Puberty

It was long ago observed that `rites of passage’ play a considerable part in the life of religious man. Certainly, the outstanding passage rite is represented by the puberty initiation, passage from one age group to another (from childhood or adolescence to youth). But there is also a passage rite at birth, at marriage, at death, and it could gbe said that each of these cases always involves an initiation, for each of them implies a radical change in ontological and social status.

What is it that is done to our children that their puberty should deform them? They have the joy of movement; they have an enterprising curiosity; they are ready for sensible self-denial; they dream ahead, and they have a faithful memory, and, above all, great compassion. [...] The well-meaning educator who flatters and humours the young not only does a disservice to the community, but also damages the individual by depriving him of the opportunities of self-discovery.

This is the first evidence suggesting that schizophrenia in humans might be caused by damage to neurons in the cortex or thalamus during fetal development... Our study adds weight to the theory that fetal brain damage predisposes an individual to become schizophrenic after the hormonal changes of puberty. Such brain damage in conjunction with life events occurring at or around puberty may interact to allow for expression of the disease's symptoms.

Over a long time, the coming and passing of several generations, the old farm had settled into its patterns and cycles of work - its annual plowing moving from field to field; its animals arriving by birth or purchase, feeding and growing, thriving and departing. Its patterns and cycles were virtually the farm's own understanding of what it was doing, of what it could do without diminishment. This order was not unintelligent or rigid. It tightened and slackened, shifted and changed in response to the markets and the weather. The Depression had changed it somewhat, and so had the war. But through all changes so far, the farm had endured. Its cycles of cropping and grazing, thought and work, were articulations of its wish to cohere and to last. The farm, so to speak, desired all of its lives to flourish. Athey was not exactly, or not only, what is called a landowner. He was the farm's farmer, but also its creature and belonging. He lived its life, and it lived his; he knew that, of the two lives, his was meant to be the smaller and the shorter.