Another morning surrounded by shining eyes in faces beaming upwards.
Seven to eight years old. A class full of movement and imagination . . . they do not want information, hard cold facts of dead information, they do not want the intellectual . . . they live in a world of imagination, and they want living pictures of a world-story that brings to life in them that which inspires them forwards in growth and wonder.
They live in that place of awe from which we all rise and fall, and in their formative years they must not be hurried out of that space, they must not be forced into a quantified reality which makes no allowance for Spirit.
They ask for words that they can turn into living reality by their own doings . . . so we spoke of food, shelter and companionship . . . the fundamental human needs. I told them how to build shelters out of sticks and grass, how to make fires from male and female pieces of wood. I told them of a world without water, but filled with everything that anyone could need . . . a world not cluttered with incidental ‘things’ which they do not ask about . . . their questions are all to do with what is essential to life.
And standing afterwards, surrounded by these endless excited questions, I am struck by how in every way they look up to us.
Physically they look ‘up’ to us, spiritually they look ‘up’ to us . . . in their whole relationship with the world of the adult and parent, the children look and ask ‘upwards’. And so, from this raised, bigger place . . . we adults and teachers must, for them, be there.
This last morning, I again spoke with a group of children, and am utterly taken with the absolute sincerity of their quest for the truth of things . . . their deep inner need to know that that which they are hearing is true. It is only the certainty of that which comes towards them that binds them to themselves, that gives them anchor in this world.
Their security comes from no other place, and so I am compelled to reconsider my own place between certainty and doubt as an adult . . . do I stand in a place in which they can find sanctity?
These too, were twelve year olds’. I shared with them two stories . . . one of how we humans first came to fire, to Light . . . this is the story in my book of how man, in the purging of the animal nature out of himself, comes towards fullness as a human Being . . . in finding the light of Spirit we are able to stand as human between heaven and earth.
The second story, and the one they loved the most, was of course about Lions and Magic! It is the story of an ancient race in an ancient land, a story of relationships between the visible and the invisible, of shape-shifting and the possibilities of life. To stand before their shining Souls questing for this knowledge is a verification for all of us who might think that the world of imagination in children is a world of fantasy . . . it is not! It is a world of truth . . . a truth, which we the adult have forgotten to remember, and so by default have come to deny.
This old relationship with life must and will return in new and conscious form.
The radio interview yesterday with RSG was interesting on a few levels. I had to speak in Afrikaans which is not my first language, and which although quite a challenge seemed nonetheless to evoke the right response in the audience.
Something of great significance that always arises for me when talking about the Bushmen, is this absolute resonance that so many people have with the subject . . . it is as if there is something still present as content in their souls which remembers, which remembers that they too were once First People, for there was a time on this earth when all humans were archetypal in both form and manner. This primal memory is neither frivolous nor fanciful . . . it is a very real residual memory which lives within the Soul memory of many people today. It is my understanding that we were all once ‘first people’.