Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Mystical Realms Newsletter for December, 2007

Expand Messages
  • Jef Murray
    Jason, Great points regarding Lucy and her temptation. Here are a couple of comments. First, regarding Lucy and Galadriel, I agree that there are similarities.
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Jason,

      Great points regarding Lucy and her temptation.
      Here are a couple of comments.

      First, regarding Lucy and Galadriel, I agree that
      there are similarities. However, I'm not so sure that
      I agree that Galadriel has fought her inner battles
      _entirely_ without help. See below.

      It certainly does seem that Lucy partially fails
      with the spellbook (and, as with the One Ring, I
      expect that a brush with evil always changes one...you
      are never quite who you were before). It also seems
      that the only thing that prevents her from failing
      further is Aslan Himself.

      But...this is entirely consistent with orthodox
      Christian teachings: that we are often hindered from
      doing what we know is right by fallen nature (witness
      St. Paul and St. Augustine). But, we also trust that
      God will provide whatever grace is needed to see us
      through the difficult times. I think one could make
      the same argument about Galadriel and her refusal to
      take the One Ring. Her success was partly her own (an
      act of will), but it was also aided, no doubt, by the
      grace bestowed upon her by Eru Ilúvatar.

      W.r.t. your second point, about why an evil spell
      would be in a "good" wizard's book, I'm reminded of
      the oft-heard comment that technology is
      neutral...that is, it can be used for good or evil,
      but that it, by itself, is neither (pace, Tolkien!).
      And I expect the same applies to a spellbook (was it
      Tolkien, or Chesterton, who claimed that a
      sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable
      from magic?). So, I assume that for _some_ people and
      in _some_ circumstances, the "beauty" spell might be
      used for good.

      That's my $0.02 worth. But many thanks for the
      _great_ questions/observations!!!

      Eru laita ar tiralyë (God bless and watch thee)

      Jef



      ===================================================================
      Mystical Realms - Exploring the boundaries between worlds.....
      http://www.JefMurray.com
      ===================================================================
    • Margaret Dean
      ... In the end, technology of any kind serves to extend human faculties in some way (or rather, those of its builders; so far the human species is the one we
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Jef Murray wrote:

        > W.r.t. your second point, about why an evil spell
        > would be in a "good" wizard's book, I'm reminded of
        > the oft-heard comment that technology is
        > neutral...that is, it can be used for good or evil,
        > but that it, by itself, is neither (pace, Tolkien!).

        In the end, technology of any kind serves to extend human
        faculties in some way (or rather, those of its builders; so far
        the human species is the one we know to make extensive and varied
        use of technology, though there are tool-using animals). I think
        Tolkien would agree that evil resides in the human part of the
        equation.

        > And I expect the same applies to a spellbook (was it
        > Tolkien, or Chesterton, who claimed that a
        > sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable
        > from magic?).

        Neither; that was Arthur C. Clarke (In fact, that's "Clarke's
        Third Law").


        --Margaret Dean
        <margdean@...>
      • alexeik@aol.com
        ... From: Jef Murray To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Fri, 7 Dec 2007 9:02 am Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Mystical Realms Newsletter for
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          -----Original Message-----
          From: Jef Murray <jef.murray@...>
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Fri, 7 Dec 2007 9:02 am
          Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Mystical Realms Newsletter for December, 2007



          W.r.t. your second point, about why an evil spell
          would be in a "good" wizard's book, I'm reminded of
          the oft-heard comment that technology is
          neutral...that is, it can be used for good or evil,
          but that it, by itself, is neither (pace, Tolkien!).
          <<

          In his Long Sun/Short Sun books Gene Wolfe uses the term "black technology" as a direct counterpart to "black magic."
          Alexei









          RECENT ACTIVITY



          1

          New Members


          Visit Your Group



          Y! Entertainment

          World of Star Wars

          Rediscover the force.

          Explore now.



          Yahoo! News

          Kevin Sites

          Get coverage of

          world crises.



          Endurance Zone

          A Fitness Group

          about overall

          better endurance.




          .




