Insights and Healing with Patrick Moore


“Not Even Music”

On two different occasions a college professor rejected my work, in front of the class.

Along with math, I chose to take several semesters of music theory. In the final weeks of my last music theory class, the kindly youngish professor had invited his own music theory professor to come to our school for two things: a performance of his own compositions at the music hall, and a visit to our music theory class to have a listen to our compositions.

In the first semester I learned the rules of counterpoint and in this semester we created one-page compositions. I worked on my composition in one of the second story piano practice rooms of the lovely old music building designed in 1909. My composition was influenced by a feeling or emotion that I felt or wanted to feel.

When the famous composer came to our class, a few brave students handed their sheet music to him. He set each one on the piano stand and sight-read it, playing on the piano. Then he gave his comments. After seeing a few other students receive this feedback, I must have felt it would be okay to share mine. He played it and then looked at me sternly. “This isn’t even music,” he said as he handed it back to me. I was shocked, stunned, and perhaps I swallowed some other emotions in there somewhere.

I was thinking I might become a musician but I believe this moment shifted my direction in life (I became a construction worker instead, not really by choice but default). I believe I am better off for not having become a musician/composer at that time. So maybe that rejection turns out to have been a synchronicity. However, decades later I realized the chord progression I had written is similar to a part of a song by Jean-Luc Ponty and to part of a song intro on a live Earth, Wind & Fire recording. Apparently what I wrote was music!

If this were the only example of my professors rejecting my work in a personal way, I might have forgotten or buried it in my mind.

When I later attended graduate school for math, I chose to take a 400/500 level creative writing class. The professor was a published author with a couple books out. (I just checked Amazon and she now has thirteen novels to her name, including a pushcart prize.) The first story I wrote for the class was a day-in-the-life of myself as a carpenter’s helper. I called it The Refinery, sort of ironic given no refinement existed in the story–certainly the three characters were quite unrefined. Following directions I printed ten copies of The Refinery and passed them around the table, to be critiqued by the following week by each student, the TA and the professor. The next week I received back ten copies, all with good comments and good suggestions from all but the professor, who wrote only “See me.” When I saw her, she said my story was not complete, that I would need to redo it. Why is it not complete? It did not have a plot, she said. I agreed it did not have a plot, but did that make it unacceptable? I did not rewrite the story, which probably irritated her. I just couldn’t bring myself to rewrite something for reasons I did not agree with, when the other nine people seemed to find value in it. Nearly forty years later I have begun reading Steinbeck, and I find The Refinery resembles the style of his beautiful descriptions of grimy details and hard luck of the working class.

It came time for my second story, called Porous. This story had a plot but I admit it was a little fantasy or magic but set in the present day, so it wouldn’t fit a genre. The plot was that a young protagonist (much like myself) lived in a house with 5 guys, one of whom had a seawater aquarium. The friend told me the spiny starfish is unlike a regular fish. He is porous, so the seawater simply flows through him. He does not need a barrier to keep his own blood from the outside. The seawater acted as his blood to circulate what needed to be circulated. Then there is a nuclear bomb that wipes out everyone. (This was 1986, still in the Cold War). Insects survived but no humans, except the protagonist. By the end of the story the protagonist learns to be porous, with respect to the radiation, and he is sort of remade or reharmonized by the bees. Again I printed ten copies and handed them out. The following week I arrived on time and received back nine copies of my work, all with nice comments (better than my first story) and good suggestions. The teacher was late. When she came in looking stern, she did not sit down but pointed at me and said, “You, I need to see you outside, now. Bring your things.” I followed her outside and she said my story was “Not even a story.” She was very upset and emotional and told me I was removed from her class for not following the instructions. She went in and I did not.

My musical composition was “Not even music.”

My story was “Not even a story.” Coincidence? What were professors thinking? Are they still that way?

My wife Traci had a similar experience with her senior photography project when she was in college also in the Eighties, but I’ll let her tell her own story..

 

The good part of this story is, while the musical rejection halted my progress as a composer, I did not stop writing.

A year after the 1986 story rejection, I printed off a dozen more copies of Porous and began sending them out. In 1989 while staying home with my newborn daughter I wrote a novel called Nonjudgment Day, in pen, in a spiral notebook. It was a dark comedy, following a group of evangelists who wanted to see the Messiah so badly that they were willing to instigate nuclear warheads against one of the major superpowers, which they would think were the enemy so they would retaliate, ending human life as we know it. Since the evangelists believed prophecy literally, they were certain this global destruction would bring about the second coming. Well, what happened surprised them. I can’t remember now, maybe some sort of embracing radiation perhaps like the Porous story I had written earlier, and some sort of forgiveness for the misguided terrorists who destroyed the world. In the style of Life of Brian.

