Why go to school? What is the meaning of education?

If today is a typical day on planet Earth, we will lose 116 square miles of rainforest, or about an acre a second. We will lose another 72 square miles to encroaching deserts, as a result of human mismanagement and overpopulation. We will lose 40 to 100 species, and no one knows whether the number is 40 or 100. Today the human population will increase by 250,000. And today we will add 2,700 tons of chlorofluorocarbons to the atmosphere and 15 million tons of carbon. Tonight the Earth will be a little hotter, its waters more acidic, and the fabric of life more threadbare. The truth is that many things on which your future health and prosperity depend are in dire jeopardy: climate stability, the resilience and productivity of natural systems, the beauty of the natural world, and biological diversity.

human potential

Where do we go from here?

What follows is a synthesis of forty-years with J. Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Samdhong Rinpoche and other mentors. The passion, clarity and hope that inspired these teachers etched deeply and took root. I see what I see standing on their shoulders.

human potential

Mass Education and Mass Media Do The Same Thing, But Differently

Speaking with a colleague whose husband had, what we plebeians (commoners) would call, an aristocratic title, noted, “He was bred to believe he was superior.” From his perspective what we might call arrogant is simply how reality is. When one’s republic dumbs-down into an Oligarchy, as former President Jimmy Carter describes has taken place in the United States, all the underlying assumptions regarding democracy, the rules and morality that govern society we are taught in school are off. We are witnessing what Chris Hedges, John Taylor gatto and Noam Chomsky call class warfare, a very old story indeed.


Embodied education

Embodied education
Frank Wilson

If you divorce a child from experiences that arise out of his natural curiosity for handling things, building things, taking them apart and trying to draw plans for how something might work better, then that kid is going to lack a certain type of competence that we have taken for granted.

To answer your question why do I think it’s important; it’s because I think that we need to understand why that experiment didn’t work. It’s pretty clear that if you look at a long experience of how kids who turned out to be very productive; the high-achievers, the life-long-learners, and so forth, that a very high percentage of those kids are kids who were brought up this way, with real physical world experiences and with opportunities to challenge themselves with tasks that required that they learn how to get better at something that involved the hands. And whether “getting better at” means getting better at a puppet, getting better at juggling, getting better at some athletic endeavor, getting better at playing some musical instrument, getting better at drawing, designing cars, etc., etc., etc., there was something about this that the child really gained control of. The curriculum was not one that was entirely brought in from the outside, because the questions were questions that came out of the experience of trying to make something happen with your own ends. And, they are not questions that necessarily ever make it into a book. You know, a child sees a problem and he says, “How do I fix this?” He plays with it and he has his own particular set of questions based upon his own perception of what he doesn’t know and what he or she does know. What they have to solve, the problem that they have to solve in order to get the thing to the next level of where they are trying to take it.

So, the problem is that is sounds so simple that it is almost insulting to talk about it. I guess it’s like in the election campaign; “It’s the economy, stupid!” Well; it’s the hands, stupid! If you divorce a child from experiences that arise out of his natural curiosity for handling things, building things, taking them apart and trying to draw plans for how something might work better, then that kid is going to lack a certain type of competence that we have taken for granted. Now, I’m not going to argue that, necessarily, by starting kids on computers earlier that you’ve caused brain damage. That’s an argument and a case for somebody else to make. But I do know that they turn out differently. The kinds of skills that they have tend to be quite specific to computers, such as you know, developing viruses, developing spyware. I didn’t mean to be so black about that, but the fact is that these kids like to go into neuroscience; they like to go into computer technology of various kinds because those are the skills that they learn when they start very early. I’m not against that, but there are lots of other necessary skills, and not everybody wants to sit there and write code for the rest of their life. It doesn’t give them joy. Kids need to have an opportunity to sort of be free-range experiencers of the world and discover what gives them joy, what makes them “lose time,” what makes them get lost in some kind of mental space in which their creative juices and their imaginative sense of the world sort of comes into some kind of spontaneous, self-directed exercise.

It’s hard to teach that. The Bloom people said, unfortunately, when you look at the kids who really grew up this way, and who took over their own education, is that the school system doesn’t really offer many ways of doing that. There are lots and lots of examples of oasis of sanity, where kids do have the opportunity to do that, but it’s a little scary because you don’t know what’s going to happen. If the parents that [say] I really want my kid, who is how 8 years old to become chief justice of the Supreme Court, they are going to be a hard sell for the case that maybe what you need to do is to be very Zen about that and just walk away from it, and if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.

