In the course of his history man has had to learn the use of the most primitive instruments, and our children have still to learn the simplest things, and have to spend a certain time in order to learn them.
Man has to make efforts to produce even the simplest things, or to manufacture his instruments and tools. When, on the other hand, when we observe the animals we are obliged to admit how much easier it is for them in this respect.
Think how the beaver builds its complicated dwelling. It does not need to learn; it knows how to do it, because it brings the knowledge with it as an indwelling law, just as we human beings bring with us the power of changing our teeth at about seven years of age. No one needs to learn that.
In the same way, such animals as the beavers bring with them the capability to build their houses. If you observe the animal kingdom you will find that the animals bring with them definite capacities by which they can achieve things which human art, great as it is, is far from achieving.
The question may now arise: How does it come about that when a human being is born he is less capable than, for example, a hen, or a beaver; and that he has first, with much pains, to acquire what these creatures already bring with them? (See link full lecture below)
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 120 – Manifestations of Karma: LECTURE 2: KARMA AND THE ANIMAL KINGDOM – Hamburg, 17th May 1910
How did the beaver learn to build its complicated dwelling?