Why Do We Crave Fantasy?

Image result for tunneling out of german prison camp

Why do people read fantasy–or science fiction, romance, Westerns, or what have you?

For escape, of course.

Now the whole idea of escape is to go to a better place, from a worse. People don’t tunnel into prison camps. So the fantasy reader has always the desire to seek a better world, an imaginary world, and escape into it, if only for as long as it takes to read the book.

How are we able to imagine a world that seems better to us than the one we live in? If you imagine yourself in Tolkien‘s Middle-Earth, for instance, you have monsters and dragons to deal with, not to mention a terrible Dark Lord. But you don’t have politicians’ lies to listen to, enormous taxes sucked out of your paycheck, race hustlers, militant sodomy, squawking idiot liberal churchmen, or natural beauty spots torn down to make way for “smart growth.” You don’t have any of that. So you escape to Middle-Earth for a few hours and are all the better for it.

How is it, asks Puddleglum in C.S. LewisThe Silver Chair, that a few children playing a game can imagine a play-world that licks the supposed “real” world hollow?

Because the God who made us built into us an unfailing desire for something better.

Our worldly leaders, from Mao Tse-tung to Eliot “Love Client No. 9” Spitzer, are great fantasists. They promise us a better world, but can’t deliver. Our Science with one hand gives us air conditioning and youtube, but with the other gives us nerve gas and Darwinism. Our worldly philosophers give us what can only be described as dreck.

God gives us salvation and a promise to regenerate His whole creation, but many of us don’t seem very interested in that.

Tolkien said that Christianity is the one myth that is true. We should be hearing that from our theologians and our pastors, but in all too many cases, we don’t.

Never mind. We’ve got the Bible, and it tells us the truth. That’s where the thirsting fantasy writer found the water of life–because that’s where it is.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

4 responses to “Why Do We Crave Fantasy?

  • UnKnowable

    I was fortunate in one aspect of my upbringing, because I was always taught the hope of God’s Kingdom. I’ve seen people face death (from disease) stoically, because of their absolute faith in that hope.

    Just for the purpose of discussion, even if it were not a reliable hope, it would be better to have some hope than no hope. We can see all around us the effects of living with no hope or sense of something greater than our mundane existence.

    But I believe that the Bible’s hope is secure, and I believe this based upon, not some historic record, but in things I can see every day. Israel was reestablished as a nation, literally in one day, just as Isaiah 66:8 foretold. It was attacked on its first day of existence, and without a standing army, they managed to fend off 5 nations which sought to destroy them. In 1967, this tiny nation was attacked again by Egypt, Syria and (somewhat reluctantly) Jordan and not only defended itself, but tripled its territory. They have kept the Golan Heights ever since.

    This is prophecy fulfilled before my own eyes and I believe this proves that the Bible is not simply a book of human wisdom, but a book of prophecy backed by the Creator of all things. For this reason, I believe our hope in God’s Kingdom is entirely reliable.

    Like

  • thewhiterabbit2016

    I like to tell people that the gov’t hasn’t made hope illegal yet. I hoped Trump would be our President instead of Hillary. i hope for American Christians to wake up, come together in unity of Spirit, and demonstrate to the world Jesus Christ has been sent. Today I watched the religious ceremony of Billy Graham being honored by all three branches of the people’s government as he lay in state in the Rotunda of our Capitol and my hope for America was beating strongly in my heart..

    Like

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