Building Education for the Commons
The reason why the older generation persistently imposes its experience, which is fundamentally irreconcilable with a progressive worldview, is not so much to do with ignorance, but rather with the fear and exhaustion.
Aged people (and it is not at all about the biological age) often lack sufficient strength to recognize the essential futility of their experience, as well as the courage required to modify their worldview. Because of this impotence, they are deceiving themselves supposing that their world is objectively given, and does not depend on the fragile contingency of their perception. In this world (the world of the “given”), there is no doubt that, for example, a woman should be feminine, love should result in a marriage proposal, and a child, and in her own interest, she should be kept in the dark about the matters of sexuality.
They lived too long believing in this, and with too great an effort they gained experience of existence in this imaginary world. As a result, very few of them are capable of admitting that another equally contingent worldview is possible, the one which would generate different symbolic world within which their acquired experience is rendered useless.
Those who preach to others and grumble about modern morals, consider their own opinions and convictions to be the only true ones: they have enough strength only for one interpretation. Such people are afraid to leave “their” world (to search beyond it).
The transformation of a worldview requires the strength which Nietzsche frequently mentions – the child’s strength to play with what seems the most sacred and inviolable, for example, with concepts of God and morality. Even people who just started to live are not often as strong. The less we exercise this strength, the strength that inheres in the “herd mentality”, the faster we grow older and impotent. The world slows down, and begins to die.
To spend life playing means to be at the height of your powers, to be bright and happy, while gloom and grumbling are signs of the loss of strength, of an aging spirit. But the game always worth it even if you emptied your entire life into it.
Dr. Julie Reshe is a professor at The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) She will be teaching a course in a few weeks entitled, “Perverting the Concept of Child”. You can take this course on-line by registering here! Dr. Resche recently gave us an interview which you can view here.