So intense it was almost frightening: The spirituality of children.

Please prepare yourself for the following.

Do children have an inner knowing or a spiritual side?

They don’t seem to. In fact, life with a small kid seems intensely practical and earthly bound. Yet my child has often made me wonder.

My daughter was conceived in India where a friend joked that she would be a reincarnated soul. She was born in Australia where I settled back into being the cynical skeptic. All that remained of my flirtation with spiritualism and religion (apart from my book Holy Cow available still at only $22 from your nearest bookshop) was a comic about Krishna and a Buddha head statue in my garden.

spiritual side
“My daughter was conceived in India where a friend joked that she would be a reincarnated soul.” Image via istock.

Yet when my baby was born I was shaken by her stillness and an intense stare that seemed all knowing. She looked deeply into my eyes toward my inner being, as if making a deep soul connection. It was so intense it was almost frightening.

The moment turned out to be a rare moment of stillness for a rather busy baby. By her first birthday we were naming our daughter ‘Swami Bam Bam’ due to her delight in wearing prayer beads while destroying everything she could reach.

Here’s where it gets really weird.

When Bam Bam was two we went to playgroup in a Church. Fascinated by the tortured figure on the cross she asked the female minister who it was. The minister responded, “That’s Jesus honey, do you have Jesus in your life?”

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“Oh yes,” said my daughter. “He came around for afternoon tea the other day with Krishna and Buddha.”

Holy Heck.

Indian Hindus believe that great beings are reincarnated. Many believe that Krishna, Buddha and Jesus are actually the same great saint or Sadhu coming back to earth in different forms. And apparently my daughter did too, while still wearing nappies.

I don’t remember ever mentioning Krishna or Buddha, let alone the fact that they were holy. Yet somehow she had put them together for an interfaith afternoon tea like no other. With arrowroot biscuits and milk.


This entire event completely freaked me out.

spiritual side
Are your children in touch with their spiritual side? Image via istock.

It got even weirder.

Weeks later Swami Bam Bam paused a conversation about porridge to ask me what happens after we die. I didn’t want to scare her and, given she was only two, was not prepared for a theological discussion or indoctrination session. So I said, “Nobody knows for sure but many people believe we go to heaven and become beautiful angels with wings while other people believe we come back again in a new body and live our life again.” She nodded her head and toddled off.

The next morning she came out to the kitchen and said, “I don’t want to be an angel after I die, I want to be born into another body. Next time I will be a boy and I’ll learn to walk and talk all over again like I did this time and then I’ll be a girl again after that.”

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Her father nearly fell off his chair.

My daughter grew up inhabiting a wonderful world richly inhabited by various types of fairies and mermaids. She held onto Santa and the Easter Bunny longer than most. She is now 12, and an atheist who laughs when we tell her about her baby days. She still makes me wonder about both the inner and other world our children inhabit.

I have a friend who watched her three year-old walk into her baby sister’s room. She then overheard her chatting to the baby via the baby monitor. She swears her little girl said, “Tell me what it’s like baby, I can’t remember the world before birth, I want to remember, tell me what it’s like back there.”

I’d love to know what they see as well.

Have you seen any thing similar? Has your child said something so freaky you got shivers?