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COPYRIGHT DEPOSIT.



GROWING A LIFE



A BOOK FOR THE SCHOOL AND THE HOME



By

CHARLES EVANS

President of the Central State Normal School,
Edmond, Oklahoma




RAND McNALLY & COMPAIIY

Chicago j^^,r^ yj..j^



Copyright, 19 12. by Charles Evans ^



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i£ CI. A 3^08 53



To my two sons
Charles and Edward



THE PREFACE

THIS book is bom of a desire to serve. There is
nothing original about it, unless to view pedagogy
as a life process be original.

It has been our privilege annually to meet in Kentucky,
Oklahoma, and Texas many teachers and parents and
talk to them of the child. At such times these thoughts
took shape around that theme. Kind hearts and keen
minds were interested in the views here put forth, accepted
some of them, and said they were practical. In such
tributes a certain latitude is to be allowed for insincerity,
yet in ten years and more of contact with hfe we have
found more than enough of truth to make us "trust the
larger hope."

The principles here announced have been tested in
the laboratory of home and school for nearly a score of
years. They are the thoughts of the wisest we have met,
hammered into something of a unit by the child as we
met him in the everyday world. Our school service,
whatever it has been, is due directly to an appropriation
and application of these principles. What has helped us
so much may help others a little.

Often the child, the center of all systems of education, is
overlooked while the puny satellites — texts, methods, and
routine — monopolize attention. In this work, therefore,
the child is elevated above all else.

Throughout the work there is an attempt to express
a pedagogy of conviction, of personal entreaty, of joyous-
ness of living, and more especially of the divine happiness
of living with children.

The teacher should be a leader, it matters not the place



6 THE PREFACE

or time. Therefore pictures of live teachers are often
presented as well as sketches of some of their opposites.

The first six lectures, for the chapters are given in that
form, undertake to lay a simple yet firm foundation for
growing a life. A little of psychology and metaphysics
was necessary to widen and strengthen the base. The
work is so constructed that the reader may take up any
division and get in each a unit of thought. Each lecture
tells a complete story.

There is an attempt made in these pages to grow a life
naturally, under law, constantly unfolding at all times
toward the end, completion, and climax of all life —
enthusiastic, righteous character — and filling its place as
a useful citizen in a great Republic.

C. E.

Edmond, Okla., September, igi2.



THE CONTENTS



PAGE



The Preface 5

CHAPTER

I The Law of Laws 9

II The Law of Continuity 14

III Mind and Force 20

IV Mind and Growth 26

V Consciousness 34

VI Self-activity 45

VII Righteousness 59

VIII Happiness the Birthright 73

IX Food . 86

X Stimuli 96

XI Training 116

XII Appetite 136

XIII Time i49

XIV Freedom 163

XV Powers 176

XVI Processes 185

XVII The Great Ideal i95

An Outline of the Book 203



GROWING A LIFE

CHAPTER I

THE LAW OF LAWS

TN the last two decades much has been said and written
-*• about the child. This has sprung from an increasing
faith in the truism that the child is father of the man;
that whatever you would have a race be, see that its
children are not neglected.

Out of all this desire and effort to better the lot of
the child two individuals have been most benefited : first
the child, next the teacher. In fact, viewing it from that
point of truth which reveals that the sacrificing toiler
receives the chief reward, the teacher, because of all his
endeavor to reduce the chance of children being bom to a
life of hopeless ignorance, should be rated as the one most
blest. Even as Columbus, through a vision enlarged by
sacrifice and a feeling divinely illumined by persecuted
yet unconquerable faith, saw not a few scattered islands
but "came upon a new world and saw the rivers roll from
Paradise,'* just so did Froebel, Pestalozzi, and the true
teachers following after through an equivalent of toil and
suffering achieve the greater blessing in the discovery
of a mental freedom for the human race through its
childhood.

