J.R.R. Tolkien has captured the imagination of millions through his meticulous creation of a complete realm of magical beings and mythical lands in his epic literary classics The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and The Silmarillion. Drawing extensively on ancient myth and legend, Tolkien wove a fabric of rich and metamorphosing tales that both delightthe spirit and stimulate the mind.
In the pages you hold before you, Gareth Knight reveals how Tolkien's epic stories tap into the realms of far-memory and myth, giving access to treasures of wisdom and insight buried deep in the collective imagination. Knight shows the parallels between the myth-making powers of the creative artist and the methods of magical vision as taught in the esoteric schools of the West.
One highlight of this book is a look at Tolkien's use of the ancient Faery Tradition, which is a means of exalted and imaginative empowerment that holds particular spiritual importance for the modern world.
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Gareth Knight is one of today’s foremost writers on the subjects of Magic, the Qabalah, and the Western Mystery Tradition. He has devoted a lifetime to rediscovering and teaching the principles of esoteric philosophy and practice as a spiritual discipline and method of self-realization. His new “The Magical Worlds” series, of which the present volume is the first, focuses on the renowned literary group known as “The Inklings.” This coterie of influential authors consisted of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams. Each volume examines one of these authors from the viewpoint of Knight’s valuable experience and insight into the realm of the creative imagination and its relationship to the magical powers of the human soul.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
1. IN THE BEGINNING
J.R.R.Tolkien caught the imagination of a generation with his trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, with massive sales and the development of what practically amounted to a complete sub-culture of enthusiasts. This led later to the publication of the source material for it all, in The Silmarillion and other works carefully researched and recovered from old manuscript material by his son. Tolkien did no less than construct his own mythology and body of legend from a vast store of Anglo-Saxon and other early literature gathered from his own reading, the apparent neo-paganism nonetheless entirely compatible with his deep Christian faith.
From this body of private myth and legend he drew stories of many different kinds, a creation cycle, fall from paradisal innocence, ancient sagas of forgotten races and peoples human and non-human, including stories of lovers and heroes. He had begun to write such stories at an early age and by the age of eighteen had conceived the idea of writing a complete cycle. His prime source of wonder was in fairy stories, and in the ancient concept of the word, perhaps better rendered as faery, which implies that realm of the imagination that is considerably more "magical" or mythopoeic than arch tales of sentimental fancy.
Through early manhood he kept all this as a private occupation until, in 1929, after a lively discussion on the gods and giants of Asgard, he showed some of it to his Oxford University colleague, C.S.Lewis, who responded with enthusiasm and encouragement. For some time Lewis was his only audience. quest, for both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were but a small fragment of a vast mythological scheme, the core of which was not published until after his death, as The Silmarillion.
This contains a creation story, in which Ilúvatar, the One God, the Father of All, creates the angels and the angelic worlds before the Earth ever was, followed by the fall through pride of one of their number and the consequences that this had upon the paradisal world and later upon the world of elves and men and hobbits and all the other creatures, with the resultant battles against evil which reflect the condition of the world to this day.
It will be helpful if we pay some attention to these early happenings, for they are the mainspring from which the rest of the action develops, with very far reaching consequences. Without consideration of The Silmarillion, much of the action of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit cannot be understood.
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Book Description Sun Chalice Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111928754082