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Reviews

Robert Rimmer (acclaimed author of The Harrad Experiment)
(1980)
THE MAGIC CARPET AND THE CEMENT WALL

"This is one of those rare, delightful, sensitive stories that keeps coming back to you over and over, hauntingly, accompanied by a deep yearning feeling: never have you wanted anything quite so much as to go through that cement wall."

"In a stroke of genius, the author has added a section at the end of the book that actually allows one to feel that this magical fantasy is a real possibility! I highly recommend it to people of ALL ages."


Dr. Martin Kassan
(1982)
Licensed Psychologist, New York
Fellow & Past President, Council of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists
Clinical Diplomate, American Board of Physiological Hypnosis
THE MAGIC CARPET AND THE CEMENT WALL

"A modern story with delightful details and deeply perceptive themes to be read by and for children of all ages."


Publisher’s Info
(1978)
THE MAGIC CARPET AND THE CEMENT WALL

A warm, very human children’s story for ages 8 to 92, or for reading to kids 3 to 7. The 24 full-page, full-color illustrations are exquisite—they simply radiate with life and spirit—the compassionate spirit of the story.

It’s about two 8-year-olds that are brother and sister who want something different from their unpleasant surroundings; they want it so badly that they fly through a 7th dimensional cement wall to get to this new world of love and beauty.

No other book has ever given children as much space and encouragement with their real true feelings.


Forum Magazine
(April 1980)
THE MAGIC CARPET AND THE CEMENT WALL

"The Magic Carpet and The Cement Wall, by Richard M. Vixen (Avant-Garde Creations). Here is a powerful story for all who still feel they deserve both love and freedom. As a child, did you live for the day when adulthood would 'set you free?' did you suffer from the misunderstanding and blindness of your parents and teachers?

This beautiful, dangerous book will reawaken you to the truth you saw as a child: That parents love children for what they want them to be, and not for what they are. Shocking though it may seem, if children knew where they could find 'unconditional' love, they would leave their parents behind for that promised land.

This is precisely what Lindsay and Sammy do in a fantastical journey 'home' to the Parallel World.

This large, full-color illustrated book is for 'children of all ages'—that is, anyone still free enough to recognize the truth about love. In a fascinating postscript, Vixen explains all the supernormal events of Lindsay and Sammy’s journey in simple scientific terms. Magic exists! Here is a book to share with your children, or the one you really love."


Publisher’s Weekly
(1980)
THE MAGIC CARPET AND THE CEMENT WALL

"The children despair when their father plans for them to sleep in separate rooms—now that Lindsay is eight and Sammy almost nine. School heightens their misery, for they are punished as students who object to studying things they’re not interested in instead of what they want to learn. So brother and sister fly on a magic carpet to a glad land where Linda, loving and ethereal, helps them to be themselves and do what they want, just as everyone else does in Utopia."


Charles Uehlin
Bend OR, 97701
(November 1977)
By Richard M. Vixen
72 pages, full-color illustrations
Originally published by Avant-Garde Creations, and currently published by MCS Investments, Inc.

THE MAGIC CARPET AND THE CEMENT WALL

Having reviewed other Vixen’s works, the reason I’ve decided to review this book as well is that I fell that it is unlikely that most reviewers of children’s literature would even know how to review it. Since the book is not written from the ordinary perspectives seen in everyday children’s books, it could easily confuse someone unfamiliar with Vixen’s works.

The following quote is from the diary of a very aware female friend of mine who has generously given me her permission to use it. These paragraphs serve my purposes beautifully; my purpose is to create the space for the reader of this review to grasp the context from which The Magic Carpet and the Cement Wall was written:

"I remember when I was a child---all those times when I suffered in silence and wished with all my heart that things would change one day. I was utterly dying for things to get better. And yet---there I was, stuck with a couple of parents who obviously neither understood me nor felt any compassion for me. In fact, I’ve recently begun remembering feelings from when I was newborn. As an infant I was aware, from the moment I was born, that my parents were disappointed when I was born. They’d wanted a boy! It has been extremely painful for me to remember what it was like to emerge from a nice, cozy, secure little cave and find out that I was unwanted as I was, a disappointment, and I should feel bad and guilty for not filling my parents’ need for a boy."

"Had I been born (and I speak for the millions of people who’ve experienced similar traumatic awarenesses; in fact, if Janov is correct, I speak for most of us) into a situation where there was a way for me to choose to be raised and nurtured by other adults---ones more compassionate and mature---my realization would not have been the beginning of 20 years of misery and unmet needs for me, as I would have simply stayed away from the ‘disappointed’ adults and gotten myself raised decently. Even an infant is perceptive enough to approach compassionate people and avoid needful, immature, ‘disappointed’ ones, once it can crawl."

