Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Mind's Wanderlust

I have often found myself exclaiming to myself in the past - usually when my son shows us something: "Hey, he knows the concept of multiplication"....or "I didn't know he could learn about light and shadows like that"......or "he knows all about the countries and the earth forms just by playing around with Google Earth"....or many other thoughts like that.

Thoughts that have wanted to compartmentalize everything into boxes and clearly defined spaces in one's mind....thoughts that wanted to perhaps ratify what is "being learned".......thoughts that wanted to coax the heart into thinking that yes, "learning"is happening....thoughts that wanted to -
Hold on.

But these kind of thoughts come into my mind more rarely I try to enjoy every one of those moments for just what they are...without attaching any meaning or learning to it. I try and sometimes look at those moments as learning moments for myself, not my son. So when he shows me a new invention that he has made of a machine in an ipad app called Tinkerbox, I watch as he explains how it works, and how he built it or what he named it.....I try not to look at it as his learning something about engineering or Physics. When he goes to the blackboard and writes down something that he has to remember to build later on, I try not to look at it as his trying to self-organize or that he is beginning to like writing. If he comes to me and talks about something that he read on a website or a book, I try not to reassure myself that he is finally reading something. I am trying hard now to just accept what is for what it is......and nothing more.

It is hard - after a lifetime of conditioning to thinking linearly or wanting to define things like learning. The other day, I wanted to create a google document of resources for our homeschooling community to share stuff that we have used with our kids, and I found it so hard to create it......because I found it hard to segregate things into areas anymore, but had to for convenience! As I was trying to put down areas, I found my conditioned mind so good at finding names - like wildlife, science, geography, art and craft and so on. But I found it very difficult and almost impossible to put down stuff under one area, as they were all so inter-connected anyway! I felt that I was limiting a resource to one area by doing that, which is not the way things work in life.

I find it hard sometimes to answer questions now from family and some friends-"So is he writing?" or "What about math?" or "Does he only play with Lego all day?" or many other such queries. The difficulty for me is not so much in explaining things to those who ask, but rather to make them understand how much we are missing out on, just because we choose to define, label and box learning and living. I often feel inspired to share the joy of living and learning without any boundaries, the way it is for us now......but I do know that somewhere someone is making connections, labelling, defining.

But why should we attach so much importance to "learning"? Why should we be so concerned about what someone is learning, why, how and where? Why can't we just go along with the flow of life and just live.....just be....moment to moment?....These are my questions I am beginning to break free of definitions in my head more consistently now.

For now, I often dream of a world which would start all over again afresh...I imagine and wonder how it would be without anything called school and learning and a whole lot of other predetermined stuff clogging our minds. A world where everyone starts off all over again with a clean slate - with a mind that is expansive.... that is hard to confine. I wish for a world when all of us could experience the miracle and joy of just living in the moment......and enjoy it for just what it is.......


  1. I agree..I can only write on what I see and observe without any linear ways of thinking anymore...we as parents can never say what the child is learning and how he or she is processing the stuff according to his or her needs...The age specific targets set up for human beings by the society has not allowed us the pleasure of what..Russel in his many esays called.."useless knowledge"..

  2. I am happy to read what you have written. These are somewhat strange to me now,Ofcourse I beging to assess thevalue and usefulness of the new thigs that you are talking about. But I am willing to wwatc and learn too.
    Having grown up with a lot of unexpressed fear, it is difficult to see your point of view;but I am willing to learn as ou progress ( is it really progress, or am I giving a word to it?) with raghav.But it is fascinating.


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