Now, little kids are permanently living in the here and now when they're very small. We know this; it's called the 'point mode.' They don't think about the past or the future, it's only gradually as they get a little bit older that they begin to go into the past and the future - into what's called the "line mode." Now that's interesting, because that area of point mode is where prayer and contemplation takes place. For example, someone who's a believer in God places themselves in the presence of God here and now, and stays in that area. And so, we thought that's a good area to look at.
The second area we looked at was 'mystery'. Again , when we're adults, we have learnt that there, supposedly anyway, are explanations for everything, and we learn about them in science class at school, as I did, I'm an empirical scientist, and we lose a lot of the feeling for the mystery of why there is something and not nothing. But little kids are right in there all the time, they're full of questions like, "why does water come out of a tap when you turn the tap on?", "why when you switch the switch does a light come on?", and so on. Everything's mysterious to them. So they're very much in touch with profound mystery.
The host comments:
Carmel Howard:According to David Hay, this capacity of 'relational consciousness' needs to be nurtured in children, if it's to endure in any meaningful way.
Dr David Hay:Very quickly in a secular culture, children pick up the idea that this area of life is to be ignored or not to be taken seriously. Especially boys by about the age of ten are beginning to pick up the surrounding culture and be dismissive. So, one of the things one can do is first of all, help the children to keep an open mind.
Presumably, that means that water comes out of a tap due to various physical processes, as well as numerous engineering and manufacturing resources that went into building the infrastructure of the city water system. Or maybe it's God.
Lights come on due to an electrical circuit being completed. Or it could just be the angels willing it to be so.
Wouldn't it be better to turn this joy and amazement that children feel at the world, and their unrelenting questioning, to the finding of answers, rather than "nurturing" their spirituality? That's not answering anything. Maintaining the "profound mystery" (or, more precisely, maintaining ignorance) doesn't benefit anyone. Other than those seeking new recruits for their dwindling cults.
The program also describes something called The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a program for schools that "allow[s] the child to come into relationship with God in their own way". To EoR it seems more like indoctrination by stealth, and a recruitment method applied to children before they've developed their critical thinking skills. Rather than accept EoR's point of view, however, here's another authority's view on such matters:
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.