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Thursday, 27 April 2017
C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, between exonerating references and accusers.
First of all, let's link to some whiff of fresh good sense:
G.K. Chesterton : The Nightmare
And even cite it, for good measure:
That is the essential. That is the stern condition laid upon all artists touching this luxury of fear. The terror must be fundamentally frivolous. Sanity may play with insanity; but insanity must not be allowed to play with sanity. Let such poets as the one I was reading in the garden, by all means, be free to imagine what outrageous deities and violent landscapes they like. By all means let them wander freely amid their opium pinnacles and perspectives. But these huge gods, these high cities, are toys; they must never for an instant be allowed to be anything else. Man, a gigantic child, must play with Babylon and Nineveh, with Isis and with Ashtaroth. By all means let him dream of the Bondage of Egypt, so long as he is free from it. By all means let him take up the Burden of Tyre, so long as he can take it lightly. But the old gods must be his dolls, not his idols. His central sanctities, his true possessions, should be Christian and simple. And just as a child would cherish most a wooden horse or a sword that is a mere cross of wood, so man, the great child, must cherish most the old plain things of poetry and piety; that horse of wood that was the epic end of Ilium, or that cross of wood that redeemed and conquered the world.
Very well followed out by J. R. R. Tolkien back when he was still calling Sauron Tevildo ... probably to tease a probably (like most women) cat loving Edith, I suppose (let the Tolkien family correct me, if it be wrong). Some might reject Chesterton's position, because back when he wrote this, he was still technically an Anglican heretic. But Pope Pius XI decorated him later and there is no indication he was forced to retract any of what he had written before his conversion.
Now, the point is, some would be in the position of not knowing the difference between writing about Sauron and worshipping Sauron, writing about a witch getting her punishment (three times over in C. S. Lewis, witches being the main baddies of MN/LWW and of SC, and a subsidiary baddy of PC) and practising witchcraft (just because the witch also, first, was seen as practising very harmful spells).
Some have claimed that C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien are esoterics. And I already indicated why this is somewhat idiotic, as a position, not meaning one must be an idiot to hold it, but let's follow their line of evidence and see how much evidence there is on that line.
One clue is that both were Inklings, so were Owen Barfield and Charles Williams (Owen Barfield a Steinerian, Charles Williams as it seems a minor colleague of Gurdjieff in his own right), therefore they must have been esoterics too.
However, Williams was an ex-Rosicrucian.
"Williams gathered many followers and disciples during his lifetime. He was, for a period, a member of the Salvator Mundi Temple of the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. He met fellow Anglican Evelyn Underhill (who was affiliated with a similar group, the Order of the Golden Dawn) in 1937 and was later to write the introduction to her published Letters in 1943."
However, Williams himself was not a member of Golden Dawn and he seems according to this to have left the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, at least as in leaving them alone, while he did not leave the Inklings.
This means, describing Inklings as such and specifically CSL and JRRT as Golden Dawn is vastly inaccurate. And describing these two as esoterics just because Barfield and in some degree Williams were so is like describing them as esoterics because they shared the English nationality or residence in Oxford with the two. At least as far as we can trust wikipedians active on their articles.
So, shall we compare wikipedian categories a little? Just to see if they are straightforward and accurate, or hushing up that obvious esoterics were obviously esoterical?
"Francis Israel Regardie (né Regudy; November 17, 1907 – March 10, 1985), known simply as Israel Regardie, was an occultist, a writer, and Aleister Crowley's personal secretary and transcriptionist, widely known for his books and commentaries on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn."
What categories is he in?
Francis Israel Regardie, Categories:
- 1907 births
- 1985 deaths
- English occult writers
- English people of Ukrainian-Jewish descent
- Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
- Hermetic Qabalists
- Writers from London
- People from Sedona, Arizona
Or, as I mentioned Gurdjieff, here are his categories:
George Gurdjieff, Categories:
- 1860s births
- 1949 deaths
- People from Gyumri
- People from Erivan Governorate
- Fourth Way
- Armenian philosophers
- Armenian religious leaders
- Armenian writers
- Armenian male writers
- Russian philosophers
- Russian spiritual writers
- Spiritual teachers
- New Age predecessors
- Burials in Île-de-France
- George Gurdjieff
New Age predecessors, category has articles:
- Helena Blavatsky
- George Gurdjieff
- Isis Unveiled
- Ganapatrao Maharaj Kannur
- Franz Mesmer
- Swami Sharnanandji
- Emanuel Swedenborg
- Swami Vivekananda
Not Tolkien, not Lewis ... for that matter not Steiner either.
Rudolf Steiner, Categories:
- Rudolf Steiner
- 1861 births
- 1925 deaths
- 19th-century philosophers
- 20th-century Austrian architects
- 20th-century Austrian painters
- Austrian male painters
- 20th-century philosophers
- 20th-century poets
- 20th-century sculptors
- Alternative education
- Austrian architects
- Austrian autobiographers
- Austrian dramatists and playwrights
- Male dramatists and playwrights
- Austrian male writers
- Austrian philosophers
- Austrian spiritual writers
- Austrian Theosophists
- Austro-Hungarian people
- Austrian choreographers
- Austrian educational theorists
- Esoteric Christianity
- Expressionist architects
- Former Theosophists
- Modernist architects
- Modernist theatre
- New religious movements
- People from Donji Kraljevec
- Philosophers of education
- Special education
- Spiritual teachers
- University of Rostock alumni
- Occult writers
- Consciousness studies
Let's see category Occult writers:
- List of occult writers
- Apollonius of Tyana
- Franz Bardon
- Martin Delrio
- Peter Deunov
- Jean D'Espagnet
- George Gifford (Puritan)
- Paolo Grillandi
- Hermes Trismegistus
- Friedrich Hoffmann
- Judika Illes
- Jan Kefer
- Draja Mickaharic
- Johannes Nider
- Robert Passantino
- Georg Pictorius
- George Sinclair (mathematician)
- Stephen Skinner (author)
- Brad Steiger
- Rudolf Steiner
The list of occult writers very correctly lists Giordano Bruno (who was burned more for occultism than for heliocentrism as cosmography, but in his case they were related, and this burning in 1600 initiated a suspicion of heliocentrism, which I share, as to its roots and consequences), and also Edward Bulwer-Lytton whom I recently heard of as author of "The Coming Race" and also Cayce whom I know as the man who channeled the esoterica lore of triple lost continents Mu Lemuria and Atlantis.
Under K-L it lists LaVey, but not C. S. Lewis. Under T-W I find a Westcott which rings a bell about Wurmbrandt's research about Karl Marx as being an esoteric. While I find nothing about Karl Marx on his article (it seems he had another first name than the one from Wurmbrandt' book), I do find the article fairly openly identifies his leanings:
W. W. Westcott, Categories:
- 1848 births
- 1925 deaths
- English Freemasons
- English occult writers
- Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
- People from Royal Leamington Spa
- British coroners
- Hebrew–English translators
Under Karl Marx, I find an article which does not reflect the research of Wurmbrand, here are the categories:
Karl Marx, Categories:
- Communism templates
- Karl Marx
- 1810s births
- 1818 births
- 1883 deaths
- 19th-century philosophers
- 19th-century Prussian people
- 19th-century journalists
- Male journalists
- 19th-century economists
- 19th-century German writers
- German atheism activists
- Atheist philosophers
- Burials at Highgate Cemetery
- Critics of religions
- Critics of work and the work ethic
- Communist writers
- Economic historians
- German atheists
- German communists
- German economists
- German emigrants to England
- German historians
- German people of Dutch-Jewish descent
- German philosophers
- German revolutionaries
- German socialists
- German sociologists
- German tax resisters
- Historians of economic thought
- Humboldt University of Berlin alumni
- Marxian economists
- German Marxists
- Marxist historians
- Marxist journalists
- Marxist theorists
- Marxist writers
- Members of the International Workingmen's Association
- People from London
- People from the Rhine Province
- People from Trier
- People associated with the Royal Society of Arts
- Political philosophers
- Philosophers of technology
- Social philosophers
- Stateless people
- University of Bonn alumni
- University of Jena alumni
- Writers about globalization
- 19th-century historians
- Social critics
- Cultural critics
- Atheist writers
- Opinion journalists
- Anti-poverty advocates
- German people of Dutch descent
- Socialist economists
- Atheist socialists
So, despite a man being esoteric (if research by Wurmbrandt is correct about Karl Marx) he can not be at all listed as such in his wikipedian article. In his case, there are lots of people to whom Wurmbrandt's research would be unwelcome, so anyone tries to list him in such a category, it is probably undone fairly quickly. I check with German wiki and find Junghegelianer. Italian wiki also says Esponenti della sinistra hegeliana. But nothing of his being in any way related to Annie Besant or Blavatsky or any lodge involving any Westcott. Though Westcott's portrait agrees with that of Marx and Engels in wearing a full beard, and Wurmbrandt's clue on that one was "beard worn as in the lodge of ... Westcott", cannot recall which Westcott.
