Brain Development and Its Correlation with Man’s Spiritual Growth
By Richard Kieninger
Most people would probably assume that a full-term fetus is born with all the physical parts of its brain fully formed and having all those sections put together as a unified organ ready for schooling to develop intelligence. Actually, many brain centers require another two years of physical growth, and a further five years for basic interconnections to occur. It has also been assumed that one’s level of intelligence and artistic abilities are limited to heredity. However, after decades of research and working with children from infancy on, researchers such as Glenn Doman and Jean Piaget have proven the fallacy of that assumption. With proper nurturing, nutrition and neurological stimulation at the proper times during specific stages of an infant’s brain growth, then what a human being can achieve intellectually and spiritually is far beyond our present norms.
When a Brother takes on the body of an infant, His advancement is of little value to Him until He elevates His brain and emotions to the point where He can break through the physical limitations of the vehicle. Is this breakthrough accomplished solely by means of mental effort, or is it also dependent on the brain’s continuing physical development through proper stimulation and nurturing?
The Brotherhoods have provided information relating to the proper rearing and educating of children as well as information pertaining to stages of our brain’s continuing physical development through childhood, adolescence and well into adulthood, which correspond to the potential acquisition of certain brain functions and spiritual abilities. Those ages are: 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42. Let’s explore what is needed for the development of a fully functioning brain, the changes the brain undergoes at each of these ages, and the concomitant possibilities for achieving greater awareness at each of those stages.
The Importance of Bonding
The first thing that needs to be overcome is the disastrous way we bring babies into the world in hospitals. The traumatic effects on the child are usually lifelong. Witness the shallow, so-called “singles-chasing” these days. It has, as its cause, the fear of really getting deeply involved with another human being in a truly intimate way. Some people carry this to the extreme by continuing the singles-chasing game after they are married. These people feel a persistent need to constantly look “elsewhere” because what they are looking for has not been satisfied. What they are looking for is a stable base of emotional security that was destroyed at the time they were separated from their mothers at birth. They seek it the rest of their lives, because there’s no way to go back to being one hour old and living those first critical three days in intimate contact with their mother, which is one of Nature’s imperatives.
Stages of Life
Doman and others have demonstrated that given proper nutrition and the proper neurological stimulation at the appropriate times, every human being has what it takes to achieve genius in many areas as well as become productive, emotionally stable contributors to society. Piaget has established that there are definite growth spurts in the development of the human brain—the actual neurological grouping of certain kinds of cells at specific times in the growth of the human body. A great deal of experience is being developed in the fetus before it is born before the Ego assumes control. While the fetus is growing, its brain is already involved in the incorporation of many sensory stimuli. While the infant has limited things for its eyes to perceive (because it is dark in the womb) the central nervous system is imprinted with sounds and kinesthetic sensations that are starting to preprogramming the baby for connection with the incarnating Ego at birth. This is all designed to fulfill the neurological potentials built into human babies by our Angelic Host.
The Importance of the Mother-Child Bond
From the first moment after birth, there are needs brought into play that have been genetically pre-programmed into the brain. A Few are instincts but most are drives toward the things that the baby needs to do to contribute to its own proper growth. We know, for instance, that an infant must have much cuddling and must be talked to while given eye contact. It should be nurtured in a very special way in order to grow up being psychologically sound. Many experiments with young mammals demonstrate that they too exhibit the same kinds of problems if they are separated from close communication with their mothers.
While in utero, there are brain/body associations being built in the fetus; and then at birth, a Mind is connected to that brain/body combination. And now it is important to provide the new baby with an environment similar to that which he enjoyed in the womb. Smoothing the change from womb to world is accomplished by externally proving many of the same kinds of input that the infant received while it utero. By continuing close body contact with the mother, the child hears the mother’s familiar voice and it is imprinted with that identity. The fetus has recorded the mother’s voice before the Ego took over the brain at the time of its first breath. It has been discovered through movies taken inside the womb that a fetus responds with subtle but very distinct movements to every word that the mother speaks—through minor movements of an elbow, an ankle, a knee, a wrist, a finger. Every individual fetus exhibits consistent micromotions in response to each word that the mother speaks. These micromotions continue through adulthood. The fetus also responds to music of all sorts while in utero. Tests have been conducted that show a person giving very definite responses that can be related to individual kinds of emotions throughout life by listening to certain types of music. Whether the person is a Hottentot, a Japanese or an American, they all give the same kinds of responses to works by different composers. It is a cross-cultural phenomenon this definite connection between our musculature and our brains as this input is coming in. It is a fact that the mother is listening to and the words that the pregnant woman says are all being actively responded to by the fetus.
