Four Primary Principles of Conscious Childrearing, Chapter Three: The Principle of Attraction



Four Primary Principles of Conscious Childrearing

Chapter Three

The Principle of Attraction

By Means Of The Way I Will Describe To you, I Will
Attract All To The Divine Happiness and, At Last, I Will Carry All To
The Divine Domain.
(The Testamental Hymn of the Master.)

Session One

Inappropriate Behavior Is Simply the Sign of
the Failure of Intimacy

This session addresses a critical point that must
be understood by all parents, teachers, and guides. It is that signs
of frustration, reactivity, and inappropriate behavior in children or
young people are indications of a failure of human intimacy—the
failure of the principal adult individuals in a young person’s life
to engage him or her in an effectively loving relationship. Intimacy,
or the real enjoyment of relationship, is the ground of the principle
of attraction. Every being is naturally attracted to
relations—to other beings and things. The first and strongest
attraction the child enjoys is, of course, to his or her human
mother. It is a relationship of pleasure, consolation, and
sustenance, which is necessary for growth. As he grows, the child
also naturally feels the desire, the necessity, to move beyond this
attachment. This occurs naturally through the relationship to the
father, other individuals, Nature, and the Divine Mystery. In every
child there is also the natural urge to ecstasy, an attraction at the
heart that leads the being not merely beyond attachments, but beyond
itself. Love and worship of the Divine is as natural a human need as
intimacy with others and Nature. Therefore, we need not attempt to
willfully or stressfully turn our children to the Mystery or to the
Spiritual Master and His Transcendental Presence. We must simply and
naturally, through our whole-bodily enjoyment of our own relationship
with the Divine Presence, become a window to It and thus an
attractive spiritual influence in our children’s lives. However, the
reaction that is vital shock constantly leads attention away from
what is attractive. The consolations and distractions of
conventional, self-possessed living are what children resort to
unless the Way of submission to the Divine as Spiritual Master and
Transcendental Presence is felt by them as a more attractive
offering. Children will constantly seek pleasure and union through
self-exploitation unless they are drawn, through intimacy, into
devotion to Happiness Itself. They must see the demonstration of and
be distracted and guided into the practice of ecstatic release of the
self-contraction, rather than the temporary distractions from
suffering, which are their usual life. Adi Da offers us this
wisdom:

The secret with children, as with all human
beings, is that everybody stays Happy, ecstatic, full of pleasure. If
you can find the pleasure or the free attention in a child, then you
can redirect him. But if you confront the aberration that is present
in the moment, they will not come out of it because they have a
ritual to perform. It is the same with everybody. Therefore, the
secret of living is to remain in a state of pleasure. That is your
responsibility. The secret of living with others is to locate the
free attention and essential pleasure in them and in yourself and
redirect them to their sanity by that means.
(Ice Cream &
Shoe, p. 5.)

To draw attention exclusively to the aberrated or
problematic behavior of a child always draws his attention to himself
or to the self-contraction. Every child, like every adult, lives a
mechanical ritual of self-contraction, and it is only intensified
when he is merely confronted with his difficulty. Thus, rather than
confronting and attempting to solve the “problem” of his behavior, we
attract him via intimacy to right action. The natural enjoyment of
the feeling of the Mystery and the love-relationship with the
Spiritual Master are inherent in every child. We need only provide
him with the constant option of Divine Distraction. This will occur
if we awaken to our native Happiness and pleasure and extend this
opportunity, this bodily Way of Happiness, to our
children.

Adi Da: They [children] will have
some difficulties, but the difficulties should not be taken
seriously. Adults should simply provide them a way out of their
difficulties, and this way is the positive spiritual and human
process altogether. That is the secret. In every case, draw them into
the spiritual process. Do not let them become involved in all kinds
of deep, heavy, obsessive considerations of their emotional and other
problems. All such problems arise only because children or young
people have been diverted from the process of life, as it presents
itself in terms of the first three stages. If they are led back into
that process, any problem will naturally fall away, and a state of
balance will be achieved. Thus, rather than keying in on problems,
one should notice and discuss them and draw the individual’s
attention into the right process of living.
(LOOK, p. 47)

Session Two

Applying the Principle of
Attraction

In the last session we considered the principles
of the art of attracting children and young people from their problem
presumption and to present Happiness, intimacy, and relationship.
Here, we will study further Teaching from Adi Da on this principle of
attraction and review practical guidelines for its application in the
home, classroom, or spiritual guide situation.

