Body, Soul and Spirit in Waldorf Education
XV. Physical Education
6 January 1922, Stuttgart
What I have to say today concerns primarily the physical education of children. It is in the nature of this subject that I can talk about it only aphoristically, mainly because people tend to have already formed their opinions in these matters. When it comes to talking about physical development, everyone seems to have definite likes and dislikes that too often strongly color people’s theories on this subject. But anything arising from personal sympathies or antipathies easily leads to fanaticism, which is far from the real goals and activities of spiritual science. Any form of fanaticism or agitation for some particular cause is entirely alien to the nature of the anthroposophic movement, which simply wants to point out the effects of various attitudes and actions in life and leave everyone free to relate personal sympathies and antipathies to the matter.
Just consider the fanaticism that argues for or against vegetarianism today, each using unassailable, scientific proofs. And yet we cannot help noticing that never before has superficiality flourished so much as when people defend various movements of a similar nature. It is a fact that anthroposophy does not have the slightest leaning toward extremism in any form. It cannot go along with ardent vegetarians who wish to enforce their views on others whose attitudes differ, and who, in their fanaticism, go so far as to deny meat eaters a fully human status in society. If fanaticism occasionally creeps into the anthroposophic movement, it does not at all reflect the true nature of spiritual science.
Now, there is another aspect we must consider within the context of these lectures. Perhaps you have noticed that until now we have emphasized appropriate educational methods in the realm of children’s soul and spirit, which also allows the best possibility for physical development in a natural, healthy way. One could say that we are studying an educational system that — if it is practiced correctly and effectively — offers the best means toward healthy physical development. So the fundamentals of a sound physical education have already been presented. Nevertheless, it will be useful to review and summarize them again, although we must do this aphoristically because of a shortage of time. To do justice to this subject I would have to devote a whole lecture cycle to it.
Our theme falls naturally into three main parts: the way we feed children; the way we relate children to warmth or coldness; and our approach to gymnastics. Fundamentally, these three categories comprise everything important for the physical education of children.
Modern methods of knowledge, based as they are on an intellectualistic approach, do not offer the possibility of coming to terms with the complex nature of the human organism. Despite the scientific attitude that people are so proud of today, we need to acquire a certain instinctive knowledge of what nurtures or damages health and includes the whole spectrum between these two poles. A healthy instinct for such matters is immensely important. After all, isn’t it true that our natural science is generally becoming more dyed-in-the-wool materialistic? Consider how many secrets have been drawn from nature through research under the microscope or by dissecting various lower animals to investigate the functions of their parts. How many times has human behavior been determined by observing animal behavior, without considering the fact that the human organization in its most important characteristic differs radically from that of all lower animal species? In any case, there has not been enough emphasis placed on this significant difference, primarily because science today depends on investigating every detail separately, thus getting only a partial view of life.
Let me try to illustrate this by a comparison. Imagine that I meet two people at nine o’clock one morning. They are sitting on a bench, and I stop for a while to talk to them about various things, thus gaining a general impression of their characters. Then I go on my way again. At three o’clock in the afternoon I see them still sitting on that bench. Now, there are various possibilities of what may have happened in the meantime. It may be that they have been sitting there talking the whole time. Or, according to the different ways that people of various ethnic groups or nationalities behave, other things may have happened. Perhaps they sat together in silence. Or, unknown to me, one of them might left right after I did, while the other stayed on the bench. The first may have returned just before I reappeared, and so on. Externally, nothing appears to have changed between 9 A.M. and 3 P.M., despite the fact that the two seemed very different in temperament and lifestyle.
Life will never reveal its secrets if we observe only outer appearances. Yet, with today’s scientific methods, this happens far more frequently than is generally realized, as anyone can discover. Present scientific attitudes can indeed lead to a situation such as I witnessed not long ago. In my youth, I had a friend whom I knew lived a normal and healthy life. Later, we went our different ways and did not meet for many years. Then, one day, I visited him again. When he sat down to his midday meal, the food was served in an unusual way, and a scale was placed on the table. He weighed the meat and the vegetables, because he had begun to eat “scientifically.” He had complete faith in a science that prescribed the correct amounts of various foods one eats to be healthy. Needless to say, such a method may be perfectly justified under certain conditions, but it thoroughly undermines one’s healthy instincts.