When my friend read the manuscript of The Magic Carpet and the Cement Wall, her brief, yet profound reaction was:

"When I think how precious this book would have been to me, had I read it as a child, I could just cry."

The context of this book is a space in which such feelings as my friend had recorded in her diary are acknowledged and acted upon. I needn’t say too much about why this book was written. The author obviously remembers his early feelings, and desires to give the real feelings of children more space than most adults ever got.

Logically, unless the story was about all people’s actual lives, it would have to be called escapist literature, since it would lead the reader into vicarious experiencing.

But that’s what this story is about: each reader’s actual life. It comes, not from the level of occurrences and comparisons, but from the level of feelings, which are encouraged in the reader.

The usual ways our society deals with the feelings of children are mystification, management, oppression, denial, misinterpretation, threat, guilt, denigration, and punishment. Rarely are those feelings simply allowed to be, without people messing with them.

In Primal Therapy, and to lesser degrees, in other and less recent therapies, we find out about the feelings that lie beneath the surface defenses of all of us, keeping us "neurotic," turned off, anxious, psychosomatically sick, miserable, crazy, etc.

Some people get the idea that all Primal feelings revolve around how one wanted love from one’s parents and didn’t get it. But this is only "step one" in Primal feelings. Step two is going to be a golf-ball-sized pill for most parents to swallow, and yet it is essential that children get support with these feelings. And I feel it’s quite important that I explain the nature of "step two" feelings very clearly.

For us to acknowledge "step two" feelings would involve finally acknowledging that all kids everywhere (except possibly retarded ones) are born with good common sense. We’d have to quit insulting kids and considering all kids "dumb" to finally acknowledge "step two" feelings.

And what are these feelings? Simple logic will tell you. Step 2 is easily derived from the "never felt loved" feelings of step 1.

All children have needs and all children need to have them filled. And when they’re not, what the child does at first is to keep trying to get the parents (the most likely need-filling source) to recognize the pain and suffering the young child is experiencing so that the parent will see it and begin to meet the young child’s needs. These are "step one" feelings.

If the child is in such a confined or limited situation that no other sources of need-filling exist, that behavior will continue. For SURVIVAL the young child will try like heck to get the parent to end the suffering and fill needs at last. But just as distinctly for survival, the child will abandon hope in that potential need-filling source and seek out other potential sources once s/he can see that the original parent(s) is/are unwilling or unable to fill needs. BUT ONLY IF OTHER POTENTIAL NEED-FILLERS EXIST! If they don’t, the child will keep trying—forever—to get the love from the parents what the parents cannot give.

As the pop psychology phenomenon est kept reminding us in the 1970s, a rat will go down a tunnel with no cheese in it for only so long before it abandons hope in that tunnel and seeks out other potentially-cheese-containing tunnels.

But, you say, est says that the difference between rats and people is that whereas the rat will eventually give up the cheeseless tunnel and seek other tunnels, a human will keep going down that cheeseless tunnel forever! Because s/he "knows" s/he’s "right."

And this would mean that the human being would keep trying to get cheese (love for what s/he is) from the cheeseless tunnel (non-need-filling parent(s)) forever. But would it?

A very young human being would only keep trying to get cheese from the cheeseless tunnel forever if it didn’t have any alternatives. If there were other people around to seek love from s/he would seek it. After all, the reason older humans go up the cheeseless tunnel forever is because they are full of beliefs about that tunnel being "the right one" because a certain amount of affection was forthcoming from that tunnel at an earlier period of time, creating the belief that mom or dad must be that cheese-filled tunnel.

But one of the main characteristics that both very young humans and rats have that differentiate them from older humans is that they come from the level of experience, not from the level of beliefs. So the deep Primal needs in a little child will take precedence over the strengths of the child’s beliefs; and if given space or opportunity to do so, the child will choose new, cheese-filled tunnels over the "belief" that the old tunnel is the right one.

The reason parents will find this a hard pill to swallow is not that there is anything even remotely illogical or complicated about it—there isn’t. It’s simply Mother Nature’s profound logic, and it’s the survival-based common sense we’re born with, when we choose that alternate tunnel in order to fill needs.

No, the main reason it’s a hard pill to swallow is because we need those kids so much that we can’t bear to imagine what it would be like to watch them choose an alternative source of need-filling. A second reason it’s a hard pill to swallow is that if we watch the kid choose an alternate "tunnel" (not us anymore) or even manifest how much s/he desires to choose an alternate tunnel, we’ll be faced with the realization that that kid wasn’t always crying for more attention from us because of "how much s/he love us." No! S/he’s crying because of how much s/he needs anyone who can fill needs. And whether we like it or not, s/he’s not fussy about who that is!

