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Thread: On Fairie Story--Tolkien's ideas (and essay) about this


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Continuing from the Silmarillion:
[quote:3qtqnflr]Iluvatar spoke to (Aule; and he)heard his voice and was silent. And the voice of Iluvatar said to him, "Why hast thou done this? Why dost thou attempt a thing which thou knowest is beyond thy power and thy authority? [Think [i:3qtqnflr]Frankenstein's monster [/i:3qtqnflr]here.] For thou hast from me as a gift thy own being only, and no more; and therefore the creatures of thy hand and mind can live only by that being...
Then Aule answered: "I did not desire such lordship. I desired things other than I am, to love and to teach them, so that they too might perceive the beauty of Ea, which thou hast caused to be....And in my impatience I have fallen into folly. Yet the making of things is in my heart from my own making by thee; and the child of little understanding that makes a play of the deeds of his father may do so without thought of mockery, but because he is the son of his father [Think [i:3qtqnflr]Secondary Creator[/i:3qtqnflr].].[/quote:3qtqnflr]
Aule does not tell Yavanna about the dwarves at first, and she says,
[quote:3qtqnflr]"Yet because thou hiddest this thought from me until its achievement, thy children will have little love for the things of my love. They will love firt the things made by their own hands, as doth their father. They will delve in the earth, and the things that grow and live upon the earth they will not heed. Many a tree shall feel the bite of their iron without pity."[/quote:3qtqnflr]And backing up, it says, concerning Aule and his influence on the elves:
[quote:3qtqnflr]Aule it is who is named the Friend of the Noldor, for of him they learned much in after days, and they are the most skilled of the Elves, and in their own fashion, according to the gifts which Iluvatar gave to them, they added much to his teaching, delighting in tongues and in scripts, and in the figures of broidery, of drawing, and of carving. The Noldor also it was who first achieved the making of gems; and the fairest of all gems were the Silmarils, and they are lost.[/quote:3qtqnflr]

Gonna post this before it gets lost.
Continuing further in the Silmarillion:
[quote:2zv4s2ph]Finwe was the King of the Noldor. The sons of Finwe were Feanor, and Fingolfin, and Finarfin, but the mother of Feanor was Miriel Serinde...Feanor was the mightiest in skill of word and of hand, more learned than his brothers; his spirit burned as a flame....

Miriel (was praised for her) skill in weaving and needlework; for her hands were more skilled to fineness han any hands even among the Noldor.[/quote:2zv4s2ph]
Feanor is such a powerful dynamo of a baby that making him and bearing him sucks most of the life out of Miriel's spirit and body, and she feels "consumed in spirit and body" and "yearned for release from the labour of living," and kind of fades into a coma.

[quote:2zv4s2ph]Feanor grew swiftly, as if a secret firewere kindled within him. ... in the pursuit of all his purposes eager and steadfast. Few ever changed his courses by counsel, none by force. He became of all the Noldor, then or aafter, the most subtle in mind nad the most skilled in hand....and it was he who, first of the Noldor, discovered how gems greater and brighter than those of the Earch might be made with skill. ... Seldom were the hands and mind of Feanor at rest.

the Noldor took delight in the hidden knowledge that (Melkor) could reveal to them; and some hearkened to words that it would have been better for them never to have heard. Melkor indeed declared afterwards that Feanor had learned much art from him in secret, and had been instructed by him in the greatest of all his works.

...(Feanor) pondered how the light of the Trees, the glory of the Blessed Realm, might be preserved imperishable. Then he began a long and secret labour, and he summoned all his lore, and his power and his subtle skill, and at the end of all he made the Silmarils. ... The heart of Feanor was fast bound to tese things that he himself had made.

Feanor began to love the Silmarils with a greedy love, and grudged the sight of them to all save to his father and his seven sons; he seldom remembered now that the light within them was not his own.[/quote:2zv4s2ph]
Hmmm...These sections make me think of the idea; that Man, being jealous of Woman's ability to bring life into this world seeks to create life through un- or super-natural means. Think Athena springing fully formed from the Head of Zeus, or, once again: Frankenstein's Monster. I'll have to re-read this a couple of times and let it sink in.

[b:220e42ux]Gandalfs Beard[/b:220e42ux]

P.S. This is a response to your previous post. I just received the second part.
In Aule, dwarves, and in Feanor, we see characters/creatures who love making things, love the matter that things are made out of, and love following their creator by copying him. But they all saw off the branch on which they sit: they all forget who made the matter in the beginning, and they tend to forget to listen to the counsel of that larger more fundamental Maker in favor of listening to their own wills. Feanor and the dwarves get into trouble later for not wanting to share--which means that they have forgotten the parts that others have played in what they create. Feanor regards the Silmarils as HIS, and forgets that the chief value--intrinsic value--of them is the Light that they hold, and that he has only made the jewels that serve as containers to hold that light. The dwarves love materials and making things, but they too often forget to respect living things, or even the rocks out of which their stuff is made, and they err in thinking that their stuff is THEIRS totally. In the Hobbit, they don't want to share the treasure that they get back from Smaug, even though others have suffered because of the treasure and have suffered in the retrieval of it.

It's funny that Feanor is also maker of writing and speech. He's a rhetor? He's persuasive.

I'm trying to tie all of this to gnosticism and gnowledge and gnomes. Well, gnomes/dwarves really know matter inside and out. They are architects, engineers, inventors, artists. I think of engineers. But also carpenters and potters. So they really LOVE the earth and everything in it, even if they often forget to respect the growing things. They don't hate growing things so much as that they get distracted by their impatience to make stuff that they neglect to look out for what they might damage. In his way they mirror their father Aule's impatience and willingness to ignore some of Iluvatar's wishes.

Off of Tolkien for a mo--but Dan Brown's book [i:78s0ska9]Angels and Insects [/i:78s0ska9]is, I think, just as exciting as his [i:78s0ska9]DaVinci Code[/i:78s0ska9]. The Big Dangerous Secret in that book is that Matter = Light or Matter = Energy. I didn't understand why that was a big secret. They figured out how to get rid of matter and trade it out for energy without making a bomb.
I was thinking today about your fascination, GB, with the chivalric code and the troubadours, and the sacred feminine and such. In that PBS series on Joseph Campbell where he's interviewed by Bill Moyers, JC talks about a tribe somewhere and their right of passage ceremonies for the adolescent boys. The men in the tribe round up the boys who are at this stage of life when they are a little bit rebellious and snotty, and they drag them out of their houses at night and scare the bejeezes out of them and then they circumsize them in this horrible terrifying ritual that just sounds like it makes boot camp seem like nothing. So then, when the girls in this same tribe reach puberty, what do you think THEY do? The girl goes and sits in a hut by herself--for like a week maybe. That's it. Bill Moyers asks, "What does she do?" JC answers, "She SITS there!" The point is for her to ponder what she is. I thought that was SO weird and unbalanced when I heard this (pre-motherhood time). But as a mom I totally get it. Though maybe a girl's right of passage works better when she gets pregnant than just when she has a period. When you get pregnant and have a baby, you are a GODDESS. TOTALLY. First, you MAKE a baby. Your body just MAKES a HUMAN with all of its parts and fingernails and eyelashes and tasebuds, and all you do to influence it is sit around and metabolize. You go into Super Production Mode, though, let me tell you. More b. o., more hair oil, more plaque on teeth between brushings...It's like your whole body gets the message to MAKE STUFF and so it just DOES. You get tired, maybe, and suffer symptoms, but you don't do a blessed thing to achieve this. And then when the baby is born, if you nurse, your body makes food for the baby. Like just the right amount in response to recent demand, and it's just exactly what the baby wants. And the baby TOTALLY thinks you are a goddess. I've never had so much power doing so little. I mean, it's really hard work, but the mystical stuff that's amazing kind of happens by itself without a woman's volitional control. Maybe this isn't amazing in all cultures at all times to all people (think [i:1aprvhrb]Monty Python and the Meaning of Life[/i:1aprvhrb]), but when it happened to us, my husband was in awe and felt kind of jealous, and I felt really lucky. It doesn't make a lifetime's vocation for a person, but for that small time, in some ways, there's no better gig. And for the woman it is a no-brainer--or least not a conscious brainer. I can totally imagine why men might feel jealous. And maybe there's the illusion that the woman has a lot more volitional control over the process and uses more talent than is really involved. "Yay, wooo! I stayed alive and I made THIS....ha ha...you worked and slaved and you made what? a cathedral? pppffft." The Virgin Birth story fits well with the Earth Mother image. This magical thing can happen to any poor slob. "Wow, I can't believe you chose me for THIS!!" All mothers can sing the Magnificat. Maybe I'm making it sound too magical. But it kind of is...

