IV. The Connection of the Spirit with Bodily Organs
Ilkley, 8th August, 1923
Education in any given epoch is naturally dependent on the general form of civilization prevailing at the time. What the general form of civilization has to offer, that can be passed on to the child in its education by the teacher. When I was speaking of the Greeks, I told you that they possessed an intimate knowledge of the whole human being, and from this intimate knowledge were able to educate the child in a way that is no longer possible for us to-day. The knowledge of the whole human being possessed by the Greek was derived entirely from the human body. The body of man was in a certain sense transparent to him. The body revealed both soul and spirit in so far as the Greeks comprehended these. And we have seen how the Greeks educated the whole human being by taking the body as the starting-point. All that could not be made to proceed from the body, in the sense in which I showed that music proceeded from it, was imparted to the human being comparatively late in life, indeed only after his bodily education had been completed, at about the twentieth year or even later.
We to-day are in quite a different position. The very greatest illusions in human evolution are really due to the belief that ancient epochs, which had to do with a totally different humanity, can be renewed. But particularly in this present age it behoves us to turn with practical commonsense to reality. And if we understand this historical necessity, we can only say: just as the Greeks had to direct their whole education from the standpoint of the body, so must we direct our education from the standpoint of the spirit. What we have to do is to find the way to approach even bodily education from out of the spirit. For whether we like it or not, mankind has now come to a point where the spirit must be grasped as spirit and attained to by human effort as the true essence of the human being.
Now it is just when we desire to educate in accordance with the needs of our epoch, that we feel how little progress has been made by civilization in general, in respect of this permeation by the spirit. And then there arises precisely in respect of education the longing to make the spirit more and more man's own possession.
Where do we find, let us say at a comparatively high level, the conception of the spirit possessed by modern humanity? You must not be shocked if I characterize this by examples from the height of modern spiritual life. That which appears at the top merely symbolically, and within the limits of the cultural life, rules, in reality, the whole of civilization. In the course of our endeavour to grasp what ‘spirit’ is, we have to-day only reached the stage of apprehending the spirit in ideas, in thinking. And perhaps the best way to understand human thinking in our age in its greatest scope is to observe this modern thought as it appears, let us say, in John Stuart Mill or in Herbert Spencer. I asked you not to be shocked by the fact that I point to the highest level of culture. For that which in John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer appears merely, so to say, as an outstanding symptom, in reality dominates every sphere, and is the characteristic thinking of our civilization. When, therefore, we ask to-day: How do men come to understand the spirit from which education should proceed just as the Greek educated the body? We have to answer that men conceive of the spirit just as John Stuart Mill or Herbert Spencer conceived of it. Now what was their conception? Let us think for a moment of the idea people have to-day when they speak of the spirit. I do not here mean a nebulous and absolutely indefinite image hovering somewhere ‘above the clouds.’ This is something that tradition has imparted and there is no actual experience connected with it. We can only speak of the spirit in humanity when we observe the attitude men have towards it, how they work and what they do with it. And the spirit in our present civilization is the spirit which John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer had already worked into their philosophies. There indeed it is and there it had to be sought. What we must observe is the way in which men apply the spirit, not the way in which they speak about it in the abstract.
And now let us consider this ‘thought out’ spirit, for in our time the spirit is really only a mental conception — a spirit that can at most think philosophically. Compared with the full content perceived by the Greek when he spoke of man, of Anthropos, the element of spirit in which we whirl around when we think, is something — well — distilled, unsubstantial to the highest degree. When he spoke of man, the Greek had always the picture of bodily man before him and the bodily man was at once a revelation of soul and spirit. This man was somewhere, at some time; this man had limits to his being; he was bounded by his skin. And those who trained this man in the Greek gymnasia covered his skin with oil in order to emphasize this boundary. Man was strongly outlined. He was a wholly concrete entity, existing at some particular point in space and time, with some particular form.