An instinct for what is wholesome or damaging to health is an essential quality for any teacher worthy of the calling. Such teachers surely know how to elaborate and use all that was given in the previous lectures, and this includes the physical education of children.
We have seen, for instance, that before the change of teeth children live entirely in the physical organism. This applies especially to babies, particularly with regard to nourishment. As you know, when babies begin to take in food, they are completely satisfied with a totally uniform diet. If we, as adults, had to live every day on exactly the same kind of food for breakfast, lunch, and any other meal, we would find it intolerable, both physically and mentally. Adults like to vary their food with a mixed diet. Babies, on the other hand, do not get a change of food at all. And yet, only a few people realize the bliss with which babies receive their “monotonous” diet; the whole body becomes saturated with intense sweetness from the mother’s milk. Adults have the possibility of tasting food only with the taste buds and adjacent organs. They are unfortunate, since all their sensations of taste are confined to the head and thus they are very different a baby, whose entire body becomes one great organ for the sense of taste.
At the end of the baby stage, tasting with the whole body ceases and is soon forgotten for the rest of life. People who live with ordinary degrees of consciousness are completely unaware of how different their sensations of tasting food were during infancy. And, sure enough, later life does its best to wipe out this memory. For example, I once took part in a conversation between an “abstainer” and a person of the opposite position. (I won’t tell you the whole story, since it would take us too far from our theme.) The abstainer, like so many of these people, was inclined to be a fanatic and tried to convert the gourmand, who replied, “But I was completely temperate for two full years.” Greatly surprised, the abstainer asked him when this was, to which the other answered, “During the first two years of my life.” In this humorous, though rather frivolous way, important facts of life were discussed. Few people have a deeper and correct knowledge of these things.
Babies are related to the physical body in such a way that they can eat only with their entire physical organization, deriving the greatest benefit and pleasure from this condition. The gradual transition to the next stage involves forces that begin to concentrate in the head and finally lead to the change of teeth. These forces are so powerful that they can force out the milk teeth as the second teeth push through. This slow and gradual process takes place between birth and second dentition, affecting various other regions. After babyhood, the sense of taste withdraws into the head. Children no longer eat only with their physical organization, but with their soul forces as well. They learn to distinguish various tastes through their soul forces. At this stage it is important to watch carefully children’s reactions to different foods. Their likes and dislikes are valuable indicators of their inner health. But, to judge such matters, we need at least an basic knowledge of nutrition.
When talking about this today, people typically think of the aspect of weight. But this is not so important. What really matters is the fact that each kind of food contains a certain amount of forces. Each item of food holds a specific amount of forces through which it has adapted to the conditions of the outer world. But what takes place within the human organism is something entirely different. The human organism must completely transform the food it takes in. It must transform the processes that various foods have gone through while growing — forces that will become active within the human organism. What occurs there is a continual conflict, during which the dynamic forces in food are completely changed. We experience this inner reaction to the substances we eat as stimulating and life sustaining. Consequently, it is no good to merely ask how many ounces of this or that we should eat. Rather, we should ask how our organism will react to even the smallest amounts of a certain food. The human organism needs forces that generate resistance to outer natural processes.
Though somewhat modified, processes in certain areas of the human organism (between the mouth and the stomach) can still be compared to forces in the external world. However, those in the stomach and in the subsequent stages of digestion are very different from what we find outside the human being. When it comes to what happens in the head, however, we find exactly the opposite processes from those in outer nature. This shows how the human organism, in its totality, must be stimulated in the right way through the food we eat.
I must be brief, so there is no time to get into the terminology of the deeper aspects of this subject. For now, however, a less specialized and more popular terminology will do. As you know, in ordinary life there are foods we consider rich in nutrition, and others considered poor in nutrients. It is possible to live on food of poor nutritional value — just think of how many people are fed mainly on bread and potatoes, both of which are certainly low in nutritional value. On the other hand, you have to remember that, in cases of ill health, one must take great care not to overburden the digestion with foods having little nourishment. Bread and potatoes make great demands on the digestive system, with the effect that very little energy is left for the remaining functions. Consequently, a diet of bread and potatoes is not likely to promote physical growth. So we look for other foods that do not put unnecessary strain on the digestive system, foods that work the digestive system very little. If these things are taken to extremes, however, an abnormal activity begins in the brain, which in turn begins other processes that have absolutely no resemblance to those of outer nature. These again affect the rest of the human organism, and as a result the digestive system will become sluggish and too slack. All this is extremely complicated, and it is very difficult to understand all the ramifications of what happens. It is one of the most difficult tasks of a thorough scientific investigation — not the kind so common today — to know what really happens when, for instance, a potato or a piece of roast beef is taken into a human mouth. Each of these two processes is very complex, and each is very different from the other. To investigate the subsequent stages of digestion with scientific precision, a great deal of specialized knowledge is needed.
