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[OpNet] Nova Gods and Transhumans


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What am I?

This is not a question of definitions, philosophical allegiances or semantics. It is not a question about genetics, latin designations, Farahcyte growth, kewl powers, Teras adherence or the symptomatology of the eruption process. It is a perceptual question of how ones place in the universe is viewed.

What do you believe that you truly are?

I have met those that claimed, and may well be for all I know, Avatar and Gods. Demons and Wunderkins. I've met no less that three Queen Maub's, including one that had the oddest energy aura I've ever seen, as well as two Oberons (one obviously based on subconscious recollection of a fantasy novel from Zelazney). I've met a drunken giant of a man that claimed to be the Norse god Heimdahl and blamed somebody he called the She-Wolf for the fall of the Aesir amid a cloud of smoke and the roar of thunder. That may have been the bourbon talking. Then there was Coyote with his stories of outright thievery but always with a good cause in mind, but he was drunk as well. Probably would have said anything to get into my pants.

I could go on with examples but if you've traveled the world at all, and actually gotten out of the fish bowl, then you already know what I'm talking about and have stories of your own peopled with even stranger characters.

I wonder sometimes if I am human; at least as 99.9% of western civilization defines humanity or the human condition. It isn't that I possess Faracyte clusters in my brain or manipulate forces on scales that can only be appreciated by children when they imagine the physics of wishes. If that were all, then, supremacy issues aside, any baseline child could equal me in potential.

So much for a sense of divinity. wink

The potential curve of nova vs baseline doesn't change until the nova implements her quantum manipulations into her world view and then the curve climbs far more steeply than a baselines. Empirically that's most likely due to the fact that the nova does't have to wait as long to see the results of her efforts. Good or bad, the changes happen quickly. While a baseline might take years to build a group of loyal followers a nova can do it in mere days. I can erect a Cathedral in hours while it took Micheal Angelo years to complete his painting in the Sistine Chapel. If ones abilities cannot be implemented into their world view then they remain static and ungrowing in potential or power.

The difference cannot be that reality is... Well, not more malleable to me, rather I see a portion of the view rarely shared by others. That it does not destroy me or drive me to despair may say something about me personally but that is not a characteristic exclusive to novas.

In fact, most novas seem to share the same blindness and willful ignorance as the rest of the species. As baselines believe the present to be more sophisticated and advanced merely because the dead past has conspired to produce their wonderous modern selves, so too do novas share the view. In their case, they are special because the universe and random chance has conspired to cause them to erupt. That's an obvious intellectual trap that seems far too banal for words. Might as well attribute it to the gods or dance around the bonfires naked to appease the spirits.

So I'm not human, at least as the mjority of the species defines it. I am a god, at least as that same majority of more limited being define it, but I am not nearly as unlimited as they believe. And of course I can't unknowingly fall into the trap of allowing others to define me by what I am in relation to them. That's a fools game. So what am I?

I'm still searching for my answer but the question is yours if you wish it.

What are you?

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The past isn't anymore dead than the future is pre-ordained. Many roads lead us to were we are now and many paths lead off into the future.

As I refuse to constrain myself with limited possibilities, so I deny any definition of who I am. As we define ourselves, so do we limit our possibilities. I guess when I lose all hope and forgo the infinite, I will know who I am.

...or, so it seems to me.

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You seem to disregard any descriptive that we can base on objective evidence. Why the sudden need to wrap yourself in undefinable titles? When we've spoken in the past you've seemed to have such a sure grip on reality. Has something happened to loosen it?

We are what we are. Why do we need to define it? If you were to take a step back in time and introduce yourself to a group of Vikings clad in nothing but your personal glory you would be able to convince them in short order that you were a god. I know what you can do and lets face it, it would knock the socks off of the average Viking. Now, if I was to do the same thing, I would be considered quite less. I have a good head on my shoulders and could probably blow them away with what I could build, even considering the limited tech of the time. I just cannot manage many of the feats that so many of us can that makes us, as a species, so remarkable.

We as Novas are a wonderful collection of unique members of a singular species. We are a like group, defined by our differences. Some of us are godlike, others quite a bit less.