And now think of the kind of thought we have about the spirit to-day. Where is the spirit, what is its form? It is all indefinite, there is never a ‘how’ or ‘when;’ never any definite form, never any imagery. People do try indeed to build up some kind of image, but let us look at John Stuart Mill's idea of imagery, for instance. He said: When a man thinks, one idea is followed by a second and a third. Man thinks indeed in ideas — which are the inward images of words. He thinks in ideas and the ideas get associated with one another. This really is the essence of the discovery: one idea leads to a second, fourth, and so on. The ideas associate themselves. And modern psychology speaks in the most varied ways of associations of ideas as the real inner essence of spiritual life. Now suppose we were to ask: What kind of feeling and perception of our own being should we have if this association of ideas were indeed our spirit? We stand in the world; now the ideas begin to move; they associate themselves. And now we look back upon ourselves, upon what we really are, as spirit, in these associated ideas. This leads to a consciousness of the self that is exactly like the consciousness a man would have if he were to look at himself in a mirror and see a skeleton and moreover a dead skeleton. Think of the shock you would have if you were to look in the mirror and see a skeleton! In the skeleton, the bones associate, they are held together by external means and are fixed one above the other, according to mechanical law. Our idea of the spirit, therefore, is merely a copy of mechanics. To those who have a full sense of manhood, who feel healthy and are healthy, it is actually as though they were to look at themselves in a mirror and see their spirit composed of bones; for in the books describing association-psychology one sees oneself as in a mirror. We may have this pleasure constantly (not of course in the external, bodily sense) for it arises whenever we compare the modern state of affairs with that of the Greeks. Spiritually, we have this experience again and again. We go to our philosophers, thinking that they may be able to give us self-knowledge, and they place their books before us as a mirror in which we see ourselves as a bony spectre in associations of ideas.
This is what a man experiences to-day when he tries to think in a practical way about education and to approach the real essence of education from the standpoint of general civilization. No indication of what education ought to be is given him but he is shown how to find a heap of bones and how to piece together a skeleton. This is how the ordinary man feels to-day. He longs for a new education, and everywhere the question arises: How ought we to educate? But where can he turn? He can only turn to the general form of civilization and this civilization shows him that all he can build up is a skeleton. And now a strong feeling for this civilization overwhelms the human being. If his feeling is healthy he should be able to feel himself permeated by this intellectualistic nature of modern thought and ideas. And it is this that confuses him. He would like to think that what the mirror reveals is sublime and perfect; he would like to be able to make something of it, above all, he would like to make use of it in education — but he cannot. One cannot educate with this.
If we are to have the necessary enthusiasm as educationalists, therefore, we must learn in the first place to perceive all that is not living, but dead, in our intellectualistic culture — for the skeleton is a dead thing. And if we saturate ourselves with the knowledge that our thinking is dead we very soon discover that all death proceeds from the living. If you were to find a corpse, you would not take it as the original. You would only think of a corpse as something in itself if you had no conception of a human being. If, however, you have a conception of what a human being is, you know that the corpse is something that has been left behind. From the nature of the corpse, you do not only infer the human being, buy you know also that the human being was there. If you recognize the kind of thinking that is cultivated to-day as being a thing dead, as being a corpse, you can relate it to something living. Moreover you then have the inner impulse to make this thing living and so to re-vitalize the whole of civilization. It will then be possible once more for something practical to emerge from our modern civilization, something that can reach the living man, just as the Greeks reached him in their education.
Let us not undervalue perceptions with which a teacher can set out and, indeed, must set out. The teachers at the Waldorf School were first of all given a Seminary Course. It was not merely a question of following the points of a given programme, but of imparting an understanding in the soul of how to bring back all that is the most treasured heritage of our age into relation with the innermost being of man, in order to make dead thinking, colourless thinking into thinking full of character — primitive, inorganic thinking into truly ‘human’ thinking. In the first place, then, thoughts must begin really to live in the teacher.
Now when a thing lives, something follows from this life. The human being who has definite place in space and time, who has spirit, soul, body, a definite form and boundary, does not merely think; he also feels and wills. And when a thought is communicated to him, this thought is the germ both of a feeling and of an impulse of will; it becomes a complete thing. The ideal of our modern thinking is to be what people call ‘objective,’ as passive and calm as possible, in short to be a passive reflection of the outer world and a mere handmaiden of experience. It contains no force; no impulse of feeling and of will arises from it.
The Greek took his start from the bodily man who was there before him. We must take our start — and everyone feels this to be true — from ideal man, but this ideal must not be merely theoretical; it must live and it must contain the force of both feeling and will. The first thing needful when we think about reform in education to-day is that we grow beyond abstract and theoretical ideals.
