It is so easy to forget

It is so easy to forget.

Of all the energy, of all the matter, of all the swirling galaxies, stars and planets there is a tiny speck that is sentient, and of that tiny speck there is a microscopic dot that is human with our vast, unlimited capacity to love, to create and care for all that is not ourselves. Amazing grace, indeed. But it is so easy to forget the vastness, the miracle that we are, enchanted with our capacity to enchant, forgetting that we are enchanted, forgetting what we really are and how easy it is to love, how natural it is to be kind to everything, like berating. This way to a different new year….


unconditional love

What if?

Carly fell asleep quickly, holding my hand. My heart breaks, and all too often, when I hear the tone of voice or the rude hostility parents impose on the children they supposedly love. Clearly, most of the actual behavior we call parenting is not love. Most of what we call schooling is not love either. Comparison and competition is not love. Stuff isn’t love. The commercial exploitation of children and of childhood nearly every parent and child experience with commercial media and technology is not love. That doesn’t leave much time for love - does it?

What if it were love that the child experiences as the cornerstone, the safe place, home base, the guiding polestar of their development every day?

What if you and I were always mindful of every child’s brilliance, as is all life in all its forms? The world would change on the spot.

unconditional love

Melting Hugs

Today Carly Elizabeth it officially eighteen months young. Yes, the brain grows more the first year than any other time. The density of possible connections are two to three times that of an adult. What does that mean? Muffins on the floor, toy train wrecks, hidden objects to trip over in the dark, toilet paper strolling down the hall, my wallet in the trash, car keys in the vacuum and a million other surprises.

brain development
unconditional love

More On The Only Force Powerful Enough

The Challenge and Responsibility We Call Parenting

The miracle we are is a constantly changing interplay, a constellation or radiant galaxy of trillions of independent but interdependent cells relating, communicating and cooperating. No thing is ever the same, not for a blink. As we now know there is no such ‘thing,’ as an atom, only movement. We are that, only movement.

We honor that impermanence, that we are a river moving or we misconceive. We create an abstract, somehow fixed notion that we are static, a me, mostly as a defensive strategy to avoid anticipated and self-projected fear.

unconditional love
model imperative

Ashley Montagu 02

Ashley Montagu 02
Ashley Montagu

We’re all born with physical needs, like the need for oxygen, for liquid, for rest, activity, sleep, and so on. These must be satisfied if we are to survive physically. The extraordinary thing is that we’re also born with basic behavioral needs. These are the need for love, about which we know very little, the need for creativity, the need for sensitivity, the need for learning, the need for the acquisition of knowledge, the need for play, for song, for dance, for curiosity, for imagination. All these are basic behavior needs, which are as much a part of our genetic system as the physical needs. Yet, we haven’t recognized them. Look at any textbook on the nature of human nature and you won’t find any mention of them.

The species characteristic of homo-sapiens, which by the way is the most officiously arrogant and primitive definition ever self-bestowed by a species. “Homo-Sap” is the appropriate definition at the present time, because he has become so confused as a creature, at the same time being the most intelligent. When you put intelligence and confusion together you really don’t get intelligence, you get a terrible mess.

To be born human is to be in great danger because you are free of the instincts which largely determine the behavior of other animals. We have to learn everything we come to know as human beings. We share a great many traits with other animals, yes, but those, which are exclusively human, we have to learn from others.

We know that we’re all born with physical needs, like the need for oxygen, for liquid, for rest, activity, sleep, and so on. These must be satisfied if we are to survive physically. The extraordinary thing is that we’re also born with basic behavioral needs. These are the need for love, about which we know very little, the need for creativity, the need for sensitivity, the need for learning, the need for the acquisition of knowledge, the need for play, for song, for dance, for curiosity, for imagination. All these are basic behavior needs, which are as much a part of our genetic system as the physical needs. Yet, we haven’t recognized them. Look at any textbook on the nature of human nature and you won’t find any mention of them.

If you would understand what human beings are born for, you first must understand what they’re born as, and this is what I have dedicated myself to, to attempt to show that we are borne with the capacity to love. But we will never know how to love unless we are taught to love, unless we learn to love others who know how to love. Not that it is impossible to correct this at any age, because we remain educateable all the days of our lives. It’s never too late. Love: what is love? Well, to spell it out briefly, it is the ability to communicate to others your profound involvement in their welfare, such that you will never commit the supreme treason of letting them down, whenever they most stand in need of you, and that you will minister to and encourage the growth and development of their potentialities. That’s love.

