Ingo Swann (15Aug97)
This essay is the first of a series in which the various topics of teaching, training and learning will be discussed regarding their relationship to various identifiable elements of the superpowers.
In getting into these topics, it must frankly be
stated up front that new ideas and concepts will need to be introduced --
these new concepts, of course, being presented for whatever they may be
worth as knowledge develops in the future.
About the only thing that can more or less be said for sure is that past concepts have not been sufficient regarding either identifying the nature of the superpowers, or sufficient as enabling ways and means for teaching and learning.
However, in approaching the new, the old must be
examined in a preliminary way and as informative background -- if only to
help illustrate why the new should be searched for and incorporated.
At this point, I have been intimately involved in these matters for nearly three decades -- and throughout this time experience has shown that comprehension regarding the superpowers is benefited by larger rather than lesser amounts of background knowledge and information.
Experience has also shown that people like to get quickly to the racetrack and get on with the race. However, if one can't find the racetrack . . . or the racetrack found is the wrong one, one in which illusory rather than real races are run . . . or the racetrack is merely a facade in a Hollywood lot with nothing behind it except imagination . . . well?
For example, the superpowers have been thought
of as "powers of mind." However, the powers of mind models (or
facades) have produced no significant increase in the population of achieved
If, then, I were to say (as I will at some point ahead) that some full part of the superpowers constitute problems not of mind but of aesthetics, then no one would even begin to comprehend what is meant in the absence of any background orientation to help point the way.
From the outset here, the essential definition
of the superpowers within the scope of this database should constantly be
carried in mind -- largely because that definition is germane as to why,
in the past, fruitful approaches to teaching-learning of the superpowers
have been so difficult to discover.
As used in this database, the term SUPERPOWERS
refers to those processes or functions of the human biomind systems that
transcend the "normal laws" of time and space, and matter and
This definition has been expanded upon in other essays already installed in this database.
To help bring some advance clarity, anyone who
has investigated teaching and learning probably realizes that the processes
involved are easiest if whatever is being taught and learned focuses on
something tangible and identifiable. In such a case, teacher and learner
can literally look at whatever is involved. Thus, agreements can be reached,
and information accepted and understood about the tangible.
At a slightly more complicated level, teaching
and learning can take place regarding ideas. But if ideas don't necessarily
or somehow refer back to tangibles, then difficulties can arise.
There is also a distinction between ideas that are required to end up DOING something, and ideas that are not required to do anything except be talked about.
There is also a distinction between ideas that are correct, or at least applicable, and ideas that are not correct and are applicable only to those who think they are correct.
In any event, it is possible to say that anything
that can be included in the realm of matter, energy, space and time is also
thought of as tangible, at least more or less. Thus, methodological teaching-learning
approaches are facilitated because the tangible is at least thought of being
By comparison, the superpowers wheel and deal in
the intangible -- or at least in what is considered within the present realms
of knowledge as transcending the tangible.
Now, the usual approach to teaching-learning the
intangible is to seize upon the methods utilized in teaching-learning the
tangible -- because the latter are familiar in the historic sense.
In other words, it is tangibly possible to teach a learner how to bake a tangible cake and have some expectation of succeeding. All one really needs is a list of the elements and procedures regarding backing the cake, and the formulation of a procedural recipe regarding what to do and how to combine the elements.
There have been very many attempts to teach and
increase superpower functioning by teaching via methods best fitted to teaching
and learning how to deal with the tangible.
However, human societies (at least in their modern forms) are. But human society is not yet overloaded with powerful superpsychics. Indeed, many stipulate that the superpowers CANNOT be taught, especially among materialists and parapsychologists who have had no luck at all along these lines. However, in other quarters expectations remain high in some quarters even so.
This factoid more or less indicates that the mere superimposition of teaching-learning methods appropriate to the tangible don't really work as advertised and hoped when it comes to the intangible.
And so it might rationally be supposed that the superpowers have to be approached quite differently than cake-making-via-recipe processes and procedures.
There are two implications here, the first being
that the "normal laws" of time, space, energy and matter (all
being relevant to the tangible formats of these) cannot be used with any
great efficiency to define what the superpowers consist of.
Second, it is true that various social groupings have established nomenclature bytes to specify some of the phenomena that result or down-load from the superpowers.
For example, PRECOGNITION refers to "seeing
the future," and which implies at least transcending time and matter.
MATTER is tangible, and TIME is derivable only via some movable or motional
aspects of tangible matter.
Thus (and please consider with some attention what now follows), when classes are set up to teach precognition, what it usually taught are concepts regarding how to transcend matter and time, these being tangible -- and then the major concept focuses only on visualizing doing the transcending of those two tangible components.
