Can you talk about motherhood without talking about children and the situation of children on a planet like Earth? Now obviously you can look around the world and you can look at the conditions that children are exposed to in many different nations, and you can see that there are very obvious clear abuses of children taking place.
There are many places where children are treated in a certain way or they grow up in a certain environment that is clearly not in alignment with basic humanity: children who are forced to become child soldiers in Africa, girls in India who are brought up to think they have no value, children from around the world who are lured or kidnapped into human trafficking and sexual prostitution, children whose genitals are mutilated at an early age and so on. You can continue with some of these abuses that are taking place.
The main concern here is not to make you aware of these abuses for they are clearly obvious. The main purpose is to continue the idea that we also need to look at the most-advanced societies on Earth. We cannot just look at all of the obvious abuses that are taking place around the world and address them, for we need to recognize that this planet is a whole. It is an interconnected whole. What is it that truly changes the equation on Earth? It is that the collective consciousness is pulled upwards. But how is the collective consciousness pulled upwards? It is pulled upwards by some nations that are the forerunners for embracing a new idea, a new realization of basic or essential humanity. Some nations are the forerunners which, for example, allow women the right to vote, and they pull up on the collective consciousness, and then a second rung of nations is able to do the same and then a third rung and so forth. It spreads like rings in the water around the Earth.
It is clear that in some cases there are problems that need to be addressed and dealt with in the nations where they are taking place. But the other aspect is that it is just as important to raise the consciousness in the most-advanced nations because this pulls up on the whole. You could say that the less-developed nations cannot go in a new direction. It is only the more-advanced nations that can embrace some new idea and then pull up the rest of the collective consciousness.
With this in mind, we need to turn our attention to these most-developed and most-advanced modern nations. And we need to recognize that there is a specific factor that is holding back growth and improvement on this planet. It is clear that when you look at what is holding back growth on this planet, you can look at these more obvious abuses and you can look at the forces behind them. You can look at the collective consciousness in, for example, the Islamic countries that will not challenge Islam. And you can say that all of these obvious abuses, these dark things and these dark forces are opposing progress—and of course they are. There is no question about it.
But there is also a force in the most modern nations that is opposing progress and it has several facets. One is that some of these nations have developed a certain sense of complacency. They look at what they have achieved and they look at the difference between these nations and the less-developed nations and they think and feel that what they have achieved is good enough. They basically feel they have come over a certain hump and now they do not really need to be so concerned about improving their societies. They have reached a state that is basically as good as it can get and they do not need to go further. They have begun to believe that providing the material welfare that they have achieved is enough and it is not necessary to take the next step and provide psychological well-being.
But there are other aspects to this. You need to recognize that the real problem here is a lack of vision and a lack of imagination to see what the next step is and what could be improved. Instead of thinking that what you have achieved is good enough, you see that there is more to be achieved. There are still issues and problems to solve, but there are also positive things that could be manifest. And you must say that some of these very advanced and affluent nations have a clear lack of vision.
As an example, in the country of Denmark there is a high material standard of living and it is a well-functioning country with a well-functioning economy. And you see, for example that the country was able to respond to the corona crisis with very few infected people, very few deaths and even an economy that is doing better than most other nations.
So, the country of Denmark has developed this complacency of feeling that what it has done is good enough. And the primary reason for this, both in Denmark and other countries in a similar situation such as the other Scandinavian countries, the European countries, Canada, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to some degree, is that in all of these nations materialism and a materialistic outlook on life is the main problem and the main issue that is preventing people from having a greater vision of what could be achieved. In other words, because the materialistic view of life has come to have a deep influence on the thinking in these countries, many people think that providing this material welfare is the highest possible goal. What else could there be?
If you think that human beings are basically material beings, even though you may not be conscious of this and may not be able to formulate it, you think that if you take care of the material welfare, then people will automatically become happy. In other words, psychological well-being must be an inevitable effect of material welfare. That is what the unspoken assumption is in many of these countries. And it prevents people from connecting to this essential humanity, which says: “Oh, but there is so much more. What we have achieved in these affluent nations is only the foundation for a whole new era of human growth and human development where we focus on psychological well-being and we focus on developing the full human potential so that people can be more than we can even envision today.”
