Joe Marshalla Exclusive Pt 2

 “This is why I’m alive, so bring it on…”

Part one of our wonderful, wide-ranging conversation with the renowned spiritual teacher Dr Joe Marshalla is here.

Part two covers political and social change, death experiences, parenting, science, holotropic thinking and ‘insanity’. Without further ado, here’s part two of your exclusive introduction to Joe Marshalla, our man in Hawaii…

Politics, Society and Maintaining Energy

UDL: Can you give an example of involvement in political or social campaigns that you’ve managed to navigate without it depleting your vital energy?

JM: In the last three years I’ve lived in Hawaii, and it’s the largest open-air biological and chemical test site in the world. The Hawaiian Islands have been declared a sacrifice zone, so if one of the experiments goes wrong, it’s in the middle of the ocean away from population centres. So new GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are being developed by Dow, Monsanto, BASF, Pioneer…everybody’s here.

I wrote a law, and in the US citizens can get enough signatures to force a vote on a petition. It had never happened in the state of Hawaii before. We wanted a temporary moratorium until it was proved that the experiments weren’t damaging the environment. Pretty simple. But for every $10,000 we spent, they spent $2 million.

They spent $15-$20 million to try to defeat us, but we won. I went up against the beast and beat him. We’re one step before the supreme court now, if we have to go there to win.

I wrote the law and directed the campaign against all the propaganda. Everything it was built on was to be for something not against something. We were for children, for protection of the land. We weren’t against GMOs and Monsatan (sic). The basic communication style was: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. The truth isn’t any truer if you yell it.

We came from the heart and from Aloha.


Anyway, they didn’t know how to deal with love. Violence, anger and rage, they can use that to marginalise the cause. We also proved the contamination of the islands, we had the facts too.

The key element is transmutation, being for something. Stop calling people up and start calling them in.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

The Human Function

UDL: That sounds like a very Yin approach, helping, sustaining and growing. Could you say more?

JM: I’ve had several death experiences, one of 12 hours when I had a stroke. I was laying there with all these tubes in me and I thought ‘OK I’m back’ but it got me asking myself: ‘What for?’

Every being has a purpose, every microbe, insect, plant serves a function. What’s the function of a human life in the biosphere? The only thing I could come up with that for myself seemed halfway reasonable was that my function is to uplift and nurture all life. I believe that is the function of all of us. From there, whether you write a law or start a social movement or whatever, that is your function, not to rip somebody else off or gather more and more or beat some competition. Continue reading

Child’s play: Attachment Theory in Practice

By Lucy Wright for Urban Dandy

In my capacity as a family support worker I often get asked which are the best toys to teach children to speak, read, write and reach other various developmental milestones such as knowing shapes, colours, numbers and being able to read.

I get met with a mixture of mistrust, confusion and occasionally interest when I suggest that just giving their children the opportunity to explore, play, get messy, make choices and mistakes in equal measure will arm them with a plethora of skills for life.

I feel sad as both a parent and professional that we feel a societal pressure to live by results and achievements even when bringing up our own children and sometimes forfeit making our children feel reassured and loved for conforming to societies expectations of parents.


Prescriptive Approach

I’ve watched hundreds of parents, including myself actually ending up controlling, bribing, guilt-tripping, belittling, shaming, not listening to, threatening and humiliating out of a misplaced desire to achieve with their children. We aim to get to an end result instead of relishing and learning from the process. Continue reading

Let Your Children Melt Into You

The case of the seven year old child, Yamato Tanooka, left in a forest by his parents, was widely covered by the international media. The child was hospitalised after spending six nights alone, sheltering in a hut and drinking water from a tap outside.

Yamato was abandoned by his parents as punishment for throwing stones in the car. His father was already unhappy with the boy for getting in to trouble at school. “I tried to show him that I can be scary when I’m seriously angry” he said.

Shocking stuff but not that surprising when you pause to think of the punitive measures meted out to young children every day in our schools and homes. The parenting style used by Yamato’s parents represented an extreme case of what has become normal in western societies.



Parenting ‘experts’

Phoney celebrity parenting ‘experts’ like Kathryn Mewes (‘Three Day Nanny’) and Jo Frost (‘Supernanny’) have helped popularise the idea that children need to be punished in order for their behaviour to be corrected.

What this really amounts to is punishment of children until they conform to what adults want. This can produce short-term results, with a child expelled from the classroom and a lesson resuming, or a child sent to their bedroom so that an adult can concentrate on what they are doing.

But any immediate result is offset by detrimental long-term consequences. Popular methods, including time outs, the naughty step and withdrawal of treats give the message that the child is not acceptable as they are. Continue reading