I tried to find connections between Westcott and Marx, and I did find some on google-books. See screen shots below, title and author inserted from left margin into below or between text columns. It more tended to involve his daughter, Eleanor Marx. A person who also figures in Wurmbrand's research.*
But I think this is uncommon - the hushing up of all Wurmbrand and Sobran have to say about Marx, if credible, which I think is more likely than the stuff about CSL and JRRT being Illuminati or Illuminati shills. On the article on Marx, that is.
Side note, before going on : actually, wiki does give us Wurmbrand's research. On his own article, one of the footnotes goes to a pdf with an article by the late Joseph Sobran. Here I come to ask whether I would need an exorcist, after all : when recalling that Sobran died, my first thought was "may he rot in Hell" - and that is not my attitude. I really do think Requiescat in Pace is more appropriate. Or, I look up that work by Wurmbrand, find a first quote from Marx, namely "I wish to avenge myself against the One who rules above ...” - I have had such feelings about how God's Providence has worked with my life, even if I did not thus blaspheme with my lips - or keyboards. I scrolled down a little and found citations from Oulanem - and I think Oulanem proves that Karl Marx was well advised to take the luxuries of fear lightly, if he did so. I am not sure he did. Wurmbrand was sure he didn't. I don't think he was quite as off as those accusing CSL or JRRT.
If wiki articles are not listing CSL and JRRT as esoterics, if google searches on the supposed connection only lead back either to John Todd or to Fritz Springmeier who depends on John Todd, we can have a fairly good hope CSL and JRRT were not esoterics. At least not in a sectarian and heretical way. At least not to the point of apostasy, as if believing Lurian Kabbalah (JRRT is on the contrary known to have been a Thomist, and if CSL liked Pico de la Mirandola, it may have sth to do with admiration for God's Omnipotence, which illuminates the quasi Syllabus of Bishop Tempier
As to Wes Penre and his dependence on Åke Ohlmarks, that is another league, it is artistic interpretation and comparisons, like the ones used by Wurmbrand about Marx. On his page, he and others also admit relying in hearsay:
Interestingly enough, shortly after I had published the first version of this article on the Internet in 1998, I got a letter from a visitor, who was told by a high initiated witch, that both Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were initiated in the H.O.G.D. (The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn), which is a deeply occult, black magic secret society.
OK ... Wes Penre is not ready to state "a witch has told so and so that CSL and JRRT were Golden Dawners, therefore they probably were so". He is only ready to say "a witch has told so and so that CSL and JRRT were Golden Dawners, this is interesting". Some better critical sense than Springmeier who says "a former witch John Todd has said they were illuminates and at his call and I believe him even if he backslided into occultism, because he has been martyred" (for certain other reasons?) - but also more of a slippery slope. Wes Penre himself does not say he believes the visitor, but neither does he say he disbelieves, nor say that he doesn't know and why he is hesitating, and he knows some of his other visitors will believe it, while he has "washed his hands" by only saying "it is interesting. As Wes Penre about Tolkien and the occult, I am not saying this is Wes Penre's intention, just that it is one very possible effect.
He gives a note about the book business of fantasy : he was told he was not getting fantasy published back when he, as a young Christian Tolkien admirer had writen such, because it would be a great thing a decade later. Sure, the book business of fantasy was probably being prepared by people not Christian themselves, and not friendly to Christians, like the French publisher of Tolkien who is not Christian and who, despite liking to admiration Tolkien's work, also hated the religious undertones of Lord of the Rings. Before that, librarians who were Communists tended to ban C. S. Lewis and John Ronald Reuel Tolkien - they really were on an index librorum, but not that of the Catholic Church, rather that of some Marxist unions of librarians.
Unlike Tolkien in 1937 and 1954 to 55 or C. S. Lewis in 1950-56, the effect of this book business of the seventies for next decade was fairly foreseeable, while they on their side again were publishing 20 years before this surge in esoterica, in a world taking magic as a joke and where someone could socially brag about getting initiated into magic and be gently smiled at.
Now, in fact I find another trail "connecting Tolkien to Illuminati". If Ignatius of Loyola was an Esoteric Kabbalah Jewish stooge within Catholicism, as some claim, then indeed the question is as good as settled!
Here we have Johnny Cirucci:
Johnny Cirucci : J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis: Jesuit Imagineering
Sat, 17 December 2016
What a day on which to publish the article too! 17 December being the birthday of a "Jesuit" and "Pope" suspect to me as to both qualities because to me both names depend on Catholic, and it is the first day of Saturnalia. But I would consider that Father Murray was still a Jesuit, and if Pius XII was no longer a Pope, that was presumably kept away from the sight of many devout and real Catholics. Here is the most damning passage, if damning you consider it to be a Jesuit:
Robert Lazu, a Romanian Roman Catholic philosopher and theologian, asserted in his paper The Fantastic Secret of Tolkien’s Fairy Tales: Literature and Jesuit Spiritual Exercises that Tolkien might have used Jesuit spiritual exercises while composing his fairy stories.
So, every Protestant and every hater of Jesuits, keep away from Tolkien! The article quotes a letter from the author himself to Father Murray:
“I know exactly what you mean by the order of grace; and of course by your references to Our Lady, upon which all my own small perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded. The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion’, to cults and practices in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and symbolism.” ~ The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien by J.R.R. Tolkien, p.172, 2000.
You might recall the same sense in Christian Bourgois, only with a dislike on his part of Tolkien's religion, and its echoes in Lord of the Rings.
Fairly obviously, someone who is, like Father Patrick de la Rocque at Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet, or formerly his predecessor Father Xavier Beauvais, offering Ignatian exercises to young men, to young women, to couples and so on, I don't think such a man can take this as Lord of the Rings being damnable.
Nor, obviously, can I. But it will of course go a far way with people who can take seriously the tag A City on Seven Hills or The Whore of Babylon, in the full list of tags on the article by Johnny Cirucci : A City on Seven Hills, Controlled Opposition, Discerning Disinformation, The Game Is Rigged, The Whore of Babylon, Two-Card Monte.
I must praise Cirucci for his candour. Like Wes Penre, he notes use of symbols previously used by freemasonry or esotericism. Here is what Cirucci has to say, straight after quoting the letter to Father Murray:
Such imagery and metaphor is also seen in the stories of C.S. Lewis. Tolkien incorporated several occult elements to compose his mythical Middle-earth tales. Even freemasonic symbolism can be found throughout the stories as is the case with The Doors of Durin portrayed in The Fellowship of the Ring.
However, it is the doctrines of Roman Catholicism that thoroughly permeate this well-known (and well-promoted) fantasy series.
That's nice. Some symbols are masonic, but his doctrine is the doctrines of Roman Catholicism? I like that! That means any symbol which freemasons have put to bad use will be either put to better or less significant use in Tolkien.
This is indeed what I think of the Atlantis theme. Hearing as a child of Mu, Lemuria and Atlantis as sunken civilisations was fun. Akallabêth explaines and expands on the fun in a most Christian way, as good a sermon as any fantasy writer wrote on Matthew 24. But getting very recently to hear about certain "orthodoxly" esoteric interpretations on Atlantis, well, it's if not confusing, at least conceptually confused in its Evolutionism and also boring.
But back to wiki now. What are the categories for Tolkien and CSL?
J. R. R. Tolkien, Categories:
- J. R. R. Tolkien
- 1892 births
- 1973 deaths
- 20th-century English novelists
- 20th-century translators
- Academics of the University of Leeds
- Alumni of Exeter College, Oxford
- Anglo-Saxon studies scholars
- Arthurian scholars
- British people of German descent
- British Army personnel of World War I
- English male novelists
- Christian anarchists
- Commanders of the Order of the British Empire
- Constructed language creators
- Creators of writing systems
- English Catholic Traditionalists
- English children's writers
- English fantasy writers
- English literature academics
- English people of German descent
- English philologists
- English Roman Catholics
- Fellows of Merton College, Oxford
- Fellows of Pembroke College, Oxford
- Lancashire Fusiliers officers
- Linguists from England
- Merton Professors of English Language and Literature
- Mythopoeic writers
- People educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham
- People educated at St Philip's School
- People from Bloemfontein
- Prometheus Award winners
- Rawlinson and Bosworth Professors of Anglo-Saxon
- Science Fiction Hall of Fame inductees
- Translators from Old English
- Writers from Birmingham, West Midlands
- Writers on Germanic paganism
- Writers who illustrated their own writing
- English male short story writers
- Contributors to the Oxford English Dictionary
- Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature
- Recipients of the Benson Medal
One could have added Commander of the Order of the British Empire, but this decoration he received 1972, the year before he died.
