by Bodwyn wook
Generally to be young is to be an ass, “it’s a pity youth is wasted on these kids!” It follows that “free will” for anyone in the full reek of biological and social young male-or femalehood is a mere bagatelle. Still, even though we may bore them to tears with it, it is necessary to talk to the young about this, and to talk and to talk. The teachings about it after all are fruits for middle and old age, and so the concept must be sown first in at least a corner of the minds of the young. This can be done either as an intellectual factor, or more commonly implanted through emotional religious experience. Sometimes to plunge a whole generation into war and ruin is the only way of getting it into the minds of the critical minority of an era. For anything like freedom of choice to “kick in,” however, first of all a certain amount of success and guilt, failure and resentment must be acquired, through the animal tasks of breeding and money and so forth, and the various sorts of cheating necessary to get at both the copulation and the cash. Outer life in other words has to be built up in all of its beguiling and malevolent ambiguity. Getting ones share of this “working capital” of second thoughts about my life so to speak is the duty I owed to the first half of life.
It is then a matter of “free will” only at the point I may choose to take stock of myself, try to make some amends where needed and, perhaps, to change parts of my way of living henceforward.
Not all are capable even remotely of this. For them it is far better to cling to the good old Democrat or Republican Party, or whatever the family religion was, of one’s youth, as well as all of the old dietary habits and smoking and so on, no matter how “bad.” After all, to the extent we are our bodies, those bodies have their “individual” fate too and nothing is more repellent than the one who is healthy because of cowardice and fear of sickness, pain and death. An enormous infantility in fact hides behind lots of our ideas of the “good.” I would say that now in my “baby boom” when more than ever are living to get old and be in the way, the amount of actual wisdom is much diluted among the statistical throngs of now senectuous idiots. All that is important in love, then, is that when the time comes, those who are meant to freely take moral responsibility for themselves will have long since received the necessary information about freedom, “free will” and ethical behavior, all of that in their youth. This is why we have to drone and drone and drone to all of our young, so the ones who can consciously benefit (and who will thereby benefit all the others in their atmosphere) at the end of life will be sure to have the information. This is not so much about an amuck as it is about an aristocratical idea of the individual. Needless to say, at least half of all the real work of the World is done by people no one ever heard of on Tee Vee, quiet people meditating and “praying” and above all creating new values for the future, all in private. And, perhaps in the majority of cases with these inward workers, not even one word gets said lifelong about it to even one other.
That is obviously because what in the last analysis cannot yet be talked about doesn’t “need” to be jabbered over.
Liberty, in closing, must be taught in youth as an “absolute” fact, if only so that at the end of life it is available as a real courtesy, not least to the real behind the scenes workers. Part of being free when young must be to be taught that indeed you are being taken care of all of the time in a host of ways, all longterm, most of these necessarily secret, and none having to do with your physical immediate cash, existence and other possessions and obsessions. Taking care of all these are your most important job as youngsters. And it is perhaps this self-reliant gift of freedom from interference and pestering that is the great gift of good manners and real love to the old. This is perhaps all “I” really can for “you,” ever, leave the hot soup and bread on the stoop and scram!
[Bodwyn Wook all rights reserved 10 April 2009]