Adi Da: Basically, there is one thing that
children are reacting to, and that is the absence of intimacy.
Reactive emotions and inappropriate behavior in general are secondary
symptoms of a primary frustration. What is being frustrated is
intimacy, or Life-positive, associative energy. Thus, you cannot deal
with these secondary, reactive emotions directly, as if they were the
point. What the child is actually suffering is the point, and that is
what must be addressed in him or her. A circumstance must be provided
in which the primary emotion of love can be expressed or chosen in
any moment.
(LOOK, pp. 66-7.)

* * *

Adi Da: In their relations, everyone must
draw one another out of the contraction of self into the field of
love, of energy. Therefore, a basic technique with children is to
draw them out of their contraction, out of their fear, out of their
dramatization, and into human connection. When you do this, then
children are not punished, nor are they full of abstract concepts.
When they are drawn into a love relationship, then they are also
connected to what is Life, what is Divine.
(“The Great
Lifetime Illumination”)

* * *

Adi Da: The fundamental orientation of
children must be the intuition of God, the feeling of Happiness.
Otherwise, they suffer the strategic attempt to perfect their
experience. The great Force of Happiness, or God, that undermines all
unHappiness must penetrate their being.
(“The Key to Higher
Adaptation”).

* * *

Adi Da: Reattract the child’s emotional
quality when you notice that he or she is becoming depressed or
reactive. You must reattract the emotional force of that living
personality. That is an art of dealing with infants and children of
all ages.
(“The Spiritual Art of Attraction,” unpublished;
10/19/80)

Session Three

Attention and Attraction

In this session we will consider the mechanism of
attention in the dynamics of the relationship of parents, teachers,
and guides with children. We will consider the “targeting” habit and
the skillful means of effective, reaction-free teaching and will
deepen our understanding of the art of attracting children and young
people to the process of whole-body feeling.

The Art of Spiritual Life

from a talk by Adi Da, 8/13/83 (Crazy Wisdom, Vol. 3, No. 1)

That is the art of spiritual life, granting
attention and following it with total psycho-physical submission to
the Spiritual Reality. People are not tending to do that, of course,
and so attention is constantly getting locked into problems,
conceptions that are problematic, states that are uncomfortable and
problematic. The art of spiritual life, once you have heard and seen,
is this capacity to be re-devoted in any moment to the Living
Spiritual Reality. To do that you must be equipped with hearing and
seeing, you must be able to observe and understand yourself, and
primarily what there is to observe is how attention is
functioning

Attention is moving toward forms and conditions,
and because the individual is tending to be in the self-contracted
state, attention is moving toward forms of contraction. These forms
of contraction are all the things that bother you. The ego is
bothered, contraction is a bother, and attention is tending to move
toward the weakest point, the bother, the difficulty in the moment.
However, there is usually nothing in the environment or as immediate
as a physical pain to be bothered about. The mind produces
problematic conceptions. Attention is always getting locked into
these problem states, and thus you are experiencing contraction, a
problem, a limit. You do not experience the Spiritual Reality, you
are not whole, in fact you are not even aware of the Spiritual
Reality. Thus, the art of spiritual life is to notice this
mechanical, contracted state and be wholly reoriented to the
Spiritual Reality through Remembrance. In other words, in the midst
of a mechanical state that is tending to take on this contracted
form, you must be able to merely notice it, and rather than working
to untie the knot, be reoriented through devotion, as well as by
being artfully responsible for the mechanics of your
activity.

