Sunday, February 07, 2010


There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Iluvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he was glad. But for a long while they sang only each alone, or but few together, while the rest hearkened; for each comprehended only that part of the mind of Iluvatar from which he came, and in the understanding of their brethren they grew but slowly. Yet ever as they listened they came to deeper understanding, and increased in unison and harmony.
And it came to pass that Iluvatar called together all the Ainur and declared to them a mighty theme, unfolding to them things greater and more wonderful than he had yet revealed; and the glory of its beginning and the splendor of its end amazed the Ainur, so that they bowed before Iluvatar and were silent.
Then Iluvatar said to them: 'Of the theme that I have declared to you, I will now that ye make in harmony together a Great Music. And since I have kindled you with the Flame Imperishable, ye shall show forth your powers in adorning this theme, each with his own thoughts and devices, if he will. But I will sit and hearken, and be glad that through you great beauty has been wakened into song.'
Then the voices of the Ainur, like unto harps and lutes, and pipes and trumpets, and viols and organs, and like unto countless choirs singing with words, began to fashion the theme of Iluvatar to a great music; and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights, and the places of the dwelling of Iluvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not Void. Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Iluvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Iluvatar after the end of days. Then the themes of Iluvatar shall be played aright, and take Being in the moment of their utterance, for all shall then understand fully his intent in their part, and each shall know the comprehension of each, and Iluvatar shall give to their thoughts the secret fire, being well pleased. --J.R.R. Tolkien,
The Silmarillion.
In church, we've been discussing heaven. This opening chapter of Tolkien's posthumously published history of his fantasy creation always comes to my mind.
Tolkien said "I dislike Allegory- the conscious and intentional allegory-yet any attempt to explain the purport of myth or fairytale must use allegorical language."
Tolkien's mythical history of Arda, the Earth, is so analogous to the Creation Story it is impossible not to juxtapose the two when reading the opening chapters of The Silmarillion.
And his imaginative narrative of God and his angels before Creation is rich with meaning.
It gives me some idea or at least prods my imagination toward what we will be about in heaven.
And I can't tell you how exciting this is for me.
No death wish here, just a longing to know my true purpose in God's ultimate plan, and to know from which part of the mind of God I came.


Devan said...

What an awesome thought! It is so exciting to think about Heaven and what part we will play in that place...

Jennifer said...

And to think that we get all hung up on the here and now.

wncjr said...

You are making me homesick.