Our thoughts do not become gestures and they must become so once more. They must not only be received by the child who sits passively, but they must move his arms and hands and guide him when he passes out into the world. Then we shall have unified human beings, for we must again educate unified human beings; we shall have human beings who experience their bodily education as a continuation of what we have given them in the schoolroom. People do not think like this nowadays. They think that what is given in the schoolroom is so much intellectualism, something that it is necessary to give. But it fatigues and strains the human being, perhaps even causes nervous troubles. Something else must be added, so it is felt, and then follows physical training. And so to-day we have two separate branches: intellectualistic education and bodily training. The one does not promote the other. We have two human beings in point of fact, one nebulous and hypothetical and the other real, and we do not understand this real man as the Greek understood him. We squint, as it were, when we observe a human being, for there seems to be two in front of us. We must again learn to ‘see straight,’ to see the whole being of man as a unity, a totality. This is the most important thing of all in education.
What we must do, therefore, is to press forward beyond the more or less theoretical maxims of education in existence to-day to an education that is practical in the real sense of the word. From what I have said, it follows that much depends upon how we again bring the spirit which we really only grasp intellectually, to the human being, how we make the spirit human in the true sense, so that this nebulous spirit by means of which we observe men, shall become human. We must learn how to behold man in the spirit, as the Greeks beheld him in the body.
As a preliminary to-day, let me give an example which will explain how, from out of the spirit, we can begin to understand the human being right down into the body. As an example I will choose the way in which the spirit may be connected with a definite organ in the human being. I choose the most striking example, but merely provisionally. These things will become more definite in the following lectures. Let me show you the connection between the spirit and a process which the Greeks too considered to be deeply symbolical and of extraordinary significance in the development of the child: the coming of the teeth. The time of the change of the teeth was, in Greece, the age at which the child was given over to public education. And now let us try to envisage this contact of the spirit with the human being, the relation of the spirit to the human teeth. It will seem strange that in discussing man as a spiritual being, I speak first of the teeth. It only seems strange because as a result of modern culture, people are quite familiar with the form of a tiny animal germ when they look through the microscope, but they know very little about what lies before them. It is realized that the teeth are necessary for eating; that is the most striking thing about them. It is known that they are necessary for speech, that sounds are connected with them, that the air flows in a particular way from the lungs and the larynx through the lips and palate, and that certain consonants have to be formed by the teeth. It is known, therefore, that the teeth serve a useful purpose in eating and speaking.
Now a truly spiritual understanding of the human being shows us something else as well. If you are able to study man in the way I described in the first lecture, it will dawn on you that the child develops teeth not only for the sake of eating and speaking, but for quite a different purpose as well. Strange as it sounds to-day, the child develops teeth for the purpose of thinking. Modern science little knows that the teeth are the most important of all organs of thought. For the child, up to the time of the second dentition, these teeth constitute the organ of thought. As thinking arises spontaneously in the child in its interplay with its environment, as the life of thought rises from the dim sleeping and dreaming life of very early childhood, this whole process is bound up with what is happening in the head where the teeth are pressing through; it is bound up with the forces that are pressing outwards from the head. The forces that press the teeth out from the jaw are the same forces that now bring thought to the surface from the dim, sleeping and dreaming life of childhood. With the same degree of intensity as it teethes, the child learns to think.
Now how does the child learn to think? It learns to think because it is an imitative being and as such is wholly given up to its environment. Right into its innermost being it imitates what is going on in its environment and what happens in this environment under the impulses of thoughts. In exactly the same measure as thought then springs up in the child, in exactly the same measure do the teeth emerge. In effect, the force that appears in the soul as thinking lies within these teeth.
Let us now follow the further development of the child. At about the seventh year, the child undergoes the change of teeth. He gets his second teeth. I have already said that the force which produces the first and second teeth has been present in the whole organism of the child — only it shows itself in the strongest form in the head. The second teeth only come once. The forces which drive the second teeth out from the organism of the child do not work again as physical forces in the course of earthly life up till death. They become powers of the soul, powers of the spirit; they vivify the inner being of the human soul. Thus, when we observe the child between the seventh and fourteenth years of life, with particular regard to his characteristic qualities of soul, we find that what now appears between the seventh and fourteenth years as qualities of soul, namely in the child's thinking, worked up to the seventh year upon the organs. It worked in the physical organism, forced out the teeth, reached its culmination as physical force with the change of teeth and then changed itself into an activity of soul.
