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Book of Vladimir Antonov "Spiritual Work with Children"

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Vasilyok

“Cognition of God and His Creation is very interesting! However, now on the Earth (with some exceptions) the word God is related in children’s minds mainly with tedious edification from adults… But I am their main Friend, their main Companion in games and in life!… I want to make their lives very interesting! It is called ecology. It teaches one to learn, to love, to guard!

“How can you help people? — think of something yourselves: this can be a web page on the Internet, a small book, or a film. It should not be a manual for teachers but rather a training aid for children themselves!”

“How did You teach Your children?”

“In this very way: even a flower could become a whole world that tells its story including the structure of its life, ethics, philosophy, God…

“There was a library in the ruins of a destroyed monastery nearby that I discovered in My childhood… These books became a catalyst for awakening the memory of the soul and as a source of much knowledge… I intuitively recognized the Truth — and then retold it to children in a manner interesting to them. For example, I told them about the events as if I saw them with the eyes of God… They submerged into My love — and everything that I described was imbibed by them together with My love and became an integral part of their worldview. As a mother’s milk contains everything necessary for a child’s life, even so My love included the basics of the worldview and ethics of God, and a little of concrete knowledge about plants, animals, and Earth.

“It was great joy! — to see how their hearts open and aspire towards the Light…”

* * *

“Now I work with children — I teach them to be joyful. It is very important — to be joyful! People ceased to enjoy natural beauty — and this is very sad for God.

“There is so much beauty on the Earth; one just needs to see it! Not everyone can see masterpieces of arts, but everyone can admire the beauty of living nature! Even in the desert and in the eternal Arctic ice there is a special charm!

“Ask people around you: how often do they look at the sky? You will learn that the ‘world’ of most of them is limited to several meters around their bodies and even these meters are contained in their rooms and offices.

“One has to teach people to notice the beautiful! To notice it not only when admiring forests, meadows, lakes, steppe, seas… — but also in dewdrops, in the first rays of the rising sun, in the drops of rain, in grass blades, in the singing of birds, in the thin new moon… — everywhere one can discover the wonderful beauty of the Creation!

“And when people learn to notice the beautiful and to enjoy it, then they can understand and fall in love with Him Who created all this — with the Creator! Living nature was also created by the Creator — as an inexhaustible source of joy and love!”

“Tell us: why do You work with children and not with adults?”

“To work with children is a great joy for God! Children’s souls are more open towards everything beautiful! The purity of their perception of the beautiful is much higher than that of adults. Children are also capable of comprehending very serious knowledge about God if one treats them seriously and speaks to them as equals. They are capable of coming to the level of their instructor if it is interesting to them. They absorb new knowledge with the whole consciousness, contrary to the case of adults when the received knowledge unfortunately ‘gets stuck in the head’.

“One must also keep in mind that children have the dangerous ‘awkward age’*, but this is natural. They who pass it safely have a remarkable foundation for correct further development.”

“Vasilyok, what can You advise us concerning upbringing of one’s own children?”

“One has to raise them by one’s own example! By one’s own example — in everything!

“One has to view the child as a student — and in the presence of students the teacher cannot allow himself or herself to show a little of weakness.

“The more difficult the student is, the more impeccable the teacher has to be!

“If one analyzes one’s own behavior — then one can understand that the roots of many child’s vices have roots in the soul of the teacher.

“One can repeat good words many times… — but what worth do the words have that come from one who cannot impeccably follow one’s own advice? By such a behavior the teacher can forever depreciate the beautiful and correct values that he or she tries to impart to the student.”

 
 

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