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Author Topic: The Idea of Creation: Human vs. Elven Interpretation  (Read 1748 times)
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« on: 01 October 2013, 02:39:58 »

Here's just one thing I'd like to put up for now, because it occurred to me very clearly when I recently saw Errol Morris's documentary "A Brief History of Time" (1991) about Stephen Hawking's life and work. Hawking met the pope and the pope told him not to study the beginning of the universe, because it was created. Hawking found that quite amusing, because he was considering the theory at that point that the universe has no beginning and no end. Hawking himself is agnostic and tends to think that the laws in the universe exist for themselves and that there's no outside "creator" interfering. Now one could of course view the whole thing not from the side of the physical laws alone, but from a spiritual one, and then we are in elven territory I'd say.

Hawking's musings on beginning and end struck me as a crucial point that we should keep in mind when it comes to a human point of view and an elven one when regarding a creation myth, so I'd like to emphasize this:

Humans think in ways of causality: everything is there for a reason, and this reason has a reason, so this means there is an ultimate beginning, and this also means that there's an end. This also means that man can become better and better, improve, reach a final goal.

The elven point of view is actually pretty much what Hawking considers and which I found neatly explained already in the notes on the "Book of Naught" (which is still mentioned as unconfirmed elven lore on the site). But this is the one passage I mean:

Quote
[Avá] might realize to be just the Dream of another. There's only one very vague hint indicated by Avá's last expressed thought that this other might be Her supposed creation itself - a paradox.

I would suggest to make this idea explicit as it is one very defining difference between human and elven belief: humans believe in a traditional creation myth while elves don't believe in a creation as such at all. This of course I've indicated in many ways already in various discussions, but I guess it can be really reduced to this point from which a lot of other things derive. For example that elves don't aspire to become more than they are and that death means entirely different things compared to humans as they actually are convinced to be players in a dream.

Now there is of course something like the "elven creation myth" on the site with the Tree of Life and such, but I think it needs to be bent more prominently towards a circular structure eventually that constantly renews itself without something that could be called an "actual purpose". Just wanted to state that idea here because I think it's a very effective picture and straight to the point.

P.S: I hope to finally get this all into a proper entry. That is, once the current map project is done and the Santhworld Editor is released, but these things are lingering in the back of my mind to get tit all up on site and every idea that helps this goal is welcome :)
« Last Edit: 01 October 2013, 03:04:31 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #1 on: 01 October 2013, 06:33:43 »

 thumbup

This gets my vote!
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« Reply #2 on: 03 October 2013, 07:14:08 »

Basically yes, especially what the elves concern.

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Humans think in ways of causality: everything is there for a reason, and this reason has a reason, so this means there is an ultimate beginning, and this also means that there's an end. This also means that man can become better and better, improve, reach a final goal.

That sounds a bit tight, the humans have surely a wider world view. That there is a beginning and an end in their view is ok, but the reason stuff and the possibility/certainty  to get always better might not be shared in this strict way by all. It might clash with the sola gratia/sola fide idea I wanted to introduce for the Twelvern belief, in contrary to the Aeolian belief, that with your works (good deeds) you can gain the favour of the gods.

Too tired for more thoughts about this..
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« Reply #3 on: 03 October 2013, 17:39:31 »

Different interpretations of the rough idea of what separates the faiths are perfectly fine. It's not that we're dealing with absolute truths here that all elves share a cosmological view and all humans do the same respectively. This might serve as a general outline to make clear where major differences lie, but there's for sure a plethora of views within those that adhere Aeolian or Twelvern belief. Some might even follow the main ideas, but eventually bend them in own directions, form sects etc. (like e.g. the dark elves)

I think it's very crucial to make the difference in the creation myth very clear. Compare this new idea for example with Tolkien's "Silmarillion". In the "Silmarillion" there's a creator and "Ea is the word spoken by Eru Ilúvatar by which he brought the universe into actuality". "Ea" is usually translated with "The World that Is", which I always interpreted rather as a command "Be!" Now Avá is the passive one who does not command something into existence, but asks in no particular direction "What is?" and eventually "Am I?" which results in her Dream (we'll find a nice elven word for that question, I'm sure). It is a question born out of insecurity, and its manifestation is reality. Because the world thus is not created by a command and purpose is given implicitly or explicitly (depending on interpretation of course) it will not aspire to more than it set out to be, which is just asking the question. So the "end of the world" in the elven interpretation is that Avá "lives" through everything that exists or might exist, only to return to the question "What is?", and that's exactly where she set out in the first place. The first lines in reverse will be the final lines of the "Cárpa'dosía".

So existence (world) and non-existence (Avá) have no beginning and no end, held together by the Dream which is nothing else than Avá's possibilities. I've already posted somewhere that the mythical idea of "the eternal recurrence (of the same)" (something Nietzsche for example found so fascinating) naturally is the nature of Avá's Dream - this the neverending circle of her Dream. I also found it fascinating that Hawking's thoughts touched on this, as he considered that the universe expands, but that it will have to collapse into itself eventually, maybe with time going in reverse at some point, reviving again, and so on, constantly reinventing itself. (Hawking changed his mind a couple of times on this, but anyway.) At any rate I think that Avá's Dream will also eventually exhaust itself by existing to the fullest and that what will remain is the questioning that has no beginning and end: "What is?"

And there we are: Not at a beginning, but at something that always existed, only to happen again, because it always has happened before.
« Last Edit: 03 October 2013, 17:42:28 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #4 on: 03 October 2013, 18:01:50 »

Oh yes, that sounds very good!

If I had only some more time on my hands, currently I'm also emotionally a bit worn out and can't find the spark to create something.
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