Most of human existence is habitual, sleep walking in a dream cast by culture. Excluded from this
semi-alert state are vast fields of insight and meaning that exist beyond these limited borders. Being habitual, reflexive and mechanical, our sleep-walking appears in the dream as normal and necessary, no reason here to wake up. Drugged by our lazy habits of mind, we comfortably repeat tomorrow what we did yesterday, mother and daughter, father and son, calling this conditioning parenting and education. While great technological innovations were being made, human beings remained stuck, like a wagon wheel in deep, sticky mud, repeating. Joe recognized and rebelled against this life-wasting pattern early.
Much of Joe’s life was spent exploring what he called ‘cracks,’ those very real phenomena that manifest, plain as day, but should not, given the limitations of our day-dreaming reality. Joe used the ancient Vedic image of a Cosmic Egg to describe what is allowed, and therefore possible, in our sleep-walking reality, the images and beliefs that cast our self-world-view. When a crack opens in the egg, excluded potentials slip through, illuminating the true nature of our nature, much of which has been excluded by the egg. Hallelujah, we shout. A miracle!
Living in our egg, excluded capacities are, indeed, miracles. Dissolve or crack the egg and potentials we call miracles are seen for what they are, simply the way nature, which is our nature, works. Exploring this core insight, splits our quest in two dimensions, what are the astonishing capacities that are mostly excluded, and what forms and sustains the limiting egg, our self-inflicted limitations.
None of this matters while dreaming, save the sixth great extinction approaching at avalanche speed. Technology, being part of the dream, enshrined within the egg and therefore oblivious to what is excluded, continues to expand exponentially, creating a blinding force that excludes even more, a self-replicating and expanding reciprocal loop. A problem can’t be solved by the source that created the problem.
To break this suicidal pattern demands first that we, at least partially, awaken from the dream, now turned nightmarish, which means a ‘crack,’ a sliver of free attention that is not completely enchanted by the dream. Like a file in the hand of a prisoner, all of Joe’s writings scrape at the bars of our self-imposed jail, inviting this crack. The more we file, the weaker the egg becomes, until, Hallelujah, excluded potentials pour in illuminating the darkness which sustains the dream. What happens next is up to each of us. As he knew, with every particle of his being, this awakening is our only hope.
Joe gave us the file. Start scraping.
"Our children have been signaling us for years that things are critically wrong for them. In our anxiety-ridden concern to "equip them fully for life" we have been deaf and blind to their distress calls. And now our training techniques, our teaching systems, our behavior modification and motivations are turning into chaos, both for our children and for ourselves. Perhaps at this critical point for the survival of the species, we can do more than make another futile gesture toward patching up the holes in our exhausted system of ideas. Perhaps we can seize this cubic centimeter of change that history is giving us and move, not just to correct some of the more blatant and tragic errors we have made with children, not just to curb the battered-child syndrome, but actually to turn again to that 3-billion-year development lying within us, that uncanny wisdom of the body clearly programmed into the child as unbending intent. In learning to learn again, we can learn of this wisdom and allow our children (and ourselves) to become the free, whole individuals this good earth has prepared us to be."
-- Joseph Chilton Pearce in The Magical Child: Rediscovering Nature's Plan for Our Children, 1977
In over a dozen books over forty years, Joe fearlessly and passionately pointed out our near limitless human potential and our self-imposed limitations. Discover his books, and many he contributed to over his lifetime.
Discover Joe's lectures, interviews, classroom teachings, television and documentary appearances on this page.
Meet Joe: father of five, humanities teacher, and social visionary who pointed to a way beyond our "self-limiting beliefs" and toward our "amazing capacities."
Joe's work produced a plethora of new insights that required new language. Discover his world in the New Story Lexicon on Kindred Media.
This website is an educational initiative of the award-winning nonprofit Kindred World. Please help us preserve Joe's Legacy.
“We actually contain a built-in ability to rise above restriction, incapacity, or limitation and, as a result of this ability, possess a vital adaptive spirit that we have not yet fully accessed. While this ability can lead us to transcendence, paradoxically it can lead also to violence; our longing for transcendence arises from our intuitive sensing of this adaptive potential and our violence arises from our failure to develop it.”
-- The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit, 2004
Joseph Chilton Pearce is original, unique. No one has done what Joe has done; passionately and incisively exploring a view of near limitless human potential and the self-imposed limitations that inhibit and block that unfolding, describing both and how they relate.
Joe had a number of para-normal experiences that are impossible given our accepted notions about reality, fire not burning, spontaneous remissions, precognition, telepathic communion, bending spoons like a corkscrew and many others, all manifestations of what he calls unconflicted behavior. These direct experiences represent cracks in our identity-reality-structure, the Cosmic Egg, which became the title of his first book.
Our reality is influenced by our notions about reality… Mind over matter is a misleading notion, and not the issue here. I have, however, traced the relation of mind and reality, as complementary poles of a continuum.
When the Hindu walks through a pit of white-hot charcoal, or the scientist experiences his Eureka! that opens new levels of reality each uses the same reality-shaping function of mind. This book traces the pattern of development underlying this function.
The crack contains an enormous, indeed romantic, optimism, however, by which I hope to counter our current passion for nihilistic self-doubt… The reality-shaping function operates automatically in spite of us, but this breath of life that structures all things is also the deepest level of our very minds, and available to any of us, even now.
Learn more about Joe's work, read his essays and view his teaching videos at the Joseph Chilton Pearce Library housed at Touch the Future.
Joe passed on August 23, 2016. His legacy is carried forward through the nonprofit initiatives of Touch the Future and Kindred World, as well as a devoted following worldwide. Visit his Facebook page to encounter stories of his impact.