Krishnamurti on Education

Personal Observations
Krishnamurti and Education
Differences in Form, Function and Significance

Michael Mendizza

The Number One On-Line Anything for Children Age Two... What?

It breaks my heart to see the propaganda. The Number One On-Line Anything for Children Age Two complete with college cap and diploma. This happy, smiling fake mouse magically appeared signing off from Facebook. How many hits; 892,469 likes and 50,017 talking about? How many young parents have been lured by the Hurried Child, Baby Einstein, early is better, screen time is educational, get junior off to a good, NO the best possible start, to keep up with the neighbors and the dumb-down standards, competing for that coveted position at the XYZ Preschool hoping she will make the cut.


Two dramatic expression of culture change

Two dramatic expression of culture change
Joseph Chilton Pearce

I’ve talked to literally many thousands of teachers. The two things I’ve been getting; children are coming in year by year far less educable, less available to any kind of educational process. At the same time we have children of exceptional brightness, brighter than any children that old line teachers have every come across. The vast majority of our children being uneducable and this little group appearing who are intelligent beyond any level we have had.

Now this brings to mind, by the way, something we really should look at very quickly right here because we are talking about some rather negative things. In the past few years we’ve had two clear phenomena going on at the same time. Since I’ve talked to literally many thousands of teachers and had many workshops and groups for teachers and educational districts and so on, the two things I’ve been getting increasingly over the past few years, well first of all came the recognition by old line teachers that the students coming in year by year, into kindergarten, were far less educable, less available to any kind of educational process. It wasn’t the educational process was broken down, but that no educational process was going to fit these children on a rising level. More and more uneducable children every year and now we know it’s very critical. At the same time, starting about three or four years ago we had our first signs of children of exceptional brightness, brighter than any children that old line teachers have every come across. I heard this first of all from Principals and Superintendents of school districts where there was a very high elite kind of population of high managerial classes and so on. And now I’m beginning to hear it all over the country. Teachers who are saying their getting kids in, a minuscule little handful, who are off the graph in ability, brilliance, readiness, openness and so on, even as the percentage of the educable children is growing by leaps and bounds. So we have these two strange phenomena happening. The vast majority, how we’re moving toward the vast majority of our children being uneducable and this little group appearing who are intelligent beyond any level we have had. They’re off the graph. 

Now I’m going to stick my neck out and say two things here, first of all from what I’ve been able to find these children are coming from essentially close to middle age parents of a highly successful intelligent resourceful marriage situations, where they have not had children, all of the sudden they realize the gates are closing on that. Their time is running out and suddenly they’re filled with a passionate desire to have their own children. These children are brought into the world by highly mature people who have worked out their affective problems, who have relaxed all of their anxieties about the world. They have made it in the world. And who passionately want this child. So the child is born in to the world, even though they might be born in the worse hospital kind of a situation, all the rest of the factors compensate for it. But these are the women who are born birthing at home. These are the women who are taking charge of their life because they have taken charge of their life and succeeded with it. So the child is born into optimal nurturing, optimal situation all the way around, and in contrast with the rest of these poor damaged children they seem off the graph. They’re probably just the first normal children we’re seeing again. Wanted, loved, nurtured, given the right environment. So the saving remnant is appearing and from the most obvious and logical kind of a source. 

M:        Well, when the whole norm is shifted so low, we get back to normal.

J:          Yes, this point should be made, educated, skillful, new generation of upper level intellectual people. We’re introducing upper level intellectual people here on our level which has never been done before. Even at the same time it’s bought at the price of a huge percentage of the population who are in severe troubles. So, it’s not just that we’re coming back to the norm, there’s a possibility we’ll hear a new norm and move onto a new level. The other thing is that we should never think that this is because these people are in their upper thirties when this takes place, that that’s the answer. The 18 year old girl can provide exactly the same thing were she allowed maturation. Were she given the appropriate nurturing environment. As it is, this 35 or 36 year old woman who is making a highly successful mother and is taking charge of her life, she has had to work through all of the disasters befalling this 18 year old and the fact that she’s worked through it, that puts her into a position to be the appropriate mother. She should have, had she received the proper nurturing environment herself, she could have been at that state at 18 as easily. That is we’re not dealing with an age factor here. These are again social environmental factors that we’re dealing with. 

