‘Why do we need to know this?’ It’s the perennial moan you hear from kids at school who can’t see the relevance to their own lives of some subject they are learning at school. Adults always tell them that one day they will need to calculate how much paint they need to decorate a room or work out their position on a map etc. But increasingly portable technology that offers instant information worldwide is making that answer less and less true, and kids who master this technology far quicker than the adults in their lives know this better than anyone. The truthful answer to the question would be, ‘So you can pass exams and you will be considered ‘qualified’.’
Oliver James is an eminent psychologist who addressed the assembled parents and teachers a London private school recently. He told them the shocking fact that a third of their children would have or already had mental health problems, and that rather than teaching them subjects that would be irrelevant to their lives ( he picked geography!), the school should pay for each one of them to have private sessions with a counsellor, That way they could explore who they are and how they fit into their family and the world before they leave school and have to ‘be’ it. Sounds like a good idea to me. But I would go further. Teach kids at school the relationship between the energy in their own bodies and the energy in other people and the world around them. Teach them, in other words, about the invisible, the creation of their minds, and their ability to choose what they create. We are all creating our society by our choices and our actions all the time. It would be helpful to know how powerful we can be before we begin.
I was invited into a far sighted school the other day, where the head had decided that it was a good idea to teach the sixth-formers about different ways of ways of seeing themselves and their surroundings than the ones covered by the laws of conventional physics. I was asked to teach these seventeen year olds about ways they can relate to the invisible energy of their bodies. This was a new concept to most of them – difficult to grasp in an hour and a half, but we had a lot of fun. Some of them resisted the notion that there could be any connection between the energy of their thoughts and the mechanical reality of their bodies. Some of them were ready to go with it right away.
it seemed to be the kids who needed it, the ones who had some kind of emotional difficulty in their lives, who grasped the idea that the energy of their thoughts and feelings manifests itself in their bodies. It was a relief to them to be able to talk about how this could happen and how, by understanding it, they could reach a point where they could influence their lives for the better.
Most kids don’t want to sit still and be ‘mindful’ and like many adults who begin to explore the energy in their minds and bodies, they can be alarmed by the ‘buzz’ they initially encounter within. So they decide it’s too difficult to master their minds or not relevant, like any subject, such as maths or geography, that they don’t like. But some glimpse the benefit of peace, clarity and effective change right away. This is as valuable a subject as any taught in school, and can be taught to children aged six or sixteen.
Ironically, the kids who use their bodies most, the ones who are passionate about sport, are the ones who are most likely to understand the value of silent contemplation of their inner energy. Visualising goals to improve performance is a proven tool taught by sports coaches. It’s been shown to deliver results. But why should the ones who are less confident about how to use their bodies not be taught this too? When they have grown up in a world where they are constantly bombarded by streams of information coming to them from outside sources, they need to learn how to talk to themselves more than ever.