In childhood the interiority of subjectivity is vastly more complex and immediate than impressions of stable external structures. It takes many years for a child to accumulate personal knowledge of a structured environment into which to project intentions. All the while the subjective interiority of each child is very rich and very active with invention. The process of maturation is a gradual but unrelenting increase in mental impressions of the external world of metabolic costs and benefits, and increasing complexity of orientation by reference to external place markers. Without the adult attachment to making a living and cycling through cost-benefit routines in the environment, the child retains a huge absorption in creative subjectivity. With age and experience the balance of richness between interiority and exteriority shifts as the child learns the structures of larger and larger swaths of the environment along with the expectations of social surroundings. The utilitarian narrowness of adult mentality which results from immersion in the external confines of actual nature and culture is not even possible for the child. For the child, thinking, the creative non-actuality of subjectivity, is and has to be its own reward. Sometimes knowledge is a form of power, but freedom is a consequence of the non-actuality of subjective interiority, striving in the way unique to intelligence to create a viable opening between the brute particularity of nature (embodiment) and the ethereal, impersonal universality of ideas. The experience of childhood seems to be the high point of the human experience of freedom of thought, and adults value conversation with children at least partly because it maintains direct contact with the freedom of ascendent interiority, at a peak in the mentality of children. So it is no wonder that adults keep re-creating childhood and childhood mentality, not as a gift to some future community of the faith or of the nation, but to help balance the lives of adults in the present.
Since the market economy draws the most energy and value from individuals if those individuals are exclusively devoted to and fixated on market production and consumption, the value rhetoric of market culture specifically diverts people from the power of non-actuality that each has in personal subjective interiority (monadic interiority). Thinking, creative interiority, is assigned a low value in market culture. Competitive sport has all kinds of incentives and rewards from the earliest stages of education, but creative thinking, not the same as remembering the answers to test questions, is rarely explored seriously and certainly never glorified as sport is. If thinking were not assigned such a low value then certain kinds of knowledge would be commonplace instead of being culturally marginalized. Knowledge of the foundations of equality is an example of that, and also historical knowledge that sovereign power and governments developed directly from crime families and religious cults. Philosophy itself, the craft of personally re-orienting to an elemental orientation grid, is also marginalized knowledge.
Copyright © 2012 Sandy MacDonald. The moral right of the author is asserted.