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While we're talking about the First and Second Ages...
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Curious
Half-elven

May 6 2007, 3:11am

Post #26 of 49 (74 views)
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Mom? Dad? [In reply to] Can't Post

I assume you are making a Time Bandits reference, but I'm not sure why.


Pallando
Lorien


May 6 2007, 4:17am

Post #27 of 49 (65 views)
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Thanks, C. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
tell Merry and Pippin about their adventures.

"Alas! I had heart only for myself,' said Gimli. Nay! I will not speak of that journey.

"He fell silent; but Pippin and Merry were so eager for news that at last Legolas said: I will tell you enough for your peace; for I felt not the horror, and I feared not the shadows of Men, powerless and frail as I deemed them.

"Swiftly then he told of the haunted road under the mountains, and the dark tryst at Erech, and the great ride thence, ninety leagues and three, to Pelargir on Anduin. Four days and nights, and on into a fifth, we rode from the Black Stone, he said. And lo! in the darkness of Mordor my hope rose; for in that gloom the Shadow Host seemed to grow stronger and more terrible to look upon.'"



__________________________________________
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 6 2007, 4:25am

Post #28 of 49 (67 views)
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Your... [In reply to] Can't Post

"remnants of the Great Darkness" reminded me of the lingering bits of Evil that the Supreme Being fails to clean up at the end, including the fatal piece of "Sunday joint" in the oven.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Detail from earliest version of Thror's MapTolkien Illustrated! Jan. 29-May 20: Visit the Reading Room to discuss art by John Howe, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith and others, including Tolkien himself.

Apr. 30-May 6: Post-Tolkienian Fantasy Art.


Curious
Half-elven

May 6 2007, 10:42am

Post #29 of 49 (56 views)
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Ah! Got it./ [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Stanislaus B.
The Shire

May 6 2007, 1:41pm

Post #30 of 49 (86 views)
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Replying to: What was the first "Great Darkness"? [In reply to] Can't Post

You assume that the Lord of the Rings uses the ancient history from the present Silmarillion. That is untrue. Lord of the Rings uses "Myths Transformed", as described in HoME. Among others, the allusion to elven children first seeing the dawn shows this quite clearly. In Myths Transformed, the Darkness of Morgoth was caused by covering the whole Middle-Earth by dark clouds etc.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 6 2007, 3:00pm

Post #31 of 49 (74 views)
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Welcome to the new boards! [In reply to] Can't Post

Good to see you made it here.

Your point does shake things up a bit. From Christopher Tolkien's introduction to the "Myths Transformed" section of Morgoth's Ring (vol. X of The History of Middle-earth):


Quote
In these writings can be read the record of a prolonged interior debate. Years before this time, the first signs have been seen of emerging ideas that if pursued would cause massive distrubance in The Silmarillion: I have shown, as I believe, that when my father first began to revise and rewrite the existing narratives of the Elder Days, before The Lord of the Rings was completed, he wrote a version of the Ainulindalë that introduced a radical transformation of the astronomical myth, but that for a time he stayed his hand (pp. 3-6, 43). But now, as will be seen in many of the essays and noted that follow, he had come to believe that such a vast upheaval was a necessity, that the cosmos of the old myth was no longer valid; and at the same time he was impelled ot try to construct a more secure 'theoretical' or 'systematic' basis for elements in the legendarium that were not to be dislodged. With their questionings, their certainties giving way to doubt, their contradictory resolutions these writings are to be read with a sense of intellectual and imaginative stress in the face of such a dismantling and reconstitution, believed to be an inescapable necessity, but never to be achieved.



The "now" that CT mentions above seems to be the late 1950s, after LotR was published -- is that correct? And how far had those 1948 changes gone? And how do they compare to the LotR passage you cite? And where did the cosmology stand when Tolkien passed the second edition for publication in 1965-66?

Speaking of your reference to LotR, it comes from "The Uruk-hai", as Merry and Pippin escape into Fangorn Forest:


Quote
He led the way in under the huge branches of the trees. Old beyond guessing, they seemed. Great trailing beards of lichen hung from them, blowing and swaying in the breeze. Out of the shadows the hobbits peeped, gazing back down the slope: little furtive figures that in the dim light looked like elf-children in the deeps of time peering out of the Wild Wood in wonder at their first Dawn.



