and its corollary "You have forgotten the face of your father."
I've got this evolving image of what these phrases must mean, but I'm still not sure.
Is this a way to call on your teachings? Is it a way to remember you're human? Is it a way to feel the loyalty/connection to your home? Is it a way to chase out all frivolous thought? Is it father as in sire or father as in Creator?
Tom? Slash? Locke:? Caleb? David Bowles? Rakeesh? Anyone?
From having read all of the series but the latest, I think it means you've lost (forgotten) your place. You responsibility, both filial and to your society. It's a great insult that tends to pull people back into themselves reflectively. I believe they mean "father" as in your sire and all the gunslingers that came before. Their sense of duty seemed great. Just a thought. (can't wait to read the new one)
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The civilization of Gilead is very filio-pietistic. Exempli gratia: The great hall is called the Hall of the Grandfathers, if I remember correctly. The weapons are passed down from father to son.
The mantra of 'remember the face of your father' is one that I always interpreted (and very subconsciously, now that I think of it) as one that simply meant to remember one's duty to the family and lineage, to act in a way that would be approved of by the father.
Here is the full 'lesson' (as Roland calls it) as spoken by Susannah in The Waste Lands:
quote: "'I do not aim with my hand; she who aims with her hand has forgotten the face of her father.
"'I shoot with my mind.'"
"So it has ever been, Susannah Dean."
"'I do not kill with my gun; she who kills with her gun has forgotten the face of her father.