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Númenórean long lifespan - A mistake?

Eriol

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I agree that whatever the origin of Númenor in Tolkien's myth, it has no bearing on its place in the mythology. In other words, even if Tolkien did build upon the story of Atlantis and of a Golden Age, it does not look very "Tolkienish" to leave that "graft" without fine-tuning. It would be very hard to convince me that Tolkien did not try to adapt the story of Númenor to his later conceptions.

(In fact, the first quote of this thread shows that he was thinking in that direction).

I also agree with gate7ole that the answer, if there is any, goes through the First Fall of men. And this is the choice: we have two accounts of this Fall, the Elvish and the Mannish, and they are fairly contradictory (as seen in the Athrabeth). So we have to choose between one or the other.

It is at this moment that our "partialities" take over ;).

But according to which side we choose as ultimately correct, we will have a different scenario:

If the Elves are correct, then the Second Fall was mainly the result of the fëa becoming over-engrossed with Arda, beyond what is natural for her. The mistake would then to make Men's lives more blessed than they naturally would be. In this "natural" state Men would be glad to leave Arda; in the Númenorean state, they were angry to be leaving. A cause at odds with the cause of the First Fall, in an odd way -- the first fall would be caused by a greed for something that Men could not have (Melkor's power); the second fall would be simply a greed for MORE of what they already had.

If Men are correct, the Second Fall is a direct consequence of the First Fall, and could happen even outside Numenor -- it is a consequence of the unnatural state in which Men were leaving, a state with death. The effect of Numenor would be simply to give to Men the means to achieve the undoing of the first fall -- they believed that by invading Valinor they would have the bliss that was originally theirs.

In other words -- if Elves are correct, the Second Fall is clearly the fault of the Valar; if Men are correct, the Second Fall was bound to happen, either militarily or scientifically or in some other way. Men were bound to yearn for immortality, since it is the natural state of mankind. The Valar would be blamed simply as "facilitators", and not as direct cause.
 

Eriol

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Some quotes that may be of interest to our discussion.

This is the excerpt from the 1951 letter (Letter 131) which was mentioned by Walter:

For reasons which I will not elaborate, that [inclusion of Christian religion – inserted by Eriol]seems to me fatal. Myth and fairy-story must, as all art, reflect and contain in solution elements of moral and religious truth (or error), but not explicit, not in the known form of the primary ‘real’ world. (I am speaking, of course, of our present situation, not of ancient pagan, pre-Christian days...)
An excerpt from a draft which is probably from around 1958 (from Letter 212):

“In this mythical ‘prehistory’ immortality, strictly longevity co-extensive with the life of Arda, was part of the given nature of the Elves; beyond the End nothing was revealed. Mortality, that is a short life-span having no relation to the life of Arda, is spoken of as the given nature of Men: the Elves called it the Gift of Ilúvatar (God). But it must be remembered that mythically these tales are Elf-centred,* not anthropocentrric, and Men only appear in them, at what must be a point long after their Coming. This is therefore an ‘Elvish’ view, and does not necessarily have anything to say for or against such beliefs as the Christian that ‘death’ is not a part of human nature, but a punishment for sin (rebellion), a result of the ‘Fall’. It should regarded as an Elvish perception of what death – not being tied to the ‘circles of the world’ – should now become for Men, however it arose. A divine ‘punishment’ is also a divine ‘gift’, if accepted, since its object is ultimate blessing, and the supreme inventiveness of the Creator will make ‘punishments’ (that is changes of design) produce a good not otherwise to be attained: a ‘mortal’ Man has probably (an Elf would say) a higher if unrevealed destiny than a longeval one. To attempt by device or ‘magic’ to recover longevity is thus a supreme folly and wickedness of ‘mortals’. Longevity or coutnerfeit ‘immortality’ (true immortality is beyond Eä) is the chief bait of Sauron – it leads the small to a Gollum, and the great to a Ringwraith.

In the Elvish legends there is record of a strange case of an Elf (Míriel mother of Fëanor) that tried to die, ,which had disastrous results, leading to the ‘Fall’ of the High-elves. The Elves were not subject to disease, but they could be ‘slain’: that is their bodies could be destrtoyed, or mutilated so as to be unfit to sustain life. But this did not lead naturally to ‘death’: they were rehabilitated and reborn and and eventually recovered memory of all their past: they remained ‘identical’. But Míriel wished to abandon being, and refused rebirth.**

I suppose a difference between this Myth and what may be perhaps be called Christian mythology is this. In the latter the Fall of Man is subsequent to and a consequence (though not a necessary consequence) of the ‘Fall of the Angels’: a rebellion of created free-will at a higher level than Man; but it is not clearly held (and in many versions is not held at all) that this affected the ‘World’ in its nature: evil was brought in from outside, from Satan. In this Myth the rebellion of created free-will precedes creation of the World (Eä); and Eä has in it, subcreatively introduced, evil, rebellions, discordant elements of its own nature already when the Let it Be was spoken. The Fall or corruption, therefore, of all things in it and all inhabitants of it, was a possibility if not inevitable. Trees may ‘go bad’ as in the Old Forest; Elves may turn into Orcs, and if this required the special preversive malice of Morgoth, still Elves themselves could do evil deeds. Even the ‘good’ Valar as inhabiting the World could at least err; (...)”

NOTES BY TOLKIEN:

*In narrative, as soon as the matter becomes ‘storial’ and not mythical, being in fact human literature, the centre of interest must shift to Men (and their relations with Elves or other creatures). We cannot write stories about Elves, whom we do not know inwardly; and if we try we simply turn Elves into men.