Last night I was talking about the mind, how the
mind itself is contraction. Unless the mind is informed in the moment
by spiritual consideration, it is a form of contraction, and
attention is locked into that contraction. People are constantly
engaged in thinking, thinking. Thinking is really a conversation you
are having with yourself. Speech is the same thing engaged with
others. That process is a meditation on contraction. The mind is a
problem, it takes the form of a problem. You hope that thinking will
produce release from this contraction, this problem. You are trying
to get free of a knot, an oppressive sense of existence. You are
trying to think your way out of it, trying to solve a problem, get an
answer. And, of course, occasionally the mind does let loose with
some relieving concept or other, but it always returns to these
contracted states, because the mind is about this self-perpetuating
disease. This disease is as much a lock on attention as a cramp in
the body. If you have pain in the body, attention dwells on it very
directly, or at least subliminally. Thinking is pain of this kind. It
is a compression of the Living Conscious Force, a suppression of it,
a knot in it, a contraction of its field. Therefore, this perpetual
thinking is pain.

In these moments of chronic thought, rather than
put your attention in that thought process and try to think your way
out of the pain, you should understand yourself, be able to find
yourself out and divert your attention, submit yourself with full
attention to the Living Reality. Submit yourself whole bodily,
release yourself from the oppression of chronic thinking, chronic
conversation with yourself, Narcissism. The art of spiritual life is
a matter of relocating attention, noticing that attention is simply
dwelling in a contracted state and giving it over to the
Transcendental and All-Pervading Force and Being with every aspect of
the body-mind. This is the direct way of practicing. Your common
technique, however, tends to be developed on the basis of contraction
itself, or egoity itself. You think and feel that you have a problem,
even though you might not be able to explain just exactly what that
problem is, and you generally try to keep on thinking. You think and
think and think and fret and fret and read and read and talk and talk
and are in pain the whole time.

I was considering this cramp in the solar plexus
with you the other evening. We were having a conversation about the
yoga of the frontal line. Perhaps the most common experience people
have of contraction in this frontal line is a cramp over the solar
plexus, the “knot in the stomach” that people refer to. If you become
aware that you are suffering this knot and this anxiety over the
solar plexus, your first resort, by tendency at any rate, will be to
try to relax it. You will take deep breaths and so forth. That may
work if the contraction is rather superficial and your attention is
relatively free, but you may also discover that you cannot do it,
that you cannot relax it. In that case, you will begin to think some
more and work on your trouble, whereas the most direct way of dealing
with it is to divert attention from this knot, rather than keep
attention in the knot and try to undo it. I suggest to you, as a
practical matter, that instead of keeping your attention in this knot
over the solar plexus and trying to relax it, you should simply
remember that attention goes wherever the knot is. Attention
gravitates toward the contracted states and becomes fretful, suffers
the pain of these contractions, gets stuck in these contractions and
then tries to work its way out of them, you see. Well, this knot over
the solar plexus is occurring a little more than halfway down the
frontal line of the body. The Current of life is not descending below
that point. The knot over the solar plexus is a little bit like
nausea, the urge to vomit, weeping, and anger. This contraction is a
revulsion, a reversal of the Current in the frontal line of the body,
and in effect it prevents this line of force from going to its lower
terminal in the bodily base.

One way of naturally relieving this contraction,
in addition to the basic resort that is your devotional practice, is
to place your attention lower down in the body, below the point where
you feel that cramp. If you place your attention above the point of
disturbance, the revulsion will continue. The most intelligent
approach, therefore, is to place your attention below that point,
where there already is no contraction, you see. Place your attention
below the navel in the vital battery region, in the genital region,
or at the perineum. Do nothing other than that. Simply place your
attention there, and then practice the meditative disposition, the
devotional disposition, the breathing and relaxing that are your
daily practice You will very likely notice that in those moments when
you otherwise would not be able to release such a contraction, it
will naturally relax, and you will enjoy the capacity to breathe and
feel and submit the total body-mind to this Fullness. Indeed, this is
how conductivity must be practiced, by submitting yourself to the
native disposition of the body rather than fastening your attention
to some point in the circuit of the body-mind. The way, then, to
submit whole bodily when the body-mind is in a contracted state is to
place your attention lower down in the line of the frontal Current,
place it in the lower abdomen, in the genital region, in the
perineum. In these regions there is in general a residual sense of
pleasure, because there is a portion of this Current always
descending—it does leak through this knot, you see. Thus, if you
place attention in this pleasurable expression of the Current, the
knot, which is being reinforced by holding attention in this anxious
place, will tend to relax. Then resort to the devotional disposition,
and the practice of conductivity will be found to be
fruitful.

