Children have always shared a common struggle throughout human history. Born into a universe they had no say in crafting, the child immediately enters a set of inherited circumstances that will significantly impact their development as an individual. Where they are born and who they are born from will shape their understanding and perceptions of the universe well before they possess the knowledge and capacity to evaluate the world for themselves. Physically weak and intellectually limited by the slow progress of human maturity, the child is always a perpetual target for abuse and misguidance. Enlightenment thinker John Locke popularized the idea that each child is a tabula rasa, a blank slate with no ability or understanding of how to process information beyond what they receive. We understand now that aspects of understanding are biologically coded into the individual, but this statement remains accurate when it comes to contextualizing the informational universe. Regardless of age, the individual practices soulcraft and small rituals to develop their capacity to direct the flow of their time experience in alignment with the single truth. Therefore, we embrace a reality where the child is understood as an individual, inheriting all rights and divinity that come with our awareness of being and choice within the immediate present. It is our responsibility to develop the child in a direction that maximizes their opportunity for actualization within the moment, both through our individual practice and our shaping of systems surrounding them.
It is scientifically understood that infants are conscious.56 It is easy to conceptualize that their experience of being is different from that of an adult human. Consider parental communication with the child. We place our language, gestures, and interactions with the child within specific frameworks that we believe are within their range of understanding. We forget that knowing nothing means everything is new. We underestimate their capacity to learn because we are far removed from our own infancy. It is a mistake to believe that the child exists in a state of limited consciousness; the reality is quite the opposite. The newborn inhabits a space of hyper-consciousness, where all they see and perceive can be observed in its truest form within the confines of the single truth. Unbound by the limitations of inheritance of event chains of moments past, the infant is unmolded divinity. As parents focusing on the development of individual actualizers, we must never forget this. We assume infinite potential from our youth, understanding that they will become what their focus and energy are directed toward. It is therefore the individual parent's choice to remain aware of this and intentionally direct the child’s time experience to the best of their ability.
Birth lottery ensures that the direction of guidance the child recieves varies because each parent draws from a long history of event chains shaping their vision of the good. The struggle that humanity has always faced is that many of us draw from histories of trauma. Many parents' approaches to development do not resonate with their child’s personal values and vision of the world within the immediate present. Maturity in adulthood allows us to recognize flaws as deeply human while also understanding the outsized role our philosophies of meaning and value play in the development of these traumas. Our reimagination of the spiritual journey toward individual actualization, guided by the single truth and relational universe, provides a simple, common framework we can apply to guide youth into actualization. But it is not without cost. We have all inherited so much history influencing what we do and do not find acceptable as parents that separating the signal from the noise is difficult. There is also inherent social pressure associated with parenting. No one wants to be a bad parent; therefore, it has become taboo to discuss best practices and be critical of methods we know to be less than ideal. This is a social norm that reinforces the idea of children as property. We cannot circumvent these widespread insecurities by presenting a rigid framework for childhood development and success. Unlike the salvation religions, our approach to youth spiritual development is not guided by guilt and the false notions of sin and judgment in a paradise beyond. Instead, we embrace the same basic philosophy applicable to child and adult alike. The maximization of divinity is drawn from awareness in the immediate present.
Beyond the primary objective of survival and health, we strive to accelerate the development of communication between parent and child. This begins with embracing the child as both highly capable and willing to communicate. We inhabit our individual infinity at all stages of being. In many ways, the child possesses a purer mastery of it than any adult could. They are unbound to the static frameworks of our inheritance, if only for a short time. For too long we have underestimated the capacity of the child, projecting limitations we believe they have onto them. At the same time, we are careful to restrain our belief so that it does not evolve into expectations. Every child is different, and our focus on developing communication is in no way restricted to any specific span of moments or techniques. When we recognize the inherent divinity of choice the child possesses, we allow them to develop at their pace by creating an environment that actively exercises their imagination and creativity. This depth of belief in the individual child reinforces a broader theme of expansive love within the self-actualizing society. Extending our embrace of relation and equity to the child recognizes them as expansive yet undeveloped individuals. It translates to empowering collective society to reimagine a wide variety of systems through the lens of the single truth and the relational universe. When every individual is sacred, their inhabiting system of diminishment is immoral and unjust. Developing communication early in an individual’s life provides them access to and agency within the world. It also compounds quickly, allowing the individual to rapidly ingest and process new information networks.
One of the most effective ways to accelerate communication is teaching the infant sign language, ideally from day one. Plenty of low-cost and free resources exist, and the process is fairly straightforward: identify what attracts their attention and attach the appropriate hand signal and word to it. Repeat. Gradually expand this process as you notice the child developing a higher degree of awareness of their surroundings. This exercise is not a contest; we are developing a proactive practice of empowering the child to communicate before developing their ability to vocalize. Do not project personal frustrations of lack of progress onto the child; it will take some time before the child makes associations. Trust in the fact that they desire to communicate with you and know that your efforts will compound until a eureka moment occurs within. Beyond the initial communication, proactive sign language practice will rapidly develop the child’s cognitive capacity for language. The more we nurture the expression of intent, the more rapidly it advances. This same logic applies to spending time and energy focusing on the phonetic and common pronunciation of letters, numbers, and reading each day. The parent’s objective is to solidify the relationship between sound, symbol, and context early and often. The child who can express themselves will inhabit a much happier and healthier space in the universe, laying a foundation of inquiry and exploration they might otherwise lack for months, if not years. The sooner the parent and child communicate, the earlier that individual’s journey toward actualization begins.
