Legendarium Texts

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Lúthien » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:52 am

Meneldur Olvarion wrote:After listening in, I wasn't really bothered by it because large parts of the 'magic' are presented in such a mechanistic fashion that I'm just waiting for the "phase amplifiers" and "dilithium crystals" to make their appearances. ;)
Yeah, if the only valid reality is the world of facts, magic turns into a kind of "science that's too advanced to be rationally understood (yet)" that, interestingly and contrary to what you'd expect based on it's mysterious inner mode of operation, causes rather simplistic effects in that factual world such as random explosions, people turning into toads, etcetera ;)

Religion gets the same "This is about Real Authentic True Facts" treatment and turns into a collection of statements about sufficiently remote historical facts (though never so remote that it discourages skeptics from attacking those statements).

But surely the weirdest thing is imo that even imagination and fantasy tend to be pushed to the factual domain, as in Game of Thrones, of which the author and fans alike state that it being based on historical fact and real-world human moral crookedness makes it superior to, say, Tolkien.
Come on! What else is fantasy "fantasy" for then being able to move beyond mere fact?
Meneldur Olvarion wrote:Speaking as a shaman, real 'magic' (if that's what one wants to call it) works almost exactly the opposite of that.
It seems that the cultural view of what magic is these days is nice summarised by Carl Barks' Magica DeSpell:

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:34 am

I cracked up, mon! :D

That is one fuckin' hilarious cartoon. :)

If I would have known of it back in the days when all of the Neo-Pagans were hitting our site in search of "Elven Spellz", I probably would have put it in the front page.

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Taurandir » Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:51 pm

Meneldur Olvarion wrote:If I would have known of it back in the days when all of the Neo-Pagans were hitting our site in search of "Elven Spellz", I probably would have put it in the front page.
What were those days like? I had never even heard of "otherkin" until I met you guys. So there were all types wandering through in your heydey?
-Raúl

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:44 pm

Skookum Jack wrote:What were those days like? I had never even heard of "otherkin" until I met you guys. So there were all types wandering through in your heydey?
Oh, it was a scene, man. Frankly, I had never heard of "Otherkin" either, and Neo-Pagans "only as a rumour and a distant name" (to borrow a JRRT phrase) until I started a Yahoo group in early 2005 called 'United Tolkienists'. For whatever reason, they assumed that anything spiritual that wasn't overtly Christian must be Pagan. It was a sort of "identity politics" with them. "So..Orome is really Cernunnos, right?" No, he isn't. "These Valar you speak of are only mental constructs like in Chaos magic, right?" No, they fuckin' aren't. "Has anyone fantasized about having sex with Ulmo?" What the f*ck?!! -- get the f*ck out!!

In general, most of them were what I came to call "airy, fairy, floaty" in their worldview, but at the same time were extremely dogmatic in the sense that they believed we must follow the American Neopagan social schema. There were more of them in the original group I started with Lisa (Calantirniel), Tië eldaliéva at the time, which was one of the reasons I started this one (another main one being that I was more Valar-focused than Elf-focused and wanted to do more general research, for example, on Doggerland, which their outreach orientation might not have found too useful).

There aren't hardly any now, I think due to two main reasons: 1) most people of that sort were inspired by the Peter Jackson LOTR movies, and that is now ancient history in the minds of the (to my mind, rather stupid) American populace, and 2) Neo-Paganism itself is declining (see for example, this article [link]). I remember back in the day, they claimed that they would quickly eclipse Christianity and usher in a new age; OTOH Hitler claimed he would usher in a "1000-year Reich", so there you are. Not that traditional religions are immune from such decline either. Probably religion will devolve into this once the Capitalists completely brainwash the population:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8zNsUTWsOc

9-27-2016: Corrected article link.

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Taurandir » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:45 pm

Meneldur wrote: "So..Orome is really Cernunnos, right?" No, he isn't. "These Valar you speak of are only mental constructs like in Chaos magic, right?" No, they fuckin' aren't. "Has anyone fantasized about having sex with Ulmo?" What the f*ck?!! -- get the f*ck out!!
That's hilarious.
-Raúl

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Taurandir » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:53 pm

Blessed are the men of Noah's race that build
their little arks, though frail and poorly filled,
and steer through winds contrary towards a wraith,
a rumour of a harbour guessed by faith.
It's the only answer I guess.

