Today here on Earth there is a ‘Civil War of the Spirit’ underway. Racial divides, religious intolerance, material avarice, martial control, and intellectual arrogance all challenge us to love and to heal our great separation from oneness and unity consciousness.
So, what is it that drives ‘a man of the cloth’ to see that the Vietnam war was wrong, that Maori of Aotearoa New Zealand were dispossessed of their land, that the South African rugby tour of NZ was racially selected, and that nuclear power and weapons brought into a country that threatened no other country, was and is morally indefensible?
Do we think to any depth of wisdom these days? Have we cast values and virtues out the window as we embrace the shallow distraction of material comforts and indulgences? This is a question that we need to engage and think deeply about. For it is obvious that George Armstrong, ably supported by his wife Jocelyn, has dwelt on many of the underlying causes that separate us all from participating and being global family.
Though George was on good terms with the local Bishop, he realised that with falling congregation attendances, the Church had lost its way. It was not engaged with the community and whatever virtues and values that the Anglicans wished to embed in the wider community basically echoed inside a vacuum. That though his Bishop also had an understanding of Liberation Theology, that in those days was making a huge impression in South America - where the priests took Christ down from the cross and instead got themselves in alongside the peasants and served and worked with a hands-on approach to share the load of the downtrodden. For George intuitively knew that there had to be a better way if we were to bring peace and justice to earth.
Hence, his deep commitment to the issue of the day - on so many levels.
Born in Dunedin in the South Island of NZ, the youngest in his family, and though somewhat spoilt it was a lonely life as his many older brothers went off to post 1945 war activities.
As a boy he joined the boy scouts and embraced the moral quality of that credo, that he eventually became a strong Anglican and then he experienced an ‘angelical’ conversion of what it was like to have an intense personal sense of God - or the Divine.
After a stint at teaching in Waitaki in the South Island he then became an Anglican Priest and to have parishes in Dunedin and Christchurch when he realised that the Church as a religious entity was basically failing - as he could see it in the dwindling numbers - and he felt that in a sense it was a moral issue in that the church was not engaged with society - ethically - and after a few run-ins, he felt that he had to stand up in what he believed in - no matter what.
He eventually ended up teaching at a Theological College becoming ordained and realised that you can only understand yourself by being active in the world, that books could not really do that, or only to a small extent. So he felt that he had to get out and become engaged and involved with the world - and that the learning comes on reflection from the action.
Especially in his opposition to the Vietnam war which was a horrific shock for him - as it took him against his Church - including some theological students against his Church too. To one time taking placards into Good Friday procession saying that ‘Christ died for the Viet Cong.' And that the Bishop wanted him to get out of the procession and yet the Bishop was also good friends with George as he was quite partial to ‘liberation’ theology.
George, also found that there was a Buddhist strain in South Vietnam that was very aligned with him - as the Buddhist had a saying “they are our brothers who we kill.” That the Buddhist Nuns were also very strong on this - and this all linked to the heart of Christianity.
George’s mother had a sense that Maori spirituality was unique and when George officiated at some burials at Karatane, he realised that Maori and Pakeha understandings were very, very different. To experience Maori oratory and how it would flow impressed him and also that the historical wrongs to Maori from the colonialisation of NZ was important for George to understand - due to the enormous dispossession of Maori from their tribal land.
One important quality that George noticed, that even though this had happened to Maori - they had never lost their dignity.
George always felt it was a great privilege to stand alongside Maori in some way. He noticed that the young within Maori were more ‘out there’ than the elders which brought George into contact with the Harawira family, who he got to like as they quickly understood the nuclear threat to the Pacific ocean. However to them, the nuclear threat was just another extension of colonialism. But, it was the ultimate expression of the challenges we were facing yet on a totally different level. Especially, as it was our planet’s future at stake.
He talks of Honi Harawira’s mother Titewhai and about her astuteness and being both wonderful and frightening, plus mentioning and praising Walter Lini a theological student of George’s and an Anglican priest, whom eventually became the founding Prime Minister of Vanuatu.
