A mysterious disappearance at a 13th-century church in his native Norway draws detective Max Fjellanger into an old case—and a world of ancient ritual, superstition, and present-day danger.
This pitch-perfect elegy makes for compelling reading, the kind of work that must be savored. On Midsummer Eve in , a young folklore researcher disappears from the village of Eidsborg in the Telemark region of Norway. Exactly thirty years later, the student Cecilie Wiborg goes missing. She too had been researching the old, pagan rituals associated with the 13th-century Eidsborg stave church.
And then Knut Abrahamsen, a former police officer from the area, is found drowned in the nearby Tokke River, a presumed suicide since his pockets were filled with stones. This time Max is determined to find out the truth. Reluctantly he finds himself drawn into a dark universe in which ancient superstitions, religious cults, and sinister forces are still very much alive. And the stave church, with its famed wooden statue of Saint Nikuls, is at the center of it all.
The other two volumes are Only the Dead and The Ravens. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Learn more about Amazon Prime. When sweet little Donna takes a trip with her best friend Betty to the family's cabin things quickly get out of hand. Donna learns things about her best friend that change their relationship forever. The adventure starts out with some naked lesbian fun outdoors.
Alone in the woods Donna and Betty get back to nature by running around in it without any clothes. Masturbation, nude photos, strap-on sex and kinky bondage play is just the beginning. The real trouble starts when submissive Donna finds a magic ring. By accident she makes a wish that leaves her unable to wear clothes for eternity.
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And thus he is an apparent success. For you alone see what you really are, while everyone sees what you appear to be. Why should we be good if we can get whatever we want by being evil if we use the Ring of power and remain invisible and unpunished? And his answer is that wanting what you should is better than getting what you want. For if we are unhappy only because we do not have the power to bridge the gap between desire and satisfaction, and if the Ring would give us that power, then it follows that the Ring would make us happy.
Sauron is a big one. Nor is it a mere coincidence that the artist he found most fascinating was Wagner, the author of that other artistic masterpiece that centers on the Ring — exactly the same Ring. Both Plato and Tolkien write their masterpieces precisely to refute this philosophy. The issue could not be more momentous: Kreeft says that evil and injustice seem to be the secret of happiness sometimes, for they seem to give us the power to attain our desires.
What is missing in this philosophy, for Plato, is wisdom: The thief is a fool: Tolkien would agree with this, but he goes farther. He knows something else that is missing in this Nietzschean philosophy: For Tolkien, as for the saints, strength manifests itself most powerfully not in grasping and using power but in renouncing it, mortifying desires, yielding, self-sacrifice, and martyrdom. That is why it is sufficient for Plato to prove his point in the abstract with great brilliance and accuracy, let it be added ; but Tolkien must show it concretely in the story that we see as our story.
No matter how much power evil has, it is always defeated by the free, loving renunciation of power. It can be defeated in Middle-earth as it was on Calvary: Arnion , the meek little Lamb. And Therion , the terrible dragon beast. And the Lamb overcomes the Beast by a secret weapon: Evil is limited to power; it cannot use weakness. It is the one extreme pole in a pair of opposites, always limited by its opposite pole. It is limited to pride; it cannot use humility.
It is limited to inflicting suffering and death; it cannot use suffering and death. It is limited to selfishness; it cannot use selflessness. Evil will be defeated by compensatory karma, by Nemesis. It takes selflessness to give birth, whether biologically or artistically. You let yourself be used as a birth canal, or an an instrument of divine inspiration. Evil cannot create, or give birth.
As Rabindranath Tagore said: When you have been to Calvary, even Ravensbrook looks small. One reason the powerful Ring makes you weak rather than strong is terrifying relevant to our own lives, dependent as they are on our many smaller rings of technologies. Are we sure there is no one ruling Ring behind them all? But he then depends on them Letters , no. This is another example of compensatory karma.
We do not have slaves because we have substitutes for them: The Industrial Revolution made slavery inefficient and unnecessary. But our addiction is the same whether the slaves are made of flesh, metal, or plastic. Kreeft says that we have done exactly what Sauron did in the forging the Ring.
The Ring & The Devil - Kindle edition by Ardor. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ iluvawizel.tk
We have put our power into things in order to increase our power. We tremble before a nationwide electrical blackout or a global computer virus. Only hillbillies and scouts would survive a nuclear war. In our drive for power we have deceived ourselves into thinking that we have become more powerful when all the time we have been becoming less.
The Devil’s Wedding Ring
We are miserable little Nietzsches dreaming we are supermen. But in gaining the world we have lost our selves.
It is because we do not see our own. We have forged a Ring.
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But, though the means are different, they serve the same end. The most terrifying thing about the power of evil is that it is not external but internal. It works only by our cooperation. It removes our freedom, but only freely; we forge the cords of our slavery with the strength of our freedom. This is also how Plato analysed injustice and tyranny in the Republic enslavement to the master passion for power. Freud was wrong; it is not pleasure but power that we want most demandingly. Robert Bretail New York: Modern Library, , p.
Pleasure is only the sugar on the bait of power. Any addict knows that. Not I but it is the Master. Gollum is believable because we know him; he is, as Kreeft says, every drug addict. In fact, he is every addict, which means every man. For we are all addicted to something that we cannot part with that is less than God.
We are weak because we no longer understand the power of weakness; we no longer understand that the greatest power is self-abnegation, renunciation, and martyrdom. Tolkien makes clear the connection between addiction and technology in the strategy of temptation. We scientific magicians demand not only gratification but instant gratification. Self-rightenousness and egotism are another part of the temptation.
But he identifies Gondor with himself; when he despairs of victory for Gondor, he commits suicide. Gandalf, in contrast, is the exact opposite of a suicide: He dies for his companions in the Mines of Moria. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care…For I also am a steward. Did you not know?
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In his book The Good Life the Danish philosopher Mogens Pahuus writes, that if you ask about, what the old Scandinavians saw as the highest and the greatest in life, the ecstasy of life, then the answer would be, that it is self-assertion — the assertion of oneself and the family. He also writes, that you in Christianity find a diametrically opposite view of self-assertion, — both in its Catholic form as in Protestantism.
And in Luther self-assertion nor was a goodness, but the vice over all vices. It is the seven deadly sins Dante in The Devine Comedy must look in the eyes one after one, in order to be able to progress. He must use the discrimination, which is the purification process, where you look your destiny in the eyes and do penance after having realized how your perspective distorts reality. So, self-assertion is a vice. Self-assertion is a kind of self-interest, where everything turns around the Ego, and therefore makes the mind mediocre.
To live in a world, which is controlled by self-assertion, without being self-assertive, means, truly, to love something for its own sake, without seeking a reward, a result; but this is very difficult, because the whole world, all your friends, your relatives, struggle to achieve something, to accomplish something, to become something. Today self-assertion once again is considered as a virtue. The gurus are the many advocates for the market and the economical competition, as for instance several management theorists.
And the education-instrument is the personal development movement. The disciples are the consumers; that will say, that this outlook of life obviously is shared by most people in our society: Mogens Pahuus believes that the modern ideal about becoming a success, a winner, is a perverted ideal. The society praises a self-assertion, which has gone over the top, and there dominates a self-assertion, which is a vice, because it both spoils the life of the self-assertive, and the lives of those, whom the self-assertive measures himself in relation to, and whom he wants to overpass.
Pahuus mentions some of the forms of self-assertion: But also in the arrogant himself, haughtiness is destructive:
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