Re: DSM: Sudbury Schools in an Urban setting
Sat, 3 Feb 2001 22:52:08 EST

Dear Folks,

Hanna writes:
"Kids only need to be trusted and let go and they will find riches in places
that adults
would find boring to death. I can't wait to see many schools established in
all kinds of places and see in practice what I feel in my bones must be true."

Here is what occurs to me:

The parent trusts the child and lets the child go. And loses. Power,
expectations, hope, and all manner of notions. The notion that the child is
an 'improver'. The notion that they need our guidance. The notion that we are
in control. This loss is sudden, sometimes traumatic, and deeply
disorienting. This is truly a stunning loss.

It is here the parent makes the first of a series of crucial choices. The
first crucial move is to jettison the notion of attack and defend. Because as
painful as this loss is, to defend against it is catastrophic. The best that
can be done is to lean, ever so slightly and with the weakest of smiles,
toward the loss.

This is great and truly wonderful, and sadly leads to more loss. This
trusting of a child leads next to the disection of the notion of the family
itself. In this phase their are no weak smiles nor game replies nor glib
certainties. This is moment by moment survival. And it is best here to hold
on to nothing itself. The parent has long ago jettisoned right and wrong,
good and evil. And if they can hold on to nothing, to grasp for nothing, they
arrive at no ground.

And with no ground there is nothing to do. And then if they can do nothing
long enough and then longer still, there is a paradigm shift. And every god
damned thing under the sun becomes a blessing and Sudbury Valley a kindness.
And then it is in Hanna's words: "in their bones".


for a discussion of loss:
John Bowlby: "Loss"
John Bowlby: "Attachment"
Arthur Janov: "The Feeling Child"

for a discussion of defense:
Robert Firestone: "The Fantasy Bond"

for a discussion of the family:
David Cooper: "The Death of the Family"
R.D. Laing: "Politics and the Family"
for a discussion of no ground:
Pema Chodron: "When Things Fall Apart"

for a discussion of the paradigm shift:
John Hart: "Going Sane"

Deep Regard,
Bill Richardson

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