Contents of Educating the Reincarnated Child

Contents of Educating the Reincarnated Child

This was not an easy book to write.   To be honest, I wrote this book several times, each time trying to reorganize, simplify, and clarify.  The research and ideas that I share are the gleanings of my forty-plus years in education, as I immersed myself in the business of educating and being educated by others.

The book opens with a brief history of the origin of the concept of childhood, first developed during the Renaissance and the Reformation.  This all-important concept, defining a distinct time in the life of the child requiring specialized education, was primarily focused on soul development.  You will be introduced to Comenius, Pestalozzi, Froebel, and Montessori, revolutionary and, I believe, divinely inspired soul educators, who lived between 1600 and 1950.  In the succeeding chapters 2 – 5, I share with you their individual legacies.  We cannot discuss soul education in the present without remembering their rich contributions to education.

Although these early educators, and their disciples, were focused on the sacredness of the child, they did not profess to specifically believe in reincarnation.  Indeed, they would probably have considered this belief heretical.  That doesn’t matter because their teachings on the education of the soul are unprecedented, uplifting, and can still provide inspiration today.  They provide an opportunity to meditate on their writings and ponder the essence of what they wrote.

In the sixth chapter, as we move from the past into the present, I combine their ideas with my own into a suggested list for activities that would enhance soul development.  Then, in chapters seven through ten, we shift gears and move to discussing the vehicles that the soul uses for expression: the mind, the heart, and the body. In these chapters, I highlight recommended modern educational methods which support soul development.  Chapter seven shares brain research that should inform educators.  I also discuss the mind/brain debate.  Chapter eight promotes ideas about developing the heart qualities of morality and emotional control (E.Q).  Chapter nine deals with strengthening the physical bodies of children and the importance of good health and nutrition.  The book concludes with a final chapter sharing my personal agenda for the future of education—in a time when we will recognize the value of educating the “whole” person.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Chapter One –A Time of Life Called Childhood

Chapter Two – Comenius

Chapter Three – Pestalozzi

Chapter Four – Froebel

Chapter Five – Montessori

Chapter Six – Educating the Soul/Spirit

Chapter Seven – Educating the Mind/Brain

Chapter Eight –Educating the Heart

Chapter Nine – Educating the Body

Chapter Ten – My Dreams for the Future of Education

Notes

References

192 pages

 

Celeste A. Miller

A reviewer called this book ” a gem”.  I hope you will take the time to read it and share your thoughts.

Educating the Reincarnated Child by Celeste A. Miller, PhD

Book #4 in the Reincarnated Child Series

 

Educating the Heart

Accomplishments of the heart may even be more important in the trajectory of a human life than those of the head.  The way I am using the term “heart” is to refer to the emotions or sensibilities, (E.Q.), dispositions of character and values as well as something deeper, the indefinable spirit of man.  Educating the heart is central to our purpose because the heart is central to man’s existence.  When we think of the word heart we often come up with these concepts:  good will toward all, sharing of love for others, as well as comfort, harmony, and service to life. The famous Bible quote from Corinthians, Chap. 1, 13 often read at weddings come to mind.  Love is kind……., bears all things, hopes all things, etc.[1]  A quality education should develop the moral potentialities of the heart, as well as its generosity and courage.

Children relate to others with their hearts first.  Even a new born baby knows if someone loves her or not. It is not intellectual with children.  Thus, it is often easier for children to enter into their hearts than for the adults who are teaching them.   The axiom that children are pure in heart is very true, especially babies.  As children age, the heart becomes more multidimensional expressing many qualities –both negative and positive.

The Soul and the Heart

The soul is eternal without the heart, but needs the heart to express itself, as well as the mind and the body.  Thus the soul and the heart are intricately connected, the soul using the heart to experience the world. The heart is where the greater self (inner teacher) and soul commune.  Because of this, perhaps we should conclude that all soul education must actually begin in the heart – not the head, because the soul is accessed more easily through the heart.  A hardened heart is a closed door for the soul.  A loving heart gives the soul entre into day-to-day living.  The soul– captive to expressions of the heart, mind and body—is either limited or unlimited by our heart’s orientation to life.

A heart-education should help a child make right choices, to know that even though the head may indicate a certain action to be reasonable and correct, none-the-less, confirmation from the heart is also needed. All of our right choices help our souls to evolve.   If everyone you met was a loving person, what a world this would be!

A Heart Runs Through

If the purpose of life is to love and love again, then the qualities of heart are super important to develop.  I suggest these attributes are heart qualities, but there are probably others too.  Purity, constancy, grace, truthfulness, authenticity, compassion, reflectiveness, fortitude, practicality, and humility, come to mind.

I give an explanation in Parenting the Reincarnated Child about the concept of distinguishing between the head problems and heart problems when children misbehave.  Getting to the root of the heart problems which represent negative willful behavior will encourage the development of the positive heart attributes listed above.  Heart problems are always moral problems.   As Pestalozzi said:  “A moral education would “elevate the inner dignity of our nature, the pure, highly godly being which lies within us.”[2] This sense was not developed by the power of the mind, but by the power of the heart in love. [3]A child who has had this orientation at home will understand a teacher who points out that an infraction was a heart problem as opposed to a head problem.

Research Studies from the HeartMath Institute

I read research a number of years ago from the HeartMath Institute that said that all information coming to the brain is first received by the heart and then travels from the physical heart to the brain in microseconds.  If this is true, then the heart is the first organ to receive the brunt of either the positive or negative messages from the environment and as our first line of defense would be very important.  Some neurocardiologists are calling these signals (from the heart to the head, that influence perception, emotional experience and higher mental processes), the “heart brain” (a kind of little brain).[4] “This heart brain, like the brain proper, has an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells. It can act independently to learn, remember, feel and sense.”[5]  It has been called an intelligent heart because it can intentionally change the information the heart sends to the brain.  Researchers at the Institute of HeartMath have found that “emotions (of the heart) such as compassion, care and love, or generally positive feeling states, can actually benefit you in many ways. “[6]  We also know from personal experiences that we enjoy being with loving people.

The emotions are more important than we previously thought.  As we learned from Pert (1999) the brain and the body share chemicals and hormones and they constantly communicate with one another.  Dr. Green of the Mayo Clinic has said

“[E]very change in the physiological state is accompanied by an appropriate change in the mental emotional state, conscious or unconscious, and conversely every change in the mental emotional state, conscious or unconscious, is accompanied by an appropriate change in the physiological state”. [7]

Because we now know that emotion drives attention and attention drives learning and memory, obviously, the emotional climate of our classrooms is either a detriment, or an assist to learning.  Creating a positive, nurturing environment is essential. We need to be artful about creating learning experiences which allow for the possibility of trial and error without fear of failure, loss of face and self-respect.

Dr. Celeste A. Miller

Excerpted from the soon to be released Educating the Reincarnated Child

[1] Corinthians I, Chapter 13, 1-13
[2]Heafford, M. (1967).  Pestalozzi, London: Methuen & Co TS, Barnes and Noble US distributors. (Pestalozzi, Schriften 4 (1805-26, I) p.193, Uber die Idee der Elementarbildung. Quoted in Heafford.), p.60

[3] Werke, S. (1899). Pestalozzi, Uber Geist und Herz in der Methode,  Vol 18, pp. 36-7
[4] www.heartmath.com website
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid., p. 127

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