In Japanese pottery, when they need to mend a broken pot, they use molten gold to put into the broken places thus making the object whole again. This is a form of art called kentsukoroi. It’s believed that the object becomes more beautiful once it’s broken – because now it can be reshaped into something more artistic and more elaborate. Into something that is riveting, fascinating.
There is a deeper philosophy to it – namely, that humans are the same. What if brokenness is an opportunity for art? What if beauty is a fluid concept? Beauty grows.
When you pour the gold into cracks – you are the artist and the art. You are the one who delights in it. You are the one who gets to experience the process of this. You have such a glorious opportunity.
Today, I decided to look at learning from the perspective of this Japanese art form. What if learning is the gold in the human pottery. Of course the definition of learning must be expanded. We have labels, we operate in labels. What exactly do we call learning? The answer is subjective and multiverse. It’s tailored to the specific person.
But the general idea of learning embraces everything. Learning about yourself. Learning about the things that are going on within you. Learning about the objects. Learning the kinesthetic experience of life. Learning to be sharp in your senses. Learning to be fascinated.
Then, there is the kind of learning that will move you forward if you are stuck in an emotional experience. Some would call it trauma. Let’s say there is a natural connection a human being can feel when they are born, and then it turns into trust, and then it turns into some mechanism that allows an individual to function, and more than that, to thrive. I believe that despite everything that happens, the crazy things, there are powerful and benevolent forces at work – in nature and in us. If only we learn to feel…
What if we learn about ourselves, release judgment of ourselves. That will make us understand others better. By going deep into learning ourselves, think about the kind of transformation we could create. It’s a beautiful thing, and science supports it, that the neurons in our body are plastic. It means we are everything and nothing at the same time. It means that at any moment, as long as we have time, we can go about reshaping ourselves. Into a best version, because I believe there are more than one best version of you.
So learning is not only academic. Education is not an institution. Mastery is not something you grab and hold on to. Everything is continually fluid. It means ultimate freedom, it means, in essence, we are ultimate freedom.
To learn something is to allow that freedom to express itself. Learning is the pursuit and at the same time the means of the pursuit.
You learn to think new thoughts that are loving. You learn to embrace yourself. You learn to weave compassion around yourself. And that makes you an efficient learner of whatever discipline you choose. I would say learning this basic self-love is what brings you vis-à-vis with yourself, and the question is, are you ready to explore more? Are you ready to open more? The more I open to myself, the more I open to others. The more I open to others, the more I open to the experiences I always wanted to have. Things that are important for me. But they may be too big for the narrow opening of what I allow in. So, I learn. To open. I learn.