Then the ‘white’ South African rugby Springbok tour of NZ that traumatically divided New Zealand like never before and the acclaimed statement that ‘this was a civil war of the spirit’ - George was one of the anti-tour demonstrators to break through the outer fences to actually get onto the football playing field in Hamilton and have the game cancelled - whilst the large crowd of 10’s of thousands were enraged and incensed, that they could not watch their game of footy. This news brought world attention to the fact that NZ supposedly a bastion of racial goodwill and fair play was engaged in playing a rugby team that was selected entirely on race.
That a large percentage of NZ was still in favour of the tour that I repeat in George’s take -“this tour based on apartheid was a civil war of the spirit”.
Though the tour continued after that canceled game many anti-tour protestors were so incensed that violence was discussed - yet George could not reconcile with violence in any way. There had to be a higher virtue overlighting all his actions.
Then came the NZ Peace Squadron or Flotilla. When in America at Princeton on a scholarship as he knew he needed a doctoral qualification to further himself, he witnessed on TV pictures a tiny canoe and inhabitant floating in front of the bow of a gigantic freighter - trying to stop it from going anywhere. As it was a ship dealing with armaments that was en route to a civil war in Pakistan.
This image stuck to George’s soul and he imagined that with many small NZ boats, launches, yachts and anything that floated if New Zealanders could get out there in front of visiting nuclear armed or powered warships and stopping them from coming into NZ, ports this would be the way. With growing media focussed on all this - any boats damaged, sunk or lives hurt in anyway would focus attention on NZ and its government and policies.
These ships ‘or creatures of death’ as George would say ‘and the image of death trying to force its way through life' was an easy concept for George to understand - so the Peace Squadron came into being.
The interview covers the Anti Nuclear Movement here in NZ and the Peace Squadron and that small boats had been sailing around to Mururoa in French Polynesia for many years to protest the French testing nuclear bombs in our backyard. So when the message went out all the crews who had sailed the thousand of kilometres there and back - showed up and they were very hardy souls, very mature, astute, committed and dedicated with excellent yacht skills as well.
Then George became a spokesperson for radio and especially TV, as TV media in those days were right on to it as it was in its infancy and wanted to get a good story so George and team received some very good coverage.
He also got very savvy to language the story so that it could not be edited out, (as media is very adept at twisting the context of most stories)
We then go on to talk about all the nearly 40 countries Navy’s who are going to bring their warships to NZ. That the NZ Navy is going to have a church service because the Navy has always had a close connection to Christianity and what type of service is there going to be as ‘thou shall not kill’ is key component to Christianity as well as the word Love.
George then mentions that the present NZ ruling National Party has lost its religious depth and are not really into Christianity because of the Church’s antagonism of how the Government economic policy is disenfranchising so many.
When asked where he gets his support other than his loving wife Jocelyn, George says he gets a lot of support from people and especially children. And in the 1980s where we were in the anti-nuclear disruption a lot of politicians from the Labour Party.
George says that we must not enter into polarity with people on the other side of the divide - they too are human and that they have been caught up in the system - police etc are just doing their job … be courteous.
We are all caught up in the system if we like it or not.
He said time and again - we are not against flesh and blood we are against ‘principalities and powers’. This system thing that gets to us … likes the armaments race - it gets to us.
If we let the genie out of the bottle - then that’s it …
George in closing talks about ‘being born again’ that the evangelicals do not see this transformational unfoldment in its greatest expression - and that this continuance needs to happen daily as we grow and expand on this realisation and cosmic gift - he says it’s such an astonishing thing as you respond to the impulse of this religious experience and you keep this alive in your daily practice … Otherwise you can quite possibly sink down into a religious rut of some sort and you can’t see the wood for the trees.
The image of the other - not understanding other peoples and cultures etc - we pre-judge and have prejudices of the other …
Dialogue is good, but working together is far better.
In future - make sure you practice what you preach - especially with all relationships.
Don’t forget your humanity - we are dealing with humans even on the other side of the divide
Get clever - we are pure GENIUS. Keep focussed and something will open up - the extraordinary will become manifest.