** [A note apparently added later:] It was also the Elvish (and uncorrupted Númenórean) view that a ‘good’ Man would or should die voluntarily by surrender with trust before being compelled (as did Aragorn). This may have been the nature of unfallen Man; though compulsion would not threaten him: he would desire and ask to be allowed to ‘go on’ to a higher state. The Assumption of Mary, the only unfallen person, may be regarded as in some ways a simple regaining of unfallen grace and liberty: she asked to be received, and was, having no further function on Earth. Though, of course, even if unfallen she was now ‘pre-Fall’. Her destiny (in which she had cooperated) was far higher than that of any ‘Man’ would have been, had the Fall not occurred. It was also unthinkable that her body, the immediate source of Our Lord’s (withour other physical intermediary) should have been disintegrated, or ‘corrupted’, nor could it surely be long separated from Him after the Ascension. There is of course no suggestion that Mary did not ‘age’ at the normal rate of her race; but certainly this process cannot have proceeded or been allowed to proceed to decrepitude or loss of vitality and comeliness. The Assumption was in any case as distinct from the Ascension as the raising of Lazarus from the (self) Resurrection.
Now, some comments by Christopher Tolkien about the Athrabeth (which he dates to around 1960):

Comments on the Athrabeth by Christopher Tolkien

It seems to me therefore that there are problems in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth for the interpretation of my father’s thought on these matters; but I am unable to resolve them. It is unfortunate that the questoning with which this slip of paper begins are so elliptically expressed, especially the words ‘Already it is (if inevitably) too like a parody of Christianity’. Obviously, he was not referring to the legen of the Fall: he was saying clearly that the introduction of such a legend would make ‘it’ – altogether into ‘a parody of Christianity.’

Was he referring then to the astonishing conception in the Athrabeth of ‘the Great Hope of Men’, as it is called in the draft A (p.352), ‘the Old Hope’ as it is called in the final text (p.321), that Eru himself will enter into Arda to oppose the evil of Melkor? In the Commentary (p.355) this was further defined: ‘Finrod . . . probably proceeded to the expectation that “the coming of Eru”, if it took place, would be specially and primarily concerned with Men: that is to an imaginative guess or vision that Eru would come incarnated in human form’ – though my father noted that ‘This does not appear in the Athrabeth’. But this surely is not parody, nor even parallel, but the extension – if only represented as vision, hope, or prophecy – of the ‘theology’ of Arda into specifically, and of course centrally, Christian belief; and a manifest challenge to my father’s view in his letter of 1951on the necessary limitations of the expressions of ‘moral and religious truth (or error)’ in a ‘Secondary World’.
I think the letter of 1958 (Letter 212) was written with the Athrabeth in mind, even if it was not already written (and we do not know that for sure). Tolkien was already toying with the idea of bringing the Christian myth into his own myth (I know, I am partial :D). I think that the mention of the “elf-centredness” of the story, especially considering that the person to whom he was writing this letter had not asked about it at all – she was just asking questions of interest for general Tolkien fans, such as what is the meaning of some elvish expressions, or “how could Ar-Pharazôn defeat Sauron when Sauron had the One Ring”, and such -- is telling. I think Tolkien was already shifting his ground to the Andreth position. And this would mean that the Mannish account is correct, and that the Valar were as ignorant as we were about this -- before we read the Athrabeth!

But this is only speculation, of course :D.
 

Walter

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What IMO is necessary, when one tries to study Tolkien and his epos, is a certain openmindedness to equally consider facts that support ones ideas (and speculations ;)) and those that do not. What I seem to have noticed every so often here (maybe due to the cultivation of debates where one rather wants to win a debate than gain as much - unbiased - insight as possible), is that people always are eager to consider - and quote - what supports their own ideas/theories/speculations and disregard as eagerly what questions or contradicts or throws a different light at those.

Like in the example above where Eriol quotes from Letter #212, a draft of continuation - which has never been sent, btw. - of Letter #211 (to Rhona Beare) but does not provide us with a quote - or even mention - that the last three paragraphs of Letter #211 - which has actually been sent, btw. - throw a somewhat different light at this issue. There we find:

The One does not physically inhabit any part of Ea.
May I say that all this is 'mythical', and not any kind of new religion or vision. As far as I know it is merely an imaginative invention, to express, in the only way I can, some of my (dim) apprehensions of the world. All I can say is that, if it were 'history', it would be difficult to fit the lands and events (or 'cultures') into such evidence as we possess, archaeological or geological, concerning the nearer or remoter part of what is now called Europe; though the Shire, for instance, is expressly stated to have been in this region (I p. 12).6 I could have fitted things in with greater versimilitude, if the story had not become too far developed, before the question ever occurred to me. I doubt if there would have been much gain; and I hope the, evidently long but undefined, gap in time between the Fall of Barad-dûr and our Days is sufficient for 'literary credibility', even for readers acquainted with what is known or surmised of 'pre-history'.
I have, I suppose, constructed an imaginary time, but kept my feet on my own mother-earth for place. I prefer that to the contemporary mode of seeking remote globes in 'space'. However curious, they are alien, and not lovable with the love of blood-kin. Middle-earth is (by the way & if such a note is necessary) not my own invention. It is a modernization or alteration (N[ew] E[nglish] Dictionary] 'a perversion') of an old word for the inhabited world of Men, the oikoumene: middle because thought of vaguely as set amidst the encircling Seas and (in the northern-imagination) between ice of the North and the fire of the South. O.English middan-geard, mediaeval E. midden-erd, middle-erd. Many reviewers seem to assume that Middle-earth is another planet!
Theologically (if the term is not too grandiose) I imagine the picture to be less dissonant from what some (including myself) believe to be the truth. But since I have deliberately written a tale, which is built on or out of certain 'religious' ideas, but is not an allegory of them (or anything else), and does not mention them overtly, still less preach them, I will not now depart from that mode, and venture on theological disquisition for which I am not fitted. But I might say that if the tale is 'about' anything (other than itself), it is not as seems widely supposed about 'power'. Power-seeking is only the motive-power that sets events going, and is relatively unimportant, I think. It is mainly concerned with Death, and Immortality; and the 'escapes': serial longevity, and hoarding memory.

