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Old 02-22-2003, 01:35 AM   #81
Dininziliel
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I wish I could find the passage where Denethor chides Boromir for wanting his father to renounce stewardship and claim kingship. Denethor tells him that not even 10,000 years would be enough to weaken the integrity of the stewards' oath to maintain Gondor for the return of the king. It's very stern and full of special pride in honoring a Gondoran oath.

That being said, yes--there was considerable resentment over the very idea that a king would return. Denethor's thinking was that the stewards had been more steadfast to Gondor than the kings had. Boromir did not question his father. To their way of thinking, stewards "trumped" kings.

This is all very condensed and without references, but I'm tired.

As for closing this thread--well, sure, but it's hard to see how the very heart of the book has been exhausted. Perhaps it is too philosophical (license for opinion and conjecture) and not ideally suited for message boards?

It has been a lot of fun. I feel privileged to be allowed among people who have such command of the subject and are so articulate!

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Old 02-22-2003, 12:05 PM   #82
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Quote:
I wish I could find the passage where Denethor chides Boromir for wanting his father to renounce stewardship and claim kingship. Denethor tells him that not even 10,000 years would be enough to weaken the integrity of the stewards' oath to maintain Gondor for the return of the king. It's very stern and full of special pride in honoring a Gondoran oath

If I recall - this is actually a tale related by Faramir to Frodo near there first meeting in Ithilien (before Henneth Annun). I think. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-22-2003, 12:33 PM   #83
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'And this I remember of Boromir as a boy, when we together learned the tale of our sires and the history of our city, that always it displeased him that his father was not king. "How many hundreds of years needs it to make a steward a king, if the king returns not?" he asked. "Few years, maybe, in other places of less royalty," my father answered. "In Gondor ten thousand years would not suffice." Alas! Poor Boromir. Does that not tell you something of him?'

TTT book 4 The Window on the West
I agree this is rather off track. But interesting. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

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Old 02-22-2003, 02:03 PM   #84
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In most threads about the one ring, the discussion often hinges on the observation that the ring’s influence is like drugs and addiction:

Quote:
The analogy with a drug is a good one, since it can almost have a hallucinatory effect on its bearer's mind.
Drug abuse is a form of escapism. Most drugs either lessen consciousness (thus delineating inhibition and self knowledge) or heighten pleasure. Addiction occurs either when the person requires the narcotic for basic physiological functions, or when the person mentally can no longer deal with life with out the affects of the narcotic. Granting that the ring, if like a drug, affects others in the same way that drugs mentally lead to addiction (rather than physiological addiction), then we can draw some conclusions about how the ring “corrupts the soul.”

If Gollum, for example, is mentally addicted to the ring, how does the ring function for Gollum? If it is like a drug it either lessens consciousness or heightens pleasure. From the narrative it is clear that the ring heightens pleasure, by presenting to the individual an “hallucinatory effect” of self-aggrandizement and power.

I’m often struck by the temptation of Galadriel in relation to this question. Is the vision that she receives of herself as a great and terrible queen an hallucination? If the ring is simply likened to a drug that heightens pleasure, then we would have to concede that the vision is simply an hallucination, or deception.

But I’m not convinced that her vision is a total deception. There is no doubt in my mind that if Galadriel did seize the ring she would indeed become a very power person, great, terrible and no doubt evil, and eventually through her power she would become another, albeit rather grand, servant of the ring’s true master, Sauron. In short, there has to be more to this than the drug/addiction model. The ring is not a passive tool, but contains a will and power, granted dependant upon Sauron, but a will and power that is far more active than a mere narcotic that heightens pleasure.

Gollum is twisted and corrupted by the ring, but the ring does heighten certain sense and physical attributes. Gollum’s body in many ways is an improvement on the original, especially if we consider the fact that his physical attributes were especially helpful for a life at the roots of the mountains surrounded by orcs (who would naturally be drawn to the call of the ring in the same way that orcs were naturally called to the ring at Gladden Fields). If I was to live the life of a murderer, sneak and thief, I would cherish many of Gollum’s physical abilities. 500 years with no generation makes natural adaptation an impossible theory to explain Gollum’s physical transformation, so it had to be the ring. An undeniable fact from the narrative is that the ring unnaturally prolongs the bearer’s life. Drugs have a tendency to do the exact opposite.

Despite the ring’s obvious ability to deceive, the ring can not be limited to the drug/addiction model only. The ring has active operation; it can change the physical and mental attributes of the bearer. The changes are all at root evil, but they are real, and they correspond to the desires and natural inclinations of the bearers. Thus, Gollum’s doom is not a matter of being able to overcome addiction (though this might be a relatively small part of it), but a struggle to overcome the councils of a real being that has both physically transformed Gollum into a rather sleek machine of mischief and provided him a long life with plenty of delicious raw fish and goblin meat.

I do think that Hilde’s original distinction between the power of the ring, and the temptation or desire to possess the ring is a valid one. The ring has the power to transform the bearer. It also has the power to allure others… but only according to its active desire to return to its master. We should not confuse one operation with the other.
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Old 02-22-2003, 06:16 PM   #85
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Thank you Bill Ferny for this post, you never cease to provide thougthful analysis. I would like to touch on one more factor that you alluded to but discarded, that of denial. Denial is an intrinsic part of the addictive personality, and a primary symptom of the disease of addiction.
Quote:
Despite the ring’s obvious ability to deceive, the ring can not be limited to the drug/addiction model only. The ring has active operation; it can change the physical and mental attributes of the bearer. The changes are all at root evil, but they are real, and they correspond to the desires and natural inclinations of the bearers. Thus, Gollum’s doom is not a matter of being able to overcome addiction (though this might be a relatively small part of it), but a struggle to overcome the councils of a real being...
It is this nature of what I will call individualized deception, the 'intelligent' quality of the Ring which you touched on, that most mimics the lure or attractiveness of a drug - whether or not the drug has been taken; whether or not the drug has been been discarded. This drug need not be of the narcotic variety, but may just as easily be the lure of power, money, lust, freedom from insecurity, adrenaline, etc.

In the cases of Boromir and Galadriel it is the denial of the true nature of the Ring that makes the acquisition of it plausible ("well, why shouldn't I take it?" type of thinking rather than "I absolutely have to have it, that's what I came here for." type thinking). The momentary and fleeting nature of their 'tests' is not a saving grace, especially in the case of Boromir. Quite clearly, a single moment of weakness can be all that is necessary to fall from a day or a lifetime worth of valiant resistance. Galadriel to felt this, but at her test, in that moment, she was strong enough to survive. Perchance Boromir had too many tests to face on the quest and succumed at the last. The danger facing most recovering addicts is not a need for the Ring (drug), but the denial present that makes it seem like a good idea to get it back - despite the knowledge of it's ruinous nature. Boromir too suffered from a denial of the truth, he was unknowingly blinded to the wisdom of the those that had educated him. Smeagol is different, he did not choose to give up the Ring, and that is a major first step in true recovering addicts. So Smeagol was not a 'recovering addict', he was still consciously consumed with the desire for it, which was his dilemna. Quite different than the phenomenon of denial.

Tar

[ February 22, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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Old 02-22-2003, 09:38 PM   #86
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Tar,

You make a number of insightful points.

Quote:
Quite clearly, a single moment of weakness can be all that is necessary to fall from a day or a lifetime worth of valiant resistance.
While this aptly applies to the recovering addict, it also aptly applies to the temptation to experiment with narcotics, in general. In fact, it aptly applies to any temptation toward vice. In the case of the ring, the temptation is to take from the ring what it offers… not so much a drug like affect, but the real power that one seeks.

There are countless “what if so-and-so got the ring” threads on the forum. I’m inclined to agree with those who claim that those who might get the ring would indeed receive from the ring what they desire, but in the end these gifts from the ring would only serve the will of Sauron when the ring finally abandons its bearer at an opportune time in order to return to its master. Sure, why not keep it? A very valid question considering what the ring can really do.

Take Gollum, for example. He isn’t exactly a fine and upstanding citizen before the ring enters his life. His life in the Misty Mountains was as much a product of his own desire, as it was the ring’s desire to remain hidden. The ring, like a little demon of temptation, constantly sits on Gollum’s shoulder feeding him advice, giving him what he desires, increasing Gollum’s dependency on the ring. The ring, perceiving its master’s growing power, is not lost by Gollum, but abandons Gollum. That is the most cruel act of the ring in the whole mythology.

If anything, the ring resembles an abusive tyrant-like spouse more than a narcotic. Even though Gollum’s love has used him, reduced him to co-dependency, and abandoned him, he, just like the co-dependant, battered wife who still seeks the abusive husband, still loves and desires the ring. The truly tragic element is the fact that the ring would never allow itself to be possessed by Gollum again.

Denial is certainly an important aspect, highlighted by the fall of Boromir. The fall of Boromir isn’t the first time a good person let down his guard and embraced vice in order to overcome an obstacle. I agree with those who say that Boromir was not ignorant of the ring’s evil. He simply chose in the face of despair (an indication for us, given Tolkien’s personal beliefs, that Boromir had already fallen into evil) to grasp vice in order to overcome the obstacle. To me, there is no doubt that Boromir would have saved Gondor by the power of the ring. Of course, Gondor would have quickly come under Sauron’s sway, anywho. The only solution was not in the salvation of the White City, but in the destruction of Sauron. Boromir, because of his despair, was not willing to sacrifice Gondor in order to rid the world of Sauron.

Denial, or sacrifice, then becomes the mark of the heroes. They are able to deny themselves their own personal desires, desires that the ring could fulfill, in the interest of ridding the world of Sauron and his ring. Galadriel does this; Gandalf does this; Elrond must have been tempted, as well, as would have Aragorn. The main difference, then, is one of hope versus despair. The temptation of the ring is far more potent on those who lack all hope. People lack hope because they are unable or unwilling to see beyond their losses, their self-denials and their sacrifices, thus not seeing the wisdom in such self-denials and sacrifices.
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Old 02-22-2003, 10:18 PM   #87
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Very good. However, I think there is a difference between the phenomena of denial and the act of denying oneself something. I don't think elaboration is necessary save to say that true denial is a subconscious act, hence it's destructiveness.