The fact that some of us make a claim to godhood doesn't change who or what we are. We can study the past and make claims that our myths of old were simply pre-Galatea Novas. We can't prove it, perhaps we never will. If it is so, then yes, we are gods, because we have always been gods. If not, then what? Have we ascended that far above humanity? Define godhood. The gods of the Vikings and the Greeks were remarkably human. The gods of India, remarkably less so.

I don't have an answer for you Wizard. I don't feel the need to search for one. I am happy simply being what I am.

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Thank you for your concern, James.

All is as it should be and life remains the ever changing experience it has always been. To really savor that experience though, one should occasionally challenge the assumptions of ones worldview. Define what one really believes in, what one believes is important and why, then examine all the implicit assumptions of those views. How else can one grow?

You're right. Most of the objective criteria was discounted but deliberately so. In the last ten months I've heard the debates about evolution vs blind change, baseline vs latents, destiny vs random chance, transcendence of humanity vs just being twisted, etc. I've seen hairs split so finely in these arguments that even my senses could barely detect the differences and yet we're no closer to defining a common ground for a species which has only its origins in common. Or identifying our place in the cosmos if one wanted to be quasi-mystic.

That particular question is not really new, rather its one I've asked many times over the years and arrived at different answers. Completely human "with the addition of kewl powers" as Ashnod once noted with some justification of sarcasm. At other times a god, or at least god-like; sheerly a semantic issue of course - that's how many would define the state of nova existance.

Then there is taint. One might perceive taint as nothing more than damage and degradation of the quantum pattern. After our time together, however, that view could not help but be changed. While it is obvious that far too many are acting blindly, shooting in the dark and hoping for the best, there are those that make the changes deliberately and thoughtfully. Some have even achieved a deep enough understanding to make changes which are productive and lend to a greater whole. Even so, it is interesting that so many cannot define humanity yet are certain that they are distancing themselves from it. Or transcending it. Their only guides on this seems to be the adverse reaction from the masses but what value your course if the only indicator is the reaction of the pack? That's allowing those that you have supposedly transcended to define what you're new state is. That doesn't sound like transcendence to me.

I think the only real answer to this question must come from a subjective vice objective view. I could say that I am homo sapiens novus but aside from knowing a small fact and a tiny bit of latin, what does that mean? That I have a chunk of something in my head that most of the race cannot naturally manifest at this time. While not on your level, even I know that answer is begging the question. So I started the discussion by throwing out those possible answers since I want to know what individuals think instead of groups. If slogans and bits of latin are the only response that they can give me then so be it. I've already heard all of that before.

I've sat in the choir balcony of an abandoned church in England listening to Apostle expousing the glories of Mal and the sublime joy of chrysalis while trying not to throw up from the pheromones he gives off. I was new to myself then and mildly allergic to hormones in that high a concentration. He has a nice voice but, for someone able to strip the package of all the pretty wrapping and view him through quantum attunements, its nothing special. And I've heard the same discourse from a hundred fundamentalist preachers. This was just a new spin to a very old racket.

I've been present for a Harvester discourse on the dark wonders of taint. Leaviathan's actually a very good speaker but... The information content was really pretty lame. I could have done without him licking me from ankle to earlobe with the three foot piece of meat he uses for a tongue. While I'm not a puritan neither am I as brave as Apep - besides I had to get a friend out of there before someone ate him. On the plus side he does pretty good imitation of Jabba the Hutt. In retrospect Leviathan seems to have the best grasp of the possiblities of taint. Unfortunately, he is utterly unable to articulate it to others without resorting to biblical imagery or slogans. Definitely some issues to work through from his past and I wish him the best in doing so.

I've sat in on a meeting with Justin Langrione outlining the Utopian goals for the coming year twice. The first time I was impressed with his idealism and pragamtism, though he seemed too... Sure of himself, I would say. As if there were a single goal to the future and Utopia was tasked to find it. Just enough humility to know that he wasn't in possession of the specifics of the goal coupled with the blind idealism to believe there was only one. I sat in on another meetng a couple of years later and the mindset had shifted to that of a general outlining the war strategy for the coming year. The really odd thing is no one else seemed to notice the change except me.

