BI TWENTY NINE PROCESS CHILDREN
THE PROCESS OMEGA CHURCH OF THE FINAL JUDGEMENT Tuesday 6th April 1971
Brethren, As it is,
1. 1 Bearing in mind everything we already know of the New Game - its principles, its gifts and its requirements - the ideals towards which we aim when bringing up Processean children, are: a) that they have the maximum opportunity and encouragement to develop their own personal individual GOD-given qualities and talents, b) that they discover, bring out, establish and come to terms with their own moral, intellectual and emotional values and realities, and c) that they adjust themselves and their realities to the objective and unchangeable Laws of the Universe, and thereby to the need for a precise structure of practical requirements.
2 In order to achieve a) and b) completely, we must avoid imposing social or moral agreements, and at the same time give children a wide experience in which to make their owm social and moral decisions. In order to achieve c) completely, we must ensure that the children's experience of the structure is as precise and unequivocal as possible, and we must draw their attention to and explain the unchangeable Laws as and when they manifest.
3 That describes briefly the ideal relationship between us and our children from OUR standpoint, because that is OUR choice. What they will choose to become, the relationships which THEY will form, the ideals which THEY will set for THEMSELVES, are NOT our choice, but theirs. If we try to MAKE them ours, we shall destroy our own purpose. Ideals a) and b), which are concerned with bringing out a child's individuality, will never even begin to materialise; and ideal c) which is concerned with helping a child to adjust to objective laws and necessities, will deteriorate into the kind of agonised conflict which is almost invariably brought about by the compulsive disciplinarian; a vicious circle of blame and demand.
2. 1 But before you despair of ever achieving even one of these three ultra ambitious ideals, remember this. If we demand of ourselves the attainment of our ideals; if we demand the perfect environment and circumstances for realising them; if we demand that our attitudes, instincts and actions with regard to our children are precisely and unerringly geared to their requirements; then again we have defeated our own purpose. The ideals are themselves moral and social values. If we surround OURSELVES with rigid pressures and compulsions and inhibitions in these areas, we cannot help but surround our children with the same.
2 We ourselves are probably the most vital aspect of our children's environment. We are their most immediate examples of adulthood - the stage of development which they are learning to reach. We cannot possibly create an atmosphere of social and moral freedom, in which our children can develop their own social and moral realities, if we are currentiy laying rigid social and moral demands and inhibitions upon ourselves.
3 Ideals are fine as long as we simply desire them and aim towards them with a strong and urgent intention. But when we begin to demand them, and blame ourselves and others because we do not at once attain them, then they become a source of evil.
4 "For every situation, AIM for what seems to be the highest point of attainment within it, but DEMAND no more than it gives. That is the basis of acceptance. The future has unlimited potential, but the present is as it is, nothing more and nothing less, and as it is, is as it is meant to be.
5 "For yourself, AIM for what seems to be the greatest fulfilment of your capabilities, but DEMAND of yourself no more than you give. That is the secret of no sense of failure. Again the future has unlimited potential for you, but the present level and extent of your giving and your receiving is as it is, and therefore as it is meant to be." (BI 9 THE GARDEN)
3. 1 Also do not interpret the first two ideals; those involving freedom from moral and social imposition; as precluding the power of influence. That could drive you into a suppression of all your own feelings, attitudes, reactions and responses.
2 The ideals of moral and social freedom are quite the reverse of a denial of influences. They require - ideally - a wealth of influences; but valid influences, ie. real rather than contrived or manufactured. And the most real and the most valid and ultimately the most powerful influence of all, is example.
3 Influences are natural, essential and inevitable. They are a major part of a child's means of selection. And the example of those who are closest to the child, is the most powerful influence of all, either for good or bad, either to guide the child towards fulfilment and satisfaction or to lead him towards frustration and despair.
4 Therefore, again it becomes clear that we shall be far closer to our ideal if we feel free and uninhibited around our children, than if we are tense and cautious, imposing on ourselves tortuous emotional and moral standards, which keep us in a constant state of fear of maklng a wrong move and guilt for having just made a wrong move. Because whichever we are, that is how our children will probably develop.
4. 1 So the first vital point in bringing up Processean children, is that there are no 'rules'; no 'musts' or 'must nots', no 'shoulds' or 'should nots'; no 'shalts' or 'shalt nots'; no demands. There are ideals towards which to aim, but there is no negative pressure on reallsing those ideals.
2 There is cause and effect; the immutable laws to which we help our children to adjust fhemselves. But these are conditional 'musts' and 'must nots'. For such and such to be achieved, so and so MUST be done. In order to receive love we MUST give love. In order to be free of guilt we MUST be free of blame. But there is no 'must' about receiving love, and there is no 'must' about being free of guilt. They are ideals which we desire and towards which we aim. But they do not have to be demands which we make on ourselves.
3 So although in order to attain our ideals in relation to our children, there are indeed certain things which we must and must not do, there need be no COMPULSION to attain the ideals, no demand to attain them and no blame for not attaining them, only a desire and a strong intention; therefore the 'musts' and 'must nots' cease to apply.
4 There is a right way and a wrong way for achieving certain ends; i.e. an effective way which achieves the ends and satisfies, and an ineffective way which does not. But there is no absolute right and wrong way. The nearest thing to an absolute wrong way is worrying that you may be taking it! But even that is only conditionally 'wrong'. I.e, it's the wrong way to achieve control or peace of mind. But no one is compelled to achieve either. If you want to torture yourself, it's very much the RIGHT way to go about it!
5. 1 But, assuming that we do desire the ideals, and that we want to work with everything to hand towards them, then there are guidelines. There are ways of producing the results we desire. And the first and the most important is: "Where possible, avoid being anxious about, afraid of, guilty for, regretful about, ashamed of, or blameful about, FAILING to produce the results you desire". And just to forestall any really determined self-torturers, there is a footnote to this guideline. If in spite of yourself - literally - you DO feel anxious about, afraid of, guilty for, regretful about, ashamed of, or blameful about failing to produce the results you desire, don't add to your burden by feeling anxious about, afraid of, guilty for, regretful about, ashamed of, or blameful about failing to follow the first guideline!
