Mind Reading & Elven Telepathy

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3RingsforEGG 22/Feb/2005 at 12:10 AM
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Was this only in the movies, or was it reflected on the books as well clearly?  Galadriel seems to have displayed this power the most.

Did any of the elves display this ability too?  At least in the movies, Galadriel and Elrond were talking in their minds.

Sulrin 22/Feb/2005 at 12:29 AM
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  There is...in the book an example of Elves and Gandalf speaking without talking ...The Return of the King..where Galadriel, Elrond, Celeborn and Gandalf are setting around. It is night and the Hobbits have gone to their bedrolls. It says that if any traveler had been chancing by, these four would have appeared to be no more then grey stones. They were conversing...but only their eyes moved...they were speaking mind to mind.
Tinw 22/Feb/2005 at 01:19 AM
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The question is whether it was only because they had the Rings. Celebrimbor could perceive Sauron’s thought when he put the One on, and when Frodo asks Galadriel why he can’t read the minds of other Ringbearers, she doesn’t say, "rings don’t work that way" but rather "you haven’t tried".

When the Fellowship has its audience with Galadriel and Celeborn, it is much the same in the book— Galadriel reads each of their minds and seems to test their resolve (it isn’t quite so sinister, but it’s the same process).   A telling difference: Frodo does not hear Galadriel’s voice long-distance as he is walking into Lórien.

There is only one place in all of the books where someone appears to hear another’s thoughts from afar. When Frodo has the Ring on at Parth Galen (right at the end of FOTR, after running away from Boromir) he hears Gandalf calling from afar, "Take it off you fool, take it off!" But again this is probably due to the fact that Gandalf also has a Ring.

So is there any evidence that Elves can read hearts/minds? Well, Legolas can evidently perceive the feelings and thoughts of horses, rock, water, and stone -- very Wood-elfish!

Well, Elrond’s powers of prophecy are not, I think, tied to his Ring... it’s a part of who he is, legendary as one of the Wise. (He probably inherited the knack from his grandmother Idril.) His speech at the Council is telling:

’I cannot help you much, not even with counsel,’ said Elrond. `I can foresee very little of your road; and how your task is to be achieved I do not know. The Shadow has crept now to the feet of the Mountains, and draws nigh even to the borders of Greyflood; and under the Shadow all is dark to me. You will meet many foes, some open, and some disguised; and you may find friends upon your way when you least look for it. I will send out messages, such as I can contrive, to those whom I know in the wide world; but so perilous are the lands now become that some may well miscarry, or come no quicker than you yourself.’ (Council of Elrond, FOTR)

Elrond is able to "see" beyond the borders of his land, in the same way Legolas seems to sense the mood of the rocks and trees around him. A cautionary note: Elrond is far more powerful, and his abilities may well be unique, or extremely rare.   But Sauron’s influence blocks his sight. And he cannot contact Galadriel long distance. The messages he sends out are not telepathic. Instead, he sends his sons, Elladan and Elrohir, as is hinted here:

The sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir, were the last to return; they had made a great journey, passing down the Silverlode into a strange country, but of their errand they would not speak to any save to Elrond. (The Ring Goes South, FOTR)

Celeborn reveals to the Fellowship that he received those messages. So, in other words, Elrond had to send messages even to Galadriel by ordinary means. And she and he are the two most powerful Elves (save perhaps Glorfindel?) left in Middle-earth.

Galadriel reveals the limit of her own "seeing": But I cannot see him [Gandalf] from afar, unless he comes within the fences of Lothlórien: a grey mist is about him, and the ways of his feet and of his mind are hidden from me.’ (The Mirror of Galadriel, FOTR)

Glorfindel demonstrates a related power. When Frodo is wounded, Glorfindel searches the wound by touch and is "disquieted" by what he discovers. Evidently he could sense something was amiss.

Aragorn, also, seems to have some skill of this sort. When he is healing Faramir, Aragorn sinks into a deep trance and calls him mind to mind. This must be from his Edain heritage -- Denethor is also able to read minds, according to Gandalf.

More importantly: If you read all the accounts of the Fall of Gondolin, no one in Gondolin except Idril Celebrindal realizes Maeglin is planning to betray them to Morgoth. That’s a whole city full of High-elves, including good ol’ Glorfindel. Only the King’s daughter (Elrond’s grandmother) read Maeglin’s mind clearly enough to have misgivings, and even she wasn’t certain enough to accuse him; she just had a very bad feeling he was plotting something.

What can we learn from all this?