And here are those for C. S. Lewis:
- C. S. Lewis
- 1898 births
- 1963 deaths
- 20th-century writers from Northern Ireland
- 20th-century English novelists
- Alumni of University College, Oxford
- Anglicans from Northern Ireland
- British Army personnel of World War I
- British children's writers
- British fantasy writers
- British literary critics
- British philosophers
- British science fiction writers
- British spiritual writers
- Burials in Oxfordshire
- Carnegie Medal in Literature winners
- Christian apologists
- Christian novelists
- Christian philosophers
- Converts to Anglicanism from atheism or agnosticism
- Deaths from renal failure
- Disease-related deaths in England
- Fellows of Magdalene College, Cambridge
- Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford
- Irish Anglicans
- Irish children's writers
- Irish fantasy writers
- Irish literary critics
- Irish people of Welsh descent
- Irish philosophers
- Irish poets
- Irish science fiction writers
- Irish spiritual writers
- Lay theologians
- Literary critics of English
- Mythopoeic writers
- People educated at Campbell College
- People educated at Malvern College
- People from Northern Ireland of Welsh descent
- Somerset Light Infantry officers
- Writers from Belfast
- Male writers from Northern Ireland
- Male novelists from Northern Ireland
Unlike Tolkien, he declined Order of the British Empire:
Lewis was named on the last list of honours by George VI in December 1951 as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) but declined so as to avoid association with any political issues.
Not one "Occultist". Not one "Anthroposophy". Not one "Theosophy". Not one "Freemason" or "Rosicrucian" or "Golden Dawn". Unlike William Butler Yeats:
- Irish occult writers
- Irish occultists
- Anti-Catholicism in Ireland (he opposed Catholic influence on legislation of Freestate / Éire, at least a certain degree of it)
- Irish astrologers
And all references to Golden Dawn in text itself.
While C. S. Lewis was interested in astrology, not in a deterministic clearly pagan way, more like Gerson, thinking public or of great but hidden import global or regional events may be announced by constellations, he was not listed as an Irish astrologer. Perhaps because he only wrote about what he saw in a private astrological diary, never gave horoscopes or wrote treatises on the subject.
Back to accusers:
"Narnia," and "Dawn Treader" Are Leading Children and Adults into Witchcraft and Satanism...
on These Last Days Ministries
The story of a witch named Starhawk: "How Narnia Made Me a Witch"
C.S. Lewis's books helped bring me to the Goddess. For me, one of her names is Aslan. ... That longing began my own spiritual search. I had a strong Jewish upbringing, and many years of Jewish education. I read Bible stories in the original Hebrew, and learned the wisdom of my ancestors encoded in the Talmud. But there was a different kind of Mystery I sensed in the Narnia books, something that was less about study and prayer and more entwined with nature and wildness, freedom and courage. I know "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is seen as a Christian story, and certainly C.S. Lewis meant it that way. Sometime in my ninth or 10th reading of the book, I suddenly caught the echoes of Jesus’ story in Aslan’s sacrifice. Being Jewish, I was probably slow to grasp this, as the whole story of the crucifixion was alien territory to me. I was dismayed, and immediately felt guilty. ...
Starhawk presumably made efforts to reinterpret Narnia in ways less disagreeable to her Talmudic ways than Jesus. Apparently this meant she felt less guilty about witchcraft. We are told to pray for her conversion, perhaps I will. And I presume if she does convert, it will be because she gets Narnia.
This time the site is not Protestant, but Catholic. It is associated with Bayside Apparitions, I don't know if they are genuine or not, but I do know the quotes from apparitions at bottom of page are against witchcraft, very correctly so, and not one mention of Narnia or C. S. Lewis. The site is promoting the story that Paul VI was replaced by an impostor. I am rather into his being an Antipope of an Anti-Hierarchy. I was into his being "saint Pablo VI, prisoner in the Vatican" and forced to sign false documents. Just so you know who they are and who I am, when it comes to Catholicism and what type of conspiracy theories we might be likely to favour.
And yes, the Palmarian story has more Narnian ring to it than that of "impostor impersonating Paul VI", since we see in C. S. Lewis' romanced meditation over Matthew 24, in The Last Battle, one Puzzle, a talking donkey (sounds more Biblical than certain other themes of talking beasts, which remind more of Aesop!) who is forced into a blasphemous position, but later saved from it. And other feature on the page, they are perfectly willing to quote Wes Penre.
They link to another accuser:
Eric Barger's Stand Up Ministries : Lord of the Rings: Christian or Cultic?
April 2004 By Eric Barger
He lists "six problems" and the first one actually falls into two categories on Tolkien and one on CSL.
1) The Identity of God - Tolkien wrote in a letter that the chief purpose of life is “to increase our knowledge of God,” but the idea of God contained in his writing is very different from the Biblical revelation of God. Dr. Ralph C. Wood, an expert on Tolkien's work, described Tolkien’s concept of God as “a remote supreme being who rules the universe through ‘lesser gods’ or ruling spirits, an idea much closer to Norse and Celtic mythology than the caring personal God of the Bible.” (http://www.lightforthelastdays.co.uk/docs/current_events/j_r_tolkien.html) This concept is indeed evident in his stories.
Interesting as well is the fact that Tolkien was fluent in several languages including Latin, medieval Welsh, Anglo-Saxon, and Gothic, a form of ancient German. I don’t want to make too much of this, but could it be that in his obviously fertile mind, Tolkien simply mixed his study of the Dark Ages with the story of Christ where he produced a wizard hero with moral absolutes? Dr. Ralph Wood, the award-winning professor from Baylor and Wake Forest Universities and renowned expert on Tolkien agrees, stating: “Tolkien was caught on the cusp that joins two worlds: the traditional Christian world of angels and demons and dream-visions wherein the natural and the supernatural were inextricably interwoven, and the modern world where space and time have been radically relativized by scientific discovery, psychological exploration, and imaginative invention.” (Christian Century 110, 6, February 24, 1993 p.208-11)
He also invented several new languages, one of which he deemed “Elvish.” He was quoted as saying that the entire Rings came to him as a result of the new language he had created. Today there exists a society called the “The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship” (elvish.org) dedicated to “the scholarly study of the invented languages of J.R.R. Tolkien.” One has to wonder if the same spiritual forces that skewed his view of God may also have filled his new-fangled vocabulary as well?
While Tolkien exhibited some strange and cultic ideas about who God is, Lewis affirmed the idea of Godhood for man (misquoting Psalm 82) in not one but two of his books: Beyond Personality (London: The Centenary Press, 1945), p.48 and Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan Company, 1952), p.174-175. Though I didn’t find information that indicated that he was endeared to any other Mormon doctrine, I was particularly sensitive to his statements on this.
Let's take CSL first, I take it that CSL believed as St Athanasius that God took on Manhood, so that man could take on Godhood - not by becoming a divine person instead of a human one, but by participation. He actually proved that the Holy Ghost is Divine, is true God, by the fact that His indwelling in a man makes a man divine - perhaps lost on certain Calvinists and Lutherans who believe that grace and sin differ only as to juridical status before God, not as to having or lacking the Holy Spirit.
As to Ralph Wood's first observation, I find it interesting and also reminiscent of Watchtower Society that instead of actual arguments, we get a resumé from a learned man and are so to speak told to trust his impressions. And it seems perhaps not even very much in context. You see, Tolkien had a sensitivity to the Pagan world view, and perhaps we should aquire some if not necessarily of his brand, since next generation might feature more Christians vs Pagans than Christians vs Materialist Atheists. He knew very well that since Jesus was born and died and rose, since He instituted His Eucharist and Holy Mass among His Twelve first Catholic Bishops, whom He made such, thus we are much more concerned with the God who rules the universe than with spirits ruling particular objects in it. He was not worshipping them, nor do I do so.
He also knew very well that even before that man was never meant to actually worship such spirits.
It does not follow there are no such things.
And he set out to imagine a time in which they were licitly honoured, but not adored, by elves, not by men. This in order to make Pagan mythologies a kind of misunderstood echoes of this elvish mythology. An avid reader of mythologies and a Catholic conscience had found peace and set out to produce Silmarillion.
This vision is very much less pervasive in The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, where the one true God is at least present as Providence and where valar are very much less present, except the female vala, the valië, who reminded him of the Blessed Virgin. How could he not have invented one with such a project as described?
Now, this should give us sth to think about when considering a sentence like:
"One has to wonder if the same spiritual forces that skewed his view of God may also have filled his new-fangled vocabulary as well?"
First, we don't have any kind of evidence that "spiritual forces" of any kind "skewed his view of God".
Second, if you suspect demons "may ... have filled his new-fangled vocabulary" (namely that of two languages qualified as Elvish, since talked by peoples represented as elves and not human, Quenya and Sindarin, which are on top of that not mere vocabulary but have worked out grammars, though Tolkien linguists are still disputing certain points about grammar of Quenya and perhaps ignorant of points of Sindarin), then, how about testing it? Word lists of Quenya are there, word lists of Sindarin are there, there are also Exorcists who have delved into esoteric designations for evil spirits.
God is in Quenya described as Eru, meaning one, unique or even lonely (Latin equivalent "solus"), and as Iluvatar, compound word meaning Allfather (ilu-v- = all, atar = father). Which of these words is demonic, or a blasphemy, either phonetically or in the meaning according to Quenya grammar?
Hell is in Quenya Utumno. Is this a holy word so that Tolkien blasphemed in calling Hell so?
The Oath of Elendil is a piece of Quenya text.
Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien Sinome Maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-Metta.
Here is the English translation:
Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place I will abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world.
Ear = great sea (Greek : Ocean, specifically Atlantic Ocean West of Middle Earth). Genitive Earo, of the great sea. Ablative Earello, from the great sea. Here with explicatating preposition et, meaning ex, out of. Et Earello = out of the great sea.
