bettelheim_intro - Warning Concerning Copyright...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Warning Concerning Copyright Restrictions The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyright material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction not be "used for any purposes other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
> THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT The Meaning and IIllportance of Fairy Tales Bruno BettelheiIll VIN'lAGE BOOKS A Division RandoIn House, Inc. New York INTRODUCTION: STRUGGLE FOR MEANING If we hope to live not just from moment to moment, but in true consciousness of our existence, then our greatest need and most diffi- cult achievement is to find meaning in our lives. It is well known how many have lost the will to live, and have stopped trying, becau~e such meaning has evaded them. An understanding ofthe meaning ofone's life is not suddenly acquired at a particular age, not even when one has reached chronological maturity. On the contrary, gaining a secure understanding of what the meaning of one's life mayor ought to be -this is what constitutes having attained psychologicalmaturity. And this achievement is the ~md r~sult of a long development: at each age we seek, and must be able to find, some modicum ofmeaning congru- ent with how our minds and understanding have already developed. Contrary to the ancient myth, wisdom does not burst forth fully developed like Athena out of Zeus's head; it is built up, small step by small step, from most irrational beginnings. Only in adulthood can an intelligent understanding of the meaning of one's existence in this world be gained from one's experiencesin it. Unfortunately, too many parents want their children's minds to function as their own do-as if mature understanding of ourselves and the world, and our ideas about the meaning of life, did not have to develop as slowly as our bodies and minds. Today, as in times past, the most important and also the most diffi- cult 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 devel- ops, must learn step by step to understand himselfbetter; with this he becomes more able to understand others, and eventually can relate to them in ways which are mutually satisfying and meaningful. To find deeper meaning, one must become able to transcend the
Background image of page 2
INTRODUCTION 4 Introduction 5 narrow confines ofa self-centered existence and believe that one will make a significant contribution to life-ifnot right now, then at some future time. This feeling is necessary if a person is to be satisfied with himself and with what he is doing. In order not to be at the mercy of the vagaries of life, one must develop one's inner resources, so that
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/30/2009 for the course GER 250 taught by Professor Jenkins during the Fall '08 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Page1 / 10

bettelheim_intro - Warning Concerning Copyright...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online