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Does Aslan have a soul?

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  • In_Loos_Ptokai
    replied
    Originally posted by Dhama View Post
    ( snip )
    As for Arthur Machen, he is my next author to read.
    I consider Arthur Machen's The Inmost Light to be one of the most metaphysically terrifying stories I've ever read. I rate it on a par with Clive Barker's movie Hellraiser in managing to present a world totally alien to ordinary human perceptions, as something you - the ordinary person - could actually desire: in The Hellbound Heart Clive Barker makes it clear that Lemarchand's Configuration has trapped Frank Cotton and he is trying desperately to escape the Cenobites: in the movie Hellraiser, that is far from clear, and in the final scene Frank could well be screaming in joy at being recaptured. It's the effect Richard Calder tries to achieve in Dead Girls, Dead Boys and Dead Things.
    Last edited by In_Loos_Ptokai; 11-21-2014, 12:45 AM. Reason: correcting a name

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  • SeeDoubleYou
    replied
    Originally posted by Dhama View Post
    I recently read a book called "Planet Narnia and the Seven Heavens" where the author talks about his theory that Lewis wrote each of the Narnia books to fit with one of the seven planets in medieval astrology. For example, Magician's Nephew being book of Venus being about new life and the birth of Narnia, and it contains many mentions of plums (such as Narnia wind tasting like plums) which he says were a traditional Venus festival food. And other clues such as "by Jove" being swearing by Jupiter, so the characters are swearing by Jove in "Lion" as it is a Jupiter - themed book.
    While that, and things like that, sounds really cool, I find, on a whole, any type of thing that attempts to take art and say "this means that and that means this" like a ing parasitic-entity, it makes me want to scream, puke, cry, die, kill, maim, rinse and repeat...
    I think, what counts as English/Literary graduate work, these "criticisms" or whatever, saying that "the pistols in this scene stood for penises and the very vaginal quality of the room", is the basest form of anything; I think it is less-than-worthless.
    I think all art, no matter how worthless, is transcendent. But if you hate the art you have every right to critique it and hate it.
    But this to me is the most bassackwards/evil way of saying you don't like something but making it sound like you're actually adding to something; it's the cowards way of not having an opinion/bias(aesthetic, ethical or otherwise) and seeming like you're better than everyone else.
    This manner of analysis is meant to celebrate rather than detract, but, if it is meant to detract, it's gotta be like Mike's stuff that says out-right "I don't like this, etc." so that you can actually learn something rather than be caught in this evil-loop in which you are constantly asking yourself "Well, is it a pipe or isn't it?!"
    I think that this type of "art" is the ultimate paradox, that points out that, maybe everything isn't art...it's like anti-art

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  • SeeDoubleYou
    replied
    Loved the whole Narnia series, the ending from the Last Battle made me cry like a babe though I must have been 16/17.
    Enjoyed Out of the Silent Planet but had difficulty with Perelandra, so I never got to That Hideous Strength...gotta clear my head and learn to enjoy what I enjoy again
    Last edited by SeeDoubleYou; 10-30-2014, 07:08 AM.

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  • Dhama
    replied
    I recently read a book called "Planet Narnia and the Seven Heavens" where the author talks about his theory that Lewis wrote each of the Narnia books to fit with one of the seven planets in medieval astrology. For example, Magician's Nephew being book of Venus being about new life and the birth of Narnia, and it contains many mentions of plums (such as Narnia wind tasting like plums) which he says were a traditional Venus festival food. And other clues such as "by Jove" being swearing by Jupiter, so the characters are swearing by Jove in "Lion" as it is a Jupiter - themed book.

    As for Arthur Machen, he is my next author to read.

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  • In_Loos_Ptokai
    replied
    I've just re-read the Narnia Chronicles - my youngest sister has all of them for her two boys - and my comments?

    CS Lewis was a collector more than an integrator. There's bird that likes collecting bright objects in most parts of the world - different bird, different place, natch. CS Lewis is that bird in literary form.

    Where he shines is the characters he has to develop: none of the Narnian kings are ever developed to any great extent, but he draws Lucy and Edmund well in TLTWATW. Again, the horses in The Horse and His Boy are well drawn, much better than the humans. Likewise Puddleglum the respectowiggle Marshwiggle, one of the only characters in CS Lewis' writings I'd like to meet.

