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Author Topic: VALIS -- Gnosticism / Japanese Cosmogony / Megaten (Read 25523 times)
yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « on: September 02, 2008, 09:24:29 PM »
Ok, wow... so I've put off the VALIS trilogy for a long time. A few days back I was looking thru my digital library for something to read, and I thought what the hell.

VALIS is pretty much a hodge podge of all my favorite stuff mashed into one. I won't drone on about VALIS, but I thought some readers might like to know, there is even a foray into the universe of Megaten (well sorta) embedded in one of VALIS' most memorable dialogues near the end of Chapter4.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3234681/VALIS-by-Philip-K-Dick

Parallels are drawn basically between Gnosticism and a number of origin mythologies in one foul swoop, culminating in a mention of the Izanami/Izanagi mythology of Japan.

It isn't of any necessary significance. But of course I have to go out and look up all the references, and I also got to thinking about classical Megaten. It's no secret pretty much all of the newer aspects of Megaten are Gnostic in origin. I don't know if it's conscious or not, but there are many parallels with the Gnostic tradition and the Japanese origins of the wider Megaten universe, namely Izanagi, Izanami, and Kagatsuchi.

It never occurred to me to try to put everything together coherently. But I think there is actually a direct correlation (whether or not intended by the people involved in Megaten at all)


Without further adieu I think it goes like so...

Outside of time memorial the twins Izanami and Izanagi bear a child Kagutsuchi.

Kagutsuchi represents fire/light, and Izanami dies as a result of it's birth.

Dead Izanami sinks into the underworld and begins decomposing, however her womb continues to give birth to monsters. These monsters you can think of as mutated freaks born of an imperfect continually degenerating source.

Now there is a direct parallel between Izanami and the Gnostic concept of Sophia. That would make Izanagi Sakla I think (edit: no that is wrong, see next post)

Izanami/Sophia give birth to the Demi-urge: YHVH of Megaten and possibly the Old Testament?? His defect is blindness, so he believes no other deity exists before him. 

YHVH is the creator of the material universe (not necessarily the primordial universe)

Now in the popular Gnostic tradition things get funky. The holy trinity originated from Gnostic teaching (Valentinus' sect specifically)

In this tradition The Father, Son, and The Holy Spirit. Represents deities of the New Testament which invade into the world created by the Demi-urge. These are the original male/female counter-parts and their child. Originally The Holy Spirit was the Mother/Sophia (and the Son is often simply Child), but that part was the only part the power of the Holy Roman Church could keep under wraps so to speak.

So in the Gnostic tradition these are seperate components. The Son represents the Logos -- aka Jesus Christ. The Spirit Sophia, and the Father is Sophia's male aspect, or the true male God (not YHVH -- well not in Megaten terms at least)

These three take pity on mankind and seek to reveal the true nature of reality to man whilst under the rule of the Demi-urge.

The Logos/Jesus/Kagutsuchi promises to overthrow the demi-urge/YHVH and replace him with a new progenitor a la Nocturne.

Just like Kagatsuchi in the form of Jesus (in this synthesis) announces the coming of his father (and mother) ...the period of Megaten takes place when his father and mother indeed take on earthly form as the hero/heroine of Megaten and defeat the demi-urge YHVH (as they defeat other foes in the original novels.)


So you can see basically how it works -- or as close as you're gonna come to making any sense of it anyway  biggrin

« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 02:06:50 AM by yksehtniycul »


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yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #1 on: September 02, 2008, 10:28:54 PM »
Ok, turns out, I think Sakla is just another name for the Demi-urge which originally translates to something like "idiot"  doh


To the Gnostics, I think they get around the questions of whether a respectable deity is a male of female, by defining the deity as a marriage with both a female and male counterpart. Apparently no name is attributed to the male counterpart of Sophia it seems. She is said to be exiled from him because they dared to create the Logos/Jesus/Child/Son/Kagutsuchi. The Logos represents living information / time / purpose, without which everything is static and revealed. So basically Sophia was curious to see what an evolving universe was like. This was her intention for the Logos, but she failed, and created the Demi-urge instead alone while in exile. Sophia is regarded as one of the lowest wrung of the beings (archons) above her.


So it makes sense that Nocturne takes place after the demi-urge (YHVH) was defeated in SMT2. Which seems to explain his absence  tongue


Btw, if anyone would like to properly research and cite this information, it would make a really nice article for the mainsite.