I remember back in the sixties when I dropped out of a college teaching and substitute since I had no teacher’s credentials and had never taken an educational course, some student in high school and I was really shocked to hear the teacher say to these girls, to try to stimulate them to do their homework and all, “Don’t you want to make something of yourself? What do you want to do, just get married and spawn children,” as though that were the pits, the bottom line of all failure. So the model for them constantly was just what you’re talking about and had been for quite a long while. The mother was the failure. There was nothing else she could do except to spawn children. Now the fact that this thing held up as the model, she’s had to work through all that, that strange new mythology. And the ones who succeed are then free of all of that and this fees them to go ahead and be what she could have been as easily at 16 for that matter. After all, nature provides that capacity very early and maturation was designed to be far earlier than it is. As I said adolescence is an arbitrary construct we’ve designed for unwanted laborers. There’s no place for them and adolescence gets longer and longer and longer every year. Now, it’s really running up into the twenties. The fulfillment that these women feel, the sense of fulfillment is of course enormous because now they have accomplished on both levels. I don’t think we should ever imply that a woman is not capable of doing all these things.  That would be a tragedy.  They’re showing on every hand that they can get it out there in the marketplace and run the corporations as well as anybody else. That’s a foregone conclusion. Again, the issue is do they really want to do that?  I think a lot of them are getting forced into that by the role models.

Intellect is Not Intelligence

Intellect is Not Intelligence
Joseph Chilton Pearce

You can see it in the child’s eyes and in their smiling and their response and you do have a far more rapid development. The development is astonishingly more rapid.  Their achieving object constancy is somewhere between seven and eight months as opposed to upwards of sixteen to eighteen months quite often in the unbounded child. So you have unfolding according to nature’s agenda simply by providing the proper environment which is the proper model and you can’t keep the brain from its unfolding.

You we are operating intellectually we’re operating within a balance of tightly excluded material. Intellect is going to exclude anything that doesn’t fit this particular agenda. So it closes in continually. It’s what we call tunnel-vision. It’s a magnificent thing. It’s like under the microscope you can peer into the very heart of the matter at the expense of lots of that which it tends to leave out. Whereas, intelligence again is open-ended and always only moving for a certain huge kind of universal balances and so on.

M:        Let’s go back to this notion of where we left off which is nature’s plan and the implicit expectation of the baby or the infant. Given a natural environment, those expectations would be met spontaneously. We have distorted the environment therefore these expectations on the part of the child are not met. For example, taking the baby away from the mother and putting it in a nursery radically upsets the expectation of the baby. Could we approach what happens in a conventional child birth from that point of view? What I’d like to get across is that if you have this highly intelligent self-organizing system which is the infant or newborn, then it’s got all kinds of things going on. It has expectations. It needs to have certain things to be there and when those then are not present.  So just help me understand that.

J:          Again we have the fact that nature’s agenda is the intelligence for our well-being is simply to open up the whole expanse that’s available to that infant child. The child comes into the world expecting his needs to be met. Our species has survived by a successful meeting of the needs of that new individual throughout the ages. To some extent those needs are met. Now, the needs of the intelligence of the child, intelligence again being this constant open-ended movement for the well-being of the child and for our whole species, if that is countered by intellectual interferences, which again intellect is always selective and operates by narrowing down to a few secluded facts that it’s operating with at the exclusion of everything else, and we get these intellectual interferences with the child’s opening up, then the only result can be that the child starts closing in by default, and we get a literally retardation although we’re not cognitive of that from the very beginning.

The intellectual interference with intelligence of childhood, see that’s not just a figure of speech, here’s a process designed by millions of years of genetic encoding to start opening up, to embrace the universe, and here’s an intellect which is cutting off all the access to that and the child has no choice but to close up again. And so we have the fact that what we call the unbounded child will close up, has no choice except to go back into kind of a fetal defensive mechanism and there’s up to a 10-12 week delay in their first cognitive acts, their first conscious acts which we recognize as the smiling syndrome and so forth.  This has been established now for fifty years and it’s become part of the ordinary set of expectancies’. We don’t expect that in the child for 10-12 weeks because it takes that long for that damage system to compensate and begin to open up. 

Whereas we do know in the child where separation does not take place, in which the exterior environment is simply the other side of the coin of the interior environment. So they’re moving from that which is firmly known into simply another aspect of the known. Theirs is opening up and within minutes you are into the smiling syndrome, you’re into the open embrace of their world and a tremendous part of cognition starts immediately. You can see it in the child’s eyes and in their smiling and their response and you do have a far more rapid development. The development is astonishingly more rapid.  Their achieving object constancy is somewhere between seven and eight months as opposed to upwards of sixteen to eighteen months quite often in the unbounded child. So you have unfolding according to nature’s agenda simply by providing the proper environment which is the proper model and you can’t keep the brain from its unfolding.

