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Magical Child [Paperback]

Joseph Chilton Pearce
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 2 1992 Plume
Magical Child, a classic work, profoundly questioned the current thinking on childbirth pratices, parenting, and educating our children. Now its daring ideas about how Western society is damaging our children, and how we can better nurture them and oruselves, ring truer than ever. From the very instant of birth, says Joseph Chilton Pearce, the human child has only one concern: to learn all that there is to learn about the world. This planet is the child's playground, and nothing should interfere with a child's play. Raised this way, the Magical Child is a a happy genius, capable of anything, equipped to fulfill his amazing potential.

Expanding on the ideas of internationally acclaimed child psychologist Jean Piaget, Pearce traces the growth of the mind-brain from brith to adulthood. He connects the alarming rise in autism, hyperkinetic behavior, childhood schizophrenia, and adolescent suicide to the all too common errors we make in raising and educating our children. Then he shows how we can restore the astonishing wealth of creative intelligence that is the brithright of every human being. Pearce challenged all our notions about child rearing, and in the process challenges us to re-examine ourselves. Pearce's message is simple: it is never too late to play, for we are all Magical Children.

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Magical Child + Heart-mind Matrix, The + Biology Of Transcendence
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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 (Learn More)
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

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Some readers will love this book Jan. 3 2004
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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3.0 out of 5 stars It's difficult to trust.... June 7 2003
By A Customer
...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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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite up to the intellectual task Aug. 19 2002
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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5.0 out of 5 stars What is to be a child? Nov. 6 1997
By A Customer
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" for future parents!
90 % of the child's potential is usually lost in the first few years
Published 2 months ago by Gueorgui Lazarov
5.0 out of 5 stars Every parent should read it!
An excellent book. Every parent should read it!
Published on Nov. 13 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for the open-minded
This is a wonderful book for anyone who is open-minded and interested in the radical potential of the human (child). While it is a difficult read, it is worth it. Read more
Published on April 11 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Veeery boring and dull
I could barely keep my eyes open through this one. It's so theoretical and dry. There's nothing practical in this for parents. Maybe more so for the professionals. Read more
Published on March 24 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book -
I'm only halfway done with this book and I love it. Similar to the Continuum Concept, only so much more in depth. Parts are alomt mystical. Read more
Published on July 12 2001 by "stellaluna19"
5.0 out of 5 stars True Magic
I have found this book to be compelling. I felt quite alone in my thinking world until Mr. Pearce's insights made their way into my heart and mind. He reads true. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars A Missed Opportunity
Magical Child does have its moments but these are few and far between. One has to wade through overwrought hyperbole and constant repetition to get at the few insights Mr. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2000 by arktek47@yahoo.com
5.0 out of 5 stars The education for a new and gently brilliant world
This is the best childhood education book I have ever read. Since first picking this book up in the late 70s, I've read it again and again and have probably given away 50 copies to... Read more
Published on Dec 31 1998 by Subarachi
5.0 out of 5 stars Opperating instructions ARE available!
I read this while pregnant, and what a wonderful book of insights and wisdom and compassion. Here it is, if you're looking for a caring philosophy to raise your child to be human... Read more
Published on May 4 1998
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