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Vanitas, the word itself



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ssceles

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Vanitas vanitatum "Vanity of vanities". For those who went to look this up, it shouldn't be new. But for those who haven't, or for those who didn't look into it very far... this will be interesting. Not only is it Latin, its flat out biblical.

So, religious or not, take a spin at this quote directly from the English Standard Version of the bible (and compare it to your own copy if you really want to, translations vary just barely). (Or compare it online! BibleGateway.com) But take note of the mention of earth, wind, and sea. Note the light and dark themes - the sun and where it sets. Take note of the mention of generations coming and going and how nothing new is going on. Relate it to Kingdom Hearts, if you will?

This is chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes. It's kind of poetic. And when it's saying 'vanity of vanities' it -is- in the latin version stating clearly vanitas vanitatum.

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
"See, this is new"?
It has been already
in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.

In relation to Kingdom Hearts, does anyone want to derive meaning from this? (I at least thought this was interesting enough to share.)

The rest of chapter 1 discusses the vanity of wisdom. Ansem the Wise's apprentices were all geniuses in their own right, but it also kind of drove them off the edge... Philosophically, I've got a lot of interest in the themes surrounding Kingdom Hearts. So this is pretty neat. If you go on to actually read all of Ecclesiastes you'll find many things that may relate to Birth by Sleep and other events prior to Kingdom Hearts. One's fall into darkness and how it all seems so frighteningly logical. It is interesting to see how this will tie in to the games.

Lines 12 and 13 of chapter 4 are also interesting:

12 - And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

13 - Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.
 
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final_heaven_0

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Wow, i've got to say you really outdid yourself.

The scriptures here really relate to somethings done in the KH universe...

(Tetsuya a Christian...? Or Catholic?)
 

ssceles

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Ecclesiastes is in the old testament... and the old testament is part of a collective in Jewish, Christian, Catholic, and even Islamic bibles, even though they all go by different names. It's the inclusion or disclusion of books after the old testament that really make which religion which. o.o But I don't know what religion Tetsuya is from... or if he is at all.

I'm not overly religious myself... I haven't been to church in a long time, but I have a vague belief system. Even in an agnostic's heart they have a sense of right and wrong. Just because you're not religious it doesn't mean you don't believe it or that you aren't a good person. xD

I don't think I want this to become a religious discussion, but the book of Ecclesiastes reminds me of something that Ansem the Wise would write. Wikipedia says that its assumed the book was written by a philosopher around 200 BC. It was the word 'Vanitas' that lead me to finding this. So its an interesting clue.
 

Marx15

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this is nice...alot of it ties into the kh universe...good work
 

Xarhas

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Bleh, bleh, bleh...Let's see, I've got my Bible in front of me.
Has anyone also noticed that in the first book of the first testament, Genesis, that the first things that God made was Light, Darkness, Land/Earth(Riku and Terra), Water/Ocean/Sea(Kairi and Aqua), and finally Sky(Sora and to some extent Ventus)? I'm not sure if Tetsuya is Christian, but he sure does have a lot of things in KH that make it seem like he is. I've noticed that there were Biblical similarities before, but I was too lazy to look more into it.
Awesome find! You went WAY farther than I would have. :)
 

Yuuki

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wow >.<
a connection to the bible....
 

KingBlade

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You people are seriously going to compare this game to the bible? *sighs*

I'm pretty sure Nomura is a Buddhist or a Shintoist. As to seeing those are the major religions in Japan.
 

ssceles

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Mmmn. Yes and no? Just because you're not part of a religion it doesn't mean you can't look into it and pull up philosophies that you like to add to your own belief system. This could all be interestingly coincidental, or Nomura may have actually looked into this. It would take a bit of research to chose a name like that. It's not a term in common use.

Ecclesiastes was also inspiration for an oldies music group here in the US, The Byrds, to write the song "Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)" - with many people never even realizing the lyrics are lifted straight from the bible. xD

If he read something he'd like of course he'd take it and expand on it.
 