The other confirmed that there is a fast growing healthy, non chemical, biological revolution of farming and horticulture happening across the rural face of NZ and beyond.If this interview was played over Radio New Zealand’s nationwide network it would have mothers of babies and children in uproar.
First: Is Glyphosate ‘slowly’ killing everything it comes into contact with, including humans? The statistics are saying yes!
The research being collated from all around our planet is confirming a coming nightmare. It is looking grim for most biota. That means you and your family, animals and vegetation including the elements of air, soil and water.
Regrettably, it looks like the unbridled avarice and corruption of the biotech corporations especially Monsanto, with their unscrupulous insiders - in allowing this cleverly disguised toxin into the sacredness of the world’s environment - is having a devastating affect on all planetary biota.
Second: This is really good.
There is a powerful yet quiet revolution happening across NZ (and globally) that farmers horticulturists and market gardeners have realised that there is another unique way of growing healthy food, without chemicals, called ‘biological agriculture’ that is rapidly gaining prominence over the chemical agribusiness that is taking down our country’s clean green image. (if we really had one)
That NZer Graeme Sait, American Arden Andersen and Australian Christine Jones, among many others have been at the forefront of introducing this methods to the world (all three have been interviewed on GreenplanetFM.com).
Thus, we have come to an important shift of perspective and of action. We are crossing over into a new paradigm not only in land management and connection, but to one of a new consciousness in our relationship to all planetary biota.
Phyllis who comes from California has a degree in Environmental Planning and Management with emphasis on soils and Ag economics, and worked for the State of California in ministerial level positions in energy conservation policy, municipal waste, hazardous waste management and coastal regulation. She is now based here in the Hawkes Bay NZ.
When in America, she met and married a NZer who was studying for his graduate degree in ecology and his focus was on the regulation of pesticides and insecticides and their affect on all levels of the environment, biota and ultimately the food chain. Thus with her environmental credentials plus her husband’s PhD in ecology she has embedded a very good understanding of how the environment is being saturated by chemical pesticides and insecticides.
Her ongoing focus has continued to cover the situation of soil, microbes, water and that extends into human health and what it’s doing in particular to our gut bacteria and the increasing understanding of microflora that inhabits our stomach and intestines.
Over the last 20 years, this has been a major theme that she has continued to deepen her understanding of the connection between soil fertility and environmental health where she has branched out and has her own business based in True Health an animal remedies firm. Where she imports specially made up certified organic tinctures - plant based extracts to act as alternatives to antibiotics so as to assist farmers to wean their farm animals off antibiotics. She has a small farm on highly mineralised, high brix soils with diverse pastures with her cows producing high saturated fats, including cholesterol that when taken appropriately she says are very helpful for the human body.
She has spent a lot of time with biological agriculture exponents Graeme Sait and Arden Andersen who are at the fore-front of a farming phenomena where they are doing brix tests on soils and remineralising them, bringing about healthy microflora especially fungi and bacteria including earthworm populations. Leading to healthy rapid vegetation growth. Thus doing away with chemicals fertilisation and applications.
In South Africa, where Graeme has a huge following pulling in very large crowds to his talks and field days he has had Woolworths the supermarket chain (not to be confused with the Australian & New Zealand group) through their 500 plus stores switch over to only sourcing food and produce from biological farmers under the name of “Farming for the Future, a holistic approach.”
In this interview, Phyllis clearly covers the major benefits of biological farming, having brought Graeme Sait to NZ for numerous courses where hundreds of NZ farmers attend and many more have now switched across to biological methods. This is where the soil is well mineralised and balanced, becoming more microbially alive and diverse and producing more pasture. What this method leads too is better quality and healthy fruit and vegetable that store well, taste great and have higher mineral and vitamin content (higher Brix)
This means higher dissolved solids which indicates that the food is going to be better for us.
By creating food from the soil up that heals people, that nourishes them deeply not just fulfills a hunger - but that they have the mineral building blocks to createthe enzymes and the tissues withintegrity - that actually translates into full and optimal health.
