neuroplasticity, environment, genetics and the development of children

This is an important and timely contribution to the debate about the effect of the environment on the development of children. The significance of neuroplasticity cannot be underestimated. Some individuals are more influenced be their environment than others. Resistance to the effects of a negative environment (poverty, no exercise, unemployment, high incidence of smoking and drinking) correlates with the levels of self-control present between 3 and 11 years of age.
This and other evidence leads to the postulation of the existence of an ‘executive network’ linked to the prefrontal cortex that regulates behaviour and thought. Essential for the inhibition of impulsive and negative behaviour, those individuals starting life with the strongest executive functioning are more likely to behave in ways that protect and nurture the brain and lead to better long term health in general.
These ideas link well with the concept of self directed neuroplasticity developed from studies later in life in for example the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorders. Another strand of evidence derives from the changes found in the brain following meditation.

It seems the ideal environment for a developing child is a wild garden allowing contact with nature in a safe and secure space.

the better option

“The world incarnates to the physical plane full of intention. An idea of what may be created exists within, waiting for the opportunity to bring it forth into reality.
Often the soul becomes encumbered with multiple dramas that unfold while walking through life. A feeling of being stuck can derail many from their goals.
It is important to remain clear thinking and feeling so progress can be made. Most wish to change the situation while calling out to those who might be prohibiting their path. Perhaps a closer look internally so that you may change yourself might be the better option.
Burst free from self imposed restraints. Look closely at the ingredients. Are you really fearful of failure , or is it success?
Is there a pause where you need to be decisive?
The physical is filled with labels and definitions. Remember that you are the “star” in your life. Become aware of what hinders your light. Take that hinderance and really look at with honesty.
Failure and success can feel and appear to be the same thing. Both need to be embraced so that the fear forward can be rendered. More often than not, both require change. That change begins in you.
Being aware of fear can help change it to confidence. Be ready to embrace the opportunity.
No fear is the formula to being able to live out your soul’s intention.
Identify the fear. It may not have the power you are giving it.”


jung’s reply to an anonymous letter writer

Near his death at the age of 86 Jung replied to a letter writer:
“My life has been a lonely one. Some understand this, some that, but none the whole. The only thing I can really tell people is they do have a soul and there is a treasure beyond in a field, waiting for them”
Jung’s great discovery was he was not “master in his own house,” that there was a LIVING autonomous evolving life force in his psyche that was (as) old as the(human) race itself, that was trying to manifest itself, using him (every one of us) as a vehicle, in space and time.
That is what all art, all music, all lyric is. An eternal living life force within us forever growing in depth, and manifesting itself in the world of time and space using humans as its vehicle.
“Humans are the only seeing eye of God,” he famously said.
This makes everyone’s life of cosmic significance. What they realize in their lives, resonates in ALL lives that follow.

thanks to Craig Nelson Carl Jung Depth Psychology.

(  ) editing by geoff clements

john tavener


Johns’ music remains as a gift to us all and by which he will be remembered. I hope his spirit is at peace; peace he was searching for during his life on earth.

I was at school with John and remember him well, we were in the same year though he was not a close friend. Even as a teenager he was already clearly exceptionally gifted musically. The school had a great tradition of music in which he flourished. Normally rather retiring, and not a sportsman because of his heart problem, he came into his own when anything to do with music was involved. I can remember him well as our choral director during a school music competition striving with all his might to make the rest of us, who were not musically gifted, sing the music as he could hear it in his head.

the (re)searcher


Ceaselessly  he blazed the trail:

Light as a feather  over hill and dale

Alone always ahead of the crowd!

Travelling light! Nothing faster  allowed.

He went where he needed.  New ground,

Always  new ground. No sound!

No eating no sleeping, searching to find,

Thoughts?  No! profounds of mind!*

No explanations!  Intuition he needs.

No one to talk to, onwards he leads!

Hypotheses, models and explanation ;

Abstractions, predictions and replication.

Logic and mathematics  a new realm define.

Negative space the Mirror never need refine,

Unimagined, unseen, inverted but whole,

No longer a part.  He  found his soul.

All  in their dreams can reach this door

But nobody had ever passed through before.

No Grants to write or papers to publish.

Now to distinguish the truth from the rubbish.

geoff clements

* See ‘Ohio ImpromptuSamuel Beckett.

+ A general view of what some researcher’s inner lives are like, but also  might apply to explorers, sportsmen and women, indeed anyone who reaches their limit and goes beyond.  The writer Samuel Beckett described it in perhaps a more general context.  A researcher who came to mind was Paul Dirac whose mathematical logic forced him to predict the existence of antimatter before it was found experimentally.  ‘His’ equation is at the top of the poem.

‘you can enter, there are no ghosts here’

higgsheraclitusHeraclitus said this to some young men who came to see him in his remote hermitage. He had acquired a reputation for being irascible and distant, really because nobody understood his ideas which were far ahead of their time.   A theory of constant change: A form of monism based on energy, and he often used as an example the energy of fire.  Of necessity he spoke in elliptic fashion using allegory, for example “You cannot step into the same river twice, for all is constant change!”  In a sense it was not until Spinoza that there was another philosopher expressing these ideas!

He only ever wrote his ideas down once, on a scroll deposited in the library in Ephesus which is now lost.  So we know of his doctrines from quotations and references in the writings of others.

These young men were charmed by him however as he patiently explained his philosophy the long day through; and they remembered that day for the rest of their lives.  What they experienced was far from the ideas they had of him when they approached his abode.   The only way people could rationalize Heraclitus’ independent thinking was that he had some kind of miraculous contact with the gods that were the basis of the Greek religion of the time.  His greeting was aimed at putting these fears to rest and welcoming them as fellow-enquirers and equals.  People rarely  visited him so fearsome was his reputation!   He had a child-like quality about him and had often played with the children in the  town square.  He had  great sympathy with the freshness of spirit of the children and their openness to new ideas.

In a real sense the approach used by Heraclitus is the same as that used by modern physics to explain how our universe works. The link between matter and energy and the development of the concept of spacetime having been postulated by Einstein at the beginning of the last century.  The developments in our understanding continue to the present day.  Most recently with the confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson.  Modern science uses the same openness and patient enquiry based oh the evidence to hand that Heraclitus used.