Your thoughts on hope or the lack thereof, might play a large part here, but not so was not the case with Smeagol, or with Bilbo who, even with out dramatic events on either end of, or during, his possession, struggled with the release of the Ring. With neither was it a case of grasping for their last hope like what might have been felt by Boromir. So there is definitely an addictive quality manifesting with the ownership of the Ring - quite a different subject than the lure it brings to the non-bearer, as they truly cannot know what it feels like to bear the Ring.

Although I rather like the analogy of the dangerous spouse, I am skeptical of it's application towards Bilbo. For my part, I am more likely to believe the comfort and security of bearing the Ring or possessing the Ring, for whatever unknown gifts it may give (strength, peace, plain old endorphin release). It must have some physical effect (as you noted earlier), maybe beneficial in the short term but obviously destructive in the long term, and the fallout must have been similar to withdrawal symptoms because even Gollum could not wear it 24/7, too painful. Frodo in this line of thought is made to look even more heroic in his resistance to the Ring, being a bearer, and a wearer, like he was.

On to hope (or lack of it). This lack cannot be the reason either Bilbo or Frodo ended up with the Ring, it came to them. Perhaps a Smeagol lover will claim otherwise, but I would be hard convinced that he did it for any reasons other than his own selfish ones. In fact, the example of these three draws a very clear line in the sand - who knew beforehand of the power of the Ring? This hope you speak of can only fall into the equation when ones knows what one is taking. Appearing to their eyes as their 'last', 'only' or 'best' hope.

Elrond, Gandalf and Galadriel all had their own rings, knowing what is was to bear such a Ring - the drawbacks and advantages, they more than any could see the true nature of the One. Their hope would be bolstered and not so easily lost (or they could always run away to Valinor, hehe [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] ). The remainder of the Fellowship I do believe would have struggled and perchance failed to deliver the Ring to Orodruin with Frodo, as Boromir did.

Boromir, why oh why did you fail? Was not his hope bolstered by the successful journey through Moria and Lothlorien? Could he not see that perhaps a chance at victory existed now? Maybe you are correct that he already had fallen into evil, it would explain much. But his act of theft came from lack of hope in the path that he was on, and he needed to change it, no? Why was it up to him? What made him the arbiter of the fate of all?

Haha, here is yet another characteristic of addicts and alcoholics, self-centerdness. The ability to let ones own needs, wants, and wishes to supercede those of all others. Surely this trait cannot be attributed to any but the pair of Boromir and Smeagol. Forget about what brought this to be, as the reasons of each are surely opposite to those of the other character. The end result however is a narrowing of awareness, a lack of any vision beyond their own desire. Lack of hope (boromir), fear of abondonment or lost in regret (Smeagol) are pitiable states of mind, but if they are not addressed one loses perspective. Self-seeking, that is the heart of their dilemna. As if they do not see the plain as day facts that their behavior or choices are focused purely on self. That is delusional.

May I add that to the pile of addictive traits? Self-seeking? The lost ability to listen to those about you, those wiser (Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf), those more skilled (Aragorn), those more clear-headed (rest of the fellowiship).

I have to stop typing now as I think my points are made and I'm rambling.

Tar

[ February 22, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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Old 02-23-2003, 01:33 AM   #88
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Tar we are finding ourselves in agreement. I’m not opposed to the use of the word addiction in regards to the ring’s power over the bearer. Vice is probably the most addicting thing in the world. However, I’m a bit iffy about using the narcotic/addiction model to explain the ring’s temptation on other’s, and likening the ring’s power to the power of narcotics seems to me to over-simplify the ring’s potency.

Quote:
So there is definitely an addictive quality manifesting with the ownership of the Ring - quite a different subject than the lure it brings to the non-bearer, as they truly cannot know what it feels like to bear the Ring.
I’m in complete agreement with this. There’s a distinction between the ring’s power over the bearer, and its power to tempt others to take it. Part of the ring’s power over the bearer is indeed addictive, but not addictive in the sense that narcotics are addictive. There’s more here than endorphin release (great phrase, btw). Its more like the addiction the wicked have for vice; the gluttonous man is addicted to over-indulgence, for example. The gifts of the ring are addictive, but like vice, these gifts are also accompanied by evil councils and an unremitting desire to see to the subjection of the bearer to the ring’s true master.

Quote:
Although I rather like the analogy of the dangerous spouse, I am skeptical of it's application towards Bilbo.
The analogy is a rather loose one, and like all analogies it has obvious limitations. In regards to Bilbo, though, there are some indications from the narrative that his dependency upon the ring is subtly growing year by year as is the ring’s abuse. Bilbo remains a rather “odd fellow” despite the fact that there are other hobbit families known for their eccentricities. It would seem that Bilbo would gravitate toward these less respectable families, but he does not. In fact, he apparently has a tendency toward privacy and isolation. He uses the ring to increase his isolation by avoiding others. He doesn’t take a wife. He parleys only with a single person, Frodo, which can be judged as a rather selfish relationship. These are all hints that the ring’s counsels are having their affect. Given a bit more time (say 500 to 1000 years) Bilbo would have achieved ultimate isolation and privacy by having murdered every hobbit in the Shire. The ring’s intelligence, like a dominating tyrant, inspires the bearer to evil action through a growing relationship of absolute dependence of the bearer on the ring and subtle manipulation. Eventually, the ring would cast off Bilbo when he no longer served the ring’s purpose.

Quote:
On to hope (or lack of it). This lack cannot be the reason either Bilbo or Frodo ended up with the Ring, it came to them. Perhaps a Smeagol lover will claim otherwise, but I would be hard convinced that he did it for any reasons other than his own selfish ones. In fact, the example of these three draws a very clear line in the sand - who knew beforehand of the power of the Ring? This hope you speak of can only fall into the equation when ones knows what one is taking. Appearing to their eyes as their 'last', 'only' or 'best' hope.
Agreed. Interesting notable: Frodo is the only ring bearer that is not initially tempted to take the ring (and maybe Sam as well). I’m sure that if Bilbo knew what he was getting into, he wouldn’t want the ring either, and perhaps even Smeagol (though something in my gut says he would, anyway). Is that the mysterious resistance that hobbits have? The thread has already covered lack of ambition on the part of hobbits, and hobbit simplicity, humility, etc. There’s a lot merit to those posts.

Quote:
Haha, here is yet another characteristic of addicts and alcoholics, self-centerdness.
Chicken or egg? What comes first, self-centeredness or substance abuse and addiction?
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Old 02-23-2003, 01:56 AM   #89
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So much to say and I want to keep it simple!

While reading the last 3-4 posts, Bilbo's road song sprang to mind--"The road goes ever on and on ... where many paths and errands meet ... and wither then? ..." Suddenly, it had a new twist to it.

Addiction is one form of evil (a very popular one for this era [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img] ). Abusive relationships is one form of evil. Shaving the truth for personal gain is one form of evil. Taking the easy way out of unpleasantness. Carrying a burden far beyond one's capacity over a long period of time ... There are myriad forms of temptation, and they all lead to Rome (Mordor, for our purposes here [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] ) The song stays the same no matter who's on stage; the same principle is at work and bent on one single outcome.

Quote:
Boromir, because of his despair, was not willing to sacrifice Gondor in order to rid the world of Sauron.
I think this raises an essential and crucial issue. Whether despair is a common principle in succumbing to temptation or the reason Boromir fell is arguable. What is key is that, despite knowing a great good could be realized, Boromir chose a smaller good. In Boromir's mind, he had two goods to choose from--defeating Sauron and evil (with the ultimate outcome including Gondor's long-term safety!) and saving Gondor now. He chose the short-term, more immediate gratification. That kind of thinking is classic and symptomatic of the main points raised in the last 3-4 posts.

Denial, self-centeredness, gotta-have-it-now, despair, tunnel vision (a form of denial), etc., are just some of the 101+ forms of fear. And fear is what paves the road for evil.

Quote:
The main difference, then, is one of hope versus despair.
This segued into the personal sacrifice aspect of denial exemplified in Galadriel & Elrond denying personal desire and gain for the greater good.

Having just started earnest study, I cannot claim to know Tolkien's stance on the relationship between faith and hope. I think the movie weighs in heavily on the hope aspect and think they did a brilliant job of it. But I wonder if Tolkien might not say that faith--choosing the path toward light/Love/goodness/God beyond all hope of any success, is the heart of the matter.

I think what made Galadriel's passing on the Ring so important is that she went through all the phases of awareness and acceptance in choosing light over darkness in a matter of minutes before Frodo's eyes. By the time she had arrived at her final choice, it was no longer a sacrifice or matter of self-denial--there was simply no further point or reason to take the Ring.

Faramir had clearly gone through this process, but probably over a much longer period of time while growing up. He did not have to think too hard about the matter.

"Good night, Captain, my lord," he [Sam] said. "You took the chance, sir."
"Did I so?" said Faramir.
"Yes sir, and showed your quality: the very highest."
Faramir smiled. "A pert servant, Master Samwise. But nay ... there was naught in this to praise. I had no lure or desire to do other than I have done."

Another thought occurred to me while I was searching through "The Window on the West" for the Denethor-Boromir account. (Thanks, Tar-Palantir--I shall rest upon sweeter dreams this night for your kind assistance [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] )

Galadriel means "light" or "radiance", right? Think of what happened when she trained her attention on Boromir. Like sunlight on a vampire. (Let me hasten to say that I am not suggesting Boromir was a vampire--the evil inside him was.)

I think we do evil a favor when we think of it and good in, well, black and white, all or nothing terms. As has been said earlier, evil is not passive. And neither is good. They are both continual processes requiring continual choices. That's why it is so important to stay focused on wanting the light instead of the darkness.