By now I have (guessing) about a hundred short stories and novels begun, though none finished yet.

In 2015 I attended a writer’s conference and got an appointment to show six pages of a book idea to an agent. It blended short fables using wolves, coyotes and the cells in a tree as characters, with nonfiction about the power of group mind. The agent did not wait for me to speak but began a barrage of how my work would not fit any genre, and what was I thinking, and why was I wasting her time? 

This definitely put a damper on me showing my writing for a while. I was really inhibited after this third major rejection. I realized the group-mind book wasn’t really publishable, or not that way, or if I am going to write something there is no genre for, I need to be really resilient. I need to be able to handle rejection to be able to move forward as a writer–even aggressive rejection that sounds personal.

It took decades, and a couple years after the agent rejection but I am growing a sense of humor about it. Maybe by now, the rejections I have experienced as a music composer and writer are better for having happened that way. Or they soon will be.

One of the stories I am currently working on takes place at the first Writer’s Conference on the Moon. The teacher is a frustrated writer who had several number-one bestsellers of space-adventure-existential-comedy, and now he has writer’s block. He is on contract and owes his publisher one more book but he can’t do it, so they gave him an option to teach this writer’s workshop on the moon, to fulfill his contract…

MikeyDanLunaCwithSpeechBubbles

Advertisements


The Importance of Poor Performance

I wrote this in 2014 and the core message is still good so I gave it a refresh..

Before most workshops I worry that I may not perform well as a teacher. After the workshop is over, I am required to have students fill in a feedback form. Will I read them? Too often, I file these forms away, afraid to read them.

feedback form

 

A year passes. I prepare to teach the same workshop title again. Now, the purpose of the feedback forms is to improve the quality of education. So I really should dust off those feedback forms and read them before I teach the same title again. Do I brave my fear of looking back at student feedback forms and past handouts? Not in recent years. What am I so afraid of?

When I revise my handouts, or look at stories, articles and books I wrote two or more years prior, I usually gasp. I can’t believe I printed that, and handed it to people! What was I thinking? My older writing seems to expose me as arrogant or closed-minded. Because by “now” I think I am so much more enlightened. So I imagine students see me that way too, and I don’t want to look.

I might consider praying to God, or to a patron saint for teachers, asking the angels or getting a blessing from a shaman to guarantee my next teaching performance will be perfect. Wouldn’t that be nice? Resting in the certainty that I’ve got it covered?

In theory I understand that for one’s teaching to improve, there must be worse performances for it to improve from. This is the importance of poor performance. I realize that perfect teaching performances would mean the quality of teaching would never improve.

Some classes I teach, I do teach practically perfectly. As it is happening, and when it is over, I feel confident I did a great job. These times I do look at feedback forms, and I see mostly 10s. Then I feel self-satisfied. That feels good, right? Temporarily, yes, but there is a downside for me.

When I attend classes (which I must do to maintain my license just like everybody else), self-satisfied teachers really irritate me. My brain won’t let me have it both ways. Whenever I feel self-satisfied, my brain will give me a tinge of the judgment that I have applied toward those other self-satisfied teachers. Then I feel ashamed and guilty for being self-satisfied, because I judge that quality in other teachers.

Those irritating, perfect teachers demonstrate to students, Once you have “it,” like I do, you don’t need to learn any more. I see this a lot. There is an advertisement I have seen many times in massage magazines over several decades, showing a teacher doing his technique perfectly, and satisfied with his mastery. The photos of that teacher have stuck in my mind over two decades and whenever I see a new ad with that teacher I feel the irritating judgment all over again.

…As I wrote that last sentence I realize some of my photos show me being really knowledgeable, just like those aggravating photos of the other teacher. Again the shame of it! Arragh…

2004 Juneau rotator cuff

Teaching melting shoulder rotators in Juneau, Alaska 2004

In my first years teaching, I was trying, and maybe succeeding in perfectly performing the technique. Yay for me, but what about the students? My perfect demonstrations (of things that I had practiced thousands of times) made them feel they could not live up to the technique. Good for me, bad for students.

