Gandalf

The Wisdom of Tolkien .. Again..

From time to time on this blog we visit a quote from one of my favorite authors Tolkien. For many of us he is the god father of modern fantasy writing (along with Jules Verne). Tolkien gave us a lot of pearls of wisdom from his works, let’s discuss the one below.

“For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, 

What does he mean here? Simply put, those of you who have obtained wisdom or have mentors in your life cannot always rely exclusively on their view. Even those of us with a vast amount of experience cannot possibly foresee all possible outcomes. Tolkien is giving us a very important reminder here that you cannot rely exclusively on the wisdom of others.

Sometimes in life things happen that we don’t anticipate no matter how well we prepared for it. Those are often the most unforgiving and brutal of circumstances and they punish your spirit and soul. The key here is acceptance. Acceptance of the notion that life/fate is out of your hands. Things happen and it’s not always how well you are prepared for what might occur but rather how well you recover from the things you didn’t see coming.

One of the hardest things we have to deal with as humans and as humans with anxiety is picking ourselves up after a major calamity. Tolkien gives us a warning here, he is telling us that even the very wise cannot see all ends. Remember, live isn’t about how many hits you can take, it’s about how you get up and carry on after being knocked down.

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Hobbit Hole

The Wisdom of Tolkien…again…

“How do you move on? You move on when your heart finally understands that there is no turning back.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

If you are new here then you might not understand the “again” part of the title. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors from childhood. Regularly I feature on of his quips, or a phrase from one of his novels and apply it to the present. Here we have some direct, and extremely effective advice from Tolkien.

His answer to the question is prophetic as it’s so hard to get to that point but for any of us who have been there know, once you do get there it just clicks. Living in the past isn’t a horrible use of your time. It allows you to reflect on what transpired and to understand how to prevent, or emulate the outcome.

Matter of the heart? I am no expert although I’ve had my share of relationships. When you do realize that it’s truly “over” it can be one of the saddest days of your life. It’s also an opportunity, a chance to start a new journey. To put it bluntly, if you don’t let go of the past you will never move forward.

The heart is always the last to follow. When we look back its easy to cherry pick specific instances of “X” to justify how we feel currently. Move on, it’s time. You’re ready, they are ready (or already have). Your heart will thank you for it.

Looking for more Wisdom from Tolkien? Click here

Gandalf

The Wisdom of Tolkien … Again …

“The world is full enough of hurts and mischances without wars to multiply them.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

It’s so true isn’t it? Decades after this was written we get find another pearl of wisdom from Tolkien. Maybe you saw the movies? Maybe you play LOTR inspired games? Maybe you read all the books? Regardless it’s hard to argue with the Tolkien’s pearls of wisdom. I understand pulling quotes from works can be dangerous when not providing context but some quotes, the context is best left for the reader to discern.

The world is full of hurts and mischances. I often reflect on my life and wonder at moments how I could have done better, what if “X” happened? That doesn’t mean I am not present but don’t we all look back from time to time? We all have yesterdays….

Tolkien doesn’t go out on a limb here, he is providing a simple observation here it should be pretty evident. War, in context, can really mean just about any conflict in your life. For the work he posted in it was in the midst of a large war. We know what traditional war is in our lives, missiles, weapons etc. War can be additional conflict in your life, avoid it if you can. Remember that conflict normally ads to a world full of hurts and mischances.

Keep things simple, avoid conflict if you can and do the best you can. Conflict, no matter the scale is often destructive. If you can avoid it do it, if you have to have conflict being gracious in victory reduces the hurts. These concepts apply to any conflict really, it does not have to be a physical fight. Take care out there and be safe.

Gandalf

The Wisdom of Tolkien…. Again….

Yes it’s time for another piece with J.R.R. Tolkien. Even if you haven’t read the books you likely know who this author is. His impact on culture has been immense to say the least. His books sent me down a path of imagination that nearly 40 years later I am still on. To the wisdom…

“It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life.”
― J.R.R Tolkien

I suppose we need to determine what is a simple life? Today many people aspire to have more… In the sense that your motivations are often suspect internally. As an example I want 500 subscribers to my blog. Why? money? reach? affirmation? competition? For me its just a number I want to attain, I believe that its a worthy goal but have no real difinitive reason why other than Id like more people to read what I have to say.

A simple life to you might be something completely different from what I think it is. The point here I think is to reflect on what we have and appreciate it more rather than be constantly driven to obtain more, whatever the venue. Tolkien in context is using the hobbits as an example of his “simple life”.

