Cosmic Plan/Task/Education

"Life progresses according to a cosmic plan and the purpose of life is not to achieve perfection along an unlimited line of progress but to exercise influence and to achieve a definite aim upon the environment… Similarly all other animals by the process of feeding themselves or seeking food carry out a “cosmic” task which contributes to keep nature in a harmonious state of purity… the universal syllabus that can unite the mind and the consciousness of all men in one harmony, that we intend by 'Cosmic Education.' This education must take its departure and spread from one centre, the cosmic plan of creation." (Montessori, Basic Ideas of Montessori’s Educational Theory pg. 129 & 131)

Three different, yet interrelated concepts are discussed here. The Cosmic Plan is the wonderful way the world is interconnected and interdependent and all parts of life work together, although most of them without thought, for life to happen. A simple example is the carbon dioxide released from animals as a waste product that is a necessary component of photosynthesis in plants and the oxygen they release that animals would die without. On a fundamental level, we need each other. The Cosmic Task is the special task that each individual contributes to this continuation of life. Cosmic Education is the name of the elementary curriculum and its aim to give children the keys to the universe, while at the same time indirectly (and sometimes directly, as in the Great Lessons) showing them the Cosmic Plan, and encouraging them (this time usually indirectly) to think about what their own Cosmic Task might be. We want them to ask “what is my task? What will I contribute to life?”