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Unformatted text preview: in legitimate ways or self-reproach enters. Play, sports, short frequent vacations rather than long ones, CHAPTER XI. 102 freedom from ceremony as a rule--but now and then a full indulgence in ceremonials--and a realization that
there is no freedom in self-indulgence.
I remember one Puritanically bred young woman who fled from her restrictions and inhibitions and joined a
"free love" colony in New York. After two years she left, them and came back to New England. Her statement
of the situation she found herself; it summarizes all attempts at "freedom." "It wasn't freedom. You found
yourself bound to your desires, a slave to every wish. It grew awfully tiresome and besides, it brought so
many complications. Sometimes you loved where you weren't loved--and vice versa. Jealousy was there, oh,
so much of it--and pleasure disappeared after a while. It wasn't conscience--I still believe that right and wrong
are arbitrary matters --but I found myself envying people who had some guide, some belief, some restrictions
in themselves! For it seemed to me they were more free than I."
The fact is, for most men and women inhibition is no artificial phenomenon, despite its burdensomeness. It is
not only inevitable, it is desirable. A feeling of power appears when one resists; there is mental gain, character
growth as a result. Life must be purposive else it is vain and futile, and the feeling of no achievement and
failure is far more disastrous than a thousand inhibitions.
Though man battles and compromises with himself, he also battles and compromises with his fellows and
circumstances. That is to say, he must continually adjust himself to the unforeseen, the obstacle, the favoring
circumstance; the possible and impossible; the certain and uncertain. Adjustment to reality is what the
neurologists call it, but they do not define reality, which indeed cannot be defined. It is not the same thing for
any two persons. For some reality is success, for others it is virtue. The scientist smiles at the reality of the
love-sick girl, and she would think his reality a bad...
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- Spring '11