    And has anyone picked up on the really creepy characteristic ascribed to Uncle Andrew in The Magician's Nephew? That he creeps along the corridor to his nephew's bedroom at night? I've found myself tying that in with something he remembers from his childhood at a boarding school and recounts in Surprised by Joy - a teacher or teacher's assistant found in one of the children's bedrooms one night and kicked out of the school. In fact I've wondered if the whole Narnia Chronicles weren't as much self-therapy as literature.

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  • Jagged
    replied
    Originally posted by Octo Seven View Post
    I think Tolkien was a linguistic genius with an incredible mind and imagination, but a fairly clunky writer.
    Amen.

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  • zlogdan
    replied
    Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
    Anyway, a question to our Christian theorists, if Jesus, the Son of God, has a soul, does God have a soul? Or is God all soul? Or something else?
    This is a quite good question, I wish J-Sun could come up and explain it better since he has a lot more understanding of the Bible than my self. I could bet that David Mosley could give us a quite good insight at this.

    I did what most people do when faced with such complex questions: I asked GOOGLE And the answer is Yes, there are lots of parts of the Bible that allude to the existence of the soul of God.

    http://www.learnthebible.org/does-god-have-a-soul.html

    I personally think that Jesus has a soul, and he is the son of God, or the God incarnated so that every man and woman have a soul like God, but I personally like the idea from EA that God is the source of all, that all souls come from God.

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  • The English Assassin
    replied
    @Rothgo: There's a lot of factors that go into this and no doubt the main one being that the last two dominant nation states, the British Empire and the US Hegemony, both shared the same language is no doubt responsible, just as Latin was previously very dominant due to Catholicism. I dare say in the next century the pendulum will swing towards languages from the Eastern and Southern hemispheres, although it seems unlikely that English will significantly decline, it being the international language of commerce.

    Originally posted by Rothgo View Post

    PPS: I find the often vitriolic reaction of Dawkin's lobby to Christian ideology being woven into books/films often quite amusing when the same people find great artistic interest if Hindu/Buddhist/whatever themes are present in other works (The Lord of Light for example).
    This is a really good point. There's an apologist attitude to non-Christian dogmas has always mystified me. It strikes me that any ideology can make interesting inspiration for art. I'm no Christian, yet some Christian choral music and the art/iconography found in Christian churches is some of the most beautiful art that has ever been expressed by human beings. Pullman seems to forget that his beloved Dante is part of a wider Christian mythology and his humanist brand of atheism has directly evolved from the Christian tradition.

    I'm also entirely mystified why it is so acceptable to hate Scientology. Dianetics is basically psychotherapy with some reincarnation mythology draped over it and Scientology is basically a religious belief created around that. So what if it makes money - everyone makes money. Indeed, the myths of Scientology are not too far removed from the ideas that Jung discussed and gave credence to, if you think about it. I remember, well before the credit crunch, going along to an Anonymous protest outside the head office of the Church of Scientology in London (a friend was going, so I thought I'd check it out) and from their anti-Scientology literature I found it hard to work out why they deserved this protest while other institutions in London (some religious, some secular) didn't? One of the main criticisms that Anonymous made against Scientology was that Scientology threatened journalists - yet this is a tactic that Anonymous have employed themselves! Indeed Anonymous and Scientology seem to me to share many similarities - and yes, they still wore the masks back then!

    Anyway, I think I've derailed this subject enough.

    Anyway, a question to our Christian theorists, if Jesus, the Son of God, has a soul, does God have a soul? Or is God all soul? Or something else?

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  • Rothgo
    replied
    Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
    ... It's actually embarrassing how few books actually get translated into English! I believe Britain has less books translated into its own language than any other country in Europe...
    The stats on translation are difficult: a good flavour of what is happening can be found here for example.
    Those at the top who write in English however, amount altogether to roughly one third, far below the expected threshold, if the outcries about a globally homogenized best-seller literature flatly dominated by Anglo-Saxon serial authors truthfully corresponded to the facts of the markets. However, the group of strong languages from which an international career can reasonably be started is limited to mostly half a dozen West European idioms, including notably English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish.
    Even this somewhat in-depth review doesn't really account for the differences in absolute levels of readership and authorship. It ignores the social pressure that cause English to be so prevalent (the "need" to learn English is greater than the "need" to learn Gaelic for example). Then there are cultural differences in the levels of publishing to add to the mix (Scotland punching extraordinarily above weight for example), plus the socio-political control as evident from the paltry 330 or so English books translated into Arabic per year.

