So The Elves...

Post Reply
User avatar
Taurandir
Able Seaman (Veteran poster)
Able Seaman (<i>Veteran poster</i>)
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:54 pm
Location: Oregon

So The Elves...

Post by Taurandir » Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:44 pm

... just awoke one night at a place called "Cuivienen". They lived in perpetual night, by the light of the stars only. Those who wandered too far were captured by the forces of Morgoth (the Demiurge) and tortured and corrupted until they became the race of orcs.

How horrifying is that?

Who are we?
-Raúl

User avatar
Lúthien
Captain
Captain
Posts: 1564
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:52 am
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Lúthien » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:09 am

It's definitely one of Morgoth's vilest deeds.
Who are we?
Well, I've never felt that the answer could be "orcs", though some people definitely do their best to resemble them in some ways.

Further on there's more about especially "currupted Men (humans)", but they weren't as distinctly recognisable or physically altered as the Orcs were, but rather the sort of corrupt, power-crazed humans we see today. They also feature prominently in the Akallabêth, the story about Númenor.


In Morgoth's Ring there's an account of one of the first humans telling about how Morgoth treated them after they had woken up (hint: not very nice either).
It's also referred to in the dialog "Athrabeth Andreth a Finrod" ("discussion between Andreth and Finrod") also found in Morgoth's Ring, and elsewhere. In the Silmarillion later on it is also told how Morgoth tries to estrange the humans from the elves and both of them from the Valar - I suppose that's a "divide and rule" tactic ...


Incidentally, about "who are we": Stephan Hoeller draws a
parallel between on one hand the three gnostic soul types (Hyletic, Psychic, Pneumatic) and the three races of dwarves, men / humans and elves on the other hand.
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!

User avatar
Meneldur Olvarion
First Mate
First Mate
Posts: 1401
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:23 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:53 am

Keep in mind, also, that the Legendarium is much like the fragmentary records of an ancient culture -- not so much by design as by circumstances in Tolkien's life -- so it doesn't say just one thing about a given situation. This story is both an "origin story" intended to be told to children, and has elements of counting lore within its structure. A discovery of mine that I've never seen mentioned anywhere else is that Lucas primes and their products occur frequently within the Legendarium as a whole (the first few Lucas primes are 2,3,7,11). The Salvia-people say that "the Universe runs on Lucas primes", but now we are segueing from JRRT to DW. ;)

Anyway, the Tale:
JRRT, in 'Cuivienyarna - The Legend of the Awakening of the Quendi' wrote:
While their first bodies were being made from the `flesh of Arda' the Quendi slept `in the womb of the Earth', beneath the green sward, and awoke when they were full-grown. But the First Elves (also called the Unbegotten, or the Eru-begotten) did not all wake together. Eru had so ordained that each should lie beside his or her `destined spouse'. But three Elves awoke first of all, and they were elf-men, for elf-men are more strong in body and more eager and adventurous in strange places. These three Elf-fathers are named in the ancient tales Imin, Tata, and Enel. They awoke in that order, but with little time between each; and from them, say the Eldar, the words for one, two, and three were made: the oldest of all numerals.

Imin, Tata and Enel awoke before their spouses, and the first thing that they saw was the stars, for they woke in the early twilight before dawn. And the next thing they saw was their destined spouses lying asleep on the green sward beside them. Then they were so enamoured of their beauty that their desire for speech was immediately quickened and they began to `think of words' to speak and sing in. And being impatient they could not wait but woke up their spouses. Thus, the Eldar say, the first thing that each elf-woman saw was her spouse, and her love for him was her first love; and her love and reverence for the wonders of Arda came later.

Now after a time, when they had dwelt together a little, and had devised many words, Imin and Iminyë, Tata and Tatië, Enel and Enelyë walked together, and left the green dell of their waking, and they came soon to another larger dell and found there six pairs of Quendi, and the stars were again shining in the morrow-dim and the elf-men were just waking.

