"Points Of Interests"

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Ellenar
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"Points Of Interests"

Post by Ellenar »

As some of you know, I have been studying Alchemy In Middle Earth:  The Significance Of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings, by Mahmoud Shelton.  Since studying this book, I have been able to clearly see the greater significance, of the Legendarium mythos, as a means of expressing spiritual truth.  Here are a few points, from the text, which I found to be quite interesting.

-The Elves of Tolkien's work, embody the same state as that embodied by the saints of the Islamic tradition.  As Tolkien expressed, "the Elves leave no footprints", the Elves have successfully "materialized their physical bodies, and spiritualized their material bodies."  This too was characteristic of many of the saints and prophets of the Judaic and Islamic faiths.

-The two modes of consciousness, attributed to the alchemic traditions of Europe and Asia, lunar and solar, are expressed within Tolkiens work.  (The author cites Elendil, as a reference.)  Lunar consciousness is passive and receptive, and represents the first mode of awareness toward enlightened awareness.  Isildur embodied lunar consciousness.  Solar consciousness is aggressive and reactive, and represents the second and final stage of  enlightened awareness (within alchemical traditions).  Anarion embodied solar consciousness.

-Here is where Tolkien's mythos diverges from traditional associations.  Solar consciousness, after having transcended lunar consciousness, is thought of as the state of enlightened awareness.  However, in Tolkien's mythos, it is the stellar light which reflects the state of enlightened awareness.  The merging of both solar and lunar consciousness.  Elendil embodied this state, as well as the star Earendil.  The author also cites the numerous references to various people being referred to as star-browed, as denoting this state of being.  Particularly, within the case of Aragorn Elessar.

-The author associates a saintly aspect to the Numenoreans and their descendants, similar to that of the Elves.  He compares many of the attributes of Aragorn to mythological descriptions of various prophets and saints, within the Islamic faith; finding several similarities.  Surprisingly, he expresses a dislike for the cinematic versions of Tolkien's works.  His opinion is that they greatly detract from the saintly aspect, associated with the Dunedain and the people of Gondor, that was so prevalent within the literary works.

-The author also stated that in his opinion, Tolkien's mythology is monotheistic, ascribing to a belief in a single deity as the source of all Creation.  He describes the Valar as the "angelogy" associated with Tolkien's mythos.  He likens it to the angelogy found with the Judaic and Christian religions; reminescent of Pre-Christian archetypes..

All in all, I have decided to read the LotR trilogy.  After which, I will reread Mahmoud Shelton's book.  Though I don't agree on all of Mr. Shelton's points, and think that in some cases of comparison between Tolkien's work and the Sufi Islamic tradition, that he reaches a bit, I found this work fascinating.  It helped me to gain a greater ease at defining those aspects of the Lengendarium, which spiritually inspire me.

   
"The time of Moonsheen has passed. The noontide of the dominion of Men is waning. Soon will come the era of Starshine. And the ages will partake of both; the grace of Moonsheen and the glory of the Days of the Sun" -Mormeril
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Re: "Points Of Interests"

Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

Ellenar wrote:[...] Surprisingly, he expresses a dislike for the cinematic versions of Tolkien's works.  His opinion is that they greatly detract from the saintly aspect, associated with the Dunedain and the people of Gondor, that was so prevalent within the literary works.
I'd have to agree with him on this point.  Although the movies retained elements from the narratives, they were in scrambled order and significance, with the end result being a sort of ideological "corned beef hash".

///Dave
[...] “That yet for a while in Beleriand rivers may run clean, leaves spring, and birds build their nests, ere Night comes...”
 -- Finrod Felagund, "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth"
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Re: "Points Of Interests"

Post by Eruannlass »

Suilad ~

I think that one of the reasons you don't find 'saintly' things in the film portrayals of the Legendarium, is that the majority of movie~goers just don't get it.  I was married to someone who, for all the years that I knew him asserted that Gandalf is nothing more than a 5th level wizard.

This discussion thread, from RPG.net, started by someone with the same D and D instinct to reduce everything to a cluster of numbers, epitomizes this thinking, but includes some replies from people who have read the relevant Lore, and know better. 

http://forum.rpg.net/archive/index.php/t-14535.html

Anyway ~ there are divine moments within the films (I'm referring mainly to the live action, as I haven't watched the 'toons in awhile), but they're either subtle, slipping by most people, or right out there, impossible to miss.  I don't know if this is 'saintly' or not, but I felt there was something quite spiritual in the portrayal of the Eldar.  I noticed the 'glow.'  I saw this ethereal quality that just said to me that these were a people who had a strong faith in something that gave them a lasting strength and near perfect calm. 