Peace, now more than ever.
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Old 02-23-2003, 02:40 AM   #90
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This was fun reading, thanks Mr. Ferny. Apologies for the glaring errors in sentence structure, I just re-read my post, wowsers.

I am in agreement with you as well, I like it when that happens. Bilbo's reclusiveness might be a clue to the nature of his relationship with the Ring, although he did also spend much of his time with Sam, enjoying the telling of his tales. I love this idea:
Quote:
Bilbo would have achieved ultimate isolation and privacy by having murdered every hobbit in the Shire.
Extreme measures to say the least, but it does not sound so far fetched to me. Thankfully the process was interrupted. I think Tolkien sends a clear message to us by rewarding Bilbo for willfully parting with the Ring. I have so many analogies dancing around in my head, but I do believe I'll spare you all. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Chicken or the Egg? Dunno. But Boromir definitely believed that his country should be served above all else. And Smeagol definitely believed that he deserved that ring for his birthday. It's mine, my own, my preciousss.

Quote:
What is key is that, despite knowing a great good could be realized, Boromir chose a smaller good. In Boromir's mind, he had two goods to choose from--defeating Sauron and evil (with the ultimate outcome including Gondor's long-term safety!) and saving Gondor now.
I don't think he chose the smaller good in his mind. He chose the greater good that he could see. The only other choice would be to set the Ring in the hands of the enemy, via a Hobbit named Frodo. Personally I choose to define it as denial because he was seemingly oblivious to the Council's proclamations and his own better judgement.

If the Ring weren't so bloody evil and conscious of itself, this would be easier to define, most certainly!

dininziliel - I too like that chapter, it is very pleasant reading.

Tar

[ February 23, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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Old 02-23-2003, 03:25 AM   #91
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If the Ring weren't so bloody evil and conscious of itself, this would be easier to define, most certainly!
Scribe: Master, why do you call evil a mystery after defining it so masterfully?

Saint Thomas Aquinas: Because evil belongs to man.
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Old 02-23-2003, 07:51 PM   #92
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Quote:
I don't think he chose the smaller good in his mind. He chose the greater good that he could see. The only other choice would be to set the Ring in the hands of the enemy, via a Hobbit named Frodo. Personally I choose to define it as denial because he was seemingly oblivious to the Council's proclamations and his own better judgement.
Yes, well said!


Quote:
Scribe: Master, why do you call evil a mystery after defining it so masterfully?

Saint Thomas Aquinas: Because evil belongs to man.
Oh, very well done! Thank you.

The world in a grain of sand. Lovely. Evil, but lovely! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

There is one aspect of addiction that is very relevant to this discussion but has not been mentioned yet.

Addicts/alcoholics get stuck on the habitrail of More. Gottagetit, gotta get more, gottagetit now.

I may be in the fog on this, but the notion of More doesn't seem to be a factor in either behavior or attitude. It is as mere possession of the Ring is sufficient. Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo didn't go trying to score more rings or to more of a high off the Ring--they simply became progressively lost and consumed within its consciousness. I am thinking that could lead to delineating the defining factor between evil itself and the things it makes/uses.

Whatcha think?
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Old 02-23-2003, 08:52 PM   #93
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Quote:
Addicts/alcoholics get stuck on the habitrail of More. Gottagetit, gotta get more, gottagetit now
The defining quality of a practicing addict is an inability to stop once they have started. The theory that one is too many and a thousand never enough. This saying mirrors your more, more, more idea - there comes a point at which the 'hole' or need simply cannot be filled and the only option is to use more to get back back to the place they need to be; when the drug stops working but the addict can't stop needing it. It becomes a gruesome balancing act in the end. I have seen it up close many times. It is progressive and there is no reverse button, no victory can be had while using continues. If the Ring relates to alcohol for instance and that is your weakness, you wouldn't be searching for other drugs (rings) because that doesn't fill the hole properly. You would be using the Ring you have (alcohol) as often as you can - which Smeagol did.
Quote:
or to more of a high off the Ring
it seems possession of it alone was a high and provided some comfort to the bearer; like an addictive substance or behavior would, a case of dependency - not knowing how or if they will function without it - or at least believing so while in the throes of it, which passes eventually once the poor soul is liberated of the vice, hence one's reluctance to part with it. All three (Bilbo, Frodo, Gollum) were sorely put out when it came time to leave the Ring. Perhaps mere possession is even more rewarding than actual wearing.

Thanks for your points dininziliel , the analogies can seemingly go on ceaselessly! It's fun to discuss but the inescapable conclusion is that there is no finite answer. In my mind it is the EVIL with a capital E nature of the Ring which is the driving factor in LotR. While, on the other hand powders, liquids and chemicals are all neutral substances, requiring MIS-use to wreak their brand of chaos.

Cheers,
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Old 02-23-2003, 10:23 PM   #94
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Perhaps mere possession is even more rewarding than actual wearing.
Possession entails more on an ontological and mental level than merely wearing something. After all you can wear or use something that doesn’t belong to you, but when you possess something that means it is absolutely subject to your will. Apply that to an intelligent and emotive being, and possession becomes a complicated and frightening concept.

I think that there is a parallel between the bearer possessing the ring, and the ring coming to possess the bearer, not too much unlike demonic possession. Oh crap! That was another analogy.
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Old 02-24-2003, 12:12 PM   #95
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In my mind it is the EVIL with a capital E nature of the Ring which is the driving factor in LotR. While, on the other hand powders, liquids and chemicals are all neutral substances, requiring MIS-use to wreak their brand of chaos.
Oh, dear ... I'd thought this was the very point I was laboring to articulate. Evil is the generator and sustainer; addiction is a product of the generator and a vehicle for sustaining Evil.

I assume there has already been a discussion thread about Tolkien's treatment/portrayal of evil. It seems that, that is what the discussion has been approaching yet avoiding due to its vague nature?
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Old 02-24-2003, 05:10 PM   #96
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You guys are doing great, but I don't have much to add to your current thoughts. We had mentioned Dwarves a page or so back, so I thought I'd pop this in, since I found it while doing work somewhere else...
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Though they could be slain or borken, they could not be reduced to shadows enslaved to another will; and for the same reason their lives were not affected by any ring, to live either longer or shorter because of it.
I don't know if this means they could actually have resisted the one's other effects (I doubt it), but apparently they wouldn't have been as physically affected. Probably has something to do with being Children of Aule instead of/(as well as) Illuvatar.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:20 PM   #97
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I don't know if this means they could actually have resisted the one's other effects (I doubt it), but apparently they wouldn't have been as physically affected. Probably has something to do with being Children of Aule instead of/(as well as) Illuvatar.
I think a case can be made in favor of the Dwarves' ability to resist being ensnared by the Ring.

Here's what I found in The Letters of JRR Tolkien:

#156--"They are ...a variety of incarnate rational creature."
#153 --"...orcs -- who are fundamentally a race of 'rational incarnate' creatures, though horribly corrupted ..."

From The Silmarillion, "The Rings of Power and the Third Age": "The Dwarves indeed proved tough and hard to tame; they ill endure the domination of others, and the thoughts of their hearts are hard to fathom, nor can they be turned to shadows. They used their rings only for the getting of wealth; but wrath and an overpowering greed of gold were kindled in their hearts, of which evil enough after came to the profit of Sauron."

From Duriez: " ... designed by Aule to resist the evils of Morgoth ... though proud, Dwarves resisted evil. Like their shaper, Aule, dwarves were drawn to the substance of the earth ... A great temptation for them was possession."

(I chose a secondary source for that excerpt because he summed up 2-3 other primary sources more succinctly and without personal interpretation.)

Taking the Letters excerpts, we can infer that Tolkien considers both dwarves and orcs to be "rational" {cause & effect experience governs their thinking & feeling--if I remember & have interpreted correctly), the orcs went one way--insanity and perversion--while darves remained sane. From the current posts, we know that Dwarves were inextricably bound to the earth made by Aule, then given life by Iluvatar. This would have given them a balance and grounding that would act as a buffer between them and Evil.

The excerpt from The Silmarillion says that, although Dwarves were snared by lust to possess gold, they were able to resist being snared by Sauron. If memory serves, there is a fuller passage than the two I found citing Thrain II's capture and torment, where it is said that Thrain withstood the torments of Dol Guldur and died without surrendering.

The last excerpt establishes the fact that Dwarves were made to resist evil. In fact, Dwarves were made from the desire for Love--Aule, a Valar & a staunch and steadfast foe of Morgoth, made Dwarves so that he could love "something other than" himself and teach to love the creations of Iluvatar. While they succumbed to greed for gold, they were fiercely independent in ths greed like everything else about them.

Recalling Thorin, he was a pain in the neck and endangered everything and everyone around him because of his single, bloody mindedness about the Arkenstone, but I just can't see him being seduced by the Ring by virtue of the same bloody mindedness which typified Dwarves at their worst.

I will end here. The research took some time, it is late and I wish to take in the little bit of moonlight on the snow that's starting to gleam in the freezing air.

Peace ... [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-24-2003, 11:47 PM   #98
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I am in agreement with you as well, I like it when that happens.
Ok, you've had your fun. Time for me to jump in! Here comes the disagree-er. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

But really, I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I just point out parts I disagree with of really agree with. So, try not to look at me as a negative person who never or rarely agrees with anything. I'm not saying anyone sees me as that, I just want to explain myself a little.

Ok, here I go

Bill Ferny:

Quote:
how does the ring function for Gollum?
The ring was like a drug, and for Gollum, it was very very terrrible. At first, it was like a high t have it. Gollum liked having the ring as he could find out secrets and become invisible. However, after a short while, the ring grew on his mind and became a part of him. I'm not sure if it really gave off a high, but for Gollum, the ring had a hold on Gollum from the start, so it's hard to tell if he recieved any high or not, other than a false one made of lies by the ring.

