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The Void & Goddess of the Void

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AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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The Void, and (eventually) the Elder Goddess of the Void
See here for the story behind this thread

Contents
Each of these parts may be read separately.
Part 1 - the void, the abyss, the abyssal void - this part is easy
Part 2 - the structure of the void - this part is difficult and may be skipped
Part 3 - the elder goddess of the void - this part is highly speculative

27-Aug-2015 14:09:12 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:36:36 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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Part 1 - the void, the abyss, the abyssal void

(1) What is the void? Well, we don't know much about it. It's empty.

(2) Is it empty space? When described, the void often sounds like empty space. But I think space is already something too interesting for the void. The void, if it's really the emptiest emptiness, has to be even more empty than our experience of empty space.

(3) But what's more empty than our experience of empty space? I answer: our idea of empty space! The emptiness of ideas, specifically empty ideas, is the emptiest emptiness we know.

(4) What's an empty idea? An idea that doesn't elicit images or emotions or memories - just a plain and simple idea. Take, for example, the idea of 'thing.' With very little reflection, we can call to mind countless images of things, memories of things, properties of things, examples of things existing in space and time. But we are also capable of entertaining the empty idea of a thing. For the most part, I don't think we deal with totally empty ideas; we tend to think with images and emotions and memories.

(5) So where would we encounter totally empty ideas? This may sound odd, but: in mathematics! When we add 2 + 2, it doesn't matter at all what two things we're adding to whatever other two things. We just know we end up with four things. What those things might be doesn't matter to us. We don't even need to have a clear sense of the numbers we're using. For example, anyone after fourth grade or so can solve 151 x 523. It is totally mechanical; one need never have any clear idea of 151 or 523.

(6) So how does this relate to the void? We do not need to relate the void specifically to either our idea of empty space or our ideas of empty numbers. It is enough to think of the void as the emptiness of empty ideas in general, or the emptiness of all possible empty ideas.

27-Aug-2015 14:09:21 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:40:39 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(7) Why would we want to think of the void this way? For three reasons. First, this takes the idea of emptiness very seriously, without including in it even the content of spatial extension. Second, on this account, the void is vast; it sets no limits or almost no limits on where the stories of RuneScape can go; I will address the structure of the void and the limits it perhaps does set below. Third, this account sets us up for some further interesting and lore-y conceptual analyses, e.g. of the abyss.

(8) What is the abyss? We know a little bit more about this: it is accessible from and connects every plane; we use it in tel*portation. But we still don't know much about it, and I don't think that everything we have been told about it is good or clear.

(9) So, where should we start with the abyss? If we understand the void as emptiness, I think we can perhaps begin to understand the abyss as content.

(10) Should we not associate the abyss with 'obscurity' rather than 'content'? I think this is an interesting suggestion, but I would like to reserve 'obscurity' for a later theory and identify it with the essence of shadow.

(11) So, if the void contains all possible empty ideas, the abyss contains all the possible contents which fill those ideas. But this sounds ridiculous: it suggests that everything that could possibly exist already exists, both its idea and content, in the void and abyss.

(12) How could we accept this account? We can accept this account if we recognize that neither the void nor the abyss really exist. Rather, they are the totality of possible existing things: possible empty ideas and possible contents for those ideas. In other words, planes and the things in planes are what really exist. The void and abyss possess a mysterious status 'outside' the existence of planes and the things in them.

27-Aug-2015 14:09:26 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:13:34 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(14) This has a further, important implication: the abyss does not usually contain anything which really exists except those things which possess existence 'borrowed' from the planes. Introducing the notion of 'planar distance,' the abyss and the things in the abyss only exist 'close' to the planes: existence 'bleeds' into the abyss only from the planes.

(15) On this account then, the void - containing all possible ideas, understood emptily - stretches infinitely, in infinite dimensions. The void never exists. The abyss likewise stretches infinitely, in the same infinite dimensions as the void, yet it does comes into existence - in those 'regions' of the void into which existence 'bleeds' from the planes.

(16) This account, also, makes the void and abyss two sides of a coin: idea and content. This explains why the TokHaar-Hok refer simply to "the abyssal void." To them, it is one; they need not draw a subtle metaphysical distinction between abyss and void.