They enjoy family, home, a good harvest, a warm meal, a soft bed. While the rest of the world is engaged in conquest, power, politics, war, turmoil. Bring this back to your life, what are the simple things you enjoy? Have you celebrated them lately? Meaning really appreciate where they come from, how you obtained it?

Me, I am really thankful for my pillow. I know that sounds silly doesnt it? Its a simple thing, that makes my life better, I am going to celebrate it by washing it today. Yes, sometimes a simple celebration of something that makes your life better is a good avenue for your energy rather than a focus on something you want to obtain.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this? Click here.

Hobbit Hole

The Wisdom of Tolkien…again…

“How do you move on? You move on when your heart finally understands that there is no turning back.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

If you are new here then you might not understand the “again” part of the title. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors from childhood. Regularly I feature on of his quips, or a phrase from one of his novels and apply it to the present. Here we have some direct, and extremely effective advice from Tolkien.

His answer to the question is prophetic as it’s so hard to get to that point but for any of us who have been there know, once you do get there it just clicks. Living in the past isn’t a horrible use of your time. It allows you to reflect on what transpired and to understand how to prevent, or emulate the outcome.

Matter of the heart? I am no expert although I’ve had my share of relationships. When you do realize that it’s truly “over” it can be one of the saddest days of your life. It’s also an opportunity, a chance to start a new journey. To put it bluntly, if you don’t let go of the past you will never move forward.

The heart is always the last to follow. When we look back its easy to cherry pick specific instances of “X” to justify how we feel currently. Move on, it’s time. You’re ready, they are ready (or already have). Your heart will thank you for it.

Looking for more Wisdom from Tolkien? Click here

Gandalf

The Wisdom of Tolkien…Again..

“Wise men speak only of what they know”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

We’ve all heard some iteration of this in some form in our travels. My father used to say to me many years ago “When you are up to your nose in poop, done open your mouth”. Of course he was more colorful in his prose. He was a Korean War vet and didn’t have much use for B.S. I guess he had seen enough over there to understand the value of his time.

I digress though….

So have you been in a conversation with someone or a group of people and there is that one person who refers to “they” or uses the term “they say”? These are the types of people Tolkien is talking about here. As an example, if we were to talk about personal finance I could hold my own with just about anyone that’s my area of expertise.

If for example we were talking about Astrology I wouldn’t know the first thing other than some cursory info on the solar system, or a guess at how many stars are out there… you get the drift.

Be mindful in your life who is speaking to what subject. It is true the older you get the more experiences you have and you can speak wisely on many topics. Another example… I can tell you and speak to how to jump start a car. Not because I am an auto mechanic but because I’ve had to do it several times in my life.

Not every wise person comes in the guise of the highly educated. A master’s degree is not required in all subjects to have wisdom in said subject. That said be wary of those who boast, who preface remarks, who use citations that don’t make sense, who refer to things that, in your heart you know just don’t make sense.

Tolkien is telling you wise men (and women) speak only what they know. Who are you getting your information from? Is this person a walking encyclopedia? Chances are they are wise in nothing at all, other than how to create the illusion of wisdom.

Interested in more wisdom from Tolkien? Check out my post here

Gandalf

THE WISDOM OF TOLKIEN…AGAIN…

“I was talking aloud to myself. A habit of the old: they choose the wisest person present to speak to”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

This quote is meant as humor but if we look at it objectively we can pull a few good pieces of advice out of it. Let’s do this Tolkien break down a little differently.

  • “I was talking aloud to myself” – Many people find this to be a negative trait, a sign of a mental health issue. It may be, but Tolkien does a good job of disarming this notion with the ending.
  • “A habit of the old” – This again can have a negative connotation associated as old sometimes translates into loosing mental cognitive abilities. You’re old, you’re talking to yourself.
  • “They choose the wisest person present to speak to” – This is how this quote becomes a gem. He associates wisdom with the person, whom is old, and whom is speaking. He then clearly points out to the reader that the old person talking to himself (or herself) is the wisest person present because they are choosing to talk to themselves.
There once lived a hobbit in a hole

I know it’s somewhat circular but what we can glean from this is, you should trust yourself. Your wisdom is exclusive to you. Meaning you are a sum of your experiences and no one else can claim your unique memories and circumstances.

Age is a number and a child of 10 who has played ping pong since 3 has wisdom a 40 year old new ping pong player will not have. Don’t allow outside influences to impact your evaluation of your wisdom, regardless of your age. You have experiences and wisdom all your own. Trust it, learn from it and if you have any questions ask yourself, out loud….

