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Letter #131 Discussion: Of Elves and Men
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CuriousG
Valinor


Sep 27 2013, 9:23pm

Post #76 of 109 (172 views)
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I think the Three are based on Valinor. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I've never thought of it as a stagnant place before. Now I wonder. And it's always been a little creepy to me that the Two Trees are left standing, almost like a monument to Melkor's malice. It seems they should have been given a decent burial or something. Instead they're embalmed in public view, in a sense.

Does everything fade in Valinor too? No more Trees, no more Silmarils, and nothing to rival them in fresh creativity. Do they watch the same reruns on TV all day?


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 27 2013, 9:23pm

Post #77 of 109 (177 views)
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I *tend* (donning tinfoil pants, just in case) to think... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I would think that the fea of Elves were tied to Arda, and because they live in both worlds, they would be doubly bound. What happens when a man's fea get into the Elvish spirit world? Perhaps this was never designed to happen, so there are no rules. An exception to the physics/philosophy of Arda? Could Sauron exploit this and use his own sub-creative powers to fill in this blank? A negative sub-creation intended for evil?




...that what we have with the Ring is just that: a mortal soul stepping into the spirit world that the Elves and the Valar and Maiar dwell half in/out of. They don't belong, and it doesn't go well.

I think (tentatively here) that is what the rendering of the body invisible is, for Mortals.

As far as men's fea, I think they need to be 'netted' as it were...like the Nine were.

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!








Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 27 2013, 9:27pm

Post #78 of 109 (166 views)
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Yes - that show you named last week. "When Machines fall on Mortals." [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But I've never thought of it as a stagnant place before. Now I wonder. And it's always been a little creepy to me that the Two Trees are left standing, almost like a monument to Melkor's malice. It seems they should have been given a decent burial or something. Instead they're embalmed in public view, in a sense.

Does everything fade in Valinor too? No more Trees, no more Silmarils, and nothing to rival them in fresh creativity. Do they watch the same reruns on TV all day?




I agree - but the same happened with the White Tree (I guess in honor of the dead Trees). That theme again, of embalming the past?

He seems to draw a fine line, I feel like, between honoring the old world but not holding onto it for too long - so that it interferes with life and moving forward? Hard to put one's finger on, but for some reason in this regard I always think of his sort of tireless optimism all through the years (and Letters) and then with the loss of Edith he seems to really suffer the blow, and feel that the world is truly Fallen. I find it very, very sad; but 100% understandable.

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 27 2013, 9:37pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Sep 27 2013, 9:27pm

Post #79 of 109 (167 views)
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The problem with magic rings [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf was worried that Frodo/Bilbo might have had the One, but he seemed disturbed that they had any kind of magic ring, that it wasn't meant for mortals. I think of the Silmaril that Beren & Lu won, quite righteously, which nevertheless killed them off prematurely because it too was too strong for mortals, or inappropriate for them.

That has me back to feeling like Men are kids who should let adults play with fire and avoid it themselves.


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 27 2013, 9:29pm

Post #80 of 109 (178 views)
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Throw in Immortal Thorin and sign me up too. I'm up for that party. // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Gimme a transformation and gimme immortality, and I'll show you how to have a good time.


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!








Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2013, 9:34pm

Post #81 of 109 (167 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

The Elves seem so eager to get there, but then what? Do they have scheduled grief parties( read public pity parties)? Do they get healing, or does the hurt just stop? Maybe it is a purgatorial place for the Elves, 'until the world is renewed'?


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 27 2013, 9:36pm

Post #82 of 109 (162 views)
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Rings in general [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Gandalf was worried that Frodo/Bilbo might have had the One, but he seemed disturbed that they had any kind of magic ring, that it wasn't meant for mortals. *That* is a very good point. Especially if the rather uniting way that they might work is a foray into or dealing with the spirit world (the secondary circle of Arda?) where, embarrassingly, they just can't keep up. I think of the Silmaril that Beren & Lu won, quite righteously, which nevertheless killed them off prematurely because it too was too strong for mortals, or inappropriate for them.
That has me back to feeling like Men are kids who should let adults play with fire and avoid it themselves
. Quite a bit of wisdom there CG. (*puts club down*)


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!








Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2013, 9:45pm

Post #83 of 109 (160 views)
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How to catch a fea [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, normally I think that the fea of Men would leave Arda, and maybe even Ea, but I think that the Nine rings redirected, or anchored the feas/ fearim/, feaoth(sp?) whatever the plural is(!), to Arda. So Sauron cannot just go shopping at fea-mart, but he needs another way to 'net' the fea. I think that the Nine when worn after death, accomplished this, and perhaps sealed the fate of the Ulari. They cannot take off their rings anymore, and are trapped with the power that is coeval with Sauron.

