Translated from Russian by T.Danilevich
This is the chapter from the book
"Spiritual Work with Children"
"New Atlanteans", Lakefield, 2008
© Antonov V.V., 2000
Two children have just come to my mind.
Once I was one of the guests among a lot
of people including families with children — some kind of celebration was going
to take place.
So I was sitting on the sofa. A baby
climbed onto the sofa, crawled up to me and kissed me on the cheek sincerely,
powerfully! He just poured his love over me! He kissed me with such a cordial
love! If I was not familiar with his biography, I'd thought he had been a
student of our school. For I never had seen such kids outside of our school.
And here is another child. I met him some
times in the streets of Petersburg. He was about five, probably. His look was
that of hatred — dreadful, piercing look of hatred towards everything and
everyone. And this look and this devilish inner state were present constantly.
I met him first when he was tearing a hat
of one of the boys of his age. Our glances met and he poured his hatred over me
and ran away. Next time I saw him scratching someone's car with his knife. Our
glances met again, there was the same hatred in his and he ran away again.
These are two extremes.
I heard such an idea that all children
are little angels, we have to become like children and so on. So what kind of
When Jesus said: "Become like children"
He meant a quite concrete, specific quality of the best of children "wide
openness of the soul" (this is understandable from the context as well as from
other — apocryphal-gospels). He calls up those listening to Him to "open up", to
"undress" their souls before each other in emotional love. For he who is not
able of doing this before his friend, he is not able of doing it before God.
Jesus spoke of kind, tender, sincere
children. But there are also children that are spiteful, rude, extremely
egoistic, lying, looking at other people as caged wild animals.
So why are children so different?
Western materialistic science have been
studying this problem for decades already. Researchers, each one depending on
the profile of his work, emphasizes this or that factor influencing psychic
development of a child.
Genetics were speaking of genes, that
character features are handed down allegedly in the same way as the color of
eyes and hair or other body signs.
Embryologists, obstetricians and
perinatologists were seeking the causes in influence of hormones, mother's
stress, birth traumas, diverse intoxication and so on onto formative structures
of a child's brain.
Psychologist and psychiatrists
highlighted divers social factors, first of all a character of a child's contact
with his mother during certain "critical" stages of his development. In
particular, it was clearly demonstrated — both in researches of children and
experiments with animals — that lack of harmony in relationship with the mother
at certain age results in excessive aggressiveness during subsequent years.
Incorrect socialization is also caused by lack of adequate contact with other
children in younger years.
Commenting on the said above I shall note
that all these factors do really play a certain role. So, genetic influences can
also be significant. If a larger amount of adrenaline and noradrenaline are
secreted into organisms, the latter turn out to be more active in ordinary
situations and in urgency; this also can create certain predisposition (but not
predetermination) to the increase of aggressive features of character.
Undoubtedly, different factors
unfavorable for the development of foetus may also cause distortions in the
development of certain sections of the brain and glands of internal secretion
what influences in this or that way emotional peculiarities of person in later
years. To make it more understandable I shall explain that different structures
of the brain responsible for diverse functions, are formed at different times in
embryogenesis. And each of them is the most vulnerable to damaging factors
namely in these critical periods of its development. Hence one and the same
damaging factor influencing a foetus in different periods of its development,
results in different defects which sometimes become manifested already in the
adult state of the given person.
A social factor is also of primary
importance in early years. So if a child experiences negative emotional stresses
because of separation with his mother or a person substituting her, at the age
from 6-7 months to 3 years, in his adult life he will exhibit psychopathic
features of this or that degree, including excessive aggressiveness.
Considerable emotional and behavioral distortions also appear as a result of
deficiency of adequate (that is natural) contact with children of the same age.
I want to draw attention to the fact that
Soviet system of nursery child-raising is unscientific, uncivilized, severe in
its very basis and what's more — founded on the works of educators who in their
majority were of a very low cultural, intellectual and moral level often
accompanied by sadistic trends of psychics — was not this one of the reasons of
"brutalization" of our society? I think it could become a theme of most
interesting and instructive scientific researches useful for the whole future
history of mankind.
But we nave not yet touched upon the
principal reason why children are so different. It also was left out of
attention of materialistic science. This reason is based on the fact that
different not our bodies, but also the souls come into these bodies. For these
children's bodies are inhabited by the people who already were "grown-up" and
most of them — a lot of times. They came having brought with themselves features
of character and other peculiarities developed by their preceding history of
The above said is true not only of people
but animals too. This explains why in experiments with animals and researches
with people it turns out that similar damaging influences lead to different
results in different beings.
Let us imagine two persons as an example.
One of them was already holy in the previous life while the other was a devil.
