Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ask Parvati 41: The Power of the Inner Child - Part 1: Trading the Infinite for the Finite

Dear Parvati,

Is it important to get in touch with your inner child in order to live, as you would say, a "rooted, vital and expansive" life?




Thank you for this question. My immediate answer is, yes. The following explains why.


I believe that we are born like a hunk of flesh with pure consciousness. At birth and soon thereafter, most of us are still consciously connected to the infinite source of love and consciousness from which we came. Hence the raw purity we can easily see in a newborn. It is as though we can see the infinite in the depth of an infant's eyes. If you look deeply into them, they seem almost formless, dark and vast, like deep space.


As we mature, our personality forms, and so do our features, including eye colour and facial expressions. In this process, our egos take shape, through which our individuality is born. Our personalities are a reflection of two concurrent forces: our own previous karmic tendencies (the soul information with which we were born), and the way these tendencies bump up against our life experiences.


Our mother is the first person with whom we come into contact. As such, our relationship with our mother is at the root of our life experience and our relationship to our inner child. Most of us also come into contact soon after birth with our father, and he too helps create the foundation of our life. Our mother forms the nurturing presence to support our maturation, while our father supports the structure to help us grow and get out in the world. Though this is usually the case, a man or someone who is a primary caregiver other than our biological mother can take the role of a mother in our life, just as a woman or primary caregiver can take the role of our father. It is not about gender but about energetic presence.


As we mature, our personalities form in response to our environment. How they form is a reflection of our karmic tendencies, that is, the way we perceive and choose to respond to our environment, based on the wisdom and skill we have acquired from previous incarnations. Because we are imperfect beings, still evolving, we do not respond to life with the wisdom and compassion of an awakened Buddha. Rather than remaining in touch with the vast field of pure consciousness, the true source of unconditional love, we become attached to our primary caregivers and our environment as the source of all our needs, including our need for love. This bond with our primary caregivers is necessary, even essential for our survival. We need our mother and/or father's care, attention and love in order to get through our early years until we can care for our basic needs. But in the process of survival, we traded our relationship with the infinite for the illusion of fulfilment in the finite. Our relationship with the infinite weakens as we grow. We forget the source from which we came, until our soul stirs and our true nature held within our inner child cries and we begin to awaken to who we truly are.


(Continues tomorrow with An Apple in an Orange Grove)

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