We decided not to enrol our two children in school for this school year. Now that we have ample time and space to devote to them, there are opportunities to provide Sinag and Isa experiences they themselves create on a monthly basis. They are moving to a new home this August, where bigger gardens and classroom spaces allow them to consider the zones of learning according to the same framework we are conducting with the local elementary school in Barangay Bacungan and the television show concepts we are co-developing with our filmmaking partners.
Meeting Fresh Minds
Living up in nature and travelling down to the busy city to be with the children every other day juxtaposes two very different modes of being. When in Maia, I sit quietly reflecting everyday on how much I have grown with all meetings ever had with the mind of a child. The sense of detachment afforded my life in the mountains helps me carefully take note - more and more, I am not my children's teacher, but their avid classmate and student.
As Old Minds Become New
My first eight years in fatherhood took place entirely during a busy time conducting inner dance workshops across the world. My constant travelling kept me detached yet involved with my children’s stages of growth.
During those years, I have had the opportunity to watch a great number of persons from different cultures who have this easy penchant for becoming like children again. I happily reminisce watching adults up to their 60's or 70’s who would easily crawl into a foetus position after an intense hour of undergoing a life journey from the vantage of their omni-directional Child-Mind.
I did not need to get used to those deep levels of catharsis - the crying, laughing, screaming and the extreme body movements that come as tremors or wild thrashing. Every strange healing mirrored my own indescribable experiences when I lived encased within this same energy, far away from other human beings, slowly arriving into innocence and an indefensible clarity.
Upon encountering throngs of people experiencing the same, I was happy to prop myself onto the far corner of many rooms with several notebooks brimming with scribbled notes that wonder at what it all implied, that these adult people were so quickly learning to become young again.
During those long whole-day workshops in Bahay Kalipay, I rested with the thought that I can come home in the early evening knowing there were two young children waiting at home, both of whom respectively were ever on the brink of learning how to talk, read and write. Into the late evenings, I snuggle into Sinag and Issa’s dream spaces, intertwined with the long contextual threads of my daddy mind, my daddy’s and mommy’s mind, on a cycle of re-wounding and un-wounding all sorts of intersecting patternings so old so new.
A Theory of Ungrowing
There is so much to say about the significances the conscious meeting of the adult and the fetus bring about - the chance to start over, to find fresh beginning. In a world pushing forward on the train of progress, what does it mean to go backwards not in the time sense of yesterday’s past, but onto space, the place signified by the clean slate, the blank page. As would babies hold generous, the infinite “what ifs” futures be-hold.
The Russian language philosopher Roman Jakobson illuminates the possibility that the ego death is synonymous with our return to childhood. In his Regression Hypothesis, he observed the way people lose their language and mental functions, theorising that the mind is able to reverse its stages of growths, when afforded its experience of time's cycle of eternal return.
The white canvass, tabula rasa, newness, the suspension of judgment, absolute trust, the animal’s natural instinct, the baby’s precognitive intuitions - such are the gifts a Theory of Regression bring into deeper context.
Jakobson's hypothesis opens the space for wondering about the simultaneous structuralism in the “forgetting-remembering” of Who We Are, extending the reaches of developmental psychology far beyond just the minds of infants and small children.
Three basic questions might help to bring forward valuable interactionist approaches that unfold our many evolving insights in developmental thinking. The immense growths accorded to the small child is suddenly just as applicable to the adult that seeks the fountains of an eternal youth.
These three questions through the lens of spiritual and healing process, provide a psychological and linguistic framework that holds the Learning and Unlearning stages in unison, breaking down perceived hierarchies between parent and child, whilst breaking open the incredible space a small wise infant offers to all who would learn the language and mentalities that existed prior to our spoken and written words.
During these quiet months during COVID-19, I have had a chance to apply these thought lines within Life-1A's unfolding contexts in accordance with the Philippines' spontaneous responses to the pandemic and other crises facing our current learning systems.