Early Writings of Evan Bailyn

The Problem With Having Too Many Responsibilities

Posted by on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 with 0 Comments

Adults’ lives seem to go by very quickly because of all the chores that distract them from their inner life. Adults pay taxes, apply for mortgages, climb corporate ladders, and attend superficial social functions. Their lives are structured, so much so that even their vacations follow a schedule. And yet, even though taking on responsibilities appears undesirable, adults become dependent on them. How many working mothers, for instance, embody the cliché of the harried modern parent, ...

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Living Life Consciously

Posted by on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 with 0 Comments

Forty years from now, you will nostalgize about today. You will think back to the present moment, recalling how youth was full of choices and hopefulness. You will marvel at how blissfully uninformed you were about what the future held in store for you. The life you live right now will be a distant, golden memory. Knowing how much you will value these days when you are older, how can you allow yourself to hurry through life? ...

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Narcissism And Peter Pan Syndrome

Posted by on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 with 0 Comments

A classic characteristic of Peter Pan Syndrome is narcissism. The truth about Peter Pans is that they are self-absorbed, but not in the negative, uncaring way that narcissism connotes. They simply feel a dreamy, imaginative comfort inside of their own minds – an attraction to introspection that is positive and well-meaning. Everyone has some level of self-involvement. After all, life is constantly impacting us and is impossible to ignore. We experience emotions, sensations, desires, and the ...

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Blocking Out The World

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

The world is filled with things we cannot control.  We put ourselves out there, aware of the risk that bad things might happen, just to give ourselves the opportunity for good things to happen. We hope for the best and try to avoid the undesirable vagaries of nature.  But when we depend on people, careers, or events in our lives, we are opening ourselves to possibilities we cannot foresee. Although it is necessary to confront the randomness of the outside world ...

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Connecting With Your Fantasy World

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

In a society where the vast majority of people act adultlike, it helps to have a fantasy world - a place that nobody can ever see or influence no matter what is happening in your physical environment.  Keeping such a place inside you, hidden away from everything else, can greatly counterbalance all the external events that are out of your control. However, even those who regularly use their imaginations to escape often do so in a passive way, minimizing the ...

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Does Fate Exist?

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Fate is a concept we all formed a definite opinion on at a young age.  Nowadays, we rarely give its existence real consideration, instead using it as a quick explanation for situations we can’t understand, stating “That’s the way it was meant to be.”  But is fate real? Is it immutable that I should be sitting here right now, typing on this computer, with this bottle of water placed exactly as it is on this table in front of me?  I ...

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What Is The Meaning Of Life?

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

I’ve pondered the grandest of all philosophical questions - the meaning of life - since at least my early teenage years.  I’ve also asked a lot of people their opinion on the subject.  The most common answers I get are: - to accumulate as much happiness or pleasure as possible; - to serve God (or follow God’s plan) - to prepare for an afterlife - to attain a high level of spirituality or knowledge - to make a positive difference in the world - there is ...

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The Paradox Of Writing

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

I write for you.  With every sentence I type, I pass my words through a filter of how I think you’ll react.  If your opinion didn’t matter, I wouldn’t be distributing my writing; I would keep to journals, in which I could scribble and dabble and review every few years to see how my identity had evolved.  Or, I wouldn’t write at all.  Yet there is an excitement which I believe all writers feel in the prospect of creating something ...

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The Ability To Concentrate

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Expressing oneself intelligently requires the synergy of many forces. One must harness one’s mental energy into an idea; compare and combine that idea with other available ideas; translate the results into an intelligible form of communication; and express that communication. Most people are able to do all these steps fairly well individually. The problem is holding each step together in one’s mind long enough to use it in the next step and come to a coherent end-product. In other words, ...

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Peter Pan Syndromers As Overachievers

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Peter Pan Syndromers are usually painted as grown-ups who cling to their childhood due to a fear of adult responsibility. But emotionally stunted underachievers make up only a small percentage of the Peter Pan population. Dan Kiley, author of the Peter Pan Syndrome concept, never accounted for Peter Pan overachievers: eternal children whose competitive instincts compel them to achieve high standing in the very society that they secretly shun. These people learn how to game the adult world by conforming ...

