Infinite Way Letter
By Joel Goldsmith
Part 6 of 7
THE PART WE PLAY
Teaching The Infinite Way to Children
The questions have been asked: What are we to do about teaching this truth to our children? What about Sunday Schools?
I shall answer the last question first. So far as Sunday Schools are concerned, that is an individual matter. Sunday Schools will not solve the problem of teaching, because it is doubtful that anyone can teach a child a principle of life in an hour and expect it to remain with him. Truth cannot be taught in any set period to time: it is a continuous unfoldment and development, and the more one lives in this consciousness, the more will these principles become embodied as consciousness and, ultimately, come forth as demonstration.
If you have accepted the fact that The Infinite Way is a principle of life, who is better qualified to teach your children? Who, in Sunday School, is equipped to teach the principle that you, individually, have adopted? Truth cannot be taught in an hour or two a week, and, actually, it cannot be taught at all purely in the sense of teaching. Children must be taught much as we ourselves are taught: every time a problem or a need arises, we must apply the truth of being, and this is done not so much in the sense of teaching, but of reminding.
Certainly, you are all desirous that your children and grandchildren grow up with the truth, rather than having to take the hard way forty or fifty years hence. Clearly, the job is up to us if we desire our children to grow into manhood and womanhood with a higher spiritual sense than that of the last few generations, but this cannot be accomplished through our present human teachings, doctrines, and codes. The one way to accomplish this is to start your child where he is now, whether an infant or twelve years of age—start where he is now, and build a consciousness of truth until it becomes a completely natural way of life. It is up to you to build that consciousness, or else let him grow up outside—a prodigal, being something of himself, and then praying to some kind of a divine Providence to get him out of his troubles. That there is no such divine Providence you know from your own experience: the only divine Providence is your individual realization and awareness of the Presence—that is your refuge, your Christ.
The secret of the Christ principle with which we are working is the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God. In fact, the entire message of The Infinite Way can be summed up briefly as understanding the infinite nature of God—Its omnipotence, omnipresence, ever-availability. And that is the principle you wish to give your children—a sense of God’s presence and power. There is absolutely no way in which that can be built in an hour or two; rather, from morning till night it must be built into the child’s consciousness, until it becomes the very fiber of his being.
If you can bring God to a child’s conscious remembrance several times a day, either with a sense of gratitude or with a sense of omnipresence, great and wonderful results will follow. An undertaking such as this will entail much patience and persistence. It may be difficult to resist the impulse to say: “Mother will do this for you” or “Daddy can give you that.” Instead, turn the child’s thought to God as the infinite source of good, by teaching him that God provides all his needs; that God never withholds good; and that God is with him constantly.
Each hour of the day a parent and child must meet some new experience, and the manner in which each situation is handled determines whether or not the child is learning the principle. For instance, suppose he falls and hurts himself. It will be of no benefit, other than comforting him, to say: “Come to Mother, and Mother will make it will.” What better opportunity to say: “What’s this? You are crying? Can’t you close your eyes and feel God’s presence with you?” this is where the practice must begin, to make it clear to the child that the Father within his own being is the answer to his hurts.
No child will ever learn this principle unless he is taught meditation. Perhaps you will wonder how it is possible to teach a young child meditation, but it can be done gradually by beginning each day, before the start of any activity, with the gentle reminder: “Let us stop for just a moment, and realize that God is with us today, and that He is holding our hand.” That is enough, because the child has been reminded to think of God as an active Presence and Power. A child might learn this on Sunday morning, but by Monday morning that thought is far from his mind, and again it must be brought to conscious remembrance.
End Part 6