Tolkien, Psychoanalysis, and the Importance of Enchantment Today | Dr. John Rosegrant #47

Fans of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien have long known about their ability to connect with individuals on a level beyond simply plot and character development. In fact, Tolkien even had a word that he coined to help him account for moments in a story that can cause great emotional and spiritual connection: eucatastrophic. This week, our guest is Dr. John Rosegrant. Dr. Rosegrant is a clinical psychologist, and he has written a fantastic book about how Tolkien's works connect psychoanalytically with many of the concepts that help ground us in our humanity. The title of Dr. Rosegrant's book is Tolkien, Enchantment, and Loss. This is an exceptional book for Tolkien fans who want to learn more about how Tolkien is able to connect with us through the human condition. We talk about the importance of creativity; how we must be consciously aware of when we are becoming gollums; how Galadriel and Shelob are manifestations of feminine power; the role that mirrors play in reflective our true selves; and why we need to approach the abject with honesty and playfulness. Make sure you leave a comment, like the video, and hit the subscribe button. This is a great episode and we have more to come, so consider supporting the podcast.

Dr. Rosegrant's Book (affiliate):
Author's website:

00:00 Teaser
00:37 Introduction (I'm reading from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings)
4:00 Beginning of conversation
4:31 I only ask question; I never ax questions.
4:55 What effect did the Hobbit have on you at 6 years old?
6:10 Anecdotal story of a friend of mine who at a very young age chose to read the Hobbit over coming out to play.
7:21 How do you define enchantment and disenchantment in your study of Tolkien?
9:00 What was causing this threat in the Modern world to enchantment?
12:02 Is the potential loss of creativity also a part of this discussion within Tolkien's world?
13:55 What happens to the individual who loses the locus of creativity?
15:38 What do you mean when you say that enchantment can be disenchanting?
17:15 Does not engaging in enough enchantment or play in the individual have potential ramifications on the maturation process?
20:43 Are you seeing a lack of enchantment in our young adults today?
22:22 Can you talk about D.W. Winnicott's role in your book on Tolkien?
27:33 what happens if you become trapped in the two worlds Winnicott mentions?
29:31 Let's get abject for a moment with Julia Kristeva and Tolkien
32:13 Does a lack of honesty and playfulness with the abject lead us to become a type of Gollum?
33:37 How did Tolkien come up with the first line of the Hobbit?
38:55 How were Galadriel and Shelob representations of female empowerment in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings?
43:32 Is Tolkien commenting on motherhood and the ability to spark adventure and crush it?
46:54 What do Tolkien's reflective objects reveal to us about humanity?
52:16 What is your Eucatastrophic moment from Tolkien's works?
55:03 Closing thoughts


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