Why is it that when we were children we seemed so far more understanding and wise? It is a common response, and in some ways true, that our simple joy really came from the fact that we were so mentally guileless at that age. That we did not know the horrors of the world and that we were literally naked babes upon the land.
This can explain many things about a child’s nature and a child’s vulnerability, but it does not explain the full extent of it. If you remember back, truly remember back to what it felt like when you were a child, you will remember that there was far more to it than just a simpleton’s mind. If you truly remember, you will realize the children seem to have a far greater connection to the world than adults do. Children seem to have this trusting connection and this greater understanding that we as adults seem to lose as we clog up our minds with the many facts that allow us to participate in this world.
Children have a natural type of identification that allows them to perceive the world in a far deeper and richer way than adults can. Why is it that children have such a rich connection while we as adults seem to be like aliens living in a foreign world?
The reason for this, I believe, is that we have lost our empathic connection to the earth and to all of the beings around us. Empathy is usually given a rather unfair definition; empathy is usually seen as this negative characteristic that is quite feminine and weak. This is highly incorrect, not to mention the fact that characterizing something as weak just because we perceive it as feminine is highly flawed indeed.
Empathy is neither feminine nor masculine. Empathy is a highly practical capability that can allow you to develop a sixth sense that can give you a great advantage. An empathic person can tell you what another person is feeling and thinking, they can have a sense about what is good and bad, and they can discover trouble or reward within any environment. Those that are empathic enough can sense profit or ruin and therefore have an advantage over those that have no empathy at all.
Many fear empathy because it is believed that those that are empathic will somehow lose themselves in their intuitions. It is seen as weak because in a world where we are taught to crush our enemies, it is never a good idea to be able to feel that crushing ourselves. But even in this, the definition of empathy is wrong; not that I wish to propagate the crushing of enemies per se, but it is wrong to think that you will be lost through your empathic visions. A skilled empath can feel others and the world around them but at the same time understand that he/she is a separate entity. True empathy does not mean being lost in the emotions or feelings of others, but it is the ability to understand the reality of the self and of the other at the same time.
So why is it that children seem to be such wise little people? Why is it that children seem to be continually happy and at one with their environment? The biggest reason for this is because they have not tainted their connection with the other and as a result are highly empathic beings. You can regain this connection, you can also have a life filled with joy; and all that you need to do is to learn to play like children do.
If you ever watch children playing, you will notice that they love to pretend. They will pretend that they are pirates or soldiers, they pretend that they live far into the future or that they are from the great past. What children are wonderful at is ‘discovering themselves outside of themselves.’
In order to develop your empathic abilities you must also do the same thing. You must use your imagination and playfully pretend that you are something or someone else. You could for example pretend that you are the same person that you are right now but that you are 100 years in the future, at exactly the same place where you are right now. Use your imagination now and try to imagine what it would be like to be at exactly the same place you are now but 100 years in the future.
Use your imagination to pretend that you are a parent, if you are not already one, and explore your feelings and how you would feel if this were the case. Imagine what it would be like to be an incredible genius that can solve all the problems of the world.
If you have ever watched children play, you will also notice that they like to pretend to be things that you might find quite repulsive. Children for example like to pretend that they are dead or that they are so old that they can barely move. You should do the same and extend your mind to pretensions that you might at first find quite difficult. Pretending what others would act like if you died is a wonderful children’s game that many kids play and perhaps you should too.
I know some of this might seem difficult but it’s a wonderful way to ‘discover yourself outside yourself’.
Also try to pretend that you are different objects or different things in the world; try to imagine that you are a lake and feel what it would be like to have people on you, swimming inside of you. Imagine that you are a rock or that you are a bird flying really high up in the sky. Explore your feelings while you’re doing this and discover in this way what it would feel like to be something completely different from yourself.
These simple games, done with a fun and playful spirit, can teach you a great deal about the people and the world around you. You might be very surprised at what you discover and I can guarantee you that if you pursue this game with an open spirit, you will find great wisdom inside yourself. By understanding the world through your empathic vision, you will quickly learn a better way to deal with everything around you.
Become the wind, the sunshine, and the trees. Discover in this way what it is to be what you truly are; a child of the earth and the stars. Children are never lonely, and they always seem to have fun wherever they go. You too can have this kind of joy, delight, and wisdom. Learn to play like you used to and re-discover the wisdom that you had forgotten.