Beyond Adolescence

Something wonderful was about to happen
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Many of have had the feeling that something wonderful was about to happen, that life was full of promise and that we would play an important part in making the world a better place.  This passion and idealism blossoms during adolescence as we look at the world with completely new eyes.  In this program we are going stretch our limits by discovering completely new ways to look at our young adults. As with our other programs Joseph Chilton Pearce, will challenge us along with a group of parents, educators and health care providers, by asking that we consider that adolescence might actually be very different from what we think it is.  He suggests that adolescence may really be cumulative effect of both false education and a failure to fully develop our full potential.

Many of have had the feeling that something wonderful was about to happen, that life was full of promise and that we would play an important part in making the world a better place.  This passion and idealism blossoms during adolescence as we look at the world with completely new eyes.  In this program we are going stretch our limits by discovering completely new ways to look at our young adults. As with our other programs Joseph Chilton Pearce, will challenge us along with a group of parents, educators and health care providers, by asking that we consider that adolescence might actually be very different from what we think it is.  He suggests that adolescence may really be cumulative effect of both false education and a failure to fully develop our full potential. Please join Joe, along with a group of parents, educators and health care providers as they discover how the passionate search for ideals and ultimate models, which begins during adolescence, brings us to Evolution’s End, as we reach for the threshold of pure spirit.

Joe Pearce

Let's look at the adolescent as a real genuine group let’s say of the mid-teens or even the teens themselves.  As I said, adolescence is by in large an arbitrary category, creative of the now day and time for a group of people that have no place.  We have no room for them in the economic scheme of things and so we've created this category forum.  But, nevertheless there are some very genuine things about adolescence that I would like to take up today. 

Betty Staley of the Steiner School, the Waldorf School and the college in Fair Oaks, California, we've done many workshops together and she turned out a remarkable book called "Between Form and Freedom" which was a study of the adolescent, an English publication.  I've forgotten exactly the name of the publisher, this "Between Form and Freedom" little paperback has some marvelous insights.  There are three facets of the adolescent I would like to bring up that are not ordinarily mentioned about the adolescent.  You will find these, I'm sure, quite resonant with you.  The first of these characteristics of adolescence that we've already taken up starts around age 11 but by 15 or so it hits a kind of a critical acute level and that is idealism.  The average person looks at the adolescent and they say idealism, this is the craziest thing we ever heard.  They don't have an idealistic bone in their body.  Look at their models, and so on and so forth.

Now, the issue is, and it was Betty that made this so clear to me, they are so acutely painfully idealistic.  Starting about age 11, growing to about 14 or 15 and they start looking at the world through totally different eyes.  This was when all of the sudden our children start dropping behind us on the street.  They don't want to walk right with us.  Have you ever had that happen?  Here I know with all my young’uns, for years they looked up to me as though I were God and I liked that very much and suddenly they hit this certain age and they're looking at the old man and they're noticing he has dandruff, kind of bald, kind of small and not so much after all.  In schools, our little children marching beautifully, good morning teacher, and they're loving and obedient and so on and all of the sudden they hit this age and they're looking at the teacher and they say, what do you know, and they're challenging the teacher every minute.  The teacher's offended by this.  They're threatened by it.  What's going on?  Well it's just suddenly nothing of their own doings.  They're looking at the world through a prism, a new perspective and they're looking for a model that will match their idealism.  That's all they're doing.

And they're looking at us through this idealistic frame of reference which suddenly comes up and they find us falling short.  They weigh us and we are wanting, as the statement goes.  So we're offended by this but, understand that at this point they need a model that matches that idealism.  I ask you to quickly examine the models we give our young people. 

Just look at it.  Who are their models?  The pop starts, the rock stars, the movie stars, the sport stars, at best maybe the political stars, Donald Trump, really these are their models.  On every hand, and I say this in all kindness, on every hand, no one means to do this, the models betray what the young person is looking for.  They simply betray them.  They don't match up at all.  It's not what they're after.  It doesn't fit the need.  It's not appropriate and they keep looking.  And at a certain point, and it's happening earlier and earlier, at a certain point what happens?  In place of the idealism comes despair, a loss of hope of finding a model and cynicism, anger, frustration and the adoption of models who represent the exact opposite to what they're really after and that comes about from their feeling of futility and helplessness of ever finding what they really want. 

