MAGICAL CHILD MATURES by Joseph Chilton Pearce

MAGICAL CHILD MATURES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Half polemic, half guide to enlightenment, the title of this latest Pearce marks it as a succesor to Magical Child. It is also a metaphor to describe Pearce's own spiritual coming of age. In the earlier work (and others) Pearce inveighed against Western style child-rearing from bright-light, hard-slap hospital childbirth to the evils of school-learning designed to imprison the awakening mind. This latest repeats some of those arguments in spades. Now, all of Western culture is in for it. To the author, culture equals technology, bombs, aggression, sex, neurosis. . . a familiar litany that damns it all as materialist and behavorist. In contrast, Pearce offers bonding (which is the opposite of ""attachment""). He describes successive stages of growth from file mother-infant bond to sensory-motor learning, and operational and logical stages of development, in the course of which magical child gets bonded to larger circles of family, and society (a non-pejorative term). By age 15, child is ready for spiritual bonding. This is a mishmash of Piaget, Erikson, Freud, Jung, combined with the concept of the triune brain as developed by Paul MacLean. That concept sees the brain as the disquiet union of physical (reptilian), emotional (mammalian), and new (human) brain parts. Pointless to say that Pearce would benefit from a reading of developmental neurobiology; pointedly, readers should beware of these errors of fact and blatant assertions of dogma as truth. Oddball theories crop up en passant, including one that attributes silent crib-death to delayed hemorrhage from that first hard slap of childbirth. What's left? Surprisingly, after the culture condemnation and obligatory homages to physicist David Bohm and others who see quantum links between East and West, tile writing becomes less convoluted, more straightforward exposition. Pearce describes his spiritual development under the late Siddha Yoga guru, Baba Muktananda. He details the essentials of the seven chakras and his experience at various stages (expect paranormal and out-of-body phenomena). For Pearce, ""post-biological"" being is the goal achieved with a teacher that culminates in that union with the Self that is Creation. As autobiography/lay explanation of Kundalini Yoga, of some interest, particularly for the committed. For those for whom ""post-biological' life is a contradiction in terms, no way.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1985
Publisher: Dutton