Jan 7Liked by Maxim Benjamin Smith

I believe decades ago college might have been a right of passage. Not along the lines of raising an eagle or going on vision quests but what the west had to offer. Now that pretty much anybody can go to college that option has been watered down so much that it no longer qualifies.

It seems like now one has to be their own driver and be lucky enough to have an Uncle Maurice to help recognize a path and possibly help him along the way. Sort of an apprenticeship, and even then no journey would be the same. Not everybody will hunt lions or trade in togas. There are many ways to the top of the mountain, just as there are many ways to acquire a "cultural education".

I have different challenges in that I have a daughter and am always struggling with these issues. She shoots (clay targets) and did jiu jitsu (I am a 1 stripe brown belt in BJJ - hit me up for my jits lineage) up until this year (pisser because she would have gotten her blue belt when she turned 16 in Dec). Her journey has included subtle wine training (I currently own a wine shop in the States and am certified with the Court of Master Sommerliers) and daily deprogramming from her private school that she attends now. Her IQ is off the roof (early graduation as a junior in high school with a double major associates degree in Econ and lib arts) but while I feel she'd survive a zombie riot if she had her 20 gauge with her I fear that she's too dependent on the internet.

I'm also an Army vet and would not want her to join now. Being a mercenary slave to the ruling class is the last way I'd want her to go.

Also with the way the world is now, what chess moves would be the best with AI eliminating most jobs and the world rapidly changing. Hell, nobody knows if there's going to be air travel for people not in the billionaire class. We are all in search of the best ways to prepare our children and to create a strong sense of identity. I fear I haven't done a good enough job.

Thank you for the post, it has given me much to think about.

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Jan 3Liked by Maxim Benjamin Smith

Interesting research. I am fairly confident that none of the vision questing native Americans of the First to 19th Centuries used the word "liminal" or "reaggregation." I am not impressed by the cultural anthropologists of the current era. They have big words to describe simple things.

The multi-great grandma sounds like a very long lived lady. More details on her story would be welcome.

I used to live directly on the Oregon trail in Kansas and I now live in Oregon so these stories intrigue me.

It's an interesting idea that wearing different garments changes a person. The transition from knee-length to long pants used to have that connotation in much of our culture, in the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

In Catholic tradition anyone over the age of reason (varies by person and is evaluated by the parish priest, typically age 7 or so) is eligible to be confirmed in the Church. Most children are expected to make this transition by age 13 to 15. The purpose of confirmation is to ensure the soul knows the truth about Jesus Christ and Mother Mary, knows what is expected of members of the parish community, and is in communion with the saints. We consider all confirmed members of the Church to be in the royal family of God.

For a while you mentioned college, military, and trade paths. The military has boot camp. College has final exams. Trades have apprenticeships that lead to becoming a journeyman. These are all rites of passage. Each semester of college must be passed to attain "graduation" after which there is post graduate "work" for "advanced" degrees.

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I asked my dad if he remembered any stories from our great great great grandma. He only remembers a few things, he was around 6 years old when she babysat him. She told him about her family making their way across the Oregon Trail on a wagon. The families with wagons always stuck together for fear there would be an attack from the Indians.

At night they would circle the wagons to stage a better defense position if any Indians did try to make an attack. One night, she woke up to the sound of gunshots in the camp. She thought they were being overrun by Indians. It turned out that a grizzly had gotten into the camp and started rummaging through packs to find food. The gunshots were from the settlers who shot and killed the bear.

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Jan 4Liked by Maxim Benjamin Smith

There's good eating on a bear.

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