Continuing the Patterns
The same responses occur after the Ego engages at birth. The mother singing lullaby tunes to the child and speaking to the child produce a comforting, familiar response in the whole musculature of the newborn infant. There are chemical changes that occur inside the fetus, depending on the emotions that the mother is experiencing. For instance, an anxiety-ridden or stress-ridden female who is pregnant will build up very high levels of stress-producing hormones in the fetus which it has no way of dissipating. The sensation experienced by the fetus can be compared to a time when you were driving your car and had a situation which came so close to an accident that you knew a second’s difference would have actually killed you. The adrenaline surge that you felt is exactly what an infant also feelings. And without any way of remission, because of the high level of stress hormones the mother is putting into the fetus’ body, the child is colicky, very difficult to deal with, tends to sleep more than he should, and when he’s awake, tends to cry. It can almost build up to a point of actual rage when he is only two or three days old, but it is actually a stress reactions, caused by the high surge of anxiety-produced hormones—ACTH. Therefore, what the mother thinks, how she’s relating to her society, what that society is doing to her, all these things are reflected in the fetus itself, which is extended immediately to the new Ego after it takes possession of the body at birth.
The Mother Builds the Mold
It is important what kinds of things are in the mother’s environment and how the mother has been taught to respond to things. Does she smoke tobacco during the pregnancy, for instance? That really poisons the fetus, and most people don’t give due credit to the severity of what happens. The child really suffers physiologically and psychologically as a result. When the baby has been born, it needs something in order to relax from that stressful situation. Being in actual physical contact with the mother, hearing the same type of gut noises he’s been listening to for the past several months that’s registered on the brain—because it has become a permanent part of the brain, even though the Ego wasn’t involved in putting it there—her unique sounds such as talking, the kinds of little tunes she used to hum to herself, are these things are familiar and soothing to the child. It is important that the child not be taken away, put into a crib in another room, not even being in contact with the mother for the first 24 hours. The mother and child both need the exchange of certain kinds of hormones and chemicals that occurs in nursing before the milk comes in. If the child is deprived of these things, the child ends up with a stress that never, ever is completely resolved. It ends up as muscular armoring that is difficult to break down.
What the Developing Child Needs
We are putting those kinds of stresses on nearly every child that is born in a hospital. Piaget has isolated some of these things. The child needs the absolute security of the mother providing everything he needs, just exactly when he needs it. A mother who is really close to her child—and sometimes this is established in the first hour after birth—will in many cases know exactly what the child needs before the child expresses it. In many primitive cultures, the child never cries. Crying is the last, desperate attempt to get attention for whatever the child needs. Every time a child cries, it is because a need has gone unmet for too long. I say these things absolutely dogmatically. When the child experiences absolute security, he has received all the neurological requirements of his growing brain at that particular stage.
The Child’s Next Step
Before the child can progress to the next stage of brain development, he had to have the security of that mother who answered every need just exactly at the time he needed it. He is certainly never left to cry it out. Even though many “experts” have given their stamp of approval to that idea, it is an absolute disaster. But the mother says, “Well, after all, I can’t be a slave to this child. I have the housework to take care of, other children to take care of, and I have a husband I have to keep happy. I just can’t keep catering to the baby all the time.” Yet that is exactly what must happen in order for the child to grow up with all the benefits given to it by our Angelic Host. Parents-to-be must find ways to give their baby these things before the child is born. Today’s society is neither set up to provide those things nor to support new families.
Unless the child has each Nature-mandated need met as he progresses through the various spurts of neurological growth, then the child never catches up; he is trying to compensate for the rest of his life for that thing that has been missing and has been passed by when the brain was most ready. There’s no way to make it up, and the body carries the missing input to the next stage, and what should have been built upon can never be. So you have a situation in which a body is now growing physiologically, where the teeth are coming in at the right time, and the bones and muscles are developing just the way Nature wants it, but all the things that Nature wants for the growth of that brain have not occurred. This produces a kind of neurosis. How are you going to get rid of it? The means to get rid of the neurosis have been lost forever; you cannot backtrack. So then the best we can do is try to overlay it consciously with some other (but, per force, lesser) way after we become adults.
It’s All in the Timing
Anytime you demand that a child do something that is beyond his ability, you set up anxieties. Anytime you set up an anxiety, learning cannot occur. A child can grow at tremendous rates intellectually, but not if pushed beyond his ability at any given time. He has to grow in accordance with demands that he knows; the child will always state what demands he has. A child will learn how to read best at the age of three, for instance. That does not mean, “Dammit, you’re going to learn this page, or you’re not going to have any lunch.” Or, “You didn’t get it right, so you’re going to fail. We’re going to give you an ‘F’ because you did not answer it correctly.” A child will react against the thing that is forcing him with further demands, bargaining, rebellion, or shutting down. If possible, he will flee from that painful situation. Learning ceases to be a joy under those circumstances.
