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Dr. Maria Montessori talks about the double embryonic life of the human species . She calls them “The Physical Embryo and “The Spiritual Embryo”
The human body first takes shape as a self forming embryo, requiring during its formation the protection and nurturance of the womb that envelops it. A physical embryo develops unseen in the womb to appear fully formed at birth. The humans and animals are similar in this stage of physical development.
Dr. Maria Montessori observed that after birth a child develops slower than animals. An evident difference is that no young of an animal is born as inert, as incapable of actualizing the characteristics of the adults, of its species, as is the newly- born human being. Many animals such as kids, foals, and calves stand on their own leg almost at once and during the period of lactation they run after their mothers.
The human child instead is inert for a long time. He does not speak, whereas all other young creatures at once begin to chirp or bark or reproduce the sound, peculiar to their species. Hence it is absorbed that the young of animals inherit a specialized behavior. This is as fixed as the morphological features of their body. Their adaptation to the environment aims at exercising their characteristic functions, the purpose of which is not merely to preserve the species, but further to contribute to the total functioning of nature which is their cosmic purpose. The legs of those which jump, run, climb or dig into the earth are formed in such a way as to correspond to the task of each.
The long inertia and incapacity of the child belong truly to the human species alone. He does not posses “by birth” all the attributes which are destined to increase and grow within him as a means to attain adulthood.
Maria Montessori said,
“Because, in the child, instinct has withdrawn to give place to something higher to the intelligence and will of man”.
He is therefore different from animals precisely with regard to...