Time for some dictionary surfing...
1. Did you know that with an 'a' added, daemon means 'a friendly spirit or good genius'? It is also defined as 'a person of great energy or enthusiasm,' which matches my small one!
2. Did you know that genius can denote 'the special inborn faculty of any individual' as well as a good or evil spirit (or a super clever person, which is how it's most often used)?
Philip Pullman could easily have chosen the word genius instead of daemon in the His Dark Materials trilogy, for his appealing concept of a little animal soul companion. I think, especially in the early days, a baby is a bit like a daemon. Here's why.
- They are a small being, interdependent on the parent. A bit like an extension of the parent but with capacity for independent movement.
- They need to be in close proximity to the parent.
- They have their own ideas and needs, but are also an empathetic reflector of the parent's emotional state.
- They are an emissary for interactions with others. A baby prompts even the average shy Britain to begin conversations.
What do you think?
Have you taken an online quiz to suggest what form your daemon might take?