play

Why Young Lives are Losing Meaning and Purpose I

By M.K. Styllinski

“Young adults are facing more stressful conditions than older generations, such as an increasingly competitive labor market, rising costs of housing, an increase in higher education costs, and issues of self-identity and confidence driven by more widespread use of social media.”

— Morag Henderson, sociologist at University College London


Reading time: (25-30 mins)

The crisis of meaning and purpose is something many of us are grappling with today. Girls and boys and young adults in particular are not succeeding in this battle. The path which defines our lives up to middle and retirement age is for the majority, mostly a constellation of conditioned responses encouraged by Official Culture. It replaces true meaning with a role that serves the technosphere as opposed to our true calling. Not always, but all too frequently. Then we are back to that existential crisis of youth where something deep inside knows that to find true creative balance takes a life time of struggle against forces that oppose any kind of spiritual liberation. Unless that is, we have the support to explore the transformation that comes knocking at the door of consciousness at various stages of our lives. To even have the awareness to heed that call requires a very different society than we have now.

Life is extremely complicated for young people these days, whether they are in Western, Asian, African or Middle Eastern societies. The predisposition of tyranny from our hierarchical institutions and social systems means that such a danger will always be there, even when there is momentum toward autopoietic * social innovations. The imbalance inherent within state authority and the unceasing drive of so many to live outside it’s influence is growing. This is a welcome reaction against the finite and unsustainable nature of cartel capitalism and rampant state-sponsored crimes against humanity. But we haven’t yet found that crucial tension, that balance that provides a psychological inoculation against psychopathic infiltration which so often turns civilisations into crucibles of centralised control.

The corruption of hierarchical power always weakens the structure to the point of catastrophic failure. And there are always young folks who act as literal and symbolic precursors to that descent, usually by embodying those ills and thereby showing us what long term or immediate future lies ahead. Each epoch manifests that see-saw between managed chaos and mass creativity which eventually bursts forth in destructive ways, sweeping away everything that went before.  Children and young adults are the tuning fork of future generations in this regard. Nonetheless, there is has been a very wide historical berth when it comes to defining how our youth interact with the world. The older generations have a distinct challenge to make sure our younger generations are correctly tuned to that which offers hope, spiritual strength and resilience to face what is certain to be an unpredictable and challenging future.

But let’s rewind for a moment…

Take Medieval England for example. During that time the majority of medieval people were young with far fewer older people with around thirty-five to forty percent under fifteen years old. There was a distinct and recognised period where the early formative years were largely employed for utilitarian ends. If there were not distinct roles then the family didn’t survive. As a result, the Church law and common law regarded children as equal to adults in many ways. Parenting was just as important and often imbued with strict moral and community-based values inspired by the Church and folklore. Though play was a vital part of growing up and of far greater importance than today, if a child was unprepared for the realities of what was a rather brutal world, it meant that the longevity of the family would be weakened as would the life of the child. Conscientiousness in one’s work had to be learned early on as it was quite often a life and death situation. [1]

The ubiquity of young folks meant there were major social differences in every community and sphere of activity. A feudal hierarchy of industry meant clearly defined roles with a narrow band of what could constitute freedom from our perspective today. It also meant that on average, there was seventeen years’ less experience of life to draw on and very few elders and betters that children had to go to for advice. This high proportion of young people experienced a violent, feudal world which saw hand-to-hand combat; brutality passing for entertainment; state sanctioned slavery and appalling daily health hazards – including periodic visitations of the plague – as the backdrop to their lives. Medieval boys for example, had what amounts to a man’s job from the age of seven and could have his wee hand chopped off if he decided to pinch some fruit from a market stall. If he graduated to a more audacious deed like stealing a hairpin or a Lord’s hat, he could be hanged by his doubtless scrawny neck. Boys could legally marry at aged fourteen and were considered ready to fight in the King’s army. Those born into the nobleman’s life or royalty had material comforts but a different level of responsibility. For example, Prince Edward, at just sixteen years old was in command of whole battalion.

