The Magical Child Papers

Exploring the Developmental Model


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Daniel M. Kolos


A deep gratitude goes to Joseph Chilton Pearce who amused me with his first book, "A Crack in the Cosmic Egg," where he looked at a number of belief systems and concluded that they all worked!  He held my total attention with his second book, "Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg," in which he showed that words are lies and Culture coopts all creativity:  that what is culturally 'normal' is biologically out of alignment.  I struggled through his third book, "The Magical Child," written in psychological jargon in order that I would be helpful to my newborn child, and met Dr. Pearce at the University of Windsor in 1992 where he was the featured speaker at a conference.  On a walk from our dormitory to the lecture hall, he cautioned me about the ego getting in the way of knowledge.  "The self," he said, "must be totally subservient to the soul."  Or something like that.  I knew that Hindu tenet in theory, but perhaps not yet in practice.  But I had to agree, because the alternative was the self being subservient to culture and worse, to cultural organizations.

One thing about Pearce made me listen up more than usual:  his method of delivery, in person, had become totally audience-friendly, unlike his 'Magical Child' book!  What happened?  He told the story of his own 'heart connection' at the age of 57 upon meeting someone who already practiced it.  Pearce, in other words, had met his role model!

Then I read his fourth book, "The Magical Child Matures," and, at the same time, my first child entered a Waldorf School.  Pearce's writing had completely changed.  In his fourth and subsequent books, tapes and videos he speaks in a language that can be universally undersood.

What I may have  missed with my first child as an infant and a toddler, I hoped to make up with my second child.  Then, he wrapped up his work with "Evolution's End," a clear and concise presentation of the Developmental Model.  Because I am a public speaker and do regular convention circuits each year, I have often chosen to speak on the Magical Child.  I seem to derive endless inspiration from both watching children and talking about them.  Eventually I began to meld the work of Joseph Chilton Pearce with that of Rudof Steiner, an Austrian Philosopher of the first half of the Twentieth century and the architect of the Waldorf Curriculum, as well as the work of Carolyn Myss and Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  Well balanced between the male and female views of children and life, I found my own voice.  One of my critics told me that The Magical Child Papers are nothing but a copy-cat book.  If imitation is the best form of flattery, then I am happy to paraphrase those who inspire me:  the Psalmist said, "Sing unto the Lord a new song!"

These 'papers' are my song, inspired by my role models.  I hope that the language I use will 'speak' to others with the same inspiration as those who 'spoke' to me.  There are dozens of other ways of thinking about children.  I cannot denigrate any of them except the work of Dr. Spock.  A Freudian Psychoanalyst, he was asked by a California publisher in 1948 to write a book on 'how to raise children' because thousands of soldiers were being decommissioned and they were starting the Baby Boom.  Dr. Spock obliged him.  But Freud only analysed four children in his entire career.  Most of his 'knowledge' about children came through interpolation from adults and his conviction that children are merely miniature adults.  Dr. Spock used the authority that Freud created for Psychoanalysts and Psychiatrists and developed a system of raising children that denied mothers' instincts everywhere and claimed that the "Doctor knows Best!"  Bullshit!  Just as Freud tried to apoligize for his arrogance towards the end of his life (an attempt other Psychoanalysts dismissed as an old man's folly), so Dr. Spock, in his eighties, apologized to the millions of American mothers for asking them to suppress their instincts.  Neither Pearce's Magical Child books nor these Magical Child Papers form a dogma.  Just as Piaget's original assumptions about Childhood Development were proven wrong, so continued neurological research on children fine-tune assumptions made by previous developmental research.  The Magical Child is not a 'meme' but a living, breathing, biological entity.  The Magical Child Papers form my personal struggle to keep out of my own children's way so that they could explore their world without my input, that they would familarize themselves with their environment and discover themselves with the least trauma and without cultural repressions.

Read the review of Pearce’s The Magical Child