Re: Early, or Late Event?

From: Chris Lemens <chrislemens_at_mH9xPYBSJzAjvxjsz0KI2qlRgRZ0W5BN0B_PKin05tUe_sPyr0HJTSDPDOfOh1yY>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2008 10:04:26 -0700 (PDT)

Terra notes:

> . . . there is no 'Time' before the 'Cosmic Compromise' at least in Heortling
>  'Unity Council' Mythology. So sequential events are subjective, like events
> experienced by Valare Addi.
> And I have an impression that some events are not 'cause and effect',
> but resonances of each other events. See below my godleanish timeline
> table about the events of Entekosiad.

Here's my pet theory, which others have thoroughly rubbished, but I like anyway:

While there is no time before the dawn, there is cause and effect. But, since there is no time, you can't say that cause precedes effect, like it does in our world. Instead, you have to thnk of cause and effect like this: A is a cause of B if B only happens if A also happens. (Grammatically, you have to use all present-tense verbs.) So, there can still be relationships between events before time. For example, we know that Orlanth obtaining death is a cause of Orlanth killing Yelm. We know it is a cause because the Yelm doesn't die in any of the other instances in which someone hit him.

What time does is that it allows us to relate events that are not connected by cause an effect. For example, I can relate events in Kralorela with events in Jrustela in the second age because they occur at the same time. But I can't usually relate events that occurred in Prax before time with events in Dara Happa that occurred before time.

Now some events before time were so big that they had lots of effects. For example, the sun died. That had lots of effects, so ties together many otherwise disparate events through cause and effect. But even so, it does not help tie together the remote causes or remote effects like time does. For example, if you go several effects deep in Orlanthi mythology from the sun dying, you get Orlanth deciding to go off on the Lightbringer quest. The chain of causality back to the sun dying does not help place that event compared to something in Prax that was also caused by the sun dying. The differentiation that ends the Green Age might be another such event. After the dawn, time is what orders those events for us.

One interesting spin off of this is that it helps explain (at least for me) the meaning of the observations of the Dara Happans about what happened in the sky before time. We think of the progression of stars and planets and signifying the passage of time. Before time, it does not. Instead, it signifies causes and effects. Every time such-and-such planet crosses the sky, there is a reason for it. When a star stops shining, there is a cause for it. I think that those stories are a rich part of the (mostly lost) archives in Dara Happan cities.

Likewise, the turning of Zzabur's hourglass. I think that there are stories about why he turns it. Moderns often assume that means the passage of time. I think it was something different. More like acknowledging the Passing of the Subordinate Actions (which I just made up, since I know little about westerners) or something like that.

Finally, if you believe that the Sunstop actually stopped time, then you can still have cause and effect for that non-time.

That's my take. Rubbish away!

Chris Lemens            

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