As our world becomes more progressively digital, there’s not a better time to reflect on what makes us human. Having opposable thumbs and an instinctive drive for progress inevitably leads man to create. Therefore, technology in itself is not the problem and can be our ally, if used with caution and understanding of our greater aims.
Children born into this age where tablets and smartphones are both their nannies and their friends have been deprived of their capacity to fulfill their highest potential. We’ve abandoned our only birthright granted to us by our Creator. It is not realistic to take children out of this world or to keep them from coming simply because the conditions of the world are not at its best. We can however as conscientious parents and adults recreate an environment for them with conditions suited to nurture the developing human, the early years being the most crucial.
If we took a snapshot of the entire lifespan of a human being, we’d be able to see just how small a portion childhood takes up in a person’s life. Many of us only really see this after the time has passed and our kids have grown. In the moment, we are more occupied with getting the practical things done that we hardly spend any time at all observing what currently isn’t demanding our attention. We forget that we only need to invest and sacrifice for our children for a definite length of time. The subtleties of rearing a child are just as important if not more as to meeting his immediate physical needs to his resulting common presence, the level of which he is left to work with as he reaches the age of majority. He is at the mercy of all but one of the Itoklanozic principles, which are principles that define a man’s entire being under the current set of natural laws. The act of parenting is truly a sacred responsibility, one that must not be taken lightly.
A Fair Chance
A child is a gift no matter who the parents are or the type of environment he or she lives in. He or she must be given the opportunity to develop normally. In situations where there is poverty or where both parents work and must be away from the child, either physically or mentally, or when the child loses one or both of its parents, it is understandable that the task of parenting will look much different than the ideal. A conscientious caregiver or a community of trusted individuals in this case would be of great help when proper parenting is absent. This is also where a school comes in handy.
The idea of a school for very young children where the teachers are not their parents is a relatively modern concept. It was a custom to have children with their parents in the home and to teach them their way of life up until they are ready to set out on their own or to be under the guidance of a skilled tradesman. This kind of one-on-one approach was a more effective way of teaching which ensured proficiency and employment in the trade chosen or most suited for the young adult. We hardly hear about this type of schooling and certainly not well-accepted worldwide; and if we do, it is now more of a luxury that only wealthy and self-sufficient families could afford.
The public school, or the government funded and operated education system, was then established to respond to the demands of the modern world. It sells the idea that education should be free and open to all and that the people who run them have your child’s best interest in mind. Although it is free to attend, it is not without cost. A government that seeks not to serve God and its people will seek to serve itself. The cost of attending a school system devised by such powers is a bondage that sets the child up to be enslaved for the rest of their life.
How then do we respond to the times where the adults now are the products of public schooling and are slaves of debt? How do we parent today? This is one of the burning questions I have asked myself as a parent of the modern world. It is not possible to turn back time nor is it productive to daydream about how things used to be, or to stop at complaining about how things ought to be. This impressed in my heart the gravity of the situation which led me to pursuit further this sacred task of parenting for the sake of the future of our children and the purpose God has for them.
The School Environment
If a child of preschool age out of circumstance must be left in the hands of people other than the parents on a regular basis, it is beneficial that they be in a home-like setting. This environment doesn’t have to look like a home complete with a bedroom and a full kitchen, but it does need to function like one. Sensory, movement, and mimicry are the primary means of learning for children through about age seven or as the baby teeth are being replaced. Developmentally, the parents and the home atmosphere at this age are not a separate entity to himself. Later, I will write about the findings confirming this from a biological standpoint.
Yet why does my Missy act like chores are arbitrary and a waste of time? Why would Junior rather watch (or be watched) by the box than to go out for a walk with me? As much as we make it fun for them, children won’t necessarily like to work because work is not always easy and not always fun, and the same goes for merely getting them to step out the door. This is no different for many of us adults. However since these things are a natural part of life, incorporating them as part of the daily routine for young children as soon as possible will help accustom them to these activities.
It is not to say that children raised in an artificial environment have no chances of bettering themselves later in life. However if we understand that human development is progressive and cumulative, we realize that the foundations of learning is of extreme importance to the overall stability of the individual through the adult years. By default, every new piece of information we take in as adults draws comparison to much of the data we gathered during the foundational years. As we’ve all experienced, not all information is compatible. Getting to this cognitive dissonance, we either reject the new idea altogether, not giving it any more consideration; or create a new personality in ourselves, fracturing our real “I,” in order to fit this foreign idea into our worldview.
