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How were we educated?



How were we educated?  Were we educated about what to think, with things being poured into us to absorb?   Or were we educated to find out for ourselves, to inquire and to investigate beyond what was merely put forward by others?   Were we shaped (for the most part) by preset molds, or were we encouraged to be whole and independent human beings who can intelligently question things, take nothing for granted, and who probe deep beyond the ordinary, unfeeling, and commonplace?

When we were very young, our canvas was blank; they (for the most part) painted it with what they thought should be painted.   What they thought should be painted — of course — was an extension of how their canvas was painted in the past.  So they painted our canvas.   However, they (fundamentally) did not encourage us to be extremely creative painters.   (The painting-like rendition of the ant — down below —  has little or no relevance with what we are actually writing about, by the way.)  Most of us are a product of their painting… and we see the world through (and “as”) the network of that painting.   If that network largely consists of separation, isolating images of self, accepted conflict and fragmentation, acceptance of ordinary values, boredom, and groping for more… can one, in a profoundly significant way, change to a blank canvas and paint a very different picture?   

It may be that the painter is the painted, that the tree and the ant are not merely two separate things, and it may be that we have to unlearn a lot of the baloney that we learned.  Just like the ant and the tree, unlearning and learning may not be two separate things, just like living and dying are not two separate things (though so many of us think they are).   


Tree Climbing (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2017

Tree Climbing (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2017

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original holistic-truth oriented prose and/or poetry involving mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

21 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. “It may be that the painter is the painted,” such a concise way of putting it. And ‘the tree and the ant are not merely two separate things’… this was not immediately obvious to me until some years ago. It was then that I was busy unlearning what I had learned. Still some way to go, though, to seeing that ‘living and dying are not two separate things’ – and this arose, of course, in one of your earlier posts. Anyway it becomes clearer every day as time goes by, how could it be any other way? By the way I got the Alpha Lipoic Acid, only in 100mg capsules. so I’m taking three of these twice a day, as prescribed by you.


    • So good that you are perceiving much of this! 🙂
      Even if the Alpha Lipoic Acid doesn’t have a tremendous impact on the pain, keep taking it! It is a wonderful antioxidant and can help the brain in many ways. As we get older, our bodies don’t produce it naturally as when we were young. If it is hard to get where you live, take less of it each day so that you don’t run out.


      • I’ll be staying with this train of thought now, more or less. And thanks for the further info on Alpha Lipoic Acid. I have four bottles of 100mg x 60 capsules per bottle. enough to be going on with, but I need to see if I can find a local source.

  2. I really like the idea of the blank canvas that has been painted, Thomas. I have tried at least for my son to paint it in wonderful fanciful colors, leaving a lot of space to paint by himself. Have a nice day, regards Mitza


  3. monkey love ant & think Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration = excellent book for anyone. Man too like ant except in house & especially when discovered in sugar bowl.


    • Looks tempting, but i really don’t read much any longer. I used to read books about ants and bees (and such) and they were very interesting! 🙂
      When i lived in Kansas, in the intentional community, we let ants roam around the kitchen, as long as they didn’t get in the contained food. They are very clean, actually! Now, my wife will not tolerate ants in the kitchen! Oh well!


  4. Learning and unlearning are so difficult after a young lifetime of being brainwashed by others. If my Dad (or Mum) said do this, do that, then that is the way to do it, no questions asked (or allowed to be asked). Then those same values are passed on ad infinitum. In the end, unless we make tremendous effort to change, then we are one of “them”..


  5. I’d like to think today’s kids may have more opportunities for unlearning and learning. Unlike our generation, young parents are more open-minded. I can be wrong…
    Great post, Tom!


    • From what i have seen, it’s not different from the past much at all, unfortunately. It may even be worse in some respects. Many young parents are overly consumed by their jobs and busy schedules, such that they have less time to spend with the kids — kids who are involved with video games, tv and such — other than taking them to competitive sports events.
      Thanks, Amy! I hope some very caring and intelligent parents are out there! 🙂


      • I agree, Tom. I was thinking of my niece and nephew. My niece was accepted by one of the reputable med schools majoring Bio Tech and my nephew (my husband side) is working in the high tech company developing technology for improving eye sight. Both of their parents said that they got interested in sciences because of accessibility of online information of sciences. Recently, I saw a science competition program on TV, young kids were very impressive. You’er right, most kids are playing video games and parents are too busy…

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