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Magical Child Paperback – Mar 1 1992

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (March 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452267897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452267893
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"This is the brilliant, provocative, humane synthesis we've been waiting for. I hope Magical Child is read by every parent and parent-to-be, every educator, everyone interested in the future of our society."
—George Leonard, author of Mastery

"An innovative, philosophical restructuring of modern child psychology."
Publishers Weekly

"A profound, readable, and exciting book."
Library Journal

"This is one of the most important and beautiful books I have ever read. . . . The book is written with the passion of a man who not only cares but knows."
—Colin Turnbull

About the Author

Joseph Chilton Pearce is the father of five children and the author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg, The Bond of Power, and The Magical Child Matures. A former humanities teacher, he now devotes his time to lecturing and writing.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
The human mind-brain system is designed for functions radically different from and broader than its current uses. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The overall message of this book is important for parents and babies; we need to let babies and children grow and develop. We need to provide stimulation and new experiences. We need to keep the little ones close, provide them security and not force Western-style "independence" on them. This keeping close means a natural birth, breastfeeding, holding and talking to- not getting our children attached to things.
I'm just not certain the author reached his conclusions in a way that I endorse since he says many things I absolutely disagree with. In the first chapter, he says about our brains and grey matter, "the amount we have is just what we need for certain goals nature has in mind, such as our dominion over the earth."! I really have a hard time believing that evolution is goal directed, and that humans should have "dominion" over the earth. We have no right to that, and we are destroying the earth as a result of trying to be in control of this planet.
The chapter on "maintaining the matrix", or how to birth babies naturally, is taken right out of LeBoyer's work "Birth without Violence"- a fine book but not without it's flaws. This chapter also explores the development of the naturally birthed and nurtured infant, or at least the ones the author observed in Uganda. These babies are developmentally ahead of the medically birthed babies in Western society, so he says. They push up at birth, sit up at a couple months, run (not just walk!) at 7 months of age. Humph! Amazing babies, right? My baby born by c-section walked and talked much earlier than my naturally born-at-home babies. What happened?!
I don't particularly like the language of this book, but it will work for a lot of people.
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Format: Paperback
...someone who claims they know what they're talking about on a subject unknown to you, when their command of the basics of other disciplines in questionable at best. First, a 'hologram' is not a unit made up smaller less clear images of the larger unit and Chilton would have you believe. Does he mean fractal? Who knows. I hologram is a 3-d image reproduced from a pattern of interference produced by a split coherent beam of radiation. A holograph is a literary work penned entirely by the author, not a synonym of hologram. When speaking of the evolutionary steps humanity took to get where we are, Chilton seems unable to make it clear that there is no inner want, or direction, to evolution, and to propose such is a gross misrepresentation.
However, when he states that a 3 year old child is not an incomplete 5 year old but a fully functioning 3 year old, my faith in his ability as a psychologist is not shaken. Good book if you can get past the errors. It won't be the only I read on the subject.
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Format: Paperback
In Magical Child, Joseph Chilton Pearce presents the idea that our current medical practices around childbirth and our education systems subvert the natural and healthy growth of our greatest human capacities. Pearce builds on the work on the French developmental psychologist Piaget to delineate five stages of human growth, outlining the "natural" biological and psychological processes that help people reach the apex of each of these stages. Unfortunately, he maintains, our modern medical birthing methods and education systems tend to work against these natural processes and trip us up far short of our true human potential. He goes on to cite the work of a number of researchers that suggest better ways of birthing, parenting, and educating.
There are some keen insights here, but unfortunately they are buried within an intellectually muddled and scientifically dishonest presentation. For example, in the introductory chapters, Pearce speaks about human development from a very materialistic (and atheistic) view of human evolution, while often in the same paragraph praising Nature the wonderful "designer" of our human growth, a very theistic view. The significance of the book's central themes -- realization one's full humanity and potential -- is very different in each of these worldviews, and Pearce avoids revealing which side of the fence he sits on. He is similarly dishonest in his use of scientific research. He likes to quote from researchers -- when they agree with his theories. Contradictory scientific evidence isnt mentioned, except in a few cases where he merely dismisses it without discussion. This is unfortunate, because it's the weighing of seemingly contractictory evidence that science has tended to make its greatest leaps. Too bad Pearce wasnt brave enough to put his own theories to that test.
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By A Customer on Nov. 6 1997
Format: Paperback
A very important book, especially for those with children or expecting them. In a very reasoned manner reflecting a great deal of knowledge and research, Pearce discusses the phases every child goes through as it matures. He describes it as a succession of matrices, beginning with the womb-matrix, then the mother-matrix, the earth-matrix and so on. What it boils down to is the there is a time for everything, and we need to support the child's natural unfolding as much as we can. This means not 'abandoning' the infant in the crib, not pushing the pre-schooler too learn to read (ultimately a harmful thing), limiting television viewing and encouraging fantasy and play.
There seems to be so much misunderstanding and ignorance with regard to children these days, from tv overload to little league pressure to accelerated academic preparation--all harmful activities because they block a child's healthy development. Wake up everybody!
In the final chapters, Pearce goes beyond childhood to explore the possibilities of the human mind per se and give us a glimpse of what lies beyond the self-imposed limits of our reality. A deeply significant work. I also recommend Betty Staley's Between Form and Freedom for a look at what awaits in the adolescent years.
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