The irony I am seeing now is, my perfect performances, were at the same time poor performances. They were poor because they showed my arrogance (bad for me) and standards of knowledge and technique impossible for students to suddenly master (bad for students). So I do get to learn after all.

Some of the students from my first classes have kept in touch with me and attended again and again over the years. I wonder if they have seen my teaching improve from a self-satisfied teacher with perfect technique (all about me) to (something more useful for them)?

My poor performances become a good thing when I adjust them. Good for me, when I can be less arrogant. Good for students, when they get the message that, Yes I make mistakes, and you can too. Let’s experiment and be free to make mistakes and then let’s talk about the results because we will improve. The fact I was self-satisfied with my skills, by now is better for having happened that way

Now that I am thinking of this principle I guess it also applies to parenting and being a partner to my most favorite loved one. As I give myself permission to let it be a learning experience, I give others permission to also experiment and gain from mistakes.



Sunday Discovery Workshops

balance DSC_6715

 .. it is important to stay balanced … My wife Traci on her first fallen-log-creek-crossing

Sunday Workshop Series for Personal Discovery 

Upcoming workshop titles for everyone include:

  • Sociodrama
  • Life Lessons from Literature
  • Haiku in Nature
  • Writers Nonjudgmental Critique Group
  • Embracing Your Essence using the Seven Things
  • Exercising Your Intuition and Meeting Your Muse
  • Compassion–the Essence of Buddhism without the Rigmarole–Tong Len, Exchanging Self and Other and Beyond

Dates and times are always forming based on interest and in tune with synchronicity.

Please use the contact form at the bottom if you have questions or suggestions for a workshop including dates.

If you would like to sign up for my Personal Discovery Workshops Newsletter, please use this link: http://eepurl.com/bnuRZ9

  • Location: Patrick Moore Home Office near Tohono Chul Park, near Oracle Road and Ina, NW Tucson, AZ 85704. A small guest-house off the main house, with parking for ten people (photo at bottom).
  • Register by contacting Patrick (scroll down to use contact form at bottom)
  • Class size: 1-10 students.
  • Workshop Style: new information, nonjudgmental, safe environment to challenge yourself to be more than you have been. Solidifies your relationship with your essence through developing compassion, curiosity and other qualities. All workshops are mostly improvised to respond to the unique needs of those present that day.

The titles below are workshops I have taught for years to therapists for their continuing education, that I also allow non-therapists to attend. 

Equal-Power Partnerships at Work and Home

When I was young my Dad always told me, for any two people, one will be dominant. He believed this was true in work (he was a construction worker) and in relationships with women. As an adult I have learned differently. In this workshop we explore how we can be equal with others. This is helpful both for those times we overexert our power and underexert. A relationship with two equals is best described as a partnership. The workshop is improvised to respond to those present, to be relevant for your current interests and needs.

 

Reiki Level One (Shoden) Reiki Practitioner I

Reiki (lecture, hands-on, attunement)

Reiki is a method that activates, or gives you a shortcut, to directing energy–or, the stuff our universe is made of. Reiki is a compassionate method for healing, resolving, embracing and transforming issues and ailments. Reiki is equally effective for oneself, to empower goals, to finesse problems, to learn new skills, resume arrested development, for personal discovery and spiritual growth.

Reiki Level Two (Okuden) Reiki Practitioner II

Reiki (lecture, hands-on, hands-above, attunement)

Includes instructions how to direct energy (or, the stuff our universe is made of) in the past, future and incrementally over any span of time. For those, like me, interested in the fabric of the universe, this is the fun part!

Responding, Not Reacting – Being Nonjudgmental with Others and Yourself

Nobody is perfect. We all react. Still, we may learn to redirect our reactions quickly, so that we don’t blast others, behave impulsively and suffer unnecessary consequences. This is what Mr. Rogers was talking about in his video to congress https://youtu.be/fKy7ljRr0AA?t=4m10s when he tells the lyrics to a song for children about restraining one’s reactions. What can we do instead of reacting? Responding! The alternatives to reacting may include: humor (non-sarcastic), play, funny gestures, expressions, vocalizations or movements, loving, nurturing, improvising, creativity, sharing, vulnerability, patience, presence and compassion. In this workshop we will practice with partners and discuss relevant scenarios, in a fun way.