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Essential Joseph Chilton Pearce 42

Parenting: Meeting the Child’s Changing Needs
Joseph Chilton Pearce

If the parent is attuned to what the actual child needs, not what the adult project as a cultural expectation, conflict virtually disappears. The child will clearly express what they need, are interested in, learning about and not. True learning is completely intrinsic. Only 5% of what a child actually learns come from what the adult thinks of as verbal instruction. And of that 5% the child retains only 3% for any length of time. 95% of all true learning occurs simply by interact with the model environment and this is done in the state of authentic play. Few parents are up the challenge. Actually meeting the child where they are requires that the parent stay one step ahead. This is a significant challenge. The child’s brain is the most dynamic learning system in the known universe. The benefits of trying however reap unimagined benefits for both adult and child.

Essential Joseph Chilton Pearce 20

Bonding, Innate Trust & Mutual Respect
Joseph Chilton Pearce

To reinforce that the child is unconditionally loved, respected and accepted means that nothing will break the adult-child bond.
Once the child is secure in this primary relationship they want to do what the adults want them to do. The bonded relationship is reciprocal. The child appreciates and respects the adult’s needs because the adult appreciate s and respects the child’s needs. This reciprocal appreciation, trust and respect eliminate the vast majority of conflict throughout the child’s development. Most conflicts simply don’t arise. Conflict isn’t an issue. And this al begins with the adult seeing and responding to the actual child instead of their image of who the child should be.

To let a child know that they are unconditionally loved, wanted and accepted means automatically that no behavior on their part will ever break that bond.  Once a child is thoroughly bonded in that sense - they want to do what the parent wants them to do. And if they sense if what they want to do is acceptable by their parent, then anything the parent asks of them is equally acceptable.  The same reciprocation that we spoke of a while ago of which are awakening in the parent the intelligence to then awaken in the child intelligence itself.  That same reciprocation carries through.  Children who are thoroughly bonded in this sense never want to disobey.  To disobey is the equivalent of breaking the bond. Their whole life is a single bond with their world and their family.  To break it is tantamount to death.  The last thing they want to do is disobey.  

In my third book, “Magical Child” I made the outlandish statement that no child ever willfully disobeys, they’re driven into what we call disobedience by conflicting demands on the part of their society and nature.  And so only if they’re driven to these positions where there’s no out, these double bind situations continually, then we finally have what we would call disobedience. Then once they sense that the bond is broken and that they’ve been rejected and outcast, from then on you have a totally different ballgame.  Then you have warfare.  

So if the parents are obeying the child, in a sense, it is critically important that the child obeying the parent, then that reciprocation can never be denied.  And it’s been denied today in fundamentalist circles particularly. There is no reciprocation. It all comes from the parent. And that child must be, in effect, beaten into submission. You must break the child’s will. That’s a very common term now. You must break the child’s will in order that some theoretical higher will be done.  This, of course, the child interprets as massive rejection and it builds in them a great deal of resentment.  

If we are seriously bonded to the child, that is, we’re picking up the child’s cues on many different levels, and the child is picking up from us on many different levels, if that kind of reciprocal understanding and awareness is there, the child will always move to maintain that bond.  They always want to do the right thing.  They do not to be censored.  They don’t want to be punished.  They don’t want to be outcast.  They don’t want to be rejected.

This goes back to our most ancient days.  They don’t want to be Saber-Tooth Tiger’s lunch either.  They want to remain in the safe place.  The safe space is the space of nurturing of the heart, the safe space of the nurturing caretaker and caregiver.  They want to be in that space. They don’t want to be excommunicated from it.  So they want to do the right thing.  That means following the parent’s directives.  
On the other hand they have to follow nature’s directives also. They’ve got to explore their world.  They’ve got to build a structure of knowledge of it in the neural system of the brain and so forth and so on.  Now Jean Leidloff and others have found in some preliterate societies there’s never restraint of the child’s behaviors.  Why, because they don’t have a preconceived idea of how a child should behave, that they hold us as a prism for which they’re watching the actions of the child.  This child picks up. They perceive this as unquestioned acceptance of themselves as who they are.  As a result of that then this reciprocation again, whatever the parent asked them to do it’s impossible for them to do anything else other than that because that’s part of the reciprocal agreement.  They accepted the questioning by their parent.  They accept the parent in the same unquestioned early standpoint.  

