Learning

The whole art of war consists in getting at what is on the other side of the hill, or, in other words, in learning what we do not know from what we do.

I have said that the soul is not more than the body, and I have said that the body is not more than the soul, and nothing, not God, is greater to one than one's self is, and whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud, and I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick of the earth, and to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times, and there is no trade or employment but the young man following it may become a hero, and there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the wheel'd universe, and I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes. And I say to mankind, Be not curious about God, for I who am curious about each am not curious about God, (No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about God and about death.) I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand God not in the least, nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful than myself. Why should I wish to see God better than this day? I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then, in the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass, I find letters from God dropt in the street, and everyone is sign'd by God's name, and I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe'er I go, others will punctually come for ever and ever.

A little knowledge leads the mind from God. Unripe thinkers use their learning to authenticate their doubts. While unbelief has its own dogma, more peremptory than the inquisitor's, patient meditation brings the scholar back to humbleness. He learns that the grandest truths appear slowly.

The advice of a scholar, whose piles of learning were set on fire by imagination, is never to be forgotten. Proportion an hour's reflection to an hour's reading, and so dispirit the book into the student.

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles of learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.

Learning makes a man fit company for himself.

All true educators since the time of Socrates and Plato have agreed that the primary objective of education is the attainment of inner harmony, or, to put it into more up-to-date language, the integration of the personality. Without such an integration learning is no more than a collection of scraps, and the accumulation of knowledge becomes a danger to mental health.

Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.

Learning is finding out what you already know.

Whatever it is that we value in life – relationships, creativity, learning, aesthetic experience, food, sex, travel – the call to seize the day is the call to appreciate these things while we can and not to put them off indefinitely. Some things require work and time, and often the best choice is not to do today everything you want to do before you die. The true spirit of carpe diem is not to panic and try to do everything now, but to make sure every day counts. The wisdom of carpe diem is that time is short, this is the only life we have and we should not squander it.

Reading to children at night, responding to their smiles, with a smile, returning their vocalizations with one of your own, touching them, holding them – all of these further a child’s brain development and future potential, even in the earliest months. Research demonstrates that the early responsiveness of caring parents sets the tone for future self-esteem, trust, problem solving, ability to communicate successfully and motivation for future learning.

Whether or not you decide to emulate that which you have come to understand through empathetic identification, you will never be quite the same again. In learning to think and to feel, to understand and to value more like another you will have grown in your own self-understanding and in your capacity to speak and interact with others. You, and that which you are now able to embrace, may well find in one another nurture, respect, protection, and enrichment. It is in such qualities of living that true meaning will be encountered, however tentative and fluctuating that meaning may be. It is in the very midst of the flux of the meaningful that its perpetuation and its renewal is to be found.

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.

Learning to forgive is much more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one’s anger, the more so when the provocation is extreme. For it is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.

Tiny children want to learn to the degree that they are unable to distinguish learning from fun. They keep this attitude until we adults convince them that learning is not fun.

A primary method of learning is to go from the familiar to the unfamiliar.

A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

Do we not learn from suffering? Yes, often; and some people will learn only in that way; but we still learn by overcoming and not by encouraging or accepting the negative thing. The man who accepts his trouble “with resignation” is not learning; he is steeping himself in more error.

It is the Law that any difficulties that can come to you at any time, no matter what they are, must be exactly what you need most at the moment, to enable you to take the next step forward by overcoming them. There need be no unqualified evils. The only real misfortune, the only real tragedy, comes when we suffer without learning the lesson.