In 2022 I have added a new feature to Markham's Behavioral Health which is called, "Book Of The Month." During the month, articles regarding ideas raised in the book being read will be posted. It is hoped that readers of this blog might also read the book and comment. Even if you don't read the book please add your comments about the ideas raised anyway. The book for January, 2022 is The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim.
Today, as in times past, the most important and also the most difficult task in raising a child is helping him to find meaning in life. Many growth experiences are needed to achieve this. The child, as he develops, must learn step by step to understand himself better; with this he becomes more able to understand others, and eventually can relate to them in ways which are mutually satisfying and meaningful.
Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment (p. 3). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
The idea of “moral models” has long interested me. Some might call this a “world view” and others might call it a “meta-narrative.” Whatever it is called, it is the belief system which we unconsciously develop which we believe is real that governs how we think about ourselves and the world.
We act based on what we believe. What we believe is based on what we have been told. What we have been told is based on the incentives of those who have the power to do the telling. This insight leads to other interesting questions like do the storytellers believe the story they are telling or are they being manipulative for the story tellers benefit?
One of the most important results of storytelling, after entertainment, is survival. Survival involves getting basic needs met for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and safety. Once survival needs are met then there are the psychological needs of belonging, emotional and social support, and lastly actualization of innate desires, talents, and abilities.
Fairy tales communicate what is to be expected from life. They create a perceptual bias.
What were you told as a child what life was like and what to expect? By whom? At what age? For what purpose?
Looking back and becoming conscious now of processes that were unconscious back then, what do you think the motivations were of the storytellers to tell you the stories they told you?