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Forgive me if this has been brought up before. But now that we're back in the main story-arc, I didn't find it appropriate to discuss this in the spoiler threads. I looked and can't seem to find a topic on Illah, so I'm not sure if there already is one or not.
But let's discuss Illah! I have a possible.. theory on him, a new and not new take on the deity.
Has anyone ever played Xenogears or Xenosaga? If so, you may find this familiar. If not... Well both games, delve into a religious belief known as "Gnosticism." Now, there's several forms of it, including it's basic meaning of "knowledge" and it's more 'religious' texts people like to make up.
But basically. There's two forms I'd like to discuss.
Gnostic Form 1 - Christian Gnosticism: The Demiurge. As the story goes. The God of the bible's Old Testament, the Abrahamic god, and the god of the New Testament are not the same god according to Gnostic teaching. It delves pretty deep into the story, but the basic premise of it is. There were higher beings that created and ruled over existence. Now the being that was said to have shaped our world, was known by the name Sophia.
Sophia in Christian Gnostic teachings was known as the eternal light and and the 'spouse of god'. Through her desire to know the father, she was expelled from the plane of existence (gnostic heaven) and gave birth through her desire to the inferior god that created the material world. (Earth.) This god is known as the Demiurge and to Gnostics is represented as the Abrahamic god. The god of the old Testament, that is described as harsh, unforgiving, and genocidal. Due to his inferiority, he was seen as a cruel and unjust god and not good. The world being evil because he created it.
Now the true god. The god of the New Testament, the forgiving, and lover of the world god. To Gnostics is a spiritual god. Not one who created the physical world, but the spiritual. Gnostic belief goes that for humankind to have any hope, they must transcend the material world and deny the physical body. Allowing them to seek a way out of the ignorance of sin of the evil god and his angels and embrace the true spiritual god. If they reach this form of enlightenment, they are released from the body and their soul joins the spiritual world. If they fail, the soul will be sent back to the physical world by the Demiurge (reincarnation).
Gnostic Form 2: The Collective Now there's not much on this one, but the games mentioned above bring it out pretty well and there is articles to be found if you research it. But basically, it's a theory that the spiritual god, the true god, is conscious and not conscious at the same time. Sentient, but not sentient. It is theorized that he is made up the collective consciousnesses and unconsciousness of all of existence. Therefore if all of existence remains alive, the "gnostic god" will remain alive. If the gnostic god remains alive, all of existence remains alive. When one dies or enters into evil, they are broken from that collective and left in darkness (*cough depravity anyone? cough*). To rejoin that collective, they must walk the path of knowledge, be enlightened, and accept it. If one dies, they are broken from it, reincarnated and rejoined to it. If in darkness, they must redeem themselves before reincarnation.
NOW! What does any of this have to do with Illah? Plenty.
So far, the only things we know about Illah are.
1. He is a mass of magoi that was said to give the magicians magic after pitying them. Giving them the mission to look after the world and other races.
2. He is said to be losing magoi and thus turning black.
3. Solomon does not think him sentient but only a mass of magoi with no will (I think?)
4. Arba can "hear" him.
5. He controls the black rukh while Solomon controls the white.
6. If one goes from white to black now, they enter into a fallen state of depravity.
So what I'm getting at... What if Solomon is right and wrong? What if Illah is both sentient and non-sentient? What if he is made up of the collective consciousness and unconsciousness? That when he came to pity the magicians/humans, it was because they influenced that collective the greatest with innate but hidden talent that they did not yet know of? By that I mean... what if humans had an inner strength they did not know about, and it is that inner strength that let their emotional need reach out and influence the collective moreso than the other species? Or what if David somehow knew that it was a collective and found a way to influence it greater than others.
The reason I believe the manga is deriving from Gnosticism is the rukh. If one turns against "fate" (the collective for gnosticism) they fall into depravity and lose their way. They become ignorant and only see one path, the path of corruption. Even if their fall was originally justified, just the act of turning against the will (collective) causes them to fall into darkness.
At this point, I don't even think it matters if it's white rukh or black rukh that they draw from. It's the simple act of rejecting the collective that causes them to fall. In Solomon's world, this is represented by black rukh so we come to believe it must be black. We can't know if white would have done the same, because Solomon had already sealed Illah away by that time. But I'm gonna place my bets on that being the case.
Another two reasons I believe Illah falls under the gnostic god. Is because of 1. Reincarnation. We have already seen that it is a huge thing in Magi. From what we know about the magicians loved ones being unable to reincarnate because they were sealed with Illah. If Illah represents the true gnostic spiritual god, but a god of existence collected, then when Solomon sealed him and took his place, he became that collective. But he is still mere human and inferior, thus he is unable to reincarnate anyone. Which only shows why they would be stuck in limbo.
This would make Solomon the demiurge. Just not an evil one, but more of a confused manipulated one. A pawn. The real menace would be none other than David, or "Sophia." The desirer to be with god.
Now for Arba, this would mean maybe she isn't so crazy after all. Maybe what she's 'hearing' is not Illah as in a sentient god, but Illah as in a collective cry of anguish and depression. A collective cry of existence all together when it was rejected cut from its source onto another, more inferior one.
Well... this is my take on it anyways. Thoughts? Discussion? Would love to get everyone's debates!
DISCLAIMER: I do not believe any of the gnostic teachings. I've just done a lot of research as they were in my favorite games. I don't think god is evil >.>