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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Children of the Day, Children of the Night

Terazed
Bree

Sep 25 2013, 11:08pm


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Children of the Day, Children of the Night [In reply to] Can't Post


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What occurred to me as I watched Liv portray Arwen's struggle to comprehend the loss is the Pandora's Box metaphor that came up upthread with CG. Here we have an Immortal struggling to cope with mortality on a very personal level: is her struggle with the concept and with the loss, or with the relative loss of her own previous life? Had she never known immortality, would that have changed her grief about Aragorn's choice?


I would think the key with Arwen is were she goes after Aragorn dies. She withdraws alone to Lorian. Recall last week I discussed that the elves live in aesthetic contemplation trying to feel the noumenal Will or Brahman or spirit of God (whatever your preferance) that exists outside of time. I also quoted Frodo's experience by the fire of elven music in Rivendell and I compared it to a quote from Isolde's experience of the liebestod (love-death) over Tristan's body. Let me incorporate your comments on how elves "walk/live in their memories" and also the comments in the discussion on how men have no certain knowledge of an afterlife.

For the sake of the argument I will take Schopenhauer's concept of "Will" so we can see a purely philosophical perspective on death rather then a religious one since men have no certain knowledge of death. Remember that the phenomenal world is the world of objects and subjects (people) that we experience. They are in time and space. Noumenon is outside of both time and space. As such it is a singularity. There is in truth one thing-in-itself and that is the Will. It is everything and everyone that was and is and ever will be eternally outside of time (in case you ever wondered how Galadriel's mirror works). According to Schopenhauer it is outside of reason and thought and is subconscious emotion that can only be felt in aesthetic contemplation of music, art, and nature. Let us go back to our discussion of the difference between humans and elves. Humans are children of the day, the light of reason, or of the phenomenal world. Therefore they live in time. Elves are children of the night before there was light. The night is the world of the subconscious and of dreams, outside of time. Therefore they live as if outside of time. It is also outside of reason in dreams and art where artistic "magic" exists in the primary world.

On to Arwen's case. She voluntarily exiled herself forever from the world of the night and subconscious. Now she has lost Aragorn forever if we assume that in the world of the light and reason the afterlife is unknown. Where would she go turn to for consolation? The answer is back to Lorian (or Rivendell) and a life of aesthetic contemplation. Why? Aesthetic contemplation is contemplation of the "Will" or the music of Ainur in Tolkien's world. In that music the subject-in-itself that was Aragorn has always existed and always will exist and that is as close as Arwen can get to him while she lives. If we still want to stick with this philosophic explanation then when Arwen dies she will still be part of the unconscious music and be one with Aragorn again.

Let me put up some quotes now that I have talked about day/night imagery that will show how the love-death (liebestod) works. Remember also that Isolde knows the "magic" of Ireland and Tristan is the soldier and prince of what will become England.

First they discuss the theory behind the liebestod:


Quote
TRISTAN Oh, now we were dedicated to Night! Spiteful Day with ready envy could part us with its tricks but no longer mislead us with guile. Its vain glory, its flaunting display are mocked by those to whom Night has granted sight. The fleeting flashes of its flickering light no longer dazzle us. Before him who has seen with love death's night, before him to whom she confided her dark secret, are scattered the lies, the renown and honour of Day, power and advantage shining and glorious, as the paltry dust caught in the sunbeam! Amid the vain fancy of Day he still harbours one desire - the yearning for sacred Night where, all-eternal, true alone, love's bliss smiles on him!
TOGETHER Descend, O Night of love, grant oblivion that I may live; take me up into your bosom, release me from the world!
TRISTAN Extinguished now the last glimmers;
ISOLDE what we thought, what we imagined;
TRISTAN all thought
ISOLDE all remembering,
TOGETHER the glorious presentiment of sacred twilight extinguishes imagined terrors, world-redeeming.
...
TOGETHER then am I myself the world; floating in sublime bliss, life of love most sacred, the sweetly conscious undeluded wish never again to waken.


They go on to talk of what will happen if one of them dies first:


Quote
TRISTAN Our love? Tristan's love? Yours and mine, Isolde's love? What strokes of death could ever make it yield? If mighty Death stood before me threatening the very life in my body which I would so gladly leave for love,how could it reach love itself? Were I to give my life to that for which I would so gladly die, how could love die with me, the ever-living end with me? And if his love were never to die how could Tristan die of his love?
ISOLDE But our love, is it not Tristan and Isolde? This sweet little word: and, would death not destroy the bonds of love which it entwines if Tristan were to die?
TRISTAN What could die but that which troubles us, preventing Tristan from ever loving Isolde, forever loving only her?
ISOLDE Yet this little word: and, were it destroyed, how else but together with Isolde's own life would death be given to Tristan?
TRISTAN Thus might we die, that together, ever one, without end, never waking, never fearing, namelessly enveloped in love, given up to each other, to live only for love!
...
TRISTAN Tristan you, I Isolde, no longer Tristan.
ISOLDE You Isolde, Tristan I, no longer Isolde!
TOGETHER Un-named, free from parting, new perception, new enkindling; ever endless self-knowing; warmly glowing heart, love's utmost joy!