I've always had a very easy time believing the trans-human powers of the Archons from gnostic myth, but can't quite get my head around the redeeming nature of goodness at the heart of the gnostic message. Cold-death of the Universe and the ultimate futility of everything makes total sense; the existence of a spirit world I can't quite believe in. It's not from being overly skeptical. It's a failure in my imagination. There is no answer to the human condition except faith.
-Raúl

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Lúthien » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:21 am

I've always had a very easy time believing the trans-human powers of the Archons from gnostic myth, (...)
Again a couple of thoughts in no particular order ... my first thought is that gnostics always state first and foremost that they don't believe but know, and that that knowledge stems from a certain kind of inner spiritual experience.

I really don't know if I believe anything either because that seems to imply at least a partial involvement of my rational self or, in any case, a conscious act of will (or how do you say that). Instead, there's something that is partly the above-mentioned knowing that comes from having experienced certain things, and partly a certain kind of hope, or maybe trust is a better word. Maybe you could also say faith, especially in the sense that Tolkien used it in the paragraph you quoted. There's even an elvish word for that kind of hope: estel (loosely translated as 'high hope').
But whatever the case, it is born from inner experience, never from something someone told me as being 'true' or any other external source.

The funny thing is that I am somewhat overly skeptical by nature, but that it does not have the slightest effect on this inner knowing. It's not a form of stubbornness or anything like that; but by its nature, skepticism cannot exist in the realm where that experience exists in. So the net result is that somewhat uneasy duality within myself. It's not too bad.
(...) but can't quite get my head around the redeeming nature of goodness at the heart of the gnostic message. (...)
That's what I mean: I cannot get my head around something like that either. But having been in the presence of such goodness I do not need to get my head around it - for the moment equating head with (rational) mind .. maybe you could say that it's a whole lot easier to get your heart around it?
(...) Cold-death of the Universe and the ultimate futility of everything makes total sense; (...)
Those are rational concepts, so it makes sense that they make sense ;)
Or do they? The former is only a theory; given the fast development in astrophysics and cosmology it might well prove to turn out different.

But why should everything be ultimately futile? That's not a rational concept, but something like despair.
What makes everything futile? That the universe can be habitable only for a finite period of time?
I think that is a rather large conclusion to jump at, but of course I don't know how you arrive there.
But if it is connected to that "finite period of time", it might be worthwhile to consider that time might not be the absolute, unchanging, ever-moving forward phenomenon as we usually it experience it.
There are plenty of arguments from both spiritual and scientific sources that paint a rather different picture. I just happened to listen to one of Stephan Hoeller's lectures the other week, the one about 'Altered States'. Among other things, he talks about the quite common experience of "timelessness" encountered in entheogenic trance.

And from the side of science there is, among others, Julian Barbour's timeless cosmology.

I wonder what it signifies that "ultimate futility of everything" is linked so closely to "total sense" here. As if "sense" is the opposite of "meaningful". Odd.
(...) the existence of a spirit world I can't quite believe in. (...)
Yet you say that you have a "very easy time believing the trans-human powers of the Archons" ... in what realm do the Archons then exist? Isn't that the same as the spirit world?
(...) It's not from being overly skeptical. It's a failure in my imagination. (...)
Maybe not so much a failure as not having exercised it a lot.
(...) There is no answer to the human condition except faith.
Or imagination ...
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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Taurandir » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:39 pm

Luthien wrote:Yet you say that you have a "very easy time believing the trans-human powers of the Archons" ... in what realm do the Archons then exist? Isn't that the same as the spirit world?
They may very well exist in the spiritual realm (if there is one) but they truly do exist on this plane of reality. Entities such as corporations, nations, churches, ad infinitum; exist here and now in the mundane world, and their powers have gone beyond the human. No one human can steer the course of these juggernauts. Their own self-interests supersede the interests of the individual members. Profit trumps humanity. Power is more important than the rights of the individual. Belief is a commodity to be dealt in. In the United States corporations have been granted the status of persons with constitutional rights. These things have to be dealt with and negotiated with in our lifetimes, and they will survive long after we are gone. They have personalities. They have their own agendas. You can can take the analogy pretty far. It's not even an analogy or a metaphor. Coke is out there hustling for a buck. The Catholic Church wants you in the pew, or else. The United States careens drunkenly towards another war.