The progressive teacher of all time has been marked
by work and receptivity. In demand for more fields to
conquer, the educators of America have broadened the
educational tests for teaching, placed pedagogy in all the
great institutions of learning, created normal and summer



lo GROWING A LIFE

schools, molded and sustained lecture courses, and forced
upon a reluctantly yielding body politic the worth and
dignity of child life. Reading, listening, seeing, the
teachers of the land have pushed their way through the
darkness of superstition and ignorance to save mankind,
their brothers. "Fear God, and keep your eyes open,"
were the last words of Dickens's mother to her son Charles.
Whether he followed the first part of this advice to the
letter we do not know, but Pickwick Papers and David
Copperfield assure us that he kept his eyes open. So the
multitude of books read, the papers and pamphlets issued,
the migration of the educators of this country to every
point of the compass where instruction and thought can
be had, prove beyond doubt that the teachers are getting
their eyes open.

Yet with all this desire and endeavor to reach the light
education as a real science still lies beyond us. We pile
our treatises on mind and methods about us heaven high,
and extract therefrom myriad plans only to find that the
new discoveries are but exhumations from a pedagogical
graveyard, long since forgotten. We turn in dismay to
living masters and beg for educational bread, and quite
too often, in high-sounding metaphor and appalling
exegeses, are handed a stone. When one thinks of the
many books written, the many lectures delivered to
assist the teacher yet put forth in style and substance
as if the intent were to conceal thought rather than reveal
it, the boyhood prayer of Abraham Lincoln, one of Nature's
schoolmasters, rises to the lips. The pedantic itinerant
preacher was spending the evening in the Lincoln home.
The topics, politics and religion, rife with the virility of
pioneer days, were uppermost. Just as young Lincoln's
interests would leap into flame at some startling piece of



THE LAW OF LAWS ii

news, the preacher would quench the fire with a torrent
of verbosity. To the dismay of the eager but disgusted
boy this went on for two hours. At last, worn out, he
cHmbed to his attic and in his agonizing search for reUef
from such mental bHght prayed: "O Lord, whenever I
talk and use words no one can understand, kill me there
and then. Amen."

What we need most in the training world to-day is a
thinker who will seize the few well-defined principles of
education with a grip so sure and firm as to transform
them into a true and unfailing pedagogical magnet.
To this magnet we may bring our purposes and our
plans. If these cleave, they are time; if rejected, they
are false. It matters not whether this be original mate-
rial. The demand is not so much for originaHty as for
clearness and stability.

In addressing ourselves to any effort in this direction
one thought towers above all others: there must be an
unfailing basis upon which to rest our reasoning. The
polestar must not be more unwavering than the theory
upon which a system of child training must depend. The
oracle of the child must climb a Sinai and gather mes-
sages fresh from God before he speaks as one having
authority.

Where shall we find this oracle? Where are the lips
that speak unvarying truth? Where are the pens that
trace infallible law? Where may the eye, though hedged
by finite weakness, look upon infinite strength? Where
may the teacher go to gather unchanging principles of
childhood's growth? To the first and last great teacher.
Nature — the one infallible guide, with whom it is better
to eat a crust of truth than to feast sumptuously at the
tables of philosophers and poets.



12 GROWING A LIFE

"To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To rear the column or the arch to bend;
To swell the terrace or to sink t'az grot:
In all let nature never be forgot. "

The mind staggers beneath the breadth and compass
of this trite word, Nature, and begs an illuminating defi-
nition. Some workm.an chiseled into the v/all of the
Congressional Library at Washington: "Nature is the
Poetry of God. " Drummond says it is a scaffolding by
which we climb from the known to the unknown, from
the material to the mental, and from the mental to the
spiritual. The teacher, in accepting man the learner as
a phenomenon of Nature, can find real assistance in this
definition: " Nature is the creation or projection of God
in order to reveal himself unto Himself and unto His
creatures."

That man was made in the image of his Maker is no
longer a phrase from an accepted creed, but a scientific
fact. As far as human mind can trace, Nature reveals
the truth that specie stamps succeeding specie with
characteristics similar to its own. When we hear the song
sparrow's note we hear the twitterings of the first song
sparrow created. So with man; look upon him, note his
attributes, and we have a right to exclaim in scientific
terms as in poetry, "How like a god!"

Man works, thinks, produces the savage speech, the pic-
tured thought, the monolith and the stylus, the Caxton
Press and the electrically driven Hoe cylinder, all "to
reveal himself unto himself and unto his creatures."
This then is fundamental, that Nature is the one unfailing
revelator, the one true teacher. With her we must ever
work; to her we must ever go for guidance. With the
simple law of the natural world in his grasp, the humblest



THE LAW OF LAWS 13

teacher in the land, so far as he uses it, is on an equality
with the most famous and capable,

"For truth is truth
To the end of reckoning."