Endor = Inner land (Middle Earth or the continent Eurasia with Africa). Accusative Endora, allative Endorenna = to Middle-Earth.
Tul- (+ ending) = to come, to approach. Tule and tuli = is coming and usually comes (forgetting which was which of present and aorist). 1st person sg adds -n. Past perfect or preterite lengthens stemvowel, changes ending to -ie and prefixes an augment or a vowel only reduplication same vowel as stem, but short : utúlien, I have come. Or, older English usage, as Tolkien translated with more solemnity, I am come. Confer "je suis venu", and "ich bin gekommen" (but this is relevant for his English prose, not for the Quenya).
So far, my own memories of Fauskanger's Quenya course helped out, but here I pause. Here I take some help from Quenya English word list provided by Fauskanger as an upload:
Sinome = in this place. sinomë compound noun "this place" (EO), used as adverb (or uninflected locative) = "in this place" = "here" (VT49:18). Variant sínomë (VT44:36). Cf. sanomë, tanomë. And I confer : sanomë adv. “there” (PE17:71). Cf. sinomë, tanomë. And I confer : tanomë adv. “in the place (referred to)” (VT49:11). Cé tulis, tanomë nauvan *”if (s)he comes, I will be there” (VT49:19). Compare sanomë, sinomë.
mar- vb. "abide, be settled or fixed" (UT:317); maruvan "I will abide" (mar-uva-n "abide-will-I") (EO). Cf. termar-.
ar = and
hildi, -hildi noun "followers" (used = mortal men, the Second-born of Ilúvatar) (KHIL) (also Hildor, q.v.). Dat. pl. hildin "for men", a dative pl. occurring in Fíriel's Song. Cf. hildinyar "my heirs", evidently *hildë, hildo "follower, heir" + -inya "my" + -r plural ending (EO)
tenn' = tenna prep. "until, up to, as far as" (CO), "unto" (VT44:35-36), “to the point”, “right up to a point” (of time/place), “until”, “to the object, up to, to (reach), as far as” (VT49:22, 23, 24, PE17:187), elided tenn' in the phrase tenn' Ambar-metta "unto the ending of the world" in EO, because the next word begins in a similar vowel; cf. tennoio "for ever" (tenna + oio, q.v.) The unelided form appears in PE17:105: Tenna Ambar-metta.
ambar (1) ("a-mbar") noun "oikumenē [Greek: the earth as the human habitation], Earth, world" (MBAR), stem ambar- (PE17:66), related to and associated with mar "home, dwelling" (VT45:33); in VT46:13 the latter glosses are possibly also ascribed to the word ambar itself (the wording is not clear). The form ambaren also listed in the Etymologies was presumably intended as the genitive singular at the time of writing (in LotR-style Quenya it would rather be the dative singular); in the printed version in LR, the misreading "ambaron" appears (see VT45:33). Ambar-metta noun "the end of the world" (EO); spelt ambarmetta in VT44:36. The element #umbar in Tarumbar "King of the World" (q.v.) would seem to be a variant of ambar, just like ambar #2 "doom" also alternates with umbar (see below).
metta noun "end"; Ambar-metta "world-end, the end of the world" (EO); mettarë *"end-day" = New Years' Eve in the Númenórean calendar and the Steward's Reckoning, not belonging to any month (Appendix D). – The word Mettanyë, heading the final part of the poem The Trees of Kortirion, would seem to be related (LT1:43)
métima adj. "last" (Markirya), in Markirya also twice métim', since the following words (auressë, andúnë) begin in an a.
OK, what exact word was demonic?
Perhaps there is sth other to watch out about. Does this make Elendil or Aragorn or anyone they may symbolise in real life "beast from the sea"?
Or, as they are not beastly, would this make the "beast from the sea" a rival of theirs?
In Akallabêth, is Sauron both Abaddon and Nimrod, or is Sauron Abaddon and Ar-Pharazôn Nimrod? In the latter case, is Tolkien so to speak pleading extenuating circumstances for Antichrist? Or perhaps not, since, though Ar-Pharazôn is deluded by Sauron, he is clearly evil in himself too (and Elendil was one of his opponents, coming to Middle Earth to escape his persecution). And of course, here also one must add "or anyone they may symbolise in real life".
Sauron, Ar-Pharazôn (this name is not Quenya, but Adunaic), Elendil ... any of these words need the attentions of an exorcist? Any of this seem like black magic?
Not to me, but I am certainly very partial in this quetsion.
One thing is at least very clear, Tolkien was not writing in bouts of any kind of glossolalia words he had no meaning for. That symptom of possession was not there in him, at least not as observable from his activity as language inventor.
Next "problem" in the enumeration:
2) The Finished Creative Work of God – (As a Catholic) Tolkien affirmed his faith in the One God who created the universe. But his mythical God stopped creating before the work was finished, and then turned the rest over to a group of lesser gods or "sub-creators." In other words, Tolkien invented a hierarchy of deities that defied the Biblical God's wise warnings concerning both real and imagined idolatry.
(The Letters of J. R. R Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, editor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981), page 284)
I am very irritated that I do not here at Nanterre University Library have any Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, while they have quite a few other books by or about him, including some worthless ones about him (Randel / Helms, anyone!)
But I need not go to his Letters to know that the subcreative role of valar is other than here described.
No idolatry is there in the way they are described, no men are meant to invoke them even in honouring them (unlike elves), and the "creative" acts they do exhibit are either before God's creative fiat or after God's creation, therefore as parts of God's providence.
The most problematic here is that valar are actually producing individual instances of creatures lower than man in ontological dignity. They plant original two lights as lanterns, next two lights as trees and take the final two lights as fruit and flower of the otherwise dying two trees, poisoned by the spider Ungoliant. No doubt the production of Sun and Moon after poisoning of the trees is some reflection of plants created on day III and sun, moon, stars on day IV. And no doubt, this scheme has some debt also to a completely un-Biblical idea, namely Old Age, suffering among plants and animals and destruction among bodies as manifestations of Satan's fall way before Adam's fall. Something Catholics were at this time considered as allowed to endorse, by their hierarchs in England. If Tolkien was misled, it was not by demons, but by bad priests and by bad Academics. Also, he came up with these ideas well before Henry Madison Morris in 1961 "coauthored The Genesis Flood with John C. Whitcomb, which some regard as the first significant attempt in the 20th century to offer a systematic scientific explanation for creationism." Not to mention that English Catholics might not have been very encouraged to read this, since the brand of Christianity was not Catholic. And that his book may have had faults of a pioneering enterprise, which, had Tolkien read it, some Academic friends of his well into Geology might have been eager to point out to him.
So, if suffering preceded Man's fall, how can you at all explain it without making Satan the author of it? If Satan had power to do so on Earth before Adam gave him a hold on mankind as crown of creation, how could that not involve angelic beings as having powers over creation (this thought is of course liable to much more orthodox interpretations, like angelic movers for celestial bodies), and Satan having some power over earth as an angel, independently of Adam's fall? This theological fault in JRRT and - partly, but not in Narnia - CSL is just a logical conclusion of the prime error of not seeing Genesis 1 and 2 as literally true. The only demonic influence detectable over these Inklings is that as Christians they were influenced by the XXth Century, more than they should have been.
And their imagination over these implications have helped to make me immune to proposals much worse then theirs to "harmonise" Christianity with Old Age, Deep Time, Suffering before Adam sinned.
But these "creative" acts by valar are not seen as creations ex nihilo, just as tending on creatures God had already given them. And the previous to the divine fiat "creativity" of valar is more in the nature of a wishlist - which God fulfilled when actually giving existence to material creation.
3) Tolkien taught reincarnation – Besides his extensive use of unbiblical themes such as elves, gnomes, dwarves and wizards and other creatures empowered with magical skills, he gave his elves the certainty of unconditional eternal life teaching overt reincarnation. Humans, on the other hand, are not afforded such in Tolkien’s fantasy. Their lives -- with rare exceptions -- must end with their physical death.
Instead of the Christian's hope of eternal life, Tolkien's world offers reincarnation -- but only for a select group. This popular notion defies the Scriptures that tell us that "it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment..." (Heb 9:27)
Concerned about this contradiction, the manager of a Catholic bookstore asked Tolkien if he might have "over-stepped the mark in metaphysical matters." Tolkien wrote this response, ”‘Reincarnation' may be bad theology (that surely, rather than metaphysics) as applied to Humanity... But I do not see how even in the Primary world any theologian or philosopher, unless very much better informed about the relation of spirit and body than I believe anyone to be, could deny the possibility of reincarnation as a mode of existence, prescribed for certain kinds of rational incarnate creatures.” (The Letters of J. R. R Tolkien, page 189)
Tolkien also overstepped the biblical mark by building ancestor worship into the storyline – one of the pagan world’s most revered practices.
Let's clear up some mess in this tangled hotch potch accusation.
Tolkien did not TEACH reincarnation, just as he did not TEACH existence of the exact elves and dwarves he had imagined, a fantasy story is not a book of doctrine.
Men who do not reincarnate very certainly (at least this is clear from Silmarillion) do have a hope of an eternal fate "beyond the world". Or a fear, if having lived badly.