Letters #211 (my emphasis)
So what would seem important - at least to me - if I were to analyze that issue, is not only the quote from 212 but also from 211, where they are in accordance and where not, as well as the question why the one has been sent and the other not...

My speculation is, that if Tolkien had wanted to be any clearer regarding a certain parallelity between his myth and his religion he would have mentioned it more openly and elaborated on it less ambiguously, but - as he states again in #211 - he did not want this. He had - for good reasons (if we study the Beowulf and Fairy-tale lectures) - considered it fatal in the 1930s and I have found no indication so far, that he ever reconsidered this point of view...

----

I apologize again for being guilty - in part - of having "kidnapped" this thread with just another - dispensable - "religious" discussion...

Eriol if you really must take this any further, I suggest we have this part moved elsewhere and continue there (or in private) and hence stop spoiling this great thread

----

If we want to throw some further light on the main topic of this thread (without paying special tribute to the "Catholicism" - or lack thereof - in Tolkien's myths) Letter #245 (again to Rhona Baere) from 1963 would - IMO - suit better than #212:

As for the Elves. Even in these legends we see the Elves mainly through the eyes of Men. It is in any case clear that neither side was fully informed about the ultimate destiny of the other. The Elves were sufficiently longeval to be called by Man 'immortal'. But they were not unageing or unwearying. Their own tradition was that they were confined to the limits of this world (in space and time), even if they died, and would continue in some form to exist in it until 'the end of the world'. But what 'the end of the world' portended for it or for themselves they did not know (though they no doubt had theories). Neither had they of course any special information concerning what 'death' portended for Men. They believed that it meant 'liberation from the circles of the world', and was in that respect to them enviable. And they would point out to Men who envied them that a dread of ultimate loss, though it may be indefinitely remote, is not necessarily the easier to bear if it is in the end ineluctably certain : a burden may become heavier the longer it is borne.
 
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Eriol

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Originally posted by Walter

I apologize again for being guilty - in part - of having "kidnapped" this thread with just another - dispensable - "religious" discussion...
Nah, if it is anything, it is my fault. But I think it is pertinent, not really "dispensable". You are only guilty of mixing the two discussions, that's it -- my last post was NOT about Catholicism, it was about Tolkien and his views on Man's nature in his myth. The focal point of this thread, I believe.

I did not quote from letter 211 for the very good reason that I did not read it yesterday :D. I looked for references to mortality by the index. When I found Letter 212 (I began at the end, because I wanted to get an updated view, not one from the 1930's in which Tolkien surely agreed with what you are saying), I was satisfied. And I think that's how it should be, by the way -- you find quotes supporting your position, and I find quotes supporting mine. It is only when we abandon honesty that this system breaks up. I am not convinced of what I am defending (and if I were I would say so -- being honest), and so rest assured that this discussion will be worthwhile. Perhaps we will approach the truth by it.

To the business at hand, then. I don't see how one letter negates the other, by the way... the fact that Letter 212 was written but not sent reinforces the opinion that Tolkien avoided including those ideas in his mythology out of respect for Christianity and personal humility, not because he disagreed with them. Or did he write long drafts for fun? No, the very fact that he wrote a draft and then chose to not send it shows that these ideas were in his mind, but he did not want to divulge them. His reluctance to use the Athrabeth is also indicative of this -- it is clearly a fantastic work, and it remained hidden until after his death. Why? I submit that it was out of respect and personal humility. What do you think?

Your emphasis touches on Tolkien's dislike of Allegory. We have many examples of Tolkien's dislike of Allegory. And how can the Athrabeth be considered an Allegory? As Christopher Tolkien said, it is an extension, only represented as a hope. Tolkien's views on allegory don't have much bearing, I think, on this curious fact, "the dog that did not bark" -- why was the Athrabeth never published or divulged?

I don't want to repeat that Tolkien was Catholic, Walter -- it is you who are repeating that his myth is not Catholic. My last post, the one with the quotes, did not mention Catholicism once. It mentioned "the Christian myth" as shorthand for the Andreth position, of man's innate immortality. Its goal was to point out that perhaps Tolkien was shifting to the Andreth position as true in his myth, i.e., the position that the Valar and Elves were wrong concerning Man's innate nature. Don't use the word "Catholicism" if you don't want to (after all, I didn't), but let's discuss whether this speculation (;)) of mine is correct. I had already dropped the Catholicism discussion, but if you want to drag it out... unless you think that Catholics, being hopelessly biased, can't discuss the subject. :D
 

Beleg

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Bravo

To the Original Questions,


Is this time long enough for the fëa to become tired of life?
No. If such had been the case then none would have been happy and satisfied in Numenor.
Did the hroa drag the fëa too long and imprison it in Valinor?

When talking about Numenoreans we have to regard the fact that Numenorean's weren't Normal men. Should I say their fea was tuned in such a way that It would stick to the hror for a longer time.
I don't think hror has the power of dragging the fea and restricting it to Arda. If that hadn't been the case then I don't think most of the Numenorean Kings would have died since they were "assialed by no sickness save death only". Fea has an appointed time to live in Middle-Earth and after as the appointed time runs by the fea becomes restless and if too long a time elapses and the hroa still doesn't want to let go of the fea then the fea automatically leaves the hroa.
Well that's my theory.

