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Author Topic: How do you study?  (Read 14801 times)
SunflowerP
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« Reply #12: December 23, 2007, 11:26:18 pm »

"I guess I just don't know enough yet for this to work," type thing, but I'm to the point where a) magic isn't real or b) I have no ability whatsoever, which is just as depressing.
This doesn't contradict what Nigel's saying, but goes along with it.

You're a rationalist, a skeptic (in the real meaning, of deeming nothing true or false without solid evidence, not the all-too-common "scoffer" usage).  That seems like a handicap where you're at now, but in the long run it's an advantage.  It may take you longer than a lot of folks to get a sense of "something real happening", but when you do, you're a lot less likely to be deceiving yourself.

I think Nigel is onto something about your expectations - I doubt you're going quite so far as to expect Hollywoodesque special effects, but I think you may be expecting results to be more clear-cut, more obvious, than they usually are.  In your case that could be part and parcel of the rationalism - you want something that looks like clear and unmistakable evidence.  The reality is more subtle; one can rarely tell for certain in any given case.  Rather than objective proof, one acquires over time a body of personally-convincing evidential weight.

I'll add, too, that it's not about studying in the "more books!" sense, about knowledge; it's about practice - not just having a practice, but, well, like what you do on the violin.  Can't feel the energy of the moonlight?  Don't strain to "feel energy", just hang out in the moonlight and enjoy what you do feel - perhaps it's just that what you feel doesn't connect with what the word "energy" conveys to you (I'm inclined to think the word may be a useful analogy rather than a literal truth).  Having trouble meditating?  Find out what works for you - myself, I need to distract my ever-busy rational mind, so I get the best results playing Freecell and Mahjongg solitaire on the computer - rather than reading about how it's "supposed" to be done.

Sunflower
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