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Old 10-04-2017, 11:24 PM   #1
Rhun charioteer
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The Void

So just a passing question-if a mortal man was suspended in the void outside Eä how would he perceive it? Darkness? White? Just nothingness?

Thoughts?
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:24 AM   #2
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Since the Void was Nothing, I don't know that even the existence of consciousness in any of the Children of Ilúvatar could be possible.
Though Men were not tied to Arda as Elves, the destination of their fea after physical death would be a similar plane, I think, and maybe the opposite of the Void.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:27 PM   #3
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What I meant was is say you take a mortal man and teleport him to the Void what would he perceive if anything?
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:59 PM   #4
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A question of philosophy: if you put something into the Void, is it still a void if it's not void of everything?
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:14 PM   #5
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What I meant was is say you take a mortal man and teleport him to the Void what would he perceive if anything?
It depends on whether the fea could exist there. And that's just speculation. My opinion would be negative.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:49 PM   #6
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Melkor searched the Void for the flame imperishable yet it was still void.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:25 AM   #7
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Melkor searched the Void for the flame imperishable yet it was still void.
Yes, and Melkor clearly could retain conscience and awareness there. Yet he was an Ainu, and the ability of a disembodied spirit to remain-self aware can not necessarily also be imparted to a mortal Man.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:44 AM   #8
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As usual, we can find interesting information, if not answers, in "Myths Transformed". In part (iii) of 'Notes on motives in the Silmarillion', Professor Tolkien defines the Void as "a conception of the state of Not-being, outside Creation or Eä":
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the minds of Men (and even of the Elves) were inclined to confuse the 'Void', as a conception of the state of Not-being, outside Creation or Eä, with the conception of vast spaces within Eä, especially those conceived to lie all about the enisled 'Kingdom of Arda' (which we should probably call the Solar System).
Thus I think it's possible that it might be misleading to conceive of the true 'Void' as a place (as opposed to outer space, which was sometimes mistakenly called the Void). Thus Melkor 'searching the Void' might not be a physical activity but something more abstract.

I say this as someone who has always imaged Melkor striding about in the darkness looking for something he cannot find. If the Void is 'the state of Not-being', and as we know it is timeless ("the Timeless Void"), then I suspect its existence is more conceptual than physical - separation from Eru and the Flame Imperishable. I also suspect that it might be something arguably metaphysical because the Void is nothingness. There is nothingness (the Void) and there is "thingness" (Eru, the Timeless Halls and Eä).
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:29 AM   #9
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I always imagined Melkor the same striding around an infinite black nothingness looking for a fire he could not find. It's easier to imagine that than it is to imagine it metaphysically.
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Old 10-09-2017, 04:13 PM   #10
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I always imagined Melkor the same striding around an infinite black nothingness looking for a fire he could not find. It's easier to imagine that than it is to imagine it metaphysically.
Which is kind of the point, right?
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:47 AM   #11
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It might also be worth pointing out that it's unclear which "Void" Morgoth was cast into at the end of the First Age.
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We read that he was then thrust out into the Void. That should mean that he was put outside Time and Space, outside Eä altogether; but if that were so this would imply a direct intervention of Eru (with or without supplication of the Valar). It may however refer inaccurately to the extrusion or flight of his spirit from Arda. (Myths Transformed)
Professor Tolkien doesn't actually resolve this dichotomy within the text.

Ainuldinalë also implies that the Void has spatial dimensions:
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it seemed to him that Ilúvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness
This could be metaphorical, however, and it is possible that what Melkor saw as "emptiness" was in fact pure "nothingness"; in this sense Melkor misunderstands what the Void is, which might correlate with why he sought the Flame Imperishable there. Perhaps Melkor's fëa could "explore" the Void in the same way that the mind can think about nothingness - his fëa went somewhere and searched, but in a spiritual sense rather than a physical one.

I really think that to a degree the Void is beyond human comprehension...
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:32 AM   #12
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I really think that to a degree the Void is beyond human comprehension...
As it should be.

Men were creatures of Eä. The Void, whether a physical or spiritual realm, would seem to be not of the material universe, as it was a negative of 'the World That Is'. As the mortal cannot comprehend the eternal, the 'real' lacks a capacity to understand the 'unreal'. Lunchtime philosophy 101.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:31 PM   #13
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On a related cosmological note are there other worlds in Ea?
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:46 PM   #14
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On a related cosmological note are there other worlds in Ea?
Possibly, I would say. Why would Eru be in any way limited in creative power? But if those other world existed, none but their Creator could know.
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:33 AM   #15
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Question Only Eru knows

That was a good question you asked, Rhun charioteer, about whether there are other worlds in Eä. I agree with you, Inziladun, that only Eru would know...
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Old 10-17-2017, 04:59 PM   #16
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I always did consider it a fascinating question.

This is a bit of a more idle question-what do the Ainur who didn't descend into Ëa do? Sing to Iluvatar all the time(if time as a concept can be said to exist in the Timeless Halls).
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:49 PM   #17
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This is a bit of a more idle question-what do the Ainur who didn't descend into Ëa do? Sing to Iluvatar all the time(if time as a concept can be said to exist in the Timeless Halls).
Worship their Creator, and sit back to watch the Great Play he'd authored.
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