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Ea, Void and Others.

Beleg

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There are also those whom we call the Valarindi, who are the Children of the Valar, begotten of their love after their entry into Ea. They are the elder children of the World; and Though their being began within Ea, yet they are of the race of the Ainur, who were before the world, and they have power and rank below that of the Valar only.

This is a text from Anals of Aman* given in the Morgoth’s ring. Matters revolving around this concept (but not speficially this) has been discussed in great detail by C.T.
Now in this case Ea, the (universe/world) was created after the creation of the Ainur. My Question is that if this is the case then where did the Valar live (In whatever shape they might possess) before the creation of the world? Tolkien has succeeded in confusing many with the general “Usage” of World, and I too am confused by this. What is the meaning of world here? Surely World is the name given to the nothingliness, the void, the Black Mists that is Ea? But if that’s not the case, that World here does not mean Ea, what then is Ea?
Surely Valar lived someplace pretty materized before the (supposed) creation of Ea, and the most logical place for that, to me seems like the Void. The nothingliness. Tolkien has never used the plural “Worlds”, so we cannot say that there are many Universises, many worlds around here. And yet if Valar lived in this Void, then according to the above quote the meaning of Ea is questionable. If we take the quote to be correct and if we also suppose Valar lived in materized forms in materized areas, then quite frankly what is Ea?
And yet if we take Ea to be the universe, the Void that surrounds Arda, (as is supplemented by the following quotes)

Therefore he had gathered to himself spirits out of
the voids of Ea who served him
'Out of the voids of Ea'
(Out of the voids might be a symbolic way of saying that Ea was void itself), and since we are given no concepts of Multiple Worlds, then Where did Valar lived before the creation of Ea? And if they weren’t materialized forms and merely thoughts in Illúvatar’s mind then how come we could refer to them as actual “living” beings/objects?
 

Inderjit S

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The Ainulindale tells us that the Valar dwelt with Eru outside of Ea. Ea incompasses Arda+void+other planets.

Later on in the book you have citied (Morgoth's Ring) we get some info. on Ea and the building of it etc. which you may find useful.
 

jallan

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simply means “existence”, but used most precisely to indicate normal existence as experienced in the physical world in which we find ourselves.

The Ainur are supposed to have dwelt in a more transcendant reality, beyond existence as we perceive it, before some of them descended into the world of our existence.

One might use some such ugly term as meta-existence to label the place from which the Ainur descended.

was created within the Void outside of the &#8220the fair regions that he [Eru] had made for the Ainur”.

The concept seems to be of fair meta-regions surrounded by the undending Void of un-being, of which Melkor “was impatient of its emptiness”.

is our space-time continuum. The Ainur came from beyond outside the space-time continuum.

But there are voids also within :the great interstellar voids and greater intergalactic voids. Indeed, most of existence is empty of large amounts of closely-bound matter.

In Morgoth’s Ring (HoME 10), “Myths Transformed”, VII, Notes on motives in the Silmarillion, (iii):
[footnote to the text] Since the minds of Men (and even of the Elves) were inclined to confuse the ‘Void’, as a conception of the state of Not-being, outside Creation or Ëa, with the conception of vast spaces within Ëa, especially those conceived to lie all about the enisled &#8216Kingdom of Arda’ (which we should probably call the Solar System).
 

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