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Romantic Warrior

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  1. Here's a short essay I wrote today on maturity that I haven't revised too much. I'm eager to hear all comments and criticisms. Maturity Maturity. What is maturity? When is one mature? How does one measure maturity? These are questions that are too often neglected in today's society. We often talk about maturity with little understanding of what it is. "Jeremy is very mature for his age." "Sarah is so intelligent, but she can be so immature! She needs to grow up." Although this word is common piece of most everybody's vocabulary, little time is given to truly understanding it. You don't learn maturity in a high school class and its deeper meaning is rarely talked about among friends. Unfortunately, this lack of exposure to the concept of maturity results in a lack of understand of how we can improve ourselves as individuals. First, we must define maturity and distinguish between different types of maturity. Flipping open the nearest dictionary, one finds that maturity is defined as a "full development." Of course, dictionaries aren't written in the kind of philosophical depth that we'd like, so we must ask the questions ourselves. Full development... of what? This leads us to distinguishing between different kinds of development. In what ways, as human beings, do we develop? Or, put another way, in how many different ways do we mature? Although there are many ways in which we mature, I would like to focus on the two types of maturity that are most important in one's personal development: physical maturity and emotional maturity. The first type of maturity, the physical, is easiest for us to fully understand. It is a scientific kind of maturity that is visible and quantifiable. For example, I am seventeen. While this literally means that since I was born the earth revolved around the sun roughly seventeen times, it more importantly is an approximated measure of physical maturity. By telling you I'm seventeen, you've most like already assumed that I don't have wrinkles on my face and that chances are I'm in relatively good health. We also measure physical maturity by key milestones in our biological development as human beings. Infancy. Puberty. For the ladies, menopause. As we grow older, our bodies "fully develop" and are most easily measured by these real, visible changes in our bodies. So what does this mean for you? First, it means that you need to reflect upon and understand who you are in relation to your physical development. One cannot build up false expectations and plan on running a marathon in his or her thirties quite as well as he ro she may have ran it in his or her teenage years, nor can a teenage girl expect to understand her body the way a forty year old woman understands hers. More importantly, we must understand physical maturity as a singular element of personal development apart from emotional maturity. In that case, how is emotional maturity different? Emotional maturity is one's "full development" emotionally. Obvious enough, but how do we understand our emotional development? Unlike physical maturity, emotional maturity is not easily defined. It is not quantifiable. We can't use a science lab to calculate an individual's emotional maturity. Emotions are volatile and difficult to understand. Although everybody views this subject differently, I would like to lay down a few irreducible concepts on the subject... axioms, if you will. First, development occurs through time. Without time, there can be no development, no change. As time passes, we, as humans, experience. We experience a whole host of things: love, hate, victory, tragedy. So, as time passes, we develop by experience. Without experience, we don't develop. From this, I determine that emotional maturity depends first upon experience. Despite this, experience does not necessarily mean we develop. Our experiences can result in detrimental changes that hinder our maturity. Put another way, our experiences can prohibit our emotional development. This means that we as human beings must use some sort of medium to translate these experiences into positive development. This medium is reason. Our rational facilities allow us to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel our environments. Not only that, but our rational facilities also allow us to process this information. The progress of our emotional developments depend on how we process this information. For instance, lets say that Jon's pet cat dies. Although he can react in many ways, we'll just examine two. He can say to himself, "I'm sad my cat died, but I'll move on, raise a new cat, and remember the great times I had with the old one." He could also say, "The cat died. I'll never move past this. Its my fault the cat died. I should have given him fewer treats and more cat food." As you can see, any experience can be used by the mind for personal development, while at the same time the mind can use experiences to hinder emotional development. In this way, over time, we construct principles based on the way we process our experiences. These principles are our personal convictions. "Life will ultimately end, so it must be enjoyed while it lasts." "Life will ultimately end, so nothing is worthwhile anyway." From these truths, I conclude that emotional maturity is the sum of experiences and personal convictions that allow for one's greatest personal potential. How did I conclude that? If maturity is our apex of development, then we as human beings are capable of the greatest happiness, the greatest achievements, and the greatest understanding when we are fully developed. For the reasons stated above, I believe that experience and proper reasoning are necessary for proper maturation. So, again, "Emotionaly maturity is the sum of experiences and personal convictions that allow for one's greatest personal potential." If that is emotional maturity, how does physical maturity come into play? If emotional maturity and physical maturity sum to an individual's total level of maturity, then I would define maturity as such. "Maturity is the sum of experiences and personal convictions that allow for the greatest personal potential in context of one's physical development." Maturity is our means of making the most of our lives. The more mature we are, the more we can achieve. It is important to understand in context of where we are in our development. The average ten year old child is simply not capable of achieving what the average thirty year old can achieve, nor is that ten year old child