Tolkien was a Roman Catholic and he delved deeply into the world of archetypes and symbols. Mahmoud Shelton demonstrates how Tolkien used many of these symbols in a distinctly Sufic, alchemical manner in the quest pursued by, and in the lives of, his characters. The mystical traditions of all three Abrahamic religions, while possessing their own distinct perspectives and practices, are nevertheless also very close in what one might term an Abrahamic symbolic pool which is shared by all three religions in varying alignments and semantic expressions, To speak in Sufi terms, the core of the quest is the journey of return to a realization of unity with the One. The path is love, the fuel is love, and the goal is love. Alchemy is the process of transformation that love effects.