Dear Joshua,

As I’ve read the advice and insights from your books and e-mails, I find that I resonate with some things and push back against others. I guess that’s to be expected when the ideas are so “radical,” as your latest book title suggests, but I would still like to get some greater clarity, especially since I see so much truth in your wisdom.

I can get on board with the “nothing is wrong” philosophy. I came to that perspective on my own many years ago and it’s been very helpful. Instead, I believe that there is just effective and ineffective, supportive or destructive. For instance, I don’t think it’s wrong for someone to row upstream, but if their desired outcome is to be downstream somewhere, then that seems like an ineffective approach.

If the rower is me, then the answer is easy–turn around! But what if the rower is a loved one or, more particularly, my child? You have said that it is never appropriate to offer guidance or input of any kind to another human being–regardless of your relationship–because to do so would be to try to force one person’s limiting beliefs on another, which we can’t do because we each have our own unique vibration.

To continue the metaphor, if I provide gentle, human-to-human counsel to the upstream rower, explaining the concept of flow in a way that they can better understand, that seems to me to be an act of love–especially if the rower is my child. If the only way to learn lessons is by doing– instead of from the experiences of others –then that seems like ignoring the greatest asset of human civilization: cooperative learning.

If my wife and I establish logical and rational guidelines for my son to follow, that seems like a perfect lesson for the world that he will face outside of our care. You have said that it’s a fallacy that parents “know more” than the child–we have nothing to teach because our experience is unique to us. But that doesn’t seem to match with the record of human (or mammalian for that matter) history. We follow inner clues of instinct (and perhaps other higher laws, as you have pointed out) to guide us through life, but we also rely very much on the experiences of others in order to thrive.

You have also said that any guidance is against the laws of the universe, that children should be left to do “what’s best for them in every moment.” Even if a child may eventually learn that rowing upstream is counterproductive (or that drugs are bad, or that seat belts save lives), why should he be forced to learn every lesson the hard way? Experience is a cruel teacher. It seems to me that aligning with the natural parent-child bond and allowing that relationship to flourish in a loving, caring way, free from judgment and unreasonable restrictions, is in perfect harmony with the law of attraction.

Why should we feel like we are making our children “wrong” for simply requiring them to follow simple rules? Rules are a mandatory component of every ecosystem–even nature. The main tenet of your teachings is an extremely rigid rule: the “law” of attraction.

Why is it wrong to hold our children accountable for their actions? The child attracts the outcome into his life by failing to follow the rules that were set in advance. Even if we as parents err in our guidance from time to time, that gives the child the opportunity to question authority while still respecting it, which seems like a superb life lesson.

It seems to me that if a parent doesn’t teach the lesson, then the lesson will still be taught; it just won’t be the lesson the child needs. Failing to hold him accountable to agreed-upon rules (like “if you want to use the car you have to keep it clean,” or “you can get that puzzle down if you put it back when you’re done”) is teaching him that integrity is unimportant and rules don’t apply to him.

Isn’t there empirical evidence all around us showing that spoiling children (as you recommend) tends to lead to unhappy and unfulfilled lives for them? They develop a sense of entitlement and believe that they are exempt from the rules of polite society. That’s fine if they want to live in a monastery or on a desert island, but it leaves them ill-prepared for a world that doesn’t share their ego-centric views.

Are you really saying that parents should never provide structure, rules, guidance, boundaries, etc. for our children? At what age would you recommend that this laissez-faire approach begin?

If it’s OK to teach my child not to stick a fork in the light socket, then how I am to stand back and watch him engage in other behaviors I know from experience to be destructive to his wellbeing (hitting people, doing drugs, not wearing a seat belt, stealing)? Where is this line drawn?

Finally, does the law of attraction contradict the law of nature (instinct, nurturing, etc.) or am I misunderstanding one or both of these laws?

I would really appreciate your clarification on some of these points.


Dear Bruce,

We will start with a few basic ideas. Your son was born into the world as a being of pure positive love. He made certain intentions before embarking on this physical journey. He intended to experience physical reality with joy and freedom and love. He had many such general intentions and a one or more specific intentions, but mostly he came here to experience reality and expand in the process. He also intended to live life as who he really is.

