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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Silmarillion discussion: Ainulindale
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CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 4 2013, 11:32pm

Post #26 of 51 (576 views)
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Gandalf, in some ways [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf is certainly not Jesus, but there are some parallels between them (self-sacrifice, resurrection, not being recognized by followers after resurrection, etc). Otherwise, I don't see a clear candidate for Jesus in the Silmarillion.

It's funny how little information we get in the Bible about the Holy Spirit, and Tolkien gives us just as little about The Flame Imperishable--on purpose? I agree he intended it as the same thing.


The Gardener
Registered User

Jan 5 2013, 6:00am

Post #27 of 51 (527 views)
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Creation is song [In reply to] Can't Post

I am sure Squire is right in linking the idea that Eru and what follows comes through song to Tolkien's Catholicism. As a Catholic in those days all his knowledge of the Biblical view of God and Creation would have come through the Mass. The words of Genesis 1 itself would more than likely have first been heard sung.Think what it must have felt like to hear it like this and how almost without thinking Tolkien would first have thought of Creation as a song.

But not just Genesis but the great vision of heaven itself would all have been sung. Much of the texts of the Mass that evoke Heaven are from the Book of Revelation where the angels sing "Holy holy holy.Lord God of hosts.." or as he would have heard it "Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus. Dominus Deus Sabaoth" so linking his love of God to his love of words and ideas expressed in another language, and all sung.


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 5 2013, 7:40am

Post #28 of 51 (531 views)
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Where's Eve? Or Varda? [In reply to] Can't Post

Welcome to the Reading Room! (And welcome to KingTurgon also)

Since we're comparing Tolkien's Ainulindale to the Bible, we've already seen Original Sin in Melkor's fall. But Melkor doesn't get to blame it on his wife and in fact, there are no women mentioned at all in this chapter, not even the revered Varda, which seems odd. Most creation myths I perused involved a woman, I suppose because people naturally associate creation and women giving birth. Any guess why there's no mention of females here: not among the Ainur as they sang, and no women cronies of Melkor, and not a peep about Varda or Yavanna though we're introduced to Manwe, Ulmo, and Aule.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jan 5 2013, 9:03am

Post #29 of 51 (557 views)
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Allegories - Contrast to The Lord of the Rings? [In reply to] Can't Post

First - welcome KingTurgon!

Allegories! I think there's a interesting contrast to lotr here: Tolkien spends some of his Foreword to the 2nd edn being impatient with the idea of allegory ( in the strict sense of "This" = "That" - e.g "Sauron = Hitler") But it would be difficult not to see that going on for at least the 2 parts of the Trinity as KingTurgon points out. I've often wondered whether his critique of allegory might also be partly a shot at C S Lewis, whose use of Christian allegory in Narnia I personally find crude. Interesting, how we suppose on no evidence that authors we like would agree with us.... (Or at least it seems that I do this!)

I certainly don't mean to take things to the other extreme here and suggest that the story can't refer to anything outside itself- its just that the links don't needs to be so thumping as in Narnia...

Back to the Sil, Other things break the Trinity allegory down - we have an ultimate God in the Silmarillion, then a bunch of under-gods (which don't have a Christian pArallel I an think of, though this may be lack of knowledge about that faith on my part).

As a solo reader (without the benefit if this board!) I would be assuming JRRT is giving himself a sort of adapter between his own monotheistic faith and the polytheistic faith of his literary models. That could be totally facile on my part of course; or other interesting explanations could be advanced (please do). As asolo reader I probably would have stopped looking for further Christian parallels there, so will be interested to have any further ones suggested as we proceed.

Ps: , A friend of mine, a Cathic Priest, has this interesting blog post on Christian parallels in Narnia - http://frmartinflatman.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/a-film-to-express-the-incarnation/


(This post was edited by noWizardme on Jan 5 2013, 9:11am)


squire
Valinor


Jan 5 2013, 2:49pm

Post #30 of 51 (511 views)
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Worship of Creation is song [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems to me that in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, the songs of angels take place in a created world. After the fact, so to speak. That goes along with my feeling that, as forms that emphasizes rhythm and repetition, song and music are ideal for reflecting on and appreciating works of creation.