I'd seen this type of thing before, usually in films about Buddhist monks and martial arts masters, but this was the first time I was compelled to ask 'What do these Elves believe in that has them glowing like that?'  To my knowledge, religious people didn't glow, so what was the deal?  Spirituality?  Okay...Spiritual about what?

Thus began my quest to answer these questions...I had a lot of success for someone with no internet access ~ or perhaps because I had no internet access.  I also had no Lore readily available, so I came home from the library with 'The Complete Guide to Tolkien's Middle~earth for Dummies.'  It appealed to my sense of humor.  It was there that I first read about the Valar. 

Between the day that I first asked the above questions and the day that I wrote my introduction letter to this group's Officers, a few key things happened in my life that, looking back, were quite significant to my growth on this path, and would  not have happened if I hadn't asked the questions.  If I hadn't watched the movies, the questions would not have been asked.  They may be 'corned beef hash,'  but I'm glad I was given the opportunity to separate the beef from the hash, if you will. 

I think it takes a certain type of person to be able to do that.  This is not an ego trip, just a conclusion I have drawn from my own awareness that I have never marched in the same parade as 'everybody else...'

A movie is a movie...they're made to entertain, and such a small margin of them are faithful to the books on which they were based.  I am sure that Tolkien's works do not stand alone in this respect.  When I watch the movies, I do so for enjoyment, and I also find myself pleasantly reminded of the beauty of the Realm that I can travel to via the Imaginal.

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I Aear cân ven na mar ~ 'The Sea calls us Home.'

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Re: "Points Of Interests"

Post by Ellenar »

In all honesty, it was the portrayal of the Eldar in the first movie which inspired me to seek out the spiritual aspects of Tolkien's mythology.  Before that, I had only heard of Tolkien in passing.

That being said, I must admit that after reading the LotR trilogy, I have since found the movies lacking.  They (the films) are not an accurate portrayal of the written works.  I find them to be a water-down interpretation, and I learned a great deal more in reading the tales, than I did in watching the movies. 

I'm not saying that the movies aren't enjoyable.  I still watch them from time to time.  Being somewhat familiar with the art of screenwriting, I can understand why elements of the story had to be changed, altered, or deleted all together.  It's all a part of the process of transforming a novel into a moving picture for the silver-screen.

The movies highlight the noble spirit of the Eldar, yet we hardly glimpse the nobility inherent within the races of Men until the second and third films, in the characters of Faramir and Aragorn.  The films, in my opinion, paint the picture that the other races are somehow, less than the Eldar.  On the otherhand, in the novels, we see that same glory which clothe the Eldar, as being present amongst others, whom are not of Elven heritage.
"The time of Moonsheen has passed. The noontide of the dominion of Men is waning. Soon will come the era of Starshine. And the ages will partake of both; the grace of Moonsheen and the glory of the Days of the Sun" -Mormeril
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Re: "Points Of Interests"

Post by Calantirniel »

To me, the most interesting things about this:

No matter what your spiritual (or non-spiritual) background, Tolkien inspires everyone who reads it.  Except for the "fundy" bible-thumper types that think that their version of the Bible is the only book you should ever read, I have yet to see an exception to this.

No matter what scholarly and/or scientific background someone has - they ALSO see things in Tolkien's work that is inspirational, even if they think it is all fiction that he made up.  Nearly all are impressed - and they should be hehe!

As to the movies, we need to remember that NO movie ever matches the book, ever.  To expect LOTR to match when it took so darned long to even have the technology to make it look so good is just expecting too much.  While the storyline is the weakest area (some things were deleted, but some things were added and not necessary when they could have added more from the book, for instance), it is still a landmark work in its own right.  However, I will say this: now that the movie-maker corporate types KNOW that people expect to see Tolkien as REAL as possible, I think they will do better with The Hobbit and the Hobbit II which will (hopefully) be well-chosen pieces from HoME to bring it all up to the point of LOTR.  The Hobbit ought not to be as hard, either in story or in filming if you ask me - LOTR was one heck of an undertaking for its time - and let's face it, it was many of our first steps to being brought closer to where we are today, and we cannot knock that!
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Re: "Points Of Interests"

Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

Hi, all:

As Dineen and I are just about to go on our week's visit/vacation, I just wanted to comment on a few of the posts above, lest I forget them in the stream of day-to-day existence by the time we return.
Eruannlass wrote:[...] I don't know if this is 'saintly' or not, but I felt there was something quite spiritual in the portrayal of the Eldar.  I noticed the 'glow.'  I saw this ethereal quality that just said to me that these were a people who had a strong faith in something that gave them a lasting strength and near perfect calm. 

