Genie Lamp

Human nature can very seldom limit itself to the here and now; sooner or later we all have dreams, wild wishes and daring plans for a most successful future. We often start dreaming about the land of all possibilities from very early childhood when we learn the story of the genie lamp, as the magic object able to fulfill all one's wishes. When fairy tales are a source of inspiration it is only natural that the genie lamp should look like a real thing. As we grow up, we do lose the touch of magic, but we definitely preserve the extraordinary ability to dream and hope for our dreams becoming true some day.

The symbolism of the genie lamp is very old and deeply rooted in man's most intimate aspirations. Even in the story that gave rise to the myth, Alladin and the Magic Lamp from the famous Arabian Nights, the genie lamp bears the traces of old age, indicating that its origins are completely lost in the darkness of time. The genie that inhabits that lamp can only listen to the lamp owner, he or she is the only one with authority over such a fierce presence. Even in the original Arabian Nights story, Alladin shakes with fear at the sight of the mighty genie; this clearly indicates that wishes coming true by magic are definitely not in the power of common people.

The real danger about clinging too much to a more or less real “genie lamp” is that of seeing one making false hopes. In our modern world the genie lamp can take the most unexpected of forms, as we can allegorically lend this name to any situation or person that can influence the realization of our dreams. Avoiding disappointment can be really hard when one sees personal hopes crushed by a “genie lamp”that won't fulfill one's expectations.

Often used as a didactic story for young children, the folk tale of the genie lamp is not meaningless or anodyne to the adults who can always learn about the chances of failure or success on their own. Who knows? Maybe one day we come to realize that we can be someone else's genie, helping him or her reach a set goal. Far from losing the magic of the story, the genie lamp allegory can be easily transcribed and interpreted according to the rules of our modern lives; after all the intricacies of our human nature have been best captured in symbolic tales.

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