The following is an excerpt from an interview with Bill Plotkin author of 'Nature and the Human Soul'. I am currently engrossed in this voluminous book which describes a template for living what he calls a 'soulcentric' life. It is particularly thought provoking for me as a parent to read his theory as I attempt to raise my children mindfully in an egocentric society.
In the first stage of The Nest the parents' task ... is to preserve the innocence of the child. Innocence is essentially our capacity for present centeredness, our capacity to be here now, in this moment, and that present centeredness is the ground for our ability to be in relationship with anything because we have to be present to it.
And so from a nature or ecocentric perspective a big part of the parents' task in the first stage is creating a Nest, a family environment in which the child can be present with very little push from the parents to be something different, to learn too much, to prepare for university, etc. The second task ... has to do with the formation of a culturally viable ego and the main way parents do that is by mirroring the qualities and the emotions of the child, essentially saying 'we see you, you're one of us, we notice you, we notice what you want and what you find interesting' and so on so that the child feels fully accepted and belonging in the world.
This week I will attempt to tap into my own jaded innocence in an attempt to connect more fully with myself, my loved ones and life. I will mediate on the following:
Innocence regained is experienced as radiant presence
Read the first chapter of Nature and the Human Soul at http://www.natureandthehumansoul.com/newbook/chapter1_naths.htm