Then Imin claimed to be the eldest and to have the right of first choice; and he said: `I choose these twelve to be my companions.' And the elf-men dwelt together a little and had learned many words and devised more, they walked on together, and soon in another even deeper and wider hollow they found nine pairs of Quendi, and the elf-men had just waked in the starlight.

Then Tata claimed the right of second choice, and he said: `I choose these eighteen to be my companions.' Then again the elf-men woke their spouses, and they dwelt and spoke together, and devised many new sounds and longer words; and then the thirty-six walked abroad together, until they came to a grove of birches by a stream, and there they found twelve pairs of Quendi, and the elf-men likewise were just standing up, and looking at the stars through the birch boughs.

Then Enel claimed the right of third choice, and he said: `I choose these twenty-four to be my companions.' Again the elf-men woke their spouses; and for many days the sixty Elves dwelt by the stream, and soon they began to make verse and song to the music of the water.

At length they all set out together again. But Imin noticed that each time they had found more Quendi than before, and he thought to himself: `I have only twelve companions (although I am the eldest)); I will take a later choice.' Soon they came to a sweet-smelling firwood on a hill-side, and there they found eighteen pairs of Quendi, and all were still sleeping. It was still night and clouds were in the sky. But before dawn a wind came, and roused the elf-men, and they woke and were amazed at the stars; for all the clouds were blown away and the stars were bright from east to west. And for a long time the eighteen new Quendi took no heed of the others, but looked at the lights of Menel. But when at last they turned their back to earth they beheld their spouses and woke them to look at the stars, crying to them elen, elen! And so the stars got their name.

Now Imin said: `I will not choose again yet'; and Tata, therefore, chose these thirty-six to be his companions; and they were tall and dark-haired and strong like fir-trees, and from them most of the Noldor later were sprung.

And the ninety-six Quendi now spoke together, and the newly-waked devised many new and beautiful words, and many cunning artifices of speech; and they laughed, and danced upon the hill-side, until at last they desired to find more companions. Then they all set out again together, until they came to a lake dark in the twilight; and there was a great cliff about it upon the east-side, and a waterfall came down from the height, and the stars glittered on the foam. But the elf-men were already bathing in the waterfall, and they had waked their spouses. There were twenty-four pairs; but as yet they had formed no speech, though they sang sweetly and their voices echoed in the stone, mingling with the rush of the falls.

But again Imin withheld his choice, thinking `next time it will be a great company'. Therefore Enel said: `I have the choice, and I choose these forty-eight to be my companions.' And the hundred and forty-four Quendi dwelt long together by the lake, until they all became of one mind and speech, and were glad.

At length Imin said: `It is time now that we should go on and seek more companions.' But most of the others were content. So Imin and Iminyë and their twelve companions set out, and they walked long by day and by twilight in the country about the lake, near which all the Quendi had awakened - for which reason it is called Cuiviénen. But they never found any more companions, for the tale of the First Elves was complete.

And so it was that the Quendi ever after reckoned in twelves, and that 144 was for long their highest number, so that in none of their later tongues was there any common name for a greater number. And so also it came about that the `Companions of Imin' or the Eldest Company (of whom came the Vanyar) were nonetheless only fourteen in all; but the `Companions of Tata' (of whom came the Noldor) were fifty-six in all; but the `Companions of Enel' although the Youngest Company were the largest; from them came the Teleri (or Lindar), and they were in the beginning seventy-four in all.

Now the Quendi loved all of Arda that they had yet seen, and green things that grew and the sun of summer were their delight; but nonetheless they were moved most in heart by the Stars, and the hours of twilight in clear weather, at `morrow-dim' and at `even-dim', were the times of their greatest joy. For in those hours in the spring of the year they had first awakened to life in Arda. But the Lindar, above all the other Quendi, from their beginning were most in love with water, and sang before they could speak.

