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PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR
Is there, deep under the accumulated debris of culture, a hidden groundwork of the old-time savage? Is there even in these well-regulated times an unsubdued nature in the respectable mental household of every one of us that still kicks against the pricks of law and order?
To make my meaning more clear, would not every boy, for instance—that is, every boy of any account—rather be a pirate captain than a Member of Parliament?
Young people know it most certainly; we call that knowledge idealism. They know that there is a way the world is supposed to be, and a magnificent role for themselves in that more beautiful world. Broken to the lesser lives we offer them, they react with hostility, rage, cynicism, depression, escapism, or self-destruction—all the defining qualities of modern adolescence. Then we blame them for not bringing these qualities under control, and when they finally have given up their idealism we call them mature. Having given up their idealism, they can get on with the business of survival: practicality and security, comfort and safety, which is what we are left with in the absence of purpose. So we suggest they major in something practical, stay out of trouble, don't take risks, build a résumé. We think we are practical and wise in the ways of the world. Really we are just broken and afraid. We are afraid on their behalf, and, less nobly, we are afraid of what their idealism shows us: the plunder and betrayal of our own youthful possibilities. The recovery of purpose, the acceptance of teleology into the language of science, promises whether directly or metaphorically to undo all of that.
This false self is observable in the frozen facial expressions, stereotypic gestures, and unexamined behavioral patterns of the general public. This false self determines much of our everyday lives, so that we are seldom the origin of our actions.
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
- Albert Einstein
"Deciding what another person should do, no matter what his age, is outside the Yequana vocabulary of behaviors. There is great interest in what everyone does, but no impulse to influence – let alone coerce –anyone. A child's will is his motive force. There is no slavery – for how else can one describe imposing one's will on another and coercion by threat or punishment? The Yequana do not feel that a child's inferior physical strength and dependence upon them imply that they should treat him or her with less respect than an adult. "
"The strangest and most unrealistic part of our child rearing beliefs is that our antisocial and asocial behavior toward them is supposed to make them into loving social beings. We are unable to recognize that our violence (hitting, which includes spanking), sublimated violence (punishment, which includes isolation and the withdrawal of love and affection], and parental emotional detachment (discipline), all of which are intrinsic to our child rearing methods, become children's model for future relationships. Our children are chiefly influenced in their development by who we are in relation to them, not by who we think we are or who we pretend to be. Children who are reared in our conventional ways (many of which are identical to the ways convicts, prisoners of war, and slaves have been treated throughout history), learn from the way that they are treated by their parents that it is appropriate to harm other people, to be emotionally detached from the pain of others, and that it is perfectly all right to impose one's will on other people. In short they are instructed, by example, how to be a psychopathic personality or at least to behave as one."
The freedom of the individual was regarded by practically all Indians north of Mexico as a canon infinitely more precious than the individual's duty to his community or nation. This anarchistic altitude ruled all behavior, beginning with the smallest social unit, the family. The Indian parent was constitutionally reluctant to discipline his children.' Their every exhibition of self-will was accepted as a favorable indication of the development of maturing character.. . , There was an occasional assembling of a council, with a very loose and changing membership, whose decisions were not enforced except by the influence of public opinion. A Moravian minister who lived among them described Indian society:
Thus has been maintained for ages, without convulsions and without civil discords, this traditional government, of which the world, perhaps, does not offer another example; a government in which there are no positive laws, but only long established habits and customs, no code of jurisprudence, but the experience of former times, no magistrates, but advisers, to whom the people nevertheless, pay a willing and implicit obedience, in which age confers rank, wisdom gives power, and moral goodness secures title to universal respect."
Originally posted by pai mei
I am sorry to say - but if I was there (instead of Huck - at that age) - I would have turned Jim in. I was a "nerd" - and (almost) totally domesticated.
For the nihilists and egoists, resistance comes from the immediate need to destroy what destroys you. Its only construction is in its destruction. I’m not going to say that is always a bad thing. But I will say this: I have no question in my being that there is something that I am fighting for, not just something I’m fighting against. It is not about morality or about some lofty new age crap: it’s about something unmediated and present. Something real.
As my ideas of self and Other dissolve, I’ve come to realize that there is life in this world. I know it is interconnected. It comes through the spirit that is never dead, but it is channeled and caged by the domesticators. The end result of ten thousand years of mediation.