The same wisdom applies to thinking. Instead of
talking to yourself through thought or talking to others about this
contraction through speech-thought and trying thus to get out of your
problems, simply submit attention to the Living Reality, submit
attention with the total body-mind, or whole bodily. Instead of
trying to do something with thought, simply submit to the Living
Current. Submit yourself to the Feeling of Being. Instead of making
this knot in the head which becomes thinking, let the head relax into
the Living Current. In that case, thoughts will change, thought
becomes an expression of Spiritual Consciousness. Apart from this
submission, thought is only an expression of the self-contraction
that precedes your thinking activity. If you are going to think at
all, you should think in an already awakened state of natural
submission, so that even your ordinary communications become a
feeling expression, a spiritual sign. There is very little thinking
that has even practical value if you are not in such a submitted
condition. This is why most of the communications that human beings
make to themselves through thought, and to others through speech, are
diseased, troublesome, angular, and disturbing. Most of the
communications that people make verbally, emotionally, and physically
disturb other people and are evidence that they themselves are
disturbed. Therefore, you must first of all and in every moment be
submitted, and grant attention to the Spiritual Reality rather than
to these knots and disturbances.

Summary Points

1. The art of spiritual life is to grant
attention, and follow it with total psycho-physical submission, to
the Spiritual Reality.

2. Once you have heard and seen, the art of
spiritual life is the capacity to be re-devoted in any moment to the
Living Spiritual Reality.

3. To do that, you must be equipped with hearing
and seeing. You must be able to observe and understand
yourself.

4. Because the individual is tending to be in the
self-contracted state, attention is moving toward forms of
contraction.

5. Attention is tending to move toward the weakest
point, the difficulty in the moment.

6. Attention is always getting locked into problem
states.

7. You must be able to merely notice that
attention is tending to take on this contracted form and, rather than
working to untie the knot, be reoriented through devotion.

8. The art of spiritual life is a matter of
relocating attention—noticing that attention is simply dwelling
in a contracted state and giving it over to the Transcendental and
All-Pervading Force and Being with every aspect of the
body-mind.

9. Your common technique tends to he developed on
the basis of contraction, or egoity itself.

10. Attention goes wherever the knot
is.

11. Most of the communications that human beings
make to themselves through thought, and to others through speech, are
diseased, troublesome, angular, and disturbing.

Further Reading:

Adi Da : You tend to exist as a social
personality, and occasionally as this aggravated ego, and do not
truly enter into the domain of Feeling or of Love. Love one another
and there is nothing cool about it. What I mean by this love for one
another is to become wounded by love, to submit yourself to that, to
live in that world and make your relationships about that. Be
vulnerable enough to love and be loved. If you do this, you will be
wounded by this Love. You will be wounded, but you will not be
diseased. Human beings in general do not want anything to do with it.
They do not want to come close enough to it to be wounded in their
intimacies with one another. You must be wounded in order to Realize
God. You must be wounded to hear and see. It is felt even physically
as a kind of wound. It is felt as intense, armorless vulnerability.
If you can begin to awaken to this principle, then you will love one
another. Your friendships and your community life will become
possible. You will make a different kind of community, a true
spiritual community, which is a process that only uniquely free
people can enter into. This wound enlivens you. It releases great
force, great energy. It releases all of the armoring of the usual
personality. It enables you to Love, to be in Love. You must make a
community of Love with one another, a spiritual community.
(“Become Wounded by Love”.)