These things can, of course, only be truly observed when one presses forward to the mode of cognition which I described in a previous lecture as the first stage of exact clairvoyance, as Imaginative Knowledge. The abstract intellectual knowledge of the human being that is common to-day does not lead to this other kind of knowledge. Thought must vivify itself from within so that it becomes imaginative. Nothing whatever can really be grasped by intellectualistic thinking; with it everything remains external. One looks at things and forms mental images of what one sees. But thinking can be inwardly re-enforced, it can be made active. Then one no longer has abstract intellectualistic thoughts but imaginative pictures which now fill the soul in place of the intellectual thoughts. At the first stage of exact clairvoyance, as I have described it, one can perceive indeed how, besides the forces of the physical body, there is working in man a super-sensible body, if you will forgive the paradoxical expression. One becomes aware of the super-sensible in man, and one of its characteristics in comparison with the physical is that it cannot be weighed. This super-sensible body I call the etheric body, which strives away from the earth out into cosmic spaces. It contains the forces that are opposed to gravity and strives perpetually against gravity.
Just as ordinary physical knowledge teaches us of the physical body of man, so does Imaginative Knowledge, the first stage of exact clairvoyance, teach us of the etheric body that is always striving to get away from earthly gravity. And just as we gradually learn to relate the physical body to its environment, so do we also learn to relate the etheric body to its environment.
In studying the physical body of man, we look outside in Nature, in material Nature, for the substances of which it is composed. We realize that everything in man which is subject to gravity, his heaviness, his weight, all this has weight in outer Nature as well. It enters into man through the assimilation of nourishment. In this way we obtain, as it were, a natural conception of the human organism in so far as the organism is physical. Similarly, through Imaginative Knowledge we obtain a conception of the relationship of the individual etheric body or body of formative forces in man to the surrounding world. That which in Spring drives the plants out of the soil against gravity in all directions towards the Cosmos; that which organizes the plants, brings them into relation with the upward-flowing stream of light, with that part of the chemistry of the plant, in short, which works upwards, all this must be related to the etheric body of man, just as salt, cabbage, turnip and meat are related to the physical body. Thus in the first stage of exact clairvoyance, this rich, comprehensive, unified thought is able to approach the etheric body or body of formative forces of man, this ‘second Man,’ as it were. Up to the change of teeth, this body of formative forces is most intimately bound up with the physical body. There from within, it organizes the physical body; it is the force which drives out the teeth. When the human being gets his second teeth, the part of the etheric body that drives the teeth out has no more to do for the physical body. Its activity is emancipated, as it were, from the physical body. With the change of teeth the inner etheric forces which have pressed the teeth out, are freed and with these etheric forces we carry on the free thought that begins to assert itself in the child from the seventh year onwards. The force of the teeth is no longer a physical force as it was in the child during the time when the teeth are the organs of thought; it is now an etheric force. But the same force which produced the teeth is now working in the etheric body as thought. When we perceive ourselves as thinking human beings and feel that thinking seems to proceed from the head (many people only have this experience when thinking has brought on a headache), a true knowledge shows us that the force with which we think from out of the head is the same as the force which was once contained in the teeth.
Thus our knowledge brings us near to the unity of the being of man. We learn once again how the physical is connected with what is of the soul. We know that the child first thinks with the forces of the teeth and this is why teething troubles are so inwardly bound up with the whole life of the child. Think of all that happens when the child is teething! All these teething troubles arise because the process of teething is so intimately connected with the innermost life, with the innermost spirituality of the child. The growth-forces of the teeth are freed and become the forces of thought in the human being, the free, independent force of thought. If we have the necessary gift of observation, we can see this process of becoming independent; we see how with the change of teeth, thinking emancipates itself from bondage to the body. And what happens now? In the first place the teeth become the helpers of that which permeates thought, speech. The teeth, which had, at first, the independent task of growing in accordance with the forces of thought, are now pressed down one stage, as it were. Thinking, which now no longer takes place in the physical body but in the etheric body, descends one stage. This already happens during the first seven years, for the whole process goes on successively, merely reaching its culmination with the coming of the second teeth. But then, when thought seeks expression in speech, the teeth become the helpers of thought.
And so, we look at the human being; we see his head; in the head the growth-forces of the teeth free themselves and become the force of thinking. Then, pressed down, as it were, into speech, we have all the processes for which the teeth are no longer directly responsible, because the etheric body now takes over the responsibility. The teeth become the helpers of speech. In this, their relationship with thought is still apparent. When we understand how the dental sounds find their way into the whole process of thinking, how man takes the teeth to his aid when through sounds like d or t, he brings the definite thought-element into speech, we again see in the dental sounds, the particular task performed by the teeth.