How do we then deal with this in these affluent nations? Even though there could be other perspectives you could take, we will focus on the situation of children. Many people in these nations feel that society has basically done what it needs to do for children. And there is a certain assumption among some of the politicians, bureaucrats, educators, researchers and scientists in these countries that society has basically fulfilled its obligation to its people by providing these very good material conditions. That is all it needs to do.
Now, of course, from time to time, there is a certain awareness that arises that: “Well, here is a certain problem and it is becoming so severe that society now needs to deal with it.” But again, there is this reluctance to deal with certain issues. Sometimes there is a period of denial, and then there is a sense of: “Oh, this should not really be taking place.”
There is an assumption that if we give people these good material conditions, there are certain things that should not be happening and certain things that people should not be doing. This means that these societies are in a state of denial and in a state of cognitive dissonance. They are not willing to recognize what is actually happening to children in their nations. And there are, of course, certain obvious abuses of children even in the more affluent nations.
One of them is pedophilia. There is a certain frequency of pedophilia even in the most affluent nations. There are certain pedophiles that are targeting children. There are certain pedophiles in these rich nations who are travelling to other countries, such as Thailand, where they can fulfill their desire to have sex with children. These affluent nations are very reluctant to look at this issue and deal with it. The same with sexual abuse in the family where family members (often men) will abuse children. The same with domestic violence where societies tend to think that this should not be happening, but they are not really willing to acknowledge the problem and say: “What can we do about it? What do we need to do about it? What are we obligated to do about it?”
There are certain issues here where there needs to be a more open debate about this. There is no ready-made solution. The response should vary from country to country and there is no “one and only” solution. But societies need to begin to at least debate these issues where there, in many cases, is no debate right now.
So, pedophilia. Clearly from a basic humanistic viewpoint and the basic humanity, this is not constructive. It is not basic humanity to abuse children sexually. What can a democratic society do about it? Well, they feel there is relatively little that they can do. And this is where societies need to recognize that a democratic society will sometimes become trapped by its democratic ideals. It will become paralyzed by its democratic ideals and not be able to act when those democratic ideals are threatened or violated. You need to recognize here that you have a democratic society which does not want to punish people too severely and which certainly does not want to have the death penalty for serious crimes. And therefore, to some degree, such a society is paralyzed and cannot deal with pedophilia.
A democratic society assumes that its citizens are not worse than its government. In other words, if a government is not abusive and narcissistic, then that government assumes that its citizens are not abusive and narcissistic either. But pedophiles are abusive and they are narcissistic. They are completely self-centered. They suffer from what should be characterized as a mental illness. But it is not just a mental illness that affects themselves, it is a mental illness that causes them to very severely violate children.
Now, in the last couple of decades this has grown into a commercial enterprise. When a pedophile travels to another country, money is involved. He goes to a country where child prostitution is considered normal. Somebody is making money on this. Child pornography, which is a part of pedophilia, is also a money-making business. What can a democratic society do about this?
Well, whenever there is money involved, there is the basic business principle of risk versus reward. How big is the risk involved with making this money? And how much money could I potentially make? This is the same, for example, with drug production and drug trafficking. Risk versus reward. A democratic society needs to recognize here that by its very democratic ideals, it has created a situation where pedophiles, child pornographers, and even human traffickers that traffic adult people for prostitution are given an unfair advantage.
An inhuman advantage is given by democratic societies because what is the risk in being involved with these crimes? Well, first of all, there is a very low risk of being caught or even of being detected. And even if you are detected and caught, what is the punishment? Is it so severe that those who are making money off of it will stop doing it and say: “This is too risky. Let me find another way to make money.” And will the punishment be so severe that the pedophiles – who are the customers who are buying what the sellers are supplying – will stop buying it? Countries need to recognize here that they have simply not done a good enough job of dealing with this equation.
What can be done? Well, you can increase the risk. And obviously what is the ultimate risk in a business enterprise? It is that you could be caught and exposed to the death penalty and then you cannot continue to make money. It does not matter how much money you make because when you are dead you cannot spend it. Of course, many democratic nations do not want to go back to having the death penalty, and this is not saying they necessarily should.
