Marley Is Dead.

This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.


Carly’s Second Christmas

Carly is changing, and fast. She is beginning to talk to herself, not with words but with sounds and babble-phrases that will soon be sentences. Until very recently she needed play-learning experiences to be initiated. Now, at sixteen months and counting, she is beginning to initiate her own play-learning experiences. The early formation of imagination, past and future, is unfolding. There is teething, relatively short attention to some things and quick frustrations if life fails to respond immediately to her new intent. With unfolding intent comes unfolding challenges and that turns into unfolding frustrations. Welcome, Carly, to the world of creativity.

the child's reality

Trust and Happiness

basic trust

The Blind Leading the Blind

Normal isn’t necessarily healthy or natural,
or the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

It is so much more demanding for parents not to substitute virtual for real experiences; no wonder a recent essay applauded the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for softening its position on screen time. This essay is the latest edition of the blind leading the blind, looking at water from inside the fish bowl and not at the true nature of the child, that is, after all, nature, not FaceBook, Sesame Street or the criminally misleading Baby Einstein. The arguments go like this:

screen time

Every Moment Matters

Every moment matters, especially the early formative moments. There is no ‘down time,’ no ‘get out of jail free.’ This is the moment. Who and what we are is defined by how we live this split second. Don’t miss it. More to the point; don’t mess it up!


Beans, Beans and More Beans

Happiness is the ultimate wisdom and my goal, whenever I’m with Carly Elizabeth, is to be as wise as possible. My care and affection for Carly is so innocent and reciprocal that I find it unimaginable how anyone could harm, neglect, punish, embarrass, judge, compare, spank, scold or shame a young child, but they do, every day in every neighborhood all over the globe. Innocence implies trust and that trust assumes complete nurturing. And by nurturing I don’t mean pandering or spoiling. Carly climbs the wooden stairs by herself. By nurturing I mean staying close so she feels safe and can give complete attention to the challenge of the moment.


The Inner State of the Union

Yuval Noah Harari describes in a recent book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind how ‘story,’ the capacity to imagine and share meaning through symbols and images, is the defining capacity that sets Sapiens apart from all other species. When focused inwardly ‘story’ sculpts the social-image we believe ourselves to be, what we call ‘me.’ When directed outwardly this same story creates culture. Culture and our social image are reciprocal mirrors of the other, each giving rise to the other, reincarnating the enchantment moment by moment. Both are stories, images, but we treat the image is if it were an independent, concrete reality. This is our basic flaw.


Count the Smiles Remember the Laughter

If my worth as a father and parent can be measured, let it be by the smiles and laughter Carly Elizabeth, my wife Z and I share together. I happen to be fond of the Buddhist tradition where one, with conscious intent, negates suffering in ourselves and therefore in others. Joseph Chilton Pearce and I often shared the irony that most of our suffering is self-inflicted. In the East there are two icons for wisdom, the Contemplative Buddha and the Happy Buddha. In a casual way we can say that negating suffering leads to happiness, that ultimate wisdom is happiness.

imagination and play

Featured Insight - Unfolding Language

I loved this insight when we first recorded it and I love it today. Here Joe describes the origins of language itself. We all know that the use of symbols and metaphors is the defining capacity that distinguishes human beings from all other species. What we take for granted is the awesome computing power needed to describe how to get to the market and to decode and understand the message. It’s almost unbelievable. Our use and misuse of this truly miraculous capacity is both our saving grace and our downfall. Language opens the door to the causal nature of consciousness and it is the source of fearful selfish egos that will sell another’s soul for a nickel. At thirteen months young Carly Elizabeth is beginning to understand ‘let’s read a book.’ She doesn’t know what that means in a literal sense but she does know it means sitting in my lap and turning pages.