Various statistical studies of such teaching-learning (IF they are undertaken) show very little in the way of increasing future-seeing. This failure easily leads to the concept that precognition cannot be taught.
It is worth noting in this regard that some statistical studies along these lines have been undertaken in parapsychology. But a far greater number of them have been undertaken in that now somewhat defunct discipline called FUTUROLOGY -- because at a certain point futurologists were exceedingly interested in whether the "psychic component" could be added into making futurology more effective.
In any event, if we refer back to the concept of PRECOGNITION, it can become apparent that the active term is COGNITION -- and so someone might chance upon the idea that teaching how to increase the scope of cognition per se might be worthwhile.
After all, it is understood of COGNITION that people can suffer cognitions only with regard to their "cognitive capacities." These capacities are understood as being bounded within the LIMITS of an individual's knowledge, understanding, or familiarity -- with the exception of DREAMS which frequently exceed the one's cognitive capacities.
Meanwhile, the existence of the nomenclature bytes
(such as "precognition") makes it SEEM that the superpowers and
their down-loaded phenomena are on a par with the normal laws. Even so,
having a word for something doesn't automatically mean that we understand
important details of whatever it is the word refers to.
For example, many are willing to try to have precognitions. But very few have any real idea of what a COGNITION consists of, or how one of them comes about, or even why they do.
The direct implication here is that few can manage or expand their cognitive basis because of an absence of information or knowledge about that basis. Thus, the statistical rate of successful taught-learned precogniting remains very low overall.
In case a reader might be wondering by now, this is not a matter merely of semantic difficulties.
Briefly alluding to other possible examples, we
have the terms "telepathy," "out-of-body" and "remote
viewing." The first refers to the so-called mind-to-mind thing, the
latter to the so-called seeing-at-a-distance thing.
So people think they understand what is being talked about when the terms are used in that the two "minds" have a certain tangibility, and of course distance is a tangible thing. And so some are likely to set up teaching courses regarding how to achieve mind-to-mind contact, how to "get out of your body" (this also a tangible thing), and how to see at a distance.
As it is, the terms we utilize are sort of like
an old fire arm whose buckshot when fired spreads across a distance in the
hope that a piece of the shot would hit something. If this is judged against
the notable lack of taught-learned courses, our terms don't seem to hit
very much of anything even when fired close up.
The second immediate factor to mention is that although we believe we understand what teaching, training and learning mean, very few know anything at all regarding the important fundamental and detailed processes involved. Most know only that teaching and training are supposed to result in learning.
And so if someone says they can teach something, many people sign up, pay the fees, and sally forth under the wide-spread assumption they will learn whatever is being offered as teaching.
The expectation behind the assumption exists in
the fact that teaching-learning system works best regarding simplistic,
non-complex, and easily understood matters -- and which matters can be confirmed
within the contexts of tangible physicality. In this simplistic sense, there
appears to be a one-to-one relationship between teaching and learning.
This direct relationship, however, begins to falter
to the degree that information being taught become less simple and more
complex. If the degree of complexity increases, one will soon encounter
understanding (i.e., "cognitive") levels that are not on par with,
or not parallel to what is being taught.
When this happens, teaching might still proceed with gusto, but problems regarding learning might be encountered.
Eventually, the relationship between teaching-learning
becomes ambiguous -- especially when (1) what is being taught and learned
DOES NOT result in the activities promised by the teaching; and (2) when
confirming evidence cannot be located anywhere regarding what has been learned.
This implies that although just about anything and everything can be proposed as teachable, LEARNING can be confirmed only by outcomes that significantly reduce ambiguities as to whether ANYTHING has been LEARNED via attempts to teach learning. Of course, one might exempt here the teaching and learning of useless things -- and which can include, as we will see ahead, the teaching and learning of ignorance.
I am of the opinion that most people already comprehend that the two distinctions I'm about to outline do exist -- but which they can observe others somehow managing to avoid for various reasons.
First, on average, the teaching-learning procedures
in most societies (especially those of the Western world) seem successful
enough. So there arises the assumption that there is a direct relationship
between teaching-learning -- and that this relationship holds true in general
AND for everything.
In actuality, however, there are (1) many different
formats of "learning;" and, (2) individuals can be identically
taught the same thing, but end up learning it in far different ways, and
learning it on a ratio of "not very well" to "exceedingly
A partial explanation for (2) above is that all
humans are not identical in all ways. Rather, they are independent systems
which may be similar in many ways, but can be alien to each other in other
kinds of ways. And so ahead the more exact nature of these "independent
systems" will need to be commented upon in these present essays.
In the sense of (2) above, however, the direct
relationship of teaching-learning would work best, and also be more obvious,
regarding areas in which all humans are most similar -- and are more identical
even though they are independent sensing and experiencing systems.
