Sign Up for Our Bi-Weekly Email

Expand your perspective with thought-provoking insights, quotes, and videos hand-picked by our editors—along with the occasional update about the world of EnlightenNext.

Privacy statement

Your email address is kept confidential, and will never be published, sold or given away without your explicit consent. Thank you for joining our mailing list!


Look, Ma, it Says I'm God!

Can a new breed of children's books awaken your kids to cosmic consciousness?
by Tom Huston

Are you tired of your children's stifled yawns and drooping eyelids when you try to read them Ken Wilber's latest treatise on postmetaphysical spirituality? Does your unusually precocious Indigo kid have trouble fathoming Sri Aurobindo's critique of Advaita Vedanta? If so, an innovative genre of children's picture books may be just the thing to raise your child's consciousness to radically new spiritual heights.

With titles like Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story and All I See Is Part of Me, this distinctive class of kids' books represents what must be the latest defensive tactic of “spiritual but not religious” parents everywhere—inculcating children in the ways of Carl Sagan and Eastern philosophy before they even have a chance to learn about Noah's Flood. Spanning epic tales of cosmic evolution and esoteric explanations of God, it is a genre that encompasses both scientific naturalism and nondual mysticism—usually seen as two opposing currents in the philosophical stream. But despite any apparent contradictions among them, these books all express visions of universal Oneness and are clearly aligned in their fundamental cause: to awaken children to a sense of the sacred in the midst of a secular world.

“I tried to distill big abstract ideas into very pure, simple phrases, so simple that a child might understand them,” says Martin Boroson, author of Becoming Me: A Story of Creation. “I also tried to keep a sense of innocence and avoid language that was tied to any particular tradition.” Boroson says the idea for Becoming Me came to him one evening while he was meditating, when he “realized it might be possible to convey the mystical idea of transcendence and immanence in the form of a children's book—a story in which God, who is infinitely big, really likes being little.” Narrated in the first person by God (who remains unnamed as such), this lavishly illustrated story follows God's divine play as he grows tired of being the only thing in existence and so transforms himself into the manifest world of duality and multiplicity, culminating in the creation of you, the reader, whom God calls “little Me.” In other words, it's an exegesis on nondual mysticism for kids—pointing young potential sages everywhere toward the realization that the transcendent Creator and his creation are ultimately One. Other books of this kind that clearly espouse nonduality include What Is God? by Etan Boritzer, the aforementioned All I See Is Part of Me by Chara M. Curtis, and Because Nothing Looks Like God by Lawrence and Karen Kushner.

If you're uncomfortable with the idea of a spiritual source of creation and prefer to stick to more scientific ground, then a trilogy of picture books written by Jennifer Morgan and illustrated by Dana Lynne Andersen may be more appropriate for the impressionable minds under your guard. Like the best of the nonduality books, Morgan's series is written in the first person, but from the viewpoint of the universe rather than that of an explicitly transcendent God. “I am the Universe and it's time for us to get to know each other,” says the omnipresent narrator in Born with a Bang. “After all,” it continues, “I'm 13 billion years old now . . . and how old do you think you are? Nine? Thirteen? How about 13 billion years old too! You are a part of me—you are part of the Universe. You have never been separate from me. That's why I'm going to tell you a story about me, which is about you too.” Despite such sentiments' apparent pantheism—the belief that “God” is synonymous with the natural universe—it isn't clear why a merely natural cosmos should be so happily self-aware. In fact, Morgan's books appear to fall somewhere along the hairsplitting divide between pantheism and panentheism—the idea that the universe is pervaded by a divinity, spirit, or conscious intelligence that is ultimately transcendent. It is a worldview in which the scientific and the spiritual interpretations of reality suddenly find themselves not at all opposed.

Even the more mystical Becoming Me “is consistent with scientific theories of evolution and cosmogenesis,” claims Boroson, “but looks at it all from another vantage point—that of consciousness. For example, the book shows the process of evolution but from God's perspective, as an enormous playing-with-possibilities.” Indeed, what may be most distinctive about this new genre of books is that whether they seem aimed toward the scientific crowd or the devoutly spiritual, none of them precludes the possibility of being viewed through the lens of panentheism, which gives ample room to both spirit and nature and gladly accepts the reality of both.

Because of its potential to unite the traditional archenemies known as science and spirituality, it's likely that panentheism may turn out to be the reigning metaphysic of twenty-first-century thought—for children and adults alike. But no matter where the future ends up taking spirituality, it's nice to know that the kids of the third millennium are being looked out for by the more enlightened among us. And who can say where such early mystical studies might lead? Perhaps little Jenny, with her blanket and her flashlight, poring over the universe's latest autobiography in the stillness of the night, may one day become the leader of an interstellar civilization abiding perpetually in a state of cosmic consciousness.


Subscribe to What Is Enlightenment? magazine today and get 40% off the cover price.

Subscribe Give a gift Renew

This article is from
Our Consciousness Issue


More articles and interviews about similar subjects:
Science and Spirituality

Media and Communications