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An undeniable fact from the narrative is that the ring unnaturally prolongs the bearer’s life. Drugs have a tendency to do the exact opposite.
If you think about it, it can also be looked at as doing exactly what drugs do (decrease life) instead of the opposite (prolong life). Sure, someone who has the ring and keeps it will have their life prolonged, but when the starts to take over your mind, do you really have your life? The ring screws it all up and your life in your community with friends and family and a lot of other things begin to rip away from you and are somewhat destroyed by the ring. And that's if your life isn't taken away from you. In a way, the ring ends your life. I think it's possible to get it back, however hard it may be, but others would disagree with me.

Tar-Palantir:

Quote:
Smeagol is different, he did not choose to give up the Ring, and that is a major first step in true recovering addicts. So Smeagol was not a 'recovering addict', he was still consciously consumed with the desire for it, which was his dilemna.
Well, I say what I said to you in I think i found another hidden meaning... I'm not sure if you read it yet, but here it is:
Quote:
Well Samwise, the thing with Gollum searching was that he tried to let the ring go, even though he couldn't. He couldn't because as you said, he went to great lengths looking for his precious. And he got more desperate the closer they got to Mt. Doom. However, the reason I say that he was trying to quit was because he had a chance to take it, but chose not to. Many times he could have done away with Sam and Frodo and taken the ring. Like at Ithilien. Gollum is very cunning and crafty. He could have strangled Sam first, or came up with another way of ending his life, while Frodo was separated from him. And then Gollum could have killed Frodo and taken the ring. Do you recall the steps at Cirith Ungol? When it said
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gollum looked at them. A strange expresssion passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass , shaking his head as in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo's knee-but alost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried hmi far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.
But at that touch Frodo stirred and cried out in his sleep, and immediately Sam was wide awake. The first thing he saw was Gollum-'pawing at master,' as he thought.

'Hey you!' he said roughly. 'What are you up to?'

'Nothing, hothing,' said Gollum softly. 'Nice Master!'

'I daresay,' said Sam. 'But where have you been to-sneaking off and sneaking back, you old villian?'

Gollum withdrew hmiself, and a green light flickered under his heavy lids. Almost spider-like he looked now, crouched back on his bent limbs, with his protruding eyes. The fleeting moment had passed, beyond recall.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I strongly believe that Gollum was debating whether he should really take them to Shelob or not. Smeagol was fighting the addiction of the ring right there. He was wieghing the worth of his drug, the ring versus the power of friends, acceptance, love, compassion, etc., which he had not been offered in over 500 years. And he found that friends and the other stuff was more important than having the ring. His battle was was hard fought and well deserved. It was a major step forward in the right direction. But then because of Sam, he was knocked backed 5 steps in the opposite direction; too far to ever recover from.
So, I do think that he was recovering, even if only a little, but he was still addicted. The addiction of the ring stays with you just like it does with a drug. No ringbearer (save Tom) will ever be fully cured. Remember Bilbo? The ring never really twisted him and ruined his life (well maybe it did, but just play along) and he gave it up. He let the ring go, but he was still addicted. At Rivendell, Bilbo is dying just to look at it. So, the addiction stays.

Basically what I am saying is that since Gollum had the chance to take it at times, but chose not to, he was refusing it. By refusing it, Gollum was somewhat recovering.

Well, I actually have to go now. I would like to respond to Bill Ferny again, then dininziliel, then Tar-Palantir again, then dininziliel again, and finally, Tar-Palantir. Sorry I can't do it now, I'll find time for it tomorrow.
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:44 AM   #99
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Thanks for the (predictable) response Frodo. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

Let me tell you something here. Gollum was NOT repented during that scene, maybe he was thinking about it, maybe he was just feeling sad over the choices he has made. But that is the extent of it. If anyone but Frodo had had the Ring their life would have been forfeit at the slimy hands of a mental patient. Had he been TRULY willing to give up his debauchery then the lengths he would have needed to go to were right there at his feet and he did not choose them. The boat had already left the docks, his indecision cost him big-time. And his decision to lead them to Shelob was an 11th hour move to wrest back his disgusting "precious" that is hard to justify. May I reiterate - 'About to' does not mean 'has' or 'is'.

Realting his problem to a drug problem: Do you know any practicing addicts? I do.
1. There is nearly always remorse for their actions or for things they left behind. (As evidenced in Gollum's last moments with Frodo. But remorse alone is not enough.)
2. No one person can get them sober OR cause them to keep using. (Frodo in this case can not assuming full responsibility, and neither can Sam, it is Gollum's responsibility.)
3. Even if they get sober the risk is high they will use again. (This one's obvious, you said yourself that Ringbearers never get over it 100%, I would add that is especially true for one placed as precariously as Gollum is.)
4. They have an uncanny knack for biting the hand that feeds them. (Just ask Frodo the nine-fingered, or Aragorn, or Sam who also got bitten. And those are just literal examples.)
5. Cannot tell friend from foe, everybody seems as a foe. (This is how an addict hurts everybody around them. Their actions become more and more self-centered and everyone else becomes a meal ticket, and everyone else becomes 'responsible' for their plight, "poor little me" "poor Smeagol" "why me"? usually followed by "why not that guy instead?" That dog don't hunt, it's their responsibility).

It's about more than just Gollum though, what about the others that were tempted or succumbed? How do you see it all tying together with Gollum? We have discussed the Drug/Addict scenario pretty thouroughly, maybe somwone has some other brainstorms?

Demonic possession anybody? Bill? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
We could cross check all examples of corruption with those of the Nazgûl, maybe get some insight that way? [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

[ February 25, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:43 PM   #100
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In short, there has to be more to this than the drug/addiction model. The ring is not a passive tool, but contains a will and power, granted dependant upon Sauron, but a will and power that is far more active than a mere narcotic that heightens pleasure.
Well, this thread has moved on a long way since I last posted. But, since I have been quoted as an example of one of those drawing an analogy between the Ring and a drug,(thanks, Bill [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] ), I thought that I would avail myself of the opportunity to explain myself further.

Of course, I agree that the Ring is not the same thing as a drug. The point I was making is that some of its effects are analagous tho those of narcotic substances, particularly the altered state of reality and the craving for it.

The quotes that I gave in my original post on this illustrated that Sam experienced an altered state of reality, when he put the Ring on. "The world changed, and a single moment of time was filled with an hour of thought". This is an alteration in his perception of time. Time does not actually slow down, it only does so in Sam's mind. Later, when he is tempted by the Ring (without even putting it on), he feels himself "enlarged, as if he were robed in a huge distorted shadow of himself". Again, the change is not real, it is brought about in Sam's mind by the Ring.

As for the "hallucinations" experienced by Sam and others when they are tempted by the Ring, these are not real. They represent the Ring showing the "temptee" what he or she can achieve with it. They are, of course, deceptions or "half truths", since the Ring in reality wants to use them to get back to its Master. And here, the analogy with drugs does break down, because drug-induced hallucinations are just that - hallucinations. They are not brought about by an external force (such as those induced by the Ring), but are a product of the drug acting on the user's brain.

By the by, Galadriel's vision of her fate were she to take the Ring is interesting. She sees herself as becoming a dark and terrible Queen to replace the Dark Lord. Was her vision accurate, or was she deceived? Wouldn't she just become subordinate to the will of Sauron, or was she strong enough to defeat him with the Ring and replace him? Just an aside, but something that is not altogether clear to me.

The other drug-like aspect of the Ring is the growing addiction to it experienced by the Ringbearer. Frodo, for example, finds it increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to wear it the longer he bears it, and the nearer he comes to Mount Doom. Also, those who have previously borne the Ring for any length of time, namely Bilbo and Gollum, crave it. Gollum is the clearest example of this, and I agree with most of that which has been said above on this. I have always felt that he hatched the plot to deliver Frodo and Sam up to Shelob when he first suggested going through the passage at Cirith Ungol, when they were at the Black Gate, or possibly even before. He held off from attacking Sam and Frodo largely through the fear of being caught and killed. Yes, he was moved by Frodo's kindness for a while. But I believe that, deep down, his overriding desire was for the Ring. Ultimately, his "craving" would have prevailed, regardless of his apparent betrayal at the Forbidden Pool or Sam's unkind words to him.

So, we have the Ring altering the bearer's perception of reality, and we have it inducing addiciton and craving. Similar effects to those produced by drugs. But I agree that its effects go way beyond those of any drug. As has been pointed out, it brings about pronounced physical changes in the bearer, not least their increased longetivity. And, unlike any drug, it has a will of its own (or at least a part of its Master's will), and attempts ploys to acheive its own ends.

Again ,this leads me to an interesting aside. The Ring deserts Gollum, and on a number of occasions Frodo finds it on his finger when he appears not consciously to have put it on himself. Presumably, it can not physically move, in the sense of jumping off its bearer's finger, or out of his pocket, so this too must be some kind of effect that it has on the bearer's mind, making him do something that he cannot consciously recall doing. The Ring doesn't escape from Gollum, it causes him to drop it.

Finally:

Quote:
I do think that Hilde’s original distinction between the power of the ring, and the temptation or desire to possess the ring is a valid one. The ring has the power to transform the bearer. It also has the power to allure others… but only according to its active desire to return to its master. We should not confuse one operation with the other.
I am still not convinced by this. It is the power of the Ring that acts on the mind of its bearer and causes physical changes in him. But it is also the power of the Ring that causes others to desire it. And I do not mean this in a passive sense, as in "Oh, that is a powerful Ring, I must have it". The Ring actively tempts others to desire it and, in the cases of Boromir and Gollum, to seize it. I do not think that Boromir's belief (that the Ring could be used to defend Gondor and fight Sauron) alone would have caused him to attack Frodo for it. The Ring worked upon Boromir's mind, encouraging his belief in this respect to the stage where he was provoked into a very uncharacterisic act. As for Gollum, he had no idea of the power of the Ring when he first laid eyes on it, and yet murdered his freind for it. Again, the Ring was calling to him.

So the Ring is actively exercising its power both when it is influencing the Ringbearer (physically and mentally) and when it is seeking to tempt another into taking possession of it. And in both cases, its purpose is identical: to get back to its Master. The only real difference that I can see (other than that the bearer has actual possesion of it) is that the Ring can have no physical effect on anyone other than its bearer.