What about punishment? Is striking a child ever an appropriate form of discipline? According to our scientific understanding, no. We understand physical discipline to be both harmful to the child and ineffective at shifting behaviors.57-59 Consider also how we answer this question in regard to our core values in alignment with the single truth. The child exists in relation to the parent as a single being, more so than all others, yet they will operate from a perspective of biological immaturity for the first two decades of their lives. Parents must practice awareness, flexibility, and restraint when evaluating the behaviors and outcomes of said actions. Like us, the child inhabits a relational universe. Their biological development always impacts the scope of their perception. Striking a child is misaligned with the single truth and the relational universe and only serves to demonstrate a lack of restraint in the parent. At the same time, we recognize that some have only ever known violence. When the child experiences violence, they inhabit it; it becomes a part of them. We cannot collectively transcend violence so long as we continue to reinforce it in our youth. Self-actualizing in the age of crisis draws from a transcendent vision of our personal divinity and the sacredness of the other. When we leverage physical violence, or the threat of it, against those who love and depend on us, we shape their understanding of what is and is not acceptable behavior toward others. Frameworks of love and punishment shape our perspective into specific forms. Self-actualization in the age of crisis is the choice to create a present free from the influence of the past. To do that, we must embrace alternative forms of discipline outside of striking the child.
As the child grows, we encourage their exploration in the directions they choose. Individual inheritance of the moment defines what one can and cannot provide for their child, binding the child to a past they had no say in choosing and a present they cannot escape. Our intent in creating new systems of meaning and value ensures individual access and agency within the world for all. This includes the child. Our love for the child is a source of fervency in our journey toward systemic actualization. At some point in time, we’ll have to choose to be better—to be more than our present arrangements allow us to be. Nowhere is this vision more righteous than when applied toward the transformation of trajectory for the child. Compared to them, we are imposters. But eventually, they grow up. From this moment on, all children inherit the crisis. That is, of course, unless we choose an alternative.
Now we explore the uncomfortable. Our recognizing the child as a source of immense but latent power challenges one of the most commonly accepted philosophies of parenting. A child is not a vehicle for furthering parental dogmas. The parent who frames their child's existence as furthering their personal interests is a slave to their own ego and actively harms the child. It is a narcissistic and selfish behavior that intentionally leaves the child ill-prepared to embrace a more transcendent vision of humanity in favor of attempting to reinforce static beliefs in an ever-changing universe. This is especially accurate in the context of spiritual technologies. Every child is an independent being, wholly divine in their internal infinity. By indoctrinating the child into rigid philosophies of spirituality and thought, we actively limit their capacity to transform themselves in a universe governed by change. The exponential expansion of human knowledge and consciousness illustrates the inadequacies of our hierarchical spiritual philosophies, and attempting to force them onto a child will leave them ill-prepared to navigate the world they will grow up in. Even worse is the infusion of bigotry onto the blank canvas of childhood imagination in the name of God. Spreading hatred and ignorance of the other under the guise of sin and spirituality is completely misaligned with the single truth and the relational universe. It is a practice not at all concerned with the spread of divinity and grace, only power maintenance and domination. It is difficult to imagine a more shameful practice. That the present hierarchical spiritual philosophies are so commonly leveraged to spread hate and violence toward others further solidifies their inadequacy in the face of crisis.
As a parent, I recognize the personal desire to impart specific philosophies of meaning and value onto the child. Where the self-actualizer differs in their work toward developing youth is an openness to alternatives. The single truth is a spiritual philosophy rooted in change, one that demands its own evolution over time. It is a rejection of static visions of the world and others that have led us to the age of crisis. We share the knowledge of the single truth and the relational universe as the natural phenomenon it is, part of our scientific understanding of the universe. At the same time, we are unafraid to share and encourage the study of traditional hierarchical spiritual philosophies. The children of the immediate present are the catalyst generation, those who will choose transcendence over crisis if given the opportunity. Unlike practitioners of the salvation religions, self-actualizers understand that it does not serve the child to deny them knowledge of the universe as it is in favor of what was.
We possess the courage to put our spiritual philosophies under the stress of challenge and change, knowing that our embrace of meaning and values must evolve in parallel with our expanding consciousness. We build community around self-actualization in the age of crisis, through which we share our practices of alignment with the child. The child becomes both participant and creator within the spiritual journey, empowered to express their divinity within the moment toward the collective betterment. Just as the individual shapes themselves through soulcraft, so must the family. It is our responsibility as individuals and collective to develop, share, and proliferate best practices for the academic and spiritual education of the child while at the same time never claiming a divinity or infallibility in our knowledge. We recognize that humanity has never been in communion with any god outside of high ritual, that the present texts are artifacts of human creation that deserve no reverence outside of their immediate use. Our embrace of the child as wholly individual and part of the relational time experience obligates a best effort to develop the child, even when that conflicts with our personal opinions. All have preferences for the direction of our children’s explorations, but we must abandon them. But what of dreams? We do not deny our imagination of the possible, but we restrain ourselves from projecting it upon the individual child. The sincerest expectations we can ask of the child are to raise a storm in whatever direction they choose. All paths present the opportunity for reimagination and change. We share this with the child because the sooner they understand their divinity of self-direction within the moment, the more powerful they become.