To make a few of these truths his own is a work of any
student and lover of the child.



CHAPTER II
THE LAW OF CONTINUITY

THE nineteenth century was a remarkable epoch in
the evolution of man. In truth, when we view
that century through the perspective of invention or
science there seem but two divisions of all time — first,
the nineteenth century ; second, all time preceding it. If
one were to say that the greatest feat of human progress
is the annihilation of time and space through the inven-
tion of the telegraph, telephone, and cable, that would be
an idle statement. Or if one were to say that by means
of the microscope, telescope, and spectroscope man had
been given a new heaven and a new earth, and that
through the phonograph the dead still speak, even yet
the chief conquest of mind is not found. But behold a
quiet but persistent group of men, thinking, thinking
with no guide but truth, no master but truth, with
no end in view but to know the truth, silently
breaking the fetters of prejudice, bravely assaulting error
and superstition wherever found — Darwin, Spencer, Tyn-
dall, Faraday, and Huxley pushing their way up the
steep, rough paths which lead to the greatest of dis-
coveries. At last it was secure, and for all invention,
science, reHgion, and government man had an unfailing
basis in the truth that this imiverse is a thing of law.

Until the year 1850 there was no science, save mathe-
matics, worthy of the name. Chemistry was alchemy,
astronomy was astrology, geology was guesswork gibbeted
by superstition, and chaos ruled the whole. But "back
to Nature" became the cry, and through microscope and

14



THE LAW OF CONTINUITY 15

telescope daring minds looked into atoms and burning
worlds, and lo, all was law ! They analyzed the crawling
worm, the drifting seaweed, man himself, and as they
looked, compared, and reasoned they were forced to
exclaim :

" All's love, yet all's law . . .
Perfection, no more and no less,

In the kind I imagined, full-fronts me, and God is seen God
In the star, in the stone, in the flesh, in the soul and the clod. "

It remained, however, for the latter part of the century
to see the final conquest. For while law was established
in the material kingdom all effort to project it into or
relate it with mental or spiritual phenomena was bitterly
opposed. The physicist closed his eyes to mental or
spiritual phenomena, while he berated the pulpiteer.
The pulpiteer declared there was no revelation of truth
save one, and this new story of the natural world was a
cheat and a snare. So from i860 to 1880 was fought the
greatest war in thought the world has ever known. No
quarter was asked and none was given. But just when the
hour seemed darkest, when the scientist in his pain and
persecution was about to cry, "I will have nothing of
your God and His soul-world," and the exhausted and
infuriated idealist hurl back at him, "Henceforth there
is an inseparable gap between us," Henry Drummond
stepped forth, saying, "Peace, be still. You must not
talk about your natural world and your spiritual world,
your realm of matter and your realm of mind. I say
unto you there is but one world, one realm, encircled and
controlled by a supreme law, and that is the law of
continuity.

"It has been my privilege," continued Drummond,
"for some years to address regularly two very different



i6 GROWING A LIFE

audiences on two very different themes. On week-daj'-s I
have lectured to a class of students on the Natural Sciences,
and on Sundays to an audience consisting for the most part
of working men on subjects of a moral and religious char-
acter. I cannot say that this collocation ever appeared as
a difficulty to myself, but to certain of my friends it was
more than a problem. It was solved to me, however, at
first, by what then seemed the necessities of the case — I
must keep the two departments entirely by themselves.
They lay at opposite poles of thought; and for a time I
succeeded in keeping the Science and the Religion shut
off from one another in two separate compartments of
my mind. But gradually the wall of partition showed
symptoms of giving way. The two fountains of knowledge
also slowly began to overflow, and finally their waters
met and mingled. The great change was in the compart-
ment which held the Religion. It was not that the well
there was dried; still less that the fermenting waters were
washed away by the flood of Science. The actual con-
tents remained the same. But the crystals of former
doctrine were dissolved; and as they precipitated them-
selves once more in definite forms, I observed that the
Crystalline System was changed. New channels also for
outward expression opened, and some of the old closed up;
and I found the truth running out to my audience on the
Sundays by the week-day outlets. In other words, the
subject-matter Religion had taken on the method of ex-
pression of Science, and I discovered myself enunciating
Spiritual Law in the exact terms of Biology and Physics."
This quotation, given at length, discloses in Drummond's
own way how he had traced the web of natural law into
the mental or spiritual world and found nowhere a break
in the thread, and how in the same way this man of



THE LAW OF CONTINUITY 17

genius traced the line of truth from the Bible only to be
led to the natural law.