Maybe this was the source of the unrest of the Númenóreans, who wanted to live forever. The hroa prevailed over the fëa.
Yes probably. Since the bodily form, the hroa was benifitting and It wasn't in any pain (I think Numeneor was partially marred.) The hroa wanted to enjoy the bodily luxeries but the time of the fea was running out.
The unrest came when their started an subconcious struggle between the two items.
The Numenorean's started clinging onto their life more desperately, perhaps under the infuence of the marred Arda.
The fea as a result was affected by this and was consumed and It's time of departure started coming earlier because of the inevitable effects of the marness of hroa on it. That might account to the shortening of the lives of the Numenoreans.

If this is correct, then wasn’t it wrong to give to the Númenóreans such a long span-life?
Wrong....I personally think that the lives of Men in the start were greater then they became in Beleriand (I am with Andreth here) and It was only the corrupting and marring of Morgoth that decreased the life span of Men.
Once men reached Numeneor, a contrastingly less marred state, the marring lessened and their original life span came back which would be greater then the diminished one they possessed in Beleriand.
I don't say that Vala or Eru (Probably Eru since Vala didn't seem to meddle in the affairs of men too often) didn't have any part in the lengthening of the spans of Numenoreans. It is quite clear they had, But my point is it wasn't the only cause. The lessening of the effect of Morgoth was also a point in it.
I’m not sure if it was an action from the Valar or Eru himself, but if it was the Valar’s choice, maybe they erred at this point and should never give to the mortals such life span that the fëa wasn’t able to endure.
You are supposing that It was only in Numenorean's that the lust of long age creeped in. It was also in the lesser men or the other men, since some of the words of Andreth vieled in her bitterness imply that. I still think that Eru did anything to the hroa of a man, as the Valinor part of you're quote suggests that man's hroa would have able to lived untroubled in Valinor and Arda Unmarred if It had been let so to live. Eru altered the life of the fea, extending it so that It would stay for a longer time.
 

Eriol

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Re: Bravo

Originally posted by Beleg_strongbow
Fea has an appointed time to live in Middle-Earth and after as the appointed time runs by the fea becomes restless and if too long a time elapses and the hroa still doesn't want to let go of the fea then the fea automatically leaves the hroa.
Well that's my theory.


Let me see if I understood you correctly Beleg -- do you ascribe a will to the hröa? When you talk about the hröa "letting go of the fëa" it seems like you do. Is that so?

So there is a will, probably an unconscious will, in the body, as you see it -- right?:

Also: you say that the fëa has an appointed time. But then this appointed time was stretched by the Gift of the Valar (or of Eru), since they did not feel tired at the same age (and matured more slowly, too) as normal men. I think the longer time of maturation shows that the change was a very deep change in their nature -- and one that did not happen over generations, but almost instantly after Númenor was raised. We don't see any accounts saying that first-generation Númenóreans were only slightly more longeval than normal men -- that I remember.

You address this matter when you say that:

I don't say that Vala or Eru (Probably Eru since Vala didn't seem to meddle in the affairs of men too often) didn't have any part in the lengthening of the spans of Numenoreans. It is quite clear they had, But my point is it wasn't the only cause. The lessening of the effect of Morgoth was also a point in it.
But then you have a Morgoth with power enough to change the nature of Men, and make this change inheritable -- that's not the Melkor of the Silmarillion, that's the Melkor that Tolkien was devising in the little text Melkor Morgoth in HoME X. It is the Melkor of Andreth, not the Melkor of Finrod. But if you have this Melkor, and agree with Andreth, what is to prevent you from accepting Andreth's lore that men were originally immortal?

It seems you have an intermediate position between the "Elves are right" and the "Andreth is right" dilemma -- is that it?
 

gate7ole

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by Beleg_strongbow
I don't think hror has the power of dragging the fea and restricting it to Arda. If that hadn't been the case then I don't think most of the Numenorean Kings would have died since they were "assialed by no sickness save death only". Fea has an appointed time to live in Middle-Earth and after as the appointed time runs by the fea becomes restless and if too long a time elapses and the hroa still doesn't want to let go of the fea then the fea automatically leaves the hroa. Well that's my theory.
I think that the following quote gives us no room for speculation. Tolkien described precisely what would happen to that case (sorry for repeating the quote I posted at the opening of the thread):
Very soon then the fëa and hröa of a Man in Aman would not be united and at peace, but would be opposed, to the great pain of both. The hröa being in full vigour and joy of life would cling to the fëa, lest its departure should bring death; and against death it would revolt as would a great beast in full life either flee from the hunter or turn savagely upon him. But the fëa would be as it were in prison, becoming ever more weary of all the delights of the hröa, until they were loathsome to it, longing ever more and more to be gone, until even those matters for its thought that it received through the hröa and its senses became meaningless. The Man would not be blessed, but accursed; and he would curse the Valar and Aman and all the things of Arda. And he would not willingly leave Aman, for that would mean rapid death, and he would have to be thrust forth with violence. But if he remained in Aman, what should he come to, ere Arda were at last fulfilled and he found release? Either his fëa would be wholly dominated by the hröa, and he would become more like a beast, though one tormented within. Or else, if his fëa were strong, it would leave the hröa, Then one of two things would happen: either this would be accomplished only in hate, by violence, and the hroa, in full life, would be rent and die in sudden agony; or else the fëa would in loathing and without pity desert the hroa, and it would live on, a witless body, not even a beast but a monster, a very work of Melkor in the midst of Aman, which the Valar themselves would fain destroy.
It is beyond doubt that mortal (in the means of mannish) fëa and immortal (or long lasting) hroa could not be co-existent. The case is not whether this would happen. It would sometime, despite the wisdom of the person – although it might come later to the more wise.
The possibility that the Núnemóreans had a “better” fëa, I reject it utterly. It would be unjust for the other offsprings of the though of Eru (Ainur, Elves) that Men would have an improved fëa (not to say for the lesser Men). No, the fëa must be dogmatically considered the same. Combined with the above quote, the Núnemóreans were at the same peril with all men about the disharmony of an immortal body – what changes is probably the time it takes to reach to the comflict.
by Beleg_strongbow
Wrong....I personally think that the lives of Men in the start were greater then they became in Beleriand (I am with Andreth here) and It was only the corrupting and marring of Morgoth that decreased the life span of Men.
Once men reached Numeneor, a contrastingly less marred state, the marring lessened and their original life span came back which would be greater then the diminished one they possessed in Beleriand.
I don't say that Vala or Eru (Probably Eru since Vala didn't seem to meddle in the affairs of men too often) didn't have any part in the lengthening of the spans of Numenoreans. It is quite clear they had, But my point is it wasn't the only cause. The lessening of the effect of Morgoth was also a point in it.
Yes, I agree that the less marred Númenor also played its role in the longer life of the Númenóreans, but (as Eriol said in his post) here we have a multiple lifetime and not just an increase. It was expressedly an action of the Gods (or Eru).
 

