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Old 08-21-2002, 09:07 PM   #47
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
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Helen -

This is a delightful thread, and I am sorry that I did not come to it sooner. I did read it through, but don't feel qualified to add much more to many of these insightful comments.

Except ......... I did want to draw attention to one point, and suggest another way of looking at it. First, there was a comment by Maril:

I think in those cases where the revelation comes first, they have already done some form of preceding purgation that has brought them to that place where they are open to revelation.
I totally agree with this general statement.

Helen responded by saying:

I wonder, then, if we were to backtrack, and look at all the places where Frodo opened himself to revelation, whether we'd find that he had been first purified. Glancing back superficially, he'd been at least terrified by black riders (Gildor, Rivendell) or half-drowned by Old Man Willow (Goldberry) or marched thru Moria (Galadriel). Interesting. Deserves further thought.
Here is where I see a problem. I think that it is not the event itelf which leads to purification, but rather the response of the particular person to that event. Let's think about this. Frodo was not the only one of the company who went through some rather hair raising experience in terms of Moria or Old Man Willow or the Black Riders, or for that matter the Barrow Wight. It is true that the terror was directed more to him than to any other in the company. But I don't think that is the central issue. Another individual could have gone through these same experiences and come out corrupted rather than purified or purged.

Take a look what Gandalf has to say about Frodo in Rivendell and you'll get a sense of the process which is going on inside him.
Gandalf looks closely at the recovering Frodo. He sees transparency about him and especially in his left hand. This is the product of the morgul blade and the wraith's attack on Frodo. If it were merely the event at work on Frodo, this is all Gandalf would have seen.

But Gandalf saw much more than this. He saw another process going on within the hobbit, and this is how he described it:

"Still that must be expected," said Gandalf to himself. "He is not half through yet, and to what he will come in the end not een Elrond can foretell. Not to evil, I think. He may become like a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can.
The reference to "a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can" was, I believe, the internal response by Frodo to those terrible precipitating events. And what is this response? Take a look at the first description, and then take a look at the description of the phial of Galadriel:

She held up a small crystal phial: it glittered as she moved it, and rays of white light sprang from her hand. "In this phial," she said "is caught the light of Earendil's star, set amd the waters of my fountain. It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out."
If you look at these two descriptions, I think you can see a definite similarity between the phial and the description of Frodo which Gandalf gives us. This means that, internally, Frodo is becoming like the Phial of Galandriel. This, in turn, reflects Earendil's Star which is the light of the Silmarilli itself. So Frodo is becoming like a little splinter of the Silmarils, which themselves are a reflection of the Two Trees. And the latter is itself the product of the song of power of Yavanna and the tears of Nienna.

To me, this is totally awesome! For a little hobbit to have this within him the light of the Valar, is indeed unimaginable. It is the ultimate purification and purging. But it is the process, not the precipitating event which is the critical thing, I think.

Sam is a wonderful hobbit, and he goes through many horrifying experiences. Sam, for example, sees Frodo injured and thinks that he is dead. He too undergoes purification, but the process by which he is purified is much different than Frodo. His own purification rests on the grounds of sacrifice for his fellow man.

Frodo is the seer and prophet, and Sam is the one called to the service of man. Both are wonderful spiritual routes and both individuals have been through terrible experiences which tranform them. But, in each hobbit, the process is different because of what's inside them. And ultimately, I would argue that means that it is not the events which dictate the transformation, but rather Eru.

sharon, the 7th age hobbit
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