Education Of Children

Respecting the birth of the various vehicles and the influence which that

has upon life, we may say that during the time from birth to the seventh

year the lines of growth of the physical body are determined, and as it

has been noted that sound is builder both in the great and small, we may

well imagine that rhythm must have an enormous influence upon the growing

and sensitive little child's organism. The apostle John in the first<
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chapter of his gospel expresses this idea mystically in the beautiful

words: "In the beginning was the WORD ... and without it was not anything

made that was made ... and the word became flesh;" the word is a rhythmic

sound, which issued from the Creator, reverberated through the universe

and marshaled countless millions of atoms into the multiplex variety of

shapes and forms which we see about us. The mountain, the mayflower, the

mouse and the man are all embodiments of that great Cosmic Word which is

still sounding through the universe and which is still building and ever

building though unheard by our insensitive ears. But though we do not hear

that wonderful celestial sound, we may work upon the little child's body

by terrestrial music, and though the nursery rhymes are without sense,

they are nevertheless bearers of a wonderful rhythm, and the more a child

is taught to say, sing and repeat them, to dance and to march to them, the

more music is incorporated into a child's daily life, the stronger and

healthier will be its body in future years.

There are two mottoes which apply during this period, one to the child and

the other to the parent: Example and Imitation. No creature under

heaven is more imitative than a little child, and its conduct in after

years will depend largely upon the example set by its parents during its

early life. It is no use to tell the child "not to mind," it has no mind

wherewith to discriminate, but follows its natural tendency, as water

flows down a hill, when it imitates. Therefore it behooves every parent to

remember from morning till night that watchful eyes are upon him all the

time waiting but for him to act in order to follow his example.

It is of the utmost importance that the child's clothing should be very

loose, particularly the clothing of little boys, as chafing garments often

produce vices which follow a man through life.

If anyone should attempt to forcibly extract a babe from the protecting

womb of its mother, the outrage would result in death, because the babe

has not yet arrived at a maturity sufficient to endure impacts of the

Physical World. In the three septenary periods which follow birth, the

invisible vehicles are still in the womb of mother nature. If we teach a

child of tender years to memorize, or to think, or if we arouse its

feelings and emotions, we are in fact opening the protecting womb of

nature and the results are equally as disastrous in other respects as a

forced premature birth. Child prodigies usually become men and women of

less than ordinary intelligence. We should not hinder the child from

learning or thinking of his own volition, but we should not goad them on

as parents often do to nourish their own pride.

When the vital body is born at the age of seven a period of growth begins

and a new motto, or relation rather, is established between parent and

child. This may be expressed in the two words Authority and

Discipleship. In this period the child is taught certain lessons which

it takes upon faith in the authority of its teachers, whether at home or

at school, and as memory is a faculty of the vital body it can now

memorize what is learned. It is therefore eminently teachable;

particularly because it is unbiased by pre-conceived opinions which

prevent most of us from accepting new views. At the end of this second

period: from about twelve to fourteen, the vital body has been so far

developed that puberty is reached. At the age of fourteen we have the

birth of the desire body, which marks the commencement of self-assertion.

In earlier years the child regards itself more as belonging to a family

and subordinate to the wishes of its parents than after the fourteenth

year. The reason is this: In the throat of the foetus and the young child

there is a gland called the thymus gland, which is largest before birth,

then gradually diminishes through the years of childhood and finally

disappears at ages which vary according to the characteristics of the

child. Anatomists have been puzzled as to the function of this organ and

have not yet come to any settled conclusion, but it has been suggested

that before development of the red marrow bones, the child is not able to

manufacture its own blood, and that therefore the thymus gland contains an

essence, supplied by the parents, upon which the child may draw during

infancy and childhood, till able to manufacture its own blood. That theory

is approximately true, and as the family blood flows in the child, it

looks upon itself as part of the family and not as an Ego. But the moment

it commences to manufacture its own blood, the Ego asserts itself, it is

no longer Papa's girl or Mamma's boy, it has an "I"-dentity of its own.

Then comes the critical age when parents reap what they have sown. The

mind has not yet been born, nothing holds the desire nature in check, and

much, very much, depends upon how the child has been taught in earlier

years and what example the parents have set. At this point in life

self-assertion, the feeling "I am myself", is stronger than at any other

time and therefore authority should give place to Advice; the parent

should practice the utmost tolerance, for at no time in life is a human

being as much in need of sympathy as during the seven years from fourteen

to twenty-one when the desire nature is rampant and unchecked.

It is a crime to inflict corporal punishment upon a child at any age.

Might is never right, and as the stronger, parents should always have

compassion for the weaker. But there is one feature of corporal punishment

which makes it particularly dangerous to apply it to the youth: namely,

that it wakens the passional nature which is already perhaps beyond the

control of a growing boy.

If we whip a dog, we shall soon break its spirit and transform it into a

cringing cur, and it is deplorable that some parents seem to regard it as

their mission in life to break the spirit of their children with the rule

of the rod. If there is one universal lack among the human race which is

more apparent than any other, it is lack of will, and as parents we may

remedy the evil in a large measure by guiding the wills of our children

along such lines as dictated by our own more mature reason, so that we

help them to grow a backbone instead of a wishbone with which

unfortunately most of us are afflicted. Therefore, never whip a child;

when punishment is necessary, correct by withholding favors or withdrawing


At the twenty-first year the birth of the mind transforms the youth into a

man or a woman fully equipped to commence his own life in the school of


Thus we have followed the human spirit around a life cycle from death to

birth and maturity, we have seen how immutable law governs his every step

and how he is ever encompassed by the loving care of the Great and

Glorious Beings who are the ministers of God. The method of his future

development will be explained in a later work which will deal with "The

Christian Mystic Initiation."