But what is your only other option here? It is to increase the risk of detection. So, you need to create some kind of special police force that is equipped especially to detect these kinds of crimes: human trafficking, child pornography, pedophilia, and all of this stuff. You need to have someone who can detect it, who can infiltrate the black internet, find out where these pedophilia sites and rings are, and unravel them. And it needs to be done on an international basis. This will cost you money but this is part of what you are obligated to do to protect your own children.
You can also, of course, increase the punishment. If you cannot do capital punishment, you can increase prison sentences or you can consider forced sterilization of pedophiles. Again, there is not only one solution. But these are things that need to be debated in order to protect children adequately.
You need to recognize something very simple and this, of course, is not something that will be recognized officially. Yet reincarnation is a reality. When you look back at the history of the last hundred years, you can see that many, many souls have been severely wounded by the wars in the past hundred years. And where would these souls want to incarnate? Well, obviously in a more-advanced democratic nation where they have a chance to heal their psychology. This is, we might say, the positive aspect of the reincarnation equation. But you can also look at the fact that there is a certain smaller group of souls who have these very narcissistic, abusive tendencies such as pedophilia. And you can ask yourself: “Where would such a person want to embody?” Well, often in a rich and affluent nation, where it has, first of all, the chance to get money to buy these services, and second of all, a low risk of detection because they can fly under the radar and society is not really aware of the problem.
You need to recognize here that this is just one example of how democratic societies are attracting certain lifestreams, certain souls, who are very narcissistic and very abusive because they can misuse the freedom that a democratic society gives to its citizens. What is the basic humanitarian perspective on this? It is that a free democratic society has an obligation to protect the majority of its citizens from these kinds of abuses and especially, of course, its children.
Now, let us look at another issue that needs to be debated. We can look at some very simple statistics from the democratic nations. Over the past 50 years or even more, divorce rates have been increasing almost exponentially. In some countries there are now a majority of marriages that end in divorce. What is the practical outcome of this? Well, in the largest number of cases of divorce, if the pair has children, then the children stay with the mother. This means now that we have a large number of children in these democratic nations who are being raised by single mothers. In some nations they are very well aware of this and they have attempted to provide various social benefits and social services to make it easier for a single mother to raise one or several children.
Nevertheless, it has not adequately been addressed in these nations. What is the nation actually obligated to do for not only the single mothers but the children being raised by these single mothers? If you are a single mother, or any single parent for that matter, you are facing a very simple situation. You have to provide the material welfare needed for your children which means you have to take a job. In some nations, such as the United States, which claims to be a modern democracy, many single mothers are forced to work more than one job because they cannot make enough money to take care of their children with the minimum wage that they can get in certain jobs.
Well, if you are forced to work long hours or even work 40 hours a week, how much time do you have, how much energy do you have to spend with your children? A society says: “Well, we will provide kindergartens and schools where the children can go while the mother is working.” Nevertheless, the mother works eight hours or more, comes home, has to take care of dinner and has to take care of other practical matters. And how much energy and attention are left over to spend what is often called quality time with the child or children? When you look at this realistically, it is not very much, is it? This is not said to in any way blame the mother.
The point is that it needs to be debated whether societies have done enough for these children and these single parents. Is it enough to throw money at this problem? Is it enough to demand that the absent parent pays child support? Is it enough to provide kindergarten, schools, social services, this and that? Is that enough, or could more be done? Obviously, there needs to be a debate about what more society could do. There is, again, not one particular solution. There are a variety of solutions that could be carried out here that could improve the situation of single parents, primarily single mothers. It is not just a matter of money; it is also a matter of saying: “Are we at a point now in our societies where the traditional family model has become outdated?”
You will see that long ago these modern democracies let go of the traditional view of life that was there for several hundred years and that was very much affected by the Christian mindset, whether it was the Catholic church or the Lutheran church. When you look back, the traditional view (very much based in Christianity, but certainly also adopted by society in general) was that a family is a man and a woman who are living together and raising children.
If you go a little further back, it was the man who went out and got a job and provided the money for the family, and the mother stayed home with the children. Well, in most of the modern democracies that family structure is completely outdated. There are very few people left who can even afford to do this. Even if a man and woman are staying together, they often both have jobs. So, for example, it needs to be debated: “Well, why do we see this development?” It used to be that most jobs that a man could get would provide enough of an income that the family could afford to have the mother stay home with the children. This does not seem to be the case anymore. We need to consider why.
