...I read the above and realized that I stopped writing abruptly, even though my thought process continued on. There was a discussion on a board this a.m. about teaching kids to think and a poster commented that public school required memory work. Not from my experience. If that were the case, why are multiple choice tests and T/F test, group projects, narrative recounts considered the test of true education these days? What impressed me with the above quote was that a lot of the young men described in the book were not only studying for the rigorous ordination exam but were also involved in getting advanced degrees in philosophy, mathematics, medicine, psychology; in other words, degrees that require rhetoric skills. These were people who could learn, think and excel.
I always felt hindered by my lack of knowing how to learn. What I did learn, up until several years ago, I did by intuiting, and, perhaps I am naturally an intuitive learner. But, if one is not sure how one gains knowledge and understanding one can never be sure if they can learn a new thing. Learning is a gamble, not a certainty. As a result, there was always hesitancy and insecurity. And if one believes that knowledge, understanding and wisdom are all part of the process on a continuum than the hope of ever reaching wisdom becomes almost an impossibility.
Books like The Chosen and The Promise and The Long Winter offer hope that learning and true education are simply the result of hard work, discipline and vision. Something that we can all attain.