Thursday 24 July 2008

infants vs adults

Have you ever looked into the eyes of an infant and felt that you could jump in and go for a swim? They are so open and inviting it’s almost unnerving.
You can’t help but wonder how they see life; that somehow they experience a magical world beyond your vision.
Why do we feel that? It isn’t logical. If you couldn’t walk or feed yourself; if you were incontinent; if all you could do was roll over in bed; if you had no ability to speak or even think in rational verbal terms — wouldn’t you be considered disabled?
Why then are we so quietly envious of these little people? What magic do we sense in them? Does Buddha swim in the depths of those liquid eyes?
Perhaps there is a Buddha consciousness in these 6 month old, uninhibited, sometimes serene, often demanding, easily fascinated, bed-wetting bundles of joy. Why not?
Life is strange. Is it such a stretch that infants, despite all of their outward limitations, process abilities of perception we wish we had?
And since their limitations primarily set them apart from us, could it be that these limitations are their causative Buddha-factor?
The silent advantage of infants
Infants perceive their world in each moment, fully, deeply, and without bias. Us big people on the other hand, experience a verbal-thought-summation of what we see in the moment based on pre-established judgments. Adults perceive life through a template of fixed, albeit slowly changing, definitions. Infants have no template blocking their vision.
One of the reasons for this is that infants have no verbal language associated with their thought and perception.
Think for a moment about this vast mysterious world. Try to use all of your imagination to probe the depth and reach of its content. It’s impossible. And yet, we allow words to define our experience of it.
Can you imagine what it might be like to have no words entering your mind as you perceive and think about your world? How would that change your world-view?
Also, because everything is new to them, infants judge less. They haven’t yet acquired the experience to know what to accept and what to reject. How would it change your life if you could selectively suspend judgment to facilitate a more dynamic view of circumstance?
Science Daily recently featured the research of Lisa Scott, a psychologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The articles reported her findings on the perceptual development of infants. Of infants 6 months or under, Lisa says, “During this time the brain is sensitive and responsive to the surrounding environment.”
But after 6 months of age, Scott concludes, “what is most intriguing about these findings is that they collectively suggest that typical perceptual specialization and development is characterized by the gradual decline of abilities"
Scott is suggesting that we loose our dynamic responsiveness to the world after 6 months of age, in preference for a selective focus on the essential elements of survival and satisfaction.
In the Association for Psychological Science, an article titled, New study shows that infants have mind-reading capability describes the work of Luca Surian, a psychologist at the University of Trento in Italy.
Luca’s research is primarily concerned with the ability to reason about the mind. According to the article in APS, his findings indicate that psychological reasoning skills enabling us to predict another’s behavior are in place in infants, independent of environmental or learned behavior. Surian explains that, “this is mind reading proper, however rudimentary.”Is it possible that infants have perceptual and intuitive abilities, and that we have lost some of those attributes? It appears so. Can we reclaim them?
(taken from the article `LITTLE BUDDHA WALKING`BY ZEN MOMENTS)


Hurlyburly said...

Thank you for such an amazing post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. I agree that language is the breaking point between them and us, our minds cannot be shut of from laguage, thought cannot exist for us without words now that we have them. It's like trying to remember something before you understood the concept of....anything!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Roshni: Yes, thank you for quoting from the article, but I think this would be better placed in FORUM (which was set up specifically for things like this)

Robin said...

Roshni, I love your post!

(I'm glad you posted it here)

The feeling you describe about swimming in the infant's eyes is so true. Some babies invite you in!

It's sad when kids lose that wide-eyed innocence, when you know their perception of the world has changed from wonderment to judgment.

Consider the psyche of feral children. They are stuck in the survival/satisfaction stage without adaptation to societal norms. I wonder if they retain that predictive nature from infancy?

Robin said...

Feral Children

ra from ca said...


Could you clarify what is blog vs forum appropriate. I must confess I am not clear on this one.

Robin said...

In my opinion, the forum is for posting factual data and Q&A's. The blog here for more personal revelations and input.

ra from ca said...

Yes Robin that was my impression as well. This post seems to sit on the edge of these two types of posts, as it brings forward some new insights in brain development and yet has a personal revelation aspect to it as well. You can tell how my brain works can't you - rather indecisive!

Karl Le Marcs said...

From what Tony talked to me about, he wanted FORUM to be a Q&A primarily and a place for people to place quotes and references that they thought were applicable to the theories.

BLOG would be for the development and expansion of the theory.

Robin said...

You're not alone in that quandary Ruth.

I find reading the blog much more friendly to my eyes so I tend to lean in this direction. Navigating the forum topics is a bit more sterile, has a clinical feel to it.

Karl Le Marcs said...

I refer to Tony's post on opening the FORUM:

"STOP PRESS" - The Forum Is Now Up And Running

And I have asked Tony to clarify the roles of Forum and Blog, but that has always been what he has said he envisages them as:

FORUM - Q&A, less intimate, quotes, reflections, thoughts (all open to discussion) etc

BLOG - Development and expansion of the theories, promotion of Tony's media appearances and new ideas/angles for ITLAD/CTF etc

ra from ca said...

I'm not sure I've got it yet, as I recall Tony saying he wanted the friendly aspect of the blog to continue which led me to believe that the blog was a broader view of ITLAD and the Daemon, whereas what would go on the forum would be more specific topics more strictly adhering to Tony's books and ideas he has brought forward.

