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Topic: Flame Imperishable

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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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Date: May 24, 2006
Flame Imperishable

Can anyone tell me what exactly the Flame Imperishable is?


I know is that Iluvatar created the Ainur with it and Melkor wanted to aquire it but how? and why?



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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The Flame Imperishable is Erus greatest power. What it is no-one could tell you, but Eru put it to burn at the Heart of Ea. Also the reason why Melkor wanted it was it enabled you to make beings of your own from scratch, something Melkor desperately wanted to do.


In terms of what the substance is only Tolkien could tell you.



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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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Was it literally a flame? Was it a just a possesion that enabled one to create life rather than a power that Iluvatar had? How did Iluvatar have this Flame Imperishable? Did he make it or did he have it always?


Soo many question!



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I would imagine its a Flame of sorts, no doubt blue/white in Tolkiens eyes. It would be forever lit, never put out. As to how he came by it what you are asking is how did the first life - bacteria - begin on our world, what ignited it in the first place. A question which no scientist could answer.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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it was not a thing...more like a power
it was a mysterious power, never explained in detail, that seems to represent the principle of existence and creation.
it seems to represent that aspect of Ilvatar through which he was able to grant free will and true life to the beings he created.
and yes, Illuvatar always had it, it is like God.
God didn't make the power to create, he always had it...

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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It is Eru's power I suppose...

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Orc captain of Morgul - Rank 5
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If it is a power of Iluvatar and not a thing then why did Melkor search for it in the void? Do you think that he didn't know that it was just a power of Eru?

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Its the greatest power of Eru, but thats not to say that it is part of him. I am sure he could give it to another, for he put some of it into the heart of the World so therefore it is utterly detachable from Eru himself.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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and yes, Melkor was of course envious because he did not have this power...so looked for it, but it was in vain, for the flame was with Eru, and by this I would say that it is meant that only he had this power.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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No it does not mean that only he has that power. It means that only Eru possessed that power, hence he could pass it to others if he saw the need.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, seems you do agree that it was a power and not a thing as you say
"Eru possessed that power"

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Incorrect.


Eru Possessed that power = he owned that power, it was in his control until such time he felt he could pass it on to another or detach it from himself like he did when he put some forth into Ea. Thus it is a 'Thing' not an ability.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Incorrect yourself

beeing able to detach something doesn't necessarily mean here it was a thing
we are not talking about a normal beeing, we are talking about "The One"

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Very well you can carry on believing it was just a power of Eru (in which case your utterly wrong) whereas I will believe the truth in that it was a power he possessed in which he could pass on to another or put in a set place, like at the heart of Ea.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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And in the same time saying you believe the truth not all that you think is the truth mos111.

-- Edited by The One at 20:21, 2006-06-03

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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"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."


"Therefore I say: E! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be; and those of you that will may go down into it."


"He had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Ilvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Ilvatar."
(All from the Sil)


All of these quotes suggest that it was utterly detachable from Eru and was an item not a mere power of Eru, until you can prove otherwise then the matter is settled.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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we are told the Ainu were kindled with the Flame Imperishable and so I think it is morel like a life-giving power not a thing...

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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That proves zilch.


"He could not find it for it lies with Eru".


This says the the 'Thing' lies in Erus Possession, not that it is Eru.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, indeed it does seem here to be more a possesion but the term with Eru should mean within Eru...
but, ok, I cannot prove you wrong.

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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why do you two always fight so much???

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Well if i told you that Aredhel then this post would be deleted.


TM - glad I persuaded you on at least one thing.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, if you see it let's say...from a normal point of view it does seem like an object
but you must consider that Eru just like God does not have any possesions.
does our God own a car or a house?
of course not.
he is all, he is everywhere so he can not own those things.
now, as I said I can not prove you wrong.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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There is no mention that Eru has no possesions however. In fact rather the opposite as i have proved as he possesses the Flame Imperishable.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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as I said, depends on the way you look at it

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Well I suppose you could say he has the Flame Imperishable in his possession, or he possesses the Flame Imperishable. Yes two ways.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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you know that is not what I meant

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Men of Numenor - Rank 1
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The Flame Imperishable or The secret Fire (as mentioned by Gandalf)... The answers are all given; i do not want to invent the weel twice so here i copy some text i wrote a LOOONG time ago:

This article is about the Middle-earth spiritual concepts. FEA is also an acronym for Finite Element Analysis.