Wizards have "magical skills" because they are incarnate angels (as have balrogs who are incarnate demons). This is a liberty in departure from Catholic solid doctrine, but not a grave one, unless it were taken for being meant as doctrine, which it is not. If some things seem "doctrinal" it is because he took so many pains not to contradict Catholic doctrine, which involved some explaining.
Elves do not have magical skills beyond what Renaissance philosophers would have considered as "natural magic" and as licit (unlike ceremonial magic, which invokes demons). Here as with reincarnation, Tolkien is demoting the dangerous but interesting idea in order to avoid human practical interest in it, away from human actors.
Dwarves are also not human, they are a case when a vala overstepped his limits tried to make androids and these by a gift of God came alive. Reincarnation, yes, but magic no. This could give us a hint on why fauns and centaurs seem to exist, not just seen by Greeks, but also one of each by St Anthony when he went to visit St Paul the First Hermit.
Instead of the Christian's hope of eternal life
Tolkien's world offers reincarnation
For those not getting directly after death some eternal life - or punishmment. Only - that is only for non-humans.
but only for a select group
Elves and dwarves are not "a select group" but kinds other than mankind. Created separately, for separate fates, not in original sin as to whole kind (there is another kind of original flaw in dwarves, but not their own sin), not men, what he said about them does not contradict the Christian doctrine on man, since involving another subject, which is not man.
This popular notion defies the Scriptures that tell us that "it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment..." (Heb 9:27)
Since the popular notion in New Age lore is about men, it so defies Scripture. Since the Tolkienian notion is about creatures not meant to be men, it does not least not dircetly do so = his own words, reincarnation being bad theology about man.
And finally, there is no actual worship of ancestors in Tolkien's imagined world. No one is adressing any ancestor in either sacrifice or prayer. I really have no idea where Eric Barger got this from. [Got one : Aiya Eärendil ... see below]
Except perhaps from some rumour monger without checking himself, or he might have been lying.
4) Both Tolkien and Lewis endorsed drinking alcohol and smoking and did so in their personal lives – This may seem trivial to some but it should be pointed out. Lewis wrote these themes in his children’s books and also included swearing in the stories as well. Tolkien’s Rings includes characters engaged in smoking.
- 1 No children are smoking.
- 2 No good persons are deliberately drinking too much alcohol or drinking very much too much, and if children taste some it is always quantities which are appropriate for their smaller stature.
- 3 In Narnia some children are using certain mild cuss words which were current among schoolboys, perhaps more in the day when C. S. Lewis was one than in the day when he wrote the books. Some of these come a "close shave" from just precisely avoiding direct abuse of God's name. "By Jove" and "by golly" are equivalent to "gosh".
Now, once again, we are dealing with a Puritan attacking someone for actually having more Catholic values than himself. As with the guy who considered St Ignatius an Illuminato. While abstaining from smoking and alcoholic drinks is commendable, using them in moderation is not a sin.
If you go "Oh Gosh" it is a lesser sin than if you go "OMG" (not writing the letters out, and Pope Michael calls them "three letters that are a great way to unfriend me"). And every expletive word in Narniad is at worst on the "Oh Gosh" level.
5) Paganism Sympathy - Perhaps the reason that Tolkien and Lewis showed pagan sympathy in their stories is due to their affiliation with one Charles Williams who was a member of the highly satanic, Qabalistic "Order of the Golden Dawn." (The "Order of the Golden Dawn" was primarily made up of mystical "Christians" and former followers of Madame Blavatsky the founder of the Theosophical Society that still adhered to Luciferianism.) Williams, along with Tolkien and Lewis, were members of a close knit Oxford reading group known as “The Inklings.” This is almost certainly where Lewis arrived at his extra-biblical ideas concerning the Holy Grail and other mid-evil myths.
As far as I know, Charles Williams was not a member of Golden Dawn himself and did not remain a Rosicrucian or not an active Rosicrucian.
Inklings being "closely knit" is perhaps overdone.
Inklings were primarily a group for writers to read from their own work. To have it criticised. Two qualifications were there for membership - without there being a formal such, since it was no club : being a Christian and being a writer. Being an esoteric was, as you can see from this resumé not one of the two. Here is an article on them.
And Holy Grail being "a mid-evil myth" is hardly very convincing either in Catholic ears. I can see how a Calvinist could think so, but very much not why a Catholic would agree.
6) Occult Desensitization – If it happened to Tolkien and Lewis then it could happen to us. I have pointed out consistently for several years that the Harry Potter books were conditioning unsuspecting minds worldwide to accept the occult as normal.
The accuser himself is very desensitised if he can compare Tolkien and Lewis to Harry Potter. In fact, not even The King of Elfland's Daughter (1927, Lord Dunsany**, before any Inklings published their typical fantasy) is as desensitising to the occult as Harry Potter, by far (at least as I can judge from first 8 chapters), and far from going into the direction of Harry Potter, Tolkien and Lewis were instead resensitising readers with a Christian hatred of witchcraft.
In Lord Dunsany's book, there is a "Freer" (i e a Friar, respelling the English pronunciation of French equivalent Frère), who has nearly nothing to say and who is just doing what he is told with very little reservations about going ahead by his book which is basically ridiculed. There is also a Witch, Ziroonderel, who is basically a heroine of the book.
In Lord of the Rings, we get Freer and Ziroonderel kind of combined. Gandalf is indeed magical and has a staff (like Ziroonderel), he can also chant over fire and make it glow brighter or flame higher (like Ziroonderel), but not only is it made clear that this is a non-human actor who may have these powers from God at beginning of existence, rather than by any kind of magic studies or pacts with spirits, it is also made very clear that Gandalf has the same values as Freer, but is better at insisting on them. Among other things, he is fairly eager on keeping men (and hobbits***) away from magic stuff, unlike Ziroonderel who actually provided a magic sword, an enchanted one, for Prince Alveric.
The concern is that many will be endeared to these satanic ideas because of the psychological alliances they have made with the characters they’ve read about and cheered for through the pages of the books or on the silver screen.
Probably was Tolkien's and Lewis' concern about Ziroonderel and about the Merlyn in T. H. White's Sword in the Stone:
The premise is that Arthur's youth, not dealt with in Malory, was a time when he was tutored by Merlyn to prepare him for the use of power and royal life. Merlyn magically turns Wart into various animals at times. He also has more human adventures, at one point meeting the outlaw Robin Hood (who is referred to in the novel as Robin Wood).
That is probably why they provided Narnia and Lord of the Rings as an antidote (Gandalf gets much more serious as a Christian character in the later book than in The Hobbit which was published before Sword in the Stone).
And even in publication of Cosmic Trilogy, since first came in 1938, last came 1945, and the Merlin of C. S. Lewis is clearly meant as an antidote to the Merlyn of T. H. White : clearing up errors on Middle Ages as to morality and manners in a more social sense (THW was well read on falconry and other sports and on externals of court manners, but that was about it), showing that the Medieval - and therefore Christian - world view had something to offer (THW's Merlyn is a less intrusive version of Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee), but not least, showing that Merlin Ambrose hesitates to invoke spirits and is afraid he might go to Hell for it. When he does, the spirits invoked are actually not demons from Hell (according to story) but planetary spirits and his own motif is that he is probably lost anyway (a bit like John Todd's attitude when opening a shop of the occult after falling off). The start was an answer to another thing, the presumption in H. G. Wells War of the Worlds that if Martians exist, they are evil. In CSL, if any things are above the sphere of the Moon, they are good, the realm of demons ends where the atmosphere of Earth ends, and a demon could only come to Mars or Venus in the body of a possessed man from Earth (which one demon does in Perelandra).
If the mind lives for any substantial amount of time in the fantasy realm of the occult, sorcery and witchcraft, there is certainly a possibility that when facing the same occultism in real life that our human response will not be one that immediately opposes it.
An excellent reason for preferring Lord of the Rings over Harry Potter. For preferring The King of Elfland's Daughter over Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings over The King of Elfland's Daughter.
Unlike Harry Potter, even Dunsany's novel is not a realm "of the occult, sorcery and witchcraft" but a realm in which these are seen as existing, and seen from the outside. In Tolkien and C. S. Lewis they are not just seen from the outside, but even clearly as dangers both to body and to soul, at least as far as moral integrity is concerned (both Narniad and LotR set aside the questions of eternal fate most of the time). Only in Harry Potter are they seen from the inside, like horse riding in a teen girls' book about riding clubs. Only there is the fantasy world one where you live IN the occult, witchcraft and sorcery. Also, you do that in a fairly clear way in one of Robert E. Howard's Conan books, which is when I renounced Conan, which I had hitherto liked. But not in Tolkien, not in Lewis. Not even in Lord Dunsany. (OK, I have still only read 8 chapters, not all 34). See categories cited below.
