Barbara Condron knows this world is heading toward peace and happiness, and she knows how it’s going to get there — through the grace of an emerging generation of children born in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Condron is a member of the faculty at the College of Metaphysics in Windyville and author of “How to Raise an Indigo Child: 10 Keys for Cultivating Your Child’s Natural Brilliance,” in which she describes children who seem to have greater capacities of intuition, talent, intelligence and creativity than their peers.
This “exceptional human function,” as Condron describes it, is often explained by psychologists, writers and parents as spiritual energy from the divine or a residual knowledge from past lives. Social change and the evolution of the human mind have also contributed to the almost mystical qualities of indigo children, Condron says.
“I see the indigo child as an evolution of what 20 years ago was called a talented and gifted child,” Condron says. “There’s a kind of consciousness change that’s taking place all over the planet.”
Condron’s 10-year-old son, Hezekiah, is an indigo, she says. She describes him as very attentive and keen when he’s interested, strong-willed and respectful. She has also noticed his ability to comfort people suffering physical and emotional pain.
“Indigo souls are souls that are highly intelligent,” she says. “They are quick thinkers. They have a very strong will, and they have an awareness of why they exist in the world.”
The indigo name was coined by author Nancy Ann Tappe and describes the color of the child’s aura. Tappe started noticing indigo-hued auras in the 1970s and applied the label in the early 1980s. Over time, Tappe observed an ever-expanding number of indigo children, and is quoted in “The Indigo Children” as saying that “90 percent of children under 10 are indigos.” (Condron believes all children born since 1995 are indigos.)
The belief in indigo children is relatively confined to New Age spiritualism, which practitioners distinguish from traditional religion in several ways. One main difference is the way each views the future. Both may see great evil in the world, but while traditional religions tend to believe the world will be destroyed for this evil, spiritualists believe that humans have the ability to create a peaceful world.
The indigo belief is still relatively unknown, but it recently received international attention with the release of “Indigo,” a film about a 10-year-old indigo who heals and reunites her troubled family. The independent film was shown in more than 700 theaters worldwide. The Rev. Marci DeVeir, founder of the Interfaith Center on Broadway, heard about the film on the Internet and arranged a screening at the Missouri Theatre. The Interfaith Center also hosted a seminar on indigo children Feb. 8.
The child in the film, Grace, exhibits most of the classic indigo traits such as a strong will, confidence and intuition. She also has extraordinary psychic and healing powers. Grace predicts a blowout immediately before it happens, heals a woman’s breast cancer by touch and figures out the twisting, whodunit plot before the adult characters. She is also connected to other indigo children worldwide by a telepathic “grid.”
Although Grace’s more incredible powers aren’t often highlighted in discussions about indigo children, Sheila Benjamin, a teacher at the College of Metaphysics, believes the movie is an accurate representation.
“We all have the power but haven’t awakened it in ourselves,” Benjamin says.
The seminal text on the indigos was published in 1999 by Lee Carroll, the author of 11 metaphysical self-help books, and Jan Tober, a former jazz singer and lecturer; both claim to be channelers for a spiritual entity called Kryon.
“The Indigo Children” opens with the bold assertion that these children represent “the most exciting, albeit odd, change in basic human nature that has ever been observed and documented in any society with the tools to do so.” The book features copious essays by psychologists, counselors, practitioners of alternative medicine and natural health, and grown indigos.
In the book, Carroll and Tober address that many of the traits that define indigos are the same as those that accompany a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,and there is a significant overlap in the defining behaviors of indigos and children with ADHD.
ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorder, according to the National Institute of Health. Children with ADHD are inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive, says Melissa Stormont, an associate professor in the MU College of Education. The majority of experts believe that ADHD represents a human trait on a continuum, Stormont says. Many people have some problem with either inattention, impulsivity or hyperactivity, but 3 to 5 percent of children, about one in every classroom, have problems severe enough that they require therapy, medication or both to control their behavior.
DeVeir, of the Interfaith Center, says she sees how the gifts of indigo children can be mistaken for ADHD. “It shows up a lot of times as just a lot of high energy, and they do sometimes have trouble focusing on a particular project because they’ve got so much information coming to them so quickly,” she says.
Author Robert Todd Carroll, in his book “The Skeptic’s Dictionary,” says that it’s more soothing for parents to see their child as an indigo than as having ADHD.
“The label implies imperfection,” Carroll says. “Some may even take it to mean the child is ‘damaged.’ Given the choice, who wouldn’t rather believe that their children are special and chosen for some high mission rather than they have a brain disorder?”
Walter Coplen, of Coplen, Wright and Associates Inc. in Columbia, has been a licensed professional counselor for 10 years. He also has a decade of experience in psychiatric hospitals and residential centers. He thinks labeling children with ADHD as indigo children is problematic. Children with ADHD seem to be very intelligent, Coplen says, and they often have more intelligence than emotional maturity. But Coplen says that ADHD is a product of social and environmental factors as well.
“Every child is special, but I would hate to put a label such as this on any child saying that they are more special than another child,” Coplen says. “I just think that it’s trying to peg a situation that isn’t that easily pegged, and I don’t think that scientific research would validate their findings.”
But those who hold New Age beliefs close to their hearts aren’t waiting for science to validate their faith anymore than are those who practice traditional religion. DeVeir believes indigo children are sprouting up around the globe, and she is confident in their purpose, and while Barbara Condron is reluctant to place additional burdens on her son, she believes Hezekiahhas the potential to be a great orator, leader or even the next Steven Spielberg.
“I think the success of what will happen to these children is up to society,” she says.