 06:58:39 11/27/02 Wed

Have you read Philip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy? I think you would enjoy them a lot.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: OT to Frisby -- frisby, 07:46:19 11/27/02 Wed

No, I haven't. Thanks for the reference. I used to read fiction and fantasy many years ago (Tolkein, R. Howard, et al), but now and for some time now it's been only non- fiction and mostly just philosophy (Plato and Nietzsche) or current science. My fiction preference seems to have moved from reading to movies or television. And of course, I can't remember anything ever having any impact like the buffyverse has on my imaginative outlets.

But maybe your suggestion will take. I'll look into it. Thanks!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: OT to Frisby -- Rahael, 08:00:35 11/27/02 Wed

Hope it doesn't disappoint! I think he's really wonderful - and quite different from a lot of other books in the genre. He deals with big ideas, and Milton and Blake are his primary influences.

His other (non-fantasy) books are also great, and he has very strong, interesting heroines.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree (inspecific spoilers for His Dark Materials) -- Tchaikovsky, 08:38:32 11/27/02 Wed


Another story with a strong, female hero
Another story with a classic, doomed love (am I allowed to say doomed? I'll put something in the subject line)
Another story where the existence of supernatural happenings elucidates humanity, rather than being an escape from humanity, (unlike the wonderful but ultimately trivial Tolkien).

And when I read the first volume, I was told it was a children's book. By the third volume, the chapters start with really heavy quotes from Milton and Blake and so on. Scary. The youth of today are just too literate.

And I bawled my eyes out the second time [see earlier post] I finished 'The Amber Spyglass'. So, so sad.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Exactly! Humans are the "darkness" and the "light" personified.... -- Briar Rose, 15:59:39 11/27/02 Wed

When you really read through ancient religions, you see that the focus is more on human conduct and the assorted "little evils" that add to it than any over whelming, all powerful evil "Thing" (Big Bad if you will...)

Actually - your last paragraphs sum up my own belief to the exactness of wording. The Humans are the nature of evil. However there is also the balance of good in humans as well. It's about free will and personal choice.

You know... I choose the name Briar Rose without ever realizing that that was the name of the "Sleeping Beauty".*LOL I also love the symbology of the sword and sheild and the Dragon and Fairies and all of the story. But the name came from a "past life" dream I had. It wasn't until about a year ago (and I have used that for over 10 years!) that someone brought up The Sleeping Beauty as the source. You are only the second person to know that fact! You are wonderful!

My choice of Briar Rose was based on the fact that my name in that dream was Irish/Celt. I couldn't spell it and could barely pronounce it.*L It meant "The Beautiful Flower of the Thorned Tree/Plant/Bush" (fid'ne...) so the closest English translation was Briar Rose.*S*

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Exactly! Humans are the "darkness" and the "light" personified.... -- frisby, 19:33:08 11/27/02 Wed

There's a history to it all of course. When I was 10 I begged my parents to take me to Disney's just released "Sleeping Beauty" and afterwards I got for a present Prince Philip's sword and shield and cloak, and there were several young (girl) friends in my neighborhood who used to be Aurora/Briar Rose (including the magic wake-up kiss). The final two minutes of that movie is still one of the most exciting sequences on film, where the three fairies (Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather) rescue Prince Philip from the dungeon of Malicifent and harm him with those weapons of righteousness so he can hack his way through the thorns to rescue Rose and defeat the Mistress of All Evil drawing on the power of true love even after she becomes that terrible fire-breathing dragon. That final moment of truth when he slays evil with the sword of truth and jumps to safety used to drive me to the heights of fantasy (I only saw the movie once but read the comic version many many times, until recently of course after it become available on VHS -- although still not released on DVD as far as I know). His horse (Sampson) was great too, and Rose's animals, especially the Owl. I also used color them (very carefully) in the coloring book I had. That was all about 1961 or so, and yet I remembered that movie like hardly any others (Fantasia was a great memory too though). Anyway, nice name. She was officially Aurora (the dawn) but to Philip she would always be Briar Rose.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Exactly! Humans are the "darkness" and the "light" personified.... -- aliera, 06:38:16 11/28/02 Thu

BR Have you seen any of the on-line fairy tale sites like Terry Windlings? Some of the stories have some really intriguing back story, like with the vamps, modern authors are doing some really good work with them also...some of my very favorite reading. I like the name as a symbol too (well gardening and Old roses in particular is one of my non- Buffy obsessions) -- the combination of beauty endurance and thorns is wonderful.

Back to the earlier part of your post I felt that very clearly last season in Buffy's story line and Warren's and Xander's and of course Willow's. And part of the message was in the difficulty of getting to the point of that choice and what happens when the joy in living is gone. I don't remember seeing you much on the board back then (if I missed you I apologize I don't always read everything)...what did you think of Willow's story? I realize now that some of what I posted elsewhere should have gone to other points in the thread (which I'm still catching up on) but if you go even further back my sense is that the religions are more concerned with what is life...birth transformation fertility death rebirth?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Exactly! (response to question) -- frisby, 21:11:46 11/28/02 Thu

I've mostly lurked for here for years but occasionally go into a posting frenzy. I love Willow's story in season 6, and of course her entire story arc, and her upcoming role in the big finale will prove crucial and provide fodder for several dissertations in years to come. She will bring the power of the earth itself, not to mention the goddess, into the final fray. Last, I think if you go completely back as far as possible beyond mythologies and religions altogether you find the simple existential categories of birth, life, death, and overall time. All the others flow from these four. The Tibetan Book of the Dead considers all four one these as simply one of the four bardos, and then adds three others, calling them many things (breathing in, stopping breathing in or being full, breathing out, and stopping breathing out or being empty). I remember them as life, death, afterlife, and rebirth. But as I said, I think the ones I mentioned are the existential basis of all others. For example, instead of birth, life, death, and time, some Christians speak instead of God, Jesus, Heaven, and Hell.

But I think I've inadvertently moved out of the buffyverse somehow, and into the miraculous, the magical, the mysterious, and the mystical. I prefer the philosophical, or humanity's highest interest.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'll have to check it out, aliera and frisby - what's wrong with that?*S* -- Briar Rose, 22:24:28 11/29/02 Fri

Willow went through a very normal beginning witch process in season 6. "just because you can - doesn't mean you should..."

I loved the whole story arc except for the so obvious relation they kept giving it to drug addiction. It was obvious that Willow had power, she also had style and inate ability in magick (as we are all born with.) What she didn't have is a belief system to balance it with. I am really HAPPILY blown away at this season because finally ME appears to be getting what magick is about and relating it in the story line....

Since the roots of magick are based in balancing belief and action, the best Willow could do before Season 7 is elemental magick. That is what she did before Seeing Red, in Seeing Red and until this season....

Elemental magick is not based in belief - it is based in Primal Energy. It is as natural as breathing and needs no ritual, thought or tools other than extreme emotion.

Now I should clarify right here: I am not "Wiccan" I am "Family Tradition" so I saw a lot of what Willow did as fine and dandy in the Witchcraft tradition I follow and having her power, I would have done the same to a Warren type under the circumstances (stopping short of the "Okay - I'll End the World..." part, natch.*L)

To illustrate my point: Warren embodies the basis of my traditions most dangerous "Big Bads"; Human evil without remorse. Therefore much more dangerous than any Evil Entity that can be bound and safely negated, because the free will aspect is not there in the Spirit Realm as in the Human. The justice system usually isn't able to successfully prosecute people that cunning either, so that isn't a real avenue to take.

Willow found out the secret to all magick in season 6. It's the simple energy expounded by honest and overwhelming emotion reacting with the energy all around us. Control of it is harder than ritual and orderly energy works... As she found out as well.*L

I also never agreed with those who thought Willow should be prosecuted under human laws. For one thing - How? No body to be discovered and no way to prove that she did anything other than breaking a wall in the Sunnydale Jail.

It was't any different than when Giles killed Ben, IMO. Warren, (and at that time) Andrew and even Jonathan were just as dangerous to those she loved as Glory or Adam or The Master ever were to those she loved. I do hope that now that she has learned more control - she will have a big part in the ultimate battle that is sure to come.

I loved the aspect that was written into Never Leave Me...

Andrew:....Well, he was trying to kill Buffy....

Willow: Not helping....

That summed up what I saw from a Witchy point of view.*LOL I have a feeling that even if it had been Buffy or Zander, Willow would have went all black eyed and veiny. She just would have stopped before trying to end the world all together. That was shown in the scene in the operating room with Buffy. She saved her friend before she followed through with tracking and killing the Geeks. There was still a source of balance there until she pulled from Rack. Rack was the one thing that totally pulled her over the edge.

And even Amy and Rack played a really important part in a young witches path.... there are always those who will try and turn an energy worker away from the path of light.

Sorry - I am rambling away and probably off topic all together.*LOL Unfortunatly, this is a very big part of my life and mental realms - so I get carried away on the subject.

I only started posting here a month or so ago and tend to lurk more than post.... So I am sorry I missed that part of the discussion, I truly am!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: aliera and frisby *S* -- magic of witchcraft -- frisby, 00:13:37 11/30/02 Sat

From my studies of the occult and esoteric philosophy many years ago, I came to understand the pre-modern astrology as the basis to what you seem to describe as elemental magick ("the simple energy expounded by honest and overwhelming emotion reacting with the energy all around us"), while magic per se was a step above or beyond astrology and consisted of what you seem to refer to as "ritual and orderly energy works" while alchemy was a step even above or beyond that. But you seem to think more highly of what I'm calling astrology than what I'm calling magic. Astrology at bottom is knowing the ways of things, and magic is using that knowledge to anticipate possible futures so as to bring about alternatives, while alchemy involves at bottom re- interpetations of what actually happened (changing the past so to speak). All three are forms of sophistry or public wisdom, and involve tapping into earth energies and animals powers. I think Aleister Crowley probably pointed the right direction by connecting magick primarily to one's will (a will that of course could be aligned with the natural rhythms of the earth, or not) with his "to affect change in accordance with one's true will (if I got it right)" -- . but then I also find value in the anthropological evolution of religion into magic and then again into science, and I so do hope we as a species find a way to transform science from being deadly to being joyful. On another matter, just ss Giles and Willow were beyond any postivistic conception of justice (with regard to Ben and Warren) and subject to some notion of natural justice, so also, as Faith said, Buffy may very well have to learn the hard and dangerous lesson that, as the slayer, she is indeed beyond the law. Moving back to the Buffy drama itself, I too find the story arc of Willow one of the most fascinating of the series, for example, Buffy's noting that Willow is the most powerful of the Scoobie gang, including herself. I've also found it intriguing that the first "real" episode of the series (excluding the two-hour opener) is about (and called) the witch. Willow well exemplifies the close interaction between science and magic. As Willow said to Andrew, she indeed does have power now, the power of magic, what I would reduce fundamentally to honesty and integrity (or what Nietzsche would call the will to power and the eternal return).

[> [> [> [> [> [> Some general points -- Charlemagne20, 23:30:07 11/27/02 Wed

1. Hebrew folklore still developed Asmodeus as the King of Hell. The only difference is that in most interpretations he is an evil spirit and not a fallen servant of God

2. Mother and father religions are a myth about myths

When Greece ruled it was Zeus not Zeus and Hera, and before Zeus it was Hera and before her Rhea and possibly before her Gaia. In Babylon it was all about Marduk and he was supposadly created by killing Tiamat as a mother goddess but its difficult to imagine that evil dragon as anything other than a creatrue to be destroyed

3. Hebrew had other religions to serve as the Devil

Baal, Belial, Dagon...many of the traditional demons of demonology that eventually found their way into hebrew lore were already evil spirits. They were enemy gods however hated by God.

