Han Marie Stiekema Sermes
Q. In spirituality, the HereNow is always
emphasized. With regard to children the focus obviously changes. Shouldn't we talk about
the future now?
A. Children are indeed
future-oriented, necessarily so. The greatest sin adults of today have committed, is not
having offered their children a perspective in life. We should be their co-creators,
rather than using our children for our own purposes.
Q. What do you mean by that?
A. We are sacrificing our
children on the altar of our self-interests, making them a caste of pariah's, so that big
business can easily exploit them for the sake of greed and profit. They are indispensable
for maintaining our level of consumerism. Children are the slaves, we are the slave
Q. You obviously very much oppose this. What
can you offer to the children of today?
A. Let's start with the
beginning. From a spiritual perspective the Light is the child of the Cosmic Womb, while
we are children of the Light. Thus the Mother is our True Ancestor. Hence, children are a
gift of the Great Mother.
Q. Receiving children, rather than
A. Did you "make"
A. You not only didn't make
them, you also did not receive them for your own purposes. You are there for them, rather
than that they are there for you. So it all starts with your "motivation". I
favor an attitude, in which you are consciously preparing yourself to receiving one of the
greatest gifts possible. Getting children is a sacred event.
Q. It is also a very earthly event, isn't it? I
mean, it is the most natural event on earth.
A. This is exactly where the
New Spirituality is all about. Sacredness is not only limited to the Beyond, but includes
the whole of "creation", without exception. It is the consequence of the Mother
Q. What does this mean for everyday life?
A. With sacredness and
gratitude, the foundation of your life will change dramatically. It is the Source from
where your love, strength and wisdom is originating. It nurtures you in order for you to
nurture your children.
Q. Hearing your introduction, I feel deeply
moved. I think it is related to a longing for sanctifying our life once again. My God, how
vulgar and ugly our daily life is!
A. Because children are in a
dead end, thanks to the disastrous approach of both education and school, we have to
re-create the entire approach. We consider our guideline for life: A New Spirituality - A
New World View - A New Community very suitable to the purpose. It is an attempt to
transform Self and Society, after all. Our children should be the first, who are
benefiting from it.
Q. Are there steps to be distinguished?
A. First of all, our children
should grow up in an atmosphere of love, dedication and respect. We should carefully
nurture their spiritual abilities. As you know, children are born from the Light. They are
Light beings. Contrary to what people believe nowadays, it should be possible to nurture
their Being in such a way, that a foundation is created. Because of this, the
ego-development will be much more stable. Rather than "fear of Nothingness"
(which is the consequence of having no spiritual foundation), the child's life will be
based on existential trust.
Q. That sounds marvelous. What would you teach
children in this regard?
A. You should allow your
children to teach you. They are closer to "God" than you are. Sometimes you may
add things, like body-contact-awareness, meditation and "inner prayer" to it.
This mutual cooperation is the source of great joy and fulfillment. Besides, you should
develop small rituals, like offerings to the Home Shrine, reading tales about the Great
Mother and related topics, constructive games with other children, multifunctional
creativity and a lot of loving e.g. intimate contact.
Q. That will require lots of
"investment". One major reason for neglect, is the busy lives of the parents.
A. We are talking about a
future model here. I don't think, the sinking ship can be saved. A little repair here and
there won't work. I am putting all my hopes in people, who are willing to transform their
lives. The current family situation will soon collapse. It is the source of stress and
burn-out, rather than regeneration. Central in my considerations lies the "Caribbean
model". It is the situation, in which women take care of their children themselves.
More and more these are children of more than one father*. Out of sheer necessity, I
expect women to create a new kind of solidarity: sharing the education of their children.
They put themselves in the center of the community, while stimulating their partners e.g.
"boyfriends" to "join the group", accepting some kind of joined
responsibility (financial support f.i.). Good for the children, good for the women and
good for the men.
* 39% of the population of Amsterdam,
The Netherlands consists of one-parent families.
Q. Thus, marriage will soon be
a thing of the past?
A. Of course not. The Caribbean
model serves as a vision only, a framework within which all kinds of initiatives will have
their place. Married couples and homosexuals f.i. will certainly be part of it. Their
status/position doesn't prevent them to participate in the shared responsibilities, as
Q. Not everybody will be happy to see women
occupy a central role like this.
A. It is a matter of justice,
really. Women are already the "center of life". They get the children, they take
care of them, they raise them. Women have a broad range of responsibilities already.
Without women, nothing goes. Hence, they should occupy a corresponding power position.
Q. Like what?
A. Like I said: becoming the
center of the community. It means, that they will have the last word in matters in which
they bear responsibility, like household, child raising, finances, family life, shopping,
health, group dynamics, habitat etc. The men have a shared responsibility. Their role is
to serve the whole. In this regard, they may still occupy "important positions",
like that of advisor, executive, constructor, representative etc. Their "loss of
power" is compensated by having less responsibility for one family only. It gives
them more freedom, something most men will certainly welcome (if they are honest).
Moreover, it will give them the opportunity of establishing friendship and solidarity with
other men (of the group). This shift: from competition to cooperation is a very crucial
one. It can become the breeding place to A New Society.
Q. Okay, this is all about the "family
situation". What surprises do you have for us with regard to children's education in
A. The school has been
taken over by big business. They determine the curricula, the attitude of the teachers,
the content of books, the websites in the computer, the programs on the school TV and the
kind of food in the canteen. The sooner this harmful environment can be abandoned, the
better. Parents have to join efforts to establish special schools, based on spiritual
Q. That seems to be a very urgent thing to do,
A. The challenge of such a
school will be offering the children a curriculum based on spiritual values. As said
above, our "way", that of A New Spirituality-A New World View-A New Community
would be very appropriate. In practice it means, that the "spiritual growth" of
the pupils will have priority. All other things are secondary. Special attention has to be
given to integrating the "the gang of three", namely science, technology
and ("market") economy.
Q. Someone has compared these forces with a
"cancer growth". Please, your comment.
A. Science, technology and
economy are not wrong in itself, but the fact, that they are uncontrolled by the
community, is. That is the reason, that they managed to become the dominating factor in
society, imposing their "norms" on everything else. This has become suicidal.
The school on the other hand, could become an experimental ground, in which these areas of
life are curbed, allocating them to the area they should operate on: integration through
democratic control by the (school) community. It could become an example for the rest of
society. The best way to do it is introducing "community democracy" (sociocracy) as has been developed by Kees Boeke, educator of
the children of the late Queen Juliana of The Netherlands.
Q. This is raising curiosity. The Queen really
has sent her children to an experimental school?
A. Sometimes there are still
wise rulers left. Let us become wise rulers of our own lives, to the benefit of our
Praise the Ruler of the
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