Didn't Tolkien write that line years before undertaking even the first cosmological reworking mentioned above? In his J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia article, dna calls this a reference to Cuiviénen. But even if Tolkien had reimagined the elves awakening with the sun already in existence, why "children"?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Detail from earliest version of Thror's MapTolkien Illustrated! Jan. 29-May 20: Visit the Reading Room to discuss art by John Howe, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith and others, including Tolkien himself.

Apr. 30-May 6: Post-Tolkienian Fantasy Art.


Curious
Half-elven

May 6 2007, 4:49pm

Post #32 of 49 (56 views)
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Yes, welcome! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that late in life Tolkien considered abandoning the mythological astronomy of The Sil and Akallabeth, but what makes you think that he would have replaced it with a vast cloud from Morgoth? As I have noted, there are many manifestations of darkness in Tolkien's writings, and it isn't clear to me that Morgoth ever created the vast cloud of darkness we find in LotR. Am I missing something, or are you filling in the blanks?

The text of LotR remains ambiguous about the exact nature of the historical Great Darkness to which Treebeard refers. However since it has never been lifted from certain valleys in Fangorn, to me it does not seem to be a vast cloud. Although I suppose there could be remnants of a vast cloud hovering over certain valleys in Fangorn, like the black cloud that hovered over Joe Btfsplk in the Li'l Abner comic strip (now I really am dating myself!). See this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Btfsplk Alternatively, the darkness in those valleys could be more like the darkness of Mirkwood, or the darkness the huorns carried with them, or the tangible darkness vomited by Shelob and Ungoliant, or the darkness the Balrog carries with him.


Pallando
Lorien


May 7 2007, 3:06am

Post #33 of 49 (69 views)
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At this juncture, I can't abide... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that LotR is not derivative of the Sil. That Myths Transformed - the last chapter of Morgith's Ring - could be the precursor to LR (and the Hobbit presumably) puts most critical work on the legendarium on its ear. I don't think one can blithely turn JRR Tolkien's published work up-side-down in a single sentence and expect that to be accepted as such without some reasoning attached. Fact is, this notion you bring up of Myths Transformed is a subject in itself and deserves the same effort and discussion that went into this post I think. I just re-read it and at best, Myth's Transformed is nothing if not a study in ambiguity; and coming in at 61 pages *including* the references we're left with precious little to replace the Silmarillion.

The only other point I'll add against Myths Transformed as the actual precursor storyline, is to note that much or most of it derives from JRRT's sudden "cosmological crisis" in the early to mid '50's when I imagine he and his fellow Dons at Oxford were all seeing pictures of jets and a curved earth and the fusion bomb, and science became king. And Tolkien, bless 'em, just got a little temporary scientific paranoia. Suddenly (and irrationally) everything from the Doors of Night to the creation of a flat earth had to go. No matter that this is fantasy.

But in fantasy who cares if you turn a flower into the moon and a fruit into the sun if it's well written and internally consistent? Anything can happen in Boromir's world of "elves and half-elves and wizards" and trees that light the earth! That's why Tolkien is so appealing. And that world includes the Silmarillion as the start of it all.

P


__________________________________________
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?


squire
Valinor


May 7 2007, 3:51am

Post #34 of 49 (78 views)
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Stan the Man! [In reply to] Can't Post

It’s great to see you on the new boards.

I guess you are referring to the short note “Sun The Trees Silmarils” in the “Myths Transformed” section of HoME X, Morgoth’s Ring (p.389):

The Sun existed as part of the Kingdom of Arda. In so far as there was darkness (and diminishment of growth in Arda subsequently) when the Valar removed to Aman it was due to obscurations devised by Melkor: clouds and smokes (a volcanic era!).

Well, as NEB noted, I’m not sure it’s clear that Tolkien’s revised Silmarillion cosmology from the late 1940s and 1950s applies to the text of Lord of the Rings, which was written almost entirely in the early to mid-1940s. Treebeard’s references to the “Great Darkness”, though extremely unclear in their first draft appearances, originate in the winter of 1941-42 (see Treason of Isengard, pp. 415-16); while the note quoted above is dated by C. Tolkien as circa 1958.

More importantly:

One, the mechanism of the first Great Darkness caused by Morgoth, whether by the old or new mythology, doesn’t change the effect of it that Treebeard relates to readers of LotR: that there was a long-ago time of prolonged darkness without sunlight. In that time Evil got a grip on Middle-earth that it still has in places like deepest Fangorn and the Old Forest; and creatures appeared who shunned the light, such as orcs and trolls.