I also have another BOOK to mention. (You know, I think I'll just make a LIST of these, and resubmit them every few weeks, just so that people remember that they exist and so that there's no pressure to run out and get them and read them, but so that people know about them and find them faster--because, you know, so many times we learn about the best books by chance conversations.) One of the other chief Inklings, Charles Williams wrote a book called [i:1aprvhrb]The Figure of Beatrice[/i:1aprvhrb]. I own it. I have started it. I put it down. I also got another one of shorter essays by him. He is not at all easy to read. But Beatrice is Dante's sacred feminine--the muse that leads him go seek greater spiritual knowledge. I bought the books because I WANT to understand Charles Williams, but yes, he is not easy at all, or at least he is beyond my pitiful brain at this point. But YOU might be ready, GB. And [i:1aprvhrb]Figure of Beatrice [/i:1aprvhrb]might be obtainable from a library through inter-library loan. I have found CW's stuff around even though he seems obscure. He must have been respected more at one time.
Okay, I see what you mean Otto's World. Rowling, along the same line of thought, has the Goblins greedily possessive of their creations even after willingly selling them to Wizards. They believe the Creator is the ultimate owner of the product; to the Goblins selling is just rental until the buyer dies. But, as you aptly point out, they are fashioning a commodity that Nature provides. I have a lot of jumbled ideas right now. It will take me a while to sort them into something cohesive and my computer is Twitching on me too.

[b:36goou96]Gandalfs Beard[/b:36goou96]
The twitching must be the forum itself, because my computer is very iffy right now, loading this stuff very slowly.
What the eff? I just lost a post into the netherworld. I was thinking about how E = mc squared. A few years ago my younger daughter wrote a story to learn about the water cycle. It was about Rodney the Raindrop and how he started out in the ocean and then he evaporated and then he rained into a flower and dripped into the dirt and got slurped up by a worm. One supposes that he was later peed out by the worm, but the story is too delicate and polite to mention this: it only says, as the last line, that "Rodney looked forward to having many more exciting adventures." So it started me thinking about matter and how often it turns into other matter...and whether that matters. (Hwaaaah!!) Are atoms like pennies? Are the ones that stay in circulation likely to diminish or get less "shiny" by getting pitted and worn from being used and reused, as opposed to atoms that stay buried in the middles of mountains or inside dinosaur fossils or Egyption tombs? You'd think so, wouldn't you? Atoms that get slurped up and eaten and then killed and eaten and then digested and decomposed and slurped up into the roots of new plants to be eaten and so on, get used more. But their integrity does not seem to diminish. One would think it would.

A pal of mine is knowledgeable in all matters and she explained to me that even matter isn't all that much matter-ful, but is mostly space-ful and motion-ful. Little particles whizzing around each other in tiny little orbits. But even so, those particles could get dented, right?

Another question: Do we know of any process by which energy is transformed into matter?
Photosynthesis is the first thing that comes to mind as an energy to matter conversion process. There are a number of others but my brain is as fritzed as my computer tonight. As to the whole particle thing, they can't get "dented". But if you smash them together at high speeds in a super-collider you can get other more exotic particles. but the interesting thing is we don't think particles are "particles" any more. we thing they are vibrating one dimensional filaments, or strings. I'm going to leave off there because I can't be very clear tonight. Fred Alan Wolfe and Michio Kaku are the clearest explainers of modern physics.

But the part that answers your question is relatively easy. Energy can neither be created or destroyed. so the amount of energy in our universe (one of an infinite number of universes) has been and always will be the same. Having said that, it seems particles are always popping in and out of existence maintaining the energy balance.

Anyway, I sort of relate this to the idea of having babies you were talking about. You don't really "create" the baby, but the baby grows out of you. I see the universe/nature in the same way. We weren't really created by a creator; rather we are growing from the universe. So seeing the universe as feminine kind of makes sense. And seeing as we are all growing from the same Energy Source, we are all various aspects of the Universal Beingness. I don't know if I'm making any sense :roll: tonight. I think I'll try again tomorrow.

[b:1ornhxq8]Gandalfs Beard[/b:1ornhxq8]
Oh...photosynthesis. Yes.... :oops:

So maybe we aren't all as solid as we think we are, but we're more like harnessed bits of energy, temporarily corralled into this or that shape
My whole spiel on the [i:1nf7tkmp]Silmarillion[/i:1nf7tkmp] probably belongs in the thread entitled "S[i:1nf7tkmp]ilmarillion[/i:1nf7tkmp]." Hmm... Well, I was reading all of the parts of the Flieger [i:1nf7tkmp]Splintered Light [/i:1nf7tkmp]book that I underlined, and I guess all of that must have informed my reading of the [i:1nf7tkmp]Silmarillion[/i:1nf7tkmp], even though it has been several years since I read the Flieger book. ANYWAY...paraphrasing it, Iluvatar, whose other name is Eru (yes? or something related to that word) and Eru means "being." In fact, maybe the Tolkien name was a little different because it sounded a little bit like "I Am." "I am that I am." [Those are God and Jesus lines from the Bible.] I am the [b:1nf7tkmp]Big Be[/b:1nf7tkmp]-er. The One who [b:1nf7tkmp]IS[/b:1nf7tkmp]. You don't get more solid or real or full of integrity than Me. (That's in the Flieger book.) Anyway, Iluvatar creates a song, or Logos (which might also mean "blueprint" or "plan" or Plato's Forms, which also is the same as the Light, the Word in the Gospel of John) and he creates the Valar, who are lesser beings who reflect different parts of the Song/Logos/Light. They could be analagous to colors; if Iluvatar is white, or all colors, each valar is one chunk of the color wheel. Or, using the gods analogy, each especially relates to one aspect of the song.

