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- What is an Idea ? And Children

Jun 28, 1998 05:09 PM
by Sophia TenBroeck

Alan wanted to know --  What is an Idea?

We adults ask this question and want a logical answer to it.  Yet
children show they KNOW, at the age of crawling, just standing, and
starting to understand what is said to them, and while trying to speak
themselves.  They have this great faculty of comprehending IDEAS, and
yet could not answer Alan's question!

A normal child starts to KNOW the difference between a table and a
chair, between food and water, between a cat and a dog, and so forth and
so on, and this faculty grows day by day.    Tables are of various
sizes, made of different materials, and used even in slightly different
ways, yet they are tables.  The PURPOSE is to "put things upon it."
While a chair's  PURPOSE is "to be sat upon."   The child does not yet
comprehend the adult understanding of PURPOSE, yet the average child
soon makes a distinction between tables and chairs.  Yet these two
words, to keep to this analogy,  cannot be drawn in their abstract form.
Individual tables and chairs of specific types, they can be drawn with
measurements given and material specified, and fall into what is  TYPAL
knowledge.  Yet the general idea of a table or a chair, is not TYPAL but
ARCHETYPAL.  And at this early age the child shows this extraordinary
faculty of being able to judge types from an abstract Archetypal
concept.  It is so easy for us to overlook what a wondrous learning
ability our children are manifesting.

So ideas are Archetypal, and their manifestation in the material world
is typal.  The Phenomenon is the typal world, while the Noumenon is the
Archetypal world.  Ideas have their root in that which is formless,
attributeless, and impartite.  The word IDEA therefore itself is
difficult to define.

More difficult to define are the ideas, which do not have a measurement,
and material substance.  These are a higher grade of IDEAS, pertaining
to the Noumenon world, and consist of words like the one we used earlier
: PURPOSE.   A child understands the difference of purpose of a table
and a chair, but cannot define it.  Other words of this category are
those like, BEAUTY, JUSTICE, HONESTY, TRUTH, etc., etc.  We try to
represent them by examples, and we write long treatises and books,  and
can get doctorates for our efforts.   But in fact they transcend all our
efforts to define them, and any description we make invariably comes
into criticism for we have said too much or too little, or in the wrong
way.  Ideas are primarily TRANSCENDENT, and any effort to pin them down
in a hard and fast manner inevitably fails.

Yet, again in our children, we find them having sometimes overpowering
convictions about JUSTICE, IMPARTIALITY,  HONESTY,  etc.  Deep within
our adult selves we too have a inherent sense about these so very
indescribable and unattainable IDEAS (which become IDEALS), shall I use
the words,  we have already had lengthy discussion over,  MORALITY and

These, latter kinds of ideas, pertaining to a higher sense of value and
significance are in fact rooted in the divine nature of NATURE.  Since
DIVINITY, belongs to this very category of words, we may quarrel over a
definition.  But to my way of thinking, the important thing is that the
child, and the adult if s/he has not allowed this inner perception to be
stifled and corrupted with "worldly"  (pragmatic) learning, is Divinely
Discontent.  This inner KNOWLEDGE stirs and leaves the person
continuously unsatisfied, with longings and aspirations of a superior
and higher type, which s/he may not want to acknowledge.  This to my way
of thinking is one of the proofs of the inherent PERCEPTIVE TRUTHS which
we KNOW, and which all human languages and logical writings will never
succeed in explaining.

Trusting this may be of some help,            Sophia

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