Sir Arthur Grimble - And the Magic of Kindness
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Sir Arthur Grimble - A Pattern of Islands
The Christians, he claimed, stood even more in need than the pagans of the professionals who dealt in the magic of kindness.
Every pagan still had his own private spells for good luck, long life and so forth, inherited from the lore of his fathers. But the children and grandchildren of Christians had no such cheerful heritage, because the actual practice of magic rituals, whether cruel or kind, had been abandoned in all good
faith by the earliest converts.
'And so,' he continued, 'if you punish those who are willing to sell tabunea (spells) for good luck, what must the Christians do then? Where will they go to find magic for good eating and good sleeping, for excellent fishing and success in love, for being favoured by their masters or their friends, for happiness in their dwellings and their work, for blessings upon their canoes and land and cooking ovens, for finding out their lucky days and their unlucky days, for making their wives fruitful and their children strong, for all the comforts between dawn that the magic of kindness brings them?'
His words meant in effect that the magic of kindness filled the life of his people, Christians and pagans alike, with a mass of daily interests for the sudden loss of which nothing that the white man gave or sold could properly compensate them. He was specific on the point of compensating values:
'If the government or missionaries could give them something to keep their hearts alive night and day even as the magic of kindness does, perhaps they could be happy without Tabanea and his like,' he said. 'But if you cannot give them an equal thing in return you willl kill their hearts by robbing them of their loved wizards.'