God in Genesis creates the world with words, not verses: "Let there be Light!", etc. The angels are nowhere to be seen or heard at that point. But as you say, once Genesis has occurred and is to be remembered ever after with joy and awe, then music takes its rightful place as the best means for that, which is worship.

Tolkien was not your average Catholic. As a student of language, literature, and mythology, he surely would have had more sources of knowledge about the Bible and its traditions of creation than what he heard at church services, even when he was relatively young and just writing the Ainulindale tradition for the first time (in 1919, when he was 28 - see BoLT I.2). And as has been pointed out elsewhere in this discussion, he was trying to write a polytheistic cosmology, with many "gods" and "goddesses", under the umbrella of a monotheistic theology which accorded with his own deepest beliefs. He wanted both, and in his literary imagination his Catholicism had to step aside to make room for pagan matters. He admitted that this led to interesting conflicts later on, in a charmingly modest phrase: "This is, of course, meant to provide beings of the same order of beauty, power, and majesty as the 'gods' of higher mythology, which can yet be accepted -- well, shall we say baldly, by a mind that believes in the Blessed Trinity." (JRRT, Letter 131, written ca. 1951)



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Jan 6 2013, 5:56pm

Post #31 of 51 (529 views)
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Jesus [In reply to] Can't Post

First I wanted to say that I've wanted to join in the discussion, but putting my humble thoughts amongst those who have obviously have a greater understanding of Tolkien than I do is a little intimidating. But I wanted to give it a go :)

Following the comparison of Tolkien's works with the Bible, to me the Silmarillion is more of the Old Testament, and The Lord of the Rings as New Testament. Although the idea of a redeemer of Middle-earth doesn't seem to be clearly stated in the Silmarillion (although I suppose Earendil could be a Redeemer) as it was in the Old Testament for the Savior of Men, there is an analogy to Jesus for me: Frodo.

Frodo took the Ring to destroy it to save Middle-earth, knowing he may die in the process. He almost did die, as Gandalf states, before Aragorn heals him: "But you went to the very brink of death ere he [Aragorn] recalled you, putting forth all his power, and sent you into the sweet forgetfulness of sleep" (The Return of the King, The Field of Cormallen). Just as Jesus was, Frodo was a reluctant savior, but still followed his command/mission through to the end. In a way, this could have been the reincarnation. Frodo returns to the Shire, but realizes that he no longer belongs to Middle-earth, although he saved it for Mankind and the other beings who live there. He then goes "over the Sea" to the Blessed Realm, an analogy of Heaven.

So although the Quest of the Ring really isn't in the Silmarillion proper, the background set-up is.

I hope this makes some kind of sense. Thank you.

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jan 6 2013, 7:09pm

Post #32 of 51 (477 views)
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Interesting idea- glad you posted it // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ardamírë
Valinor


Jan 6 2013, 8:02pm

Post #33 of 51 (489 views)
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I know this isn't really a religion thread, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

I absolutely must refute the idea that Jesus is a reluctant savior. That goes against everything written in the Bible, and is a gross misrepresentation of Christ. His whole ministry is about reconciling God with man through salvation.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Jan 6 2013, 8:41pm

Post #34 of 51 (487 views)
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Maybe "reluctant" isn't quite right, [In reply to] Can't Post

Just that Jesus had at least a moment of doubt: "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me...My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done" (Matthew 26:39, 42. New International Version Bible).

This is the comparison between Frodo and Jesus I meant. A moment of doubt, but realization that the journey must be seen to its conclusion.

I don't want to cause conflicts with what people believe. I consider myself a Christian, but others may not recognize that. I do not follow any organized religion, but have studied deeply many religions.
I see Jesus as a very insightful person, whose messages of love and caring for others are those that I try to humbly follow. I don't have blind faith, because I, like most humans, have an insatiable curiosity to learn, to seek knowledge; and these qualities must have been given to us (if there truly is a God) to do these very things: ask, seek, learn, disagree, discuss with others, keep learning. If I look through my local directory, I can find many Christian churches, many who disagree with each other on many issues (the Trinity being most notable to me). Which one is right? Which is true? I don't know. So I keep learning. These are my humble opinions.

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 6 2013, 9:14pm

Post #35 of 51 (471 views)
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Everyone's welcome to join in [In reply to] Can't Post

And I'm glad you posted that--very lucid and cogent.