capable of dealing with difficult situations in the same way that a thirty year old deals with them. The child has not had the experience nor the kind of personal convictions that an adult does. So what does it all mean? It means that we must strive to be as mature as possible given our varying situations. It also means that we must reconsider how we teach children to live their lives and how we govern our society. If age is a measure of physical maturity, then is it true that no individual is emotionally mature enough to consume alcohol until he or she is of twenty one years of age? Is a woman mature enough to be a mother simply because she is thirty? Are seniors more mature simply because they are older? Of course, the older one is the more one has experienced, but experience alone, remember, does not directly translate to maturity. Maturity is too often overlooked and misunderstood. Strength, intelligence, and beauty are far more important in the eyes of society at large. Regardless, it is crucial to understand the importance of maturity... for your own well being. You can see this essay and some of my poetry here: http://sweetnighter.deviantart.com/
  2. Thats awesome! You recognize my avatar? EDIT: Saw your response in the we the living thread, so nevermind the question. You really think Mahavishnu is superior? I love Inner Mounting Flame, but the rest of their material just doesn't seem as strong. Also, if you like fusion, you might really enjoy progressive rock as well... a somewhat different but related style of music being made at the same time. In my opinion, the most romantic (in the philosophical sense) contemporary music ever made. Epic stories, highly talented playing, musical complexity... really pushing rock music as a form of art to its limits. If you like Mahavishnu and RTF, you might like Yes and Rush. Rush's 1976 album, "2112", has a twenty minute long epic length piece (called 2112) based on... drum roll please... Anthem by Ayn Rand! Sorry if you already know this. Any Rush fans here? I'm sort of expecting that there may be a lot. For those of you who don't know, Rush's drummer, Neil Peart, is a fan of AR and since he wrote all of the lyrics for the group's songs, there are many objectivist lyrics in their repotoire. For those interested, I'd suggest getting 2112 (1976), Hemispheres (1978), and/or Permanent Waves (1980).
  3. I just finished the book as well, and I too came to tears at the end. Her description of the patrol gaurd, who was essentially a worthless drifter, turned my tears to anger. What right did he have to take her life? She didn't do a damn thing to him. I thought that really added to the effectiveness of the novel's end. We shouldn't just be sad at the loss of Kira's life, but outraged at why it came to pass. There was one line in the book that I would like somebody to explain. At one point, after coming home from standing in line waiting for a job or from his business (i don't remember which), Leo kisses Kira passionately, and AR describes it by saying, "He was not a lover; he was a slave master." Now why would she describe Leo's kissing Kira in that way? If love is a voluntary relationship based on a mutual appreciation of values, why would she describe Leo as a slave master?
  4. I registered an account here last year, but haven't been on in quite a while. As I continue to find more personal meaning in my life's philosophy, I seek to find and talk to other people who hold the same values that I do. I'm a musician/poet, so I'm especially eager to meet people who are artists, such as myself, in order to talk to them about how their philosophy is reflected in their art. I'm also eager to talk to other people my age (i'm seventeen) to talk about how objectivist philosophy affects, to see how similar or different they're experiences are with mine. So, basically, I just want to talk! My AIM screen name is Audiophilism and my e-mail is [email protected] I hope to get more active in the forums here.
  5. Having recently read the book this summer, I see little differences between it and Anthem. Difference being, of course, that in Anthem, society has gone farther down the path of social primitivity. Really, Anthem could be a follow-up to 1984; both societies are almost indentical: Fanaticism for the state, or for one's "brother man," is highly supported, citizens live lives of self-sacrifice, no personal gain is ever made, society is in constand decline, sex is frowned upon, people are under constant surveilence (or are supposed to be), etc. Whatever Orwell's intentions might have been in writing 1984, i don't know, but he was clearly against fundamental statist and totalitarian ideas. If it was written to support socialist ideas, then he certainly didn't do a very good job writing it.
  6. If you haven't already read my introduction, please read it... but i'm still in the investigatory stage of my venture into objectivist thought, and am trying to grasp some of objectivism's ideas. I haven't finished the book, but I've read enough of Altas Shrugged to be completely baffled by Rand's depiction of sex and its meaning. Dagny Taggart sleeps with both Francisco d'Anconia and Hank Rearden in different stages of her life, and they are both somewhat different, yet inately the same. In both situations, there is no personal connection beyond the physical elemnt, and both men take complete advantage of her. What I guess I'm asking then is... is the act of sex totally lost to our natural instincts? Is it really nothing more than a mutual act for pleasure? Is it always a relation of the controller and the controlled? The way she depicts it in the mind of Hank Rearden is almost to the point of being sadomasochistic. There is also a scene where Dagny almost says "I love you" to Francisco. What of that, if their sexual relation is only for pleasure?
  7. Hey everybody, my name is ian, it is my pleasure to introduce myself. I am sixteen, live in the Cleveland area, and attend a well-known local preparatory school. I read The Fountainhead last year and am in the midst of Atlas Shrugged. I've done research into objectivist thought online and have decided to join this forum to see just how solid objectivist thought is. I agree with it so far, but I don't want to be hasty to jump headlong into a belief system I don't fully understand... its a philosophy, not a religion. I enjoy listening to jazz (especially 70s fusion), playing trombone, playing games online, talking to friends, my girlfriend, and drawing in my free time. What goes on in this forum? Good conversation i hope? Ian
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