Beleg

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Re:Re:Bravo

But then you have a Morgoth with power enough to change the nature of Men, and make this change inheritable -- that's not the Melkor of the Silmarillion, that's the Melkor that Tolkien was devising in the little text Melkor Morgoth in HoME X. But if you have this Melkor, and agree with Andreth, what is to prevent you from accepting Andreth's lore that men were originally immortal?
A passage from the same HOME X, Myths Transformed may be viewed here,

For which reason it is said that whereas there is now great evil in Arda and many things therein are at discord, so that the good of one seemeth to be the hurt of another, nonetheless the foundations of this world are good, and it turns by nature to good, healing itself from within by the power that was set there in its making; and evil in Arda would fail and pass away if it were not renewed from without: that is: that comes from wills and being [sic] that are other than Arda itself.
That means that If Morgoth is not in Arda to control his evil plots then the potency of his works will decrease, meaning they won't remain everlasting and they effects could be undone and diminished to a great extent.


But then you have a Morgoth with power enough to change the nature of Men,
Can you explain this a bit? That's what Andreth more or less claims.

Myths Transformed, HOME X.

The Elves certainly held and taught that fear or 'spirits' may grow of their own life (independently of the body), even as they may be hurt and healed, be diminished and renewed.
The Melkor in HOME X is powerful enough to spread his sead of evil throughout the viens of world due to his power and potency and they would effect every being upon the earth or made up of the earth. But effect doesn't mean they would take total control of it.
My basic theory is this.
Men had quite a long life although they weren't immortal. Both their feär and hröa weren't suppose to be immortal. In the marring of earth and it's creations by Morgoth (Since Morgoth's main purpose would be to inhiliate, that is diminishment and destruction) the lifespan of men lessened.
But once Morgoth was killed and his feär fled, the potency of his works were decreased, correspondingly effecting the level of the marring, abducted by him, upon Middle-Earth and it's beings.
So It can be said that the evil of Morgoth to an extent would be undone and the hurt produced by Morgoth's evilness healed by the blessing of the good elements.
Things would revert back as much as they can to the original, which would mean that the lifespan of men would increase to some extent but won't be the same as It was originally held to be in the thought of Eru. (Due to the marring of Morgoth).
My side theory is this one,

Men had a long life although they weren't immortal. Due to the magnitude of the marring of Middle-Earth by Morgoth, the lifespan of Men became diminished.
But when these men were transmitted to a compartively less marred region, the effect of the marring decreased and the situation partially reverted back to the original. Yet, this partial undoing of Morgoth's evil wasn't great enough to warrant men the lifespan of 200 or so years.
Thus Eru, as a reward for Men's help in their part in the undertaking of the great plan (as hinted in Myths Transformed. The same plan in which Noldor were a perfect element to keep Morgoth busy and in which actually everything happened on the precise time; when it aught to be.) increases their lifespan; that is increases feä's endurance to remain with the hröa (Hröa we known under perfect condition is liable to remain healthy for ever as shown by this Quote provided by Gate7ole from Volume X.
The hröa being in full vigour and joy of life would cling to the fëa,
Shows to us that If perfect blooming conditions are provided to the hröa, then It is not difficult to preserve it, although same can't be said about the fëa. [But that can be interpreted through the notion that since the hröa is made of material of arda, It has the ability to live and endure in it for ages uncountered. But since the Feär is not made of material of Arda {In Men's case}It cannot be contained within Arda.])

But in both cases recovery from the marring of Morgoth plays a part in the longevity of Human lifespans.
I know that both theories have more holes in them Boromir's undershirt (Quoth Turgon) but that's the best I can offer right now.

I agree Eriol that you conclusion about Andreth's claim being ture seems probable to some extent. But as Myths Transformed and the Quote given by me points out, Morgoth cannot wholly corrupt anything, sure he can pevert everything, but to a certain extent, unlike Sauron his power is not centered anywhere, but is present allround, though in less magnitude and potency. Thence It comes to say that Morgoth might have effect Human lifespan but he cannot have changed the whole fate of Mankind.

