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Thread: Eru's thoughts (Ainur)

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Ok, now what about Orcs then? They aren't completely mindless puppets, Morgoth put foward some of his might into his creations, so they could have some sort of will? Although though their will was bent towards Morgoths cause.


As I understand it the orcs weren't created by Melkor, they were bred from elves and men and were corrupted into what became orcs who probably then just bred more of the same.
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Ok, now what about Orcs then? They aren't completely mindless puppets, Morgoth put foward some of his might into his creations, so they could have some sort of will? Although though their will was bent towards Morgoths cause.

He created them from Elves, so of course they have free will, just evil free will. Everything they do, is directed towards destroying Elves (an honourable reason of existence, imo) because of Morgoth's will. Sauron did the same with his minions : notice his armies lost direction a bit at the Morannon after their boss got toppled.
I never REALLY understood that bit. I always wondered why the Orcs didn't fight on to avenge their master, like the goblins in the mountains did. Maybe because Sauron was a tyrant, and not one of them, and the Great Goblin was at least a Goblin.
Speaking of free will, I find it amazing how people would follow a leader, even if they don't always agree with him. People always need someone as a leader. I can't fight a real life example like the one in "Fight Club" (Individual organisations, capable of operating without any central leadership). Oh well, maybe 19 years is too short time anyways!!
Most of the time people follow others because they are too afraid to do otherwise; or even if they don't agree, they just haven't devised actions of their own. Also, what individual organization acted without central leadership in Fight Club? The entire organization was based around the central leadership of a schizophrenic or a person with a split personality disorder.
There are many reasons why people follow a leader. Charismatic leadership, the current situation of the follower as a person, company, or country. There are many dynamics here. It is a mix.

For those still in school or selecting new classes for the next semester: try organizational psychology.
Or watch The Experiment on BBC. To the psychologists chock and horror, the participants in the experiment was at the end moving towards a totalitarian, fascist society, and the experiment was aborted.

Short sum up: People in a power-vacuum or situation with a lot of uncertainty WILL ALWAYS seek leadership. They will even accept subjecting then self to an totalitarian dictator in order to obtain systen amd order. Which makes democracy something a lot more fragile than anyone expected.

Aunty Beeb have had a spring cleaning, and I couldn't find the page.
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There are many reasons why people follow a leader. Charasimtic leadership, the current situation of the follower person, compan, or country. There are many dynamics here. It is a mix.


I agree, there are many reasons people follow others. I was speaking more to the point Floyd made about why people would follow someone they disagree with...fear is the most likely suspect.
Or mass hysteria or dynamics of the mass. We had enough of that when a politician got murdered here... I think our country never got the same after that.
A tiny comment about this:
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We surely cannot grasp the concept of an infinite universe. Consider this. We make theories about how earth was formed. How our solar system came to be. How the life began on earth. Can anyone ever make a judgement about how the galaxies came to be? The stars, the planets, they're all made of some matter. Can anyone ever explain how that matter came into existance? No.

The only thing we are really cluless about is the nature of life. We know how galaxies are formed. And galaxy clusters. And super clusters, aka "cosmic strings".

The build up of matter is known. (nucleosynthesis) Light can turn into matter (and anti-matter) in a process called pair production. Matter is not quite as solid as we think. It consists of mostly empty space. You have never tuched your keyboard, or anything else for that matter. The macroscopic world we live in has only 2 fundamental forces, gravity and the electrical force. Gravity keeps us on the ground and makes galaxies etc, all else is due to the electrical force. Colour. Taste. Light. Solidity. Opacity. Structure. How something feel. Is it smooth or rough? You never touch it. You only feel the electrical force between your fingers and the object.

I would say there is nothing unexplainable with the natural world. Althoug a lot of the explanations are still hidden from us, there is no reason to think it impossible to find them.

How the human mind works, however, now that is a mystery. Smile Smilie
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Or mass hysteria or dynamics of the mass. We had enough of that when a politician got murdered here... I think our country never got the same after that.


Very true -- and mass hysteria and dynamics of the masses are usual powered by the fear of chaos. Oh, and perhaps embarrassment or guilt, I suppose (which is the reason many soldiers went to war during the Vietnam draft even if they disagreed with it). But, I suppose it also could be seen as the fear of what others would think of them if they didn't "do their duty" (especially authority figures, such as parents, or their own conscience/superego).
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I would say there is nothing unexplainable with the natural world. Although a lot of the explanations are still hidden from us, there is no reason to think it impossible to find them.

How the human mind works, however, now that is a mystery.


Unless of course you are of the school of thought or religion where the natural world is purely seen as a projection of the human mind Smile Smilie
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Unless of course you are of the school of thought or religion where the natural world is purely seen as a projection of the human mind

Ah! Smile Smilie But oddly enough even such strange quantum theories result in an "world" which follows certain rules, and these rules can be observed thus revealing the system behind it. Basically, you don't need to know how the computer work in order understand the rules of solitaire. Wink Smilie

If you were thinking philosophy more than quantum physics, me myself quite liked Kants view.
To go as far as Descartes only makes you doubt the point of getting out of bed. Or am I still sleeping? Hmmm..
Hmmm...unfortunately, I don't know a lot about Kant, but I was thinking more along the lines of Plato, Blake and Hinduism (that's it...not much Smile Smilie, just a philosophical, mystical and religious sense).

