The Book of Children

 Supporting the Freedom and Intelligence of a New Generation

Dit nieuw uitgekomen boek The Book of Children heeft als ondertitel ‘supporting the freedom and intelligence of a new generation’. Kinderen zijn nog relatief onbelast door maatschappelijke inperkingen. Daardoor stralen ze authentieke vrijheid uit. Ze beginnen sprankelend en vreugdevol, maar tegen de tijd dat ze volwassen zijn, The Book of Childrenstaan ze geheel in dienst van de productie en het vertonen van goed gedrag. En dan vindt er veelal een herhaling plaats van wat de vorige generatie heeft laten zien.
Dit boek roept op tot de bevrijding van kinderen, zodat er een totaal andere manier van leven en van het hebben van relaties mogelijk wordt voor hen.

In het boek worden de authentieke kwaliteiten van kinderen belicht, zoals: Speelsheid, Intelligentie en Onschuld. En er worden aanwijzingen gegeven hoe die behouden kunnen blijven en blijvend geleefd kunnen worden.

Het boek The Book of Children is verkrijgbaar in de Boekhandel.

Fragment uit the Book of Children

Supporting the Freedom and Intelligence of a New Generation

“Look into the eyes of a child—you cannot find anything deeper. The eyes of a child are an abyss, there is no bottom to them.” Osho, the book of Children

Children have an authentic freedom. They are joyful, playful, and naturally creative. But by the time they grow up, most children have been sacrificed to the gods of “productivity” and good behavior to the extent that only nostalgia for childhood remains. Osho says, “It is the child’s experience that haunts intelligent people their whole life. They want it again—the same innocence, the same wonder, the same beauty.” And while each adult generation may vow, with the best of intentions, not to repeat the mistakes of the past, they inevitably find themselves imposing their own inherited limitations on new generations to come.

This book calls for a “children’s liberation movement” to break through old patterns and create opportunities for an entirely new way of relating as human beings. It is a guide for grown-ups to become aware of their own conditioning as they relate to the children in their lives. And, with that awareness, to learn when to nurture and protect and when to get out of the way, so that children can flower into their highest potential and greatest capacity for joy.may vow, with the best of intentions, not to repeat the mistakes of the past, they inevitably find themselves imposing their own inherited limitations on new generations to come.

Excerpt from The Book of Children

the qualities of the child, from the Book of Children
It is the child’s experience that haunts intelligent people their whole life. They want it again—the same innocence, the same wonder, the same beauty. It is now a faraway echo; it seems as if you have seen it in a dream.

But the whole of religion is born out of the haunting childhood experience of wonder, of truth, of beauty, of life in its beautiful dance all around. In the songs of the birds, in the colors of the rainbows, in the fragrance of the flowers the child goes on remembering deep in his being that he has lost a paradise.

It is not a coincidence that all the religions of the world have the idea in parables that once man lived in paradise and somehow, for some reason he has been expelled from that paradise. They are different stories, different parables, but signifying one simple truth: these stories are just a poetic way to say that every man is born in paradise and then loses it. The retarded, the unintelligent completely forget about it.

But the intelligent, the sensitive, the creative go on being haunted by the paradise that they have known once and now only a faint memory, unbelievable, has remained with them. They start searching for it again.

The search for paradise is the search for your childhood again. Of course your body will no more be a child’s, but your consciousness can be as pure as the consciousness of the child. This is the whole secret of the mystical path: to make you a child again, innocent, unpolluted by any knowledge, not knowing anything, still aware of everything that surrounds you, with a deep wonder and a sense of a mystery that cannot be demystified.

PLAYFULNESS from the Book of Children
Nobody allows their children to dance and to sing and to shout and to jump. For trivial reasons—perhaps something may get broken, perhaps they may get their clothes wet in the rain if they run out; for these small things—a great spiritual quality, playfulness, is completely destroyed.

The obedient child is praised by his parents, by his teachers, by everybody, and the playful child is condemned. His playfulness may be absolutely harmless, but he is condemned because there is potentially a danger of rebellion. If the child goes on growing with full freedom to be playful, he will turn out to be a rebel. He will not be easily enslaved; he will not be easily put into armies to destroy people or to be destroyed himself.

The rebellious child will turn out to be a rebellious youth. Then you cannot force marriage on him; then you cannot force him into a particular job; then the child cannot be forced to fulfill the unfulfilled desires and longings of the parents. The rebellious youth will go his own way. He will live his life according to his own innermost desires, not according to somebody else’s ideals.

For all these reasons playfulness is stifled, crushed from the very beginning. Your nature is never allowed to have its say. Slowly, slowly you start carrying a dead child within yourself. This dead child within you destroys your sense of humor: you cannot laugh with your total heart, you cannot play, you cannot enjoy the small things of life. You become so serious that your life, rather then expanding, starts shrinking.