Two, on this issue (at least) Tolkien’s rejiggered cosmology really weakens a point I mention in my post: that Sauron’s darkness during the War of the Ring, generated by the smokes of Orodruin, is but a lesser imitation of that of his master, who extinguished the very lights of heaven. This was consistent with Sauron being a lesser Dark Lord throughout: Maia not Vala, challenging Numenor not Valinor, making a Ring to rule the Free Peoples, not making Arda itself his “Ring”, etc.

And I think Tolkien knew that his Myths Transformed were Myths Weakened. His weak crow that Melkor’s use of “clouds and smokes” to darken Arda seems to agree with some real prehistoric “volcanic era” clings to a reed that would betray him. Why ask science to validate Morgoth’s devices, but defy it to challenge the Elves’ immortality? As with Sam, so with Tolkien: “Though he had done his best to think it out, what he was doing was altogether against the grain of his nature”.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


FarFromHome
Valinor


May 7 2007, 9:51am

Post #35 of 49 (58 views)
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So what are we supposed to believe? [In reply to] Can't Post

That the events of Tolkien's mythology really happened as related, or that the people who told those stories believed they really happened? Maybe Tolkien wasn't as interested in making his world consistent with modern science as he was in making it consistent with the kinds of myths that people have really believed during the course of human history. And only after this, perhaps, does he consider how these beliefs might be based on things that really happened, in our own scientific view of the world - like the idea that Noah's flood was based on a real flood, for example, even though no Catholic of Tolkien's day would have believed that the details were accurate. Or like the Irish myths of the immortal ancient people, the Tuatha Dé Danaan, who really were (according to archaeological evidence) more advanced than the people who displaced them, leading these later tribes to ascribe magical powers and immortality to the older, disappeared race.

Personally I like to look at Tolkien's mythology through this extra distancing mechanism. It works for me as far as LotR and the Sil go. And with The Hobbit we even have an explicit reference in LotR to the fact that this is only one view of the story - and an inaccurate one at that, influenced by Bilbo's reluctance to tell the truth about the Ring (retrofitted, I know, but it shows that Tolkien wasn't averse to thinking of the "truth" of his stories as contingent on the views of the people who told them.)

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Curious
Half-elven

May 7 2007, 3:00pm

Post #36 of 49 (59 views)
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Thanks for the cite! What I find interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

is that the reference to the Great Darkness in LotR is ambiguous enough that either the fantastical or the more scientific version would work. I also find it interesting that in both cases the Darkness itself would be literal, not merely metaphorical. Treebeard's reference to the Great Darkness having never been lifted from some valleys of Fangorn therefore could also be literal, although I'm not sure what manifestation it would take.

In LotR Tolkien was able to use ambiguity so that most magic could be reimagined with a scientific explanation. However he had not used the same kind of ambiguity when he wrote The Silmarillion, and it was hard to retrofit such ambiguity onto those myths. Children of Hurin, however, does make use of such ambiguity. Glaurung could just be a large beast, Turin could be a headstrong man, Gurthang could be a strong sword, the pestilence that kills Turin's sister could just be pestilence, Hurin could just be an ordinary prisoner bound to his high seat, and even Morgoth could be a lame general. Unlike in Tuor's story, we never see Ulmo rise from the waves -- instead we get a very indirect report of Ulmo's message, which Turin doubts, and persuades others to doubt. I find it interesting that Children of Hurin is the one story from The Sil which Tolkien came closest to completing. Maybe it was because it was the one story in which he could maintain deliberate ambiguity.


Pallando
Lorien


May 8 2007, 1:08am

Post #37 of 49 (38 views)
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Well, [In reply to] Can't Post

The origins of 'what really happened' as you ask comes from several places. Ultimately of course everything emanated from JRR Tolkien but some large amount is also presented (edited) by his son Christopher. But I don't think that is your real question here.

In the main, I don't think anyone believes the stories (Tolkien's legendarium) literally or really happened. There are no "cults" of which I'm aware that take this as a "religion" which you seemingly imply as a possibility. So we go to the books and in them we find Tolkien has arranged that many of these stories have come from Bilbo and his "Red Books" (that were completed by Frodo and Sam) and re-scribed a number of times as told in the Appendixes. But Tolkien never implied that Bilbo and Frodo captured the Silmarillion in his red books...possibly some stories, as Bilbo's sources were only the living Elves of his day. The only Calaquendi (High Elf who had lived in Aman) on Middle Earth at that time with this access would be Galadriel. All other elves during Bilbo's time were born here. And there is no indication that Bilbo spent considerable if any time with Galadriel. But Elves are said to be typically knowledgeable on their own history and Bilbo could certainly fill a book or two on the subject of the early days.

