Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


The Science of Unlearning

posted by Cheryl Petersen

After our first daughter was born, my husband and I were gleefully busy adapting to parenthood; in other words, learning a lot. A friend soon invited us to a party, to which we promptly accepted, but then looked at one another and laughed because we simultaneously were going to say, “But, wait, what do we do with her?” We had to unlearn the lifestyle of a childless couple. The love for our daughter made the unlearning simple. We then learned either to find an exceptional babysitter, or stay home and have our own party, serving pureed food and changing diapers for entertainment. Interestingly, the science of learning has been refined over the millennia, but the science of unlearning is new.

Courtesy of realdiaperassociation.org

Neuroscientists have concluded that different chemical processes occur in the brain for learning and unlearning. So, when we are learning we are not necessarily unlearning, however unlearning is essential in the art of healing and progress.

For example, the mainstream educational system teaches that the brain determines our life, mind, actions, and so on. But, mainstream models also observe that people who learn new things by using their mind actually change their brain setup. Clearly, there is a conundrum. Does the brain or the human mind hold control? Obviously, this conundrum will never be solved within the human mind or the brain, because they will always vie for power.

Because inferences are crucial to scientific knowledge, we look for patterns and analogies. The resurgence of interest in spirituality and Mind-healing over the past decades has resulted in a bounty of evidence pointing to the fact that when both, the human mind and the brain agree to be quiet, they can be influenced by spiritual mindedness which removes conflict. Or, the human mind and brain can become so weary of fighting that the ever-operative spiritual force of love and truth is allowed to wash over the whole situation with healing and progress.

Mind-science can be used as a way of knowing and constructing spirituality, but only by realizing that knowledge is provisional and subject to change under new evidence. Both learning and unlearning are required. Just because we were trained to believe matter is not spiritual or real, does not make it so. Matter, as a substance in flux, may not be real, but matter, as a symbol of substance, is a real idea. This learning and unlearning then increases our ability to manifest the substance of spirituality, the healthy substance of Love and Truth and Life.

 



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