222 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD
endowed with supernatural intuitions, are miraculously called by
divine grace, though rationally it is not possible to give them that
religious education which later, in the so-called age of reason, the
child can absorb, whilst the man will grow greater through intelli-
gence illuminated by faith.
The sensitive period is always a base for wonderful acquisitions
which the man will no longer be able to gain at a different age.
Mental Order. The mind of the little child is certainly not
void of knowledge or ideas when the education of the senses begins,
but the images are confused together on the edge of the abyss.
That chaos of the mind has no need of other new things, but it
does need order among those which exist in it. It begins to dis-
tinguish all the characters of things. It distinguishes quantity
from quality, and separates what is form from what is colour.
It'distinguishes dimensions according to their frequency of occur-
rence, in objects long and short, thick or thin, large or small. It
separates colours into groups calling them by their names—white,
green, red, blue, yellow, violet, black, orange, brown, pink. It
distinguishes colour in its intensities, calling the two extremes light
and dark. Taste is separated from odours; smoothness from
softness; sounds from noises.
As the child had learnt to put everything in its place ia its
surroundings, one result of the education of the senses was the
orderly arrangement of mental image. That is the first orderly
act which has to be done in the mind; it is the first point of
departure because mental life unfolds by avoiding obstacles.
The conquest of the external world in its sense aspects will
now be easy and orderly. The orderliness which has been started
has prepared the conditions. .
This was what was done by those men who have be-
come brilliant in the opinion of the world. They began by
distinguishing things, grouping them, classifying them, inventing
aames by which to identify them, and deciding to what uses
they could be put. They wedded exact knowledge with scientific