American Avatar
No. 3, [early 1969], p. [20]

Essay on the New Age

The more freedom, the more discipline required


The more freedom, the more discipline required to handle that freedom. That is exactly why democracy cannot, at this time, be applied as a worldwide system of government. It is even almost too much for its founders to handle. Freedom is opportunity for greater expansion, greater unfoldment, greater development. Unless a man is capable of creating order within the limits of his own immediate sphere of activity he cannot possibly expect to step beyond those limits and create anything worthwhile. Creation is the ability to exhaust the possibilities of the immediate situation and thereby necessarily extend that which is complete into the realm of the not yet complete. Freedom is not free. Democracy is an embryo. Creation still awaits.

Few men have ever known themselves deeply enough to be able to exert any kind of conscious control over their own lives. We sleepwalk in short jerky steps. The years pass and we come to know certain rules for safer sleepwalking. At the end of our few years on this practical planet we may even feel confident enough to write a book about how it's done. But what have our little lives added up to? We fell short of our goal, we were never satisfied, and we leave this world as dumbfounded as when we came into it. A few of the more fortunate may have left a little more: a great work of art, a religion, a system of government. And that's all the rest of us have to go by. And what of the more rebellious among us? They that denied what was given them and set themselves to make something better. Most of them failed and thereafter heartily embraced the fruits of their predecessors labors. And the others rapidly spent their lives drifting aimlessly like a ship without a harbor. And I have found a new land on which you dare not tread.

Mel Lyman