Many different people on this journey so far had assumed things about me, as I listened to them and connected. That I believe in ‘the absolute truth’ of an afterlife and the spirits, that I’m an atheist, a Christian, a Buddhist. That I use crystals, understand ley lines or the resonance of the Earth. It’s lovely for people to feel that familiarity with me, but more and more I dislike labels. It is very hard not to use them, but I think we must try. They get in the way of a deeper human connection. Once we have given something a label we stop asking questions.
Upon leaving school, university, and work I felt I knew things. Until I realised that many of the things I had been taught in school, in university, in marriage, in work, were not right. In fact quite a few of them were downright harmful. Sometimes factual information was simply omitted or misleading. But most of the time, it was what you couldn’t see that was wrong. The underlying worldview or the behaviours that were induced.
Beginning my own education was a shock. New people, new places, dozens of books from others and the library. Politics, geography, history, environment, psychology, social sciences. When I left school curiosity had been drained from me by the pressure and control of the education system. Learning was a highly stressful chore you did for someone else or to get a bit of paper so that at some point you would get a job. I studied at university in order to get a degree, to get a good job, not because I had a thirst for knowledge. Hundreds of thousands of children are suffering their education for the promise of a better future, that is unlikely to exist by the time they get there. Most people I know leave university or school determined never to learn again, thus they are robbed of one of the greatest treasures in life. Self creation.
We all learn throughout our lives, whether we recognise and direct it or not. The people and culture around us teach us constantly. Then you have to ask yourself if they are teaching you things you want to learn. Behaviours you want to have.
Discussions with Alison and Jane continue that day on Goethe, a German thinker from the late 1700’s, colour theory, and Rudolf Steiner. Amongst many other things Rudolf Steiner is famous as a social reformer trying to find a synthesis between science and spirituality.
I spend an hour in the afternoon drinking tea with an alchemist.