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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Some passing similarities between Emmanuel Swedenborg and Tolkien


Jun 20, 7:22pm

Post #1 of 1 (877 views)
Some passing similarities between Emmanuel Swedenborg and Tolkien Can't Post

Just a weekend idea...not fully formed but I found some common aspects.


Emmanuel Swedenborg was a scientist, philosopher,theologian and mystic who recorded profound dream experiences that "culminated in a "spiritual awakening" in which he received a revelation that he was appointed by Jesus Christ to write The Heavenly Doctrine to reform Christianity.[6]"

J.R.R. Tolkien also experienced some profound dreams, for example his Atlantean nightmare of the a wave crashing over the country and The Notion Club Papers.

"This legend or myth or dim memory of some ancient history has always troubled me. In sleep I had the dreadful dream of the ineluctable Wave, either coming out of the quiet sea, or coming in towering over the green inlands. It still occurs occasionally, though now exorcized by writing about it. It always ends by surrender, and I awake gasping out of deep water. I used to draw it or write bad poems about it."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 257

Both expressed a religious outlook but in a very different manner. Swedenborg was proclaiming his visions. Tolkien was infusing his story with themes, some in direct opposition to his RCC outlook...i.e. magic and other pagan symbols....as part of his "pre-history"..

"Angels look indescribably beautiful. Love radiates from their faces, from their speech, from every detail of their behavior. Heaven and Hell #17" Swedenborg

Rather similar to the Valar or high elves.

"Swedenborg goes on to say that God created the universe out of his eternal essence, and all things in the universe reflect a divine design that leads back to love and wisdom.............This design is in its purest form in the spiritual world, where the angels form communities that perform these functions for the benefit of all beings. Those who prefer to live only for their own selfish concerns remove themselves from the design and consign themselves to hell.."

Not too different from the Silmarillion where Eru created the unvierse....music....with the help of his valar / angels....and some chose discord...Morgoth / Sauron etc.....hell.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Jun 20, 7:25pm)


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