The rest, including that which is in the Aindulindale and the Valequenta I have no idea whether the High Elves or indeed any elves are aware, but I doubt whether these stories, were known by Bilbo. If true, then this early mythology comes from Tolkien only and we have to accept it like we accept the contents of any novel.

Regarding your comments about changing the story for consistency, it is said by his son that around the time the LotR was published, JRRT decided he wanted the early Sil to be consistent with science, particularly "cosmogony" (the origins of the earth, sun, solar system and universe), and thereby somewhat consistent with other legendariums as you point out. Tolkien was very keen on the legendariums of other cultures, in fact he was smitten in his belief that all peoples had their legends except the English, whose were stolen or destroyed by the Normans in or after their 1066 conquest, and that was one of the main motivations of his work.

P


__________________________________________
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?


FarFromHome
Valinor


May 8 2007, 8:15am

Post #38 of 49 (43 views)
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Well, no [In reply to] Can't Post

of course I didn't mean that anyone is expected to actually "believe" that Tolkien's legendarium really happened. What I'm asking is what we are meant to "make believe" really happened - are we meant to engage with the story like any other novel, or can we imagine that this story is something told by narrators who see the world differently than we do, and therefore are telling of things that would seem quite different if they happened in front of our own eyes?

Here's an excerpt from a BBC interview from 1971 (G. is the interviewer, T. of course is Tolkien):

G: I thought that conceivably Midgard might be Middle-earth or have some connection?

T: Oh yes, they're the same word. Most people have made this mistake of thinking Middle-earth is a particular kind of Earth or is another planet of the science fiction sort but it's just an old fashioned word for this world we live in, as imagined surrounded by the Ocean.

G: It seemed to me that Middle-earth was in a sense as you say this world we live in but at a different era.

T: No ... at a different stage of imagination, yes.

That's the point I'm trying to get at - that Middle-Earth is our world but seen by people whose view of the world is different from ours. There are many ways of making "sense" of a fundamentally chaotic and senseless world, but they all refer to the same basic principles of the natural world. Where we might see an underground volcanic vent that occasionally spews forth fire, ancient peoples might have seen a fire-demon who occasionally wakes and attacks. I happened to see a discussion on another board recently, speculating why the Balrog, being such a powerful creature, didn't go off rampaging all over Middle-Earth. The reason, from Tolkien's perspective, I think, is that fire-demons are constrained by the fact that they're "really" (i.e. in our modern scientific understanding) volcanic eruptions of some kind. Tolkien never spells this out, in fact he seems not to want to draw our attention to it at all, and yet he limits himself in this way, rarely straying beyond the bounds of what ancient people might really have believed existed, based on what they saw in this, our own world.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.

(This post was edited by FarFromHome on May 8 2007, 8:16am)


Pallando
Lorien


May 8 2007, 6:34pm

Post #39 of 49 (37 views)
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Well, sorry [In reply to] Can't Post

for misunderstanding your question. But you did say

"...are we supposed to believe...Tolkien's mythology really happened as related..."

I assumed you were being metaphorical in your question, not that you actually thought it might have actually happened. But I think if you can look past that misunderstanding you'll find at least part of your answer there, especially in how the story was passed down starting with Bilbo's Red Books. As you ask in your second post, yes, it's mostly through Bilbo's eyes from which we get most of what we have. And yes, a Hobbit will have a different world view than you or me - but we know it's really Tolkien's. In either event, that is the vehicle that Tolkien wants us to use in understanding how the LotR came about. The Sil is another beast indeed, though Bilbo did write about the First Age. Trouble is, we only get glimpses of what he says or knows of it, mostly through his and Sam's poems, where Bilbo is the source.

But if that's still too far off in answering your question, consider two items that Tolkien himself has said in his Letters. First he wrote that he felt the Shire was historically the Midlands of England long ago, reminding him of his youth in the 'country'. This would imply that Middle-Earth is really our earth in times past... and he does not deny that idea.