2 And remember, that although there are guidelines, which means there are ways and means of realising our ideals through practical application, the factor which wili ultimately determine the results of our efforts is not what we do but what we know. How close we come to attaining our ideals with regard to our children does not depend on the actions we take towards them or the circumstances we create for them or the environment we build around them, as much as on the scope of our own awareness and understanding, of contact, of the Laws of the Universe, of the principles of the New Game, and, above all, of THEM. Because it is that awareness and understanding which will determine the nature of our relationships with them.
3 If we do all we can to create atmospheres, circumstances and situations most calculated to realise our ideals, and at the same time accept without regret or remorse both our own failures to do this and the unavoidable current limitations which prevent us from doing it, then our ever-expanding awareness is free to reach without effort or frustration as close to the ideal as is possible at any given moment.
6. 1 We are basically no different from our children, which is why the ideal of "freedom, but within a precise structure of requirements" is as valid for us as it is for them. The superficial difference between us and them is that our remembered experience, our conscious knowledge and understanding of the Game, gives us the ability to use outward detachment and control to create a desired set of circumstances for the children and to establish a relationship with them as close to our ideal as possible. And we are in a position to use the guidelines to help us to do this.
2 But the guidelines themselves are not part of the structure of practical requirements. They are part of the freedom within that structure. They are not rules; and it is important that we feel free to ignore them if our instincts and our circumstances dictate it.
3 Rules make allowance for instincts and circumstances. Guidelines do not have to, because the allowance is implicit in the fact that they are guidelines only and therefore do not insist on precise and invariable adherence.
4 With guidelines, instincts and circumstances are the first criteria. (And by instincts I do not mean all emotional responses regardeless of their nature, but whatever feels right overall at any glven moment.) Where these have been given priority and there is still doubt, choice, alternatives, mystery or uncertainty, then the guidelines are there to indicate the best course of action. There is no value in resisting our instincts or struggling against our current circumstances, in order to follow the guidelines. If either is necessary, then the purpose of the guidelines is lost. We can use them by all means to help us create our circumstances or change them, and to direct and control our instincts as appropriate; but if we allow a CONFLICT to develop between the guidelines on one side and our instincts and circumstances on the other, if we attempt to force compliance with the guidelines against powerful and undeniable contrary pressures, then, we gain nothing except a great deal of wasted agony.
5 The system does not fail because "sometimes it's impossible to ... " or "sometimes it doesn't feel right..." or "sometimes you have to" Justiflcations are unnecessary. If it's impossible, assuming all available possibilities have been taken into account, then it's impossible. If it doesn't feel right in the partlcular circumstances, then it's NOT right in the particular circumstance. These are themselves guidelines; immediate personal signs and indications which take precedence over everything - bar the hard and fast rules. Accept them. Validate them. Give them the posltive status which belongs to them.
6 Guidelines are not: "Always ... " or "Never ... ". They are: "Where possible " or "Where possible, avoid ... ". And 'possible' does not mean torturing ourselves or the situation - or a child for that matter - in order to create the possibility. That negates the validity of the guidelines.
7 They are not there for us to cram ourselves and our children into at all costs. They are there, as their name implies, to guide us, to give us an overall optimum pattern to bear in mind, and to use as long as we are free to use it. Like our ideals, they are there for us not to grasp at deperately and fail to achieve, but to aim for and to reach towards.
8 We cannot even hope to raise our children on the basis of the minimum of demands, if we burden OURSELVES with the maximum of demands on how to do it.
9 But a warning: To swing to the other side and use the non-rigidity of guidelines to justify a lack of intention to follow them, is equally pointless. We can easily use the plea of unavoidable circumstances to justify incausativeness in tackling perfectly changeable or adaptable circumstances, or we can use the plea of contrary instincts to justify giving credence to all kinds of negative reactions, such as blame and demand. It does not work. It can only strike back at us. So to keep the balance, if after all that has been said about the non-compulsory nature of guidelines, we find ourselves still HAVING to justify not following them, if we find ourselves still having to PROTEST that it's not possible or it doesn't feel right, then we had better look to the level of our own conscious intention to control either our circumstances or our emotions.
10 But bearing that warning in mind, relax. Put your instincts and your inclinations first. Your expanding awareness will direct them validly and constructively. Your circumstances may well put some limitations on them. Change your circumstances as far as possible, within the law, to comply with your instincts and inclinations; and when that is not possible within the terms of relaxed equlibrium (in other words, without some tortuous manipulations), then accept the limitations as further pointers towards what is currently required. From that standpoint, again as far as possible, use the guidelines.
11 Aim at basically the same situation for yourself as you aim at for the children. Allow yourself the kind of freedom which you aim at allowing them.
12 Then, if in spite of yourself - literally, because the Universal Law never rests - you lose your temper with them, make demands on them, blame them, or give vent to any other negative attitudes around them (not quite ideal in terms of the guidelines!), accept that as another aspect of the Game. That does not mean you have to give credence to it, nor does it prevent you from investigating the significance of it, pleasant or unpleasant. But it does help you not to collapse into guilt, remorse, regret, anguish, and a sense of dismal failure,
13 Besides, (though you had 'better beware of justifying it for yourself in these terms), such an outburst of negativity from you is an essential part of the children's experience. It's part of the facts of life which they are to discover. It's part of reality, of things as they are, of people as they are, of Processeans as they are. As long as we have these attitudes and reactions, our children can only benefit from knowing about them, and that may quite often require a first-hand experience.
14 The first principle of the New Game is not positivity, but acceptance of negativity. Negativity will always be there in some form or another. (Life would be dull if it vanished altogether. Besides, how could we really appreciate positivity if there was never anything else?) So blocks, barriers, conflicts, misunderstandings, blame, resentment, demand and every other manifestation of evil will appear from time to time on both sides, the adults' and the children's.
15 Remember a prime and ancient Process adage, the validity of which is as undying as the Universal Law: "Communicate on the block". Even if it is only momentarily, before sweeping the negativity aside (as in BI 1), COMMUNICATE ON THE BLOCK. Express - and elicit a response to - your awareness and understanding of what is happening.
