As children move through the process of self-discovery, their consciousness begins to expand upwards. Children gain control of their own physical body, their emotions, and their own mind, and integrate the three within their personality. Individual consciousness begins to expand outwards, exploring new aspects of human nature. These aspects can be described in tenns of psychological elements, encompassing all potential human qualities and abilities. Each of these psychological elements is a unique reflection of the whole, and serves a valuable function within an individual's consciousness. Every human being is shaped by a mixture of these elements, combined in a unique formulation which gives everyone their own special set of qualities and abilities.

One's psychological nature can be described in tenns of seven aspects, or areas. Each area encompasses a particular set of strengths and weaknesses, and has a special underlying theme.


1. WILL

This should be developed to the point where life is governed by conscious spiritual purpose, and the individual is correctly oriented towards reality.

STRENGTHS

• Sense of purpose

• Ability to direct, govern, and lead

• Initiative

• Will power, self-discipline Independence

• Self-assurance

Strength, courage, steadfastness


WEAKNESSES

Egotism, arrogance, pride

Obstinacy, willfulness

Domination, control

Suppression, inhibition

Destructiveness, violence, anger

Hardness, cruelty Impatience

Unrelenting ambition



2. LOVE

This is essentially the unfolding of the consciousness of the whole. Love of self (self-consciousness) and love of those around us (group-consciousness) eventually become love of the whole (God-consciousness). Love leads to wisdom, which is love in manifested activity.

STRENGTHS

Loving understanding, compassion, empathy, sensitivity

Sense of responsibility for the welfare of others

Reverence for life, harmlessness

• Dear perception and intelligence, intuitive comprehension

Inclusiveness, tolerance

Tact, respect, interpersonal skills

Patience

Serenity


WEAKNESSES

• Over-sensitivity, vulnerability, self-pity

• Over-attachment, over-protectiveness

• Non-assertiveness Insufficient rapidity of action

• Attempt to be too complete and thorough

• Contempt of mental limitations in others



3. CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE

This concerns the unfolding of the creative nature of the conscious, spiritual person. It takes place through right use of the mind, with its power to intuit ideas, to respond to impact, to translate, analyze, and construct.

STRENGTHS

• Mental creativity, agility, versatility

• Ability to handle complexity and deal with many contingencies

• Wide views, openmindedness

• Skillful communication

• Great activity and adaptability

• Ability to plan and strategize .

• Capacity to theorize, analyze, and reason

• The great majority of thinking skills fit into these strengths.


WEAKNESSES

• Intellectual pride, excessive criticism

•Manipulativeness, deviousness

• Changeability, perplexity, confusion

• Constant preoccupation, absentmindedness

• Inaccuracy, carelessness, disorder, chaos

• Excessive thinking without practical action

• Hyperactivity, restlessness



4. HARMONY, BEAUTY, ART

Harmony, produced through conflict, is that innate urge or discontent which leads one to struggle and progress. It is the consciousness of harmony and beauty which drives mankind along the path of evolution.


STRENGTHS

• Understanding of right relationships, promotion of cooperation

• Facility for bringing harmony out of conflict, bringing about peace

• Ability to validate opposing perspectives

• Preservation of balance, equilibrium

• Ability to create and express beauty

• Artistic capabilities, musicality, ability to entertain

• Sense of drama

• Imagination, spontaneity


WEAKNESSES

• Constant conflict and turmoil, combativeness

• Indecisiveness, unpredictability

• Unstable activity patterns, procrastination

• Moodiness, agitation, temperamentalism, unregulated passions

• Lack of confidence and composure

• Exaggeration, overly dramatic



5. CONCRETE KNOWLEDGE

This enables one to concretize concepts, materialize visions and dreams, and bring ideas into being. Individuals can then produce upon Earth that Which will be their contribution to the whole.

STRENGTHS

• Knowledge of scientific truth, factual details

• Capacity for investigation, research, experimentation, verification

• Powers of analysis, discrimination, calculation, observation

• Keen and focused intellect, accuracy

• Inventive application, mechanical ability

• Objectivity

• Common sense

• Factual knowledge, and the scientifically oriented thinking
skills fit into these strengths.


WEAKNESSES

• Excessive mentalism, over-analysis

• Excessive skepticism

• Rigid thought patterns, narrowness

• Prejudice

• Harsh criticism

• Lack of intuitive sensitivity

• Lack of emotional responsiveness

• Social awkwardness



6. IDEALISM

This leads individuals on from one realized goal to another. Each time, they demonstrate their devotion to a desire, to a personality, to an ideal, and to a vision, until they finally unify themselves with the ideal that is the highest possible achievement mown to mankind.