I've heard Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn compared to Jesus. I can see parallels in the first two, but have never been clear on Aragorn. I suppose he has a humble birth and becomes a great king, but that's more King Arthur (and many other stories) than religion.

Earendil is a savior of Elves and Men, but his life doesn't parallel Jesus' in many details that I can think of, and someone can be a savior without being Jesus. There were other saviors in The Bible besides Jesus (such as Esther), for that matter. Maybe one Earendil/Jesus comparison is that they both interceded with divine authority for the forgiveness of mortals. The departure is that only the Noldor needed forgiveness since the Sindar, Men, and Dwarves had done nothing wrong. For that reason, it doesn't put the Valar in that great of a light that they let other people suffer under Morgoth because of the fault of the Noldor, but the Old Testament God also has more rules and less leniency than the New one does.

Ataahua (moderator) made this recent comment on TORn's policy regarding religion. This site isn't against people discussing religion, just against people being hostile about that or any other topic.


Quote

A few years back we would not allow posts on some subjects at all because the discussions always, without fail, went down in flames. In recent years we've seen that the board community can discuss some very sensitive topics, such as religion, in a mature and respectful way - resulting in some pretty interesting discussions - so the admins became hands-off but watchful to see how each new discussion progresses. We'll step in only when it's necessary.



noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jan 6 2013, 10:15pm

Post #36 of 51 (450 views)
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Without wishing to curtail this discussion- what are our plans for the next chapter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you plan to start a thread, CuriousG? Or would you be glad of volunteer thread-starters? When would we like to begin our next discussion? (I suppose that starting one does not necessarily mean stopping the other.)


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Jan 6 2013, 10:19pm

Post #37 of 51 (460 views)
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Thank you, and my apologies to Ardamire [In reply to] Can't Post

I had no intention of insulting anyone's beliefs--I have the greatest respect for all faiths. I only can speak from my heart as an ignorant human, and admit that I can be wrong.


Quote
A few years back we would not allow posts on some subjects at all because the discussions always, without fail, went down in flames. In recent years we've seen that the board community can discuss some very sensitive topics, such as religion, in a mature and respectful way - resulting in some pretty interesting discussions - so the admins became hands-off but watchful to see how each new discussion progresses. We'll step in only when it's necessary.

I would prefer we not go down in flames. So thank you again, and I appreciate the opportunity for joining my voice with all of yours.

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Jan 6 2013, 10:24pm

Post #38 of 51 (476 views)
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A Beautiful Creation [In reply to] Can't Post

I love Tolkien's Creation story, as a music lover. I've always wondered what the song sounded like. I imagine it was very long--a lot to sing into existence.

I thought I would give a try as well to answer at least one of the questions:


Quote
Why do you suppose Tolkien chose Manwe as the king of the world over Ulmo? Was he bowing to the influence of Norse and Greek myths that had the thunder/sky god as First God?

I think it may be that, although Ulmo is of the Waters and Manwe of the Airs, the air also holds water (as rain, mist, vapor, snow) and shares it with the earth, eventually returning to the Waters again; and then back to the Air. An endless cycle.

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 6 2013, 10:28pm

Post #39 of 51 (441 views)
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We can take turns. Whoever wants to do the Valaquenta, just say so, and post when you'd like.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 6 2013, 10:51pm

Post #40 of 51 (435 views)
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Didn't get my edit inserted in time. More info: [In reply to] Can't Post

Since it can take time to write up a chapter post, we'd like to avoid two people working on the same one, so I think it's best if someone speaks up for a chapter before posting. You don't need to commit to a time when you'll post it, just let the rest of us know you've claimed it. If two people claim the same one, you can pm each other to sort it out.

I'm hoping we can keep this loosely structured. There was more structure in the past when there were more people chomping at the bit, so it was important to plan things out in advance. Now I think the best path would be to say at some point in a current chapter's discussion that you'd like to take the one after it, etc. We can discuss multiple chapters at the same time, but if someone wants to do "Of the Beginning of Days," they should speak up in the Valaquenta thread, not this one.

And remember there are virtually no do's and don't's in a chapter posting. I forgot that myself in the past and felt duty-bound to follow the formats of others. I can't find the thread, but someone who was new at it had a totally different (and concise) approach that worked very well for them: they listed a few points of "this is what we learn" and added a few points of "this is what I want to ask." Rather than try to conform to a format, just write down the things that interest you about a chapter, arrange that in the order that you'd like, and ask whatever questions interest you most.

