World view, inspiration, self-help
The word “develop” comes from the French developper (opposite of enveloper), that is, removing the envelopes or de-enveloping. It means to unfold, to burst through the covering, to let the inner essence manifest through the coverings, to let the inner essence shape the outer coverings.
Every single (normal- you could also say well-developed) parent wishes their child to be happy, fulfilled, safe and successful. Every parent wishes for their children to develop properly. But what does that actually truly mean when we think on proper development of a human being? Every parent will have here a completely different perception. Is there a guideline where all parents could orient themselves to?
What if in general our concept about proper development is not leading to the natural outcome the way it is meant to be? What if we do not encourage development but in the opposite suppressing proper development, without even realizing that?
Any person who still has a spark of true humanity, of deep intuitive perceptions, of genuine inner warmth, who still knows about his spiritual core, his true human essence will know at least in one corner of his consciousness, very clearly, that true support in a child's development must be the correct and harmonious promotion of a child's or young person's spiritual path. In the first place, parents and educators must be willing to place the education of the spiritual in the foreground of the care again, as it had always been right.
However, "spiritual" education does not mean that which is commonly referred to today, namely the occupation with the scientific fields of knowledge. In contrast to the earthly bound "intellect," the word "spirit" denotes the eternal in man, which continues to exist even after earthly death; it is the "spark" that animates the earthly body, the real "I" of man. It is that core, that spark that is meant to unfold, meant to develop.
To awaken this spirit, to lead the young people to the increased liveliness and the realization of the actual path - that's the point. Without any restriction through dogmatic attachments, the youth should be able to recognize with a clear view the significant meaning of the laws of creation, and thus to learn to divine the Creator himself. How we can observe clearly humanity is on the way to finally lose this goal. It failed in completing the tasks which the Creator gave because the existing predominantly material-intellectual attitude inevitably leads downwards, not upwards. The intellect was given to us as an instrument to better manage our existence of this earth. But the intellect must not be lord as it is today but must remain the helping servant of the spirit. Achieving the necessary maturity of the Spirit for ascension remains the real task that we as human beings have to fulfill.
Let's have a peak into a garden and how what we observe there can also be applied to us human spirits.
In the Gardens of Life
The processes of sowing, growth, development and maturation is followed by ripening and harvesting, or by over-ripening and decay, almost characterize nature. They are evident in plants and animals as well as in man. While in man the sowing, growth and development, followed by ageing and decay are obvious in the physical sense, there is growth and development in the mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual levels, and there can also be decay. These processes follow universal principles and essentially manifest in all growth and development from the physical to the spiritual.
The plant kingdom
The plant seed consists of an inner embryo (germ) surrounded by stored food and an outer coat. The first stage in the growth and development of the seed is germination. This is the resumption of the growth of the embryo after a dormant period. Properly stored, seeds can last many years, or even longer. The following facts are known about germination: (Source Lessons From The Garden Bible Answer Stand)
As above so below!
The same principles uniformly govern all existence. Thus, the same processes only manifest in different forms on different planes by the nature of each plane.
This gives a new understanding to the Parable of Jesus which likened human beings to seeds sown into the world by the Son of Man, who, as we learn from “In the Light of Truth- the Grail Message” by Abd-ru-shin, is the Holy Spirit, the creative arm of the Trinity, the “Spirit of God” which “moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis). It shows that the reference to human beings as seeds sown in a field (that is, sown in the world) is factual and not just allegorical when considered from the spiritual dimension. The Grail Message reveals that the spiritual core of human beings on earth originates from the lowest plane of Spiritual Creation, also called Paradise, which is of a different consistency to the World of Matter lying far below it. It exists there in a dormant state, just like earthly seed grains held in storage. To “germinate,” it must be “expelled” from Paradise or “sown” in the world. Like the plant seed, which needs to be transported to a favourable environment, the Grail Message reveals that the unconscious spirit germs are guided by, among other agents, a spiritual current from the Spiritual Realm downwards to the material planes where their development may begin.