I think there are systems to many things, but the human mind does seem to be a bit out of reach...at least one might hope -- if (unlike Descartes) we believe it is tied to the soul.
Descartes, Kant.... reminds me of the Monty Python song.... The Philosopher's Song (I think)(therefore I might be)

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Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
Who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy begger
Who could drink you under the table.
David Hume could out-consume,
Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel.
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nietzche couldn't teach ya
'bout the raising of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say could stick it away,
Half a crate of whiskey everyday.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a @*$$"! for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And René DesCartes was a drunken fart
"I drink, therefore I am."

Socrates himself is particularly missed.
A lovely little thinker but a @*$$"! when he's pissed.


Have we wandered off topic, do you think?
Love that song, Vee! Ha Ha Ha Smilie

Off topic? Nah, perhaps we could add Eru into the song, then it would link up perfectly well to the Silmarillion. Man, what was he on!? Smile Smilie
Well they know the universe is constantly expanding, hence it being infinite! What exactly is it expanding into? That is a question humans may never figure out.
It is not expanding into anything. Everything that exist is IN the universe => "outside the universe" doesn't exist. Smile Smilie

It can't become larger than infinite, so what we really mean when we say it expands is that the "scaling-parameter" of the universe increases. The distance between any two points in space will increase. When you are on one point in space, say the Earth, you will see all the stars and galaxies moving away from you, faster and faster, like they where blasted away by a explosion. (not the Big Bang, but something unknown kalled "dark energy" or "Vacuum energy")

If you go sit on one of these stars moving avay from us, you will there see the same thing: everything is moving away from you.

Given enough time the universe will expand so much that the distances between the stars etc. will be so great that the sky would be completely black and they would feel completely alone..... Sad Smilie
Theories, theories, theories. Bla, bla, bla. Look at us : we can barely reach the moon. We're stuck on this third rock from the sun for all eternity. Our eternal prison.

The only chance you got, is getting abducted by aliens from the planet Crackpot.
Virumor, you should show more respect to your home planet! ...I'm sure planet Crackpot couldn't have been that bad Smile Smilie
And Eru willing, we won't have to wake up one morning confronted by the announcement that this tiny, insignicant rock we have called our home, is today scheduled for demolishment in order to make way for a hyperspace by-pass.
Nice tie-in back to the Silmarillion, Grondmaster. Smile Smilie
OK. Things seem to have gone a bit quiet around here, so I thought I'd stir things up a little.

Let's see then. Hmm. After reading the opening chapters of the Silmarillion 4 times, going through the Assignment 1 in the Silmarillion Reading Discussion Groups thread and also this very thread, I've got things to say.

Since we're currently talking about free will here, I'll continue with it.

In the opening chapters of the Silmarillion, there is a mention of Arda reaching it's true potential before the end. (Please also see my posts in the Assignment 1 and Assignment 2, as they might also be worth a mention in this thread.)

I recently had a chat with Val and it brought up some interesting points. Now, here's a part of the chat log about this "True potential of Arda" topic:

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Valedhelgwath The true potential of Ea was the vision Eru had without the interference Melkor played
Valedhelgwath So it's final form is the mended, unmarred world
Valedhelgwath Prior to that, however, there is the Final Battle in which Melkor once again comes back with all of his allies
Valedhelgwath and the Gates of Mandos pour open releasing all of the Man and elves etc, to do a final battle
Valedhelgwath In this battle Melkor is eventually slain by Turin Turumbar
Valedhelgwath The dwarfs then assist Aule in rebuilding Ea
b]Valedhelgwath All of that, by the way, is described in one short sentance in HOME and nowhere else
floyd_n_milan in which age is this suppose to happen?
floyd_n_milan i mean what you just told me?
Valedhelgwath Tolkien doesn't mention ages beyond the 4th
Valedhelgwath I'd guess...
Valedhelgwath It's either theend of the 4th... The age of men


Now, Val was kind enough to get me the exact post on this:

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It comes mainly from a note in Morgoth's Ring...

"This is a reference to the Second Prophecy of Mandos....

Then shall the last battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Melko, and on his right shall stand Fionwe (Eonwe) and on his left Turin Turambar, son of Hurin, Conqueror of Fate, coming from the Halls of Mandos; and it shall be the black sword of Turin that deals unto Melko his death and final end; and so shall the children of Hurin and all Men be avenged"

That is the mention of Turin's part.. The role of the Dwarves appears someplace else. There are several scattered references to the The End, the Last Battle (Dagor Dagorath) etc. I cannot place the exact reference to the Dwarves part, or the Hall of Mandos emptying for this battle, but I do recall reading it someplace.


