Showing posts with label Tolkien. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tolkien. Show all posts

Friday, 22 February 2019

Our Lady, The Number 5 and Blue


I - 
There is no Goddess but Goddess 
She is Your Goddess.


The Law of Fives is one of the oldest Erisian Mysterees...

Everything in the universe relates to the number 5, one way or another, given enough ingenuity on the part of the interpreter.

The Law of Fives is one of the oldest Erisian Mysterees. It was first revealed to Good Lord Omar and is one of the great contributions to come from the Hidden Temple of the Happy Jesus.

POEE also recognizes the holy 23 (2+3=5) that is incorporated by Episkopos Dr. Mordecai Malignatius, KNS, into his Discordian sect, the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria.


The Law of Fives is never wrong. 

In the Erisian Archives is an old memo from Omar to Mal-2: "I find the Law of Fives to be more and more manifest the harder I look."

The PENTABARF was discovered by the hermit Apostle Zarathud in the Fifth Year of The Caterpillar. He found them carved in gilded stone, while building a sun deck for his cave, but their import was lost for they were written in a mysterious cypher. However, after 10 weeks & 11 hours of intensive scrutiny he discerned that the message could be read by standing on his head and viewing it upside down.


I - There is no Goddess but Goddess and She is Your Goddess. There is no Erisian Movement but The Erisian Movement and it is The Erisian Movement. And every Golden Apple Corps is the beloved home of a Golden Worm.

II - A Discordian Shall Always use the Official Discordian Document Numbering System.

III - A Discordian is Required during his early Illumination to Go Off Alone & Partake Joyously of a Hot Dog on a Friday; this Devotive Ceremony to Remonstrate against the popular Paganisms of the Day: of Catholic Christendom (no meat on Friday), of Judaism (no meat of Pork), of Hindic Peoples (no meat of Beef), of Buddhists (no meat of animal), and of Discordians (no Hot Dog Buns).

IV - A Discordian shall Partake of No Hot Dog Buns, for Such was the Solace of Our Goddess when She was Confronted with The Original Snub.

V - A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing what he reads.


The Hell Law says that Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it. Further, the lowest Rung in Hell is reserved for them that believe in it on the supposition that they'll go there if they don't.
HBT; The Gospel According to Fred, 3:1


"He has re-drawn according to his own faith his Ideal of Knighthood, making it Christian Knighthood, showing that the Grace and Beauty of its Courtesy (which he admires) derive from the Divine generosity and GraceHeavenly Courtesy, of which Mary is the supreme creation: the Queen of Courtesy, as he calls her in Pearl. "

"The New English Mass or Communion Service became mandatory on 9th June 1549, Whitsunday.

Pentecost Sunday

Prof. J.R.R. Tolkein's introduction to Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

" If the most certain thing known about the author is that he also wrote PatiencePurity and Pearl, then we have in Sir Gawain the work of a man capable of weaving elements taken from diverse sources into a texture of his own; and a man who would have in that labour a serious purpose. I would myself say that it is precisely that purpose that has with its hardness proved the shaping tool which has given form to the material, given it the quality of a good tale on the surface, because it is more than that, if we look closer. 

The story is good enough in itself. It is a romance, a fairy-tale for adults, full of life and colour; and it has virtues that would be lost in a summary, though they can be perceived when it is read at length: good scenery, urbane or humorous dialogue, and a skilfully ordered narrative. 

Of this the most notable example is the long Third Part with its interlacing of the hunting-scenes and the temptations. By this device all three main characters are kept vividly in view during the three crucial days, while the scenes at home and in the field are linked by the Exchange of Winnings, and we watch the gains of the chase diminish as the gains of Sir Gawain increase and the peril of his testing mounts to a crisis. 

But all this care in formal construction serves also to make the tale a better vehicle of the ‘moral’ which the author has imposed on his antique material. He has re-drawn according to his own faith his ideal of knighthood, making it Christian knighthood, showing that the grace and beauty of its courtesy (which he admires) derive from the Divine generosity and graceHeavenly Courtesy, of which Mary is the supreme creation: the Queen of Courtesy, as he calls her in Pearl

This he exhibits symbolically in mathematical perfection in the Pentangle, which he sets on Gawain’s shield instead of the heraldic lion or eagle found in other romances. But while in Pearl he enlarged his vision of his dead daughter among the blessed to an allegory of the Divine generosity, in Sir Gawain he has given life to his ideal by showing it incarnate in a living person, modified by his individual character, so that we can see a man trying to work the ideal out, see its weaknesses (or man’s weaknesses). 

