You could probably blame this on Tolkien, at least this time. At least in part. As a direct result of the weekly chapter posts about The Silmarillion, I’ve been brushing up on the Professor’s personal views of Christianity. First that led me through some of his famous letters. Then somewhere along the lines I slipped through some Medieval mystical sources of which he would certainly have been aware but have no real bearing on Middle-Earth whatsoever… Meister Eckhart, Hildegard von Bingen… that sort of thing. It’s interesting stuff, especially for an armchair medievalist.
Had I stayed in that section of my personal library, that might have been enough, but no… I had to venture into the even more esoteric stuff on my shelves. And I got sucked in yet again, down that old and familiar rabbit hole of Angelology. Though I’ve not blogged much about this topic, it’s a field of study I’ve chipped away at in private for almost 20 years now. I’ve amassed quite the library on this subject, yet I’ve barely reviewed anything of note. Most of the books about this I have reviewed were books I’ve known weren’t going to help my research on any level even before I picked them up. Why I picked them up in the first place is anyone’s guess. Curiosity, perhaps, but of the morbid kind. The books of value that I kept coming back to are the sorts of books that I don’t have a clue how I’d review them, especially now after so much time has passed. Some of it has started running together. Ok, most of it.
After I got home this evening, I dusted off my old notebook. It’s not the first I’ve kept notes on comparative religions, but this is the first I kept on Angelology. The day I started on this topic, I started making serious notes. That lasted for about the first three or four years. Hard to say for sure since I didn’t list any dates. After that are some scribbles here and there, but not many. Weirdly enough, the scribbles make more sense to me than the detailed notes. Most of what’s in this notebook is embarrassing by my standards today. As a personal curiosity, I found it somewhat bittersweet to revisit it. It’s a pretty good indicator of how far I’ve come since then, and of how rusty I am on this topic after opting to “let it rest, temporarily” a couple of years ago. With a topic like this, I used to run down any leads I could get until I burned out, sometimes from overload, other times from sheer frustration. Overload is what happened the last time. This weekend, I started thinking maybe it’s time to pick it up again. That’s what led me back to that notebook this evening.
When I first started this site, I worked under the assumption that someday, maybe, I’d sort out all my notes and resources, transcribe what I could make sense of, and do a blog project here, like I do with so many other topics. I don’t think that’s going to happen after all. As much as I’m not religious by any stretch of imagination, I’ve seen firsthand way too much to ignore, so this is all part of some personal quest that after all these years, I still don’t know what it is I hope to achieve. Usually I blog to help me to focus, to figure out what it is I’m thinking about a given topic. That’s why I’m blogging now. This one topic has eluded me on some level. Either I still just don’t know how I feel about it, or there might be a part of me that’s fighting the idea and won’t let me admit to myself. All I know is it’s every bit as challenging as quantum physics in its own way. I’ll probably be revisiting this topic here on rare occassion. I might even review one of the better books every so often. But a formal blog series… no, not likely.