~ The most powerful, like Galadriel, may be able to communicate thoughts very directly, by sight. They may be able to read the minds of those they study intently (again, line of sight?)
~ They may also be able to sense the minds of others (not direct communication, but a more general sense) within certain boundaries, as when Elrond and Galadriel can sense things that transpire for some distance around them
Problem: The Rings may be partly responsible for the above (but not in Idril’s case.)
~ There is definitely some limited mental communion, because even Legolas (who is not noted for innate power) can sense and communicate with animals, and senses the moods of trees and the land.
~ And Glorfindel’s and Aragorn’s abilities to sense something within a patient by touch-- or even reach mind to mind-- suggests that this power of sensing thoughts or inner conditions is something that may crop up among the most strong-willed, strong-minded, or powerful.

I think I would characterize Elven telepathy, therefore, as a form of silent communion that depends very much on proximity (touch, sight) and it may not necessarily involve the communication of words and speech, but more, a general mood or impression. Picking up thoughts may be different from sharing conversation.

And it’s my impression that most Elves don’t communicate this way, because they love conversation and song. Certainly there is never any indication that Gildor Inglorion’s group is using any telepathy, although they are all High-elves! Yet their music tends to plant pictures in people’s minds, and there is something special about their singing, too, because when Frodo hears it, he remembers it well enough to translate it later.

So communication is a spectrum for Elves, more effortless, and perhaps more profound than human speech. I think it is another of their Arts like making jewels or seeing the future that would be possessed by few rather than most, and those few would not really understand why Sam-- or we-- would call it "Elf-magic".
elvenpath 22/Feb/2005 at 06:41 AM
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For this question the best answers can be found in Osanwe- kenta:

 

Thus we see that the Incarnate tend more and more to use or to endeavour to use ósanwe only in great need and urgency, and especially when lambe is unavailing. As when the voice cannot be heard, which comes most often because of distance. For distance in itself offers no impediment whatever to ósanwe. But those who by affinity might well use ósanwe will use lambe when in proximity, in habit or preference.

 

Where lambe n. “Language”, in non-technical usage; also “a way of talking; dialect”, applied to the separate languages of any people or region. Descended from *lab-me < ãlab “lick”, thus literally “tongue-movement, (way of) using the tongue”.

And  ósanwe n. Communication or interchange of thought. See Appendix B, entry ãsam.

 

Neither is so-called ‘thought-transference’ a process of mind-reading: this is but the reception, and interpretation by the receiving mind, of the impact of thought, or thought-pattern, emanating from another mind, which is no more than is the distant sight of a man running the man himself. Minds can exhibit or reveal themselves to other minds by the action of their own wills (though it is doubtful if, even when willing or desiring this, a mind can actually reveal itself wholly to any other mind). It is thus a temptation to minds of greater power to govern or constrain the will of other, and weaker minds, so as to induce or force them to reveal themselves

halfir 22/Feb/2005 at 04:36 PM
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elvenpath: I too was going to raise the question of Osanwe Kenta with Tinw with regard to the concept of mind-to-mind transfer, but we run into a  possible problem of exegesis in so doing.

Osanwe Kenta was written about 1960 - only a few years after the publication of LOTR but many years after its gestation and completion - 1937-1948.

As Chrsitina Scull has rightly pointed out the whole matter of Middle-earth was continuously in flux until Tolkien’s death and open to second thoughts. The question that  therefore arises is whether the Osanwe Kenta- arising in what CT had denoted as his father’s later philosophic period ,can rightly be used in interpreting elven mind-to-mind passages in LOTR. If it can, then Tinw’s ’possession of rings’ argument falls- as OK does not see mind-to-mind transfer as dependent on the possession of rings of power.Moreover, ands more importantly, as you have quoted:

For distance in itself offers no impediment whatever to ósanwe

But while we can use Osanwe to demonstrate Tolkien’s developing thinking on mind-to -mind transfer, can we use it to interpret LOTR?

I am not sure and would be interested in your views and those of Tinw.

elvenpath 22/Feb/2005 at 11:05 PM
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Halfir, I think I see a relation between LOTR and Osanwe Kenta; I don’t think they are so different, only that Osanwe Kenta goes deeper into the subject

Let’s start from this: For distance in itself offers no impediment whatever to ósanwe.

