What is the most important part of learning?
As usual, Bhatta asks questions of infinite depth.
In one sense there is a simple answer:
To keep on doing it.
And there is a paradox present.
One cannot learn if one has Truth.
One can only learn, if one accepts that however useful the things I know are, they are only useful approximations to the complexity actually present.
In this sense, by accepting our eternal ignorance, we are open to an eternal process of becoming less wrong.
As soon as we adopt the stance that we know some “Truth” then we stop asking questions, or even allowing the possibility of error.
Buddhism talks of the beginner’s mind, open.
That is a very useful analogy.
The analogy of the 4 cups that get in the way:
The full cup; (that allows of no more knowledge)
The dirty cup; (that alters what comes in)
The cup with a hole in it; (that lets what comes in go straight out again)
The upside down cup. (that lets nothing in)
Each of those cups resists or distorts the “tea” of knowledge.
To the extent we are able, we must be the empty cup – clean, upright, ready to accept the tea of experience as it is and as it isn’t.
And we must all be eternally imperfect at such things.
And to the degree that we see our imperfections, then we can work upon them.
That is an eternal process.
We must each find a balance of the old and the new that works for us.
We must each be part of many different networks, communities.
If we are open, then there are lessons in everything we do, every instant we be.
Finding a balance between appreciating that which is, and creating something new, both internally and externally, will be a very personal thing.
And the science on this is clear, the complexity within us is vast, far vaster than all the atoms in all the galaxies in existence.
Do not be fooled by the simplicity of some accepted assumption into underestimating what you are, or what you can become.
Find ways of being that both learn and do, that contribute to every level of self and community. That doesn’t have to conform to anyone else’s expectation.