Looking for more wisdom of Tolkien? Check out my post here.

Atari 2600

Play games for anxiety?

Full discloser: I am a gamer. I have been since I got an Atari in 1983 I haven’t looked back since. The growth in gaming, for me is staggering. “Back in the day” gaming wasn’t mainstream at all. IPhone didn’t exist, only a few people had computers in their house. Internet? It wasn’t accessible to civilians at that point. Now? Gaming is a multibillion dollar industry. People who dismiss it and the people who enjoy the hobby are really in the dark ages. Its here and its part of our global culture now. I game with people all over the world, Germany, Japan, New Zealand you name it.

Now for those of us with anxiety, some games can induce increased anxiety. Not everyone is equipped to deal with the realities of gaming. There are trolls, there are competitive people, and some games are not simple. Remember that “gaming” doesn’t just mean online games AKA what you see in twitch clips. It can mean chess, poker etc.

I found a pretty interesting article here

From the article: “During quarantine, we have to not only keep ourselves sharp mentally and physically, but also find healthy ways to interpret the world we’re facing. Playing games helps people break away from their work while still engaging in social activities with others. Games also help people experience escapism. Whether it’s a video game, board game or puzzle, we can take a break from the world and focus on the task in front of us. Playing games provide a unique personal experience and mental break.”

Escapism is a wonderful concept and for me it’s been effective for years. I play a game called “Lord of the Rings online” I have been playing it for a decade. It’s a blast. Now for me, I am a Tolkien fan as you can see from this post I refer to him a lot. I log in assume the role of a character and become someone else for an hour.

Is it healthy? I don’t know, I do know that for me it breaks the real world cycle. I am in a fantasy setting, I know it’s all made up that the impossible is possible. I also know the real world isn’t present, I can shut it off if only for little while. Maybe video games aren’t your thing, that’s cool. Perhaps you are of a certain age like me where you remember your parents having a card night

It’s the same concept really. The article is pretty well written and in the end I think the solution for anxiety is multi-pronged. Maybe gaming is one of the tools you can use to ease your personal anxiety? I know it works for me.

Interested in more posts about anxiety relief? Check one out here.

Gandalf

The Wisdom of Tolkien … Again …

“The world is full enough of hurts and mischances without wars to multiply them.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

It’s so true isn’t it? Decades after this was written we get find another pearl of wisdom from Tolkien. Maybe you saw the movies? Maybe you play LOTR inspired games? Maybe you read all the books? Regardless it’s hard to argue with the Tolkien’s pearls of wisdom. I understand pulling quotes from works can be dangerous when not providing context but some quotes, the context is best left for the reader to discern.

The world is full of hurts and mischances. I often reflect on my life and wonder at moments how I could have done better, what if “X” happened? That doesn’t mean I am not present but don’t we all look back from time to time? We all have yesterdays….

Tolkien doesn’t go out on a limb here, he is providing a simple observation here it should be pretty evident. War, in context, can really mean just about any conflict in your life. For the work he posted in it was in the midst of a large war. We know what traditional war is in our lives, missiles, weapons etc. War can be additional conflict in your life, avoid it if you can. Remember that conflict normally ads to a world full of hurts and mischances.

Keep things simple, avoid conflict if you can and do the best you can, one day at a time.

Gandalf

The wisdom of Tolkien.. Again

“The wise speak only of what they know.” J.R.R. Tolkien

I often come back to Tolkien, and why not? The breadth of material he came up with for his works in Middle Earth is staggering. Many of the people on word press are novelists as well so they can appreciate it.

I mean Tolkien wrote such in-depth back stories for his lore, he included new languages and songs in those languages.

So, its unsurprising to me anyway that from this vast array of words we can glean pearls of wisdom. The one above “The wise speak only what they know” is a great one. Let me put it in these terms.

In life we meet all sorts of people. I have a woman I work with who nearly daily is giving people advice and pontificating about dieting. She is nearly 400 pounds, very obese. Nice lady don’t get me wrong but I can’t fathom taking dieting advice from someone like that.

This is what Tolkien means and its something you should be very aware of in your life. Getting car advice from a chemist might not be sage. Think about the people you interact with in life, think about what they actually do (that you know of) and see if this jives with what they are telling you.

“They say” is a tell-tale signal that this person doesn’t know they and is using personal opinion to formulate advice. Be wary of supposed experts in your life. No one knows you better than yourself. “The wise speak of what they know” The unwise seek knowledge to affirm their impulses and feelings.

Be wary…