22 April 2013

The Breadboard

JM reiterates that we humans are here to learn…continuously. Anybody who ruminates a lot like me can agree that this is actually what we do … consciously or unconsciously and continuously: when we talk, when we listen, when we observe and when we act.

All experiences, good and bad, are learning experiences. Yes, there are opportunities to learn something even with traumatic experiences such as accident, physical injuries etc. and relatively minor experiences such as fall-from-grace, humiliation, divorce, disgrace etc. In fact everything is a learning experience. Even all (apparent) hindrances to one’s progress are actually opportunities to evaluate-learn-innovate-improve.

Is our innate goal to know it all and reach perfection? 

Consider the above illustration:  Brain as a platform for building information connects which in turn generates knowledge which in turn allows for ‘wisdom’. Like a breadboard where connections between points are made, connections like these together form a circuit to perform a larger function. Consider the neurons in the brain to be like these connection points waiting to be connected to another. A fresh (newborn) brain is blank and without any links….blank, happy, innocent and blissful.

A link between a few neurons may be formed when the baby learns that a smile gives (mother’s) attention in return.

Links are thereafter continuously formed and reorganized in different patterns over these infant years. Even a fall during its first steps also links connections, as this too is learning.

Later on in life, reading a book builds a few hundred connections (words, ideas, grammar, writing styles etc.)

Playing the piano builds another bus of connections in another area within the gooey matter.

Pursuing a hobby builds a few hundred.

Focusing on one area (say in one’s career) could organize the related connections from what looked like chaos at first to a pattern over the years of accumulation.

One may just not really know it all but may reach the threshold of completeness. It would seem there is infinite storage and infinite more stuffs to be learnt. But there could be peace at the stage when there is a pattern in the connections say like the image on the right.

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