A peculiar feature of Egyptian magic was that threats might not be directed only at forces causing the problem, but at the deities who were asked to intervene. Once spell warns that no offerings will be made on the divine altars if the gods don’t make the magic work. A love charm ends with a threat that Busiris … will be burned if the client does not get what he wants.
In myth, Orisis was the most vulnerable of the gods and this is exploited in magic. In the Book for Banishing an Enemy, Osiris is threatened with not being allowed to journey to his two sacred sites (Busiris and Abydos) … The magician even threatens to take on the role of Seth and destroy the body of Osiris. …
The most direct way to influence a god was to interfere with their cult. Deities are sometimes threatened with the pollution and desecration of their temples and the slaughter of their sacred animals. …
The magician usually protects himself by saying ‘it is not me that is saying this but X’ – X being the god whose role he is playing in the rite. This suggests that even though it was only role playing, the Egyptians themselves had doubts about this procedure. Words were powerful, so such formulae might actually damage ma’at.
Possibly these formulae are not so much threats as predictions. The magician is speaking on behalf of humanity; reminding heaven that if people are not regularly cured and protected that they will lose faith in the gods and cease to make offerings, maintain the temples, and respect sacred animals. The magician is only demanding the enforcement of a kind of divine contract. If the gods do not help mankind, the whole divine order will collapse.
Don’t you want to pinch it and squeeze it and bite its little face off!?
You’re not alone.
Rebecca Dyer and Oriana Aragon, graduate students in psychology, brought subjects into a lab, handed them a fresh sheet of bubble wrap, and exposed them to cute, funny, and neutral pictures of animals. Those who saw the cute ones popped significantly more bubbles than the others.
Cute things make us aggressive! It’s why we say things like: “I just wanna eat you up!” and why we have to restrain ourselves from giving our pets an uncomfortably tight hug.
Which one do you want to hurt the most!?
An aggressive response to cuteness, it appears, it “completely normal.”
The authors suggest that humans non-consciously balance extreme emotions with one from the other side of the spectrum to try to maintain some control and balance. This, Aragon explains at her website, may be why we cry when we’re really happy and laugh at funerals.
In the meantime, if this makes you want to inflict some serious squishing, know that you’re in good company.