The Secret Spiritual World of Children

Tobin Hart - book on Spirituality of Children

Children have a secret spiritual life. They have spiritual capacities and experiences- profound moments that shape their lives in enduring ways. These are sometimes stunning, often tender, and reveal a remarkable spiritual world that has been kept largely secret. From moments of wonder to finding inner wisdom, from asking the big questions about meaning and life to expressing compassion and even to seeing beneath the surface of the material world, these experiences serve as touchstones for our life as spiritual beings on Earth.

But such spiritual awareness is often dismissed, or worse, labeled as pathology by adults with no map for understanding them. This “signal” can close down a child and stunt spiritual growth.

Psychologist Tobin Hart, urged on by his own child’s “angel” experience, spent five years interviewing children, parents, and adults as well as searching through the literature of the world’s wisdom traditions. What he discovered is that these experiences are pervasive and truly define children’s extraordinary spiritual capacity. In The secret Spiritual Life of Children, Hart explains how to recognize and nurture this deep connection, and help our children develop into spiritual whole human beings. It can also help adults rediscover their own childhood spiritual life.

“One value of a book is its ability to disturb us, move us beyond our comfort zone, outside the boundaries of our platitudes and common assumptions, forcing us to look anew at issues we had explored and thought to be closed topics. Such has been my case with this extraordinary and magnificent book by Tobin Hart.” Joseph Chilton Pearce

“Children’s spiritual experiences have been neglected by psychologists over the decades. Tobin Hart has attempted to fill this unfortunate gap by interviewing girls and boys, integrating his data into mainstream psychological knowledge. The results can be found in The Secret Spiritual World of Children, a book with surprises and insights in every chapter. Most of his readers will never view children in quite the same way again.” Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.