"Verily many thinkers of this age,

Are wrong in just my sense who understood
Our natural world too insularly, as if
No spiritual counterpart completed it.
Consummating its meaning, rounding all
To justice and perfection, line by Une,
Form by form, nothing single nor alone.
The great below clenched by the great above. "

Then there broke a chorus from Tennyson, Browning,
and Carlyle, caught up in America by Emerson and sent
through all the earth, proclaiming:

''Detached, separated! I say there is no such separa-
tion. Nothing hitherto was ever estranged, cast aside;
but all, were it only a withered leaf, works together with
all; is borne forward on the bottomless, shoreless flood of
Action and lives through perpetual metamorphoses. The
withered leaf is not dead and lost, there are forces in it
and around it, though working in inverse order; else how
could it rot? Despise not the rag from which man makes
paper, or the litter from which the earth makes cork.
Rightly viewed, no meanest object is insignificant; all
objects are as windows through which the philosophic
eye looks into Infinitude itself."

So the idea of the universe being a thing of law and
the supreme law of the universe being continuity moved
along, gathering momentum until it was accepted as the
basis of order in the existence of all science, all poetry,
all art, all religion. There is nothing new in this. It is
God's beneficent attitude. Like electricity, like gravita-
tion, like radiimi, it has always existed, though unknown
and unused until science brought it to light. But now
2



i8 GROWING A LIFE

under this new order a truth here is a truth there. A law
here of the inorganic rock is a law of the organic worm,
can the mind but trace it. From material to physical,
from physical to mental, from mental to spiritual the
mind now steps without a break, and the law of con-
tinuity reigns supreme.

Let the teacher rejoice that at last an immovable
point of view for the study of the child has been found.
"Pedagogics as a science," says Herbart, "is based on
ethics and psychology. . . . The former points out
the goal of education; the latter the way, the means and
the obstacles." But let the teacher reach beyond this
and get a firmer, clearer, simpler basis. The center of
pedagogics is the child. The child is a phenomenon of
Nature, and is to be studied like any other work of Nature
through the law of continuity.

Psychology in the hands of its best American expositor,
William James, preaches no other doctrine. Who can
read the chapter on "Habit" in his epoch-making work
(epoch-making, because he followed mind under the law
of continuity closer than ever before attempted) and not
feel that here at last is substance? Here the mind is
subjected to the same inspection, the same analysis, in
its medium, the brain, as is the air in its medium, the
lungs. Here is not physical analogy upon which to rest
practical truths of mental habit, but physical law, as fixed
and unchangeable, because the very same, as that which
holds the stars in place and brings the rivers from the hills
to the sea.

Ethics, under the influence of continuous law, has taken
on new life and given a divine range to the child and
its teacher. The old ethical conception was based upon
the belief that all other species of animals and all worlds



THE LAW OF CONTINUITY 19

were produced for the exclusive benefit of man. But
biology, under natural law, reveals such a general con-
tinuity of the nervous structure throughout the whole
animal kingdom that John Fiske says: "I can hardly
doubt that the butterfly really enjoys life somewhat as we
enjoy it, though far less vividly. I cannot but think
that he finds honey sweet and perfume pleasant and color
attractive, and that he feels a likesome gladness as he
flits in the sunshine from flower to flower, and knows a faint
thrill at the sight of his chosen mate. Still more is this
belief forced upon me when I reflect that save only in a
few aberrant types, sugar is sweet to taste, thyme to smell
and song to hear, and sunshine to bask in. "

Here, teachers, is one world, not two or more, governed
by a sweet concord of law which exclaims

"How strange is human pride!
I tell thee that those living things,
To whom the fragile blade of grass,

That springeth in the mom

And perisheth ere noon.

