When the fictional world colonises the real world, magic can happen. No, it isn’t just lying; it’s something else entirely.
Let’s start at the beginning.
The way my mind works is, at times, painfully logical. Infuriatingly logical, if you ask friends and family, with no room for compromise unless those compromises are just as logically presented.
Then there are the other times.
For example, when I first announced my crusade for didacticism, my plan was to present first the clearest arguments for, and the clearest examples of, before working my way outwards to show that, at its essence, everything is a lesson. That would have been logical.
Instead I got inspired, and then it didn’t matter what was logical any more, I only knew that I had to show you this thing, and I had to show you why I thought it was great and interesting, and then I had to think about why I found it great and interesting, and in the end it all came back to teaching and learning.
OK, watch it now. It’s long enough to eat with, and a better lunch partner than most.
When Nico grows up and realises he probably didn’t talk to a real whale, he’ll be reminded of a beautiful childhood memory. What he probably won’t realise is that by perpetuating myths of faith, such as Father Christmas, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, or [insert preferred fictional figure from your faith tradition here], he’s actually helping himself, and society.
Take justice, for instance – or Justice, if you like. Way back when, such concepts were understood as real things of substance, truly existing somewhere we couldn’t see them. The phenomena we experienced were simply reflections of those forms.
Nowadays, we can believe in concepts without having a potential physical manifestation somewhere; we can believe in Justice for Justice’s sake; we can believe in Goodness for Goodness’ sake.
We can believe in Father Christmas for Father Christmas’ sake.
Because if a child can believe in keeping a pet whale in a fjord in Norway, maybe as adults we can believe that somewhere out there, there really is Truth, and Love, and Justice, and Law, and everything else that lifts us out of our primal instincts.
Where would we be if we didn’t truly, firmly believe in those?