STRENGTHS

• High ideals and values, an urge to elevate

• Faith, devotion, loyalty, passionate commitment

• Purity, goodness, humility

• Optimism

• Enthusiasm

• Single-mindedness, persistence

• Power to arouse, inspire, and persuade

• Sensitivity to the sacred


WEAKNESSES

• Blind faith, unreasoning devotion

• Extremely narrow orientation

• Fanaticism, extremism, militarism

• Emotionalism

• Selfishness, jealousy

• Overdependency

• Gullibility

• Self-abasement, the martyr complex



7. ORDER

A sense of order should be developed, along with the innate faculty to function under directed purpose and ritual. This instinct towards ordered rhythm should be creatively constructive, thereby providing a field for the unfoldment of the powers of the higher mind.

STRENGTHS

• Power to design and build perfect forms

• Ability to renovate and transform

• Capacity for management, coordination of groups

• Keen sense of rhythm and timing

• Understanding of rules and laws

• Ritualism

• Courteous, appropriate behavior

• Regular systemic practice of disciplines and exercises

• Memorization and recall skills fit into these strengths.


WEAKNESSES

• Rigid orderliness, formalism

• Overconcern with rules and regulations

• Rigid routinization

• Intolerance of individuality, excessive conformity

• Lack of originality, intolerance of anything new

• Bigotry, sectarianism

• Perfectionism

 


Within the context of these elements, children can begin to understand themselves and others in a new way. They are able to appreciate the fact that every individual has intrinsic worth. They can recognize that, regardless of differences, everyone is connected by a common bond and is part of the same family - the human race.

Depending upon the culture in which a child is raised, different qualities are looked upon as more valuable than others. In the West, ambition, drive, and mental prowess are greatly valued. In the East, patience, devotion, and a serene temperament are considered to be important Unfortunately, the fact that a child lives in a culture which values certain qualities does not mean that the child necessarily has those qualities in abundance. A situation is set up in which children who possess the "right" set of qualities will be praised and rewarded, and will develop a sense of self-worth, while those who do not will be ignored, and will grow up with the impression that they are not as worthwhile as others. If it could be taught that all human qualities are equally valuable, and that every child deserves respect because of the strengths each one has, then no child would be deprived of a sense of self-worth.

It could be very helpful for children to understand their individual strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of one's strengths would enable one to make wise decisions regarding future life goals. By understanding one's weaknesses, chances of overcoming them are increased. One's strengths could be used as a means of transforming weaknesses, thus showing each child that positive change is always possible.

As children becomes increasingly aware of the similarities and differences between themselves and others, they wonder why such differences exist, and look for ways to understand their own individuality in relation to others. At first, everyone concludes that their own perspective is naturally the most valid, and that they can see the truth more clearly than anyone else. Gradually, one's perspective expands to include the viewpoints of family, friends, and other significant people in one's life. One becomes a member of a small group of people who share similar ideas. Ideally, one's thinking would continue to expand indefinitely. If it does not, then part of the world remains excluded from one's group. this leads to the problem of one group thinking that it has the right to impose its values and ideas upon another group. If children could be lead to understand that people express their individuality in different ways, and that all those ways are valid, then they might learn to be more tolerant and inclusive in their thinking. this would lead naturally to a sense of brotherhood, goodwill among people, and peace upon the planet Earth.

Educators have both the opportunity and the responsibility to help children understand the nature of being human. By considering these seven aspects as they relate to teachers and students, groundwork can be laid for a more balanced and inclusive learning environment As teachers examine their own psychological make-up, they can see which aspects they personally have a strong tendency to emphasize. At the same time, the teachers will become aware of those aspects which are not emphasized, and which might be missing in the classroom environment. Teachers can then adjust their personal teaching methods to be more inclusive, and reach students that they might not have been able to reach otherwise. Teachers can be a shining example of understanding different points of view, and of finding
the strengths in every individual, no matter how similar or different others might be from them. Thus students will experience first-hand that every human being is uniquely valuable.

The seven psychological aspects can be presented as a topic for discussion in the classroom, and students will then become more aware of these aspects in themselves and others. Students can be guided by the teacher to recognize each other's strengths, and to accept and work with each other's weaknesses. As the teacher observes
the students, and the ways in which they work, a picture of each child's individual tendencies begins to take form within the teacher's mind. These observations should be included as a part of the evaluation process. By giving students this feedback, they could come to know themselves better, and thus be better equipped to deal with life. These evaluations should not be thought of as "good" or "bad", but merely as reflections of individuality.

Teachers can offer children constant opportunities to explore their own natures by setting up activities which are geared to each of the seven aspects, or areas. These activities can take place within the context of many different subjects and situations. The following are some examples of activities in each of the seven areas:

1. Will

OBJECTIVE :
To develop the ability to have a sense of purpose and direction, to exhibit self-control, and- to cultivate leadership abilities.

