Eru, Tolkien, Fiction, Facts and Us
Author - Floyd_n_milan
Written on - Wednesday 13th October 2004 (11:31am)
Note : This has been written with reference to the Eru's thoughts (Ainur) thread. I've posted this as a journal entry, because some of the comments might seem out of the scope of that thread
Hmm. I'm wondering how to start this. Let's see...
I'll first start with V's point about ME being an experiment. I read a novel recently, written by a renowned Indian scientist Mr. Jayant Naralikar. It's in Marathi. But, with I think the core of that novel is worth mentioning here. The name of the novel is "Abhayaaranya" which means a sanctuary. The idea behind that story is, that an alien species decides to experiment with the evolution of life. They come to the earth before the time when any life existed here. They planted the first seeds of life and watched it grow to a world we're living in today. They didn't interfere with the life on the earh as far as possible. But they helped the humankind at certain key points. For example, the discovery of fire etc. I think this is pretty much similar to our ME, what do you think? The author is a scientist, so he managed to write it as a science fiction story. (I'm not in any way trying to imply that the author might have written the book by getting inspired by ME of something. I merely mention it here, because of the similarities and because it is relevant to what I'm about to say)
My point, quite simply put, is during some of the discussions on this site, we manage to forget that this is a fantasy, written by a human like us. Hang on. I'm going too fast. Hmmm. OK. Let me add a new perspective into the discussions.
The whole Middle-Earth and all other things related to it, are but Tolkien's imagination. Try substituting JRRT as Eru. After all, JRRT is the one who has created everything. He is the one who created the Valar. Isn't he? I think when JRRT talks about Eru, he could be referring to himself. After all, he and only he, has the vision of what is going to happen in the ME. When we speak of certain things happening because somehow Eru planned for them to happen, it refers to Tolkien. Hmm. You'd say, this is quite obvious. He has written everything. Well, I say, Tolkien didn't have answers to some questions which could have been raised. Thus, the introduction of the far-sightedness of Eru and fulfilling of prophecies. Here, I'm referring to the Death of The Witch King thread.
Now, about the questions that could have been raised. I'll give some examples here to elaborate that point.
Why would Gollum not be killed? Why would Aragorn allow Gollum to pursue the fellowship after Moria? Tolkien escapes this one by using the far-sightedness of Eru.
The origins of the Hobbits. Tolkien escapses this one by simply saying that the Hobbits kept no records of their past.
There can be many such examples, but I'm not really in a mood to think up more right now.
As far as I'm concerned, no one and I mean no one, has the vision for the future beyond a certain choice. Yes, choice. After all, we're talking about all the free will here. What choice they make is up to them. Beyond that choice no one can see. Not even Eru. Well, that's my view atleast! Looking at it from JRRT=Eru concept. Things really get much easier to percieve.
Now, onto the evil side of Eru and Melkor. Considering Eru=JRRT, we can easily say that Melkor was the most vital ingredint. Without him, there would be nothing to write about.
Considering, Eru as Eru and not as JRRT, I think there are a few possibilities. Some may say, that Eru had some evil part in him. Some may say that Eru created Melkor to balance things in the world, between good and evil. Come to think of the second option, it is quite believable. Because after all, it was Melkor against the rest of the Valar. Hence, maybe, Melkor the most powerful. Melkor has a share of everything. That would be a balancing act.
Speaking of good and evil, there is a nice little comment in this same thread by Virumor :
I think the definition of good is "accepting what the Valar or whatever deities created, and live together in harmony within that creation, with its creatures". The definition of evil would be "not accepting what whatever deities created, and because of that wanting to destroy or undo that creation, and rebuild it by your own plans". That's what Melkor had in mind : Melkor wanted to make a world on his own, a world completely according to his vision, without help from the other Valar, and rule like a King among its inhabitants forever. To me, evil is clearly not "slaying our beloved Hobbits, Elves and Men" because our beloved Elves and Men equally slay Orcs, Goblins, Balrogs and what not. To those so-called "evil" races, like Orcs, it are the Elves and Men who are evil. Whoever is considered 'evil' in a book, is the defeated one, as history is written by the victor.
I totally agree. In the end, the judgement of good and evil depends upon the perspective. Consider Hitler. Most of us see him as the bad guy. Looking from Hitler's point of view, the Allies were the bad guys. They were the ones who enforced all the restrictions and all on Germany after the First World War.
Is killing someone really an evil deed? Without a purpose, yes, definitely. Everyone and everyting has a right to live. But then, isn't it a law of nature? Isn't it the way world works? If you've ever heard of man-eaters, (Tigers who become addicted to human-flesh, well, blood to be precise.... Ummm, I'm a big fan of Jim Corbette's works) we term them as evil creatures who kill humans. But aren't they only living up to the laws of nature? Isn't there a thing called "Food Chain"? We are allowed to kill animals and they are not? How fair is it? From the animals' point of view, we're probably evil. What I'm talking about here, is the Elves and men killing Orcs is termed as something to be proud of. When the same Orcs kill the Elves or the men, it becomes a hideous thing. Why? Maybe because they're trying to deny the right of others to live. Probably! Again, a matter of perspective.