Probably the only "do" that's required is to pose questions of some kind to get the discussion going: responders like a starting point. We wouldn't have gotten very far in this one if I'd said, "Creation story--discuss!"

Another "do:" please put the chapter title in the title of your post.


(This post was edited by CuriousG on Jan 6 2013, 10:56pm)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Jan 6 2013, 11:20pm

Post #41 of 51 (524 views)
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Ah that passage [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, if one bases their beliefs on the Bible (like I do) they must acknowledge that Jesus is fully human as well as fully God. As such, he had human emotions, and obviously the time before the passion story would have been a heavily emotional time. I don't think that should be taken as reluctance, especially with all the other passages of scripture that speak of him coming to specifically seek and save the lost.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jan 7 2013, 1:02pm

Post #42 of 51 (420 views)
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I will take the Reading Room to Valaquenta, though I... do not know the way. :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I would be happy to start the next discussion (but also be happy to wait for a later turn if someone else particularly wants to start it off).

Whoever starts us off, Ive started a thread here http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=557415#557415 Admin announcement for now, and suggest we put any further planning as well as actual discussion in that thread, not under this thread.

Hope that's OK with everyone?


KingTurgon
Rohan

Jan 7 2013, 8:25pm

Post #43 of 51 (404 views)
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Earlier post [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for all the welcomes everyone!

The Silmarillion is an incredibly deep book that I haven't really been able to discuss much with others up to this point, as it even took me, an avid LOTR fan, several readings to take in a lot of the deeper material. Already I've seen some intrigueing posts. :)


telain
Rohan

Jan 8 2013, 6:11pm

Post #44 of 51 (373 views)
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myth and music (and Manwe) [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Myths generally reflect the ideas of a particular people in a particular historical moment. So perhaps he was torn between imitating the existing creation myths and writing something that is actually slightly more authentically mythological for his people in his historical moment.


Am I misremembering, or is not The Silmarilion written "by" or "from the perspective" of Elves? If so, it would make sense that the creation myth is sung and/or musically oriented. I wonder, too, if vocabulary limits the description, i.e., the word "music" is shorthand used to describe the creative process, but in fact (if we were Ainur) it would be much more than that.

Having said that, I absolutely love the visualization (auralization?) of music as the vehicle for creation. Lovely.

And a word on Manwe v. Ulmo. I think you and CuriousG have it right. Water is prevalent, and it is (almost) everywhere, but nothing seems to touch everything and be everywhere at once like air. The fact that it is "above" is also a strong element. Air is "over" water and it would take quite a different mindset to reverse the hierarchy of that image.


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Jan 11 2013, 6:20am

Post #45 of 51 (351 views)
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I looove this "chapter" [In reply to] Can't Post

so much so, that I'm doing my senior thesis (for my religion major) on it this coming semester (eeep!)
which brings me to

In Reply To
does anyone know of a creation story based on music?

None that I know of (as of now), but one of my ideas for my thesis is to do a comparison of creation stories, so I'll get back to you on that in a few months.
Still there is a similarity in that it was voice that brought the world into being in Genesis and the Ainulindalë.



In Reply To
Any ideas on why he didn’t sing them into existence?

Perhaps because there was no one to sing to?


In Reply To
The Music of the Ainur lives on in water, especially the Sea, and the Ainur considered water better than earth and air. Yet Ulmo isn’t the chief of the Valar. Why do you suppose Tolkien chose Manwe as the king of the world over Ulmo? Was he bowing to the influence of Norse and Greek myths that had the thunder/sky god as First God?

This also struck me on this read-through.
As we see in the further narrative, Ulmo wouldn't have made a particularly good leader (though if he was named leader he may have acted differently), so perhaps Ulmo was not chosen for that reason.
Or perhaps Ilúvatar chose Manwë because of his brother relationship to Melkor, so he would best oppose Melkor. But that is arguing from within the story, not about Tolkien's choices (please excuse my rambling, the thoughts, they are not fully formed before getting typed).



In Reply To
Do waterfalls and ocean waves sound musical to you, or is their sound their own and unrelated to music?

When listening to water, I think of its beauty, power and curious nature. I wouldn't say my first thought is music, though I can hear it as music. On the flip side, music often reminds me of water. So there's that...



