THE MONTESSORI METHOD - online book

Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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CONCLUSIONS AND IMPRESSIONS 373
for this, often results in inadequacy in practical life, in that lack of poise which causes so many individuals to waste their energies in purposeless effort. Not to form a parallel between the education of the senses as a guide to practical life, and religious education as a guide to the moral life, but for the sake of illustration, let me call attention to how often we find inefficiency, instability, among irreligious persons, and how much precious indi­vidual power is miserably wasted.
How many men have had this experience! And when that spiritual awakening comes late, as it sometimes does, through the softening power of sorrow, the mind is unable to establish an equilibrium, because it has grown too much accustomed to a life deprived of spirituality. We see equally piteous cases of religious fanaticism, or we look upon intimate dramatic struggles between the heart, ever seeking its own safe and quiet port, and the mind that constantly draws it back to the sea of conflicting ideas and emotions, where peace is unknown. These are all psycho­logical phenomena of the highest importance; they pre­sent, perhaps, the gravest of all our human problems. We Europeans are still filled with prejudices and hedged about with preconceptions in regard to these matters. We are very slaves of thought. We believe that liberty of conscience and of thought consists in denying certain sentimental beliefs, while liberty never can exist where one struggles to stifle some other thing, but only where un­limited expansion is granted; where life is left free and untrammelled. He who really does not believe, does not fear that which he does not believe, and does not combat that which for him does not exist. If he believes and fights, he then becomes an enemy to liberty.
In America, the great positive scientist, William James,
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