There is already a section for this sort of stuff here: http://www.digitaldevildb.com/articles/reference_articles.php

« Last Edit: September 02, 2008, 11:14:25 PM by yksehtniycul »


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Emilio Morales
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Emilio Morales says,
 « Reply #2 on: September 02, 2008, 11:15:22 PM »
O_O Cool and deep information


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yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #3 on: September 02, 2008, 11:23:41 PM »
Oh yeah, forgot to mention while prowling thru this stuff. I came across a tidbit about Izanagi and Izanami being featured prominently in Persona4. Izanagi is the main protagonist character's default Persona actually -- Izanami is too much the spoiler to speak of however sweatdrop

edited: Can someone find me some illustrations of the lead char's Persona? I'm sure I've seen it before, but didn't notice it was Izanagi redface

« Last Edit: September 02, 2008, 11:26:29 PM by yksehtniycul »


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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #4 on: September 03, 2008, 02:10:02 PM »
Dug this out of the forums...

http://i29.tinypic.com/161nxq9.jpg

Izanagi



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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #5 on: September 05, 2008, 07:59:16 AM »
Kagutsuchi is a lot like YHVH in Nocuture huh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBlR0KLH1TQ


Is YHVH ever mentioned? Even by Lucifer?

Does Satan make an appearance?


PS: Cool how that vid starts with the MT2 worldmap bgm smokin

« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 08:01:42 AM by yksehtniycul »


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 « Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 07:17:03 AM »
Nope, and Satan doesn't appear either. It is believed that YHVH is the "true enemy" Lucifer talks about, and the voice that speaks in the true demon ending. I remember reading somewhere that the speech pattern is quite different from the usual YHVH in japanese MegaTen games, though.

So it makes sense that Nocturne takes place after the demi-urge (YHVH) was defeated in SMT2. Which seems to explain his absence  tongue
This is very interesting. So this means Kagutsuchi is trying to "fix" the demi-urge's world?

P.S.: Sorry for the thread necromancy. Just found very interesting the whole "dead demi-urge" thingy.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2008, 07:23:31 AM by snow-oh »


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yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 01:44:16 PM »
No worries, it would be fun if this thread would take off!

I was a little disappointed it looked like I wasn't going to be getting some answers wink



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snow-oh says,
 « Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 08:59:58 PM »
Oh, that's what I'm here for. biggrin

But you didn't answer my question. sweatdrop



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yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #9 on: September 27, 2008, 05:34:53 AM »
Oh, that's what I'm here for. biggrin

But you didn't answer my question. sweatdrop

Sorry, missed this post (This forum suite seems to loose track of unread posts too easily frown)

As for Kagutsuchi. I haven't played Nocturne, so I'm in no way an authority. But I thought your question was rather rhetorical, because it seem's like something is trying to "fix" the world, or at least rebirth. If I'd played the game, I could answer you with some authority about Kagutsuchi's role -- but as he is a final boss, I don't know if he's good/bad or indifferent, or what precisely.... seems like he could be any or all from what little I know.

If Nocturne is at all cannon. I'd say it represents time after the neutral ending of SMTII. The world is returned to the way it was by the Goddess presumably. But maybe Lucifer broke into that artificial world, or at least for some reason the time for familiar R&R was over. From there it would be hard to guess what the Nocturne protagonist is. I certainly don't know why he was chosen of all people to recreate the meta-verse so to speak. Often in these types of scenarios all living creatures are said to undergo this rebirth decision within their own subjective bubble world.

I'm not convinced Nocturne is really SMTIII. It appears to be rather a Gaiden, which just happened to be released before SMTIII itself. Otherwise it wouldn't have a subtitle. No way would a bona fide SMTIII need a subtitle. Since it was released prior (theoretically) that would most likely make it a prequel Gaiden. Obviously this is speculation, but it's also just very common-sense I think.

PS: Of course Nocturne is evocative of the night, which is the ending of things. That could signify it is the aftermath of SMTII or the end of a future SMTIII. Who really knows. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the protagonist of Nocturne ends of being the new replacement for YHVH in an eventual SMTIII.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 05:48:34 AM by yksehtniycul »


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DevilRy says,
 « Reply #10 on: September 27, 2008, 05:53:30 PM »
As for Kagutsuchi. I haven't played Nocturne, so I'm in no way an authority. But I thought your question was rather rhetorical, because it seem's like something is trying to "fix" the world, or at least rebirth. If I'd played the game, I could answer you with some authority about Kagutsuchi's role -- but as he is a final boss, I don't know if he's good/bad or indifferent, or what precisely.... seems like he could be any or all from what little I know.