There are, of course, several factors to recognize. One of the factors is that people’s expectations of what they can have materially has increased tremendously. Many young couples today are not satisfied with living in a small apartment in the center of town and not having a car like their parents or grandparents. They say: “We want a big house, we both want cars, and therefore we both have to work, and the children will just have to live with that.” That is a decision they are making and they have a right to make it.
But the other thing that needs to be debated is: Has the income of many people, such as middle-class people, been eroded to the point where people cannot realistically afford to have one parent stay home with the children? And then: What can we as a society do about this? It is certainly the case in the United States, but also in many other countries that the average income, not in terms of money, but in terms of its buying power, has actually been eroded. This could be addressed. It could have wide-ranging ramifications in terms of changing certain things such as what people are paid for their jobs and how much profit companies are allowed to make. The whole idea that people go into debt and pay interest to the banks which results in their income being eroded by this interest payment contributes to this problem, and there are many other similar factors that could be debated here.
Another thing that could be debated is: Now that we can look at the fact that the traditional family structure is no longer really there in our societies, what could be the next step? What could be an alternative to this? Is it enough to say that when two people have children together, they are the only ones responsible for the children? Is it enough to say that when the parents get divorced, they can go their separate ways and one parent is the main custodian of the children, and the other sees them once in a while? Is that enough? Or do we need to create some kind of situation where people can share the responsibility for the children?
Traditionally you had a situation where the grandparents would take care of the children. Well, why is that not happening today? There can be a variety of reasons. But this is something society could address and say: “How can we get the grandparents more involved with taking care of the children? What can we as a society do about this?” Could we, for example, provide some kind of family counseling that would go in and look at this, and say: “What are the options? Can the grandparents be involved? Is there some animosity or some conflict between the grandparents and the parents that could be resolved so that the grandparents could be more involved?”
Perhaps they live too far away, which is the case in some countries because of the mobility of the workforce. Well, then, are there other people in that area? Are there other single parents who could get together and support each other? Is this something that we as a society could help facilitate? Or do we need to sit down and wait for people to figure this out on their own? Could we not create support groups, even provide counselors who could help facilitate this so that single parents can come together?
Even people who are not parents could see it as part of their own education towards becoming a parent to help single parents with their children. Would it not be possible to create some initiatives like that, which would make it easier for single parents? And then children would get more adult attention and supervision. There is the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, this could be duplicated in the modern democracies. Even though you do not have villages, you can create these communities that are centered around raising children. Sure, there are various challenges associated with this, but it is also an opportunity.
We can now go on to another topic. What is the greatest resource of a society? Many countries would say that, well, Saudi Arabia has oil, which is their greatest resource. Some other country has iron ore, which is their greatest resource. This country has coal, that country has forests, this country has agricultural land, that country has good fishing and that is their primary resource. This is a completely outdated way to look at this–completely outdated. It was never right in the first place, but it is especially outdated today. What is the greatest resource of a nation? It is its people.
What does it mean that its people are the greatest resource? Well, it means several things. But first of all that the more well-functioning and the more constructive the people are, the greater a resource they are for the nation. What needs to happen in these democratic nations is that they realize that as an extension of their democratic ideals, they need to shift and say: “The biggest resource for us as a country is our people. It is not the big companies that are driving the economy. Our biggest resource is our people because a company, no matter how big and powerful, could do nothing if it did not have people to do it.”
So, what does that mean for a country? Again, let us take Denmark as an example. How could the people of Denmark become a better resource for the country? Well, some would say: “Oh, they need to be better educated.” This view is not necessarily wrong or necessarily right, but certainly it is not the only way to look at it.
First of all, the people need to be able to function better psychologically. And this means, again, that these countries need to focus on the psychological development and the healing of their people–all of their people. But let us again focus on the children. What is the greatest future resource of a nation? It is the children that are here today. They will become the adults who will run the country.
