I used the following as a response in one of the groups - "Tales from the Last Inn" but then it occurred to me that it has far greater signifance to Agnostics.com members. So with a small change to the introduction I give you Magic Pudding a story for adults:
In a distant land a beautiful comely woman journeyed into a village. This stranger greeted all she met with a smile, a clasping of the flattened hands in front of her naked breasts accompanied by a small bow and a sweetly spoken "hello". She then proceeded to offer everyone to partake of her magic pudding.
Now the villagers immediately swamped her clamouring for magic pudding because their shaman had long since told them not to give their magic pudding away as that would use it all up leaving them bereft!
Instead he made and sold to them an ersatz magic pudding which was no where near as good, left you dissatisfied and with a bitter taste in your mouth and strange palpitations in the heart.
The shaman's sales soon dropped off so with threats and the use off his bullying toadies he had her driven off with sticks and stones, rumour mongering to create jealousy amonst the women and other such techniques.
There is no moral to the story, just a question -
What is "the Magic Pudding to You?" and which of the characters best describes you as you currently are and who you would wish to become : shaman, villager, cronies & bullies or the female alien?
Note the Magic Pudding is an Australian Children's story written by May Gibbs and 100 years old this year -
Celebrate With Us – 100 Years of Bush Babies! [maygibbs.org]
The above story was devised by an Australian psychologist who wrote a book to help people in distressed/ non-functional relationships. Unfortunately my memory has lost his name. Perhaps @irascible will recognise it?
Sorry not trying to be a pedant here but as a long time enthusiast of the children's books they were written and illustrated by Norman Lyndsay.
Like the children's books I think the pudding is whatever you need it to be or want it to be. The more of it you share the more of it there is. It should also be freely given not taken.
I have read people's comments and i see the response of the pudding being a type of fulfillment. This made a lot of sense to me. I tend to take things literally. I can't help to feel that the magic pudding is a like a sharing of the soul. I believe that sex is also a sharing of the soul. So she invites people to share or visit.. or intertwine their souls. It came to mind to that she was giving love freely and the Shaman was offering a type of ""arranged marriage" where the love was defined and confined.
The shaman didn't like the competition of his manufactured "pudding" so he had others driver her off.I I would like to believe that I"m more like the female alien.
I try not to be judgmental, because i know the mistakes that I've made..so I believe that everyone deserves love and help. It's also a very beautiful and rare thing when we truly connect with another being.
For me, "Magic Pudding" is whatever fulfillment is to you. I think this is a parable about altruism, an important virtue and component to a well lived life.
I think I aspire to be the stranger in the story. I am not perfect so I sometimes am not the one giving away fulfillment.
My Magic Pudding is Nature. Am so grateful for the lake I live on and the beautiful natural parks that are within walkding distance. I'm out everyday unless there is the threat of lightening or winds so high I might get bonked by a branch. Foul weather is generally due to a lack of foul weather atire. Some of my best friends are specific trees. I am especially attracted to old oaks. Once, while walking alone among ancient sequoias, the largest tree on this planet, I came across one whose giant roots had the sort of opening a chipmunk would crawl into if at the base of an ordinary tree. The opening was just large enough for me to crawl through with effort. Once inside, I was able to sit cross legged, my head crazing the "roof".My eyes adjusted to the bit of light coming in and I saw thre was no graffiti carved into the wood. I was emotionally overcome with emense joy and truly felt a Life Force eminating from this magnificent plant. It was a spiritual epiphany. To a far lesser degree, this is the joy I feel when out in Nature, generally alone or with the dog who shares my home. She seems to understand.