A mere indication of what happens there must be enough. Imagine that a boy eats a potato. First the potato is tasted in his head, the location of one’s organs of taste, and then the sensation of taste induces further responses. Although the sense of taste no longer permeates the boy’s whole organism, it nevertheless affects it in certain ways. A potato does not have an especially stimulating taste and, consequently, leaves the organism somewhat indifferent and inactive. The organs are not particularly interested in what happens with the potato in the child’s mouth. Then, as you know, the potato passes into the stomach. The stomach, however, does not receive it with alacrity either, because it has not been stimulated by the sensation of taste. Taste always determines whether the stomach takes in food with sympathy or aversion. In this case, the stomach will not exert itself to incorporate the potato with its dynamic forces. Yet, this must happen, since the potato cannot be left there in the stomach. If the stomach has the strength, it will absorb the dynamic forces of the potato and work on them with a certain distaste. It allows the potato to enter without developing any significant response to it, because the potato has not stimulated it. This process continues through the rest of the digestive tract, in which the remains of the potato are again worked on with a certain reluctance. Very little of what was once the potato reaches the head organization.
These few indications — which ought to be deepened considerably for any proper understanding — are intended as a mere suggestion of the complex processes that occur in the human organism. Nevertheless, educators should acquire a working knowledge of these things, and to do this I believe it is necessary to go into the whys and wherefores. I can imagine that some listeners might think it good enough just to be told what they should give children to eat and which foods to avoid. But this is not enough, because to do the right things — especially when physical matters are involved — teachers must have sufficient understanding of the problems. There are so many approaches to these things that one needs guidance to see what each case requires. And for this, teachers need at least a simplified picture of how children should be fed.
In physical education, we see in particular how far educational principles have deviated from prevailing social conditions. Unless students happen to live in boarding schools, where it is possible to practice what I have been indicating, it will be necessary to win the cooperation of parents or others in charge of children, and, as we all know, this can cause considerable difficulties. It may not be possible to implement measures one deems right and beneficial for students until tremendous resistance has been overcome.
Let me give you an example. Imagine you have a student in your class who has an excessively melancholic disposition. Extreme symptoms of this kind always indicate an abnormality in the physical organization. Abnormalities in the soul region always originate with physical abnormalities of one kind or another, and physical symptoms are a manifestation of the soul and spiritual life. So let us imagine such a child in a day school. In a boarding school, of course, one would deal with such a problem in cooperation with the dormitory. So what would I have to do? First I must contact the child’s parents and — if I am absolutely certain about the real causes of the problem — I may ask them to increase the child’s sugar consumption by at least 150 percent, or in some cases by as much as 200 percent, compared to what one gives a child who behaves normally. I would advise the parents not to withhold this additional sugar, which could be given, for instance, as sweets.
Why would I do this? Perhaps the opposite example will make it clearer to you. Imagine that I have to deal with a pathologically sanguine child. If I am to make sense, we must assume this is an excessively sanguine child. Again, the symptoms betray an abnormality in the physical organization, and here I would have to ask the parents to decrease the amount of sugar given to the child. I would ask them to greatly reduce the amount of sweets given to the child.
What are my reasons? One discovers whether to increase or decrease the amount of sugar only by becoming aware of these facts; all milk and milk products, but mother’s milk in particular, spread their effect uniformly throughout the entire human organism, so that each organ receives what it needs in a harmonious way. Other foods, however, have more influence on a particular organic system. Please note that I am not saying other foods exercise an exclusive influence, but that they influence some organs more than others. The way a child or an adult responds to a specific taste or a certain food depends on the general condition of a particular organic system. In this respect, certain luxury foods play as important a part, as do ordinary foods.