Furthermore, just as the plant seed embryo (or germ) is surrounded by a coat, the Grail Message explains that the spirit-germ on leaving Paradise at the start of its journey downwards receives coverings from female beings. (Ancient people still knew of their existence and called them fairies. This gave rise later on to stories of fairies giving presents at the cradle).
The female beings that bestow the coverings on the spirit-germ belong to Animistic Creation, which lies below Spiritual Creation. Some of the female beings also accompany the unconscious ‘spirit-germs’ to the lower-lying plane of ethereal matter.
The spirit germ (enveloped like the plant seed) continues downwards in the ethereal plane, from sub-plane to sub-plane, until it strikes a density which no longer permits it to wander further in an unconscious state. According to the Grail Message “Thus they (spirit-germs) suddenly lie softly embedded in a layer which halts their progress. Only an awakening volition, even if but weak yet nevertheless already conscious can bring up the strength which will enable them to wander through and recognize their surroundings and travel further.”
So a conscious awakening volition, which can be likened to the “stirring up” in the plant (brought about by hormones), must also come to life in the spirit-germ before it can develop further towards self-consciousness.
Also analogous to the stimulation of germination of the plant seed by external factors such as the right soil conditions, water, oxygen, temperature and light, the Grail Message explains that for the spirit-germ at the beginning of its development in the ethereal world the radiations of the prevailing ethereal conditions have an awakening and strengthening influence through the cloaks it has already received. The outer cloak becomes fashioned into a flower bud, and in the course of further development, the bursting open of the bud awakens the spirit-germ, whereby the inner cloak simultaneously takes on a human form. Thus, just as the embryo bursts through the protective seed cloak during germination, under the influence of internal and external factors, sometime in the course of the development the spirit-germ the flower bud in which it is developing bursts open. This bursting open and the transformation that follows it is the result of inner and outer factors working together, just as is the case with the germination of plants.
The word “develop” comes from the French developper (opposite of enveloper), that is, removing the envelopes or de-enveloping. It means to unfold, to burst through the covering, to let the inner essence manifest through the coverings, to let the inner essence shape the outer coverings.
Development for us as human spirits should be seen as letting what we carry within ourselves blossom forth; letting our talents, our gifts, become deeds which enrich our own lives and those of others as well.
The Grail Message exhorts us to “become spiritual”, thus, to let the spirit within us become active, whatever our condition, position or walk of life. Here clearly also our place in the life of our children inclusive special needs children is clarified. As it is with our very own development also our children’s development is the way for their spirit to come to full maturity and return as a self-conscious human spirit to the Spiritual Realm, to Paradise, which it left long ago as an unconscious spirit-germ, thus completing its cycle of development.
Death and ascent
There comes a time when we lay aside the earthly cloak in the process, we call death. It can be likened to a de-enveloping. In continuing to mature we may reach a point that we no longer need to return to earth, because we have learned all from the “school of life,” which the earth is for human spirits, as well a “made good” any transgression. Like a student who upon successful completion of his education embarks on a career, we “graduate” to higher planes. Then if our journey, driven by the longing for the light which has been awakened in us, is ever upwards, we will shed one after the other of the cloaks we acquired on the various planes on the way down to the earth the first time. Our spiritual core begins “to break through ever more radiantly, and finally to cause the last remnants of the ethereal body to fall away as if consumed by flames. Then the human spirit, having attained a complete and conscious personality because of its perfect spiritual nature, can cross the border into the Realm of Spiritual Substantiality. Only then does it enter the Eternal Kingdom of God, the everlasting Paradise!” The Grail Message further explains that the first cloak the spirit-germ received, the one that took on human form, when the spirit-germ awoke in a flower but is also the last to be laid aside. “It remains behind on this plane to sever itself again, to disintegrate, to become submerged in the same species from which it first arouses (…) However, the cloak of a mature spirit brings along new powers refreshing and strengthening the same species, because it has been strongly penetrated by the glowing of the self-conscious spirit….”
