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Why are Children Different?


Vladimir Antonov

Translated from Russian by T.Danilevich

This is the chapter from the book
"Spiritual Work with Children"


"New Atlanteans", Lakefield, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-8975-1016-2

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 children?

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 lives.

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 of oneself.

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 service.

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.