Another important point is we cannot teach the abstract areas of philosophy before age nine because the child brain has not yet developed those areas that can store the information. It is not ready for it. Although he has to know about God, you only need to tell him that God is someone Who really loves us; Who has provided us with this beautiful world and all the things around it that we need, and that’s as far as you can go with that. You cannot get into theology with a child because he cannot handle it. As a matter of fact, you will turn him away from God if you start pounding it into him too early. He may go through the routines and follow the taboos of the tribe, but he will never love God under those circumstances. Jesus loves us and God loves us; that is as much as a child needs to know. He already loves father and mother. God is the next step up. That much a child can grasp. God is a loving Father. You should not go any further. He will learn all the other angles to it when he is around fourteen or eighteen, when he can begin thinking in the abstract. You cannot tell children about political aspects of our world, because that is too abstract. You can teach him about Nature and all the fantastic, marvelous things about Nature. He will understand how a star works, because there’s no political argument involved there. We can eventually reveal our Philosophy in the same sense and how we relate to it. It is just absolutely beautiful.
You can explain to a child about an atomic furnace. Do not explain to him about atomic bombs and how they are used, because a child cannot handle that. Do not try to get him involved in the argument about the use of pesticides and what have you. He cannot possibly understand it or relate to it in a way other than to produce an anxiety or stress which then turns him off from the beauties and wonders of finding out about Nature. He has to learn about animals. He has to learn about how bees sting you and what bees do that is useful. He has to learn about that sort of thing, through actual experience, and have the freedom in order to learn about those kinds of things. The more actual information we can give him through reading, for instance, the more he can relate to that situation. It is a richer experience by having a lot more upon which to work.
So assuming mother has successfully tended to his needs, he is then ready to learn about the world; and this continues until adolescence. The world, then, becomes the stage to move into abstract thought. There are all kinds of other strains to deal with when you get into adolescence, but you have to have all these other world-consciousness, nurture-consciousness, womb-safety kinds of things taken care of according to the neurological set-up created by the Angels.
Expanding Our Consciousness
The stage after that, of working with the Mind and brain primarily, where you do not have to depend on the body situations, is at twenty-one. Now he is beginning to get ready for far more abstract things. He starts setting the stage for the time of God consciousness at twenty-eight, when the brain has developed itself in such a way that he can begin to comprehend Mind-to-Mind relationships rather than Mind-body relationships. He begins to think in abstracts that do not require a brain, but Mind alone.
Accepting Our Environment
The next stage is thirty-five—Mind to greater Mind. Then he really is able to begin to comprehend more about God. He cannot do it before age thirty-five. It is ridiculous to see someone who is twenty-two years old undergoing all kinds of Yoga exercises so he can break through into an experience which his brain simply cannot allow him to do until he is, at least, twenty-eight years old. We have a tendency of saying, through our technological advancement, that we can overcome anything in Nature. I say we have to find out what Nature demands, and then fulfill Nature, and then everything is in total balance. Our Creators have set up a perfectly balanced system, and to try to overcome it with technology only works against it. We are only kidding ourselves; because all we are doing is destroying the very basis upon which our whole chance of Egoic growth is dependent. We have been doing it for a couple of generations with our technological society, and what we are suffering now is an alienation from that which is really us.
In summary, a human being must have basic needs met before he can become the fully functioning Ego he incarnated to become. These needs can be met in the following ways:
· While pregnant, the mother must be careful to give herself proper nutrition and avoid smoky or stressful environments.
· While pregnant, the mother must do all she can to soothe and comfort the fetus by talking to it and playing soothing music.
· At birth, allow the mother and infant to remain in contact as much as possible the first three days.
· When the infant cries, tend to his needs as quickly as possible.
· Give the infant proper nutrition.
· Give the infant appropriate mental and physical stimulation at the proper times, such as clothing that allow the legs and feet to remain bare; allowing the child freedom to crawl and explore; using dot cards and bit cards; maintaining a fun and exciting learning experience; and avoiding giving a child explanations that are abstract or political in nature until adolescence.
The Stages of Neurological Development
The ages at which the brain’s growth spurts, as Piaget referred to them, occur are at the following ages:
7: The child begins to learn about the world around him.
14: The child acquires the ability to comprehend abstract thought.
21: The brain develops the ability to comprehend even more abstract concepts.
28: God consciousness is developed. Mind-to-Mind communication is possible, rather than being limited only to the Mind-body connection. Initiation is now possible.
35: Mind to greater Mind is possible. He begins to understand who/what God really is.
42: Cosmic consciousness is possible. The ability to understand deeper meanings and grasp higher concepts of reality is developed.
When the brain is provided with these requirements, it will develop as was intended by our Angelic Host, and with each stage of development will come the ability to understand the universe in continually larger, more holistic terms and reaching the ability to communicate Mind to greater Mind. Eventually comes the development of cosmic consciousness, one of the requirements for Initiation.
We have before us the task of teaching the younger generation the responsibilities and joys of the proper rearing of children—for that is the only way we will be able to prepare future inhabitants of the Nation of God for Mastership. This may seem to be an impossible goal, but it is only the beginning of our rewarding journey. For once an individual is able to catch glimpses of concepts such as infinity and Christ’s awe-inspiring Love, we embark on the thrill of attaining the next, and then the next, level on our spiritual journey until we reach our final destination, the ultimate of frontiers, when we arrive home and hear our Father say, “Welcome. I’ve been expecting you.”