If there's one thing I don't like about Tolkien's work, is that he has always assumed the so called "evil" things to be hideous. Why can't they have beauty of their own?
Tolkien calls Melkor's creation of fire an evil deed. I wonder. Isn't it the great fire in the sky called the sun, that gives us all life? Wasn't it with the invention of fire, that the human race really began the transformation into the humans we are today? I think again, this is a matter of perspective. If someone else had written this, things would have been really different.
Was Melkor really evil? Aulë posted the following :
I donīt know what the heck you guys are talking about....Melkor isnīt evil...he is just lonely...the Valar froze him out and of course he wants vengeance....Heīs as kind and innocent as a puppy underneath his hard and dark face......Heīs been bullied always by people like Manwë.....that sanctumonius *******.......They bullied him because he couldnīt sing.....Even his father Eru did this.....bah.....I stand on Melkorīs side
*Note: This post is not to be taken seriously*
There was another post by someone else also, which said that Melkor was only doing what he did to create things of his own. Maybe if it hadn't been for the "stubbornness" of Eru, he wouldn't have been evil. Jokes apart, but I think Eru himself caused Melkor to turn into Morgoth. So, I must say that I agree with Aster and Rhaps on this point.
Hmm. This is interesting, as if I didn't have enough to say, Rhapsody is constantly adding to the discussion and making me think Good thing I'm refreshing that page every once in a while!!
Oh well, anyways. I'll get back to what I have to say.
Speaking of Eru, I think it drives me mad, when someone says that something happened because Eru had intended it to happen. I don't think I agree there. I think I do agree with Rhapsody on her two latest posts :
Yes I agree! But you know, I just struggle with the concept of Eru has decided that it should happen this way. Period. It all seems so pointless if that is the case. Why are you fighting for the good cause then? I mean it is like why should you even bother? What you say above is something I fully agree with. It is a mix of all. The characters of Tolkien do have the choice and do use their free will. But they are not doing it because Eru has decided that way, it is because they are willing to fight for *their* cause. That applies even for the 'faithless'' or even atheists.
That bugs me the most when people say: Eru has decided and that is it. It awakens the rogue in me to prove otherwise.
As far as I'm concerned, I think it IS the free will and free will alone that makes things happen. In this case, we're talking about the collective wills (For example, consider an army. It fights as a unit, because it has a "collective" will to fight) that make things happen. People fight together, because they want some things to happen, which are common. I really don't agree when people say that it's because of Eru's will that things happen. Maybe, things happen because of Eru's will, considering, Eru=JRRT.
Again, that brings me back to my original point. It's all just a fantasy, originated from the imaginations of one man. If he had been a different man, things would be different.
There was a comment made to me by someone in the chat room 2 days ago, that said, "We have the right to speculate. We will speculate." or something similar. I never said no. But, then again, the line has to be drawn somewhere, about the extent to which to speculate. It would be absolutely pointless and foolish to speculate just for the sake of it. Maybe, that's why, I think, when people talk about Eru's will, I find it hard to get involved. It is one of such issues for me.
This again leads to the original point. It's all upto what Tolkien wrote. It's all on Tolkien's will. What we need to do, is enjoy it!!
V posted in that thread :
But..... as someone (Vir I think) said, who are we to understand how a god's mind works?
God. What is god? Everyone has their own beliefs. For me, it's the entity that controls it all. In which case, it is nature. We talk about religions. We create religions to give ourselves a guideline to live with, a method, using which to spend our lives. I think of it nothing more than that.
In the same post, V also said :
We cannot grasp the concept of an infinite universe, what chance do we have to understand Eru? Why should he not know all that is to happen?
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.
Now, how does it relate to the matter of Eru?
Because, Eru, is simply the creation of JRRT. Eru is only based upon the concepts on which JRRT grew up. Things would be totally different if JRRT had been of some other religion or from somewhere else. Based on those beliefs, Tolkien creates HIS own world.
Maybe, this is getting out of hand now. We're talking about things we can never find answers to. Can anyone ever answer me what exactly is life? I wonder...
Well, I've been in the process of writing this since 12:30 till 15:30, which is the current time. I don't think I want to say anything more right now. I doubt anyone would reach this far and I really doubt how many people would agree with me, but, if you do reach this far, please give me some feedback on this. Positive, negative, I don't care. Just be frank. If you don't like this, if you don't agree. Tell me so. I'm looking forward to it.
To finish off, all I'll say is that, Middle Earth is for our reading pleasure, created by a person's mind, who is no more. Let's enjoy it the way it's meant to be. Let's not tear it apart by speculating about the void...
Oh, and if in case anyone's wondering about the title, I've talked about Eru, Tolkien, Fiction, Facts, but haven't talked about "Us" yet. But, don't worry, I don't think I'm going to do that. Well, not very soon atleast!!