Since John Todd / Springmeier accusation involves the argument that Tolkien divulged runes, after asking Illuminati for permission, let us consider that magical use of runes is secondary to the use of runes as a writing system. A writing system which is cryptic to outsiders, without necessarily being magic. Swedish rune stones were very well known among academics well before Tolkien. In Lord Dunsany, we find the word rune used as a synonym for galdr, magic spell, as we also do in Fädernas Gudasaga, by Victor Rydberg, a 19-th C. Swedish author who however also used the word galder, Swedish transcription of galdr. It is clearly probable that Tolkien as a fan of Nordic and Anglo-Saxon things (Anglo-Saxons also had runes) was irritated about this association between the word "rune" (which are as much letters as Hebrew or Greek or Cyrillic ones) with magic, and he may for that reason have included runes in the normal sense, as an antidote.
Many Swedish rune stones are stories of someone dying, perhaps on pilgrimage, and end on appeals for prayers for the departed. Sö 101: "Sigrid, Alrik's mother, Orm's daughter made this bridge for her husband Holmgers, father of Sigoerd, for his soul" - in other words, she built the bridge for you, she is not charging you anything by guard, but asking you to in return pray for her husband's soul. One other rune stone involves the oldest example of Hail Mary in Swedish. Runes are not Satanic, whether Odin who brought them to us was so or not or was even not extant (which I think less likely). Runes are writing, and writing which can be used in a Christian way. So much for that Springmeier and John Todd accusation.
I cannot here make justice to all of them, I suppose, but I think justice to them would generally involve debunking them, as I have done here.
I would clearly consider the case against Tolkien and C. S. Lewis as very much less well built than that against Karl Marx, by Wurmbrand. If wikipedian articles on Marx suffer from a cover up on his esoteric connections, it is due to Marxists banding with the Anticonspiracy Meme among Antimarxists, against which Conspiracy theorists who are Antimarxists, like Wurmbrand, are in a minority. With Lewis and Tolkien, Christian fans are a minority of wikipedians, and therefore not in a position to effectively do a wikipedia cover up. The general non-Christian part fandom and part foedom would not really mind if Tolkien and Lewis had been either Golden Dawn or Rosicrucians or Freemasons, just like the fandom of P. L. Travers have not covered up she was a disciple of Gurdjieff.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St. Peter Canisius, S.J.
Update on "ancestor worship built into the story line":
Evening falls, and in the short midsummer night, the Star of Eärendil burns bright in the west. The faithful Númenoreans honor the Star, greeting it in High-elven. Aiya Eärendil, elenion ancalima, colindo calo epë Anar ar Isil! Aiya Eärendil, elen i morniessë, mírë i andúnessë, alcarinqua i arinessë! "Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars, bearer of light before the Sun and Moon! Hail Eärendil, star in the darkness, jewel in the sunset, radiant in the morning!" (Three thousand years later, in Shelob's Lair, Frodo will of course be "inspired" to utter the first words of this greeting as he pulls out the Vial of Galadriel into which light from the Star of Eärendil has been gathered as "a light where all other lights go out"...always handy when you are on a Quest!)
While Eärdendil is also ancestor to Numenoreans, he is also in the story a patriarch. In this case, the very first words come from an Anglo-Saxon hymn to St John the Baptist, comparing him to the morning star. Or rather to a poetic greeting to him inserted in Anglo-Saxon poem Crist:
éala éarendel engla beorhtast ...
Translation of whole passage:
Hail Day-Star! Brightest angel sent to man throughout the earth, and
Thou steadfast splendour of the sun, bright above stars! Ever Thou dost
illumine with Thy light the time of every season. As Thou, begotten God
of God, Son of the True Father, without beginning
The name is here taken to refer to John the Baptist, addressed as the morning star heralding the coming of Christ, the "sun of righteousness". Compare the Blickling Homilies (p. 163, I. 3) which state Nu seo Cristes gebyrd at his aeriste, se niwa eorendel Sanctus Johannes; and nu se leoma thaere sothan sunnan God selfa cuman wille, that is, "And now the birth of Christ (was) at his appearing, and the new eorendel (morning-star) was John the Baptist. And now the gleam of the true Sun, God himself, shall come."
So, the real theological problem for the accuser is basically veneration of saints. Some Catholics could take offense at the notion of imagining saints who never existed for the sake of writing a story, but I think the relevant canon of Trent does not really touch the case, since specifying "ridiculas fabulas" = "ridiculous tales", and the relevant abuse would be to write comical stuff about God or about what is holy. The invented holy in LotR is not intended as comical./HGL
Double update the day after:
1) While the book business of fantasy was carefully monitored before the boom - I totally believe Wes Penre on that one - the boom was made to swamp Christian and other natural law fantasy into a general mostly un-Christian atmosphere. Did not quite succeed, partly because at least two non-Christians were fairly natural law, Lloyd Alexander and to some extent (though into magic uses in human hero, alas) Ursula LeGuin (however, I think fewer people would like to be Ged than HP!), partly there was some Christian fantasy. Tower of Geburah is more Evangelical in theology than Narnia. The diverse attractions of Geburah and Narnia are probably part of the reason I went Catholic (via Lutheran) rather than staying close to Evangelical modl and eventually into it. It is also a real allegory, which Narnia is not, and it is very eager to both appeal to teens and warn about typical teen problems. A youth pastor on a bookshelf, so to speak. It has three siblings, and while a "Peter type" and an "Edmund type" named Kurt are easily distinguishable, the sister is much of Susan nearly becoming Lucy after a thorough conversion, and there is no real Lucy in the story, nor any Susan-Lucy distinction reminding of Martha and Mary, and thus of Catholic distinction between active and contemplative lives. Wes Penre's own fantasy - unpublished so far, I'd like to see it on a blog - probably was too Tolkien for the Geburah market and too Christian for the general fantasy market which was being prepared./HGL
2) I forgot to tell you why I highlighted the categories which state which years CSL and JRRT died : it is because John Todd's testimony against them was stated in 1973, ten years after CSL died (wonder if someone impersonated CSL, while the real one was dead and John Todd dupe?), and Tolkien was dying./HGL
* On Eleanor Marx and Westcott, see here:
** Lord Dunsany, Categories:
- Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany
- 1878 births
- 1957 deaths
- Fox hunters
- Mythopoeic writers
- 20th-century British novelists
- 20th-century Irish novelists
- British fantasy writers
- British short story writers
- British dramatists and playwrights
- British male novelists
- British people of Irish descent
- British poets
- British chess players
- British memoirists
- British science fiction writers
- Irish fantasy writers
- Irish male short story writers
- Irish dramatists and playwrights
- Irish male novelists
- Irish poets
- Irish chess players
- Irish memoirists
- Irish science fiction writers
- Chess composers
- British male dramatists and playwrights
- Coldstream Guards officers
- Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers officers
- British Army personnel of the Second Boer War
- British Army personnel of World War I
- British Army personnel of World War II
- Deaths from appendicitis
- Graduates of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst
- People educated at Cheam School
- People educated at Eton College
- Anglo-Irish people
- People from County Meath
- People from Shoreham, Kent
- Barons in the Peerage of Ireland
- Cthulhu Mythos writers
- Ernle family
- Chess variant inventors
- Writers from London
He is not listed as a freemason, despite being an atheist - perhaps because freemasons of British Isles are not Grand Orient types with a preference for atheists, perhaps because he wanted no deal with hypocrisy, perhaps because, like many atheists in countries where atheists are not masons, he considered freemasonry as ridiculous occultism.
*** Hobbits are the only not clearly human race who are considered to be actually human - evolved from a common ancestor as to those they call the Big Folk, the humans of the human civilisations in Lord of the Rings.
I get worried due to this article It’s Time For an About-Face on Facebook to which the below is my answer.
Ivy league, like Cambridge and unlike Oxford are Calvinist territory, spiritually.
OK, if an Ivy League professor writes about historic linguistics, I will trust him on the attested historic forms. I might be less trusting of his reconstruction of non-attested forms. If an Ivy League cardialogist has sth to say about cardiac health, my mother would no doubt be fairly trusting. Unless it were a recommendation of heart transplants. We are against that.
But when Ivy league speaks of the human soul, I for my part feel like citing Chestertonian lampoons on Lord Ivywood. You will find them in The Flying Inn, if you want a look. Same obviously goes for Cambridge.
While I was a refugee from the obediences of both "Benedict XVI" and "SSPX" into Romanian Orthodox jurisdiction, between 2006 and 2009, there was one thing I liked less about certain Orthodox than about any other ones. It was the people who believe in Romanides.
I was ready to term Romanidismos a new heresy threatening the Orthodox Church with apostasy.
Romanides was an Ivy league man, of Harvard. Christakis is an Ivy league man, of Yale.
John Horvath II today cited him as an expert on "Internet addiction".
John Horvath II seems to have confidence that mere quantitative measures will tell you if a frequent habit is a harmful addiction or sth good. Because he calls the methodology of Christakis "stringent" when the link he gives cites "many parallels to existing recognized disorders".
The problem is, are these "recognised disorders" such as should be recognised as disorders? Or are they recognised as disorders because that gives power and employment to psychiatry, and social power to the allies who can wield psychiatry as a social threat? If the latter is the case, well, the observation may be correct, but it is useless, factually correct, but morally not to the point Christakis is making.