4. Humanity has mastered the world through cooperation

The Lucifer princible is conceited in that it doesn't recognize that humanity's competive aspects have only managed to bring about 2000 years of Dark Ages when in fact the pursuit of knowledge and adaptation of others has brought about in the 20th century more advances than all centuries before it

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Some general points -- aliera, 07:25:04 11/28/02 Thu

Yes the assimilation and sometimes persecution of the older way isn't new or even only found in religion or myth. Some of the creation myths even speak directly to it in terms of the Land being formed by the dismemberment of the older God/Goddess carried on in the vegetation god storylines where renewal comes from death.

BTB Willow called on Asmodea in Grave...;-) another aborted spell.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Some general points (one specific one) -- frisby, 18:55:57 11/28/02 Thu

Interesting. One small point. I have an interest in the overall battle of Uranus / Cronus / Zeus against Gaea (in Greek Mythology). The two big wars (Cronus vs Uranus, and then Zeus vs Cronus) were both cover-ups for the larger war against Gaea herself. The winning move was voiced by Athena who declared she had not mother and so sided with the father (although she actually "did" have a secret mother). Moving from the mythological to the philosophical realm, this occurs with the dialogues of Plato (whose "Socrates" becomes the new "Heracles"). The question facing we today who are witness to these things, is whether Nietzsche (though the theology of Dionysos and Ariadne) can counter Plato and restore humanity's proper relation with the earth.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Got to be careful here... -- alcibiades, 13:38:37 11/29/02 Fri

Good point up the thread, Frisby, about the seal of Danthazar perhaps having been set by a "wizard" or wizard replacement figure or a key, or slayer and someone else from a previous generation to seal in the first vampire. This also explains why there was a trial and error kind of approach on the part of the first evil to opening the seal. It also ties in nicely to the fantasy genre as well -- the First Evil types
chained or sealed in below the mountain.

But my main point, from what I understand (from Schopenhauer for example) there is a fundamental difference in Judaic theology (/mythology) before the Babylonian captivity (before their henotheistic god got himself whupped) and afterwards. The key difference is the impact of
Zoroastrianism (in Babylon) on their system. Before, the focus was Moses and the giving of the law, with little futural orientation and with "evil" consisting primarily of disobedience to the law. After, we find in the writings the expectation of another to come who surpasses Moses in importance, the messiah.

First a confession. I confess to being unfamiliar with Schopenhauer's views on Judaism first hand, so I
am just going by what you say. So I may be stepping in a factual landmine or two, unknowingly. I apologize in advance if I do.

A word of advice, however, about this kind of stuff. You have to be really careful about the interpretations of 18th or 19th or 20th century German Protestant philosophers (and those of their many theological and spiritual heirs) and their objective "interpretations" of Judaism, even the ones who may have eschewed their Protestantism. First, because the perspective is not objective and the "interpretation" is either born directly out of, or at the least influenced by, a competing religious tradition which sees itself as the destination point of world history. Though this tendency amongst some scholars is less acute than it once was, in part due to some rethinking of German Protestant theology after the Holocaust and in part due to the fact that the complexion of academic biblical criticism has changed radically now that it is in the hands of Jews as well as Protestants, it also still very much exists.

In fact, quite recently, during my graduate school years, depending on whether I was attending classes at the divinity school of my university or taking them from professors of Judaic studies, it was still quite plain to discern.

Secondly, amongst these same thinkers there is also a tendency to want to locate outside of biblical Judaism the originative religious insight of God which becomes the spiritual crux of Christianity. Several scholars/philosophers/theologians do this by locating the important insights in either Platonism or Hellenism more generally, particularly Rudolf Bultmann and his students. This delegitimates Judaism while simultaneously making Protestantism less Jewish.

Here, in the schemata you sketched, Schopenhauer is doing this by assigning to Zoroastrianism the linear sense of world history, as opposed to the cyclical one, which is understood as one of Judaism's unique contributions to world religious thought as well as the apocalyptic end of days vision of world history which fully flowers in Christianity. Thus, "originative" Judaism, without the influence of
Zoroastrianism, ends up looking like a dessicated tribal religion of law keeping and little spiritual importance. Christianity's true gift came from Zoroastrianism.

It is actually quite difficult to overestimate the effect the distaste for Judaism had on thinkers of the history of religion of this culture and period. Hegel, Schopenhauer's contemporary, frex, understood Judaism as having an immanent sense of God, but never a transcendent one (a view btw which is still heavily influential in some quarters) unlike Christianity which, as the perfect moment in the movement
of spirit through history, possesses them both.

Schleiermacher, another contemporary, believed that Judaism was a dead religion, which had once possessed a beautiful, childlike nature, now corrupted, an order founded on family history and preserved by priests (a Protestant byword for degenerate religion), whose intuition into the universe
was that of "an immediate, universal retribution", with a perfected gift of prophecy that however was too small and uncomplicated to resonate onto the world stage. Whereas, "[t]he original intuition of Christianity is more glorious, more sublime, more worthy of adult humanity, more deeply penetrating into the spirit of systematic religion, and extending further over the whole universe."

None of this is surprising, given the times and world history. My point is merely that it has to be
weighed into the equation before you can accept the perspective of Judaism these thinkers advance. Not to mention the fact that the state of biblical and Ancient Near Eastern including Zoroastrianism scholarship has advanced astronomically since then so that all of their notions of what Judaism originally possessed and what it gained in Babylon is very unlikely still to hold sway, academically speaking, and may now be viewed as quite naive.

Frex, I never heard the bit about the linear sense of time as being an inheritance from Zoroastrianism. That doesn't make it untrue, of course. But as I spent way too many years in grad school, and studied the second temple period extensively, it does make me quite suspicious of its truth quotient.

And only then does the notion of evil rise in importance to rival even God.

Never in Judaism.

There is a whole bunch of stuff about the sitra achra -- the other side, meaning the dark side, but that is more 16-18th century, IIRC, completely outside of the scope of time you are dealing with. You are talking about the early second temple period (about which very little is known), the apocalyptic age, proto rabbinism, and very early rabbinic thought, from 587 BCE through, say, 50 CE. Some books,
such as the Maccabees and strands of rabbinic exegetical interpretation do conflate the force of evil with political oppressor nations, such as Assyria and Rome. But the point here was always the spiritual one that repentance leads to redemption. The spiritual was the answer to the political because the political reality reflected the spiritual one. Thus a Jewish nation in political and religious chains
represents a Judaism which had fallen and alienated God by the force of its sin or uncleanness.

Messianism, then, arose as a further spiritualization of this worldview which was born as a way to cope spiritually with difficult political realia.

But never did evil as a principle ever come close to rivaling God in Jewish thought. And evil was not a separate principle, but an actualized historical force, say, as in its political incarnations, which had to be overcome before God could once again draw close. The way to overcome this was both internal and external -- inward religious mindfulness and overcoming of the personal evil inclination coupled with
external charity and acts of loving kindness.

There were some dualistic cults, like proto Gnosticism, which soon broke permanently from Judaism because it radicalized the notion of a separate evil and made redemption that much harder to obtain and therefore only the province of the elite -- the Gnostics themselves.

Zoroastrianism in essence posits a linear conception of time teleologically aimed at a final battle which will bring time to an end, a battle in which good will triumph over evil. During the capitivity Judaism absorbs these notions and then passes them to Christianity.

Now, I don't want to discount the fact that Judaism was greatly influenced cosmogonically by the exile in Babylonia. The whole extended angelic "pantheon," so much a feature of apocalyptic thought which later develops into Jewish mysticism, is a clear outgrowth of Babylonia.

It is not clear to me, however, exactly what is known today about 6th century Zoroastrianism -- and more to the point, given the inaccurate state of historical criticism while Schopenhauer was alive, how much of what he "knew" is considered true today.

But to quote Gershom Scholem once again, Schopenhauer's formulation as you have recounted it, does contain a whiff of the tendency "to regard Judaism only as the antechamber of Christinaity and to see it as moribund once it had brought forth Christianity."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Got to be careful here...(me too) -- frisby, 16:57:20 11/29/02 Fri

Thank you Alcibiades for your thoughtful reflections and responses. I'll admit my approach to some of these matters is simply formulatic, meaning taking as gospel some things here and others there, and then constructing and inferring, and so on. Schopenhauer (an avowed atheist, as I assume you know), in "The Christian System" (6th paragraph from the end), claims that "In the Zendavesta, from which, as is well known, Judaism sprang ..." (the Zendavesta being the main writing of Zoroastrianism). He makes this claim other places in his writings also. At one place he cites Bundahish as an authority in these matters, but of whom I know nothing. Schopenhauer is not my only source in these matters though. The professor of biblical studies I learned from developed the theme that after Moses the Hebrew people were ruled by Judges (Samson, Deborah) but that this all began to go wrong when the last of the judges (and the first of the prophets), Samuel, arranged for them to have a king. This leads to the rise of the prophets who at first always preach about getting back to Moses, but who after the captivity preach about a new Moses (so to speak) yet to come. From what I understand in religious studies circles, this phenomena is not unique and has happened with other religions too. Another source for my view comes from Leo Strauss who in his article on Halevi (Law of the Kuzari, from about 800 c.e.if I remember correctly) argues that "conservative" or "orthodox" Judaism considers the giving of the law by Moses to be the one unique moment in all of history (similar to the Christian treatment of the life of Jesus, or our common calendar), and all of the history of Judaism to be a matter of straying from and returning to that historical moment. Only radical sects like the Pharisees or even late Hasidism look to the future for some savior. But I agree that we (we modern scholars of history in this context) are very far from being able to make judgments about these religions with any significant degree of accuracy or certainty. Studying the philosophical and religious thought of India always leaves me very perplexed and questioning about how all that got started and developed. Schopenahuer claims India (Hinduism generally) fundamentally influenced ancient Persia (Zoroastrianism) which in turn transformed Judaism from which Christianity emerged. Nietzsche doesn't make the same claim as Schopenhauer, as far as I know, but does claim that there is a very very fundamental difference between the pre- and post- captivity writings, drawing from him the judgment of "noble" for the former but leaving him with bitter things to say for the latter. Returning to the scholarship surrounding Zoroastrianism (the teaching and religion that developed from the historical Zarathustra) however, there are several books arguing for the utter importance it had on the west, impacting even Greek philosophy through Anaxagoras who in turn taught Socrates (which led to Alexander spreading Hellenistic culture around the known world -- but you know that of course). I've only second hand knowledge of much of these things, but the doctrine that the linear time of the west originated with Zarathustra is well-known and held by many scholars, and can be found in many reference books (although it is still not necessarily true of course). My main source for that though is from Nietzsche, who says he chose "Zarathustra (the correct form, not Zoroaster)" for his own mouthpiece because of his utter importance at the font of the west (see Ecce Homo, Destiny 3). Both Duschesne- Guillemin (_Western Response to Zoroaster_) and Jackson (_Zoroaster_) argue for the linear conception of time originating with Zoroastrianism (culminating in the final batle at the end of time). Legend says even Pythagoras was a student of Zarathustra. Another book says: "Zarathustra is the founder of the linear view of time, the fist to formulate the mighty vision that time is the progressive escalation of the struggle of good and evil, culminating in utopia for the worthy (Lampert 2)." I won't go on. Oh, Plato mentions him in _Alcibiades_ 1.122a. And by the way, what "is" the source of your using thatname as your handle or whatever they call it? I have to assume that you know that in the writings of Plato (which I've studied intently for many years) only Socrates surpasses Alcibiades in importance. One can argue that all of Plato is about Alcibiades. Nietzsche reserves one of his highest praises for him. You must know of his strategic genius, his envy of Themistocles, his treachery to Athens (and then again to Sparta, and then, almost, to Persia)? And you know all of what he said about Socrates (as 'reported' by Plato in his _Symposium_)? I need to end this response, and I don't claim to have done full justice to yours. You end quoting Scholem (a good friend of Leo Strauss). I will end quoting Nietzsche (Strauss was a closet Nietzschean in my understanding), who would argue that Judaism was indeed moribund when Christianity emerged, but that before the captivity, it was noble. "In the Jewish 'Old Testament,' the book of divine justice, there are human beings, things, and speeches in so grand a style that Greek and Indian literature have nothing to compare with it (BGE 52, but compare Dawn 68)." Maybe one more, from TSZ 1.15: the Hebrews became mighty and eternal through this law of overcoming: "to honor father and mother and to do their will even from the roots of the soul." So, in closing this longer than usual response to your longer (and better, I will admit) response than usual, I'll say that from my perspective you did not step on a landmine but hopefully happened upon a goldmine (referring of course not to myself but to the utter importance and impact of some of the ideas we've together brought into awarness at this forum). For my part (again) thanks for the thoughtful response and reflection.