I saw a transcript of a Directive meeting, passed to me from a departed friend, and realized that group is a mixed bag indeed. Dangerous in a way the Proteans could only imagine, luckily they are utterly handicapped by their own inability to work together towards a common goal or even to agree on one. Too concerned with national boundaries and playing politics to achieve an appreciable advance in their conflicting goals. They talk about the dangers of novas but in reality its a reflection of governments realizing they must change or die. Utipia is a portent to them and novas are only the forerunners. Thier goals are noble but their actions translate to a desire to maintain the status quo.

So the groups have dogma and doctrine even if they don't call it that. Utterly without value in regards to my question since groups average out the qualities I'm looking at. They become like the beast of forest or the jungle; unable to accept responsiblity or exercise it on a personal level. Unable to exercise actualized self-awareness. Static and resistant to change. It seems to be an implicit flaw in the structure of human group dynamics unless the group is operating as an extension of a particular individual. That leaves the individuals themselves. How do they view the universe. What do they see as their place in it.

In each view of another I see the universe reflected, however darkly or distorted. And in knowing that view I arrive at a clearer picture of the universe. So I really am doing okay, no need to worry, I'm just examining the same issues as always. The goal isn't really to define myself despite the question appearing to do so. Rather it is to come a hair breadth closer to understanding the universe.

And in wanting to side-step the definitions by association issues, I also tried to arrange it wherein an individual would have difficulty defining themselves by resorting to a simplistic labels like 'transcended', Terat or 'nova'. Again, I've heard those before.

[ 11-24-2001: Message edited by: Wizard ]

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Jager would have you believe, "As I refuse to constrain myself with limited possibilities, so I deny any definition of who I am. As we define ourselves, so do we limit our possibilities. I guess when I lose all hope and forgo the infinite, I will know who I am."

Prodigy would have you believe, "I don't have an answer for you Wizard. I don't feel the need to search for one. I am happy simply being what I am."

Everyone's so insistent that they do not need or that they defy definition. Is this arrogance speaking or just the desparate desire to appear more enlightened and more interesting than you actually are? I am reminded somehow, of all the coffeehouse intellectuals that would try to impress upon me their grand intellect and immense wealth of philosophical immersion, self-educated no less, all the while trying to find that right twist of prose to relax my guard and part my legs long before my Eruption.

One must wonder if you would still be so Deep™ were you a baseline.

[ 11-27-2001: Message edited by: Ashnod ]

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And the critic emerges. Visciously tearing apart the offerings of others while giving us nothing new.

Just kidding Ashnod. I admire your mind and insight and would welcome you into any discussion. Would I have been this self-satisfied prior to my eruption? Absolutely, but not for the reasons you might think. I was a perfect example of ignorance being bliss.

I responded to Wizard as I did partly out of frustration. Wizard included in her question the desire to not consider any quantifiable data or evidence. I live my life through that which can be measured, detected, defined and quantified. In the past I have dismissed those who argue against Novas being a seperate species by referring to 'the soul' or 'spirit' that unifies us all. I will continue to try to discuss matters using identifiable measures, it assists me when I speak with those who do not have my comprehension. Please note, this is not arrogance. My eruption gifted me with superior intellect. While I have worked hard at honing it, I consider it a talent whose origin I cannot take credit for.

You never answered Wizards question, would you care to try? I wait with anticipation your take on the matter.

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I apologise for the frustration, James, but it's not about what novas are. There are as many shades and variations of that answer as there people on the planet.

Think of this as being a distant cousin to Jager's quest for that theoretical common ground which, although there are some promising thoughts, no one has successfully identified yet. Look at the problem differently; if the common ground isn't apparent then accept what there is and see if there is commonality.

So, the question isn't what are novas. The question is what are you.

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I apologize, Ashnod. I was expressing my ideal, not were I am. Too often, I lose hope and constrain myself with not only my fears, but other peoples' impressions of who I am, or should be. Noting these weaknesses is my first step toward conquering them. Didn't mean to bore you.

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