Achlys: Not just a plot-point in a Red Dwarf eppie

So, before I get the Cool Kids on Patheos™ misinterpreting last night’s free-verse as evidence of latent Monism, let me explain a bit about that bit toward the end:

I’ve always like science. I’ve said as much here. I also believe that my attempts to reconstruct Cyrenaic Hedonism, especially when coupled with syncretising it with Empecoklean pluralism and Leucippus’/Democritus’ school of Atomism, this is highly compatible with the sciences, especially some of the more complex and “theoretical” stuff, especially with regards to the nature of knowledge.

Now, there’s a sci-fi/comedy BBC series I enjoy, Red Dwarf, and not just cos it’s a self-aware sausage party (in the first couple seasons, the fact that it’s a sausage party is actually relevant). At one point in the series, time-travel becomes intricately tied to the show’s plot arch, and there’s an episode that, while not especially plot-relevant in the course of the show, does lead up to some of the weirder things they do with time-travel, but it’s going to require some explanation, especially if you haven’t seen the show:

The universe is expanding. This is observable to people who study these things (and to the science-deniers, really, there’s nothing to be gained from making this up). Because the universe is expanding, this makes the Big Bang, where the universe began as a single, extremely dense and hot mass of particles especially compatible with the empirical data. Now, if one posits that all things that begin must end, even if only to cycle again, then one potential possibility for “the end of the universe” is the Big Crunch. Now, it’s unlikely to play out the way it did in Red Dwarf, but it’s a comedy, so of course they’re going to make it silly.

I reconcile this with pluralist faith and philosophy because when Khaos happened, She is essentially what held this mass of particleS, plural, into that dense mass before flipping the switch to disperse it, and with dispersing Her particles, all Gods that formed and bred and all currently-observable “physical” matter, as well. Thus, with that dispersal, Khaos shifted into Kosmos (who’s always struck me as more hermaphroditic or “pangendered” than “male”, as a few writers have envisioned Kosmos).

Achlys exists independent of Khaos/Kosmos, and both are especially impersonal, when it comes to humans, moreso than some deities –think, like, Lovecraftian “ancient horror” incomprehensible, something that we can only glimpse the tiniest fraction of when in a state resembling Madness, for if we see any more than that, it would break us, mentally. And where Achlys came from, and what may have caused Khaos to happen, are obviously more incomprehensible than that, since we don’t even have a name for it. Achlys, though, will eventually breathe Her toxic mist over The Kosmos, contracting Their form back to Khaos –the Big Crunch. We’re less than dust mites to Them; we’re just little bits of particles swirling and whirling and maybe we look pretty….

I don’t think this is an “eternal” end, I think it will simply begin another cycle. Like when a spool of reel-to-reel film ends and the projectionist rewinds it for the next screening, I think Khaos will pull back only to disperse again –only when that happens, the film might change, or maybe it’s all just the same nonsense, over and over again.

Now, are the gods deathless? Of course. The particles that became the gods are eternal and unchanging. The Theoi will always be what they are, no matter how many times Khaos becomes Kosmos, then Khaos again. And Kosmos is not some “godhead” or “One” or other divine unification principle; Kosmos is Kosmos, and Kosmos does what They do, and what Kosmos does is let the particles find the Order they see fit to have, and the particles that are or become the Theoi are simply immutable particles, no matter how often this cycles. They are immune to neither Big Bang nor Big Crunch, they are simply immune to being changed by it –assuming anything is changed by the Bigs. But even when Khaos is at Her densest possible state, think of Her like a basket of eggs packed tightly with a packing medium, like confetti –it’s not just one big cosmic egg of a cell laid by the Hen of Achlys, that will separate and become two cells and then a whole thing before it hatches, it’s a collection of “eggs” that will eventually form entire structures that will hatch and breed with each-other, or form other structures with the medium that previously kept the eggs tight in the basket. And when Kosmos returns to Khaos, it’s, well, like the Red Dwarf eppie, it’s like the chicken de-aging and going back to chicks, and then back into a single cell in an egg.

The closest thing Khaos will ever be to One is the backet of eggs held in tightly with a backing medium –if you look at it from a certain angle, it’s a solid, One, thing, but if you look at it closer, you see pieces — you see the weave of the basket wicker, you see the eggs, you see the packing medium.

Achlys and Khaos/Kosmos are the closest thing i can think of that I regard as Divine, but not necessarily “Theoi” in the same way as Eros or even Nyx, but also as certainly much more that the Earth-bound Divine entities, like nymphai and Heroes, etc…. “Energies” is a decent way to describe Them, but I suspect it’s a more complex sort of energy than even physicists of any sort can comprehend. And because they are so complex and impersonal, and barely even think about us the way a biologist might think about atoms, I find it fruitless to offer worship to Them, especially in the form of setting up a shrine or writing prayers to be performed regularly, because it’s not something that will even register to Them.

Nyx is the oldest and strangest Deity I worship. She’s the oldest and strangest that any human can comprehend, and even then, it’s likely that not everyone can, and doubly likely that no-one should want to.

…but that’s another story for another time. In the meantime, here’s something a little less incomprehensible:


One thought on “Achlys: Not just a plot-point in a Red Dwarf eppie

  1. That’s a very rich onto-theology. You should write something like this up more formally and publish it with the hymn. I’ve always found the notion of a synthesis of Empedoclean and Atomist thought, together with elements of Stoicism, et al. quite appealing, which might sound weird, since I’m a Platonist, but Platonism to me is really hyperontological and so can coexist with all sorts of different ontologies.


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