Today’s post is a cacophony of snip-its and quotes about learning and teaching.
From “The Years of Rice and Salt” by Kim Stanley Robinson
It is always the teacher who must learn the most, Bistami thought, or else nothing real has happened in the exchange. Pg. 130
The word of God came down to man as rain to soil, and the result was mud, not clear water. (Bistami) Pg. 128
From “Musashi” by Eiji Yoshikawa
At times like this, the world, which he once thought so full of stupid people, seemed frighteningly large. Pg. 472
After this experience, he realised how premature his judgement had been and how importent and useful randomly acquired bits of knowledge could subsequently be.Pg. 362
– I must have subconsciously picked this lesson up from a previous reading, or another source, as it is one of the items of advice I included in a conference presentation in 2002: “Listen to everything, try and understand everything, see everything. Time is only wasted if you do not listen. One day this knowledge will be useful in ways you do not expect.”
From “The Lone Samurai – the life of Myamoto Musashi” by William Scott Wilson
…the principles of swordsmanship must be understood as though the student himself had discovered them. This was a major departure from other sword styles of Musashi’s time.
From “The Martians” by Kim Stanley Robinson
Imbition is the tendency of granular rock to imbibe a fluid under the force of capillary attraction, in the absence of any pressure. Sax became convinced that this was a quality of mind as well. He would say of someone, “She has great imbition.” and people would say “Ambition?” and he would reply, “No imbition.” And because of his stroke people would assume he was just having speech trouble again. Pg. 337
If you’re more relaxed I think your brain functions more effectively. Tibetans, generally speaking, are quite jovial. In my family we were always laughing. – Dalai Lama
Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. – Lord Thomas Dewar
You must sit in a chair for a very long time, with your mouth open, before roast duck flies in. Chinese Proverb
If you are standing on the shoulders of giants, modesty is not only pointless, it is disrespectful.
Don’t limit a child to your own learning for they were born in another time. – Rabbinical saying
Teching in a martial art is a great place to learn the art of teaching (and learning), “there is nowhere to hide on the mat”, but the princples can be applied to any situation be it a business meeting, talking with your children, or writing a story/magizine article.
I have found that when most people teach or talk it is a one directional act. People immediately put up walls in their minds, even if they know the information is something they need to understand; it is primeval. You have to set up the environment so that they decide to draw the information in, then as a teacher you don’t force it on to them or spoon feed them, you just put the knowledge out there to be imbibed by their now open minds.