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In this article we will continue our discussion of the human life cycle.  We discussed birth and infancy earlier.  Now we will look at the consciousness of a human in childhood and youth.

The Child

“A child born to two parents is also an offspring of the earth, its tissues as surely a part of earth as any tree or flower, or burst of ocean spray.

A human child, true; but an offspring in which the entire history of the earth is involved – a new creation arising not just from two parents, but from the entire gestalt of nature, from which the parents themselves once emerged; a private yet public affair in which the physical elements of earth become individualized; in which psyche and earth cooperate in a birth that is human, and in other terms, divine.

Life is not given by the parent, but through the parent – by LIFE itself, or All That Is, and “with no strings attached.”

The mother did not give the life.

The life came from All That Is, from the spirit of life itself, and was freely given – to be taken away by no one, or threatened by no one or no force, until that life fulfills its own purposes and decides to travel on.”1

 

 

Children & Parental Beliefs

“There is some information necessary to physical survival that must be taught and handed down from parent to child.

There are basic assumptions of a general nature with which you are born, but because the specific conditions of your environment are so various, these must be implemented.

So it is necessary that the child accept beliefs from its parents.

These will reinforce the family group when the child most needs protection.

This acquiescence to belief, then, is important in the early stages as infant develops into child.

This sharing of mutual ideas not only protects the new offspring from dangers obvious to the parents; it also serves as a framework within which the child can grow.

This provides leeway until the conscious mind is able to reason for itself and provide its own value judgments.

The beliefs that you receive, therefore, are your parents’ conceptions of the nature of reality.

They are given to you through example, verbal communication, and constant telepathic reinforcement.

You receive ideas about the world in general and your relationship to it; and from your parents you are also given concepts of what you are.

You pick up their ideas of your own reality.

Underneath all of this, you carry indelibly within you your own knowledge of your identity, meaning and purpose, but in the early stages of development great care is taken to see that you relate in physical terms.

These are directional beliefs that you receive from your parents, orienting you in ways that they feel are safe.

Cushioned with these beliefs the child can be safe and satisfy its own curiosity, develop its abilities, and throw its full energy in clearly stated areas of activity.

So it is quite necessary that an acquiescence to belief does exist, particularly in early life.

There is no reason, though, for an individual to be bound by childhood beliefs or experience.

“If at the age of forty you still believe in the infallibility of your parents, then you hold that idea way beyond its advantageous state for you.

By examining your beliefs, you should discover the reasons for this belief, for it will prevent you from exerting your own independence and making your own world.”2

 

 

Childhood Programming by Parents

“Basically the species is relatively so freewheeling, with so many potentials, that it is necessary that the mother’s beliefs provide a kind of framework in the beginning, allowing the child to focus its abilities in desired directions.

It knows ahead of time the biological, spiritual, and social environment into which it is born.

It is somewhat prepared to grow in a certain direction – a direction that is applicable and suited to its conditions.

The early ideas given to you by your parents, then, structure your learning experiences themselves.

They set the safe boundaries within which you can operate in early years.

Quite without your conscious knowing – because your mind, connected with its brain is not that developed – your imagination is set along certain roads.

Largely, but not completely, your imagination follows your beliefs, as do your emotions.  To some extent there are certain general patterns.

 

A child will cry when it is hurt.  It will stop when the hurt stops, and the emotion behind the cry will automatically change into another.

But if the child discovers that a prolonged cry after the event gets extra attention and consideration, then it will begin to extend the emotion.

From the earliest stages the child automatically compares its interpretation of reality with its parents’.

Since the parents are bigger and stronger and fulfill so many of its needs, it will attempt to bring its experience into line with their expectations and beliefs.

While it is generally quite natural for the child to cry or feel “badly” when hurt, this inclination can be carried through belief to such an extent that prolonged feelings of desolation are adopted as definite behavior patterns.

Behind this would be the belief that any hurt was inherently a disaster.

Such a belief could originate from an overanxious mother, for instance.

If such a mother’s imagination followed her belief – as of course it would – then she would immediately perceive a great potential danger to her child in the smallest threat.

Both through the mothers’ actions, and telepathically, the child would receive such a message and react according to those understood beliefs.

Many such beliefs lie quite within the conscious mind.

The grown adult, not used to examining his or her own beliefs, however, may be quite unaware of harboring such an idea.

The idea itself is not buried or unconscious.  It is simply unexamined.”3

 

 

Children & Fairy Tales

“The well-known fairy tale Cinderella is a myth.

For one thing the Cinderella tale has a happy ending and is therefore highly unrealistic, according to many educators, since it does not properly prepare children for life’s necessary disappointments.

Fairy godmothers are definitely a thing of the storyteller’s imagination, and many serious, earnest adults will tell you that daydreaming or wishing will get you nowhere.