And then he followed up with:

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It is a note about a reference made in an early version of the Quenta Silmarillion which is talking about the Menelmacar star constellation (Swordsman of the Sky, or Orion) which was supposed to represent Turin.


Now I don't know the "Menelmacar star constellation (Swordsman of the Sky, or Orion)" part, because I'm still only on "Of The Flight Of The Noldor", but I thought better to quote this too.

Please also refer to the Saruman thread. I also talked about Saruman to Val. Here's the log :

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floyd_n_milan oh and just a small little question about Saruman's death
Valedhelgwath yes
floyd_n_milan i read that thread
floyd_n_milan and there's a mention
floyd_n_milan that his spirit wasn't allowed to go back to the halls of Mandos
floyd_n_milan so what would exactly happen to Saruman?
floyd_n_milan his spirit i mean
Valedhelgwath I think he wasn't allowed back at that precise time, nor for a long time, but he would after a long time be allowed to return
Valedhelgwath If they let Melkor back after eons of being chained, I'm sure Saruman would eventually be allowed hom
floyd_n_milan then where would his spirit be during all that time?
Valedhelgwath Wandering, lonely, and lost... powerless to to anything
Valedhelgwath Fitting punishment
b]Valedhelgwath Some might disagree and say he was never allowed back, but I think he would


I hope you've read the Assignment 2. Now, looking at the situation with Mandos, can we assume for a minute here that Eru knows as that's happening and all that is going to happen in the Middle Earth?

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floyd_n_milan whatever's happening is happening according to Eru's will
Valedhelgwath Saruman may have seen it coming, but Men were not in the Music at all, and by interacting with them, his own future may have become clouded to him
Valedhelgwath In the 3rd theme Eru played a lot of melodies to counter Melkor and his allies
Valedhelgwath Men were his instruments to an extent
floyd_n_milan free will
floyd_n_milan that's where it all comes down
Valedhelgwath Some events seem to be pre-ordained by him to mess up Melkor's plans
floyd_n_milan but then again
floyd_n_milan Melkor could also be just acting according to Eru's vision
Valedhelgwath Except Eru seems to be countering what Melkor is trying to do with the music
Valedhelgwath Remember the music came before the vision
floyd_n_milan yeah
floyd_n_milan and Eru just showed them a vision from the music
floyd_n_milan was Melkor also shown the vision?
Valedhelgwath Yes... and each Valar tended to see only the parts they had created themselves
floyd_n_milan i somehow find myself questioning the whole existance of Melkor
floyd_n_milan i mean
floyd_n_milan he's got a part in all the Valar's powers
Valedhelgwath It is a starnge concept which JRR created, and I'm not utterly convinced he expected it to stand up to close scrutiny
floyd_n_milan Melkor, i think seems to be created for the whole purpose of opposing it seems, by Eru
floyd_n_milan then again
floyd_n_milan the Valar created the music based on what they had, of which the source was Eru himself
floyd_n_milan so in a way
floyd_n_milan it would seem that
floyd_n_milan Eru merely made them sing for his own thoughts or whatever
Valedhelgwath Or to create a world for his Children
floyd_n_milan then where's the free will of his children?
floyd_n_milan it would all seem like Eru was watching the Valar create a movie for him
floyd_n_milan based on his own script
Valedhelgwath I think they have free will, but he gave some of them the opportunity to go there own way
floyd_n_milan the children?
Valedhelgwath This seems to be the case with certain heros such as Aragorn, Frodo etc
Valedhelgwath They have choises presented to them
Valedhelgwath Eru provided the paths but they choose to take them or not
Valedhelgwath How many Frodo's failed to take the Ring to destroy... Did Isisldur not make the right choise, did not Gollum etc
Valedhelgwath How many other Men failed to do what Earendil did?
Valedhelgwath Eru gave men choises to follow his paths, but perhaps had contingancies in case they chose not to
Valedhelgwath Haw may Chieftains of the North failed to make the choises Aragorn made for instance?
Valedhelgwath Five Istari, in case a few fail


So, in the end, to what extent do we consider the free will? If Saruman had been acting according to Eru's plans, why should he be banned? If Mandos knows all, shouldn't Saruman be allowed to his halls? The A B C D plan mentioned here earlier comes into picture here again and also does the whole "Comic book" explaination. Do we look at this "free will" topic as a combination of both?
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Val wrote:
It is a note about a reference made in an early version of the Quenta Silmarillion which is talking about the Menelmacar star constellation (Swordsman of the Sky, or Orion) which was supposed to represent Turin.

Misgy asked:
Now I don't know the "Menelmacar star constellation (Swordsman of the Sky, or Orion)" part, because I'm still only on "Of The Flight Of The Noldor", but I thought better to quote this too.


