Saturday, June 2, 2012
(Images from Ape Emotions and Intelligence by N. Ladygin-Kohts, 1935)
"Moments of learning are moments of joy."
- The Redstone Book of the Eye
There is a Quaker phrase I really love in terms of imagery (amongst many others such as holding people in the light, and the idea of divine being in everyone - all so simple and perhaps easily dismissed if you hear them too often, and yet very piercing and beautiful when you consider such phraseology more deeply), and that is the idea of a Meeting for Learning. I can still remember the exact moment when I learned things that shifted paradigms for me - the exact moment when everything shifted when I learned to read music at 10; when I was told that plants were male and female at 7; when I learned to properly read at 6, when I first read about "pre-men" and evolution in an educational graphic novel at 9; when I realised sexuality was along a spectrum and not binarised at 22 - and later too, recently, discovering that even within pain there is learning. There is joy in that. My experience so far is that Life's greatest joys come through surprise - not when things turn out the way I have expected them to, but when they haven't.
This is such a justification for equality and educational parity on sociopolitical scales, because without safety and access, there can be little time left for such costless joy. Free joy.