But he has done more. His major point is the rejection of unchastity and adulterous love, and this was an essential part of the original tradition of amour courtois or ‘courtly love’; but this he has complicated again, after the way of morals in real life, by involving it in several minor problems of conduct, of courtly behaviour to women and fidelity to men, of what we might call sportsmanship or playing the game

On these problems he has been less explicit, and has left his hearers more or less to form their own views of the scale of their values, and their relation to the governing value of sin and virtue. So this poem is made to be, as it were, all about Gawain. The rest is a web of circumstance in which he is involved for the revelation of his character and code. 

The ‘Faerie’ may with its strangeness and peril enlarge the adventure, making the test more tense and more potent, but Gawain is presented as a credible, living, person; and all that he thinks, or says, or does, is to be seriously considered, as of the real world. 

His character is drawn so as to make him peculiarly fitted to suffer acutely in the adventure to which he is destined. We see his almost exaggerated courtesy of speech, his modesty of bearing, which yet goes with a subtle form of pridea deep sense of his own honour, not to mention, we might say, a pleasure in his own repute as ‘this fine father of breeding (stanza 38). 

We note also the warmth of his character, generous, even impetuous, which by a slight excess leads him ever to promise more than necessary, beyond the consequences that he can foresee. 

We are shown his delight in the company of women, his sensitiveness to their beauty, his pleasure in the ‘polished play of converse’ with them, and at the same time his fervent piety, his devotion to the Blessed Virgin. 

We see him at the crisis of the action forced to distinguish in scale of value the elements of his code, preserving his chastity, and his loyalty on the highest plane to his host; finally rejecting in fact (if not in empty words) absolute worldly ‘courtesy’, that is complete obedience to the will of the sovereign lady, rejecting it in favour of virtue

Yet later we see him, in the last scene with the Green Knight, so overwhelmed by shame at being discovered in a breach of his laughing word, given in a Christmas game, that the honour he has gained in the great test is of small comfort to him. 

With characteristic excess he vows to wear a badge of disgrace for the rest of his life.

In a fit of remorse, so violent that it would be appropriate only to grievous sin, he accuses himself of GreedCowardice, and Treachery.

Of the first two he is guiltless, except by a casuistry of shame. 

But how true to life, to a picture of a perhaps not very reflective man of honour, is this shame at being found out (especially at being found out) in something considered rather shabby, whatever in solemn conscience we may think of its real importance. How true also is this equality in emotion aroused by all parts of a personal code of conduct, however various in importance or ultimate sanctions each element may be.

Of the last charge: disloyalty, troth-breach, treachery, all the hard things that he calls it, Gawain was guilty only in so far as he had broken the rules of an absurd game imposed on him by his host (after he had rashly promised to do anything his host asked); and even that was at the request of a lady, made (we may note) after he had accepted her gift, and so was in a cleft stick.

Certainly this is an imperfection upon some plane; but on how high a plane, and of what importance?

The laughter of the Court of Camelot – and to what higher court in matters of honour could one go? – is probably sufficient answer.

But in terms of literature, undoubtedly this break in the mathematical perfection of an ideal creature, inhuman in flawlessness, is a great improvement.

The credibility of Gawain is enormously enhanced by it. He becomes a real man, and we can thus really admire his actual virtue.

We can indeed give serious thought to the movements of the English mind in the fourteenth century, which he represents, from which much of our sentiment and ideals of conduct have been derived. We see the attempt to preserve the graces of ‘chivalry’ and the courtesies, while wedding them, or by wedding them, to Christian morals, to marital fidelity, and indeed married love.

The noblest knight of the highest order of Chivalry refuses adultery, places hatred of sin in the last resort above all other motives, and escapes from a temptation that attacks him in the guise of courtesy through Grace obtained by prayer. That is what the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was mainly thinking about, and with that thought he shaped the poem as we have it. 

