Monday, January 17, 2011

Swords and Sorcery

Although the presence of the Force in Star Wars opened my mind to the possibility of something like the supernatural, I did not immediately turn to traditional religion. The Force was manifested in Star Wars through mind control, telekinesis, and skill in fighting; these are not things you find in most traditional religions. However, I began to think about the legends of wizards and witches from the Middle Ages, and I wondered if there was some kind of reality behind those legends.

In those days, you could not walk into a book store and find books on witchcraft or Wicca. If such things had been available to me then, I might have been tempted to actually try it. However, all I got into was Fantasy genre fiction and the Dungeons and Dragons game. Although I read a few different Fantasy series, what made a huge impression on me was The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I was amazed by the detail and the scope of the imaginary world that Tolkien created, but I think there were deeper things that affected me. I was drawn to the beauty, goodness, and heroism in these stories that was stronger than anything I had encountered before.

I think my new interest in Tolkien improved my relationship with my friend, Doug, who had become religious a couple of years earlier. He was a Tolkien fan, and now we had this in common. This relationship would grow in importance through the rest of High School, and lasts even to this day.

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