I'd seen this type of thing before, usually in films about Buddhist monks and martial arts masters, but this was the first time I was compelled to ask 'What do these Elves believe in that has them glowing like that?'  To my knowledge, religious people didn't glow, so what was the deal?  Spirituality?  Okay...Spiritual about what?
The 'glow' is attested in the narrative:
[...] The hobbits sat in shadow by the wayside. Before long the Elves came down the lane towards the valley. They passed slowly, and the hobbits could see the starlight glimmering on their hair and in their eyes. They bore no lights, yet as they walked a shimmer, like the light of the moon above the rim of the hills before it rises, seemed to fall about their feet.
--- LOTR, book I, chapter 3, "Three is Company"

This passage is interesting, because in most of the other narratives in which the Eldar are described, they are recognized by the light in their eyes.  You can see that from this reference:
In general the Sindar appear to have very closely resembled the Exiles, being dark-haired, strong and tall, but lithe. Indeed  they could hardly be told apart except by their eyes; for the eyes of all the Elves that had dwelt in Aman impressed those of Middle-earth by their piercing brightness. For which reason the Sindar often called them Lachend, pl. Lechind 'flame-eyed'.
--- From The War of the Jewels (HoME vol XI)
Ellenar wrote:[...] I'm not saying that the movies aren't enjoyable.  I still watch them from time to time.  Being somewhat familiar with the art of screenwriting, I can understand why elements of the story had to be changed, altered, or deleted all together.  It's all a part of the process of transforming a novel into a moving picture for the silver-screen.
Indeed.  That is why, personally, I prefer movies that are not adapted from any preexisting narrative, but are written from the beginning as screenplays.  As, for example, District 9 was.  Another Peter Jackson produced movie, but of a very different character, and personally important to me (most of those reading this will know what I mean by that).
The movies highlight the noble spirit of the Eldar, yet we hardly glimpse the nobility inherent within the races of Men until the second and third films, in the characters of Faramir and Aragorn.  The films, in my opinion, paint the picture that the other races are somehow, less than the Eldar.  On the otherhand, in the novels, we see that same glory which clothe the Eldar, as being present amongst others, whom are not of Elven heritage.
Yes, exactly!  That is the whole point of the Threefold Race concept in the charter, which unfortunately most people seem to blip over in favor of claiming some odd sort of "demigod-hood" for themselves.  The thing about being a demigod is that you really have to prove it (like Heracles), you can't just say you are and have done, as the Otherkin do.

That would be the modern equivalent of claiming to belong to a gang without undergoing the initiation.  You'd have no street cred.  Why most people don't get that is beyond me.
Calantirniel wrote:[...] The Hobbit ought not to be as hard, either in story or in filming if you ask me - LOTR was one heck of an undertaking for its time
Yes, it is a much 'tighter' story.  I only hope that whoever directs it does not attempt to "sprawl-ify" it just to match PJ's LOTR films as some sort of odd homage.  But then, I probably won't even take a peek at a torrent of it unless I see overwhelmingly positive reviews from other people.

///Dave
[...] “That yet for a while in Beleriand rivers may run clean, leaves spring, and birds build their nests, ere Night comes...”
 -- Finrod Felagund, "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth"
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Post by Lomelindo »

I have also read "Alchemy in Middle Earth" and found it to be interesting but not all of the associations made in the book ring true for me.

One thing I found interesting is that NAR means FIRE in both Quenya and Arabic.
Also the tengwar Lambe is exactly the same as the Arabic letter Ha which has an "h" sound and is the sixth letter of the Arabic abjad.
HaLambe.PNG
HaLambe.PNG (1.22 KiB) Viewed 1924 times
Also there are something called SUN and MOON letters in Arabic which reminds me of the moon-letters depicted in the Hobbit.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_and_moon_letters

Arabic Ha which is exactly the same in form as Tengwar Lambe and is also considers a "moon letter" in Arabic.
EvolutionofHA.PNG
EvolutionofHA.PNG (9.08 KiB) Viewed 1924 times
Going back even further to ancient egypt which is the origin of the Phoenician alphabet:

It goes back either to the Egyptian hieroglyph for 'courtyard':
hieroHA.PNG
hieroHA.PNG (461 Bytes) Viewed 1924 times
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

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Post by Lomelindo »

According to the Hebrew Kabbalah, hebrew Chet which is the same as Arabic Ha has the following associations:

Numerical value (in both Hebrew and Arabic): 8
Meaning: Life, Tree of Life
Sephirah: Hod (majesty, splendour, glory) Hod is where form is given by language in its widest sense, being the key to the "mystery of form".

