Healthy Beginnings

Are children more open to the spiritual and extrasensory level of reality?

A strong psychological connection between a young child and his/her mother often translates into a vital connection or sensitivity to the life within the unconscious. Photo: Terry Lockett

In her book, “Hidden Channels of the Mind” (William Morrow and Company, NY, 1961), Louisa Rhine tells the story of a young couple who rented a beach cottage sight unseen:

“After their arrival their two-year-old son was put in one of the bedrooms for his afternoon nap. His mother heard him saying ‘See man. See man.’ She peeped in the room to see him standing up in his crib, smiling and pointing upward. On succeeding days it happened again and again, the baby sometimes urging the parents into the room with great insistence.

“At times they would peek into the room without his knowing and watch him smile, offer toys, etc., to this invisible man. He had never before appeared to see things they could not see, and … they could find no shadow, furniture shape or anything remotely resembling a man where he pointed…

“This behavior continued over the entire month of their stay at the cottage. The day they were leaving, the owner, of whom they had known nothing, called. When she entered she became very upset and close to tears. She explained that it was her first time back since her husband’s death the previous year.

“He had loved the place and died in the bedroom the baby had used … When she saw the little boy, she remarked that her husband would have ‘loved this adorable baby. He was so fond of children.’”

Doctor Rhine hypothesizes that young children are more open to the spiritual and extrasensory level of reality because they are still psychologically bonded to the mother. Just as a mother nourishes and gives birth to an infant child, so the unconscious nourishes and gives birth to the ego or conscious personality.

A strong psychological connection to the mother often translates into a vital connection or sensitivity to the life within the unconscious. One could say, symbolically, that the child who remains psychologically bonded to his/her mother still wades in the amniotic fluid of the unconscious.

As the child grows in emotional and psychological separateness from the mother, its natural and spontaneous dialogue with the unconscious may wane.

Another factor that may contribute to the decline of extrasensory awareness among children around the age of 6 is the fact that most children begin formal schooling around this time. At school a young child’s attention is turned increasingly toward the assimilation of the prescribed worldview of the society they are a part of.

In the United States, this often means a worldview with a strong materialistic bent. Such a perspective generally promotes a firm separation between the growing child and her receptivity to the unconscious.

It is no minor challenge for parents and educators to help their children/pupils adapt to outer life without losing their openness to the spiritual and extrasensory world that is the original ground of their psychic being.

“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,” the poet William Wordsworth wrote in “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” 

If we are lucky, we may enter adulthood without forgetting everything we once knew and sensed as children.

Dr. Andy Drymalski is a Nevada-licensed psychologist and Jungian psychologist in private practice in Reno and Carson City. He specializes in psychotherapy for depression; grief and loss; life transition issues; personal growth; and Jungian dreamwork. To learn more, visit or call Andy at 775-527-4585. Enjoy his blog at