          ________________________________________________________________________
          More new features than ever. Check out the new AOL Mail ! - http://o.aolcdn.com/cdn.webmail.aol.com/mailtour/aol/en-us/text.htm?ncid=aolcmp00050000000003


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Diane Joy Baker
          I suppose good could be accomplished by making a woman the most beautiful woman in the world; just am not sure what would happen afterwards. Lovely women are
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            I suppose good could be accomplished by making a woman the most beautiful woman in the world; just am not sure what would happen afterwards. Lovely women are definitely treated more positively, but unless one is already a confident and wise-souled woman, I would think the result would be a lifetime's worth of major temptations.---and I don't just mean sexual (tho it's also true that beauty intimidates many men. Note, I did not say ALL men.)

            It would make for an interesting fantasy tale: what would be the out-working of that kind of spell?---djb

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: alexeik@...
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, December 07, 2007 1:31 PM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Mystical Realms Newsletter for December, 2007




            -----Original Message-----
            From: Jef Murray <jef.murray@...>
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Fri, 7 Dec 2007 9:02 am
            Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Mystical Realms Newsletter for December, 2007

            W.r.t. your second point, about why an evil spell
            would be in a "good" wizard's book, I'm reminded of
            the oft-heard comment that technology is
            neutral...that is, it can be used for good or evil,
            but that it, by itself, is neither (pace, Tolkien!).
            <<

            In his Long Sun/Short Sun books Gene Wolfe uses the term "black technology" as a direct counterpart to "black magic."
            Alexei

            RECENT ACTIVITY

            1

            New Members

            Visit Your Group

            Y! Entertainment

            World of Star Wars

            Rediscover the force.

            Explore now.

            Yahoo! News

            Kevin Sites

            Get coverage of

            world crises.

            Endurance Zone

            A Fitness Group

            about overall

            better endurance.

            .

            __________________________________________________________
            More new features than ever. Check out the new AOL Mail ! - http://o.aolcdn.com/cdn.webmail.aol.com/mailtour/aol/en-us/text.htm?ncid=aolcmp00050000000003

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Mike Foster
            John Peterson of the American Chesterton Society writes: Arthur C. Clarke: Laws of Prediction : 1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 8, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              John Peterson of the American Chesterton Society writes:
              "Arthur C. Clarke: "Laws of "Prediction":
              1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something
              is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something
              is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
              2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to
              venture a little way past them into the impossible.
              3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
              magic.

              P.S. I don't believe the word "technology" was in Chesterton's active
              vocabulary."


              -----Original Message-----
              From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
              Of Margaret Dean
              Sent: Friday, December 07, 2007 8:18 AM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Mystical Realms Newsletter for December, 2007

              Jef Murray wrote:

              > W.r.t. your second point, about why an evil spell
              > would be in a "good" wizard's book, I'm reminded of
              > the oft-heard comment that technology is
              > neutral...that is, it can be used for good or evil,
              > but that it, by itself, is neither (pace, Tolkien!).

              In the end, technology of any kind serves to extend human
              faculties in some way (or rather, those of its builders; so far
              the human species is the one we know to make extensive and varied
              use of technology, though there are tool-using animals). I think
              Tolkien would agree that evil resides in the human part of the
              equation.

              > And I expect the same applies to a spellbook (was it
              > Tolkien, or Chesterton, who claimed that a
              > sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable
              > from magic?).

              Neither; that was Arthur C. Clarke (In fact, that's "Clarke's
              Third Law").

              --Margaret Dean
              <margdean@erols. <mailto:margdean%40erols.com> com>



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Lynn Maudlin
              Lucy // Galadriel I haven t read through the rest of the comments on the list yet (sorry--) but I think it bears remembering that Galadriel was a being with a
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 10, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Lucy // Galadriel

                I haven't read through the rest of the comments on the list yet
                (sorry--) but I think it bears remembering that Galadriel was a being
                with a lot of experience behind her (rebellion, etc.) and Lucy was
                still a human child. Not that you are chastising Lucy for needing
                Aslan's 'presence' to resist the temptation but I think it's worth
                remembering how young she was meant to be, especially since she is
                often so spiritually mature.

