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Return to 4 � the Sublime State of Free Being, Loving, and Knowing
by Eugene B. Shea
Research has demonstrated we all began to lose the ability to enjoy life about the age of five, when we learned about old age, disease, and death; and the whole substance of the Perennial Philosophy is the art of recovering, as adults, a profound and mature form of that sublime state of Free Being/Loving/Knowing, realized only arduously and ardently by the mystics/saints/sages, and spontaneously and joyously by the child of four.

The ability to communicate is both gift and curse. Parents are able to instill the fallacy of all fallacies, the belief which could very well represent the fall of humankind:

    1. You are your body.
They say, "You wet your diaper." "You spilled the sugar," "You are a good girl." "You are cute." "You are growing fast." "You are walking." And the child keeps saying, "Me? 'I' wet my diaper? That's not me." Psychologists have known for many years the difficulty the child has in identifying with the body. Children know intuitively that they are not their bodies. But parents, having also been raised to believe we are our bodies, insist, and eventually of course, they have their way.

The second major belief will include the mind:

    2. You are your mind/body.
As education continues, the child's belief, "'I' am my mind/body," is firmly cemented in place in the Love/Belief System. One of the major factors contributing to this belief is that parent's love is not love for "me," but primarily for what the child does with the mind/body, and that their love is readily withheld when there is failure to behave according to their wishes. They don't seem to care about the child, only with how the child looks and acts. When the child spills the sugar bowl, mother says, perhaps in a kindly way, "You mustn't do that." To be met with the blatant reply, "'I' didn't do it, mommy;" meaning, "'I' only wanted to taste it; my hand spilled it." If the child says this, the child is scolded for lying.

And now the child has acquired two beliefs that can remain for life: The only way the child can get affection, is through proper control of the mind/body. There's something wrong with the child, who is not intrinsically worthy of the affection each child, as a social animal, needs. And so is born a sense of unworthiness, i.e., guilt, or shame.

This is the perfect paradox. Everything looks normal; no crime was intended; there is no corpse, no guilt. All we can see is the sun rising and setting as usual. But what has happened? The child has been rejected, not only by others but by himself. What has the child lost? Just the one true and vital part: the child�s own �yes� feeling, the root system �I� or spirit. But alas, the child is not dead. "Life" goes on, and so must the child.

From the moment the child gives up, and to the extent that he does so, unknowingly the child sets about to create and maintain a pseudo-self. But this is an expediency-a "self" without wishes. This pseudo-self shall be loved (or feared) where the child is despised, strong where he is weak; it shall go through the motions, not for fun or joy but for survival. The necessity is not life but a defense mechanism against death. But it is also the machine of death for the displaced spirit, the Immortal �I�, the Governor of the person, and the "programmer" and "overseer" of the Love/Belief System.

The subconscious search for a self-identity continues for the rest of the child�s life. And this is the spiritual blindness that enlightened people tell us afflicts the entire world. We have all been callously persuaded to ignore something every one of us as a child knew was the most important thing about us, the only thing which makes humans human: our spiritual "I" or our spiritual EYES.

Excerpted from The Immortal �I�, age 0-4

� Eugene B. Shea

The Immortal 'I'