Saruman and Gandalf: The Spiritual Guides of our Day

Last week I reblogged a piece that I wrote in February 2015 entitled How to Choose the Right Spiritual Guide contrasting Gandalf the enabler and giver of courage to Saruman the controller and director. This week I want to post a piece that I wrote in January 2015, a few week’s earlier, that also contrasted them. In this case it is about Gandalf the Wanderer and Saruman the Builder. Do let me know what you think about this.

Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings

Soldiers everywhere have a clear sense of priority and Tolkien, drawing on his memories of the trenches of the First World War, knew that well. The sharing of news, unless that news requires immediate action, must always follow after food and some rest. So it is that it is only after they have feasted together and smoked in companionable silence that Merry and Pippin begin to tell the tale of the Fall of Isengard and the revenge of the natural world against the world of the machine.

“An angry Ent is terrifying,” said Merry. “Their fingers and their toes just freeze onto rock; and they tear it up like bread-crust. It was like watching the work of great tree-roots in a hundred years, all packed into a few moments.”

Saruman at first is utterly bewildered by an attack that he never anticipated so it is the bewildered wizard that the…

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5 thoughts on “Saruman and Gandalf: The Spiritual Guides of our Day

  1. I agree completely. It is heartbreaking. But I have been thinking a lot about the patience of the Valar in Tolkien’s legendarium, a patience that Sauron interprets as abandonment. Saruman comes to despise patience too. Gandalf does not and it makes all the difference.

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