About The Memories of Miang
by Ricky Romaya
GRAHF: "As you said, that was Karen. Through many generations Miang is beginning to break free from her bounds. Now that Elhaym has merged with Deus, she has all of her memories back. All the memories from her original birth as the Contact's complement up to her current transmigration. That includes all of the lives she has lived as Miang, and her substitutes over the centuries. And of course, that includes your mother's memories too."
That quote bugs me, as later explained by Fei in front of the original Elehayym remains:
FEI: "Usually, human memories cannot be passed down through the generations.
Humans do not normally have the ability to compress and store memories in their introns. But Elly and I... and Miang... are different."
What bugging me is how memories of the past transmigrated from one generation to another. OK I maybe can accept the intron mechanism as described by Fei to be true to descendants of the Contact and Elehayym, but how about Miang's memories?
May I digress for a while. I see that Xenogears story have a strong scent of both Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis theories, with more favour of Jungian. Id and Lacan are from Freud and Ferdinand Lacan, which also a Freudian. Persona, anima, and animus are from Jung.
One of the aspect of Jung's theories which related with this discussion is 'Collective Subconcious', which according to Jung, is the reservoir of latent memories inherited by someone from their ancestors. Later, these memories crystalize and form what Jung called 'Archetype'. Persona, Anima/Animus are few examples of the 7 most prominent Archetype according to Jung.
This brings us back to the original discussion.
As Fei explains, he could have Abel's memories by means of introns. He also stressed that unlike any other, he, Elly, and Miang could store and access the memories in the introns. What are introns anyway?
Introns are sections in the DNA within a gene, which do not encode part of protein that the gene produces. Put it another way, introns are empty (or rather, not known of it's function at present time) slots in the DNA, which have no/little value on deciding what a person will be like. It seemed that the writer(s) of Xenogears to use it as a 'scientific' explanation of Jung's collective subconscious transmigration.
My deduction is, the use of part of the DNA to transmigrate memories means lineage. This can be deemed as true to both Fei and Elly, provided both are the bloodlines of the contact and Elehayym. But how about Miang?
As Elly explained when she became Miang:
ELLY: "Miang's factor exists within all women. The one who transcends the generations, the caretaker of humans. When the previous one dies, somewhere another Miang is awakened. It is programmed into all women's DNA to be that way.
Who inherits the duty is just a matter of probability, Fei. That Miang over there and I are the same existence. We are all parts of Deus... All caretakers of humans."
By the explanation above, Miang isn't bound by lineage, but rather, the DNA programming preset at the beginning of time. So how the new Miang receive memories of the previous?
One theory that I can think of is this:
At the time of the previous Miang dies, there are automatic DNA alterations of the new Miang, which includes rewriting of the introns based on the memories stored in the introns of the previous Miang.
The FMV 21: "Double Crossed" strengthens the DNA alternation theory, in which Elly's bright auburn hair turned to sapphire blue. The change of hair color can be attributed to DNA rewriting, and the fact that most Miang I see in the game have sapphire blue hair (but what about Karen's long black hair?).
My question of this theory is by what means the DNA alternation occurred? Nanotech? I think not. AFAIK nanotech only exists after the Zeboim era, and there are many Miangs before that. And DNA which could rewrite itself is unlikely.
I would like to also question about the effects of DNA/introns rewriting to the existing memories of the new Miang. However, I could also argue my own question.
Everybody have memories, whether it's Fei, Elly, Miang, or any other. What separates those three from others is the ability to access memories stored in the introns. This fact suggests that memories are normally stored elsewhere. Introns rewriting will then have little/no effects on the existing memories. In fact, if the rewrites are set to produce DNA with capabilities to access the memories in the introns, then the memories of the previous Miang will be "appended" to the existing memories.
So there, apart from how the DNA rewriting is done, problem is solved. NOT!
The next question is how the DNA rewriting of the new Miang takes account of the memories stored in the previous Miang's introns?
One possibility is that Deus/Kadmoni/Zohar/Raphael keeps track of what everybody in the Xeno world is doing. Then the new Miang will pay tribute to the respective system and either have her introns rewritten further, or the main memory "appended", by the information stored by the system. The above quote from Grahf can be used to support this possibility.
GRAHF: "... Now that Elhaym has merged with Deus, she has all of her memories back. All the memories from ..."
We know that the Gazel ministry keeps track of everyone, but keeping track records of everyone to the tiniest details? I think not. I also assume that whoever designed and built Deus systems are not that meticulous. What is the point anyway? If Miang's programming is to restore Deus, what is the point of giving the memories of the previous Miang to the new one? To keep track records of what is done and what is yet to be done? Then what is the point of giving, say, Karen's memories of protecting Fei at the end to the new Miang?
Also, there are no indications on the game that every new Miang must pay homage to Deus at least once.
I think we must look elsewhere.
The other possibility is Zohar. Perfect Works said that Zohar works by altering the possibility of a phenomenon, and the mechanics section said that it could detect someone's desire by means of what that someone is thinking. I would not delve into the contradiction of Zohar mechanics, but suppose that it's true, then Zohar, or it's controlling system, Kadmoni, will have a perfect records of what have done and even what everyone is thinking. What's more, Zohar isn't designed and/or created by whoever built the Deus systems.
Then, at the event of transforming the new Miang, the DNA rewriting mechanisms will then by some means contacting Zohar/Kadmoni to request the content of the new Miang's introns, which is the compressed memories of previous Miangs. The mechanics of Zohar/slave generator power transfer do the similar thing anyway.
OK, this second possibility sounds like the first one, even my question is the same, what is the point of storing such data. The difference between the two possibilities is who the active party is. On the first possibility, it is Deus/Zohar/Kadmoni/Raphael that is actively monitors Miang and others. The system is designed for such monitoring and information transfer.
The second possibility says that the DNA rewriting mechanism is the active party, requesting logs from Zohar for such information. Zohar/Kadmoni isn't designed to actively monitor everyone's conduct, but rather keeps logs of what goes in and out. Such log systems are common, even in our everyday gadgets, to enforce administration and system checks. But then again, keeping such long logs for thousands of years? I think not.
My added question to the second possibility is if such logs exists, why Zohar permit it to be requested by Miang? AFAIK Miang is the representation of Deus' purposes, while Elehayym is for Zohar/Wave of Existence. To try making Miang break free of Deus programming? Or is it because the hacks made by Deus to Kadmoni? But then again, Deus is yet to be resurrected (well, so much for the homage possibility...).
If the argument is from Deus' original hacks to Kadmoni at the time befor Eldridge crached, are those hacks that powerful so that after thousands of years Kadmoni couldn't be restored (either by itself or by the help of the Wave of Existence) from them?
Well, at the present time, this matter still a mystery for me. So many questions about how Miang have all the memories of the previous Miangs can be attributed to Xenogears writer's attempt to 'scientifically' explains Jung's Collective Subconscious theories by means of introns. If however he/she doesn't bring up the introns mechanism, I would not have these questions.
In the end, I would like to thanks everyone, which is too much to list, who shed light to many aspects of Xenogears. I also want to thank one particular friend of mine who keeps nagging me, trying to convince me to play Xenogears for more than 3 years now. I only played and finished it last month (February, 2005) (if you know who you are, your attempts to persuade me to play Xenosaga may fall on deaf ears, 'coz I don't own PS2, if however you can persuade Namco(?) to port it on PC, or lend me your PS2...)