But

1.       Is it safe to use this way of communication outside the borders of Lorien when the Shadow is so close? I don’t think so, because Galadriel has to reveal her mind to be perceived by another person. If she reveals her mind, Sauron would be able to read it as well. She would expose herself to the risk of It is thus a temptation to minds of greater power to govern or constrain the will of other, and weaker minds, so as to induce or force them to reveal themselves

2.       Tinw: Galadriel reveals the limit of her own "seeing": But I cannot see him [Gandalf] from afar, unless he comes within the fences of Lothlórien: a grey mist is about him, and the ways of his feet and of his mind are hidden from me.’ (The Mirror of Galadriel, FOTR)

       I think the Shadow can create ‘interferences’, but I can not figure out how

3. Tinw : And it’s my impression that most Elves don’t communicate this way, because they love conversation and song

This goes very well with But those who by affinity might well use ósanwe will use lambe when in proximity, in habit or preference.

 

3RingsforEGG 23/Feb/2005 at 01:24 AM
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It also states in the books that Galadriel could perceive the mind of Sauron...at least those concernin the elves.  What does this mean?  That she can actually read his intentions?  Meanwhile, Sauron could not do the same because the door is still closed....meaning the door will only be open once Sauron gets the One Ring?

Hmmmm...your thoughts on this, please.

halfir 23/Feb/2005 at 03:42 PM
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elvenpath: Thanks for those considered responses. I think you have probably removed the doubts that I have, although I remain very concerned at the simplistic approach used by many who argue that because Tolkien wrote ’X" in therefore applies to all his works- this is demonstrbly quite untrue as the developing and changing approaches to the ’Mythology for England’ demonstrate.

I accept that where later-or indeed earlier writings - illuminate published text we can use them unreservedly- where they conflict or raise ambiguities I think we have to tread much more carefully.We are too often far less cautious than the Master in our use of words.

However,if we accept the Osanwe thesis then it clearly eliminates the argument that sees the Elven Rings as being relevant to mind-to-mind transfer, and it also raises some queries about such transfer being used in ROTK Many Partings if:

But those who by affinity might well use ๓sanwe will use lambe when in proximity, in habit or preference.

I think this again demonstrates that later ideas are not necessarilly altogether consistent with earlier text, in much the same way that the Halsbury ’Galadriel’ letter-  Letter #  353 whose revisonary approach CT tell us was definitely intended by Tolkien would have meant a rewriting of the Galadriel parts of The Silmarillion.

3 rings for EGG: From the FOTR Mirror of Galdriel context I think it clear that in referring to her ability to read the mind of Sauron Galadriel is referring to her use of the Mirror. Clearly she has powers which appear from that phraseology to be particularly heightened as far as discerning anything affecting the elves and Sauron is concerned.

He, in turn, although extraordinarily powerful even without the One, appears to be limited by its absence in terms of being able to read her mind- and thus its recapture by him would bring disaster to all elvendom.As you observe- the closed door would be opened.

This, I think, ties in with Tolkien’s comment that:

’While he wore it, his power on earth was actually enhanced. But even if he did not wear it, that power esisted and was in ’rapport’ with himself:he was not ’diminshed’. {Letter # 131}

He needs the One to ’enhance’ the ability to read the mind of the elves.

Tar-Elenion 23/Feb/2005 at 04:00 PM
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Halfir wrote:

> However,if we accept the Osanwe thesis then it clearly eliminates the argument that sees the Elven Rings as being relevant to mind-to-mind transfer, and it also raises some queries about such transfer being used in ROTK Many Partings if:

That argument can be eliminated without Osanwe-kenta. After the destruction of the One Ring, the other Rings lost their power.

halfir 23/Feb/2005 at 04:10 PM
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Tar_Ellenion: That is indeed true for the ROTK-Many Partings chapter, but Tinw’s point regarding the Elven Rings and our discussion of it is painted on a much wider and longer historical canvas, which precedes that event- so your argument does not hold good in those instances.
Tar-Elenion 23/Feb/2005 at 04:15 PM
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Why not? If the Rings did not (as shown by the Many Partings event happening after the destruction of the One Ring) need to be used for ’telepathy’, then why pretend they might have been needed before?
halfir 23/Feb/2005 at 04:38 PM
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Tar-Elenion: What on earth are you talking about ’pretend". No one is ’pretending’ anything. A propositon was put that the Elven Rings may have been a medium through which mind-to-mind transfer occurs., or was augmented. In a world in which various forms of ’magic’ occur this is not an unsustainable propostion. Gandalf, for example, uses words, staff, hands, and mental transfer at different times in LOTR. There is not necessarilly only one way in which ’magic’ occurs.

The fact that ex post facto the destruction of the One the Three are no longer operable in no way invalidates the fact that prior to that point they may have been used - which is one of the several scenarios being explored.