    A little off-topic though, so I'll stop!

    PS: Aslan was an overt stand-in for Jesus, so yes.

    PPS: I find the often vitriolic reaction of Dawkin's lobby to Christian ideology being woven into books/films often quite amusing when the same people find great artistic interest if Hindu/Buddhist/whatever themes are present in other works (The Lord of Light for example).

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  • The English Assassin
    replied
    Thanks for the tip re Rosa. Looks like there's only been one novel of his translated and it's highly collectable (expensive); however I might try our inter-library service - I sometimes comes up with the goods! It's actually embarrassing how few books actually get translated into English! I believe Britain has less books translated into its own language than any other country in Europe.

    I should probably qualify that I don't really believe in an outer evil (a devil or whatever) as a physical or even metaphysical manifestation, yet I do believe that evil and by that I mean a spiritual evil (for want of a better term) does exist in the imagination and we can feel that evil, even if only as a reoccurring meme or a reflection of some evil within us. I've noticed that for me (and I suspect that this is personal to each of us) that some kind of atmosphere* of evil can be evoked within my imagination when I find myself in what I call "forgotten places." In my experience these places are usual rural places on the fringes of towns, maybe farm land or woodland or an old path, and are rarely conventionally attractive or picturesque - indeed they're usually quite bleak. In fact they're usually the kind of places you'd warn your kids from taking a short cut to school. But they can be anywhere: lakes, canals or any still water or even side streets in towns or cities. I find these places can evoke of intense dread and, for want of a better word, profound evil that is incredibly disturbing, but thrilling too. There's that same sense of trespassing, loneliness and stillness that one can get when visiting an empty church - but a feeling of incredible vulnerability too. I can only imagine what how our (now depleted) woodlands must have been experienced by our pre-industrial ancestors after dark?! Without a "developed" abstract mind, their imaginary fears must have been truly experienced as real and totally terrifying. Anyway, the shadow of that experience seems to still lurk in these places and I must admit that I find myself deliberately seeking it upon occasions. For me Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood come closest to conjuring this feeling in prose. I think Henry Treece also evokes this feeling in his historic settings to a lesser extent.

    * a "certain atmosphere" is the only way Lovecraft could really define the weird in literature - I have previously scoffed at the vagueness of this, but now I think that it's as good a definition as any.

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  • zlogdan
    replied
    Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
    But my favourite spiritual author is Arthur Machen: he seems to have that Gnostic understanding that evil is also divine... To my mind Lewis is at his best when he also explores this. I'm tempted to read the Last Battle after how Octo Seven describes it... I kinda with Lewis wrote a ghost story... I have a feeling that it might have been a scary one!
    I had a Geography teacher, who was a strong Catholic supporter although he was quite pragmatic and was not afraid to discuss the nature of evil. Once he asked us if we believed in God, and some of us said yes and he replied "thus you shall believe in the devil, because one cannot exist without the other". He was speaking of the natural duality of the human psyche, I mean, we just seem to be a Dr Jeckil and Mr Hide version. I can recall an episode of one of my favorite old sci fi shows called Logan's Run where a group of mad scientists was capable to split their persona into two different beings and one was naturally the evil part and the other the so-called good part of us. In the end they realize they need to merge back the two parts. So I remember this way.

    I wish you could grab some books of the most important ( read , my favorite Brazilian author ) Brazilian writer Guimaraes Rosa. While the American intelligentsia currently worships Machado de Assis, I strongly prefer the old Rosa. He wrote basically about the nature of GOOD and EVIL and created a whole fictional scenario for his stories called Sertao. Braulio Tavares likes to think he and Tolkien share some ideas. Guimaraes Rosa is loved here in Brazil by the scholars and art critics, and this is one of the rare cases we agree. He was absolutely sure of the existence of the evil/devil in this world of God and that statement of EA really reminded me that.

