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Re: Answer to Sally's Question: Elves, Neste

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 1, 2003, 18:52
Sally Caves scripsit:

> What was the outcome of the debate? My question would be "Aren't you Elves > ever curious about mortality? Look at me. I'm dying as I speak to you. > Where are your Elvish anthropologists?"
Here's part 2 of the Athrabeth precis: If so, says Finrod, then it can only mean that Men's souls have the power to carry their bodies with them beyond the limits of the world, which would mean that unfallen Men were powerful indeed, and that the wrong done to them was the most terrible of calamities. He speculates that there is somewhere another world in which everything has eternal existence. Andreth says that if so, Men know nothing of it and guess little. Finrod then speculates further that that may have been the reason for the creation of Men: to be the heirs of the world and in the end to restore the unfallen state, or rather to create a third state transcending the fallen/unfallen distinction. Finrod guesses (correctly) that the Valar do not know what the end of the world will be like. Finrod, thinking about the eventual fate of the Elves, suddenly has a vision of them as a part of the renewed world after the end -- the historians of the old world for Men, who will belong to that world as they do not to this fallen world. The Elves like the other things of the world will become eternal and unchanging. Therefore, their longevity, though it seems hard now, will then be a blessing. Andreth says that Men have no reason to hope for such a thing; they had hoped to escape Morgoth, but that hope too is vain. Finrod explains [ObConlang] that there are two Sindarin words for "hope": "amdir", meaning something good that has a foundation in the known, though it is uncertain; and "estel" [Aragorn's usename as a child, millennia later] meaning the hope that does not come from experience but from the very nature of the Elves as the children of God, whom God will not abandon. Finrod asks if Men have estel. Andreth says that most have none, being under the domination of the Dark Lord, and even those who have escaped from him, have at most amdir that there is some means of escape from evil. Andreth says, however, that those "of the Old Hope", who are few but increasing now that Men see that Morgoth can be defied, believe that God will enter the world, heal the wound, and undo the marring of the world. Andreth, however, does not herself believe this, because there is no evidence of God in the world, and because she does not see how the Creator can enter his creation, any more than a singer his song or a painter his picture. [Cf. Tolkien's "Leaf by Niggle".] Finrod says that God is already both inside and outside the world; Andreth replies that this "being in the world" is meant in a different sense, immanent not transcendent. Finrod says that these things are beyond the knowledge of the Elves, but if God wished to enter his creation, Finrod is sure that he would find some way to do so, and surely in no other way could the world be healed as Andreth describes. This is getting tough. The remaining 25% tomorrow. -- Even a refrigerator can conform to the XML John Cowan Infoset, as long as it has a door sticker saying "No information items inside". --Eve Maler


Sally Caves <scaves@...>