Well, does it not stand to reason then that if we bring up children who are psychologically crippled, they will end up being the kind of people we have today–the adults we have today who are psychologically crippled, with all of the effects this has on society and on people’s individual lives? Is it not clear, is it not obvious, that an advanced-democratic nation that considers its humanitarian and democratic ideals a priority should focus on children and giving them the best conditions in childhood and the best possible psychological conditions for growing up to be psychologically-whole and well-functioning adults?
Then how could that be achieved? Well, beginning in kindergarten, children should be educated about their psychology. All children should be subjected to a psychological evaluation, and if they need help, they would get help, both in the form of individual therapy and also in the form of group therapy. There could be group sessions with children where they could help each other work on their psychology. Many of these things that today are considered either too advanced, too expensive, or not even considered at all, will become self-evident and commonplace in ten to twenty years. And they will look back and say: “Why did societies not do this sooner? The benefits are so obvious. This is not even costing us money. This is saving us enormous amounts of money on other expenses.” This is one obvious aspect of it.
But there is another aspect that needs to be debated: Again, many democratic nations have been paralyzed by their democratic ideal of giving freedom to the people. Yet the freedom to exploit others is not really a freedom and certainly not one that should be recognized by a democratic nation. Well, this is not talking so much about the freedom to exploit, but a democratic nation essentially says: “As a government, we should interfere as little as possible in people’s lives.” Again, this is understandable in a historical context where you see that dictatorial nations have traditionally interfered very much in people’s personal lives. And a democratic government, of course, says: “We do not want to be like the Soviet Union, so therefore, we cannot interfere in people’s lives.”
But this is not talking about interfering in people’s lives. It is about the fact that you can offer people something and, at least, in many cases, you will not have to force them to take it. But you can offer it, whereas it is not offered today. You can offer parents help with their own psychology so they will be better able to take care of their children. Is it not obvious that the psychological wounds of the parents often are projected onto the children or at least affect the children? Is it not obvious to anyone who knows anything about psychology or social problems that parents with psychological problems are more likely to bring up children with psychological problems?
But there is another evaluation that could be made here. You may say: “A democratic society should give the greatest degree of freedom to its citizens.” But one could ask: “Which citizens?” You may say: “A democratic society should not interfere with the life of a man and a woman who want to get together and have children. We should let them deal with this on their own.” And that may be seemingly giving freedom to the parents, but is it giving freedom to the children? In other words, are you giving your children freedom by allowing them to grow up in a dysfunctional home where they are abused by their parents, or where their parents’ severe psychological problems are affecting them? Is it freedom to grow up as a child in a home with an alcoholic parent, a drug addict, or a criminal? Is this the freedom that a democratic government should give to that child? Or should the democratic government say: “Our children who are our greatest future resource should be given the freedom to grow up in well-functioning homes with psychologically-whole parents”?
What you have today is that you are leaving it up to the citizens. You are giving your citizens the freedom to do what? To come together in relationships where people with dysfunctional psychology often attract each other. They have a dysfunctional relationship. They have children. They abuse their children emotionally, mentally and maybe even physically. They get divorced. Now they are using their children in a war against each other, leading to severe psychological problems for the children.
What is the effect on society? Well, you have to pay social benefits, maybe to one or both parents and maybe to the children. You have children who cannot get an education, cannot hold a job and cannot function well. Maybe they get into alcohol or drugs and they need treatment for that, and so on. You can see how one dysfunctional couple having children can spiral up the cost to society where it is almost out of control in some societies or at least in certain cities. Is this really a democratic government fulfilling its responsibility to its citizens and living up to its democratic ideals? Does there not come a point where at least it needs to be debated whether a democratic society should say: “We must take responsibility for the children who grow up in our society. As a society, we must make sure that children are given the best possible conditions for growing into healthy adults—psychologically healthy adults.”
How can we do this? Well, there are many, many aspects of this that need to be debated, but here are at least a few: One is that a society could say: “As a democratic government, are we really obligated to let anyone become a parent? We are not allowing anyone to get into a car, get on the road and drive 100 kilometers an hour without knowing how to operate a car. We demand that they take courses and get a driver’s license, so they have at least minimum skills in driving a car before we let them out there where they can kill or injure other people.” The same thing with many other aspects of society. You are not allowing someone to take care of your most important infrastructure or institutions without them having an education and experience by learning from others.
