What is Basme?

Basme (pronounced baa-s-may)– it’s wonderful stuff! Readers are introduced to it in chapter two. But misused it can kill. Is it magic?

Now, there’s a question. What is magic anyway? My classes in cultural anthropology taught me that there are eight universals found in all cultures at all times (that’s why we call them universals). Belief in the supernatural is one of those universals.

How people relate to the supernatural is further broken down into two categories by anthopologists — spirituality and magic. They represent two very different postures toward unseen realities. The first is a posture of submission (visualize someone kneeling) and the second is contol (visualize someone pointing.)

Epictetus gives us some valuble information about basme in chapters two and three.

In chapter two, when he warns Trevor not to use too much he says, “Basme doesn’t like greedy folks.” (p.24)

Then, in chapter three, when he explains the secret to basme’s power he says, “. . . basme hasn’t given you anything that isn’t rightfully yours. It’s only given you what was to be yours and given it to you now.” He goes on to say, “If you’re brave, it will make you braver. If you’re wise, it will make you wiser. But as I said, it can’t give you anything you do not have a right to.” (p.29)

Back to the original question — is basme magic? Well, not really. But its not natural stuff, that’s for sure. It’s something else.


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