Mark Pottenger


This is an attempt to clarify why I have often said that learning exists but teaching doesn't.

A watering can is the best image for the common model of teaching in Western society: a teacher pours out knowledge which a student dutifully absorbs.

I believe that the Socratic model that a teacher draws knowledge out of a student through clever questioning is more accurate.

In the context of the Universal I AM (third reality), every individual is a facet of the whole, and (theoretically) has access to all knowledge. From this perspective, learning anything "new" is the process of becoming aware of knowledge that is always (was already) present.

Individual access to all the knowledge in the Universal I AM is limited by the scope of the individual. Any individual filters reality through the constraints imposed by what the individual has previously accepted as true (neuronal programming). For any "new" knowledge to be accepted, it has to fit into the individual's previously accepted reality or the individual has to accept that the previously accepted reality was incomplete or incorrect.

The watering can model of teaching by spraying facts only works when the intended recipients of those facts are ready to accept them. Unsolicited facts, like unsolicited advice, are more likely to irritate the recipients than enlighten them.

Note: the Universal I AM contains all KNOWLEDGE, and it also contains all ERROR. Any "fact" previously or newly accepted by an individual can be called true or false based on how well that "fact" fits in with all other "facts" in the Universal I AM.

There is a relevant Buddhist saying I like: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. This can be read as an expression of the third-reality inner-outer equation.

A teacher does not have to be a person with training in the art of education. A teacher can be anything that leads an individual to accept "new" knowledge: a book that presents facts or ideas, a story that provokes thought, music that triggers an emotional response, a question that facilitates reflection, a self-help program a person chooses to see or hear, an event in a person's life, or even being around someone expressing a different awareness. No matter what the apparent external (first reality causative) "source" of knowledge, learning is always in internal event.

Note that speaking of an event imposes a first-reality unidirectional linear time framework on the third-reality omnitemporal Universal I AM. To switch frameworks, the description might be: a facet of the I AM is unaware of a specific part of Universal knowledge in one space-time segment and is aware in another segment.

Copyright © 2012 Mark Pottenger

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