User avatar
Taurandir
Able Seaman (Veteran poster)
Able Seaman (<i>Veteran poster</i>)
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:54 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Taurandir » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:26 am

Yeah, I was going to remove the "Who are we?" part as being too melodramatic, but when I went back you guys had already replied. I guess I was feeling a bit pessimistic about the human race, and was feeling a bit tortured and corrupted myself. Right now, especially in this strange election year (sorry to bring it up) you can really see the intolerance and vitriol. Where I work are predominantly Trump supporters. Both sides are servants of the Archons though.

I do think the idea of the elves wandering about in perpetual night with faceless evil dealing out fates worse than death on the margins to be a stunning image.

I supposed humans were never idyllically good or noble like elves. I would say maybe the Ancient Greeks but they were notoriously cruel, misogynist, enslaved other people, etc. Despite things like that though, there seems something kind of ideal about them.

Thanks for the responses. It'll take me a while to digest them.
-Raúl

User avatar
Lúthien
Captain
Captain
Posts: 1564
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:52 am
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Lúthien » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:32 am

No worries :)

Though elves are less easily corrupted, they're definitely not immune to evil either. There are a fair number of 'nasty pieces of work' described: Eöl for instance (an arrogant, peevish character who didn't shy away from barely veiled rape), or Saeros (arrogant, disdainful and a coward). And though Fëanor has a load of redeeming qualities, being morally irreproachable isn't one of them.
Thingol himself could even be accused of being overly haughty and arrogant before Beren caused him to modify his views - I would most definitely put Beren far above Thingol where it comes to moral stature.

The difference between elves and men is mostly due (I think) because of circumstantial differences. Elves haven't been given the same degree of freedom as humans, I always feel that being morally good (acting according to the will of Iluvatar) is much more natural for elves than it is for humans, who are, in a sense, born rebels. And that doesn't always work out well, but it seems to be unavoidable to a degree.

Men (humans), who have received the Gift of Eru to die and leave the world after a while, are seen by the elves as "the guests" while elves feel much more bound to the Earth. Humans grow quickly tired of things, forever want to search for "what's behind it all"; while elves never seem to grow tired or bored.

In that sense, the 'Athrabeth Andreth ah Finrod' is a very interesting read. At one point Andreth (a mortal woman) says to Finrod (the elf-king) that humans often liken elves to 'grown-up children', who neither grow tired of things and to whom everything seems ever as wondrous as if they see it for the first time.


I feel that both races (or qualities) have their merit and are like they are for a reason. But I'll also admit that it would seem better if men weren't so easily swayed (by whatever tickles their fancy) - or didn't forget so quickly.
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!

User avatar
Taurandir
Able Seaman (Veteran poster)
Able Seaman (<i>Veteran poster</i>)
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:54 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Taurandir » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:06 pm

You seem steeped in the lore of Tolkien. Is there any other spiritual tradition or mythology you like?
-Raúl

User avatar
Lúthien
Captain
Captain
Posts: 1564
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:52 am
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Lúthien » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:00 am

Not by far to this degree.
I've actually searched for something that felt like home for years.
I have been familiar with Tolkien's work since childhood but never considered it to be anything other than 'just fiction' even though it always had a very strong impact on me.
I can only say that it felt very natural, whereas the Catholic mythos that I grew up with felt mostly alien. Though I must admit that I like the gnostic gospels a whole lot better!
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!

User avatar
Meneldur Olvarion
First Mate
First Mate
Posts: 1401
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:23 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:03 am

Lúthien wrote:[...] I feel that both races (or qualities) have their merit and are like they are for a reason. But I'll also admit that it would seem better if men weren't so easily swayed (by whatever tickles their fancy) - or didn't forget so quickly.
JRRT actually referred to it as "two 'experiments' with Time: mortality and serial longevity". He meant, of course, experiences of biological sentients embedded within time, not time itself. The reference is in the FAQ at some point (I have to bring my Legendarium database back up on this daily work machine, I see).