Milk affects the entire human being, whereas other nutrients affect a particular organic system. With regard to sugar, we must look at activity in the liver. So, what am I doing by giving an abnormally melancholic child lots of sugar? I diminish the activity of the liver, because sugar, in a certain sense, takes over the activity of the liver. This causes the liver to direct its activity more toward something extraneous, and thus the activity is reduced. Under certain circumstances, pronounced melancholic symptoms may be the result of a child’s liver activity, so it is possible, purely through diet, to decrease an overly melancholic tendency in a child — which can also manifest as a tendency toward anemia. And why, in the case of an overly sanguine child, do I recommend a reduction of sugar intake? Here I try to decrease the stimulating effect of sugar and cause the liver to become a little more active on its own. In this way, I stimulate the child’s I-being, which helps the child overcome the physical symptoms of an excessively sanguine temperament.
If we pay close attention over a period of time, we generally discover the necessary preventive measures. As a rule, this faculty develops only when it has become second nature in alert and dedicated teachers to spot even slightly unusual symptoms in students. Obviously, we must never allow abnormalities to deteriorate too much before taking action. To achieve this ability, teachers must be willing to continually deepen their understanding and to overcome numerous personal hindrances. Otherwise, I am afraid that teachers will not gain the necessary thoroughness until they reach retirement.
This example illustrates the possibility of counteracting certain abnormalities if we observe the human physical organization as a whole. Thus, the whys and wherefores are important. Naturally, we must always contend with countless details, but it is not impossible to relate these to the broader aspects that generally lead to polarities. Truly good teachers (even better than those who already exist), through close contact with their students, know instinctively and beforehand how to handle children when specific circumstances present themselves. In any case, if they are to take the appropriate action, it is extremely important for teachers to perceive any deviation from the normal, healthy behavior of children.
We must watch very closely how children — as beings of body, soul, and spirit — show an interest not only in themselves, but also in their environment. We have to develop an instinctive awareness of the children’s interest, or their lack of it. This represents the one side. The other is a teacher’s awareness of the first signs of fatigue in students.
What is the source of each child’s characteristic interest? It arises in the metabolic and limb system, but mainly in the metabolism. I will know that there is a problem of improper diet if I see that a child is losing interest, for example, in mental activities (and this is the most obvious sign); or if a child shows little interest in outer activities and no longer wants to participate in games or similar pursuits; or if I see that a child has lost interest in food (which is the worst sign of all, since children are naturally interested in various tastes and should learn to distinguish between the various flavors); or if a child suffers from lack of appetite (since a lost appetite also means a lack of interest in food). Here, food demands too much of the child’s digestive system. So, I must find out what food this child is being given that has relatively little nutritive value, since such food burdens the digestive system. Just as I can determine the weather by reading the barometer, similarly I can deduce an improper diet when I see a marked lack of interest in a child. Interest and apathy are the most important indicators with regard to a correct diet for children.
Now let’s take a look at the opposite pole. If I notice that a child tires too quickly because of mental or physical activities, again I can trace the cause to physical conditions. In this case, a child may eat with a normal appetite, but after eating, such a child may become drowsy, not unlike a snake after feeding. If a child has an abnormal desire to curl up on the sofa after eating, it shows an inability to cope with digestion, which causes the child to become tired. It is a sign that a child has been given too much of the sort of food that does not stimulate the digestion enough, with the result that the unfulfilled demands of the digestive system now enter the child’s head region, causing fatigue.
So, I must give food having concentrated nutritional value to a child who shows a noticeable lack of interest. But there is no need to become a fanatic about these things. Fanatical vegetarians will say that this lack of interest in children is caused by a diet of meat, and that they must now get used to a diet of raw fruits, so they can recover a normal interest in the world. This may be true. But those who believe in giving meat to children will maintain that, if they tire too easily, we must stimulate them with a meat diet.
These things should not provoke too much discussion, simply because it is possible to balance various foods through appropriate combinations that, in this case, might very well take the place of meat. Nor is it essential to turn children into vegetarians. The important thing is to recognize that, on the one hand, children who lack a healthy interest can be helped by an improved diet, one that contains especially nutritious foods and, on the other, that a tendency toward fatigue can be overcome by working in the opposite direction. This is one way to simplify and easily understand a very complex subject. If, for example, I find that a child tires too easily, I must realize that the digestion is not sufficiently engaged, and so I alter the diet accordingly. We must develop a kind of human symptomatology that helps us in a concrete and practical way. It is not always necessary to go into all the details. In matters of nutrition, if we interpret certain symptoms correctly, we begin to see through the situation and recognize what steps to take.
