Not always. But, I’ve been seeing a trend in my studies.
The latest instance to set off my spidey sense was a local blogger (Obscured Dreamer) p0sting a quote from Albert Einstein: “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Of course, Einstein broke the mold. So did Jung, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Shakespeare, and many other highly memorable thinkers. Don’t think I’m at war with Science when I say this, but busting tail and getting top marks in your class means jack when it comes to thinking outside the box.
I was blessed with a childhood steeped in fantasy, fairy tales, and Christian stories. When I was very young, my father would read the Bible to me before going to bed. He’d tell me all sorts of parables, symbolic double-meanings, and allegory. I also suffered from truamatic nightmares and am left handed (which is, apparently, also correlated).
I don’t care how stingy and empty-headed you are, or how much money you’ve made, or how many enemies you’ve killed, you’re only a part of the machine. You are ultimately a honed tool. While I’d normally attach a disclaimer of, and there’s nothing wrong with that to the end of the statement, for once, I believe there is.
I grew up with, “you’re very talented” being thrown around a lot. If not for myself, then for my genius brothers. We had “natural ability,” whether it was with acting and politics, science and math, or sports and philosophy, we didn’t need to try hard to attain the same end as others who studied four hours a night. The talent came from somewhere.
Fantasy, religion, and the “gothic” (I’ll give a simple name to “sociocultural underbelly of Our Lore”) were commonplace. Up until recently I figured my interest in the “unseen” was more a reaction toward a special (read: speshul) life only I had lived and others didn’t understand. Yet Charles Dickens, Einstein, Jung, all suffered from a unique form of “overactive imagination” sickness (which my father told me I suffered from), and came to similar conclusions about the mind: it needs to work.
The mind must expand. They all practiced mental exercises that the average joe would think strange: Jung thought he was schizophrenic, Dickens aggressively pursued psychic ability, and Einstein was nearly autistic he was so detatched from the “norm.” I believe it’s part of why America is in a decline. Yeah, politics are infinitely complicated, and I don’t mean to assert I know anything about such a world, but the dreamers are either too heavily medicated or too marginalized to be respected anymore.
I think a heavy dose of fantasy in childhood would make every person a better person. And I mean applied fantasy. Lord of the Rings with discussion. Aesop’s Fables with explanations and parallels to real life. Bible, Talmud, Koran, Gita, Tibetan Book of the Dead reading. It’s important not only because of the topics discussed, but also the patterns of understanding that develop from it.
I’m sick of people going, “Dude. I’ve never touched a __________ before. Show me how to do it.” I have to look at them funny. “Who cares if you haven’t touched it before? Knock yourself out!” No. Critical thinking and problem solving is for the nerds and D&D players. I disagree.
PASS ON THE FANTASY LOVE. I’m not saying to live in it. I’m saying use it for what it’s intended. A heavy dose of fantasy will open many, many real world doors for you. Ask the greats. They know.
And the left handed people. Hah