Where do we draw the line when defining the end of childhood? It appears that when someone reaches a certain age the person is regarded as an “adult”, who supposed to be able to look after themselves. This is wrong since age is an arbitrary thing. Being 16, 18 or 21, when one supposed to be sexually active, can get a driver license, can vote or buy legal drugs (alcohol and tobacco) is no guarantee of any adultness.
In old times the rite of passage was the dividing line between childhood and adulthood. However that involved guides, who led youth to a higher level of personal responsibility, consciousness and with it some rights. The knowledge and responsibilities were imparted to a young woman or man before they were considered more than a child. But this did not mean there was nothing more to learn or that there were no gates to pass through, as it was understood life is a neverending learning curve. People who raise children may be called parents, but in the same time they are also children forever in this sense.
There will always be things unknown even unknowable, but others may have a deeper insight into the ever-changing world we live in and experience. An adult could and should ask for the advice of an elder, a shaman, a teacher. Of course real understanding comes from personal experience, hence the guide merely shows the possibilities and the student must choose, or more precisely, make a path.
We must come to realise there are no “paths” in the sense of exact routes to self-exploration, rather there is a vast Cosmos (Universe or world call or it what you will), where we must cross regions never traversed before, to reach places never reached before. Krishnamurti aptly put this as “truth is a pathless land”. The ever-changing nature of the universe makes it impossible to visit the same place twice. We just need to hone our senses to be able to notice the minute differences, which make every meeting with the “same” person and every visit to the “same” place exciting. But this requires us to be really interested in the other person, not just remember their names, deeds and our reaction to those.
Anyone can get tired when dealing with children, regardless of their age. Hence they start making things up, to make their task of dealing with the children easier. They invent mythical or distort real persons, who wear red capes or died on a cross and take note of every deed all year around, then give or deny presents to children. The modern adults do not stop here however, they demand the child’s obedience, just because the child is younger, hence denying them the understanding that wisdom has nothing to do with age. Regardless of the length of time one spends on this Earth there is no guarantee of maturity in a cosmic sense. Partly because of time being an everflowing stream and partly because the Cosmos care not about one’s bank account statement or social standing.
Money is also a mean of controlling children, by the self-appointed adults of the society we live in. Those people from families who keep the rein of societal control through titles, laws or other violent means. Money is the everlasting carrot dangling in front of the faces of the faceless masses, just a little bit out of reach. One may be blinded by some laughingly small fraction of real material wealth, but even millionaires ,like a Prime Minister, are nothing more than single-use assets in the arsenal of the real wealthy.
When the other side (I refrain from calling them the enemy since they are merely parasites) is this violent, the only way to win is to deny them battle. We already began to see through their armour of denial, violence and self-hate. Through the smoke of burning oil rigs and cities, through the clean-cut forests and mines, through the endless suffering and terror created by bombs and drones we can see them clearly. We must now, like a good parent, take the hammer from them before they destroy everything with it. The hammer is our strength. We must never let it be taken away by anyone, but we must use it as someone who has reached the age of reason. We must not consent to the use our strength for destruction.