                Jef, thank you for posting that - fascinating thoughts, many with
                which I resonate but I won't go tangential to the list!

                blessings all--
                -- Lynn --

                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
                >
                > Jef,
                >
                > Thought-provoking message. Setting aside the points you raise about
                "angel vision", etc. -- not because those questions aren't
                interesting, but because they might be off-topic for an extended
                discussion here -- I wanted to raise a couple of questions about your
                Lewis analogy.
                >
                > You wrote:
                >
                > > In "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", C. S. Lewis places
                > > his protagonist, Lucy, in a precarious spot. She must go
                > > into a wizard's study, open his spell book, and find a spell
                > > that will cause the invisible Dufflepuds to become visible
                > > once again.
                > >
                > > As she seeks the "visibility spell", Lucy is sorely tempted
                > > to utter an alternative, one that will make her more beautiful
                > > than anyone else in the world. This evil beckons, but she
                > > does not yield to temptation. And, once she finds and speaks
                > > the words of the spell she was seeking, not only do the
                > > Dufflepuds appear, but also the wizard, plus Aslan, the
                > > Christ figure in Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia".
                >
                > First, does Lucy's temptation here, and the revelation of its
                possible consequences, remind anybody else of Galadriel's temptation
                by the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings? Galadriel says: "You will
                give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a
                Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the
                Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon
                the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than
                the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!" Now, I
                don't think Galadriel is really quite as tempted as Lucy seems to be
                -- Lucy is on the verge of saying the words, and Aslan himself has to
                make an appearance in the spell-book to stop her; whereas, Galadriel
                has fought her own inner battles of temptation (and won them) before
                the Ring even appears in Lothl�rien. But the imagery in the two scenes
                strikes me as rather similar -- especially where the spell-Lucy's
                > preternatural beauty leads to the desolation of "all Narnia and
                Archenland, Telmar and Calormen, Galma and Terebinthia", which
                (mutatis mutandis) would certainly have been the same result if
                Galadriel had taken the Ring.
                >
                > Second, if the wizard Coriakin is "good" (as he seems to be by his
                close association with Aslan), why are there "bad" spells in his
                spell-book? As you put it, "the evil beckons", but why is there an
                "evil" spell in his book at all? One might say it's only there to
                tempt her, but is that an acceptable answer from the theological point
                of view Lewis was attempting to advance? And related to your point
                about Lucy's "not yield[ing] to temptation", remember that she *does*
                recite the spell to eavesdrop on her friends at school. If that is a
                less "evil" surrender to temptation, it is nevertheless still a moral
                defeat, no? Aslan chastises her for it, though gently. This scene,
                too, if I might allude to Tolkien again, reminds me of the temptation
                to look into the palant�r -- a temptation which several characters in
                The Lord of the Rings *do* give in to. And in both Tolkien and Lewis,
                what one learns thereby isn't *quite* the whole truth, is it?
                >
                > What do you think? Anyone else have thoughts to share?
                >
                > Jason
                >
              • Lynn Maudlin
                I meant to address this briefly - one could look at the Bible that way, too - there are TERRIBLE situations related in scripture, people do horrible things -
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 10, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  I meant to address this briefly - one could look at the Bible that
                  way, too - there are TERRIBLE situations related in scripture, people
                  do horrible things - why would those be 'commemorated' by inclusion in
                  scripture? why would God speak such disturbing and graphic analogies
                  to Ezekiel? etc. - I think there is a small correlation between the
                  two: a book of spells is a collection - it may very well have been
                  edited (the worst, most evil removed - this wasn't a *very* bad spell
                  that Lucy resisted, after all) - but more than that I think it goes to
                  free will. Scripture includes horrible stuff *in part* to show us to
                  what base behavior human nature can sink; the spell book includes evil
                  spells *in part* because God (and, in Narnian terms, Aslan) values
                  freewill.

                  Did Aslan interfere with Lucy's freewill when His image came to life?
                  It could be argued but I prefer to think He was reminding her of
                  deeper values that she longed to embrace, that He knew the desires of
                  her heart better than she did.

                  -- Lynn --

                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jef Murray <jef.murray@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > W.r.t. your second point, about why an evil spell
                  > would be in a "good" wizard's book, I'm reminded of
                  > the oft-heard comment that technology is
                  > neutral...that is, it can be used for good or evil,
                  > but that it, by itself, is neither (pace, Tolkien!).
                  > And I expect the same applies to a spellbook (was it
                  > Tolkien, or Chesterton, who claimed that a
                  > sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable
                  > from magic?). So, I assume that for _some_ people and
                  > in _some_ circumstances, the "beauty" spell might be
                  > used for good.
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.