Just before he puts up his sword and impales himself on Melot's sword he asks one more time if she is still committed to follow him.


Quote
TRISTAN Wherever Tristan now goes will you, Isolde, follow him? To that land of which Tristan spoke, where the sun's light does not shine; it is the dark land of Night out of which my mother sent me when he, whom she bore on her deathbed, left her in death to reach the light. From that which, when she bore me, was her fortress of love, the wondrous realm of Night, I then awoke. That is what Tristan offers you, thither he will precede you. Whether she will follow him in grace and faith, let Isolde now tell him.
ISOLDE When for a foreign land her beloved once won her, that ungracious man Isolde had to follow faithfully and graciously. Now you are returning to your own estates to show me your inheritance; how could I flee that land that spans the whole world? Wherever Tristan's home may be, there let Isolde go, there let her follow him in grace and faith, so now show Isolde the way!


Finally I will quote the Isolde's liebestod in full.


Quote
How softly and gently he smiles, how sweetly his eyes open - can you see, my friends, do you not see it? How he glows ever brighter, raising himself high amidst the stars? Do you not see it? How his heart swells with courage, gushing full and majestic in his breast? How in tender bliss sweet breath gently wafts from his lips -Friends! Look! Do you not feel and see it? Do I alone hear this melody so wondrously and gently sounding from within him, in bliss lamenting, all-expressing, gently reconciling, piercing me, soaring aloft, its sweet echoes resounding about me? Are they gentle aerial waves ringing out clearly, surging around me? Are they billows of blissful fragrance? As they seethe and roar about me, shall I breathe, shall I give ear? Shall I drink of them, plunge beneath them? Breathe my life away in sweet scents? In the heaving swell, in the resounding echoes, in the universal stream of the world-breath - to drown, to founder - unconscious - utmost rapture!


By the way completely off topic if you are ever truly bored (and if you made it this far in my post you must be) then search Stephen Fry Tristan Chord on youtube and you can watch him screw up the liebestod.

