Psychologist Alice Miller, who has done important work on the wounded child, asks why Jesus turned out so well—why he fulfilled his destiny so totally. Her answer?  Because his father Joseph “regarded Him as the child of God”. Then she poses the question: What if all parents and all adults in society “regarded our children as children of God?”

Headshot of Psychologist, Alice Miller. Photo originally used for Dr. Alice’s obituary by The Guardian.

This is, after all, what Jesus came to teach is it not? We are all divine sons and daughters with divine dignity and responsibilities. The Divine Father or Parent whom Jesus calls Abba and to whom Jesus prays is certainly not a devourer or consumer of children..

Jesus’ parent is a lover—a lover of the sparrow that falls from the tree, a lover of the lost sheep in a herd of one hundred, a lover of the lilies of the field, a lover of the human race, and a cosmic lover of the cosmic believed, of creation itself. “God so loved the world that God sent the only begotten divine son,” says the Scriptures (John 3:16; emphasis mine).

Children smiling in Cao Lanh, Vietnam. Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Perhaps one of the most radical of Jesus’ messages—one that certainly contributed to his down fall and crucifixion at the hands of the adultist powers of his society—was his teaching about young people. He did not see children as objects for abuse or manipulation but as spiritual directors and sources of wisdom, as does Alice Miller when she envisions: “that someday we will regard our children not as creatures to manipulate or to change but rather as messengers from a world we once deeply knew, but which we have long since forgotten, who can reveal to us more about the true secrets of life, than our parents were ever able to.”

Child playing janga. Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Consider the following passages in the Gospels where Jesus addresses adults about their adultism—and what to do about it: “At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom/queendom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom/queendom, of heaven. And so, the one who becomes as little as this little child is the greatest in the realm of heaven.’” (Matt. 18: 1-4)

Child plays with bubbles in the park. Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash

Children of wisdom will be wiser than the learned ones of one’s generation. When his disciples entered into a typical adult argument about who would be greatest among them, Jesus’ answer was that “the greatest among you must behave as if he were the youngest, the leader as if he were the one who serves” (Luke 22:26).

Adults who learn to entertain the divine child in themselves will find it easy to resist adultism.  Another name for the child within is mystic.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, pp. 186f.

Banner Image: Doctor’s stethoscope use for listening to the human heart. Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize children as messengers from a world we once deeply knew who can reveal true secrets of life to us?

Recommended Reading

In what may be considered the most comprehensive outline of the Christian paradigm shift of our Age, Matthew Fox eloquently foreshadows the manner in which the spirit of Christ resurrects in terms of the return to an earth-based mysticism, the expression of creativity, mystical sexuality, the respect due the young, the rebirth of effective forms of worship—all of these mirroring the ongoing blessings of Mother Earth and the recovery of Eros, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
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4 thoughts on “Some Medicine for Curing Adultism”

  1. Avatar

    I love this meditation today. Thank you so much for reminding us all that we are in Truth children! And for naming children Mystics. Peace to you and all children. Amen.

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Thank you for writing and affirming this meditation’s message. How often we adults forget our tender nature, and the tender nature of each other. Lucky those who can spend their days with children, or keep their inner child/mystic alive!
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditations Team

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