Yuuki

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it would be funny if his name wasnt really vanitas...man i dont like the name
 

Yuuki

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Does this mean that BBS is going to end somewhat like kh but with a darker tone?
well BBS looks like it has a more serious plot.
 

ssceles

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Philosophically speaking... the darkness will never be gone. And if ever will be, it won't be the doing of any human. Sometimes the light may win... but darkness will appear as people tried to hoard the light for themselves (refer to Kairi's grandma's story?), and sometimes the dark may win... only to find that there's always that light that never goes out deep inside the darkness. That neither side is the answer and that people should focus on just living and being happy.

Having a keyblade doesn't mean you're around to protect the peace. This book of the bible explains that there is innocent, sheltered light and then there is light that choses to be light because it knows what is bad and wants to fight against it... and then that there is also ignorant, unintentional evil as well as purposeful, well informed, malintended evil caused from knowing too much and coming to hate the system out of vanity. In Xemnas case with Kingdom Hearts, what was he thinking? That he could do a better job? Scientists trying to play god... or in this case, just trying to recreate Kingdom Hearts. Life itself. Hearts and worlds, artificial. To what purpose...? Vanity.

If Lord of the Rings can be compared to the bible, so can Kingdom Hearts. xD The themes of good and bad will forever be compared as such, since its a well known source to compare it to. Is it predictable and cliche to want to create stories revolving around human nature? Yes, but its the biggest cliche of them all because it reflects our real world.
 

JULIO VP

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Ist Vanitas like a latin demon (Irritum), one of nothingness, worthlessness,vanity
 
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DualDigital

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Almost every SquareEnix game I've played has a repetitive theme of religion, numbers and darkness vs. light in some aspect. Though there are a lot of Catholic/Christian themes there are also other patterns that turn up in a lot of their RPG's.

Examples
Religion: (Names)-(Places)-(Belief System)
Sephiroth or Sfirot is a Hebrew word meaning "counting", or "number", or "statistics", (ספירות, Standard Hebrew Səfirot, Tiberian Hebrew Səp̄îrôṯ). Sephiroth are the ten "Divine enumerations, or emanations" in the Kabbalah of Judaism. Sephiroth was a Power of the fifth seal from the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses.
- Angeal and Genesis are both highly Religious symbols.

Numbers: (the Number 3 in Kingdom Hearts)
Chracter groups: i.e. (Roxas, Axel, Namine)-(Sora, Riku, Kairi)-(Pence, Hayner, Olette)-(Tidus, Wakka, Selphie)
Keyblades: (Kingdom Key, Way to Dawn, and Kairi's is nameless...)
Elements: Sora-Sky(Ventus-Wind), Riku-Land(Terra-Earth), Kairi-Sea(Aqua-Water)

Everywhere you look Nomura has hidden a deeper meaning behind the shiny graphics and game designs.
 

Hueco*Cielo

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This is an excellent discovery. Already, the first Kingdom Hearts had plenty of Christian references such as Ansem's namesake, St. Anselm of Canterbury who was a renowned scholar and founder of scholasticism, according to Wikipedia. A fitting name for Ansem's character, at least for AtW.
Not to mention the structure of Kingdom Hearts' storyline mirrors that of classic western literature, which in turn refers heavily to events from the bible-
Three companions setting out on a quest to find something that was lost- three being an important number because it symbolizes the godhead- Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. Although our KH trio is what it is, a company of three and nothing more, I'm just making literary refrences. It's not blasphemy, I swear!
During the journey the characters grow.
For the Climax the main character sacrifices something, knowing or unknowingly. This is parallel to Christ's sacrifice on the cross. This element is what makes and good story great because it allows for a connection between the character and the audience, rather the sacrifice "humanizes" the character and the audience sympathize.

Uhh.... I believe I have just lost my train of thought...There are more paralells but I can't think of any more at the moment. it's been forever since my literature class.

All in all, we can expect great things from BbS if Nomura is heading down this path again. I'm very excited for this title.
 

JULIO VP

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Also that Latin Demond thing i said earlier i think i read that he is always around and will always be around...soo a posyble see again in futuer KH

I think thats want makes KH so sucsesful, it has very familiar...um story's (Disney) that we are comfortable and know. Also the tipical Good+Evil .... and storys that were told throu out time... The Odesseus, Knight of the round (and i guess the Bible and other religion storys)
 
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