The Process of Learning
by Robert D Sears*

Article as it appears on rdsears.com

I am not sure if we ever really think about the process we go through as we learn anything and everything, but we do go through a four stage process.  These steps take us from the point where we are totally clueless to the point of complete understanding.  The first stage in the process is...

Unconscious Incompetence  -- a point where we don't know we don't know.   Let me use the analogy of riding a bicycle.   At a very young age while you are riding your tricycle, you see an older sibling or friend riding a bicycle, albeit clumsily.  You see the excitement of doing something different and new, and immediately find a bicycle, climb aboard, attempt to ride and... well...fall on your butt.

You did not know, or perhaps more accurately, you had no idea that you did not know how to ride a bicycle.  You assumed all you needed to do was get on and ride, and the shock of the first fall took you from unconscious incompetence into...

Conscious Incompetence  --  now you know you did not know.   So with your scratches bandaged, and perhaps with a few more painful tries, you realize to succeed you need to enlist some help and manage to find someone who is willing.  Willing to teach you the fundamentals of balance, momentum, and even some of the physics involved but certainly not in scientific terms.   Someone might hold the back of your seat until you get some momentum going.  Maybe you make it to the end of the driveway, but in the process you also learn it is less painful to crash in the grass than on the concrete.   And eventually you get better.  You fall less often.  And finally you feel comfortable enough to try it on your own.  And as you  do, you reach the level of ...

Conscious Competence -- you now know how to ride the bicycle but recognize the need for constant attention and focus on the activity.   This was the state of learning when you were observing that  friend or sibling when you wanted to first ride.  And here is where we stay for what seems like forever.   But we really don't care because we have reached our goal --- to ride a bicycle.

But the process does not really end there.  Or it shouldn't.  We are not at the point where we have so much practice, so much experience, even the experience of more falls when we don't pay attention or become distracted, that we ride totally unharmed, but we do get there.  That level is called...

       [Continued from the newsletter]

Unconscious Competence  --  riding totally on automatic.  At that point in the process no distraction, no observed obstacle, no lapse in concentration,  keeps us from flawlessly enjoying our new found skill.

If you really think about it, this process applies to learning everything, from algebra to anthropology, botany to biology, cosmology to cosmetology, physics to photography,  zen to zoology.   (I really was tempted to go through the entire alphabet, but that would have just been a fun personal experiment.  I am sure you got the point.)   The next article in this (hopeful) series will be the understanding and application of these principles to the study of Spirituality...and for this exercise, in the context of "A Course in Miracles".  I sincerely believe that as we understand the process of learning, we will also understand the obstacles as well, and thus accelerate our learning to the point of total Knowledge, where learning no longer has meaning.

TO BE CONTINUED................

Robert Sears has been a student of A Course in Miracles since 1990.  He came to ACIM after years of following a very convoluted religious path, and sometimes refers to himself as a CathoBaptiMethoCostalScientist, which explains why some call him a Spiritual Mutt. 

Bob experience the healing power of miracles by stopping two heart attacks in their tracks simply by applying a deep understanding of the content, meaning and values of Lessons 1 and 2 in the workbook.  "All I needed to do was to realize the meaning I was giving to the symptoms of a heart attack were purely mine.  I withdrew MY meaning...and poof!"

Bob is also familiar with several of the Eastern Philosophies but now finds himself most comfortable sharing and teaching ACIM.  Bob is also a non-practicing Reiki Master preferring to focus entirely on the Course.

Once led to engLove or Fearage in full time ministry as a Course teacher, Bob opted to become and independent non-denominational minister so that he could teach a pure version of ACIM without the need to satisfy any particular denominational tenets.  Bob, originally from NY, now resides in Southern California where he teaches in churches and home settings.  More on,or from, Bob can be found on his ACIM teaching web site...www.rdsears.com


 Robert D Sears
1167 Spicestone Dr
Hemet, CA 92545


Course In Miracles Society
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