I wonder if they were freed after Sauron's fall? Did they go to 'the fate of Men', and were they punished? I think that they were pardoned, Eru being pretty laid back IMO, in not requiring them to DO anything to get to their ultimate fate. No church on Sunday, door knocking, dragon-slaying, or anything to qualify, just die.


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 27 2013, 10:29pm

Post #84 of 109 (152 views)
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(*wiping tear of laughter*) at the idea of Fea-Mart [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Yes, normally I think that the fea of Men would leave Arda, and maybe even Ea, but I think that the Nine rings redirected, or anchored the feas/ fearim/, feaoth(sp?) whatever the plural is(!), to Arda. So Sauron cannot just go shopping at fea-mart, but he needs another way to 'net' the fea. I think that the Nine when worn after death, accomplished this, and perhaps sealed the fate of the Ulari. They cannot take off their rings anymore, and are trapped with the power that is coeval with Sauron.

I wonder if they were freed after Sauron's fall? Did they go to 'the fate of Men', and were they punished? I think that they were pardoned, Eru being pretty laid back IMO, in not requiring them to DO anything to get to their ultimate fate. No church on Sunday, door knocking, dragon-slaying, or anything to qualify, just die.




But I agree, I think that's how he caught them...

Good question on freedom after the destruction of the Ring...I think you are right, maybe no quests needed (just DIE finally, thank you) but there would be some sort of reckoning with Eru once they got to...wherever Men go. Perhaps they would have to serve against Morgoth in the Last Battle?

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!








Terazed
Bree

Sep 27 2013, 10:39pm

Post #85 of 109 (156 views)
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Two quotes. Natural and Unnatural fading [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
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' "

The second quote is from that other guy. You know the one I like to quote all the time:


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?


(This post was edited by Terazed on Sep 27 2013, 10:40pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Sep 27 2013, 10:46pm

Post #86 of 109 (165 views)
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'Unfinished Business' [In reply to] Can't Post

A good name for a chain that provides only the best feas, harvested to order.

"Yes we only sell the finest feas."

"I need quite a few. Are you sure that you will have enough?"

"How many?"

"Nine, and before you ask this has NOTHING to do with some missing property that you may have heard about!"

'Oh, don't worry. Our business is ours, and yours is their's *pointing at feas*'

"OK, and can I possibly have the darkest, most twisted, morbidly sick, and tortured souls that you have in stock... just because....can I get a discount?"

"*starting to get a bit weirded out* Suuuure.....but those do come with a bit of a disclaimer attached, and a no return policy.'

"Oh, I don't care...how often do those actually matter? By any chance, can I get them in black?"

Men do have an ambiguous fate, so it is really hard to say for sure. I'm wondering if they actually meet other people/ feel remorse.

"I am Inigo Ministar, you killed my father, prepare to die Ringwraith!!"

"Dude, we're already dead!!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 12:39am

Post #87 of 109 (158 views)
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Immortality vs mere existence [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
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)


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 12:46am

Post #88 of 109 (153 views)
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You clearly have some unique insights here Rem. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
A good name for a chain that provides only the best feas, harvested to order.
"Yes we only sell the finest feas."
"I need quite a few. Are you sure that you will have enough?"
"How many?"
"Nine, and before you ask this has NOTHING to do with some missing property that you may have heard about!"
'Oh, don't worry. Our business is ours, and yours is their's *pointing at feas*'
"OK, and can I possibly have the darkest, most twisted, morbidly sick, and tortured souls that you have in stock... just because....can I get a discount?"
"*starting to get a bit weirded out* Suuuure.....but those do come with a bit of a disclaimer attached, and a no return policy.'
"Oh, I don't care...how often do those actually matter? By any chance, can I get them in black?"
Men do have an ambiguous fate, so it is really hard to say for sure. I'm wondering if they actually meet other people/ feel remorse.

"I am Inigo Ministar, you killed my father, prepare to die Ringwraith!!"
"Dude, we're already dead!!"




And for once I agree with Sauron: the return policy doesn't matter anyway, its not like you are going to take them back once you get them all the way home.

(And poor Inigo would be sadly disappointed, wouldn't he? Maybe as their penance the Wraiths have to *pretend* to die. Just so he feels better.)

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!








