a research book from the series:

Discovering Infinity
by Rolf A. F. Witzsche


Volume 2B


 The Lord of the Rings' Metaphors


When the future determines the present with love,
We discover the heart of our humanity,
Thus we discover the emptiness of the 'fire' that would destroy it,
We also discover a brighter 'fire,'
A flame that glows with the light of universal love? 

J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the mythical tale, The Lord of the Rings, did not only explore history, he experienced it in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. From this background he was able to put into his tales, wrapped in metaphor, a number of critical choices of the kind on which the survival of civilization depends that we still seem to ignore in our world. He wrote a tale in which the present was determined by the imperatives of the future. But he also wrote a script for shaping that future and the future obeyed! 

Tolkien was an accomplished linguist. Many names in the tale represent profound principles, as well as tragic follies and fascist processes that 'empty' a society of its humanity. 

The Lord of the Rings sage was created over a long period of time in the shadow of some of the greatest historic tragedies of the 20th Century, some of which still overshadow the world. He tells us about them in metaphor, and like other pioneers, he appears to have searched for the universal principles that can enable us to get out of the growing mess that our world has become. One can certainly find a great many of these universal principles illustrated in metaphor, threaded through his epic saga at numerous levels. He poses a challenge with them for society to look beyond the metaphors and discover their reflection in the real world and the real story of it that is still unfolding. 

Through the mirror of the metaphor we find ourselves deeply engaged in the dynamics of our own world. But will our future match Tolkien's ending? Indeed, will the imperatives for the future shape the present world and move us to assure that we will have a future?

The research book presented here explores the dimension that stands behind the numerous metaphors in the tale. The book is presented as Volume 2B of the research series, Discovering Infinity.

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