If one of the most important resources for a society, if not the most important, is your children, how can you allow just anyone to become a parent? Does there not come a point where society has a right to say, even an obligation to say: “If you want to be a parent in our society, you need to qualify.” This is not just a matter of going to some kind of course where you learn how to physically take care of the child: how to change diapers, how to use a bottle and all of these things. It is a matter of being subjected to a psychological evaluation. Are you psychologically capable of raising a child? Or are you so wounded in your psychology that you cannot take care of anyone, barely even yourself?
We have these modern societies now that for decades have given sex-education courses so that there is hardly anyone in those societies who can grow up without knowing what causes pregnancy. Many of them even provide free access to abortion. Well, does it not stand to reason that if society has done everything to make sure that an unplanned pregnancy does not occur, you must assume that most pregnancies are planned? If they are planned, is it not reasonable to say: “Before you plan your pregnancy, you need to qualify. You need to take some courses and qualify.” If it turns out that there are psychological issues, then those psychological issues need to be addressed before the parents can have children.
Another thing that needs to be debated is: What happens if after the children are born, it turns out that either the home is dysfunctional or the parents break up? Well, again, can an enlightened society really allow people to have children and live in their own homes with no insight into what happens in the home, unless they find out in school that the children are not functioning? Can there not be a society that says: “There needs to be some kind of guidance counsellor who helps all parents and who checks in on how things are going.” It does not have to be something you are forced into. It does not have to be Big Brother watching you. But it can certainly be that there is this regular contact, where people have someone to talk to at a place where they can come with their problems.
The other thing is that when a couple splits up and one becomes a single parent, society can then step in and say: “This is where we need to provide some extra support for this parent.” But even so, there can come a situation where society needs to discuss: “Well, do we need to take these children away from the parent or parents?” This, of course, is already happening in many countries, but there can be better ways of dealing with it than what is happening now. In other words, it is a matter of saying: “Can you have one or two people responsible for raising a child? Or is society also responsible for raising children?” Some will say this is already happening through kindergartens and schools, but more can certainly be done to involve people. For example, when you have had your children, and they have grown up and you have been a successful parent, and you have raised several well-functioning children, have you really fulfilled your parenting responsibility? Could you not have people who are at that age of having the empty-nest syndrome be involved with raising other children and supporting young parents by sharing their experiences?
Is it really viable in these modern democracies that you continue this structure you have had so far where everyone is in it for themselves? You see that an aspect of these modern democracies and their democratic ideals is focused on the individual. The individual human being has rights and the individual should have the greatest possible freedom to choose its own destiny. This is all fine, but can there not come a point where we say: “Now that we have a society that gives freedom to individuals, can we not, without taking that freedom away, get back to what was there in the past—more of a sense of community where people can help each other?”
What do you have in most of these modern democracies? Many, many people are lonely. They either live alone or they have a very limited circle of people they are in contact with. Well, could you not as a society, create something where people can be engaged with helping others and therefore overcome their loneliness, but also gain a sense of purpose? How many grandparents feel that now that they are retired, they are not really useful to society? Well, why could they not be useful in helping their children and helping parents? But you see what you have in these societies is: “Oh, sure, I am a grandparent. I will help my own children, and my own grandchildren.” But why help only them? Why could you not help someone else’s children or grandchildren? Why does it have to be that each family is a unit in itself and is disconnected from society? Why could you not expand the sense of family and the sense of community to a broader range of people, thereby eventually creating more of a community in a nation as a whole–a larger sense of community?
If you look historically, you can see that what you really have been going through is a phase where, before the advent of democracies, people lived in feudal societies. There was often some sense of community among the peasants in this society. But it was forced upon them because they were forced to live together and they were forced to work together on the harvest because manpower was the only way to get things done. It was a forced community.
What happened with the advent of democracy was that you shifted to this focus on the individual and individual rights. And you have now had several generations that have gone through this phase where people have been focused on their individual way of living, their individual rights and their individual freedom. But what is historically the next step here? It is that people now use their individuality to realize that no human being is an island. “I am not actually satisfied with living as an individual. I would like to have more people around me. I would like to be part of something greater. I would like to have a sense of purpose that comes from helping others–even helping my society.”
