When I first read Tolkien in my early-middle teens; I had a yearning desire that hobbits, elves, dwarves should still be alive in the world. I felt that - if this could only be the case - then life would become magical and beautiful... or would it? How exactly?
Nowadays, I regard this as one of the traps of materialism. When half of us 'knows' (because we are materialists) that there are no other speaking peoples than man, no giants or dragons, no magical wizards or ghosts...
Then the other part of us - which remains spontaneously and naturally spiritual - automatically concludes that If such things were real For Sure, our world would be magical, re-enchanted, romantic...
And in this half-way house of hope-less yearning - we Get Stuck.
Because, it would not really be the case that hobbits would make a better world - not unless our way of thinking also changed.
Because the reality of hobbits somewhere in the world would not transform our condition any more than the reality of the pygmies; the reality of magical sorcerers would just be a different kind of 'science'; the presence of invisible fairies would be just some novel electromagnetic phenomenon...
Because we are so materialist, so mundane in our way of thinking, that these would be just more facts about the dull, thin, alienated reality which we perceive asif looking-out at a TV screen from inside our brains.
This, indeed, is exactly what happened with New Age spirituality - it just became another (mundane) alternative-science - based on consciousness understood as vibrations, frequencies, energies or fields (a quasi-physics, mostly); and a branch of 'therapy' - but using acupuncture, crystals and shamanism instead of surgery, drugs and counselling.
Even meditation - which used to be regarded as the most advanced form of mystical spirituality - is now materialized to the mundane activity of 'mindfulness' (and taught with state approval by mega-bureaucracies).
Fundamentally; the problem is not in the world, but in our-selves; or rather our lack of real-selves.
It is because we-our-selves are self-aware at a superficial and externally-imposed level of thinking: our personality, our thoughts, and even our thought processes are passively assimilated from our environment; and our environment in one that is officially dead, meaningless, purposeless; and operating on the basis of some mindless mixture of causality and randomness.
We take the world, ideas and concepts, and our experiences; and we make them mundane.
The first step in escaping this Black Iron Prison is to cease assisting in its construction and maintenance. Every thing, all knowledge and understanding, entails mind; so our miserable and pointless world is mind-made; made (partly, and essentially) by our own minds.
We are our own jailers and tormentors. It was we who painted ourselves into this corner from which we perceive there to be no possible escape.
Habits are hard to break - especially when it is habitual thinking - as such - from-which we need to escape.
Yet it can be done; and we can recognize and value when it is done - and repent when it is not. We can understand our lives as the best times when we know the world to be alive, conscious, created; and that the other mundane materialist times are an evil spell with which we collude.
The materialist mundane miserable reality is real; but only because we help to make it real. The enchanted romantic reality is also real, but only when we acknowledge it as such.
As usual, it is a choice; and nowadays (and increasingly - for most people) a binary choice.
Cease hoping for rescue
By hobbit and elf,
By dragon or spell;
And repent our complicity
In the thinking of-Hell.