I know I have brought forward ideas to the blog that were a little beyond or outside of Tony
's ideas and I hope I have not annoyed him by doing so. I do try to keep in mind that this Tony's work and be respectful of not embarassing him with my tangents that would not represent his thinking.

It does strike me that Roshini's post is a new idea, and kind of outside of Tony's presented ideas, but relevant because she is talking about a child's neurology. Isn't that a form of expansion of Tony's ideas on neurology?

Karl Le Marcs said...

Ra from Ca: It's not me who should be outlining the roles of Forum and Blog, I said to Tony before Forum started that if he wanted the two to work together then it would need clearly defining what roles each should play.

I'm merely repeating what he has told me; what he, Ed and I discussed prior to the opening of Forum and what he sees the roles of both as, and how I can link between the two, and I've asked him since it began to again give clarity on the operations of both (plus some expansions of new categories in Forum such as Literature, Film, Mental Health, Quotations etc, otherwise the GENERAL section will become overused)

Roshni's post IS useful BUT as it was just quoted from an article it is my understanding that it should be Forum material whereas if Roshni had placed her own interpretation of the article into ITLAD/CTF terms then it could be useful in the expansion of the theory.

But again, it really shouldn't be my responsibility to define BLOG and FORUM, I'm just trying to oversee it as Tony asked me to.

ra from ca said...

Right you are Karl. I'm not looking to make a fuss, and I hope that no one takes offense.

I am guessing that Roshini wasn't sure that it belonged in any category on the forum and thought it best to place here. I can understand how that might be the case as I too suffered from a little fuzziness on what would be appropriate.

I think that it is important that Tony know we appreciate being guests on his blog and will cooperate as best we can with his wishes on how we should participate, or not.

My best to you and a thank you for
all your efforts.

Rosh said...

Hurly, Robin,Ra from Ca: Thank You!
Karl: I know u r just doing what u r asked to do and I appreciate what you say and I also know you are trying to help me understand the forum better....but the thing is, im having a mental block over this forum and all im asking is some time. Thank You!
and one more thing,yes my post is taken from an article, but if you have noticed my posts, almost all of them have been about some doubt that lingers in my mind after reading,feeling or seeing somethng unique(directly or indirectly connected to ITLAD, i hope) which i feel the urge to share.Ive never clamied to be a writer ,philosopher, scientist, or anybody scholarly, im just a curious i may make mistakes and im ready to admit it, if Tony feels i do not adhere to the rules of blog/forum, im okay with him uninviting me, until then im here, to stay on this blog. Thank you!

Karl Le Marcs said...

Ra from Ca: Thank You Ruth.

Roshni: No-one wishes you not to share your questions but Forum was set up specifically for that very reason. Asking for clarity, opinion, guidance etc.

Thank You.

Anthony Peake said...


This is really causing me a fair degree of concern. Clearly I have caused confusion which was never my intention.

When I set up the Blog it was open to all and anybody could place anything itlad related upon it.

On deciding upon creating a FORUM I was looking for something that would get round the 100 members barrier whilst in turn alowing easier access to previous postings (You will all agree that the Blog has grown to such a degree that any newcomer is swamped by the amount of information and postings and navigation along themes is quite difficult. That is way Karl puts hyperlinks in when he refers to previous themes.

However one opening the FORUM I was keen to not lose the momentum and intimacy of the Blog ... but at the same time I wanted the FORUM to really get going quickly.

Both these hopes have so far come to pass but I feel that may cause problems soon.

I will place a full posting on my thoughts in an hour or so.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Tony: Thank You.

Anthony Peake said...

ROSHNI: I am sure that one particular person who does read this Blogsite may find your comments of great interest. He is one of the world's leading pediatricians. I met him a few months ago when he requested my involvement in his Group. He made a particular reference to how he regularly 'communicates' with very young babies. He does this by a form of telepathy (now remember, this is a person who holds a professorship in his subject and is so respected in his field that he lectures around the world). He cited some examples to me whereby the infant had 'communicated' to him the location of an injury or a pain that was not showing up on x rays etc. In each case the 'communication' proved correct.

In keeping with itlad he said that he had never fully understood how an infants brain, still developing its neural networks, could function in this way. By applying the concept of the Daemon carrying forward knowledge from the previous incarnation he was able to rationalise in his own mind exactly how this was taking place.

Rosh said...

Tony; Thank you so much for understanding why I found this article so fascinating and my need to share it.I loved the way Buddha consciousness is mentioned in such a erudite and scientific article.
According to Joseph Campbell, "The whole thing of Buddha consciousness means getting to know you are it. That takes a lot of work, principally because society keeps telling you that you are not it."
Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 30, 1987) was an American mythology professor, writer, and lecturer best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast and covers many aspects of the human experience, and his philosophy is often identified with the phrase he coined: "Follow Your Bliss"

Baphomet. said...

I can relate to this post as my grandchild is 7 month's old and when i look into her eye's its as if she is searching your every thought. Fascinating reading i think i will call her my little Buddha from now on lol.

johar said...

Rosh, Hello Sweet Lady,

I was talking to friends of mine about Joseph Campbell not 2 weeks ago! He is on my 'to read' list and I have have been involved with a course on 'following your bliss'.

This is run by a man called David McDermott and I have just revisited his website. Check out the front page - very interesting I think!!

I intended to talk to Martin (HurlyBurly) about Campbell to see if he was aware of him as the Hero's Journey is used widely in Films.

Rosh said...

johar: wow! again one of those ITLADIC synchro....