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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
What about illusion?

Terazed
Bree

Oct 11 2013, 7:15pm


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What about illusion? [In reply to] Can't Post


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The key thing to understand, though, is that Morgoth was a vastly greater power than Sauron. As Sauron's One Ring radiates temptation and corruption, because it hold the greater part of Sauron's power, so too does the fabric of the earth, the vessel of Morgoth's power, do the same thing; all the world is Morgoth's Ring. This means that we are constantly under assault from evil impulses, and our perceptions are under the Shadow (so, for instance, we may even find fault with the Valar's governance of the world!). In effect, the essence of Morgoth becomes an external cause of what theologians call the Depravity of Man.

Because of the corruption of all matter, Elves' bodies will not last forever, as intended. This is a problem for their souls, which WILL last forever. Hence, elves in Middle-Earth will eventually 'fade' into something very like a wraith. Apparently the Elven-Rings can hold this effect at bay over a limited area. This is what it means when Elrond says that they have great power to preserve all things unstained - they can exclude the Morgoth-taint, so that places like Rivendell and Lorien give us a glimpse of what Arda Unstained should have been like. The failure of the Elven-Rings after the War of the Ring is why all the Elves who could HAD to sail west; to avoid fading.
And that should hold you for now. " -- Reverend's explanation of Morgoth's taint.


What about reviving an philosophic concept which would allow both the one and the three to spring from the same source? That source is illusion. Illusion is both the source of all creativity and art (the elves) and the route of all striving for power (Sauron/Morgoth). Illusion is at the root of being human in essence. Without it we would not be conscious beings. No society would be possible. Everything that we do is based on conceptualizations of reality. Without the concepts we would not be able to conceive of how to build a house or organize a society. For that matter philosophically language itself is a conceptualization of reality.

Let me return to my usual source of quotes for illustrative purposes. In this song Hans Sachs is ruminating on wahn (a German term meaning illusion, delusion, madness, mania, delirium, craze, or fad). He is a middle aged cobbler and also the greatest of the mastersingers of Nuremberg. He lost his wife and child to the plaque. He is in a position where he can either try to pretend he is young again and start a new family with the the person he cares for the most, a sacrifice for her but one she would gladly make (she willingly took over caring for him after the death of his family). Otherwise he can sacrifice his own dreams and her to someone else to make her truly happy.


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Wahn! wahn! Everywhere wahn! Wherever I look searchingly in city and world chronicles, to seek out the reason why, till they draw blood, people torment and flay each other in useless, foolish anger! No-one has reward or thanks for it: driven to flight, he thinks he is hunting; hears not his own cry of pain; when he digs into his own flesh he thinks he is giving himself pleasure! Who will give it its name? It is the old wahn, without which nothing can happen, nothing whatever! If it halts somewhere in its course it is only to gain new strength in sleep: suddenly it awakens, then see who can master it! How peacefully with its staunch customs, contented in deed and work, lies, in the middle of Germany, my dear Nuremberg! (He gazes before him, filled with a deep and peaceful joy) But one evening late, to prevent a mishap caused by youthful ardour, a man knows not what to do; a cobbler in his shop plucks at the thread of wahn: how soon in alleys and streets it begins to rage! Man, woman, journeyman, and child fall upon each other as if crazed and blind; and if wahn prevails, it must now rain blows, with cuts, blows, and thrashings to quench the fire of anger. God knows how that befell! A goblin must have helped: a glow worm could not find its mate; it set the trouble in motion. It was the elder-tree: Midsummer Eve! But now has come the feast of John the Baptist! Now let us see how Hans Sachs manages finely to guide the wahn so as to perform a nobler work: for if wahn won't leave us in peace even here in Nuremberg, then let it be in the service of such works as are seldom successful in plain activities and never so without a touch of wahn.


Notice how wahn (illusion/delusion) is inescapable. The best that one can do is to be cognisant of its existence and turn it to nobler uses or else become an aesthetic and try to pierce the veil of illusion by renouncing the world.

Could this be the difference between the elves use of the three rings and Sauron's use of the one ring? The differences in use would be the two poles of human nature. The elves use the rings to enhance the creative aspects of illusion. Sauron's ring emphasizes the illusion of power. All of the rings would be symbolic of the illusion that make human beings what they are.

Subject User Time
Letter #131 Discussion: Heaven or Hell?; And the Golden Pavement on the Road 'South' Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 8 2013, 2:08pm
    The Morality of The Ring Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 8 2013, 2:13pm
        Well, now that you've brought up Rings... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 8 2013, 2:46pm
            Interesting idea Rem! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 8 2013, 11:20pm
            Conjecture CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 11 2013, 9:09pm
                As were mine Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 11 2013, 9:36pm
                    Rings as conduits CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 11 2013, 9:41pm
                        the ring(s) and fading Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 11 2013, 11:04pm
                            Hobbity sense Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 1:17am
                                i meant also Maciliel Send a private message to Maciliel Oct 12 2013, 1:21am
                                    Agree on this point Telpemairo Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 2:53am
                Why didn't the Ring get outta Dodge? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 1:10am
        Some stolen thoughts... Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Oct 8 2013, 4:15pm
            Thank you very much sador Send a private message to sador Oct 8 2013, 5:50pm
            Wonderful bit from the Reverend. Thank you! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 8 2013, 11:32pm
                Pervasive evil and holding back The Song Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Oct 9 2013, 4:01pm
                    Quiet evil versus Clear Evil Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 9 2013, 4:59pm
            What about illusion? Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Oct 11 2013, 7:15pm
                Beautiful thoughts, Terazed CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 11 2013, 9:37pm
                Art versus power Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 1:02am
    Apologies for my going MIA. A few general remarks: sador Send a private message to sador Oct 8 2013, 5:22pm
        Hullo Sador! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 8 2013, 11:48pm
            A 'companion' read to LOTR indeed Findegil Send a private message to Findegil Oct 9 2013, 1:11am
                Thank you so much for posting this information Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 9 2013, 4:01am
                Splendid! sador Send a private message to sador Oct 9 2013, 4:58am
                    You're welcome, Sador Findegil Send a private message to Findegil Oct 9 2013, 11:45am
    Frightful evil can and does arise ... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Oct 8 2013, 9:03pm
        Great set of quotes Furincurunir Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 8 2013, 11:53pm
        *Calls forth Boromir as witness* CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 11 2013, 9:12pm
    Dated morality CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 11 2013, 9:49pm
        Thoughts Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 11 2013, 10:22pm
            Morality - flexible or not? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 1:15am
                Relevant truth(pun intended) Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 12 2013, 2:18am
                    I Kant believe you would make a pholisophical pun Rem... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 2:30am
        Anarchistic monkey! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 2:47am
    Hmmm Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 11 2013, 10:15pm
        You say some of what I feebly attempted Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 11 2013, 10:25pm
        Roots of evil Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 12 2013, 2:42am
            re: roots Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 13 2013, 6:31am
                When helping becomes dominating Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Oct 15 2013, 12:37am
            Imposition of will... elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Oct 13 2013, 11:56am
                Perfectly understandable!! Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Oct 13 2013, 12:23pm
                    Yes... elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Oct 13 2013, 12:38pm

 
 
 

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