The Sunlit Path|Aug 6, 2007 11:08 AM| by:

Childhood Dreams

We have all seen how we change and how, as we grow up, our dreams change as well.  When we are children, we dream of life being beautiful, of everyone being happy, of a perpetual miracle.  But in a few years, the reality of the world hits us, the dreams turn into illusions, and aspiration turns into cynicism.  And we pass on that cynicism and doubt to our children.

But the Mother says that this is just the contrary of what should be done.  Rather we must encourage them to hold on to their dreams and give them the faith that the dreams can be turned into a living reality and, if we try, the world can become beautiful and happy.

Question  :  When children speak about their hopes and dreams, what should we do?  Should we not tell them about the actual reality?

Here is the Mother’s answer, an inspiring message for all parents, teachers and elders.

  When one is Young

When one is very young… there is always, in the dreams of the child, a kind of aspiration, which for its child’s consciousness is a sort of ambition, for something which would be beauty without ugliness, justice without injustice, goodness without limits, and a conscious, constant success, a perpetual miracle. One dreams of miracles when one is young, one wants all wickedness to disappear, everything to be always luminous, beautiful, happy, one likes stories which end happily. This is what one should rely on. When the body feels its miseries, its limitations, one must establish this dream in it—of a strength which would have no limit, a beauty which would have no ugliness, and of marvellous capacities: one dreams of being able to rise into the air, of being wherever it is necessary to be, of setting things right when they go wrong, of healing the sick; indeed, one has all sorts of dreams when one is very young….

Usually parents or teachers pass their time throwing cold water on it, telling you, “Oh! it’s a dream, it is not a reality.” They should do the very opposite! Children should be taught, “Yes, this is what you must try to realise and not only is it possible but it is certain if you come in contact with the part in you which is capable of doing this thing. This is what should guide your life, organise it, make you develop in the direction of the true reality which the ordinary world calls illusion.”

This is what it should be, instead of making children ordinary, with that dull, vulgar common sense which becomes an inveterate habit and, when something is going well, immediately brings up in the being the idea: “Oh, that won’t last!”, when somebody is kind, the impression, “Oh, he will change!”, when one is capable of doing something, “Oh, tomorrow I won’t be able to do it so well.” This is like an acid, a destructive acid in the being, which takes away hope, certitude, confidence in future possibilities.

    When a Child is full of Enthusiasm

When a child is full of enthusiasm, never throw cold water on it, never tell him, “You know, life is not like that!” You should always encourage him, tell him, “Yes, at present things are not always like that, they seem ugly, but behind this there is a beauty that is trying to realise itself. This is what you should love and draw towards you, this is what you should make the object of your dreams, of your ambitions.”

And if you do this when you are very small, you have much less difficulty than if later on you have to undo, undo all the bad effects of a bad education, undo that kind of dull and vulgar common sense which means that you expect nothing good from life, which makes it insipid, boring, and contradicts all the hopes, all the so-called illusions of beauty. On the contrary, you must tell a child—or yourself if you are no longer quite a baby—“Everything in me that seems unreal, impossible, illusory, that is what is true, that is what I must cultivate.” When you have these aspirations: “Oh, not to be always limited by some incapacity, all the time held back by some bad will!”, you must cultivate within you this certitude that that is what is essentially true and that is what must be realised….

When a child tells you a beautiful dream in which he had many powers and all things were very beautiful, be very careful never to tell him, “Oh! life is not like that”, for you are doing something wrong. You must on the contrary tell him, “Life ought to be like that, and it will be like that!”

The Mother