And so they kind of choose anti-heroes.  Instead of those who measure up to virtue, uprightness, all this that they felt at age 11, justice, fairness, and so on, they pick the punk star who says don't kill me I'm already dead.  That's what they wear on their t-shirts, don't kill me I'm already dead.  And that becomes the kind of cynical, and they all practice at this, they play it, they have to be tough, sophisticated and cynical of one another.  That is to deny their idealism.  Why must they deny it so vigorously?  What is it Macbeth said, "the lady doeth protest too much".  They deny it so vigorously because it's too painful.  Their loss of idealism is too painful to them so they pick their anti-models and of course the societies anxious to provide those for them because through those models you can make billions of dollars out of that frustration and rage of your young people.

Now, let's take the second thing about the adolescent.  This will start up somewhere probably around 14 or 15.  I can tell you by 16 it's so painful, it just is literally very heavy in a person's life.  And that's the feeling what I call the great expectation.  Great expectation.  And that is the feeling that something tremendous is supposed to happen and it's supposed to happen right now.  And instant by instant we wait for it as young people.  I was talking about this with a radio announcer once and he was one of these tough guys who battens around his guests you know and plays the tough role and I mentioned this business.  Can't you remember when you were an adolescent, this feeling something tremendous was supposed to happen in your life?  He said, "what do you mean remember it in my life", he says "I've waiting for it all my life and it hasn't happened yet" and blanky-blank "I don't think it ever will".  He said "I thought every corner I turned it was going to happen.  Every time I went up over a little hill it was going to happen and it never did".  I love that you see but that really speaks for us all.  This feeling of great expectation.  This constant anticipation that something is supposed to happen and we expect it right now. 

My favorite example, I have several, it was a letter from a young man in a university back east whose parents in New Mexico said he loved his third year of college.  He was a junior and he was a star in every way, he was an athletic and he was popular and he made top grades and how everything was going his way.  It was wonderful.  He loved his school more than ever but something happened that he had to try to share and there was no one to share it with except his parents.  He said, "I awakened the other night with 'the cold hand of terror clutching my heart'".  And he said, "what it was, I suddenly remembered that since I was 14 I'd been waiting constantly for something tremendous that was supposed to happen and I woke up in the middle of the night realizing that I was almost 21 and it had never happened yet and the thought occurred to me, suppose it never happens and I never even know what it was supposed to have been". 

The issue wasn't that he couldn't bear up under the disappointment of it never happening, the issue was he could not bear not knowing what it was supposed to have been.  This is the adolescent.  I think of George Leonard writing in Esquire Magazine, in his 16th year there in Atlanta, Georgia, he and his young friends getting together for their great bull sessions that would last all night long.  Maybe you can remember that and how they would exhaust all topics of women and sports car or racing and so on and so forth and finally get around to the terrifying subject of what this was.  There's also this gesture you see toward the heart, what it is and he spoke of this anguished longing, so intense we knew it could never be assuaged you see.  And the problem is, it can't even be articulated.  It can't be put into words.  All the young person can do is kind of futile gesture toward it and that's all.  This great anticipation of something tremendous that's supposed to happen.

Critical & Creative Thinking 05

The eureka experience
Joseph Chilton Pearce

In this section Joe describes this experience and what is required. 1. A body-mind well cultivated to receive the insight. 2. Passionate inquiry, study, research, trying to find the answer. 3. A period of complete frustration when the search, trying ends. 4. Wammo – the insight arrives.

I would like to say that there is a higher state of formal operational thinking within our own system.  And for this, I'm going to talk about the really great high peaks of scientific and creative thinking that have gone on.  And we refer to these as the eureka experience.  Now here, in the eureka experience, we still have a very strong element of the savant syndrome.  You’ll see why when we get into it.  But in this eureka experience, and lots of people have written on this, Jerome Brunner wrote on it, Peter McKellar wrote on this, loads of people have written on the eureka experience and fascinating, it was absolutely fascinating.  I will give a brief example.   

