Love, Death, and the Sub-Creative Imagination in J.R.R. Tolkien (revised)

Love, Death, and the Sub-Creative Imagination in J. R. R. Tolkien Written March 3, 2013, Revised September 20, 2014 by Matthew David Segall In the year 1951, as recorded by the calendar of our world, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to a potential publisher of his Lord of the Rings trilogy to describe the origin of his [...]

Love, Death, and the Sub-Creative Imagination in J. R. R. Tolkien

Yesterday I found myself reading The Silmarillion, an unfinished collection of Tolkien's mythopoeic writings depicting the creation of Ëa and its passage through the first of the three ages of the world (The Lord of the Rings trilogy depicts events at the end of the third age). The stories, posthumously published by his son Christopher in 1977, are prefaced [...]

Petals Rising

I forgot about this short poem I penned back in August on the inside of the back cover of Ramey's book after sitting on a bench intending to read in a rose garden in Golden Gate Park. It seems relevant to some of what I've covered above: I stand here watching rose petals fall. I pick up [...]

The Beginning and the End of Positive Philosophy

In the Theaeteus, Plato has Socrates say that "wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder." In his Metaphysics, Aristotle echoes this by writing that "it was their wonder, astonishment, that first led men to philosophize and still leads them." In the Phaedo, Plato has Socrates say that "those who really apply [...]

Post-Secular Spirituality

Michael over at Archive Fire recently linked to a published essay by a friend and former colleague at CIIS, Annick Hedlund-de Witt. Annick researches the way changing world-views in America and Europe stand to influence--whether positively, negatively, or not at all--the push for a more sustainable approach to development around the world. She focuses specifically on spiritual imaginaries (my [...]