16 How you tackle it is up to you. Whether it takes seconds or hours will depend on your instincts in the situation. Whether it is agonising or painless depends upon the requirements. But tackle it, with contact, before it can be buried and provide fuel for another block.
7. l One of the most powerful guilt links between parents and children is established by the concept of sacrifice on the part of the parent in favour of the child. Many 'well intentioned' parents put themselves through a great deal of suffering of one kind or another in order to give their children the 'perfect' - or even the best possible - upbringing. Sacrifices may be material, mental, occupational, spiritual or emotional; the important common denominator is suffering - or at the very least, discomfort.
2 But children are highly sensitive. And generally the younger they are the M0RE sensitive. They know what their parents are feeling. And whether or not their outer consciousness understands it, they know on some level if their parents are deliberately suffering on theIr (the children's) account. (And some not so well intentioned parents go as far as making sure that they know it! )
3 Whichever is the case, the end result is usually guilt; the children, unless they are extremely detached, feel guilty for what the parents are suffering for them. They build up a 'debt' towards the parents, which they feel unable or possibly unwilling to repay. Certainly, both the debt and the guilt are their own choice. But that is no justification - nor any consolation for that matter - for being the instrument with which such a negative choice is made
4 Barriers are the almost inevitable result; barriers of resentment usually. It's by no means the only cause of the disease known as 'the generation gap', but it plays its part.
5 So this alone is an excellent reason for not torturing yourself in order to follow the ideals of the upbringing programme. Give by all means, but if you deprive yourself, or inhibit yourself, or reduce yourself, solely for the sake of your children, they will not thank you for it. On the contrary they are far more likely to alienate themselves from you.
6 This is no invalidation of the overall concept of self-sacrifice. But used as a policy by a parent in relation to a child, it can have disastrous consequences,
7 So don't make the mistake of thinking that by tying yourself in knots you can benefit your children. You cannot. They are unlikely to aprreciate it, and in addition they will almost certainly copy you. Whatever they feel towards you, they are more than likely to take their example from you. Either that or, if they react extremely negatively to the way you are, they may swing in the opposite direction and compulsively try to be as unlike you as possible! But unless you have that particular unfortunate effect, the likelihood is that they will follow your lead. Therefore if you torture yourself, they will probably do the same.
8 Relax, and they will relax. Feel free, and at the same time secure, within the framework of Processean requirements, and they will feel free and secure. Express what you feel openly, whenever it is appropriate to do so, and they will express what they feel openly. Be aware, and they will become aware. Know the nature of the Game, and they will learn the nature of the Game from you. Give, and they will give. Make contact, and they will make contact. Be positive, and they will be positive. Acknowledge and accept any negativity within yourself, and they will acknowledge and accept any negativity within themselves.
9 What more can you give them? That is upbringing.
8. 1 There are two basic factors which, on a human level, determine a human being's behaviour patterns; first what he is, and second what he experiences. Now purely from the responsibility angle, we know that what we are determines what we experience, but at the point of manifestation we can regard them as two separate elements. They are what people normally refer to as 'heredity' and 'environment'. The only difference is in the meaning of 'heredity'. Normally it applies to characteristics passed down from parent to child, but whether we see it as that or agreements carried over from one lifetime to the next is immaterial to the ultimate effect.
2 So for a child, there is what he is and there is what he experiences. And the results are his feelings, his attitudes, his agreements, his talents, his abilities, his limitations, his likes and dislikes, his aims and ambitions, and his behaviour patterns.
3 And the connection between the two is this. The way a child responds to what he experiences is determined by what he is.
4 The power of suggestion is less known and understood than it is exploited. We in the so-called 'free' world, talk a great deal about 'brainwashing', which simply means intensive suggestion therapy. We associate it mainly with corrupt and unscrupulous governments and political parties - which usually means those that are powerful and have a different ideological viewpoint from our own! (The terms corrupt and unscrupulous have an uncanny way of being applied very liberally - though sometimes only by implication, to conform with a civilised image - to those 'on the other side'!) Brainwashing is something very evil, whlch OTHER people do!
5 And yet the whole of our own system of mass media, with television way ahead of the field in terms of impact, is concerned almost entirely with intensive suggestion therapy - 'brainwashing'.
6 We are being 'sold' continually - and mostly subliminally - everything from drugs to democracy, from pills to political theories. And this is by no means only done through commercial advertising. Every word written and spoken to mass audiences, every photograph, every film, every cartoon drawing, every news item, every fictional story, every drama and every soap opera carries a message, projects an attltude, represents a particular scale of values, stands for a particular viewpoint, and presents us with a very specific evaluation of what is morally or socially right and wrong, good and bad, desirable and undesirable, essential and non-essential.
7 How susceptible each individual is to the suggestions embodied in these presentations, depends on what he is. They are part of his experience and his environment, and what effects they have on him are determined by his nature.
8 But in addition to this deliberate and contrived suggestion therapy, all human beings are 'brainwashed' by their environment from the day they are born. There are powerful subliminal suggestions contalned in everything that happens to them and around them. The mass media make a science of suggestion, but they by no means hold a monopoly. Every word spoken, every attitude projected, every emotion expressed, every decision made, every action taken, by those around us, contains suggestions. Even the physical nature of our environment; its elements, its activities and its changes; contains suggestions.
9 So from birth onwards, we are continually subjected to the power of suggestion from every quarter. Some of us are more susceptible than others. All of us are more susceptible to some suggestions than to other suggestions. That depends on what we are.
10 But the whole concept of influence and therefore suggestion may be anathema to you if your ideal is to bring up a chiId as free as possible from imposed values and moralities. It does not have to be. Suggestion and influence are not only inevitable, but essential - not necessarily as a calculated one directional policy, but as an overall aspect of a child's development. Where there is environment, there is suggestion; and it's from the complex battery of diverse and often conflicting influences which constitute his environment, that a child selects his own personal and individual values and attitudes, and thereby makes his decisions.
11 So do not make the mistake of trying to avoid suggestion. Do not think that the first two ideals - freedom to develop naturally and spontaneously - preclude it. But on the other hand, be aware of the power of suggestion. Understand it. Realise its inevitability and the essential part it plays in our lives, particularly when we are children.