Ethel Duath
Valinor


Sep 28 2013, 12:48am

Post #89 of 109 (142 views)
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Choke, Splutter, Heee! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 12:50am

Post #90 of 109 (135 views)
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Makes me think we need a Nerdsnort section in the Tolkienia Times. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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!








Ethel Duath
Valinor


Sep 28 2013, 12:58am

Post #91 of 109 (133 views)
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:D and of course the Pun Pages.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 2:51am

Post #92 of 109 (125 views)
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YOU said the RR wasn't for sissies. Just saying. // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What happened to the RR? It used to be such a non-barbarian-horde kinda place.

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!








Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 3:04am

Post #93 of 109 (128 views)
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(*ahem*) Grown up answer that I owe you. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
No that I have anything against short people - I am one. But didn't the elves get shorter in successive generations? If so then even physically they started out "less" than the previous generation. Makes one wonder about the strength of the gene Elves' gene pool once it was exposed to the less rarefied air of Middle Earth.




We had a discussion a few months back on the impact of physical descriptions in the legendarium with perceptions, particularly of 'good' and 'evil'. The taller the Man or Elf, it seems somehow the more noble they are?

But I think the height may have been expressing the tie to modern day as well.

In JRRT's case in particular, given his long standing love for the "Fairy tale", I think in both literary and literal way, the 'lessening' of the Firstborn would be told in their appearance - the diminishing leading to, in the 'real world' perhaps the perceived 'faery' peoples, watching human society from the wild spaces of the world.




On a humorous note: he does address some of the difficulties of integrating real-world biological ideas and complexities of ME in Letter #156, with a statement that always cracks me up: "I do not care." Laugh

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!








Terazed
Bree

Sep 28 2013, 6:32am

Post #94 of 109 (166 views)
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The perfect quote yet again [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
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)


You found the perfect quote to complement mine again.


Quote
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?


Yes, I would say just as love and power are opposites, love and time are opposites as well. The loss of love leads to the fear of time which in turn leads to a craving for power (for mortals at least). For immortals it might just lead to weltschmerz (world-weariness or more literally world-pain). Of course those three rings are powerful rings as well, are they not?


Quote
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?


Love vs Power. Love allowed Aragorn to not fear death. Love allowed him to have faith and freed him from time. The Ringwraiths wanted power because they were afraid of death. They mark time and are incapable of love.


Quote
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?


The elves are prone to loose love over an eternity of existence and develop weltschmerz. Their art certainly is capable of freeing them from time through love of nature. When that love fades over time their art changes as their weltschmerz sets in and they try to stop time rather then free themselves from it. I wonder if mortality allows humans to love more deeply (as in Wagner's Ring) and therefor increases their faith over what the elves are capable of. The fate of the elves is tragic. In the end they will never be reunited with the source of love whereas humans can. Theirs is a reflected love.


Quote
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.


Perhaps Arwen exchanged reflected love (in art and nature) for true love when she met Aragorn. True love is what gave her the gift of mortality and allowed her to free herself from time even after the death of Aragorn. As I talked about with the love-death, love allows one freedom from illusion (wahn), which is the equivalent of piercing the veil of Maya, to be outside of time. The love-death of course also allowed Tristan and Isolde to merge souls after death ("Tristan you, I Isolde, no longer Tristan./ You Isolde, Tristan I, no longer Isolde!").

It is late so I might not be making any sense at all. The concept is rather hard to put into words at the best of times which is why I have to use so many quotes that may appear irrelevant but after being read closely convey the idea.


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Sep 28 2013, 11:07am

Post #95 of 109 (122 views)
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Bwahahaha! [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, I've de-lurked in the RR just to say that's the best joke I've seen in a long time. I'm giggling as I type. I'd love to share that with a large class of undergrads -- and watch their blank looks. Thanks for that!


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Sep 28 2013, 12:49pm

Post #96 of 109 (127 views)
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I've always wanted to say.. [In reply to] Can't Post

That I appreciate your insightful philosophical insights. I might not understand all of your concepts, but I can enough to appreciate your special insight. This isn't a comment on just this post, but all of them. I'd like to just say how much I respect and admire you intelligent discourse.


Dame Ioreth
Grey Havens


Sep 28 2013, 3:57pm

Post #97 of 109 (103 views)
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The quotes are perfect though [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a thread running through all of them that, to me, says not to worry so much about death that you put off living. Since Man has a finite lifespan, they know how much time they have and know "how much they can fit in." I thought of it as a Bucket List. The Elves would have to have had a limitless bucket list to keep them occupied and relevant in their own lives. They fill it with art - a kind of childlike imitation of The Music - and exist in a kind of holding pattern.