It was a matter of contemporary concern, for the English. Sir Gawain presents in its own way, more explicitly moral and religious, one facet of this movement of thought out of which also grew Chaucer’s greatest poem, Troilus and Criseyde. Those who read Sir Gawain are likely to read the last stanzas of Chaucer’s work with a renewed interest.

But if Chaucer’s poem is much altered in tone and import from its immediate source in Boccaccio’s Filostrato, it is utterly removed from the sentiments or ideas in the Homeric Greek poems on the fall of Troy, and still further removed (we may guess) from those of the ancient Aegean world. Research into these things has very little to do with Chaucer. 

The same is certainly true of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, for which no immediate source has been discovered. 

For that reason, since I am speaking of this poem and this author, and not of ancient rituals, nor of pagan divinities of the Sun, nor of Fertility, nor of the Dark and the Underworld, in the almost wholly lost antiquity of the North and of these Western Isles –as remote from Sir Gawain of Camelot as the gods of the Aegean are from Troilus and Pandarus in Chaucer –for that reason I have not said anything about the story, or stories, that the author used. 

Research has discovered a lot about them, especially about the two main themes, the Beheading Challenge and the Test. These are in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight cleverly combined, but are elsewhere found separately in varied forms, in Irish or in Welsh or in French. 

Research of that sort interests men of today greatly; it interests me; but it interested educated men of the fourteenth century very little. 

They were apt to read poems for what they could get out of them of sentence, as they said, of instruction for themselves, and their times; and they were shockingly incurious about authors as persons, or we should have known much more about Geoffrey Chaucer, and the name at least of the author of Sir Gawain. But there is not time for everything. Let us be grateful for what we have got, preserved by chary chance: another window of many-coloured glass looking back into the Middle Ages, and giving us another view. Chaucer was a great poet, and by the power of his poetry he tends to dominate the view of his time taken by readers of literature. But his was not the only mood or temper of mind in those days. There were others, such as this author, who while he may have lacked Chaucer’s subtlety and flexibility, had, what shall we say? –a nobility to which Chaucer scarcely reached.

" He remained there that day, and in the morning got ready, asked early for his arms, and they all were brought him. First a carpet of red silk was arrayed on the floor, and the gilded gear in plenty there glittered upon it. The stern man stepped thereon and the steel things handled, dressed in a doublet of damask of Tharsia, and over it a cunning capadoce that was closed at the throat and with fair ermine was furred all within. Then sabatons first they set on his feet, his legs lapped in steel in his lordly greaves, on which the polains they placed, polished and shining and knit upon his knees with knots all of gold; then the comely cuisses that cunningly clasped the thick thews of his thighs they with thongs on him tied; and next the byrnie, woven of bright steel rings upon costly quilting, enclosed him about; and armlets well burnished upon both of his arms, with gay elbow-pieces and gloves of plate, and all the goodly gear to guard him whatever betide; coat-armour richly made, gold spurs on heel in pride; girt with a trusty blade, silk belt about his side. 

When he was hasped in his armour his harness was splendid: the least latchet or loop was all lit with gold. Thus harnessed as he was he heard now his Mass, that was offered and honoured at the high altar; and then he came to the king and his court-companions, and with love he took leave of lords and of ladies; and they kissed him and escorted him, and to Christ him commended. And now Gringolet stood groomed, and girt with a saddle gleaming right gaily with many gold fringes, and all newly for the nonce nailed at all points; adorned with bars was the bridle, with bright gold banded; the apparelling proud of poitrel and of skirts, and the crupper and caparison accorded with the saddlebows: all was arrayed in red with rich gold studded, so that it glittered and glinted as a gleam of the sun. Then he in hand took the helm and in haste kissed it: strongly was it stapled and stuffed within; it sat high upon his head and was hasped at the back, and a light kerchief was laid o’er the beaver, all braided and bound with the brightest gems upon broad silken broidery, with birds on the seams like popinjays depainted, here preening and there, turtles and true-loves, entwined as thickly as if many sempstresses had the sewing full seven winters in hand. A circlet of greater price his crown about did band; The diamonds point-device there blazing bright did stand. 

