Sam Sails to the West....

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Sam Sails to the West....

Post by Belithraldor » Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:28 pm

In 61 FA, Sam sails into the West to the Undying Lands. How do you think he was met? What do you all think might have happened then? Did Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo, Elrond, and/or Galadrial meet him there? I'm curious....
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Re: Sam Sails to the West....

Post by MayorOfLongview » Fri Jan 28, 2005 6:14 pm

Belithraldor wrote:In 61 FA, Sam sails into the West to the Undying Lands. How do you think he was met? What do you all think might have happened then? Did Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo, Elrond, and/or Galadrial meet him there? I'm curious....
Sure they did! :lol:
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:16 am

I bet Bilbo was dead. Frodo may or may not have been. But the rest, probably.
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Post by Belithraldor » Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:21 am

Sam Gamgee wrote:I bet Bilbo was dead. Frodo may or may not have been. But the rest, probably.
You don't think the Valar would have or could have blessed the Hobbits with immortality at that point?
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Post by idoron » Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:31 pm

Tolkien said he "thought" the healing of Frodo, and the rest of the mortal races in the Undying Lands was "temporary."

So no.
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Post by Belithraldor » Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:32 pm

Oh well.... It was a nice thought...
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:17 pm

Kind of, but according to the framework of Tolkien, not really. Mankind's death was originally a gift from Illúvatar, that they weren't forever bound to the circles of the earth, that they could go beyond after a few short years. The hope was that some day at the end of the world elves and men (/mortals) would be reunited, but no one knew for certain. Anyway, giving immortality to mortal creatures is always bad: Gollum in his long, corrupted centuries of life, the elves using their power to prolong time in places like Lorien (not bad in itself, but opens the channels for things like Sauron and his Ring, in a way (as Tolkien describes) parallel to some well-meaning Christian scientists furthering the technology that would lead to nuclear weapons), the Morgoth-worshipping Númenorean kings refusing to die when their time came (which began to shorten their life span dramatically)... It's not the way things were meant to be.

I've always given a lot of thought to this point of view. Sometimes it bothered me, since the general Christian understanding (at least I get that impression) is that human death was an evil that entered the world with the fall - which seems in contradiction with Tolkien's mythology, where death (though corrupted by Morgoth and thus feared as something dreadful) was originally a gift. And I can't think of even one other instance where Tolkien directly contradicts Christian morality. ( and :P to idoron (;))) But then again, I think most Christians agree that humans were not meant to live forever on the earth, now or ever. Before death entered the world, maybe they would just come to a point where they "walked with God" or ascended like Elijah. Hm...

Just thoughts.
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Post by Belithraldor » Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:53 am

Sam Gamgee wrote:Kind of, but according to the framework of Tolkien, not really. Mankind's death was originally a gift from Illúvatar, that they weren't forever bound to the circles of the earth, that they could go beyond after a few short years. The hope was that some day at the end of the world elves and men (/mortals) would be reunited, but no one knew for certain. Anyway, giving immortality to mortal creatures is always bad: Gollum in his long, corrupted centuries of life, the elves using their power to prolong time in places like Lorien (not bad in itself, but opens the channels for things like Sauron and his Ring, in a way (as Tolkien describes) parallel to some well-meaning Christian scientists furthering the technology that would lead to nuclear weapons), the Morgoth-worshipping Númenorean kings refusing to die when their time came (which began to shorten their life span dramatically)... It's not the way things were meant to be.

I've always given a lot of thought to this point of view. Sometimes it bothered me, since the general Christian understanding (at least I get that impression) is that human death was an evil that entered the world with the fall - which seems in contradiction with Tolkien's mythology, where death (though corrupted by Morgoth and thus feared as something dreadful) was originally a gift. And I can't think of even one other instance where Tolkien directly contradicts Christian morality. ( and :P to idoron (;))) But then again, I think most Christians agree that humans were not meant to live forever on the earth, now or ever. Before death entered the world, maybe they would just come to a point where they "walked with God" or ascended like Elijah. Hm...

Just thoughts.
Now this is one of the reasons I come to this forum....

Sam, your post was just absolutely superb. Thank you, so very much, for taking the time to really explain just why things cannot always go like I want them to and also for helping me to see the bigger picture of the grand scheme.
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Post by idoron » Wed Feb 09, 2005 12:33 am

Well, obviously I would debate with Sam regarding when and where JRRT departs from traditional Christian theology, but I think it is incredibly interesting that he does portray death as a gift, rather than a punishment.

Really, it is more inline with Christianity than it would appear on the surface. Though it is "human nature" to fear and avoid death, it could be argued it that it would be "Christian Nature" to NOT fear death. And so, when the mankind of ME is at it's peak, idyllic state, death is not something to be feared. But after mankind 'falls' under the influence of the enemy, death becomes something to be avoided and feared.

So there are several levels at which this ME phenomenon can be approached.
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Post by King » Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:24 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:...Sometimes it bothered me, since the general Christian understanding (at least I get that impression) is that human death was an evil that entered the world with the fall - which seems in contradiction with Tolkien's mythology, where death (though corrupted by Morgoth and thus feared as something dreadful) was originally a gift. And I can't think of even one other instance where Tolkien directly contradicts Christian morality. ( and :P to idoron (;))) But then again, I think most Christians agree that humans were not meant to live forever on the earth, now or ever. Before death entered the world, maybe they would just come to a point where they "walked with God" or ascended like Elijah. Hm...