[> [> [> [> Re: clarification on "devil making Lucifer Satan" -- frisby, 05:52:13 11/27/02 Wed

I'm speaking mythologically of course and not theologically, and drawing upon sources other than Biblical, such as Milton, and agree its primarily Christian rather than Judaic or Islamic. "Lucifer" represents the beginning of the process and "Satan" the result or aim of the process, and the "Devil" the process itself. Another way to think of it is that this first evil is referred to as "Lucifer" up in heaven, as the "Devil" here on earth, and as "Satan" down in hell. Buffy's last line of 7.9 is fundamental: (something like) it's all one, they're up against the first. I think some versions of this mythology of evil even read this original rebellion as centered on this idea of the "first" - - Lucifer being first among all the other angels, God's first creation. I would hazard that Lucifer's rebellion was rooted in the will to be "really" first (surpassing even God). Hope this helps at least to understand the ideas involved. A full explanation would now move from the mythological to the psychological.

[> [> [> [> [> interesting--i'd never heard of that concept -- anom, 00:15:26 11/28/02 Thu

How does the idea that Lucifer existed before creation & brought the light at God's bidding go with the Creation story in Genesis, in which light & the rest of Creation exist either at God's word ("and there was light") or by God's actions ("and God made the firmament")? How does it relate to "In the beginning was the Word?" Neither of these seems to require any agent other than God to create light.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: interesting--i'd never heard of that concept (matter of different traditions) -- frisby, 01:09:55 11/30/02 Sat

I think it's a matter of different traditions, not to mention differing interpretations. For example, the Catholic Bible includes the Book of Wisdom but the Protestant Bible excludes it. In that book "wisdom is personified" and speaks as having existed even before the beginning, something like "I was there when ... and I was there when ..." As for Lucifer and the entire hierarchy of angels and archangels (nine levels in some accounts), I think none of that is in Genesis. It's a matter of stories and additions being added over tradition, and then read back into the earlier writings (like the snake of Eden actually being an aspect of the devil). Actually, according to one of my professors who knows the hebrew text very well (or is it aramaic), before God says "Let there be light" there is already "darkness over the deep" and the word for "deep" there is very close to "tiamat" or the mother goddess of the Babylonian Marduk tradition. That is, if properly translated and understood, it's not a creation of the whole out of nothing. And as for the "word" there at the beginning, which is generally among Christians thought to mean Christ, that is a much later accretion with the usual resulting re-reading of the text. Aristotle of course directly refutes any beginning to time. If one holds that time begins with God's word, then one can ask how God begins, and to the answer that God never began, he replies why not save a step in the process and agree time never began? But we don't have the time and this is probably not the place for too much more of this discussion. Nietzsche turns the issue on its head and argues that the really great marvel is not that God created the world but that man created God. Isn't it amazing to think that this idea or notion (or even personally human relation) arose at all? Do we therefore infer that it could only have arisen from God, or do we give proper credit to humanity for its invention? (I really don't mean to offend anyone here, and am having second thoughts about sending this, without at first reworking it, but what the hell, we're all intelligent adults tough enough to exchange honest viewpoints without getting nasty, I think.) So, nuf said.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: interesting--i'd never heard of that concept (matter of different traditions) -- anom, 20:47:13 11/30/02 Sat

"As for Lucifer and the entire hierarchy of angels and archangels (nine levels in some accounts), I think none of that is in Genesis."

It's not. The angels that appear in Genesis are sent to represent God on specific missions. "Angel" is often said to mean "messenger," but I think that refers to the Greek word it's derived from. The Hebrew mal'ach, translated as "angel," is the same as the word meaning "task" (no, there's no relation to melech, meaning "king"; there's an additional letter in the root). Genesis says nothing about any hierarchy; I don't think that comes till after the whole Hebrew Bible.

"Actually, according to one of my professors who knows the hebrew text very well (or is it aramaic), before God says 'Let there be light' there is already 'darkness over the deep' and the word for 'deep' there is very close to 'tiamat' or the mother goddess of the Babylonian Marduk tradition. That is, if properly translated and understood, it's not a creation of the whole out of nothing."

It's Hebrew. Yes, there's "darkness over the face of the deep," but before then, the very 1st words in Genesis are "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." So they already existed but were in darkness. (1. Some recent translators say it starts "In the beginning of God's creation of the heavens and the earth...." 2. There's a button that says "In the beginning there was nothing, and God said 'Let there be light.' And there was still nothing, but you could see it.")

I've seen the connection drawn between the Hebrew t'hom & Tiamat, but t'hom is also simply the Hebrew word for "deep" (noun, possibly adjective--I'm at my brother's for Thanksgiving & don't have my Hebrew-English dictionary handy). I don't know anywhere near enough about Babylonian (OK, nothing at all) to have an opinion on whether the words are related or whether that means anything. And it does say the earth was "unformed & void," but that's still after God creates it in the 1st verse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Genesis 1:1 -- frisby, 22:08:16 11/30/02 Sat

I was also taught to read that first verse (In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.) as a summary of the opening. That is, the second sentence begins again and elaborates what the first means. Other translations hook the sentence together and make that first one a clause (In the beginning, when God was about to create the heavens and the earth, while the earth was unformed and void ...) so that the tense builds up to "Let there be light." But the larger question I'm interested in with regard to much of this is whether (and if so, how much) the Hebrews appropriated their stories and traditions from the other peoples around them or whom they encountered. The most famous of course is the flood story (Gilgamesh) but there are significant other examples (Zoroastrianism during the captivity), including the appropriation of monotheism itself from the Egyptian Aknaton (that's not spelled right). And I'm just raising the issue of appropriating stories, not when and where any of it actually got written down (surely not before King David, and one account contended as late as 600 bc). Of course, I know this all takes on a different reading from the perspective of an adherent standing within the tradition -- which may be the only legitimate position for any criticism to begin from -- while other orientations stress the current reading one hears from the heart (or something like that). I'm only meaning to address what we might know from the perspective of the historian, scholar, or scientist. From that perspective, I must say I was quite persuaded that there had to be a connection between the Hebrew word (t'hom translated as deep) and the Babylonian Tiamat. Philosophically, the question moves to a clarification of the meaning of the phrase "darkness over the face of the deep." I hazard the tradition holds this was dictated to Moses from God (or something like that)?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> syncretism not appropriation and perspectivism -- alcibiades, 01:07:40 12/01/02 Sun

Appropriation is not really the correct term in this context, rather, religious syncretism. It's clear there was a great deal of sharing of myths and so forth in the Ancient Near East. But appropriation suggests that things were lifted whole and kept that way, not that elements were incorporated while being greatly reshaped and evolving to fit into a different worldview. There was tremendous religious and mythological syncretism that went all ways in the Ancient Near East.

You keep citing your professor of Hebrew Bible. But really, without knowing who his professors were and the scholars who influenced him and what school of thought he is in and why he chose that one and whether he is himself religious or atheist, you are doing a disservice to your understanding of the entire field. The texts can support many contradictory theories -- and always has. It is a field full of polemics, inter-religious and intra-religious and anti-religious. Thus, to take up a fairly radical overall approach to the interpretation of the tradition without understanding something of the history of those idea and their sweep and who accepts them, gives you a one sided view of something that is multi-dimensional.

Of course, there is always a gut reaction, an internal propensity to want to view it one way and not another, according to the framework and modes of thought that are one's natural province and that tie into other intellectual interests. But I think in a good class about the interpretation of Genesis or bible interpretation in general, you should receive some notion of the spectrum of interpretation, not just the foundation for following one particular interpretative analysis.

Judging (perhaps erroneously) from your posts of the last several days, your innate propensity seems to be anti-faith and interested in the deconstruction of the tradition. There are plenty of people in tune with you. But it is something to be conscious of in terms of the way you view the field and the way you present your understanding of it to others.

Frex, some of the stuff you are mentioning, like 'the appropriation of monotheism from Akhenaten', is just not as widely held a theory as you imply. There is plenty of controversy over it, not least because so very little is known at all about the exile in Egypt. With hardly any historical records on the ground about the nature of the Hebrew community in Israel and exactly when they were there (I have a book that, on seemingly decent evidence, places them there 3 centuries after the commonly held view which thereby the notion of the appropriation of monotheism from Akhenaten impossible), it is not surprising that only some scholars hold this position. Much of the theory is guesswork and intuition, however much it is shrouded in possibility. So that, you really do have to factor in where these scholars are coming from theologically and intellectually speaking, because it tends to be an influence on guesswork and intuition.

I'm only meaning to address what we might know from the perspective of the historian, scholar, or scientist.

Well, yeah. But the problem is no one is precisely objective.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: -- aliera, 06:49:32 12/01/02 Sun

Thanks for an interesting sub-thread anom, frisby and alcibiades. I'm glad that you mentioned the difficulty of objectivity; I think that is quite true. I was reading an essay from the site in which the author mentioned the (I think famous) quote that in scientific experimention (he was applying this to the theraputic relationship) that once the scientist starts to evaluate a problem he becomes part of the experiment. This is part of why for me it is so very intriguing to try to learn what came before and also (but more difiicult) what was left out or suppressed (I'm thinking particulary of the christian tradition but it applies to other things too of course). Another problem at least for myself (I tend to do most looking on-line)is trying to find points of entry (to quote frisby) on-line. A sub-difficulty but related to both points above is trying to evaluate sources to explore in the non-mainstream traditions. I tend to look at pretty much everything as non- objective and read it in that light but that's probably just a personal tendency. One of my early teachers told me that I would always have difficulty in the "system" since there was this seemingly unlimited capacity for asking "why?" which was quite correct. LOL.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: syncretism not appropriation and perspectivism (Frex?) -- frisby, 07:02:14 12/01/02 Sun

Thank you again Alcibiades for such a well-thought out response. I don't think I differ substantially on anything you've noted but do have a question and comment and observation or two.

First, I'm confused about the "Frex" -- might you clarify how you are using it? It's not in my dictionary. Is it a designation for myself? ("Frex, some of the stuff you ...)

On "appropriation," I think that was the polite term, rather than theft, but syncretism is of course another viable way of understanding it. But I agree their was no "lifting whole and keeping it that way." Generally, I like the way you've put it better, although I did not know the "sharing" went all ways and don't know of any examples. Perhaps India shared many of its religious stories with others?

