Lifetime habits are formed by the age of 2. Moreover, there is the old Jesuit claim, (paraphrased) "Give us a child until it is 7, and that child will be a faithful Catholic for the rest of its life." How can these statements be possible?
Both assume an early childhood patterning, without a focus. Both statements represent a belief system superimposed upon the child before the child's absratct brain functions have developed naturally.
In the case of the 2 year old, the social patterning
1) the belief system of its parents,
2) the limitations upon the child's activites and
3) the interference with the child's natural rhythm of exploring the unknown and returning to the security of its mother or primary care-giver.
In the case of the Jesuits, it is a clear sectarian brain-washing. I am not condemning either brain-washing or the Jesuit practice (that may no longer be publicly practiced), rather I am using them as examples of intereference in a child's natural learning cycles.
First, brain washing introduces abstract concepts at a time a child's biological function is to explore concrete concepts. Secondly, the Jesuit practice was an example of interference by abandonment. Even the Canadian government had a policy of assimilating the aboriginal peoples into 'white' society by tearing young native children away from their parents and community and having them brought up by 'white' foster parents or residential schools run by various religious (Christian) institutions. Recently survivors of this large-scale practice have cried out against that system.
Fear of abandonment is one of the 'natural' fears children possess. The immediate result of abandonment is that the child will become (often pathologically) dependent upon its new caregiver. I include here 'pathological' dependence because it has been clearly shown in the Canadian Residential Schools for aboriginal children that those children who were brutalized physically, sexually and/or psychologically nevertheless remained loyal to their teacher and schools. Those teachers and schools became their 'caregivers', their 'matrix', their safe haven! This system of abandonment followed by brutalization has been the basis for recruitment of thugs, enforcers, paramilitary forces all over the world. A prime example of this training is the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or Whisc. It is based in Fort Benning, Georgia, and it is funded by Mr Bush's government. Until January this year, Whisc was called the "School of the Americas", or SOA since 1946
Behavior modification or socialization are processes, not a states of being. A child has no choice and no control over its own upbringing, except perhaps in two intangible ways. Although basically unscientific, both of these following possibilities have become part and parcel of the holistic discussion of childhood development.
First, there is the theory that the child's soul or 'energetic signature' chooses its own parents either before conception or at some point during gestation. For the purposes of these Magical Child Papers, rather than arguing the pros and cons of these various belief systems, I will adopt the theory that the child will choose its parents prior to conception for the simple and practical purpose that the very act of conception has a major effect on the energetic pattern of the eventual 'being', as already noted in Part 1.
Secondly, there is a belief system that the child's incarnated personality or energetic pattern will manifest itself in spite of the interference or the repression of any kind of behavior modification or socialization process. Whether this self-assertion is due to Astrological causes or to 'native' energies carried by the soul from incarnation to incarnation is again not the topic of our discussion here. Carolyn Myss, who intuitively senses other people's energy patters, has identified the base, or lowest Chakra of the Hindu system as the receptor in the human body that receives the instructions of the 'tribe'. This concept of the 'tribe', of course, includes the mother or the primary care-giver, the immediate family, the extended family, the immediate social circle and the greater community, particularly the child's teacher and peer group.
The Base Chakra corresponds to the adrenal gland, part of the human body's endocrine system that releases hormones directly into the blood stream for immediate dissemination. The adrenal gland is the body's 'motivator' especially in response to external stimuli. Behavioral training and the socialization process are external stimuli! Like the Ten Commandments in the Book of Exodus, socialization occurs in response to interminably repeated instructions of Do-s and Don't-s. Carolyn Myss sees the interaction between the 'tribe' and one's personal energetic patterning in terms of electric wires with plugs running from the child to each of its tribal 'instructors'.
We could argue that a child would be energetically connected to its mother or primary care giver quite naturally, biologically, even genetically. The child, in other words, will patterns its activities quite naturally after its closest role model. With the motivational response of the Base Chakra, the child will store these social instructions along the neural pathways of its brain. Translated into the Western concept, a child's behavioral motivation would naturally be centered upon its closest care-giver.