Subject User Time
Letter #131 Discussion: Of Elves and Men Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 6:32pm
    Of Elves and Men: Doom and Falls Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 6:33pm
        "Doom" was the drumbeat by the Moria orcs CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 22 2013, 9:57pm
            No satisfaction... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 11:56pm
            Feanor's life coach - LOL! Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 23 2013, 2:23am
                I'm picturing a Talk to the Hand... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 4:14pm
                    Wow Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 25 2013, 3:05am
                        Astronomy in MEarth CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 25 2013, 8:55pm
                            Interesting CG Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:13pm
        God is love or love is God Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 23 2013, 4:40am
            A diamond (ring) is a girl's best friend CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 23 2013, 12:39pm
                The sacred and the ordinary Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 24 2013, 12:37am
                    Aragorn and Christian message Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 4:08pm
            More great philosophical connections Terazed Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 23 2013, 7:04pm
                Too busy for a proper reply... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 23 2013, 11:15pm
                    In light of the Romantic philosophy... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 3:52pm
        There seems to be a point about faith in here (but I can't work out what it is) noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 24 2013, 9:00pm
            Faith then and now Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 2:06am
            I've thought that since 1st read CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 25 2013, 1:22pm
                Great comparison CG! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 5:30pm
            The concept of "heaven" Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 25 2013, 10:34pm
                Cool: bring on the dolphins! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:38pm
                What was the question? Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Sep 26 2013, 4:19am
    Of Elves and Men: Fading Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 6:38pm
        What is 'fading'? Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 24 2013, 2:40am
            Musings on fading Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 4:03am
                Thoughts of a faded elf noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 25 2013, 8:44am
                    Eternal old age? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 25 2013, 1:19pm
                        Old age is a risk factor, but not the whole thing noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 25 2013, 1:51pm
                        I agree with you here CG elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Sep 25 2013, 9:22pm
                            Galadriel staying busy Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:08pm
                    Weariness and political action Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 5:29pm
                        You kinda wonder what happens when Elrond and Galadriel step off the boat at the other end. And now the elves organize… noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 25 2013, 8:29pm
            Fading and glowing CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 25 2013, 9:04pm
                You must go through lots of bleach just to get those ice cream stains out. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:45pm
                *DISREGARDING* the laundry red-herring this time CG Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 26 2013, 4:39pm
        Dimming the music Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 24 2013, 1:59pm
            And Men come into the equation... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 4:03pm
                Wait, is this like that cat thing? Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 26 2013, 12:04am
                    Cats in boxes?! What's next? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 26 2013, 12:18am
                        Because I have permission - a joke Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 26 2013, 1:53am
                            (*hysterical laughing interlude*) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 26 2013, 1:56am
                            *adds more nerdsnorts* Haw! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 27 2013, 10:20am
                            Nice one!// Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 27 2013, 2:27pm
                            Choke, Splutter, Heee! // Ethel Duath Send a private message to Ethel Duath Sep 28 2013, 12:48am
                                Makes me think we need a Nerdsnort section in the Tolkienia Times. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 12:50am
                                    :D and of course the Pun Pages.// Ethel Duath Send a private message to Ethel Duath Sep 28 2013, 12:58am
                            Bwahahaha! Roheryn Send a private message to Roheryn Sep 28 2013, 11:07am
                                (*wasn't that great!?!?*) // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 4:02pm
            Interesting post Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Sep 24 2013, 8:23pm
                Is the sadness inevitable do you think? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 4:30am
                    The long defeat - inevitable sadness Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 27 2013, 1:16pm
                        I have to agree on its emotional influence, even though he doesn't want the allegory stamp Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 7:00pm
                    I suppose that if everyone were immortal Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Sep 27 2013, 1:44pm
                        I think that the change might have been the greater factor in their discontent... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 2:13pm
                            That's a good what-if CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 5:28pm
                                But then you have authorial dicta... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 6:20pm
                                    More good points...(and questions...) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 7:15pm
                                    Elvish civil war! Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Sep 29 2013, 1:00am
                                I rambled on in response to Rem above... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 7:29pm
                                    Ha! Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 7:35pm
                                        (*bows*) Thank you Rem! // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:18pm
                                    Is Valinor just one of the Three? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 8:50pm
                                        Or inverse... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 8:58pm
                                            I think the Three are based on Valinor. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 9:23pm
                                                Yes - that show you named last week. "When Machines fall on Mortals." Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:27pm
                                                Yes Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 9:34pm
                            The biggest change being a discontent factor: the coming of Men? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 6:34pm
                            I think the elves might have stayed put if Lightfoot Send a private message to Lightfoot Sep 29 2013, 12:50am
                                The Moriquendi as Men's teachers... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 29 2013, 1:24am
                        Very possible...I want to address it in one answer (see response below to Rem)..// Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 6:21pm
            'The Makropulos Affair' On dimming the music Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 24 2013, 11:59pm
        Another thought on 'fading' Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 8:08pm
            They were shorter too. Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 27 2013, 8:38pm
                All jealous of Thorin clearly. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 8:46pm
                (*ahem*) Grown up answer that I owe you. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 3:04am
            Of stabbing and fading CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 8:48pm
                Immortality: Satisfaction NOT guarenteed Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 9:08pm
                    All this and NO Customer Service hotlines. Or Unions. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:13pm
                Yup - thoughts on Morgul-blades Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:11pm
                    The fea of Elves and of Men Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 9:17pm
                        I *tend* (donning tinfoil pants, just in case) to think... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:23pm
                            The problem with magic rings CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 9:27pm
                                Rings in general Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:36pm
                            How to catch a fea Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 9:45pm
                                (*wiping tear of laughter*) at the idea of Fea-Mart Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 10:29pm
                                    'Unfinished Business' Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 27 2013, 10:46pm
                                        You clearly have some unique insights here Rem. Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 12:46am
                    I really can't answer with a horde staring me down. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 27 2013, 9:18pm
                        Throw in Immortal Thorin and sign me up too. I'm up for that party. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:29pm
                        YOU said the RR wasn't for sissies. Just saying. // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 2:51am
            The fading as fate: tied with subcreation? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 27 2013, 9:05pm
                Two quotes. Natural and Unnatural fading Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 27 2013, 10:39pm
                    Immortality vs mere existence Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 12:39am
                        The perfect quote yet again Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 28 2013, 6:32am
                            I've always wanted to say.. Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 28 2013, 12:49pm
                                Thanks. Some of the problems involved. Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 28 2013, 4:01pm
                                    I have to second Rem's appreciation Terazed Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 4:24pm
                            The quotes are perfect though Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 28 2013, 3:57pm
                                Bucket lists Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 4:33pm
                            Ties in to a very important question Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 28 2013, 5:22pm
                                The God-King: What about Neitzsche? Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 28 2013, 7:57pm
                                    Another great tie in Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 29 2013, 2:12am
                                        Religious truth and the enlightenment Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 29 2013, 4:43am
                                            Another great addition Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 30 2013, 12:36am
    Easy? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 22 2013, 9:21pm
        (*gets out hammer and nails*) Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 11:32pm
    Children of the Day, Children of the Night Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 25 2013, 11:08pm
        You are never boring Terazed Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 25 2013, 11:29pm

 
 
 

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