So if the parent can say do this, it would be the last thing on the earth to think of not doing it.  That’s what they want to do because they find that all the joy, all the juice of life is in that reciprocal relationship with another.  And so, as a result they would never demand that the other simply which is out of keeping with their relationship either.  So we find that these children in such societies as the Ocana in South America, have no word for disobedience, nor can they understand the concept of disobedience because the child simply is always simply being a child.  How does the child behave?  The way a child behaves.  They’re not behaving according to some book or parent’s criteria.  They’re behaving from the reciprocal interaction with another person and that reciprocal interaction, back and forth, one never moves against the well-being of the other.  Everything moves through the well-being of the situation.

Now that sounds like utter nonsense.  But you find that the child never restrained – never needs restraint. The child not brought up under thou shall do this or else, or shall not do that or else, never brought up under any of that, always does what is socially acceptable because it’s the way of maintaining the bond.  So maintaining the bond is vastly more powerful because it operates on many different levels; intuitive, subtle, psychological, physical, biological, the heart, the heart’s electromagnetic field, all these different levels are involved, not just some words here on the surface.

Essential Joseph Chilton Pearce 19

Bonding, Innate Trust & Mutual Respect
Joseph Chilton Pearce

We look at the child through this pattern and rarely see the child for who they really are. Sensing this child responds to the implicit false image as rejection, not being seen for whom they are but what others project they should be. The adult routinely using shame to modify the child’s behavior. Whereas, shame is the great crippling force of all life. Aren’t’ you ashamed of yourself? The parent is expressing rejection which is psychological atonement

I remember the mother of my first family said to me that the one behavior in our child that would drive me up a wall quicker than anything else would be if I saw one of my own weaknesses displayed by the child.  We find that we really are rigging up in our mind’s eye an ideal child behavior pattern.  We do this almost unconsciously.  And we limit our child through that behavioral pattern to see if they’re matching it.  And so we are never looking to see who the child is as themselves but who they are as a fulfillment of our own idea of what the child should be.  And the child again, picks this up as in effect a film of rejection.  We are rejecting who they really are and are demanding from them behavior according to the parent’s notions of who they should be.  And this isn’t just with the toddler, it’s strongly with the toddler period but then throughout childhood and when it comes to the teenager of course it grows quite, quite acute and critical.

You find this in a number of developmental psychologists looking into the shame factor, the acceptance of shame as a critical need for socializing the child.  There were editorials in our newspapers a few years back about the nation’s critical lack of shame and how what we need is a good dose of shame.  

I can tell you that shame is a great crippling force of our life.  I’ve received a lot of books from various people about the world on being crippled by shame, healing our shame, hiding our shame within us, all these various topics.  Shame is the principle tool by which parent’s enculturate or socialize their child.  Aren’t you ashamed of yourself is a real powerful, powerful thing to a child, because it’s always coupled with some action they have made and a look of rejection on the part of the parent.  The parent is expressing the rejection from them which is the same as abandonment of the little child.  If you behave like this we’d be ashamed of you and abandon you is the signal the child picks up.  You will not be loved.  You will not be nurtured.  

So shame and negativity in general, no don’t, you’re a bad child if you do this, you’re a good child if you do that and so on, all of these judgments leveled against the child simply allow shame and burning into the child a sense of guilt concerning their own actions.  

This does several things to the child, for one thing, instead of an exuberant automatic spontaneous response of acceptance of their world, from that point on they’ll never make a spontaneous response to their world, they’ll react from a negative cautious standpoint. Do I respond to this or will it cause me shame and guilt?  So we find instead of an open interaction with their society and their world they have a cautious, timid, defensive response to that world.  They’ve have, in effect, retreated to their defensive networks of the brain and are trying to defend themselves against the world that is liable to reject them and doesn’t really accept them until they prove their worth according to that society’s standards or sets of expectancy of them.  

We hear, ‘you must win your place.  You must win your wings and win for yourself a place under the sun,’ etc.  The child gets that right from the very beginning which means in effect, they themselves intrinsically are worthless.  They must win their worth in the eyes of their culture and their parents by modifying their behavior along very restricted lines.