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Old 01-25-2016, 10:46 AM   #1
Sardy
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The strange paths of Elvish dreams

I touched on this briefly in my "Tolkien and Psychedelics" thread a while back, but on every reread I am fascinated with Tolkien's exploration of the nature of consciousness - and how it seems to differ among the various races, particularly the Elves.

The various descriptions of the Elves "otherworldly" perception of the world around them reminds me much of Aldous Huxley's "The Doors of Perception." Most notably during Frodo and Sam's meeting with Gildor, during the Fellowship's stay in Lothlorien and Legolas' walking sleep during the pursuit of Merry and Pippin...

It seems to me that the nature of Elvish consciousness goes much deeper than simply being more attuned to nature: that there is an aspect of "seeing" and experiencing the world around them with not just heightened perception, but with senses unknown to most mortals (outside of epiphany, ecstasy and psychedelic experiences) - and now that I think of it, this is most likely tied very closely to the nature of immortality and how the knowledge of one's own immortality would affect their perception and experience of the world...

So not so much a question, as a topic for discussion. I am interested in delving into the nature and transcendent aspects of consciousness in Middle-earth - and possibly Tolkien's own (if any) experiences with meditation, ecstatic states, eastern philosophy, etc...)
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They passed slowly, and the hobbits could see the starlight glimmering on their hair and in their eyes.

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Old 01-26-2016, 12:52 PM   #2
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Interesting. Makes me want to peek at Morgoth's Ring and the Osanwe-Kenta.

It seems to me that the waking dreaming attributed to Legolas may be inherent in Elves. However, Frodo's experiences in Lothlorien and during his meeting with Gildor may have a different cause. Gildor and his company were Noldorin Elves that were raised in Valinor. Their "powers" seem to differ from the "Grey Elves". Lothlorien was under the rule of Galadriel, among the most powerful of the Elves then living in Middle Earth and her country was "enhanced" by the Ring she wore.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:14 PM   #3
Sardy
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Interesting, I hadn't realized that Gildor, et al had been raised in Valinor - surely that would affect their perception of the world around them...

And to clarify (in case it wasn't clearly stated in my post) I'm less interested in Elvish "powers" as they are manifested externally upon the world around them, as much as the nature of their consciousness and perception: how they "see" and experience the world, time and how they perceive "reality" not just with the five senses but with other senses, different paradigms and (if you'll excuse the expression) a "psychedelic", meditative, or eastern outlook...

Quote:
"The hobbits sat in shadow by the wayside. Before long the Elves came down the lane toward the valley. They passed slowly, and the hobbits could see the starlight glimmering on their hair and in their eyes. They bore no lights, yet as they walked a shimmer, like the light of the moon above the rim of the hills before it rises, seemed to fall about their feet. They were now silent, and as the last Elf passed he turned and looked toward the hobbits and laughed."
Quote:
The Elves have their own labours, and their own sorrows, and they are little concerned with the ways of hobbits, or of any other creatures upon earth.
I think, looking at the above quotes, that we can view their isolationist tendencies as much more than "Elvish [self]-concern" and go deeper, finding a radically different approach to consciousness, time sense and their relationship with the world/reality...

Quote:
From: http://realitysandwich.com/167448/to...consciousness/
What is certain is that Tolkien's quest, often couched in the language of his discipline of philology, was to retrace the route of the development of modern consciousness back to that primal mind, "alive with mythological beings," which he termed Faery. Given the obviously visionary component of Tolkien's work, it is odd that more attention hasn't been given to this aspect of its nature.
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