Sunday, 30 August 2015

Animals and Us

Some of the flowers i planted and rescued yesterday

 Hindu Gods i got for Class Five
One the most difficult things to get your head around in the Waldorf curriculum is the Human and Animal Main Lesson. I think it is because there is very little research done on it. Steiner said that Human Beings came from animals. Yes, of course everyone says - BUT not like you think. I told you that Waldorf training was like being on QI.

So evolution is like this - the human spirit was around since the dawn of time. In order to become human as it were, it had to create its own body. In the process it created lots of different animals - beginning with fish, lizards and birds and finally mammals. I know this is what traditional evolution says as well. Well sort of. But the point is that all this while, we were moving towards the creation of a body which was right for our purpose on Earth and finally when we got to where we are we stopped.

This was because other forms of life were too specialised for our purpose. Therefore animals represent specialisation and human beings are generalists. We may not be able to do all the wonderful things animals can do inherently and naturally - but we can do SOME of it and we can also invent things which help us do this.

I find this very interesting. It is an entirely new way of looking at our animal friends. They are connected to us spiritually as well. That we are who we are because we have gone through the process of being animals and now we have this body which will enable us to access our humanity as well - which is reflected most of all in how we choose.

The problem with this is that there is of course no evidence for it. Well i say there is no evidence, but the truth is that we are so deeply connected with the animals - we are so in love with them - and yet we know that we are different. I have never been happy with the idea that we are just another animal - and yet at the same time to say that we are the flower of creation also did not sit well. This debt of gratitude plus the acknowledgement of our difference puts our stewardship of the natural world in a completely different light. I think it is beautiful, poetic and if it could also be researched on thoroughly i would be much happier with it.

So the preparation goes on and on. Having sucked up all the information over the summer i now have to put it in some kind of form which will make sense to young uns. It is interesting that Schwarz says that this is the age when you glimpse something of the future person the child will become. It comes up, it appears for a bit and then it disappears to reemerge in later - much later years. Class Four stands on its own because of this - it is the pivot point. It is the future calling and be patient because you are working with these future selves.

I have decided that i teach what is true for me. It needs to be substantiated and it needs to be factual. Observation is key to all this. The stories of the animals that i use will be factual and of course the children do not get any of the evolution. What they are asked to observe are the similarities we have between animals and ourselves. And then the animals themselves.

It is all ahead for now. What a year it is going to be! It will all be over in a flash, if the past three years are anything to go by and soon i will be panicking, not because i have another year to bone up for, but because i will have nothing in the coming year when i reach year 7.

So, not to beginnings and endings, but middles... cos they are just as important too.

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