THIS is from a news article released on Reuters yesterday:

"About one in 88 children in the United States has autism or a related disorder, the highest estimate to date and one that is sure to revive a national argument over how the condition is diagnosed and treated. The estimate released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention represents an overall increase of about 25 percent since the last analysis in 2006 and a near-doubling of the rate reported in 2002. Among boys, the rate of autism spectrum disorders is one in 54, almost five times that of girls, in whom the rate is one in 252."

Here on FPL and on other blogs, I have debated with parents and medical professionals about the causes of autism before. Many took umbrage with my position that we shouldn't ignore environmental factors, including the infant-mother relationship, when trying to understand what causes the so-called "disorder." Since Bruno Bettelheim wrote his landmark book, "LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH," on the subject sixty years ago, parents and doctors have tried to figure out the cause of autism, and the theories have abounded, from genetics to toxic vaccines to leaking plastic water bottles.

Well, guilt-ridden parents (and parents in denial) take heart - there's another theory out there, and it is... out there!

This other theory asks the question simply:

"What if autism isn't a disorder at all?"

What if - take a breath - what we are mistakenly referring to as a disability is actually an evolutionary advance for humankind?

That's where the new series, "TOUCH," comes in. In the show, a young "autistic" boy, David Mazouz, the son of a bewildered single father, played by Keifer Sutherland, doesn't speak, is obsessed with numbers and doesn't want to be physically touched, typical signs of what we diagnose as autism. But the boy also has a gift - he can predict, through numbers, events that will take place in other people's lives, and in so doing, alter their course and the course of humanity for the better.

The concept of the series may be novel for network TV, but it is not unheard of. The various sources of channeled information that I often reference on FPL from time to time have frequently talked about the recent generations of human beings being born on planet Earth as coming in with fuller awareness of who they are as spiritual/extraterrestrial beings and with abilities to see beyond the veil of the 3-dimensional space-time continuum as we think of it.

Okay, for some of you, I may be too far off the rails here. Challenging the traditions, dogma and behavior of parents, doctors, teachers and politicians is one thing, but autism as a sign of otherworldly abilities?! Well, the truth is, the world of entertainment, which is mainly an expression of our imagination, is always ahead of mainstream science and conventional wisdom. Human beings were traveling to the moon in movies decades before it actually happened. Einstein himself once said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

So, maybe Touch is onto something. Maybe it, like many shows on TV, going back 50 years to the original Star Trek, is actually channeled information coming to us in an entertaining way to ease us into the new, expanded realities.

Anyway, does this let parents and doctors off the hook for causing autism? Well, sort of but not exactly. It just demonstrates that whatever a soul comes in to experience and accomplish, it will choose the parents who will help set up the conditions necessary for said task. You see, the beauty of the universe is that everything - everything - is material for the growth and expansion of who we are.


"Now comes a third major phase on this path....for those who have already gained the necessary overall understanding about their inner problems...This stage is very important...a very important step forward, my friends. [The love force] is a basic current in the universe. It moves you to give out, to communicate, to rise above the little self which considers itself the center of all things, but which is actually but part of a stupendous whole. Your real self never considers you as the ultimate end. When you reach the height of that which you are capable of being, you no longer see and experience life within the confines of your restricting, separating barriers. You find union with all people. You feel, you experience, and you think in an entirely different way than before. You have become a different person, while yet remaining essentially the same individual."
(Excerpted from Pathwork Guide Lecture #75: "The Great Transition")

To: "Aliveindarknlight" On: the Narcissistic & Sociopathic Character Structures

"Aliveindarknlight" wrote:

"Thank-you for this wonderful blog on Character Structure! You're blog on the Schizoid Structure is one of the most in-depth descriptions I've come across yet. Great job and Thank-you again!
PS: I'm wondering if you could post a blog about the Narcissistic & Sociopathic Character Structures? I have some information on both, but it's rather limited. It would be great to read this kind of detail applied to those structures!"


If you do a search in the upper left box here, you will find many posts on narcissism & the Sociopathic Character Structure.

Thanks for your comment and for reading FPL!


