When Sauron was destroyed at the end of the Third Age, was that the end of evil? No, as Tolkien knew, evil would try to creep across the land again. He had began to outline what would unfold in the generations after The Lord of the Rings, prefaced on the nature of evil:
If evil is not faced up to and confronted, it will spread…the Dark Tree, the concept of growing evil…a dark tree whose roots can never be fully destroyed so that evil will once again arise if the tree is left untended or unwatched. When we do not actively keep watch for evil, it will return…Sometimes in order to preserve the good in the world, we need to step put of the Shire with hope in our hearts, and journey to the darkest places whatever the cost. – “In Deep Geek”
The sequel was never completed, but Tolkien’s vision and warnings about evil live on. Learn more about J.R.R. Tolkien’s unfinished sequel to The Lord of the Rings here.
Rather than codifying the ‘special’ wisdom and knowledge of a few fallible men into governmental law, we must base policy on the protection of the rights of all men. We need more critical thinking, less mindless trust; more responsible self-education and self-governance, less abdication of such responsibility to ‘experts’; more individual, informed decision-making, less acceptance of one-size-fits-all mandates.
We are not mindless robots; our politicians and their advisors are not infallible dictators. It’s time for us to send that message to them loud and clear. -Tabitha Alloway
What Ms. Alloway is writing about here and in the full article: The misuse of science; those who think if they use the word “science” then they should not be questioned; and those who act as if science is free of influence or possible error. I feel bad for those who think they are not capable of evaluating what they are told is true by experts (real or imagined). Testing and questioning is at the foundation of the sciences. Those who tell you not to question, or suppress questions, should be held in suspicion.
This is why we need art — not only because art can address the problems politics can’t, such as problems of the soul…but also because art, in a real way, strips away the material to reveal the real.
If [Ray] Bradbury’s ghost could come back on his century, he would likely say the best and greatest gift we could give him would be to stuff ourselves with ideas and metaphors to fuel our imaginations in order to create. In that way, he would say, we could really be alive. – Nathan Stone
Read more about the legendary author Ray Bradbury here.
Had [the people] been awake instead of asleep, at other times would have seen even stranger things. Some day, but not at this time, I shall make an announcement of something that I never once dreamed of. – Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was the father of the electric age, but the genius had much more in store for the world. Had he figured out how to access unlimited energy from the fabric of spacetime? What were in the papers confiscated from his apartment after his death? Did he really hide trunks of his papers around New York?
Think about it. Tesla was able to imagine the truths of electricity in his mind. If he had truly been on the threshold of conquering unlimited energy for all the world, where would be at? Never an energy crisis? Never a lack of food? We see the past hundred years as producing the most forward progress in technology in human history.
What if all of that was nothing compared to what could have been?
After famed Minneapolis science fiction and fantasy bookstore Uncle Hugo’s and its sister store, Uncle Edgar’s, were destroyed by rioters, Tony Daniel had this to say:
…a city is not like a statue. It is an unplanned web, a crazy network of individuals doing productive, artistic, crazy, and interesting things, all at once. It pulsates with life and change in some areas, accretes tradition or staleness, or both, in others.
It’s never the same. The hustle and bustle of the street, the shops and restaurants and churches and halfway houses and all the rest engender this…when a cultural institution…is burned, the damage goes beyond the physical. It is not really possible to merely clean up and rebuild, as you might a Target or a police station. The bustle of the street, the fabric of the city itself, is damaged.
The destruction…hurts people’s souls, even if they don’t realize this. When you burn such places down…you are not clearing for renewal. You are destroying the very possibility for growth and change in a community.
A well-educated person should read deeply and broadly…Reading authors with opinions both contemporary and ancient can be a profoundly illuminating experience. It becomes quite clear that the advancement of time has led to many positive changes—and more than a few bad ones as well…’Decolonizing’ bookshelves represents a further closing of the American mind, but now intellectual shallowness is being paired with self-righteous zealotry. It’s a frightful combination.
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” ― Ray Bradbury
Each generation of American children has learned less real history than the generation before it. Each generation of American children has instead been subject to greater levels of indoctrination in place of genuine education. – Joy Pullman
And because of this “prejudiced ignorance” created from the failure to teach history, several monuments defaced by rioters in the United States are actually monuments of abolitionists and those who represent everyone.
History matters, yet it gets a backseat in education, if it gets a seat at all.
The average person now spends 93 percent of their life indoors…This is a catastrophe, the final nail in the coffin for the human soul. You live nearly all your life in a fake world: artificial lighting instead of the warmth of sunlight or the cool of moonlight or the darkness of night itself. Artificial climate rather than the wild beauty of real weather…All the surfaces you touch are things like plastic, nylon, and faux leather instead of meadow, wood, and stream. Fake fireplaces; wax fruit. The atmosphere you inhabit is now asphyxiating with artificial smells — mostly chemicals…instead of cut grass, wood smoke, and salt air…In place of the cry of the hawk, the thunder of a waterfall, and the comfort of crickets, your world spews out artificial sounds…Dear God, even the plants in your little bubble are fake. They give no oxygen; instead the plastic off-gases toxins…This is a life for people in a science fiction novel…Living in an artificial world is like spending your life wrapped in plastic wrap. – John Eldredge writing in Get Your Life Back.
…tanks eventually burst through burning debris and headed down the avenue towards Tiananmen. Afterward, I went into the street to comfort some of the locals. Their faces were filled with horror and voices with anguished cries. Various sources suggest that death casualties among the locals ranged several hundred to several thousand – but no one knows for sure because of the communist government’s tight control of information. In a span of just a few short hours, I witnessed the spark of freedom, and saw it extinguished. – Fred Gedrich
If you are too young to remember the Tiananmen Square Massacre, then please read this. The situation in China hasn’t improved in the succeeding decades. Remember that when you hear people defending the Chinese government.
History warns us. Legend fascinates us. Imagination drives us. Authors take these and create worlds that entertain, provoke and warn. Ultimately, even fiction is about the Story we all find ourselves in.