However, statistics from around the world are showing that the percentage of vitamins and minerals in our food are decreasing at an alarming rate. This decline is continuing and it has been linked to orthodox farming practices due the way we have been fertilising the soil and applying insecticides and herbicides to foliage. What this has been doing, in the words of Graeme Sait, we have been ‘bombing the microbe bridge’ that allows minerals to be absorbed by the plant in their ideal and proper forms. This is why plants are becoming too weak to be able to produce their own ability to repel insects and the more we farm in this archaic method, the more chemicals and sprays will be used as we embark down a slippery slope of poor soils, unhealthier vegetation and higher costs to both the the land, the farmer and consumer.
Healthy soils and healthy plants result in the plants being able to repel pests because they are so strong and robust. We need to know that all plants are medicinal as well as producers of food.
Protection of the Environment & Protection of Human Health.
If there was leadership in the EPA ‘Environmental Protection Agency’ especially in the USA, we the global consumer would be far more safer and the ecology would be too.
However, this is a global phenomenon, most countries have a poor record of making sure biotech companies are up front and legally fulfilling the precautionary principle.
With the EPA, a US Government Department it is known as the Global default watchdog of what is allowed out into the environment but it is poorly financed and it is deliberately kept to a low budget. This way it leaves the door open to when the large biotech conglomerates like Bayer, Dupont, Syngenta and Monsanto want to apply for a product to be released into the environment they are allowed tp submit their own ‘safety’ studies that they paid for themselves.
Yet time and time again they have posted fraudulent data, or manipulated it or made up the facts, or underplayed the risks that is has been near on farcical in many instances.
Now all that needs to be done is for the EPA to charge the applicants a far higher fee so as to employ the numbers and qualified personnel to test on behalf of the EPA. For there have been so many instances of even independent labs doing the tests and they have been found out, for fraud and taken to court, fined and jailed, but it still goes on solely because of the vastness of what is happening across the USA.
From a political science standpoint, which was generally the topic of her husband’s PhD thesis that in the US the EPA which has a global standing has never been in a position to be financially able to do the necessary research.
So why is the EPA so short of funds to be not able to do thorough testing? Well there is a cosy situation. That politically from the beginning the EPA lacked the quality and caliber of the scientists to evaluate the industry generated safety studies in the first place. The cosy chemical corporate lobbyists are cosy with the chairman of the Senate Agricultural Committee in Congress for example and they make sure that the EPA has a very, very modest budget and they can never really keep up with the industry bought scientists. And it they do, they usually they don’t last very long.
So there is a revolving door where the head of the EPA or the head of the US Food and Agriculture or some other regulatory agency happens to have been Chief Council for Monsanto for example, that definitely has happened and they put him in charge of approving Genetically Engineered crops in the early 1990’s There are multiple examples of someone from the industry been brought in to regulate their previous industry.
Unfortunately, this happens time and time again.
We now have the ubiquitous use of chemicals globally, remember the DDT spraying of everyone, and then the hurried ban on it? (No, very few do - as mistakes are quickly buried and covered up.)
The ever present use of herbicides and insecticides globally is having a disturbing effect – not only in the rural sector and farms but now in urban areas for parks and pristine home lawns.
The conventional NZ farmer /market gardener today are increasingly finding that they are totally incongruent with the precautionary principle, that when they awaken in the morning, their thoughts are based on – not what they are going to grow today, but what they are having to kill today? Which becomes a full frontal chemical attack of so many different sprays – so the farmers in essence, lose heart in that they are not 100% proud of their produce, because they know that it’s covered in poisons - so they can not really hold their head high and be proud.
Little does the NZ consumer know that under the auspices of the EPA, the ‘Environmental Protection Agency’ formerly ERMA the Environmental Risk Management Authority, that they they seem to have seemingly robust standards, yet they do not adhere to them.
As a result - Agriculture has become a killing field instead of a growing field.
A New Understanding.
In the last 4-5 years there has been a greater public understanding and reconnection across the soils, science, farming and health sector that microbes are the key to our planet functioning.
In particular, the ‘gut micro biome’ and their community and the health of these are critical to our own health. Which equals a diverse healthy ‘integrated micro biome’ be it on our skin, in the water, gut, tissue, blood – we need to have an inner ecology that is a reflection of a healthy outside ecology.