So that’s where "step two" in Primal feelings are at: having acknowledged the excruciatingly painful fact that mom and/or dad are cheeseless tunnels, small children wish to seek out, or do seek out if available, OTHER TUNNELS.

But . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

They are our prisoners. We keep them jailed within the confines of our nuclear families, single-parent families, step-families, foster homes, and pseudo-families until their needs are unmet for so long and their Pain has built up to such a degree that they give up, turn off, go insane like the rest of us, and become unreal, defensive, alienated, pretentious role-players like the rest of us.

And once it’s too late for them—once they’ve given up—once they could no longer be receptive to a cheese-filled tunnel, since their cheese-receptacles are closed, then we let them go to school, to friends’ houses, to the movies, or to the mall! And even them, is there more than one chance in a thousand that schools or friends’ houses will be cheese-filled tunnels?

So, if families are structured so that kids get no space to seek out alternate tunnels in hopes of finally getting a bit of cheese, then these institutions are normally essentially jails in which most kids are predestined to stagnate, turn off, and become unreal people operating deadly from the level of beliefs, not the level of experience (in which all hope has been lost).

I reiterate that it is essential that as many children as possible get support and space for their feelings, both their "step one" Primal ones ("please parents, love me for what I am and not for what you need me to be!") and their "step two" Primal ones ("all right, then, if mom and dad are unwilling and/or unable to quit needing me and begin loving me for what I am and letting me BE me, then will someone else please do so, and will someone please give me space to find and be with such a person or persons?!")

Ideally, what everyone in the world wants—what everyone in the world is born wanting—is an environment full of loving adults and kids, all giving us space to choose by whom we shall be loved and nurtured. People who get totally in touch with their real feelings all find this out.

With this is mind, and also with the fact in mind that there is presently available all the knowledge necessary to create such an effectively functioning social environment, why is it that no children’s books (that I know of) have given any real support or acknowledgement to these profoundly vital feelings and realities?

Why is it that we continue to blindly credit children with unprofound feelings and desires, but adults with profound ones? Why do we always fail to give children stories that acknowledge the profound feelings they were born with, as well as acknowledging the basic, intrinsic, ontological desires and needs we all eventually encounter centering on ontological space for and love for each of our beings?

Why must stories always specify that it’s "mom" or "dad" that kids love and need and are centered upon, when in truth kids are desperately desiring to be centered upon finding themselves (and eventually humanity), needing love from whomever will give them space by loving them as they are and not needing them; and desiring not possessive, exclusive relationships full of jealousy, disappointment, guilt, hatred, anger and pretense, but an environment that gives them the space to safely choose among adults and children?

After all, our keeping a kid stuck with us and only us (parents) is tantamount to saying that we know what that kids needs more than s/he knows. And it is precisely this insulting, erroneous perspective on children that The Magic Carpet and the Cement Wall is tired of. The fact is that a young kid who has not yet turned off, given up, become unreal, and gone crazy is infinitely more in touch with what s/he needs than his/her role-playing alienated parents could or ever will be.

Will all children run away from home upon receiving the uniquely benevolent space engendered by this work? Perhaps some will, and will be better off for it. Who can say? But what’s most important is that the real feelings of real lovable children finally get some space, so that eventually these children will grow up to be adults who set up life not according to customs and dogma, but according to what works to make life beautiful.

And perhaps someday children’s literature—or even all literature—will have transcended its escapist nature and be about expressing the wonders of life rather than repressing its realities. Perhaps people’s lives will not be stagnant and empty, because they will have been born and raised in situations containing lots of loving adults and playmates to choose from, rather than being confined in various family configurations where they are predestined to become just as neurotic or unhappy or unfulfilled or unaware as their parents were.

Perhaps literature will someday merely reflect and express alternative lifestyles and adventures and lives and situations and structures and institutions—all of which work to truly nurture children and allow them space to grow into unneurotic, fully aware beings. Perhaps people will read to explore different lives, ways, and ideas rather than reading to escape a world that failed to nurture and love them, but merely needed them without ever once being able to acknowledge it.

The illustrations in this book show the kind of human warmth and spirit that is often missing from the pretentious pablum that passes for literature today—they are simply gorgeous.

The plot centers upon a brother and sister, both eight years old, who have not yet turned off to life, who still create cozy secure little being-spaces for themselves. They play, imagine, create, and wish.

A gifted woman from a parallel universe picks up their profound feelings telepathically and helps them, through telekinetically powerful mental energies, to fly from this world of unhappiness and unmet needs and no respect for feelings, to her world of love and respect for the feelings and beings of others.

At the end of the book is a section that explains the details of the physical and psychological bases of the events in the book. This seemed odd at first, but it quickly turned out to be a delightful way of not only gaining further understanding of the book, but also it made the story seem real and plausible, as if it could (or does) really happen!