I also find another problem with this Immortal man theory,

It has been explictly stated that Men were not allowed to come to Valinor. For what? Gate's original quote I guess answeres to that partially. But my question is If Men were doomed to be immortal from the start, then why were they not allowed to entre Beleriand for the fear that a quarell may arise between their Feär and Hröa. It cannot have been because of the marring of Men since Elves were also marred and yet they sustained in Aman, besides best healing could be found in Aman and feär were designed in such a way that they can take up healing and be healed if the healing is provided...
Sounds to me that men were never supposed to be immortal though they were longlicing then they slowly became.

Originally posted by Eriol,

do you ascribe a will to the hröa? When you talk about the hröa "letting go of the fëa" it seems like you do. Is that so?
Perhaps you are taking it too literary here. If I find joy and happiness somewhere I would be greatly reluctent to leave that place. Such can be applied to Hröa too.

Posted by Eriol,

I think the longer time of maturation shows that the change was a very deep change in their nature -- and one that did not happen over generations, but almost instantly after Númenor was raised. We don't see any accounts saying that first-generation Númenóreans were only slightly more longeval than normal men -- that I remember.
I don't think any part of my posts negates any of you're points. Although I don't understand what deep change are you talking about? The deepest change a body can suffer is the alteration of it's soul, it's innermost object.

My ulitmate conclusion is that Andreth was in part correct, yet even the heart of Anderth the wise woman was clouded with Morgothian doubt. Part of her claim, I feel, was in envy of the longevity of life that was granted to the Quendi and she [though unconciously] lusted for it.
 

gate7ole

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I don't agree with the theory of Andreth, but for the sake of the discussion, I will take her side for a while:
by Beleg_strongbow
It has been explictly stated that Men were not allowed to come to Valinor. For what? Gate's original quote I guess answeres to that partially. But my question is If Men were doomed to be immortal from the start, then why were they not allowed to entre Beleriand for the fear that a quarell may arise between their Feär and Hröa. It cannot have been because of the marring of Men since Elves were also marred and yet they sustained in Aman, besides best healing could be found in Aman and feär were designed in such a way that they can take up healing and be healed if the healing is provided...
Sounds to me that men were never supposed to be immortal though they were longlicing then they slowly became.
Andreth would answer like this: But if we were once immortal but Melkor (or Eru) deprived us of this gift, then maybe the preocedure is one-way and we cannot become immortal again. And since Aman would remind us of our past, the Valar wouldn't let us dwell there.

Now, I don't agree with the Immortal Man theory and the only reason I have against it, is what Finrod states. The difference of the human fea, which cannot stay forever in Arda.

by Beleg_strongbow
So It can be said that the evil of Morgoth to an extent would be undone and the hurt produced by Morgoth's evilness healed by the blessing of the good elements.
Things would revert back as much as they can to the original, which would mean that the lifespan of men would increase to some extent but won't be the same as It was originally held to be in the thought of Eru. (Due to the marring of Morgoth).
Morgoth's power was spread, rooted in the grounds of Middle Earh (and not only Beleriand). The fact that actually Morgoth "died", that it was possible for the Valar to defeat him, is due to this spreading of his power. The Valar did not actually kill Morgoth. They killed the -somehow incarnate- body of Morgoth, while his spread power, they couldn't touch without breaking the roots of the world. See what happened in Beleriand. It would happen to all Middle-Earth.
Of course I agree that the Marring of Morgoth was a little sustained, because of the loss of the power that drove all evil to work under one plan.
But the issue is that -as you accept- it was mostly due to the Valar that the Numenoreans got a longer life-span. And until know I am not convinced that it was not a wrong decision :D.
 

Eriol

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Go Andreth!

;)

There are two hypotheses to explain the "lack of fit" between Andreth's theory and reality:

1) Gate7ole: The ill wrought by Morgoth (or Eru) in Men was irreversible;

2) Beleg: Andreth was wrong, men were not originally immortal

My explanation is a third one: Andreth was right, and the Valar were wrong. They were mistaken in taking Men as innately mortal creatures. And from this mistake of the Valar stems all of their other mistakes.

What did the Valar know about Men? What Eru told them, and what little they saw in the music. But we know that they could not see much about Men in the music. And Eru said that he would give Men "a new gift" (or something like that). The Valar (and the Elves) assumed that this gift was Death. What if it wasn't? What if it was "freedom from fate" (what I call the "Lhunitihiliel theory ;) ), or the Dominion of Men, or some other thing?

(Woohoo, speculating is so fun...)

Note also that Eru said that he would give a new gift. Even if he meant death, this does not mean that men are innately mortal. For Eru could have devised this gift as a way of amending Morgoth's evil. Perhaps men were made of such stuff that if they remained immortal they would become fiends after Morgoth messed with them. The gift then would be the way to restore sanity and equity to mankind.

For it is clear that Morgoth messed with men in some way, and that this messing is inheritable in Tolkien's later conceptions.

The funny thing is that the only reason we have for disagreeing with Andreth is what we know from Elves, and that came from the Valar. If the Valar are mistaken about men, anything we read about men can be mistaken as well -- including our information about feär and hröar.

This theory (big mistake of the Valar, from the beginning) also helps us to understand why the Valar were so... wary of dealing with men. They did not have any confidence in doing the right thing with them, they were very much aware that there was a lot that they did not know about men.

Leaving speculation aside, let us summarize our theories so far:

Beleg -- Men were originally long-lived, had a decrease in lifespan due to Morgoth's marring, and later this decrease was attenuated in Númenór because of Eru/Valar intervention or the "cleanliness" of the land, being less marred than M-E; Andreth was wrong.

Gate7ole -- Men were originally short-lived, had an increase in lifespan due to Valar/Eru intervention (this is also the "Standard Silmarillion" theory); Andreth was wrong.