Oops, jus seen Tar-Palantir's comment:

Quote:
We have discussed the Drug/Addict scenario pretty thouroughly, maybe somwone has some other brainstorms?

Demonic possession anybody?
Oh well, I've typed it all now. It will just have to stand. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

Demonic possession? Isn't that more Saruman's style? Or was that just a film that I saw? The Exorcist, perhaps ... [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:21 PM   #101
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Dain, I tried to get something going re dwarves, but ... [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]

Quote:
I do not think that Boromir's belief (that the Ring could be used to defend Gondor and fight Sauron) alone would have caused him to attack Frodo for it. The Ring worked upon Boromir's mind, encouraging his belief in this respect to the stage where he was provoked into a very uncharacterisic act. As for Gollum, he had no idea of the power of the Ring when he first laid eyes on it, and yet murdered his freind for it. Again, the Ring was calling to him.
Yes! Now, picture a group of diverse types of people at a social event. One looks with lustful urge at the wine glasses on a tray. Another eyes a pack of cigarettes on a table with wistful longing. Another spots someone sexually attractive across the room and plots perversities. Yet another sees a well-known wealthy person and moves toward him/her with the intention of picking his/her pockets. Over there you see a white person with an expression of disgust as she/he watches every move of a mixed race couple. In the corner stands a person in dire straits and feeling sorry for himself/herself looking longingly at another person who has poise and exudes self-confidence. And that one that left to go to the bathroom is opening up the medicine cabinet to see what's inside, taking items off the shelf and checking them out. Last, there is a person tapping his/her foot impatiently, giving short shrift to those attempting to exchange pleasantries while looking at the clock on the wall and harrumphing over the many things she/he needs to do. I think you get the picture.

Everyone in that room sees something that draws their attention and sends them into a kind of intense reverie. What Tolkien did was lump all of those things, and myriad others, into one thing--the One Ring. One Ring to find us all and in the darkness bind us.

Try it next time you go outside. See how often the One appears and who puts it on.

Garsh, I'd just intended to do a little thing and I made a big production of it. I really just wanted to do a short post to see if I successfully copief an html image to "my picture" here at Barrow-Downs. If someone would be so kind as to send me PM on the process I'd be obliged for your kindness. I found an image on the Google image site and have only a vague idea what to do with it.

Peace!

Oh, wait a minute ....
Quote:
No ringbearer (save Tom) will ever be fully cured.
Correct in saying no Ringbearer will ever be cured--genuine addiction is by definition and nature never cured, simply arrested. Bombadil did hold the Ring to look at it, then tossed it into the air, then gave it back to Frodo. Does this make him a Ringbearer? He could have swallowed it and it wouldn't have affected him--that's not the point. It doesn't seem correct to term Tom a Ringbearer for the half minute or so he spent with it. A picayune point, perhaps, but it's late and I tend to pheel piqued when I'm phagged out. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Peace.
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Old 02-26-2003, 12:08 AM   #102
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And here, the analogy with drugs does break down, because drug-induced hallucinations are just that - hallucinations. They are not brought about by an external force (such as those induced by the Ring), but are a product of the drug acting on the user's brain.
It seems to me more like Pavlov's Dog. Just being near a desired thing can fire neurotransmitters, giving you a physical (chemical) response. Hallucination as well is rather like a dream state, one can measure the brain activity and bodily functions (heart rate, muscle flexion, BP, respiration) that are active in sleep dreams, waking dreams 'daydreams', phobias, imaginings of all sorts. If the feelings serve a purpose (calmness, euphoria, pain relief) the phenomena of craving may set in - without ever having used a substance or touched an object.

Good points SaucepanMan.

My updated philosphy on all this is that individual behavior is similar to addict behavior, but initial response, craving and corruption is sourced more from the Evil of the One Ring on a sliding scale of predisposition. Yeah, that sounds right to me. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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Old 02-26-2003, 02:28 AM   #103
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dininziliel:

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Does this make him a Ringbearer?
No, that doesn't, but Tom did put the ring on and didn't dissapear. Also, he seemed to have no desire for it other than curiosity. Maybe he was like, "What is the big deal with this ring?" and then he puts it on, nothing happens and he probably thinks, "what's so big about this? It doesn't do anything." Maybe Tom, in his land, was unaffected by things while he was in his own borders. Just a thought, but the point is he did put it on. Maybe, if he were outside those specified borders, the ring might have some effect on him. But he is an enigma and we know reletively little of him, especially what he is.

Bill Ferny:

Quote:
His life in the Misty Mountains was as much a product of his own desire, as it was the ring’s desire to remain hidden.
Interesting thought. I always thought that the ring didn't count on Gollum hiding in the Misty Mountains, but the ring's desire to remain hidden is a good one. Then, after rethinking, I don't think that it ever expected Gollum to stay for that long. But now, thinking again, maybe it wanted to stay hidden all that time. Someone (I'm really sorry, I can't remember who) suggested that the ring left Gollum to get out of the Misty Mts. because of a sort of sense or link with Sauron. When Sauron rose to power again, it was only about 2-3 years before the ring left Gollum. Was this idea brought up in this thread? Sorry, I can't remember.

Quote:
If anything, the ring resembles an abusive tyrant-like spouse more than a narcotic.
Actually, I think of the ring more as a leech, cancer, or a virus. A leech, because it attaches to you, not only physically, but more importantly, mentally. It sucks the life out of you. All of your youth, health, (sometimes) reputation (if it can), and friends/family. And also, in doing so takes away your [free]will, bit by bit, and as much as it can, sometimes until it is sucked dry. I see it as a cancer because it can be very dangerous and deadly. It attacks vital parts, but unlike certain cancers, the ring goes specifically for the mind. And it attacks the mind and eventually dominates the mind. And, I see it as a virus because for one, a virus can never be cured, just as the ring has permenant effects and a ringbearer will never be fully healed of the consequences from bearing/wearing the ring. It infects the mind and spreads out. It eventually dominates the mind and can sway a ringbearer's decisions and possibly control them. One reason why I don't really look at it as a tyrant spouse is because you said
Quote:
still loves...the ring
when actually he hated it and more-so loathed it, but he was stuck with it by the addiction, which shows his dependency on the ring.

On to your post after that one:

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Given a bit more time (say 500 to 1000 years) Bilbo would have achieved ultimate isolation and privacy by having murdered every hobbit in the Shire.
If you actually think about it, that would never happen. Either the ring would have left Biblo and found its way back to Sauron, or Sauron would have the ring taken by force.

Quote:
Frodo is the only ring bearer that is not initially tempted to take the ring (and maybe Sam as well)
Well, you can include Tom also, but does he really count? And what do you mean by this? I could say Isildur wasn't tempted since after he cut it off Sauron, it was up for grabs. Please explain.

dininziliel:

Quote:
Denial, self-centeredness, gotta-have-it-now, despair, tunnel vision (a form of denial), etc., are just some of the 101+ forms of fear. And fear is what paves the road for evil.
What is it with you and fear??? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] But really, what is it? I don't think I agree with your statement, but it just get's so confusing when you add all those other factors into it that I get lost in my own thoughts...

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I think the movie...
Well, I don't want to be a jerk or anything, and I'm not singleing you out, but please, can we leave the movies out of this? The movies were mentioned other times too, but this forum is the books section, so can we leave it at that? And it's not that when the movies were mentioned here that they were really brought into the debate, but I don't want it to get confusing or have others start bringing the movies into the discussions. I am asking and being calm as to avoid some big argument.

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Galadriel's passing on the Ring so important is that she went through all the phases of awareness and acceptance in choosing light over darkness in a matter of minutes before Frodo's eyes. By the time she had arrived at her final choice, it was no longer a sacrifice or matter of self-denial--there was simply no further point or reason to take the Ring.
I don't neccesarily agree with this. What you said is part of it, but I think a bigger part is that she herself bore a ring. She had experience and knowledge on the matter and even though her ring was not the one ring, it was still a ring that having, can show the dangers of the ring. Do you understand what I'm saying? And even though she rejected the ring, it was still hard to do, as the ring tempted her desires. She did have reason to take the ring (to achieve power), but she was well aware of the folly of this and the falsehood of the offer teh ring presented to her. Here's a question, did Frodo come up with the idea to give the ring to Galadriel, or did the ring influence him to do this? Frodo might have done it to rid himself of the burden or to give it to someone wiser thinking it would be better off in their hands (or on her finger). And the ring might have done this to have someone powerful take it (the ring) so it could corrupt her and make it easier for Sauron to pinpoint where the ring was, and easier for Sauron to get it back, and to prevent it from being destroyed. Or was it both? Just a thought.

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Think of what happened when she trained her attention on Boromir...the evil inside him...
I don't think that there was really evil in him. I think it may have looked like there was evil and that it didn't like Galadriel 'shining her light' on it. But I think that anyone would be freaked out if someone looked into your mind and tested you through horrible temptations.

Tar-Palantir:

Quote:
Bilbo's reclusiveness might be a clue to the nature of his relationship with the Ring, although he did also spend much of his time with Sam, enjoying the telling of his tales. I love this idea:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bilbo would have achieved ultimate isolation and privacy by having murdered every hobbit in the Shire.
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I don't think that Bilbo's reclusivness was due that much to the ring. He was not the type of person that Smeagol was and because of that, he was never kicked out of the Shire (which could have happened if he was like Smeagol), as Smeagol was kicked out of his community. And Bilbo always had someone that loved him and someone to love back (Frodo, Gandalf...). Besides that, Bilbo, even before the ring, seemed to be sort of isolated. True, it might be a clue to the relationship of the ring, but it is hard to tell.