(17) So where do we go from here? I would love to provide accounts of how teleportation makes use of the abyss and of how dimensional barriers divide the existence of planes from the quasi-existence of the abyss, but these must wait for a future theory. Instead, I would like to share some speculations on the structure of the void.

27-Aug-2015 14:09:31 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:44:05 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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Part 2 - the structure of the void

(18) Mod Raven once said that I scrutinize the inscrutable. Well, I do not think that is true, but I also do not think that it is far from the truth. And the following attempt to describe the structure of the void comes terribly close to scrutinizing the inscrutable. (It also coincides with a vision of the planes Mod Raven introduced in December 2006, according to which: each plane has magical or physical laws unlike those of any other plane.)

(19) The account of the void above, the structure I will now decribe, and the account of the structure itself come from a book I recently read by a philosopher named Edmund Husserl entitled Formal and Transcendental Logic. To begin, let us attempt to consider the vastness of 'all possible (empty) ideas.'

(20) But how is it possible even to consider something so vast? We can begin by considering what is common to every idea. An idea, in order to be an idea, is thinkable, or intelligible. Certainly not all these ideas are thinkable by us. Many of them - infinities of them - are too big or complex or obscure for us to think them. But in principle, they are thinkable. This, i.e. intelligibility, is the common denominator, the most basic characteristic of the entirety of the void.

(21) But what about the 'unintelligible'? - we have an idea for that! This is an important idea, to which I will return soon.

(22) So where do we go from here? How we should go anywhere from here is an important question, to which I will return soon, but Husserl next turns to smaller subsets within 'all possible (empty) ideas.' He turns first to ideas which are both intelligible and noncontradictory, and then to ideas which are intelligible, noncontradictory, and complete.

27-Aug-2015 14:09:36 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:18:14 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(23) Just to keep things clear, the void is not spatial; is there a picture which could help us conceive of these subsets of the void? Certainly the void is not spatial, despite the following spatial metaphor. Imagine a depth chart, i.e. a map of a lake or sea or ocean; various curvy shapes encompass one another; lines do not cross; each region is filled with some
shade
of
blue
. On this particular depth chart, there are three
shades
of
blue
. One shade will correspond to those 'regions' of the void at
the 'depth' of mere intelligibility
. The next shade will correspond to those 'regions' of the void at
the depth of intelligibility and noncontradiction
. The last shade will correspond to those 'regions' of the void at
the 'depth' of intelligibility, noncontradiction, and completeness
.

(24) So what are these 'depths' of the void supposed to be? These 'depths' are subsets of ideas. Ideas belonging to
the 'depth' of mere intelligibility
are those ideas which contain contradictions. Take, for example, the ideas of 'square circle,' 'wooden iron,' or 'married bachelor.' Should we attempt to impart existence to any of
these possibilities
, surely we would bring content into existence within the abyss, but the content could not really coalesce into anything - for the very idea
contains a contradiction
.

(25) The only reason ideas like these possess intelligibility at all is because they conform to the rules of grammar. In these examples, an adjective precedes a noun. But they possess no more order than this. That grammar alone rules the entirety of the void will be important for us later on.

27-Aug-2015 14:09:40 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:21:19 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(26) So what about the next 'depth' of the void? Ideas belonging to
the 'depth' of intelligibility and noncontradiction
, obviously, exhibit intelligibility and noncontradiction, but they lack completeness. Should we attempt to impart existence to any of
these possibilities
, the content of the abyss would coalesce better than if governed by
intelligibility alone
. But these creatures of borrowed existence would not appear to us like something from the planes; they would lack some properties: temporal endurance or some spatial dimensions or causal properties or some aspect of any of these, etc. They correspond to
incomplete ideas
.

(27) What of the last 'depth'? Ideas belonging to
the 'depth' of intelligibility, noncontradiction, and completeness
exhibit all of these qualities. Should we attempt to impart existence to
these possibilities
, the contents of the abyss would fully coalesce - to form
whole creatures, whole pocket dimensions, whole worlds
.