This process is reflected in the vegetable garden, where decaying vegetable matter is composted and added back to the soil. Every gardener knows that the compost has a powerful effect on the next plant generation which can surpass the use of chemical fertilizers alone, even if only in how the plants taste. This suggests that the specific nature of the composted matter and also of its radiations have a furthering effect on the new crop which would lack this radiation. Thus, the discarded “envelopes” continue to do their “assigned” work.
Harvest of human spirits
Also we human spirits experience harvest time. Following our urge to become self-conscious, we were led plane downwards by plane, receiving a cloak or envelope from each plane until we were ready for incarnation on earth. The densest cloak of all, the gross-material earthly body also places the greatest “friction” on the developing spirit and forces it to exert itself to the limit in order to prevail. The exertion furthers its development. After a number of incarnations on earth, if we keep to the right path, our spirit becomes sufficiently mature to leave the earth permanently and ascend, leaving the cloaks behind on each plane, until we reach Paradise, our eternal home. (This is the normal course of development. The Grail Message goes in detail into what happens when a developing spirit goes astray in its development, including the road of redemption.)
Thus, our return to Paradise will be when we ourselves are HARVESTED as fully mature human spirits from out of the gardens of the world of matter into which we were sown as spirit-germs for our development.
Now after this overview about our general path of development, how can we support the development of our children and also the children who show a disturbed earthly development? Especially in the second case, something that we need to keep in mind, when treating Special Needs Children, is the understanding and support in the blood radiation and the radiation connection between the different cloaks, especially the ethereal to astral body and physical body BioMagnetic field connection. Here we can achieve a lot when we support our child to be able to UN-FOLD the inner spiritual volition. Special Needs children, for example, children with Autism show that it is hard for them to let the inner essence manifest through the coverings, to let the inner essence shape the outer coverings. Unlike children who go through “normal” developmental stages, Special Needs Children do find it harder to let what they carry in them, blossoming forward and outward. The problem is mainly situated in the cloak (physical body) and the magnetic connection between the other cloaks. The spirit finds it hard to use the body. It is obvious to the utter pain of their parents difficult for them, much more than for “normal” kids to let their talents, their gifts, become deeds which enrich their own lives and those of others as well. A major concern for parents is that Special Needs Children become independent eventually. Every parent wishes to lead their child to independence. But many parents when they discover developmental problems in their children feel burdened and wonder why they experience such a difficult situation. Also, children feel the other way round when they are not content with their parents. Why did I end up with such parents? This will be a subject for a different Blog post.
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The Well-educated Child
The Greatest Gift we can give to our children is a well-rounded upbringing to see them safely on their own path in life. Such an upbringing forms part of a meaningful legacy – a combination of cultural inheritance and social aspiration. Today, however, many young people pursue mainly material goals. This is much in tune with society in general, where the main aim of education is to prepare a person to actively participate in economic life, adding to the general mania for purely material gain and pleasure. One could even say that material security is more important to this generation than to the generation before them. The goal of economic usefulness does not necessarily include an aspiration to personal fulfillment. Neither does sustained economic growth make for social progress. Society’s materialism threatens to lay waste to another generation. Can we really assume that children by and large live a happy life? How well does educational practice in school systems of today inculcate children with meaningful values that have real relevance to their future lives?
Reflection: How are the circumstances in the school your child attends? Seeing the bigger picture
Our birth into the world begins another segment of our existence. However, it is not the absolute beginning. A child does not inherit its parents’ personality. It is an independent human spirit gathering experiences in the course of its conscious development. The newborn baby is, in reality, an old soul, a spiritual personality existing in its own right. All it inherits from the parents is the physical body – an anchorage it needs in order to be active in the physical world. It is not born innocent or without connecting threats of fate. Similar to its parents, the newborn carries weaknesses and strengths that have been previously acquired during its wanderings. Therefore it bears its karma, good and evil. Pure or otherwise, our inner selves are uniquely our own and are not inherited. If several members of one family share a particular talent (such as happened with the gift of music in the Bach family for example), this has more to do with the attraction of homogenous souls than with heredity.
