I’ve been writing in a number of posts on this website about the Mess-Around Theory of how to learn. That’s the name I made up for a theory I invented, and I’m laying odds it will pretty much work for anything you want to do or get good at or know. Since that’s the way little babies and other creatures learn anyway, I could have called it Natural Learning, but you probably wouldn’t have bothered reading that. But ask yourself How did I learn the billions and billions of things I know in my bones? Yes, in your bones.
Here’s the remarkable thing: When natural learning really gets rolling, it’s hard to separate it from what people call Telepathy, as you’ll see in the continuing story of Sandra Artrip and Rosie, the genius boxer, out in Modesto:
Sandra told me lots of stories about telepathy – or whatever you’d like to call it — between the two of them. I’m telling you this, because we all do have this capacity, and we can turn it on whenever we want, whenever we’d like to really get past the skin of anything in our lives.
I’ll pass on to you some ideas about how that might work and, more important – this is the good part – how we can “read the mind” of a piece of granite – or how we can let a theory of relativity tell us all about itself, or get into “Ode to Joy.” That would certainly come in handy in dispatching a challenging school subject like calculus or getting a good look at a Rembrandt, wouldn’t it?
While I was writing about Rosie, I got an email from Sandra about a pan of carrots that almost boiled dry.
I was in another room and couldn’t see Rosie. All of a sudden I felt her tell me to come look for her. She was waiting impatiently. As soon as I put my eyes on her, she ran and took me right to the stove and started jumping up in the air. The water was almost gone in the pan. Somehow she knew, even though she’d been in another room – her hearing was bad – and there wasn’t a burned smell.
Even more remarkable, when it appeared that Rosie had indeed lost all her hearing, Sandra got an earache.
Four weeks ago, Rosie totally lost her hearing. I thought it was because she was getting older. About that time I started getting earaches myself, but the doctor couldn’t find anything wrong. But it started getting really bad. I couldn’t touch the side of my face. I went back to the doctor, and she still couldn’t find anything. That night I was using a heating pad on my ear and I noticed Rosie’s ears were way down on the side of her head, not a normal position. Rubbing her ears I realized she had an earache. First thing in the morning I ran her to the vet. She had two seriously bad internal ear infections and a ruptured ear drum. They flushed her ears and repaired her ear drum. My earache disappeared. Maybe we have this link because Rosie and I are closer than most people are to each other. I do know that when I’m sick, she responds as if she is sick also.
The Poem of Creation
Getting into each other’s heads should not be surprising. But before I connect Rosie and tips on schoolwork or brushing our teeth, let me back off a bit and give a fairly respectable “scientific” explanation about why we don’t get telepathic messages all the time. We’ve become comfortable, for example, with the idea that our living rooms are chock full of round-the-clock radio and television broadcasts – programs that can be picked up anywhere on the planet, even out in the solar system, if our receivers are tuned to the right frequency. Ah, but, as Thoreau observed, “few are the ears to hear.’
Telepathy and the Way We Learn
If there was a clear channel between Rosie and Sandra, as indeed there was, then of course they got each other’s messages. Not getting them would be the strange thing.
These messages are not in English, of course. When Sandra speaks of Rosie telling her things, she says “I felt she was telling me,” “I’d wake up feeling her talking to me.”
These messages are in the language of nature, of which human language is a pale abstraction.
In fact, interspecies communication involves a different kind of packaging altogether, a way of looking out at the world as if you were the other entity. A kind of letting go takes over.
Teaching a dog English is about as possible as teaching English to a rock. The dog simply doesn’t have a receiver that can decode linguistic structures. [And, gee, what a surprise: If a teacher and a student aren’t tuned to the same frequency, guess how much communication can take place.]
Here’s the good part: Messages don’t have to be encoded and decoded in human language patterns. In fact, human languages are an infinitesimal speck in the scheme of things. And the job gets done all the same. Any English sentence comes encapsulated in a field of information that’s washes over all entities – such as us humans – within earshot (and beyond, not doubt). The “lesson” of any school class involves all that, not just the physical sound coming out of mouths. The message for us all? Aw, Marshall McLuhan, you were SO right. The medium is indeed the message.
The Need to Let Go
When you think about how most humans spend their days – even though it’s as natural as can be to pick up transmissions – it may not be so strange, after all, that we miss out on the messages enveloping us. How often do we let go of intention, lie down in the grass, and let the world speak to us?
Ah, yes, telepathy is not so mysterious when we recognize that most of us don’t pay a lot of attention. Our growing dependence over the past several centuries on the abstracted world of linguistic structures has estranged us from the world of our noses and hearts and the intelligence they download. Rosie and Sandra used them both.
And you can, too, reader. So, how do I use ‘telepathy’ to learn, understand, know, anything? I allow myself to fall into the medium – in a physics class, in the new-car showroom, embarked on a new date. I let it wash over my senses. I let it massage my nervous system. (Thanks, Marshall.) The doors of perception open. But the message is never in the words. Words are merely the vehicle. Whitman asked, Why, who makes much of a miracle? Good question.
Natural Learning on Purpose
The way to make use of our natural learning ability is to make sure the our senses and our nervous systems are ‘turned on’ and then to let nature do the rest. Years ago, a first-grade teacher wrote on my dear little daughter’s homework, “Try harder, Kathy.” No, no, no! Try easy! Your Self knows just what to do. Let it.