My favorite example right now, and I always have been coming across favorite examples, Gordon Gould, in 1957, awarded the Nobel Laureate for discovery of the laser.  Notice discovery of the laser, not invention of the laser, discovery of it.  And his account of it is, one weekend, he was in a do-nothing time, you know, just doing nothing on a weekend, when suddenly the whole concept of the laser appeared in his mind as one single flash.  Boom, here it came, the entire thing.  And he said, I was stunned, I was electrified.  He was overwhelmed by the enormity, the magnitude of this single image that hit him in that split second.  And he  said, I spent the rest of the weekend writing madly, trying to get down on paper all of the  implications, all of the ramifications, the whole spelling out of what I saw in that one split  instance, which was something that had never existed before in history.  Something that does not exist in the whole universe except as we bring it about by ordering reality in a certain way, and that was the laser.  He spent the whole rest of the weekend writing out about it.  And then eventually, we have the laser, which lies at the base, the foundation of an enormous amount of  what's happening in present day technology.   

Let's look at the eureka process itself.  Now, I have talked about this many a times, but let’s just examine it right quickly.  We find generally this pattern follows.  Now, with Gordon Gould, Gordon Gould made this statement.  He said, he then looks back and he said, where did this idea come from?  See, it's so totally new.  He was totally unprepared for it.  He didn't expect it.   It was a bolt out of the blue.  Where did it come from?  He said, well on reflection I realized I had spent years, and years, and years studying physics and optics.  And then I had spent 20 years working with physics and optics and the optics of physics and so forth.  And he said, I realized in all those years I had been feeding them to the hopper of my mind, all the bricks and mortar of this magnificent edifice that was suddenly presented to me.  Well, but where is it coming from?  From his mind?  No, it breaks into his mind out of what?  He doesn't know and no one else does, really.     

But let's look again at the whole eureka process as it ordinarily unfolds.  The first thing is you must be seized by a passionate possibility, seized by a possibility.  And to be seized by a possibility means passionate seizure.  Generally, the scientist suddenly sees the possibility of something and it entrains him.  He goes into single drive to get it and will spend years working on it.  Many of them never get it at all, never anything comes from it.  And then, what, the filling in of the details, the search for materials needed to realize the possibility.  Got it?  The search for materials to realize the possibility.  This might take years, and years, and years.   You'll have to go through the entire body of knowledge and all possibility that can be rigged up  and even invented, looking for the materials that might give him the content for his possibilities  to become real.    And then finally, he will exhaust, or she, it happens of course with women, will exhaust the source of possibilities.  And a period of exhaustion of possibility and a plateau of stagnation comes in. Stagnation.

We have exhausted all the possibilities.  We can't make it work.  We can’t get the content to make the possibility real.  And at some point of this stagnation, the individual either quits or temporarily tries to get away from the whole thing.  And at that moment of clearing the decks by no longer involving the mind in the process, in the pursuit, at that moment of clearing the decks, when the mind is least expecting it, the answer arrives out of the blue, always as a bolt out of the blue, and always catching the individual totally by surprise.   

Furthermore, the answer, when it arrives, generally bears no resemblance at all to any of the materials searched for and gathered throughout all those years.  Then what was all the search necessary to do?  Why have to go through all that if the final answer arrives, bears no relationship to it and gives birth to the possibility in a way that the individual could never have dreamed of, why then the necessity for all this preparation?  To prepare the soil of the mind until it's able to receive the answer and translate the answer into the common domain.  Because the answer always arrives in a symbolic, metaphoric form.  Did he see lasers and all the possibilities of it?  No.  He saw this blinding image of possibility fulfilled.  He then had to translate what he saw in that single instance into the common language of physics and objects.    

So, the final thing, the clearing of the decks, the arrival of the answer out of the blue, and the final most critical point is the translation of it into the common domain.  And that took him all weekend and then years of work after that before the laser becomes an actual reality.    Let's look at Hamilton briefly.  Back in the 19th century, William Hamilton, the great mathematician, was seized by the passionate idea of what he called the Quaternions, a certain form of mathematics.  It didn't exist, but he thought it could exist.

