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Friday, August 31, 2012

Infancy and childhood

by Jean Houston

I am beginning to write a new online course on the recovery of the capacities that we lose at each stage of our development. Here is what I have to say about infancy and childhood:

We are given as our birthright a Stradivarius, and we come to play it like a plastic fiddle. Consider the Stradivarius. Consider the child—the star brighter than any star man's mind can create conception of, this Godstuff rendered freely as spillover of an abundance of which we are largely unaware. This nuclear divinity, which radiates an unnameable glory when it comes, is in fact a creation of such inestimable worth that, were a cosmic scales to be employed, the infant child placed on one tray and all the precious jewels on the other, there would be no possibility of outweighing the child.

Talents to last a million years are the mother lode of its molecules. Its body is celled of mysteries that are incomprehensible, yet existent and responsive to all that is, and therefore is the container and active channeler of all that is. There is no need here to speak of Evolution to come. All the future tunings and turnings are already here, latent givens in the once and future child.

Its arms and legs enter into conversation with the bright of mornings. In perfect diaphany it knows the shapes of nature for its own. Sunbeams shaping grasses, trees parting skies, waters rushing over rock, these are the mirrors and progenitors of all its movings, the visible likeness of its earth-partnered life.

Comes then society's teaching time. The child is ushered into the presence of the Guidepost to the relevant life. And this post, assigned the teaching task, begins the process of informing the child of its smallness in relation to the far larger, its ignorance measured against great intelligences, its ineptitudes contrasted to vast skills, its lacks opposed to fullnesses, its basic inconsequentiality within the context of "things that matter."

Knowledge of its own divine origins begins to be quite systematically removed from its consciousness. First, the fullness of nature is removed. The trees are taken out of its arms, the rushing waters out of its blood. Body and brain are hunched; gates are built in its muscles; its brain becomes a fortress against all vastness, guarding against the remembrance of who it is and where it came from. This done, the child is deemed acceptable.

But it is not yet over. The internal world must be put to rout. At one point, a serious point, the child will be taught that what is imagined is unreal, and an arterial siphon will draw from near its heart that much strength of impulse which was necessary to keep up its commitment to the inner realms. What is imagined, what has a reality of ponderables that simply doesn't lend itself to physically calibrated scales, this is said to be not real, and the child is halved, so to speak.

If the heart siphon is not wholly effective, another siphon is put into the veins of the inner elbow and all that society thinks impractical is drawn from the elbow's crook. Put the various other siphons into alcoved places, the armpits, the groin, the bend of the knee, the arched chamber of the eye-socket.

Tell the little child that the world out there is only this, or only that, or perhaps phrase it merely, make less than worthy the notice of it. Only a tree, and all the trees are cut down; merely a small lake, and the deeps have lost their mystery; only this and merely that, and the magnificences of nature are made into shoddy stage sets. The siphon has drawn nerves of vision from under the roofed brain, taken the full life of seeing from the eyes.

Belittle another human being, categorize him with a label having to do with his color, his race, his lack or surfeit of academic training, his societal affiliations, pin him like a butterfly specimen for the child to inspect minus all his full lifeness, his essential human-divineness, his proper dimensionality; and you've siphoned out generative power that reaches deep into the groin that could have meant the reseeding of the world.

~~~ taken from her FB page