How to Choose the Right Spiritual Guide

On Monday I want to write about Saruman’s tragic end and as I began to think about it realised that I had touched upon the main themes in a post that I wrote over three years ago that I am reblogging here. It didn’t get many readers the first time round so I hope that it will get many more this time. The main thing that I seek to achieve here is to contrast Saruman and Gandalf. When you do read it I hope that you will let me know if I have succeeded in getting them right.

Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings

Two weeks ago I wrote about Saruman and Gandalf as the spiritual guides of our day trying to show how Saruman had come to put his trust in the exercise of power through things that are made for indeed the thing he desired most was the Ring, the ultimate expression of power and Sauron’s greatest work. If our spirituality is a description of that which we desire most and that which we make the ground of our being then Saruman and those like him are indeed spiritual guides.

Saruman sees all reality as an expression either of power or weakness. Only that which enables the expression of power has any validity. And those he considers weaker than he is only have validity in so far as they may further his own ends. The problem for him as we have seen is that his estimate of strength and weakness is desperately…

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