by Gwen Randall-Young
One of the secrets of life is to keep our intellectual curiosity acute.
– William Lyon Phelps
Learning has expanded. It has exploded beyond the walls of traditional school buildings. Alternative programs abound, and with computers giving access to constantly updated information, textbooks can be hopelessly obsolete.
Now more than ever, it is possible to explore whatever intrigues us. Like a child following a path through the woods, and stopping to absorb the wonders along the way, we can freely choose our own learning path.
It would seem that we’ve been sidetracked by an educational system that directed our learning. For so long, adults in far away offices arbitrarily decided what should fill our minds. Teachers so often ignored our natural curiosity and spontaneous intellectual cravings in the interests of meeting curriculum goals.
However, it was not our curriculum. Natural learning was ignored, even discouraged, in favor of structured education.
In order to have such education administered effectively, it was necessary to remove us from our natural habitat. Often we were placed in sterile rooms where even fresh air and natural light were limited.
We were prisoners in the sense that we were not free to come and go at will. We had to sit at a hard desk, even if the body responded to the lack of movement with restlessness and fatigue.
We were not even free to spontaneously make natural human sounds. In many cases, the end result was a deterioration in the natural desire to learn.
Things are different now. Perhaps not so much in many schools, but certainly different for students in alternative programs, and different for adults. As adults, we are now free to reawaken that natural human desire to explore our environments: inner space, outer space, and all the spaces in between.
No more walls, no more limitations, no rules, no teacher. Only the light, the boundless, the timeless, the eternal.
Young children learn by following what interests them. They may change direction many times in a few minutes, or may become engrossed in an activity for hours. The learning process unfolds naturally, and is fueled by curiosity and guided by what the child loves. Creative and intellectual geniuses develop their abilities by also focusing on what interests them and immersing themselves in what they love. Knowledge and experience grow synergistically.
It is profoundly nurturing to the human spirit to pursue what naturally attracts us. Not only is it nurturing, it is the way that we evolve. Too often, pursuing what we love is considered a luxury, a leisure time activity. But for optimal wellness, for true alignment of body, mind and soul, we must allow our heart, our joy, to be our compass.
When we are deep into activities or learning experiences that we are passionate about, we transcend time and space. It is here that we have the experience of soulfulness. It is here that we allow the creative energy of the universe to pulse freely through us.
We merge into the co-creative dance that is eons old and ever new. We are life. Fortunately, now, there are more avenues and opportunities for learning than ever before. There are so many ways of learning about our world, learning about ourselves. The Universe is our classroom.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca ‘Like’ Gwen on Facebook for daily inspiration.