He searched for the materials for 15 years.  His wife said over and over he would go intensely sigh, "I've got it!  I've got it!  I'm right on the threshold.  All these years I've worked and it's coming" and nothing would happen.  And he'd go into despair and he'd say "Here I've wasted 5 years of my life.  I'll never fool with it again," but then he would come back the next day, "Ah, I think I see where I made a mistake" and he would launch off.  And for years again, this passionate, intense, sole interest in this and pursuit of this possibility, the search for material, and finally, after 15 years he said to his wife, "I have wasted my life, I've wasted my greatest years, the answers impossible, it can't be done, I quit finally once and for all.  Let's go for a walk."  And as they cross over a little foot bridge, going into Dublin, over a little creek, on top of the bridge is my completely???, the mystery is all over with.  The answer arrives and one split second, in one split second he saw it.  They called that the "Quaternions Bridge" from then on.  But it took him 15 additional years to translate it fully into the language of mathematics and this is the basis of the majority of modern mathematics, the Quaternion Theory.  Einstein said every great idea followed exactly this pattern.

Critical & Creative Thinking 04

We have no idea what we are capable of
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Joe mentions a few things about formal operational thinking acting on physical objects by describing Baalbek in the Lebanese Mountains.  It's in Lebanon, way up in that mountainous range there, and very harsh mountainous terrain. Under is a huge substructure at Baalbek, made of stone, absolutely perfect rectangles fitting together so perfectly that you can barely detect the edges where they come together, and these stone are 33 feet long, approximately, and I'm not quite sure of the figures here, 10 feet wide, and about 12 feet deep, 33x10x12. The estimate, by the British engineers who have made in-depth study of this, is they weigh about 750 tons each. The British engineers estimated it would take 40,000 adult males to move one stone. They found one single hole through the center of each one, a very, very, tiny little hole drilled through the center of each one.  They don't know what it's for.  It's larger on the inside than it is on the outside, that particular hole. They know it was built before the time of the great flood, and they estimate its age to be between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago. Somebody came along and knew how to move stuff around in ways that we can't.

Critical & Creative Thinking 01

From the Concrete to the Abstract
Joseph Chilton Pearce

We have talked before about how at 18 months of age, the little toddler has as many neural fields available as we have as adults.  Those neurons are connected with many other neurons as in our adult mind, upwards of 10,000 each in forming these fields and the potential fields that there are, of 100 billion neurons.  And how at age seven, we have five to seven times more than we had at 18 months, something happens by adulthood that we have the same amount we had at 18 months. The most recent research I've been able to come across is that around age 11, 11 to 12, the brain releases a chemical which dissolves all unmyelinated and undeveloped, unutilized neural structures.  
 

We hear a lot about self-esteem these days, but few have really give it much thought.  To have self-esteem we must be able to reach inside, see a new possibility and then allow that inner vision to act upon and change the world we live in.  This going within and developing the inner vision and skill to change the outer world, is perhaps the most important lesson we will ever learn.  We are about to enter the world of pure creativity, with Joseph Chilton Pearce.  For more than thirty years Joe has challenged audiences around the world by questioning why, as human beings, we haven’t developed to our full potential.  He is convinced that we have with each of us, hidden in the very cells of our body - capacities and creative potentials that we have just begun to understand.  Please listen and watch as Joe, along with a and a group of parents, educators and health care providers, explore Critical and Creative Thinking.

Joe Pearce
Piaget spoke of all of development from birth on through age 15 as a slow movement from the concrete to the abstract.  Piaget would have been delighted with McLean's triune nature.  We move from that which is purely sensory motor, our physical world presented through the reptilian structure, on up and up until finally we are in the realm of pure thought itself.  And of course, that's what the whole first 15 years are about, to move into a realm of objective pure thought.    Now, formal operational thinking opens about age 11.  We had concrete operational thinking opening about age seven, and I'm using those Piagetian terms, even though we have to qualify them all the time.  And the same thing with formal operational thinking.

Boy, I mean you talk about critical thinking, that really comes in when formal operations unfold.  All of a sudden, anything and everything is not equally valid to that child.  Why, they see lots of things as absolutely not valid at all and should not be.  This sense of righteousness, this sense of justice, these high ideals begin to manifest in the child's mind.  Where do they come from?  Well, they just arrive full blown with this age, because we are activating this highest evolutionary structure of the mind now.  Not activating it, we are focusing on it for its development.  There is a difference.  It's always been active, but now we're going to develop it fully.  And at this point, Piaget spoke of our ability to operate on the brain's own functions.  We can operate on mind's own processes.  We have been operating on the physical world, now we move into a realm where we can actually operate on our own processes of thought and really, that  means our own processes of brain itself.     