Also he wanted desperately for England to have its own mythology and the Sil was that going to be. So with this additional reference, there is no doubt that it's this earth he's speaking of in his legendarium.

An interesting etymological note on the term "legendarium". From what I have seen, Tolkien was about the only person to have used the term and that he likely made it up. Every reference I've seen with it had as an example "Tolkien's legendarium"!

Anyway I'm still not sure I answered your question.

P


__________________________________________
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


May 8 2007, 6:54pm

Post #40 of 49 (40 views)
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Is _The Silmarillion_ Tolkien's "published work"? [In reply to] Can't Post

No more so than Morgoth's Ring, I would say. Possibly less so, as it includes interpollation by his son and Guy Kay.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Detail from earliest version of Thror's MapTolkien Illustrated! Jan. 29-May 20: Visit the Reading Room to discuss art by John Howe, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith and others, including Tolkien himself.

Apr. 30-May 6: Post-Tolkienian Fantasy Art.


FarFromHome
Valinor


May 9 2007, 7:55am

Post #41 of 49 (41 views)
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Well my question wasn't so much metaphorical [In reply to] Can't Post

as rhetorical! Wink

But you've expressed very clearly a lot of what I was trying to hint at, so thank you!

My theory, I guess, is that Tolkien actually wants us to think of what he wrote as being only the remnants of a "reality" that existed long ago, but was expressed in a different form than we would use today (monsters and so on representing things that might have a scientific explanation for us) because the people then were in a "different stage of imagination" from us. That's why, in my view, he shows us that Bilbo, Frodo and Sam all have authorship of parts of the story, and also tells us that the works passed through various scribes in Gondor too. So although it's true that Tolkien made it all up, I don't think he wants us to imagine him as the "author" of the stories, but just as their transmitter, like the writers who transcribed and/or translated the real legends of the past.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Pallando
Lorien


May 9 2007, 5:19pm

Post #42 of 49 (27 views)
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Well put... [In reply to] Can't Post

and I agree pretty much agree with that view of things.

P


__________________________________________
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?


Stanislaus B.
The Shire

May 9 2007, 6:38pm

Post #43 of 49 (32 views)
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Double meaning [In reply to] Can't Post

This double meaning - material and spiritual - Tolkien got from Barfield, according to whom all words originally meant both; there was no distinction. This is quite important topic in philosophy. Paul Ricoeur wrote about this in "The Symbolism of Evil.". Voegelin called this compact as opposed to differentiated meaning.

And thanks for welcome!


FarFromHome
Valinor


May 10 2007, 7:00am

Post #44 of 49 (23 views)
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Thank you for this information on Barfield [In reply to] Can't Post

I had no idea that one of the Inklings had written on this very topic. A quick Google search popped up this page, which makes quite explicit some of the thinking I have always sensed behind Tolkien's approach to writing. I especially noticed this:

The idea that the earliest languages were "born literal" -- exhibiting purely material meanings that were subsequently extended to the immaterial through metaphor -- is confused and self-contradictory. "What we call literalness is a late stage in a long-drawn-out historical process." Anyone who tries to retain the supposed literalness of scientism "is either unaware of, or is deliberately ignoring, that real and figurative relation between man and his environment, out of which the words he is using were born and without which they could never have been born." ("The Meaning of `Literal,'" in The Rediscovery of Meaning and Other Essays)

I think I have some more reading to do!

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Pallando
Lorien


May 10 2007, 8:02pm

Post #45 of 49 (25 views)
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To FFH and Stanaslaus: of the Inkling quote above... [In reply to] Can't Post

... the part of your quote: "Anyone who tries to retain..." Sorry, but I just can't grasp what the author is trying to say. It interests me as a scientist, but frustrates me because I have no clue. I retain, or believe in, the literalness of most scientific thought I come across (except politico-scientism ), but whats' that got to do with ignoring "real and figurative relations" whatever they may be.

Is this philoso-speak or is something important being said?

P


__________________________________________
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?


FarFromHome
Valinor


May 10 2007, 9:35pm

Post #46 of 49 (24 views)
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I'm no expert in this field [In reply to] Can't Post

but I think the point that is being made is that the literal view of the world that scientists use is not the only possible view - in other words, if you only look at the obvious, measurable surface of something, you will fail to see the imaginative, deeper aspects of that thing, whatever it is, and these other aspects are very important to the way we view the world. So a scientist can tell you all about a lark's breeding habits, for example, but if you want to experience what a lark really is in a deeper way, you need Shelley's Ode to a Skylark, or Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending.