In the Cinderella story, however, the heroine, though poor and of low estate, manages to attain a fulfilling and seemingly impossible goal.

Her desire to attend a spectacular ball, and meet the prince, initiates a series of magical events, none following the dictates of logic.

The fairy godmother, suddenly appearing, uses the normal objects of everyday life so that they are suddenly transformed, and we have a chariot from a pumpkin, and other transformations of a like nature.

The tale has always appealed to children because they recognize the validity behind it.

The fairy godmother is a creative personification of the personalized elements in Framework 2 (metaphysical time/space) — a personification therefore of the inner ego, that rises to the aid of the mortal self to grant its desires, even when the intents of the mortal self may not seem to fit into the practical framework of normal life.

When the inner ego responds in such a fashion, even the commonplace, ordinary, seemingly innocuous circumstances suddenly become charged with a new vitality, and appear to “work for” the individual involved.

Children know quite well, automatically, that they have a strong hand in the creation of the events that then seem to happen to them.

They experiment very often, and quite secretly, since their elders are at the same time trying to make the children conform to a given concrete reality that is more or less already mass-produced for them.

The tale of Cinderella becomes a fantasy, a delusion, or even a story about sexual awakening, in Freudian terms.

The disappointments you have faced indeed make such a tale seem to be a direct contradiction to life’s realities.

To some extent or another, however, the child in you remembers a certain sense of mastery only half realized, of power nearly grasped, then seemingly lost forever — and a dimension of existence in which dreams quite literally came true.

The child in you sensed more, of course: It sensed its own greater reality in another framework entirely, from which it had only lately emerged — yet with which it was intimately connected.

It felt itself surrounded, then, by the greater realities of Framework 2.”4

 

 

Children Forming Their Reality

“The child knows “that it came from somewhere else” — not by chance but by design.

The child knows that in one way or another its most intimate thoughts, dreams, and gestures were as connected with the natural world as blades of grass are to a field.

The child knows it was a unique and utterly original event or being that on the one hand was its own focus, and that on the other hand belonged to its own time and season.

In fact, children let little escape them, so that, again, they experiment constantly in an effort to discover not only the effect of their thoughts and intents and wishes upon others, but the degree to which others influence their own behavior.

To that extent, they deal rather directly with probabilities in a way quite foreign to adult behavior.

In a fashion, they make quicker deductions than adults, and often truer ones, because they are not conditioned by a past of structured memory.

Their subjective experience then brings them in rather direct contact with the methods by which events are formed.

Before children are acquainted with conventional ideas of guilt and punishment, they realize that it is easier to bring about good events, through wishing, than it is to bring about unhappy ones.

The child carries with him [or her] the impetus and supporting energy provided him at birth from Framework 2, and he knows intuitively that desires conducive to his development “happen” easier than those that are not.

His natural impulses naturally lead him toward the development of his body and mind, and he is aware of a cushioning effect and support as he acts in accordance with those inner impulses.

The child is innately honest.

When he gets sick he intuitively knows the reason why, and he knows quite well that he brought about the illness.”5

 

 

Children & Illness

“Children are often quite aware of “willing” themselves sick to get out of difficult situations—and of willing themselves well again.

If their thoughts can cause them to become ill, then there is no real reason for them to fear illness, for it is their own creation.

They quickly learn to forget their parts in such episodes, so that later, when as adults they find themselves ill they not only forget that they caused the illness to begin with, but unfortunately they forget how to will themselves well again.”6

 

 

Children & Symbols

“Children understand the importance of symbols, and they use them constantly to protect themselves — not from their own reality but from the adult world.

They constantly pretend, and they quickly learn that persistent pretending in any one area will result in a physically experienced version of the imagined activity.

They also realize that they do not possess full freedom, either, for certain pretended situations will later happen in less faithful versions than the imagined ones.

Others will seem almost entirely blocked, and never materialize.”7

 

 

Children & Playfulness

“The young of all species exhibit an unquenchable rambunctiousness.

That rambunctiousness is built in.”8

 

 

Children & Imagination

“The imagination is highly involved with event-forming.

Children’s imaginations prevent them from being too limited by their parent’s world.

Waking or dreaming, children “pretend.”

In their pretending they exercise their consciousness in a particularly advantageous way.

While they accept a given reality for themselves, they nevertheless reserve the right, so to speak, to experiment with other “secondary” states of being.

In play, particularly, children try on any conceivable situation for size.

In the dream state adults and children alike do the same thing, and many dreams are indeed a kind of play.

Children’s games are always “in the present” – that is, they are immediately experienced, though the play events may involve the future or the past.

Children try to imagine what the world was like before they entered it.  Do the same thing. The way you follow these directions can be illuminating, for the areas of activity you choose will tell you something about the unique qualities of your own consciousness.

Adult games deal largely with manipulation in space, while children’s play, again, often involves variations in time.