ACTIVITIES:
• Ask for ideas about the purpose of the lesson

• Provide each student an opportunity to be a leader.

• Give each student independent work. .

• Give each student a task which requires self-discipline.

• Observe each student's self-control in the classroom


2. Love

OBJECTIVE
To develop the ability to have compassion and a sense of responsibility for all living things, and to demonstrate understanding and patience. .

ACTIVITIES:
• Ask for students' ideas about compassion and understanding. Ask how one would demonstrate it in a particular situation. 11ris could be done with open-ended stories or role-playing, as well as in written form.

• Give each student someone or something for which to take responsibility.

• Give students a task which requires patience.

• Give the students experience in feeling calmness and serenity, by asking each one to relax their body, emotions, and mind while listening to meditative music.

• Observe each student's demonstration of caring, helpfulness, harmlessness, and sense of responsibility in the classroom

 


3. Creative Intelligence

OBJECTIVE
To develop the ability to grasp ideas, to manipulate them, and to put them into action.

ACTIVITIES:
• Give each student a task in which creativity is required.

• Ask each student for a list of ideas on how to solve a particular problem, and then ask them to arrange those ideas, make some decisions, and then put those ideas into action.

• Give each student a task which involves setting a goal, making a plan, organizing it into parts, determining the materials needed, collaborating with classmates, estimating time and effort required, and after reaching the goal, ask each student for a self-evaluation

• Give students a task in which they must hypothesize, deduce, infer, or interpret
Give students a task in which they must compare, contrast, and evaluate various things.

• Observe each student's adaptability and versatility in the classroom

 

4. Harmony, Beauty and Art

OBJECTIVE :
To develop the ability to bring harmony out of conflict, to have right relationships with all living things, to preserve balance, and to express beauty.

ACTIVITIES:
• Ask students for their ideas about right relationships, harmony, and peace. Ask each student how one would demonstrate these. qualities in a particular situation. Give two or more students a task which involves each one taking an opposing viewpoint and then resolving the conflict

• Give two or more students a task which requires cooperation.

• Give students an opportunity to be spontaneous.

• Give students a task which involves recognizing or creating beauty. .

• Give students a task in which they must use their imagination.

• Give students an experience in guided imagery.

• Observe each student's ability to have harmonious relationships and balance in the classroom.



5. Concrete Knowledge

OBJECTIVE :
To develop the ability to discriminate wisely, to search for and discover factual information, and to practically apply it.

ACTIVITIES :
• Present a set of facts, and give students a task that requires knowledge and application of those facts.

• Give students a task which involves investigating, experimenting, and discovering something.

• Give students a task which requires close observation or listening, discrimination, and accuracy.

• Give students a task which involves inventing something. Give students a task which requires an understanding of the relationship between cause and effect.

• Observe each student's ability to use focused, concentrated thinking in the classroom.

 


6. Idealism

OBJECTIVES
To develop the ability to have high ideals, and to strive towards them with enthusiastic commitment.

ACTIVITIES :
• Ask students about their ideals and values. Ask how they demonstrate ideals and values in daily life.

• Help students think of ways that they could put those
ideals and values into action in the classroom, the family, the community, the country, or the world.

• Give students a task which requires commitment and persistence.

• Ask students for his ideas about faith, devotion, and goodness. Ask each student how one would demonstrate these qualities in a particular situation.

• Observe each student's enthusiasm and commitment in the classroom.



7. Order

OBJECTIVE:
To develop the ability to have a sense of rhythmic order, to design and build' perfect forms, and to understand and work with rules, laws, and systems.

ACTIVITIES:
• Give students a task which involves designing and building a "perfect" form.

• Give students a task which requires organizing something in accordance with certain rules and laws.

• Give students a task in which they have to coordinate and regulate something.

• Give students a task which involves making a schedule, or outlining a plan.

• Give students a task which requires recognition of patterns and order.

• Give students a task which requires regular systemic practice of definite disciplines and exercises.

• Give students a task which requires understanding of rhythm, timing, and cycles.

• Observe each student's sense of order and understanding of rules in the classroom.

Another idea for exploring these seven aspects might be to discuss famous people who were a shining example of each aspect. Examples could be:

1. Great leaders, explorers

2. People of great compassion and wisdom

3. Great thinkers, philosophers

4. Great conflict-resolvers and great artists

5. Great scientists

6. Great idealists

7. People who have designed and built great things or worked with great systems or laws.

By exploring these areas within the classroom, educators can help children understand what it means to be human. Thus children will begin to see each individual as a unique and valuable reflection of the whole. This understanding will lead to right relationships, which is the key to the future of this planet and of the human race.