My professor of religious studies (the one I referred to, there were others) came out of Harvard in the 1970s and won't let students know his religious affiliation but the word was that he was Quaker. I never believed it though and think of him simply as a modern man, atheist and all. I don't know his school or any of the options even, but we dealt the the hypothesis that the text was 'redacted' (if I remember the term right) around 600 bc and incorporated the P and J and some other texts. But I suspect you know much more about this than I do. My background is very general but to the degree there is a focus its the history of political philosophy and not religious studies or theology proper. I do surely agree with the multi-dimensional approach though even though it seems my individual perspective is coming through as 'radical' -- which I don't doubt. I do identify myself as a Nietzschean, although I'm sure that's likely as confusing as calling oneself a Christian while standing amidst a group orientals not yet exposed to the west. I also think of myself as having several other important teachers like Leo Strauss and Plato, not to mention Heidegger, Bacon, and Grant, but that's enough (if not too much) personal stuff for this context. At bottom of course I'm merely a student who reads and thinks about these things that interest me and which I find pertinent to our future as a species on this planet.

I agree that from one perspective I am anti-faith and interested in the deconstruction of the tradition, but following the way I understand Nietzsche I think an additional perspective is also part of that, one that includes faith (see BGE 202-3 merely as one example) and that rebuilds an already deconstructed tradition. From my perspective our tradition has already been deconstructed, not in all of its particulars of course, but in a way similar to the way history ends in Hegel. Modernity (especially modern science)has already replaced Christendom as the primary archive of the authoritative opinions on the basis of which we make our decisions and plan our lives. The 'faith' that Christendom could once supply has long since been replaced by cultural concerns focused in politics and economics. The movie _Mindwalk_ expresses this move in mindset from the medieval to the modern quite well. But of course (using Nietzsche's own metaphor) even after the bolt of lightning hits, the thunder rolls along for a few centuries. Perhaps a better way to state my point is to quote Buffy. When asked about the current opinion of humanity regarding the existence of god she replies "nothing solid" meaning the authoritative opinion of the common view (unlike earlier centuries) is that it can't be demonstrated, and that the burden of proof does not lie on those who disbelieve. This is of course a political orientation and not theological. My suggestion for anyone wanting to read on this view is chapter three of Nietzsche's _Beyond Good and Evil_ titled "The Religious Being" (or sometimes incorrectly as the essence of religion). It's the best I know on these matters.

As regards the Hebrew appropriation of monotheism from the Egyptians, I agree it's only a theory and one not shared by most or perhaps even many in the field. I stand corrected if that's the way it came out. I meant only to point to other such theories that one can find out there that raise doubt against a simply understanding of Genesis as creation out of nothing. I was trying to say much of what you say in the last major paragraph of your response, only applying that to all of biblical exegesis and criticism.

I want to make a point on your last point though, that no one is precisely objective. I agree of course, and will only mention indeterminancy and all that, but I think objectivity is possible to a very high degree, and that it is an attitude (a subjective attitude as are all attitudes) that should be pursued in the proper context and valued. As Nietzsche says (BGE 207 for example) the objective scholar or scientist is a very useful tool for the complementary human being, the philosopher, meaning we need our scholars who pursue the naked truth at all costs but we also need to remember that their findings are not the whole truth, and need to always be incorporated back into the world of human concern to be of any value for us. The naked truth, facts understood outside the human context, have their place but also their priority (not the highest one). Another way of expressing this simple position is to understand mathematics as a particular language (not something above and better than ordinary discourse) or to understand science as a form of art (whose purpose, like all the arts, is tied to humanity). The trick I think "is" to be precisely objective but to remember the proper priority to be assigned to that objectivity (that is, objectivity itself is not an objective fact but a useful subjective attitude).

Needing to close and begin the NY Times for the morning, I really want to express thanks for reading my words and writing your own in response. I guess I should hear your description of my 'radicality' and take it to heart and learn from it. Nietzsche taught me to (metaphorically speaking here of course) rear my devil and turn its seven demons into a god) but Leo Strauss taught me that the one who thinks as an intelligent independent individual is "always (even in our free and open democratic society)" subject to persecution of various sorts and should learn the various mechanisms of self-defense, the first of which should be prudence and irony (or speaking carefully and knowing when to keep silence).


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> FREX = "for example" -- Sophist, 07:59:40 12/01/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: FREX = "for example" (ok - thanks) - - frisby, 12:04:30 12/01/02 Sun

Of course. Thanks!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re:ally OT but I forgot to ask... -- aliera, 08:26:11 12/01/02 Sun

I've been meaning to ask how you liked the new Kushner book for a while and I keep forgetting...also, have you heard her "Golden Dreydl" and if so, what did you think? Sorry, having a particularly distracting morning!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Just out of curiousity, -- Sophist, 11:33:19 12/01/02 Sun

is that Rohl's book Pharoahs and Kings?

[> [> [> [> The word "satan" means "enemy" -- Finn Mac Cool, 08:05:05 11/27/02 Wed

In fact, there was even a time when someone's personal adversary would be referred to as a "satan". The word "Satan", as we now use it, originally came from "The Satan", meaning "The Enemy". Thus, when Lucifer became the Satan, he became the Enemy (the "of God" part is implied).

[> [> [> [> [> too strong a term? -- anom, 00:07:41 11/28/02 Thu

The Hebrew term "satan" is closer to "adversary" (as you mentioned) or "accuser." (Notice that none of these words is a proper noun.) Some commentators have likened the satan's role to that of a prosecutor, esp. around Yom Kippur. But in Judaism, the satan is not an out-&-out enemy of & certainly not in rebellion against God (more like a subversive...). But there's nothing about his being "the Tempter" or doing evil for evil's sake. (I'm talking about the Scriptures here, not later discussions/commentary--I know I'd better specify this or someone will correct me!) There's a verse (Zachariah 3:1) in the haftarah (reading from the prophets) for the 1st Shabbes in Chanukah (this weekend--good timing!) that has the satan ("ha-satan") standing with Joshua, the high priest, "to accuse him" ("le-sitno," from the same root). But I hadn't heard of its being used to mean a personal enemy--certainly not a human one. Can you give an example?

[> [> [> it would be interesting, but -- Clen, 07:35:12 11/27/02 Wed

it would all be very interesting for that to happen, I enjoy the apokalypso website just as much as anyone else. I just don't see the ubervamp as bringing peace to our world, being the sheep with the tongue of a dragon, or whatnot. plus of course, if they did that, would the Kingdom then rule on Earth for a thousand years? not much room for BtVS or A:tS to maneuver in after that.

[> [> [> [> 1000 years? -- frisby, 02:03:45 11/30/02 Sat

See Nietzsche's TSZ 4.1 (Hazar)

[> [> [> [> making Lucifer Satan -- Michael, 13:28:45 11/30/02 Sat

While Satan does mean "adversary", Lucifer means "light- bringer" or "Morning Star." Hmm, wasn't Jesus the Light of the World?
If I remember my Paradise Lost, we must thank Milton for confusing the issue of Satan and Lucifer.
By the way, the passage in the Bible that mentions Lucifer is actually referring to the king of Babylon.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: making Lucifer Satan -- frisby, 16:21:04 11/30/02 Sat

Still, the tradition that exists today is that the devil (or the anti-trinity of beast, false prophet, and antichrist) is the process whereby Lucifer (the fallen angel) becomes Satan (the ruler of hell on earth). One can choose to simply see it all as one -- but if differences are looked for, those are the main ones. Myth changes throughout a tradition.

[> Actually... -- Rob, 21:04:23 11/26/02 Tue

...the First Evil just took credit for bringing Angel back. Buffy suspected that it was what would later be known at the PTB on AtS.


[> [> Re: Actually... -- frisby, 21:16:58 11/26/02 Tue

Are we sure of that? I thought they brought Angel back with the plan he would kill Buffy. On what in that episode (or elsewhere) is the interpretation that they "just took credit" based? I don't doubt you're right, but I didn't know that and want to know the reasoning. Does Masquerade cover it in her analysis of the epsidoe (I'll check shortly). Anyway, thanks for pointing it out. Does it remain a mystery why the Powers that Be might have brought Angel back?

[> [> [> From the official shooting script of "Amends"... -- Rob, 21:40:55 11/26/02 Tue

It wasn't haunting me. It was just
showing me.

Showing you --

What I am.


And ever shall be. I wanted to know
why I was back. Now I do.

You don't know. What, some great
honking evil takes credit for
bringing you back and you buy it?
You just give up?"

And here's the info from Masq's pages:

--What brought Angel back (from the "Faith, Hope, & Trick" analysis):

"What force caused Angel to return from Hell? Three possibilities present themselves:

1. Buffy's claddagh ring. Buffy's visit to the Garden Mansion is definitely a psychological ritual--the first step in letting go of a loved one so that she can move on in life. Its significance as a mystic ritual remains an open question. A moment after she leaves the Mansion, a bright beam of light illuminates the ring on the floor, and grows more intense. The ring begins to vibrate against the marble. With a flash, a dimensional portal opens above the ring and Angel falls through onto the floor, naked and disoriented.
2. the only mystical force which has taken credit is the First Evil in Amends.
3. The Powers That Be: In Blind Date, a prophecy implies that Angel has a duty to the Forces of Good, even a destiny. The PTB's therefore have an interest in and the power to bring Angel back."

And here's the part of Masq's analysis of "Amends" on this:

"The return of Angel: According to Giles' research, the First Evil is capable of bringing Angel back from hell. It also takes credit for doing so.

It's possible that the "first evil" did bring Angel back. If the first evil wants, not only for Angel to revert, but to destroy/torture/punish Buffy, this is the perfect way to do it. Angel appeared right at the moment when Buffy was ready to forgive herself for killing him, was ready to move on.... She was on the path to making peace with herself, and saying goodbye to Angel, once and for all (symbolized by her laying down her ring). If the first evil wants Buffy to suffer, then it its eyes, this "moving on" was a bad thing. Thus, return of Angel to up her angst level, culminating in the final destruction of Buffy by the most horrible means possible (Mircalla, Dec 15 23:37 1998)."

So, basically, we still don't know for sure whether the First Evil brought Angel back or not. It might have. But there definitely is some doubt.

Hope all this helped! :o)


[> [> [> [> Re: From the official shooting script of "Amends"... -- frisby, 06:31:58 11/27/02 Wed

Thanks Rob. That helped a lot. Although in the end it seems the question remains open. I especially like Masquerade's three options. I'd read that before but it hadn't stayed with me -- the possibility that Buffy herself brought it about through the power of love that the claddagh ring helped bring to manifestation. Also important I think is that Giles says the First Evil did potentially have the power the bring Angel back. Buffy of course has the insight to question the claim. Overall, this forces us to remember the role of Angel (the Champion) in the Buffyverse (leaving aside the contingent considerations of different networks and bad executive decisions). Maybe those on AtS and those on BtVS will both simply refer to the global nature of what they face, without explicitly referring to each other?

[On a side note, I read earlier some insightful comments about Darla redeeming herself through sacrifice to save her baby Connor, and in turn Angel becoming a force for the good, and of course Spike recovering his soul (through his love for Buffy), but what of Drusilla?? What might yet be made of her wonderful character? Her visionary and pious essence? I think she's scheduled for a return somewhere in season seven.]

[> [> [> [> [> Re: From the official shooting script of "Amends"...future spec and spoilers -- aliera, 14:42:03 11/27/02 Wed

I posted a question up above and as often happens part of the answer is elsewhere on the board. Thanks Rob and Frisby. I've heard of the possibility of Dru's reappearance which just seems fitting with the way the season is really bring so many of the threads back into the weave, coming back full circle. I guess the question that crossed my mind when I read your post up above is really why is the First back right now? Is there a connection between The Soul Demon in Africa to the First? We never found out who he was. And it seems a little odd to me that four years pass between Amends and now without a hint of the if there's more to the reappearance than what we know.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Why Now for the "Hour" of the First? -- frisby, 15:50:30 11/27/02 Wed

"Time" for the First Evil might very well be different than it is for us who part of the "mortal coil" -- that of which the First Evil has had enough (it said). Instead, it's going for the big finish, and is tired of "subtle" opting instead for the "presence of authority"

As for any (or "the") relation of the African Demonic Shaman who restored Spike's soul, I have no idea either. Although in 7.1 Morphy-Drusilla said to Spike that he got his soul back but is not his own man, meaning perhaps that was part of the price he had to pay. But assuming he is "not" his own man, whose man is he? The First? Or perhaps the Shaman sold or traded or gave Spike to it?