In Reply To
Melkor’s sins: secrecy, pride, lust for power. What would you add?

Actually, I would remove secrecy and replace it with deception. Here's why / my thoughts:
There were two times when the word secrecy stood out to me (relating to Melkor)

Quote
and Melkor was filled with shame, of which came secret anger

at which point I questioned who it was a secret from and who knew of it

Quote
And thou, Melkor, wilt discover all the secret thoughts of thy mind, and wilt perceive that they are but a part of the whole and tribultary to its glory.

so I think his anger was secret even from himself
he will discover his secret thoughts and THEN perceive that they are part of the whole. It is not that he is just discoveries that they are part of the whole, he is discovering the truth of what his thoughts are to begin with.

and then there is

Quote
And he feigned, even to himself at first

which brought up questions like:
At what point did he realize the actual reasons for his actions?
What was his reaction upon realization?
and incidentally, this incident reminds me this of Melkor as an addict, trying to fool himself without realizing it



and now my random thoughts...

first some Genesis comparisons

Quote
and they were with him before aught else was made

This is just begging for a creatio ex nihilo vs creation out of chaos debate.

A short summary for those unfamiliar with the debate:
In translations of Gen1:1, there are alternate translations "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. All was void and without form..." and "In the beginning, WHEN God created..."
The first is creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing), since God brings everything into existence. Whereas the second is creation out of chaos, since the "stuff" of the world exists and has power of its own.
And each side has its own implications about evil in this world and God's power.

Anyhow, I'm probably boring you, but there is potential for a similar debate here. The Void is referred to, but does it mean that there was utterly nothing, or nothing was formed/created/made? And then in the quote above, does "was made" mean "was formed" or "was in existence"?


and more with Genesis, this time with Augustine too:
According to Augustine, the second creation story in Genesis was not simply a restatement of this first. Rather, the creation in 6 days (Gen1) was an instant in which everything was created potentially. Then the the second story (Gen2-3) happened in time (since it has dialogue) and is when everything is created actually. (I think he continues to say that this creation is still going on, but I can't remember for sure)
Sound familiar? The world is created in song in the Timeless Halls, and then created actually in time. The Ainur entered into the world at the beginning of time.


And now some snippets of thoughts...


Quote
and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into depths and into the heights

In what way did they pass beyond hearing? In pitch? spatially? volume?
Or perhaps did they pass beyond in that they became more, seemed tangible?


compare

Quote
many trumpets braying upon a few notes


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Then he raised up both his hands, and in one chord

Observation: notes show knowledge and ability, but a chord shows understanding



Quote
When therefore Earth was yet young and full of flame Melkor coveted it

Is that flame the Flame Imperishable (which doesn't diminish, but was perhaps more obvious) or the "great fires" that Melkor kindled?



Okay, that's enough of my rambling and questions without answers.
I should go read the thread now. (or sleep first)


..The land of long-forgotten name:
......no man may ever anchor near;
..No steering star his hope may aim,
......for nether Night its marches drear,
..And waters wide no sail may tame,
......with shores encircled dark and sheer.

..O! Haven where my heart would be!
......the waves beat upon thy bar
..For ever echo endlessly,
......when longing leads thy thought afar


(This post was edited by Oiotári on Jan 11 2013, 6:21am)


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Jan 12 2013, 8:45pm

Post #46 of 51 (328 views)
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No women were mentioned by name [In reply to] Can't Post

but there was reference to the existence of both "male" and "female" Ainur, when the Valar took on physical forms.

It is slightly strange that Varda isn't mentioned, but only four (?) valar were mentioned by name: Melkor, Manwë, Ulmo, and Aulë. Varda's association isn't one of the major elements, and she is not a force of opposition, so it's not overly surprising.

But your point about women being associated with giving birth, life, etc does make it a curious absence.


..The land of long-forgotten name:
......no man may ever anchor near;
..No steering star his hope may aim,
......for nether Night its marches drear,
..And waters wide no sail may tame,
......with shores encircled dark and sheer.

..O! Haven where my heart would be!
......the waves beat upon thy bar
..For ever echo endlessly,
......when longing leads thy thought afar


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Jan 12 2013, 9:02pm

Post #47 of 51 (331 views)
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If we read that passage, perhaps it is not so clear [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
But this condition Ilúvatar made, or it is the necessity of their love, that their power should thenceforward be contained and bounded in the World, to be within it for ever, until it is complete, so that they are its life and it is theirs.


