Learning Is Not Experience
There are two kinds of learning. For most of us learning means the accumulation of knowledge, of experience, of technology, of a skill, of a language. There is also a psychological learning, learning through experience, either the immediate experiences of life, which leave a certain residue, of tradition, of the race, of society. There are these two kinds of learning how to meet life: psychological and physiological; outward skill and inward skill. Doesn't learning imply something new, something that I don't know and am learning? If I am merely adding to what I already know, it is no longer learning.
xx x x x x x x x | Thou art wisdom and thou dost know the cause and | x x x x x x x x xx
end of all things.
I am thy child, I want to know life's true mystery, life's true joyous duty.
xx x x x x x x x | Thy wisdom shall show all things that thou dost know|x x x x x x x x xx
That thou dost know.
When Is Learning Possible?
To inquire and to learn is the function of the mind. By learning it is not meant the mere cultivation of memory or the accumulation of knowledge, but the capacity to think clearly and sanely without illusion, to start from facts and not from beliefs and ideals. There is no learning if thought originates from conclusions. Merely to acquire information or knowledge is not to learn. Learning implies the love of understanding and the love of doing a thing for itself. Learning is possible only when there is no coercion of any kind. And coercion takes many forms through influence such as attachment or threat, persuasive encouragement, and subtle forms of reward.