But again on your main question. Why has the "hour" of the First Evil finally come round at last? Why did it choose "now" to slouch towards Bethlehem? (In Yeats, believe it or not, he's actually referring to Nietzsche ... or again ... Hector takes Athena by the hair, Nietzsche is born ... meaning great events wait their time and all that falls between passes into insignificance)

Maybe it chose "now" because these really are the times. When else in the history of the planet has any species achieved so much or rose to such a height? We and the planet itself are becoming a singular entity and of all times, now, the modern, may very well be the greatest yet.

Nuf said.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Why Now for the "Hour" of the First? -- leslie, 08:51:06 11/28/02 Thu

"As for any (or "the") relation of the African Demonic Shaman who restored Spike's soul, I have no idea either. Although in 7.1 Morphy-Drusilla said to Spike that he got his soul back but is not his own man, meaning perhaps that was part of the price he had to pay. But assuming he is "not" his own man, whose man is he? The First? Or perhaps the Shaman sold or traded or gave Spike to it?"

Hmm, well, Angel is not entirely his "own man" either, is he? With this whole "champion of the Powers That Screw You" gig? Is this what happens when a vampire gets a soul? As Buffy is well aware, being a champion/warrior of one's tribe does not allow for a lot of personal freedom in making life decisions.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Why Now for the "Hour" of the First? -- frisby, 19:09:28 11/28/02 Thu

This will be perhaps be hard to hear (and as it goes without saying, perhaps wrong), but the way I've come to read both Plato and Nietzsche (and others, such as Heidegger), our "own" is actually deeper even than our "soul" -- or as Zarathustra says (3.11) is always the last to be uncovered when digging. Heidegger speaks of one's ownmost most proper own. Is one's soul one's own? Or does "it" belong to the god or the good or even the community (of one mind, to use Plato's term). Yes, Angel is "not" his own man, but neither is Spike, and maybe that's the root of Spike's problem. Buffy tells the first slayer that she is not her source ("I walk, I talk, I shop, I sneeze"). "One's own" is perhaps the deepest part of all philosophy. Buffy needs to reach deep deep down to the depths to recover her "own" if she is to defeat that which comes from below to devour her and hers.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Why Now for the "Hour" of the First? -- aliera, 17:26:50 11/29/02 Fri

"Buffy tells the first slayer that she is not her source ("I walk, I talk, I shop, I sneeze"). "One's own" is perhaps the deepest part of all philosophy. Buffy needs to reach deep deep down to the depths to recover her "own" if she is to defeat that which comes from below to devour her and hers."

And we also know that she's changed deeply since the end of season 4...I somehow feel were this conversation to occur today the response might be more along the lines of (I hope) "I love, I care, ..." And I wonder if Joyce's lines to Dawn are forecasting the next step in this journey. And just a little note, I took the from beneath you lines as a recognization that the real challenge for Buffy, the key is whats in herself. The source of her powers if it is the same I don't think she's every fully utilized. I think it was OnM who pointed out that her strength is a reflection of her emotional state. When last season started people were looking for her to have returned with additional powers but by the end of the season (I was struck by the fight in the graveyard in SR or before and how easily she was hurt) I thought she was actually weaker. With what she said in the basement to Spike, either basing her power in pain and/or self hatred was a tainted way. I hope that now that she has verbalized her change that she can begin again and come to a place where she can make peace with boths sides of herself.

As the show has broadened in scope this season so has Buffy's "community", those she cares for and she is doing this in the daytime also as a part of the community; she seems to have accepted a mentoring role and be making more personal connections towards more than just Dawn. In an odd way Spike himself was the trigger for this change causing her to realize that she had to make achoice towards living and what that life was to be.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Why Now for the "Hour" of the First? -- frisby, 17:59:47 11/29/02 Fri

In 4.9 Buffy says to Willow that the "fire" is a result of transforming her "pain and fighting" into "love and passion," or better, that the "fire" is the transformation itself with "love and passion" the byproducts, so to speak. And her "fire" is the source of her power (and perhaps "darkness" is the source of her fire). But I think that has changed and has been changed for some time now (in OMWF she wanted the fire back). In 7.9 she said "not anymore" meaning she no longer needed the "hatred of Spike" as a source of power (she would transform it into righteous anger and therefore strength). But now I think she has evolved to a higher level (so to speak). I think "love" is no longer the byproduct of her fire, one she discovered and found good, but that her "love" has instead become the fuel for a stronger better fire, perhaps (to wax poetic with metaphors) a pure light or laser, still a fire but much more intense and focused. As a result, her power will multiply tenfold, especially her spiritual power. She wants her fire back and only Spike can help that come to be. She must continue to "believe" in him and he must continue to "improve" for her. Together they will yet save the day. (Gosh, am I becoming a shipper? And what "is" a shipper?)

[> [> Re: And Also Actually... -- Darby, 07:15:51 11/27/02 Wed

There has, far as I remember, never been an explicit confirmation that it was the Powers (who "didn't exist" in the Buffyverse at that time) that sent the snow. It's always been an assumption of we vocal spectators out here, but has it ever been even mentioned by anyone on Angel?

[> [> [> But that means what? -- frisby, 01:57:48 11/30/02 Sat

But aren't we then led to the question most elemental to nature? How do we explain the snow if not a miracle (by the powers that be or the gods or the fates)? Was it merely coincidence, explainable as a natural occurence however unlikely, and therefore necessary? If not the result of some type of combination chance and necessity then what remains? Just the right thing at just the right moment! Was it a coincidence compelled by the fates or gods or powers that be? Was it a chance event controlled by natural forces and explainable thereby? Was it an accident not constrained as usual but one that happened at the whim of fortune? We can at least infer that as a result (plus the speech of wisdom of Buffy) Angel chose to live, to become a champion who fights for the right. In the world of human concern, and using the language common to emotional experience, it "was" miraculous. But if (as Spinoza argues) there are no miracles, then .........

[> Good job there, frisby! Now allow me to scare myself a bit... ( *** Spoilers 7.9 *** ) -- OnM, 21:33:38 11/26/02 Tue

... and probably a few others besides. Oh, well.


Written on 11/19/2000, some exerpts from the original ‘Kwisatz Haderach’ post:

*** One other item from ‘Amends’-- Buffy confronts ‘The First Evil’ and rather than cowering in fear (as any
rational being or even Slayer might) gives the snappy and assertive “All right, you’re evil, we get it already!” Arrogance or an unconscious sense of destiny? ***

*** Angel’s asking the PTB to fold time so that Buffy will not be distracted from her destiny. Buffy saves Angel,
Angel saves Buffy for the benefit of humanity. ***

( 11/26/2002 - And now Buffy, apparently fulfilling Cassie's two prophesies all but simultaneously, saves Spike? Who may go on to save humanity? )

*** [By] gaining true Knowledge of her ‘killer’ instincts-- exploring them now, to master them? Rise above
them? The theme of harnessing that part of herself in order to rise above it? Choosing the path of the warrior or
of the messiah? ***

( 11/26/2002 - "I don't hate like that. Not you. Not myself. Not anymore" )

*** Spike could show his love for her by allowing himself - willingly-- to be re-souled, even though he enjoys
being a vampire. This would start his path to redemption, he in turn could save others. This is in keeping with
having yourself change by way of a spiritual awakening-- you recognize the spiritual superiority of the messiah.
Buffy’s words that “You are beneath me” seem cruel, but Spike is beneath her, he has his interesting points,
but he is still filled with evil. If he doesn’t repent, he is lost, and Buffy is the way. His love for her, impure and corrupted at the moment could eventually rise to a higher plane. ***

Now, frisby, you mention the 'Unholy Trinity' that led to the creation of Satan.

So, now if only I could locate the first post where I thought about the possibility of Joss creating a new 'Slayer Trinity' from Buffy, Faith and Dawn.

Oh well, 'tis late, time for beddy-bye and a nice long (OK, annoying long) wait until January.


[> [> Re: Good job there, frisby! (more on the first vs. buffy) (and a new insight!)(Spoilers 7.9) -- frisby, 07:00:45 11/27/02 Wed

Scary points OnM! Got me thinking again of "Amends" where Buffy is "arrogant" with the First Evil. But listen again to what it says to Buffy: "not a demon, beyond sin or death, omnipresent" and especially "I am the thing the darkness fears."

Darkness is also the source of Buffy's power. She learns (seasons 5-6) to embrace her darkness, her role as hunter, as killer, but only so as to sublimate or transform it into her role as warrior (or protector of humanity).

But NOW (7.9) she says "no more" meaning she has evolved from what Nietzsche (TSZ 1.10) calls a "warrior of knowledge" into a "saint of knowledge" -- the former being the one who engages in spiritual warfare, drawing power from anger, hate, revenge, and envy, by transforming them into positive forms of justice, and the latter being utterly beyond them, no longer hating at all, and not needing them as a source of power.

I think this point is very important. As you say, Buffy says "I don't hate like. Not you. Not myself. Not anymore." And the emphasis there needs to be on the "not anymore" meaning she did before. She needed reason for anger, hate, revenge, and envy, as the source of what she sublimated into the power then used in her spiritual warfare against the forces of darkness for the protection of humanity. But NOW, she no longer needs that "hate" -- she has become (in Nietzsche's words) a "Saint" -- one still engaged in the same war as the "Warrior" but whose power has its source elsewhere! What caused this monumental change???

I think it was Spike. Just as she was the reason or cause for his great battle to face the monster within and to become a better man, so it was Spike who has led Buffy to evolve from warrior to saint, transcending her righteous indignation (the sublimation of hate) in favor of a sort of natural justice (one perhaps related to Nietzsche's amor fati). She now has accepted her destiny and plays her part (not in the sense of singing a song about it but of singing about it).

Spike/William and Buffy/Slayer are each responsible to some degree for the other transcending themselves in favor of a better more improved character. I close asking whether this truly is a new development: does Buffy's "not anymore" signify a new very important evolution of her character????

[> Playing with theology (7.9 spoilers- speculation) - - Tchaikovsky, 05:29:53 11/27/02 Wed

I like this point. It makes me think about the idea of a Holy Trinity on the show. Who are the people invested with power from above, to fight for good, even if their power is vested in darkness? Buffy; Faith; and, as Dawn was made out of Buffy, Dawn.

So I would like to claim that we have a Holy Trinity and an Unholy Trinity.

Batting for the bad side: (we'll call them, for my personal amusement, Australia)

The Beast- clearly the same name as one part of the Trinity who made Lucifer fall. Hence this analogy is clear.

The First Evil- has the power to manipulate, but takes no corporeal form. Exacerbates fears and doubts but verbal manipulation. Analagous to the false prophets.

The scary Uber-vampire thing: the incarnation of ancient, nascent evil. A counterpoint to Buffy. Therefore the Antichrist

And for the good guys, (let's call them... I don't know... England)

These three are a classic Mutant Enemy subversion. Instead of the clearly male Father and Son, and probably male Holy Spirit- we have a female trinity- the Mother, the Daughter and the Holy Spirit.

Buffy- the Mother. The original Slayer of our piece. The one who the other two look up to, and indeed proceed from. Without Buffy, Faith would not have become what she did. And of course Dawn is Buffy.