Closely related to all this (though opposite in a certain sense) is the whole question of warmth in childhood. Here, external phenomena guide us even more clearly than does nutrition; we just need the correct interpretation. On the other hand, they easily lead to extremes and become harmful. I am referring to “hardening,” or “toughening.” Under certain circumstances, this can be good, and much has been done in its favor. Yet, if we are well grounded in our knowledge of the human being, we cannot help feeling a sense of alarm when we see adults who were systematically hardened as children, and now cannot cross a hot and sunlit square without feeling oppressed by the heat. This can reach a point where both their psychological and physical makeup prevents them from ever crossing a sunny, open square. Surely, hardening is inappropriate if does not enable a person to endure any kind of physical hardship.
When considering the question of warmth or cold, two facts need to be kept in mind. First, nature has given us a clear directive; we have a sense of well-being only so long as we are unaware of the temperature surrounding us. If we are exposed to too much heat or cold, we quickly lose our sense of wellbeing. Obviously, we need our sensory perception of outer temperatures, but this must not adversely affect our whole organism. To protect ourselves from heat and cold, we neutralize their effects by the use of clothing. When exposed to too much cold, a person loses the ability to maintain normal functioning in certain inner organs. If, on the other hand, outer temperatures are too high, the body reacts with an excessive functioning of those organs. So we can say that, if a person is exposed to very low temperatures, the inner organs tend to coat themselves with a layer of mucus, giving rise to the type of illnesses I would call (in the vernacular) internal mucositis. Organs become lined with metabolic excesses, and this results in a hypersecretion of mucus. If, on the other hand, a person is exposed to too much heat, those organs respond by drying up. A tendency develops to form crusts, while the organs themselves ossify and become quite anemic.
This way of looking at the human organism provides the correct indications for moving ahead in matters of education. Every symptom and phenomenon teaches us something. For example, as human beings, it is safe to expose our faces to much colder temperatures than we could other parts of our bodies. And because the face is exposed to colder temperatures, it prevents other organs from drying out by stimulating them. There is a continuous interplay between the face, which readily accepts certain degrees of cold, and the other members of the human physical organization. However, we must not confuse the face with a very different part of the human anatomy. Forgive me for putting it so crudely, but we must not confuse people’s faces with their calves. This is the sort of mischief we encounter so frequently today, because in cold weather children are allowed to walk around with their legs bare up to their knees, and sometimes even higher. This truly confuses the two ends of the physical human body. If people were only aware of the hidden connections here, they would realize how many cases of appendicitis develop later on because of this confusion between the two human extremities.
On the other hand, it also needs to be said that we should not be too sensitive to minor changes of temperature, and that children should be brought up to bear them with equanimity. When children overreact to slight changes of temperature, again we must know that we can help by making corresponding changes in the diet. These things show us that warmth and nutrition must work together, for eating and keeping warm complement each other. Those who are oversensitive to temperature changes should be given food with a high caloric content, which generates the inner strength needed to withstand these changes. Again, you can see how a real knowledge of the human being also helps in such situations, and how, fundamentally, not only must everything in the human organism work harmoniously together, but mostly those entrusted with educating young people must be able to recognize this cooperation among the various organs.
The third major aspect of physical education involves various forms of movement. The human makeup is such that we must be active in more than our bodily functions; we must also participate in the outer world. People must be able to experience a connection with the outer world. It is true that not one human organ can be understood when considered only in a state of rest. We must relate it to the inherent activities and movements of its functions; then we can understand an organ even in a state of rest. This is true whether it is an outer organ — whose form, even at rest, indicates its normal movements — or an inner organ, whose shape and configuration express the function and movement that make it part of the overall human organic processes. All this is considered when we introduce various forms of movement to children in the right way. Again, bear in mind the wholeness of the human being. We must try to give the physical, soul, and spiritual aspects their due. With children, we do this only by allowing them to perform the right kinds of movements, which bring satisfaction because they are in harmony with children’s innate intentions. Such movements are always accompanied by a sense of well-being.