Arabic viewpoint from http://www.meem.freeuk.com/Ha.html :

The letter Ha is one of the letters of Muqattaat. That is, it is used in the opening verses of certain chapters in the Quran. The word Harf meaning letter also starts with the letter Ha. It is the Huroof (letters) that make the words. No book can be written without words. Words are made by arranging the letters in a certain way, so that they make up words that are intelligent. Sentences are formed by arranging the words in a certain way. No words or sentences can be written without letters.

Hijaab is another word that starts with the letter Ha . Hijaab is the veil between Allah and the creation . Hijaab is a veil that can be removed if Allah Wills. We can realise Allah through His Works or Signs:

1 Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose precincts We did Bless in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the one Who hears and sees (all things).
[Quran: Al Israa Chapter 17]
To remove the Hijaab we have to emulate Allah's Qualities or Attributes of Hearing and Seeing as we are told in the above verse We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the one Who hears and sees. ‘Seeing' in this context does not mean just seeing with the physical eye. It also means reason, intelligence and logic. If we listen carefully and try to ‘see' the reality of the things as they are, then the Hijaab (veil) gets lifted, if Allah Wills. The reality of things becomes plain to ‘see', or to understand.

The greatest Hijaab (veil) between the spiritual meaning and the literal meaning of the Quran are the Huroof (Arabic letters). Yet the letters in the Quran are manifest.

Hikmat means wisdom. Hikmat also starts with the letter Ha . The word Hikmat is mentioned 19 times in the Quran. Almost every time, the Book (Scriptures) is mentioned, the word Hikmat is used alongside. What is Hikmat or wisdom? Wisdom is learning. The learning process starts from the day we are born. Learning is a continuous process to which there is no end. Wisdom comes from learning. Wisdom is knowledge. Knowledge has many branches. We seek knowledge from an early age. Wisdom is discernment. We can only discern or distinguish if we have a knowledge base. The Quran is full wisdom. We must learn wisdom from the wise Quran.

What is the basis of wisdom in any book? The words. The words can only be formed if there is a character set. The Arabic character set is the basis of the Quran. It is the letters which are the roots of the wisdom.

There are numerous connections to language here which could be relevant for Lambe. I think the Arabic form is an echo of the past.
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

Thanks for this great elucidation! I wasn't aware of the similarities of some of the Tengwar to glyphs in various Semitic languages.

Most people, it seems, shy away from even suggesting such relations in a serious manner. Afraid of running afoul of the overcultural "it's just fiction!!!" taboo, I guess.
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Post by Lomelindo »

Oh, those people annoy me. Good thing there are scholars out there doing similar things to us and don't just label it as irrelevant because it is fiction.

The same can be said of any holy scripture in all of the world's religions currently, works of fiction. Even the gospels of Christianity were written by multiple people nearly a hundred years after the events that they speak of. And don't get me going on the Old Testament. That is by far the most messed up narrative I've ever read and it's not even their narrative, it is Mesopotamian legend that is just renamed. Like Noah is pretty much Utnapishtim, and so on.
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Post by Lomelindo »

I mean in Genesis, the deity so called God could not find Adam and Eve while he was "strolling in the cool of the day" which implies that this deity is bothered by the heat. And then he regrets making man because they're not doing exactly what he wants them to do and then uses that to justify genocide? Men, women, and children.

Sorry but that sounds exactly like the actions of Melkor/Morgoth rather than any loving deity.
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“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

Yeah, I always viewed the biblical legends as just that: tribal legends of a Middle-Eastern people. They were only "somewhat interesting" to me as a child, not "endlessly fascinating" as the Legendarium is. Luckily, I didn't have parents who felt duty-bound to enforce the religion upon me. Not that everything was all sweetness and light - my mother was a physically abusive alcoholic, for example - but at least that particular shortcoming didn't exist in my life.
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Post by Lomelindo »

Anyway the connection between the eighth Sephirah Hod is language itself. So there you have a direct connection to Lambe.

Such connections are indeed valid, but other similarities of linguistic form may not be.
For example the word Malta (as in the island) is said to derive from Latin Melite and that itself comes from Phoenician Melita "place of refuge".
But in Quenya Malta means GOLD. So I would say no connection there.
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“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Post by Lomelindo »

I'm also copying this material to the Lambe topic so we have everything together in one place.
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Post by Lomelindo »

I'm actually comparing the Aramaic alphabet and most of the letters look like various Tengwar. I was not expecting that.

AramaicTengwar1.jpeg

AramaicTengwar2.jpeg

AramaicTengwar3.jpeg
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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