Faith- the Daughter. Looks up to Buffy, and originally attempts to learn from her. Is tempted to the dark side, and through the words of her temptress, (The Mayor) commits some evil (OK, that wasn't quite in the Bible, was it?) After a period away from the Mother, returns, [well-known future casting spoiler omitted], to stand by Mother's side in the final Battle.

Dawn- part of the Mother, [and, according to OnM's? theory, the daughter too]. Originally of no corporeal form. Merely a ball of energy- a ghost of mystical energy. Made solid through the Mother, and now approaching maturity, to fight the battle as part of the One in Three, and Three in One.

One of my wackier theories- any thoughts?


[> [> Hmmm -- KdS, 05:39:35 11/27/02 Wed

Makes me wonder if you could also work it as the Triple Goddess to keep the neo-pagan crowd on the board happy.

Buffy = Mother (obviously)
Dawn = Maiden (unless there's something we haven't been told about)
Faith = crone (burned-out figure of death)

[> [> [> Re: Hmmm (or past present future???) -- frisby, 07:31:26 11/27/02 Wed

Except in keeping with the mother, daughter, mother/daughter relation, it would be Buffy, Faith, and Dawn (not Buffy Dawn and Faith). This makes Dawn the Holy Spirit or Crone, but then again remember she "is" very very old and almost as old as Glory herself. How might we formulate Dawn as representing the relation between Buffy and Faith?

Or maybe the correspondences are wrong? Or maybe we're barking up the wrong tree? Or maybe Buffy represents the past slayers, Faith the current slayer, and Dawn the future slayers???????

[> [> [> [> Thank you KdS. *S* But Buffy might actually be crone..... -- Briar Rose, 21:56:27 11/27/02 Wed

as frisby stated - she's the "Old Guard" and the idea of Maiden, Mother and Crone isn't necessarily about age. It is about method and knowledge. In a way - Faith is the "mother" because she is fruitful, Dawn is "Maiden" for the very fact that she is about youth and a new future.

However - I do see Faith as Crone. She has experienced the perils of youth, the satisfaction of finding the darkness within and embracing it, then coming through it and is now in the place of knowledge that truly knowing all of yourself brings, and how others feel is also a part of that.

But in any case - it is a Trinity of sorts.

Now comes my most stream of conciousness take on this story: This season seems to be drawing heavily on the book series. The book series has been going on almost as long as the TV series. In the book series they have already broached the "Culling of the Slayers/Attack on the CoW" (Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids...) and the "Coming Together of the Power of the Slayers" ( Book of Fours) and even the "First Evil" ( Immortal and Gate Keeper Trilogy.)

Now I'm wondering just how much of Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder's story lines is going to coincide with the TV version of Noxon and Company?

[> [> [> [> [> "First Evil" in _Immortal_? -- frisby, 22:43:19 11/27/02 Wed

The first evil is a theme in _Immortal_? I think I'll pick that one up. I've seen it but haven't tried it. I recently picked up one called Wisdom of War or something like that, but haven't started it yet. I tried a few others a couple of years ago, one on chaos and another, and they were pretty good. Which are the very best?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Gate Keepers Trilogy is one of the best..... -- Briar Rose, 22:34:22 11/29/02 Fri

The Book of Fours also has the First Evil.

My favorites are usually the ones with Nancy Holder/Christopher Golden and the "Adult" books, of which there aren't many.

Gate Keeper's Trilogy consists of:

Ghost Roads
Sons of Entropy
Return to[of?] Chaos [I just packed them away before I tore them up and had to buy new copies... So I'm going by memory here.*S*)

Child of the Hunt is good.

Immortal is one of the best.

and Book of Fours was a lot like Immortal... both were sort of Ann Rice-ish in style. They would give background far away from Sunnydale, CA and BtVS while entwining BtVS later in the stories.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Gate Keepers Trilogy is one of the best..... -- frisby, 01:43:21 11/30/02 Sat

Thanks a lot! I'll pick up Immortal next time I see it and will try to read it (I often begin books but don't finish them, while others I read repeatedly, the works of Plato and Nietzsche for example, and also Leo Strauss for some time now). I bought Book of Fours but never got past the first couple of chapters. I recently started Wisdom of War and it looks promising. I'll remember Nancy Holder and Christopher Golden. Some of these academic books on Buffy are proving interesting too. One on Buffy and Power (by a professor) is due this next year, I recently read. I'd like to write one about Buffy and Nietzsche.

[> [> Back to the beginning. Spoilers for Never Leave me -- Rahael, 06:43:20 11/27/02 Wed

One thing struck me about the Uber Vamp. He rises from the ground, having been fed with Spike's blood.

Doesn't the Master also rise up in Season 1? He rises up from a pool of blood. Yet more connections to the beginning. And in Season 1, we had the trinity of Master, Luke and the Annointed One. Buffy spoiled the Master's plans by killing Luke, so that was premature. But he was a 'vessel', which seems very reminiscent of S7 events.

And the annointed one......Buffy didn't know him, couldn't stop him. More parallels?

[> [> [> Re: Back to the beginning. Spoilers for Never Leave me -- frisby, 07:35:29 11/27/02 Wed

There was a very interesting post back when season seven begin contending that we are going back to the beginning and to the annointed one as planned, and that the little boy was NOT the annointed one. (Spike sure had no trouble getting rid of him.) Might be that this "new" annointed one is the manifestation ("the authority for their presence that Morphy- Buffy mentions) "of" the trinity?

I'm losing it. There's too much. I need to step back (like Gunn did in Angel 4.7) to see the whole.

[> [> [> [> Re: annointing -- leslie, 09:05:59 11/28/02 Thu

The thing about "annointing" is that it can be applied to anyone the annointer chooses. In contrast to, say, being a Chosen One, i.e., the calling is innate in you, annointing essentially supplies the qualities that make one chose-able. So I would say that there could be any number of Annointed Ones, as long as the ointment holds out. This is actually rather interesting--I had never thought of the contrast between the Annointed One and the Chosen One before. Anyway, I think the fact that Spike offs the last Annoying One so easily is not necessarily an indication that he was not really annointed, but perhaps a prefiguring of Spike's own power in fighting the kind of evil that the Annointed One, the Master, and now the First Evil represent. Spike, even at his most evil, was always a fairly modern evil. He has a respect for tradition, but he's never had much time for meaningless ritual. The only rituals he's interested in are practical ones--revive Dru, bring Joyce back from the grave to ease Dawn's pain--simply worshipping evil has never been his style, and he sneers at those who do so. Which is fitting with his general "action" orientation--the best thing to do is get out there and fight and take your chances and rely on yourself. The First Evil has subverted his actions and stunned him into being otherwise passive; the question is whether he will regain his capacity for activity and put it to good use, a type of use that is not out of character with his whole persona to date, but now oriented towards good rather than evil.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: annointed one vs chosen one -- frisby, 19:13:42 11/28/02 Thu

Good point. I'd never contrasted the "annointed one" with the "chosen one" before either, and I think Joss and Co had a lot on their minds (the big picture so to speak) when they set up their universe there in season one. It was someone else who suggested the "true annointed one" might appear this season, and considering the nice contrast with the "chosen one" it seems to me even more likely. So many pieces of the puzzle to put together here. How will they ever do it all? For example, Drusilla and Dawn.

[> [> Re: Playing with theology (Wow! Yes! NOT Wacky!) (7.9 spoilers- speculation) -- frisby, 07:25:36 11/27/02 Wed

Wow! Yes! Buffy Faith and Dawn as Mother Daughter and Holy Energy! (And yes, the Xian father son and holy spirit or ghost is definitely all male, as Jung persuasively argues in his piece on the need for a quaternity.)

Buffy takes on the uber-vamp (just as God the Father stands against the anti-christ), Faith helps Angel against the beast (just as God the Son stands against the beast or that which runs from the snake of Genesis to the dragon of Revelation), and for the final battle of the fates Dawn goes toe to toe against the first evil (just as the Holy Spirit stands against the false prophet).

I'm not perfectly clear on the correspondences above, but the general relations sound insightful: Buffy, Faith, and Dawn, vs. the uber-vamp, the beast, and the first evil; as God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit, vs. the antichrist, the beast, and the false prophet. Off the top of my head, I think of the trinity in a positive way as vision, wisdom, and leadership, and in a negative way as what Nietzsche calls the spirit of gravity, the spirit of revenge, and the spirit of nihilism (or xyz...).

Main point: I forgot (thanks for pointing out) the importance of Faith. She "is" the slayer (Buffy is "out of order") and "is" doing penance in hopes of redemption (and "is" scheduled to return for three episodes on AtS and five on BtVS or visa versa). If Jung's idea of the necessity of a quaternity fits in, it will likely be Willow who will enable the trinity of Buffy Faith and Dawn to manifest as a super- super-slayer. And a sacrifice? Giles, Xander, Spike? It's getting beyond me.

Definitely NOT a "wacky" thought!

[> [> [> Requesting some more background please -- Tchaikovsky, 08:29:12 11/27/02 Wed

OK, this sounds very interesting. But could you please explain to me a little bit about Jung's Quaternity theory? I'd like to understand where Willow fits into all this, but I only really come from the background of an understanding of Christian theology, rather than of modern philosophy.


[> [> [> [> Re: Requesting some more background please (ok) -- frisby, 10:17:05 11/27/02 Wed

For Jung the quaternity represents the end of the individuation process, and also wholeness, completeness, and the circle as an integral symbol. He criticizes the Christian trinity (father, son, and holy spirit or ghost -- with the holy spirit representing that which passes from father to son, or the male principle itself) as being radically incomplete excluding as it does the feminine principle which becomes the evil principle. The symbol of the quaternity runs throughout Jung's thought, from the four functions of consciousness (thought and feeling, sensation and intuition), to the highest reaches of theology.

for a concise definition.

for its speculative reaches.

for a theological approach.

Hope this helps. I'd be glad to address a specific question. The main point is that according to Jung the Christian trinity represents maleness and excludes femaleness. Mary (as the mother of God) has always accompanied the theologians but mostly out of desire on the part of the flock and not the priests. The Church Fathers are more explicit in this than the more recent thinkers, of course. Today, its more politically correct to refer to God as female than male, and that too, has reasons which Jung addresses here and there. In one rendition of the quaternity (father, mother, son, and daughter), it is now the time of the daughter (girl power and Buffy and all that).

Personally, I've always found the quaternity more aesthetically appealing than any trinity, whether speaking of the forces of physics and the aspects of consciousness, or the dimensions of divinity.

Uber-Buffy was a result of Giles (mind), Willow (spirit), Xander (heart), and Buffy (hand). Just as the great trinitarian mystery was how 3 was 1 and 1 was 3, so with the quaternity, the real unit or 1 is actually the 4 and how the 4 becomes 1 is the ultimate mystery.

Nuf said?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Requesting some more background please (ok) -- aliera, 10:52:57 11/27/02 Wed

Nice post frisby you also referenced one of my favorite sites...last season I did some work (unposted) based on Buffy...Sue Austin's article on Women's Aggressive fantasies and the one (name escapes me) on Teen violence.

Just a sidebar on the early church...I have an interesting book on Mary Magdalene at home that points out that there really wasn't one early church but many diferent beliefs that became discredited and really exterminated after a century or two. And the author believed that it was at this point that many of the (for me) less appealing views were born...although I guess they didn't truly get rolling until later. The author believed that there were actually three seperate Mary's who became sortoff rolled together and for which the emphasized story became that of the prostitute (opposed by the story of the Virgin) of course. Really odd.

