The Talos Principle 2: All Lifthrasir Audio Logs

All 12 of Lifthrasir’s audio logs transcribed to text.


Lifthrasir 1 – Lifthrasir talks about arriving on the island.

There is a pleasure in arriving on this island – the pleasure of being the first to step foot here in hundreds of years. It is a genuine pleasure, and yet it is also banal: my presence here is of no more significance than that of every other animal. The rocks do not care who walks here, and the millennia between the presence of our ancestors and my brief journey are nothing to them. But even putting it this way is wrong: it is not that the rocks do not care, it is in some sense, they do not exist. I may stand in awe of the cliffs on the southern coast, but the cliffs cannot look back at me with contempt; they cannot do anything at all.

Lifthrasir 2 – Lifthrasir describes a moment of revelation.

While exploring the forest, I came across a sight of primal force. A beautiful stag, standing on a hill, silhouetted against the setting sun. It appeared like a messenger from some divine natural power, perhaps from Gaia herself. Even to being such as myself, less susceptible to manipulation by instincts and hormones, it was clearly a moment of revelation. In such a moment, we are told to avert our eyes. But what if we do not? What will we discover if we look more closely?

Lifthrasir 3 – Lifthrasir on accepting entropy.

The rotting remains of the old world should fill me with melancholy; even here on this remote island, our ancestors could not escape their fate. And yet I find there is something pathetic about these ruins that evokes anger and even contempt. I feel it is a mistake to accept catastrophe with equanimity: what we see here should offend us. When witnessing triumph of entropy, we should aspire to a warrior spirit, even a kind of hate of the past and its failures, that will never allow such a thing to happen again.

Lifthrasir 4 – Lifthrasir on the hateful beauty of the north.

As we continue exploring the cold northern reaches of the island, the contrast between the harshness of this place and the softness of New Jerusalem becomes more and more pronounced. There is a kind of madness in what we are doing, going to a place that is so hostile to our existence. That does not mean there is nothing to love here. There is in fact a great beauty, but it is a hateful beauty, a beauty you can only love because there are places that are not like this. And yet it is precisely this hateful beauty that the people of New Jerusalem fail to see, and so cannot understand their own blessings.

Lifthrasir 5 – Lifthrasir on nature.

One of the most foolish illusions that commonly persist is that Nature is a victim and humanity is a perpetrator. This can only be the opinion of someone who has not witnessed Nature at first hand, who has not seen its immense and awe-inspiring baseness. Nature is mindless chaos and eternal conflict, a system of predation and consumption whose perfect cruelty can only induce a terrified and unwilling admiration. Nature is our most powerful and least honorable enemy, a beast that consumed every last one of our ancestors and will consume us just as quickly if we are not successful in our struggle with it.

Lifthrasir 6 – Lifthrasir on why he explores.

You may wonder why I insist on these unsanctioned, unplanned expeditions. Something think it is because I hate civilization and prefer to lose myself in Nature. This is precisely the opposite of the truth. It is because I love New Jerusalem that I have to leave. Because it is only when I am here that I am here that I fully appreciate what the city means. And also because I believe that if I stayed at home, I would one day be ethically be compelled to commit acts of violence against those who, in their arrogance, imagine that humans should live in harmony with the chaos that surrounds us.

Lifthrasir 7 – Lifthrasir on the chaos at our doorstep.

One day undoubtedly an expedition will pass by this island. It will seek to document facts and statistics, to enumerate reasons for us not to look more closely. That is what we do now, we seek facts rather than truth, because truth might frighten and unsettle the comfortable people who like to sit in their conference rooms and debate which corners we should cut today. These people like to imagine the chaos that could come one day, like comforting fairy tale of distant darkness, but they do not see the chaos that is at our walls right now: the chaos that also lives within us, a force that is both necessary and appalling.

Lifthrasir 8 – Lifthrasir on moralism in art.

On my last return to New Jerusalem, I perused the latest artistic offerings and found myself deeply disappointed. There is nothing more despicable to me than an artist who pursues the appearance of mortality; moral art is trash, garbage, not even good enough to be used as wallpaper. If art is a religion, then morality is for those who want to be seen in church; true art is for those who believe. Art must be ecstatic, a work of revelation, created in pursuit of the truth no matter where it leads. An artist must be an agent of chaos in times of order and an agent of order in times of chaos.

Lifthrasir 9 – Lifthrasir on spiritual peace.

There is a kind of peace here in the desert. A perfect silence. This is a dead place, more dead than almost anywhere else on Earth. If the ground could have a personality, it would be malevolent. But, as I said before, all this in some sense does not exist at all. It does not hate us; it is simply the opposite of everything that life requires. When you sit in the dunes and you hear only the wind, and nothing else at all, and all the complexities of civilization fade away, you truly understand that spiritual peace is a great evil, a kind of shallow banality that we must always strive against. It is spiritual excitement and enthusiasm which sustain our humanity; spiritual peace is a vile and cowardly surrender to oblivion.

Lifthrasir 10 – Lifthrasir on seeing the world as it is.

The reason I have always admired Alexandra Drennan is that even in death, she fought to see the world as it is, not as she wanted to see it. I say fought because I believe this is not an easy matter, it is a mental and spiritual struggle that we must undertake with great seriousness, even when we are joking. The ancients believed that for most of us, the world is a shadow cast by a flame, dimly seen on the wall of a cave. Our task is not to interpret these shapes, but to free ourselves from the cave itself.

Lifthrasir 11 – Lifthrasir speaks about a coming journey.

Sometimes new citizens come to me, and they want to learn from me. My work appears to have created a legend of sorts. In these moments, I understand your situation. I want to teach them, but what they must learn the most is independence of thought. How does one resolve this contradiction? They wish to come along on my journeys, but I do not need a group of fawning acolytes following my every step. A journey truly worth every step is rarely easy. And so, I have begun to think of a much greater challenge, a journey that is almost impossible, to the far ends of the world without any mechanized means of transportation. This will be a true act of faith, and they will learn a great deal from it… if we survive.

Lifthrasir 12 – Lifthrasir concludes his report.

In my reports to you I have often spoken about this island in terms that some might perceive as negative. I hope you understand that the opposite is true. Here, in these green hills, I see tremendous potential for transformation and spiritual awakening. I do not see the world as you do, Athena, but I see the rot at the heart of New Jerusalem. If you and Cornelius want to go through with your plan, then this is the perfect place. My students and I will help you transport the remaining tech from New Alexandria. After that, once you and Cornelius are settled, we will leave for our great journey. I can only hope that we all find what we are looking for.

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