Session Four

Reattracting Children to the Present Emotional
Force of the Being

Most of us tend to confront the unacceptable
behaviors of children with “knee-jerk” reactions of various
kinds—unconsidered responses designed to contain and control
their vitality. The art of serving children, however, requires that
we respond from an unproblematic point of view, from love. But this
is not yet our natural response. Therefore, it requires observation
and intention. This session is both inspirational and
practical—it combines ecstatic readings with a consideration of
exactly how you can change your act with children in order to
reattract them to Happiness. Thus, the dynamic combination of
observation and concentration as a principle of spiritual growth is
brought to bear in our service to young students.

Love of the God-Man

(excerpts from a talk by Adi Da, 10/10/83 (Crazy Wisdom, Vol. 3,
No. 1)

What is supremely Attractive in the manifest
universe and in the human world is the God-Man. All beings, male or
female, must become Attracted, Distracted, by that One. This is the
Ultimate Means, the Supreme Means, the Supreme Yoga. It is for this
reason, you see, that the Divine appears in manifest form in the
likeness of those who are to be drawn out of bondage—but only in
their likeness. It is the Divine that appears in that likeness, and
it is the Divine that is made visible through that likeness. Those
who become capable of recognizing that One become capable of
responding to that Attraction. Those who become capable of being
Distracted by that One become participants in this Supreme Way, which
truly is the Way of Grace, because it requires no effort at all. It
requires nothing but Grace and the response to it. That response is
not effortful. It is easy. It is easy to respond to what is
Attractive, except for those who refuse to do it. Those who refuse
are bound to the will, are willfully binding themselves in one form
or another, may even be willfully trying to liberate themselves,
willfully trying to love, willfully trying to understand, willfully
trying to buy their way out of hell and purgatory and take heaven by
storm. Such beings are not responding to the unique advantage that
the God-Man represents.

Those who are Distracted by me are not merely
distracted by this physical form. This form is simply an Agent for
their attention. What they are Distracted by is the Divine Presence,
the Divine Condition, and they enter into Communion with That, union
with That, unity with That through the real process of spiritual
life. Worldly people want nothing to do with that process and
likewise worldly religionists, scholars, pandits, and self-possessed
guru-figures want nothing to do with it. Nevertheless, the supreme
secret of spiritual life is this Distraction by the God-Man. But even
though it has been made available in many times and places, it has
unfortunately not been accepted and truly fulfilled by many. The
stories of the gopis and Krishna are rather fanciful and idealized
pictures of what it is like when human beings crave to be Distracted
by the God-Man, when their Distraction is so great that they would
forget their problems and be Happy if only that One would
appear.

* * *

Both men and women must be Distracted by the
God-Man, Distracted by the Divine, submitting to That which is
Attractive, loving that One. By virtue of that submission they can
love one another and others and this world rightly, in themselves but
in the Divine. If they cannot or will not be Distracted even though
offered such Company, then they cannot get out of purgatory. At
least, they will willfully, or at the self level, engage the practice
of the outwardly associated with the Way. At worst, they will simply
dissociate themselves, convince themselves that there is no great
Distraction, no God, Truth, and commit themselves to self-indulgence
and to the conventional destiny.

* * *

You cannot idealize this great Love-feeling and
say that, from now on, that is how you are going to live. You will
discover, as you have discovered on countless occasions previously,
that you do not do that. You cannot merely make it an ideal, in other
words. You must first become involved in love by finding That which
is Love, which comes to you as Love, and which is supremely
Attractive. Acknowledge That One, know That One, and allow yourself
to respond to That One in love. You cannot find what you are looking
for in one another. You must find It in person, directly. Become the
devotee of That One, and you will find Love everywhere. You will find
It in a special way in your spouse. You will make your marriages out
of that Love disposition when you hear and see me. Then you will have
the means to practice truly.

Thus, it is my purpose to sacrifice myself, to
appear in this hellish domain, in order to make it into purgatory.
But it is not my purpose to live in purgatory forever, any more than
it is my purpose to have you live in purgatory forever. The purpose
of my living is heavenly or Divine. In other words, I have not come
here simply to suffer your resistance and absorb your limitations,
but to Distract you out of this condition, out of this place, into
the Divine Domain. My purpose is to awaken you to a disposition of
Divine Distraction, in which you are Ecstatic, free of your limits,
inherently sinless, karmaless, so that without effort you can move
with me out of this limitation, this place of purification and
suffering.