Thanks for the other links...I'll have to check them out.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On the various "Marys" -- frisby, 12:36:33 11/27/02 Wed

Yes, besdies Jesus's mother Mary, there's the Mary whom Jesus casts the devils out of (I think, going from memory), Mary Magdalen (often confused with the one before, and the Mary whom much has been written about, and who some legends say took over after Jesus died, and who was also a teacher, and much more), and I think one other Mary (maybe the one at the foot of the cross with his mother?).

Saw a great show on A&E (biography) on Mary Magdalen which delves into these controversies and argues persuasively to not confuse her with "the whore" -- which so many preachers do, saying Jesus saved her and all that.

There's also some very famous book about Mary going to France after the death of Jesus and establishing a tradition alive in France to this day, The Golden something or other.

And lots of more esoteric Maryologies dealing with the mother of God, of course. They just couldn't keep the old mother goddess out do what they would, the queen of heaven and the whore of babylon ...

A friend once showed me how _Genesis_ drew up (appropriated) the other traditions of the time. The best example is at the beginning where "And God said let there be light ... on the face of the deep...

the word translated "deep" there is something like Tiamat and hearkens to the Babylonian tradition where Marduk slays his mother Tiamat

So even in Genesis there is the archelogical (linguistically speaking) layer of the great mother tradition, but coming through as the "deep"

And in Plato's Republic too there are similar "uncoverings" possible... dealing with Gaea and the battles of Uranus, Cronus, and Zeus

_MotherRight_ by Bachofen is the classic on the subject I believe

Buffy as Mother to Dawn! That's a theme I've seen touched on at this forum but not developed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> more on Mary the Mother (just because...) -- Briar Rose, 22:16:22 11/27/02 Wed

There is also a strong arguement that Mary (The MOTHER, not the Whore) was actually appropriated from Mare - the Goddess of fertility in Celt theology. Her equivalent is Epona of Eastern Europe. Epona being symbolized by the Horse hence Mare in Celtic terminology. Both are Fertility and Home Goddesses.

It is believed that Mary was only brought back into the Bible and the Catholic Church as a way to subvert the "Pagans" into accepting the religion and to take their previous celebrations to the Great Mother (Mare, Epona, Marre, etc...) and "cleanse" them into Church Sanctioned Holy Days. This happened with Yule to Christmas as well as Samain to All Hallow's Eve and All Saint's Day and don't get me started on Easter.....*LOL

And for anyone who questions the Yule/Christmas thing - think about the fact that Jesus is always related to Pisces in the various boks of the Bible and that the weather patterns related to the geography of Israel, and the rest of the Middle East, puts Winter there in the Fall of the Western Hemisphere (remember September 11th and the following attack on Pakistan and the weather when it happened?) Neither of these facts would point to Jesus having been born in December - let alone the date celebrated.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Celtic generally -- frisby, 23:04:03 11/27/02 Wed

Very interesting. I didn't know much of that. I knew the strategy of Catholicism on how to appropriate indigenous religious rituals so as to lure them into the church. And of course the old Celtic Wheel of the Year (Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, LUchnassao, Mabon, and Samhain) -- I keep posted on the wall. The time-scale the zodiac provides is amazing (the closest thing to a historical record of the great year of Plato -- around 26,000 years). It amazes me to realize that most by far of all of the people ever on the planet did not know the sun is a star, and how many even today know about the galactic year of our star (250 million years). Last year (galactic year) at this time the dinosaurs were just beginning. Back to anthropological time though, it's my understanding that evidence exists of the ancient religion of the mother goddess stretching back to perhaps 50,000 bc. It all makes the last five centuries (our time -- modernity) seem quite short, and yet, we're likely at the most important moment in the history of the planet (and probably the most dangerous too). We're about to assume dominion over the planet, but are we fit for such a task, especially the part that follows, bringing the world under a new rule. What will be our responsibility with regard to the other animals? The nature of life on planet earth in this world of our concern seems to focus on sex and violence, but will there be no room for peace and love? Is it "really" all just about power? From my experience I'd boil it all down to birth, life, death, and generally, time.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Celtic and other celebrations...generally -- aliera, 05:23:31 11/28/02 Thu

I'm sure you both have seen this site but in case others haven't a nice jumping off point in the sense of flight and exploration (little funny on the initial image) for me is sometimes Kathleen Jenks myth links site: After the events of last Fall I particularly wanted to explore. I'm a bit of a dabbler so I don't understand all the roots of the judeo- christian stories and holidays, but my sense is that this aspect of the stories the changing aspect of the Goddess is more of a continuation a building upon of what was already happening in the religions of that area at the time christianity happened that the roots go deeper.

The patterns of history the story arcs are so very big compared to our BtVS show and then too the roots or perhaps it's more accurate to say the earlier beliefs predate written language so after going back to a certain point there's a veil. We can go back to 50,000 years but what do we really have from that time? Even with some of the more modern BtVS references like the Eluesian mysteries that were mentioned this year it's hard to find information or we're looking at someones interpretation of someones interpretation of...

I admit to loving threads like this simply because it's so lovely to know that there are others in the world thinking about these things and being aware and reaching. It is a time of great uncertainity and transition and it's appropriate that the show has a more global perspective. Perhaps the mention of power is meant to have us ask exactly the question that you posed...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: the anthropoloicial perspective...generally -- frisby, 12:03:41 11/29/02 Fri

And yet I want to think the "big" view is still possible, the view of the species of homo sapiens (and other hominids, and life itself) on this planet of this star in this galaxy ... for example, how much do we really know about the galactic year (250,000,000 of our years), and the possible effects of "its" different seasons? It's only been about 100,000 years since we developed the "cognitive flexibility" that has made our coming out of africa the most successful one yet. It's still a real question whether our species will go the way of other "tournament species" wherein only the champion males procreate with a large group of females, or the way of the "pair-bonding species (like 99% of the birds) where a male and female bond to raise their young (thus improving the species each generation through nurture and care). The miraculous emergence of our consciousness of the whole as part of that whole (or philosophy itself) may well prove to be not only "our" highest concern, but even the most important aspect of that whole so far. But if we forget or ignore our fundamental indebtedness or belongingness to the earth, as a part of it, our continued success will be short-lived. Coming closer to modern times, Nietzsche speaks of the past 10,000 years or so as the moral epoch, wherein our actions have been judged according to their origins (in particular, more recently, their intentions), whereas before that they were judged strictly according to consequences. As we overcome the moral epoch though we will begin to judge our actions according to their motives, in particular the ones we call unconscious instincts. Much change will follow this change in orientation. The emergence of the "conscience" according to Nietzsche represents a triumph having more impact than the moment when life crawled out of the sea onto the land. "Conscience" is so fundamental to homo sapiens that the one who changes it even one degree changes the trajectory of humanity for perhaps a thousand more years. Nietzsche aims to change it, to provide a conscience in particular for science (which is a word for our way of thinking and being -- the drive to knowledge and mastery). This will be done through his thought of the eternal return. When that thought takes hold in the soul of humanity it will bring about the greatest event, what he calls the great noon of the earth and humanity, the moment when we assume its full dignity but only by giving what is due, our loyalty. Nietzsche's task is to show humanity how to love life and find joy. Understanding "the religious being" is an essential part of that task.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Right now... Same thoughts/worries here, mi'ladies.... -- Briar Rose, 22:56:24 11/29/02 Fri

The "mastery" of Mother Earth is the ultimate undoing of human kind. And the idea of balance is more akin to the older religions. Taking and giving in equal measure.This is easily summed up by "Walk Lightly On Mother Earth" and the basis of most Pagan religions in some form or other.

frisby! The idea of judging by intent, not action is one I am very well aquainted with as are most Pagans who practice magick.... I am not so much into philosophy as I am into theology and anthropology - so I am enjoying learning from your posts.

I am more along the lines of aliera's mind set to history... That of the actual history being lost, so the past can't always help us in the present. I also don't know if Goddess only religions were ever true. This is simply because the balance of duality is always brought into the most researched native religions and since I agree thuroughly with the summation of birth, life, death and the "next" is the basis of the oldest known religions, then obviously the people practicing those religions knew that birth needed both sexes to be accomplished.*S* So one would not be made "higher" than the other without violating the simple mathematics of male+female = creation.

I would have to say, that I have a difficult time thinking that nature based religions would overlook that equation.

As for the "Noon of the Earth" we are in now? I don't see a happy outcome with the lack of balance and common sense that seems to be the norm in this "Manifest Destiny" mind set all around us.

And no matter that a smattering of us Pagan Witches are holding vigils and rites beyond all human endurance, I don't see it changing the outcome I have seen. Maybe minimizing the carnage - but that is all. Sometimes I even give up. Too much evil to try and balance with light.~s~

I have to say - I always get a chuckle when the verbal Christians start going on about "repent before Jesus comes!" and I am thinking... "Actually - I think y'all might be surprised if the real End of the World comes, just who might survive and who doesn't...." It is my feeling that those most balanced and in tune with the Erath will survive. Simpy because it is not some "Holy Spirit" coming to end the World. It is purely HUMAN action that will do that.*L Man, himself, is the Great Evil.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Right now... Same thoughts/worries here, mi'ladies.... (and my responses) -- frisby, 01:37:57 11/30/02 Sat

I'll make responses to your points one at a time. I think "mastery" (of the earth, for example) can be unhealthy but can also be a sign of health. More along the lines of a Gandalf than a Sauroman though. I think of mastery as the purpose of pursuing a course of discipline in magic.

I think (for Nietzsche) that the unconscious instincts that motivate acts are to be the primary determinants of moral judgments for the next millenia. And I'm glad you find my thoughts worth reading. I too have learned many things reading the posts at this forum over the past several years.

As to history, I have faith that the past has ontological status. Time is real. And as to the Goddess only religions, I favor the reading of Taoism that ascribes four phases (the nothingness of winter, the potentiality of spring, the becoming of summer, and the being of fall), with the complementarity of male and female being only one of the four (fall), such that at bottom, the feminine has priority. But that's a long story. (Ellen Marie Chen develops this.) Also, according to the anthropologist Malinowski, ignorance of paternity is the original condition, and became known only with the rise of civilization.

Nietzsche's "noon" is the time of decision in which we might turn towards extinction or choose "loyalty to the earth" (as a sort of replacement for God, now that his death is known more and more to all, or now that the "modern" has changed all else). At bottom, or in the end, I think it will depend on our relation with our own past.

As for changing outcomes through vigils and rituals, Nietzsche (and even Plato before him) taught me that one individual thinking a thought has influence on all that comes afterwards, such that a single thought can change the whole. For example, the thought of a god, to mention only one. Nietzsche's one great single thought (I think) is of time as a river of temporality that flows into the eternal ocean or the past. Each act is therefore eternal. If everyone believed this the impact on the world would have consequence. Nihilists believe the past does not exist.

As to Christians and Christianity, I refer to Nietzsche's _Antichrist_ and also note that in his _TSZ_ he ascribes "nobility" to Jesus. One scholar argues that through Nietzsche Christianity will return into the arms of Judaism healing both and making possible a new orientation. Leo Strauss argues that Nietzsche announces the death of God but also in his works vindicates God.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Right now... Same thoughts/worries here, mi'ladies.... (and my responses) -- aliera, 07:11:40 11/30/02 Sat

I think many of us have worries and hopes right now...I can see it in the attitudes and actions of people around me even if it's not often discussed.

I hope some of this is still up when I have more time tonight since I have to pay a visit to the office today and I don't really want to post in haste. If not, I've saved most of the posts in this thread ad I'll try to incorporate them into something later. I hope you both find time to continue to visit and post since for me it is the threads on myths, philosophy, religion, science and literature that so particularly distinguish this board (that and the congeniality of the posters here, of course.):-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: more on Mary the Mother (just because...) -- leslie, 09:24:54 11/28/02 Thu

"There is also a strong arguement that Mary (The MOTHER, not the Whore) was actually appropriated from Mare - the Goddess of fertility in Celt theology. Her equivalent is Epona of Eastern Europe. Epona being symbolized by the Horse hence Mare in Celtic terminology. Both are Fertility and Home Goddesses."

