Learning Through Books and Experience

November 2, 2014

Bookshelf - www.awitchsjourney.com

Books are wonderful tools. They open up doors of possibilities, new worlds to explore, places we’ve never been to, places we could never go to, subjects we never heard of before, etc…books are really powerful doors we can open any time and venture into. There is much to be learned from books, no doubt.

Books have their limitations of course. Although the author can take us anywhere, anytime, and show us what they saw, what they see, what they know, we are missing a very big part of learning, and that is experience.
Experience is when we truly gain. The participation, observation, of events, practical contact and the impression left in us when we experience something…there is nothing like it. Some say that true wisdom can only come from experience and sharing the wisdom earned from that experience.
A question just came to mind: But the author is sharing their personal experience with me through the book, that must count, right? I have a vivid imagination and I feel that I am living an experience through the author’s words, doesn’t that count? Of course it counts! That’s what you experienced through reading the book and it is very personal and important. However, the explanation that an author can give you through a book will never truly be your own experience. If 10 people can read the same book and interpret it differently, of course you know that the experience that you could have is never going to be the same as what you read about it in a book.

 

Where am I going with this? Well, although I do believe that we need books to learn and to supplement our learning, I personally feel that when I am within a group, the learning experience is more powerful and has a stronger impact on me. I can remember more, I can relate more, I can ask questions, I can network. Let’s not forget the amazing energy that can be felt in a group environment. Here is a good example: learning Kundalini Yoga from books and video vs. taking classes at a good yoga school. When I used a video, I enjoyed the practice, and when I read a good book on the subject, it helped me understand the details and I could go back and re-read. But it wasn’t until I started taking classes that I truly fell in love with Kundalini Yoga. Being in a class, surrounded by the energy of other people who love it as well, that is when I really felt the experience of Kundalini Yoga.  Same with Reiki. Some people claim that the practice of Reiki can be “learned” through books or online alone, but I strongly disagree.

 

Beyond reading great books, we must seek experience. Being able to recite pages upon pages from books we have read may be impressive, but again, nothing compares to personal, live experience, be it one on one with a teacher, or as part of a small or large group. Many people may be in a situation in which they feel they are isolated and have no access to groups or classes. I understand that, I really do because I was once in that situation. However, I made the effort to search and eventually found a few likeminded individuals to share experiences with. :) It is also helpful to remember, that we can learn from just about anyone and at any time, so don’t narrow your search too much. Think about it… 😉

 

Love & Light

The Priestess

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