FlameRaven (flameraven) wrote in fm_alchemist,

More musing on 102

So the more I reread chapter 102, the more questions and speculations I have about what's going on, specifically about Father's goals and the purpose of the five sacrifices.

For those who might be tired of these posts, none of this is about Roy. In fact, almost all of it is about Hohenheim, the Truth, and what happened in Xerxes.

-What exactly is Father trying to DO with the Amestris transmutation circle? The Xerxes circle was used to give himself a body and he shared half the resulting Philosopher's Stone with Hohenheim. But he apparently doesn't need another Philosopher's Stone, so what does he want to do?

-The Xerxes circle took probably 10-15 years to create, given how Hohenheim ages (from a young man in his early 20's to somewhere in his 30's or early 40's). The Amestris circle seems to have taken far longer. Does this mean Father is planning on doing something much bigger? Certainly the massacres used at each of the 5 points seem to be bigger and have cost more lives than the slaughtering of towns in Xerxes.

-When he destroyed Xerxes, he wanted a body so he could be out of the flask. He seemed to still be confined within Central, though, and to perhaps require all those pipes as life-support. Could he be trying to reach beyond a simple body now, and become something like the Truth? A universal power? If his goal is "freedom", that would be the ultimate freedom.

-He needs five sacrifices who have seen the Gate, five sacrifices who have done human transmutation. Why is it ONLY human transmutation that opens the Gate? What about those who have seen it makes them so important for this transmutation? As far as I know, the people in Xerxes who set up the circle there hadn't done either.

-On the same vein, why is Hohenheim a sacrifice? He hasn't opened the Gate OR done human transmutation as far as we have seen, he's just a Philosopher's Stone.

-BUT, there IS a blood tie between Hohenheim and the Homunculus/Father. In Xerxes, it was Hohenheim's blood that was used to open the gate. Does that count as his "human transmutation"?

-Hohenheim also seems to know rather a lot about Father's plans. What does he know that Father won't let him tell the other four?

-Father can cancel out Amestrian alchemy (which seems to have some major connection to him, continuing the idea that he is tied to the Gate/Truth) but not Xingian. I'm pretty sure that's why Mei is there. But if Hohenheim is the Sage of the East, who more or less founded Xingian alchemy, what might he be able to do? He seems to have damaged Father in their fight, as he is no longer keeping his Hohenheim!clone form.

-Xingian alchemy is generally about healing, yes? Healing that involves directly affecting the body-- in other words, human transmutation. But there doesn't seem to be any terrible consequences for that healing as there is for human transmutation in Amestris alchemy. Is this because of the two different sources? Xingian alchemy draws from the power of the earth, Amestris alchemy is drawing from... Father? The Truth? Could Amestris be using a falsely-sourced alchemy?

(Does this mean that if Father is defeated, Amestrian alchemists will no longer be able to use their alchemy?)

-Also. Hohenheim was named after historical Paracelsus. This is what Wikipedia had to say about him.

Paracelsus believed in the Greek concept of the four elements, but he also introduced the idea that, on another level, the cosmos was fashioned from three spiritual substances: the tria prima of Mercury, Sulfur and Salt. These substances were not the simple substances we recognize today, but were rather broad principles that gave every object both its inner essence and outward form. Mercury represented the transformative agent (fusibility and volatility); Sulfur represented the binding agent between substance and transformation (flammability); and Salt represented the solidifying/substantiating agent (fixity and noncombustibility). For example, When a piece of wood is burnt, the products reflect its constitution: Smoke reflects Mercury, flame reflects Sulfur, and Ash reflects Salt.[2]

The tria prima also defined the human identity. Sulfur embodied the soul, (the emotions and desires); Salt represented the body; Mercury epitomized the spirit (imagination, moral judgment, and the higher mental faculties). By understanding the chemical nature of the tria prima, a physician could discover the means of curing disease.

This fits a LOT of what we see in Amestris alchemy. The Body/Soul/Mind link, and also the three stages of transmutation. Remember again that it was Homunculus that gave Hohenheim his name, and that then those two became sort of two sides of the same alchemy coin. I don't think that's a coincidence at all.

Paracelcus viewed the universe as one coherent organism pervaded by a uniting lifegiving spirit, and this in its entirety, Man included, was 'God'. His views put him at odds with the Church, for whom there necessarily had to be a difference between the Creator and the created.[8]

If both humans and Truth are part of the "All" in One is All, All is One, it might explain why something human is needed to open the Gate. Homunculus could apparently only do it with some of Hohenheim's blood, after all. It also fits another line from the Xerxes chapters, "without the piece there is no whole."

TL;DR version:

The more I think about this, the more I begin to think that there is another trio here. We have three stages of alchemy, three parts of a person. I begin to think that the universe is also made up of three parts, that there is a connection between the Gate, Truth, and... something else. Humans, perhaps? That there is something happening with those three, and that is the goal of this transmutation.

And that maybe the only way to defeat Father is to abandon Amestris alchemy, which seems to be corrupted, and find another way to do things. I think Hohenheim and Mei will be crucial in doing that.

(So maybe Roy's lack of alchemy won't be as crucial a problem after all.)

Thoughts? Opinions? This is mostly sort of stream-of-thought speculation on my part, but it's something that's been nagging at me and I haven't seen discussed. I'd like to hear other people's thoughts on these questions.

Crossposted to hagaren_manga

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