Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Power of Choice

I happen to be the type of person who reflects a lot. (Despite what other's think, usually consisting of the opinion that I'm lost in the clouds or some other dimension). I think deeply, I ponder—led by curiosity or belief, or persistent reflection on some broad moral or uncertain circumstance.

One thing I have thought about very much lately, and believe that I have come closer to knowing the truth of, is the subject of Choice. Self will. Individual freedom to act, believe, think as we see fit, or strive in the pursuit of the knowledge of right and wrong.

Many people look around and see all the chaos and destruction all around us, caused from choices. We hear of terrible things happening that we can't fathom. Innocents dead. And we wonder that if there is a merciful God, why does He let these things happen?

Traditionally the answer is "I don't know". And to an extent, it is an answer I would give too—but only in that I don't know the purpose of some things. Because miracles do happen, and I know that God moves in mysterious ways. But perhaps the purpose of things gone bad isn't something we would expect—maybe it is a circumstantial consequence, an example of the effect of a choice, and no more? One that is there, simply because someone or a group made personal decisions?

But why must innocents die or be effected by them, you may ask. We all ask that, if we have any human care. But if we understand that the consequences of choice are very real, we will also see that the reality of its effect on others, even those so wholly unconnected (in our mind, perhaps) with our choices, is very real. It is the truth of life. Consequences often have unimaginable scope.
Every single one of us wields tremendous power—the power of our choices. Choices that effect every moment of the day, and days are made of those moments—years made of those days. We create this world. Every day, it is being shaped by us. So in answer to the time-old question of why God doesn't stop bad things from happening, we must go to the beginning. And in asking why God supposedly doesn't take action, we are admitting the possibility of His existence (which I am a firm believer in)—so I will refer to the story of Adam and Eve.

Those familiar with the story will remember that Adam and Eve acted out of free will when they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God could have stopped them. But Choice and the ability to think for oneself was God's gift. He obviously did not want a race of beings that were automatons. For what is the real worth of that? What else gives us such individuality but our freely made choices? Our own mind?

God would have acted against His gift to us if he stopped Adam and Eve. And if God always stopped bad things from happening, our "free will" would mean absolutely nothing. And we would learn nothing. To go through experience is to gain knowledge and wisdom, if we have the fortitude to see and value it.

So, raises the question, what if we did NOT have choice? Would we have a "perfect" world where nothing went wrong? A perfectly orderly one, perhaps—assuming we would be all be automatons running on the same system—but what would be the purpose? The value? Without choice and a mind of our own, we can not truly see worth in anything either.

This would lead to the realization of the preciousness of choice. And the understanding that we all must value that gift.

We are given enormous power. Choice is a responsibility, but without it we are nothing. And if, when we make a mess of things as we so often do, creating chaos and retribution by our myriad mistakes (ranging from all sorts of intentions, good or selfish) and we ask why God does not prevent these horrible things that happen, let us remember that it is to ask why did he did not go against his design, his gift to us.

Would we have that? Would we rather have a greater Being fix all of our mistakes for us, than to act with the courage and open eyes of one who clearly sees the effect their choices have, and strive to be better?

I hope we all would strive to reflect this truth the stories we tell, through all the many wonderful mediums that we choose.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please comment, and share your own opinions!

~Elora


We are the movers and shakers in this world, every one of us. We all have the incredible, far-reaching power of choice.





Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why So Many Love Tolkien's Work

I just wanted to share with you this article that I had just finished reading, about the reason so many find themselves in love with Tolkien's work. His work has been bashed by the literary critics, loved by others--adored by fans, young and old. This article by Andrew Moody represents well the truth of why so many do.

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/hobbits-critics-forget-how-fairytales-feed-our-humanity-20130102-2c5j5.html?rand=1357120238974

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Precious Christmas Present~The Hobbit Sountrack

  







  I recently did a review of the much-anticipated Hobbit movie. For me, that trip to the theater was a great family outing, and we all (well, us fans) enjoyed it very much. For Christmas I got the Hobbit soundtrack from a beloved friend. I can now comment more fully on the tracks, and focus on the pieces that I thought were truly superb first.
I said before that I absolutely loved the dwarves' Misty Mountains song, performed by the dwarf cast, and most notably Richard Armitage, whose beginning vocals bring us into it. It was a song that captured me the first time I saw the Hobbit trailer, and was even better in the movie. It is a longing for home, for the past, for things treasured, and a remembrance of tragedies to one's homeland. Definitely one of my favorite tracks.

The tracks The Adventure Begins and The World is Ahead were symbolic of the movie, with themes that carry us from home and into the wild allure of the dangerous unknown, full of epic tones so familiar with us Lotr fans, with new pieces that define The Hobbit. And Old Friends was a track that really brought in some nostalgia for us fans, with the beautiful theme of the Shire, reminding of of Concerning Hobbits from Fellowship of the Ring. Howard Shore really scored high with these tracks, and I loved them. (No pun intended).

Now to the final ones that I thought were certainly worth mentioning—Neil Finn's performance of Song of the Lonely Mountain, and then the last track, Dreaming of Bag End. I cannot say enough about Neil Finn's song. There is such a depth of heart riverberating throughout the whole track, a pathos of defiance and home-sickness, that I don't tire of listening to it. It's a song that almost makes you want to be heartbroken at their sadness, but the strength of their resolve prevents us—it is a song of not being beaten, even in the midst of such homeless, tragic sorrow. Even after so long.
The entire soundtrack ends beautifully with a track full of hope and home, Dreaming of Bag End, and personally, I think it is a wonderful ending. I felt that it was Middle Earth that I have again walked into, and that is a beautiful thing. Howard Shore did a marvelous job.

Now I know this seems a trifle contradictory to the brief review I left on my post on my viewing of The Hobbit. I agree that it is. After consideration, I can only guess that now having the soundtracks, and listening to them well, I was free to notice all these things I did like. And actually loved. Now I can only assume that I was so taken up with the movie, and the cast, and (I admit) critiquing and loving different aspects of the filming, that I didn't allow myself to just soak in it all as a whole. Perhaps I should have waited to make such a judgment after a second viewing, though I haven't been able to actually go again.

But I can say this now. The Hobbit soundtrack is worth every cent. It was a terrific Christmas present. (My precious). ;)

I hope you too will enjoy it! Here is a link to Amazon, where it is available:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Hobbit-An-Unexpected-Journey/dp/B009O07NDY

Happy listening everyone, and I hope you all had a happy New Year!