It is acknowledged that the Class Four Human and Animal Main Lesson is the most difficult for teachers to teach. This is because of the alternative view of evolution which it is based on. The Darwinist view is that we evolved from animals. The Steiner view is that animals evolved from us. Simply put, that we existed in spirit before animals did and in order to create the appropriate vessel for this spirit, matter had to have several incarnations in different kinds of physical beings (animals and wildlife) before it finally got to us. Therefore we exhibit the characteristics of the generalist and that animals are specialists. We are composite of all animals, whereas animals have specialised features.
We don't teach this view of evolution to the children. But what happens is that the way we teach about wildlife is not that common view - that the human being is another animal. We have animal natures, but he most important thing about the human being is its ability to transcend its passions and animal nature.
So we are stuck between animal and angel.
Do i find it hard to subscribe to this? Well the nice thing about teaching in a Steiner school is that you don't have to subscribe to anything that you don't believe it. The most difficult thing about this theory is that there isn't enough research into it - or if there is, i have not seen it. What Steiner education teaches everyone, especially teachers to observe - so we go on what we know. That is dead easy then. We can just observe the animal and describe it - and then we can draw relationship parallels to us. The other thing it says is that because we have this deep connection with animals - that our spirit shaped them - we have an intrinsic connection with them too, and therefore we owe them a debt of gratitude. So stewardship is deeply ingrained within the curriculum. The wonder of animals is a very important part of the lesson and that is something i am grateful for too. There is no call to become overly scientific - too much detail is only interesting to very few children. What we do is an introduction to... the many aspects of animal nature.
The other thing which i have observed though and noticed is that the monkey is very close to being a limb animal. What truly distinguishes us from animals is that our hands are free to be of service to others. I mean they are TRULY free. We never used our hands to walk, unless we are performing some kind of trick. Hands are not used for moving around - our legs are in service to the trunk. Therefore the hands are able to make things and do things for others. Through our hands we demonstrate how and what we think and feel. It is interesting isn't it? I think monkeys share this characteristic very deeply.
I saw a monkey grooming another monkey at the zoo. He was doing something for another monkey. They build things for others and they most certainly take care of their young. This entire limb argument, i am not comfortable with. So i must think about it more.
|Chips at the pool|
|Hot diggty dog!|
|Ghin has learnt to eat chicken wings like a pro|
Right - i need to think about the rest of the holiday. The boys are also hiding from the heat today. I must really think about the things we can do and what i need done as well. The entire region is currently giving me a lot of worry. To be honest i have never worried about this part of the world like this before. It is typhoon season - so anything to do with the South China Sea is out of the question. Indonesia has no less than four volcanoes, which says that the Ring of Fire is on the move, so anything in Thailand is also out of the question. The last time we were there we missed the tsunami by four days. So that leaves us with Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia. But Oisin wants to go to a beach. I did briefly think about China but there is the small matter of MERS. And then there is Japan which is just so sad because of the radiation poisoning. Sometimes i wonder if it was better if i just did not think too much about any of this. Anyways, for Indonesia i was told that travelling during the next three weeks was not a good idea due to the Ramadan migration. So Vietnam it is. Probably at the start of August. But where?