Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Lord of the Rings vs. the Dragon’s Battle for Your Child's Mind

The Lord of the Rings vs. the Dragon’s Battle for Your Child's Mind

Michael O' Brien in "A Landscape with Dragons: The Battle for Your Child's Mind" said that the imagination is the way that mankind comprehends "God's territory" and his created "invisible realities."

The modern imagination, according to O'Brien, has lost "God's territory" by returning to its "pre-pagan split in consciousness," which is the Gnostic rejection of the "sacramental" unity of spirit and matter, the addiction to occult tales of will to power like Harry Potter, and the relativistic denial of good and evil with ends-justify-the means storylines.

J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" is for O'Brien a prime example of a return to the Western Christian epic tradition of the moral imagination, which comprehends "God's territory" and his created "invisible realities."
O'Brien said, "The discernment of the right paths that must be taken, if good is to triumph, is dramatized in the myriad geographical, emotional, spiritual, and symbolic choices faced by the questers. In each of these, Tolkein's world is faithful to the moral order of the universe, to the absolute necessity of freedom. Middle-earth is a "sacramental" world, an "incarnational" world. ... Spirit [invisible realities] and matter are never portrayed as adversaries."

The Western Christian culture was rooted in this service to reality and God. Reality was the belief in the objectivity of things that are both material and spiritual. During the last two to five centuries, materialistic modernity has been the adversary of this spiritual and matter "incarnational" worldview.

This "incarnational" reality was rooted out and refilled with the lone materialistic science and "realism" in art worldview – in which reality was contained only within material objects that could be tested or seen.
Spiritual (invisible) realities like God, love, beauty, responsibility and free will were neither seeable, material nor testable, so they were not within modernity's realism.

Modernity attacked the primacy of realistic philosophies such as Thomism and realistic symbolic literature like Dante's spiritual epics and Shakespeare's dramas contrasting persons who were symbols of the conflicting real worldviews of modernity and the older realistic philosophy.

Hamlet's "To be or not to be?" illustrates what the two cultures were in conflict about. In our time, Clinton ("What is the definition of is?") is the symbol of modernity's denial of "to be" or objective truth or falsehood.

Modernity, in its desire to stamp out the Christian culture, dislodged Thomism realistic philosophy and realistic symbolic literatures with Pavlovian behaviorism as well as the materialistic reductive studies and application of art, which represented only material acts. Such as Freud's deterministic reduction of all symbols of the mind to represent only the physical acts of sex and Picasso's sexual anti-art.

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