As a child grows, a number of personalities are formed in him. This is not often a cause for alarm nor is it a psychological disease, although there are cases of pathology. We all develop multiple personalities in order to better understand the outside world in which we were born into, raised into, go to school, work, marry into, and so forth. Having many “Is” is more or less necessary for survival. When it becomes a problem is not when it’s gotten out of control, the time of which we’d usually call a shrink, it’s much sooner than that. Our threshold for abnormality in this day and age has gotten so low that we’ve lost track of what it means to be actually normal, because chances are, most of us have probably never met a truly normal person in our lifetime.
How soon then does forming multiple personalties become a problem? Does it become a problem? When do we start veering of from normality? Before we get into this discussion, let me start off by first introducing the idea of Essence.
Essence, according to George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, is the seed of Being. A seed as we know, or might not know depending on how badly we were taught, gives rise to its corresponding adult plant. An acorn is a seed that potentially grows into an oak tree, a tomato seed is a seed that potentially grows into a tomato plant. An acorn will never grow into a tomato plant, and a tomato seed will never grow into an oak tree. What seems to be very obvious and factual statements is not so apparent when it comes to how this might relate to ourselves.
I don’t doubt that at this point many parents would want to stop reading and start cursing. What happens to the notion we’ve both been taught and teach our children that “You can be anything you want to be as long as you work hard?” Surely, what I must be saying isn’t true–or is it? An example of maleducation is thinking that these two ideas cannot be congruent. They might seem totally contradictory, but they aren’t, at least not completely. If we understand that not all acorns actually grow into an oak tree, because many of our toddlers have pocketed them on their nature walks, then we can understand potential.
As all seeds have a potential to become their corresponding plant, all children have the potential to reach their highest Being. We are all born with this seed, with Essence, and they are many and varied among us. One of the multitude of problems found in a “liberal” education for example is the idea that a boy can choose to be a girl and vice versa, or that a race of people is just “bad.” These two extreme examples of a totally fluid future and locked-in fate are again examples of years and years of pedagogical decline. Aiming to be whatever we want to be, without natural restriction, can lead to wasted effort and time, of which we have a very limited amount of as mortal beings.
The word education comes from the Latin word educere meaning “to draw out.” The aim of parents and educators must then be to draw upon the child’s Essence, to encourage its development, being careful not to stifle and confuse it. To “train a child the way he must go so they don’t depart from it,” according to the Holy Scripture, is not to train the child whatever the parents desire, on impulse and out of their present abnormal condition. It is of utmost importance not to ignore but to consider the child’s God-given uniqueness which has its own note to play in this beautiful megalocosmic symphony.
A family might be its own unit in society, but it is never a closed system. Indocrination of various and conflicting ideas from family to family, school to school, country to country lessen empathy and understanding and consequently leads groups of people to either apathy or aggression. War is the ugly result of intolerance and indignation which stems from our identification with our features and the ideologies they seek. It is a violent and dualistic approach to silence the “enemy.” It is often the tail-end result of polarized internal considering.
Our present public institutions now demand “equality,” which is shoved down our throats without regard to accessing our own Conscience, a means of which we receive the divine and objective impulse that supercedes our subjective moralities. Forced tolerance accompanied by public scrutiny as negative reinforcement also creates animosity, artificial understanding, and discourages true Remorse. This is not the proper solution to creating a truly loving and safe environment. To send children to this kind of environment is like sending them to be devoured by wolves in sheep’s clothes way before their brains reach the capacity to discern.
Public schools are not alone guilty to indocrination. Even some homeschooling and religious private institutions miss the boat. It’s not enough to just teach children morals and to shield them from peer pressure to ensure a spiritually guarded upbringing. Memorization of scripture does not crystallize into understanding and wisdom as prayers made by vain repetition do not reach God. It’s incorporating our knowledge of human three-brain development, the awareness of our place and purpose in this world as graced by divine revelation, among others that assist a child to pass the test of Life.
Our definition of a successful education must not be limited to what is only practical in meeting the ends of the government that created it or the society that expects it, but to what is completely and holistically the fulfillment of the human being, the true individual.
“The time of your present age is not given you in which to pay for your existence, but for preparing yourself for the future, for the obligations becoming to a responsible three-brained being.” – All & Everything, G.I. Gurdjieff