A Child Friendly Society, Part 4
(an updated Commentary on "The Imagine Nation" Series)
by Daniel Jacob
A Child-Friendly Society is one that makes room for children to be children, even when they are acting out their antics inside an adult body. Age prejudice is rampant in our culture, having been bred into us through the school system. When a child goes through "formal" education, he (or she) is put through a series of learning stages, called "grades", which effectively says to a child: "This is the way, walk ye in it." If a kid can "make the grade," he gets to PASS. If he doesn't, he fails. And that, my friends, is a sad situation indeed.
An Expanded Society is one that is built upon a foundation in "Perfection." By using this term, I am not meaning to create some impossible standard of living, some GOLDEN MEAN by which everyone is supposed to live. Oh no, far from it. Instead, The Reconnections introduce now us to the concept that everything and everyone is perfect, 100% of time, every moment of their lives, as they share these 10 Steps of Perfection Reasoning in the article "How to Figure Stuff Out." I have found these principles to be absolutely liberating, and I hope you will as well.
I sometimes make reference to Paul Simon's lovely phrase from a song written early in his career: "When I look back on all the crap I learned in High School, it's a wonder I can think at all..." A child-friendly society not only hears this complaint and nods, but we stake our reputations and careers on making a solid shift in how that society is designed.
In some alternative futures for Planet Earth, societies will organize themselves around the exercise of Spiritual Gifts. We spoke about these Gifts earlier this year. Like we once did in Atlantis and Lemuria, people will gather together according to their abilities, efficiency, and personal passion. These "Tribes" will become productive working communities, into which children will wander, as soon as they feel the desire. If they wish, they can alternate from the grounding, nurturing environment of the "Children's House" and venturing outward, into various "Clans and Tribes," which are their gateways to expanded contact with the Greater Oneself.
In the Imagine Nation, apprenticeship (membership in a Guild or Tribe) will generally replace our current model of formal education. There will be notable exceptions to this as well. People will learn by doing, or creating, in the presence of others who also love to do what they do. They will learn in the presence of peers (of all ages), and will have the privilege of moving from tribe to tribe, until they find the one(s) that work best for them.
By then, humanity will have discovered that all work done from obligation, rather than love, is truly the fruit of a poisoned tree. The soul of the society will be personal choice and creativity, not coercion and shame. And everything about living within that Expanded Society will reflect this attitude.
Societal Resource needs to be held at both the personal levels and also the collective. Eliminating one side of the equation ALWAYS distorts the other. Both are required to make the circle complete.
Though many humans will still desire to share quarters in small “familial” type groups--our concept of family will eventually expand to include All of Humankind. The “Oneself Body” will eventually replace boundaries of states, countries, or races. But provincial organization can and will provide a sense of distinction, which is also required. The popularity and power of the phrase: "Think Globally, Act Locally" bears witness to our need for sustaining somewhat of a dual focus--vacillating back and forth between social involvements where we live (geographically), as well being involved with a global vision as well. In this way, we don’t miss the forest for the trees.
Though learning by doing is a great rule of thumb, we would be foolish to completely throw out the idea of classroom experiences. After all, a classroom can be a great "melting pot" for many Spiritual Orientations, and hanging out in one's tribe is not always perfectly inspiring. Mixing and mingling of Spiritual Gifts, in a classroom environment, can be a great experience as well.
In a series I wrote, called "Educating the Educators," I shared some powerful insights on effective facilitation within classroom situations involving The New Kids. The belief that these kids are too young to know about or do certain things can often be incredibly limiting to them later on. Many of them know more about life than older folks, several times their age. It is a crime to begin a child's life with the statement: "You can't understand this. Let me understand it for you." Then, we get angry with them for not progressing as quickly as we would like. It's quite funny, on some levels, and also quite tragic.
In the above series, I included a list of attitudes and practices that apply to what I consider "proper" and respectful treatment of Children of the New Earth in a classroom situation. I'll include them here, and we can discuss them at length later, if need be:
1. Star Children are highly evolved “aliens” who have “landed” in the midst of contemporary Earth Culture.
2. They come in peace.
3. They are here to build bridges of learning and understanding between our present world and a whole new world that is trying to make contact with us.