In the mythology of J. R. R. Tolkien's fiction, fa and hra are words for "soul" (or "spirit") and "body". The plural form of fa is far (pronounced [ˈfɛ.ar]) and the plural form of hra is hrar (pronounced [ˈɹ̥ɔ.ar]).

The Children of Ilvatar (Elves and Men) are described as existing as two parts: they have a "spirit" or "soul" called fa which comes from the SECRET FIRE of Ilvatar, and a body or hra which is made out of Arda. According to the Elves, the fa is powerless without the hra, and likewise the hra would die without the fa.

The Elves' fate is to live as long as Arda exists; they are bound to the world and cannot leave it. Unlike Men, Elves do not die of disease or of old age. However, Elves may be slain or lose the will to live, for instance because of grief. When an Elf dies, the fa leaves the hra, which then "dies". The fa is called to the Halls of Mandos, where it is judged. If allowed by Mandos, the fa may be reincarnated into a new-born body that is identical to the previous hra.

A fa may decide to stay in Mandos, or it may be denied reincarnation, for example if it had done much evil. In such a case the fa might have to wait very long or might never be allowed to leave Mandos. One example is the oldorin leader Fanor.

The situation of Men is different: a Mannish fa is only a visitor to Arda, and when the hra dies, the fa leaves Arda completely.

For this reason it is said the Fates of Men and Elves are sundered. The choice of the Half-elven is one of the fa, not of the hra. Lthien chose the Fate of Men, and so her fa passed out of Arda and was lost to her kin.

Not only the Children of Ilvatar possessed fa: they were also granted to the Ents and some animals, such as Huan the Hound and the great Eagles (but see the end of that article). When Ilvatar adopted Aul's children, the Dwarves, he granted them, too, fa of their own.

Hope this is good enough for answer and explains it all!

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I am just curious but was this reply meant to go into the 'Tolkien's concept of Death' thread?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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hmm...I believe not
it shows that the fea was made of the Flame Imperishable
and that this was not really a thing, it was more like a power of its own, more like the Holy Spirit in the Chistian view, where this spirit is in all things.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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You have a nerve TM. In all of Beren's post there is nothing whatsoever that suggests that the Flame Imperishable was a part of Eru. in fact rather the opposite. For he put it forth into his creations, thus it would enhance my point that the Flame was utterly seperate from Eru's being and he could discharge it at will.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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where did I say that?
please read more attentively
I said it was "a power of its own" not "a power of Eru"
but in the same time he does not say it was a thing like you say

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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You were the one who first brought the 'thing' into view firstly. I said it was not part of Eru but something seperate and then you assumed i meant a 'Thing' by saying that.


I have meant it's a Power of its own all along, thus it is a Thing for it exists by itself and could exist no matter if Eru possessed it or not.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, here is where I disagree
I don't think it can exist all of its own.
this "holy spirit" was not a totally independent thing from Eru
it was something he could use, but that still belonged to him
it was his power.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I think it was merely a Flame, probably of Blueish white that contained the Power to create beings of its own (Fea) and it was kept in the Halls of Iluvatar. I do not think that it was wholly bound up with Eru and could pass into the possession of another at Eru's will.


Of course we will find no quote to prove either theory.



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I say we should perhaps wait for opinions from others.
I'd be curious to see what Narg would say

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I doubt any will be able to reply, and certainly no one will be able give sufficient proof to support either claim.


However i have already given numerous quotes that lean my theory in favour over yours but do not prove it I admit.



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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Intersting topic. If I understand it correctly the debate is whether or not the Flame Imperishable is a physical flame or not.

It has clearly been established that the Flame Imperishable was placed in the heart of the world, so that just leaves us to determine whether it is an actual flame or some power that is metaphorically titled "Flame Imperishable"

I would offer that it is an actual flame that cannot be extinguished. That would be based on the fact that the Ainur as they entered the world, took on forms of the world. I would speculate that just as the Ainur's music took actual form, so did Eru give his power actual form in the world.

As this is purely a metaphysical discussion with no concrete answers I am just giving my opinon based on what we know.

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Soldier of the East - Rank 4
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In reading the sil I thought that the flame imperishable was life itself. Think about it Melkor wanted life to create life forms of his choosing. Eru put life in Ea and life is afterall imperishable. I can't think of any proof of this I just thought it made since and, I could not find anything that proved it wrong.


So thats my opinion. If you don't like it find something to disprove it.



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