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

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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 1 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

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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 2 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>



        [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 3 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 4 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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