The Cosmic Task
“If a child is allowed to unfold, it will be drawn
by a process of allurement towards its cosmic task,
its life’s purpose.” Dr. Maria Montessori.
Maria Montessori, a renowned educationalist, pointed out that every living creature on the face of the earth has an innate, inner imperative that compels it to perform certain tasks during its lifetime.
The primary tasks that all species carry out, are to work, to eat, to procreate and to be of use to the species. The second function, which Montessori labeled the ‘Cosmic task’, are tasks that every creature performs, invariably unconsciously, that ultimately benefit not only itself but also the planet, its ecosystems, and its inhabitants.
The bumblebee is a classic example of this phenomena. The primary imperatives of a bee’s life is to work, eat, procreate and help look after the hive. To do this the bee travels miles every day, seeking out the nectar that it brings back to the hive to support the colony. But the bee’s ‘Cosmic task’, the higher purpose of its life, is to cross-pollinate the various flowers and shrubs it enters in search of nectar.
If you look closely at a bumblebee you will see that its body is covered in hair, hair designed to pick up pollen as the bee pushes its way into each flower to gain access to the nectar. And, when you take a closer look at the flower, you will see that the flower has evolved in such a way that it attracts the bee by its color, its shape, and its odor. There is a clearly marked landing strip at the entrance to flowers that guide the bee directly to the nectar via an avenue lined with upright pillars covered in pollen. As it leaves one flower to visit others it transfers male and female pollen to all the other flowers, cross pollinating everything it enters, renewing the life cycle of every flower that it touches. The bees need the flowers; the flowers need the bees. They are designed to complement, not just each other, but everything else in their own, particular, Fields-of-being.
If you wish to observe the fulfillment of the bee’s cosmic task, a symbiotic relationship that has flourished for millions of years, then visit a field of flowers in spring. Move among the blossoms, breathe in the fragrance. The beauty is overwhelming, it moves our hearts and souls, for ultimately every expression of the cosmic task adds something of value back to the planet and its people.
Recent events in China have highlighted the vital importance of the humble bee. When apple and pear crops began to decline sharply a few years ago in south-west China, the farmers were baffled. Trees that had produced bountiful crops for years simply stopped bearing fruit. After much research, they realized that the pesticides they were using had poisoned the environment, causing the bees to die off in their billions, leaving the flowers, shrubs, and trees un-pollinated and bare of fruit.
The farmers were forced to pollinate their trees by hand, carrying buckets of pollen and paintbrushes with which to individually pollinate every flower, using small children to reach the highest blossoms.
Here we have a striking example of the chaos and destruction that can be caused by preventing a single, tiny species, from fulfilling its purpose in life, its own, unique, cosmic task.
The sea mollusk is another example. Living on the ocean floor it leads a simple existence, seeking out food and procreating whilst enlarging its shell to protect its growing body. The mollusks cosmic task is to clean the excess calcium from the ocean and, as it filters out the minerals needed to enlarge its shell, it is playing a vital role in reducing the calcium density of the sea water. Without the mollusk and other shelled creatures like them, the oceans of the world would be uninhabitable for ninety-five percent of the creatures now living in them. These mollusks live and work and have their being in their own peculiar ‘Fields-of-being. Unconsciously fulfilling the role assigned to them by the Ground-of-being.
You may look at any animal, plant or species. Whether it be the lions of Africa, the grizzly bears of the North American continent, or the tiny field mice in the hedgerows of Ireland. From the highest to the lowest, every single creature has a meaning and a purpose to its existence, only the children of men have lost their way.
We are the only species on the face of the earth that has abandoned its cosmic task, and in doing so we have become the single greatest threat to the survival of the planet and its inhabitants. We have become humans thinking, humans doing, humans working and, in succumbing to this insidious malaise, the vast majority of us may have forfeited our rights as Humans Being.