Each valar has free will, and can sing or reflect or sub-create within the rules of the Song or Plan, and this makes the Song richer or more detailed. Each part is a splinter of the original light--the details or consequences or manifestations are filled in, making it richer, but the valar are still choosing to work within the plan or rules of the song, so it is a harmony. And Iluvatar and all of the valar listen to what they have made and they all nod to each other, admiring of what each one has thought to come up with, and they say, "Nice!! 8-) It is just as much fun to listen to or see what another has thought to make as it is to make something new oneself and show it off. Everyone is talented, everyone takes joy in making, but everyone also takes joy in appreciating the work of others. Maybe if it were analagous to the Creation Story in the Bible, it would be as if each day of creation, a different valar would make things. So one day Ulmo (the water god) would come up with whales and dolphins and catfish and amoebas, and everyone else would look and say, "Ooooo.....Nice. 8-) Maybe even they would be surprised and amused by some things. "Ohmigosh, a giant squid! Ha ha!!! Awesome." and Ulmo would blush and say, "Yeah, :P I'm pretty proud of that one." In other words, everyone would conclude that "It was good." Maybe after Aule, the Matter God, came up with rocks and heights and slopes and bluffs, Ulmo would say "Cool!" and add waterfalls to it, and everyone would be happy about that. Another RULE within the PLAN is that nobody gets to be possessive of their stuff, but is supposed to be happy to make and happy to share and give away, happy to have the work be admired and appreciated, and nobody worries about who gets the blue ribbon and who gets honorable mention. Competition is not part of the scheme of things. But one of the valar, Melchor (whose name is different in the beginning but starts with an M) likes his own abilities so much that he gets distracted and forgets to value the work of the others as much as his own, and he wants to be--and really kind of already is--the Best One. He has the freedom to choose to be humble and work within the plan or to get an "attitude." And I guess Iluvatar thought it was worth it to allow everyone to have this freedom, because the freedom is what allowed the variety, but it also carried the risk that the valar could work outside of the plan (to an extent). So Melchor gets an attitude and decides to be loud and to make up music thatdoesn't really fit the plan, and he blasts his speakers loud so nobody else can hear their own voices, and it sounds awful because it breaks the harmony. Iluvatar says, "That's okay. I'm bigger than this. I will create a larger harmony that will accomodate the different stuff that Melchor has introduced and really make the new harmony even more beautiful than the first one was." This is totally out of Milton, [i:1nf7tkmp]Paradise Lost[/i:1nf7tkmp]. The idea of the [i:1nf7tkmp]fortunate fall[/i:1nf7tkmp]. Pain and lousiness will result from people choosing not to obey God, but, in fixing the brokenness, God will make a new Good that is even better than the original Good. Then Melchor meddles some more and we don't get to see Iluvatar step in and make it all better. But it's a hint that ultimately [i:1nf7tkmp]All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.[/i:1nf7tkmp][Lady Julien of Norwich]
So the basic ethic or rules of play for all creatures are laid out in the story of the valar. Creatures can appreciate the Light and work within it, and create according to their given talents/abilities, but the system works best if everyone is free and generous with their stuff, and just as happy to take joy in the work of others. Bad stuff happens whenever creatures start to focus more on their own particular "splinter" of the Light, neglecting the value of others. One of the biggest sins in this world is to desire to possess and hold onto things. Dragons reflect this aspect of Melchor. "My own! My Precious!!" The Sackville Bagginses. Ungoliant the ancestor of Shelob, eating and eating and eating. (ooo....and notice that none of these people are known for making anything--just having it, consuming it, or controlling it)
One part that's awesome is how Melchor tries to "marr" Ulmo's water by creating ice. "Ha ha!!" he thinks. But Ulmo says, "Hmm....oh hey...look at this...Ha ha!! I made snowflakes!" and everyone says, "oooo....nice 8-) " The work creatures do to counteract evil sometimes makes more beauty than there would have been had there not been the evil. Maybe like a pearl growing from an irritant stuck inside an oyster.
<img src='/images/smileys/vevil.gif' border='0' alt='Very Evil Smilie' /> Why does Glitching continue to lose posts?

I will attempt to recreate.
Your point about being harnessed bits of energy is bang on target. From a Photons point of view time doesn't exist. So the universe is like a lattice of light stretching from one "end" of time to the other. Though I don't really think there is a beginning or end to time.

When you started talking about Tolkien's creation myth, something struck me that I have thought about for years, but is particularly relevant to this conversation. Iluvatar is the Illuminated Father: from the Latin (illuminar) and Germanic/Latin (Vater or Vatar). As i think it makes more sense for the Godhead to be feminine, I would have named the Godhead Ilumatar, the Illuminated Mother. In any case the whole illumination thing is very Medieval, hence very Pagan and Particularly Gnostic.

The Gnostics saw the higher orders of being as lattices of light. Similarly, in Hindu/Buddhist thought pulling back the Veil of the World reveals a universe made of layers of light like an onion. Lewis's New Narnia is much of the same. Brighter, more real -- Super real -- Surreal. Layers of Narnia "further up and further in" ever brighter and more vivid.

Sound is also Energy. Vibrating air molecules transmitting resonant frequencies. Tolkien and Lewis both in their creation myths have the world being sung into existence. The Word becomes Form. Even in Carlos Castaneda's writings, the importance of Naming things defines reality.

Shared creation is also revealing of the Dreaming Godhead of Hinduism. The various aspects of the Godhead incarnating at many levels of reality in different forms, all the way to the material realm. So we are all aspects of the Dreaming Godhead. The Universal spirit at play with itself. Alan Watts is the clearest, bar none, at explaining Eastern Philosophy. Okay I am posting at this point.

[b:1j9asu9d]Gandalfs Beard[/b:1j9asu9d]
In a sense Melchor, or Mephistopholes is really part of the Plan too. It is what makes the tapestry of reality so rich; and really, as Satan represents the underworld -- he represents the Earth, the Forgotten Feminine; demonized and banished from the Patriarchal Presence for the audacity of being able to bring life into this world without effort. The Uncontrollable Female. Daddy wants ultimate control over Procreative Power and must possess it for himself. Even Blake saw this and remarked that he was of the Devil's Party. And noting that Satan was Dante's hero Blake said Dante was of the Devil's Party himself without really knowing it; he just couldn't help himself. And in a way, Rowling fulfills Tolkien and Lewis -- restoring balance to the Realm of Faerie. (See how neatly this all ties together and why this discussion belongs on this thread).

[b:2tqlm99j]Gandalfs Beard[/b:2tqlm99j]
It would seem the "possessive" attitudes of Melchor then should really be attributed to the Dominator aspect of the Godhead and not the Feminine. It is the Creator not the Grower that seeks to ultimately Possess for Himself, His own Creations. Much like Rowlings Goblins. So God and Devil are reversed; just as the Gnostics saw.

Gandalfs Beard
Wait. Satan is the repressed female...demonized or painted with a black brush by the man-powers and Dante is on Satan's cheering squad...WHAAAAT???!! Or rather, ahem Let's not be too....hasty.

First of all, I wonder if Blake said that [i:3qfpllit]Milton[/i:3qfpllit] was on Satan's side, because Milton's Satan is said to be such a great sympathetic character, and his God isn't very exciting or appealing--too remote, and so some have said that Milton really worked against himself and backed the wrong hero...or that the force of his art supported the wrong team. Dante's Satan is almost in a state of non-being. He's frozen in a lake of ice, forever chowing down on Judas. I don't think he says anything anymore. He's a big anti-climax when they get down to the middle to finally see him.

Reading Job, one would think that Satan is part of the plan. Only there I think he's just called "the Accuser," which could be an angel or some being whose job it is to play the part of devil's advocate. That always seemed kind of weird to me. Is The Accuser the head of the Torture Unit of God's Army, or is he really the enemy?

I'm not sure I'm going with this whole line of assertions you're making, here, GB. Or rather, they are so audacious and shocking :o and contrary to orthodoxy that they require lots of support. But I have to do family work right now and can't engage at the mo.
Well Otto's World, Satan was The Horned God, the Goddess's Consort. The Goddess was totally stripped from Cosmology when Monotheism took over from Polytheism and the Horned God was turned into a demon. There was no longer any room for the Feminine. The Catholic Church leaders have always frowned upon Mary worship in their ranks. Joseph Campbell actually talks a bit about this, but Riane Eisler really goes in depth. Her book is The Chalice and the Blade. Her scholarship is Highly regarded today among anthropologists. I found her website the other day, but I haven't explored it yet.

In the Tanakh (Old Testament) Satan was more God's Hangman than anything else. As for Dante or Milton, I often muddle them up. But I will doublecheck with my friend who is much more of a Blake scholar than I. It's family time for me now too. Back later.

[b:13ygy9uc]Gandalfs Beard[/b:13ygy9uc]
I don't want to be all snotty and correctical, although if I switch my name to Hermione, I can totally be that way... Hmm...that's an idea.... :idea: But Milton's Satan is seen as a kind of Promethius figure. Ah, what a heroic admirable character (Promethius), and he wants to help all of humanity, but the big powers make a bird peck out his liver daily as punishment for getting too big for his britches. What horrible Powers That Be. Milton's Satan was a romantic hero (among a lot of Romantics), so I bet Blake was talking about Milton's Satan. I like Milton--no secret--but a lot of people don't, largely because he is so keen to defend God and pound in the concept of hierarchy, and he is thought to be sexist. I really like [i:2lqoyo0o]Paradise Lost[/i:2lqoyo0o], though, and think of it as a great way to get conversations going among students about trying to find the Golden Mean, because Milton is always making tensions between opposite goods. Within the poem different characters have lines that argue the upside of each end of a spectrum. The tension between freedom and being kept safe, between excellence and humility. Satan is like Man in that he "bit the apple." He wanted more freedom than was allowed, and wanted to act according to his own sniff test rather than to obey God's commands. That's an issue that never goes away for us. Do I follow my own personal sniff test when I try to decide how to act, or do I follow what I think God's (or my society's) commands are (during those moments when I think there is a real difference)? Ugh. If I wanted to be really Hermione-ish I would get my copy of the poem and try to find example passages that show the defense of opposite goods. And they are really fundamental issues.
You are absolutely 1000% correct Otto's World. My friend (as much a contrarian as me) informed me that, once again, I had indeed muddled up Milton with Dante. I always do that :oops: :roll: :lol: . He also reminded me that Satan is Lucifer, the Bringer of Light and related to Venus. Another connection to the Illumined Realm.

