The oral histories collected here present but a small sampling of an untapped treasure of spiritual memories from childhood. During five years of interviewing and writing these stories, I was repeatedly awed by the simplicity and beauty of the stories I heard; awed, too, by how many children have mystical experiences of the world beyond the five senses. Those who told their stories revelled in recalling a time when they lived innocently within as much as I did in hearing them.
I talked with many people and interviewed sixty at length. Most people who heard about this project had at least one experience to share, but the thirty-three people whose chronicles appear here remembered many such experiences and also had clear memories of their childhoods. To preserve their anonymity only first names are used to identify them, and many chose to give themselves different names altogether.
I met the people interviewed in the daily round of life, for, although spiritual life is important to all whose stories appear here, I didn’t seek especially spiritual people. In the course of conversation, someone might ask what I do. I would tell them about this project, sometimes relating an experience or two as an example. Often, they would offer to tell me one or more personal experiences, and I would ask if they’d like to be interviewed.
Since this project began I have heard hundreds of experiences, not all of which are included here, yet all of these tender tales stay with me. I think I could gather stories forever.
I asked adults rather than children to reflect on and thoroughly describe their innocent perceptions of childhood because the inner life of a child is delicate. I couldn’t risk asking children to call their fledgling intellects into play trying to answer my questions, thereby possibly causing fine subtle experiences to disappear. Many children have spontaneously revealed their inner lives--my own four children included--but when children describe their experiences I usually acknowledge their gifts in silence and ask no questions.
At first I thought to call these experiences ‘spiritual,’ but for many people ‘spiritual’ is synonymous with ‘religious,’ and while some of the stories include experiences of a religious nature, others belong in a broader category. I settled for the phrase ‘inner life,’ for these adventures arose spontaneously from within children and their perception of their childhood environments.
These chronicles of inner life in childhood are told in first person. This recounting is faithful to the original histories and has been edited only to make them more readable. I have tried to maintain the individual voice and words of each storyteller.
I am grateful to all who offered their stories and shared themselves with me.
I hope you enjoy the sense of mystery and innocence found in these stories of inner life in childhood.
If you would like to share reflections of your inner life as a child, please download the format here or copy and paste the outline at the bottom off this page.
Please send to me at email@example.com.
As the stories arrive I will post them and may eventually collect them in a book for all to enjoy.
I look forward to hearing from you and send you my very best wishes for a peaceful, happy life.
The Adventures of the Perfecct Club is the perfect book for kids who are having mystical experiences. It’s also perfect for those of us who remember our inner lives in childhood. This letter at the end of the book expresses my heartfelt wishes for all who explore their inner landscape. It’s addressed to children, yet it can as easily be addressed to all of us no matter our age in years:
I hope you have enjoyed the sense of mystery
found in the PERFECCT Club. This is a book I wish had
already been written when I was a child.
Most adventures in this book are stories told by friends
who experienced them, or happened to me.
As you have read these pages, I hope you have felt welcomed
to the club I wish I had found when I was young.
If you would like to share the reflection of your own inner life,
please do write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from you,
and send you my very best wishes for a peaceful happy life.
Mystical Childhood Interview Format
Describe your childhood:
Where did you grow up?
How many children were in your family? What was your place among them?
Were you happy as a child?
Tell an anecdote that will show your family
Think of youyour family in a typical moment.
Think of yourself as a child.
What did you look like?
What kind of child were you? Tell the story of each that applies:
Enthusiastic and lively or quiet and thoughtful?ful?
Creative--how did your creativity express itself?
Did you do projects?
What did you like to play?
Describe your relationships with others
What was school like for you? How did you see its place in your life?
What was your religious background? Describe its importance to you.
What was important to you as a child?
What was your worldview?
Did you find the world a friendly or hostile place?
Did you feel at home?
Did you think you’d get what you want? Did you get it?
Describe the structure of world power and your place in it.
What was your dream for your life?
Experiences of inner life:
Describe any spiritual or interior experiences in childhood, that is, through age twenty. At about what age were you in each experience?
Some areas of life to consider:
Times of day:
While awake, occasions in activity
Going to sleep, while waking up--naptime and at night
Awareness--inner silence, significant thoughts, state of consciousness
Visions, auditory experiences
Heightened sensory awareness
God, angels, fairies, other planes of existence
Light or lights
Interaction with beings:
Companions, friends others may have described to you as “imaginary”
Angels, elves, fairies, etc.
Experiences with nature
Superhuman feats--strength, speed, athletic or other performance
Becoming invisible, flying
How did you feel about your experience at the time? Was there a
Feeling of assurance?
Being cared for?
Fear or a sense of loss or other strong emotion during or following the
How did you explain these adventures to yourself?
Did you ever tell anyone about them? Why or why not? If yes, what response did you
How have these occurences affected you into the present?
Who are you now? What do you do?
What is your career?
Describe your career journey?
How would you describe yourself? Your personality?
How would your friends describe you?
What do you do for fun?
What place does your spiritual life have for you today?
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