"We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us."
(Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson)


I love these quotes, and others that I've posted on the subject from time to time, because "rejection" is one of those insidious illusions that plague so many of us. You see, there really is no such thing as rejection in the way that we think of it. When we put forth an idea or demonstrate a talent, it is not for the purpose of getting something, but rather to give something that is in us to give. When you understand that, every "audition" is actually just part of your search for the right home or venue for your offering.

CLICK HERE and enjoy!


Just a reminder - reality is not only better than fantasy; reality is all there is. Ruminating on the past or worrying about the future is nothing more than distracting your full presence from the present, and the present is what you're creating continuously from scratch in every moment.

"A2person" on: "I Just Wish He Would Have An Affair!"/PL Responds!

Here's A2person:

I recently had a lengthy dialogue with a friend and mentor of mine about this very subject. Married to his wife for over 20 years, he described to me a sort of cyclical process of falling in and falling-out of love. "While I always *love* my wife, I am not always in-love with her," was how he phrased it and he went on to describe the cycle in which the two of them continually fall in-love and fall out-of-love only to fall in-love once again, and how they have built their relationship by enduring, accepting and celebrating this overall cycle together. This approach suggests that people are perhaps too hasty to end a relationship when eros/in-loveness initially fades. Moreover, it suggests that a capacity for a long term partnership is the ability to respect and care for a person during those inevitable troughs of "out-of-loveness." I'm wondering if you had any comment on this approach. There is, on one end of the continuum, a 'staying-in-a-relationship-long-past-the-expiration-of-eros' problem; but are there not also problems of impatience, seeking instant gratification, and premature romantic endings at the firs sign of trouble? (Especially for us me-me-me, now-now-now Millennials, it’s challenging to discern the difference!)

Here's PL:

Indeed, A2, Eros, like all the great forces of nature, has "tides," "currents," "surges," even "seasons," as such, and yes, there are times when it may seem to ebb. However, as the excellent Pathwork Guide Lecture on this subject makes clear, it is holding back from revealing yourself to your loved one, and/or believing there is no more to discover about your partner-in-love, that leads to the constriction of Eros.

Falling in love, that "free sample" of Eros as I have come to call it, is something that most people can experience. Staying in love, however, requires a determined level of self-work in order to facilitate the continuing personal self-revelation and the willingness to explore another needed to maintain Eros.

We are human, magnificent, true, but all works in progress, and so we are inclined at times to shut the door to our inner lives and to the person we love. If two people are truly in love, though, they will inevitably, and sooner rather than later, re-open the door to Eros. What your friend and mentor is describing as "falling in and out of love," for example, I would call opening and closing the door to the Eros that has always been there. On the other hand, if Eros is truly gone between two people, it is gone, and in my experience and observation, usually for good, even if there is a fair amount of love between them.

It is the last reality that human beings find so hard to accept, and as I pointed out in my original post, it is why so many people experience the endings of a relationship with anger, trauma and drama, or why people linger in passionless relationships.

Valuable and important question, A2. Thank you!

"I Just Wish He Would Have An Affair!" (More on the Pursuit of Eros!)

You can find the article with the above title, written by Monique Honaman, HERE, and of course you can find many blog post by me on this subject on the FPL blog Just do a search for "Eros" or "marriage" or "affair."

Here's the response I left for Monique:

Thank you for posting this, Monique.
Not only do I have an "opinion" about this subject, I have written about it often on my blog, and talked about it in the work that I do as a psychotherapist and teacher.

"Eros" - that "in-love" feeling that makes everything in life feel so wonderful - is a very powerful emotional force, perhaps the most powerful force human beings can experience. But here's the thing - like all of the great forces of nature, we cannot really control it.

Most people accept the fact that we can fall in love, that Eros strikes unexpectedly, often when we aren't even consciously seeking it, often with a person we might not otherwise imagine ourselves being with. That's why we use the word "falling" when describing the phenomenon.

Yet, few are as equally willing to accept that we can fall out of love in the same way we fall in love - unexpectedly and for no apparent reason.

This unwillingness unfortunately causes people to stay in relationships that have long-since lost their passion - and you are right, Monique, that's bad for them and bad for the kids - or it leads to people breaking up badly, i.e. - cheating on your partner as a way of seeking Eros elsewhere.

Yes, we very much need to change the "'till death do us part" syndrome and trsut the forces of love-Eros-and-sex at both ends of the journey.
Thanks, Monique!
Peter Loffredo, LCSW

Shakamazar on: "I Just Wish He Would Have An Affair!"/PL Responds!

