Take the “s” away from self.

When we do so, we see that the “self” becomes an “elf”. In the ancient mythologies passed on in fairy tales, we see that the “elves” of folklore represent various “selves” that dominate in self-centered (elf-centered) personalities.

In a way, each of us has an inner “elf”, wrapped up in pretensions, driven by dreams, and hoping for magic answers to all our questions and simple solutions to all our problems.

It is the “elf” in ourself, for instance, that prompts us to do something as silly as buying a lottery ticket. It’s the “elf” in us that makes us smoke cigarettes, drink excessively, take drugs, or run around. The elf within ourself is what makes us think everything will be all right, even as we are making the mistakes that are all wrong.

It was the elf in Adam and Eve that made them think they were as good as God. The elf in us is where all our silliest fun comes from. Happy the person who can get the inner elf trained to seek the good and love the truth, and find the truly magic powers that let us be what we will.

Greek fairy tales had satyrs, elf-like creatures who indulged themselves in every area. Little boys are elf-like in their innocent enthusiasm. We are all a little like Peter Pan, who, of course, is named for both a Saint and a satyr.