 

Holistic Healing – a Model of Body & Mind as attributes of Essence

Most of us know someone, or perhaps ourselves, who has faced an illness or behavior that threatens losses of functions, abilities, relationships or life itself. Facing such a harsh scene, many people suddenly question the meaning of life. Who are we? Why am I here? And this can be a good thing, if we engage these questions with curiosity, because the answers are often enlightening, fulfilling and empowering. Each person’s true essence is fully capable, and willing to embrace any challenge this world (or this body) throws at us. In this workshop we discuss life, death and health in a fun, fascinating light.

Expectations – Theirs and Yours

What an enlightening topic: to understand how many of our conflicts in life arise from unmet expectations. We drive ourselves crazy when we expect things of others they do not do, when we expect things of ourselves we do not do, and when others expect things of us we do not want to do! What’s the cure? It doesn’t take long to begin adjusting our expectations to be more realistic, and to begin negotiating kindly with others regarding their expectations of us.

 

Melting Muscles Basic – Prone (hands-on-body, back massage, clothed)

I have taught this method to about a thousand therapists, and a few dozen non-therapists. It is easy to learn and seems like magic when you feel a muscle melting under your hand. You will be receiving as much muscle-melting as you give. You will learn to relax about 15 muscles on the back of the body. Massage tables are provided. Wear sweats, pajamas or yoga clothing as we will be working through clothing (no jeans).

Clothed Massage Relaxes Muscles Better

In this workshop we do some hands-on-body “melting muscles” through clothing, with the recipient face-up on massage tables. We also discuss how and why muscles relax better when the recipient is clothed. If you be interested in starting a clothed-massage clinic, on the model of a network-chiropractic clinic, then this workshop is for you. If you are simply curious about how muscles feel safe and relax, and want to give and receive some nurturing treatment, this workshop is also for you..

Activating Your Intuition  (partner exercises and discussion)

Intuition is not magical, it is simply enhanced perception. This workshop is less about how intuition works, and more about practicing and improving our skills. Since intuition is natural, we don’t have to learn how to do it, only to recall how to do it. Once we are doing it we practice turning it off again, so that we become clearer about how to activate and deactivate intuition. Fun exercises including games, followed by discussion.

How Energy Draws Clients to your Business

Does your job rely at all on people being satisfied by what you do? Are you an artist, writer or musician? Did you know that your energy has a lot to do with how others will respond to your services and offerings? This workshop discusses the ways energy (or, the stuff this universe is made of) influences others and ourselves, and how we influence energy with our thoughts, interpretations and behaviors.

Exercising Naturally – how Oxygen Decreases Muscle Soreness, Improves Health & Mood

We start the day with a one-hour walk (or longer depending on participants) during which we begin to discuss how and why exercise benefits us so much. The emphasis is on creating a healthy relationship with exercise, that develops and grows more friendly over a lifetime.

 

The Philosophy of Ethics from Plato to Spinoza  

A fun way for professionals to get their “professional ethics” hours.

Also a fun way to learn about the history of ethics. Why think of others? Why not just take every advantage you can? Learn how Plato, Boethius and others answered these questions and see if their answers make any sense to you. While we are at it, we may learn “how to make life worth living.”

Breathing Naturally – from Deliberate Exhalation to Zen Meditation

Somehow, humans have forgotten the natural way to breathe that we did as children. Because we avoid exhaling, our blood becomes more acidic, we age faster, are more grumpy and sore. First we learn to deliberately exhale a little more, then we learn how to breathe more and more naturally, without controlling. You will also learn how gas exchanges at the lungs and how oxygen is transported throughout your body. With more oxygen you will be more alert, calmer, clearer, with more energy, vitality and endurance.

 

Muscle Guarding as Communication – Learning the Nonverbal Language of Muscles —  The Muscle Whisperer Class

Have you seen the movie, The Horse Whisperer? Have you seen The Truth about Cats & Dogs? How would you like to understand the language of human muscles? How would you like to talk directly with the subconscious, so that you can figure out why it is making the muscles achey, tight & sore? What if you could speak to the muscles in their own language, so they would agree to relax and play nice?

Reiki Level Three (Shinpiden or Shinpiden) Reiki Master PLUS Reiki Teacher Skills – How to Maximize Your Reiki Students’ Confidence and Effectiveness (Teacher Training)

 

 

 

 

The above are titles I have been teaching to therapists for years, that I allow non-therapists to also attend.