Science is today seeing that the human gut microbiome has been seriously compromised by anti-biotics, plus herbicides and insecticides .
They are notching that the vegas nerve from our gut microbiome to our brain is increasingly being affected as a result. This affects our mood, thoughts and feelings - depending on the state of the health of our gut.
Even the risks for alzheimers is increase dramatically. Very few in the Western world have a robust healthy gut.
C section births was mentioned too as problematic as babies born of the birth canal are far more able to cope because they picked up antibodies in the birth canal journey .
To sort this there is the GAPS diet cleanse that may be able to assist.
Marketing of broad spectrum herbicides:
Round Up and its active ingredient glyphosate is now marketed globally by a great number of companies as a broad spectrum weed killer.
It is extremely capable of killing all vegetation other than Monsanto’s GMO or GE ‘Round Up’ – ready, corn, soy and canola and as glyphosate use increases every year now - up to between 800,000 and a million tonnes is sprayed annually world wide.
It is now in our air, our water, in our food, and when we look into our food, there it is. 10 of the largest wineries in California have found it in their bottled wine. So it is now in our bodies and especially our growing babies, infants and children and we have no idea where this is leading us. It is also an antibiotic that is having a slow but continuous effect on our gut bacteria. This is just one of the many impacts that Monsanto’s glyphosate has.
It locks up minerals to the point that it is difficult for our body to get full nutrition. It directly causes infertility in all mammals. It blocks the transport of sulphur within our body and it shuts down our body to detoxify environmental toxins – through the cytochrome p4 50 enzyme pathway which is part of our liver system for detoxifying chemicals .
So not only is glyphosate an antibiotic, but is shuts down our own ability to detoxify glyphosate itself and most other environmental toxins.
With the increase of glyphosate we are also correlating an increase in alhzeimers, cancers , breast cancer in particular – non-Hodgkin lymphoma’s and autism is the big one.
The strongest correlation between glyphosate and Round Up is the marked increase in autism. Autism is related to gut microbiome dysfunction. Plus lack of sulphur transport.
With plummeting fertility rates too.
Phyllis asked the question – how are we going to function as a society when one out of 6 males in particular, but females as well is autistic and cannot function on a normal basis? Specifically - when they need to be reliable, hold down a job, interact with people, this is becoming a huge, huge issue.
This Interview then covers the NZ environmental health authorities, previously it was ERMA and now the EPA who have approved every single application for a GE or GMO trial in NZ that have come to them.
There has been over 60 applications some actually outdoor trials! So out of all of these expensive trials, none of them were commercialisable whilst at the same time ran tremendous risks of exposing the NZ environment to GE and GMO ‘constructs ‘ that for all we know could still be in our environment - hidden away from us!
The fact that microbes are so small and can quite possibly mutate once they are out there , it is then basically impossible to retrieve them. This is what is in supposedly clean green NZ that we were exposed too.
Regarding GE & GMO release, note that no insurance company globally is willing to insure in the case of a New Zealand GE or GMO mishap, because the liabilities would be so vast and could last to 20 to a hundred years for all we know – so they realise that GMO tests are problematic in the extreme. So who carries the can if there is a major mishap? In our country it won’t be the government - who is allowing this to happen, it will be we, the people!
Over seas you will notice no country wants to pay a premium for GMO food, not one. Why? Because it lacks quality nutrition and who really knows what is embedded in GE food?
However, what is becoming very noticeable is that many countries are wanting to pay a premium of non GE & GMO and organic food. The reason is obvious.
Organics and Premium Returns.
Organics in NZ has had a very bad rap for many years, being manipulated by mainstream media photos and video footage to be seen especially by the people living in the rural sector, as a hippy thing or non scientific – this being far from the case.
In NZ today, organic dairy farmers are getting $9.20 a kilogram of milk solids as against normal farming of $5.00 – so the conservative NZ dairy farmer is dragging his own chains!
Phyllis emphatically states that mainstream farmers do not have to wear thongs or jandals or grow a beard to go organic! Or not having to stop wearing deodorant!