We have spoken of how the self-system has moved out of its embedded months in these lower processes and now we can say, are we embedded in these higher processes?  Well, not exactly. How can we operate on these higher processes if we are simply embedded in them?  We have to have some kind of an objective stance.  Sir John Eccles claims, he's a Nobel Laureate in brain research, claims that mind, the true seed of mind, mature mind, is in the cerebellum, which is a little three-fold structure made of all three levels of the brain back here in the back  part of the brain. Now the brain we are speaking of is a very ancient part of the brain, and yet, it doesn’t start forming until the end of the first year and its growth at that point is very rapid, somewhere around the end of the first year.


It follows immediately on object constancy, the stabilizing of the visual process, which will be followed by the kid getting up on their hind legs and beginning to walk around, and beginning to talk, and so forth.  A whole new behavioral block opens up.  That is the beginning of this growth of the cerebellum, which then unfolds very, very rapid and it completes itself, which takes over the whole process of movement and so on.  But far, far more than that, an Eccles might be correct, I don't know.  It's a hypothesis on his part, that one of the parallel processes of that cerebellum isn't just movement and coordinating the movement of the body, but is actually the seed of mind, itself.  

Strangely enough, the cerebellum has a totally different cellular structure.  It's got what they call granular cells, not neurons.  And each of the three levels, reptilian brain stretches right over into  the cerebellum, the *limbic structure into the cerebellum, and the high structure into the  cerebellum, but the cerebellum, itself, is made of granular cells and it's estimated there are three  or four trillion granular cells making up the cerebellum.

It gets three times the number of signals that it sends out.  That is three times more stuff comes in than goes out.  So, it doesn't  have to do much directing to direct the whole system, apparently, if that is the center of mind  or the seed of mind, but it has to have everything coming in, you see.  So these are hypotheses.

At any rate, around age 11, several things happen.  We have talked before about how at 18 months of age, the little toddler has as many neural fields available as we have as adults.  Those neurons are connected with many other neurons as in our adult mind, upwards of 10,000 each in forming these fields and the potential fields that there are, of 100 billion neurons.  And how at age seven, we have five to seven times more than we had at 18 months, something happens by adulthood that we have the same amount we had at 18 months.  

Well, what is it?  Well, the most recent research I've been able to come across is that around age 11, 11 to 12, the brain releases a chemical which dissolves all unmyelinated and undeveloped, unutilized neural structures.  

Now, does this mean, do you understand that any neurons connected with some 10,000 others and indirectly with millions of others, forming all these different fields, and the neural field can operate on many different levels at the same time, very flexible.  So, if one set of its connections are removed, a whole other set of its connections might be perfectly intact, you see.  And so, one aspect of a neural field might be removed because it hasn't been developed, but other aspects of it will remain the same.  So we have the neuron count probably stable while the dendrite and axon count changes dramatically.  And that's what happens at age 11, it's probably dendrites and axons that are removed at that point and possibly even a cleanup of  glial cells.  We don't know, I don't know.  I haven't come across any research about it.  But there is this marvelous reduction of weight, neural weight of the brain at that point.  And we come into this period of absolute clarity.

Now, what's happening?  The 11, 12 year old does not believe that any and all things are equally valid.  They don't think that all things are equally possible to them.  They could not follow, probably, a model in anything and everything, you see.  What would be the limitation? Well, the neural fields that are left solid and stable and intact are those that have been developed throughout this entire time.  That apparently is what happens.  So they no longer have an infinitely open structure, but the system has pretty well closed according to the culture in which that child was brought up.  And at this point of closure of possibility, is this destructive or anything?  No.  It's simply; you have to bring the house to order.  

You can’t; again, you couldn't teach chemistry to a little child who believes anything and everything are equally valid because they are just not going to be able to understand the restrictiveness of the system, how exclusive it is.  Or mathematics or anything else in the higher sense.  So, we bring the house to order and then the child is ready for a culture's body of knowledge.    