User avatar
Meneldur Olvarion
First Mate
First Mate
Posts: 1401
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:23 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:09 am

Lúthien wrote:[...] I can only say that it felt very natural, whereas the Catholic mythos that I grew up with felt mostly alien.
Me too. In my case I was raised an orthodox Lutheran -- which is basically a 'port' (to use the IT term) of the Catholic database minus the Pope. I wasn't aware of how much ol' Martin Luther had actually ported until I went to Catholic masses in Costa Rica.

Still, when I was growing up, the Legendarium was my private "true religion" whereas the Lutheran Christian data was "mom's religion".

User avatar
Taurandir
Able Seaman (Veteran poster)
Able Seaman (<i>Veteran poster</i>)
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:54 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Taurandir » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:53 pm

I wasn't aware of how much ol' Martin Luther had actually ported until I went to Catholic masses in Costa Rica.
Lutheranism would be the first breakaway from the Catholic Church orthodox lockdown, so it would be the most similar. From there the Protestants split into a myriad of churches. Now many Protestants don't even consider Catholics to be Christians.

I also felt alienated by my religion. It gave me nothing, and as soon as I was able to refuse to go, I stopped. I know more about it now than then, but I have no urge to go back.

I basically felt alienated from my entire culture my entire life, and have learned to deal with it. I have always felt like an outsider in my native land. Now I just accept the fact that I'm seen as a bit of a freak, no matter how hard I try to fit it. I just count on the fact that I'm essentially a nice guy (I think) to dispel any xenophobic enmity. I feel that my peers see me as pretentious because I like to read and I have eclectic interests. It tends to put people off at first. I think I mentioned I'm living and working in a rural area.

One of the essential tenets of gnosticism is that you 'are' alien. This is not your world. You're not supposed to be here. Perhaps that's why it appealed to me so much.
-Raúl

User avatar
Lúthien
Captain
Captain
Posts: 1564
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:52 am
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Lúthien » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:55 am

Skookum Jack wrote:Now many Protestants don't even consider Catholics to be Christians.
Really? :huh:
What else do they consider them than? I don't feel it's that much different ...

I just count on the fact that I'm essentially a nice guy (I think) to dispel any xenophobic enmity. I feel that my peers see me as pretentious because I like to read and I have eclectic interests. It tends to put people off at first. I think I mentioned I'm living and working in a rural area.
That sounds awfully familiar, even though I live in a medium-sized town (Leiden). It's always been as if there's a kind of barrier between me and others that prevents me from being "just like the rest". It manifests itself in things that I'm interested in like you say, but there's also a sense of something else deeper down, because even among groups of people that feel more familiar than an average cross section would be (which is easier to find in cities) it is always as if I am looking for a sense of communion that I cannot find. I'm just too different in too many respects, I suppose.
Now and then there are individuals who I can relate to, but never with "people as a whole", as something taken for granted.

The strange thing is though that I do seem to have a very strong sense of what it should or could be like, at times that manifests as a very intense longing. There are some movie scenes for instance, that capture this sense of communion: the essence seems to be that the people involved all seem to be individuals - not acting "as a group". That can feel quite overwhelming because they seem to signal that it is possible after all to feel this connectedness, but maybe in another place or time.

I still don't know. Sometimes it feels OK, sometimes I'm tired of it, sometimes it makes me feel sad.

Another part of it is that I find most people so complicated. It's as if they forever juggle with multiple personalities or many mutually exclusive impulses. I often feel very simple compared to that, as a child who simply wants to have a cookie might feel when she's confronted with a group of women who work themselves into a guilty frenzy because they shouldn't, or maybe they should - come on, just one then! - but what are the exact ingredients? - ohhh no! There's glutaminate in it, I can't have that - etcetera.

I used to think that there was something I was missing out on, but as far as I can see people are mostly complicating things for no reason apart from that they're so complicated themselves.