I actually do. In one of my stories this prophecy plays a role. Val, I am a bit lost where I read about that, can you tell me where it is mentioned... please? Smile Smilie

Regarding Saruman's spirit. He is a maiar and a maiar does not pass the halls of Mandos or dwells there. Their fate, like the elves is sundered from the ones that do end up in the Halls of Mandos. I researched the fate of the spirits that pass through the halls of Mandos a while ago, but I do not have it currently here. I will dig it up one of these days..
There have been many discussions on free will - is it or isn't it? Several theories are reasonable.

However, does free will depend on randomness? Are the actions that certain characters take random thus indicating free will or does what went before effect those actions? The fact that Eru knew what would happen does not mean he controlled it. It means he knew what went before and how it would effect those future actions. Therefore, those actions are not random but part of a pattern. Our problem is that with our puny mortal human brains we are simply unable to see the patterns as Eru can.
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I actually do. In one of my stories this prophecy plays a role. Val, I am a bit lost where I read about that, can you tell me where it is mentioned... please?


In the Silmarillion, Of the Coming of the elves and the captivity of Melkor it says of Varda...
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Carnil and Luinil, Nenar and Lumbar, Alcarinque and Elemmire she wrought in that time, and many other of the ancient stars she gathered together and set as signs in the heavens of Arda: Wilwarin, Telumendil, Soronume, and Anarrima; and Menelmacar with his shinning belt, that forbodes the Last Battle that shall be the end of days.


In an earlier version of this story, however, from the Annals of Aman, it says...
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And many other ancient stars she gathered together and set as signs in the Heavens of Arda. The greatest of these was Menelmakar, the Swordsman of the Sky. This it is said, was a sign of Turin Turamabar, who should come into the world, and a foreshowing of the Last Battle that shall be at the end of days.


The note about Turin being the slayer of Melkor refers to an earlier text, the Quenta Noldorinwa, which was written in 1930. That particular text I haven't run across yet, but it may be in one of the earlier HOME books which I haven't read yet.
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The note about Turin being the slayer of Melkor refers to an earlier text, the Quenta Noldorinwa, which was written in 1930. That particular text I haven't run across yet, but it may be in one of the earlier HOME books which I haven't read yet.


I found this in HOME part 1

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Thus spake Mandos in prophecy, when the Gods sat in judgement in Valinor, and the rumour of his words was whispered among all the Elves of the West. When the world is old and the Powers grow weary, then Morgoth, seeing that the guard sleepeth, shall come back through the Door of Night out of the Timeless Void; and he shall destroy the Sun and Moon. But Earendel shall descend upon him as a white and searing flame and drive him from the airs. Then shall the Last Battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with morgoth, and on his right hand shall be Fionwe, and on his left Turin Turambar, son of Hurin, coming from the halls of Mandos; and the black sword of Turin shall deal unto Morgoth his death and final end; and so shall the children of Hurin and all Men be avenged.

Thereafter shall Earth be broken and re-made, and the Silmarils shall be recovered out of Air and Earth and Sea; for Earendel shall descend and surrender that flame which he hath had in keeping. Then Feanor shall take the Three Jewels and bear them to Yavanna Palurien; and she will break them and with their fire rekindle the Two Trees, and a great light shall come forth. And the Mountains of Valinor shall be levelled, so that the Light shall go out over all the world. In that light the Gods will grow young again, and the Elves awake and all their dead arise, and the purpose of Iluvatar be fulfilled concerning them. But of Men in that day the prophecy of Mandos doth not speak, and no Man it names, save Turin only, and to him a place is given among the sons of the Valar.
Thanks for that Vee. I've been trying to source that passage for a while. Maybe I should pay more attention to the Books of Lost Tales in future.

Coming from such an early version of the Silmarillion, however, this whole story is something JRR seems to have omitted in all of his later revisions. In a way this is a real shame because it is a really nice story, and a fitting ending to to the Turin saga. Many Tolkien experts would at this stage totally dismiss the tale as something that had been amended long ago, and was therefore not valid. In my opinion, however, this is not the case. In many instances, as JRR rewrote versions of the Silmarillion, his later events not only superceeded what had been written before, but they actually changed the earlier events. This is not the case with this particular tale. At no later stage did he change the events of the Last Battle and the End, he just left them out. To me, particularly as I like the story, I think of it as a missing gem rather than something which did not happen.
Guys, you are AMAZING. You wouldn't BELIEVE how much I have learnt from reading the last page of thsi thread alone. I havd no IDEA about the whole Turin thingy. You see, I haven't read the HOME series, because i just CAN'T GET MY HANDS ON THEM!!!!! But over the years, I'm going to beg my mum to buy me a book each Christmas and birthday. But not THIs christmas. I've already begged for Tree and Leaf and the Father Christmas letters, which will have to be shipped from Pommyland. Thanks. But now is the time for ME to pitch in, on a different note.

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Valedhelgwath Five Istari, in case a few fail


But four istari DID fail. *dashes inside to get her copy of the Unfinished Tales* And there were more than five, by the way.
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Of this Order the number is unknown; but of those that came to the North of Middle-earth....the chiefs were five.