So, if these democratic nations are going to survive and thrive in the coming age, which is the age of community, they need to start building a greater sense of community. The United States of America is the primary example of a nation which has been so focused on individual rights that it includes the right to exploit others through economic means. It has created a completely unbalanced society where a small power elite gains so much of the wealth that you have basically almost recreated the feudal societies through the economy rather than through the ownership of land.
Many, many things in the United States are being blocked by an emphasis on individual rights, individual freedom and American individuality. Americans take pride in seeing themselves as a nation of individualists. But the challenge in America in the coming decades will be whether they can overcome this focus on individualism and start building a genuine sense of community. If not, there will be more and more confrontations between various groups who will see each other as enemies. And where will it end? Does there have to be a second Civil War before America comes to its senses and wakes up?
The focus on individuality and individual human rights was a phase. It was not the ultimate stage of democracy because you are still living on a planet with other people. There are two ways that the modern democracies can go: You can have a greater and greater percentage of the population who becomes more and more self-centered, more and more narcissistic, and more and more dysfunctional because they only care about themselves. Or you can have a greater and greater percentage of the population who transcends this current level of individuality and acknowledges that we are part of a whole. We are part of a community and we get much more enjoyment out of life by working together with other people.
This is the challenge facing these modern democracies. So again, it takes a village to raise a child. Well, in all reality, it takes more than two parents, and certainly more than one parent, to raise a child. It takes a community effort because the child cannot learn everything it needs to learn from one parent. In fact, you could say that if a child interacts primarily with one or two parents and maybe a few siblings, it does not expand its social awareness enough to function well in society. The child needs to interact with more children, not just in kindergarten and at school, but it also needs more adults that it can interact with more directly and learn from. The child learns primarily by observing, by assimilating and by mimicking what it sees in the adults around it. So, the more different adults it sees, the better for the child, providing those adults are functioning well psychologically.
What really needs to be debated in these modern democracies is not just the material conditions of children or even the psychological conditions of children. What also needs to be debated is the potential of children. If you look at a country like Denmark, you will see that there is a focus on education. There is a certain focus on the idea that children should do well in school. They should learn as much as possible and get good grades because the better grades they get, then the better education they can get access to, and then the better job they will get, and then the more money they will make, and then the more value they will be to society. That is the unwritten assumption.
So, there is a focus on many, many different forms of education and a student needs a certain average grade in school in order to even be considered for one of them. What is not being seen and what is not being understood and what is not being debated is that what is really behind this is an unconscious recognition that human beings have a potential that can be developed. There is some awareness already in Denmark and in many other modern nations that a human being is not a fixed entity. It is actually possible to educate a child to increase its abilities so that it can perform better in a job situation and therefore live a better life, make more money and be of more value to society.
There is some growing recognition of this, but what is missing is the essential humanity where you fully, openly and consciously recognize that our material model of human beings is outdated because it has been shown by many psychological studies that human beings have a potential that can be developed through psychological means, not by messing with the physical brain.
What is behind the idea of higher education? You put a child in a certain situation where it learns things. You are not just filling the child’s mind with factual knowledge, you are also building a certain skill, a certain attitude and a certain mindset that enables the child to function in a demanding job. You cannot take the average person and put them in the more demanding jobs, but you can put a child through an educational process that will qualify the child for that job with a high probability of success.
But are you placing that child on an operating-room table, cutting open its skull and starting to mess with the machinery of the physical brain? Well, obviously not. So, what is it that you are doing? You are developing the child in a non-material and a non-physical way. You are doing it through psychological means by working with a child’s psyche without messing with the physical brain. And that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that you can develop a person’s consciousness without dealing with the physical brain. And this proves that a person’s consciousness is not an exclusive product of the physical brain.
It is way overdue that these modern democracies recognize this simple truth. It is very, very important that these countries come to recognize this and see the consequences of it. Again, it does not mean they have to become spiritual or accept a certain spiritual teaching. But it means that these countries need to start asking: What is actually the human potential? How can we develop a human being to a higher capacity, maybe even to a higher vision or a higher state of consciousness? How can we facilitate the development of our children’s highest potential? And is this not really the highest obligation of a democratic nation, to look at our children as a resource and say: “How can we give these children the best possible conditions for developing their full potential?”
