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In W.B. Yeat’s poem Supernatural Songs, part IX of the poem presents his “theory” of the human life cycle in poetic form.  According to Yeats, there are four stages of life or “ages of man” that relate respectively to body, heart, mind, and soul.  The first age recalls infancy, as the baby struggles to walk...
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If you’re 50 and you plan to give your heart to your honey this Valentine’s Day, maybe you should first check to see whether it’s gotten any smaller in the last year.  Researchers at St. Francis Heart Center in Roslyn, New York have determined that the human heart undergoes a particularly significant shrinkage around the...
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I read a cute book of quotations from Penguin Books called Child: Quotations About the Delight, Wonder, and Mystery of Being a Child, edited by Helen Handley and Andra Samelson.  Here are ten of my favorite quotes from the book: “Babies are such a nice way to start people.” – Don Herold “In a secular age,...
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A map of the human life cycle that is associated with the Islamic middle ages and a philosopher/scientist named Al Biruni (973-1048 C.E.) is called Firdaria.  It is a system of astrology based upon specific planets that influence our lives at different stages of life.  The Sun rules the first 10 years of life (ages...
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The ancient astrologer/astronomer Ptolemy (83-161 C.E.),whose ideas of the structure of the universe (based upon spheres), dominated western civilization until Copernicus and Kepler in the 16th-17th centuries, associated different planets of the solar system with particular stages of life: Moon:  Infancy – 0-4 years old Mercury: Childhood – 4-14 years old Venus:  Adolescence – 14-22...
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The early twentieth century philosopher and mystic Rudolf Steiner conceived of a theory of human development based upon seven year cycles, and linked those cycles to astrology.  The first seven years of life (0-7 years old) were associated with the Moon. During this time, the psychic forces are working to transform the body of the...
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One of the most exciting features of the 2012 Olympics in London has been the performance of able people who are disabled.   Even before the opening ceremony, Im Dong Hyun from South Korea, won the gold medal in archery and set a world record with an almost perfect score (699 out of 700).  Im Dong Hyun is legally...
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 A recent book by developmental psychologist David Elkind is entitled The Power of Play, and I would recommend it to parents, educators, psychotherapists, and anyone else who has an interest in play and children.  David Elkind was a disciple of Jean Piaget, the great French structuralist thinker who changed people’s conceptions of how children think.  In this...
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Increasingly we’re seeing early childhood education programs veering toward formal academic learning.  This is a distressing trend, inasmuch as it makes young children do things (formal reading and math, computer instruction) that they are not developmentally ready for, and that take precious time away from letting children be children.  There are no critical periods in...
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