Building New Brain Cells
This week we finished watching the lecture by Dr. Ryce (www.whyagain.com) and the thing that struck me the most as I watched this lecture, yet again, was the level of understanding that I received on several key points, which I had “missed” or only partially understood during the many other times I have watched the lecture.
When I think about the process of counteracting the decades of conditioning I have received through my education, family, and culturally biased experiences, I am reminded of the song by Paul Simon in which the lyrics say, “When I think back on all the crap I learned in High School, it’s a wonder I can think at all.” We are all programmed to think that what we have “learned” is correct, and that challenges to what we “know” are to be seen as an attack upon us. One of the most critical points in this lecture is how we need to be able to bring into question what we already “know”. We must be open to the possibility that what we “know” may be wrong, or at least limited. If we are not willing to accept that we don’t know all there is to know, we will not be able to learn anything new.
We are limited by what we think we know in all of its forms. We are limited by bias and prejudice, as well as limited perception. Take the example of the person who grows up in a culture that has no technology or machinery and does not know anything about electronics and remote controls. This person is likely to think you possess some kind of magic if show them a television, which they will view as a box with people inside. Or they may view you as some kind of god if you change the channel and volume with a remote control. The reason for this is because they don’t know anything about the electronics which are used to make these events happen. In similar ways, we are just discovering new technologies which would have seemed magical just a few decades ago. Many of us can remember when no one had a cell phone, and it was science fiction to wave your hand at a television screen and have the picture on the screen respond.
The same process is in effect in all our systems of thought, philosophy, science, spirituality, and even personal experience. So as we learn from others and our own personal experience, we open ourselves to new possibilities, but we always run the danger of thinking that what we have learned is “right”, or “the truth”, and “all there is to know”. Each time this happens we create prejudice and bias within our thinking. In order to be open to learning something new, we need to first accept that we do not know all there is to know, or that what we know may be inaccurate, or limited.
As we do this we open ourselves to deeper and deeper levels of understanding of “old” knowledge. It is amazing to me how much more I understand about relationships in families than I did when I was twenty-five and considered myself very knowledgeable. What is even scarier is how I realize now that I understand much more today than I did when I was forty and considered myself an expert. I look at family relationships now and wonder what new things I will learn and come to understand in the next ten years. In some ways this is unsettling because I am beginning to realize how much I do not know. In other ways it is exciting because I look forward to learning more.
In similar ways, I think back to how I looked at this lecture from Dr. Ryce the first time I heard it several years ago, and how different it feels to listen to it today. I have a deeper appreciation for the words and concepts today than I ever could have imagined just a year ago. As I build new levels of understanding, I build new levels of appreciation and new levels of possibility. It reminds me of the quote from the book “The Way Of Mastery” where it says, “The difference between a student and a master is that the master knows, one must always be a student.”
I join with you all in questioning everything we think we know, so that we may learn everything we need to learn to continue to grow.
We come from Love, we are made of Love, we are Love. Everything else is false.