Eriol -- Men were originally immortal, and became mortal as an effect of Morgoth's actions (which does not mean that Morgoth was the primary cause behind that -- perhaps Eru did it, and perhaps He did it out of kindness and wisdom. We don't know about that.) Their lifespans were then increased in Númenór due to Valar/Eru intervention; Andreth was right

(Sorry if I forgot about the theories of earlier posters -- everybody is free to add to this summary)

Coming back to the question of the thread, what is the effect of the "Valar/Eru" intervention as a factor in the Second Fall?

In the "Beleg" scenario, being a "restoration" of the natural state, it is not to be blamed; the Second Fall was not directly caused by it, but rather by other factors, such as a modification in the hröar. But I have not seen any indication by Beleg that he considers this V/E intervention a mistake.

In the "gate7ole" scenario, it is a mistake, and an avoidable one -- they had all the information necessary to predict the end result. They knew all about the fëa clinging to the hröa, and how it would result in evil.

In the "Eriol" scenario, it is a mistake, but an inadvertent mistake -- they did not know the facts. They thought that men were innately mortal, and their fëar would be pleased to leave the body if they had a blessed land to live in, without the Shadow of Morgoth. But the fëa was actually designed to remain in Arda, deathless, and therefore whatever the Valar did the Second Fall was bound to happen, as long as men were immortal creatures trapped in mortal bodies. The Valar simply provided the methods and the power for them to "fall" more quickly. Men were prone to research cryogenics if the Valar did not give them a helping hand with military power.

;)
 

Beleg

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[For the sake of it I have decided to be Felagund] ;)

gate7ole posted,

Andreth would answer like this: But if we were once immortal but Melkor (or Eru) deprived us of this gift, then maybe the preocedure is one-way and we cannot become immortal again. And since Aman would remind us of our past, the Valar wouldn't let us dwell there.
Felagund: Eru would never deprive you of any gift If he once installed it in you.
Melkor is a mighty being but Melkor cannot completely change the fate of any child of Eru. He can corrupt but not on such a large scale.
How would Aman remind you of your past? Men are pretty different from the elves both physically and mentally. Their physique and mental abilities weren't made for someone whose goal is to live an immortal life.
Besides Man's fea wasn't made to dwell in Arda that long.


Posted by gate7ole,

Morgoth's power was spread, rooted in the grounds of Middle Earh (and not only Beleriand). The fact that actually Morgoth "died", that it was possible for the Valar to defeat him, is due to this spreading of his power.
True. Morgoth used a lot of his power to corrupt Arda, which took away lot of his physical and spirtual power. (As MT tells us).


But the issue is that -as you accept- it was mostly due to the Valar that the Numenoreans got a longer life-span. And until know I am not convinced that it was not a wrong decision .
So our basic problem is that you believe giving Numenor wasn't a good idea, while I believe It was a good idea?
 

Beleg

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Andreth was right, and the Valar were wrong. They were mistaken in taking Men as innately mortal creatures. And from this mistake of the Valar stems all of their other mistakes.
I don't think so. :) Valar were supposed to have direct assistance from Eru in this matter and it was Eru who explictly forbade Men's enterance to Valinor. In you theory there is no participation of marring of Morgoth, which again is impossible, since Morgoth polluted whole of the Arda, so much so that It became Morgoth's Ring.
[Suppose leaving aside the matter of Morgoth's corruption] If we look at the Physique and Mental Structure of the Men, It shows that they weren't made as immortal.
Men had a weaker fea, Men faced illness, which was often deadly.
Men had a mind which could easily be corrupted or peverted.
Old age came upon men...and they died from it.
What did the Valar know about Men? What Eru told them, and what little they saw in the music. But we know that they could not see much about Men in the music. And Eru said that he would give Men "a new gift" (or something like that). The Valar (and the Elves) assumed that this gift was Death. What if it wasn't? What if it was "freedom from fate" (what I call the "Lhunitihiliel theory ), or the Dominion of Men, or some other thing?
They didn't assume It was death. It was a fact that It was death.
If we compare Elves and Men, Death is the only [Seemingly good to Elves] quality that is existant in Men.
Elves get weary of Middle-Earth, yet they are bound within it.
Some people might envy it in the start, but as the Elves proved It, After a long while It get boring living immortally.
Note also that Eru said that he would give a new gift. Even if he meant death, this does not mean that men are innately mortal. For Eru could have devised this gift as a way of amending Morgoth's evil.
I dont understand this point.

For it is clear that Morgoth messed with men in some way, and that this messing is inheritable in Tolkien's later conceptions.
This thing is not found in you're theory.
 

Eriol

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My theory is mostly Andreth's theory -- and in that theory Morgoth's marring is by far the greatest.

:confused:

In Andreth's theory, immortal men became mortal due to Morgoth's corruption. What else could you ask as for marring?

:)

Did Eru specifically forbid men in Valinor? I don't remember that.

And, of course, when you "look at men's fëar and hröar and see that they are weaker", you are looking at men already corrupted by Morgoth... the Andreth theory claims that in the beginning, before Morgoth messed with them, they were immortal, with strong fëar and hröar. A beginning that no Valar witnessed or heard about (except Morgoth).

By the same token, when you say that death is the only thing good in men, it is evidence of the depth of Morgoth's marring.

I'm not saying that death is the result of Morgoth's marring, mind you; it is quite likely that Eru instituted death for the sake of men, because marred as they were, their immortality became a curse. In that scenario immortal men would inevitably turn wicked due to Morgoth's marring, and death is the medicine against that. (I think this is the point that I did not clarify enough in my post).

It is possible. As it is possible that death is in fact a direct result of Morgoth's actions. I don't know.

