THE SACRED INCARNATION
For the Waldorf Early Childhood TeachersConference
Rudolf Steiner College
To The Waldorf Teachers of Young Children
How inspiring it is to have you all together, bringing your energy and devotion for the young child into a wonderful gathering of sharing, learning and supporting one another. With these words we hope to help strengthen our mutual dedication to protecting the Kingdom of Childhood.
Our children come to us out of the spiritual world where all is interconnected with divine wisdom — a lawful universe of truth, justice, goodness and love. These incarnating souls expect to meet the same reflection of that lawful universe when they come into this world seeking love. Trustingly, in utter helplessness, they lay themselves on the altar of life with such deep devotion as to embrace our very being through imitating us and all the wonders of the world about them. In their earliest innocent years, they are like the purest clear crystals to mirror for us the truths of the spiritual world. In the light shining out of their eyes, they speak to us in earnest chortles, conveying their wonder of us and their surroundings and all that it means to incarnate again. They shine upon us with spiritual wisdom and eyes filled with love.
Once I asked my five-year-old grandson Alexander if he remembered heaven. He gave a huge grin, nodded his head and eagerly replied:
“St. Micha-el put me up on the tip top of his sword,
(it’s sharper than a dragon’s tooth)
Micha-el is stronger!
(he made enthusiastic gestures with his hands)
When I got my skin on
St. Micha-el sent me down —
Seven bounces — the last one I came through to this side!”
A few weeks later at Christmas he lit his Advent candle, bringing thoughts never mentioned by any of the adults present, saying, “I light my candle for my angel, my star, all the people I know who died, my family, my Daddy and myself and Mary and Jesus.”
So does the truth and proof of heavenly origins and our Michaelic missions shine through our little ones when they have acquired language to tell us about it, and before they begin to forget as their clouds of glory fade away when they near seven. As little children, they are still bathed in the resurrecting life forces of the Risen Christ, the Cosmic universal gift for every human being, which radiates through each child in the first three years of life — forces so powerful that only when we are infants soft can we bear them. The body of Jesus of Nazareth could only endure the God-like intensity of the Christ for three years in order to complete his mission for humanity. It is the same for us in our earliest years when that power is revealed through our incarnation into a tiny infant body, and mastering the Great Work of learning to walk, to speak and to think.
Oh, the wonder of incarnation! The baby joyfully reaches out and grasps for things, reaches for his world with chubby fingers and gleeful “Ah’s” — all happening with a will unfettered by conscious thought or logic — to touch, to pat, to shake, to toss, to roll from side to side, to taste — to taste and savor Life!
The miracle is that these same creative life forces (invisible to our mortal eyes) — forming the child and leading the infant by the pulsing thread of movement and healthy rhythm into earth life — are the same forces which later on in life will metamorphose into Ideas! Imagine! To reach for an idea, to touch it, to turn it from side to side, to pat it into shape! We are created to be the creators of universal human thought! If only the capacities babies are acquiring as they discover the world at their own pace can be honored. If they can experience Mother Nature, loving words and peaceful lullabies instead of being surrounded by surreal electronic devices, overwhelming material stuff and our heavy adult issues. If we are wise, it is we who should be open to their teachings of heaven instead of surrounding them with gadgets and pushing early academic prowess in order to fulfill our own pride in their precocious earthly cleverness. It is we who should crave to have their ability to live in the present moment with wonder, joy and amazement — and reflect that back to them! It is love they are seeking here — and the joy of moving and incarnating into their bodies — not premature worldliness.
We are led as individuals from spirit worlds into the physical sensory world to experience and to learn through the senses and in so doing to give a foundation of physical, emotional and moral support for our spirits’ emerging and maturing creative thinking. What we experience as little children will become the basic landscape for the experiences of our inner life, imprints for the furnishings of our soul home. These impressions will help form a matrix from which our soul strives in earthly life to reach back up into the spiritual world to reconnect with our primal glory. It is only in our physical body that we can truly know selfhood and freedom. We want and need our experience as individuals in a sensory world to find our selfhood. But it is the ultimate divine plan that we will be able — out of choice and freedom and through inspired thought and imagination — to bear witness, to authentically stand and strive, to “remember” again that archetypal world of spirit from which we have originated, to “re-know” our true home from whence we came.
The creative life forces have a major task in the first seven years of life. Guided by the very ground of our existence (God himself who created the world and “found it good’”),
the child’s body is formed, cell by cell. Old forms give way to new with each breath-taking spurt of growth, roll by roll of chubby baby fat, hair by silken hair upon the precious protecting skull, where the graceful petals of skull bone form around the fontanel that is still open to heaven. Day by day, nourished with the magic elixir of the mother’s holy milk and human warmth, the creative spirit completes the human body. We are heavenly in our infancy, nigh unto God, blessed in the protective embrace of God, the Holy Mother and the angels.
Each incarnating individual hopes that this baby body will strongly serve his or her unique spiritual individuality and calls out in this creative growing process: “Give me a strong heart and a vital mind! And by the way, I need a bit more here, a bit more there, I did want a little stronger nose, a broader brow, a greater span of hand. And give me freedom to move and to incarnate!” So does the child’s spirit yearn to help orchestrate the creative work to make the temple of his home on earth. The stronger the spirit the more powerful the individual imprint on the temple of the body in the end. The children long to transcend the hereditary foundation with their own individuality so they can freely fulfill their unique mission.
