high up in the clouds

In the dark corners of my hard drive I found this document published by AWSNA:  Mathias Wais, The Unfolding of Sexuality, AWSNA Journal Project #3 (June 2004). I assume it’s still available online if you search it on google. Quote:

The rule for answering questions is: The questions should not be immediately answered in a scientific way, but rather “soul pictures” should be given. An example is the question about where one comes from. It is a matter of accurately listening to what the child is really asking. The question: “Where did I come from?” or “Where do children come from?” is not meant in a sexual-physical way, but rather in a more encompassing soul-spiritual way. An answer that only presents the bodily processes would disappoint and confuse the child. The child much more wants to know: Where does my “I” come from? In other words: Where was I before? This is a question about the spiritual beginning of human beings about which the child still has intuitive knowledge. Therefore, the right answer is a soul-picture, a picture that contains spiritual food for the soul and one which confirms what the child senses. An example would be: “High up in the clouds there is a big meadow where you lived together with many other people. One day, God called you and sent you into Mother’s womb so that you could be warm and protected as you grew inside because Mother and Father wanted very much to have a baby. One day you were so big that there was no more room for you inside Mother’s tummy, so you wanted to come out. So, Mother let you out, wrapped you in a warm blanket, gave you warm milk to drink and laid you in the cradle.” Such an answer, or something similar, is not a lie, as one could perhaps charge; rather the child is taken very seriously with such an answer because with it, I am putting myself into the child’s world, the child’s way of thinking and experiencing.

I have to say, as well, that much of the advice given in this brochure seems eminently reasonable, while some of it is quite wacky. It has some connection to an older post and discussion here on the blog. It’s also interesting because we’ve recently been discussing how waldorf teachers and other waldorf inspired people (like parents who ‘live’ this philosophy at home) reply to children’s inquiries about facts.

16 thoughts on “high up in the clouds

  1. When a small child asks that question the full facts would be incomprehensible. Actually none of my children did, does this make them odd? Or possibly it was quite obvious to them, since the first two could see where their siblings came from – definitely me. Otherwise you can always taylor answers to a child’s understanding (they switch off otherwise) I think my mother said something about storks once but I knew it was a joke. Most people deal with this kind of thing without consulting occultists, of course.

  2. I can’t tell you, I never wondered about any of that. I didn’t care where babies came from. But I wasn’t a normal child. I was interested in how a lot of things came about, what the reasons were, the hows and whys and all — but children? no. I probably didn’t think there were any facts worth knowing in that area.

  3. If I had wondered and got this answer though ‘High up in the clouds there is a big meadow where you lived together with many other people. One day, God called you and sent you into Mother’s womb…’ I would have considered the person an idiot. I probably wouldn’t ask that person questions anymore — what’s the point if you get such nonsense in return?

  4. Thetis, you found the missing element in this story. I copy the story below and place a gap where that missing element needs to be inserted. How would you fill it in now?

    “High up in the clouds there is a big meadow where you lived together with many other people. One day, God called you and sent you [ ____ ] into Mother’s womb so that you could be warm and protected as you grew inside because Mother and Father wanted very much to have a baby.

    HINT: It answers a “how?” question.

  5. Oh dammit, I was using google chrome (this happened the other day, but I didn’t expect the Taliban, or the Spanish Inquisition…)

    different version this time!

  6. I think the answer is Dog. It always is. Though I can’t understand why Dog would send babies instead of puppies. It doesn’t make sense.

  7. Oh, BTW, I almost forgot! Yes the answer to the riddle insertion is the stork as Thetis mentioned in the first comment above. Maybe like this:

    “High up in the clouds there is a big meadow where you lived together with many other people. One day, God called you and sent you [safe and swaddled and lovingly carried by the stork] into Mother’s womb so that you could be warm and protected as you grew inside because Mother and Father wanted very much to have a baby.”

  8. Tom – I’m so glad you posted that song! It was the next video on YouTube and my small daughter, who was sitting next to me said: “Springtime for Hitler!’What’s that? We’re doing the War at school,’ It was quite hard to explain the joke.

    But I decided that much as it would be good for any undergraduates from the University of Plymouth to mull over the song, especially in the (inferior) version we watched, which includes a group of (unusually colourful) anthroposophists eagerly embracing the prospect of a new Germany under the Führer, it would be in appalling bad taste to do so. Although historically accurate.

    well, anyway:

  9. was it really a stork? I’d like to see a stork carry anything lovingly. Perhaps a baboon?

  10. Yes, well spotted! It’s so people won’t be able to find it on google searches. They do this with people’s names too!

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