The Fellowship of The Ring
I re- read The Fellowship of the Ring. I felt almost as if I had slipped back to Middle Earth, where magic was still alive and common place. Middle Earth, I realized, was Tolkien’s way of mythologizing The Middle Ages here on earth. His stories were or are so powerful because they were rooted in actual history and borrowed heavily from Norse and other Pagan myths. There is just something very intriguing about Tolkien’s gritty fairy tale that sets it apart from all the rest. It has to do with the way Tolkien writes, both his style and his vision.
The dark lord and terror he invokes isn’t too far removed from current events in essence. It is particularly relevant now I think. The ring corrupts it wearer just as absolute power corrupts absolutely. Why? Well because the ring is symbolic of many things. It makes the wearer invisible, which is a great power. How do you fight an enemy that you can’t see or an enemy that you can’t find? I think Tolkien saw the power to disappear at will as a particularly strong one. It is more dangerous than facing an entire army that you can plainly see in front of you. The ring and its power are characteristic of fear and darkness in general. He realized that the state of poverty and ignorance that plunged the western world into the dark ages was a result of greed and possessiveness. And only by banding together and coming to understand the ancient ways can men of the western world be redeemed.
The Lord of the Rings is a commentary on the nature of history, of humankind and our struggled to understand ourselves. It is much more than good versus evil—it always is. It is more about balance and good storytelling. Enlightened beings realize this. One only has to see the patters that repeat in history and in our own lives—as Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung would point out.