Urg. I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say here, but your terminology seems off. Are you making a connection between the literal word "mare" and the name "Mary"? Because there isn't one. The name "Epona" means "divine female horse", but the etymology is "Ep-" (from "epos", "horse") + "-on-" (a linguistic element that shows up in the names of Celtic deities and marks divinity, as in Mabon--divine son-- and Modron--divine mother) + "-a" (feminine ending) = "horse- deity-(female)". However, the names of the Welsh and Irish horse goddesses, Rhiannon and Macha, are not etymologically connected to the Celtic "horse" words. (And in fact, both are connected with birds as much as with horses.) Oh, and Epona is not particularly an Eastern European goddess--she's attested as being worshipped in France and Britain.

Sorry, all those classes in Celtic linguistics just cannot be denied--dammmit, I had to learn this stuff, so should everyone else!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: on the celtic ... generally -- frisby, 12:17:23 11/29/02 Fri

Really? You've studied Celtic linguistics? And I assume also the history of English then? Great! Interesting! Nietzsche calls the Celts the most religous of the ancient peoples, but I've never been exactly sure what he was trying to get at by saying that. I've seen several books on the secret (Celtic) history of ancient Europe, and was utterly amazed to learn some of the things I've read about them, the vastness of their territory for example, and the role of Druid-ism among them. Some fantastic accounts count them as the descendants of the mysterious Atlanteans. One of my history professors put their origin in Spain long ago, but I've never quite understood that either. It's also amazing how much Celtic influence we can see in America today, from the success of "Riverdance" at one extreme to the ancient music found among the scots-irish in the appalacians (misspelled) on the other. And the great myth of Arthur! And everything about Glastonbury and the tor! What drives your interest in the ancient celtic people?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: on the celtic ... generally -- leslie, 12:32:55 11/29/02 Fri

I have a doctorate in folklore & mythology, and my concentration is in Celtic and comparative mythology. Wrote my dissertation on journeys to the Otherworld in Celtic mythology, particularly in a Welsh Arthurian romance called Owein, or, the Lady of the Fountain. (Um, the Lady is Owein's wife, by the way.) So, this required learning medieval Welsh (which I am good at) and Irish (which I limp along in), the history of the Celtic peoples--who originated, linguistically and culturally, in the Austrian/southern German Alps, spread throughout Europe as far east as Hungary, Czechoslovakia, that general area, as far west as the British Isles, and as far south as northern Spain and Italy--as well as the history of late classical, Dark Ages, and medieval Britain and Wales, and a lot of comparative Indo-European mythology and more about Indo- European linguistics than I ever wanted to know (which is not a whole hell of a lot--I learn languages in order to read texts, not to analyze linguistic structures). At the risk of tooting my own horn, you may be interested in my book _Druid Shaman Priest: Metaphors of Celtic Paganism_ (which is getting increasingly hard to get hold of as my publisher went out of business and there is a finite number of copies still around).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: on the celtic ... generally -- frisby, 17:13:32 11/29/02 Fri

I'm impressed. I looked at Amazon and read the reviews contending your work is the "real" thing and that a need for a paperback edition exists. My own credentials are lacking, but my interest in shamanism has endured for decades (Eliade of course). I formulate the philosopher as shaman, the (temporary) separation from humanity to become the intelligent independent individual, and then the return to direct its destiny or repair its ruling inertia. I see Nietzsche as the latest incarnation and when I visited the lake by Sils Maria (Switzerland) where his thought of eternal return came to him, found a large rock (maybe 25 feet high and at least 50 in diameter) which had a type of small cave or enclave at its side where one can burn a fire and be sheltered from the elements. I (somewhat, so to speak) had a vision of Nietzsche squatting there in that enclave with a small fire, as had so many before him countless years before. The shaman, the one who leaves but returns, is I think an essential aspect or perhaps even function of humanity. I'll keep an eye out for your book. Thanks. I appreciate your postings. Doesn't it really say something about our times that Buffy (the story) has become what it has?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: on the celtic ... generally -- leslie, 18:58:54 11/29/02 Fri

I have to say, I thought Spike's quest for a soul was incredibly shamanic. That's what shamans do, after all (among other things)--they journey to the Otherworld, the spirit realm, to retrieve lost souls. Sickness is percieved as the loss of one's soul, or part of one's soul, or one of the many specialized souls that each person contains. The first soul the shaman usually retrieves is his/her own--the "shamanic call" comes in the form of sickness, often what in Western societies is perceived as mental illness. (The early Russian observers of Siberian shamans, and many early anthropological accounts of shamanism, made the equation of shamanism and madness almost as a matter of course.) And, if Spike's journey has been a shamanic one, then his job, once he has assmilated his shattered soul fragments into a whole, is to mediate between the mortal and spirit worlds. We'll see where that goes!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: on the shamanic ... generally -- frisby, 00:29:53 11/30/02 Sat

Very interesting. Thanks leslie. My only addition here (and I offer it merely as food for thought or fodder for further speculation or observation for heuristic value) is to posit the possibility that what "soul" actually (may I even say existentially) consists of is "pastness" (meant in an ontological sense and not merely epistemological or even psychological). One's soul is one's past, an historical appropriation of one's past being into a recapitulation with one's futural orientation -- to use Heideggarian jargon. For many if not most of the non-shamanic the past is no more except to the extent it is remembered, thus criminals for example have no problem with guilt and conscience if no one else knows because they can selectively remember what they will, and then honestly believe their unjust acts do not exist. But, if one believes (or even as the faith that, given that it has never been demonstrated) that the past has real ontological status, if one belives that all that has ever happened continues in its own moment to exist eternally (such that we might say of ourselves that when we die we become all that we've ever been), then one has an existential basis for ethical conduct, not to mention a new type of immortality for the soul. I think the shamans come to realize that really does exist, with future possibilities arriving as present actualities only to pass necessarily into past eternities. Shamans create their past knowing their creation is of the highest art and holds the highest aesthetic value. The shaman mediates the mortal and spirit worlds, or stated differently, the worlds of the past and the present. Or again, they employ the historical sense (what Nietzsche called the sixth sense) in a concrete manner to provide context for the present, thus changing it in so doing. Of course I may very likely be way off base "academically so to speak" but this is where I think shamanism has now gotten to.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You are absolutely right and I apologize.... -- Briar Rose, 23:11:59 11/29/02 Fri

How wonderful that you are a Celtic Scholar!!! That is a very exacting branch of study and I'll have to check out your book.

I was condensing the information for posting because most people don't care about the details, and I was going for the overall.

But - yes - Rhiannon and Macha are "horse goddesses" (and also identified w/ birds...) but Epona and Mare both hold the same place in their respective Religion's Spiritual Realms, that Rhiannon and Macha do not. (Rhiannon being a lesser diety, and cursed to carry the public on her back into the kingdom gates for the alledged sin of slaughtering her child when she did not. Macha's story escapes me... )

No. Epona is not just Roman - she is widely spread over the European Continent. But I had simplified for the simple reason that it gets so detailed it's harder to remember all the exact locations each of the pantheons overlap into and where they are not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Weather patterns correction -- alcibiades, 10:16:57 12/01/02 Sun

And for anyone who questions the Yule/Christmas thing - ... and that the weather patterns related to the geography of Israel, and the rest of the Middle East, puts Winter there in the Fall of the Western Hemisphere (remember September 11th and the following attack on Pakistan and the weather when it happened?)

And a big HUH? Winter does not occur in fall in Israel. It occurs in Winter. November through February can get awfully cold.

Neither of these facts would point to Jesus having
been born in December - let alone the date celebrated.

What does weather patterns have to do with when a person is born? If anything, I'd say the closeness of his birth to January -- from the Roman god Janus -- portals and doorways and new openings and looking both ways through times, makes an awful lot of sense symbolically.

Furthermore, just as a point of interest, there were women in the early church who were quite powerful leaders -- church leaders and stuff. For one thing, in the very early years of Christianity, outside of Israel or among non-Jews in Israel, more women than men became Christian, one reason being because there was no issue of circumcision for women. It is only in after years, that the bishops and synods and stuff took away their power as a point of religious law.

This is by way of pointing out that there was a basis within the early religion itself for strong female figures -- the fact that something suppressed later re-emerged is hardly surprising. It happens all the time in religion. Often times, the suppressed stuff is the most interesting -- or the most dangerous -- or forms the basis for esoteric movements.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Weather patterns correction -- Sophist, 12:23:41 12/01/02 Sun

My understanding is that the date for celebration of Jesus' birth was selected to coincide with the solstice celebration of Mithras, a god commonly worshipped by Roman soldiers in the Eastern Empire. The date was both syncretic and propagandistic. It has nothing to do with any actual birthdate, which we do not know.

Furthermore, just as a point of interest, there were women in the early church who were quite powerful leaders -- church leaders and stuff. For one thing, in the very early years of Christianity, outside of Israel or among non-Jews in Israel, more women than men became Christian, one reason being because there was no issue of circumcision for women. It is only in after years, that the bishops and synods and stuff took away their power as a point of religious law.

This is a hotly contested point. It seems clear that women were particularly attracted to the early Church. They surely had influence behind the scenes; that was true even in the highly patriarchal Roman society. But the amount of their public influence or power is highly subjective because the sources just aren't good enough to answer the question definitively.

I'm not sure I understand the point about circumcision. That was not at issue for women in any of the religions at that time. The lack of circumcision would have made early Christianity more attractive to men than Judaism, though.

[> [> [> [> [> Yes, that's great. Thanks! -- Tchaikovsky Off to read your third recommendation carefully, 04:49:57 11/28/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Revealing the fourth member of the Quarternity -- Tcahikovsky, 06:34:01 11/29/02 Fri

I'd like to go with Spike as the fourht member of my little group then please, (A Trinity of Four, as Douglas Adams might have called it). He would represent the male principle into the female group, and also has understanding of the evil inherent in humans.

And I think the Quarternity in Season Four was very powerful, and as aresult of this, the Seasons have been thematically divided into one of each for the last three seasons, as Shadowkat has posted, and I have attempted to repeat ad nauseam until everyone believes me. If Season Five was Giles' Season, (Season of the Mind), Season Six was Wilow's Season (Season of the Spirit), and Season Seven is Xander's season (Season of the Heart), then at the end, where there's the customary failure of the ruling aspect, Buffy will leap back in, completing the circle of her empowerment. But it seems logical that a new Quarternity, with Dawn, Faith and Spike, (the most important Buffyverse characters except the original four), could help her to take back the role of dominance- the role of the Chosen One, the Hand to slay the evil.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Revealing the fourth member of the Quarternity -- frisby, 12:10:54 11/29/02 Fri

Wow. Very interesting. Nice follow through. Assuming of course there "is" an eighth season, but even if not, we can still extrapolate. I don't think Faith has ever met Dawn, and if they did, they might just hit it off like Buffy and Willow did in season one. Another interesting formulation, just for the sake of food for thought, might be Faith and Dawn, and Spike and Connor (from AtS). That would be an interesting new quaternity (replacing Buffy and Willow, Giles and Xander) for another series, but it would require the sacrifice of several, such as Angel. Anyway, aren't quaternities interesting, as alternatives to trinities? (Actually, the ancient Pythagoreans taught that the ultimate "4) was the 1-2-3-4 which together equals 10, but then we're into cabala or who knows -- string theory.)

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