Famed woman psychologist Byron Katie says, “if you knew how beautiful you are, you would fall at your own feet.” For me, learning self-love may be the most useful learning of all. Coming to know the vast riches and wisdom we all are simply by virtue of being alive is the type of knowledge I would have loved to be experientially introduced to in my childhood, especially in elementary school.
Whoever coined the phrase “back to school” seems to have been out of alignment. The word “back” infers going backwards or the need to go back. Should we change the phrase to “forward to school”? “Okay kids, next week we’re going forward to school!” When we discover how powerful and essential learning is, we see how vital it is to be utterly delighted and excited to be in any environment where we learn (which is everywhere if that is our desired focus). And of course, ultimately, the only environment there is is us, in the sense that everything we’re seeing externally is being projected from our consciousness via our conscious interpretation. Our brains are taking in billions of bits of information 24/7 and converting it all moment to moment into our experience of life.
Looking at my early “education” attending Malibu Webster Elementary, we were not introduced to simple but profoundly important principles such as HOW to learn, the power of simplicity and the fact that the word “education” derives from the Latin word “educare,” which means “to draw out of” because they had the understanding that all knowledge exists within us and just needs to be drawn out or re-membered. The giant missing link to this understanding is HOW to access the ocean of answers inside. Is it by learning to read words so we can read the thoughts and information from others that will activate the knowledge within?
One part of the mystery is that the energy causing us to breathe contains all wisdom and intelligence, and when we learn how to experience that energy without mental interference or without “the logical interpreter,” the wisdom and intelligence is automatically transferred to our conscious awareness, and in a way that not only can be understood but actually experienced. It is materializing in a way we can know as part of our awareness if we just listen and feel what is from pure observation.
According to Patrick Glynn, people have different learning styles because they vary in their ability or need to process information by sight, sound and touch. Some may prefer visual aids like charts, while others will learn better through listening (auditory) or doing things physically (kinesthetic). The benefits of learning styles are that we feel more self-assured, leading to more productive learning and improved working relationships now and in the future.
Learning actually and literally extends our lives because when we learn new information, it creates neurons in our brains and extends our telomeres. Studies have shown that when people begin to stagnate in their minds, it can lead to dementia for example. Our brain is an organ that grows and expands without taking up more space! We have ten thousand galaxies’ number of synapses in our brains all acting simultaneously in perfect concert for us to be able to learn.
To be taught at an early age about the power of fluidity and flexibility in our thinking is beneficial and can lead to resolutions of resistance and mental blockages which themselves can even cause physical illness. This reminds me of the bumper sticker, “Don’t Believe Everything You Think.” I can extend this and listen to my thought-maker itself and ask if that is really me doing the thinking or is it something happening that I cannot stop? Many experts say our thought life in some sense is the product of our collective momentum being passed down generation to generation and that the conclusions of our thoughts are not only our own.
When I was in the second grade, we were forced to go through drills hiding under our desks in case there was a nuclear attack from Russia. The Benson family residence on Malibu Road actually had a bomb shelter filled with canned goods! We were led out of the classroom at Webster in single file and hiked up to the Hughes Research Lab, where we would hide in the event of a nuclear attack. Think of how this affected children’s perception of the world and our fellow humans.
Another vital element in learning for me that seemed to have been missing in elementary school was what inside me was actually doing the learning. Was it all about simply remembering new information? Also, I do not recall a single class or subject matter being introduced regarding how to increase my focus and concentration. There was missing information about what was inside of me that was doing the focusing. How could I see or know my own mental binoculars that could clarify anything? It’s one thing to focus on a thought or a feeling, or a word or math equation, and an entirely different thing to exercise continual focus on energy that is moving like our breath.
Amazingly enough, when I focus on the breath as a practice, my ability to concentrate increases dramatically while revealing how my thought life can be experienced as nothing but passing clouds and does not have to be taken seriously, as our over-riding “higher self” is forever residing in perfect stillness, the source of all creation. Walter Russell explains that virtually everything throughout all creation is either gravitating toward or radiating out from stillness.
I am so excited that all of these considerations of learning and education are gradually permeating our learning institutions and that humanity is constantly evolving into a greater understanding of the value of each other, recognizing that we are all a part of one another and that to dissent or fight with anyone for any reason is ultimately fighting with ourselves. As all of us ultimately want the same thing, there must be a way we can all coexist peacefully even if we agree to disagree.
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