And an equally enhanced level of adrenal hormones in their present-day life will
give opposite effects. The former one will intensify his spiritual service while
the other will indulge in robbery and murder with the same degree of energetic.
Besides one should keep in mind that it
is God who determines the body for the incarnation so "sad accidents" are
excluded. Everything is planned by God and fulfilled in such a way that a being
to be incarnated receives the best possible opportunities for further perfection
You may ask: Can crippled and ugly bodies
be of some help in someone's development? — My answer is: yes. For example for a
person who indulged in the power, tortured others, crippled their bodies — it
will be appropriate to suffer now so that to know what is pain, suffering, so
that to learn to be compassionate towards others through this.
As far as incarnations of moral monsters
are concerned — we here on Earth need villains to provide variety of life
situations, so that we could study each other's psychology. As to their lot it
is further degradation — up to the very bottom — until they are brought to
reason there, on the bottom, by their own sufferings and start searching a way
towards the light.
There is one more factor influencing a
child's development left — upbringing process. This one is most acute for
analysis in spiritual schools where work with children is also conducted.
I remember watching such a scene (this
took place at the time of Communist Party reigning). A father — decently dressed
man of athletic frame and arrogant, self-confident appearance aged about 50 was
teaching his daughter of about 10 "how to live". They were standing in the alley
of the park and a father, pointing at the people passing by, "explained" to his
daughter what each one of them is — this one is a scoundrel and that one is a
rascal. This is a typical example of "communist" child-raising. And that
attentively listening girl has for sure assimilated her father's lessons of
hatred. It is not until 20 that many people (but far from all) develop ability
to critically re-evaluate all they were taught before.
By means of directed upbringing a child
can be considerably damaged or helped. He can be taught to treat everything
around him with disdain and hatred or, on the contrary — that everything alive
must be loved, that love and harmony are great, that God wishes us to become
namely such and so on.
Correct child-raising is a major factor
of spiritual help to people, a most worthy and interesting form of spiritual
This also is a means of developing
oneself in active Love, in intellectual creativity.
Let us review once again the basic
principles of spiritual raising of children.
After the main principle of active
putting into practice of Love ideas another one should be put into highlight —
expansion of knowledge scope. We have to put into children's memory diverse
programs of the paths they will be able to tread in the future, when they grow
up. We have to show them that there is chess, there are temples of different
religions, there is nature which one can and must love, and ways of "tempering"
one's body, means of self-development through painting, music, dancing,
photography, various sports (namely various!), and very interesting and diverse
possibilities of receiving education — and to teach them that through all of
this one can serve other people giving them one's love in such a way.
Children can be educated also by means of
the example of actions of adults when children become witness of events in the
spiritual school where their parents undergo training. Another variant is
organization of specialized circles and groups for children of different ages.
At the same time it should be kept in
mind that there are problems which are still impossible to be grasped by
children's thinking. So, information concerning existence of non-incarnated
forms of life must be presented in that form and volume so that to exclude any
formation of mystical fear. Mystical fear may become a basis for development of
serious psychic pathologies, inhibiting development.
Children also must not be taught serious
meditative techniques so that to prevent their "getting lost", losing an
adequate contact with the material plane. It should be kept in mind that every
person have to develop on the material plane first, then only he can tread
serious religious path safely and with success.
Children must also be guarded by every
means from attempts of different ignorant mystics to involve them into communion
with beings of the astral plane under the pretense of spiritism, communication
with "beings from other planets" and so on, as well as from involvement into
magical, occult and alike experiments. Participation of both children and adults
in such functions is a direct path to development of a number of gross psychic
ailments in them.
Also very it is important to teach
children to think, provoking them to this, for example, in such situations as
solving of the problem of getting across the stream in the woods, making a
camp-fire in such a way so that not a single living being is harmed and so on.
Or they can be offered in a playing form various explanations of one and the
same event — so that children after discussion choose a correct one from them or
find a correct decision by themselves. Or children can be asked questions like
"Why?" — so that they learn to look for answers by themselves rather than get
them ready from adults. And so forth.
Teacher should put an end to all
manifestations of vicious tendencies in children during their communion, such
tendencies as aggressiveness, inclination to appropriate others' things even
those of the least value. This should be done in a kind but firm manner.
Children memorize well such formulae as for example: "Jesus Christ taught that
one must not do to another one that which you do not want for yourself" or "He
who takes another's things without permission is called a thief. And thief is a
very bad man" or "In one very nice book called the New Testament it is said:
love each other tenderly with brotherly love. And the way you behaved — does it
look like tenderness?" and so on.
Of great educational value may be also
some simple meditative exercises. For example, each one visualized a little sun
in his breast and all children run and shine with this visualized sunlight onto
each other. But these methods are described in our special works so we shall not
dwell on them now.