Learning and Knowing

November 6, 2018

We are born as creatures that are able to learn. From our first day on earth we have the ability to constantly adapt to what is and to increase our abilities to perceive, to move through life, to affect and be affected by life. Learning in this regard always implies something new. We learn to walk, to speak and think and to pursue our will – all of which we do not know beforehand, but what is in our potential to try and experiment with. During this path we are naturally making lots of mistakes, which in turn are providing us with information on how to adapt and to improve our learning and our abilities to learn.

In reality, we not always use this information in the most efficient way. Instead, we are influenced and constantly let us influence by people around us, who often have different predefined opinions on how we should perform and how the ability to learn is assessed and measured. This happens in various different settings ranging from how our parents react to our behavior and our mistakes, the degree of how our learning is individually supported and how different ways and speed of learning are often reduced to uniformly measuring available mind-knowledge in school and, later, university and, eventually, society.

We are trained to and are training ourselves to already know instead of to learn.

Based on that we are creating various reactions to learning. We often do not know how to deal with difficulties or failures. If something is getting more demanding than we thought, we have a set of tendencies that we have trained over the years to distract ourselves from moving forward instead of dealing with these difficulties.

Furthermore, we create predefined mindsets about what it means to learn or opinions about ourselves and our ability to learn something new. Among those can be fixed thoughts about not being able to learn, always not being good enough – no matter how hard we try –, or being to old to learn something new.

By continuing these repeating behavioral patterns and repetitive thoughts, we are directing our attention to the past and the past conclusions that are linked to our learning experiences. Stopping those means pursuing learning despite of past experiences, dealing with difficulties and challenges in reality and, by that, enabling newness, mystery and growth in our lives to happen.

This does not only involve what we are learning through our brains, but also what we are learning through our bodies. Our bodies are a great source of information when it comes to stopping patterns that we have established in the past. We can notice how we react not only on the mental level, but can also recognize and stop fixed ways of being in our bodies. Examples for that can be specific tensions while concentrating, sensations of heaviness when it comes to pursuing a demanding task, recognizing fear when we are moving into unknown territory.

Like the newborn creature, we can continue learning to experience more of what is, perceive reality in new ways and increase our own physicality.

What new do you want to invite to your life?