Just thoughts.
I agree, I think, becasue I THINK you are saying here that JRR's ME and Christianity appear to contradict each other but that they really don't, or at least they shouldnt. And Idoron touched on this a bit too. I guess each christian could think about death in different ways (gift or curse). and i guess in a way death is the result of the fall of man, but I think it is more the pain of death or our fear of death that is the result of the fall of man. Death should be a gift to us as it was originally in ME given to men by Illuvatar becasue he knew that they would not have true happiness staying tied to the earth like the elves could. Then again elves can tire of the world and they can die of grief but that is a different discussion. I would personally take a fulfilling life and a meaningful death and go to be with God over being immortal on earth, even with all the good there can be in the world.

God knew that we would find our complete fulfillment and happiness in him in heaven, he created us that way, just as Tolkein portrays with Illuvatar's gift to men. It is just that as humans I think we are never quite sure what death is like (like Pippin in ROTK) and we are not too keen on the amount of pain and uncertainty that can come with it. therefore we see it as a curse or a punishment brought about by sin, when really the only thing sin did was to separate us from our creator and bring us farther from understanding death's role in life and to paint it as something with such frightening finality rather than another, and much more different part of the journey. I guess the most important thing is that we are immortal.... never forget that, we have a soul, and that cannot be killed.
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Post by Forgotten One » Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:02 pm

never forget that, we have a soul, and that cannot be killed
Although I agree with much of what you said, I would respectfully disagree with that statement.

Jesus himself said "..fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Also from the Bible... "The SOUL that sinneth, it shall DIE"

Jesus was speaking of the Heavenly Father and his "strange act" as the Bible puts it. The soul is NOT immortal as many people and churches teach. This is in fact the first lie recorded in the Bible. "Ye shall not surely die" by the old serpent, the devil himself.

The fact is that souls of those who reject Christ and his word shall cease to exist, die in the end.

I confess, I don't know Tolkien well at all. But the Bible is another matter. I have studied that book at great length.

Okay..I'll stop preaching now. ;)
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:30 pm

Well, from what i understand, death = separation of soul and body. Still, we sometimes say a body is dying, but we mean that it is separating from the soul, even though that's not really technically correct language - a person (soul and body) dies, not a body. So in the same way, a person dies, not a soul. We also can use "die" in other ways, like a grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die. Did Christ mean we have to die literally, separation of soul and body, to be saved? Well, we all have to die eventually either way, but I think here he meant die to self, and unless I'm mistaken (which is possible) that's the standard interpretation for most people who read the Bible. We use "die"/"kill" in so many other ways, like "destroyed"/"to destroy" (not necessarily fading out of existence though) - "Who killed the music?" In a more sinister way, someone can destroy our soul in that it no longer does what it is for - we become as evil as possible, we do as little of what we were meant to do as is possible. Or looking at it more simply, we speak of eternal life and eternal death - metaphors, because technically we still exist in both.

Not to get into a huge flame war; if you still disagree that's fine. I just think that we need to be wary of the multiple ways in which we often interpret the same word, and I don't think we always have to look for the most strict definition, depending on the context.
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Post by Forgotten One » Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:53 pm

I am wary...very wary in fact of interepting an inspired Book, which if examined carefully, with an open mind, needs no interpretation, but interprets itself. ;)

Overthinking and interpreting what the Bible simply states is often the root of many false teachings. Jesus complained/warned of it when he was here, saying "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men"

The Bible clearly states what happens when you die, yet the majority of so called christians reject it, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men and their tradition.

"For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing
neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten...Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun"

That verse alone should be the end of it!

“His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”

Read 1st Timothy 6:11-16 Only GOD hath immortality.
:)

Some may have faith in their reasoning and intellect. I do not.
I have more faith in the simple stated Word of God.

My intention was not to start a flame war but rather to interject things I know to be true to those who have open minds to seek for themselves to see that it is in fact correct. I expect that to be very small minority in any human community as the "imortality of the soul" lie is the oldest most successful lie in human history and one deeply engrained in nearly every church.

You raised the question about what type of "death" must be experienced to be saved. Thats another subject entirely. We can discuss that one too if you like.

Thank you for your response!
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:21 pm

Much as I love these kinds of dicussions, I think they are best avoided in this medium of communication, because no one's going to convince anyone or get anywhere, and just like politics, it's best not to introduce too many factions here. Fine to share your opinion in a non-provocative manner, but let's not argue or we'll never stop... At least I won't. ;)
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Post by Forgotten One » Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:46 pm

Ya know, I have run into that same response in every "medium" there is. I think I understand it too. When you challenge someone to think and give real concrete Bible answers for their beliefs and not some intellectual mumbo jumbo its always the same.

Its quite a difficult task to tell anyone who has believed some nonsense all their life they are incorrect. Its alot like pointing at someones feet who thinks they are on concrete and yelling "Youre on quicksand!"
They aren't going to like it. ;)

Me, I am different...I'd want to know.

But alas this is your forum, not mine.

Cheers! :)
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