there is so much fiction out there about anxieties, about crises….climate anxiety and capitalism anxiety and technological anxiety and so much is good but…….so little of…this, which functions as commentary on societal anxieties about an unknown unimaginable future but told not as much an internal negotiation with this anxiety as much as a vision of a different way of being. this brutally merciless respect for human dignity. the idea people can and must scrounge up the agency to exercise their right to fucking deal with the truth when it’s dumped at their feet.
the first book of Sehhinah is focused on how every single person knows about and has access to theurgy, a staggering amount of power to conjure phenomena and material from their very souls, but which is made so boring-sounding and normalized in their society that even a philosophy major hears about it and goes "why bother?" the concept of the holy are a thing that – if it was in the horror-genre – would be a late-stage twist that’s supposed to be assuming you will react with horror about the horrific treacherous nature of reality and g-d, but here has been taken for granted and dealt with for thousands of years in the first scene of the series: there's a whole lifetime after doing that. and then we get to explore the whole society that takes for granted these assumptions! sehhinah is not the kind of utopia that’s a fake mask built upon a tortured kid in the basement who the Powers That Be have secretly put there which would definitely collapse otherwise. it’s a utopia built (incidentally, only by the lack of knowledge to do otherwise) upon a sleeping girl (nam'ir) who hid herself and took herself out of active existence because she convinced herself her Being would destroy the world. and g-d would NOT have had a total horrorstricken psychic breakdown about realizing someone did this and thereby that person subverted the knowledge of everyone like her and gave Them 6,000 instead of merely 1,000 years’ worth of insufficiently informed arguments for the covenant!!!!!!! in this setting, the truth-suppressing world-controlling ‘evil’ that was holding the society in place was scrupulosity…??!!!
before the cataclysm when a god (teśena) subjects another god (g-d) to the revelation of a whole theology-foundation-shaking upending of what is possible in the world, the characters who don’t know what they’re really talking about say, about all the delightfully bizarre things about sehhinah: "it's fine." but they’re not saying 'it’s fine :)))))’ about a horror. the truth is not 'it’s horrible’, because 'horrible’ is not the only negation of 'fine.’
(a line very throwaway and tangential, but also emblematic: "yenatru's pretty sure fine is the last thing tamar would say about it. worth it she has said more times than he can count.")
my favorite book ever? one of.