Ego, self-knowledge and Learning
What is learning?
Learning involves three things:
1. Knowing the extent or boundary of our knowledge;
2. Understanding the sphere of our ignorance;
3. Transcending the above two when actually receiving the knowledge.
The last part is tricky and that is the reason as to why some people have sharper learning curve than others. Here we are going to deal with this aspect a little more.
Hindrance by ego or self perception:
Learning curve is closely associated with ego and self-knowledge. What is ego? Is it not a label given by psychologists? Actually it is worse than that. Ego is our perception of ourselves. We call a person egotist if that person has a very high opinion about him/herself. Narcissus is the name for even more egotists. But what is this perception of self? Is this the self-knowledge or something different? Continue reading
Speaking is an act unique to human species yet all human species do not equal in skill. Mass media has only raised the bar higher. Speaking clearly to get the message across is another thing called communication. Speaking in front of audience or public or in court is a different matter. Public speaking has to be precise, authoritative and interesting. This is what differentiate between a speaker and orator. There are too many books and articles about public speaking and I have never read any. However it appears that there are three types of speakers:
Education is believed to be liberator, inculcating new ideas, assimilating streams of knowledge and thereby transformation of an individual. It all seems so nostalgic. A cause worth living and fighting for. The possibilities can not be denied. However at ground level it is not. The result of education turns out to be different.
Having acquired habit of seeking confirmation from the writings of so called wise people, we lose esteem to make up our own mind. We are unable to express without quoting a few references. While there is no harm in appreciating beautiful expression of a human being from the past; the problem arises when the expression becomes an authority. Continue reading
The learning curve is a misnomer.
There is no such thing as learning curve. The distance between a learner and learned or unskilled and skilled is of one step. Unless that final step is leaped, all are vegetables not ready to be served. Either we know how to do it or don’t. There is no psychological counsel’s assurance ‘you are doing great’. It is not an evolution which will take place slowly. It is a revolution which acts in leaps and bounds. Learning may be in parts but is not in tiny bits.
But those who repeat the same stupid pattern of learning will remain in loop of learning. Like meditators sitting on the banks of every dirty river in India. They are from all over world, seeking peace. Expecting that fruit of peace will drop before them like an apple fell before Newton. Since they already know ‘how’ it will happen they have to wait. Forever.
The biggest hurdle in learning is what we already know. Continue reading
A friend has sent me the following text, which is the part of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to the headmaster of the school where Lincoln’s son was studying. (In this letter Abraham Lincoln is requesting / guiding the headmaster what to teach to his son in the school.) The friend has asked for my comments.
The letter of Abraham Lincoln
“HE WILL HAVE TO LEARN, I know that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader…….Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found…teach him to learn to lose…and also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the secret of quite laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the earliest to lick……Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…but also give him quite some time to ponder the external mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on the green hillside. Continue reading