When one is existing in physical reality, a larger part of that person is also simultaneously existing in the nonphysical realm. This part of the person is called their inner self and the inner self is fully aware of the person in every moment. You have an inner self and your son has an inner self. Your inner self guides you based on the specifics of your unique life and intentions and your son’s inner self guides him based on his unique like and set of intentions.

It is not possible for you to guide another only because you cannot know what the other person has come here to explore and exactly how that must play out for him. Everyone is unique and all who come to this form of reality do so with purpose and intention. You cannot create in another’s reality, but you can and do have an affect on people. Your powers of influence are great and that is especially true when it comes to your son.

Now, let’s imagine that your son was completely free from the influence of you and all others in your society. We understand that this idea is just a concept and is not possible, but play with us for a bit and follow the thought. If your son was free from outside influences, then he would be guided by his inner self alone. He would live a balanced life by experiencing the inner world of his thoughts, feelings, emotions, and imagination in equal measure to the experience of the outer world through his five physical senses. He would experience the joy and contrast this world has to offer and he would create what was preferred by going inward and listening to the guidance that was being offered by his inner being. He would live life as he intended, although he would not be free of contrast, for this is what allows him to pick and choose what is desired.

When you attempt to guide your son to or away from certain aspects of physical life, you do so without having the insight and understanding that his inner self possesses. You come with your own judgement of good or bad, right or wrong. You come with a built-in survival instinct to protect your child. You come with your own set of very strong desires based on your childhood experience and what you have learned of the world from your unique perspective. From this very heavily-weighted stance, you believe you know what is right and good and what is wrong or bad. But you must understand that all these feelings you have are unique to you and relevant to you, but have not relevancy to anyone else but you. Everyone else has their own unique perspective based on their unique experience of physical reality. This is how the system was designed.

We will tell you that your son specifically chose you as his parents and he chose the time of his birth. This set him on a trajectory that had the most probability of fulfilling his intentions. Your unique perspective on raising a child, on living life, your unique relationship with your wife, the location of your home, your work environment, your specific personality and belief systems were all part of your son’s trajectory. Our communication with you was part of this trajectory as well. Your son’s vibration now is perfectly aligned with fulfilling his intended purpose and exploration of physical reality in this lifetime. Everything he wants is filling in just as he intended. It will continue to do so without your influence.

All you can really do is influence him away from his intended path. You can’t influence him toward it because you don’t know what it is. We can’t tell you what it is because that would influence you to inappropriately influence him. You are likely to think his path is wrong, since it would not be right for you. You might disagree with the way he intends to explore this reality, but it is right for him. Your parents may have tried to influence you away from the way you intended to explore this reality. They may have thought that you were going about it in the wrong way. They may have wanted you to be something different than you are so that they would feel better.

You will want your child to grow up happy and free from pain. You will want to make his life easier. You might feel bad when he experiences contrast. You might want to shelter him from contrast, but contrast is always part of the path. Without contrast, he cannot become who he really is. Until he moves along the path of becoming who he really is, he will be operating counter to his intentions.

So, as a conscious parent, what are you to do? You are to follow your guidance from your inner self because you have a very strong desire for your son to experience life in a way that serves who he really is. You are more conscious in this regard than anyone you know and almost any other parent on the planet. Your son knew this going in. He chose you. It doesn’t mean that you should guide him. It means that you must think of what is really going on here. You must suspend your judgement as much as you can and allow things to unfold. It might look messy and uncomfortable, but it’s all part of the process. If you can remain true to who you really are while allowing your son the freedom to explore reality as he chooses, then you will have fulfilled you purpose as a parent and you can find joy in that.

The more you allow your son the freedom to find his own way, the faster he will arrive on his true path. However, time is an illusion and if your son bounces around trying to live up to your ideals before he finds his true path, then that is fine too. You can do no wrong as a parent and your intentions for his joy will be what helps him find joy. You are a freedom seeking being and so is your son. Give him a little freedom to explore this world and you give him the greatest gift there is.

You are loved more than you could imagine.