[b:1ltcm2tv]Gandalfs Beard[/b:1ltcm2tv]

P.S. My friend, though he is also pagan, is a fan of Milton too, but as interpreted by Blake.
Well Promethius stole fire from the gods and made it available to man. He's the bringer of fire. Satan is the bringer of Light. Mybe they are the same thing.
What happened to my post? Ahhhhh!!!!

The only time I remember anything about a horned god is in the Mists of Avalon, when they tied antlers to a boy's head and made him play the part of a god, and couple with a girl, who was made to represent the goddess.

I understand that for much of the Israelites' early history,they were polytheists. So there doesn't appear to be one particular time in history when the pagans were driven out. It must just happen bit by bit little by little. And people forget what the old sensibiities were.

I don't know as much as I'd like about Jewish history. But Paul was a Jew, and he is the one most responsible for pagnizing early Christianity, yes? He explained things in more platonic terms. But he was a Jew, so it must have been okay at some point, to be a Jew and to study the Greek philosophers.
Yes!! Gnostics weren't just Christians; there were also Jewish and Egyptian Gnostics. Everyone studied the Greeks in those days. It has been a while since I have read the Nag Hammadi Texts and analysis of them, so I can't comment further without going back to the books or doing an online search. As to Paul' I know many claim (blame?) he paganized Christianity. But Christianity arose amidst Pagan traditions and was heavily influenced by Mithraism a Babylonian sect dating from 600BC that was much later co-opted by the Romans. If you look at a comparison the similarities are astounding. Mithra was the Son of God (and a Sun God) born of a Virgin on December 25th and was known as the Redeemer,Savior, the Lion and the Lamb. There are far to many points of similarity for me to go into here. I seriously doubt Paul was responsible for the wholesale "borrowing" of these myths. Early Christianity was Pagan and was considered such by Orthodox Jews of the time.

If I remember correctly, The Mists of Avalon was written by Marion Zimmer Bradley in the very early 1980s. It retold the Arthurian Tale from a Feminine and Pagan perspective, returning balance to the Myths. She wrote it shortly after Riane Eisler's research was published. I remember reading it at the time.

The Ancient Israelites were indeed polytheistic as were most ancient peoples before Zoroastrianism. They worshipped the same gods as the Ancient Babylonians, though with variations on the names. The Godhead was feminine but was balanced by a male consort.
To continue: The Goddess was known as Ishtar/Isis and was the Goddess of Fertility; she was later known as Venus by the Greeks. Her consort was the Horned God Baal/Bel/Molech and was God of War; and was later known as Mars by the Greeks. In the Middle East the Horned God was connected to the Bull and the Ram and had horns to match. In Europe, Celts and Nordics associated the Horned God with the Stag and he had antlers. He was also God of the Hunt.

After Zoroatrianism appeared, Monotheism began to pick up steam among the Hebrews. As the Greeks evolved from Titanism to the next phase, the Gods became separated from the Earth and placed in the Sky. Zeus (Greek) and Thor (Nordic) are sons of the original Gods and are Sky Gods -- this dovetails with Mithraism (Son of God/Sun God). This separation made it easier to eventually seperate the feminine altogether as Judaism interacted with Greek thought, culminating in one Male Sky God.

I will leave off here for now.

[b:14xdxi3v]Gandalfs Beard[/b:14xdxi3v]

P.S. Lucifer and Prometheus do indeed play the same role. He didn't become truly "evil" until Roman Catholics got a hold of his story. In fact my friend tells me in Milton's footnotes he makes the same connection.
Wow, thank you for all of that. Are you listening out there, Hobbit Forum people??!! GB's last two posts carry some GOOD STUFF. 8-) :idea: :P Are you sure that you did not go to college at the place where I went to graduate school and take their humanities courses? I missed out on taking the courses directly, but I hobnobbed so much with the profs and TA's who taught it and overheard them explaining things to students that I feel like I kind of sort of took the course and blew it off and got an F, but still learned quite a bit. C. S. Lewis was aware of a lot of this stuff, I'm pretty sure. [i:3didxo1f]The Magus Zoroaster [/i:3didxo1f]comes up in Charles Williams's novel, [u:3didxo1f]Descent Into Hell[/u:3didxo1f]. I love that book, and read it while in graduate school, and thought "[i:3didxo1f]The Magus Zoroaster [/i:3didxo1f]" sounded soooo exotic and mysterious but I had NO CLUE why he was in this novel. Then when I heard the humanities TA's throwing the name around I thought that was just too bizarre and they were too knowledgeable. Anyway, it's still a large mystery to me, but I doubt it was to the Inklings. T. S. Elliot was loosely associated with them by a strong connection with Charles Williams, and C. S. Lewis wrote a novel called [u:3didxo1f]Til We Have Faces[/u:3didxo1f], which is a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth; he regarded this as his best work. There are elements of sacrifice worship and this gross old woman stone altar god in the temple that was always covered in blood--which apparently they never seemed to wash. And then a beautiful girl gets sacrificed--we think...we think we see it happen--but it turns out that she just marries Cupid--the beautiful man god...who is...er...a man...and who is the true god, not the incorrect bloody woman god...um...ahem...oh. Well, C. S. Lewis may not have been [i:3didxo1f]sympathetic[/i:3didxo1f] with the old earthy woman god...but he knew about her.

I didn't know that Molech was the same as Mars. Eeeew.... In Paradise Lost he is one of the fallen angels in Satan's army, and he's not by any stretch the biggest or best, and he's associated with sacrifice--people throwing their babies into a fiery oven to him. Oh my. Well, in war people DO kind of throw their boy babies into the fire, don't they. "Here, son, you don't mind, do you?"
Well, I don't know if this matters, but when I try to imagine the god-transition process happening, it sounds like lots and lots of people must have thought that the newer ideas made good sense and they gradually modified their beliefs to accomodate the newer thinking. Of course people can use rhetoric or persuasive or appealing teaching to bring up each new generation to a slightly different way of thinking. But I don't imagine old ideas being snuffed out by violence and force or by evil mustache-twisting villains.

ALTHOUGH...In my Medieval Literature course I was shocked by the morality plays and how often and how harshly they demonized Jews and women. Well, I can imagine the demonizing Jews part. People probably didn't know very many Jews--or didn't know them well. The more of a cartoon character the Bad Guy can be the more entertaining the play is, and church members probably had fun goosing the bad characters as much as possible and the audience probably yelled "Booo!" and they knew that they were really boo-ing Cedric the Miller, who had been playing the part for years, and they'd intend the boo's as a way to cheer on the fellow townsmember. My professor had a theory about the anti-female feelings: He thought that there were all of these celibate, sexually frustrated monks who constantly had to try to not slip over to the Dark Side and sneak a woman now and then. If they weren't very self-aware, they might have really blamed the women for being tempting rather than blaming their own bodies for wanting them, and thought of them like "demon alcohol"--a constant temptation that must be avoided but which was constantly there as a threat.

I think there's a biography of Satan out there, but I don't remember the title or the author. It would be interesting to trace the evolution of that idea. The snake in the Garden was not originally anything like Milton's Satan, and I don't think Jews today think of that story in any way the same as the current Christian view of it.
GB said:[quote:3puaqfus]I seriously doubt Paul was responsible for the wholesale "borrowing" of these myths. Early Christianity was Pagan and was considered such by Orthodox Jews of the time.[/quote:3puaqfus]

So what did Orthodox Jews of the time believe? (What a question!) I mean, Judaism is evolving. Christianity is evolving. In the year 100 AD, what did each group believe? Jesus seems to be railing against a particular group of Jews, not Judaism itself. He's constantly quoting the Scriptures and following rituals and holy days and such, but he's always saying how a group of Jewish authorities have misunderstood and distorted the real intent of the teaching. In that way he resembles Martin Luther, chastizing the theological authorities of the time for veering away from the Truth. If Paul (a Jew) influenced Christianity, and he clearly knew a lot of philosophy, then it must have been okay for Jewish intellectuals to study other ideas. Hmm....There's always a line in Old Testament thinking to keep the lines pure and to kick out anyone who threatened the norms of the group. But they couldn't help it, could they? Maybe all of those admonishments to "Quit being influenced by those Evil Other Phillistines!!" were desperate shouts in response to percieved threat: because so many people WERE being influenced by those evil other phillistines, whoever they were. Evidence that they WERE being influenced, not that they WERE'NT.

