This forum was closed on October 1st, 2010. However, the archives are open to the public and filled with vast amounts of good reading and information for you to enjoy. If you wish to meet some Wardrobians, please visit the Into the Wardrobe Facebook group.

Source of heaven as mountains imagery?

Plato to MacDonald to Chesterton, Tolkien and the Boys in the Pub.

Source of heaven as mountains imagery?

Postby bruce n h » 24 Sep 2008, 02:06

Hey all,

Both Lewis and Tolkien use a similar image of going up into the mountains upon reaching Heaven. In Lewis, of course in the Last Battle they go further up and further in, up into the mountains of Aslan's country at the very end. Also in the Great Divorce, the ghosts are told they need to journey up into the mountains and the spirits offer to help. In a very similar image from Tolkien, in Leaf by Niggle at the end Niggle's Parish is said to be a place where newcomers can recuperate before they begin their journey into the mountains. Of course, the idea of meeting God on a mountaintop goes back as far as Moses on Sinai, but I was wondering if there was some inspiration of making Heaven a range of mountains? I suppose either Lewis or Tolkien could have got it from eachother, but it seems to me they may have gotten it from some earlier source. There is Mount Purgatory in Dante, but the point they really get into Heaven is where they leap off of the mountain into the sky, so it's not quite the same. Any thoughts?
User avatar
bruce n h
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Aug 2008

Postby Leslie » 24 Sep 2008, 17:30

There's also the Delectable Mountains in Pilgrim's Progress.
"What are you laughing at?"
"At myself. My little puny self," said Phillipa.
--Rumer Godden, In This House of Brede
User avatar
Leslie
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 1809
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada

Postby Sven » 24 Sep 2008, 20:30

One of the more used Biblical names for God, El-Shaddai, probably* originally meant 'God of the Mountain(s)'. It is usually translated as 'God Almighty' in English translations of the Tanakh and Old Testament. Similarly, when you see LORD God Almighty in English translations, the original is YHWH El-Shaddai.



*There are plenty of scholars out there that are making a living off of arguing that 'probably' :wink:
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
User avatar
Sven
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 2873
Joined: Aug 1996
Location: Greenbelt, MD, near Washington DC

Postby Tuke » 25 Sep 2008, 04:01

Leslie wrote:There's also the Delectable Mountains in Pilgrim's Progress.
However, Christian must cross the great River, not a mountain, to enter Heaven. Likewise, Dante enters Paradise by crossing the great River.
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
User avatar
Tuke
 
Posts: 966
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Florida

Postby Leslie » 25 Sep 2008, 15:58

Tuke wrote:
Leslie wrote:There's also the Delectable Mountains in Pilgrim's Progress.
However, Christian must cross the great River, not a mountain, to enter Heaven. Likewise, Dante enters Paradise by crossing the great River.

I'm not sure what your "however" is for -- I wasn't drawing a parallel between Bunyan's mountains and Dante's mountains -- just pointing out another literary instance of mountains closely related to heaven. It was from the Delectable Mountains that Christian and Hopeful were able to glimpse the Celestial City.
"What are you laughing at?"
"At myself. My little puny self," said Phillipa.
--Rumer Godden, In This House of Brede
User avatar
Leslie
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 1809
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada

Postby Tuke » 26 Sep 2008, 00:43

Leslie wrote:I'm not sure what your "however" is for.... It was from the Delectable Mountains that Christian and Hopeful were able to glimpse the Celestial City.
I'm sorry if it sounded like I was refuting your point. I think I was just focusing in on Bruce's comment about entering heaven rather than either delving deeper into it or viewing it from outside, though upon further review I see all three aspects in his post.
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
User avatar
Tuke
 
Posts: 966
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Florida

Postby Áthas » 26 Sep 2008, 12:12

I was thinking about people who climb the highest mountains and risk their lives just to get up there. Might it be that there is just something inside human beings suggesting that you can reach something greater if you climb a mountain?
Sorry, this might be a totally silly thought.
To thine own self be true!!! (Shakespeare)
User avatar
Áthas
Wardrobian
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Bremen, Northern Germany

Re: Source of heaven as mountains imagery?

Postby ainulindale » 16 Jun 2009, 04:36

i've wondered about the heaven/mountains connection as well. recently i read a rather fascinating book, "the all-inclusive Christ," (available to read online) which shed some light on this matter. Basically it says that in scripture, mountains represent resurrection (raised up) and ascension -- something raised above the earth (hence, heaven). It goes into detail about the imagery about the New Jerusalem and how this kingdom of God is built of living precious stones, which signify resurrected people, who have been transformed from "clay" (natural life) to "stone" (resurrection life). Also it mentions something about how the heavenly armor of God is made of metals from those heavenly mountains of resurrection. anyway, the book explains it much better than i.
ainulindale
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: 7 time zones west and 7 degrees south of mount athos

Re: Source of heaven as mountains imagery?

Postby Tuke » 17 Jun 2009, 18:23

I encountered these verses in my devotions Psalm 113:5-6; 115:15-18.
God is high and lifted up; therefore, in the ages before aeronautics, wouldn't mountains be a natural metaphor of nearness to God?
"The 'great golden chain of Concord' has united the whole of Edmund Spenser's world.... Nothing is repressed; nothing is insubordinate. To read him is to grow in mental health." The Allegory Of Love (Faerie Queene)

2 Corinthians IV.17 The Weight of Glory
User avatar
Tuke
 
Posts: 966
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Florida


Return to Inklings & Influences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered members and 2 guests

cron