M:        We have accepted an increasingly dysfunctional norm as the norm. In other words, we might go back just briefly and talk about, because we’re moving into a field here of how this intellect has imposed itself on the development of intelligence. You have stated often that a lot of that, a great deal of the real impetus for this has taking place within the last fifty years. Can you give me an overview of what has taken place in this fifty year period?

J:          Since World War II.

M:        That has had no historical presence.

J:          Well I think that if we look at the difference of quality of life and standard of living. For a child of course quality of life means one thing and only one thing. The feeling of being unconditionally loved and accepted, that is nurtured, protected, so that they don’t have to collapse into a defensive fetal posture but can move out and embrace the world. That unconditional acceptance by a primary caretaker is critical. Now that’s quality of life.

In studies in World War II in England of little infants, babes in arms, who were for the baby’s safety taken and put in these big nurseries out in the country where they had everything except mama. Their level of collapse and their collapse was thriving and so on was enormous. Whereas, the infants left in the mother’s arm, with bombs falling all around you see, thrived. They did beautifully. Why? Because the environment is the mother. See the mother is the environment. That’s what’s important. Now the mother’s environment plays some role in the infant but the mother as an environment is far more critical. And so that’s quality of life.  Quality of life is being given that safe ambient of the mother.

Standard of living has nothing to do with it whatsoever. Now we thought that standard of living was more important than quality of life. And we think that now. When both parents rush off to work at root is the fact that standard of living is more important than quality of life. And we have all sorts of rationale for it but at base standard of living takes its precedence over quality of life.

Now as quality of life deteriorates we find anxiety minds, suicide cropping out at large levels, violence increasing at a level never heard of when I was a child, none of this existed at all. We were extremely in the thirties but we had quality of life. Now, there’s not that kind of poverty at all, except in a few isolated cases, nothing similar to it.  But the quality of life has deteriorated to the point where everyone is in a state of primary anxiety. Even though we nurture our child and give them everything, then we have to risk them to a highly violent volatile social scene.

The new model of education

The new model of education, parenting, the model imparative
Joseph Chilton Pearce

What the parent must be trained in is in being an adult, being a parent, and a making a response to the child that doesn’t bring about closure in the mind brain structure. It’s the parent who will create that environment. The environment will either open the child up, lead it forward into its own potential, or it closes down into a defense mechanism.

Now the new emphasis is shifting toward a school system which involves the parent directly. The parent has to be involved in the educational system. But there again they’re missing the point. They’re thinking the parent must be there to help the child with homework and so on and so forth and none of that has anything to do with it. Again the error is in thinking that the whole purpose of it is to prepare a child for a certain particular social roll and to acquire a certain amount of information. The National Competency Tests and all that are the great stumbling blocks that we face in this shift. These are simply different ways of shuffling the same old patterns over and over.

What the parent must be trained in is in being an adult, being a parent, and a making a response to the child that doesn’t bring about closure in the mind brain structure. Again, and I think if every parent had right in front of them an inner image let’s say, in front of them an inner image, of the triune-structure of the brain and the fact that certain things the parent does will cause that to close in on itself in a defense posture and never be able to open up to the potentials. Whereas other things cause that brain literally to reach out to try to embrace the whole universe which is of course the full ramifications of the self. And it’s the parent who will really give that kind of an environment. The environment will either open the child up, lead it forward into its own potential, or it closes down into a defense mechanism. And there again that’s what’s happened to us. We have a nation that’s made up now of almost total defense postures. Everyone in a defense posture living in fear of the other and in fear of the whole system and in fear of fear itself. So the only thing that can break that is to understand what brings about such a closure. As long we keep falling into the moral ethical realm you see, we miss this.

We talk about biological structures between our ears, how they open, what causes them to close, and that lies far more with the parent. For that to happen in the first five or six years and then to continue happening at home in the mornings and the evenings and expect the school system to counter that within four to five hours a day, using the same techniques the parents using, a product of the same disastrous closure, all a system can do is replicate itself and get worse and worse and worse as the technological scene unfolds.

