It has been a long time since I have read the Silmarillion, so forgive me if I am forgetting something. But as Tolkien was, as he claims, writing Myth for Britian, is it not interesting to note that:
Creation seems to be reserved for the Gods, not for lesser beings (Elves, Dwarves, and Humans). Even Demigods--the one who created the Dwarves, hid them in secret until discovered, under the ground, which is why Dwarves love Mining.
The Elves seemed to get this right. Elves shaped the things that were, making them beautiful, but not originally creating anything new . . . until the Silmarills. These jewels did not just reflect the light around them, but shone from within the light of the two trees. From this creation, were Feanor and his kin brought from Valinor to Middle-Earth in pursuit of the stolen gems.
The other creation they made involved the Three Rings of Power, whose creation led to the making of the One Ring by Sauron, and again bound them to Middle-Earth.
I see these things as extraordinary, as they were not just manipulating natural things--like baking Lembas, or weaving Rope. But rather permanently imbuing inanimate things with a force they were not supposed to have. This is different than simply enchanting the water of the fords into seeming horses--a temporary occurance, which had Gandalf/Elrond been killed during it's progress, the Horses would have disappeared. These "created" tokens could be passed on and still remain animate.
Is this not similar to the stories of Greek Mythology? Icarus and his wax wings, or Prometheus giving Fire to mankind? Disrupting the natural flow results in hardship. I can't remember which titan was given a punishment of a vulture eating his spleen (which grew back), or the branch with food reached out of his reach and the water he was in always keeped just below the level where he could drink. Was it Tantalus--where we get the word Tantalize?
And I suppose the other question I wonder is, "Are there things today that we shouldn't be messing with?" Cloning? WMD? Nuclear Weapons? Not that we can return to a time before the Atom Bomb, or Anthrax, or other problems. But shouldn't we be on the watch for making sure we don't repeat the mistakes of the past?
On a completely different yet related thread: there was a case in court before Alexander the Great [true story], where the people of Egypt asked the Jews to pay them for the Gold they took when they departed Egypt, including interest. When asked for proof of this 1000 year old crime, they pointed to the Jewish Torah as their proof-- for no Jew could/would deny it.
Alexander then asked, "According to the Torah, the Jews were in slavery for 400 years. How much shall you pay each of them, plus interest, for the 400 years of wages for this work that was done by them?" And Alexander gave them a day to come up with a figure. The next day, of course, the Egyptians departed, realizing that they would end up owing money. Case dismissed.
Are you aware that within the last year, a similar case has been launched again in Switzerland over exactly the same thing?
When we fail to learn history, we make the same mistakes. Interesting, no?
So what are your thoughts on this? Am I just imagining this, or is it a universal occurance in many cultures, which is a simple human truth--we should know our place, and never forget that as big as we are, there is something greater out there? And that when we forget where we come from, we loose sight of what direction we are going towards?