Is there a topic you would like to learn more about? Please let me know in the contact form below. In another post I will list a dozen more ideas I have for new workshops that interest me.

Warmly, Patrick

0513101004

Patrick’s Home Office

 

 



Are Coyotes Superior to Wolves?
February 1, 2016, 1:45 pm
Filed under: ecology, live food, nature, science, soul, synchronicity, tucson

I read a lot. Currently I am reading Lawrence Kohlberg’s book on moral stages , Wolves by Mech, and Best American Science and Nature Writing of the Year. I also received training from a major natural history museum on interpreting coyotes and wolves for museum visitors. I find that by reading as widely as possible, new ideas combine in my mind. Some combinations are too broad and people I share them with don’t see the connection. Here is a thought I had while reading this morning, and you can decide if it is useful or not to you.

The Heinz Dilemma is a fictional story Kohlberg would tell: Heinz’ wife has a fatal disease and the pharmacist is overcharging for the medicine she needs to live. Then Kohlberg would ask the listener, should Heinz steal the medicine to save his wife’s life?

Last week I heard that coyotes around Tucson frequently break into chicken coops and take the chickens. What occurred to me while reading this morning was, coyotes are answering the Heinz Dilemma: coyotes are stealing the medicine needed to save lives.

Kohlberg does not think there is a right or wrong answer. Kohlberg asks the person to explain why they have the answer they do. For example, some people say, “It is wrong to steal.” Why is it wrong to steal, Kohlberg would ask. One person might say, “Because you will get caught and there are penalties.” Another person might say, “Civilization depends on humans following a social contract. If people break this contract, our human species could disappear.” Kohlberg would assess these two answers as different stages of moral reasoning. As you might guess, Kohlberg considers the avoidance of penalty to be a lower stage of moral reasoning (stage two) than the promotion of the species (stage six). Coyotes appear to be explaining their answer with, it is right to steal when this preserves a species that could be lost. If you would grant coyotes could have moral reasoning (a stretch, I admit), their answers would place them in stage six.

And I don’t know if that’s why coyotes are truly stealing chickens, to preserve life, as Heinz might steal the medicine for his wife. And what do coyotes have to say about the chickens’ lives? After all, Heinz doesn’t kill the pharmacist to get the medicine. All I am saying is I had this thought while I was reading this morning… Maybe the connection I made isn’t worth blogging about. But I still wonder, can we learn anything about human stages of moral reasoning by considering coyotes and other animals’ behaviors?

Soon after my first thought about coyotes, it occurred to me this morning that wolves think differently than coyotes. Wolves have a social system where the strongest Alpha delivers punishments to the others to keep them in order. The rest appear to willingly submit to this structure. Those who behave correctly are given food, friendly touches and sometimes the pleasure of mating. Could we say wolves are at a stage two moral development? May we deduce that coyotes are operating at a higher moral stage than wolves? Let’s leave this idea for a minute. I will come back to this.

I regularly give presentations standing in front of wolf enclosures and coyote enclosures. Sometimes the wolves or coyotes listen in as I talk to the humans. I pass around (to the humans) the skulls of wolves and coyotes. Notice they are indistinguishable except for the size. In fact all canines: wolves, coyotes, foxes and your dogs at home can interbreed and have live, healthy pups who can also breed. When you define “species” as those who can have healthy live young who can also breed, as some scientists do, all canines are one species–Dog. The groupings, “coyote,” “wolf,” “fox,” “greyhound,” and “terrier” are just different breeds, with different specialties and habits.

Dogs have one molar per jaw, which means they are designed to eat some vegetation. The rest of the teeth and jaws are designed for killing and cutting meat. So if you only had skulls to go by you might guess all dogs would eat 95% meat, 5% vegetation. It turns out however that wolves eat 100% meat, and coyotes here in the Southwest eat 50% vegetarian. Coyotes here especially love saguaro cactus fruit. In cactus fruit season, coyotes abandon all meat and survive on fruit, which shows a preference, since meat is still available. Last summer I picked up some coyote poop in a baggie, that was full of little seeds. I planted the poop and within a week had hundreds of little saguaro cactus babies:

Saguaro-Sept-from-Coyote-Ju

saguaro sprouts a week after Patrick collected coyote scat

It appears coyotes are a prime planter of saguaro cactus seeds, plus fertilizer! What a service they provide nature! Perhaps this is one reason the Tohono O’odham in this region consider Coyote to be one of three beings who created the world (the other two being Raven and Big Brother).

