The Owl of Holistic Education

Ba Luvmour: 

To my mind, David Marshak is the owl of holistic education. Indefatigable, alert, attentive educator, mentor to many fine educators. Encyclopedic historian, David’s hand print is all over the holistic education landscape. His book, The Common Vision, helped legitimize spirituality as integral to holistic education. His extensive experience, starting in a New England prison in the ’70s, to helping found and then accepting the first presidency of SelfDesign Graduate Institution, with a long professorship at Seattle University in between, reveal a person able to listen, participate, and impart wisdom to those he touches. Like I said, an owl.

To Be an Evolutionary

To be an Evolutionary means to reach out beyond the edges of what has already occurred, to see oneself as journeying into uncreated territory…[Today] Evolutionaries are part of a larger movement—a fledging, unstructured, diverse movement but one with great cultural promise and significance.


Carter Phipps, Evolutionaries


What they learned was what was interesting to them

Robert Gilman: 

With the patterns that both my kids went through, what they learned was largely what was interesting to them. We trusted them in learning what was interesting to them, although it didn’t follow the standard curriculum. Yet whenever they were tested relative to the standard curriculum, they did remarkably well. So I would say for parents to just be very relaxed. If your kids are interested in their lives, then they’re likely learning what they really need to learn. And even if they wind up being behind in some particular area, their “learning how to learn” skills will be so good that they’ll just catch right up.

What is evolution?




the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.


Darwinism, natural selection

“early ecologists were not interested in evolution”

the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.

“the forms of written languages undergo constant evolution”


development, advancement, growth, rise, progress, progression, expansion, extension, unfolding;

 Ongoing movement into a more complex form


In his recent book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science’s Great Idea, Carter Phipps gives the name “evolutionary” to those who promote an understanding that evolution is taking place both in the biological domain and, more rapidly, in human consciousness. Given this latter insight into the nature of evolution, everyone who parents with evolutionary consciousness is an “evolutionary,” as is every child and teen who is the recipient of such parenting.

Evolutionary Parenting is a Win-Win Opportunity

Evolutionary Parenting is a Win-Win Opportunity

As a parent, I don’t expect you to think first about the evolution of the human species. Your primary focus is on the well-being of your child/ren, of course. 

 What I am saying to you as conscientious and conscious parents is that all that you do to nurture the unfoldment of your child/ren as their own persons, as the unique human beings they are, also supports the evolution of consciousness for all humans on the Earth. 

 It’s a win-win-win opportunity. Your child/ren wins because she/he is nurtured to unfold all of the potentials that she/he has within her/his being. You win because you experience and appreciate the unfoldment of your child/ren. All life forms on Earth win because the more evolved the consciousness of more humans is, the more likely it becomes that we will learn to live well on this planet in harmony with all of the other natural systems the Earth has already manifested. 

 This is the longer-term view. The moment-to-moment view for you as a parent is to unfold and deepen your own consciousness of your child/ren as a being with an inner teacher who has knowledge of your child/ren’s needs at every moment—and of your capacity both to provide freedom for the expression of the inner teacher’s organismic wisdom and to insure appropriate safety for your child. 

 This is inevitably challenging and complex—but the more you engage with this challenge, the more you will be able to meet it.