Tongues of Flame
Where there are so many, all speech becomes a debate without end. But two together may perhaps find wisdom.
— J.R.R. Tolkien.
What would life be without our words? Why is it that we always talk too much for too long? What is it that we always waste our time talking about? And why do we never watch out for the paramount power our words hold?
A word can take a life. A word can be a reason to create one. A word can be so devious it lasts for a thousand years, not just in the memories of men, but in their lives also.
The devil’s most powerful weapon is speech. Devil’s words can open the gates of hell in Earth’s daylight. Odds are you can’t tell apart the words that came from you to actually do good from the words that cause nothing but hurt, wasting time, and preventing you from listening to yourself, and your surroundings.
Why must you speak your thoughts? Silence, if fair words stick in your throat, would serve all our ends better.
— J.R.R. Tolkien.
In almost all pivotal points in history it all went down the way it did just because of the right combination of words; Prophets spread their revelation with words. Rulers gained the trust of people with the right words; The only difference between a truth and a lie is the way they’re woven and laid before the listener.
In his world, Tolkien portrayed speech the way it really is; Dragons breathing fire with tongues of flames were just as powerful (perhaps even less powerful) as dragons speech. The toll of a dragon’s wicked whisper can be more devastating than that of a wandering fire.
Here, a dragon (Glaurung) needed not to burn his brave opponent, for he has much more damage to inflict with the same mouth:
‘Evil have been all your ways, son of Hurin,’ said he. ‘Thankless fosterling, outlaw, slayer of your friend, thief of love, usurper of Nargothrond, captain foolhardy, a stabber in the dark, treacherous to foes, faithless to friends, a curse unto your kin, and deserter of your kin. As thralls your mother and your sister live in Dor-lómin, in misery and want. you are arrayed as a prince, but they go in rags. For you they yearn, but you care not for that. Glad may your father be to learn that he has such a son: as learn he shall.’
And Túrin being under the spell of Glaurung hearkened to his words, and he saw himself as in a mirror misshapen by malice, and he loathed what he saw.”
We’re consumed by our seemingly friendly conversations making jests and throwing statements almost automatically to the extent that it now seems pre-recorded and controlled. with every letter being a mere expected checkpoint. Throwing in some whispers and secretes that cause nothing but despair.
I said: ‘O Prophet of Allah, will we be brought to account for what we say?’ He [Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)] said: ‘May your mother not find you, O Mu’adh! Are people thrown onto their faces in Hell for anything other than the harvest of their tongues?’
— Mu’adh son of Jabal