The rest of the year coyotes eat mesquite pods, palo verde seeds and ironwood seeds when in season. When none of their favorite foods are available they return to meat in the form of hares and other rodents, lizards and other reptiles and insects, which are available here year-round.

I tell the people in my presentations that wolves prefer meat, and coyotes prefer vegetables when they can get them, even though their teeth and jaws are identical. They’re the same species. It’s their choices that are different, their preferences, their behaviors, their culture, their traditions. Wolves eat one thing–animals larger than themselves that it takes a group to pull down. Coyotes eat what they can find including lots of things with seeds. Wolves are set in their ways. And because of this, wolf numbers are declining in the current world. The large game that wolves exclusively eat is hardly available for them except in a few protected areas. Except free ranged cattle. And when they eat cattle, ranchers kill them. Wolves’ choices are leading them to extinction in this modern world. Wolf numbers are declining, with certain sub-species like the Mexican Grey Wolf endangered and extirpated.

Coyotes on the other hand are flexible. They’re wily. Not only are they flexible with what they eat, but appear to have nothing against human encroachment. Coyotes are happy to live in cities. Phoenix has a very high population of urban coyotes who live in the dry washes and golf courses. In Tucson we have coyotes in my neighborhood and yard. The neighbors hate packrats, rattlesnakes and wouldn’t tolerate wolves or cougar in the neighborhood, but coyotes they love. Some houses in my neighborhood are even decorated with coyote silhouettes, as if to honor or welcome them. Coyote numbers are increasing in this modern world while wolves are declining.

Is there a message here? Are coyotes superior? Wolves are too large, and their ways and traditions can’t work any longer in this world. Keep this in mind as you hear the next part. Several natural wolf-coyote matings have been confirmed in the wild. Both male and female wolves have chosen to court coyotes to have offspring with. Why? Could wolves be thinking, My kind is not long for this world, I had better do something? Could they be thinking, We need to get smaller and be more flexible like coyotes if we are going to make it? Do even wolves notice the superiority of coyotes?

Let’s look at it from an evolution model. If coyotes and wolves had a common ancestor, and split into distinct mating groups around two lifestyle preferences, this would be an example of what is called natural selection, or survival of the fittest. The competition between wolves and coyotes would be en example of evolution in our midst. Our current era would be an early stage in the differentiation of canines into different species. For if we were in a later stage, coyotes and wolves would be so genetically differentiated by now that they could no longer have live pups when mating. Wouldn’t it be exciting if we are living in the midst of an evolution process? Two groups of cousins with different strategies: Which will win? Which will survive?

According to the evolution model, the group that survives is “fittest.” The survivors are better, superior, more evolved. According to this model, later developments in any species are superior and better than their ancestors. In this model every species now living is fitter and more evolved than the bacteria that are all our common ancestors.

Which sounds a lot like Kohlberg’s view of moral stages. Kohlberg says that since younger children never have stage six reasoning but only older children and adults ever get past stage five, later developments must be superior, higher moral reasoning. In both cases: the evolution model, and Kohlberg’s model of moral development, later development is superior, fitter and higher.

But I’m going to throw a wrench in the gears of those models. If coyotes survive and wolves die out, does “survival” prove that the one species is superior to the other? Or does it only prove the one species is more adapted to the world we have today? If the world still had giant sloths, mammoths or even buffalo roaming around, wouldn’t it be wolves who would be increasing and coyotes decreasing? Instead of fitter, should we simply say, have an advantage in the current environment?

But if later-evolved does not mean superior or better, how can we explain humans’ strong sense we are superior to our pre-human ancestors? Are humans not superior to little primates and bacteria, but only better adapted to take advantage of the current environment?

Now apply these questions back to moral stages. In individuals, all Kohlberg showed was that older individuals tended to explain their moral reasoning using ideas higher on the six-stage scale than younger individuals. All he’s shown is that higher on the scale equates to older, not higher.

But if older does not mean morally superior, how can we explain that only people over 21 may vote and only people over 45 may be president? Are adults not superior moral reasoners to children? And how should we interpret the old saying, Be like the little children?

I am not trying to disprove any models. I happen to appreciate the models of natural selection and moral stages. But I don’t swallow them whole. I ask them tough questions. I don’t have good answers to these questions yet but if you do, please comment. Thanks.