by Ivana Zaharija
The inner world is an individual’s own personal view of the world. It is most often different than that of any other individual, which in turn makes them unique. My own context is a story that began since birth and has been influenced and shaped by the experiences and knowledge I gained through the years. Because of this context, my behavior is subject to automatized behavioral patterns that shape me as an individual. Underneath my behavior lie emotions. They are the reason why I behave the way I do. It all begins with them. Happy, sad, jealous, hurt, frightened – whatever the emotion is, it stirs the rest of the body into action.
Frodo Baggins is a perfect example of a Hobbit whose emotions are plainly seen on screen. He is accepting of his own feelings and reacts accordingly. Frodo`s own context, however, does bring an interesting perspective to mind. He lost his parents in a boating accident when he was only 12, then lived with his maternal family for 9 years. At 21 Bilbo Baggins adopted him and brought him to live with him at Bag End. Losing parents that early in life must have made an indelible mark on his personality, giving him a particular inner context with which to grow up. I would say, that the most influential person in his adult life, the one whose knowledge and experience shaped him as an individual, was Bilbo. Frodo in some way resembled Bilbo, in that he too liked to wander the Shire and imagine everything Bilbo told him about his own adventures. This in turn enabled Frodo to broaden his own reality to welcome many different things, instead of focusing solely on the Shire and its way of life.
We are first introduced to Frodo in the Lord of the Rings as he sits under a tree reading and waiting for Gandalf to arrive. To the musical background of the Shire, a whistle is added. This whistle perfectly matches the workings of his inner world. Innocence and purity are what this sound evokes and provides a glimpse into serenity and simplicity of this Hobbits reality. He has lived peacefully, in accordance with the life in the Shire. He feels at home, safe and happy. This all changes once he leaves for his journey.
As Frodo`s first instinct to be rid of the problem, giving the Ring to Gandalf, hasn’t worked, he has taken upon himself to draw the enemy away from his precious Shire. The threat of being found coupled with fear, that will become his permanent state of mind, launches him out of Bag End and into the Wild. While with Gandalf, he feels secure and knows he can trust Gandalf to protect him. However, as Gandalf rides to Isengard in search of answers, Frodo becomes the sole guide for himself and Sam. He seems confident and even encouraging to Sam, as he pushes him to make that step “further than he has ever been”. Frodo is also calming for Sam, when he can`t sleep the first night outside. Their duo grows into a quartet as Merry and Pippin spontaneously join them. The fear and threat that he has been told about begin to take hold as they encounter the Black Riders. Although he still cannot comprehend the enormity of the power that he is carrying with him, a sense of dread starts creeping in. When they reach Bree, he starts to become aware of his surroundings, looking over his shoulder, in an attempt to evade any danger. His fear finally is voiced when he honestly confesses to Aragorn, that he is frightened. He could have kept it for himself, seeing as he didn’t even know whether Aragorn is a positive character or not. He was honest about what he felt, without drawing a mask of courage and hiding his fear. For all he knew it could have gone either way at that meeting at the Prancing Pony. But as Aragorn slowly reveals himself as a possible help for the lads, Frodo starts to build a trust in him.
Frodo: “I think the servant of the enemy would look fairer, but feel fouler.”
This phrase is an admission of one of his greatest qualities, intuition. As opposed to his companions, he has other instincts about Aragorn. At this point he trusts his own feelings about a person and based on them can determine whether this person is trustworthy or not. He is very observant of his feelings and his inner world as he is of the world surrounding him.
This is the ultimate strength a human being can have. It can be attained if one is willing to look inside oneself and admit to feelings that might be unpleasant and work through them. Being observant of oneself is the ultimate freedom. To acknowledge the emotion one feels and letting it course through one`s body. I know from my own experience that the easiest thing to do is to simply ignore your feelings and trust your sound judgment. But how sound can a judgment be, when the reality of the situation is being ignored and buried? I have made many decisions in my life following my head and what I should do. That, however, only contributed to me losing myself and my sense of right and wrong. The little voice inside of me, my own intuition, my own personal strength, was lost. My head took over and subsequently the wars started. Always weighing pros and cons in every aspect of life is torment. I could argue both sides of any situation and still find no permanent solution for anything. I thought that what I am is what I think and how I decide on things, but if those decisions are always met with warring oppositions that never cease, then I don`t know who I am anymore. Without the intuitive voice inside to guide me, I lost myself.
Frodo is unaware of his intuition but uses it instinctively. It is his autopilot that helps him in every situation. We all possess it, but we are either afraid to acknowledge it, because of the pain suffered in the past and the inevitability of negative feelings coming onto the surface once you scratch hard enough, or we simply lost touch with our inner self due to overcompensation from our brains, telling us what is right and what is wrong.
The little voice or instinct, or “gut” feeling, whatever your preferred phrasing might be, is the ultimate companion in life. It alerts you to oncoming trouble or negative experience, but it also swells your heart and gives you hope when experiencing something or looking into the future. If one diverts one`s attention to one’s inner world, i.e. feelings, inborn instincts, then there is no telling what marvelous things one can accomplish.
by Ivana Zaharija