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The Education of Man

by Friedrich Froebel

a new translation into English by Johannes Froebel-Parker and Bruce Froebel Watson

a provisional translation of Chapter One of Die Menschenerziehung - The Education of Humanity

An eternal law rests, works, and predominates in everything; it has always expressed itself in that which is external, in Nature, as well as in the inner world of the spirit. It is that which binds both together. It clearly permeates and enlivens both of them in life. It fulfills the need of the spirit and of faith-so much so that it can be no other than that whose spiritual eye looks into the inner world via the external. It sees the external emanate from the essence of the internal, with both need and security. Unity is at the core of this almighty law. It is there out of necessity. It is all-telling, clear unto itself, living, omniscient, and, hence, eternal.

The law, in the same way as the unity, becomes enlivened and recognized in a far-reaching manner either through faith or observation. It is recognized either by a quietly observant human heart or an illumined, clear human spirit. This unity is God.

Everything emanates from the Divine, from God. Everything is uniquely determined through the Divine, through God. The sole foundation of all things is in God. All things rest, live, and have their origin in the Divine, in God, and through God. The Divine, active in each thing, is the essence of the very thing itself. The destiny and purpose of all things—their essence:

To show their Divinity and the development of Divinity in them. To give witness to God in their actions and also through their fleeting, transient nature. To announce the special destiny that the purpose of Humanity, perceptive and reasonable, is to actualize its very being, its Divinity, albeit God, and His destiny and purpose. To bring a living recognition and clear understanding to this purpose.

The goal of humanity is to exercise its being with self-determination and freedom, to allow it to be effective, to manifest it.

The education of people is the stimulus. It is the treatment of human beings as creatures which are in the process of coming into their own consciousness, are thinking, perceptive. Education is also the means and way—it is the demonstration with knowledge of the pure, unharmed inner law, of the Divine.

Instruction is the rule for thinking, perceptive beings which result from the recognition of that law—which, when understood at its core, leads to an awareness of their vocations and an attainment of their destinies.

The art of education is the voluntary application of this recognition and, indeed, the understanding of this knowledge for the direct development and education of reasonable people - all towards the achievement of their destiny.

The goal of education is the creation of a life which is true to its calling, pure, inviolate and, thus, holy. The wisdom of life, indeed, wisdom itself, is the recognition, application and conscious unified. They are unified for the purpose of a pure, holy life, true to its destiny.

Copyright © 2001 Johannes Froebel-Parker and Bruce Froebel Watson All Rights Reserved.

one response

What a powerful first chapter. The goal of education being the creation of life true to its calling . . . A wonderful, encompassing statement that will probably frighten may of our teachers. Looking forward to the second chapter. Good luck