The direct relationship would become less steady, less predictable, regarding areas in which the independent systems ARE different, even though on the simplistic surface they might be recognized as similar.
For example, systems of human biobodies are "similar,"
roughly speaking, anyway.
But each individual system does have differences, as, for example, regarding their mental information processing grids.
Since this latter aspect is beyond argument, it becomes possible to comprehend that all humans probably will not process taught information in the same, or perhaps even similar, ways.
With regard to (1) above, it can be seen that the
direct relationship of teaching-to-learning is most efficient only where
tangible factors are involved -- and in which the necessity of deduction
and/or inducing are not all that paramount.
In cases where only tangible factors are involved,
teaching can become precise enough so as to enable formulas or exact procedures
to be learned and followed -- with the result that more or less identical
learning DOES occur, and which in turn DOES enable the production of more
or less identical activity being derived from this kind of learning.
Thus, there is what can be referred to as the direct relationship of teaching to learning. It is very wide-spread, and might also be referred to as Model A of Teaching-Learning.
This is also the model most seek to superimpose
on any prospective teaching-learning procedure -- and which model is easy
and simple because it does not involve much in the way of the deduction-induction
However, in those teaching-learning efforts that
require the functioning of deduction and induction, we can easily say that
there is NO direct relationship between teaching and learning -- because
intervening in the relationship IS the need for those two twins (deducing
and inducing) that are famously and notoriously indirect in the first place.
Thus, THIS kind of thing can be referred to as Model B of Teaching-Learning.
MODEL A can more dependably be seen as:
MODEL B can be roughly seen as:
Please note that the two formulas above are general, possibly inept, and for the following reason.
While it is true that TEACHING can be rather straightforward, LEARNING is not and never is. Various elements to be TAUGHT can be organized. But LEARNING is a more complex endeavor -- in that, for one thing, learning can be seen to have occurred only by testing.
The two Models above are given ONLY to help illustrate that within different circumstances there are differences in the relationship of teaching to learning. Indeed, there may be dozens of teaching-learning models.
Moving briskly on, now, LEARNING in general is seen and generally accepted as the dynamic product of TEACHING, and this is seen as a FACTUAL relationship -- even though the factual relationship might be based in experiencing, and which then becomes the "teacher."
In any event, the general surmise of TEACHING is
that information can be organized in ways that lead from basics to increasing
detail and complexity, and that if this is done expertly enough, then LEARNING
will result in students who subject themselves to those "organized
In this sense, teaching is seen as the active measure
while learning is seen as the passive something or other into which the
active measure is to be duplicated or copied.
Thus, one can find a rather largish literature having to do with the dynamics or ways of TEACHING (as will be illustrated in the next essay in this series.)
However, although information about the dynamics of learning does exist, the nature of learning dynamics seems to be in its infancy.
In any event, the general process of teaching is
generally seen as consisting of organizing and transferring information
to the learner(s). This sounds simple enough -- and in some cases actually
The general process of learning is generally seen as in-taking or absorbing the information that is transferred via the teaching. This, too, sounds simple enough. But whether it is or not seems completely to depend on a number of associated factors, the existence of which those who design the teaching of information transfers cannot altogether predict.
However, this slight difficulty is usually gotten around in that a sufficient minority do learn enough to keep societies working -- at least for a time.
But indeed, although information can elegantly
be organized in ways that can be assumed to effect the ease and speed of
the transfer, it is highly doubtful that the information is in-taken in
the SAME organized way, or in-taken in any organized way at all. The broad
significance of this will, of course, be discussed throughout these essays.
As already mentioned, the general surmise of the teaching-learning relationship is that the learner can duplicate the information being transferred -- and IF the information is transferred and duplicated by the learner, then he or she or it (as in the case of dogs and horses, but not often in the case of cats) will demonstrate phenomena appropriate to what has been taught.
This general surmise is somewhat workable if (again)
tangible things and matters are the issue -- since both teacher and learner
can refer to those matters or things as a STABLE BASIS for what is being
taught and learned.
So, we can posit, for hypothetical illustration purposes, the following formula:
In this sense, then, there can be a mutual assurance between teacher and learner that they are dealing with the same stuff -- because it is tangible. The above formula, of course, refers best back to Model A of teaching-learning.
However, a contrasting formula also exists as:
THIS contrasting formula can sometimes (but not always) refer best back to Model B of teaching-learning. In any event, those who are perceptive can sense that there is a great gulf or abyss between the information-organizing processes of these two formulas. But I get ahead of myself here.
As it is, if a STABLE BASIS is not identifiable
in tangible or concrete terms, then the teaching surmise that serves so
well for Model A is not entirely, if at all, applicable to the teaching-learning
situations characterized by Model B (and its plethora of variants).
