Something about childhood. We desperately try to recover a piece, a pale reflection of our lost childhood. We long for the freedom and simplicity of it. For that care-free attitude that seems to defy the laws of the real world. Freedom is total for a child, because there is nothing to confuse its mind, and desires are immediately served by actions.
There is certain power to this, a form of „purity” as some would call it. Some philosophies and religions try to recover that lost „purity”. Unless your childhood has been a particularly painful one, you will be tempted.
But the original desire is soon replaced by another one. So the child ends one activity, abandons it, and blindly jumps into a new passion. And so day after day, desire after desire, the child is chasing the changeable emotions that govern the human mind.
There is reason why a child becomes adult, and to say that a child is pure and better in all ways would be gross simplification. The child immerses itself fully in just one desire, the entire world becomes that desire. It doesn’t care beyond it, it doesn’t see beyond it. In that way the infinite complexity of the world is reduced to infinite simplicity, childish simplicity. It is pleasant to have that simplicity. It is good for as long as you have a parent to worry about the real world.
Giving up the battle means somebody else needs to take responsibility for all the nasty parts of life. In the absence of such self-sacrificial person it would mean chaos, confusion, despair. It also would mean you have no guide, except your volatile emotions. Perhaps some of these emotions are more important to you than others? But it is hard to keep things in proportion, unless you take some time to reflect. Slave of changeable desires, forever wanting, forever hungering, forever chasing a moving target. Is this not a punishment? At some point the child will look back at all the mess of life, and wonder what it all means. There is nobody to respond to that question. It doesn’t mean anything.
There are two dangers for an adult. The first, and lesser danger, is being the „adult-child”; Do you want to be an adult-child? Many people are like that, they are adult-children. Perhaps some of them find the situation acceptable, and have no compelling reason to change. Others are „stuck in a rut”, and don’t know how to change.
The second, and greater danger, is that you forget completely about the child still living and breathing in you.
But I hope you don’t want to be adult-child. And if I started this essay in a harsh way, some would accuse me of being a nihilist, it is not to scare you away from choice but rather to give you compelling reason to chose.
This is necessary for you, as it has been necessary for me, because of our common weakness. Humans have many strengths but we also have a flaw. Every person has to discover for himself the lessons of the previous generations, this is the trouble. It is not sufficient to read books, to absorb information. Something has to click in your mind, and you need to walk the way on your own. Books in general, and this text in particular, are imperfect tools. So I hope the this imperfect tool will prompt you to make choices.
The childish mind does not give peace, happy living, to the creative person. I have tried this. It has resulted in misguided work.
The creative person needs to be aware of the big picture, not just his current desire. He acts for the successful completion of wise and meaningful creative goals. Because his happiness and peace are conditioned on that.