An Exploration of Sacred Parenting and Education

Newtonian, Quantum and Spiritual Parenting

In parenting on January 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm

“Will you travel with me? Our destination involves both learning and liberation. It focuses on a process, not a goal to be produced; it is a matter of finding new meaning, not new mechanics. The enemies you face will break you open, so that what needs to come has a passage-way. You wounds will become an evolutionary threshold for the expression of who you are in your most natural divinely human, extraordinarily ordinary, authentic self’. No Enemies Within, Dawna Markova

The more I consciously parent, the more I realise parenting is as much about my journey as it is about my children’s journey and our souls journey together. It’s an unfolding; an educational process for both of us– in the deeper sense of that word (Latin educere – to bring forth from within). In speaking to people and from my own experiences, I feel I have come across three different mind sets of parenting, broadly speaking, which I have termed Newtonian, Quantum and Spiritual.

In the Newtonian clockwork universe, time is linear, the mass of an object is fixed and if you drop a ball it falls to the ground with predictable speed and time. A ‘Newtonian parenting’ approach would therefore focus solely on doing, targets and time. The best example of this would be, for me, tiger mothering. There was a documentary on recently on BBC2 called Meet Britain’s Chinese Tiger Mums. It showed how children had practically every hour of their lives timetabled with an activity. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/8255804/Why-we-all-need-a-Tiger-Mother.html) Such an approach may focus on questions like ‘how can I turn my child into …  you fill in the blank saint, doctor, engineer, dentist, religious scholar etc. Such a parenting mind-set focuses solely on achievement and targets.

In a quantum view of the world, time isn’t linear, things are inter-connected beyond time and space, nothing is fixed and funny irrational things happens as you approach the speed of light. Practically, everything that is impossible in the Newtonian world is now possible in the Quantum, including time travel. Quantum parenting might therefore focus on questions such as ‘how can we as a community network and come together to meet the challenges we are faced with in the modern world and best prepare our children to be themselves‘. Such a parenting mind-set will see the importance of allowing children unstructured play time and find ways of developing their creativity and imagination. It would be critical of punishment and reward systems and advocate unconditional love. It will recognise the need for a new state of consciousness to solve problems then the one that originally gave rise to it. It is one that meets the demands of the information age and recognises the unpredictable nature of the future given the exponential times we live in and will see the fallacies of systems rooted in the industrial age. It will lead through networking, collaboration and creativity. May be a example of such a parenting mind-set would be be expressed by Alfie Kohn, author of unconditional parenting.

In the spiritual view of the world, we live in a universe of meaning, symbolism and archetype. The arts are therefore crucial for the soul. What for me would distinguish quantum from spiritual is the extra coordinate or dimension of the transcendent. Not as a concept or belief but as an experiential reality within our consciousness. Such approach is rooted in presence and allows doing to arise from Being. “Most of the Western world is caught up in dong, doing, doing- we have become trained to do in order to have so that maybe in some distant time we can be. This is all backward, from the point of view of the soul. As we become quiet enough to listen to the longing of the soul, we may arrive at a deeper level of activity in our lives. We may first live from being and from that will emerge the doing’ Dawna Markova.  How does this relate to parenting? “The child has a deep longing for the parent to be there as a human being, not as a role, no matter how conscientiously that role is being played. You may be doing all the right things and the best you can for your child, but even doing the best you can is not enough. In fact doing is never enough if you neglect Being” Echart Tolle. Another way of seeing it would through a spiritual definition of humbleness; a definition of humbleness we were taught is ‘the awareness of our dependance on Spirit and the awareness of our need for and interdependence with other human beings and the world around us on all levels.’ Kabir Helminksi Living Presence. Notice the two dimensions here; interdependence with each other and dependance on the Divine/Spirit as an awareness. Such a mindset of parenting would be concerned with questions like ‘how can we help each other understand the happiness of being in Love’s Universe?’ or ‘How can we teach our children to pray while discovering deeper levels of communion with the Universal Intelligence/Divine/Spirit ourselves? or ‘How can we explore meaning, values and qualities not just intellectually but with the perceptive faculty of our hearts’? or ‘How can we create environments in which Love rules and is reflected in every relationship the child sees around him/her?’ Such a person is aware of the grand educational project set up here for our souls to evolve and unfold to its highest potential of spiritual maturity by journeying from our false selves to the Essential Self. In the Qur’anic world view the tapestry of the cosmos is composed of ayaats or signs. One of the meanings of Rabb (Lord) is also Educator; not only are we nourished and sustained but also being educated through events, circumstances and signs (outer and inner) to help us evolve as human beings and help bring forth qualities from within us. The Qur’an reminds us of the importance of knowing ourselves as a process rooted in our relationship with the Divine: “And be not like those who forgot Allah , so He made them forget themselves” Qur’an (Surah Hashr 59:19) or as the saying of the Prophet Muhammed pbuh reminds us ‘He who knows him/herself knows his/her Lord’. Such a parenting approach recognises the work to be truly human and puts parenting withing the framework of that work. The human being; “the part of nature which ash evolved to be the most most complete reflector of Spirit within the materiel world” KH Living presence. Kabir Dede once said that the criteria of dervish-hood or spiritual maturity is babysitting. i.e. can you trust this person as a good baby sitter; often people reach higher states of consciousness without having the maturity or wisdom to live it with.

I’m not suggesting all three are mutually exclusive or that one negates the other two. I would just like for us to be clear, when we use terms like spiritual parenting, we’re not using them as fancy terms but ones that are experiential and deeply rooted in our state of consciousness.

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  1. Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

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