12 And remember that actions taken and attitudes expressed are far more powerful suggestions than words spoken or ideas expressed. What happens in our environment; what we witness, what we experience, what people do around us and to us and for us, the way they behave, the way they relate to one another and to us, the effects created on us; these are the real influences, the lasting ones. What we are told, though important and effective - especially when we are told by someone who has a powerful effect on us in other ways - is secondary.
13 (For example, television is potentially a far far stronger influence than literature, because it is a more complete experience. It involves 'happenings' rather than mere records of 'happenings' and the reason why it is a good idea to avoid it as far as children are concerned is because it is SUCH a powerful contrived and one directional influence, that it can easily create a heavy unnatural bias, an imbalance of suggestion. It portrays the world, with highly convincing realism, as the world is decidedly not. And interwoven with its deceptive portrayals is a scale of human values geared with great accuracy and precision to this non existent world, and therefore itself equally deceptive. Fine as a very occasional influence, giving a child a chance to detect the flaws. But a daily dosage of such a potent artificial drug is scarcely the best way to encourage a natural and spontaneous selection.)
14 So when you consider the part suggestion plays in the education of children, bear in mind that - unless a child is subjected to large quantities of television - the influences most deeply and lastingly felt by him stem from the way those closest to him behave towards him and towards one another; his experiences, his observations, the nature of his social, moral, spiritual and material environment. The success or failure of our attempts to TEACH the child depends chiefly upon the nature of those influences.
15 A child may repeat what we say. But he is more likely to live by what we do and what we are. But if what we say adds to and clarifies and explains what we do and what we are, rather than conflicting with it or having nothing to do with it at all, then there is great value in saying it. It helps the child to establish, confirm, understand and apply more fully what he already knows instinctively and intuitively from experience.
9. 1 Children are not a race apart. They are basically no different from adults. The superficial difference is one of experience and current ability.
2 If we wish to help a child to remain inexperienced and of limited ability, then we treat him as one of a race apart. We give credence to a degree of helplessness in him far greater than he actually has. We underestimate his awareness, his intelligence, his sensitivity, and above all his level of responsibility. We regard him as virtually non-responsible - not irresponsible, which implies a definite sense of responsibility which is contravened or defied, but NON-responsible, having no sense Or awareness of responsibility. This is the chief lie which helps a child to retard his own development. His negative side - which is only too ready to find a way of shifting his burdens for him - seizes on the suggestion, and enacts it as completely as possible. The child becomes - apparently - even more helpless and out of control than he needs to be. This of course confirms and reinforces our attitude to and treatment of him; and so it goes on. We treat the child as though he is half helpless victim and half uncontrollable monster - which is what a zero responsibility level makes him - and in response the child BEHAVES as though he is half helpless victim and half uncontrollable monster (and many continue this behaviour - seeing no good reason to stop it - into adulthood). This tells us that our assessment of him is correct and thus the pattern is firmly established.
3 But children are neither helpless victims nor uncontrollable monsters. They are responsible and aware beings with a high level of control and adaptability. They are new to their current physical existence and environment, and therefore need help in finding their way around it. All of us are dependant upon one another, but they have a particular physical dependance due to their inexperience in operating their brand new bodies. Also they have a new language to learn and a whole new set of ideas and circumstances to which to adjust themselves. But all of this could be applied to an adult entering a new environment, beginning a new occupation, or convalesing from a crippling illness. And it does not make him any the less responsible - or any the less adult for that matter.
4 Children are responsible to precisely the same extent as adults are responsible. They cause and create their circumstances, they control their relationships, they determine what happens to them, just as adults do. Even before they have a properly operating outer consciousness, their inner consciousness is hard at work, absorbing, reacting, experiencing, evaluating and calculating. It is more rather than less sensitive than that of an adult, because of the very absence of an effective intellect to shield it.
5 But even that intellect emerges very fast if given the right encouragement. And if we attribute an adult capacity to that intellect, without actually demanding of it more than it can produce at any given time, its capacity will grow as fast as it can to meet the expectation.
6 Similarly, if we regard the body of a child as strong and durable and possessing a high survival capability, instead of assuming that it is innately weak and vulnerable, then it will grow in strength and stamina rather tHn holding itself back in order to maintain the image of frailty.
7 As long as you are not imposing DEMANDS on a child; blaming him, making him guilty and giving him a sense of failure, as a calculated policy - which is quite a 'normal' way of bringing up a child - it is quite safe to expect of him always, a little more than his current capability will allow. This encourages him to reach further and further upwards and outwards, and thereby keeps his development moving at optimum speed.
8 It's like we should be with ourselves. AIM as high as possible in relation to our ideals, but accept without blame, regret, justification or a sense of failure whatever outcome manifests. That keeps us as close as it's possible to be at any given moment to attaining our ideals.
9 So do not see children through the eyes of the 'normal' human agreement that they are a helpless and uncontrollable race apart. Credit them with the level of responsibility which is theirs and which is at least as high as your own. Treat them as you would treat an inexperienced adult. Be open with them. Do not try to protect them, either from the negativity of the world in general or from your own negativity. Acknowledge their awareness, their sensitivity, their immediately intuitive and growing intellectual intelligence, and their sense of responsibility. Do not put them either above you - requiring special sacrifices, special attention, special adulation, special consideration; they will reject it because they do not feel they deserve it - or beneath you - being less capable, less intelligent, less aware, less in control and less responsible; it's not true, but they will probably use it to retard their development.
10 And above all, credit them with their own GOD-given, GOD-inspired power of will and power of choice, within the terms of the Game. And at the same time recognise their ultimate choicelessness, together with your own. They are people, basically no different from yourself. Relate to them like people. Do not be afraid that you might step on them and crush them - you cannot - or that someone else might step on them and crush them - they cannot. Relax and feel free; free to succeed and free to fail, free to be 'right' and free to be 'wrong', free to make mistakes and free to undo the mistakes without ultimate loss, free to follow your urges, your instincts and your inclinations, free to be yourself as you are, without illusions or nightmares.
11 When you are with children, do not deceive yourself that you are a Juggernaut in a field of fragile daffodils. Youre far more likely to be a fragile daffodil in a field of Juggernauts.
So be it.