In the US, organics is really spiking and in the dairy sector too. There is a 20% increase in production per year and it is growing fast especially with the growth of organic stores and supermarkets.
As consumers we need to vote with our dollars this is critical to where shape our future.
High quality high brix food, more regenerative input and biological agriculture are gaining momentum.
She states if we want to involve ourselves and even get angry if that is what it takes to control our food choices then we need to get involved! Create a small demo and front up!
There are people creating products that are harming us and our babies – so we have to shake ourselves out of our collective stupor and take control of what we put in our bodies.
We also need a gigantic co-operative organic super-market here in NZ to blow everything open!
Web site www.Truehealth.co.nz.
What do you want for your children? Do you want dynamic, well resourced, impeccably balanced, super-conscious children who are adept at survival at all levels?
What do you think is the best system available today for educating and teaching children?
I really enjoyed listening to Tricia as she divulged the latest advances in early childhood development in America.
As a secondary school science teacher with an understanding of much of the makeup of our world Tricia was always interested in alternatives …
One day she visited a school and upon entering – it changed her whole focus. Because, the classroom was literally a quiet hum of activity - where children were totally focussed on their learning experiences. It was the Montessori Method that made her realise that there most definitely is another way to enhance a child’s existence, where they are fully integrated into life.
Maria Montessori, born in Italy in 1870 was a physician and an educator - a pioneer for women’s rights as she was an active member of the suffragette movement. She started in teaching by working with children with mental difficulties and impairments to learning. Being empathetic and aware, she developed specific new tools for learning.
She was hired as a teacher by some tenement owners in the slums in Italy to school the tenants wayward children who were damaging the property when their parents were away working during the day. So she brought in these learning ‘tools’ that she had used for those with impairments and combining these with her other skills the children quickly became very engaged and at the same time, completely absorbed in their learning. This led to the students experiencing their own internal changes, they became calmer, self-disciplined and able to concentrate on their work for sustained periods of time.
At a preschool level, the child is in a process of ‘forming themselves’ – it’s not just a case that they learn their language, or the names of things. There is another dual process happening as well - there is an inner growth - that includes learning about the outside world.
When the child is in an environment which is stable, and supports them being engaged and interacting positively with their environment – it helps them to have an organized internal state also. The result is a well-resourced child who is very able, independent and responsive to life.
Maria Montessori said that she did not invent the Montessori Method of teaching, she said that ‘I discovered the child.’ She noticed that after students had engaged in a period of deep concentration with a learning activity, she saw that they would put their things away, and then have a phase of inner contemplation before going on to the next activity.
Maria Montessori engendered much interest and excitement with her discoveries, not only within Europe, but around the world so that people came from all over the world to learn from her and there was great demand from teachers to be taught the Montessori ‘method’. It is true that no matter where the children are on earth, they all have the same abiding interest and engagement when enjoying a Montessori learning environment.
Tricia spoke about her recently acquired Montessori qualification which she completed in August 2015. There at her AMI Montessori adolescent guide training course in the U.S. she met superb teachers who care deeply for children and for the future of our planet.
Not far from Cleveland in Ohio there is a Montessori farm school for adolescents, that connects children with animals, growing things and working alongside nature. Including understanding economics and how everything is interconnected. The value of food and produce and costing things out, as well as understanding both buying and selling. All aspects of economics are covered in a direct hands on practical way, including doing the books, doing the accounting, calculating the profit and loss of the various enterprises. Teaching and factoring in responsibility as the greatest freedom we can experience, and also eating what they have grown.
This farm school for adolescents was called by Maria Montessori “Erkinder”, which means “children of the earth (soil). They have a program where they board on the farm – they live and work, but not in the same way a New Zealander would grow up on a farm and go off to school. They have an integrated experience, this includes a deep connection to mother earth, work with animals everyday and this awakens their love and connection to all creatures. Including harvesting of food – be it honey or goat’s milk. All to do with allowing the children to connect and also realise what it is to survive. Engaging them in the commerce side, it shows how dependent on the earth we really are.