(28) So far, I have only addressed creatures of borrowed existence, i.*. things found within the abyssal void. But planes and the things in planes are really existing things, stably existing things. Real and stable existence is a different sort of thing, which I will have to address in a future, more developed theory.

(29) For now, I can say this: We find these stably existing things only within the 'regions' of the void characterized by this
last 'depth,'
of intelligibility, noncontradiction, and completeness. In other words, these are the
'world-apt'
regions of the void. Gielinor (presumably) lies within one of these regions.

27-Aug-2015 14:09:46 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:22:40 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(30) What of the other worlds created by the elder goddess during this cycle? Do they too lie only within the
intelligible-noncontradictory-complete
regions of the void?
I think so, except perhaps those early worlds which Zaros called 'proto-worlds.' It is possible that those worlds did not cohere because the ideas by which they were governed
were incomplete
or
contained contradictions
, and so belonged to the wrong depth of void, and so could not stably coalesce within the abyss. This is the end of my description of the structure of the void, but I must make a few last notes about it.

(31) First, after we identified intelligibility as the basic characteristic of the void, I said that I would return to the question of how we then distinguished the three 'depths' of the void (22). These divisions are not at all obvious; they only become plausible in light of our intention to describe the conditions of the void necessary for real and stable existence. Because the vast expanse of the void does not exist, there is no reason to distinguish the depths of the void with respect to the possibility of real and stable existence. Rather, we imposed this structure upon the void.

(32) That we imposed this three-tiered structure upon the void does not undermine the truth of this structure. The void is infinite and infinite-dimensional. It admits of many structures and interpretations. The account above, then, is one possible interpretation. And I hope that it will be a useful interpretation for a future theory about the real and stable existence of the planes and the things within them.

27-Aug-2015 14:09:51 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:23:49 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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(33) Second, I said that I would return to the question of unintelligibility (21). Certainly, anything for which we have an idea is intelligible to the extent to which we have an idea for it. Thus the idea of unintelligibility is likewise intelligible to us. It refers to the limit beyond which some intelligible thing admits of no further intelligible structure or interpretation.

(34) In one way, there is nothing which is utterly unintelligible to us, for we are always capable of having some minimal idea of a possible thing (e.g. 'thing'). But plenty of possibilities admit of hardly more intelligibility than this. If we perhaps we expected to find further structure than we in fact do, we may call a thing 'unintelligible.' In these cases, I do not think we mean by this that it is utterly unintelligible.

(35) Finally, because this account of the void - as not really existing and as all possible empty ideas - begins with ideas and defines possibility according to intelligibility, I think it should be specified as 'Rational Planar Theory.' Planar theory does not need always to be Rational Planar Theory, but I think this is a good version of planar theory to work with for now.

27-Aug-2015 14:09:57 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:24:45 by AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

AttilaSquare

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Part 3 - the elder goddess of the void

(36) In (25) we said that "grammar alone rules the entirety of the void." For those who skipped part 2 and are joining us now, by this we meant that the whole void, consisting of all possible empty ideas, possesses a basic characteristic of intelligibility. All of the empty ideas of the void are, at least theoretically, thinkable.

(37) The basic characteristic an idea must have in order to be an idea, i.*. to be thinkable, is some grammatical form. An idea must be, minimally, a noun or a verb or an adjective or an adverb, etc. Or it must be a noun modified by an adjective, or a verb modified by an adverb, or an adjective modified by an adverb, etc. Otherwise there can be no idea, nothing thinkable.

(38) We need not confuse this abstract grammar of the void with the grammatical rules of individual languages spoken by really existing creatures within the planes - because sometimes we have thoughts that we can't necessarily express in any really existing language, and these thoughts still obey the abstract grammar of the void. But certainly the grammatical rules of really existing languages guide us in discerning the abstract grammar of the void.

(39) Now, let us consider this. The four elder goddesses Jas, Ful, Wen, and Bik are responsible for all of the worlds and most of the living creatures (directly or indirectly) in the multiverse. Unlike the void, these elder goddesses really exist; unlike the abyss, they possess a stable existence.

27-Aug-2015 14:10:20 - Last edited on 27-Aug-2015 14:26:25 by AttilaSquare

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