[ Signature Robert ]
6th Apri 1 1971 ROBERT DE GRIMSTON
GUIDELINES FOR THE EDUCATION AND UPBRINGING OF PROCESSEAN CHILDREN
10. 1 1. Where possible, avoid presenting any human being, living or dead, or his views, attitudes or actions, as either good as opposed to evil, evil as opposed to good, right as opposed to wrong, or wrong as opposed to right. And avoid 'good' and 'bad' labelling, or implying such labels, for characters in stories, whether fact or fiction.
2 2. Where possible, present human evil as the pains and discomforts, mental, spiritual and physical, which human beings experience; i.e. their burdens of negativity. And present human good as the joy and satisfaction which human beings experience; i.e. their blessings of positivity.
3 3. Where possible - and within reason - avoid giving any talent, quality, function, occupation, character trait, interest, ability, scale of values, attitude, opinion, reaction or motivation, moral precedence over any other. I.e. avoid passing moral judgement on these things. lnstead, evaluate on the practical and unequivocal basis of the Universal Law and everything which stems from that.
4 4. Where possible, avoid correcting a child, by stating or implying that he has failed or done wrong or performed badly. When he contravenes your instructions, or the rules, or the standard of conduct required of him, discipline him accordingly, so that he can learn the lesson of consequences, and adjust his behaviour by it. But where such practical requirements are not impaired, accept and acknowledge whatever is done or said. Respond by all means with your entire range of emotions. genuinely and sincerely, in order to help the child to differentiate his various effects on you and thereby learn more of the lesson of consequences, but avoid following a calculated policy of correction and contradiction, except by the method explained above when practical requirements, such as instructions and regulations, are involved. Such a policy of non correction should be followed in all simple learning situations. For example, when a child is learning to read, avoid saying: "No, that's wrong", when he reads or pronouces something incorrectly. Simply acknowledge him, teach him again the correct version, and ask him to read it again. Continue this until he has learned it properly.
5 5. Where possible, avoid instructing a child angrily or threateningly. If the consequences of disobedience and infringement of the rules art properly and consistently applied, this is not necessary. If it happens, you are in a fight with the child, and that is of no use either to him or to you. Apply the principles of Bl 1.
6 6. Where possible, within the structure of practical requirements, allow a child to choose his own activities and interests. Give him as wide a range of choice and opportunity as possible without exposing him to the indoctrination techniques of the mass media, and leave the decisions in this direction to him.
7 7. Where possible, allow a child to discover things for himself. Guide his attention, question, demonstrate, and give him any relevant factual Information which he cannot discover for himself, but avoid forcing information on him.
8 8. Where possible, avoid laylng the hlame for anything on anyone. This does not mean always concealing attitudes of blame, which could give the child an untrue image of yourself, but it does mean conveying no calculated judgement or policy involving blame.
9 9. Where possible, help a child to see the positive aspect of everything; not by conceallng any negative aspect, but by exposing it fully (the pain, the suffering, the unhappiness - i.e. the evil - involved) and showing what can be learned from it or how it can be used positively, and how it can be worked through to the other side. And at the same time avoid identifying any individual or group exclusively with the cause of either the positive or the negative aspect of the situation.
10 10. Where possible, draw out a child's attitudes, reactions, emotions, opinions, views and responses, both positive and negative, to any signlficant - or insignificant - situation or information, and help the child to learn or in some other way benefit from them.
11 11. Where possible, encourage children to share their attitudes, reactions, views, responses, etc., both negative and positive, with one another, and show them the value of understanding as opposed to condemning or despising one another's feelings.
12 12. Where possible, use a child's reactions and responses to help him to discover his particular interests and most suitable areas of activity, and thereby develop his talents and qualities.
13 13. Where possible, avoid preconceived ideas of how a child SHOULD or OUGHT to react to certain situations and information. Allow him his own spontaneous reaction, and then help hlm to become aware of and learn from It.
14 14. Where possible, avoid exposing children to mass media, until they are of an age to be objective about the values which they promote instead of being indoctrinated by them. Exceptions may be made in the case of high quality educational and documentary programmes on the television and objective factual and non evaluative reporting of news in any media. But in general keep children abreast of current affairs through telling them the news in the form of serial stories. This does not mean officially banning them from watching certain programmes on the television, but it means firm control. Then as they become more aware and understanding of the outside world, the activities of the mass media, their intentions and effects, can be explained to them; the prime one being to separate the whole world into the 'goodies' and the 'badies', where the goodies are all good and the badies are all bad and there is no reconciliation possible unless the badies change all their attitudes and values and come over onto the side of the goodies.
15 15. Where possible, present to children all experiences, situations, and factual information which could be of use to them in building up a complete and unslanted view of the Game. Make as many aspects of the Game available to them as possible, and allow them to react to them, evaluate them, relate to them, use them and if appropriate experience them.
16 16. Where possible, avoid trying to compel a child to remember something. Resistance of the deep and unconscious instinct to forget only intensifies that instinct. Allow a child to remember just what he needs to remember. The power of his memory will be in direct proportion to his sense of basic security, which indicates the way to foster good memory without having to lay any stress on its value or for that matter on the detrimental effects of forgetting. Avoid labelling remembering as 'good' and forgetting as 'bad', and avoid 'testing' memory, so that those who remember feel superior and those who forget feel a sense of failure. Children will discover the value of both remembering and forgetting according to requirements.
17 17. Where possible, avoid any doctrine of virtues or morally superior qualities. Give children as little opportunity as possible to be self righteous or superior with one another. Allow THEM to discover what makes them feel good and what makes them feel bad.
18 18. Where possible, allow your negative consequences and disciplines to guide a child towards the required standards of behaviour. Moralisations are at best ineffective and at worst an encouragement to rebellion. Within the structure of those standards, avoid preventing a child from following his instincts and inclinations. But at the same time help him to become aware of all consequences - primarily the Universal Law in action - both positive and negative.
19 19. Where possible, avoid justification of the required standards of behaviour and the penalties for stepping outside them. Only explain them to a child who asks for an explanation, having first asked him if he has an idea of the explanation himself. Even if he has not the ideal way of explaining is by questioning and thereby getting HIM to explain.