Then they brought him his blazon that was of brilliant gules with the pentangle depicted in pure hue of gold. By the baldric he caught it and about his neck cast it: right well and worthily it went with the knight. And why the pentangle is proper to that prince so noble I intend now to tell you, though it may tarry my story. It is a sign that Solomon once set on a time to betoken Troth, as it is entitled to do; for it is a figure that in it five points holdeth, and each line overlaps and is linked with another, and every way it is endless; and the English, I hear, everywhere name it the Endless Knot. So it suits well this knight and his unsullied arms; for ever faithful in five pointsand five times under each, Gawain as good was acknowledged and as gold refinéd, devoid of every vice and with virtues adorned. So there the pentangle painted new he on shield and coat did wear, as one of word most true and knight of bearing fair. 

First faultless was he found in his five senses, and next in his five fingers he failed at no time, and firmly on the Five Wounds all his faith was set that Christ received on the cross, as the Creed tells us; and wherever the brave man into battle was come, on this beyond all things was his earnest thought: that ever from the Five Joys all his valour he gained that to Heaven’s courteous Queen once came from her Child. For which cause the knight had in comely wise on the inner side of his shield her image depainted, that when he cast his eyes thither his courage never failed. The fifth five that was used, as I find, by this knight was free-giving and friendliness first before all, and chastity and chivalry ever changeless and straight, and piety surpassing all points: these perfect five were hasped upon him harder than on any man else. Now these five series, in sooth, were fastened on this knight, and each was knit with another and had no ending, but were fixed at five points that failed not at all, coincided in no line nor sundered either, not ending in any angle anywhere, as I discover, wherever the process was put in play or passed to an end. Therefore on his shining shield was shaped now this knot, royally with red gules upon red gold set: this is the pure pentangle as people of learning have taught. Now Gawain in brave array his lance at last hath caught. He gave them all good day, for evermore as he thought. 

He spurned his steed with the spurs and sprang on his way so fiercely that the flint-sparks flashed out behind him. All who beheld him so honourable in their hearts were sighing, and assenting in sooth one said to another, grieving for that good man: ‘Before God, ’tis a shame that thou, lord, must be lost, who art in life so noble! To meet his match among men, Marry, ’tis not easy! To behave with more heed would have behoved one of sense, and that dear lord duly a duke to have made, illustrious leader of liegemen in this land as befits him; and that would better have been than to be butchered to death, beheaded by an elvish man for an arrogant vaunt. Who can recall any king that such a course ever took as knights quibbling at court at their Christmas games!’Many warm tears outwelling there watered their eyes, when that lord so beloved left the castle that day. No longer he abode, but swiftly went his way; bewildering ways he rode, as the book I heard doth say."

