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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Immortality vs mere existence

Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 12:39am


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Immortality vs mere existence [In reply to] Can't Post


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Elves were meant to fade, but Men, Dwarves, Halflings, etc... were not. The 'fading' of the Elves was natural, and all other 'fading' unnatural

**Spiritually, they became obsessed with preservation. Perhaps they had an internal clock that told them subconsciously, that their time in ME was almost through. Te decay of 'magic' could also factor here as a dwindling of spirit. ** I think their 'magic' being a function of their spirit: to create beauty and art without domination. And thus yes: with the fading of spirit, I think that the 'magic' wanes. In relation to that, I wanted to mention a possible link between the mandate of subcreation (c'mon, you KNEW I was gonna have to say it eventually!!??) and the 'fate' of fading.

_______________________
(Ioreth) As with Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, the quest for knowledge, the use of the music, led them away from the purity of the original creation. From the time they chose to experiment, they started to dim what was given to them. Eru is perfection, all other things must be less and the farther away they move with their own creations from the original, the dimmer it gets. A built in part of Eru's plan?

With their mandate and their native desire to subcreate and change, that in itself changes original creation. A sense of inexorability in the Song - in that sense, the 'Fate' notion of the tales? (Brethil)


I am going to bring up 2 quotes today. The first is one that Tolkien quoted himself in an interview in 1968 after commenting that all stories are about death and the inevitability of death. It is from Simone de Beauvoir


Quote
There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to man is ever natural, since his presence calls the whole world into question. All men must die; but for every man his death is an accident. And even if he know it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation


Tolkien then states "You may agree with these words or not, but those are the - are the keyspring of 'The Lord of the Ring' "


That's a fantastic find. It ties up with something he said in 1958 as well...but firstThe second quote is from that other guy. You know the one I like to quote all the time: Cool Gotcha!


Quote
We must learn to die, and to die in the fullest sense of the word. The fear of the end is the source of all the lovelessness; and this fear is generated only when love begins to wane. How came it that this love, the highest blessedness to all things living, was so far lost sight of by the human race that at last it came to this: all that mankind did, ordered, and established, was conceived only in fear of the end! My poem sets this forth



So is this tie in that the elves natural fading is the slow loss of love that comes from an eternity away from the source of love? Do they fade because they become obsessed with art that imitates this love as they can never return to it in death? Is the unnatural fading of men that they can not learn to accept their mortality: "The fear of the end is the source of all lovelessness"? Is this why it is important that Aragron chooses the time of his death after a much prolonged life? Is it why
Arwen chooses mortality?

I think that you have (once again Terazed) tied the philosophy of what underlies the tales with the intent of the author; and also with what we can walk away from these stories as both readers and mortals.

Here is the quote I mentioned above, that ties the ideas together : JRRT writes in 1958: "Though it is only in reading the work myself (with criticisms in mind) that I become aware of the dominance of the theme of Death. (Not that there is any original 'message' in that: most of human art & thought is similarly preoccupied.) But certainly Death is not the enemy! I said, or meant to say, that the 'message' was the hideous peril of confusing true 'immortality' with limitless serial longevity. Freedom from Time, and clinging to Time. The confusion is the work of the Enemy, and one of the chief causes of human disaster. Compare the death of Aragorn with a Ringwraith. The Elves call 'death' the Gift of God (to Men). Their temptation is different: towards a faint melancholy, burdened with Memory, leading to an attempt to halt Time." (#208, 1958)

So is the inverse here, as *That Guy* ( Wink )suggests in the quote above and JRRT does as well, that the way to true love for and joy of life is to let go of the marking of Time? The fear of Time and the passing of existence is what coverts life (mortal or Immortal) into mere marking of days and yearning for ghosts of what was?

I agree with your point about Aragorn choosing his death: and it reflects the 'unfallen man' per JRRT. So there is the best in humanity, the unfallen example to follow: having lived fully, not marking time until the end nor making a cultus of the dead and gone, Aragorn embraces his end and. The absolute expression of Faith? Whereas the Ringwraiths - fallen - represent the ultimate failure of faith?

So in Elves, expressing their Eru-given skills in subcreation and subsequent change their statement of 'faith'? And the attempt to arrest change the (*cough* the Three) their failure - in defying Fate (if we define that as the inevitable change that will occur with Elves behaving as Elves should) and Eru's plan?

Arwen - we had discussed how she might have sought the shelter of the nuomenal-state of post War Lorien in order to be in touch with Aragorn (outside of Time). From the authorial sense, maybe Arwen's choice for mortality is that letting go of Time, and of 'limitless serial longevity.' Which sounds like what she would feel had she stayed Immortal but lost Aragorn.

These connections are simply fantastic. Angelic


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








(This post was edited by Brethil on Sep 28 2013, 12:41am)

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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