In an education based on knowledge of the human being, the first step in this direction is to learn the particular ways children want to move when given freedom. Typical games with their inhibiting rules are quite alien to the nature of young children, because they suppress what should remain freely mobile in children. Organized games gradually dull their inner activity, and children lose interest in such externally imposed movements. We can clearly see this by observing what happens when the free movements of playing children are channeled too much into fixed gymnastic exercises. As I said, I do not wish to condemn gymnastic lessons as such, but in general it must be said that when young students are doing gym exercises, their movements are being determined externally. Anyone working out of a real knowledge of the human being would much rather see young children play freely on parallel bars, on a horizontal bar, or on rope ladders, instead of having to follow the exact commands of a gym instructor shouting “one two three” as the children step on the first, second, and third rungs of a rope ladder or perform precise movements on gym apparatus — movements that tend to impose stereotyped forms on their bodies.
I realize that these remarks go a little beyond the general trend of modern gymnastics, whose advocates are often a bit fanatic. One easily rouses antipathy by shedding light on the kind of gymnastic exercises that are imposed externally, and by comparing them with the natural movements of children arising from their own involvement in free play. Yet it is exactly this free play that we should observe and study. One must get to know children intimately, and then one sees what to do to stimulate the right kind of free play, in which boys and girls should, of course, participate together.
In this way, through the inner flexibility that accompanies children’s outer movements, their organic functions work together harmoniously. This method also opens our eyes to what lies behind certain symptoms, such as those indicating anemia in young girls. In most cases such symptoms are simply the result of having been artificially separated from the boys, because it was considered unseemly for them to romp with the boys during free play. Girls, as well as boys, should be allowed to be boisterous when they play, although perhaps in slightly different ways. Conventional notions of what is “ladylike” are often are held up to young girls, but they frequently contribute to anemia in later life. However, I must ask you not to take this remark as a personal criticism of an established way of life, but simply as an objective observation. We can obviate a tendency toward anemia simply by allowing young girls to engage in the right kind of free play. In this way, we safeguard their inner functions from becoming so sluggish that they can no longer form the right kind of blood from their digestive activity.
These days, it has become difficult to fully understand these matters, simply because the kind of knowledge fostered today is not the outcome of observing inner human nature, but comes from collecting detailed data. Through so-called induction, these facts are then turned into a hodge podge of general knowledge. Of course, by following this method it is possible to discover all kinds of interesting facts, but it is more important to observe what has real significance for life. Otherwise, an ardent admirer of modern science might argue by saying, “You told us that anemia can manifest because young girls have not been allowed to play freely; yet I have encountered several cases of anemia in a village where young girls had never been restrained in their play.” One would have to look into the causes of anemia in this particular situation; perhaps as a child, one of these girls nibbled an autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), thus developing a tendency toward anemia in later life.
Another important aspect of our theme concerns the consequences of mental strain in children. If we overburden their mental powers, we definitely exert a harmful influence on their general health. If we prevent children from discovering their natural tendency toward movement and play, the metabolic organization will not be sufficiently stimulated. By burdening children with too much knowledge of the world, we artificially increase metabolic activity in the head. Although human beings have a threefold nature, any activity that dominates one of the three spheres is, to a certain extent, also present in the other two systems. When we overload students with facts about the external material realm instead of with spiritual matters, we divert some of the normal digestive activity from the metabolism into the head, thus causing abnormal activity in the whole metabolic system.
This, too, can cause anemia during puberty. Someone might argue that, in a certain village, students were never subjected to intellectual stress, but there were nevertheless cases of anemia in that town. Again we would have to look at the particular situation. For instance, we might discover that one of the houses in this village was covered by Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), and that a child whose curiosity had been roused by its black, glistening berries had eaten a few that were overripe, in this way increasing an innate tendency toward anemia.
To conclude, I would like to say this: It might be correct to collect separate data from which one then extracts general knowledge. But if we want to gain the kind of knowledge that is closely allied to practical life, we have to observe real life carefully, so that we can discover where and how to tackle problems as they arise. Only a real knowledge of the human being offers educators this kind of insight. It enables them to fulfill their task by guiding children into the right forms of movement and by guarding against stressing the mental capacities of the children in their care. The realization of these possibilities is our first and foremost task.
Of course, we cannot necessarily prevent a child from sucking on an autumn crocus or eating black berries from a Virginia creeper, but we can infuse intuitions into children — and at the right time. And this will enable them to develop physical powers in a well-rounded way and to cultivate greater flexibility.