Prof. J.R.R. Tolkein's introduction to Pearl
III Pearl When Pearl was first read in modern times it was accepted as what it purports to be, an elegy on the death of a child, the poet’s daughter. The personal interpretation was first questioned in 1904 by W. H. Schofield, who argued that the maiden of the poem was an allegorical figure of a kind usual in medieval vision literature, an abstraction representing ‘clean maidenhood’. His view was not generally accepted, but it proved the starting-point of a long debate between the defenders of the older view and the exponents of other theories: that the whole poem is an allegory, though each interpreter has given it a different meaning; or that it is no more than a theological treatise in verse. Much space would be required to rehearse this debate, even in brief summary, and the labour would be unprofitable; but it has not been entirely wasted, for much learning has gone into it, and study has deepened the appreciation of the poem and brought out more clearly the allegorical and symbolical elements that it certainly includes. A clear distinction between ‘allegory’ and ‘symbolism’ may be difficult to maintain, but it is proper, or at least useful, to limit allegory to narrative, to an account (however short) of events; and symbolism to the use of visible signs or things to represent other things or ideas. Pearls were a symbol of purity that especially appealed to the imagination of the Middle Ages (and notably of the fourteenth century); but this does not make a person who wears pearls, or even one who is called Pearl, or Margaret, into an allegorical figure. To be an ‘allegory’ a poem must as a whole, and with fair consistency, describe in other terms some event or process; its entire narrative and all its significant details should cohere and work together to this end. There are minor allegories within Pearl; the parable of the workers in the vineyard (stanzas 42–49) is a self-contained allegory; and the opening stanzas of the poem, where the pearl slips from the poet’s hand through the grass to the ground, is an allegory in little of the child’s death and burial. But an allegorical description of an event does not make that event itself allegorical. And this initial use is only one of the many applications of the pearl symbol, intelligible if the reference of the poem is personal, incoherent if one seeks for total allegory. For there are a number of precise details in Pearl that cannot be subordinated to any general allegorical interpretation, and these details are of special importance since they relate to the central figure, the maiden of the vision, in whom, if anywhere, the allegory should be concentrated and without disturbance. The basis of criticism, then, must be the references to the child or maiden, and to her relations with the dreamer; and no good reason has ever been found for regarding these as anything but statements of ‘fact’: the real experiences that lie at the foundation of the poem. When the dreamer first sees the maiden in the paradisal garden, he says (stanza 21): Art þou my perle þat I haf playned, Regretted by myn one on ny  te? Much longeyng haf I for þe layned Syþen into gresse þou my agly  te. This explains for us the minor allegory of the opening stanzas and reveals that the pearl he lost was a maid-child who died. For the maiden of the vision accepts the identification, and herself refers to her death in stanza 64. In stanza 35 she says she was at that time very young, and the dreamer himself in stanza 41 tells us that she was not yet two years old and had not yet learned her creed or prayers. The whole theological argument that follows assumes the infancy of the child when she left this world. The actual relationship of the child in the world to the dreamer is referred to in stanza 20: when he first espied her in his vision he recognized her; he knew her well, he had seen her before (stanza 14); and so now beholding her visible on the farther bank of the stream he was the happiest man ‘from here to Greece’, for Ho wat  me nerre þen aunte or nece. ‘She was more near akin to me than aunt or niece.’ Nerre can in the language of the time only mean here ‘nearer in blood relationship’. In this sense it was normal and very frequent. And although it is true that ‘nearer than aunt or niece’ might, even so, refer to a sister, the disparity in age makes the assumption of this relationship far less probable. The depth of sorrow portrayed for a child so young belongs rather to parenthood. And there seems to be a special significance in the situation where the doctrinal lesson given by the celestial maiden comes from one of no earthly wisdom to her proper teacher and instructor in the natural order. A modern reader may be ready to accept the personal basis of the poem, and yet may feel that there is no need to assume any immediate or particular foundation in autobiography. It is admittedly not necessary for the vision, which is plainly presented in literary or scriptural terms; the bereavement and the sorrow may also be imaginative fictions, adopted precisely because they heighten the interest of the theological discussion between the maiden and the dreamer. This raises a difficult and important question for general literary history: whether the purely fictitious ‘I’ had yet appeared in the fourteenth century, a first person feigned as narrator who had no existence outside the imagination of the real author. Probably not; at least not in the kind of literature that we are here dealing with: visions related by a dreamer. The fictitious traveller had already appeared in ‘Sir John Mandeville’, the writer of whose ‘voyages’ seems not to have borne that name, nor indeed, according to modern critics, ever to have journeyed far beyond his study; and it is difficult to decide whether this is a case of fraud intended to deceive (as it certainly did), or an example of prose fiction (in the literary sense) still wearing the guise of truth according to contemporary convention. This convention was strong, and not so ‘conventional’ as it may appear to modern readers. Although by those of literary experience it might, of course, be used as nothing more than a device to secure literary credibility (as often by Chaucer), it represented a deep-rooted habit of mind, and was strongly associated with the moral and didactic spirit of the times. Tales of the past required their grave authorities, and tales of new things at least an eyewitness, the author. This was one of the reasons for the popularity of visions: they allowed marvels to be placed within the real world, linking them with a person, a place, a time, while providing them with an explanation in the phantasies of sleep, and a defence against critics in the notorious deception of dreams. So even explicit allegory was usually presented as a thing seen in sleep. How far any such narrated vision, of the more serious kind, was supposed to resemble an actual dream experience is another question. A modern poet would indeed be very unlikely to put forward for factual acceptance a dream that in any way resembled the vision of Pearl, even when all allowance is made for the arrangement and formalizing of conscious art. But we are dealing with a period when men, aware of the vagaries of dreams, still thought that amid their japes came visions of truth. And their waking imagination was strongly moved by symbols and the figures of allegory, and filled vividly with the pictures evoked by the scriptures, directly or through the wealth of medieval art. And they thought that on occasion, as God willed, to some that slept blessed faces appeared and prophetic voices spoke. To them it might not seem so incredible that the dream of a poet, one wounded with a great bereavement and troubled in spirit, might resemble the vision in Pearl. 1 However that may be, the narrated vision in the more serious medieval writing represented, if not an actual dream at least a real process of thought culminating in some resolut

It has been objected that the child as seen in Heaven is not like an infant of two in appearance, speech, or manners: she addresses her father formally as sir, and shows no filial affection for him. 

