Posts Tagged ‘self-awareness’

Autodidactism

November 27, 2012

I believe that every person at some point of their life is an autodidact.

If you want to succeed in any endeavor you must be an autodidact. If you constantly need a guide, master or teacher it implies that this person has a significant advantage over you.

The journey towards self-knowledge, self-mastery and self-realization, must involve an element of self-learning. No one can teach you about yourself but yourself. The lessons regarding ourselves transmited to us by others are based on their understanding of what we are.

Even if the person who is giving us advice is let’s say a trained psychologist, he/she could only give us an approach towards our self-awareness based on their experience with other individuals. Then we would be receiving an average of common findings in any given population, which by itself it’s a great initiative, but will eventually fail to create a wise, self-mastered individual.

Personally I think that this is a perfect age to be an autodidact. With the almost omnipresent internet and ever-increasing ease of access to it, we have access to the greatest collection of human knowledge ever. But even when we have this great opportunity of access there are many roadblocks to beat in the course of being an autodidact:

  • Where to start?
  • How to meassure the quality of the information?
  • Acquiring non-virtual resources required for learning?

As an example let’s say you would like to teach yourself how to play a musical instrument. Many virtousi have done it before, and some commoners as us have actually achieved it, even so it is not unheard of that a person who knows how to play x instrument transposes he’s abilities to a different one.

  • Where would you start learning how to play the piano?
  • How do you know if the person who is providing the lessons is knowledgeble in the subject?
  • How do you get a piano?
  • How do you know you have proper technique?
  • How do you know you are interpreting music as it’s supposed to be?

A teacher or even a good video series might help you with all of these, but what neither of them can do is to tell you is:

  • What does this experience mean to you?
  • What is your personal way of appreciating and interpreting a piece?

How could anyone teach you your own path to wisdom? How could anyone teach you what it means to be yourself?  We can only provide each other with techniques and pointers, but the end result would only come from our practice alone.

Self-learning is a prerequisite to achieving wisdom and self-mastery.

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