Montessori schools are based on having 3 ages in the one class together. At preschool 3, 4, up to 6 year old students are all in the same class together. For the new infants, the 5 year olds model the correct behavior, whilst the teachers are engaged in showing how to use the various materials.
The closer you can tie freedom and responsibility together – the better. (An interesting dialogue regarding this is in this radio interview.) Too much freedom and no boundaries is not responsible – leading to poor behavior. Children who are given responsibility within boundaries have clear expectations of them to bring about success, as long as teachers are included in this equation, and appropriate behavior is role modelled by their peers.
Maria Montessori has created some innovative learning tools – bead chains from 1 to 10, and a spindle box to show 0. All Montessori materials are physically manipulated by the students and kinesthetic learners benefit from experiencing these hands on learning materials.
In looking at the present main-stream factory model of education this different approach in Montessori becomes very insightful.
We are living in a world where jobs are going to disappear faster than they can appear as new technology comes on stream. Because innovation towards smart technologies are going to make huge numbers of people become redundant. Companies are doing away with workers across the board – one of the more recent examples being supermarket check-out machines.
MainStream education is about ‘Hurry up and wait’. From the age of 5 to 18 children are being told to ‘hurry up and wait’ – It is inculcated in people. This is conditioning them to be not well integrated and inner resourced, but to do as they are told and be compliant. Tricia gives a powerful analogy of what this means as children are programmed to be told to queue and wait, then hurry up, and then cue and wait. Setting us up to become victims if we are not strongly inner resourced to see ourselves as empowered individuals who can slot into the world at our will.
The key to the Montessori Method is heart and soul, which is included in the whole process of having children feel that they are connected. Otherwise learning is just an intellectual exercise that you can easily forget as soon as it is done. There has to be an emotional connection. ‘Know thyself’ is part of the learning process in Montessori as a child becomes a fully integrated and loving human being.
The Montessori Method has as a part of it, ‘Cosmic education’, where students include the bigger picture into their learning.
The Montessori Glass Classroom is an event where the classroom has no walls and adults and those interested can look in at any time and watch how the classroom operates. Witnessing the focus and engagement of the children, and how the teacher guides the students in their learning experiences in the classroom.
This interview gives us an important insight into an ever evolving system of teaching and learning. Especially in regard to assisting and empowering little minds to be well resourced and prepared in our ever changing future.
Tricia is organizing a Montessori Glass Classroom at the Auckland Baby Show 19th, 20th and 21st of August at the ASB Showgrounds in Epsom Auckland from 10am to 5 pm each day.
Tricia Best, BSc, DipTch, AMI Montessori adolescent guide
Can an upsurge in world peace be gained by The Peace Foundation in schools in NZ & around the world?
I just interviewed Christopher Le Breton who as the co-manager of The Peace Foundation, I wanted to know if peace is actually possible, especially with the background din of horror, pain and loss in so many countries and expanding.
What he told me below shows that a small country like Nuclear Free New Zealand could be pivotal in world events.
This may be one of NZ’s greatest social and mindful exports of the 21st century. That Nuclear Free NZ could again become the moral compass for a planet of peace and a totally new paradigm.
“The Peace Foundation” was established in Auckland NZ 1975, with the vision of building peaceful local, national and global communities.
That in 1987, it helped bring about ‘Nuclear Free New Zealand’ in partnership with citizen groups around NZ all coming together. This awoke NZ and then the world woke up to NZ.
That in 2008, it managed to initiate a ‘chair’ of Peace Studies at Otago University in Dunedin. As a result it has become a leading centre of Peace studies in the World.
On the 8th of June 2012 was a main player in inaugurating Auckland as a ‘World Peace City.’
And over the last 20 years has been facilitating and teaching children in schools about ‘peer mediation’ and ‘conflict resolution’ in the ‘Cool Schools’ program. With children been taught how to mediate disputes for themselves.
This interview covers many avenues as to how The Peace Foundation can teach skills and methods to bring about peace in the classroom, playing fields and community all the way to national and global situations.