It's also funny that you say you have this "nice guy" defence mechanism. I usually count on my capability to make people laugh! :)
I'm not sure if this is different for men and women ... but I do recognise that "nice guy" idea, though it's not like something that I ever thought explicitly about myself. There doesn't seem to exist an equivalent "nice gal" notion, or maybe it means something different? In any case, I never have to make a conscious effort to be friendly to others, though I can appear aloof or arrogant because of that sense of detachment. And I'm also often just absorbed in something.

There's definitely an impedance mismatch, in any case.
One of the essential tenets of gnosticism is that you 'are' alien. This is not your world. You're not supposed to be here. Perhaps that's why it appealed to me so much.
Ive never thought about it like that ... yes, it makes sense. It appealed to me because it seems to be the only form of spirituality that doesn't take itself so unbearably serious. Or at least, that's the impression Stephan Hoeller gave me: he's the only person connected to something religious that I have ever been aware of who had a sense of humour!
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!

User avatar
Meneldur Olvarion
First Mate
First Mate
Posts: 1401
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:23 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains, Georgia
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Meneldur Olvarion » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:53 am

Lúthien wrote:
Skookum Jack wrote:Now many Protestants don't even consider Catholics to be Christians.
Really? :huh:
What else do they consider them than? I don't feel it's that much different ...
Here in rural Georgia, where establishing which church you go to is a sort of 'First Contact' ritual, I frequently hear the phrase, "Are you Catholic, or Christian?" Something I first did a double-take at, but which I now find endlessly privately amusing (the Trumpkins and their ilk amuse me with their depth of stupidity rather than anger me, plus even those sometimes have useful areas of knowledge that I lack -- how to fix a car engine, for example).
The strange thing is though that I do seem to have a very strong sense of what it should or could be like, at times that manifests as a very intense longing. There are some movie scenes for instance, that capture this sense of communion: the essence seems to be that the people involved all seem to be individuals - not acting "as a group". That can feel quite overwhelming because they seem to signal that it is possible after all to feel this connectedness, but maybe in another place or time.
That used to be the case for me, but aside from you and a few others I've met (mostly online), I find most people to be too stupid, yet paradoxically so certain of their opinions, that establishing contact with them is more trouble than it's worth to me.

It also helps being dead, in a shamanic sense. I notice in this election, for example, I'm not reacting to the Orange Gasbag with nearly the vitriol that I would have in 2004 (2 years before Salvia) or even in 2008.

User avatar
Taurandir
Able Seaman (Veteran poster)
Able Seaman (<i>Veteran poster</i>)
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:54 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Taurandir » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:22 am

Here in rural Georgia, where establishing which church you go to is a sort of 'First Contact' ritual, I frequently hear the phrase, "Are you Catholic, or Christian?"
I once went out with a girl from a Methodist family who told me that my family wasn't Christian because they were Catholic, and just this week I got into a debate with a coworker about whether Catholics were Christians. In the end he couldn't explain the difference but he said he knew they weren't really Christian. He said repeatedly they were the Pharisees in the Bible (i.e. the enemies of Jesus), which made no sense at all. Anti-Catholic sentiment still runs deep in fundie America.
-Raúl

User avatar
Lúthien
Captain
Captain
Posts: 1564
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:52 am
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Lúthien » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:30 am

Heh, maybe they're just annoyed because pope Francis insulted a couple of their cherished reactionary hobby-horses when he visited the US earlier this year ;)

I actually quite like this pope's political position; he makes a lot more sense* than practically all political leaders today apart from Justin Trudeau.




*with the exception of him hanging on to the idiotic position the church has on homosexuality, etcetera.
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!

User avatar
Taurandir
Able Seaman (Veteran poster)
Able Seaman (<i>Veteran poster</i>)
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:54 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: So The Elves...

Post by Taurandir » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:14 am

Luthien wrote: *with the exception of him hanging on to the idiotic position the church has on homosexuality, etcetera.
I guess he can't turn the ship too quickly. The ludicrous part is an Italian organization dictating behavior norms they say apply to everyone. It should be no one's business what anybody else is doing in their bedroom if no one is getting hurt.
-Raúl

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest