Ever since I can remember, as early as two, the Earth has been mine. It was given mysanction, through a pure, clean awareness, and its every glory has been mine as a result. I would open my eyes, look up from my crib and feel the exhilaration running all through my body at the start of a new day. This world held a new fascination at every turn. There was so much to learn, so much to do and so much to see. I couldn’t wait for the adventure to begin, somehow aware that it already had. I would lie there and enjoy the simple pleasure of my own power of sight, the brilliant colors and the details I hadn’t noticed before. As contrast improved, I could apprehend the flow of a curtain’s motion and its relation to the gentle breeze that would follow. A visual phenomenon translated into touch, and the integration of my senses had begun. I could look at the world or focus inward, experimenting with the pleasant vibrations my vocal cords could produce. I was discovering all that was within my power, enjoying the capacity to improve my comfort by controlled muscular contraction—learning even then, that I need not settle for anything less than satisfaction, waiting for her to come and get me.

Life then was a constant exercise in sensory expansion—of learning the mechanics to control my tools of perception and mobility—and there were no barriers between the world and myself, beyond my effort and willingness to see. I wanted and needed the utmost clarity I could render and the purest concentration possible to be able to understand everything I came upon. As I grew into adolescence, adults attempted to introduce barriers—to claim that my senses were misleading, and I couldn’t possibly be sure of myself. I rejected it contemptuously, but overpowered by those resorting to force, obeyed in silence and kept my private domain pure. Never once have I been tempted to doubt my own eyes, or the judgment of my mind. Confusion made me pause, but nothing spurred me into action except clarification. A wrong turn made me look deeper to make the correct course mine, which is Man’s proper cognitive action. Why they would encourage us to violate our own nature was beyond me at the time.

Nature provides an advantage to every living species, making it possible for all to sustain and perpetuate life—advantages they were telling me to ignore. We watch the Discovery Channel in awe of the keen eyesight of the owl and the hawk, the agility of the cheetah, the shark’s acute sense of smell—senses and abilities that give every animal an edge in its survival. We don’t have to question their value. We know that the sharper the senses are for an animal, the more powerful its capacity to feed and protect itself, and this is true for Man as well. In addition, nature adorned us with the largest creative brain-mass, many times the size of our nearest biological relative, empowering us with full control over our consciousness. Instincts—if they exist at all—are a simple set of preprogrammed instructions that lead an animal along a course of self-preservation. Our reflexes can pull away from a hot stove without cognitive direction (the flexion reflex), but they cannot instruct us to build a house, plant a garden, or run a business. Humans are volitionalbeings—entirely self-guided. Our perceptions likewise, give us no automatic course of action. In order to survive we must make choices. In order to validate choices, we must identify a standard of value by which to weigh them, and the standard for Man and all living things is the alternative of life or death. That which protects and furthers life is the good; that which hinders or destroys it, is the evil. This is the implicit moral question in every human mind, spanning from morning to night, determining every step we take over the course of our existence. Rational judgment is life-furthering judgment. The conscious choice of life-serving action is a moralchoice and is what keeps us all alive. Steering a car, crossing a street, selecting groceries, pursuing a career—these are all decisions originating through sensate perception, which begins a cognitive process of reflecting on our awareness of what will further our lives versus what will take it from us.

Self-made Man knows the moral confusion he was raised with was unnecessary. He moves from adolescence into adulthood thinking, “There should be sense made of all this.” He knows what he would do if there were no one around to damn his actions; he would do just what he’s doing anyway, but without pain, or fear, or guilt. Regardless of the animosity of others, he can see nothing wrong; nothing to condemn. We work to earn a flow of capital, which provides us with our base axiomatic needs: food and shelter—a moral action. We clear snow off our windshields, use our headlights and stay in our own lanes so as not to put ourselves or others at risk—all moral actions. We cross the street when it is safe, seek clean food and pay our bills to preserve the flow of our health and independence—all moral actions. We teach our children to respect the rights of others, to stand up for their own and to be aware of their surroundings—all moral lessons. Life actions are made to preserve its flow, and Self-made Man efforts to become cognizant of his every moral step. It is in the background of his mind as a constantly replenishing source of pride and life satisfaction. He is aware of our highest possibilities and greatest depths, and holds an endless love for those who strive to reach them. Even when in desolation, his example is the only one to look up to. The vast potency and grandeur of the individual astonishes him, through the choiceshe himselfmakes. He is enchanted with how honorable men can be; the bravery it requires and the power of the pride that follows. The spiritual rewards are so great, he could not imagine keeping any other course. He glances at most as they stagnate in groups, but pays them no mind as he can achieve so much alone. His ambition for moral action is unlimited and though refined in appearance and motivation, he is often bursting inside with childlike enthusiasm over new matters to explore and new roads he is eager to take. Looking from one path to another, he asks, “Where will this lead? And where will this lead?” And he can’t wait to find out.

Self-made Man looks at the world alone. In his world, men can see, hear and comprehend. Walking into a wall with his eyes closed is all the proof he needs to validate the importance of his senses. He knows that the clarity of his perception determines the quality of his life. To depend on others at any fundamental level is intolerable, flying in the face of his struggle to become a self-sufficient adult. He is responsible for all facets of his life, and outside of a physical malady, accepts no ongoing assistance. All tools to be used for his survival must come from within. He thinks on his own, validating what he has learned from other men—validating everything—through his own experience and reflection. No fundamental delegation is done; all outside sources are the unaccountable, and to suspend his judgment in favor of another’s higher certainty is to become a dependent once more. He makes all the knowledge important to him, his. Self-sufficiency is the base of his self-esteem, so he exercises and expands the range of every sense, while mastering the mobility and competence of his own physique to maximize his momentum.

Self-made Man doesn’t question his capacity to think, to feel, to sense or to live. He knows he can, and his highest judge is himself. He makes up his own mind what makes sense and what doesn’t, who is honest and who isn’t and gets to the bottom of any issue with the clearest chain of knowledge necessary to act. He spends his time serving, creating and defending his own life and its peaceful progression. He inherently knows what is good for him or evil. Heroic Self-made Man didn’t need to be told by clergy that an army overrunning his village was bad; he was already there, fighting for our freedom. He knows there are material and spiritual predators among men, and that he owes them no goodwill. He knows a thug is to be stopped, and a producer is to be rewarded. He knows that rational law is designed to protect the producers against the thugs, and shows his loyalty to values when law becomes corrupt, by maintaining his just course, regardless. He doesn’t tolerate the idiocy that demands the subordination of his sensibilities; he is a fighter. He doesn’t accept irrational premises that cannot be validated in the course of his own existence. He does not allow assertions to replace his perceptions. He moves unfettered at the comfortable pace of his own physio-intellectual efficiency, veering only when necessary, to avoid or stamp out whatever or whomever claims a dogmatic right to bar or stop him.