By definition, the superpower faculties involve phenomena that transcend the known laws of the tangible, and do so both as cause and effect, as source and result -- although the RESULTS of superpower phenomena can impact within the tangible.
And so a rather simple but obvious conclusion has to result: that teaching-learning ANYTHING regarding the superpowers does not have much of a tangible, stable basis that both teacher and learner can refer to and rely on as REALITY CHECKS regarding any mutually assurable certainty.
It is for this reason that some say, even some
parapsychologists, that the superpowers CANNOT be taught -- in that "there
is nothing to teach." This skeptical attitude is especially the case
if IDEAS of WHAT to teach are erroneous and/or non-existent.
And, in a simplistic, superficial sense, this skepticism may seem true enough -- at least in the minds of those who assume that the intangible is "nothing," or that the non-tangible is something one cannot get hold of.
But the meaning here is a somewhat respectable
one -- in that it IS generally true that IF a STABLE BASIS of some, or any,
kind tends to be absent regarding any teaching, learning, tutoring (or even
any self-learning of the superpower faculties), THEN learning regarding
the faculties is open to any number of opinions or beliefs.
On the surface of these issues, there can be little doubt that teachers and learners are of equal importance. But just beneath the surface the teaching-learning relationship begins to exhibit strategic differences.
Although I cannot say it is the first difference,
it is normally conceived that teachers are somewhat more important than
the learners -- one simple phenomenology of this being that teachers sometimes
posture as having more importance.
However, if learners did not exist, then there would be no reason for the teachers to exist. But I'll leave it to each reader to sort this out.
A second strategic difference might be that while
teachers usually have learned how to organize information in preparation
for its transfer to learners, the learners usually have no idea of how information,
per se, is organized in themselves.
The assumption, then, among both teachers and learners is that the learner will receive the information in the way the teachers have organized it, and that therefore the learners will organize it in themselves in the same way.
If something along these lines DOES ensue, then both the learners and teachers will be gratified, especially the teachers.
However, IF this assumption is transliterated into
a more exact representation of its meaning, it means that the learners ARE
SUPPOSED to receive the information in the exact formats it is transferred
to them. At the very least, if the reception of the information is not all
that exact, there is NOT supposed to be a wide latitude of variation or
distortion within those having learned.
However, whether this happens over all is somewhat speculative, while most certainly there is a ratio involved ranging from little failure to a lot of success -- or a ratio of from a little success to a lot of failure.
As it is, though, somewhat more success can be predicted regarding Model A (discussed above) when deployed with respect to tangible, stable bases stuff.
Somewhere in all of these matters of relative importances
between teaching and learning is the irksome detail regarding how many do
learn how much -- and of WHAT they learn if they do. Perhaps some quantitative
studies do exist along these lines, but I've not been able to locate them.
On the surface of things, though, it would seem that some few learn a lot while a larger majority learn little, or certainly not enough. But much beyond this observation, the per capita distribution of learners with regard to what they have learned or not learned seems up in the air -- and of little real social or scientific, philosophic or religious interest.
In seeking relative similarities and dissimilarities
between teachers and learners, it turns out that they have one thing in
On average, most teachers have no idea of the mental information processes they have undergone in order to learn what they have, and to organize information so as to transfer it to learners.
Likewise, most learners have no idea of the mental
information processes they have undergone in order to learn what they have,
and especially have no idea at all how to organize their INFORMATION-RECEPTIVE
qualities in order to expedite their learning.
In this sense, then, although I'll not insist on
it, it would seem that whatever does transpire in the way of teaching and
learning does so on a rather fortuitous, chancy basis.
Only one thing seems to have a higher ratio of certainty and/or predictability:
Many strive to teach -- and don't necessarily succeed.
Many strive to learn -- and don't necessarily succeed.
Failure along these lines is usually interpreted
as embarrassing (although I don't really understand why this should be seen
as such.) So, somewhat like some aspiring or ostensible psychics, some teachers
and learning to emphasize their few successes -- while avoiding discussing
If asked to consider various teaching-learning
issues -- for example, if either teaching or learning have the greater importance
-- most might point up that teaching is the active measure, so it might
be considered the most important.
Although I've been able to point out certain factors and factoids in this essay, I don't really know if teaching or learning is more important. But I do know that teachers and learners focus on what is being taught and learned, and that most of them know nothing of the fundamental LEARNING PROCESSES involved.
On the one hand, TEACHING PROCESSES are all well
and good, of course, and needed. But if LEARNING PROCESSES didn't exist
also, then ostensible teachers would have no one to teach anything at all.
So, TEACHERS are somewhat lucky that specimens of our species are freshly born in increasing abundance and all of which need to be taught something or others.