Tar-Elenion 23/Feb/2005 at 04:50 PM
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The fact is that the Three Rings are shown to have been unnecessary to ’thought-transference’ by the simple fact that after the One Ring was destroyed, the bearers of the Three engaged in thought transference (as did Celeborn who was never a bearer). Unless you can show instances of JRRT saying that the Three were some how necessary to the process before the destruction of the One, it is simply a pretence, without validation, made to further an argument that is otherwise unsubstantiated.

Are there any instances in which the Three Rings are said to be necessary for ’thought transference’?

halfir 23/Feb/2005 at 05:01 PM
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Bandy your words with someone else.
Tar-Elenion 23/Feb/2005 at 05:11 PM
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I’ll take your inability to substantiate it as a ’no’.
Hoyamir Saxalein 23/Feb/2005 at 05:30 PM
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Tar-Elenion - I don’t know whether you choose to ignore halfir’s words or if you simply misunderstand.  But since he has refused to continue his response to you, I would direct you to this quote from halfir’s first response to you:

"A propositon was put that the Elven Rings may have been a medium through which mind-to-mind transfer occurs., or was augmented." (my emphasis)

To further clarify this, the original argument did not suggest that such non-verbal communication could only occur as a result of the Rings...but rather that it may have been aided by the Rings.  The fact that it can still occur without the Rings does not in any way invalidate this suggestion.

This was halfir’s point - but you seemed to overlook it in your desire for proof of something that no one was arguing.

Tar-Elenion 23/Feb/2005 at 06:07 PM
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Hoyamir, I don’t know if you chose to ignore my first post (though it seems that way, by your claiming what was in fact halfir’s second reply to me as his first responce), which, in fact simply supported halfir’s statement:

Halfir wrote:

However,if we accept the Osanwe thesis then it clearly eliminates the argument that sees the Elven Rings as being relevant to mind-to-mind transfer, and it also raises some queries about such transfer being used in ROTK Many Partings if:

I reinforced this by pointing out that the Three had lost their power, after the destruction of the One.

Halfir tried to create an argument by declaring my argument as not good in the case of prior instances of thought transference. However there is no substantion from JRRT that the Three were used in this way before.

Putting forth the proposition that halfir did, was more of an attempt to create an argument, which again has no substantiation. And the point I was responding to in my post which asked for the ’instances’ was what was contained in halfir’s sentence "The fact that ex post facto the destruction of the One the Three are no longer operable in no way invalidates the fact that prior to that point they may have been used - which is one of the several scenarios being explored"

If the fact is they may have been used this way, there should be some instances of JRRT saying it.

Hoyamir Saxalein 23/Feb/2005 at 07:36 PM
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Tar-Elenion - I see now, by the flippant and somewhat condescending way that you threw my words back at me (copying the "I don’t know if you..."), that my choice of words was poor.  I apologize for joining this discussion in such a way as to immediately put you on the defensive - and for using ’first’ in place of ’second.’

Bearamir 23/Feb/2005 at 07:49 PM
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Gentlemen:  It doesn’t take Elven Telepathy to see that this discussion is getting a little "hot under the collar."  Truly, it doesn’t need to be so.  Both of you have the knowledge, skills and linguistic abilities to debate this topic without resorting to rudeness.  I would like to hear what you have to say, but I would also take it as a personal favor if you would refrain from belittling each other.

Tar-Elenion 23/Feb/2005 at 07:53 PM
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<deleted retort out of consideration for Baelmyrrdn>
Tinw 23/Feb/2005 at 08:04 PM
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Er... if I may step in here...Tar-Elenion, I raised the possibility that the Rings may have some impact on Elven telepathy -- or rather may be confusing our ability to distinguish Elven innate power from external augmentation. My caution here is suggested by two incidents.

`I would ask one thing before we go,’ said Frodo, ’a thing which I often meant to ask Gandalf in Rivendell. I am permitted to wear the One Ring: why cannot I see all the others and know the thoughts of those that wear them? ’
     `You have not tried,’ she said. `Only thrice have you set the Ring upon your finger since you knew what you possessed. Do not try! It would destroy you. Did not Gandalf tell you that the rings give power according to the measure of each possessor? Before you could use that power you would need to become far stronger, and to train your will to the domination of others. Yet even so, as Ring-bearer and as one that has borne it on finger and seen that which is hidden, your sight is grown keener. You have perceived my thought more clearly than many that are accounted wise.’
(The Mirror of Galadriel)

