I'm currently reading a very interesting book (The Use of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim) about the psychological effect fairy tales have on a childs development which kind of opened my eyes. I'm still in the process of reading it but the basic premise seems to be:
Fairy tales are uniquely qualified to help a child deal with all to conflicting emotions and anxiety it is overwhelmed by while learning how to navigate the world, and they speak to his way of experiencing the world ( which is magical, downright scary, but always with a chance of making life your own). Because the fairy tale always takes place in someplace vague and far away, and because the main hero is always your average person (in contrast with myths which features specific supernatural heros for instance), they can relate to it on a subconscious level without feeling overwhelmed by it.
In short, fairy tales teach a child that his perception and experience of the world is a) accurate, b) accepted by his parents - who are reading these stories to him, and c) offer a world of solutions to address the very real problems a child faces in every day life, in a vague and symbolic way which speaks to the childs subconscious instead of confusing and frightening it with a harsh real truth.
Now, to get to the point:
In the book, the author suggests that children who have been robbed by adults who consider fairy tales useless and even worse - false information of this source of aid, and who have been told hard cold scientific facts they cannot yet fathom (something they only start to be able to do around puberty), will later on in their adulthood once they are free of that adults power over them go back to their fantasy, imagination and fairy tales, as if to make up for it. They'll believe in things that are magical, display animism, and seek escape in their imagination.
In essence, they are unable to deal with the cold harsh world, and *need* that imagination and fantasy life to learn the necessary lessons that fairy tales are so equipped to teach us, to learn that having the courage to take that journey, learn about to world, believe that someone will guide you along the way and that you will have super powers when you need them to get to your goal - something fairy tales teach without belittling, without telling you what to do, and in just showing you how things 'work' in a vague and non-threatening way. That process is crucial to build self-esteem and confidence, in order to then address the very real concerns every human has to deal with in every day life, to take that step and actually know how to manage your fear and figure out how to rationally navigate your life.
Does this to *anyone* else sound like a 4's struggle in life? And if so, do 4s identify with being 'robbed' of that magical belief at too early an age (before puberty, basically by well meaning adults who want you to grow up and demand you believe them when they tell you that magic doesnt exist, animals do not speak and the world is round)
And do you find yourself going back and being drawn to that fantasy world, to fairy tales and to magic in general?
Coz I know, I do. I'm fascinated with fairy tales, animism and living in my fantasy world.