I don't think the author is suggesting that science's view is wrong, just that it's incomplete. The author seems to be criticizing 'scientism' which, according to some definitions I found here, seems to mean the idea that the scientific method is the only valid way to view the world.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Stanislaus B.
The Shire

May 11 2007, 5:36pm

Post #47 of 49 (41 views)
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Barfield's idea [In reply to] Can't Post

What he wanted to say, more or less, is that scientific view of the world is not something given or basic. To the contrary, it is an abstraction which is rather remote from the actual facts of life. Specifically, what science calls "facts" are only a tiny subsection of all actual facts, most of which are rejected by science out of hand. In short, scientific facts are actually high level abstractions - it doesn't make them any less true.

Science can be true (in its own territory), but it requires unprovable assumptions. And so, when we attempt to use science to disprove some basic life experience (eg that people have free will) we are trying to use remote abstraction to disprove directly percepted facts. This is scientism, and it is rather irrational procedure.

Barfield wants to begin with facts of life, such as they are percepted, and he notices, that originally darkness and ignorance, stain and sin are one thing, not two different similar things.

William Blake "Milton"

http://www.blakearchive.org/exist/blake/archive/transcription.xq?objectid=milton.c.illbk.30&java=yes

05
The Sky is an immortal Tent built by the Sons of Los 06
And every Space that a Man views around his dwelling-place. 07
Standing on his own roof, or in his garden on a mount 08
Of twenty-five cubits in height. such space is his Universe; 09
And on its verge the Sun rises & sets. the Clouds bow 10
To meet the flat Earth & the Sea in such an orderd Space: 11
The Starry heavens reach no further but here bend and set 12
On all sides & the two Poles turn on their valves of gold: 13
And if he move his dwelling-place. his heavens also move. 14
Wher'eer he goes & all his neighbourhood bewail his loss: 15
Such are the Spaces called Earth & such its dimension: 16
As to that false appearance which appears to the reasoner. 17
As of a Globe rolling thro Voidness, it is a delusion of Ulro 18
The Microscope knows not of this nor the Telescope, they alter 19
The ratio of the Spectators Organs but leave Objects untouchd 20
For every Space larger than a red Globule of Mans blood, 21
Is visionary: and is created by the Hammer of Los 22
And every Space smaller than a Globule of Mans blood. opens 3
Into Eternity of which this vegetable Earth is but a shadow;


Pallando
Lorien


May 11 2007, 7:44pm

Post #48 of 49 (20 views)
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What I'm hearing is... [In reply to] Can't Post

... several interpretations. FFH interprets Barfield as saying basically that science's view is incomplete and then refers to some negative definitions (if you look close enough) that imply that "science" as exemplified by the scientific method (hypothesis/experiment/conclusion) is intrinsically vain and so another (belittling) name is invented for anarchists and ultralefties to use and that is "scientism". The fellow traveler vernacular's "clue words" are sprinkled about the definitions in FFH's link: "are just as suitable", "alone confers legitimacy", "method of the typical natural scientist", FFH is kinder and says there is more than the h/e/c method to really understanding and that is true.

Stanislaus takes that a few steps further and that science is not a "basic" view of the world, but rather only a small part of it, and the rest science simply rejects. Stanislaus goes on to interpret Barfield that science will try to use facts to discredit things not in science's domain, for example, free will. I think that if that happens, then science is being misused. It needs to stay on its own grounds to be legitimate. I can agree with Barfield (and probably Stanislaus) on that.

Thanks, much for the clarification.

P


__________________________________________
For I also am a steward. Did you not know?


FarFromHome
Valinor


May 12 2007, 3:54pm

Post #49 of 49 (46 views)
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You should go with Stanislaus' explanation over mine. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was just guessing, based on the few quotations I found. StanB obviously understands the topic in some depth.

I don't see how we can ever prove Barfield's proposition that the real and metaphorical meanings of a word were originally one and the same, or as StanB puts it, "originally darkness and ignorance, stain and sin are one thing, not two different similar things." But if this is a concept that Tolkien was familiar with (as he must have been since Barfield was an Inkling), then I think it's valid to consider that Tolkien may have been using this concept to create the ambiguity that we often notice in his world. Which would mean that you can't distinguish between "darkness" as a metaphor for ignorance, and physical darkness. The two are blended together inextricably.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.

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