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Indeed of all the Istari, one only remained faithful, and he was the last-comer. For Radagast, the fourth, became enamoured of the many beasts and irds that dwelt in Middle-earth, and forsook Elves and Men, and spent his days among the wild creatures. THus he got his name....And Curunis 'Lân, Saruman the White, fell from his high errand, and becoming proud and impatient and enamoured of power sought to have his own will by force, and to oust Sauron; but he was ensnared by that dark spirit, mightier than he.


Then there's a great deal about how great Gandalf was, and hwo no one knows what happened to the Blue WIzards, but they failed also anyways.
Here are a few words I found in Tolkien's Letter #181 (which is as far into them as I've gotten as of last night) which I think also speaks to free will and predestination as written in his then as yet unpublished mythology (The Silmarillion) which he is describing to Michael Straight::
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... It is, I should say, a 'monotheistic but "sub-creational" mythology'. There is no embodiment of the One, of God, who indeed remains remote, outside the World, and only directly accessible to the Valar or Rulers.These take the place of the 'gods' , but are created spirits, or those of the primary creation who by their own will have entered into the world.* But the one retains all ultimate authority, and (or so it seems as viewed in serial time) reserves the right to intrude the finger of God into the story: that is to produce realities which could not be deduced even from a complete knowledge of the previous past, but which being real become part of the effective past for all subsequent time (a possible definition of a 'miracle').

According to the fable Elves and Men were the first of these intrusions, made indeed while the 'story' was still only a story and not 'realized'; they were not therefore in any sense conceived or made by the gods, the Valar, and were called the Eruhíni or 'Children of God', and were for the Valar an incalculable element: that is they were rational creatures of free will in regard to God, of the same historical rank as the Valar, though of far smaller spiritual and intellectual power and status.

* They shared in its 'making' – but only on the same terms as we 'make' a work of art or story. The realization of it, the gift to it of a created reality of the same grade as their own, was the act of the One God.
The above was from The Letters of J.R.R.Tolkien Edited by Humphrey Carpenter.
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Valedhelgwath Five Istari, in case a few fail


But four istari DID fail. *dashes inside to get her copy of the Unfinished Tales* And there were more than five, by the way.


The fact that only one succeeded was the point I was actually making Loni. I was giving Floyd examples of where Eru rather giving one person a pre-destiny, maybe gave multiple beings the same choices in the hope that one of them managed to fulfill that "destiny" by free will.

That letter, Grondy, just about sums up the Eru situation for us. I must get that book.
I found this thread while digging up the old threads in the forums. It's about the Final battle.

About the final battle
Ah, I see what you mean now, Val. I thought you meant a few goodies, as in Elves and Men failed, they sent the Istari, so as to keep everything running smoothly. You mean a few ISTARI!!!! I get it!!!! *ding*
. The choice of evil was always there Melkor just had to reach out and take it.
Dark Duelist, yes the choice of evil is always there, but one cannot be wholly evil without there being evil already innate in that person...otherwise they are only pseudo-evil, which is much less menacing and far more like the lovable badguy, who is not evil but merely misunderstood.

And anyway, what in tarnation does that have to do with Eru's thoughts?
Ohhh I almost forgot about this excellent thread!
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Laurelindhe wrote:
And anyway, what in tarnation does that have to do with Eru's thoughts?


That even Eru incorporated evil in his divine plan? Without good there can't be evil and vice versa? They balance each other.
Melkor wasn't evil yet in the beginning, when he tried to set the Music of the Ainur to his hand. Only after Eru changed the Music of the Ainur and told the Valar to create Arda according to the vision of the Music Eru showed them, Melkor became evil, as he wanted to create Arda according to his own vision, and not to Eru's vision : he wanted to create Arda alone and rule over Arda alone, for all eternity.

Melkor became evil because he fought against the Arda the other Valar built, as this was not the Arda according to his vision. Not accepting the Creation and doing everything to destroy it so it can be rebuilt according to one's own plans, is the very definition of evil.

Whether it was in Eru's plan to have Manwë as the personification of "good" and Melkor as the personification of "evil", is another issue : i believe it wasn't in Eru's plan, as Eru became very angry after Melkor kept on spoiling the Music - if Melkor's misbehavior would have been in Eru's "masterplan", then Eru wouldn't have lost his temper and Eru wouldn't have been forced to correct what Melkor did to the Music.

Besides, if Eru really would've controlled everything, he wouldn't have let the Valar replay the Music he played for them - and hence incorporate the Valar's own interpretations in the Music - but he would've played the Music himself and create Arda himself. He didn't do that, hence there is no big masterplan of what was going to happen when. The only thing that Eru set, was that eventually Melkor's influences in Arda would not prevail. That he did by correcting the Music.

It seems that Eru wanted to create Arda through the Valar, instead of doing it alone. It's like he wanted to get himself a glass of water, but instead of doing it himself, he ordered thousands of waiters (or wives ;-) ) to get it for him. Eru just created some powerful spirits -angels if you will- to do the major part of his work. Hence he gave this angels free will and their own characters, just like what the biblical God did when he created his angels. God also didn't foresee or plan the war in heavens, when the archangel Sammael revolted against God -- the war in heavens can be compared with the first War of the Valar.

