Snakes–also called serpents, demons, and sometimes dragons in the Middlelander culture–are the threads that make up the fabric of visible reality in the universe of Goda’s Slave. Most human beings don’t realize their true nature, however, and view them as either a superstition or a source of mundane spiritual impurity (similar to demons).
When in a heightened state of awareness, some human beings can perceive the snakes directly (especially the snakes that make up their own selves), which will often take on the form of literal serpents in visions.
In actuality, snakes are the channels through which humans and other beings can perceive reality. They are also the basic mechanism by which reality is divided into its many objects, rather than remaining one unified thing. Without snakes, no individual objects or perspectives are possible. While snakes are not Universal Consciousness (Samma) themselves, they are made of consciousness and help construct the material, solid reality that most characters in Goda’s Slave perceive.
These “perceivers” are also themselves made of snakes, so that there is no actual separation between subjective observer and the objects they observe.
Origin of the Snakes
Snakes are recursive, self-creating, and self-perpetuating. Snakes give birth to other snakes, especially when they are agitated and close to death.
Snakes are always born in dualistic pairs of twins, so there can never be an odd number of snakes and the universe is perfectly symmetrical as a result.
The first two snakes to ever have existed were Self and Other, which appeared miraculously from the womb of the God-Goddess Samma. Each of these snakes views the other twin as Other and their own personal self as Self, so they are actually in constant opposition about who is the “real” Self or Other.
As a result, Self and Other are relative positions and it is not clear which of the twins is which. They coil around each other endlessly, unable to touch and fuse back into each other due to their confusion about where the boundary between Self and Other lies.
In order to resolve this, each twin gives birth to more snakes as a way to expand their personal perspective and engage in self-examination. The new daughter snakes can look at their parents and hopefully perceive who is Self and Other with an outsider’s objective perspective, to finally tell who is who.
The problem with this is that by creating new snakes, they are creating more to be examined as well, which muddles the issue. To make matters worse, each new snake who is born perceives it own self as Self and all other snakes as Other, which must be resolved first before the original Self and Other are reconciled.
All snakes were born either from Self and Other or from the descendants of Self and Other, and thus share these twins as their common ancestors. Retaining many of the basic characteristics of Self and Other (including self-similarity and symmetry), all snakes will attempt to give birth to more snakes, the same as their ancestors did.
The universe that resulted from all this became ever more complex with each generation of snakes.
Eventually, twin snakes such as Goddess and Not-Goddess were born, as well as God and Not-God, Earth and Not-Earth, Light and Dark, and so on.
The Snakes Kanna Rava and Goda Brahm
The snake called Goddess realized that it could die by reversing the process of birth and allowing Not-Goddess (also called The Swan) to fuse into it, becoming a single snake called Goddess-Not-Goddess. It also realized that, if it chose to do this, it would finally resolve the problem of Self and Other by collapsing all previous snake pairs into one, including the original Self and Other in a backwards chain reaction (creating a single snake-not-snake called The One). In this way, all of reality would come to a close and the universe would be One Thing again. (All snake pairs hold the original Self and Other within themselves, so that the original division is resolved from their perspective if they fuse.)
Instead, seeing that this meant death, Goddess chose to give birth to more snakes, but this time for enjoyment rather than self-reflection. Goddess had sex with Not-Goddess (The Swan) and gave birth to several sets of twins. One of those sets was Human and Not-Human. By extension, Goddess also eventually gave birth to the pair Kanna Rava (also called Not-Goda-Brahm) and Goda Brahm (also called Not-Kanna-Rava).
The shadow of Kanna Rava allows Goda Brahm to be self-aware.
The shadow of Goda Brahm allows Kanna Rava to be self-aware.
Recognizing their mirrored selves over time, the snake Kanna Rava and the snake Goda Brahm have attempted to begin reconciling. They try to fuse back together into One, but negotiation is difficult. Because there is so much mystery still between them, and because they are so different from each other, they often instead bump into each other chaotically, twisting and turning in a violent spiral. This is an act of sex that creates more snakes, the children of Kanna Rava and Goda Brahm.
This journey of finding Oneness is a long one, and it may have no end, but it is the only path.
Because the truth is that I am you.