from The Way of A Child by A.C. Harwood
Copyright © Rudolf Steiner Press 1967
Rudolf Steiner Press, London
In the rhythmic system also we find organically expressed that quality of movement which has already been alluded to in connection with the power of feeling. The rhythmic system never tires. The limbs will go no further at the end of a mere day's walk; the brain becomes exhausted with a few hours concentrated thinking; but the heart and lungs must pulse and stir without rest by day or night from the first intake of mortal air to the last out-breathing of the breath of life. It is due to this tirelessness of the rhythmic system that all work is less fatiguing in proportion as it is done rhythmically and, being so done, rests on the rhythmic system of the body. The old customs of singing and chanting the work were based on this knowledge, and students of fatigue in modern times have only rediscovered the importance of making movements rhythmical if they are not to tire.
But because the connection of the rhythmic system with the power feeling is not understood, people have not yet begun to study the effect of feeling on the nature of fatigue*. In education, we find that intellectual work tires the children, and then, to give them relief, we exercise the opposite pole of the body by introducing violent games and sports, which exhaust them, in another way. But we do not have the imagination to think that if we taught artistically and with feeling, that is rhythmically, they would not become so tired in the first place, and so would not need violent outlets for their energies in another direction in the second.
It should be one of the practical ideals of education to see when a child comes to leave school he has been able to develop the three powers of thought, feeling and will(...).
* This was written in 1940. There has since been much research and study supporting the connection between feelings and fatigue.