Some of my earliest memories are of being told that my schooldays were going to be the best days of my life. Consequently, I held an ideal around school – that of it being play-full and offering students ways of developing relationships within everything school had to offer.
What I experienced in those early years was that the teachers would never encourage the enthusiastic play-full-ness and freelance writing attempts of their young students. This form of open-ness in their written expression was always marked down with red lines. No credence to creativity was given, so one felt punished for being creative in their expression.
Learning then became a rigid, rote-type discipline, offering no slack or allowance for a child to develop at his or her own pace. This meant I learned very little grammar or spelling because, after a lot of perseverance in doing what seemed correct to me, I was awarded marks that, at best, still were usually three out of the ten allocated to the task. As for any homework we were given, the results would always be the same – red lines and low grades.
I discovered that shutting down my natural expression was an approach that worked. It became the way I coped and managed to play the classroom game.
Social interactions within the class put anyone who was part of it at odds with the teacher. I became the class distractor who interacted with his classmates by turning around and talking or listening. For me it was mainly listening, as I did not talk much because of the lisp that resulted from my having my two top front teeth knocked out at the age of four.
At that point in time, discipline in first and second class was the edge of a fifteen-inch ruler being applied to the back of our fingers and hands that resulted in blood blisters on several occasions.
I found it was easier to simply put English into the too hard basket, because learning English always felt too difficult due to the lack of any true encouragement. All this added up to my getting grades that placed me as a student in the lower ten percent of the class, scoring well less than thirty percent in exams.
Then out of the blue came a teacher in third grade who responded to what the students were offering. She was able to connect with me and the other students in some way that the other teachers had failed to do. The whole class’ percentages shot up and I started to be in the top twenty percent of the class or higher.
For that one year my grades skyrocketed, and this was simply because my grade three teacher recognised some form of creativity in each and every one of her students, which probably related to the whole class having a co-creative relationship – a feeling of connectedness as they learned together.
After that particular year, my grades improved from where they had been in those earlier years at school, however, I never experienced such understanding from the teacher as I had enjoyed during my grade three year. Being a student and finding a true way of understanding of all that was being taught was possibly on offer, however, my focus for the rest of my days at school continued to be about having fun and not so much about learning.
By grade six I was regularly getting caned, sometimes three times a day. It even reached the point where getting caned on a regular basis became a game between the teacher and me – a time where learning to relax through my breath so the cane flicked painlessly on my hand became a normal occurrence. I had found I could stop reacting by responding to the situation by focussing on my breath, which eliminated the tension in my hand and therefore the painful aspect of each blow.
Breathing gently was a valuable lesson, however it took another forty years for me to realise its true blessing. It is something that I will always treasure thanks to the presentations of Serge Benhayon!
I remember that at one point in sixth-grade, the teacher caned me so gently that the whole class went into hysterical laughter, as the cane literally just touched my finger without any force. Even the teacher had a smile on his face. This was probably the fourth time for that day that I had been given six cuts with the cane.
I had to wait until I was fourteen before my front teeth regrew. This was also when my voice started to break. I was one of the first boys in the class whose voice broke and I got laughed at yet again. I became even more silent and further shut down my natural expression.
Some fifty-five or so years later, I am a student once again, this time with The School of The Livingness where presentations and experiences have led me to have a deep understanding of the following:
- The way we express has a lot to do with our connection to our essence;
- That this is a co-creative relationship;
- It could be said that the way we express is paramount to everything else in our life;
- This is a procedure that starts with our being, at least, gentle first.
Finding a True teacher who will allow us to express and learn from what we are offering will always bring out our essence in the most lovingly supportive ways.
A teacher who brings True expression and wisdom so that the energy we are connected to in that expression is loving, has been inspirational to me, as I have developed an understanding of the difference between True expression and ill expression.
Each is shown for what it is offering and the subtle difference in what it feels like. Learning from our own mis-adventures into the ill energy is available to everyone and it supports us to develop an understanding of what true values and decency in true expression are all about.
With experience and an understanding of what each energy feels like in my body, I have realised each and every one of us has the choice to be connected to our True essence of Love or to continue living in love-less ways. I have developed an understanding that the emotional reactions, which I now realise are mistakenly seen by people to be an expression of love, are in truth actually love-less.
True Love has no emotions.
I have learned that even our thoughts have the power to be co-creative; that when they come from our essence, they convey Love, otherwise they are destructive in what they are conveying.
I now know this originally started as a journey that was taking me further away from the Truth and how that expressed itself. I was seemingly on a path that was considered by many to be evolutionary, however I eventually came to the realisation that it was actually deepening the illusion I was in, keeping me in my quest for individuality and providing the motivation and drive behind my wanting to become spiritually enlightened.
Understanding the difference between divine connection, which comes by way of our Soul connecting to that essence and what our conniving spirit feels like, is a learning curve we will all eventually face. Starting the journey to learn to express from the Soul as a way of living comes via the process of understanding:
- Just how manipulative the spirit is in its wanting to control this life;
- That when we look at what is happening around us it is not a true picture;
- That we are trying to better a life that has no True purpose.
Learning the value that expressing in Truth brings a divine purpose, which is a Loving and purpose-full-ness to all we do, then we start to understand that:
“Expression is everything.”
“Because expression is everything,
so too is everything an expression.
Thus, everything is communication
as everything is communicating.
Every angle, every colour, shape, light, tone, word,
sound, reflection and movement is communicating
what is and what is not of our true future.”
(Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume II, Ed 1, p 332)
Words, thoughts, expression and being Loving in their delivery is changing the way I and many others live as students of life. The School of the Livingness presents these and other practical sciences in a simple language that is easily understood and supports us to evolve back to our Soul. I am learning Life is an art that brings in all the sciences, and that is full of philosophy and religion.
Hallelujah! The Truth is that for me and many fellow students, our Livingness is ever-deepening with True understanding; learning that will never end as it is forever-expanding. These days as a student of life are truly the ‘best-days-of-my-life’ in contrast to my early school experiences as they are exponentially allowing true evolution, bringing a deepening of connection to myself, others and to life itself… and with not a red line or low grade in sight.
By Gregory E Barnes, Student of The Livingness; Writer, Lover of Energetic Truth in Words; EPA (Esoteric Practitioner’s Association) accredited for Esoteric Healing, Esoteric Massage, Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy, Chakra Puncture; Handyman, Painter, Gardener with Cert 4 in Organic Horticulture, Carer, Loving Husband, Australia