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The Feeling Of Specialness

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Growing up, my parents always paid an extraordinary amount of attention to me. They vigorously encouraged my interests, causing me to believe that I could be anything I wanted to in life. The affirmation I received from getting good grades in school and being accepted socially further confirmed my feeling that I was, in a way, blessed. Not even the low points in my adolescence aroused any real self-doubt in me, for I felt that despite whatever was happening, I ...

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The Value Of Active Thinking

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

The most interesting people I know all have one thing in common - they think about things. While thinking may not sound like a special activity, very few people use their minds actively; instead, they go through life making passive associations, allowing whatever words or images float to the forefront of their minds to convey their thoughts. This tendency to live blurrily, rather than with acuity and awareness, inhibits communication on a large scale in our society. The result is ...

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Coping With A Fear Of Death

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

One major trait of Peter Pan Syndromers is a desire to remain eternally youthful. A natural corollary to that characteristic, which I embody perfectly, is a strong fear of death. I am inconsolably afraid of death - so afraid that I cannot even allow it to float around in my mind as I can with other fears. When its dreary countenance comes to the surface of my mind, an instinct kicks in that automatically expels it before it has time ...

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Returning To Who We Are

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Every time we go out in public, we engage in a series of elaborate social scripts so that we can get along with other people. Pleasantries, formalities, and personal space conventions are all examples of automated behaviors that we exhibit because we seek approval from those around us. They are a common ground for us to stand on, a compromise of our natural inclinations for the sake of civility. These learned behaviors are useful, of course; the world would be chaotic ...

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Our Quest For Security

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Security is the unacknowledged object of all of life’s journeys.  Most of us are born with it, owing to the fact that our parents bring us up and care for us; but slowly, at distinct points in our adolescence, that security gets chipped away.  The first time we realize that we cannot depend on our parents for money, protection, or encouragement, we lose a piece of our security, and each successive time, we lose a little bit more.  Finally, we ...

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What’s Wrong With Being “Just Fine”?

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

One big difference beween children and adults is that the latter often possesses a permanent defense mechanism known as being “fine.” Whenever I hear someone say that they are fine, usually in response to “how are you,” I get a little uncomfortable. “Fine,” to me, is like saying “I’m hanging in there.” It implies that the person is living out of habit, not out of enthusiasm. If you ask a five year-old how he is doing, he will either not answer ...

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What Is Art?

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

When people speak of art in everyday conversation, they are usually speaking about the art of the upper classes. Art collectors, art history majors, and art museums all partake in a narrowly-defined form of art that has been decided upon by academics and by affluent, white-haired men and women. It is wonderful that this type of art exists, for there are a lot of beautiful works within its scope; however, it should not be seen as the only art. Art, like ...

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My Ideal School

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

One of my ultimate goals in life is to start a progressive school which focuses on developing a passion for living and self-knowledge in children. Schools nowadays have a rote, one-size-fits-all curriculum, which is conducive to learning for only a small percentage of students. My ideal school would be communication-based, blending aspects of social work, conflict resolution, team building, and traditional learning. Classes would be limited to fifteen students, a size small enough to allow individual attention but large enough to ...

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What Is Time?

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Time is a metaphor used to express the non-spatial distance between events. What we commonly refer to as time is actually measured time, or time as defined by clocks, daylight, and revolutions of the earth. However, a more satisfying version of time is perceived time, or time as defined by our own minds. The difference between measured and perceived time is easy to illustrate: I am in the waiting room of a doctor’s office and it seems like I’ve been there ...

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What Is Peter Pan Syndrome?

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 Comments

Peter Pan syndrome is a deep-seated belief that one will never, and must never, grow up. It is named after the legendary character of the same name who lived in Neverland, a place where kids are immune to aging. The story of Peter Pan fascinated me as early as five years old, way before I knew what it was like to feel like an adult. I still keep an image in my mind of a particular moment in the play, when ...

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