The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness

by

Ursula K. Le Guin

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The Left Hand of Darkness: Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
This chapter is from “The Sayings of Tuhulme the High Priest,” a Yomeshta religious text written nine hundred years ago.
As with other supplementary chapters, this chapter provides non-narrative background information on Gethen and one of its primary religions.
Themes
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Light and Dark, Religion and Spirituality  Theme Icon
According to this text, Meshe began to See when he was thirty, which was perfectly halfway through his life, in the Center of Time. Nothing is unseen to Meshe.
Practitioners of the Yomeshta religion believe that enlightenment can be reached through the acquisition of knowledge. 
Themes
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In one anecdote, a man came to Meshe complaining of his poverty. Meshe told him to dig in a field where he would find precious stones. His advice was good, but Meshe cried because could see that the jewels would lead to fighting in thousands of years. 
The Handdara believe that ignorance is the path to enlightenment, and that knowledge isn’t useful. However, even in Yomeshta, which worships knowledge, information comes at a cost.
Themes
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In Yomeshta, there is no darkness. Darkness only exists for mortals. Meshe can See everything, and everything is in light. There is no beginning and no end, no darkness and no death, and everything is in the Center of Time always. The text also notes that those who “call upon the darkness,” the Handdara, “are made fools.”
The Handdara believe that darkness and light must coexist. In contrast, the Yomeshta believe that only light is holy, as light gives life, and wards off death. The Handdara also believe that darkness can relate to or symbolize death, but they see this as part of an essential balance.
Themes
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Related Quotes
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