Here's Shakamazar:

As I understand it -We all CREATE our own reality- which means we are creating these experiences for a reason -nothing is random or coincidence and nothing is "taken" from us without our consent. If your explanation were true - "Unexpectedly and for no apparent reason" - wouldn't it stand to reason that the person in question is living an unconscious life - at best? It seems to describe an adult deep in denial about their own intentions and with little or no self-reflection and no sense of their own ability to make choices. I echo these words... "Choice, choice, choice." Choices, we all have them, every moment of every day, we make them, unconsciously or consciously. It's your choice. If you were to release any judgement or guilt and just let yourself be OK with falling in or out of love- couldn't it then be OK to consider the fact that we have chosen to do so?

Here's PL:

Indeed, Shakamazar, if one has done the self-work necessary to become conscious of the movement of powerful forces like Eros through one's life on a day to day basis, one would be less likely to be "taken" by surprise by the shifts in such forces. The question often asked is: If you have done the self-work required so that you are willing to continue revealing yourself to yourself and to your love partner, and he or she is willing to do the same, shouldn't Eros last indefinitely?

The answer, according to the Guide of the Pathwork Guide lectures, is: Yes, but not necessarily.

Eros serves a purpose - to bring two incarnate souls together who have agreed to unite for a period of time for a specific purpose. Yes, it is true that by refusing to pursue the processes of self-revelation and discovery, one can prematurely bring Eros to an end, leaving a desired soul task incomplete.

That being said, however, if the self-revelation efforts continue in earnest between both parties, it still is possible that Eros may run its course before the lifetime has completed. Thus, the falling out of love experience.

In the later case, however, the ending would be mutually agreed upon in a state of love and harmony, not in anger or crashing disappointment, as is so often the case when the mission has been "aborted" through refusal to do the self-work. A couple who have stayed the course of self-revelation and discovery, but nonetheless have run out the course of Eros, will let go of their prior relationship with the love remaining. This can be an extraordinarily beautiful occurrence.

Thank you, Shakamazar, for your very thoughtful comment.


"Inherent in man are evolutionary constructive forces, which urge him to realize his given potentialities, that man by his very nature and of his own accord, strives toward self-realization, and that his values evolve from such striving. With such a belief in an autonomous striving toward self-realization, we do not need an inner straight jacket with which to shackle our spontaneity, nor the whip of inner dictates to drive us to perfection. There is no doubt that such disciplinary methods can succeed in suppressing undesirable factors, but there is also no doubt that they are injurious to our growth. We do not need them because we see a better possibility of dealing with destructive forces in ourselves: that of actually outgrowing them. The way toward this goal is an ever increasing awareness and understanding of ourselves."
(Karen Horney)



"Babyccinos, Espresso For Kids, A Popular Choice For Brooklyn Parents"

Enough said?!


Dr. William Sears is perhaps the most vocal advocate of what is referred to as "attachment parenting." Sears coined the term and apparently actress Mayim Bialik, thinks it's all that. (Bialik currently appears as Amy Farrah Fowler on "The Big Bang Theory.")

Where do I begin? As a psychotherapist for over 30 years, working with families, couples and children, I have to land firmly on the side against what should accurately be called the "Family Bed Syndrome."

From day one, the progression of a child's development is from symbiosis (the stage of complete psychological merging with the mother) to autonomy (the stage that begins in earnest at around one year and continues these days into early adulthood). While it is true that emotional and physical deprivation and a lack of healthy connection with a loving caretaker (usually the mother) during the first years of life will interfere with the development of healthy independence, it is equally true, and more common in today's "Park Slope Parents," that over-attachment between mother and child, and continued over-involvement by parents in the child's developmental process, prevents healthy individuation, as well, sometimes in ways that are more difficult to treat. Primary narcissism, the result of over-investment by a parent in a child in the early years, is one of the most virulent and resistant types of disorders faced in psychotherapy.

Sorry, but Mayim Bialik doesn't have a clue.


