Unsong is an fantasy novel written by Scott Alexander based heavily on Judaism. It was published online as serial fiction and it just finished it this past week. I highly recommend it, but I was confused by the ending. In the Epilogue of the novel,
the minds of Ana, Erica, Dylan Alvarez, Sohu, Uriel, Sarah, and THARMAS all end up in the body of Aaron Smith-Teller through SCABMOM or Kabbalistic marriage, and then along with Aaron they all coalesce into a collective consciousness in Aaron's body. Then (the new and improved) Aaron decides that he'll speak the Shem Hamephorash, the Explicit Name of God, and remake the Universe, since he has the combined skills and knowledge of so many people.
But before he speaks the Shem Hamephorash, he first does something that I don't quite understand.
He speaks the name of Thamiel, i.e. the Devil, and Thamiel appears there, cries, asks whether he did a good job as the Devil, and then hands his bident weapon to Aaron who uses it to kill Thamiel: [Yes. This isn’t a coincidence. A supercomputer. An encyclopaedic knowledge of kabbalah and the secret structure of the universe. A passion for revolution. And an answer to the problem of evil. This is what we were made for.] [There’s someone else we need.] We all realized it. We all paused, reflecting on what had to be done. We all agreed. There are many summoning rituals, but one is older and purer than the others. Speak of the Devil, and he will appear.
I didn’t say anything to Thamiel. He sobbed, then handed me the bident. I took it from its far end, the two points in my two hands, the single-pointed end facing the Devil. A unident. He kept sobbing. I held the unident undaunted. Finally, I thrust it at him, and he disappeared, a puff of smoke, a thread too weak to hold.
My question is, what exactly is going on in this scene? First of all, why does Aaron want to kill Thamiel? The line "There’s someone else we need." suggests that he wants to kill Thamiel so that Thamiel too can merge his mind with Aaron. But the only way that would happen is if Thamiel was in a SCABMOM chain with Aaron, and as far as I know he wasn't. Am I wrong about that?
Second of all, why is Thamiel
asking Aaron of all people whether he did good? Is it because by all those minds merging, Aaron has become Adam Kadmon, the seed of the Universe?
Finally, what is all this about evil being "the world’s dumbest joke, the flimsiest illusion," etc.?