Remember, we were talking about child play, and the difference between child play from seven  to 11, in which, Bettelheim said, put the child in a rigid, rural situation and they will cheat if  they can, because all that counts is me winning.  If you put me in a win/lose situation, the 7 to 11 year old says, well, there's one thing, I'm going to win.  All things being equally valid, my winning is certainly equally valid to my losing and I'm going to win. Now at age 11, suddenly, we become painfully aware of rules and regulations, and justice and rightness.  And the difference is in the fact that we have cleaned up the house and brought it to order. 

Learning & Educatin 04

More on concrete operations
Joseph Chilton Pearce

We have an infinitely open system that has no limitations whatsoever, it could build any conceivable structure of knowledge that the mind could imagine. What is the limitation? Nature's model imperative.  Nothing can happen until the child is given a corresponding model of that possibility in his physical environment which acts as a stimulus to activate and generate and bring about the maturation of that particular aspect of the neural system that will give you that possibility. At this period of concrete operational thinking, we have them seated at desks, working with abstract processes that are appropriate after age 11.  If we just let all that alone until about age 11, they'd polish off our whole educational structure in 2 to 3 years.  There have been experiments which prove that right down the line.  So concrete operations is what they desperately need to do.

What else do we find happening between 6 and 7? The biggest brain growth spurt of all.  What do we mean by a brain growth spurt?  Not necessarily more neurons but more connecting links between them.  Estimates are that a single neuron by age 7 may connect from anywhere to 50 to 70,000 other neurons.  In an adult, 10,000 of the neurons.  In this 6 or 7 year old, anywhere from 50 to 60,000 neurons.  Now you've got 100 billion neurons, any one of which can connect with 50,000 to 60,000 others, you want to multiply 100 billion by 50,000 to 60,000 and then figure that any of them can shift their mode of operation in any way to accommodate to the others and do all this on a multi-level all at the same time.  

Here we have what?  An infinitely open system that has no limitations whatsoever, it could build any conceivable structure of knowledge that the mind could imagine if one thing, what's that one thing?  Nature's model imperative.  Nothing can happen until the child is given a corresponding model of that possibility in his physical environment which acts as a stimulus to activate and generate and bring about the maturation of that particular aspect of the neural system that will give you that possibility.  Again, that model imperative is the issue.  

So, let's look at what we find in our country, at this period of concrete operational thinking, I mean they're desperate to take things of the physical world and put them together in new ways according to ideas.  Do we give them ideas for that?  Not too many.  We have them seated at desks, working with abstract processes.  Now abstract processes as we'll see really are most appropriate after age 11.  If we just let all that alone until about age 11, they'd polish off our whole educational structure in 2 to 3 years, believe me.  There have been experiments which prove that right down the line.  So concrete operations is what they desperately need to do.  

Let's look at some of the things that we don't model but other societies do.  First of all there's the Australian Aborigines, they do some extremely peculiar things at that period.  The Balinese used to, they no longer do but they used to choose their trance dancers at age 7 because after age 7 these little girls could walk across coals of fire and not be burned.  Now before then you're taking a little bit of a chance with it.  Now I view several esoteric events as examples of concrete operational thinking.  Let's start with the most extreme of all.  


On Sri Lanka, some of you have heard this before, but on the island of Sri Lnaka, for thousands of years in honor of the God Kataragama Deviyo, who has a 28 mile radius from his principle temple.  You step outside and there aren’t no God Kataragama Deviyo.  There have been too many scientific studies, very legitimate of this very affair.  In the central temple, periodically, several times in the year after a preparation of 3 weeks, about 100 people at a certain time when they're all ready, get out and walk across, recess the pits of coals of fire.  

Their pits are done, recessed below the level of the ground and are six feet wide, twenty feet long and will melt aluminum on contact, no onlooker can stand closer than twenty feet for any period of time.  Wads of paper thrown toward it will burst into flame about five feet away.  Now, this has been photographed, there have been movies of this, we've had all sorts of scientific instruments of this, optical parameters and so forth and certainly they've been doing this for thousands of years in honor of the God Kataragama Deviyo.  The God must seize them, give them the power and they can walk across the fire.  