Is an unbounded world;
I tell thee that those viewless beings,
Whose mansion is the smallest particle

Of the impassive atmosphere,
Think, feel and live like man ;
That their affections, and antipathies,

Like his, produce the laws

Ruling their moral state;

And the minutest throb
That through their frame diffuses

The slightest, faintest motion,

Is fixed and indispensable

As the majestic laws

That rule yon rolling orbs. "



CHAPTER III

MIND AND FORCE

THE child is the central figure in the field of pedagogy.
Some great teacher said: "Three things should
a trainer of children study: Nature, the Bible, and
the Child. " Whatever triune of the schoolroom may be
named, the child must be in the center of it. Because
here is at once the object of attack and defense, here is
the thing which molds and shapes the standard of earth's
possibilities; for here is mind, the child.

It is easy to find definitions for mind. Lexicographers,
philosophers, and psychologists can furnish them by the
score. But after they have defined it we may call in
vain upon all the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and
Chaldeans to interpret their psychologic dreams. There
is a Daniel, however, who stands so close to the Revealer
of Secrets that we may trust him for a simple interpre-
tation of this word. This Daniel is generous and infalli-
ble Nature.

Language is an effort to interpret Nature. The senses
slip out of their narrow cells and climb by matter up to
words. How many cycles of sensing, experience, joy,
and suffering are mirrored in such words as body, soul,
and God ! These are indeed pyramids from which more
than "forty centimes look down upon us.** Into this
environment wanders mind, testing, analyzing, selecting,
rejecting, until at last conception stands triumphant
with a name — a word.

Let us with primitive faith imder natural law enter
upon a search for a definition of mind based upon its



MIND AND FORCE 21

most decisive phenomenon. What myriad worids lie
about us! But upon closer scrutiny they become one,
"whose body Nature is, and God the soul." Here lies
substance, passive, inert. Out of the vortex of the great
unknown moves a mysterious, intangible, all-pervading
something, seizes upon the material, and all is action.
This last because it impels, coerces, repels, energizes,—
in short, does. We call it "Fors" or force.

Here are the two expressions of divinity, —matter and
force. To which of these does mind belong? Look upon
mind, note its phenomena, and then decide. Hedged
about by infancy, it is ever active, ever struggUng for a
better light. To youth it bequeathes the power of mental
comparison and bodily energy, the miracles of Nature.
Maturity brings us to man.

**Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds
Of high resolve; on fancy's boldest wing
To soar unv/earied, fearlessly to turn
The keenest pangs to peacefulness, and taste
The joys which mingled sense and spirit yield. "

Look upon mind, a child prattling in infancy or a Webster
in the forum, fashioning a toy in youth or an engine
in maturity, planning a lesson in school or shaping a
charter of civil liberty. Mind must be classed among
the forces. Mind must be clearly defined by Natiu-e
as a force. Beyond that we cannot go; less than that
is not truth.

One would exclaim, "Why all this array of facts and
words to arrive at a conclusion so simple and so apparent?
Let it be understood now and here that such exclamations
reveal as nothing else the weakness and poverty attending
all study of child and mind. That class of workers which
enters our schoolrooms with half-defined views borrowed



2 2 • GROW ma A LIFE

from varied sources, unabsorbed, unassimilated, and
therefore indigestible and thoroughly hurtful, is only
exceeded in number by that class which refuses to read
or think at all. Let it be repeated that what the teacher
needs are a few well-defined principles of education. The
demand is not so much for originality as for clearness and
stability.

Is the truth that the mind is a force, simple? Then
revere it, because the Almighty uses simplicity for His
divine Seal. Is it old? So are the ten laws of Sinai, yet
to this day they are the bone and sinew of all law. Does
it make mind a common thing, like heat and friction,
steam and electricity, which we call forces? Then let
us rejoice that we have at last found common kinship
for this subtle, elusive thing called mind — common as
friction is common, proving man's foothold as he climbs
to triimiphant invention; common as steam is common,
as, imprisoned or released by the mind-force, it flies to
do man's bidding; common as electricity is common,
which, studied and appreciated as a force, in the flash of
an eye encircles the world. The statement wrung from
Nature's lips that mind is a force is as simple and easy
to grasp as that heat is a form of motion, that matter is


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