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Forty-Four Mystical Insights into the Fantasy Books J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield (paperback)

Forty-Four Mystical Insights into the Fantasy Books J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield (paperback)

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This is the second book in my series on the mystical vision of the Inklings. The first one, Eleven Hidden Gems in the Works of the Inklings: the Music of Iluvatar in the Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield, was published in 2022.

This is a paperback. To buy an e-book, click here.

As G.K. Chesterton said,
“The one created thing which we cannot look at is the one thing in the light of which we look at everything. Like the sun at noonday, mysticism explains everything else by the blaze of its own victorious invisibility.”

Mysticism is like the noonday sun. You can’t look at it, but in its light, you look at everything else. To truly understand the world, we must accept one thing that we don’t understand. It is in the light of that one thing which we don’t understand that the world starts making sense.

What is this one thing?

It is our ability to see through the images. Mysticism is our ability to pierce through the veil of reality and commune with the realm of Meaning hidden behind the images. How do we know if this realm exists?

It takes a mystical vision to see it. The vision that J.R.R. Tolkien depicted as a magical star in his last fairy-tale Smith of Wootton Major written in 1968. Before leaving this world and departing to Faërie, Tolkien gave us his final message – you can only enter the perilous and beautiful realm of Faërie if you choose to peep through the veil of this world.
Faërie is always there, but if I choose not to see it, I will never see it. No one will make me see. Not even the King of Faërie appearing in all his glory!

C.S Lewis describes the same tension between seeing and not seeing in The Last Battle where the dwarves won’t be persuaded that they are in the new Narnia. They stubbornly believe they are still in the stable. Aslan himself is unable to persuade them otherwise,

“They will not let us help them,” Aslan explained. “They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own mind, yet they are in that prison, and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.

The mystical vision is ours for the taking. If we refuse to take it and see through the images, Faërie won’t mind. It won’t disappear. It’s too real to disappear. It will keep calling us from the dream world into reality by giving us sudden glimpses of inexplicable joy. It will continue giving us glimpses of otherworldly beauty but it will never force us to see what we don’t want to see.

This book is not an academic study. It is a mystical vision inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield. It contains forty-four insights into the fantasy worlds woven by the imagination of these three philosophers and sub-creators.

When putting the book together, I felt a sudden urge to augment each chapter with an Art Nouveau illustration to bring out the atmosphere of the story. These chapters are to be read slowly because they were written slowly. It is my hope that they will immerse you into a contemplative state of mind so you can better attune yourself to whatever Faërie might want to say to you. And I hope you will hear the call…

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