Now, I've taken part in something similar, I've been exposed to 1380 degrees Fahrenheit, now this is far, far hotter than that, for over an hour in direct contact without sensation and I knew only absolutely ecstasy, absolute total blowing me out of my mind.  I was delighted with it, can't do it again, I wouldn't try it again, I'm afraid but at that time I wasn't afraid and I couldn't be hurt and I knew it so at any rate these people walk across these fires, they're doing it in this country now.  Several people are; Michael Skye I think is one of the most remarkable and intelligent people doing this.  They're walking across forty foot beds, they're nowhere near as intense as this.  Nowhere near as intense as Sri Lanka, but believe me a forty foot bed of white hot coals at night is a long way to go and some people lie down on it and so on and so forth.  Now in Sri Lnaka some people run across, some people stroll across, some people hold hands, some people sit down on it, women scoop up the white hot coals and pour them down overheads, their hair doesn't catch on fire, their cotton togas that drag never burn but three percent of the people that walk the fire, their capacity breaks at some point.  Instantly their clothing and their hair flares up.  

They have attendants with long wooden hooks that try to get them off the fire and seldom can.  They nearly always are killed very quickly.  Now you've heard me before say that I love that three percent because it gives us what we call the control group.  We know that the fire is working and we know that the test is legitimate.  They used to do the same thing in Borneo, it's a very common practice, even in Greece and Indonesia, places like that they used to walk fire, it was a common practice and the point of it is, very briefly, this is a form of concrete operational thinking.  I can tell you what it is and I know this, I know this to be the fact, it's simply this higher cortical structure coming in higher up the evolutionary stream in this creative process going on here.  Acting on the emotional cognitive system which is the relational aspect of things, how everything goes together and relates to change simply the physical aspects of the physical world and our body and its interaction and change the relationships in the way it's all put together.  

So you simply have a shift within the neural system of the higher acting on the lower.  Incorporating the lower into its service and bringing about a change and it's simply one step beyond the child’s ability to look at the tall thin flask and the short fat flask.  What else is it a step beyond?  

Remember we were talking about the child in the early stage of imagination and play.  That they would see the inner image in their minds eye and the child seeing the great road roller going down the street, mashing everything flat, that's what I'm going to be when I grow up he says.  He doesn't have a road roller, finds the little spool of thread and shouts "a road roller" and plays for hours and hours.  And as Vitconsky saw long ago that he's created an inner image, the inner imagination has created its own world image of that road roller.  Looks without for an object that can be controlled by the child, projects the internal image on the external image and the child sees it as a beautiful, not a spool, but a beautiful road roller and plays in his modulated or modified reality.  A reality he is shaping and changing according to his own internal process.  Nature preparing so soon for the really great movements of the human being into the unknown.  Now, at age 7 comes the sudden possibility, if he's given the right models, to do what?  To literally change the external object, physically change it into the nature of an internal abstract or non-localized idea.  Got it?  It's just simply the next stage as we move on up the hierarchy or the ladder of development.
 

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Great Expectations
Joseph Chilton Pearce

The brain prepares for each new stage by growing new neural connections. This expresses as a steady stream of great expectations on the part of the child. Something wonderful is supposed to happen and it will provided the model environment challenges and nurtures the new unfolding possibility. If the model environment fails to acknowledge, value, challenge and nurture that new possibility - it won’t develop. This follows the basic reciprocal dynamic between brain and environment. The higher up the developmental ladder the harder it is for the child to find living models of the innate expectations aching to unfold. Instead of self-mastery we offer only GI-Joe and rock stares.

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Biology of Transcendence – Concrete to Abstract
Joseph Chilton Pearce

We are born with unlimited capacity. The brain operates through selectivity and the model imperative selects which of an infinite array of potentials that child will develop. The selected capacities match the society, the model-environment. Kids are not the problem. The problem is always the limitations and constraints imposed by the model-environment.

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Biology of Transcendence - Spirit
Joseph Chilton Pearce

The force that brings about life itself is spirit. That covers everything. We are nature. What makes the plant grow and you and I grow is the same force. There is only one. We call that spirit. In our head, our brain we split things, spirit and not and we get into all sorts of trouble. The ideal is to be in alignment, unity with the flow that spirit is. Whereas most of us have one foot on the break and the other pressing go.

