THE TRIUMPHAL CHARIOT 393 It is certain that mysterious facts, referrable to the unconscious mind at first and then to the subconscious at the same time as conscious ideas are appearing, reveal in the child a power to absorb images from the environment even when these are deposited in the mental labyrinths—as it reveals itself in the truly miraculous fact that the child can absorb what is erroneously called " the mother , tongue " with all its phonetic and grammatical peculiarities, when it does not yet possess the mental faculties which are necessary in order to learn: the voluntary attention, the memory, the reasoning power. It is also true that things absorbed at the unconscious age, by force of nature, are those which persist in such a profound manner that they become identified with the person, so that the mother tongue actually becomes a character of the race, the property of the human individual. On the other hand adults, who learn a foreign language when, the mind is mature, do it with difficulty and do not succeed in imitating to perfection the spoken sounds, never losing their foreign accent and always making some grammatical mistake. The child, in the first two years of its life, is preparing with its absorbent mind all the characters of the individual, although he is unaware of it. At three years of age there is shown the motor activity through which experiences are establishing the definite 46 conscious mind ". The motor organ employed in the transfor- mation is essentially the hand which has to make use of objects. It is well known that the child wants to touch everything and concentrates on games which are carried out by the intelligence and the hand in partnership. The importance of the hand as an organ which co-operates in the age of childhood in the building up of the conscious mind is not yet utilized in education. The powers of the absorbent mind are obscured by degrees as the organization of the conscious mind advances; they are, how- ever, still in existence during childhood, and permit, as is shown in our universal experience (that is, among almost all the human races), the ** absorption " of culture to a vastly surprising extent.