I have shown you by this example of the teeth — which may perhaps seem very grotesque — how we come to understand the human being from out of the spirit. If we proceed in this way, thinking gradually ceases to be an abstract drifting in associated ideas, but connects itself with man, it goes into the man. Then we no longer see merely physical functions in the human being, such as biting by the teeth or at most movement in the dental sounds of speech, but the teeth become for us an outer picture, a Nature Imagination of the process of thinking. Thinking points to the teeth and says to us, as it were: There in the teeth is my outer countenance! When we really come to understand the teeth, thought that is otherwise abstract and nebulous assumes definite picture-form. We see how thought is working in the head at the place where the teeth lie and how thought develops from the first to the second teeth, The whole process again takes on definite form. A real image of the spirit begins to arise in Nature herself. The spirit is once again creative.
We need something more than modern anthropology, for modern anthropology studies the human being in a wholly external way, and associates the elements of his being just as the different properties of ideas are associated. What we need is a kind of thinking that is not afraid to press onwards to the inner being of man nor to speak of how the spirit becomes teeth and works in the teeth. This indeed is what we need, for then we penetrate into the being of man from the spirit. And then the element of art arises. The abstract, theoretical and unpractical mode of observation, which merely evolves a human being with a skeleton-like thinking must be led over into imaginative thought. Theoretical observation passes over into artistic feeling and becomes artistic, creative power. To see the spirit actively at work within one must, to begin with, mould the teeth. The element of art, then, begins to be the guide to the first stage of exact clairvoyance — that of Imaginative Knowledge. Here we begin to understand man in his real being. Man is only an abstraction in our thinking to-day.
Now in education, the being with whom we find ourselves confronted is the real man. He stands there, but there is an abyss between us. We stand here with our abstract spirit, and we must cross this abyss. We must before all else show how we can cross it. All we know of man to-day is how to put a cap on his head! We do not know how to put the spirit into his whole being, and this we must learn to do. We must learn how to clothe the human being inwardly, spiritually, just as we have learned how to clothe him externally, so that the spirit is treated just as the outer vesture is treated. When we approach the human being in this way, we shall attain to a living Pedagogy and a living Didactic.
Just as the period of life at about the seventh year is significant in earthly existence on account of all the facts which I have described, so, similarly, is there a point in the earthly life of man which on account of the symptoms which then arise in life, is no less significant. The actual points of time are, of course, approximate occurring in the case of some human beings earlier in others later. The indication of seven-yearly periods is approximate. But round about the fourteenth or fifteenth year, there is once more a time of extraordinary importance in earthly existence. This is the age when puberty is reached. But puberty, the expression of the life of sex is only the most external symptom of a complete transformation that takes place in the being of man between the seventh and fourteenth years. Just as we must seek in the growth-forces of the teeth, in the human head, for the physical origin of thought that frees itself about the seventh year of life and becomes a function of soul, so we must look for the activity of the second soul-force, namely feeling, in other parts of the human organism.
Feeling releases itself much later than thinking from the physical constitution of the human being. And during the time of tutelage from the seventh to the fourteenth year, the child's feeling-life is really still inwardly bound up with its physical body. Thinking is already free; feeling is, between the seventh and fourteenth years, still bound up with the body. All the feelings of joy, of sorrow and of pain that express themselves in the child still have a strong physical connection with the secretions of the organs, the acceleration or retardation, speed or slackening of the breathing system and so on. If our perception is keen enough, we can observe in these very phenomena the great transformation that is taking place in the life of feeling, when the outer symptoms of the change make their appearance. Just as the appearance of the second teeth denotes a certain climax of growth, so at the close of the subsequent life-period, when feeling is gradually released from its connection with the body and becomes a soul function, these processes are expressed in speech. This may be observed most clearly in boys. The voice changes; the larynx reveals the change. The head, therefore, reveals the change which lifts thinking out of the physical organism, and the breathing system, the seat of the organic rhythmic activity, expresses the emancipation of feeling. Feeling detaches itself from the bodily constitution and becomes an independent function of soul. We know how this expresses itself in the boy. The larynx changes and the voice gets deeper. In the girl different phenomena appear in bodily growth and development; but this is only the external aspect.
Anyone who has reached the stage of exact, imaginative clairvoyance, knows, for he perceives it, that the male physical body transforms the larynx at about the fourteenth year of life. The same thing happens in the female sex to the etheric body, or body of formative forces. The change occurs in the etheric body and the etheric body of the female takes on, as etheric body, a form exactly resembling the physical body of the male. Again, the etheric body of the male at the fourteenth year takes on a form resembling the physical body of the female. However extraordinary it may appear to a mode of knowledge that clings to the physical, it is nevertheless the case that at this all-important point of life, the male bears within him the etheric female and female the etheric male from the fourteenth year onwards. This is expressed differently through the corresponding symptoms in the male and female.
