Like a computer program asked to turn simultaneously left and right, a growing brain cannot pursue opposing directions without dividing itself.
Modern children are discovering a divided world, inheriting a crisis of conflict between faith and reason.
The ideological battles that swirl around adults everyday seep slowly into the psyche of most students in a dangerously predictable manner.
During a process that spans several years, a child's mind moves from stages of mimicry to comprehension toward individualism, accumulating experiences and then cultivating feelings about those experiences, developing knowledge and then realizing opinions about that knowledge.
A healthy progression usually involves matching the smiles of parents in infancy, copying tones of voice as a toddler, helping with housework as a child, and then finding a unique way to help the larger community through education.
It seems an integral part of the human condition is a desire to please our parents.
The H Bond Theory is a logical principle founded in science of the twenty-first century, intended to repair policies of those corporations and governments whose charters were commissioned during academic eras of the past.
But things can go awry by the end of elementary education.
Certainly, some drama must be attributed to a new tide of hormones released at the spark of puberty. Still, these hormones afflicted humans since before the dawn of consciousness. Our species would not have survived if brain chemistry alone was responsible for violent patterns of self-destruction.
Instead, please remember the analogy of the binary computer circuit: likewise, a human brain cannot grow successfully in two directions at once; its synapses choose pathways.
It is during middle school and junior high when students are introduced to mathematical proofs, world history, and scientific experimentation.
Ripe with a desire to please their parents through the intermediate goal of impressing their teachers, they challenge themselves to file all of these new laws of nature and these ancient human traditions into their crowded, growing brains.
As they struggle to determine under which categories to catalog all of this information, however, they come across familiar collisions of logic that plague philosophical minds.
Finally, when they seek adult direction on these, most fundamental, mortal matters, many adolescents reach an ideological impasse because the conclusions of their religious families and their scientific manuals disagree.
For many American children, this inevitable, predictable educational milestone creates an internal battle of competing goods: in order to proceed on a path of obedience, such a student necessarily must disappoint one category of elders.
Should the mind follow a path suggested by pastors, grandparents, and scriptures: the universe is merely thousands of years old? Or should the mind follow a path set out by teachers, astronauts, and textbooks: we evolved from space bacteria into monkeys?
At this stage of social development, the growing brain has four options:
1) Learn, accept, and forgive the imperfections of each perspective to such an extent that the child begins to practice critical thinking, creating an entirely new thought process, one which now filters incoming information before choosing whether to trust it, regardless of its source. This solution produces the best mental health and self-reliant citizens. This mind will be prepared to interact with the present.
2) Fully reject the scientific perspective, becoming increasingly combative not only with teachers but also other civic servants, wary of any authority figures outside of the home, the family, or the church. This solution creates a vacuum of scientific professionals in the community, threatening the economic stability of entire regions, but it leads to an increased appetite for military service, stoking the fires for land defense. This mind will tend to worship the past.
3) Fully reject the religious perspective, adopting instead a moral relativism, believing that truth is substance yet to be determined by rigorous experiments and democratic majorities. This solution can generate eating disorders, when laws of mathematics come to govern mortal decisions, either leading to hypochondriasis, an untamed fear of the unknown, or obesity, an unchecked pursuit of pleasure. Communities of this sort can be lazy and impoverished, but they also can be wealthy or workaholic hustlers. This mind often will idealize the future.
Or there can be a final alternative: synaptic direction toward extreme introversion.
4) Isolate from the influence of all elders and reject all new instruction. From some deep sense of betrayal, an inability to accept the absence of perfection, this mental path creates the most addictions, including habitual gaming and social media, and it may be that many internet trolls are forming a legitimate counterculture of bullies: individuals psychologically satisfied only by testing, even competing, for total abandon of any desire to please. This personality seeks to escape reality, the limitations of its physical flaws, its home town, or its social role, preferring to dwell in dream states and fantasy roles, openly curious about death. This mind likely considers its body like an avatar, a temporary nuisance, dangerously tempted to end what it perceives to be a game.
And so it may be when students adopt this fourth mental perspective, publicizing its recurring themes, in theory, that parents and teachers begin to see troubling signs of unproductive rebellion and physical symptoms of self-destruction.
Children who have abandoned trust in their own elders seldom can be revived by another. Once faith in the institutions of civilization has been lost, little reason can recover it.
Kids across the United States are suffering from ideological schizophrenia: a real and growing pressure to profess one belief at home and another at school; personalized manifestations of a much larger schism in the structure of Western society.
This problem is not one that is black and white, nor Republican and Democrat: it is the failure of our academic programs to offer a viable form of scientific deism.
Pastors across the nation must become more sensitive to their roles as economic ambassadors: if they want their communities to succeed, to thrive, to survive, they must reconsider their vendetta against science from the pulpit. Hopefully, it is not the language of mathematics that they reject, but the conclusions of atheism. The future security of our nation may depend upon the quantity of preachers who can make this distinction.
Professors across the nation must become more sensitive to their role as modern mystics: if they want enthusiasm from students and activism for their causes, they must be more honest when defining our thresholds of the unknown. It seems a double standard, for example, how quickly some of the most determined atheist professors will expect deist students to accept the probability of aliens. The future of our once United States may depend upon the capacity of scientists to tolerate the language of scriptural metaphor in public conversation.
In summary, a young mind afflicted by cosmological questions does not need drugs, but spiritual guidance. Please read all ten steps of The H Bond Theory, discuss it with friends, and consider teaching it to your own family as a means of translating your beliefs to others, even those across the aisle.
And consider whether strategic applications of The H Bond Theory during middle school education might serve as an intellectual bridge to carry developing minds more safely through our modern battlefield of ideas.
M. Bennett is a Unitarian monk and author of Godliness: The H Bond Theory.
To read the book which seeks to end this ancient battle between faith and reason, download it from any of several online distributors, or have it printed and delivered to your door.