Did this post make any sense? I don't think so. I'm sorry. If needed I will clarify.
Good morning Otto's World, There were several Orthodox groups at the time. The Sadducees were a Priestly class and though elitist were fond of Hellenistic thought. The Pharisees were the Popular group and believed in the coming of a savior, unlike the Sadducees. The Pharisees also believed that Oral Law was co-equivalent with Written Law (Torah or Tanakh). The Essenes didn't like either group; practiced celibacy and were vaguely gnostic. Jesus has been linked with both the Pharisees and the Essenes. But there is so little contemporary evidence outside the Bible, noone really knows. The Biblical account doesn't help in the search for an Historical Jesus because it is largely mythology "borrowed" from Mithraism. But mainstream Judaism was essentialy Monotheistic. They would have seen a Son of God who was equal with God as Polytheism. This was a pre-echo of the later debates within the Catholic Church regarding the Trinity. This, in part, led to the Reformation. I want to comment on your other posts, but I must leave it here for now.
Okay, I'm back. The Sadducees had a very literalistic and Orthodox view of the Torah and weren't open to other interpretations; yet, as I've already mentioned, they were Hellenistic. Modern Jews trace current Judaism to the Pharisees, who were more interpretive. If Jesus had belonged to the Pharisees; he might have been seen as a "savior" but they wouldn't have recognized him as a Son of God. And modern people promoting Jesus as an Essene also tend to towards a Pagan Christ; which, due to their asceticism, seems highly unlikely. It seems most likely, if Jesus existed, that he was a Pharisee who came under scrutiny of the sect leaders in Jerusalem as a "rabble rouser". We really have no idea if he actually claimed to be the Son of God, and there were many claiming to be the foretold Savior. But the Jewish sect called Christians didn't come into being till after his death. The whole bodily Resurrection at "Easter" time was also Borrowed from Mithraism. So the very early Jewish sect calling themselves Christian were no doubt viewed as Pagan by the other groups.
To go back a bit to your prior post. Violence over points of doctrine in polytheistic religions wasn't entirely unheard of, but it was rare. Doctrinal violence really only came into play once Monotheism established itself. Aligned with Political/Economic Establishment, threats to doctrine were seen as undermining the Hegemony of the entire social order and could not be tolerated. To return briefly to the ancient Hebrews; their sacking of Canaan and taking it for themselves, was "justified" by doctrine, but was clearly a slaughter in the name of Theft.

The demonizing of Jews was begun by Roman Catholics who promoted the idea of Jews as "Christ-killers". And as the Official Church of Imperial Rome, Catholicism wasted little time in converting people at point of Spear and Sword, backed by the full power of the State. Quite contrary to the ideals promoted by Jesus. The demonization of women began much earlier, under Bronze Age Paganism. The male Sky Gods were placed at the top of the pantheons to establish the new status of women as property. In the Dark and the Middle Ages, women were even further repressed by the Church, partially for the ascetic reasons you suggest -- but mainly because it was the only way to keep down European Paganism, which was never decisively squashed.
Why was polytheism deemed to be a threat to the integrity of the state/hegemony? The Romans tolerated it, yes? As long as people paid lip service to whoever was in power they could worship whoever they wanted in the privacy of their homes.
I can't speak to other Ancient Pagan's around the globe; but in terms of late Paleolithic Paganism of the Near East and Europe -- when the Goddess was still the Godhead -- human sacrifice was unlikely. Temples were places of ritual sex. The blood of a virgin female was likely menstrual or the "sacrifice" of her virginity. I think Ritual Human Sacrifice came into being when the Male Sky Gods took over in (what I like to call) Third Wave Paganism. Animal Sacrifice had been around since the First Wave Paganism, or Animist Paganism -- which was a ritual thanking the Spirit of the animal they were eating. Some of this is speculative, but as we learn more and more about Paleolithic and Neolithic peoples -- I think the evidence backs up this view.

Now Lewis and Tolkien were well aware of Pagan views of the Indo-Europeans and also Medieval Classicism. But they didn't have access to the scholarship of Riane Eisler, Joseph Campbell and those that followed. Despite this, Tolkien and Lewis reveal an instinctive understanding of the need to re-balance the realm of Faerie towards the feminine -- they just couldn't make it all the way there. But they sure came close. This is what I mean by "Rowling fulfilling Tolkien and Lewis).

On a final note regarding my comment on Tolkien and Paracelcus (Paracelsus?). He admitted in his notes that he didn't really get the connection between Gnome/Knowledge and Gnome/Earth-dweller. That was my own idea, though I expect I could nowadays find others who have made the connection. I am dead certain that if Tolkien had access to modern anthropology and the scholarship of Eisler and Campbell, he would have instantly made the connection.

Yaaaaaay!! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> I've managed to get through all this without losing anything.

[b:1fi3khr5]Gandalfs Beard[/b:1fi3khr5]
The Romans only tolerated polytheism until Constantine made Christianity the Official State religion. Once Monotheism was Official it had to be enforced. He was the one who convened the Nicene Council so Christians could iron out Doctrine. Their were 318 particapants,12 of whom were Gnostics. The majority were Catholics led by Anselm, and the next biggest group were Arians (not to be confused with Aryans) who were followers of Arius. The Arians didn't hold to the divinity of Jesus. Their texts were shredded at the council and they were pressured into coming into the Catholic fold. What happened to the Gnostics is a matter of controversy. More liberal scholars say their works were destroyed also and that the Gnostics were hunted down as they did not "come into the fold". Orthodox Scholars, both Protestant and Catholic, take the view their early "Saints" could do no wrong and didn't kill anyone. And they only trace their split to the Reformation.

Gandalfs Beard

P.S. Emporer Constantine needed a unified Catholic Church. He couldn't have Doctrinal insurrections undermining his political power.
I can't believe I haven't referenced Terrance McKenna yet!!! Perhaps because he is more speculative. But his Speculations are based on a lot of scholarship, from McLuhan to Eisler and Feynman and his brother and his own research into Shamanism. He is...was (died of brain cancer a few years ago) the Timothy Leary of Psylocibin ("magic" mushrooms) and very much a believer in [u:1xeg58zx]the Archaic Revival[/u:1xeg58zx] (the name of one of his books). He really thought Altered States of Consciousness revealed the Realm of Faerie -- though not quite in those terms. Another fantastic book of his is [b:1xeg58zx]The Food of the Gods[/b:1xeg58zx]. Though wide ranging (much like this discussion), Terrance had some really cohesive ideas that dovetail neatly with Tolkien's essay and the conversation it has inspired.

Gandalfs Beard
[u:23hw5m16]Food of the Gods[/u:23hw5m16]? Magic mushrooms? Is it a cookbook? Well they [i:23hw5m16]are[/i:23hw5m16] pretty delicious. We in our family are quite hobbity about Morels. :lol: Pipeweed, fondness for (possibly magic) mushrooms...that hippie Tolkien.

GB said:
[quote:23hw5m16]the next biggest group were Arians (not to be confused with Aryans) who were followers of Arius. The Arians didn't hold to the divinity of Jesus.[/quote:23hw5m16] Yes, let's [i:23hw5m16]not[/i:23hw5m16] confuse them. What are Aryans? Blonde strong Germanic Viking type people whose Swedishness has blended a bit with the continentals? Is that an actual race classification like Negroid, Mongoloid and so on? I ALWAYS wondered about that when the TA's and profs from the humanities courses threw around the word "Arian."