The definition of the word spirit in my book, I used two lines from the poet Dillon Thomas.  They’re very famous lines.  He speaks of the forest through the green fuse drives the flower, drives my green age, one of the greatest beautiful lines that “through the green fuse drives the flower, drives my green age.”  It’s only one.  What makes that plant grow and what makes me grow.  It’s the same thing.  The force that brings about life itself is spirit.  So that covers everything.  There’s nothing left out of it.

The statement in the gospel that you worship, not on a mountaintop, not in a cathedral or a temple, you worship in spirit and in truth.  Now what does the word spirit mean?  It means you worship the spirit by throwing your life into the life process, by giving over totally to that force that through the green fuse drives the flower.  You give yourself over to it in order that it does what, that it drives you fully and completely without obstacles, without your blocking it.

Sot Prem, that marvelous statement that he made; that if you’re thirsty the river comes to you.  If you’re not thirsty there is no river - you see.  How do you know when the river when comes to you?  It simply flows through you. And at that point you and the river are one.  It’s just a single process.  But in our head, with our kind of brain, we can split it off and consider them two separate things and then we’re in effect positing one against the other and we get into all sorts of trouble.  But to give yourself over to it is simply not to block it, not to have conflicts within you.  Most of us have one hand that’s gesturing toward spirit with a halo around it, the other hand just doing our usual old thing. But to worship in spirit is to risk your life to life itself.  We don’t risk ourselves to life.  We hedge by trying to predict and control, defend ourselves, build our bulwark around us or armor ourselves and so on and so forth.  And so, that’s the word spirit where truth is something else.

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Biology of Transcendence
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Our biological nature is to transcend which is the ability to raise and go beyond limitation and constraint. This can be seen in the evolutionary structure of the brain, new structures being added that raise and go beyond limitations and constraints of the previous structure. Most think of transcendence as a etheric spiritual process. We are talking about the very foundation of the life process which expresses during every age and stage of human development, what we call childhood.

Our biological system is designed by nature to transcend.  The dictionary definition of transcendence is to rise and go beyond limitation and constraint.  It’s actually the ability to rise and go beyond limitation and constraint.  We find that the way the evolutionary structures of the brain themselves have formed over the hundreds of millions of years is a constant addition of the new structure of the brain to go beyond the limitations and constraints of the previous structure.  That all is our real heritage, a series of built-in neural capacities to rise above and go beyond whatever the constraints of the previous system might have been. That’s the meaning of the biology of transcendence. 

We consider transcendence an airy-fairy, ethereal, high level, spiritual, process, but we’re talking simply about the intelligence of life itself, always.  When you say transcending itself, always going beyond the limitations, it’s present limitations and constraints.  So when we begin to look at transcendence as a biological process, it makes it very real and tangible, working at something extremely practical and sensible. 

However, the book is based on the fact that either you develop the transcendent capacity to go beyond limitation and constraint or you get violence.  There are only these two possibilities with the human; violence or transcendence.  If you block your transcendence, you’re blocking your ability to rise above limitation and constraint.  So immediately you’re hemmed in by limitation and constraint which drives the human crazy.  He’s not designed for that.  He’s designed to go beyond limitation and constraint.  So if you block that, you’re always going to get violence in some form. 

And so, the book addresses the issue of why is it on the one hand we have all these lofty transcendent ideas, all these beautiful philosophies and religions and so forth, on the other hand we’re tearing each other to pieces and the earth to pieces and our children to pieces and so on and so forth.  This great paradox that has made up human history is from not recognizing transcendence to be a purely biological process and responding on a biological level rather than projecting it off onto cloud nine and ethereal spirits and so on and so forth.

Beyound Adolescence

Author: 
Joseph Chilton Pearce

In this program we are going stretch our limits by discovering completely new ways to look at our young adults. Joseph Chilton Pearce will challenge us along with a group of parents, educators and health care providers, by asking that we consider that adolescence might actually be very different from what we think it is. He suggests that adolescence may really be cumulative effect of both false education and a failure to fully develop our full potential.

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