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The Secret Spiritual World of Children: The Breakthrough Discovery that Profoundly Alters Our Conventional View of Children's Mystical Experiences Paperback – September 24, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (September 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930722192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930722194
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Adults too often mistakenly believe that to be considered spiritual a child must understand the tenets of a particular religion. In fact, says Hart, children are far more likely to experience what William James referred to as "personal religion" (an intimate knowledge of God) without any formal religious training. After learning that his six-year-old daughter often saw angels, psychologist Hart embarked upon a five-year study of children's spirituality, an area all but ignored in the annals of child psychology. Defining spirituality as an intimate and direct influence of the divine in our lives, Hart interviewed more than 100 children and adults about their experiences. The inspiring accounts he reports reveal that often independently of, and sometimes despite, their parents, children enjoy rich and rewarding relations with the spiritual side of life. He concludes by proposing that parents encourage spirituality in their children by recognizing them as complete spiritual beings, and he offers parents a "spiritual curriculum" intended to nurture a child's personal power and perspective. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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For the lay person and accademia as well.
J. E Melissas
Parents, this book will open your minds to the other worlds that your children have the ability to tap into.
Carol Lawrence
The stories Tobin Hart shares reminds us we all have the ability to listen from within.
SusanC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Henry Reed on May 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite childhood dreams, a recurrent one that I had when I was around seven or eight, is that I am conducting a symphony orchestra. That would be a special experience in itself. What makes this dream more interesting is that I am making up the music, note by note, as we go. Almost like the wand that Mickey Mouse borrows from the Sorcerer, as I wave my baton, the music comes into being. In the dream, that is a thrilling experience. What is even more interesting is that in the dream I am noticing that the orchestra seems to know what notes to play even though there are no notes until I wave them into being at that very moment. In the dream I am puzzling over how the orchestra can play the notes at the very instant that I create them.

Years later I can see in this dream many of the themes I've meditated upon in trying to come to a better understanding of a spiritual path that is natural to me, one that involves allowing improvisation to connect with a transpersonal source of creativity. While my adult self can both appreciate and understand the dream, my childhood self experienced the wonder and awe of the dream, but did not have any understanding of its meaning or source. Not all children, however, display the same lack the understanding of such experiences, according to Tobin Hart in his book The secret spiritual world of children (Inner Ocean Publishing). He shares many stories of children seeming wise beyond their years, children who experience cosmic consciousness and understand its significance and use the experience to guide them throughout their lives.

The idea that children are close to God certainly comes through loud and clear in Hart's stories.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By PMH Atwater on March 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Once in a while an exceptional book comes along and you want to scream at the top of your lungs, "Hey, world, read this book - it will forever change the way your children are treated." Oh, if only I could make such a scream be heard.
"The Secret Spiritual World of Children" covers everything, not just dreams and visions, angels and fairies. It covers life, that pulsebeat within us that propels action, growth, societies and cultures - our history as humans on this very big world called Earth. Whatever you need to help you understand your children, speak with them, encourage them, help them - even practical and easy exercises and suggestions - all of this is lovingly tucked into this gem of a book. But Hart doesn't stop there. He goes on to speak to the child in all of us; and as he does, you will recognize yourself and your own childhood unveiled in a new way. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., author of "The New Children and Near-Death Experiences" and "We Live Forever: The Real Truth about Dying."
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Linda Iribarren on December 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
As Joseph Chilton Pearce wrote in the foreword, this book is "extraordinary and magnificent"!
Dr. Hart sets the tone of the entire work with the closing statement of his introduction: "This book is offered as a prayer to help us nourish the spirit within our children and within ourselves." His skillful interweaving of the stories of spiritual leaders with the mystical experiences of children is not only masterful but also heartwarming. The compassion and love for the children he interviews is palpable, and engaging. Challenging concepts are explored in a way that is relevant, and his insights provide practical solutions for parents and educators.
The questions supplied for enhanced communication offer a practical format to foster the growth of children's' sense of independence by enhancing their innate ability for self-reflection. By discussing impressions and inviting clarification, adults can gain valuable insights while encouraging meaningful dialogue that leads to healthy relationships and continuous discovery.
An enjoyable and useful read for anyone who has or works with children.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. Houghtlin on November 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this book a few of years ago, before my son was even walking. Looking back on it, I realize that I've incorporated many if the author's suggestions in working with my son, and I think that has helped him feel comfortable in talking to me about his experiences. He told me I was going to have a baby before I even knew I was pregnant; this prompted me to take a pregnancy test. He told me the baby was a girl when I was about two months pregnant. And, later, when I was very pregnant (about 8 mos or so), he told me that he was playing with his sister in his bedroom at night. He also tried to get me to 'see' her, by pointing out what he called 'balloons with light in them' that would appear in the bedroom. He said this light was Sofia and her friends. Later, a nurse at the Dr's office told me that she often hears about children his age (3 at the time) predicting pregnancies, etc.

It's just amazing that when you're aware, you can see children's spirituality unfolding naturally before your eyes. This awareness helps parents to nurture and acknowledge this spirituality, which in turn, I believe creates a well-balanced child.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Dr. Hart does an incredible job weaving children's stories of spiritual experiences with the stories and words of great spiritual leaders, thinkers and artists. He also includes a thorough and useful section of the book that gives guidance to parents, teachers, and others interested in nurturing the spiritual lives of children. Each page offers new insights, perspectives and practical advice that I will use as a parent. Reading this book, I felt like I was in the presence of a gifted teacher who not only gave me the tools to become a better parent but inspired me to do so. This book is a refreshing alternative to the stack of "how-to" parenting books on my bookshelf. I have already bought a second copy to lend out because this is the kind of book that deserves to be discussed at length with other parents, friends and family.
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