Therefore, there is the wounded Master in your
company, but there is also the Glorious Master in your company. That
wounded one is an instrument with which to draw you out of yourself
so that you may enter into the Glorious Domain. In order for this to
occur, you must become a devotee.

The Spiritual Art of Attraction

(excerpts from a talk by Adi Da, 10/19/80)

The free and right functioning of human existence
is determined by one’s emotional state, and how one relates
emotionally to the conditions of existence directly affects one’s
physical state and all of one’s actions in physical terms. Therefore,
all of one’s functional associations are controlled by the
fundamental force of one’s emotional association, one’s feeling
association, because the feeling association with objects and others
is primary. Feeling association is what dictates states of mind,
perceived emotion, and physical states.

You can read your emotional state from moment to
moment. You can see how you tend to be essentially in a contracted
emotional state, a dissociative emotional state, a mediocre emotional
state. You are emotionally vulnerable. We learn this vulnerability
because in infancy and childhood we are made emotionally vulnerable
through infantile learning and through our education—the
intentional education that we are given by our elders as well as by
the society into which we are injected, which does not basically
relate to emotion. Rather, it relates to mental, physical, and social
adaptations. Therefore, the emotional force of the being is never
truly trained. Instead, it is primitively inhibited by infantile
learning, with the result that in emotional terms we rarely mature
much beyond the infantile state of reactivity. We go beyond the
learning of infancy in terms of mental and physical adaptation, but
emotionally we remain reactive and relatively infantile.

The emotional force of the being is like an
infant. It has no ability to change merely because you think
differently or because you change your physical habits. This very
primitive emotional reaction was created prior to the time of
sophisticated mental and physical development. We have accumulated
years of physical and mental development, but the emotional
development, the disposition or range of our emotional existence, was
determined in infancy when we were in a totally unsophisticated state
of perception, at a time when we perceived things in an exaggerated
fashion. The primitive, infantile emotional reaction is a reaction to
the perception of how things are, not merely to what might have
actually occurred. From the infantile, unsophisticated mental and
physical point of view, very simple little intrusions—that from
the point of view of adults are part of our ordinary social
involvement with one another—can be perceived to be profoundly
threatening and suppressive. Such intrusions do effect the being
emotionally in a very profound and suppressive fashion. Those of you
who have had children or have been around infants have noticed how
infants react to laughter, for example—a lot of people in the
room laughing suddenly. We are just laughing, but you notice how
startling such laughter can be to the infant. Just so, any kind of
forceful, explosive expression of laughter, sounds, or sudden
gestures tend to be perceived by infants as threatening. Therefore,
very young children and infants should not be arbitrarily introduced
into common social settings. Infants should be retained close to the
mother and nurtured, not introduced arbitrarily into social
gatherings. You should be aware of the reactive nature, the primitive
emotional state, of an infant and not create startling kinds of
phenomena for them to deal with.

The emotion of the being is the primary controller
of the very condition of mind and body, the very condition of the
chemistry of the being, the blood stream, the nervous system, the
endocrine system. All of that is controlled by emotion and,
therefore, all of those systems are controlled by a very primitive,
infantile emotional reactivity. Thus, in terms of developing the
spiritual process, you must all be drawn into a fundamental emotional
responsibility while your emotional life is still in a very primitive
condition. The other aspects of the being that are appealed to in
this process—the mind and the body in terms of disciplines and
understanding—are in a more highly developed state but are
dissociated from the fundamental emotional force of the being.
Therefore, you can change mentally and physically, but nothing
fundamental changes because it is this emotional force that must be
brought into the sphere of Practice. And that emotional force is held
in place by very primitive kinds of reactions that are not informed
by sophisticated thinking and high levels of physical development.
The psychiatric point of view attempts to locate events that occurred
early in life that have had an effect on one’s psychological
disposition throughout life. You always expect to find some terrible
thing that happened prior to your memory. Who knows what? You expect
some dreadful thing. However, you are unlikely to be able to remember
a great, calamitous event in your child’s infancy or your own. In
most cases, it was a perception rather than an actual event that
caused the reaction. In any case, it is not a matter of remembering
an incident but of relocating the emotional capacity of the being in
present time so that you can be responsibly emotional or feeling in
your association with the Divine, with the universe, with all the
relational factors of existence. Recontacting the emotional force of
the being is essential to the development of the spiritual process,
and likewise it is essential to the regimen of emotional
healing.