But this is an apparition of a spirit, a soul not yet reunited with its body after the resurrection, so that theories relevant to the form and age of the glorified and risen body do not concern us. 

And as an immortal spirit, the maiden’s relations to the earthly man, the father of her body, are altered. 

She does not deny his fatherhood, and when she addresses him as  sir she only uses the form of address that was customary for medieval children. Her part is in fact truly imagined. 

The sympathy of readers may now go out more readily to the bereaved father than to the daughter, and they may feel that he is treated with some hardness. 

But it is the hardness of truth. In the manner of the maiden is portrayed the effect upon a clear intelligence of the persistent earthliness of the father’s mind; all is revealed to him, and he has eyes, yet he cannot see. The maiden is now filled with the spirit of celestial charity, desiring only his eternal good and the cure of his blindness.

It is not her part to soften him with pity, or to indulge in childish joy at their reunion. 

The final consolation of the father was not to be found in the recovery of a beloved daughter, as if death had not after all occurred or had no significance, but in the knowledge that she was redeemed and saved and had become a queen in Heaven. 

Only by resignation to the will of God, and through death, could he rejoin her. 

And this is the main purpose of the poem as distinct from its genesis or literary form: the doctrinal theme, in the form of an argument on salvation, by which the father is at last convinced that his Pearl, as a baptized infant and innocent, is undoubtedly saved, and, even more, admitted to the blessed company of the 144,000 that follow the Lamb. 

But the doctrinal theme is, in fact, inseparable from the literary form of the poem and its occasion; for it arises directly from the grief, which imparts deep feeling and urgency to the whole discussion. Without the elegiac basis and the sense of great personal loss which pervades it, Pearl would indeed be the mere theological treatise on a special point, which some critics have called it. 

But without the theological debate the grief would never have risen above the ground. 

Dramatically the debate represents a long process of thought and mental struggle, an experience as real as the first blind grief of bereavement. In his first mood, even if he had been granted a vision of the blessed in Heaven, the dreamer would have received it incredulously or rebelliously. 

And he would have awakened by the mound again, not in the gentle and serene resignation of the last stanza, but still as he is first seen, looking only backward, his mind filled with the horror of decay, wringing his hands, while his wreched wylle in wo ay wrazte. "

"In 1549, Thomas Cramner, the appostate Archbishop of Canterbury was at last able to fulfill his greatest ambition - the traditional Latin Mass was abolished and replaced with a new Mass in English, Communion under both kinds, where any reference to the hated Doctrine of SACRIFICE had been removed.

For many of The Ordinary Faithful, this turned out to be The Last Straw, and provoked a number of armed risings - and this was, of course, in the reign of Edward VI, The Boy King, who, if you will remember, became King in 1547.

Like all Revolutionaries of every era, Cramner was convinced that he knew what was best for The People, in whose interest he claimed to be acting - although They had given him no mandate to represent Them.

"The Services," he said, "must be understood by The People, and be congregational - The People must be turned from spectators,lost in their private devotions, into active participants."

"The Real Cause of the opposition of country clergy and Devonshire peasants was the proof the Prayer Book seemed to give that all the agitations and changes of the last few years really were  going to end in a permanant clevage between The Past and The Present, and The Familiar was to give way to something strange, foreign, imposed."

"Tudor men and women had stoicly endured many religious changes in the reign of Henry, but these early Edwardian changes were recognised as something new - something different.
The Marian Church wardens of Stanford-in-the-Vale, Berkshire, stocktaking after 6 years of destruction, articulated a very generally-shared perception, when they dated "the time of schism, when this realm was separated from The Catholic Church" not from The Breach with Rome in the Early 1530s, but from "the second year of King Edward VI, when all good ceremonies and good uses were taken out of The Church within this realm"

- Dr. Eamon Duffy
The Stripping of The Altars