World enough, and time
Our existence encompasses several incarnations. Just as we cross over to the ethereal plane, the so-called beyond, at the moment of death, so do we come into this world as independent spirits at birth. Living on earth today means that we have to overcome many faults and wrong tendencies before we can reach higher planes, which are closer to the spiritual sphere where we originate.
What are your own thoughts and perceptions in regard to what was stated in the last two sentences?
The newborn baby at once begins to take in cognitive experiences, and his brain, feasting on these, develops at a very rapid rate. Soon he will have made these experiences his own, experiences which will gradually become a part of him and help him to make sense of his own inner life. But what he absorbs from the sensory overload that takes place early on in life depends on his personality at birth. The child, in mind and body, is still attuned to the vibrations of the spirit, and this part remains sheltered and protected early in life.
Is personality, then, fixed at birth or does it develop along with the body and mind? The answer is that like any seed; the spirit has the potential for growth. The spirit embraces a germinating seed that is eager and hungry for growth. The essence of spirit is free – it cannot be pinned down and weighed or measured. The soul exists as a unique entity before procreation and before the formation of the embryo, and although it physically incarnates through birth, its true core – the spirit, is destined to do more than just live a physical life, it is destined to transcend it.
With growth, subjective experience intervenes. The very young child has no sense of self and distinguishing between himself and the world is a learning process. By the time he has learned to speak, he could still be saying:’ Johnny likes porridge,’ or ‘Johnny loves his mummy,’ rather than using the first-person pronoun ‘I.’ As the child develops further, he starts to show more self-awareness. Shame and embarrassment are complete strangers to the baby in arms and sometimes remains unaware of such feelings until toddler-hood. During his school years, the child becomes more and more engrossed in his perceptions and memories, and these become set ways of being as life goes on.
In their early years children are more sensitive to vibrations from the animistic world than the spiritual. Although enlivened by spirit, animistic perceptions dominate their thinking. The immature physical body cannot yet provide enough earthly grounding to empower the spirit core to be more active.
Above all, it is essential to know that children can barely absorb spiritual things in their first years. They feel overwhelmingly connected with the animistic during this time. They should experience mainly what is related to nature, i.e., the plants, the animals, the landscape, the wind and weather and so on. Simple and cheerful, the child has to grow into this knowledge. With proper guidance, it will then soon learn to recognize that animistic helpers constructively and sustainable participate, such as the elves, gnomes, mermaids, even if they are not visible to the gross material eye.
Much easier than it seems at first, the children understand the existence of these little servants of God. Many can also perceive these beings. Unfortunately there are also many adults who ridicule that. But we want to be different and help our child. With a strong connection and experiences in nature, the child will naturally also absorb the knowledge about the natural laws. (more about nature beings later)
The adults as such must, therefore, take into account that the first years should not serve with the occupation of important spiritual issues. Children of this age must stay children! It is necessary to keep this in mind.
The spirit does not emerge fully until puberty. During this transitional phase, teenagers often become rebellious and dare to cross boundaries that they previously respected.
Parents should teach their children discipline. Discipline – firmly but sensitively applied – is a means which parents should use to equip children with problem-solving skills to attain self-directed goals. It helps to inculcate a sense of order, punctuality, diligence, a readiness to make their efforts in life. Discipline must be consistently applied for children to understand and acquire it.