But in the Andreth Is Right scenario, the corruption of Morgoth is the greatest, compared to the other scenarios. For it resulted in the innate corruption of men, and in death, either directly or indirectly.
 

Beleg

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Ah, pardon me for mistaking the sense of your'e words. :)

But for once, I dont agree with Andreth's theory.

it is quite likely that Eru instituted death for the sake of men, because marred as they were, their immortality became a curse.
But If Eru had the power of Installing death as the fate of men, why didn't He undo the marring of Morgoth? That seems unprobable and unfair to me.



Did Eru specifically forbid men in Valinor? I don't remember that.
There is a quote in Myths Transformed, but right now I am unable to present it.


But in the Andreth Is Right scenario, the corruption of Morgoth is the greatest, compared to the other scenarios. For it resulted in the innate corruption of men, and in death, either directly or indirectly.
But I guess Andreth is talking about the Morgoth of HOME X, not the other Morgoth.

[As a personal opinion I don't like the changes that Tolkien invented in the Mythology]

In Andreth's theory, immortal men became mortal due to Morgoth's corruption. What else could you ask as for marring?
Andreth basically says that Morgoth tempered with the Fea's of Men...and actually created a stero-type of actual men...
Does this mean that the later mythology Morgoth possesses Flame Imperishble???

:confused:
 

Eriol

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Originally posted by Beleg_strongbow

But If Eru had the power of Installing death as the fate of men, why didn't He undo the marring of Morgoth? That seems unprobable and unfair to me.
Because undoing the marring would have meant a violation of men's free will. They chose Morgoth freely. Eru would accept repentance, he would not force it.

I didn't get the bit about the Flame Imperishable... Morgoth never created a race of beings with free-will, and the men he corrupted already had the Flame Imperishable from Eru.
 

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Because undoing the marring would have meant a violation of men's free will. They chose Morgoth freely. Eru would accept repentance, he would not force it.
No It wouldn't.
Men didn't choose Morgoth freely. [Not in the sense we are talking about here] Infact If Andreth theory Is correct then Men were given no choice in the marring of their souls.



I didn't get the bit about the Flame Imperishable... Morgoth never created a race of beings with free-will, and the men he corrupted already had the Flame Imperishable from Eru.
If Morgoth indeed could alter the fea of men, then I would say that he created a new breed of man.
Afterall Mortal elves would be totall different from immortal elves.
 

Eriol

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Originally posted by Beleg_strongbow
No It wouldn't.
Men didn't choose Morgoth freely. [Not in the sense we are talking about here] Infact If Andreth theory Is correct then Men were given no choice in the marring of their souls.
[/B]
?

Why not? What is the sense in which we are talking about here? To me it seemed a choice quite free. They worshipped Morgoth in exchange for the power that Morgoth could give to them.

And as for the Flame Imperishable, you could say it was a new breed of man, but that does not make it so :D. I don't think it can be agreed... they were still men, still capable of good, they still had free-will... they only had a marred fëa and hröa.
 

Beleg

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?

Why not? What is the sense in which we are talking about here? To me it seemed a choice quite free. They worshipped Morgoth in exchange for the power that Morgoth could give to them.
Apparantly you said this,

it is quite likely that Eru instituted death for the sake of men, because marred as they were, their immortality became a curse.
And I replied,

But If Eru had the power of Installing death as the fate of men, why didn't He undo the marring of Morgoth? That seems unprobable and unfair to me.
You countered,

Because undoing the marring would have meant a violation of men's free will. They chose Morgoth freely. Eru would accept repentance, he would not force it.
My reply,

No It wouldn't.
Men didn't choose Morgoth freely. [Not in the sense we are talking about here] Infact If Andreth theory Is correct then Men were given no choice in the marring of their souls.
Instigated this,

Why not? What is the sense in which we are talking about here? To me it seemed a choice quite free. They worshipped Morgoth in exchange for the power that Morgoth could give to them.
In the whole scenario I can't see a place where Men submitted to Morgoth's will.
He we are talking about Morgoth marring the men, (according to the claim of Andreth) and I doubt that Men's submission to Morgoth had anything to do with their marring, since whole Arda (except Aman) was Morgoth's ring and everyone on it would ineveitably be effect by Morgoth's evil that ran in the very veins of Arda.


And as for the Flame Imperishable.
I still think if Andreth Is taken to be correct, then the men created are different from the men created at the start.
The original men would be more like Elves yet we see that the Men of Andreth time little resemble Elves, [Except incase sometimes of Physical power].
It would mean that Morgoth has created another breed of men.
 

Eriol

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I understand now what you've said. But I think that their acceptance of Morgoth is what spurred the corruption of their fëar and hröar. Didn't Eru say something to that effect as the Voice? That since they accepted Morgoth they would soon die and come back to Him, Eru? As if their deaths is a consquence of their worship...

In my scenario, if men had not accepted Morgoth they would remain immortal; marred, as everything in Arda, but immortal. But once they accepted and worshipped him, they fell much more (not liable to be compared with Elves, since Elves never worshipped Morgoth).

Picture, say, the Mouth of Sauron; that's what was in the future of Men without death to cut them short. And death is thus a very great gift of Eru, a way for them to get away from their enslaver, Morgoth. Eru could not really "unenslave" them without breaking their free will. Men could repent and turn to Eru, but their fëar were already marred, as a result of men's free choices.
 

Malbeth

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One thing I don't understand about Andreth's (and Eriol's) theory is what exactly was the difference between men and elves before men fell?

If men were immortal, then they're bound to the circles of the world too, aren't they? Unless you suppose something like a bodily assumption to the Halls of Eru would happen to men eventually...
 

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