The concept of Eru's creation

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Lord Of All
Posts: 633

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#1 » Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:49 pm

I have had a reasonably interesting disccussion with Viromor in another thread about Eru's creation and why Melkor came into it. However its a little out of the way so i thought i would start a new topic for itself under the right place.

Here was my opening thread:

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Iluvatar needed Melkor's evil to allow the world and his Children to come to a greater level of understanding. He needed Melkor to be his Instrument in the creation of the 'Second Arda' after the Last battle when the World is broken and the Ainur sing a Second Music. It is this theme that allows this new Arda to become the one which they saw in the Vision that was shown to them by Iluavatar.
For this all to come true Iluvatar needed Melkor to distort the original Arda so that the Second Music 'Would be Played aright'.

Read this quote:

"And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined."

See? 'He that attempts to alter the designs of Iluvatar will prove but his instrument in creating the Second World'.

And to prove that what I have been saying is right read this:

"Yet of old the Valar declared to the Elves in Valinor that [u]Men shall join in the Second Music of the Ainur[/u]; whereas Ilúvatar has not revealed what he purposes for the Elves after the World's end, and Melkor has not discovered it."

Here it is saying that in the Second Music of the Ainur men shall join in with the Valar. But what Iluvatar has in store for the Elves, who partook in the First Music, is unknown to all save himself.

Another quote:

"Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, [u]though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Ilúvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Ilúvatar after the end of days[/u]. Then the themes of Ilúvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Ilúvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased."

Also this brings me to something I doubt anyone but the most analytical will agree with....

If you believe, like I do, That Iluvatar planned everything that was, is, and is to be (fate I suppose), then [u]SHOULD MELKOR BE PITIED???[/u]

If Iluvatar intended to create a being that will turn into the prime source of rebellion against himself then surely there was nothing Melkor could do about it. Surely Melkor was Doomed, even before he was created to fall into Darkness by the plan of Iluvatar.
If this is the case then the main source of evils origin stems not from Melkor, but from Eru.
think it over and perhaps you will allow logic to prevail in your conclusion.

Perhaps this is what Iluvatar means here:

"And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite."

It means that Iluvatar is saying 'Everything that exists has its uttermost source in me' - hence everthing that phisically, mentally phycoligically exists derives in its most basic form from Eru himself - and that includes evil.
My personal belief is that Iluvatar is not wholly Good, Nor wholly Bad. He simply 'Is' and is the prime source of everything.

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It would be good if you could give me your views on things and perhaps start a debate...

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#2 » Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:30 pm

My personal belief is that Iluvatar is not wholly Good, Nor wholly Bad. He simply 'Is' and is the prime source of everything.


This part is true, I think. He is simply there to create and bring things into existence. Maybe, for him, there is no 'good' or 'evil', but only 'extinct' or 'extant'.

Perhaps that is also why Manwe Sulimo, though the mightiest of the Valar, is not anything close to the might of Eru, since Manwe's heart is free from any evil (thus he cannot comprehend Melkor), while Eru's being consists of all the elements and themes of Arda (and perhaps more that are not of Arda).

The might of Iluvatar comes from the diversity of himself. Iluvatar was Everything, good,evil, right, wrong, hard rock, cold water, lithe dancer, wise old man etc. He knew of everything on this Earth while his creations knew only parts of the world. Manwe knew only good, Melkor erased all good from his heart until he knew only evil, and for all the Children of Iluvatar, each had his/her own knowledge of Arda, and none had the full knowledge of it.

Why all the 'good' people of Arda love Iluvatar is not because he is 'good', but because they are 'good' and 'good' stimulates love more than it does hate. Why the 'evil' of Arda hated Iluvatar is the same.

But back to Melkor. The question of whether he should be pitied is one I cannot answer. It depends on our own temperaments. For a person like me, I would probably try and pity Melkor, because he is a wretched existence and he himself is not happy nor will he ever taste true joy. But then I cannot really find it possible to pity Morgoth because of the wreckage he has strewn over Arda and the pure beauty he has torn apart. It's too easy for me to take the point of view of those against Morgoth, because, well the books are written from an anti-Morgoth point of view. So, I'd probably just feel sad that he has ruined Arda.

For others, they might find it easy to mix pity with scorn and anger for Morgoth. More soft-hearted ones might even pity Morgoth enough to feel like they wanna give him a hug. ;) And angrier ones would of course, have only fury and hate towards him.

But my personal opinion would be that the wise would pity Morgoth, the rash would only hate him and the weak would be either resentful or jealous of him.