Another problem is, so far - back in 2010, when Christakis wrote the article - internet addiction is NOT a recognised disorder. In other words, Christakis is going into the forefront of making a behaviour classified as a disorder, John Horvath II is applauding him, AND not telling us what he is doing. John Horvath is writing as if internet addiction were unproblematically a legitimate diagnosis. Here is a sample sentence, from what he says about FB:
It has been found to discourage face-to-face relationships, cause internet addiction or erode self-esteem.
Discourage, erode, cause are verbs which are not medical terms, but moral ones - or in the case of "cause" a usually non-moral one. Cause is the only positive of the verbs, the other two being privative.
The two things of which someone is deprived are recognised moral items, namely face to face relationships and self esteem. Both of these have a somewhat lesser role in normal Christian moral theology than in the estimate of doctors meddling in such matters. So, not only is the privation possibly unproven, but it is also unproven if the privation, if actually there, is a bad thing and the things lost, if actually there before FB came in, were good things.
I'll expand on that in a minute, but first, this : the one positive verb, cause, is causing what? "Internet addiction". Is that a recognised moral item? No, since you will not find it in the moral theology of St Alphonsus. Is it a recognised medical item, then? No, because the article of Christakis is arguing it should be recognised, or could possibly be recognised, it is first of all admitting that so far it is not recognised. Here is from the abstract:
"Internet addiction, while not yet officially codified within a psychopathological framework,"
Repeat after me : "while not yet officially codified". In other words, you do not have any business referring to it as if you were referring to a recognised physical condition like cirrhosis or lung cancer. Caused by excessive drink or tobacco smoking. Which arguably have some, but not a totally clear, relation to compulsiveness in drink and smoke. A binge drinker may in fact be having his binges so seldom that they are not causing cirrhosis. Someone getting cirrhosis may be a very sober person, who simply got used to drinking much wine using it as an energy drink. Ma has heard - physicians, please treat this as anecdotic, and keep in mind alcohol strength in Austrian white wines is typically 10-11 %, it is not a question of 13 %, usually - that vineyard owners used to drinking 1 litre each day did not get it, those who drank 2 litres always got it (unless ran over by a car too early), those drinking 1.5 litres were sometimes getting and sometimes not getting it.
But cirrhosis has a clear meaning. It also has an unpleasant meaning - it is one in which you risk to die.
"Internet addiction" does not have a clear meaning - to a normal mind. It perhaps has to a mind like that of Christakis, perhaps has to a mind like John Horvath II (in which case I doubt we can consider him a Catholic). But it does not have that. You can say 20 cigarettes per day is bad for your health, it is a symptom and reinforcement of nicotine addiction and it causes lung cancer. Perhaps less decisive than believed, perhaps cigs have been blamed in many cases so unhealthy work places could keep on, like asbestos exposure, but it is one cause of lung cancer. And lung cancer is not an addictive behaviour, it is a disease, and will lead to an unpleasant death, usually. No such things are known about any physical side effect of internet addiction. So. Called. That is why you cannot on purely quantitative grounds say someone is addicted. If someone is smoking 20 cigarettes, that is arguably an addict, since those doing so have a hard time quitting even when they are getting warning symptoms about cardiac conditions (lungs are not the only thing which takes a strike from tar and nicotine). But you cannot on a purely quantitative basis looking at how much someone uses internet decide he is using it so much he is getting ill. That is why the word "internet addiction" is meaningless.
So, let's look at the other two.
Some lose self esteem on FB. Some gain it. Suppose we put a library and a baseball field side by side, it happens in many campuses all over US. You will find people who lose self esteem in the library and gain it on the baseball field, you will find people who lose self esteem on the baseball field and gain it in the library. Some people who are losing self esteem on FB are doing so, because of the face to face (or former) relationships involved in also being FB relationships. A school class may all, or all girls, or all boys, or both separately, or in other groups, be friends on FB. Someone who is harrassed by them on the school ground will be pressured into having them as FB friends. Then he or she is harrassed by them on FB too, and one such case committed suicide.
Is FB to blame, or is school? In a normal society, a normal father would not leave his son or daughter in a school where they were harrassed. In the modern society since 1917, more and more parents over the world have for longer and longer not been able to do so, not without grave risks to themselves. But one more story illustrating how evil this is, and FB gets the blame. Of course, the big business of Zuckerberg has not been around as long as the big business of compulsory or near compulsory schools for longer and longer of the time growing up.
A 13 year old girl got pregnant AD 1300 in Croatia, you bet that if the guy who had made her so was of fairly equal condition, he was marrying her. Unless he already had done so. Some guys these days talk of shot gun weddings as "primitive". A 13 year old girl got pregnant in US AD 2000, you know the stats of how many of them who were forced to abort. Let me tell you a thing. It is not that, not obeying their parents, not staying chaste to marriage (when this, not due to Church law, but secular law and customs of work places comes later and later), not making a wise choice in boyfriend, she is necessarily so callous that she thinks it doesn't matter if she aborts. It is rather, in modern society, she is facing a lot of Puritans who are telling her she cannot possibly dream of marrying, and notably, she has to finish school first.
Apparently one of the blessings of compulsory school is that a pupil going on FB can be surrounded on FB by real friends (these days no doubt encouraged by saying her or his use of FB could be discretely monitored for their own good) and feel so harrassed that she or he considers suicide. I did at least twice due to school and once more due to not having a girl friend. Even without FB. And why is that a blessing? Well, getting through school apparently means you have social abilities - of which some mean laughing when ten other people are harrassing you (reminds me of what happened this night, though they weren't ten) and make them believe it before they make you cease laughing. A situation which per se is not FB related and per se is also not related to face to face relationships in fewer numbers than classrooms and some modern workplaces, key word modern, offer.
And if one cracks, well, why not blame FB? It's easier to forbid a young person FB than to allow a young person to quit an even very abusive school. These days.
Suppose I have few face to face relationships and often go to FB - did FB cause that?
I would rather say, I had as few before. FB is a place where I can get relationships, even while before and after internet, I beg for food and sleep where I can find a place - which is why I had an unpleasant encounter this night, but that is a story for a French article, but FB perhaps has stopped me from getting more of them. You see, I have at St Nicolas du Chardonnet (when I returned from Orthodox, I went to SSPX) given diverse hand printed business cards about my blogs. One of which is H. G. Lundahl's FB Writings, URL see footnote*, which of course implies that I am using FB a lot. However, there were already before Christakis people who were concerned about "internet addiction", some pioneers** being Chinamen who tested what happened to brains of gamers who spend 20 hours per week on games.
Not quite comparable, since these people, whether they spent other hours on screen or not, were really adding the 20 hours in spare time, meaning they were burning midnight oil. Hence, the effects on brains could simply be the effects of a sleep privation which was voluntary on their part, both for gaming and for doing experiment. If so, the effects had nothing to do with spending time before the screen, and even so there is a difference between gamers and me, since I am not on the alert for things moving on the screen, other than forefront of letters I am writing.
If my brain lacked as much blood conduction (whatever the medical term is) it could also be due to sleep privation - voluntary by the will of others who chose not to be hospitable. Or semi voluntary by the will of those inviting me to a foyer, if they should succeed in getting me there : I sleep ill aming strange males. So, the earlier studies from China on internet addiction were debunkable, I have as for my entourage on FB and elsewhere done some to debunk it.
Here we get Christakis, and therefore Calvinism and Romanides.
It is not proven that an adult sitting by a computer for hours causes himself brain damage***, but a Calvinist, as many are at Yale or Harvard (including Anglicans who are Anglican in a Calvinist spirit) and the Romanidists - as I suspect Christakis to be - can invoke "mental health" concerns.
And when John Horvath II listens to these guys, I get another kind of concern, namely about his Orthodoxy. Mental Health could be one of the errors of Russia which Our Lady warned about at Fatima, since the Czars had a Serbski Institute for criminal psychopathologies, and were thus, even before Communism, mixing health matters and moral matters in a manner reminiscent of Erewhon. Don't panic, this homeless guy has some lacunae in his general eductaion, I haven't read the book by ... Samuel Butler (had to look it up) ... and I did not know even it was published in 1872, when psychiatry was on the rising elsewhere than Russia as well.
While I embraced for a while Orthodox view on bishops as successors of St Peter, I never got used to Romanidism. That is why I coined the term. You see, he was a priest, and his pastoral involved a too great concern for mental health - since he was willing to relegate any and every religious life, except Orthodoxy lived in Hesychaistic or Philocalic form, to the category of mental or "psychophysical" disorders. This is not how Church Fathers were arguing about the matter, even when for rhetorical parallel they made observations about "madness" when it came to mortal sins.
This is of course reinforced by living in a spirituality where at least the T of TULIP° is concerned with "x likes y, but x is a human, all humans are T-otally corrupt, therefore liking y is probably corrupt". Which is if not in full force, about their own likes even, at least somewhere in the background about likes of less well paid people, when it comes to Ivy league professors. Or at least I suspect it is fairly often the case.
Update: I originally probably signed this on 27.IV.2017, on the day of St Peter Canisius. At least, since this blog is set on Pacific Daylight Time and the publishing is "four o' clock" it could also have been 28.IV? Nah, that would have been if Pacific Daylight Time had been later. It seems my original signature may have been hacked away.°° (Gaslighting, you know!) I could theoretically ALSO have been tired between preparing and publishing the post. And I certainly have other things to keep me tired than going to FB, in case someone was going to blame that.