Now if one reaches the second stage of exact clairvoyance (it is described in greater detail in my books), if beyond Imagination, one attains to Inspiration — the actual perception of the purely spiritual that is no longer bound up with the physical body of man — then one becomes aware of how in actual fact at this important time round about the fourteenth and fifteenth years a third human member develops into a state of independence. In my books I have called this third member the astral body according to an older tradition. This astral body is more essentially of the nature of soul than the etheric body; indeed the astral body is already of the soul and spirit. It is the third member of man and constitutes his second super-sensible being.
Up to the fourteenth or fifteenth years, this astral body works through the physical organism and, at the fourteenth or fifteenth year, becomes independent. Thus there devolves upon the teacher a most significant task, namely to help the development to independence of this being of soul and spirit which lies hidden in the depths of the organism up to the seventh or eight years and then gradually frees itself. It is this gradual process of detachment that we must assist, if we have the child to teach between the ages of seven and fourteen. And then, if we have acquired the kind of knowledge of which I have spoken, we notice how the child's speech becomes quite a different thing. The crude science of to-day — if I may call it so — concerns itself merely with the obvious soul qualities of the human being and speaks of the other phenomena as secondary sexual characteristics. To spiritual observation, however, the secondary phenomena are primary and vice versa.
This metamorphosis, the whole way in which feeling withdraws itself from the organs of speech, is of extraordinary significance. And as teachers and educationalists it is our task, a task that really inspires one's innermost being, gradually to release speech from the bodily constitution. How wonderful in a child of seven are the natural, spontaneous movements of the lips which come from organic activity! When the seven-year-old child utters the labial sounds, it is quite different from the way in which the child of fourteen or fifteen utters them. When the seven-year-old child utters the labial sounds, it is an organic activity; the circulation of the blood and of the fluids into the lips is entirely involuntary. When the child reaches his twelfth, thirteenth or fourteenth years, this organic activity is transferred into the organism proper and the soul activity of feeling has to emerge and to move the lips voluntarily, in order that the element of feeling in speech may come to expression.
Just as the thought-element in speech, the hard thought-element is manifested in the teeth, so is the soft, loving element of feeling manifested in the lips. And it is the labial sounds which impart warmth and loving sympathy to speech, sympathy with another being and the conveying of it. This marvellous transition from an organic functioning of the lips to a functioning conditioned by the soul, this development of the lips in the organic soul nature of the human being is a thing in which the teacher can take part and thereby a most wonderful atmosphere can be brought into the school. For just as we see the super-sensible, etheric element that permeates the body emerging at the seventh year of life as independent thinking-power, so do we see the element of soul and spirit emerging at the age of fourteen or fifteen. As teachers we help to bring the soul and spirit to birth. What Socrates meant is seen at a higher level.
In the following lectures I shall explain the new elements that appear in walking, in movement, even when the human being is twenty or twenty-one years old in the third period of life. It is enough to-day to have shown how thinking emancipates itself from organic activity and how feeling goes on emancipating itself from organic activity until the fourteenth or fifteenth year; to have shown how this gives us insight into man's development and how an otherwise merely abstract mode of thinking becomes a picture, an ‘imagination;’ to have shown also how that which finds expression in human speech, in words, actually appears in its true form as soul and spirit when the human being reaches his fourteenth or fifteenth year.
Hence it can be said that if we would reach the human being from the standpoint of living thought, we must soar into the realm of art. If we would bring the living spirit, the spiritual essence of feeling to the human being, we must not merely set about this with an artistic sense as in the former case, but also with a religious sense. For the religious sense alone can penetrate to the reality of the spirit.
Education between the seventh and fourteenth years, therefore, can only be carried on in the truly human sense when it is carried on in an atmosphere of religion, when it becomes almost a sacramental office, not of course in a sentimental, but in a truly human sense. And so we see what happens when a man brings life and soul to his otherwise abstract thinking, thinking that merely arises from the association of ideas. He finds the way to an artistic apprehension of man; to an apprehension of man within the religious life. Art and religion are thus united in education. Light is thrown not only on the question of the pupil, but on that of the teacher as well when we realize that pedagogy should become so practical, so clear and so living a knowledge that the teacher can only be a true educator of youth when he is able inwardly to become a thoroughly religious man.