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gandalf-olorin
Posts: 481

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#3 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:18 am

I repeat here what I posted in the other thread also:

LoA, your quotes do not prove what you think they prove. Eru did create Melkor, but he created him to be good, not to be evil. Evil is something Melkor chose all by himself. And because he chose what he wanted over what Eru wanted, that is what made him evil. Therefore, when Eru set the Music before Melkor as before all the Ainur, and Melkor tried to subvert it, Eru began a new theme in that Music in order to show, as your quotes point out, that no created intelligence could thwart Eru's design which was to be shown forth in Arda and eventually in ME. Just because Melkor became the "instrument" of Eru in making Arda what it became, does not mean Melkor had no power of choice in the matter. Merely because Eru foresaw the outcome does not mean he forced Melkor to do anything.

The kind of "fatalism" which you imagine to be in the Sil and LotR is not there. I grant you that kind of "Wyrd" was in the Norse myths, and was in the end more powerful than the Norse gods. But Tolkien only took what he wanted from Norse mythology. We know--and yes, we do know for certain--that Tolkien underpinned his works through and through with Catholic theology. In Tolkien's mind, and therefore in the mind of Eru, there is no "plan" which inhibits a sentient being from exercising freewill. What each character does, in that scheme of things, is up to that character. So what Melkor did was Melkor's fault, and not Eru's. It was not Eru that forced Melkor to steal the Silmarils--it was Melkor's greed. It was not Eru that forced Melkor to kill Finwe for those jewels--it was Melkor's disregard for any life but his own. It was not Eru who forced Melkor to engage Ungoliant in killing the Two Trees--it was Melkor's desire for darkness to conceal his wickedness. It was not Eru that forced Melkor to warp the elves he captured into the orcish breed--it was Morgoth's insatiable desire for domination, to have all of Eru's world for his own.

Neither can you contend that the Valar would never have known evil, and therefore would never have had a complete knowledge of "life" without Melkor. Again, in this you follow too closely the "knowledge," as though it meant literally that one who "did not understand evil" was an ignoramous. No, not at all. Manwe was probably modeled on the Norse god Balder, who I think was always characterized as innocent. In Tokien's scheme of things, Manwe would not have understood, perhaps, Melkor's motivations, his reason's for doing evil. But Manwe certainly understood that to not do good was its opposite. If you deny him that knowledge, you are making Manwe into some kind of an idiot which Tolkien would not have written. What Manwe lacked--in the early stages of dealing with Morgoth--was an understanding of Morgoth's motivation. Manwe could only see Arda in relation to doing Eru's will. Morgoth could only see Arda in relation to his own power. When Manwe came to an understanding of Morgoth's mind, then we can say his character "grew," as Tolkien had designed such characters to grow.

Therefore, to conclude, I should say your idea that all the good that was accomplished in ME should be attributed to Morgoth, and that we should pity him because of his being regarded as evil, is ludicrous. Now I realize you in some sort "indentify" with him. But do not let your own preferences cloud your vision. Tolkien was showing us evil in Morgoth. Without choice, there is no good or evil. But Morgoth did choose, and he chose evil.

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virumor
Posts: 3567

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#4 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:00 am

Iluvatar was Everything, good,evil, right, wrong, hard rock, cold water, lithe dancer, wise old man etc.

You forget JRRT's faith in this. Eru Ilúvatar was clearly based on God, hence Eru is all good, whilst the Ainur were based on the Angels, with the Valar being the Archangels (Manwë could perhaps be based on Michael or Gabriel, Melkor on Sammael/Lucifer).

Evil does not come from Eru, Eru merely granted his Offspring (the Angels) powers, and it was completely up to them how they'd use it. Note that 'Offspring' does not mean a clone of Eru, but a new spirit with their own free will to use their powers. Melkor misused his powers and rejected Eru's creation, hence his Fall just like Lucifer in the Bible.

And just like in the Bible, every creature of Eru has free will, they're not mindless puppets in Eru's hands. Even though the ultimate outcome of the First Music of the Ainur had been set by Eru -the ultimate destruction of evil and the unmaking of Arda à la the biblical Apocalyps- there were various possible paths all leading to this outcome, all depended by Free Will... for instance Isildúr could have destroyed the Ring at the end of the Second Age, but he himself chose not to - not Eru.

Melkor should be pitied if he was indeed a mindless, doomed puppet in Eru's hands, but since everything he did and became was only his own making, he should certainly not. He was a monster, a demon, the Enemy who prevented Arda from becoming a Paradise. You might as well pity Satan.

I grant you that kind of "Wyrd" was in the Norse myths, and was in the end more powerful than the Norse gods.

Yes, but even in the Norse myths there was hope beyond this "Wyrd", since a new world would (literally) rise over the ashes with new gods/Aesir, headed by Baldr.

It is exactly this message of 'hope' that is found in JRRT's works, not fatalism and gloom that others seem to believe in.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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Lord Of All
Posts: 633

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#5 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:49 am

Ok a couple of points there.