Learning & Education 02

Cycle of competence
Joseph Chilton Pearce

The cycle of competence must be honored. We lead the child by modeling new possibilities, discovery. They inmate that in play roughing in a new neural pattern. Practice and variation etch and myelinate the neural structure leading to mastery. Here Joe explores how we interfere and break the cycle inhibiting nature’s natural cycle.

There's a certain cycle to this business I want to talk about.  This is the cycle of competence in all learning.  You find it right from the very beginning.  Greenfield and Tronic up at Harvard under Gerome Bruner in his department came across this years and years ago and I want to get into it briefly.  I didn't deal with it much in my recent book "Evolutions End" because I'd been dealing with it for three books and I figured my readers were sick of that but you can't count on that can you.

Cycle of competence, look at what this is, a three-fold cycle.  Very briefly the first stage is what they termed roughing in a new learning, roughing it in.  Now this is what I would call the first interaction with the model.  The first interaction with a possibility where you just perceive that this can be done.  This is a new possibility, you rough in that basic idea then you must fill in the details.  That's just a rough idea, fill in all the details, this can take anywhere from minutes to seconds, even up to years and years and years.  Filling the details and related them all together into a whole.  So this is a relational process.  You're going to look out into the world for all that which will fill in the details of this first roughed in notion and then you're going to relate it all together and into a whole, into a functional unit.  

Then finally the third period which they group together as a single one, I really think there should be four stages but I'm going to leave it at three, is practice and variation.  To me this is one of the most exciting concepts because when we get to this variation aspect, we leave the entire animal kingdom light years behind and see what makes us so truly unique as human beings, the practice and variation stage.  

Let me take a quick example, some of you have heard my examples where I put it in a couple of other books, plus I've observed the whole thing happening, let's take the little toddler, 14 or 15 months old, maybe 18 months, however it may be, 2 years, who sees her momma open the kitchen cabinet doors that are down at floor level.  They're held with a magnetic catch.  This is the first time this has ever registered on her.  She's been too busy with all the other structures of knowledge to make with her physical interaction with them, getting a name for them and all that but now she spots this.  Hey, that's a pretty interesting thing to do, and immediately having roughed in from the model imperative, monkey see - monkey do, then immediately she goes to filling the details.  This is a very simple concrete thing.  

She toddles over, grabs the handle herself and gives a pull.  The first time she might topple down, gets back up, tries again, keeps her balance this time and finally can get that door open smoothly.  And you'll see she's filled in the details with her own physical interaction.  Remember all learning in the first few years is sensory motor.  It's their own motor mechanism, their own sensations and concrete real learning and then she begins to relate it.  You'll see her paws, you can see the lights turning on, Ah Ha, this is how it works and this is how this all works and so on.  

Then what happens?  The period of practice.  Now she'll not be satisfied with having opened that door once will she?  What'll she do?  She'll start and she'll slam it over and over and over and over.   You'll think okay, all the neural structures finally myelinated, all those long axons, you see this is really true.  

Here are these sensory maps in the brain that are having to operate to locate and fill in all about this new activity and they've all got to make new connections that they've never made before.  They've got to explore new axonal dendritic connecting links, get those somatic thresholds lowered and so forth in a new way that they haven't done before with all the muscles of the body and these are all nerves with their somatic thresholds and so on.  So it's a big deal going all the way down through the motor processes and the learning process and the emotional relational processes and back in the cerebellums involved so all of that has to stabilize.  One time would not do it.  Just like one time with a story won't complete the circuitry, so she's going to do it over and over  ad-nauseam.  

Why?  Simply for that one of the things will be that myelination of new long axons connecting to various structures and so on.  The brain will wrap up, it will seize up that kind of thing and all the other things that take place will, until finally you'll get kind of a maturation of that new neural patterning and the muscular response to it established and the practice period should be over with.  But then you see she doesn't stop pounding the door at all.  All of the sudden you have this complete and total entrainment, 100% entrainment in this new muscular activity, leaves no energy left over for anything else.

She isn't involved in this activity.  She is the activity.  She isn't learning a new movement, she is that new movement.  She there's no subject-object dichotomy here at all, there's a complete subjective involvement, embeddment in that activity, that's what we call a whole entrainment of the system on that learning.  Once it's complete, then all of the sudden she can stand back from her own learning and pound that door out of the sheer joy of a new skill developed.  Do you follow this?  A new skill developed.  Like a child, once they learn to jump rope they'll jump rope by the hour madly.  That's what this little toddler is doing.  She's now pounding out of the sheer joy of something new she's learned to do that she can stand over and above and direct it rather than just be it.  Do you follow that?  This is really emphasized because it's important to remember, the total entrainment period is over now, and she’s just having a great and joyful time with it.  Then she stops and she looks around and the greatest period of human life comes in.  