Check out the slew of angry replies I got to my comment on the Huffington Post about the problems with "Attachment Parenting" yesterday HERE, then read my response to the angry parent below:

"To all of the parents who responded to my comments about what I referred to as the 'Family Bed Syndrome' by telling me how clueless I am and how happy their kids are, I would inform you that it is from your kids that I receive my information. I have been working with your kids, many of them now adults, for 30+ years, and one of the diagnostic signs for how difficult the treatment process is going to be is when they start out telling me in the first session how 'close' they were to their parents in childhood, or how their mom or dad was their 'best friend,' or was the 'greatest person in the world,' etc. I learned this over the years from them. I didn't go into this profession with a bias against parents, and sorry, but it's not a coincidence that all of the angry responses I received were from said self-proclaimed 'great parents,' none from the 'happy kids,' though I'm sure you could cajole them to write in to support you.
Listen, I'm not implying that your intentions towards your children were malicious; I'm saying that what kids need more than anything else is for their parents to be self-actualized and fulfilled in their own outer lives, separate from their kids. Love and enmeshment are not the same thing."


Here's WWJJD to PL:

Attachment Parenting and Co-sleeping does NOT mean that you and your child are "Best Friends". In fact, I can't stand it when people say they are Best Friends with their children, you are a Parent, not a can be friends later when they are adults. I really think there is this huge confusion between being an Attachment Parent and a Helicopter Parent. All the children I have met that have had parents that practice some form of AP have amazing, well adjusted, wonderful kids. One couple we know says they do AP, but it is WAY more of a hovering and suffocating form of parenting. The mainstream parents that I know also have good kids, but they do seem to be the type of parent that hovers over their child instead of letting them just "BE".
I agree that Love and enmeshment are not the same thing and Attachment Parenting does not and is not about that at all.
I am going to look at your website because I like another well thought out opinion, but I really think there needs to be a clarification between AP and Helicopter type parenting, they are not the same.

Here's PL:

Dear WWJJD - Thank you for your very thoughtful responses to my posts. Ultimately, intention is everything, and the clarity and genuineness of one's intentions are always a function of how self-aware and connected the person in question is to their own feelings and inner life. That being the case, the essence of good parenting doesn't reside in a particular technique or theory, but rather in the above-mention state of being. "Attachment Parenting," or any other "method" of parenting, in the hands of a person who is not self-actualized will be a cause of later dysfunction in the life of the offspring raised under those circumstances. The problems may not show up in full force until adulthood when relationship, career, or mental/emotional issues appear, but show up they will. You may be right, WW, that AP is not in and of itself a faulty concept, but there are a lot of "as-if" parents out there, trying to superimpose an approach or idea over their own unmet psychological and emotional needs, and that is always at the expense of their children.
Thanks for checking out my blog. Love to hear more from you.
Peter Loffredo, LCSW


ANONYMOUS wrote in a response to this comment by "sofarfrome" to PL on the Huffintgon Post:

Here's sofarfrome: “Are you still a psychotherapist? If so perhaps you should consider retiring. Experts like you give experts a bad name."

Here's ANONYMOUS: "Hey Professor Expert Tiger Dad,
Thanks for all the great laughs this morning. It has been a real treat.
If you retire, where are some of these perfect kids going to go in 10 years when their skulls are exploding and marriages failing?
I can only deduce that "sofarfrome" is in reference to one of her special ones moving 'far away from Mommy'.
Wow, wow, holy cow you really poked the hornets nest this time.
Thanks again for what will be at least an entire weekend of laughs for my girlfriend and I.
Keep on truckin'
PS I have already answered my own question from above. Please disregard. I am sure all of these "great kids" have great jobs and great doctors who are more than willing to prescribe them plenty of great legal drugs to get them through their not so great days and sexless nights."

Repost: TODAY'S "How to Be Amazing When You Suck at Everything" QUOTE!

"I did some reevaluating of my life and realized that the reason I was failing at everything I touched was because it wasn't in my destiny to do them. I found that I had to force myself to work jobs everyone else told me I'd be good at. Stuffing myself in the same box that the people who didn't believe in me stuffed me in. I was trying to be something that I wasn't to please people who didn't give a $@!* about me anyway.
So I made the decision to live my life according to what was going to make ME the happiest."
Tiphani N. Montgomery (Bestselling Author)


Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies in a blog called Inspiration and Chai, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."

Here are the top five regrets of the dying, as witnessed by Ware:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.


In Italy, Parmesan Used as Collateral for Bank Loans!

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