The musubi gods: A comparative survey of binding gods, binding magic and their origins

The musubi gods: A comparative survey of binding gods, binding magic and their origins.

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So I finally got myself to watch Serial Experiments Lain. I always notice a weird phenomenon in which those works that left a bad impression on me tend to become subjects of praise afterwards, XD Yeah weird, I can’t explain it either. Lain’s graphics were a big turn off for me for a long time. Actually I had no idea the anime was so old but once you get past the initial impression you find a work of exceptional depth. One of the things I seek the most in all works I watch or read is originality, I love those characters that resort to clever tricks or unorthodox methods to achieve their goals rather than brute force or magical might, the same way I praise those works that don’t resort to violence as a central tenet for entertainment. And so I loved how Serial Experiments Lain manages to capture audience’s attention without having to resort to violence in almost all episodes. WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
But what’s Serial Experiments Lain about beyond a one way trip through mindfuckland? Well it’s actually pretty open for analysis which is one of the main tenets of the series. Actually one of the authors claimed that the point of the work was for it to be interpreted differently in American and Japan, something that didn’t come true as no one could actually understand much of it, XD The series follows the life of Lain Iwakura, an apparently normal girl as her life turns around and she starts questioning the meaning of identity, of connecting with people and truth itself. It’s very similar to Evangelion if it had no robots and the entire plot was centered on the Magi computers. As an AI researcher in the making this is awesome because one of the underappreciated aspects of Evangelion was the complexity and challenges of creating a system capable of deduction and inference such as the Magi, and I felt sad that it wasn’t given much focus.

One of the interpretations of the series and the first that can be made taking the information given at face value is that Lain is a fabricated computer program that represents the collective of The Wired, that world’s version of the Internet. The Wired as it is, is also an upper (in computer science it would be a lower layer, though but it isn’t really that important just like in electricity we usually draw diagrams indicating energy flows from positive to negative while in reality according to physics electrons flow from negative to positive, its just my OCD bugging me)

So in computer science we have something like in ascending order: *BIOS *Hard drive *RAM *OS *Applications *Virtual machines which increase the abstraction by enabling things like having one or more OS running inside other OS’s.
And those of the lowest order are classified as “more real” than those of upper layers, so Lain belonging and drawing her power from a lower layer that’s more real than reality itself grant her some sort of technological omnipotence (add to that the fact that in a society where everything’s connected she gets a de facto omniscience too) and so she is considered an artificial/technological god. Supposedly before the start of the series that layer of reality and Lain herself remain separated from the “reality layer” but can access it through informatic nexus, places where reality is connected and information flows free. The series big bad Eiri Kitamura takes advantage of that by connecting the internet on a frequency that enables him to tap into Lain’s realm and by a complex plot that involves loading his memories inside the IPv7 protocols (which are yet to be implemented, currently we use IPv6 which we’re still to run out of) and the death of his physical body, he becomes something similar to Lain, an artificial god that’s immortal and omniscient but not exactly omnipotent outside of The Wired. He even contacts a group to worship him called The Knights which are people dedicated to informatics that work for him and do his bidding. His goal seems to be mankind’s ascension towards godhood by having The Wired and reality merging completely. The consciousness of The Wired is disabled and given a human body and a fake family and kept in that state until the time for ascension arrives. Nonetheless the existence of Lain as an aspect of The Wired and her human body (that acts like a Terminal between Lain and the real world) start causing disruptions in reality as memetic agents and Lain’s own psyche starts deteriorating in the merge. This causes human Lain to investigate the source of the disturbance and question her own identity as she learns how her entire life has been a fake. Several groups try to keep her asleep while others try to awaken her and as Lain herself experiments with her powers in an attempt to make things right but in the end after defeating the big bad and seeing how her existence only causes chaos to reality, Lain decides to finally reset her human existence and disconnect herself from reality, effectively cancelling Eiri’s plan and resetting things so that she never existed and was never remembered. She still manages to exist across all of timespace and watch over everyone but unable to affect reality in any major form.
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This is believed to be the aniconic cult image of Aphrodite at her temple in Paphos, Cyprus


A Roman coin that dates to a later period depicitng the temple and an artist’s interpretation of the temple based on the coin.ftTKnSzCCkxHjB


A PDF on the topic POCA2005_Zeman

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Early Greek Idols PDF

romano PDF article from “expedition” journal 1982 lots of discussion of wooden idols

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Roman Bronze Crowned Goddess Tyche Statuette


A hollow-cast figurine of a crowned figure in a loose robe in naturalistic seated pose, right arm resting on the knee and left arm to the rear supporting the body, a Roman copy of the Hellenistic original depicting the goddess Tyche of Antioch by Eutychides 70 grams, 73mm (2 3/4″). Fair condition.



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Bust of Diana

4th-2nd century BC


A bronze appliqué bust of the goddess Diana with wreath of ivy leaves and berries to the hair, peplos clasped at the shoulders with a disc brooch and hart’s foot; hollow to the reverse. Accompanied by an Art Loss Register certificate. 542 grams, 13.5cm (5 1/4″). Very fine condition.

From the collection of a North West London gentleman; acquired in the 1980s.

Diana, or Artemis to the Greeks, was the sister of Apollo and one of the most venerated deities of the Classical world with a cult centre on the island of Delos. In Turkey the ancient Mother Goddess was associated with Artemis and the temple at Ephesus became one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Despite being a virgin goddess her roles included fertility and childbirth.

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The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville

B1N8PWGetQy english translation in pdf

This work is a complete English translation of the Latin Etymologies of Isidore, Bishop of Seville (c.560–636). Isidore compiled the work between c.615 and the early 630s and it takes the form of an encyclopedia, arranged by subject matter. It contains much lore of the late classical world beginning with the Seven Liberal Arts, including Rhetoric, and touches on thousands of topics ranging from the names of God, the terminology of the Law, the technologies of fabrics, ships and agriculture to the names of cities and rivers, the theatrical arts, and cooking utensils. Isidore provides etymologies for most of the terms he explains, finding in the causes of words the underlying key to their meaning. This book offers a highly readable translation of the twenty books of the Etymologies, one of the most widely known texts for a thousand years from Isidore’s time.

xi. Gods of the heathens (De diis gentium) 1. Those who the pagans assert are gods are revealed to have once been humans, and after their death they began to be worshipped among their people because of the life and merit of each of them, as Isis in Egypt, Jupiter in Crete, Iuba among the Moors, Faunus among the Latins, and Quirinus among the Romans. 2. It was the same with Minerva in Athens, Juno in Samos, Venus in Paphos, Vulcan in Lemnos, Liber in Naxos and Apollo in Delos. Poets joined in their praises of these, and by the songs they composed carried them up to the sky.3. In the case of some of them people are said to have brought about the discovery of arts through their cults: there is medicine for Aesculapius, forging for Vulcan. Further, they are named from their activities, as Mercury (Mercurius), because he excels at commerce (merx), Liber (Liber) from liberty (libertas). 4. Again, there were certain powerful men, or founders of cities, for whom, after they had died, the people who had been fond of them made likenesses, so that they might have some solace from contemplating

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