Oooh, that's something else, isn't it. The journey where you get somewhere and the the journey where the destination is not really defined. Man's journey ends in death; the Elves end in... well, sorta fading... and kinda that's the end but... well... not really, then they can go back West but it's just not the same! The Elves up wandering through life and some of them become lost because they are not really headed... anywhere.

Love is the ultimate check mark on a bucket list because it sticks with you even after you make the check. It also gives the added benefit of a companion along the way in this journey called life and frees an individual from thinking of self only. Power by nature is not shared, but love is shared. It is the "other" path that leads more often to acceptance of the life given. (As a Pippen-ish aside: I've always wondered what Elrond would have been like if Celbrian had lived.)

Power gives purpose to a life that has no purpose. And I agree, it gives those who will not accept the end point something to which to cling. In doing so, Man becomes more elven-like, they add things to their bucket list (Or put unattainable things on that list) so they can say "not done yet!" because they will not accept their fate. The "gift" is shunned - the ultimate smack in the face of Eru - and they "fall." Their endpoint is taken away from them and they fade into nothing, lacking even the prospect of that last trip to the West.

“Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


Terazed
Bree

Sep 28 2013, 4:01pm

Post #98 of 109 (105 views)
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Thanks. Some of the problems involved. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks, appreciate that. This is not an easy project at all. For one thing philosophic arguments are extremely complicated things where you can spend an entire day trying to understand a single sentence. You come away feeling like you have had your brain spun around inside your skull several times and now it is unwinding again in the other direction. Unless you have spent a lifetime more then I have spent you can only catch the most fleeting impression of the concepts involved. Even in Wittgenstein the arguments are a ladder that you use to get to a higher vantage point only to realize the ladder was made out of nothing.

The more complicated problem is that this philosophy I am using is antiquated and written in a flowery antiquated language with words denoting very specific things that we would not think of in ordinary language use. In the end my contention is that this more flowery 19th century philosophy is what opened the door to exploration of the subconscious and the meaning of myth. I am obviously rather found of Wagner's music. If you ever study the literature on him you hear statements such as Wagner anticipates modern anthropology or Freud and Jung or modern psychology itself. The truth of the matter is that it is the philosophy of the age that made these things possible. Wagner just absorbed them and put them to use. It makes him a useful crutch to lean on.

Twentieth century English language philosophy was dominated by analytic philosophy which put a lid on all of that. It might be a philosophy of language but it is not what you might think. There are the ideal language types who studied the logic of language and thought in a logical metalanguage converting sentences into f(a) & g(b) or f(a) v g(b). They were interested in looking at a sentence such as 'the current king of France is wise' and figuring out what it means to use a subject that does not actually exist and the logical structure of language. Then there were the ordinary language types at Oxford who were saying that prior philosophy was all wrong because they misused words in a way other then in their ordinary current usage. All of them thought that to use language to explore religion, subconscious, myth, etc. was to use language in a nonsensical manner. They might think those things existed but they were beyond what language was capable of exploring and thus philosophers should remain silent on them. Perhaps Tolkien might have gotten a kick out of Wittgenstein's latter philosophic discussions of languages as a communally developed rule games that describe reality. I can't wrap my head around trying to fit him into the philosophic developments that were occurring in his day since they were turning philosophy into a mere scientific adjunct so to speak. Perhaps someone who understood philosophy better then myself could.


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 4:02pm

Post #99 of 109 (105 views)
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(*wasn't that great!?!?*) // [In reply to] Can't Post


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Okay, I've de-lurked in the RR just to say that's the best joke I've seen in a long time. I'm giggling as I type. I'd love to share that with a large class of undergrads -- and watch their blank looks. Thanks for that!


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!








Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 4:24pm

Post #100 of 109 (107 views)
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I have to second Rem's appreciation Terazed [In reply to] Can't Post

Discussing the philosophies and ideas of the ages that came before JRRT, with whatever spheres of influence they may have had (now *that* sounds like a-thread-in-itself) has been very enlightening, as well as interesting.

Agreed though - the very nature of the beast will leave one doing cerebral hot yoga so to speak. But you have applied and clarified the information and ideas of another age in a way that makes it comprehensible and ties it into JRRT's concepts - and has provided keys to unlock some of the deeper ideas that may be behind the text.

(Personal aside: which isn't easy! Even when dealing with modern-written ideas (such as Letters) the need to understand context underlies the material; and I note while leading this discussion there is a fine line between inserting quotes from the author which can stifle conversation versus continue to inspire individual interpretation.)

In short - great to see you here!

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!







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