Firstly Vir - Indeed alot of Tolkien's work on Eru was based on the catholic God but not all of it (indeed he would NOT try to replicate God completely in any way). There are major differences and as such they cannot be used always as comparisons. For starters the Christian God made all the animals and the trees and the mountains, water and so on. Whilst Eru only made the actualy earth itself. The Ainur like Yavanna, Ulmo, Aule were responsible for the creation of these things, as these were the designs they wove into there music.
Also there is only One known being that is completely 'Good' in Tolkien's myth and that is Manwe:

"For Manwë was free from evil and could not comprehend it, and he knew that in the beginning, in the thought of Ilúvatar, Melkor had been even as he; and he saw not to the depths of Melkor’s heart, and did not perceive that all love had departed from him for ever."

So as we see Manwe is wholly free from evil.

Now Gandalf-Olorin - your points seem to based on the fact that you believe Melkor to have been created Good by Eru but after growing evil by himself.

As we know the Ainur are simply offspring of Eru's thought:

"There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the [u]offspring of his thought[/u], and they were with him before aught else was made."

Each Ainur was made up of a certain segment of Iluvatar's mind. Now I will give you an example therefore why none of the Ainur could do something which was beyond Eru's power/comprehension/wisdom:

If we had a car that could do 140mph maximum and we took the engine out of that cr and fitted it into another, then that other car could still only do 140mph.

The Ainur ARE Eru, they are just his mind split up into smaller sections, that is why when they wish to decide something they are far better at doing it together becuase they can all add there own knowledge of Eru's mind t the pot.

So if the Ainur simply are Eru's mind, how then can one of them extend beyond the bounds by which he is made up of?

It is clear that manwe is only made up of the 'Good' parts of Eru's mind, whilst Melkor is made mostly of the 'Bad'.
Some like Mandos are made up with some of the knowledge in which Eru has planned for the future - hence he can forsee some things.
Iluvatar however has not distributed all of his mind up into Ainur. there are some parts which he keeps to himself alone, thus the Valar are uncertain of some things (like the fate of the Elves after the Great end, and where Men go after death etc).

Now whether you pity melkor depends on two things you must decide before you answer:

1. Do you believe that Eru has planned all that was, is, and is to be (fate)?

2. Do you believe in what I have said so far - that an Ainur cannot become somehing which Eru is not becuase they [u]ARE[/u] Eru's mind?


I believe in both of these things. Therefore I believe it was not possible for Melkor to become evil without the purpose of Eru making him become evil becuase Melkor is part of Eru's mind.

So Melkor was doomed even before he was made, to become evil becuase that is the part of Eru he had the most share of. It was also doomed that Melkor should fall becuase Eru has planned it so. Therefore I believe Melkor should be pitied becuase there was nothing he could do about his own fate.

Lastly another point - Iluvatar does not create things that have no purpose in HIS creation:

"The love of Arda was set in your hearts by Ilúvatar, and [u]he does not plant to no purpose[/u]."

Also this:

"The will of Eru may not be gainsaid..."

The messengers of Manwe says this. 'The Will of Eru may not be Gainsaid'. This is becuase it is NOT possible to rebel against something that HAS ALREADY BEEN PLANNED.

Lastly to Gandalf-Olorin - I never said Melkor achieved only good in Arda. In fact he did virtually complete evil there. He toremented, destroyed, killed etc but you are not listening to the words of Manwe:

"Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and [u]evil yet be good to have been[/u]."

The evil of Melkor was a NESSECITY for the creation of the Second Great Mucic when a new Arda is made. This does not make the evil good, but [u]Good to have been[/u] - VERY wise words.

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virumor
Posts: 3567

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#6 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:41 am

I believe in both of these things. Therefore I believe it was not possible for Melkor to become evil without the purpose of Eru making him become evil becuase Melkor is part of Eru's mind.

Yes, those are indeed beliefs. Thank you for sharing them.

Now please accept the fact that other people have different beliefs and interpret JRRT's works differently, please.

All your beliefs seem to be based on the 2 points you've posted above, which some people do not agree with. Can't you understand that other people's beliefs are as valid as yours, since they're simply beliefs?
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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Lord Of All
Posts: 633

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#7 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:46 am

Virumor - I think you need to lighten up a bit. This is a discussion/debate. Idears are meant to be exchanged and rebuted. Your the only one turning this into an argument.
If you want to debate then go ahead thats why I made this topic. However if you feel you have said all you need to say then thats ok with me.

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Fionwë Urion
Posts: 801

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#8 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:23 am

I think it would be much easier to respond and carry on a debate with a bit shorter posts, just an opinion though.

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Lord Of All
Posts: 633

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#9 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:27 am

Do you think my posts are too big?

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Fionwë Urion
Posts: 801

The concept of Eru's creation

Post#10 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:35 am

Some of them are a little too big to properly absorb and reply to. But not just yours.

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