So to me it seems that Eru didn't control the minds of the Valar after he created them. He only determined the particular field of power the Valar would have, but he didn't determine their character. He determined that Melkor and Manwë would both be very powerful, and equal in power.

But the big 2 weren't equal in character : Melkor was selfish and Manwë wasn't. And that's why everything happened like it did.
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Whether it was in Eru's plan to have Manwë as the personification of "good" and Melkor as the personification of "evil", is another issue : i believe it wasn't in Eru's plan, as Eru became very angry after Melkor kept on spoiling the Music - if Melkor's misbehavior would have been in Eru's "masterplan", then Eru wouldn't have lost his temper and Eru wouldn't have been forced to correct what Melkor did to the Music.


I think that we discussed it earlier in the thread Smile Smilie So basic line: Eru underestimated Melkor, ignored Melkor's longing & creativity to add something to the music and punished him wrongly?
Just a thought.

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Besides, if Eru really would've controlled everything, he wouldn't have let the Valar replay the Music he played for them - and hence incorporate the Valar's own interpretations in the Music - but he would've played the Music himself and create Arda himself. He didn't do that, hence there is no big masterplan of what was going to happen when. The only thing that Eru set, was that eventually Melkor's influences in Arda would not prevail. That he did by correcting the Music.


So if I follow your reasoning, everything that did happen on Arda was not thought out by Eru? There was no big masterplan by Eru? Here we get back to the freedom of will discussion pages before.

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It seems that Eru wanted to create Arda through the Valar, instead of doing it alone. It's like he wanted to get himself a glass of water, but instead of doing it himself, he ordered thousands of waiters (or wives ;-) ) to get it for him. Eru just created some powerful spirits -angels if you will- to do the major part of his work. Hence he gave this angels free will and their own characters, just like what the biblical God did when he created his angels. God also didn't foresee or plan the war in heavens, when the archangel Sammael revolted against God -- the war in heavens can be compared with the first War of the Valar.


I lack knowledge of the bible to follow this or say anything about it for that matter, but Tolkien was a catholic, so it makes sense to me. Manwe and Melkor, to me, never got along nice, so this was bound to happen... But why did Eru want the glass of water?
"But why did Eru want the glass of water?"


I reckon he had a heavy drinking session the previous night doing all his creating, devising and composing - a sore head demands a glass of water!


Bad King Smilie
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So if I follow your reasoning, everything that did happen on Arda was not thought out by Eru? There was no big masterplan by Eru? Here we get back to the freedom of will discussion pages before.

Maybe i should correct it a bit : Eru did have a plan, but to work out that plan he made the Ainur ànd he even let the Ainur modify his plan by making them replay the Music he showed them. So everything that happened on Arda was an imperfect version of Eru's plan. Eru had to correct it himself so that his plan wouldn't be totally rubbished by Melkor.

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I think that we discussed it earlier in the thread So basic line: Eru underestimated Melkor, ignored Melkor's longing & creativity to add something to the music and punished him wrongly?
Just a thought.

All Ainur added something of their own to the Music. But they all cooperated in making the Music. Melkor wanted to make his own Music. That selfishness couldn't be accepted by Eru.
I'm missing something here, Virumor. I understand what you are trying to say, but I think you are making some assumptions that can't be made. First and foremost, Eru did not correct Melkor's music - He simply stated to Melkor, along with the other Ainur, that while Melkor's attempts in the short run both disrupted the music of all the themes that were purposed, "he that attempteth [to alter the music in my despite] shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined." This is not a correction, but simply an admonishment, and this admonishment and the shame that Melkor felt because of it is what turned Melkor to his "evil" ways. Eru knows both the starting point and the end point, and allows the Ainur, Maiar, Eldar, Men, etc. their own influence, according to their stature, in what road is taken between the two points. The bottom line is, however, that Eru's influence will in the end allow good to supersede evil, by taking that which is evil and eventually turning it to good purpose.

In addition, Eru never punishes Melkor - He leaves that to the Ainur. It is they who hunted Melkor down, bound him and thrust him into the void. Kinda like letting your children settle their differences between themselves. Eru never speaks directly of evil - that concept is borne of the Ainur and of the Children of Iluvatar. Eru simply holds to the tenet that nothing can change what He has intended for the end - perverting something of His creation will only in the end work out to the greater glory of His design.