Frodo asks why he is not able to use the Ring for mental contact and perception (which we should probably be distinguishing in this discussion). Galadriel replies that he has not tried, not that it is not an aspect of the Ring. She further adds that the Ring grants powers according to its possessor— a significant point, suggesting the Ring augments or builds upon innate traits and powers. She also says, interestingly, that before Frodo could use the Ring for mindreading, he would have to learn how to dominate minds. Evidently mindreading involves "seizing" another’s mind in an active way, like drawing water, rather than a passive way, like tasting the wind. However, despite all Galadriel’s qualifications and cautionary words, she does say that the Ring has given Frodo the ability to sense and perceive in ways he could not before. This suggests it is one of the Ring’s weakest and most fundamental powers which even the most modest Ringbearers may access. If she is right about the Ring granting power relative to the bearer, then it should grant even more extraordinary power/ability in this sphere to greater ringbearers.

The second example:

For in the day that Sauron first put on the One, Celebrimbor, maker of the Three, was aware of him, and from afar he heard him speak these words, and so his evil purposes were revealed. (The Shadow of the Past, FOTR)

But Celebrimbor was aware of him, and hid the Three which he had made; and there was war, and the land was laid waste, and the gate of Moria was shut. (The Council of Elrond, FOTR)

The question is whether Celebrimbor was wearing any of the Three when he perceived Sauron’s speech. But I think he must have been in contact with them, or why should he, in particular, have heard Sauron speaking? If Sauron was broadcasting so loudly that those without Rings could hear him, then Galadriel, Gil-galad, or many othe Elves should also have heard these words. It is certain that there is some kind of bond between the Three and the One -- that was the purpose for which the One was made after all! And apparently the bond was even stronger than Sauron intended (or else he was arrogant, or stupid), since Celebrimbor heard him speaking in Mount Doom, when Celebrimbor was all the way in Eregion. I think this is a great deal farther than Elrond and Galadriel can "see"! The Rings were clearly augmenting mind-to-mind communication.

A further difficulty is that we can’t tell whether this is unique to the One or a general property of all the Rings. But Galadriel says the rings give power, plural. She and Gandalf both speak of "a ring of power" giving certain abilities to its bearer without regard to which ring of power is being referred to.

Therefore, we must concede that examples where Ringbearers are using mental communicaton or perception may be affected by the presence of the Rings. It’s like a scientific experiment: you need to be aware of variables or external influences that could be impacting the results.   So I suggested that we had better make reference to Legolas or other Elves where we can be sure Rings were not a factor.

Other ways to corroborate evidence are examples of mental telepathy in general: so one can bring Aragorn and Faramir into the picture. In this case it is not Elven blood that’s having any effect (or minimal) but rather, the mythological "supernatural powers" that pop up in significant or special characters in Tolkien’s world, much in the way that his swords and weapons tend to give light in the hands of the bearers as a mark of distinction.

One may further explore several examples of mental telepathy from Lúthien, but I tend to shy away from her for the same reason I’m cautious of using examples where Rings may be a factor: her inheritance from her mother may be a factor.
Tar-Elenion 23/Feb/2005 at 08:58 PM
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Ah, now something substantial. The One was intended to be used in such a manner:

"And much of the strength and will of Sauron passed into that One Ring; for the power of the Elven-rings was very great, and that which should govern them must be a thing of surpassing potency; and Sauron forged it in the Mountain of Fire in the Land of Shadow. And while he wore the One Ring he could perceive all the things that were done by means of the lesser rings, and he could see and govern the very thoughts of those that wore them."

Rings of Power

"But secretly in the subterranean Fire, in his own Black Land, Sauron made One Ring, the Ruling Ring that contained the powers of all the others, and controlled them, so that its wearer could see the thoughts of all those that used the lesser rings, could govern all that they did, and in the end could utterly enslave them."

Letter 131

Celebrimbor was not the only one to know what Sauron was up to, at least others in possession of the Rings did as well:

"And while he wore the One Ring he could perceive all the things that were done by means of the lesser rings, and he could see and govern the very thoughts of those that wore them. But the Elves were not so lightly to be caught. As soon as Sauron set the One Ring upon his finger they were aware of him; and they knew him, and perceived that he would be master of them, and of all that they wrought. Then in anger and fear they took off their rings."

RoP

"He reckoned, however, without the wisdom and subtle perceptions of the Elves. The moment he assumed the One, they were aware of it, and of his secret purpose, and were afraid. They hid the Three Rings, so that not even Sauron ever discovered where they were and they remained unsullied. The others they tried to destroy."

Letter 131

But this is a deliberate effect of the One Ring (as you note above).

Re: Legolas: There is an example where Legolas _might_ be using Osanwe-kenta:

"’Nay, Galadriel,’ said Legolas. ’Did she not speak through Gandalf of the ride of the Grey Company from the North?’