Well, selfishly to satisfy my own needs I need to inventory all of this info about pagans and people inventing religions out of their imaginations and needs and such. I really prefer to come out of the discussion with [i:23hw5m16]more[/i:23hw5m16] than I had at the beginning, not [i:23hw5m16]less[/i:23hw5m16]. If we take a census of the pantheon of gods we have, who would we end up with at the party? It sounds like some are demonized versions of good ones, and so maybe we can't count those--they're libelized good folks, not multiple-personality folks. So, for example, Molech is really Mars with a Halloween mask on. Mars after the tabloid journalists have gotten hold of him. Does Molech show one of the many faces of Mars, or is he just a lying libelous smear on Mars and he only existed in the minds of the people who were trying to steer their religion away from that kind of religion? Anyway, I like my spice cabinet to have as much variety as possible. My color palette to be as various as possible. My list of usable characters to be as long as my arm. Must do some imaginative furniter re-arranging to get the most fun layout possible.
I know "pipeweed" is supposed to be tobacco, but the fims deliciously -- not content with mere ambiguity -- suggest something greener and more "magical' 8-) :mrgreen: . Toadstools and "magic" mushrooms are a staple of English Faerie Literature.

Aryans originally were a central Asian ethnic group from the Caucausus Mountain region. Paler than the original inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent, they moved into that region and the caste system of India inexorably followed racist belief -- Pale skin, higher class -- dark skin,lower class. I have never figured out why Blonde Nordic/Germanic types call themselves Aryan. Sure, some Europeans came from the Caucausus Region, but they aren't Blonde and Blue eyed. Most anthropoligists today have thankfully discarded with the ideas of "Race". As if humans of different stripes were separate species. There are greater genetic differences between individuals than there are between "races". I don't remember offhand the name of the book or authors, but they present convincing evidence that "racial" differences owe more to Regional Environments.

As to the rest, I'll let you soak in some of the contrary notions I have subjected you to. :lol:

[b:2xo0qdae]Gandalfs Beard[/b:2xo0qdae]
Since you used it, GB, what exactly does this guy --> :mrgreen: represent?

I'm thinking about the god pantheon--or maybe just the census of personages and creatures--that we are allowed to use. Well, if we go for complete accuracy and take out the characters who are inventions of the imagination, then we have to eliminate a lot, which is unacceptable. I am all up for personifying ideas and abstract concepts and states of mind. So even if Satan with the horns and tail and pitchfork never really existed (because he's really the Goddess's Consort, demonized by slander), I still want him. Well, and not just him, either, but his whole crew, because we need more detailed various representations of the Bad. Because we have to live with mosquitos and cancer and drunk drivers and bad breath and school bullies and whatever lives under the bed. There's nothing imaginary about having to battle or endure such things.

Though, of course, one could say that this would only be demonizing those things, and that they aren't really bad. Mosquitoes have their place in the food chain. We probably need whatever bacteria lives in our mouths to make morning breath. Cancer is not [i:3gllnbl0]bad[/i:3gllnbl0]: it is just [i:3gllnbl0]misunderstood[/i:3gllnbl0]. It's probably necessary. It's probally the mechanism that allows for mutation and variety and adaptation. We'll probably discover that it's the small downside that a few of us have to live with in order to purchase the much greater benefit of evolution and adaptation. When my girls were little we used to watch [i:3gllnbl0]Little Bear [/i:3gllnbl0]constantly and so we have pretty much every episode memorized. In one story, Little Bear is having a really Bad Day when everything seems to go wrong for him--lots of accidents, and friends aren't available to play and so on. This Frog meditating all zenike on a lilly pad says, "Days are not bad; they are just days." But it is a bad day, or at least that's how Little Bear interprets it, adding up all of the events, seeing a pattern, and deciding that the day is just cursed and that things will go bad for the rest of the day. And Mother Bear's solution is to go to bed [i:3gllnbl0]early[/i:3gllnbl0], which is a totally sensible thing to do in that state of mind. A friend of mine who is in AA says that Little Bear's solution is a perfectly valid technique--to do something--ANYTHING--to distract oneself until the feeling passes. In that case, the craving or mood or crisis or whatever can be seen as a kind of demon visitation or a kind of storm that must pass over. But I have this CD by John Kabot-Zinn that's a series of meditations based on his book Full Catastrophe Living and the program he has related to it. It involves meditation and buddhist teachings. There are 5 principles, and one of them is Non-Judging. So, like the frog in [i:3gllnbl0]Little Bear[/i:3gllnbl0], you say, "This sensation I am having is not [i:3gllnbl0]pain[/i:3gllnbl0]--or it is not un[i:3gllnbl0]pleasant[/i:3gllnbl0]...it is just a [i:3gllnbl0]sensation[/i:3gllnbl0] I am having. I am having it [i:3gllnbl0]right now[/i:3gllnbl0]. This does not mean that I will have it forever. I will not think about how long I have already had this pain...I mean...ahem...this [i:3gllnbl0]sensation[/i:3gllnbl0], I will just experience it happening now, in a nonjudging way." It is supposed to reduce one's suffering and pain, but you are not supposed to focus on wanting to get rid of the pain; you are supposed to just concentrate on [i:3gllnbl0]being[/i:3gllnbl0], right now, in a nonjudging way, not trying to change anything. But in a way that's still a load of crap, because Buddhists try to heal others, and this is thought to be worth the effort, and you only do that if you have a concept of bad and good and preferable and nonpreferable. But anyway, the idea is to relax and not to fight the pain or the situation, and not to take a combative attitude towards it but to move toward acceptance and equanimity. I'm just putting in a devil's advocate (ha ha) argument here against using demons in one's imaginary or emotional or thought world.

And because there are demons :twisted: in this forum who destroy people's postings, I am copying this to a Word document as a safety precaution before I hit the Submit button.
I just loooove reading your posts Otto's World :lol: . They always give me a good laugh. You have a great sense of humor. Roald Dahl remarked through his character Mathilda that Lewis's stories, while good, weren't very funny. I'm not sure I totally agree (thinking Reepicheep and Dufflepuds) but in a way Dahl was right. Then Rowling came along, and British Whimsy took it's rightful place in British High Fantasy. Tolkien was amusing in the Hobbit, but likewise, his works are largely serious.

:mrgreen: I just thought Mr Green here looked a little stoned. If my memory were better, I could give you more details about what the Green Man represents. I think there's a connection to Druidism -- The later male dominated version of Wicca. But I think Tom Bombadil and Treebeard are representations of the Green Man. Terrance McKenna talks a bit about him too, I think.

In a sense, all the characters of the Pantheon are part of our imagination. Jung (a fan of Paracelcus) thought of them as Archetypes, representing different aspects of the personality. Much like the various Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon are aspects of the Dreaming God (Brahman) incarnate. There is nothing really "wrong" with Satan as a representation of evil per se, but it seems to many, including Blake, that Christianity reversed the representations of Good and Evil. The Dionysian Spirit chained and shackled by an Oppresser. In truth though, [i:1vzudp6d]any[/i:1vzudp6d] Aspect that is allowed to run amuck without regard for the other Aspects is the basis for evil. There is a time for pleasure, and then we have to clean up after the party and go to work the next day. The central idea of Paganism, as in Buddhism, is a [b:1vzudp6d]balance[/b:1vzudp6d] of forces. Instability is "evil". Cancer is an instability of normal cell dividing processes, hence Evil with a capital E.
I just loooove reading your posts Otto's World :lol: . They always give me a good laugh. You have a great sense of humor. Roald Dahl remarked through his character Mathilda that Lewis's stories, while good, weren't very funny. I'm not sure I totally agree (thinking Reepicheep and Dufflepuds) but in a way Dahl was right. Then Rowling came along, and British Whimsy took it's rightful place in British High Fantasy. Tolkien was amusing in the Hobbit, but likewise, his works are largely serious.

:mrgreen: I just thought Mr Green here looked a little stoned. If my memory were better, I could give you more details about what the Green Man represents. I think there's a connection to Druidism -- The later male dominated version of Wicca. But I think Tom Bombadil and Treebeard are representations of the Green Man. Terrance McKenna talks a bit about him too, I think.