Showing too, that NZ could be a major global innovator to restore world peace, by embedding the Cool Schools program beyond the 2,000 schools that presently teach it to the rest of NZ’s schools and then exporting it with fully trained ‘ NZ Emissaries and Ambassadors’ to visit other countries, live alongside them and show them these easy to learn skills of peer mediation.
This may be one of NZ’s ‘ greatest social and mindful exports' of the 21st century. That Nuclear Free NZ could again become the moral compass for a planet of peace and a totally new paradigm.
Once this simple method of understanding is laid out - so that both parties comprehend how the situation started - that when through a simple process is understood and cleared - they let out a collective aha. In that moment of Yes! It changes - from what happened to what is possible - they end up high 5 - ing or fist bumps or shaking hands - hugs, - then on their way.
Where in our day in the 1950’s, 60s,& 70’ Chris (and myself) were never taught this at school, which fortunately, in the last 20 years has been introduced to over 2000 schools across NZ.
Naturally, the enthusiasm is to have NZ become a world leader in Peace-Making - having it languaged from the 'top of the Government apparatus being imperative’ and also up from the grassroots too. Bearing in mind we have to make peace with ourselves first.
The interview covers indigenous wisdom - that comes from the Aotearoan Maori Kaitiakitanga meaning guardianship and protection. That Kaitiaki means we are all guardians - and that we draw on the best of indigenous wisdom that maori have known for centuries.
At present, many countries are looking to NZ to find a ‘new model’ of how to live in community and as a country, because the current fragmenting neo-liberal economic system is not working.
Two great Maori leaders, Te Whiti o Rongomai and his uncle Tohu of Parihaka who living on the seaward slopes of Mt Taranaki here in NZ are seen as a non-violent, peaceful model and way of living and being. That there is anecdotal evidence that they inspired both Gandhi, as well as Martin Luther King. So this is a very compelling story from the heart of NZ. That in the 1880’s government troops invaded and destroyed their pa and marae, (group living area) arresting hundreds of maori and destroying and dispersing the whole village.
From a standpoint of The Peace Foundation, of bringing goodwill and harmony to our daily lives, the importance of Peer Mediation in schools is a win win win situation for all concerned. The result being, there are less problems in classrooms and in the playground - teens get on better - warmer relationships, less family violence in the home that ends up later in life with fewer divorces - and a calmer more coherent neighbourhood.
With the possibility now to teach Leadership through Peer Mediation stats show that classroom learning improves - with higher grades, classroom behaviour improves, plus more tolerance becomes evident as well.
The Cool schools program is a superb NZ first and need encouragement at all levels of civil society.
At present, The Peace Foundation has a CrowdSourcing campaign to take Peer Mediation into 160 NZ schools and then to the whole country. This would also include an understanding of Kaupapa Maori (a principle or policy) and then upon the success of this project take this overseas to other countries and spread not only to the world but bring about peace in all its inherent manifestations.
That when New Zealanders ‘kiwis’ go for their OE (Overseas Experience) they be ‘Peace Ambassadors’ as they will be totally skilled and equipped to solve areas of dispute and ‘reconcile opposing points' of view.
By doing this in such an honourable way, it will increase the knowing that what is being taught in NZ schools is a major gift and asset to peaceful coexistence especially in a world that is crying out for peace and goodwill.
The fact that the NZ government used to have a Minister of Disarmament - that was initiated by the Labour Government, speaks volumes of the past, but in 2012, the present National Government axed this bold intuitive.
However, it all comes back to the core of our being - that we need to live in harmony with our inner selves - as an extension of global family.
That David Lange the NZ Labour Prime Minister in 1987 wanted a Nuclear Free planet, but could not export this ideal, because our food exports were left sitting on overseas docks, especially in France and not moving. So to keep our farmers financial, our PM had to rescind the desire to export this noble ideal. NZ was blackmailed!
One big question for the MSM - Main Stream Media - why do they relegate ‘Peace & Love’ as being basically ‘dirty’ or even obscene words when in fact they most probably are the highest words in the human lexicon?
This is a very passionate interview with high ideals, that will inspire those who want to be the change in the world we want to see.