The importance of childhood & adolescence?

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The importance of childhood & adolescence?

Postby Individual » Sun Jun 14, 2009 1:11 am

What is the importance of childhood & adolescence, according to Buddhism?

What I mean by that: Much of our psychology is related to child and adolescence. Phobias, for instance, can develop from childhood. You're stung by a bee as a baby and the trauamatic experience creates an automatic response for terror, which lives on up until adulthood.

As I understand notself, it doesn't mean that there is no personality at all, but that there is no enduring personality, such as a soul; that is, there are particular arrangements of mental-physical factors, but those arrangements are transient. So, we can have some reasonable expectations of how we all might act. Based on how he is right now, I don't reasonably expect Retrofuturist to murder or rape anybody.

...And much of this make-up comes from childhood and adolescence. Although the personality can change at any type, practically-speaking, most of the changes in the personality, the brain, etc., occur in childhood & adolescence. Up until about the age of 25, I'd say, what once had the consistency of water (infancy & childhood) and then glue (adolescence) has now become cement. So, changing one's habits at an old age, or learning new things at an old age, is like trying to lay a foundation with cement that's already dry or trying to grow fresh crops from an aging plant instead of a seed. Like the saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. It is possible, of course, but much more difficult.

This is one of the reasons why I think many people are interested in past lives: If childhood and adolescence is so important, how much more so past lives must be! My particular dispositions today might be the result of being a murderer or rapist in a past life, or a demon, or a fallen deva, or whatever else. Apart from the vanity that drives such speculation, it is also possible to really want to know in order to fully understand the present situation. I may have, for instance, done terrible things to the people that I hate in this life, which gives a helpful context to the situation.
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Re: The importance of childhood & adolescence?

Postby Rui Sousa » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:09 pm

Individual wrote:What is the importance of childhood & adolescence, according to Buddhism?


I will not try to respond "according to Buddhism" but according to my understanding.

Each mind moment sets the conditions to the following mind moments. I find that at childhood our experiences of the world are more intense, probably because we have less distractions and every moment that has some novelty is accompanied by great enthusiasm and energy, tasting an ice cream for the first time is accompanied by mental factors that may not be present with the same intensity when the experience is repeated at 34 years old.

So I would say that the importance of childhood, in setting conditions for further mind moments, has to do with the intensity of the knowing process at that stage in one existence.
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