IN a recent episode of the BBC Drama Series “Merlin” we saw Guinevere being “brainwashed” by Morgana.
Now Arthur’s beautiful queen (who was previously all goodness) is in Morgana’s power,and doing her will.
Although of course she did use the full force of her magical powers as well, Morgana used long-established brainwashing techniques on Guinevere. She subjected her to a terrifying ordeal of sensory deprivation; she sewed in her mind doubt and distrust about all the people she loved and trusted; and then she introduced into Guinevere’s mind the notion that she, Morgana, was the one person who cared for Guinevere, and whom she could trust.
Morgana has planted her own “central idea” in Gwen’s mind.
In reality it is possible to do such things, though it usually takes much longer: many weeks, months or sometimes years.
The person who plants the central idea in our minds may be of no moral character themselves.
All they need do is be convincing or charismatic, and come along at a time when we’re open to them.
None of us can avoid being vulnerable, unless we get locked up in a high tower for our own protection.
How can we be sure a central idea is a true idea, and comes from one who never changes, one who can be utterly trusted with your life?
Certainly Christians would have an answer to that.
And it is a question I’ll leave open for you to comment on.
But of one thing I’m sure; this is a subject which interests me greatly; it appears in my novel “Mystical Circles“, in which I describe vulnerable people being drawn in by a charismatic leader; and it is an idea which resurfaces again in my new novel “A Passionate Spirit”.
We do act according to our central desire. And our unconscious desire always takes precedence over our conscious desire (as is the case for all main protagonists, according to Robert McKee in his book Story).
I used to think that the central idea of my life was to write popular novels. And the person who put it there was Enid Blyton. Not a person of great moral character. Biographies of Enid Blyton tell us that she was callous and cruel towards her family. But I don’t believe she herself inspired me. The instigating factor lay much deeper than that, embedded in the stories she wrote: children flying under the radar of the adult world, vulnerable people going off to grab life in both hands, which meant excitement, adventure, and often calling to account those very adults or authority figures.
That dream embedded itself in my unconscious. Perhaps that was what I wanted to achieve. Therein lay my central desire, much deeper than a mere desire to succeed in the eyes of the world.
Please consider leaving a comment. I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts on this.
What is the central desire of your life? And who – or what – put it there?