Monday, May 22, 2023

What have you "Learned"?

What is learning? Probably most of us have not even asked that question, or if we have asked it, our
response has been from tradition, which is accumulated knowledge, a knowledge that functions with skill or without skill to earn our daily living. This is what one has been taught, for which all the usual schools, colleges, universities, etc. exist. Knowledge predominates, which is one of our greatest conditionings, and so the brain is never free from the known. It is always adding to what is already known, and so the brain is put into a straitjacket of the known and is never free to discover a way of life that may not be based on the known at all. The known makes for a wide or narrow rut and one remains in that rut thinking there is security in it. That security is destroyed by the very finite known. This has been the way of human life up to now. ...

Knowledge is the past always. Is there a way of acting without the enormous weight of humanity's accumulated knowledge? There is. It is not learning as we have known it; it is pure observation – observation which is not continuous and which then becomes memory, but observation from moment to moment. The observer is the essence of knowledge and one imposes on what one observes that which one has acquired through experience and various forms of sensory reaction. The observer is always manipulating that which it observes, and what it observes is always reduced to knowledge.

So one is always caught in the old tradition of habit-forming. So learning is pure observation – not only of the things outside you but also of that which is happening inwardly; to observe without the observer."

J. Krishnamurti