    Right now my wife is calling me to watch Lord Of The Rings with the kids, but I will get back to it , there is this link on wikipedia about him

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo%C3%A...r%C3%A3es_Rosa

    I am really tempted to get the Cosmic Trilogy along with the Dark materials trilogy too...

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  • Octo Seven
    replied
    Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
    Originally posted by zlogdan View Post
    We are a Christian family so we like the Christian references in the story, but I am not quite sure this is for everybody as it is possible that it might annoy people who are not Christians.
    I'm tempted to read the Last Battle after how Octo Seven describes it... I kinda with Lewis wrote a ghost story... I have a feeling that it might have been a scary one!
    I find it really creepy, especially for a children's story. And somewhat cooler than the other books. There's an Ape character called Shift and a Donkey called Puzzle, that alone makes it worth reading lol

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  • The English Assassin
    replied
    Originally posted by zlogdan View Post
    We are a Christian family so we like the Christian references in the story, but I am not quite sure this is for everybody as it is possible that it might annoy people who are not Christians.
    Weirdly, I quite to books by religious/spiritual authors, although I'm an agnostic-atheist myself. I think it depends upon the authors intelligence, their honesty and their openness. I've just read David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus, which explores many philosophical and gnostic questions. It has many similarities to the Cosmic Trilogy and is an influence upon it, although, I'd argue, that it is far more exploratory and discursive - therefore imo artistically stronger. Lewis to me, while conceptually interesting, fails because he is writing purely from conviction therefore he loses any critical integrity. I still love the Cosmic Trilogy, despite its faults - or maybe because of them... I used to crave perfection in art, but now I realise the beauty often lurks in the paradoxical places where the imperfections and the perfections meet.

    Another Christian author I love is Graham Greene, who seems to have adopted Catholicism purely as a means of masochistic self-abuse. To my mind he retains his critical faculties, whereas Lewis considers his critical faculties to be a hindrance and something to suppress. That's not to say that Lewis is without worth tho.

    But my favourite spiritual author is Arthur Machen: he seems to have that Gnostic understanding that evil is also divine... To my mind Lewis is at his best when he also explores this. I'm tempted to read the Last Battle after how Octo Seven describes it... I kinda with Lewis wrote a ghost story... I have a feeling that it might have been a scary one!

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  • Octo Seven
    replied
    I suppose it depends on your definition of 'bad'. I don't think Tolkien was a bad writer but I don't think he was a particularly good one either. I think he had an amazing imagination and the fact he could come up wit a world with so much history and lore and even languages, is simply phenomenal. But I think he was very self-indulgent as a writer and the pacing of the LOTR trilogy is all over the place. I'm not writing him off or anything, I've read all of his books more than five times and do admire his imagination, but his work is for a specific audience, and the older I get the less I feel like part of it. Not everything needs to be highly challenging or deeply meaningful, there is a place for Tolkien, I just don't hold his work in as high a regard as I used to in my teens and early 20's. Perhaps it's because I grow more cynical every year lol

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  • zlogdan
    replied
    [QUOTE=The English Assassin;260198
    As for Tolkien v Lewis: for me Tolkien's prose is massively underrated. I've no idea where the idea comes from that he can't write, but for me his prose has much charm and a real mythic quality that is very in keeping with the genre and very readable and I pretty much disagree with every word of Epic Pooh re Tolkien. [/QUOTE]

    I have enjoyed the Narnia films, I watched them with my wife and sons. We are a Christian family so we like the Christian references in the story, but I am not quite sure this is for everybody as it is possible that it might annoy people who are not Christians. But I have never tried the books. In the past as I kid, the first book was adapted to a animation film and it was constantly aired on the Brazilian tv in the 80s. I really loved it, watched 4 or 5 times. It was my favorite thing on tv on my school vacations and occasional Sundays.

    To me it is ok, either if the author throws a lot of religious symbolism or a good bit of critical look over religion, I just cannot stand when one of the sides starts considering the other sides to be idiotic.

    But man one the things that I will not ever understand is why some people think that Tolkien was a bad writer, much like our fellow EA commented above.

    I really want to read this cosmic trilogy!

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