Magical thinking is really important. It seems to be the critical creative differentiator for a species. I’ve spent the last few hours thinking about this and can follow your development but, despite my best effort, it just won’t fit together.
The first problem is early childhood. We start out immersed in magic. It’s all magic and it’s all real. We learn this, or should, from our own kids. The problems of being a parent turn us into boring and unmagical people so that is not the best time to relearn our own magic.
Your grandkids are an entirely different story. Grandparents inhabit a space between parents and funny friends with money and a house. We get to be grownup but we are completely welcome in their magical world. In fact we become useful tools in protecting against the bad magic that is always out there sometimes in the form of parents.
An afternoon tea party with your four year old granddaughter is the chance to watch a world being created by magic. It will be a surprising and amazing world.
While there are sad and bedeviled people in the world who will destroy things by any means possible, these are not normal. Because of that they need to be controlled and prevented from doing damage as gently as possible. But I think that they are usually powerless against small, magical, kids. So our children are not threatened with the loss of magic.
In bad situations, these usually involve religion, small kids may learn quickly to hide the magic. Or they will try to do what they are told and accept some brutal and ugly magic and try to fit it to their truly magical world. If that goes too far problems will begin to develop. But that is another issue.
The real problem here is trying to deal with faith as if it is not pathological. Unfortunately for English, at least American and GB English, religion has destroyed the word ‘faith’.
Faith is believing in something that you know is not true. As we grow up we learn to detect the level of magic that is not real. That is natural. Kids struggle with and then are comfortable with symbolic things such as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. This is the developmental challenge that can destroy magic when magic is denounced and the demand to have faith in something that is not magic and not real is forced on young people.
Hence I very much support the limiting of any deformed religious teaching to children. They initially have no means to deal with in their early magical world and this interferes with the internal discovery of the levels of being. Some are real and some are not while some can be made real with actual work. It risks destroying their magic and they may spend a bitter life regretting the loss they cannot articulate.
I’m giving you room by identifying this a deformed religious teaching. But to me the correct term is spiritual training and that is based on connecting our internal sense and desire for magic with the universe around that is magical. But we can become magicians and learn to understand, at least parts, of the magical universe that is us.
Anyone who has been forced to abandon magic and then struggle to rediscover it (grandkids are magical cures for that) knows the real truth. Magic is embedded in this universe and we are meant to be magicians.
Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn’t. But if you work to learn everything that you can about this universe including us weird, sentient beings who evolved as magicians, the better you are at magic.
Magic cannot be killed just as we can’t destroy our universe. But we can destroy ourselves and the magic that is within us can be buried by bullshit. Faith is the shovel that is used to do that.