There is perhaps no subject of greater importance than the education of children. In the first
place wise parents who are desirous of giving the child all advantages, commence BEFORE THE BIRTH,
even before conception, to prayerfully turn their thoughts toward the task they are undertaking. They are
careful to see that the union which is to bring about the germination takes place under the proper stellar
influences, when the moon is passing through a sign which is appropriate to the building of a strong
and healthy body, having, of course, their own bodies in the best possible physical, moral, and
mental condition. Then during the period of gestation they hold before their mind's eye
constantly the ideal of a strong, useful life for the incoming entity.
As soon as possible after birth has taken place they cast the horoscope of the child, FOR THE
WISE PARENT IS ALSO AN ASTROLOGER. If the parents have not the ability to cat the
horoscope themselves they can at least study the stellar signs, which will enable them to
intelligently understand what the astrologer tells them; but under no circumstances will they
consult a professional astrologer to help them, one who prostitutes the science for gold, but they will
seek the aid of a spiritual astrologer, though they may have to seek for some time. In the child's
natal chart the strength and weakness of its character can be readily seen. The parents will
then be in the best position to foster the good and take appropriate means to repress the evil
before the tendencies work themselves out into actualities; and thus they may in a large measure
help the incoming entity to overcome its faults.
Next, the parent must realize that that which we term birth is only the birth of the visible physical
body, which is born and comes to its present high stage of efficiency in a shorter time than the
invisible vehicles of man, because it has had the longest evolution. As the fetus is shielded
from the impacts of the visible world by being encased in the protecting womb of the mother
during the period of gestation, so are the subtler vehicles encased in envelopes of ether and
desire stuff which protect them until they have sufficiently matured and are able to
withstand the conditions of the outer world.
During the earlier years the forces operating along the negative pole of the reflecting ether
are extremely active. The purest of our children are clairvoyant to this day while they remain
in a state of sinless innocence. So also the Lemurians, who were yet innocent and pure,
possessed an internal perception which gave them only a dim idea of the outward shape of
any object, but illumined so much the brighter their inner nature, their soul-quality, by a spiritual
apperception born of innocent purity. Likewise, in their early years children can "see" the
higher worlds, and they often prattle about what they see until the ridicule of their elders or
punishment for "telling stories" teaches them to desist.
It is deplorable that the little ones are forced to lie--or at least dent the truth--because
of the incredulity of their "wise" elders. Even the investigations of the Society for Psychical
Research have proved that children often have invisible playmates, who frequently visit them
until they are several years old. During those years the clairvoyance of the children is of the
same negative character as that of the medium.
It is the same with the forces working in the desire body. The passive capacity for feeling
physical pain is present, while the feeling of emotion is almost entirely absent. The
child will, of course, show emotion on the slightest provocation, but the duration of that emotion is
but momentary. It is all on the surface. Thus it is shown that all the negative qualities are active
in the newborn entity, but before it is able to use its different vehicles, the positive qualities must be ripened.
The child has the link of mind, but is almost incapable of individual thought activity. It is
exceedingly sensitive to forces working along the negative pole of the mind,
as is therefore imitative and teachable.
It must not be imagined that when the little body of a child has been born the process of
birth is completed. The spirit having built many physical bodies produces them quickly, but the
vital body is a later acquisition of the human being. For this reason we are not so expert in
building that vehicle. Consequently it takes longer to construct the vital body from the materials
not used up in making the lining of the archetype, and it is not born until the seventh year, or
the time when the child cuts its second teeth. The desire body is a still later addition of the
composite man, and is not brought to birth until the fourteenth year, or the time of puberty;
while the mind, which makes man man, does not come to birth until the twenty-first year.
In law that age is recognized as the earliest time at which the individual is fitted to exercise the franchise.
Respecting the influence which the birth of the various vehicles has upon life, we may say:
Though the organs have been formed by the time the child comes to birth, during the time form
birth to the seventh year, or change of teeth, the lines of growth of the physical body are
determined. The sense organs take certain definite forms which give them their basic
structural tendencies and determine their line of development in one direction or another.
Later they grow, but all growth follows the lines laid down in those first seven years, and the
mistakes or neglect of opportunities during this period can never be retrieved in after life. If
the limbs and organs have taken the proper forms, the whole after-growth will be harmonious;
but if malformation has taken place, then the little body will be more or less misshapen.
It is the duty of the educator to give the proper environment to the little child in this period, as
nature does before birth, for only that can give the sensitive
organism the right direction and tendency of growth.