Quote:
Smeagol definitely believed that he deserved that ring for his birthday.
I don't really think so. I think that this was his front for taking the ring and killing Deagol, which I think haunted him all his life. And maybe the ring haunted him for this or, it didn't and it 'helped' Gollum come up with that excuse. But, you never know, after all that time he could very well have believed if lied about it so much. Some people actually lie so much that they believe themselves. I think that this was Gollum's way of pushing his guilt aside, which didn't help at all.

dininziliel:

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Addicts/alcoholics get stuck on the habitrail of More. Gottagetit, gotta get more, gottagetit now.
Yes, they become addicted, and need it more frequently until they are consumed by the drug (alcohol is a drug).

Quote:
the notion of More doesn't seem to be a factor in either behavior or attitude. It is as mere possession of the Ring is sufficient. Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo didn't go trying to score more rings or to more of a high off the Ring--they simply became progressively lost and consumed within its consciousness.
Yes, because there is no possibiltiy of more. Just to have it is enough, but you can draw levels of it by how obsessed they are if the ring, and how much time a day they need to feel the ring, look at it, put it on, etc. It is not limited as you can always wear the ring, so it is infinite.

Tar-Palantir:

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The theory that one is too many and a thousand never enough.
Well, I see it as 'more' being too much. When you get to that point, you know you're addicted. And everytime you want or need more, it is the drug talking. It shows your addiction adn dependency of it.

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when the drug stops working but the addict can't stop needing it.
As time goes on and the more you use the drug, you naturally develop a tolerance to it. The bigger the tolerance, the more you need to consume to reach your high and satisfaction, and after a while it becomes a matter of your tolerance vs. your addiction. You're not becomeing satisfied, but you still need the drug, and that's the point where the user finds themself stuck in their own rut.

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...because that doesn't fill the hole properly.
Actually no. When you no longer reach that high, or get bored, you move on. You search for other drugs, bigger and harder. It doesn't matter what fills your hole as long as it gives you tht feeling, and satisfies your need for it. It doesn't have to be what your used to. If alcohol didn't work anymore, then you'd maybe move on to marijuana, and after that, you'd be wide open to many other drugs. Weed is a gateway drug as it leads to many others. You'd get bored of weed and move on to coke, and then you might be doing heroine and look how far you've gone just to satisfy that need. You don't care what kind of drug, as long as it fills that widening gap of your need. Well, with the ring, you can't go any higher, but take a look at Galadriel. She had a ring, and then she was tempted by the one ring. It's like if her ring was beer. She drinks it just because she likes the taste, not so she can get drunk. Ocassionally, she probably might get drunk. I'm sure she likes it. When the one ring comes along, it can represent weed. She wants to do it, realizing that she can get high, which would be so much greater than her occasional drunkness, she assumes. However, she also realizes the dangers of doing this and wisely she refuses. The one ring had an ultimate downward spiral to it and she was well aware of it. So rather than taking it, and getting what the ring offered, she refuses it and avoids her downfall. Do you see what I mean?

On to your next post, after mine:

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Gollum was NOT repented during that scene
Yes that is true, but he was on the verge of being repented. And I have to say that he would have if Sam had not waken up or at least refrained from insulting Gollum.

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Had he been TRULY willing to give up his debauchery then the lengths he would have needed to go to were right there at his feet and he did not choose them.
He was truly willing at that moment and (I assume) made the decision not to lead them to Shelob. But he could not activly lead them away from Shelob until they started moving again on their way. But before he could fulfill it, Sam prevents it. He wakes up and you know the story, then Gollum changes his mind and his chance for repent is gone.

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Do you know any practicing addicts?
Yes.

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There is nearly always remorse for their actions or for things they left behind. (As evidenced in Gollum's last moments with Frodo. But remorse alone is not enough.)
Yes, but Gollum had more than just remorse, he had a will to change taken away by Sam.

Quote:
No one person can get them sober OR cause them to keep using. (Frodo in this case can not assuming full responsibility, and neither can Sam, it is Gollum's responsibility.)
It is Gollum's responsibility as you said. Gollum got a hold of this (even if only for a minute) and couldn't have done it without help from Frodo. Frodo and Sam do not have responsibility in this, you are right, but Sam has fault in causing Gollum from losing his responsibility.

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Even if they get sober the risk is high they will use again. (This one's obvious, you said yourself that Ringbearers never get over it 100%, I would add that is especially true for one placed as precariously as Gollum is.)
True, but once you get past the step of giving it up, it is much easier from there. He could have held out until it was destroyed. If he truly wanted to change he would have left Frodo and Sam to do it when they got far enough that they did not need Gollum's help, avoiding the temptation of the ring. After that, the threat of the ring is gone and a great burden would be lifted. Although he would have probably died shortly after.

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They have an uncanny knack for biting the hand that feeds them. (Just ask Frodo the nine-fingered, or Aragorn, or Sam who also got bitten. And those are just literal examples.)
But it is different after he gives it up for good. He would have stopped this.

Quote:
Cannot tell friend from foe, everybody seems as a foe. (This is how an addict hurts everybody around them. Their actions become more and more self-centered and everyone else becomes a meal ticket, and everyone else becomes 'responsible' for their plight, "poor little me" "poor Smeagol" "why me"? usually followed by "why not that guy instead?" That dog don't hunt, it's their responsibility).
This is not neccessarily true. This can happen in some cases, but it most definately does not apply to all.

Quote:
It's about more than just Gollum though, what about the others that were tempted or succumbed? How do you see it all tying together with Gollum?
It is more than just about Gollum however, I like referring to Gollum most as we have the most infromation Gollum when looking at ringbearers. I'm just referring to the ring part of their lives. With Frodo, you see a lot, and you see how first hand he is affected by the ring, but with Gollum, we have a history of him and see frist hand the affects of the ring, and the desire/addiction of it.

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We have discussed the Drug/Addict scenario pretty thouroughly, maybe somwone has some other brainstorms?
Yes, but surprisingly we haven't discussed a major aspect of this; depression.

The Saucepan Man:

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Time does not actually slow down, it only does so in Sam's mind.
I think maybe it is another enhancement the ring gives. Maybe it is not time slowing down in Sam's mind, but rather the ring speeding up the mind of Sam, so everything seems slower.

Quote:
Presumably, it can not physically move, in the sense of jumping off its bearer's finger, or out of his pocket, so this too must be some kind of effect that it has on the bearer's mind, making him do something that he cannot consciously recall doing. The Ring doesn't escape from Gollum, it causes him to drop it.
I also thought that the ring could not physically move, but it actually can. The only way it can move is by incresing/decreasing size. I don't know how big it would get or how small, but it changes to fit the new ringbearer. And, the ring does escape from Gollum (well not really escape, I say it was more of a 'ditching'). It grew just a little bit bigger, so it could slip off, using the struggle between Gollum and his meal, and the force of gravity. I think though, sometimes it tries to 'escape' by influencing the decisions of the ringbearer. Like when I rambled on about how the ring might have tried to get to Galadriel.
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Old 02-26-2003, 04:11 AM   #104
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Good post Mr. Frodo sir. I always appreciate your thoughts, I thought you'd nail me for the mental patient comment, thanks for the restraint. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
Quote:
Actually no. When you no longer reach that high, or get bored, you move on. You search for other drugs, bigger and harder. It doesn't matter what fills your hole as long as it gives you tht feeling, and satisfies your need for it. It doesn't have to be what your used to. If alcohol didn't work anymore, then you'd maybe move on to marijuana
This is flat out wrong. Drugs act in different ways on the body, alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, opiates, prescription meds, they each have a very different high. Almost all users have a 'drug of choice', some are dual addicted/cross addicted, but there is usually one in particular that is the crux. Believe me, I have worked with these people for years.
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but once you get past the step of giving it up, it is much easier from there
How far past? 1 day, 1 week, 60 years? When does the 'safe zone' arrive? When are they 'normal' again? I am afraid that it is never easy, especially when you have a lifetime of wreckage to clean up like Gollum. Is he supposed to go live in a cave again? Who would accept him like that? Hopefully somebody, but it would be a concern. If he was an outcast would he be happy? Anger, depression, fear might return and trigger old behavior.
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but Sam has fault in causing Gollum from losing his responsibility.
We'll forever disagree on this one Frodo. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
Quote:
depression
Prozac for all the Ringbearers, my treat! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Depression goes hand in hand with the hopeless state of mind Boromir might have been in, but what about the others?

I'll buy a pitcher of Entdraught for the first person that nails down a concrete theory on this Ring!

[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: Tar-Palantir ]
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Old 02-26-2003, 04:39 PM   #105
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Quote:
Here's a question, did Frodo come up with the idea to give the ring to Galadriel, or did the ring influence him to do this? Frodo might have done it to rid himself of the burden or to give it to someone wiser thinking it would be better off in their hands (or on her finger). And the ring might have done this to have someone powerful take it (the ring) so it could corrupt her and make it easier for Sauron to pinpoint where the ring was, and easier for Sauron to get it back, and to prevent it from being destroyed. Or was it both?
Excellent question, Willie. I think that it is a bit of both. Maybe Frodo was (on a conscious level at least) looking for someone else to take this burden from him. So, perhaps the Ring used that initial thought to persuade him to offer it to Galadriel. But, given the (for want of a better word) addictive quality of the Ring, would he really have been able to surrender it to her, when it came down to it? Perhaps he was not far gone enough at that stage. And here's another thought. I have speculated on the Ring's ability to reach out to others to tempt them to take it. Perhaps it had this effect on Galadriel, but she was able to resist the temptation. Would the Ring have considered Galadriel a good candidate as Ringbearer? I suppose this comes down to my earlier question: would she, under the Ring's influence, have become a Dark Power in her own right, or would she have been subordinated to Sauron's will?

Quote:
When you no longer reach that high, or get bored, you move on. You search for other drugs, bigger and harder. It doesn't matter what fills your hole as long as it gives you tht feeling, and satisfies your need for it.
I don't necessarily agree that one drug leads to another. My drugs of choice (alcohol and nicotine) have not (to date at least) led me on to seek anything heavier. But that's by the by. It is not a question of moving onto a bigger and better Ring. The increasing addiction to the Ring manifests itself (as has been pointed out) in an increasing desire to touch it, feel it and wear it. But then, it has also been pointed out (by Bill, I think) that contact with the Ring became too much for Gollum after a (long) while.