’Yes, you have it,’ said Gimli. ’The Lady of the Wood! She read many hearts and desires. Now why did not we wish for some of our own kinsfolk, Legolas?’

Legolas stood before the gate and turned his bright eyes away north and east, and his fair face was troubled. ’I do not think that any would come,’ he answered. ’They have no need to ride to war; war already marches on their own lands.’"

RotK, Passing of the Grey Company

Re others: According to Osanwe-kenta all peoples are capable of  ’telepathy’, they the ability may be ’latent’ due to neglect etc.

Re ’we must concede’:

You nearly have an argument when you note what Galadriel told Frodo about the Ring (Gandalf saying it gives power according to the possessors stature and etc.). However, the more ’correct’ argument would, IMO, be based on Letter 131:

"The chief power (of all the rings alike) was the prevention or slowing of decay (i.e. ’change’ viewed as a regrettable thing), the preservation of what is desired or loved, or its semblance - this is more or less an Elvish motive. But also they enhanced the natural powers of a possessor - thus approaching ’magic’...".

All the Rings could enhance the natural powers of their bearers. As ’telepathy’ is ’natural’ to people (per Osanwe-kenta), the Three may have enhanced or added some strengthening of the ability to those who used them (augment as you note). Now were I to make an argument that the Three Rings had some effect on the ’telepathic’ abilities of their bearers, that would be the argument I would use, not that the Three Rings were responsible for or relevant to their bearers having that ability, merely that the natural ability was enhanced in some manner.

Tinw 23/Feb/2005 at 10:03 PM
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That’s basically what I was saying... and I think that’s what Halfir was saying as well. The point is that, when we try to figure out the extent and scope of Elven mind-perception and long-distance communication, we have to take into account the fact that Elrond’s and Galadriel’s abilities may be altered or enhanced in some fashion by their Rings. In other words what they are doing may not be innately typical of Elves. (This chiefly matters when Galadriel is seeing into the minds of the Fellowship at Caras Galadhon.)

I’d forgotten Legolas’ comment at Helm’s Deep. Interesting! Now, was that only a guess, or was he picking up on something?!!

Drat Tolkien for being mythologically evocative, rather than precise.
elvenpath 24/Feb/2005 at 03:38 AM
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Halfir, I think we are on the same trend, but some details we understand differently

 

if we accept the Osanwe thesis then it clearly eliminates the argument that sees the Elven Rings as being relevant to mind-to-mind transfer

 

I do not think so! Try to see it from another perspective. Osanwe thesis works in normal conditions, but Elven Rings can help, when something which does not allow Osanwe thesis to manifest comes up. To give arguments for this, I will start with your example:

 

From the FOTR Mirror of Galdriel context I think it clear that in referring to her ability to read the mind of Sauron Galadriel is referring to her use of the Mirror

 

Of course she needs the mirror or whatever other tool to read the mind of Sauron! She can not use mind-to-mind transfer, because this implies Sauron to reveal his mind to her. No doubt, he wasn’t willing to do it!

 

Minds can exhibit or reveal themselves to other minds by the action of their own wills.

 

So, no will to reveal your mind to another, no mind-to-mind transfer. Now, the effect of the Rings can do something to improve the situation.

 

He needs the One to ’;enhance’; the ability to read the mind of the elves.

 

He needs the One from the same reason Galadriel needs the mirror. The Elves don’t want to reveal their minds to him, so he has to create a niche and the One is the tool.

 

If memory serves in Osanwe Kenta it is said that Melkor also tried to break without allowance the minds of the Elves and read it. I don’t have time to look for this now. I will come back later.

CBDunkerson 24/Feb/2005 at 02:01 PM
Scholar of Isengard Points: 820 Posts: 273 Joined: 13/Dec/2004
To suggest a slightly different spin;

"For distance in itself offers no impediment whatever to osanwe."

Consider, "in itself". If distance had NO impact this could have been better written, "For distance offers no impediment whatever to osanwe." The words ’in itself’ might actually imply that distance DOES offer an impediment... just an indirect one.

So what could that be?

Consider the scene at Amon Hen... Frodo could feel Sauron >searching< for him. The fact that they were separated by distance made it difficult for Sauron to locate Frodo... and thereby also made it more difficult for Sauron to bring his will to bear against him.

Distance ’in itself’ did not make it more difficult to communicate thoughts, but it could still do so indirectly by making it harder to FIND the person one wished to communicate with. Once located the distance would then (based on this view) be irrelevant, but until then they might be searching all of Middle-earth or projecting thoughts over a vast area rather than to a particular point.