In these primal years, the forming forces of life are enlivening crucial cells in the expanding brain, strengthening tiny bones for the power to walk, rounding out the liver, heart and kidney to their proper shape and size. How incredibly important that we come to understand this heavenly alchemy of creation working in the infant’s body so that we do not divert or weaken this precious energy from its sacred task of sculpting a sound bodily Temple in the first seven years!
As teachers and parents, we are meant to strengthen and continue the work of the heavenly powers so that all this amazing growth can take place in a milieu of warm and loving thoughts, gestures and deeds. May the little ones be surrounded with striving adults able to offer clear, purposeful life-filled actions, and provide joyful, beautiful surroundings in order for this work of heaven’s art to blossom. May we not prematurely block and divert the flow of spirit-filled life or harden the little body with too much sensory load for the delicate brain’s formation. May we not hinder the divine work with harsh and unhealthy foods, sounds and touch, with ugly playthings, or with cold intellectual facts prematurely forced. May we not pollute and dismay the soul with the mesmerizing, deeply untruthful world of cyberspace that would overwhelm the child’s own natural reverence and imagination.
Little children still live surrounded by angels; they can still be confident in their spiritual origins. A merry heart is their natural state. We should bask in the wonder of it, not oppress them with our adult heaviness and fears. We need to be strong and courageous for them as well as for ourselves. Their tasks are to achieve a healthy incarnation and to bring us love. Our job as the mature adult is to be capable and wise about rhythms, nurturing surroundings, safety and healthy bedtimes. It goes without saying that for many children today it is a difficult and puzzling — even angering — process to take on life. After the age of three, the issues of past karma and the earthly personality just awakened when they become aware and say “I” to identify themselves, are more evident. We must have infinite patience, but these thoughts we are now sharing inform the heart and eyes and insight with which we behold the children. The health and future of the world depends on the health and well being of our children. There is no more significant, vital and exalted task than their care.
You have chosen to be born in the Consciousness Soul Age to be here in 2015, a time when the Adversary forces are working with diabolic intensity at all levels to keep the world in constant fear, despair and hopelessness; and they are blocking healthy incarnations. In addition, if you have truly chosen the path of spiritual development you will experience suffering. You will suffer because that is the only path to spiritual knowledge. Rudolf Steiner teaches us that as a stark truth — and life proves it! Thus you will know many kinds of loss according to your destiny — loss of loved ones, health, work, dreams and hopes. We need courage to stand in our time. This is part of our path today, to know the deepest isolation in the soul so that we are brought face to face with the deepest truths. The sorrow may be so profound it is like falling into the blackness of space, falling through the stars with no one to catch you, like being reduced to worthlessness with no more significance than a grain of sand. But in that dark and hollow void of nothingness there are unseen powers of love always holding you even if you don’t know it. There is a golden drop of love in your heart because God put it there. There is a spark of resurrection gifted to the earth by the great sacrifice endured by the Cosmic Universal Christ on the cross for all humanity, for every individual on earth! Seek this spark of eternal life, love it, fan it into a flame, because that Holy flame of your being is held in the ever-loving tender care of the Great Mother of all who bears All the world’s children. It is the source of your spirit birth.
You have been a Holy child too; the Universal Cosmic Christ child lives in you when you were blessed in your first three years of life with the most powerful strength in all the Universe flowing through your being, before you can remember, as you learned to walk, to speak and to think. The wondrous resurrecting power of love that radiated from the eyes of the precious child of Universal Love, held in the arms and heart of the Great Mother/Sophia, is known to you. Seek this treasure of life! Kindle, rather “re- kindle” from within what you are meant to be, shining with the love and wisdom of Christ/Micha-el/Sophia, a source of life and light and hope — love that sparks into a flame of love for yourself, your life and your work. The children will help you to live in the moment with a happy heart. They shine with that radiant love because they are graced with it in their earliest years. Make it yours again! When the burden is too great, ask for help from the Holy Mother — the eternal, all knowing, compassionate source of goodness — to hold and nurture you and the children. No matter how difficult the background of the child before you is, you can rest in the knowledge that the power of this love is greater.
Dear teachers, let Cosmic Love warm your heart, shine through your eyes, dance out of your finger tips when you touch the little ones. Let it sound out as lilting, bubbling hope in your laughter and song as you share the wonder of life with the children. Rejoice in the world of joy and wonder. Remember you, too, have been a Holy Child and always will be.
When you realize that in your heart lives the same Holy, creative, resurrecting powers of the universal Cosmic Christ that shone through the forming of your own precious infant body, that it is the same radiant core of the young children you are teaching, then you will know the magnificent truth of what you are protecting in them and why you are teaching!! Why we/you have been born for this! Dear Ones, we have life’s highest calling, we are employed by the highest spiritual powers of the universe to do this work on earth. We can only stand in reverent awe to be the ones stand as the guardians of childhood, the time in a human destiny when the greatest resurrecting powers of Love and Life are manifesting in heaven’s gift to humanity. When the greatest creation, the highest divine work of art in all the Universe is unfolding before us — the Sacred Incarnation of the child!
Sending you blessings and Michae-l’s courage and strength for our work, that together we may be beacons of light and love before the children and that we may serve our dear Mother Earth in Her mission to become a planet of Wisdom and Love. We are given wisdom through our striving for spiritual knowledge. The Universal Love is the great gift given freely to all humanity. May we strive for the Wisdom and be blessed to receive the Universal Love, that in receiving we may honor and uphold the sacred incarnation of the children and all those in our circle of life.
Nancy Jewel Poer