Young people generally suffer from a lack of affection from adults and the absence of community. Too many children spend their time in front of the TV or lose themselves on the Internet. Many adults have vivid memories from their childhood if they worked in gardens and farms and played in the backyard or the fields with animals. Also, theatrical plays, dances and songs, and perhaps the satisfaction of bonding with other children set them up with a beautiful foundation in life. The picture of happy and enthusiastic, playful children is hardly the norm nowadays. Instead, they tend to be more bored with the daily grind. Children are overwhelmed with a vast selection of toys, sitting for hours in front of the TV and on their PC, rushing from class to class or swimming lessons or other extracurricular activities. Their ability to develop their ideas and pursue these joyfully is hindered by this never-ending activity and outside stimulus. Too few adults pay attention to their children. Today, teachers have even less time for them. Moral guidance is more or less neglected in the school system. Children should be able to learn about fairness and justice through sports, in school-life, and within the local community.
Education should nurture self-esteem, not lower it, and should motivate children, not bore them. But the capacity to do this depends upon competent, charismatic and empathetic teachers. The primary goal of education for children and young people should be increased self-confidence as well as respect for others.
Reflection: The author made here many points in the last section. When you think about your children or the children you know, how do they grow up?
Peas in a pod
It is vital for children to grow up feeling like an active member of their group. A child experiences the virtues of human society, such as tolerance and fair play, only inside the community. A child cannot internalize these values through instruction alone.
In dealing with their peers, it is necessary for children to accept that other children have the same rights as them, even if this proves to be a painful lesson. Or that another child may sometimes win the game. Public spirit is something young people can only experience in community life.
The earlier children meet other children, play with them, eat and live with each other, the sooner they learn, for example, that not everything is available in abundance, and that there are certain things one must share. Even a one-year-old can understand that another child has the same right to a piece of biscuit as he does.
Children can also be cruel to one another. So, groups of children or young people should not be left to themselves. This inevitably ends in chaos. Children should always be under the supervision of adults. Children living in a community get the chance to deal with the dark sides of human experience, for example, unpleasant personal feelings like envy and jealousy.
To cope with such painful feelings, they need the wise guidance of adults, whose task it is to show children how to deal with such natural emotions and also to develop coping skills. They should make a child understand when and why a feeling like envy flares up. Namely when a child does not believe in himself and always thinks others have it better. He must, therefore, learn to accept himself for who he is. The best place for him to be able to achieve this is only in a supervised adult community. Only if he is guided in how to care for and appreciate himself, will he be ready to accept and embrace others.
Education, whose Latin origin means “to lead out,” also needs to open the youthful mind to a greater sense of his relationship with the world. It needs to better his understanding of himself beyond academic learning so that he can have a harmonious balance between the rational and intuitive centers of his being rather than an overemphasis on just the intellectual part of himself. It is only via the intuitive centers that the Spirit can develop and bring its volition into the earthly. But usually, this is not taken enough consideration for in upbringing. For example, technology has always touched human life by bringing new hopes, possibilities, and relief but it has also at the same time limited lateral ways of thinking.
And about art and music, one wonders how many children would learn to play the violin or flute before they could read and write, if a musician could earn more than a writer. Children sit at the computer and learn that the milk comes from the cow, and may leave school with a suitable qualification but this might be rooted in a superficial education without true value and the presence of wisdom, with little or no creativity, no ability for arts and crafts and no individual expressions.
Reflection: Reflect on your life circumstances.
Stop the clocks
This is not a plea for a backward retreat to an imaginary rose and old-fashioned view of development as things have moved on. It is not only practical abilities that should again be favored by the educational model, but people should be prepared for the broader questions that each human being asks himself later on in life. Knowing the most prominent city or longest river, solving differential equations and computing logarithms all pale before the big questions of life: Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? Where do I come from at birth and where do I go when I die? The current educational practice is not up to the task of offering satisfying answers to these questions or preparing the youngster to answer them. So instead, it is the larger school of art and culture that urges us to answer these questions for ourselves in the course of our experiences – Life itself.
In childhood, we can barely think beyond what is now, almost existing just for the moment. The presence of memory means that we experience time in a linear way instead of living in the moment like we used to do when we were children. (Adapted and parts used from an article by Jide Adefope)
Edeltraud Jakob Grace:
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