Learning and self-teaching

Our human capacity for learning is extraordinary. We go from tiny creatures who can barely manage our own digestion–and can’t manage our own elimination–to being able to play intricate musical compositions, perform acrobatics, paint pictures, form and express elaborate abstract thoughts. We spend months just figuring out how to stand up.

Our ability to learn makes us able to adapt to, survive and flourish in a wide range of environments. It goes on for life.

It also makes us able to learn to do things more stupidly than any animal acting on what we call “instinct.” If I go (like my cat) to jump up on a ledge, I’m sure to muff it up. In fact, what my cat does seems impossible to me.

This Method is fundamentally about learning. It isn’t so much about treating or fixing things, but about learning new capacities and options. And instead of learning by imitating, it’s about learning by teaching yourself. The instructions of the lessons are like a puzzle: the real instruction always is something like “notice what you do, how you organize yourself, in order to do the action described.” And what you have to do is something you have to create.

So in designing variations and creating new options for lessons, the ultimate challenge becomes to create something more like a riddle, a puzzle, and less like a roadmap.