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Allison Fink's picture

An Interesting Point of View...

     I found this article to be rather long for the points it was trying to make, but it did do justice to fairy tales when describing their importance. Something that strikes me is the thought that parents think they know what is best for children. They try to shield their children from unpleasant things, which arrests their development. Fairy tales are refreshing because they treat children as growing, independent entities and don’t make them feel all warm and fuzzy and protected all the time. The truth is that the psyche has a shadow side and children themselves are not always good, and also that children really do suffer psychological disturbances as a normal condition of life. They have needs just like adults do. Fairy tales expose people to the savage realities of these things, and as such they may appear shocking. But they help with the integration process of the personality- the id, the ego and the superego, to serve the whole person rather than to allow the person to remain splintered. This is very important, I know. Although I don’t know much about psychology it struck me when he said that if you don’t allow your unconscious things to come out but instead censor them, aspects of your personality will be “crippled”, or aspects of the unconscious will just automatically come into your consciousness and control it. It’s all very interesting to think of how much a person is a product of developmental forces beyond his control, when he thinks he is rational and self-determining… I thought it was also interesting when he said that children need to develop confidence in their ability to understand the world from their senses, and so scientific explanations detract from this confidence at the stage when their brains are not ready to comprehend the world this way.

     I found the article to be an interesting point of view because it claimed that only in having a secure ego can a person function in the world. The needs of the ego come first, and only then can one begin to reach out. It also repeatedly emphasized that people need “hope for the future” to succeed in life’s difficulties. But isn’t this just another delusion, and out of attachment, to base one’s life around an ego and the future, according to Buddhism? I don’t know; what he says makes sense, but from a spiritual perspective which is beyond me right now, I think there are other more transcendent points of view.

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