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Then Ilъvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that he smiled; and he lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm, like and yet unlike to the former theme, and it gathered power and had new beauty. But the discord of Melkor rose in uproar and contended with it, and again there was a war of sound more violent than before, until many of the Ainur were dismayed and sang no longer, and Melkor had the mastery. Then again Ilъvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that his countenance was stern; and he lifted up his right hand, and behold! a third theme grew amid the confusion, and it was unlike the others. For it seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies; but it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity. And it seemed at last that there were two musics progressing at one time before the seat of Ilъvatar, and they were utterly at variance. The one was deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came. The other had now achieved a unity of its own; but it was loud, and vain, and endlessly repeated; and it had little harmony, but rather a clamorous unison as of many trumpets braying upon a few notes. And it essayed to drown the other music by the violence of its voice, but it seemed that its most triumphant notes were taken by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern.
In the midst of this strife, whereat the halls of Ilъvatar shook and a tremor ran out into the silences yet unmoved, Ilъvatar arose a third time, and his face was terrible to behold. Then he raised up both his hands, and in one chord, deeper than the Abyss, higher than the Firmament, piercing as the light of the eye of Ilъvatar, the Music ceased.

I suggest you read the above quote from the Ainulindalë. To me, the 3 parts in bold mean that Eru himself corrected the theme thrice, so that Melkor wouldn't ruin the theme (see the quote listed below ). Maybe "corrected" isn't the right word and the word "interfered" is better : Eru didn't cancel Melkor's influences on the theme, he only made sure that his theme wouldn't be destroybed by Melkor -- but i for me consider that to be correction of the Music.

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Some of these thoughts he now wove into his music, and straightway discord arose about him, and many that sang nigh him grew despondent, and their thought was disturbed and their music faltered; but some began to attune their music to his rather than to the thought which they had at first. Then the discord of Melkor spread ever wider, and the melodies which had been heard before foundered in a sea of turbulent sound. But Ilъvatar sat and hearkened until it seemed that about his throne there was a raging storm, as of dark waters that made war one upon another in an endless wrath that would not be assuaged.


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I'm missing something here, Virumor. I understand what you are trying to say, but I think you are making some assumptions that can't be made. First and foremost, Eru did not correct Melkor's music - He simply stated to Melkor, along with the other Ainur, that while Melkor's attempts in the short run both disrupted the music of all the themes that were purposed,

From the above Sil quote i think is clear that Eru did more than just state to Melkor that he was behaving badly - so i don't think i made any assumptions.
We may have to agree to disagree on this one. I took your suggestion and read this passage in 1977, and have read it at least a score more times since then. In my interpretation of this, which admittedly is all either of us have, Iluvatar began a second theme not to correct, but with a different thought in mind.


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i]Then Iluvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that he smiled; and he lifted up his left hand, and a new theme began amid the storm, like and yet unlike to the former theme, and it gathered power and had new beauty.


I see this not as a correction, nor as interference. Instead I see it as "let's try again". And when Melkor contended with the second theme, Iluvatar began yet a third theme different from the others. Imagine if you would a band director with half of his orchestra missing page three and playing page four instead, and so on. "Let's try again.

The history of Middle-Earth has a very similar feel. Whatever the Valar attempted, Melkor would attempt to ruin, and was frequently successful. The Eldar appeared(the second theme), and the Valar decided it would be best if they brought them to Valinor to abide with them, in order to protect them from Melkor. Again, Melkor is succesful in thwarting their desires to a great extent. As men appeared and began their time in ME, Melkor wrought havoc both with the men themselves and between Eldar and Edain. Men were given Numenor, yet Sauron(left to take over after Melkor is thrust into the void) continues his master's works, and corrupts Numenor to the point of destruction. Now comes the third theme, with thesundering of the seas and the removal of Valinor. Elves and men are left to fend for themselves in a newly mapped Middle-Earth, and eventually the age of the Rings of Power.


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And it essayed to drown the other music by the violence of its voice, but it seemed that its most triumphant notes were taken by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern.


Sauron's most triumphant note was the One Ring, and the peoples of Middle-Earth were able to use it against him, as the destruction of it caused the destruction of all he had built with it.

I see the first theme as the time prior to the appearance of the elves. The second theme is the first and second ages of Middle-Earth, and the third theme is the Third age and beyond. Again, more like "try again" than anything else.



Ok now it's my turn to rant some nonsense and piss people off! Big Smile Smilie

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So to me it seems that Eru didn't control the minds of the Valar after he created them. He only determined the particular field of power the Valar would have, but he didn't determine their character. He determined that Melkor and Manwë would both be very powerful, and equal in power.


Through out the Silmarillion Tolkiens points out the Melkor was the most powerful. I emphasis 'was' because Melkor gradually became weaker, as he put forth much of his power into his creations, draining his own power. Although he does state that Manwe and Melkor were brethren, so Manwe was almost equal in power, and as time passed, he most likely surpassed Melkor.


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I see the first theme as the time prior to the appearance of the elves. The second theme is the first and second ages of Middle-Earth, and the third theme is the Third age and beyond. Again, more like "try again" than anything else.


I had a similar thoughts to that myself. The music was the unfolding of history in middle-earth. The 1st theme being before the 1st age when the Valar battled it out with Melkor. The 2nd theme was the Elves battling it out with Melkor, and finally the 3rd theme was men entering the world, and joining the war.