The boldfaced part makes it sound like it may not have been Ilúvatar's rule, but their own nature that did not allow them to leave. The Ainur who entered the world did so because they cared deeply for it, and so if they cared so deeply for it, why would they leave it before it came to fulfillment?

Do we ever read that any of the Ainur desired to leave the world? (note: not rhetorical)


..The land of long-forgotten name:
......no man may ever anchor near;
..No steering star his hope may aim,
......for nether Night its marches drear,
..And waters wide no sail may tame,
......with shores encircled dark and sheer.

..O! Haven where my heart would be!
......the waves beat upon thy bar
..For ever echo endlessly,
......when longing leads thy thought afar


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Jan 12 2013, 9:32pm

Post #48 of 51 (348 views)
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saying Eä [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think Eru didn't sing the Ainur into existence to show that they are separate from Ea. He thinks them into existence and then they assist (or at least, He uses them) in the creation of the world. ... Eru's creation goes from thought to sound (the music) to actual spoken word Ea. I think he doesn't say Ea until the end, right?


I like that thought.

When the Valar enter the world, we are told that


Quote
they are its [the world's] life and it is theirs


Yet it an important distinction that Ainur =/= Eä
They are integral to one another, but not the same.



Also, another random thought which popped into my head regarding Eru saying simply "Eä":
If I recall correctly, there is a midrash in the Jewish Talmud which says that when God created the world, he did so by saying his name and that if anyone could say his name perfectly again, the world would be re-created.
(Don't take this as authoritative, I'm just going of something I seem to recall hearing in a religion course)


..The land of long-forgotten name:
......no man may ever anchor near;
..No steering star his hope may aim,
......for nether Night its marches drear,
..And waters wide no sail may tame,
......with shores encircled dark and sheer.

..O! Haven where my heart would be!
......the waves beat upon thy bar
..For ever echo endlessly,
......when longing leads thy thought afar


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 16 2013, 3:28am

Post #49 of 51 (292 views)
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Good point about no one to sing to [In reply to] Can't Post

If Eru is alone, he has only his thoughts to keep him company, so the Ainur spring from his thoughts. Though if he had Bombadil's personality, he'd be singing to himself all the time. Do you suppose the Great Music was really a bunch of "merry dol! derry dol!"?

It makes sense that Manwe was chosen to lead the Valar against his brother, but Tolkien could have made Ulmo Melkor's brother. I don't want to beat a dead horse, however, or even a dead Vala.

I like your point about deception being Melkor's sin. It was Sauron's too, who feigned to himself after Melkor's great defeat that he really would shape up and behave like a good guy, but like an addict, he fell back into his old ways. (Is there a 12-step program for fallen angels?)

Something else dysfunctional about Melkor is that he seems angry ALL THE TIME. I suppose that explains his motives for being so destructive, because if you're happy and calm you don't usually topple mountains. I wonder if professional psychologists have a field day reading about him.

The Void: there is some scant mention of Iluvatar making regions for the Ainur to dwell in before Arda is made, and that's regions in the plural. That seems to imply some sort of non-chaotic chunk of Existence. It's never clear to me if Existence according to Tolkien is Order surrounded by Chaos, or just Order. But I did read that quite a few creation myths see chaos first, then creation bringing order to it. Seems to be a human psyche thing.

Thanks for connecting the two stories of Genesis to Tolkien's 2-part creation--makes a lot of sense, and I'd never see that on my own.

Re: music passing away: I vote for intangible.

And for fire and Arda, excellent observation about the contradiction. Flame Imperishable shouldn't perish, and Melkor shouldn't really be coveting his own flames. Maybe that should be taken very loosely, just that the Earth was fresh and "hot out of the oven." Anyone who loves bread like me covets it when it's fresh!


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 16 2013, 3:30am

Post #50 of 51 (302 views)
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I wonder about Tulkas leaving [In reply to] Can't Post

He showed up for a fight, because he likes fights, but he seems a restless sort, and I have a gut feeling that he would want to leave on occasion (and return), but the rules don't allow it. But we never hear of a Vala wanting to leave, unless it's in the HOME series.

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