Quote:
Gollum had more than just remorse, he had a will to change taken away by Sam.
I still think that Gollum would have led them to Shelob (or tried some other ploy to gain back the Ring) irrespective of Sam's actions. Yes, maybe Frodo's kindness relieved the craving for a while. But it was always there under the surface. In a way, Gollum was looking for an excuse to be denied his "recovery".

Quote:
I also thought that the ring could not physically move, but it actually can. The only way it can move is by incresing/decreasing size.
Good point. That ring's a bell (no pun intended). Does anyone know if there is an actual reference to the Ring changing its width. This would certainly be a useful ability for the Ring, since it would be able to slip off its bearer's Ring to reveal him at just the wrong moment, or perhaps constrict itself so that it could not be removed.

Quote:
Depression goes hand in hand with the hopeless state of mind Boromir might have been in, but what about the others?

I'll buy a pitcher of Entdraught for the first person that nails down a concrete theory on this Ring!
Now you're talking Tar-Palantir. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Well, there's always Denethor, but his depression was brought on more by hopelessness and despair in the face of what seemed to him to be an overhelming force ... and perhaps a lack of the Ring? In a way, he craved it, even though he had never set eyes on it.
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Old 02-26-2003, 07:01 PM   #106
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Quote:
would she, under the Ring's influence, have become a Dark Power in her own right, or would she have been subordinated to Sauron's will?
They are one, the Ring and the Dark Lord. I think eventually and inevitably. Perhaps the power of the Ring she may have mastered, but the will of the Ring (which is what is giving us the most problem in understanding) would have worked on her mind ceaselessly, could she hold out for decades, centuries or millenia? Which poses one more question, that I think there is an answer for, but I don't know it: What if Sauron were vanquished but the Ring yet existed? Would it be impossible to complete destroy him without destroying the Ring? And a follow up question:

If Gollum had lived through it, would he get to sail to Valinor with the rest of the Ringbearer gang?

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Old 02-26-2003, 07:13 PM   #107
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I like Gollem so I'd like to think that he would. But without the ring his life would have no propose, since the ring had done ireversible( gosh, I need to learn how to spell) damage. Sadly, I think Gollem may have ended his own life rather then going with the "stuuppid hobbitisis" to Valinor.
(Wow! That's really depresing [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] )
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Old 02-26-2003, 09:34 PM   #108
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Willie:
Quote:
Interesting thought. I always thought that the ring didn't count on Gollum hiding in the Misty Mountains, but the ring's desire to remain hidden is a good one. Then, after rethinking, I don't think that it ever expected Gollum to stay for that long. But now, thinking again, maybe it wanted to stay hidden all that time. Someone (I'm really sorry, I can't remember who) suggested that the ring left Gollum to get out of the Misty Mts. because of a sort of sense or link with Sauron. When Sauron rose to power again, it was only about 2-3 years before the ring left Gollum. Was this idea brought up in this thread? Sorry, I can't remember.
I recall posting about Sauron emerging from Mirkwood 2-3 years prior to Gollum's emerging from Misty Mtns, but am unsure if I posted it here or elsehwere.

I think the idea about the Ring's will having Gollum go into hiding is pregnanat with possibilities for this discussion. I'd like to offer a twist on this: working on the notion that no event occurs without it being willed, what if was not the Ring's will to go/stay in hiding? what if it was not the Ring's will to emerge when it did with Bilbo? And regarding Bilbo finding the Ring ...what will was behing that? I am positing the notion that it was a greater will than Sauron's and/or the Ring's for any or all of that--certainly for Bilbo.

If a greater will was responsible for the Ring coming to Bilbo and subsequent bearers, then what was the intention regarding their respective fates as individuals fate, not only as a bearer of the Ring. One could say they were selected for sacrifice, or, they were selected for a kind of immortality, or ... what other possibilities are there?

The presumption (classical use of the word) that there was/is a greater intelligence/will/force at work governing everyone and everything to a certain outcome is a frame that, when put onto the tale, changes its colors and patterns.

Not a new notion, granted, it's all in (The Silmarillion, but this is a more specific aspect that has not yet been discussed. How can we claim to have exhausted the subject of the Ring and corruption without examining the nature of its opposite? I was so excited when I read that part of Willie's post that I immediately replied without reading the other posts. Maybe I should go do that, huh?

Peace, and my admiration to the people and their leaders of Britain in demonstrating what a democracy looks like today/yesterday!

[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: dininziliel ]
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Old 02-26-2003, 09:37 PM   #109
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1420!

Tar-Palantir:

Quote:
This is flat out wrong.
No, it is not flat out wrong. I think that we're both wrong. It depends and varies in different cases. I know at least know two people who moved on and had started from alcohol. They do have different highs, and they do have drugs of choice, but sometimes it doesn't matter. Some people don't realize what they are getting into and have gone too far before they do. They just want it so bad they don't care what they do, as long as they get high. It may not have been like that for the people that you worked with, but were they alcoholics? If they were, then you really might not be dealing with the people that moved on from there and got hooked on something else. The people I know have gone past alcohol, past weed, and farther than that, and they still were not satisfied. It is sad and the saddest part was that they were never satisfied. Some drugs hit them hard and they preferred it, but still, they were dangerous and hard and they had gone a long way from alcohol before they got there. I think you get what I'm saying and I really don't want to talk about them anyomore. The point is that it varies, but the people I knew were never satisfied; they always had to go up a level, then after a while move on.

Quote:
How far past? 1 day, 1 week, 60 years?
It depends. And I'm not saying that it is easy, I'm saying that once they willingly give it up, a great burden is lifted. It is always very hard to face your addiction to a drug after you have quit and you are offered it or even near it, as it can be tempting enough. I think that Gollum had it long enough to see what it had done to him and to know that he did not need it anymore, and that having friends was more important than the ring, and also, that he could not have both.

Quote:
We'll forever disagree on this one Frodo.
Yes, we will. I don't think I'll ever change my mind on this, and I think that it is the same for you.

The Saucepan Man:

Quote:
would she, under the Ring's influence, have become a Dark Power in her own right, or would she have been subordinated to Sauron's will?
Either way she would have fallen, but I think that it would be under her own right. I seem to have the impression that any great or powerful person who obtains the ring and is corrupted, will be under their own right as Sauron could not harness their power. I think it was said somewhere that Gandalf could have become worse than Sauron had he taken the ring (I think, but I'm not really sure). So it would be similar with Galadriel, but even if her will was weaker than Sauron's, her will still would be too great for Sauron to harness. I'm kind of shakey on this question.

Quote:
I still think that Gollum would have led them to Shelob (or tried some other ploy to gain back the Ring) irrespective of Sam's actions.
Well, I still think he wouldn't. Looks like you got company Sam! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

dininziliel:

Quote:
If a greater will was responsible for Bilbo finding and bearing the Ring, and subsequent bearers
Are you suggesting destiny or something else? It seems very interesting.

[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: MLD-Grounds-Keeper-Willie ]
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Old 02-26-2003, 11:00 PM   #110
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Willie:
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What is it with you and fear??? But really, what is it? I don't think I agree with your statement, but it just get's so confusing when you add all those other factors into it that I get lost in my own thoughts...
This is easily answered by any recovering addict/alcoholic. It's been answered in the litany on fear from Dune (" ... Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration ..."). A Course in Miracles will give the best answer (but it will really confuse the noodle. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] And, I believe that Jung, Buddha, may have been big on fear being at the core of all our problems.

We normally think of fear as something threatening our physical self. This makes it difficult to see its other forms. What is always, always present in fear? Extreme self-concern. Left uninterrupted (or, no interventions for the drug subthread fans out there), the Ring's ultimate outcome is for the bearer to become utterly absorbed and consumed by self, like Orobouros (sp?). There's only so much self to absorb/consume, and then you fade out into wraithhood or, if your will is industrial strength Maiar, you turn to consuming/absorbing others.

What propels simple desire into compulsion? Why do we say one must have courage and faith to confront evil? What makes it so hard to act on faith or trust alone when we know it is the right thing to do?

Tolkien has said that nothing was ever evil in its origin. If that is true, then what could possibly turn something good into something evil, unless it involved answering a perceived threat to one's sense of self? What's "evil" spelled backward? (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

Okay, enough of that. I hoped this helped a bit.

BTW, I could find nothing in my favorite source, The Letters of JRR Tolkien that connected fear to evil. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Peace.
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Old 02-27-2003, 12:35 AM   #111
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Willie:
Quote:
I think maybe it is another enhancement the ring gives. Maybe it is not time slowing down in Sam's mind, but rather the ring speeding up the mind of Sam, so everything seems slower.
I'm re-reading LotR right now and I will be on the lookout for this--interesting idea!

And, about mentioning the "m" word ... Ah, irony! I have read, and support the rules of the dead in this forum. My sole reason for mentioning the movie is due to my concern that the movie was affecting the perception and discussion of the book! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Tar-Palantir:
Quote:
Prozac for all the Ringbearers, my treat! ... I'll buy a pitcher of Entdraught for the first person that nails down a concrete theory on this Ring!
I hope it's non-alcoholic Entdraught [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Saucepan:
Quote:
Does anyone know if there is an actual reference to the Ring changing its width.
We are told that the Ring changes in weight--"The Shadow of the Past" ("It felt suddenly very heavy, as if either it or Frodo himself was in some way reluctant for Gandalf to touch it.") And there are the many mentions of the heaviness of the Ring dragging Frodo down the closer they got to Mt. Doom. Back to "Shadows ...," Gandalf mentions the Ring slipping off the fingers of Gollum and Isildur. Then in "The Council of Elrond" Gandalf recounts Isildur's description of the Ring, " 'Yet even as I write it is cooled, and it seemeth to shrink, though it loseth neither its beauty nor its shape.' "

Tar-Palantir re the Ring mastering/being mastered by Galadriel:
Quote:
They are one, the Ring and the Dark Lord. I think eventually and inevitably. Perhaps the power of the Ring she may have mastered, but the will of the Ring (which is what is giving us the most problem in understanding) would have worked on her mind ceaselessly,
Yes! and nice delineation.

