Of all the extinctions currently underway—we are told we
are at the dawn of planet Earth’s sixth great extinction,
with, for example, a quarter of all mammals under threat, as
well as a third of all frogs, to mention but a few—the one that
saddens and frightens me most receives little if any attention.
It is the extinction of the free spirit. By “free spirit,” I mean
exactly that: an intelligence that is not tied to anything, and
which can therefore find out the truth of a matter with integrity, independence, and, most especially, without fear of loss. This
is the man or woman, young or old—age here makes no
difference—who is capable of examining a thought or idea
and following it like a thread through a labyrinth of possible
dead-ends, missed implications and inconsistencies, to its
logical ground and source.
My contention is that the man or woman of free spirit
is becoming exceedingly rare. I hope that I’m wrong.