20 20. Where possible, tackle all situations from which things can be learned or discovered, including individual problems, on a group basis according to BI 2l. And encourage children in the practical application of BI 17.
21 21. Where possible, avoid the concept of punishment, which implies moral retribution, except when referring to compulsive patterns (self-punishment for example). Discipline is enforced on the basis of penalties, which are the automatic consequences of particular actions, introduced to maintain an overall standard of behaviour and operation. Punishment is for sin and is inflicted by ourselves on ourselves. It is not meted out to us by others.
22 22. Where possible, allow children to act out their own battles. Neither encourage nor discourage fighting, and don't stop it when it happens even when the odds SEEM to be unevenly weighted (as with marked age or size differences). And when appropriate, discuss the significances of such conflicts (both specific and in general) and help the children to understand them. Naturally, when fighting contravenes rules or requirements, such as good behaviour during formal activities or in public, then it is treated in the same way as any other 'performance'.
23 23. Where possible, HELP children to remain within the standards required of them, by creating an environment for them in which it is relatively easy to conform to those standards. (One does not, for example, put a bull in a china shop! However docile and well trained, it would have considerable difficulty in not doing any damage.) Otherwise the children are inhibited - not basically because it can all be brought out and tackled, but currently - and whoever is directly responsible for them is constantly 'on edge', wondering what is going to 'go wrong' next.
24 24. Where possible, as regards basic education (reading, writing and arithmetic), let children find their own pace and their own methods. Don't force learning on them. Don't give them dead-lines or standards to meet. Don't DEMAND of them. Give them opportunities to learn in the most natural and spontaneous way, discovering as much as possible for themselves.
25 25. Where possible, avoid 'protecting' children against negativity (both their own and other people's), criticism, 'unpleasant' experiences, the consequences of their actions, work, hardship, penalties and reprimands; in other words, 'reality'. (This obviously does not mean that you shouldn't save them from drowning or prevent them from jumping out of windows and the like. It's certainly possible to overdo physiral protection of children, but what we are concerned with here is moral and emotional protection.)
26 Children tend to feel as vulnerable as those around them consider them to be. If we regard them and treat them as fragile and vulnerable to reality, that is how they are most likely to feel; fragile and vulnerable. Whereas if we give credit and recognition to their basic strength and INvulnerability, then THAT is how they are most likely to feel; strong and INvulnerable.
27 Learn to differentiate between, on the one hand, love of a child, which means recognition of his qualities and abilities, and awareness of his needs and requirements, and on the other hand, unreal protection of a child, which means a reduction of his qualities and abilities, and unawareness of his needs and requirements.
28 26. Where possible, avoid e1couraging a child to 'disown' or reduce or invalidate or devalue or dismiss the world outside The Process. Allow him any attitudes he chooses to have, at the same time helping him to be aware of the significance of those attitudes. Avoid forcing him into either a positive or a negative assessment of the 'outside'; allow him to make his own assessment on the basis of everything he is learning of the nature of the Game, This will give him the maximum opportunity to live fully IN the world without having to become OF the world; which is the principle of detached involvement. (See BASICS OF PROCESS EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN, section 2.)
29 27. Where possible, avoid feeling bad about not INVARIABLY following these guidelines.
BASICS OF PROCESS EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN
11. 1 1 Present the facts of both past and current history in the form of stories, read or recited, and then discuss them.
2 Include all the attitudes, biases, conflicts, emotions, ambitions, protests, loves, hates, and prejudices - accurately of course - but with equal sympathy for and understanding of ALL points of view. Take no sides; judge no one; criticise no one. Praise by all means, and give credit where it is due, but NOT at the expense of others;
3 However, despite your own policy of maintaining a balance and thereby IMPOSING no bias, encourage the children to react, to take sides where appropriate, to express attitudes, opinions, biases and prejudices, and help tnem to do this without feeling that any reaction is 'wrong' or immoral or unacceptable. Draw them out. Give them the freedom to enact every possible view- point. Only by feeling such freedom and experiencing it, will they eventually be able to rise above their prejudices, having discovered for themselves the basic invalidity of them, instead of being forced to suppress them on the grounds of an imposed morality.
4 If it feels appropriate, express your own personal emotional preferences, but as far as possible, avoid giving credence to their face value, particularly when negative attitudes are involved. (This of course applies only to differing human codes and values, such as political, racial, religious and social standpoints. Full credence may be given to your feelings about basic Process principles - although any negative attitudes, even in these areas, should still be carefully examined.) But if you give credence to the face value of your human preferences, you are likely to inhibit the expression of opposing realties in a compulsively cooperative child, whilst forcing their expression in a compulsively rebellious child! Neither effect is helpful.
12. 1 2 Present the structure of the human game from a detached viewpoint, not with condescension, or scorn or superiority, but with compassion and understanding. Present it to begin with in very elementary terms, explaining the concepts of survival, life, death, cooperation, conflict, love, hate, fear, aggression, success, failure, defensiveness, blame, justification, responsibility, and so on. Explain the positive and negative elements of the Game in terms of blessings and burdens. Explain the concepts of good and evil, right and wrong. Explain sexuality. Explain the concepts of family, property and possession, and how they relate to the various abstract elements above. And explain the immutable Laws which govern the Game; such as the Universal Law and all its subdivisions.
2 Relate your historical and current 'stories' to this structure. Answer questions like: "Why do those people hate these people?" in terms of the structure, without bias or blame or justification or condemnation. Explain people's unawareness of their fundamental unity, and other misconceptions and illusions which are necessary for the Game to operate.
3 Include Processeans as being part of the Game, with the blessing of a relatively detached viewpoint, but still subject to its pressures and influences, its conflicts and blindnesses, its agreements and illusions. Make this quite acceptable. Teach that only through experiencing all of these things can we come to have a complete awareness and understanding of humanity and the Game in which it is involved.
4 Explain the meaning and validity of the human game; much suffering and pain, but on the other side a sense of achievement and attainment.
5 Do not present the need to oppose, to fight, to struggle, as either 'right' or 'wrong', but as an essential and inevitable aspect of the Game.
