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teaching yourself

Have you taught yourself anything? It's a good analogy for the aquisition of wisdom. Some people wrongly believe that you can learn anything from a book and a bit of practise. You can't. Martial arts is one example of something that needs a teacher. There are I am sure many others. But some things you can learn on your own. You may start by reading a bit. Maybe by simply copying what you see. Then when you are stuck, asking others can supply a breakthrough (much easier with the internet). Mostly you find out that learning requires effort rather than instruction. The effort is the thing. Even if you do the wrong thing for a while it actually builds up a kind of pressure that makes doing the right thing (when you realise it) easier.

And in the end you have to teach yourself. You have to build your own sense of what's needed and what isn't. You have to be able to trust, and know when not to. But at the same time you have to be able to not shut out real help. It's rather difficult (who said it would be easy?) you have to know when you are right and when you may be off course. For that you need to be able to be comfortable with doubt. I am sure that the common religious injunction to 'be able to live with doubt' is a degeneration or version of this. Learning to accept the ambiguous and unclear world of doubt without clinging to false certainties. To be able to navigate the confused waters of self-doubt is good training. Wait around and things will be clearer- either through a teacher's help or your own burgeoning perception. It will be different from false certainty which is always a tad agressive towards others, towards any kind of challenge. It isn't complacent; it has an unembattled lightness to it.


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