In a sense, all the characters of the Pantheon are part of our imagination. Jung (a fan of Paracelcus) thought of them as Archetypes, representing different aspects of the personality. Much like the various Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon are aspects of the Dreaming God (Brahman) incarnate. There is nothing really "wrong" with Satan as a representation of evil per se, but it seems to many, including Blake, that Christianity reversed the representations of Good and Evil. The Dionysian Spirit chained and shackled by an Oppresser. In truth though, [i:3sr6xowj]any[/i:3sr6xowj] Aspect that is allowed to run amuck without regard for the other Aspects is the basis for evil. There is a time for pleasure, and then we have to clean up after the party and go to work the next day. The central idea of Paganism, as in Buddhism, is a [b:3sr6xowj]balance[/b:3sr6xowj] of forces. Instability is "evil". Cancer is an instability of normal cell dividing processes, hence Evil with a capital E.
WOW!! Double post....Hmmm...I was just trying to upload before I lost anything...Ooops :oops:

On the problem of pain (pun intended Lewis Lovers) and Buddhism, many New Age notions misrepresent Buddhist thought. This is not entirely New Agers fault though, as many Buddhists are also under misapprehensions. The Buddhist Master feels Pain when he feels pain. Once reaching Enlightenment one must still "chop wood and carry water". The only difference is that one is no longer attached to the pain, or attached to desire. One still has those feelings, but they can look upon those feelings with a kind of detached omniscience and not get wholly caught up in the feelings (which can lead to imbalance). Lucas's Jedi Knights are supposed to embody this, but his portrayal is inconsistent. A Buddhist monk in a monastery is an ascetic, but once He (or she) goes out into the world they are expected to be Part of the world and may get married or have sexual partners and enjoy life. Balance is the key. I have tried New Agey meditation practices -- Vicodin works better. Buddhist meditation feels the pain but detaches oneself from it.
Where does Matilda talk about C. S. Lewis? I don't remember that. Maybe there's a Roald Dahl Lexicon website where we can look that up.

My exposure to the Green Man (as a personage, not as the icon guy) is from [u:2j3ysypl]Sir Gawain and the Green Knight[/u:2j3ysypl]. There is so much about that poem that I do not understand, but he seems like kind of Santa Claus's dangerous brother. Or the dangerous brother of the Ghost of Christmas Present. He's really ALIVE and larger than life. HA HA HA!! (booming voice) Who else? In the Hobbit they visit this guy named Beorn (I think) who lives in the woods and who is kind of a bear-man. Though I think the bear-man is another character in myth. ANYWAY, yeah, a Grisley Adams type guy with a big laugh. I don't totally understand what that spirit represents. [Tolkien did a fabulous translatin of [u:2j3ysypl]Sir Gawain [/u:2j3ysypl]and nobody ever uses that edition in their classes, but he got the delightful rhymes and alliterative quality.]
So, to summarize. Little Bear sure as heck is having a bad day, and going back to bed is very Zen. (I think I remember those books from when my sister was little. Can you give me more details to jog my memory).

And as for Demons -- It's interesting nowadays, since WW2, how Blonde and Blue Eyed are fair game in representing evil (looks fair but feels fouler, to paraphrase Tolkien). Think the Malfoys, orTricia Helfer as the Beautiful Cylon 6 in Battlestar Galactica. In the Matrix, God (the white bearded soft spoken chappie) is the Devil (he's a Gnostic God). Black is White, Up is Down -- at least in fiction Balance is Returning to the Force. As Terrance McKenna might say, we trying to use art to will ourselves to evolve.

[b:9uo7hetx]Gandalfs Beard[/b:9uo7hetx]
We crossed posts as I was posting my closing thoughts Otto's World. I don't remember where in the book Matilda that quote is. My mother brings it up in conversation though, and I valiantly (though unsuccesfully) attempt to defend Lewis. Though, in truth, the only really witty book of his that I have read is the Screwtape Letters. There really isn't a lot of humor in Narnia outside of a bit of slapstick.

It has been at least a decade and a half since I last read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but you are on to the connection. As I posted, I think Treebeard and Tom Bombadil are representations of the Green Man in Tolkien. And the edition of Sir Gawain we have is indeed the Tolkien Translation.

[b:pdhzrjd5]Gandalfs Beard[/b:pdhzrjd5]
I found the Green Man on my friends website. Its on a subpage of the Dark Lady page called School of the Night near the bottom of the page. some cool pictures and a brief rundown on the connections to the Horned God and the Goddess.
Thank you, GB, for your earlier compliments. Back atcha. I make you laugh, and you describe ideas and historical events concisely and correctly in a way that sums the issues up. Like mini lectures. We have to save these posts, now, to refer to later.

So, how are we going to populate our Fairy Land? I'll start by jotting down a few residents.

The [b:3qphrkoh]Green Man [/b:3qphrkoh]: green-colored man-of-the-woods, wild, confident, powerful, and alarming. Alleged Sightings: in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, in disguise in LOTR as Old Man Willow and Tom Bombadil

The [b:3qphrkoh]Bear-Man[/b:3qphrkoh]: man with a bear's nature or who changes into a bear. Alleged Sightings: Beowulf means "bee wolf" or "bear." Beorn from the Hobbit likely is a man-of-the-woods who likely turns into a bear at night. the prince in Snow White and Rose Red. a fur-clad rustic in Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, who finds a baby in the snow, and says, "Look, a baaaaaairn!"

[b:3qphrkoh]Centaur[/b:3qphrkoh]: half-man, half-horse--has the body and four legs of a horse, and an additional torso, arms, and head of a human cropping out of the spot where the horse's head should be growing, so has two chests and (sort of) two sets of "arms," or six limbs total; has curly hair, big horsey ears, or sometimes pointy elf-man ears, and often has a curly beard; they are ponderous astrologers, proud and shy Alleged Sightings: Harry Potter's world, Narnia, Ovid, Sagitarius--an archer, Disney's Fantasia

[b:3qphrkoh]Faun[/b:3qphrkoh]: half-man, half goat--has the buttocks and hind legs of a goat and the torso, arms, and head of a man, and has little tiny horn stubs on the head. has little short pointy beard. Sweet-natured, likes to play the pan pipe, and likes to frolic and dance around. Alleged Sightings: Faerie Queene, Narnia--Mr. Tumnus, Disney's Fantasia

[b:3qphrkoh]Satyr[/b:3qphrkoh]: seems to resemble fauns sometimes and other times resemble centaurs. earthy fun-loving man-type with an animal nature for sex. frequently seen carrying maidens away. Alleged Sightings:

[b:3qphrkoh]Bacchus or Dionysis[/b:3qphrkoh]:

[b:3qphrkoh]Pan[/b:3qphrkoh]:

[b:3qphrkoh]Puck[/b:3qphrkoh]:

The [b:3qphrkoh]Shepherd or Rustic[/b:3qphrkoh]:

Notice I started withthe ones that have a rural earthy feel which are associated with forests and nature and which sometimes have a dual animal/human nature.

Feel free to correct, elaborate, fill in, or discuss.
We had the Little Bear books, but we mostly know about him from the Nelvana cartoon on Nickelodeon. It's a Canadian show and Maurice Sendak supervised the art. It's done in watercolors. Beautiful gentle little show. And you can tell that it's Canadian because Little Bear says that he's going to play "ootside" or that he is going back to his "hoose" for lunch. My eldest did not take naps :shock: (<--that's how we looked, sleep deprived as we were). And the best I could do was to get her to cuddle up on the couch with a pillow and a blanket and that show--preferably a 6-hour VHS tape of it. I don't think Frog was in the books. He's very calm and urges LB to be calm, detached and non-competitive, until he gets splashed by Duck and then he loses his cool.

Yes, I suppose Vicodin is preferable to meditating the pain away. There is a whole goal, though, of practicing calm that has benefits, and which crosses traditions. When I'm less tired I'd like to talk about practices that may be similar in different religions. Self-control, equanimity, contemplating suffering.