Children experiment with the creation of joyful and frightening events, trying to ascertain for themselves the nature of their control over their own experience.

They imagine joyful and terrifying experiences.

Children often scare themselves.  A variety of reasons exist for such behavior.

People often choose to watch horror films for the same reason.

Usually the body and mind are bored, and actually seek out dramatic stress.

Under usual conditions the body is restored – flushed out, so to speak – through the release of hormones that have been withheld, often through repressive habits.

The body will seek its release, and so will the mind.

Children are in fact fascinated by the effects that their thoughts, feelings, and purposes have upon daily events.

This is a natural learning process.

If they create “bogeymen,” then they can cause them to disappear also.

Children play at getting killed. They try to imagine what death is like.

They imagine what it would be like to fall from a wall like Humpty-Dumpty, or to break their necks.

They imagine tragic roles with as much creative abandon as they imagine roles of which adults might approve.

It is natural for a child to be curious about suffering, to want to know what it is, to see it—and by doing so he (or she) learns to avoid the suffering he does not want, to help others avoid suffering that they do not want, and to understand, more importantly, the gradations of emotion and sensation that are his heritage.

[As an adult] he will not inflict pain upon others if he understands this, for he will allow himself to feel the validity of his own emotions.

This learning process is nipped in the bud, however.

By the time you are adults, it certainly seems that you are a subjective being in an objective universe, at the mercy of others, and with only the most superficial control over the events of your lives.”9

 

 

Children & Dreams

“Children’s dreams are more intense than those of adults because the brain is practicing its event-forming activities.

These must be developed before certain physical faculties can be activated.

Infants play in their dreams, performing physical actions beyond their present physical capacities.

While external stimuli are highly important, the inner stimuli of dream play are even more so.

Children practice using all of their senses in play-dreams, which then stimulate the senses themselves, and actually help ensure their coordination.

In your terms, events are still plastic to young children, in that they have not as yet learned to apply your stringent structure.

Before a child has seen mountains it can dream of them.

A knowledge of the planet’s environment is an unconscious portion of your heritage.”10

Children & Nightmares

“Nightmares on the part of children often operate as biological and psychic releases, during which buried out-of-time perceptions emerge explosively – events perceived that cannot be reacted to effectively in the face of parental conditioning.

The body, then, is indeed a far more wondrous living mechanism than you realize.

It is the body’s own precognitions that allow the child to develop, to speak and walk and grow.”

 

 

Children, Guilt & Sexual Roles

“The sexual schism begins when the male child is taught to identify exclusively with the father image, and the female child with the mother image – for here you have a guilt insidiously incorporated into the growth process.

Children of either sex identify quite naturally with both parents, and any enforced method of exclusively directing the child to such a single identification is limiting.

Under such conditions, feelings of guilt immediately begin to arise whenever such a child feels natural affiliations toward the other parent.

The child is also coerced into ignoring or denying those portions of the personality that correspond with the sex it is being taught it cannot identify with.

Continuing guilt is generated because the child knows unerringly that its own reality transcends such simple orientation.

The more able the child is to force such an artificial identification, the greater its feelings of inner rebellion.”12

 

Children & Sexuality

“Your psychological tests show you only the current picture of males and females, brought up from infancy with particular sexual beliefs.

These beliefs program the child from infancy, of course, so that it behaves in certain fashions in adulthood.

The male seems to perform better at mathematical tasks, and so-called logical mental activity, while the female performs better in a social context, in value development and personal relationships.

The male shows up better in the sciences, while the female is considered intuitional.

It should be obvious to many of my readers that this is learned behavior.

Let me repeat that:  This is LEARNED BEHAVIOR.  It is cultural conditioning, not biological fact.

You cannot teach a boy to be “the strong silent male type,” and then expect him to excel either verbally or in social relationships.

You cannot expect a girl to show “strong, logical thought development” when she is taught that a woman is intuitional – that the intuitions are opposed to logic, and that she must be feminine, or non-logical, at all costs.

This is fairly obvious.

Beliefs about the infant’s sexual nature are of course a part of its advance programming.

We are not speaking here of forced growth patterns, or of psychic or biological directions, impressed upon it so that any later divergence from them causes inevitable stress or pain.

The fact remains that the child receives patterns of behavior, gently nudging it to grow in certain directions.

In normal learning, of course, both parents urge the child to behave in certain fashions.

Beside this, however, certain general, learned patterns are biologically transmitted to the child through the genes.

Over the generations, certain characteristics appear to be quite naturally male or female, and these will vary to some extent according to the civilizations and world conditions.

Each individual is highly unique, however, so these models for behavior will vary.

They can indeed be changed in a generation, for the experience of each person alters the original information.

This provides leeway that is important.

The child, also, uses such information as a guide only; as a premise upon which it bases early behavior.