What is the primary factor blocking this? Well, on the one hand, it is materialism. But on the other hand, it is that many of the adults who are in decision-making positions were never given this opportunity to raise their consciousness. In some cases, they cannot really see the value of it or they simply do not want their children to exceed them. There is a certain attitude among parents that they do not want their children to exceed them, not necessarily materially, but psychologically, in consciousness. Many adults do not want their children to be more intelligent, more well-functioning or more capable than they are. You see this especially in parents who have achieved some kind of position in society where they feel they have done far better than their parents. And they often do not want their children to become better than them. There is a certain sense of competition here.
But is this something society is obligated to be limited by? Or should a society say: “It is time for us to give children the best possible conditions whereby they can develop their potential.” And that means we need to look at what the higher potential for a human being is. Are you really limited by your genes, so that if your parents had a certain IQ, you cannot develop a higher IQ? For that matter, are you born with a certain IQ, or can you develop it? Are you really limited by your upbringing, so that if you have grown up in a working-class family, you can only have a working-class job? Well, obviously no modern nation believes this. Certainly, the more advanced nations have long ago given up this idea and are allowing all children with abilities to get an education. And they have made it a priority because they have realized that you cannot look at a child growing up in a working-class family and say: “That child is not smart enough to get a higher education.”
This was the case 50 or 70 or 80 years ago. It is still the case in many countries around the world. But many countries have transcended it. Well, is it not then time to make another leap and say: “We need to look at each individual child and give them the possibility of developing their potential, which involves, first of all, as a foundation for this, healing their psychological wounds, learning how to deal with their own emotions and learning how to deal with their own psychology. And therefore, we need to look at how can we help people take command over their own psyche, take command over their own minds and develop their minds so they can unlock this higher potential.”
It has been known for a long time, pretty much in all democratic nations, as has been said by neurologists and scientists that human beings are only using a small percentage of the capacity of the physical brain. But even beyond this, human beings are only using a very small percentage of their full potential. And is it not the supreme responsibility of a government that claims to be free and democratic and has the best interests of its citizens at heart, to help people develop that potential? Does it only apply to children? No, certainly it applies to the parents as well, and really to all adults.
In the 1960s, there was a large group of people who came into embodiment who were focused on spiritual growth and spiritual development. And they have pursued that. And as a result of this, they have created shifts in society. Many societies are still looking down upon spiritual people by labeling them as hippies, flower-power people, druggies or whatever. There has been, however, a shift in many of these societies. But it has not broken through to the point where you say: “There is actually an alternative to living the way most people live in our modern countries. There is a potential for people to develop themselves to reach even higher levels of awareness and higher levels of vision, and therefore to be able to function at a higher capacity than people can do today.”
A human being is not a fixed entity. It is very much a pliable entity that can be developed in a constructive direction. And this development of the full potential of our citizens is the greatest resource for a modern enlightened society. Why are we not investing in this? Why are we not showing children how to deal with this as part of the curriculum in school? This is not to say that we need to teach our children how to get into and do a particular spiritual practice or exercise, but we need to find ways for children to develop this potential. And if these methods have already been developed and proven to work, well why should we not at least offer them to our children?
All of the more aware people do not have to work on every issue. But there will be some who will feel that: “This issue really appeals to me. I feel strongly about this particular issue.” Then you focus on that, you educate yourself on that issue, and then do higher awareness work on it. The more you educate yourself, the better work you can do and the greater impact you will have. And then you see whether it might be in your Life plan to do something in society about this issue. Many of you will have this interest. Many of you have it for education, psychological growth or psychological healing. But many of you have other areas of society that it is in your Life plans to work on and provide some improvement that can bring society forward.
Again, many, many people pushing society in small ways is what will bring this forward. And of course, if you look realistically at what is going to drive this change, where is it going to come from? Who are the people in these modern societies who can shift, so that society focuses on developing the resources of children? Well, is it not the mothers of those children who, of course, want the best for their children? More and more women will realize that this is part of their Life plans. This is part of why they are in embodiment. This is the contribution that they wanted to make—to push their societies forward in this ongoing unfoldment towards more and more enlightened societies that have a greater and greater awareness of the basic humanity and especially the essential humanity, the higher potential for a human being. Which mother would not want to see her children express their highest potential?