Life should be, each moment, a precious creativity. What you create does not matter—it may be just sand castles on the seashore, but whatever you do should come out of your playfulness and joy.

INTELLIGENCE from the Book of Children
Intelligence is not something that is acquired; it is inbuilt, it is inborn, it is intrinsic to life itself. Not only children are intelligent, animals are intelligent in their own way, trees are intelligent in their own way. Of course they all have different kinds of intelligences because their needs differ, but now it is an established fact that all that lives is intelligent. Life cannot be without intelligence; to be alive and to be intelligent are synonymous. But man is in a dilemma for the simple reason that he is not only intelligent, he is also aware of his intelligence. That is something unique about man—his privilege, his prerogative, his glory—but it can turn very easily into his agony. Man is conscious that he is intelligent, and that consciousness brings its own problems. The first problem is that it creates ego.

Ego does not exist anywhere else except in human beings, and ego starts growing as the child grows. The parents, the schools, colleges, universities, they all help to strengthen the ego for the simple reason that for centuries man had to struggle to survive and the idea has become a fixation, a deep unconscious conditioning that only strong egos can survive in the struggle of life. Life has become just a struggle to survive. And scientists have made it even more convincing with the theory of the survival of the fittest. So we help every child to become more and more strong in the ego, and it is there that the problem arises.

As the ego becomes strong it starts surrounding intelligence like a thick layer of darkness. Intelligence is light, ego is darkness. Intelligence is very delicate, ego is very hard. Intelligence is like a rose flower, ego is like a rock. And if you want to survive, they say—the so-called knowers—then you have to become rocklike, you have to be strong, invulnerable. You have to become a citadel, a closed citadel, so you cannot be attacked from outside. You have to become impenetrable.

But then you become closed. Then you start dying as far as your intelligence is concerned because intelligence needs the open sky, the wind, the air, the sun in order to grow, to expand, to flow. To remain alive it needs a constant flow; if it becomes stagnant it slowly becomes a dead phenomenon.

We don’t allow children to remain intelligent. The first thing is that if they are intelligent they will be vulnerable, they will be delicate, they will be open. If they are intelligent they will be able to see many falsities in the society, in the state, in the church, in the educational system. They will become rebellious. They will be individuals; they will not be cowed easily. You can crush them, but you cannot enslave them. You can destroy them, but you cannot force them to compromise.

In one sense intelligence is very soft, like a rose flower, in another sense it has its own strength. But that strength is subtle, not gross. That strength is the strength of rebellion, of a noncompromising attitude. One is not ready to sell one’s soul.
Watch small children and then you will see their intelligence. Yes, they are not knowledgeable—if you want them to be knowledgeable, then you will not think that they are intelligent. If you ask them questions that depend on information, then they will look not intelligent. But ask them real questions, which have nothing to do with information, which need an immediate response, and see—they are far more intelligent than you are. Of course your ego won’t allow you to accept it, but if you can accept it, it will help tremendously. It will help you, it will help your children, because if you can see their intelligence you can learn much from them.

Even though the society destroys your intelligence it cannot destroy it totally; it only covers it with many layers of information.
And that’s the whole function of meditation: to take you deeper into yourself. It is a method of digging into your own being to the point when you come to the living waters of your own intelligence, when you discover the springs of your own intelligence. When you have discovered your child again, only then will you understand what I mean by emphasizing again and again that children are really intelligent.

INNOCENCE in the Book of Children
Small children are innocent but they have not earned it; it is natural. They are ignorant really, but their ignorance is better than the so-called learning because the learned person is simply covering his ignorance with words, theories, ideologies, philosophies, dogmas, creeds. He is trying to cover up his ignorance, but just scratch him a little bit and you will find inside nothing but darkness, nothing but ignorance.

A child is in a far better state than the learned person because they can see things. Even though they are ignorant they are spontaneous, even though they are ignorant they have insights of tremendous value.

A salesman who had been working in the New England area was being transferred to California. The move had been the principal topic of conversation around the house for weeks.
Then the night before the big move, when his five-year-old daughter was saying her prayers, she said, “And now, God, I will have to say good-bye forever because tomorrow we are moving to California!”

How did you manage to stay with your innocence and clarity as a child and not let yourself become intimidated by the grown-ups around you? Where did you get that courage from?

Innocence is courage and clarity both. There is no need to have courage if you are innocent. There is no need, either, for any clarity because nothing can be more crystal clear than innocence. So the whole question is how to protect one’s own innocence. Innocence is not something to be achieved. It is not something to be learned. It is not something like a talent for painting, music, poetry, sculpture. It is not like those things. It is more like breathing, something you are born with. Innocence is everybody’s nature.