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Visual instruction in graduated departments in the children's kingdom
68,1. You have seen now how the immature children learn to speak; But what follows after speaking? See, there is another building before us. In this we shall enter, and it will immediately show what is happening with these children. We are already in the building, which is beautifully built, and we no longer see the former departments, but the whole building presents a very large hall, which has space enough to convince you with inner vision of a million such disciples, and a teacher for every group of ten.
68,2. But what happens here? Behold, there is such a group in front of us, you see in the middle a round table, around which ten little students are comfortably seated together with a teacher. What do the students have before them on the table? We see books with somewhat stiff pages, and on the pages are small, but very masterful pictures.
68,3. What do the students do with these pictures? They look at them, and then relate to their teacher about the picture they looked at. This is the beginning of reading; only elaborated pictures are being read here.
68,4. Look a lot of tables in the foreground, which run in a straight line across the width of the hall; there, as you can see, are all the beginners of reading. You are saying here, of course, and asks, "This is all right, correct, and beautiful, if it is merely about reading of pure picture-writing; but even if the reading by meansof mute signs or so-called letters is common here, we still do not quite see how these silent, single signs will emerge from these cute pictures.
68,5. Let it be well, my dear brothers and friends! What you have here before you, will be clear at the next row of tables; and you will be able to convince yourself that you can learn to read in an entirely natural way, without the preceding spelling and syllable forming.
68,6. See, there is the second row; what do you see here? You say: nothing but fundamentally the same books, but the pictures are no longer fully elaborated, but only given with the outlined contours. See, there is more thought to this, in order to find out from the connection of the lines the formerly well-elaborated picture again. At the same time, however, you will see from this that the inner spirit is thereby directed to activity, because of the omission of some of the external vision of the image, or the inner mind is guided to perform the filling in of the lacking parts itself. We now have seen what the students do in this second row.
68,7. Let us go to the third; we are here. What do you see here? You say: again books as before; but here we see only basic lines around which the other contour lines are expressed only by dots. Look, here it is harder to figure out the actual picture; but it is evident that one has already been led back to the actual basic meaning, to some extent to the foundation of the image. At the same time, the meaning of the images is read more thoroughly, and the lines begin to gain more significance in themselves.
68,8. It is also explained at the same time what is a straight, a curved, and a circular line.
68,9. Let's go to the fourth row; what do you see? Again books, where only the basic lines are still present; but they are more encompassed with the contour points. Since, however, the existing images represent a lot of historical situations which are usually related to the Lord, and thus one or more human figures occur in each picture, these basic lines clearly show all the parts and outlines of humans; how the parts of the human being are ordered, and what significance the simple lines have in relation to the different parts and outlines of man.
68,10. But what is the outcome of this? We will see this in the next row.
68,11. See, we are already here. Here we see the same lines closer together, and here and there the end-parts of the lines run to certain points. What does that say? It is still the first picture; but the lines are already transforming into a mute form, and the students have to recognize these mute characters as if they had the complete picture in front of them.
68,12. Let us go back to the next row. Here in the books you see only one, two, or three principal lines, and on a much smaller scale. These individual principal lines are here and there connected with small globules to indicate that they belong together. The secondary lines are only suggested here and there with a few short dashes and dots.
68,13. See, is not that a formal font? Yes, it sure is; and it is the very real right (or original) script which corresponds with the whole essence of man. You say: That's right; but how does it look with the individual sounds or the so-called A. B. C.? I tell you, that is all in it; for the so-called self-clauses are indicated by the dots and small squares, but the consonants are represented by the principal lines and their connections. You therefore never read the individual letters here and do not get to know them in advance because of the reading, but this way has it exactly reversed. You will first learn the general signs, as you have seen, and from these general signs you will then learn to recognize the individual basic signs, and then to compile them together, and to recapture the general signs from the compound ones.
68,14. See, this is the way to teach the students reading in the shortest and most appropriate way.
68,15. It is barely worth mentioning that learning to speak, is a very important part of the learning to read, since it can be very easily understood. For the difference between these methods consists merely in the fact that the teaching of speech are plastic and dramatic, but with learning to read, it is drawn flat and presented on a small scale.
68,16. But here we see several rows; what is happening there? Reading instruction still continues here; and this consists in the principle that the students should find by means of correspondences, from the form of this inner spiritual writing, in the end also all the secular, external writings; and they leave this building with nothing else but the ability to read. It is scarcely worth mentioning that students are learning to write of their own accord; for according to this method, as you will say, two flies are slain with one stroke.
68,17. You of course ask here: "Yes, if these little children, who are perhaps five to seven years old, according to earthly measures learn all these things, what else remain to teach them? For, as we have seen, they have, in the speech lessons, by means of the countless varied picture-books, already learned almost everything which man can conceive in his spirit, and they have been taught much more through thereading lessons, for in their pictures there were so many and varied situations, that one could fill a whole infinity with their realisation. It is certainly not easy to see what a higher school can offer here.
68,18. Let it be for now; the sequel will show you what they have to learn. You must not think that in the realm of the spirits as a spirit itself, as you say, you get to eat all the wisdom of the heavens with the spoon, and you only have to swallow. For that would indeed be an extraordinary monotonous life, if one would be in a position, in which man would no longer be capable of perfection. But if the Lord Himself, which you would not quite understand, continue in the development of His infinite power, which you can easily see from the progress and propagation of all things, how could there ever be a standstill for His children? But how such advances occur, the sequel will show.
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