Infinite Way Letter
By Joel Goldsmith
Part 4 of 6
Teaching Truth to Young Children
Truth must be embodied in living, and the only way a child can be taught Truth is in that same embodiment of living. It is for this reason that children must be taught by their parents. The child reflects the atmosphere of its home and its parents, and he naturally absorbs whatever is in the consciousness of his parents. If the mother, especially, has a consciousness of the truth of the Allness of God, whether or not she specifically sets about to teach the child, in the natural course of events the conversation and the general atmosphere will do the teaching.
Many of the methods used to discipline children defeat the purpose of spiritual teaching. Spiritual teaching is not teaching at all: it is a mode of life; a code of conduct; a matter of consciousness. If the parent has a consciousness of God as the only Power, he cannot impart to the child a fear of any person, place or thing. If a parent really believes that God is the only Law, and places the power of Life in God rather than in good or exercise or human discipline, in what is good or is not good, this realization and awareness of God’s Allness and God’s Government of Its Creation will be embodied in the child.
For instance, if a parent has the 23rd Psalm in his heart, and really believes that “The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters,” he will actually impart his own inner confidence and conviction to the child and, therefore, would never convey fear of any kind. The child would know that no matter where he went or what he did, whether at school or anywhere else, he would not want for love, understanding, inspiration or any good. Never would he know a fear of playing in the street, a fear of going to school, a fear of contagion or kidnapping.
An hour of Sunday School each week is helpful, practical and useful, but it is not going to change the life of a child. If the Sunday School teacher really knows the truth, he can be a great blessing in that one hour if the parents consistently follow up the teaching at home. Often a child appears to drift away from Sunday School after a few years, and that is either because he has been incorrectly taught or because the rest of the time at home with the parents has offset the teaching. It is impossible and inconsistent to teach a child that all good comes from God, and then turn around and say, “No, you cannot have this or that because you have not been good.” It is illogical to teach a child that God is the only Life and the only Power, and then say, “You must eat spinach because it is good for you.”
Whether the child is two months of age or two years, the consciousness of the parents is reflected in the life-experience of the child. So the responsibility, whether in treatment or in raising the child, is the same. The consciousness of the individual determines what is taking place in his life. Watch the miracles that take place in small children in the wisdom that God is the very center of their being. Watch the changes that occur in behavior and conduct the moment the restrictions of “Thou shalt not” are removed. I have seen it happen that as soon as small children were taught to meditate and realize that the kingdom of God is within their own beings, they quickly began to feel the impulse of God within. Then they learned to turn to the Father within, and consistently they were led, guided and directed. The moment a child realizes that the Father is within his own being there is no longer the capacity for disobedience, poor conduct or disrespect.
Once the child becomes aware that he can commune with God, and that he can become silent and let God impart to him, the innocent child-mind quickly touches the Presence of God within his own being. With the removal of the human whip of “Thou shalt not,” you will find him God-directed and God-governed.
We, as adults, are just a wee bit slower than the children, but we get there, too.
End Part 4