Jesus loves the little children,
All the little children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world!
– Clare Herbert Woolston (1856-1927), from “Jesus Loves the Little Children” (1800s)
Anyone who has spent time with a tiny baby has wondered where all the amazingly distinctive traits of newborn children come from. On a superficial level, every newborn child looks and acts like every other child; but parents will tell you that almost from birth each baby has a unique personality. As a mother of three, I am certain that when I looked into the eyes of each newborn bundle, the person that child later grew to be was already complete and inside there, calmly looking back at me.
Scientists believe we are just our material bodies, so they are certain our personalities must somehow arise as a natural function of those bodies. They think that who we are most likely happens in our material brains, although of course they still have no idea about the process or any of the details. And they cannot even hazard a guess as to why an entirely material humanity would bother to have separate personalities at all! Scientists live in a material world. To them, we are meat and nothing more. But you and I now understand that reality is not material. We know that we are eternal beings, that each of us lives many lives, and that every newborn in its mother’s arms is already an ancient being who has bravely planned to live yet another lifetime in which to learn and grow spiritually. Knowing the truth about who and what we are, you and I realize that each newborn child is the complex product of a long, mysterious, and probably fascinating history!
For us to talk about the traits of babies may seem at first to be a diversion from our discussions here that have centered of late on consciousness, Jesus, God, and the meaning and purpose of human life. But in reality, the innate characteristics of babies are at the nexus of all these topics! It is in babies that so much of what we are learning about the greater reality self-integrates. Babies are the fruit, if you will, and the ultimate test of all the truths that we have been researching and patiently trying to fit together in an effort to make some sense of it all.
When I was first researching life after death, what in the end convinced me that life goes on was hundreds of documented communications from the dead that had been received before 1940. They had come through physical and deep-trance mediums in southern England and in the eastern United States over at least half a century of time, and yet all the communicators were obviously speaking from the same gigantic place! The same process, the same physics, the same pastimes, and all the same details: it was like reading hundreds of communications from travelers who all had just arrived in Fiji. I realized then that for all these reports to be so entirely consistent would have been statistically impossible if the afterlife where they said they were now was not entirely real.
And each new baby gives us a similar opportunity to test our evidence-based understanding of humanity’s place in the greater reality. We know now that every human mind is eternal. We know that each of us lives many different lives on earth – and elsewhere in this universe, too – with each life carefully planned and guided to give us the greatest opportunity to experience and push against negativity, and thereby to ever better grow spiritually. We know or suspect that a great many things might impact a child now entering a newly planned earth-lifetime. In fact, with all that we now know about the venerable being that chose to use that new life as a vehicle for spiritual growth, it would be amazing if new babies did not already have distinct personalities!
With all that we have learned so far about what might be influencing a newborn’s life, let’s look at how those influences could reveal themselves as each child starts to grow. The kinds of traits described here might be apparent from birth, or they may seem to arise later. And some of them will affect that child’s entire life:
- The Being’s Eternal Nature. During our lives between lives, we are full-fledged and recognizably better versions of ourselves. We lack most of the negativity, whether fear-based or anger-based, that tends to plague us when we are in bodies. And we have access to our entire minds when we are there, which means that we can be comfortably certain that our lives are indeed eternal. So we are a whole lot happier! This nicer base personality that is who we are at home sometimes carries over as a base for our after-birth personality.
- The Being’s Pre-Birth Spiritual State. People generally continue to incarnate until their personal vibratory rate is close to the top of the fifth afterlife level. This means that some tiny babies are already spiritually pretty advanced beings! The newborn’s spiritual state won’t be immediately obvious, but sometimes a child that is more advanced spiritually will display an especially peaceful and loving personality almost from birth.
- Skills Learned Before This Lifetime. Many people who didn’t have the opportunity to learn music, painting, sculpture, or various crafts when they were living a previous earthly lifetime will have taken advantage of studying these things as an enjoyable pastime during their lives between lives. Then once they enter a new lifetime, their special skills may become evident even early in life. This is how piano and painting prodigies are born!
- The Plan For This Lifetime. We come to earth to experience negative stressors so we can push against them and thereby grow spiritually. For a few of us there may be more going on, but for most of us that is the whole story. So when bad things happen to good people, those aren’t bugs at all. They’re features! We plan for illnesses, alcoholic parents, marital problems, career calamities, and any of a hundred other earthly crises as great potential spiritual stressors.
- Designed-In Assets and Handicaps. As we plan the events of our upcoming lifetime, we also plan for personal characteristics that can make it either easier or more difficult to manage and triumph over our planned life-events. We might plan to be depressive, excitable, bipolar, or plagued by borderline personality disorder; we might have spina bifida, Asperger’s Syndrome, deafness or blindness or another congenital bodily deformity. On the plus side, we could choose to be beautiful, talented, or very bright. Or perhaps we will enjoy being all three.
- Other-Life Personalities. Each of us has lived many utterly unremarkable lives, but for most of us there have been a few lives that were distinctive in various ways. That innocent little bundle in pink could have been a starlet or a ruthless general; and a babe in blue could have been a courtesan or robber baron or a Biblical prophet. And sometimes one or more of these prior personalities will bleed a bit into the lifetime just beginning.
- Other-Life Traumas. People who have suffered in wars or died under torture will sometimes carry forward into this new lifetime some fears and angers that are rooted in those old traumas. For example, someone who once burned to death may have an irrational fear of fire; or someone who was buried alive might now be especially claustrophobic.
- Other-Life Memories. Especially during the first few years of life, many children will have traces of active memories of a recent prior earth-lifetime, and especially of the violent death that ended it. Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia made a specialty of studying and writing about such cases.
- Other-Life Genders. Gender is so central to our human identity that we keep the same gender for most of our lifetimes so we won’t need to freshly adjust each time. And when we do have to adjust, the change can be traumatic! I have nearly always been male, and I have carried for this entire life a vivid memory of the moment when I first discovered this new body was missing something major. I must have been maybe eleven months old and freshly undressed for my bath. I was toddling down an extremely tall hallway as I randomly explored my body, and the shock of realizing what was not there was a trauma that I would never forget. My dispirited thought was, “Oh. I’m the other kind this time.” (I later realized that for a baby to have such a thought says amazing things, in and of itself.) Until I was maybe fourteen years old, I would have done anything to change my gender, but my puberty banished all such thoughts. As it does in more than three-quarters of such cases. Which is why for us to encourage or even to allow children to begin a gender transition before they have completed puberty is a monstrous betrayal of innocent trust.
- Characteristics of the Available Bodies. As if all this baggage were not enough, we will want to be born in a specific time and place in order to make our life-plan work, so we will be choosing from a limited number of available bodies that each will have its own genetic burdens and potentially negative family issues. Thomas preferred a female body for me, but our best-choice female fetus was conceived illegitimately. Apparently that gave us an early worry, although fortunately the parents soon married so I grew up in a stable home.
With so many factors potentially influencing each newborn baby’s entire life, it’s no wonder that human beings at birth are so amazingly different from one another! And as we grow, all these different factors conflict with one another and wax and wane in us, so scientists who still willfully insist that each newborn is only meat and nothing more are flat unable to understand the complex psychology of all human minds. The study of the afterlife inevitably leads to the study of the greater reality. And everything that we have learned about the amazingly complex reality in which we live our eternal lives finds its complex fruition and its validation in the miracle of each newborn child.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak, but He is strong.
– Anna Bartlett Warner (1827-1915), from “Jesus Loves Me” (1862)