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a third theme grew amid the confusion, and it was unlike the others. For it seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies; but it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity. And it seemed at last that there were two musics progressing at one time before the seat of Ilúvatar, and they were utterly at variance. The one was deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came. The other had now achieved a unity of its own; but it was loud, and vain, and endlessly repeated; and it had little harmony, but rather a clamorous unison as of many trumpets braying upon a few notes.


My understanding on the music is followed... Mostly everything that happens in middle-earth is fate. The music told the story before Arda was created, that is how the Valar understand so much, and show great powers of foresight. They already seen the history played out in the music, so they know what is to come, although there is the odd exception where they are confused or their sight into the future is blurred. Point being is if you believe that if you believe that the Valar can see into the future (which they can) then you must believe in fate. There is even a part where is mentions the Valar knowing the future because of the music. I'll provide quotes if you need them, but it'll take time to look them up. I know it's in The Silmarillion.


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And many other things Illuvatar spoke to the Ainur at that time, and because of their memory of his words, and the knowledge that each has of the music that he himself made, the Ainur know much of what was, and is, and is to come, and few things are unseen by them. Yet some things there are that they cannot see, neither alone nor taking counsel together; for to none but himself has Illuvatar revealed all that he has in store, and in every age there come forth things that are new and have no foretelling, for they do not proceed from the past.


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Some have said that the vision ceased ere the fulfilment of the Dominion of Men and the fading of the Firstborn; wherefore, though the Music is over all, the Valar have not seen as with sight the Later Ages or the ending of the World.


Ainulindale - The Silmarillion
Wow, there are some really great discussions going on here peeps! All the posts concerning the First Great Music have been very insightful!

Now about this matter of whether or not Eru corrected Melkor’s own theme, I think both Vir, and Olorin have made some excellent points, and I completely understand what each is saying.

Up until now, I think I had always viewed things in a similar manner as Vir (gosh, am I actually agreeing with Vir on something? Satan’s’ imps must be ice-skating today!). Maybe "corrected" isn’t the exact word I would’ve used (because Eru did not undo the damage Melkor had done), but I’ve always looked at it like Eru saw the discord Melkor wove in the Music (the creation of Ea), and he saw what was going to become of that so he took “counter measures” to ultimately negate what Melkor had done (i.e. the characters in the history of Arda that were considered to be instruments of Eru). Hence the statement Eru makes Olorin touched on,

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"he that attempteth [to alter the music in my despite] shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."


I also agree with the analogy that Olorin used likening Eru to a music conductor (which he most definitely was in this case) trying to keep the piece on track, or starting over from a particular passage. So perhaps both theories are correct in some ways, the “divine interference” theory (as I prefer to call what Vir is referring to), and the “Let’s try again” theory that Olorin has proposed.

However, after examining the following part of the quote that was posted by Vee,

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Yet some things there are that they cannot see, neither alone nor taking counsel together; for to none but himself has Illuvatar revealed all that he has in store, and in every age there come forth things that are new and have no foretelling, for they do not proceed from the past.


now I’m a bit confused (need my second cup of joe)? Elf Confused Smilie

In some ways that statement seems to somewhat lean more toward the “try again theory”, but when I specifically look at "for to none but himself has Illuvatar revealed all that he has in store” that sways me back more toward my original belief that Eru took counter measures against the discord Melkor wove, or the “divine interference” theory if you will.

Hmmm, I’m going to have to stew on this for a bit…
Elf Smilie
LOL

Do not go to the Elfstone, for he shall say both yes and no...

Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie
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Elfstone wrote:
In some ways that statement seems to somewhat lean more toward the “try again theory”, but when I specifically look at "for to none but himself has Illuvatar revealed all that he has in store” that sways me back more toward my original belief that Eru took counter measures against the discord Melkor wove, or the “divine interference” theory if you will.

Hmmm, I’m going to have to stew on this for a bit…


Mmm. I am curious what you will come up with. Anyways, yes, great posts by both Virumor and Olorin, although I have to reach for my dictionary quite often Wink Smilie

It all comes back for me to the question: why did Eru correct Melkor? Why did he not trust his own creation a bit more and see where it was going, let him improvise and learn why it is an discord? Didn't Eru create the Ainur after his own image, so what were his thoughts when he created Melkor? Please do not answer with a 'oh he had a bigger plan' . I am just wondering if every Ainur is almost an aspect of Eru himself, so what kind of part of Eru was Melkor then?

I quote from the very first chapter from the Silmarillion:
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There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made.
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Do not go to the Elfstone, for he shall say both yes and no...


Ha, ha, ha! Big Laugh Smilie

Seriously though, I think you both have made some great points, and as I said, I think both of you are right in your own way because I think there is a bit of both in the overall truth to the matter.

I need to do some more investigating on this in Letters…
Read Smilie
Rhapsody posted
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I quote from the very first chapter from the Silmarillion:


Full circle. That was the exact quote I started this thread with. You might want to read some of the earlier posts.
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