Not a lot of leeway for a “safe space” in that milieu.

(more…)

The Hissy Fit Generation and the Loss of Free Speech V: Infantilism in America and Beyond

By M.K. Styllinski

Let me tell you about Preschool Mastermind, a daycare for adults in Brooklyn, N.Y. It is not, as I had thought, an April Fool’s joke or even a fetish den but an actual thing. Tall, hairy, wrinkled Americans — I’m assuming they have jobs because you can’t get student loans for kindergarten — pay a grand to recreate their happiest times, spending their days as four-year-olds: fingerpainting, show-and-telling, playing musical chairs, napping with a blankie and a Fig Newton.

— Heather Mallick, ‘The growing childishness of American adults’


Columnist Heather Mallick quoted above comments on mass infantilism and political disengagement which can only lead to the erosion of our civil liberties. She highlights a recent interview of whistleblower Edward Snowden by John Oliver of The Intercept who took a camera to Times Square and asked people who “Edward Snowden” was. Not one person knew. However, when asked if it was okay for the NSA to store photos of their genitals  they were vehemently indignant. As Mallick observes: “This is how you get toddlers upset; you mention swimsuit areas.”Hugely important issues that strike at the very heart of our freedoms barely register, unless it’s to do with personal shame.

The freedom to exhibit one’s tackle and the shame of it being viewed (with probable hilarity) by State minions certainly throws up a tangled mess of mixed Freudian messages….

If you think the world is going insane then you can be sure that much of this is due to an inability to process deep change and the horror of having to confront one’s own psychology in the face of uncertainties and shocks. The net result of cultural narcissism means an arrested emotional development which has led to a widespread absence of maturity and responsibility. Nonetheless, you don’t have to be a pathological narcissist to find yourself grappling with such things. Since we live in such a culture, it is probable that all of us have had to confront narcissistic traits and various degrees of trauma in order to truly move forward with our lives. As those who have finally tackled such an ambitious objective can attest – it is not a pleasant experience, which is why those exhibiting symptoms of infantilism find it doubly difficult to claw their way back to adulthood without some appropriate form of therapy. For older individuals who have spent a life time sucking on the dummy of victimhood and entitlement this may be a tall order indeed, since it has become their personality with little room for change.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of an adult is “a fully developed and mature: grown-up”. What does it mean to be grown up? Robert A. Hall’s article in the American Thinker gives a suitable description of what an ideal adult might be, taking into account that none of us can live up to this ideal all or even some of the time. The key is to strive to do so, both for yourself and your children since they will follow your example and define the next generation. He lists several descriptors which define a normal adult including: resilience; patience; disciplined; openness; consideration; supporting themselves and their family; altruistic in day to day life and most importantly, they do not take on a victim status but cultivate a sense of responsibility. In a word: true adults have integrity; they have a healthy ego that is kept in check by humility knowing that it’s not all about them and they are aware of their weaknesses but strive to overcome them. As discussed previously, many parents and the cultural cross-currents under which they were immersed in the 60s and 70s were exposed to a range of detrimental social changes which ultimately did no favours for them or their children.

Marketing Infantilism

Our body-centric focus is certainly over-developed alongside an elevated egotism. This infantilism is presiding over the male-female removal of body hair to the normalisation of paedophilia in law and academia. We are seeing generations of men and women who are personifying the psycho-spiritual chaos that has been wrought over the last several decades through emotional impairment, missing certain stages of neurological development through experiences in childhood and beyond. Factor in social engineering, postmodernist inculcation and a legion of other psychic pressures, the concept of adulthood has been twisted out of shape to induce a total reliance on the State for all one’s provisions. The government as provider of social welfare has fed into an assumed right to be taken care of, further eroding the potential of community and the lost creative power of people to nurture, support and nourish each other financially and spiritually.

(more…)