4. Bridges of learning and understanding must go both ways.
5. Children learn best by example. The easiest way to teach them is actively to learn in their presence. As they see you do it, they immediately begin doing it too.
6. There are no experts where humanity is heading now. Everything is becoming new. The biggest gift that our children bring us is a
continual reminder of what it looks like to be open, wide-eyed, and expectant about life and learning.
7. Good “test scores” do not necessarily an intelligent person make.
8. One of the most important elements for learning and growth is having enough time to discover what you want and need to learn on your own.
9. Star Children are not the possessions of their parents or the society in which they live. They are explorers and guides for a whole new way of being.
10. The most effective function that an adult has, in the process of formal education, is to create and sustain an authentic and open learning environment, where the role of “teacher” and “student” regularly gets traded, back and forth, between the generations.
11. A decision to become a teacher is really a decision to reconnect with the Magical Child within. If we don’t do that, we won’t be able to connect with our outward children either.
12. We know that we have contacted our Magical Child when our bodies and minds get “turned on” by what we are doing in the present moment.
13. The underlying power behind sexuality is present and active in people of all ages. It is a creative mindset, an expanded state of being. Its primary components are a healthy curiosity, freedom to explore, and willingness progressively to share self with others.
Contacting the Magical Child, at any level, need be no more complicated than ordering dinner at a restaurant. You give the kid a menu, and you ask him or her: “What do you want to eat?” The hard part is waiting for the answer. If the kid hasn’t learned to read, you have one problem. If the kid isn’t hungry, you have another. Meanwhile, we still have to stay on schedule, don’t we?
The word “schedule” plays a big part in all of this. One of the most essential aspects in any person’s growth process is time. We all need time to feel, time to notice things, time to experience desire, and time to go about satisfying those needs and desires. In our present societal system, parents and teachers only have a certain amount of time to give to their children. How much they give is greatly affected by how much time their own parents and teachers gave them.
Meanwhile, life goes on. In a hierarchical system, everybody has to wait for the “leader” to change before the big picture can change. In an open concept system, everyone moves at his or her own pace. Once again, which is better? Probably a little bit of both. In The Imagine Nation, we get to choose. We don’t require that things be dictated according to ancestral or societal patterns. We can be creative.
Sexual Energy and the Magical Child
One of the insights listed above deserves to be brought forward at this point, and re-iterated. It is the last one, which states:
“The underlying power behind sexuality is present and active in people of all ages. It is a creative mindset, an expanded state of being. Its primary components are a healthy curiosity, freedom to explore, and willingness to progressively share self with others.”
This year, the Reconnections have given us a huge gift in their series on “Spirituality and Sex.” In that series, they make a huge point of differentiating the ACTS of Sex from the attitudes or dynamics that are involved with sex. Even infants have sexual energy going, all the time! They simply channel it through ALL their chakras, rather than just a few.
Despite all the emphasis society makes on “technique” in our practice of sexuality, as well as issues about our “performance”, one cannot deny the importance of play as an integral part of the experience.
The Imagine Nation Material represents an attempt at turning down the volume on control factors in life, while maximizing the “love-making” which could be there, instead, “a healthy curiosity, freedom to explore, and willingness to progressively share more and more of self.”
I certainly enjoy it when you share yourself with me, upon reading these segments. I work best in an interactive environment. Remember, at this stage, we’re only dreaming! Let’s dream it together shall we? Have a marvelous and productive New Year.
© 2006, Daniel Jacob
More to Come.Originally published in Children of the New Earth Magazine Online. www.childrenofthenewearth.com
Copyright, 2005, by Daniel Jacob. All Rights Reserved. May be copied and shared, for purposes of personal growth and/or research, so long as the above URL and this copyright are included. All reproduction for profit, by any means, requires the written permission of Reconnections, Inc.