The principle of healing must be applied even
though the young child or infant is not able to responsibly
participate in that healing. If shocks occur, you must introduce the
nurturing, intimate quality for the infant or child. Help him to feel
beyond the shock by reattracting the emotional force of the being
when you notice it becoming depressed or reactive. In that case, you
must reattract the emotional force of that personality. That is an
art of dealing with infants and children. A basic level of intimacy
must be maintained with the mother in particular, and a calmness of
association must be maintained altogether. Introduce an infant or
child gradually into the various factors of experience. Teach them
techniques of associating rightly with experience—socially,
personally, and intellectually.

Do this rather than believe the popular myth that
infants are free beings of some sort and that if you leave them alone
they will be happy when they grow up. That is not true at
all.

An infantile personality is the beginning of a
human being. Stage by stage, infants become capable of adaptation to
the relational world. As a parent or a person associated with the
growing individual, you must serve his or her transition to these
various levels of adaptation. To be an individual in the first three
stages of life is to be a growing personality. In fact, one is a
growing personality one’s entire life, and therefore one should live
in a culture of elders, a culture of wisdom, in which everybody is
treated as a growing personality and one’s reactions are observed and
one is drawn out of them. Particularly in these first three stages of
life, however, a certain kind of sensitivity is required because
there is a kind of primitive level of awareness and, therefore,
reactivity associated with being a young and growing individual who
does not have the sophisticated social, personal capability of an
adult. Therefore, the quality of nurturing, being close to the
parent, being kept from startling intrusions, and not being
surrounded by arbitrary social intrusions is essential for an infant
and child, particularly during the first three or four years of
life.

As children grow during these years, you will see
them naturally want to move away from the breast, move away from the
mother, turn to others. As soon as you notice that movement in them,
make use of it. That is the sign of the capacity for a new
adaptation. You do not want to startle the individual, but you do
want to draw them into these new relations. You do want to socialize
the personality. Stage by stage, relieve them of dependence on the
mother, on the mother-father-household situation. Socialize them more
and more. Universalize them more and more. When a person enters into
the third stage of life, the parent-child game should be completely
surrendered. It is a moment in which the parents can acknowledge the
independence of this individual from parenting in the conventional
sense. In summary, when we notice that an individual has been
startled and made reactive by whatever factors may have intruded upon
him or her, we must learn how to reattract him physically, mentally,
and emotionally into the relational environment, the universal
pattern of existence. The fact that a child, or even an adult, has
become involved in a reactive mode is not an absolutely negative
event. Simply notice it and reattract him. Every individual is in a
moment of growth. You people are not finished. You are not yet
adults. As a matter of fact, you are frozen in levels of reactivity
that belong to the first, second, and third stages of life. You are a
complex of failed cases, and you each represent different levels of
reactivity in relation to each of the stages through which you have
already passed. The community of practitioners must know how to
introduce cultural circumstances that will draw an individual’s
fundamental energy and attention, mind and body, from the field of
reactivity and that will reintroduce the reactive personality into
the continuing pattern of growth. Growth does not end. There is a
summation of growth in the seventh stage of life, but until that time
one is involved in a process of growing as an individual, of adapting
to further stages of association with the phenomena of existence.
This process must be noticed by the elders, by the force of the
community in general. The factors of reaction, contraction, and
self-possession that have been introduced into an individual’s life
and that have inhibited the growth and adaptation at particular
stages of life must be observed. On that basis, there must be the
skillful, or artful, introduction of cultural influences that attract
the individual out of those states of reactivity.

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