This gives me the opportunity to react to the fact that John Horvath II has since then tried to, not answer me as per me, but answer what I said above. He has been trying to show he is not Gnostic. Here is a new article by him:
How Material Things Can Lead Us to God
A quote or two might be in order:
The fundamental assumption of the question I was asked is that somehow the material universe is in contradiction with the spiritual world and, therefore, bad. Such was the position of the ancient Gnostics who viewed all matter as evil. ... Obviously, our fallen nature is such that we can abuse material things and develop exaggerated attachments to them. However, this can also happen to spiritual things. The balanced position is the practice of the virtue of temperance whereby man governs his natural appetites and passions in accordance with the norms prescribed by reason and faith. When we use things with temperance, they help us become holy.
Very correct, as far as it goes.
However, it leaves out the question where the measure is to which temperance should attend. Obviously, it is a very different question for very different things. And unfortunately, John Horvath II has so far not changed the wrong answer (Calvinistic or Gnostic or whatever the inspiration might be) about Facebook or internet. The wrong answer he gave is "one is intemperate when there is an addiction". This is wrong because addiction, properly speaking is a medical term, if even as much, and because this medical term does not exist for internet. It is also wrong, because it involves a conception according to which an outsider could at some point look at the mere quantity per se and conclude there is an addiction.
Quantity per se is not the measure beyond which any act becomes intemperate. Proportionate quantity is. If I drink up to three glasses wine with a meal (I mean 1/8 litre glasses, so we are speaking of 3/8 of a litre) and after it, enjoying them slowly, then I am temperate. I am an adult of fairly great bulk. If I were to drink same quantity without the meal, even so I would be intemperate, because without stomach content the alcohol comes faster into the blood. If I had drunk that quantity at age 5, I would have been very intemperate. Or sexual enjoyment, if you are married, about once a night is not too much (as long as you are faithful and open to fertility, and ideally excluding certain periods ecclesiastic or biologic), but if you are not, every deliberate seeking of it is intemperate. When it comes to alcohol, I have here spoken about the aspect of sobriety, which is distinct from the medical aspect of addiction.
Suppose I were a wine producer outside Vienna. Suppose I had the habit of drinking one full litre of wine per day. It would not get me drunk, so I would not be intemperate as to sobriety, because I would have the habit. It would arguably (according to autopsies and comparison to available information in Vienna) not give me a cirrhosis either. The one possible medical aspect is "addiction" in so far as I might be hard set to not drink my daily dose. With one litre every day, it is even a fairly probable complication. But would this render drinking one litre wine per day intemperate? No, because I would neither be risking sobriety nor long term risking cirrhosis. I would be intemperate, though, if I drank two litres of wine per day, as per knowledge this basically guarantees a cirrhosis. I would be less intemperate, though still somewhat so, if I drank 1.5 litres, knowing this is a risk for cirrhosis.
Hence, not only sheer quantity, but also the specific proportionate quantity called "addiction" are no good clues on whether I was intemperate or not. Sobriety is one good clue. So are religious duties, and they are related.
However, I am neither using FB in a way interfering with my sobriety, nor using specifically internet so much that THAT interferes with my religious duties. I also do not have duties of a professional kind to which internet would be a lure away from duty - and for those who have, who abuse FB access on their work computer, in some cases getting rid of the professional situation is a better solution than getting rid of FB. In my own case, as an internet writer, I have a professional duty to be only enough to write and also, insofar as my posts reflect interactions with others, to interact sufficiently with others on internet to fulfill this duty.
Nevertheless, those who dislike my writings in general or one of the themes specifically, might have a really great interest in submitting me to diagnoses like "internet addiction" when and if they become available, so as to stop me from doing my work.
This is a very good reason why "internet addiction" should not be put on the list of available diagnoses. And why I am thankful that so far it is not.
Hans Georg Lundahl
Pope St. Pius V
* HGL's F.B. writings
I note that abbreviation HGL was not just restricted to URL, but in title too.
** Reference lost. *** If it were, lots of companies using employees for doing work on internet or on word would have to change routines, and change them drastically, unless work protection legislations get even looser than now. ° I like both jasmin tea and rose tea, on occasion, I don't think I'll add TULIP T to the tea flavours any time soon! °° I own no computer, so my sessions are of course hackable.
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Tuesday, 25 April 2017
I saw news of your having vowed to eliminate gay population of Chechnya. I also saw you had denied the reports.
I have neither of these news from your own mouth.
Now, if the vow is true, at least give them this alternative, to give up sodomite life and marry, like any gay couple could do a partner switch with a lesbian couple.
I owe gay community in Paris, just as I owe Muslim community in Paris, some gratitude./HGL
Today on CMI:
Science of the gaps
by Nick Kastelein, B.Eng. (Mech.) (Hons)
Published: 25 April 2017 (GMT+10)
It is proposed in the article that:
Science leads to naturalism,1 which then leads to atheism—a well-trodden path many atheists have walked. But does science really support atheism?
But does good science, correctly understood lead to naturalism, which he is at least half and half suggesting?
Read the argument here:
Proponents of this argument complain that ‘God did it’ is an unscientific and unreasonable explanation for observations that we make. Theirs is a strong argument against superstitious beliefs in God—i.e. using the supernatural to explain the unknown. When the supernatural is used merely to plug gaps, it will of course disappear when the gaps disappear. We no longer need Thor to explain thunder and lightning, because discovering electricity provided a natural explanation. We don’t need Poseidon either, because we now know the wind and moon cause waves and tides.
Aristotle would already have known some about moon and wind involved in creating waves. But did he ditch Poseidon? And if so, were early Christians ditching "the general concept of Poseidon" as thoroughly even as Aristotle?
Obviously they were not worshipping Poseidon any more than a good Hebrew a thousand years earlier would have been worshipping Dagon. But were they sure wind and moon were all there was to waves?
And, how about lightning, were they extremely sure electricity was its sole cause, some millennium and half before electricity was discovered?
In other words, would they have been ditching as much as Nick Kastelein does, the notion that natural phenomena are processed or produced by freewilled agents?
I think not.
You will find texts (Minucius Felix comes to mind) in which it seems that waters are moved by demons.
You find references in the Bible, I suppose, to evil spirits in the atmosphere. Nothing at all suggesting they could sometimes decide where lightning strikes? Or that God could do so over and above their activity?
I think if they appeared today, they would not be convinced by Nick Kastelein's half-naturalism.
I also think, they as I would complain about a double confusion in his concepts. I already adressed the fact that "is there someone or only something?" is another question than whether the someone, if other than God, has any right to be worshipped.
The other complaint is that lightnings and waves are not totally mechanised machines. There is some randomness at least apparently on when a waves comes higher than previous ones, or where exactly a lightning strikes. It is not as if it were a well oiled clockwork by Swatch or Rolex, same speed, interval and strength every tick and tack.
In other words, if electricity and winds and moon in general describe mechanisms making lightnings and waves exist, I am even in some doubt about moon being a perfectly mechanical explanation for tides as such, is, under that general causality, the particularity random - or willed?
What we know about electricity does not allow us to rule out someone might be switching lightnings on and off at precise moments of their choice.
In other words, it is abuse of the word "superstition" to take the fact of believing there are spirits at work here as an example of "supersition" : superstition rightly considered is a sin against the Faith - and Young Nick here is suggesting that either certain positions were expressed by early Christians without being common or were common without being expressed OR early Christians commonly sinned against the Faith.
If this is what he thinks, or even if it is just what his observation would imply if he brought early Christians into the considerations he is making, he simply speaking is wrong.
Obviously, this will not detract from his general observation, I suppose, which I will return to, that as scientists are complaining about "God of the gaps" so also we can complain about a "science of the gaps". But I interrupted the reading due to this false note striking me as such a one. The one quoted above.
Eery or not, the blog post ID here falls on "4682133255064762888". It involves "1332" which is twice a certain number, and "888" which is a similar number to the one I am thinking of. I did not chose it. Did the machine just randomly pick sth, or is there a will behind what the machine randomly picked? I obviously think the latter.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Mark the Gospeller
Monday, 24 April 2017
La dame qui me donna café et croissant ce matin me le disait, à propos des gens qui voient des gens et qui donnent rien.
Elle semblait croire que l'élection de l'une ou de l'autre candidat pourrait resoudre des problèmes pour "des gens comme vous".
Peut-être devrait-elle regarder un peu mon écriture aussi, pour savoir exactement à qui ou quel genre de personnes je ressemble.
Un autre genre que les essais (ou analyses) et notices p ex ici, c'est par exemple mes dialogues, voici en français:
Et voici en anglais:
Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere
Bon, dessus je ne suis auteur que de la moitié que j'ai écrite, à part les cas que j'ai juste commenté un youtube, sans d'avoir réponses, en ce cas, c'est moi./HGL
PS, si ça continue, il y aura peut-être un peu de contenu sur celui en allemand aussi:
Antworten nach Sorte