My front yard is full of acorns and leaves from my 250- year old gigantic red oak tree. They never fail to remind me of POTENTIAL and engender confident expectation regarding my work, the entire human species, and the development of tiny things into enormous, substantial and marvelous things.

And here is a word of encouragement to all creative people out there from one of my favorite writers:

“If the tiny mustard seed can become a tree, if the acorn can become the oak, why can’t our idea flourish into mighty manifestations? …it was God’s good nature to care for them, and it is likewise God’s good nature to care for us and our brainchildren.”

Julia Cameron


Have you ever read a book that somehow ignited a beautiful steady flame of solid hope deep inside you?   That happened to me when I read Paul Chappell’s PEACEFUL REVOLUTION.

A West Point graduate and a former captain in the Iraq war, he has uncovered not only the real causes of war, but also the truth about human nature. His insights are stunning in their possibilities:

* War is a fraud than never delivers on its promises.

* War depends upon deception of the general population.

* Lying and coercive power go hand in hand.

* The true motives of war are greed and increase of empire.

* Man is not naturally aggressive, but must be trained to kill and make war.

* Man can be trained to wage peace, just as effectively as he can be trained to                             wage war.

* Good alternatives exist.

Not only is the book based on solid research and clear, eloquent writing, but Chappell’s ability to write from the heart has produced a message that goes to the heart.

His “fire in the belly” burns blue-white and yet is masterfully contained, harnessed and directed toward specific right actions so that it becomes powerful enough to actually save mankind from its own self-destruction. This brand of hope is not built on wishful thinking but on realism, evidence, experience and trust.

My path and his intersect on p. 25 on which he says, “To survive as a global family we must offer people a more fulfilling vision of what it means to be human:  one that makes greed look empty in comparison.”

Paul Chappell has penned an enormously significant book for humankind – – one that could mark a watershed event in the future written history of this world. I urge you to read it.





The Syrian chemical weapons crisis has brought to mind these words written by Peace Pilgrim, a unique woman who walked more than 25,000 miles, penniless and homeless to promote world peace.

“Those who create something which is evil in order to overcome something else which is evil only double the evil.  Evil cannot be overcome by more evil.  Evil can only be overcome by good.”

America seemed to heave a collective sigh of relief when a ray of light was shone on the problem.  We are tired of war.  We have learned hard and expensive lessons.

It’s really just simple physics:

Darkness cannot be overcome by more darkness.

Only light can overcome darkness.

The same applies to evil.



Another very moving example of an autodidact is a young “autistic” child (as diagnosed by his doctors) by the name of Jacob Barnett.  In a video of him speaking on T.E.D. talks, he explains how he took his own learning in hand and became the youngest student at Harvard University.

There’s much we don’t understand about the workings of the human brain, but this information about Jacob is fascinating, sure to stir your thinking and is a “must watch.”


Be sure to scroll down past the video of his parents’ interview.



Ever since “The Day of the Vision” (see July 10th blog), I have been deeply fascinated by babies and young children, especially how they think and learn.

Here is a strange tale to ponder about Isaac Newton, “the greatest genius of the human race.” He was never known or loved by his father, who died four months before his birth. Born on Christmas morning of 1642, Isaac was so premature and tiny that he could be placed inside a quart pot. No one expected him to survive, and key people in charge of his care largely ignored him. And as a final blow, when he was only three years old, his mother deserted him entirely, leaving him to be raised by his grandmother.

How did this serious, silent, thinking little boy who was deeply lonely, shy, secretive, and suspicious come to be considered the greatest scientist of all time? He turned to nature and solitude for his strength and became an “autodidact” – – a self-taught person. Conducting nature experiments, creating little mechanical devices and trying to make order so he could gain security in his life, he was simply THINKING HIS OWN THOUGHTS. He viewed schooling as a nuisance; his teachers labeled him as “very negligent,” but when he wanted to learn something for his own reasons, he taught himself by finding the books he wanted to study. He soon did groundbreaking work on the nature of light and then built the first reflecting telescope.

Even after he became a student at Cambridge, when he realized he needed math for his own investigations, he quickly taught himself both geometry and trigonometry. It was during the two years of the plague, after he returned to the countryside and was entirely AWAY FROM SCHOOLING that he had his most profound insights and thus

* Discovered the second law of motion.
* Discovered the third law of motion.
* Discovered universal gravitation.
* Was able to predict exactly the positions and motions of the stars and planets, (causing him to be called the father of astronomy).
* Invented integral calculus (considered the most important achievement of modern mathematics).

I have found repeatedly, in my research on human potential, that it is this “taking matters into one’s own hands” that uncovers and releases great gifts. The autodidacts are the ones who supercede mediocrity. They become active instead of passive.

Schools as we know them produce masses of compliant and passive students who are made to believe that they’ll get ahead by sitting still and doing as they’re told. As passive adults, they often live lives based on mere waiting – – and hoping. My advice? Take your personal learning firmly into your own hands. Become an autodidact. With the entire world at our fingertips through the Internet, it’s almost a given that this is happening.