During the toddler years, however, the mother or the primary care-giver ceases to be the sole provider of survival. She (or he) would still remain the primary source of protection, but no longer the source of food (through nursing). Other members of the family and community begin to share the protective services. In the course of a child's biological imperative to explore the 'unknown', any member of the child's 'tribe' may conform to the role of the 'known' and be a protector, a refuge.
The mother performs a major function in encouraging or discouraging the child's ability to learn. In an idealized sense, the best way for the child to perform its explorations would be without any commentary from its mother or any other members of its family. Parents who have watched their children calmly, without anxiety, have often noticed a sense of natural caution exhibited by their child, a caution that balances the child's natural curiosity, its biological urge to explore. It is as if the child has a built-in intelligence not to harm itself!
We have a culturally introduced dilemma that tends to hide a child's natural intelligence and caution. It is socially acceptable to show anxiety about one's child. As long as people care more for what other people think of them and repress their own inner instincts, this show of anxiety becomes habitual and transfers itself onto the child. Anxiety represses or interferes with innate intelligence! The net result is that a mother and child at the edge of a stairwell, functioning with anxiety, will suppress the child's natural caution and the child will fall down the stairs, thus proving the mother's anxiety warranted! Intelligence has been shortcircuited and a logical circle of proofs have developed to rationalize and condone anxiety as a standard operating procedure for caregivers.
I was spared this dilemma by my own child. When he was almost one year old, he was crawling around on the soft carpet of our living room while I was reading a novel one day. Every now and then I would look up to make eye contact with him to reassure him that he was safe. At one point, when I next looked up, he had disappeared without a sound. I found him at the bottom of a 17 step stairwell, looking up at me, gurgling happily. My pulse rate, which is between 60 and 66 beats per minute when I read, doubled as I ran downstairs. But I held my tongue and crept after him as he climbed back up the stairs. Finally, I had a chance to watch how carefully he crawled down again, step by step, reaching some sense of balance and stability on each step before continuing onto the step below. For the next few days I had many chances to accompany my child up and down this carpeted stairwell from our living room to our den. When my wife first saw him 'solo' once again, she had to stifle a scream of anxiety before I could assure her that this child, less than a year old, 'knew what he was doing'.
Our child did not receive any instructions about climbing stairs. There were no Do-s and no Don't-s. The stairwell was simply 'there' to be explored as part of his physical, concrete environment. He saw us, his parents, his 'tribe', go up and down those stairs, therefore we could expect nothing less than to have him imitate what we had already role modelled by our constant going up and down those stairs.
The culturally accepted, anxiety-ridden response, of course, is to prevent a child from going up and down any stairways at all in order prevent injury. We have fine gates we can buy at Kiddie stores as well as at all Department strores under the label that 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.' What we are buying, in fact, is a barrier between ourselves and our child, a cultural intervention that will prevent the child's intelligence from its natural development.
There are thousands of 'instructions' we as parents, care-givers, baby-sitters, aunts and uncles give to young children daily. "Do this," and "Don't do that," or "Do this this way...." My older son would not pedal his tricycle at an age when others were ripping up the sidewalk with theirs. So I sat down on his tiny tricycle and attempted to 'role model' the pedaling. Fortunately, the child was too young to see the ridiculousness of what I was trying to do and didn't laugh at me. My wife did. When the time came, our older son began pedaling on his own.
It was very similar with out second son and his bicycle riding. We had bought him a bicycle with training wheels and he was content to ride it in spite of the fact that his older brother and most everyone else was riding their bikes without training wheels. When I took off the training wheels of his bicycle, he stopped riding it. I had to put the training wheels back. Then, one day, my younger son asked me to take the training wheels off. I complied. When he mounted his bicycle I asked him if he wanted me to walk or run along to make sure he remains upright. He gave me a dirty look and took off riding as if he had done it all his life. I just threw my hands up in the air, then immediately pulled them down again and began to clap and cheer. The child was on the right track!