[b:2k4l9pc9]Jack[/b:2k4l9pc9]: a version of the Rustic, is typically young, inexperienced, poor, and is often an orphan or is fatherless. he is clever and good at wiggling out of danger, and thieving. Alleged Sightings: Selling a cow and climbing a beanstalk, Aladdin, the Jack Wild in Oliver!, Huck Finn, Bilbo in The Hobbit--bit it's a stretch
Actually Bilbo in the Hobbit as Jack is no stretch, Otto's World. Again, You instinctively hit the proverbial nail on the head. These are Jungian Archetypes. Frodo is THE Jack in LOTR, but all the Hobbits represent a more modern version of Jack in the LOTR as a means to mediate the High Fantasy for modern readers. Christopher Tolkien discusses this in the introduction to The Book of Lost Tales.

Intriguingly Bacchus/Dionysius, Pan and Puck are all iterations of the same archetype. Pan is a faun. They all represent the Desire or Pleasure aspect of the Horned God; while the Green Man represents the Forest/Woodsman aspect of the Horned God. But being a fan of Diversity, I like a large variety of Fairy creatures too. Tall, graceful, slender Elves as in Mddle Earth. Short, little Elves as found in other tales. Flower Fairies, Tree Spirits, River and Mountain Spirits. And Especially Dragons, European Style Grouchy Ones and Asian Style Wise Ones. Wizards, Witches, and Tibetan/Chinese Monks with their own style of Wizardry. Dwarves, Gnomes, and Yes, even Goblins. I love them all. Talking animals too.

I wish I could be a bit wittier myself. When Pontificating I can come off a bit like the Pompous Professor, but I try to leaven it with humor (when I can) and a more conversational style. Actually debate (such as with the Black Glove) brings out a mildly sarcastic style of wit in me. But I am no good at trying to come up with jokes. Though, I suppose, when I am moved to draw political cartoons as I did early last summer; I can be amusing.

As to meditation and such, I practice it myself when I can. I was very much into the New Age in 1980-1983 at the end of my High School years. It was fresh and Magical then and opened me up to a lot of cool ideas. But I soon discovered the Real Stuff that inspired it. Asian Mysticism: Hindu, Buddhist, Tibetan, Taoism, and Shinto; and the Amazing Martial Arts of the Orient. I soon realized that though a great primer, New Age thought muddled clear principles. Though as I said, it was not entirely the fault of Westerners. Many Gurus seeking fortune and power peddled a watered down version to sell to the masses. And many of the Asian lay people little understood what they were being taught. Today, Deepak Chopra is one of the most open and enlightened of those that came to America to teach. Practitioners like Bruce Lee and even the TV show Kung Fu were clearer about Eastern Philosophy than many of the "Masters". And Alan Watts, another Brit, also Anglican, wrote the most concise books on Eastern thought I have ever read. I had better post now before I lose it.

[b:tdxy6rvy]Gandalfs Beard[/b:tdxy6rvy]
I don't think you come off as a [i:acmbq0av]pompous[/i:acmbq0av] professor: I think you come off as a professor. You write clearly and you give background information so that people know what you are talking about, and you give information that is factual and accurate. In this way, people can pretty much take notes from your posts, like they're little lectures, and they can exlore more or ask you for elaboration. It's nice. We usually have to pay for this service. This is like taking an adult education course--all the fun with no pressure.
I want to start a new line of inquiry or discussion. A good friend of mine is on the design committee to renovate her temple. The artist they have hired is brilliant. They’re redoing a lot of the building, and then the capper is the front of the temple with the ark (which is the cabinet where the Torah scrolls are kept). It’s fun to be kind of in on the discussion as they think through what to do and how to use materials to create experiences for the people. How to encourage people to ponder or meditate or focus on certain images. They’re doing a lot with a special kind of glass that changes color when it moves (as when the doors of the ark are opened), and working with the idea of white light that splits into various colors. There’s also lots of tree imagery and beautiful wood (like I just want to roll all over it and lick it’it just invites touch) and the leaves are of glass and all silvery and sometimes purple and different other colors, the way an opal sparkles with different colors in the dominant white color. The leaves are meant to represent us, the people, in our individuality, but they all originate from this beautiful Tree of Life. There was discussion about a light that goes inside the ark so that when it is opened, it shines on the scrolls, and light imagery is meant to be evocative and represent God. And the light splits into many colors because of the design of the fixture the light is in. There was an alternative idea of using a honeycomb shape for the light fixture, and I guess Stars of David, all fitted together, can make a honeycomb shape, (hexagon) which invites other types of metaphors of bees and community and cooperation. That idea got ditched, but it’s interesting thinking about these ideas and what kinds of thoughts and ideas it reinforces in people when they stare at them for a long time, like while they’re sitting for an hour in a service.
So, #1, don’t those images totally sound like what elves would design? And the whole idea of emphasizing Light (from Iluvatar) and splitting it smaller and smaller (Valar, down to more detailed creations of creatures and plants and matter). I wanted to tell the artist about the Flieger’s [i:3h7s1zlk]Splintered Light [/i:3h7s1zlk]book, but the poor guy has enough to think about, and it just seems like convergent evolution anyway, that he is thinking in these terms already.
I’ll post this and then continue.
So, #2, I’ve been thinking about images and what one chooses to emphasize. Thinking of religion, because there are usually books and images involved. Lately I’ve kind of dropped off in my enthusiasm for the Cross as an image. Apparently every church service’at least liturgical traditional ones in Catholicism and Lutheranism and maybe Anglicanism’is meant to kind of replay the Gospel. But rather than all of the parables and such, it is reconciliation with God, forgiveness, feeding (thought Holy Communion and the Word), blessing, and sending. A pastor would correct my description, I’m sure. But, for example, in my church, the biggest images we focus on are the Cross, of course, and in the front lawn of the church there are 3 crosses to represent the Jesus with a criminal on each side. Then there are also quite a few images of doves fit in, hiding here and there, representing the Holy Spirit and baptism. There is a bit of tree imagery too, but not much. ANYWAY, I wonder why we emphasize the CROSS so much, and when we do, what that does to influence what’out of everything that’s in the Bible’people choose to focus on. Some churches have crosses in the front with the bleeding body of Jesus on them. Or some denominations or some traditions in some times in history have really emphasized Christ’s pitiful bleeding body, or there are Stations of the Cross (scenes from Christ’s ordeal on his way to be crucified) along the sides of the church for people to ponder. I learned from a book by Rick Steves ([i:yphhgljq]Europe 101[/i:yphhgljq]) that the image of the Suffering Christ is meant to comfort people’because no matter how hard your own life is, you can be sure that God knows exactly how you feel because he has suffered too. Rick Steves explains this while he’s talking about a painting that’s in Colmar’the Isenheim Triptich, I think’by’um’Grunewald. It’s a big horror show, with Jesus’ arms pulled so that the joints are all dislocated, and he’s got tons of little pricks all over his skin and he just looks horrible, and I guess this was put up in a hospital for people who suffered from skin conditions. Hmm’So the horrible images are supposed to be comforting.
Just to pick out this one slice’You know Mel Gibson’s movie’.um’.The [i:yphhgljq]Passion of the Christ[/i:yphhgljq]. A lot of people’including a lot of pastors’thought that Mel was really out of line, making it so gross, but there IS a tradition there that focuses on the suffering, BECAUSE it’s a battle sometimes to stick to your guns and do what you have to do. VERY similar to Frodo’s journey, especially at the end where it seems to just get worse and worse right when he is getting most tired. The strain on him to maintain his resolve. And we have little battles like that sometimes’or sometimes we are stressed out enough to be aware that we are having these battles, sometimes when life is hard. You know, sometimes we’re tired or hurting or really angry or really scared’really fired up and churned up and ready to claw someone’s eyes out or run away and avoid the situation or make a selfish choice when that is not the right choice, and there’s an inner battle to overcome whatever temptations of pain and fatigue and stress, and do the right thing anyway. Sometimes my big prayer has been, ’God, just help me get through this without being an @$$hole.’ And the image of Frodo’s journey works so well for that. But that is just one slice of what life can be, and how often is that image evoked? How does our thinking change when we focus a lot on sacrifice and self-denial? As opposed to the Tree of Life and The Shire and Elbereth and such? There’s so much gardening imagery that can be used. Hooray, Sam Gamgee!! I’m not arguing that all crosses should be put away, but I’m thinking there should also be lots and LOTS of other images that have to do with LIFE, like grapevines and trees and water and such.
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