Whether both individuals possessing Rings of Power might aid in locating each other over a distance is an even more subjective issue. This might be implied by the Elves’ awareness of Sauron’s intent when he first put on the One... or Gandalf’s statement that by lighting a fire on Caradhras he had ’written Gandalf is here’ in signs which could be read for miles.
Geirve 25/Feb/2005 at 03:39 AM
Guard of Erebor Points: 4985 Posts: 6056 Joined: 11/Jul/2003
I think, in view of Osanwe Kenta, Elven Rings (and rings in general) may still have some relevance to osanwe. (I think we should separate carefully power of communication of thought - which is between fellow Incarnates, and the power of prophecy, which is derived from communication with Eru or Valar. I do not see how the latter could be strengthened by the Ring of Power, at least not directly - although there is still the case of Frodo.) Consider:

"For this reason in Incarnates transmission of thought requires strengthening to be effective. Strengthening can be by affinity, by urgency, or by authority." (Osanwe Kenta)

Let us concentrate on "affinity":

Affinity may be due to kinship; for this may increase the likeness of hröa to hröa, and so of the concerns and modes of thought of the indwelling fëar, kinship is also normally accompanied by love and sympathy. Affinity may come simply from love and friendship, which is likeness or affinity of fëa to fëa. (Osanwe Kenta)

But would not "affinity" be increased between fellow ring-bearers? It would not be necessary in the case of Elrond-Galadriel-Celeborn communication (G and C were a married pair, and Elrond was family and friend), but what about Frodo? He has shown himself capable of some kind of communication with both Gandalf and Galadriel. The same, possibly, might have happened between Sauron and Celebrimbor.

Query: according to Osanwe Kenta, osanwe is mutual. How does it relate to Galadriel’s "mind-reading"? Hobbits did not get anything of her thoughts, but were people more experienced (Legolas, possibly Aragorn) capable of reading some of her mind? Or, quite possibly, Tolkien did not take this fragment of LoTR into account when writing Osanwe Kenta.
Bearamir 02/Mar/2005 at 11:42 AM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008
Ladies & Gentlemen:  This thread has been nominated for transfer to Ad Lore.    From what I can see of the discussion, there are some interesting points being raised.  So, "to keep this thread from getting lost" (as the nominator co correctly pointed out)...prepare for move to Ad Lore.
Eladar 02/Mar/2005 at 07:06 PM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1948 Posts: 1306 Joined: 25/Feb/2005

From Morgoth’s Ring

No one, not even one of the Valar, can read the mind of other ’equal beings’: that is one cannot ’see’ them or comprehend them fully and directly by simple inspection

Some might say that this is wrong because Galadriel could read the minds of others.  Yet perhaps what this means is that Eru did not give rational beings the right or the authority to read the minds of other equal beings.  For clarity I believe I should quote this footnote:

All ratoinal minds / spirits deriving dirct form Eru are ’equal’ - in order and status- though not necessarily  ’coeval’ or of like original power.

How could Galadriel be able to read the minds of others?  Through the use of ’power’ that was not her right to use.  In other words, it is evidence that Galadriel was using power in an ’evil’ way.  She was toying with evil.  It had not overcome her yet, but it was evil none the less.   Heresy some might cry!  That’s OK, we all judge how things should be put together.  I simply embrace Tolkien’s later writings.

Tinw 07/Mar/2005 at 10:38 PM
Loremaster of Imladris Points: 13305 Posts: 17500 Joined: 09/May/2003
Eladar, it is a thought, and I see why you’re saying that, but I feel the urge to critique your argument on a few grounds. (sorry)

1) Why would Tolkien go to the trouble of saying "equal" if a moment later he turns around and says that the word is meaningless in this context? That is, if all beings are exactly equal for purposes of mindreading why not just say "No one, not even one of the Valar, can read the minds of other beings"?

2) If he says no being can read other beings minds, then I don’t think one can insert "unless they’re using an evil power" without any input from Tolkien. Why evil? If they can’t, they can’t. If they can, then one has to see what he is saying are the criteria. He says nothing about "evil" ways working when any other ways would not. Rather, he narrowly defines reading to mean "see" them and comprehend them fully and directly by simple inspection. Evidently he is ruling out a comprehensive mental scan and direct reading of all thoughts.