As the mind develops, the child immediately begins to question the early assumptions.

This questioning of basic premises is one of the greatest divisions between you and the animal world.

The psyche then contains, again in your terms, female and male characteristics.

These are put together, so to speak, in the human personality with great leeway and in many proportions.”13

 

 

Children and Freudian Psychology

“Again, it is natural to express love through sexual acts – natural and good.

It is not natural to express love only through sexual acts.

Many of Freud’s sexual ideas did not reflect man’s natural condition.

The complexes and neuroses outlined and defined are products of your traditions and beliefs.

You will naturally find some evidence from them in observed behavior.

Many of the traditions do come from the Greeks, from the great Greek playwrights, who quite beautifully and tragically presented the quality of the psyche as it showed itself in the light of Grecian traditions.

The boy does not seek, naturally, to “dethrone” the father.

He seeks to emulate him; he seeks to be himself as fully as it seems to him that his father was himself.

He hopes to go beyond himself and his own capabilities for himself and for his father.

As a child he once thought that his father was immortal, in human terms – that he could do no wrong.

The son tries to vindicate the father by doing no wrong himself, and perhaps by succeeding where it seems the father might have failed.

It is much more natural for the male to try to vindicate the father than it is to destroy him, or envy him in negative terms.

He is not jealous of his father’s love for the mother, for he understands quite well that her love for him is just as strong.

He does not wish to possess his mother sexually in the way that adults currently suppose. He does not understand those terms.

He may at times be jealous of her attention, but this is not a sexual jealousy in conventionally understood terms.

The beliefs involving the son’s inherent rivalry with the father, and his need to overthrow him, follow instead patterns of culture and tradition, economic and social, rather than biological or psychological.”14

The disapproving look of Dr. Sigmund Freud, 1926

 

Children & Their Sexual Natures

“The child is simply the male child [or female child].

He is not jealous of the father with the mother, in the way that is often supposed.

The male child does not possess an identity so focused upon its maleness.

I am not saying that children do not have a sexual nature from birth.  They simply do not focus upon their maleness or femaleness in the way that is supposed.

To the male child, the penis is something that belongs to him personally in the same way that an arm or a leg does, or that his mouth or anus does.

He does not consider it a weapon.

Your beliefs blind you to the sexual nature of children.

They do enjoy their bodies.  They are sexually aroused.

The psychological connotations, however, are not those assigned to them by adults.

In their play children often imaginatively interchange their sexes.

The young self-hood is freer in its identification, and as yet has not been taught to identify its own personality with its sex exclusively.

In the dreams of children this same activity continues.”15

 

 

Youth (Teens)

“Some in your society feel that the young are kept out of life’s mainstream, denied purposeful work, their adolescence prolonged unnecessarily.

As a consequence some young people die for the same reason [as the old do]: They believe that the state of youth is somehow dishonorable, as some of the old believe that the state of old age is dishonorable.

The young are cajoled, petted, treated like amusing pets sometimes, diverted with technology’s offerings but not allowed to use their energy.

There were many unfortunate misuses of the old system of having a son follow in his father’s footsteps, yet the son at a young age was given meaningful work to do, and felt a part of life’s mainstream. He was needed.

The so-called youth culture, for all of its seeming exaggerations of youth’s beauty and accomplishments, actually ended up putting down youth, for few could live up to that picture.

There comes a time when the experiences of the person in the world click together and form a new clearer focus, provide a new psychological framework from which his or her greatest capacities can emerge to form a new synthesis.

But in your society many people never reach that point—or those who do are not recognized for their achievements in the proper way, or for the proper reasons.

Meaningful work is important at any age.

You cannot content the aged entirely with hobbies any more than you can the young, but meaningful work means work that also has the exuberance of play, and it is that playful quality that contains within itself great propensities of a healing and creative nature.”16

 

  1. Roberts, Jane, The Nature of the Psyche: Its Human Expression, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1979
  2. Roberts, Jane, The Nature of Personal Reality, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1974
  3. ibid.
  4. Roberts, Jane, The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1981
  5. ibid.
  6. Roberts, Jane, Dreams, Evolution and Value Fulfillment, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1986
  7. Roberts, Jane, The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1981
  8. Roberts, Jane, Dreams, Evolution and Value Fulfillment, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1986
  9. Roberts, Jane, The Individual and the Nature of Mass Events, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1981
  10. Roberts, Jane, The Nature of the Psyche: Its Human Expression, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1979
  11. Roberts, Jane, The “Unknown” Reality Vol I and II, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1977, 1979
  12. Roberts, Jane, The Nature of the Psyche: Its Human Expression, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1979
  13. ibid.
  14. ibid.
  15. ibid.
  16. Roberts, Jane, Dreams, Evolution and Value Fulfillment, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1986

 

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