[Bilde:100619_152741_0.png]A Parable of the Soul -
Every educational psychologist develops a theory of of educational
development. While I could never be classified as an educational
psychologist, my experience in the classroom should be worth some degree
of insight - maybe not expertise.
So, as I restart this blog after a holiday hiatus, it seems timely to
begin with a short parable of growth and development - what I call the
"parable of the movable soul - a parable of growth, development, and life."
The soul moves as we grow and develop, and we have been misled to think
that it resides on one place and only has one dimension. That sense of
consciousness, that sense of being, that thing that either defines us or
separates us from the rest of the world, is in fact a pretty dynamic
entity, changing and adapting as we all change and develop.
The soul begins in the feet of little children. It begins close to the
earth. Little children learn just after infancy to walk, to run, to
play, to explore. The reason that we all refer to the "terrible two's" is
that this is the age of first exploration, the age at which the soul finds
its first manifestation as the child runs about, exploring, touching, but
always running. Sometimes these exploration make little sense - they
don't have to make sense to an adult, but they make sense to the soul of a
As the child matures, the soul moves up the body - after all we are bipeds
and the soul moves upwards. When the child is what we call a toddler to a
youngster, the soul moves from the feet to the upper thigh - and the child
engages in more sophisticated "running," what I call "running with tools."
Those tools may be a bike, a soccer ball, a tennis racket, a baseball bat;
and at this stage the child has learned to manipulate the environment by
using tools and feet to accomplish goals. We don't think of the child as
mature, but we do catch glimpses of a developing soul as the child
interacts more deliberately with the world, and the soul expands.
Then, of course there is this stage of development when the soul rests
someplace between the knees and the waist, and other forces in the child's
life take over - things we sometimes avoid in polite discussion, but
things that surely have impact. We have all heard and made comments about
which end of the brain some people use for thinking and acting - and the
metaphor just works as the soul continues its journey upward. Each new
stage unleashes new found power and this stage is sometimes frightening.
It always seems to happen first in girls, they are made of finer stuff;
and it always seems that grade 9 boys are in grade 8 until the January of
their grade 9 year. It's just the soul moving at different rates.
Of course, as the soul continues its progress, youngsters mature. The
next stage sees the soul between the waist and the heart, though there are
always parts left behind. In this next stage, the youngster becomes what
we call an "adolescent," a part of a person - as if personhood were
somehow reserved for latter life. It is in this stage that the youngster,
the adolescent, or the young adult first experiences romantic love and
attraction - for the soul is most active in the heart. It is also the time
of first heartbreaks, always difficult and poignant. Always unforgettable.
At this stage, the child/adolescent/ young person has a larger view of
self and others - as the soul is working its magic. Sometimes,
regrettably, we learn from pain.
At some point, the soul makes its journey upward, though again at
different rates and times. The fully articulated person has a soul located
in the head and has learned to see, to hear, to think, and maybe then to
talk with purpose. That expression about having two ears to listen and one
tongue to speak is really a statement about the soul's location.
Unfortunately, some souls don't make it all the way - and latency can be
seen as the degree to which parts of the soul are left behind. Even more
unfortunate is when the soul doesn't quite progress as far as it might -
for therein lies the unrealized potential of an unarticulated soul.
Of course, the soul ages. It finds its expression in the onset of gray
hair - the progress of the soul is unstoppable and irreversible - it
begins its migration outside the confines of the body as we age. That
white hair should never be regretted, but celebrated as the soul continues
its inevitable journey.
At last, we each experience that inevitable. The soul sloughs off its
worldly container, but continues its progress after death - always upward.
Eventually that active soul finds its way, and then emerges again as
rain, falling back to earth where it re-enters the world through the feet
of little children. And the process continues.