As sound is a builder, both of the great and small, we may well imagine that rhythm must have
an enormous influence upon the growing child's organism. The apostle John in the first 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
means of terrestrial music. The nursery rhymes are without sense, but 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 that is incorporated into a child's daily life,
the stronger and healthier will be its body in future 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 upon the example set by its parents
during its early life. Everything in the child's environment leaves its impress for good or evil,
and we should realize that our slightest action may do incalculable harm or good in the life of
our children, and that WE OUGHT NEVER TO DO ANYTHING IN THE PRESENCE
OF THE CHILD WHICH WE WOULD NOT BE PERFECTLY WILLING TO HAVE IT IMITATE.
It is no use to teach it to mind or to moralize at this period: It has no mind, it has no reason.
EXAMPLE is the only teacher the child needs or heeds. It cannot help imitating any more
than water can help running down hill, for that is its only method of growth in this epoch.
Teaching morals and reasoning comes later; to apply them now is like taking a child out
of the womb prematurely. 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 the 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 ITS OWN VOLITION,
but we should not goad it on as parents often do to gratify their own pride. All that the child is
to acquire of thoughts, ideas, and imagination MUST COME OF ITSELF in the same way that
the eyes and ears develop before the birth of the dense body.
The child should be given playthings on which it may exercise its imitative faculty--something
with life, or a doll jointed so that it can be put in different positions, and let the child dress it herself;
in that way she exercise her formative force in the right manner. Give the boy tools and patterns,
molds and clay. NEVER GIVE CHILDREN ANYTHING FINISHED so that they have nothing to do
but look at it. That leaves the brain no chance for development, and it must ever be the care
and aim of the educator at this time to furnish the means of developing the physical organs harmoniously.
In regard to food, great care must be taken in this period, for a healthy or diseased appetite in
after life will depend upon how it is fostered in the first septenary epoch. Here also example is the
great teacher. Highly seasoned dishes spoil the organism; the plainer the food and the more it is
conducive to thorough mastication, the more it promotes a healthy appetite that will guide the
man through life and give him the health of body and ease of mind that is unknown to the
gourmand. Let us not have one dish for ourselves, however, and another for our child. In that
way we may keep it from eating certain foods at home, but we generate a hankering that will
seek satisfaction when the child gets old enough to have a will of its own. The imitative faculty
will then assert itself. Therefore it behooves every parent to remember from morning till night
that watchful eyes are upon him all the time waiting for him to act in order to follow his example.
In regard to clothing, let us always be sure that a child's apparel is of full size, and is replaced
before it becomes so small that it irritates. Many an immoral nature that has spoiled a life
was first awakened by the chafing of a too small garment, particularly in the case of boys.
Immorality is one of the worst and most tenacious plague spots in our civilization. To save
our child let us attend to this point, and seek in every way to keep it unconscious of its sex
organs before the seventh year. Corporal punishment is also an exceedingly fruitful factor
in forcing the sex nature (which is already, perhaps, beyond the control of the growing
boy), and cannot be sufficiently deprecated.
In regard to the education of the temperament, it will be found that colors are of the greatest
significance, although the matter involves not only a knowledge of the effect of colors but
particularly of the complementary colors, also, for it is the
latter that do the work in the organism of the child.
By the seventh year the vital body of the child has reached a perfection sufficient to allow
it to receive impacts from the outside world. It sheds its protective covering of ether, and
commences its free life. And now the time begins in which the educator may work on the
vital body and help it in the formation of MEMORY, CONSCIENCE, GOOD HABITS, AND
A HARMONIOUS TEMPERAMENT. AUTHORITY and DISCIPLESHIP are the watchwords
of this epoch, when the child is to learn the MEANINGS of things. We should not, if we have a
precocious child, seek to goad it into a course of study which requires an enormous
expenditure of thought. Child prodigies have usually as previously stated, become men
and women of less than ordinary mentality. The child should be allowed to follow his own
inclination in that respect. His faculty of observation should be cultivated: he should be
taught especially by living examples. Let him see the drunkard and what vice has led HIM to;
then show him the good man, and set before him high ideals. At this time he should be
prepared to husband the force which is now being awakened in him, and which will enable
him to generate his kind at the end of the second period of seven years. He should not be
allowed to gather knowledge from polluted sources because the parents shirk the
responsibility of telling him from a mistaken sense of modesty. It is the bounden duty of the
educator to properly enlighten the child. Not to do this is like putting him blindfolded among
innumerable pitfalls with the admonition not to stumble. Tear the bandage away at least;
he will be handicapped sufficiently without that.