And is it defining the will of the Ring that we have been dancing with all this time? In Letters, Tolkien says: "A moral of the whole (after the primary symbolism of the Ring, as the will to mere power, seeking to make itself objective by physical force and mechanism, and so also inevitably by lies) is the obvious one that without the high and noble the simple and vulgar is utterly mean; and without the simple and ordinary the noble and heroic is meaningless." [# 131]

Tar-Palantir also wrote:
Quote:
Would it be impossible to complete destroy him [Sauron] without destroying the Ring? And a follow up question: If Gollum had lived through it, would he get to sail to Valinor with the rest of the Ringbearer gang?
To the first question, a shy and tentative "Yes" for the same reason given regarding Galadriel--they are one and the same. But ... completely destroy Sauron? Hmmm ...

And to the last question, based on the fact that Tolkien stated nothing is evil in its beginning, and that the Valar understood the nature of evil in the Ring (I guess none of us are Valar [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img] ), and the chances Melkor got before Iluvatar finally booted his butt out like of Arda/ME like a watermelon seed, and because Gollum was on the verge of choosing Love (that's already been covered in previous excerpts from Letters) ... I'm going to say, "Yes," Gollum would be allowed to board a boat to the Undying Lands.

Excellent question!

Peace.
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Old 02-27-2003, 01:27 AM   #112
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1420!

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If Gollum had lived through it, would he get to sail to Valinor with the rest of the Ringbearer gang?
I would say yes. dininziliel said it good. I think it's only fair that he should go.
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Old 02-27-2003, 09:08 AM   #113
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Tar-Palantir:
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Would it be impossible to complete destroy him [Sauron] without destroying the Ring?
Can't say why the above idea brought this idea to mind, but ... why did not another Maiar (a good one) make a ring of Love & truth to nullify Sauron's? The Valar would have had to sanction this for it to be of any worth, so the essential question here is why didn't the Valar or even the Ainur commission a One Ring to find them all and in the light of Love bind them?

Oh, I think I'm going to answer my own question--free will. Iluvatar created his beings to have free will. Otherwise, no story, no book, nowhere for us dear departed to haunt cyber space.

But ...! This brings up the topic of free will which I don't think has been explored enough. Then again, it's been some time since I read the original posts.

Guess I'm just thinking out loud.

Peace.

[ February 27, 2003: Message edited by: dininziliel ]
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Old 02-27-2003, 08:05 PM   #114
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Quote:
What if Sauron were vanquished but the Ring yet existed? Would it be impossible to complete destroy him without destroying the Ring?
Isn't that what happened at the Last Alliance? Sauron was defeated and, had Isildur cast the Ring into Mount Doom, he would have been destroyed. But Isildur didn't, so Sauron lived on and slowly regained his strength to the stage where he could start looking for the Ring.

Quote:
And a follow up question:
If Gollum had lived through it, would he get to sail to Valinor with the rest of the Ringbearer gang?
Interesting question, Tar-Palantir. I suppose it would depend whether he repented his past deeds or not. If not, I wouldn't see him being accepted into Valinor. But, if he did, why not? Perhaps they should have set up a refuge for recovering Ring addicts on Tol Eressea. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Quote:
I think it was said somewhere that Gandalf could have become worse than Sauron had he taken the ring (I think, but I'm not really sure). So it would be similar with Galadriel, but even if her will was weaker than Sauron's, her will still would be too great for Sauron to harness.
Your probably right about Gandalf, Willie. But he was a Maia, like Sauron. And I believe that, in his Maia form, he was equal in power to Sauron, if not more powerful. So he, with the Ring, would have been more than a match for Sauron and for Sauron's will working through the Ring. So, perhaps would have become a Dark Lord in his own right. Might the same be said of Saruman, had he succeded in bringing the Ring to Isengard? He portrays himself to Sauron as an ally, but he no doubt had designs of his own.

But Galadriel was an Elf, albeit a powerful one, and I would speculate therefore that she would not have been able to resist the evil will of the Ring. I agree with Tar-Palantir on this:

Quote:
They are one, the Ring and the Dark Lord. I think eventually and inevitably. Perhaps the power of the Ring she may have mastered, but the will of the Ring (which is what is giving us the most problem in understanding) would have worked on her mind ceaselessly ...
And now the thread moves inexporably to the subject of free will ...

Quote:
This brings up the topic of free will which I don't think has been explored enough. Then again, it's been some time since I read the original posts.
Now, where's Bill when you need him ... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 02-27-2003, 09:21 PM   #115
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Saucepan Man wrote:
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Your probably right about Gandalf, Willie. But he was a Maia, like Sauron. And I believe that, in his Maia form, he was equal in power to Sauron, if not more powerful. So he, with the Ring, would have been more than a match for Sauron and for Sauron's will working through the Ring. So, perhaps would have become a Dark Lord in his own right.
I thought I recalled Tolkien saying something about this. It proved to be a very enlightening little piece of research:
{This is long, but every bit of it is germaine to most of what has been discussed thus far, at least on this page of the thread)

First he says that no mortal, not even Aragorn could have taken the Ring and bested Sauron. Then Tolkien says: "Of the others only Gandalf might be expected to master him -- being an emissary of the Powers and a creature of the same order, an immortal spirit taking a visible physical form. In the 'Mirror of Galadriel', it appears that Galadriel conceived of herself as capable of wielding the Ring and supplanting the Dark Lord. If so, so also were the other guardians of the Three, especially Elrond. But this is another matter. It was part of the essential deceit of the ring to fill minds with imagination of supreme power. But this the Great had well considered and had rejected, as is seen in Elrond's words at the Council. Galadriel's rejection of the temptation was founded upon previous thought and resolve. In any case Elrond or Galadriel would have proceeded in the policy now adopted by Sauron: they would have built up an empire with great and absolutely subservient generals and armies and engines of war, until they could challenge Sauron and destroy him by force. Confrontation of Sauron alone, unaided, self to self was not contemplated. One can imagine the scene in which Gandalf, say, was placed in such a position. It would be a delicate balance. On one side the true allegiance of the Ring to Sauron; on the other superior strength because Sauron was not actually in possession, and perhaps also because he was weakened by long corruption, and expenditure of will in dominating inferiors. If Gandalf proved the victor, the result would have been for Sauron the same as the destruction of the Ring; for him it would have been destroyed, taken from him for ever. But the Ring and all its works would have endured. It would have been the master in the end.
Gandalf as Ring-Lord would have been far worse than Sauron. He would have remained 'righteous', but self-righteous. He would have continued to rule and order things for 'good', and the benefit of his subjects according to his wisdom (which was and would have remained great)."

So, thanks! Gandalf, for not taking the Ring.

To me, this says that once you put on evil, evil you become. It's just that simple. It's not a matter of will power; it's a matter of choice and commitment to that choice.

Peace to every one from one who wishes for peace in the U.S. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-28-2003, 10:09 PM   #116
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Quote:
Does anyone know if there is an actual reference to the Ring changing its width.
---------------------------------------------

We are told that the Ring changes in weight--"The Shadow of the Past" ("It felt suddenly very heavy, as if either it or Frodo himself was in some way reluctant for Gandalf to touch it.") And there are the many mentions of the heaviness of the Ring dragging Frodo down the closer they got to Mt. Doom. Back to "Shadows ...," Gandalf mentions the Ring slipping off the fingers of Gollum and Isildur. Then in "The Council of Elrond" Gandalf recounts Isildur's description of the Ring, " 'Yet even as I write it is cooled, and it seemeth to shrink, though it loseth neither its beauty nor its shape.' "
A further note from "Shadows..." Gandalf says about Bilbo "Though he had found out that the thing needed looking after; it did not seem always of the same size or weight; it shrank or expanded in an odd way, and might suddenly slip off a finger where it had been tight." "Yes, he warned me of that in his last letter,' said Frodo, 'so I have always kept it on its chain.'"

Quote:
To me, this says that once you put on evil, evil you become. It's just that simple. It's not a matter of will power; it's a matter of choice and commitment to that choice.
Very well said, dininziliel.
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Old 03-06-2003, 09:11 PM   #117
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willie quoted me and after that he added a question:
Quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a greater will was responsible for Bilbo finding and bearing the Ring, and subsequent bearers
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are you suggesting destiny or something else? It seems very interesting.
Remember when Gandalf told Frodo that perhaps he was meantto have the Ring? My question/suggestion related to the will behind the Ring's travels throughout time. It's not destiny, unless one defines destiny as synonym for the greater will of Iluvatar. So, I am suggesting it is the will of God as Tolkien conceived God, that is shaping events according to natural law established when Arda/Earth was created.

At one point in SillmarillionIluvatar tells Melkor that nothing Melkor does can even ultimately subvert the will (I think the word was actually "plan") of Iluvatar.
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Old 03-08-2003, 07:38 AM   #118
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Sorry if I am addressing something from far back in the thread. I haven't checked back here in a while.

Quote:
Here's a question, did Frodo come up with the idea to give the ring to Galadriel, or did the ring influence him to do this? Frodo might have done it to rid himself of the burden or to give it to someone wiser thinking it would be better off in their hands (or on her finger). And the ring might have done this to have someone powerful take it (the ring) so it could corrupt her and make it easier for Sauron to pinpoint where the ring was, and easier for Sauron to get it back, and to prevent it from being destroyed. Or was it both?
This is interesting to ponder in view of Sauron’s plans to attack Lothlorien & Rivendell first (UT). Galadriel must have had a certain amount of aniexty regarding the prospect. I’m wondering if after she came in contact with Boromir she saw the folly in pursuing the ring as an advantage in the upcoming war. (Or saw perhaps evidence of the corrupting influence it had.) At any rate, the character did show quite a bit of self-control, as did Gandalf!
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