Learning means growth, and growth means life. In nature, things are very clear-cut. If something isn’t growing, then decline and dying are soon to follow. Just as a full moon only lasts for one night. Whether it is through carelessness, laziness, stubbornness or defeatism, let’s be clear that when you lose the desire for newness and to grow, it means you have put one foot in your coffin – so quickly remove it!
Life, and therefore by definition growth through newness, is the real learning. It makes the phrase ‘lifelong learning’ a tautology. Like saying ‘the soggy ground is wet and muddy’ or ‘a dead corpse’.
Even where life is broadly defined as a sentient being, a consciousness that acts through discernment and not just by instinct, it is something that cannot be created by a single individual. Therefore there should be so much respect for something that we can’t create single-handedly by ourselves. Even a small buzzing insect should command our respect. Respect, such that there is a recognition of sacredness and therefore of esteemed value.
All life is sacred in its purest form. The purity of a newborn is sacred and it affects all in its presence.
If life means growth, and growth happens through learning then, de facto, learning is a sacred act: the pure ‘A-Ha’ moment before it becomes tainted by worldly ways and judgments.
Therefore a place or space of learning should carry an atmosphere of sacredness, just like entering a church, temple, mosque, ashram or deep forest. No wasteful chatter like monkeys in the jungle; but complete and utter attention and mutual respect to everyone who is engaged as part of the experience. This means equality and inclusion so that everyone is involved in the birth of something creative, meaningful, and valuable that would not have been possible on one’s own.
A college dean once had the dilemma of allowing a teacher to have his homosexual partner sit quietly in the room whilst conducting tutor sessions with students. For LifeRoute the aspect was not about the presence of the partner: the main issue is that learning is a sacred act, and only those participating fully in the act have a right to be present. Any other sentient being: a small child quietly crayoning, a dog under the desk, or even a fly buzzing around, will all contribute to and will alter the vibrational quality in the room and, if not a distraction, can still be a subtle dilution to the sacredness of the atmosphere where it is not involved in the learning process.