6 Encourage the children to relate all of these things to their own feelings and attitudes. As far as the human game is concerned, the aim is to teach the children the equal validity of BOTH DETACHMENT AND INVOLVEMENT. Without detachment they cannot see. Without involvement they cannot feel. The ideal is that they should both PLAY the Game completely and KNOW the Game completely. One is not possible without the other. They cannot know it without playing it. And without knowing it, they cannot play it, they can only be subjugated by it in blindness and ignorance.
7 A great philosopher once said: "Passion without reason is blind. Reason without passion is dead". In other words; involvement without detachment is blind. Detachment without involvement is dead. And it works all through the spectrum of opposites. The female without the male is blind. The male without the female is dead. Instinct without intellect - blind. Intellect without instinct - dead. Jehovah wlthout Lucifer - blind. Lucifer without Jehovah - dead. Satan without Christ - blind. Christ without Satan - dead. Soul without body - blind. Body without soul - dead. The creative principle without the receptive principle is blind. The receptive principle without the creative principle is dead.
8 So the ideal is a balance; not a compromise, half way BETWEEN detachment and involvement, but a balance of COMPLETE detachment and at the same time COMPLETE involvement. Another harmonic of the ultimate paradox.
9 The explanations of the structure can gradually become deeper and more technical as time goes on and the children are ready to absorb them.
13. 1 3. When they know a little about the Game, in which they are directly involved, present them with the basic elements of the Game of the Gods.
2 Through Rituals and Ceremonies they will have discovered the names of the Gods, felt Their presences, and learned to worship Them as the overall controllers of their lives. Now begin to fill in the details; to explain Their various natures and Their relationships with one another; to explain Their different parts in the human game, Their effects and influences and the purpose of Their work. Explain how every aspect and element in the human game derives from one of Them. Explain how They have given human beings choice within the limits of a fundamental choicelessness.
3 The scope of this part of the children's education is limitless. It is the Game on the highest levels. It involves the end of the world, the life/death cycle, reincarnation, the creation of man, the fall of man. It involves the Separation and the Unity. And it involves the Ultimate Unity which is the Totality of GOD.
14. 1 These first three sections of a child's Process education, can begin as early as the child is capable of understanding and absorbing the initial simple concepts. And they can go on being learned in increasing depth and detail, indefinitely. Section 1. is geared to involvement; the expression of feelings and attitudes in relation to experiences and events. Section 2. is geared to intensifying the involvement, but at the same time leads to the beginning of detachment. Section 3. is wholely geared to detachment.
2 Once a beginning has been made, the three sections can be interwoven, the three levels of action can be examined simultaneously and related to one another. 1. the outwards manifestations; 2. the human significances; and 3. the God significances.
NOTES ON THE BASICS OF PROCESS EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN
15 1 A Section 1. can include any event, however apparently insigniflcant, as long as it is considered to be of interest and a useful aid to learning. Even internal Process events can be lncluded, if investigation of them in terms of sections 2. and/or 3. would be valuable. Almost any story can be a lesson in Process terms, because it is bound to involve actlons, motivations, attitudes, relationships, blessings or burdens, God manifestations, significances, or signs.
2 B. Get the children to act out some of the stories told; each playing a character or group, and identifying with it for the enactment. But as far as possible, avoid any tendency towards unquestioned labelling of 'goodies' and 'baddies'. If it feels approprIate, you can get the children to write playlets, illustrating the stories and bringing out the significances, and then to act and discuss them.
3 C. Get the children to describe and discuss their relationships with one another; telling their own stories and then investlgating together all the various actions, attitudes, motivations, God patterns and other signifcances. Get them to express and discuss their relationships with the Gods, humanity, The Process, adult Processeans, their Chapter, etc. in the same way.
4 D. Remember there are no taboos on what a child can be told or can witness or can experience, as long as his experience is a balanced one, with no undue predominance given to anyone viewpoint. A child's acceptance level is generally a great deal higher than an adult's. It is not what a child sees or hears or experiences whlch heips him towards delinquency, it is his negative attitudes to what he sees and hears and experiences, and those attitudes are strongly dependent upon the attitudes of those around him. Events and experiences can only warp a child's mind if he chooses that they should. Now his choice depends first of all on the agreements which he has brought with him from past incarnations and identities, but he can also be powerfully influenced bv the values and moralities of those closest to him. His own agreements may either be contradlcted or solidified, but one way or other they are almost bound to be affected. For example, a child is far more likely to suffer from the sight of violence and brutality if his parents have an agreement that he will suffer from the sight of violence and brutality. Children are amazingly selective, but if we try to force a particular selection upon them, either they compulsively resist it or they compulsively go along with it; whichever way they choose is scarcely likely to constitute a valid or detached decision.
5 A predominantly violent and uncivilized home is as likely to produce a paragon of compulsive virtue as it is to produce a violent and uncivilised individual. Equally a predominantly virtuous and suppressed home is as likely to produce a violent fanatic as it is to produce a virtuous and suppressed citizen. None of these categories is ideal. All of them show a heavy compulsive bias one way or another, largely due to the unbalanced nature of the home environment.
6 E. A study of all Process non-religious information, including the Logics and the appropriate BI's, should form the basis of Section 2., whilst Section 3. is based on a study of all Process religious information.
7 F. As early as a Processean child is able to understand, explain to him the difference between The Process and the outside world, giving to neither precedence or superiority over the other in the overall structure of the Game. Your own self-evident preference need not be concealed nor denied. But equally it does not have to be either protested in an attempt to persuade the child to agree with it, nor devalued in order to avoid influencing the child.
8 When explaining the nature of 'the outside', include the practical survival reasons for Processeans' conformity with certain outside rules and customs, despite the fact that they are NOT necessarily part of the structure of practical requirements within The Process. For example, there may be no restrictions on expressing emotions and attitudes, both positive and negative, openly within a purely Process environment, but there ARE restrictions on such expression in an outside environment.
9 G. Read the Bible to a child from as early an age as he can understand it. But remember, there are parts of the Bible that for biased reporting outdo television! Avoid those parts. Avoid the stark evaluation of 'goodies' and 'baddies', which the Bible sometimes presents. This does not mean excluding the concepts of sin, or evil, or disobedience of God, or retribution (Universal Law), or destruction, or any of the negativity which the Bible describes and analyses so eloquently. It means avoiding the separation of people into those who are basically good and those who are basically evil. When the child is capable of an objective view of this particular reality, then he may read or have read to him the parts of the Bible which express it.
