The following is an article I penned in 2007, reflecting on the matter of schools and self-discipline, which is very much still appropriate today.
Today, there is a lot of anxiety on the part of school administrators, teachers and parents with respect to how children can best be disciplined. The following is presented as a reflection on how we as custodians of the young can view the whole concept of self-discipline.
The self, the big self in and on which discipline rests, originates from the divine level of being, and thus it encompasses all the attributes necessary to act in a divinely guided human way. It is all-wise, filled with knowledge and knowingness, since it originates from within the realm of the divine.
Self-empowered, it never looks to the outside for validation, for it experiences its own power source flowing from spirit-self; in its self-determining nature, however, it is always discerning and never acts arbitrarily. Powered by this self-energizing internal source, no external support is required, for it is based on the conviction that the self can be actualized, manifested and expressed in its total capacity.
This self is omni-present for it does not have to rush for research or consultation, as it relies on the natural wisdom given by virtue of our birthright. It reflects the divine/human perfect balance; it is orderly with a built-in and spontaneous guidance system, dwelling deep within the silent level of our being. Being constantly in contact with the in-dwelling divinity, it operates with harmony and balance with amazing spontaneity. Hence it is infinitely effortless in its expression.
So did Jesus, who never carried the rule book around with Him. He broke a multitude of conventional rules and regulations; and was eventually crucified as a result, when He committed the gravest sin against the law by claiming to be equal to God. The Father of the prodigal son dismisses every indication of rules and regulations. For Him, as image of God the Father, there is no crime and punishment, good or bad; He simply loves and that is all that matters. “Breaking” the Sabbath with His disciples, by plucking and eating ears of corn, Jesus demonstrated that compassion and the appropriateness of the moment supersede any law. By healing on the Sabbath He again “broke” the law. When He did not consent to have a woman caught in adultery stoned, He again “disobeyed” the law but acted from His divine self, which He insisted we all share in.
Based in infinite co-relation, self and thus self-discipline, it is eternally mindful of every other entity’s own specific truth. This is made possible on the basis of it not being subjected to the dualities of human existence: right/wrong; crime/punishment; good/bad; black/white, etc. Resilience and flexibility are the balancing aspects of self-discipline. Spontaneous, yet discerning, it is quick to respond in the best interest and aspirations of all.
Residing in the realm of spirit, in the essential essence of being – divine consciousness – it removes all barriers blocking the free flow of spirit, wisdom and knowingness. Since it is self-creating, it cannot be taught; it can only be facilitated and nourished. Individually based, but universally applicable, the self is unique in its expression, for it is eternally attuned to the wisdom and knowingness of its inner being.
Not based on external rules and regulations or doctrines, it nevertheless responds to established norms in an acceptable manner as and when appropriate for the well-being of self and others. It automatically creates the environment where others are acknowledged and validated. It claims the divinity in self and others.
As with the nature of humans with free will, it must be based on free choice. Projecting the balance of self-worth, inherent in our being, born into perfection and with the fertile field to increase the awareness of it, the self has an insatiable desire for growth and development. There is no need for external force or control; it is self-supporting at every moment and in every situation; it shines and glows like a lighthouse, without pretense.
It is still and quiet like the growth of a giant coconut tree. It blends, it shelters; it is mature but is ever renewable; strongly established but flexible, adjusting naturally to the energy of the wind. It allows; it has a naturally built-in sense of enlightened justice based in compassion and love; therefore, everyone experiences a sense of worthiness no matter their status or condition in life.
It is powerful yet gentle like a lamb; since it comes from the renowned and royal dimensions of our being, there is never the need to be harsh, pain-inflicting or pompous; it has and knows all; therefore, there is never a glimpse of the power of illusion, based on ego or greed. In its most passionate moments it is driven always by love and compassion, fundamental attributes of the divine. The self in self-discipline is ultimately based upon love and compassion. In that combination wisdom finds a home, and thus permeates every realm of one’s actions with empathy for oneself and others.
Thus one’s mere presence nourishes and bathes with energy the entire environment without discrimination. Yet it is discriminating in terms of the appropriateness of its actions. It allows the God part of us to flow into the human part or the duality part. It knocks at the door of the God-self and begins to awaken the spirit; for it intuitively knows that, though earthbound, it is divinely directed. Its attributes flow directly from the level of our divinity, and thus once this light touches another, there is automatic ignition, creating a fiery-filled heart-to-heart flow. It operates from a healthy balance of divine and human, abiding within the macro-dimension, but operates with micro-perception.
It directs us to a safe place always; therefore, it never hesitates to reach out, taking a risk in order to be appropriately in the moment and totally responsive to the situation. It never concerns itself with security, but rather with the needs in present time. Since it is not influenced by regrets of the past or concerns of the future, it is always in the now, dynamic, responding with conscious awareness to present circumstances and situations, without preconceived agenda and motive. Thus it is always pure, unconditional, spontaneous and from the heart. It avoids rules and regulations and stipulations, which are usually based in the world of restricted beliefs, ill-conceived ideals, superstitions and conditionings. These are elements of the small self, human ego and are fear-based.
How then is the self known, grasped, understood, perceived and nourished? Ridiculously simple: The profound expression of self-discipline can only issue forth from the growing and nurturing experience of knowing “Who we are.” And this realization arises from the realm of silence where we go beyond the body-mind organism. There we encounter joy, peace, bliss, freedom, ecstasy and compassion. That is the simple path to self and self-discipline. This is the home of all knowledge and access to its door is readily available to every one of us, and for those to and for whom we are called to minister, especially to the young.
– Joseph Darville, former high school principal
Published Wednesday, March 8, 2017