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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Mystical Realms Newsletter for December, 2007

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
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      -----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









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    • 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 2 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
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        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

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        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.

        .

        __________________________________________________________
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      • 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 3 of 9 , Dec 8, 2007
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          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>



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        • 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 4 of 9 , Dec 10, 2007
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            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 5 of 9 , Dec 10, 2007
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              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.
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