Then there's the insidious mechanics of addiction, or hard-wired xenophobia, or chronic greed stimulated by incessant advertising.

I don't know if the Archons exist on the spiritual realm, but they seem to have the physical realm all locked up.

These are the mechanizations of Melkor?

I'm trying to align my thinking with your worldview. It's a bit of shift. Perhaps I have been lost in despair. My attempts to contact the spiritual realm have always fallen flat. Jesus never answered. No message was delivered. Buddhism seems no better than resignation to hopelessness, which might be the best answer of all. The one thing I've always liked about gnosticism is it doesn't pull its punches. You, mortal, have been thrust into a situation that you cannot control. Things are bad and going to get worse. That's fact.

I'll talk about my views on time some other. I have to do some housework.
-Raúl

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Lúthien » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:52 am

Skookum Jack wrote: They may very well exist in the spiritual realm (if there is one) but they truly do exist on this plane of reality. Entities such as corporations, nations, churches, ad infinitum; (...)
Ah ok, I had not realised you meant it like that!
Skookum Jack wrote: These are the mechanizations of Melkor?
(...)
Why yes, you could see it like that. At least partially, and also partially because of the freedom people have to act deviating from the will of the Valar (because they're free they're also free to behave like idiots).

Though, personally, I would not bother myself to refer to it like that unless in the context of "primordial cause" or something like that.

I certainly don't see it as some Evil Minions of Morgoth actively playing a game of Evil Chess with the world. But thats just my opinion.

But yes, it's rather blindingly obvious that group entities seem to have a will of their own and, especially in the US, have way too much power. It's been one of my main concerns for a long time.
Skookum Jack wrote:I'm trying to align my thinking with your worldview. It's a bit of shift.
I don't think it's all that different. It is of little significance whether you label something "Morgoth" or "Demiurge".
What's more interesting is "what are you going to do about it?"

And also keep in mind that we don't necessarily think the same, including about this subject.
Skookum Jack wrote: Perhaps I have been lost in despair. My attempts to contact the spiritual realm have always fallen flat. Jesus never answered. No message was delivered. Buddhism seems no better than resignation to hopelessness, (...)
I've neither heard a "voice from the sky" in answers to my prayers (back when I identified more like Catholic).
But I've most certainly noticed something in the imaginal realm, which I think is where it can be found indeed.
Just to make sure: whatever I found there didn't hand me a readymade solution or absolute moral advise. I don't think it works like that, at least not very often.
It might give you something else, maybe much more worthwhile: a sense of connection to something greater.
Skookum Jack wrote:Buddhism seems no better than resignation to hopelessnes, which might be the best answer of all.
I've looked into Buddhism as well, sometime before I found this. It was very helpful to learn to meditate.
But that that "resignation to hopelessness" that is central to it feels completely alien to me. It supposedly works for some, but I'm different.
Skookum Jack wrote:Things are bad and going to get worse. That's fact.
This is the only thing that I really disagree with. I'm not denying any of the problematic issues you mention but you do seem rather mired down by them.

For one thing: "things are going to get worse" is not a fact - it's a prediction. You might feel pretty certain about it; but it's not a "fact" because the future hasn't happened yet.

I think that this is a pitfall to watch out for because despair is not a very helpful state to be in (at least, I would think so).

Look, I'm not advocating a kind of stick-your-head-in-the-sand happy-puppy kind of blissful ignorance of the very significant problems we have. But still I think practically no-one is aware how great the influence of the media actually is on how the situation is perceived and thus how they feel about it.

It's especially worrying that this sets up a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy feedback loop: the more glum people feel, the less they're prone to change things (despair has foremost a paralysing effect) and the more likely it is that their fears will be realised.

There's even a feedback mechanism that influences your mood according to the physical expression on your face: there's a Chinese proverb that says "if you wan to be happy, hold a pencil between your lips. If you want to be angry, hold it between your teeth."

Actually, if I could point to one overarching theme in the Lord of the Rings, it is surely this: that you must never give up hope, and that despair is the enemy's greatest weapon.
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!

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Re: Legendarium Texts

Post by Lúthien » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:37 am

Hey, I split off the rest of the topic and put it here.
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