Now we speak of one chemical that drives the brain to search continually for novelty, that's the one that drives the structure up here, looking for novelty, that which is new.  If she stopped at this point we have nothing called correlation of one learning to another.  There would be no way to take one learning and apply it on an ever wider basis.  That comes through variation.  

Now all of the sudden what's she doing?  She stopped and she looks around and she says ah-ha, what new world can I conquer through this new tool I have, this new ability and she goes over and tries it with the other doors.  She wants to pound those for a while and then she'll start and she'll look for other types of hinged objects, literally out searching for ways to take this neural pattern and apply it to ever greater fields.  What happens to each one of these new devices that she tries it on?  You've got to make some new connections and it will further stabilize as well as expand the basic neural structures involved in that structure of knowledge, as Piaget calls it.  

So now finally she's discovering all hinge objects, the potty seat you know and nothing is safe in the house now.  The hinge objects of the music box and all these things, she wants to pound them up and down and exercise this new ability and then this will lead on into further and further unrelated fields.  Partially related such as jar tops.  Any kind of top sitting on something else she will now start and explore.  Which means that the basic structure is being expanded into completely new territory and this will be an expansion of the brain itself.  New axon dendrite connections being stabilized, myelinated and so forth.  Am I making any sense?

Now that's the variation stage.  Later on we're going to find that's the whole aspect of learning in the later stages that we speak of.  Now let's look very briefly at what can happen to this.  I'm always posing these marvelous things and then showing what can happen, the negative side, but we do need to know about that.  This one example, the little girl who was pounding on this door, it really did happen and it was not my child, she was pounding on this door, she'd really just discovered this thing and she was pounding on this door and the telephone rang right there in the kitchen.  Mom said, "honey stop that, the phone's ringing, hello!"  There was no response whatsoever from the child.  Right ahead pounding and pounding, she was in the practice stage and mom said, "honey I said stop that, I'm trying to talk" and of course pound, pound, pound, and finally she was shouting at the child, "I said stop it".  No response whatsoever.  Finally momma threw the telephone down and went over, picked her up and literally dusted her britches and said, "can't you hear me, I'm shouting, I'm telling you stop that, I can't hear on the telephone".  

Of course now the child is screaming, the telephone conversation is pretty difficult, the whole thing is a great mess.  Why did the child not pay any attention to what she was saying?  Because of entrainment.  A new learning in this early child requires 100% of the whole energy of the system on that one particular developmental adventure.  No energy is left over for processing other forms of information.  

The child didn't respond to momma because the child didn't hear momma.  There was literally no energy left for that kind of thing and so when suddenly the practice period is broken out of the clear blue sky by momma picking up and dusting her britches, it's a complete non-secretor, isn't that what you would call it?  Completely out of logic, doesn't fit anything.  Now a few times like this of when the child is attempting to explore the world, practice it and doing all of that to start and vary her structures of knowledge, she gets clobbered for it because a parent says "DON'T" and the child doesn't comprehend what the parents saying because of the entrainment factor, then what going to happen?

Little by little the child will find that they can't afford to entrain.  They can't afford to invest all of their energy on a new learning because they can't trust the world around them enough to turn their back on it.  That means they're going to split their psychic structure, they're going to split the energy of the brain mind and between the attempt to practice and their defense system guarding themselves against a world that might clobber them out of a clear blue sky for no particular good reason.  The child’s open acceptancy without question you see has to be honored in every respect and when we don't, when we interfere with, our kind of intellectual commands appear and break the pattern, then what's going to happen?  Little by little they won't go with this complete involvement, this complete entrainment.  We say our children can't concentrate.  What do we mean by concentrate?  Concentrate the totality of the energy on a single specific task.  Later on they won't be able to do that because they've got to take some of the energy for the task and some to maintain their defense system against a world they cannot trust.  Do you understand?

As long as you don't trust your world implicitly and totally, and as long as you don't become again as a little child, and that's what it means.  An absolute implicit trust in the maintenance system taking care of you.  Then you can't entrain or concentrate your energies on any single task and we're a house divided against ourselves.  Does that make any sense?  We're a house divided against ourselves.  One half of us trying to defend ourselves, the other half trying to do what we must do to survive.  So this cycle of competence is a critical thing to be aware of in all children’s learning.