We ourselves are probably the most vital aspect of our childrens environment. We are their most immediate examples of adulthood -- the stage of development which they are learning to reach.
How close we come to attaining our ideals with regard to our children does not depend on the actions we take towards them or the circumstances we create for them or the environment we build around tbem, as much as the scope of our own awareness and understanding of them. Because it is that awareness and understanding which will determine the nature of our relationship with them.
We cannot even hope to raise our children on the basis of the minimum of demands, if we burden OURSELVES with the maximum of demands on how to do it.
One of the most powerful guilt links between parents and children is established by the concept of sacrifice on the part of the parent in favour of the child. Many "Well-intentioned" parents put themselves thru a great deal suffering of one kind or another in order to give their children the "perfect" -- or even the best possible -- upbringing. The end result is usualy guilt; the children, unless they are extremely detached, feel guilty for what the parents are sacrificing for them. They build up a "debt" toward the parents, which they feel unable or unwilling to pay.
Remember that actions taken and attitudes expressed are far more powerful suggestions than words spoken or ideas expressed.
A child may repeat what we say. But he is more likely to live by what we do and what we are.
Children are neither helpless victims nor uncontrollable monsters. They are responsible and aware beings with a bigh level of control and adaptability.
As long as you are not imposing demands on a child; blaming him, making guilty and giving him a sense of failure; it is quite safe to expect of him always a little more than his current capability will allow. This encourages him to reach further and further upwards and outwards, and thereby keeps his development moving at optimum speed.
It's like we should be with ourselves. Aim as high as possible in relation to our ideals, but accept without blame, regret, justification or a sense of failure whatever outcome manifests. That keeps us as close as it's possible to be at any given moment to attaining our ideals.
When you are with children, do not deceive yourself that you are a juggernaut in a feild of fragile daffodils. You are far more likely to be a fragile daffodil in a feild of juggernauts.
If your judgement is less than perfect -- and whose is not? -- and you wish to err on the positive side rather than the negative side, assume that a child understands unless and until he proves that he does not.
Give children credit not only for responsibility, which is choice, but also for a sense of responsibility, which is the beginning of an acceptance of responsibility, which is the awareness of choice.
We can educate, which means literally "draw out", our children, most effectively and completely thru our own example. What we are, they will become. Lessons are more for clarification and preparation than anything else. What we say to a child is important, but what we are to a child is what really matters.
Where possible, within a structure of practical requirements, allow a child to choose his own activities and interests. Give him as wide a range of choice and opportunity as possible, and leave the decisions in this direction to him.
Where possible, allow a child to discover things for himself. Guide his attention, question, demostrate, and give him any relevant, factual information which he cannot discover for himself, but avoid forcing information on him.
Where possible, help a child to see the positive aspect of everything; not by concealing any negative aspect, but by exposlng it fully (the pain, the suffering, the unhappiness -- i.e. the evil -- involved) and showing what can be learned from it or how it can be used positively, and how it can be worked thru to the other side.
Where possible, draw out a child's attitudes, reactions, emotions, opinions, views and responses, both positive and negative, to any significant -- or insignificant -- situation or information, and help the child to learn and benefit from them.
Where possible, encourage children to share their attitudes, reactions, views, responses, etc., both negative and positive, with one another, and show them the value of understanding as opposed to condemning or despising one another's feelings.
Where possible, use a child's reactions and responses to help him to discover his particular interests and most suitable areas of activity, and thereby develop his talents and qualities.
Where possible, avoid preconceived ideas of how a child should or ought to react to certain situations and information. Allow him his own spontaneous reaction, and then help him to become aware of it and learn from it.
Where possible, avoid trying to compel a child to remember nothing. Resistance of the deep and unconscious instinct to forget only intensifies that instinct. Allow a child to remember just what he needs to remember. The power of his memory will be in direct proportion to his sense of basic security, which indicates the way to foster good memory without having to lay any stress on it's value, or for that matter, on the detrimental effects of forgetting. Avoid labelling remembering as "good" and forgetting as "bad", and avoid "testing" memory, so that those who remember feel superior and those who forget feel a sense of failure. Children will discover the value of both remembering and forgetting according to requirements.
Where possible, avoid any doctrine of virtues or morally superior qualities. Give Chldren as little opportunity as possible to be self-righteous or superior with one another. Allow them to discover what makes them fel good and what makes them feel bad.
Where possible, allow consequences and disciplines to guide a child towards the required standards of behavior. Moralisations are at best ineffective and at worst an encouragement to rebellion. Within the structure of those standards, avoid preventing a child from following his instincts and inclinations. But at the same time help him to become aware of the consequences of his actions.
Where possible as regards basic education (reading, writing and arithmetic), let children find their own pace and their own methods. Dont force learning on them. Dont give them dead-lines or standards to meet. Dont demand of them. Give them opportunities to learn in the most natural and spontaneous way, discovering as much as possible for themselves.
Where possible, avoid "protecting" children against negativity (both their own and other people's), criticism, "unpleasant" experiences, the cosequences of their actions, work hardship, penalties and reprimands; in other words, "reality". (This obviously does not mean that you shouldn't save them from drowning, or prevent them from jumping out of windows and the like. It's certainly possible to overdo protection of children, but what we are concerned with here is moral and emotional protection.)
Children tend to feel as vulnerable as those around them consider them to be. If we regard them and treat them as fragile and vulnerable to reality, that is how they are most likely to feel: fragile and vulnerable. Whereas if we give credit and recognition to their basic strength and invulnerability, then that is how they are most likely to feel: strong and invulnerable.
Learn to differentiate between, on the one hand, love of a child, which means recognition of his qualities and abilities, and awareness of his needs and requirements, and on the other hand, unreal protection of a child, which means a reduction of his qualities and abilities, and unawareness of his needs and requirements.
Where possible, avoid feeling bad about not invariably following these guidelines!
THIS MATERIAL IS THE PROPERTY OF THE PROCESS