Imagine any conversation you’ve ever had or heard about education. I bet someone involved said something along the lines of: “Why can’t we just learn what we need to know for our career?”
The whole idea behind education is, well, to give you an education. That includes learning to think in terms of quantities and shapes, learning to think critically about ideas and how to communicate, learning how diverse human systems have developed over time…
An education is a basic taste of all that’s currently known in every important field.
But going to school won’t give you an education, just like studying a special someone’s love letters won’t give you a relationship. School can’t learn for you, even if you get perfect grades.
Certain topics spark your interest as they connect with your natural talents and passions. As you focus in on what you’re good at, what you enjoy, and what you care about, there comes a point when classroom education can almost get in the way of learning.
The process of pursuing knowledge—of following leads, finding relevant ideas and research, examining it all together, crossing out dead ends, and working with what you come back with to make it useful—is one that must be practiced to be mastered.
You can’t learn how to learn only from books.
The easier it gets to access information, the more irrelevant memorizing facts so you can pass a test becomes.
I believe you can say you have an education when classroom learning provides mere jumping-off points to get you started.
So, let’s bring this back to the power of going public with your real experience in order to face addictions and grow beyond limitations. Part of the power of going public comes from realizing you’re not alone. Others want to move in the same direction you do.
All you really know how to do right now is what you’ve been able to do before. To go public with your experience and move forward in life requires fundamental changes in your thinking and behavior. Otherwise, living only on the warped fumes of what’s proven valuable to you in the past, you open yourself up to the deceptive nature of your conscious mind in its current state.
Only by learning to look outward, and to follow illuminations that confirm and expand upon the intuitions and experiences you share, can you ever hope to recognize the barrage of competing forces constantly at work to influence your conscious mind.
Here’s something I once wrote while high:
“I don’t want to only exist on thoughts I recognize. That’s why I need to stay open, study, listen, learn…
“And it’s so easy now.
“Learning controls for the GIGO factor in terms of ideas and interpretations of experiences.
“What should you be learning?
“As you share your experience over time, your combined thoughts and intuitions gel to form theses for you to research.
“Certain themes and topics repeat and connect, providing key words and ideas like trails for you to follow. Learning everything you can about these concepts shows you where your theses—your ideas, intuitions, and thoughts about your experience—are correct, and where they fall short.
“Today you don’t need an expensive education to access good, balanced information.
“Be an idea hero. Don’t take your own thoughts for granted. Always be seeing where and how they connect to the cumulative thoughts of as many others as possible.
“Follow your own leads; never stop learning.”
In my opinion, the investment of a traditional education is no longer as valuable as it once might have been. With the resources freely available today, you can learn to think critically, to recognize credible information, and to consider and contribute to humanity’s current consensus on any given topic.
Learning is a self-correcting process; and it’s getting easier for all of us all the time.
Do you value education?
Tomorrow: a case study for going public; I’ll share five random days’ worth of high thoughts, and what I learned when I saw them all together.