If Nocturne is at all cannon. I'd say it represents time after the neutral ending of SMTII. The world is returned to the way it was by the Goddess presumably. But maybe Lucifer broke into that artificial world, or at least for some reason the time for familiar R&R was over. From there it would be hard to guess what the Nocturne protagonist is. I certainly don't know why he was chosen of all people to recreate the meta-verse so to speak. Often in these types of scenarios all living creatures are said to undergo this rebirth decision within their own subjective bubble world.

I'm not convinced Nocturne is really SMTIII. It appears to be rather a Gaiden, which just happened to be released before SMTIII itself. Otherwise it wouldn't have a subtitle. No way would a bona fide SMTIII need a subtitle. Since it was released prior (theoretically) that would most likely make it a prequel Gaiden. Obviously this is speculation, but it's also just very common-sense I think.

PS: Of course Nocturne is evocative of the night, which is the ending of things. That could signify it is the aftermath of SMTII or the end of a future SMTIII. Who really knows. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the protagonist of Nocturne ends of being the new replacement for YHVH in an eventual SMTIII.

SMT III has the "Nocturne" title I think because the gameplay is so markedly different than the previous games in the series.  Whether or not that's a good thing I suppose is a debatable point, but there is a ten year gap in the release of SMT II and Nocturne, so I don't really think SMTIII was meant as a direct sequel or even a Gaiden.  It's simply the third Shin Megami Tensei game.  There certainly are references and similarities for sure but I don't think they're supposed to be directly connected in any substantial way.  I think the "Nocturne" portion of the title more refers to the different style and approach rather than designating it as a side-story to an as of yet unmade SMTIII.

As for the role of hitoshura in the Megateniverse, I'd say he was chosen in much the same way as the protagonist of Shin Megaten 1.  Aside from the moral and philosophical decisions you make throughout the game both characters are essentially silent and the role is essentially supposed to represent yourself in game (as appealing or unappealing as that may be).

Although with the recent box art I've seen for the up and coming Raidou game I tend to agree with you that hitoshura might eventually replace YHVH.  He already was the biggest bitch of a boss to beat in RPG history in DDS.




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yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #11 on: September 27, 2008, 06:07:25 PM »
Oh yeah, he some how turns into a Demi-Devil right? Same for the other humans that survive the vortex or whatever? Some humans would have to survive in order to decide the fate of existence or whatever right???

I refuse to believe Atlus won't release a straight SMT3. I'd think they'd feel compelled to do it for their Japanese audience if nothing else. My guess is it was decided the PS2 couldn't handle a traditional SMT party, so it was put off for a future title.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2008, 06:09:17 PM by yksehtniycul »


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DevilRy says,
 « Reply #12 on: September 27, 2008, 08:38:11 PM »
The Vortex World, as is my understanding anyway, was a 'stasis' world.  The only humans who were allowed into this world were the ones that were still in the hospital when the "conception" happens.  It's really pretty heady stuff for a video game.  There are other people who 'survived' - the Manekata - who are almost like chemotherapy patients/epileptics.  The arguably more important characters are your friends, but there are two major Manekata - kind of like Gotou and Thorman in Shin Megaten I.

I don't know if they'll go for a true blue SMTIII, but it's clear they wanted to try different things with Nocturne and I think they succeeded    in that. 

*A pro po of nothing, I've always disliked the SMT acronym since it also stands for "surface-mount technologies."




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yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #13 on: September 27, 2008, 08:51:39 PM »
I recall reading somewhere Izanami/Izanagi make an appearance in Nocturne near the end. How are they portrayed?

Oddly enough Izanami/Izanagi pass the Firefox inline spellcheck test, while many otherwise proper words do not rolleyes



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DevilRy says,
 « Reply #14 on: September 27, 2008, 09:08:19 PM »
Really?  Well, they aren't in the SMTIII that I have, but they could be in Maniacs maybe?  Afaik they've only been in Persona 4 on the PS2-generation titles.  They look like the standard S&M creatures that that new character designer guy's been squatting out - you know like all the starter Persona in P3.



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