3) Some of the theories Tolkien proposes in his last writings flatly contradict earlier writings. You may then say he changed his mind. But one must use his later revisionism with great caution; you can’t necessarily apply them to his earlier writings indiscriminately, when he may have held a different view. For example, you can’t apply the history of Aragorn the Heir of Gondor to Trotter the Hobbit whom he replaced, and assume that Trotter served Denethor as Thorongil.

The reason I quibble is because your argument would also make Gandalf, Faramir, and Aragorn evil:

’ ...How do you know about it?’
     ’You have talked long in your sleep, Frodo,’ said Gandalf gently, ’and it has not been hard for me to read your mind and memory.’
(Many Meetings, FOTR)

     ’Come hither! ’ said Faramir. `Look at me! Do you know the name of this place? Have you been here before? ’
     Slowly Gollum raised his eyes and looked unwillingly into Faramir’s. All light went out of them, and they stared bleak and pale for a moment into the clear unwavering eyes of the man of Gondor. There was a still silence. Then Gollum dropped his head and shrank down, until he was squatting on the floor, shivering. ’We doesn’t know and we doesn’t want to know,’ he whimpered. `Never came here; never come again.’
     `There are locked doors and closed windows in your mind, and dark rooms behind them,’ said Faramir. `But in this I judge that you speak the truth.’
(The Window of the West, TTT)


    Now Aragorn knelt beside Faramir, and held a hand upon his brow. And those that watched felt that some great struggle was going on. For Aragorn’s face grew grey with weariness; and ever and anon he called the name of Faramir, but each time more faintly to their hearing, as if Aragorn himself was removed from them, and walked afar in some dark vale, calling for one that was lost. (The Houses of Healing, ROTK)

One might argue that the latter is not mind-to-mind contact, but it’s very parallel to Lúthien’s healing of Beren in the Lay of Leithian, where he clearly hears and sees her while unconscious. And at any rate Faramir’s mindreading is quite apparent, and unlike Gandalf (who is also, surely, not evil) Faramir has no Ring or wizard’s power.

His words also suggest what I think is a better interpretation of your quotes: he cannot make a full and direct reading of Gollum’s mind, for there are "closed doors" in it. That doesn’t however make mindreading evil, it merely shows that it has its limits.
Eladar 11/Mar/2005 at 06:38 PM
Foolhardy Ent of Fangorn Points: 1948 Posts: 1306 Joined: 25/Feb/2005

1) Why would Tolkien go to the trouble of saying "equal" if a moment later he turns around and says that the word is meaningless in this context? That is, if all beings are exactly equal for purposes of mindreading why not just say "No one, not even one of the Valar, can read the minds of other beings"?

I thought that is exactly what he said.  Perhaps I’m missing something.


2) If he says no being can read other beings minds, then I don’t think one can insert "unless they’re using an evil power" without any input from Tolkien. Why evil? If they can’t, they can’t. If they can, then one has to see what he is saying are the criteria. He says nothing about "evil" ways working when any other ways would not. Rather, he narrowly defines reading to mean "see" them and comprehend them fully and directly by simple inspection. Evidently he is ruling out a comprehensive mental scan and direct reading of all thoughts.

My thought was that if Eru did not intend rational beings to be able to read the minds of other rational beings, then mind reading would by definition be evil.  Having said that, I think you are correct about comprehensive mental scan and direct reading of all thoughts.  Yet it seems to me that Tolkien is being a little inconsistant here.

3) Some of the theories Tolkien proposes in his last writings flatly contradict earlier writings. You may then say he changed his mind. But one must use his later revisionism with great caution; you can’t necessarily apply them to his earlier writings indiscriminately, when he may have held a different view. For example, you can’t apply the history of Aragorn the Heir of Gondor to Trotter the Hobbit whom he replaced, and assume that Trotter served Denethor as Thorongil.

Once I’ve decided a concept is thrown out, I no longer consider it valid at all.  Therefore when I apply your example to my point of view it becomes rather silly.  Having said that, I understand what you are saying.  The question for me then becomes which fits and which does not.  To tell you the truth, I haven’t thought much about mind reading since the passages in the books have not caught my attention.  My opinon on this issue is not solid at all.  I was just throwing out an initial reaction based on what I’ve read in Morgoth’s Ring.

The reason I quibble is because your argument would also make Gandalf, Faramir, and Aragorn evil:

Just as nothing is entirely evil in Tolkien’s myth, I do not believe anthing is entirely good either.  But I take your point and agree that I was probably wrong.

His words also suggest what I think is a better interpretation of your quotes: he cannot make a full and direct reading of Gollum’s mind, for there are "closed doors" in it. That doesn’t however make mindreading evil, it merely shows that it has its limits.

Point taken, and thank you for your excellent reply!