Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Learning to Learn
"A man’s mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions.”
—Oliver Wendell Holmes,
U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1897
We experience the value of this insight every time we embark on a course of study or personal exploration. Right now, for example, I am learning to speak Spanish, and this endeavor constantly challenges, because I can no longer simply use the words I am already familiar with, but I have to consider that there might be a better way to say things than a dictionary definition or a Google translator or some other app.
The process is the same when we explore or embrace any new ideas. When people started to learn about The Law of Attraction, they were challenged to see how it really works in their life, and how it connected in ways they never saw before.
When people started to reconsider what they thought about the afterlife after reading and hearing newer authors speak about their near death experiences or their ability to connect with the spirit world, their minds stretched to consider these new concepts.
Our minds begin by bringing our old concepts into view and then seeing if the new concepts can fit with the new by expanding the context and definitions or if we have a hard time accepting the new ideas because they contradict or conflict with our old ideas.
Learning is learning, whether we are learning a language, ghosts, spirits, tarot, astrology, a musical instrument, history, philosophy, cooking, sewing, spread sheets, money management, learning to trust our own intuition or develop our psychic abilities. Learning always stretches us.
Researchers say that using our mind by learning, solving problems, and engaging in even something as simple as crosswords or math puzzles can keep our minds from becoming senile, or at least keep us alert and conscious longer. Mental exercise is as important as physical exercise. Our minds and bodies were designed for movement, and the longer we keep our minds and bodies flexible through movement, the better.
I have been a life long learner. I have done different kinds of work just to see what it was like, studied different sorts subjects just to satisfy my curiosity, learned to use tarot, runes, pendulums, investigate past lives, paranormal activities, energy healing, learned to play musical instruments and many other things just to experience that feeling that comes with stretching the mind. I like the feeling.
There is excitement when we go beyond where we have been before. Curiosity is part of human nature that encourages us to explore, invent and experience. When we explore we begin to notice things that we have never noticed before. We see, hear, feel, taste and notice smells that we have never noticed before because our senses are more open. Learning to learn engages feelings as well as thoughts.
Learning to learn is about aliveness. What would you like to learn about? What inspires you? How will your curiosity help you to get more out of life? What are you curious about? Are you pursuing it now?