About "to Study"

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To study . . . .

Yeah. Here at the start, facing the question, What do I have to say?, seems abrupt, especially with so much white space following. But this question will often recur throughout A Place to Study. Throughout our lives, it's a powerful question with which we inwardly invite ourselves to study. We often voice it silently, addressing our lifeworld as we want it to be or fear that it is.

Asking ourselves, What do I have to say, here?, considering what I have to say, fully and deep down, has great importance sharpening what I can perceive, plan, and do — especially with the "here" added. Here we buffer ourselves from external incentives, aka, "ulterior motives." In many situations, asking ourselves "What do I have to say?" invites all sorts of calculations. But here we work to set all that aside to ask ourselves what we actually think, feel, want, and intend to do.

What do I have to say, here? Let's at the start alert ourselves to its special significance.

Study concerns forming and expressing what we perceive and seek to do, what meaning we find in what takes place in our lives, what we think and intend as we act. By forming and expressing responses to those concerns, we strive to keep alert, thorough, honest, and careful. Our forming and expressing our intentional awareness enlivens our curiosity, our capacity to cooperate, and our realism about our limitations and our powers. Ask yourself, "What do I have to say, here?", not to impress others or to gain influence and preferment, but to examine yourself, to shape your life in your world.

Inertia holds us back. For many years, we've all been educated, formally and informally, some with more effect, others with less. The life possibilities of each turn significantly on how we display our well-assessed acquisition of formal knowledge, suitable opinion and conduct, abstract theory and matters of fact, and a variety of skills for performing conventional accomplishments. It's a matter, not so much about what I have to say, but about what they say, about what is said.

For instance, Wikipedia wants an authority cited for every fact and opinion, and rightly so, for the passive voice, the voice of impersonal knowledge, is what education is all about, structured into its procedures if not in its statements of purpose. Rarely in all our educational experience did the process encourage us to ask, What do I have to say, here?, and even less to express it loud and clear, standing responsible to ourselves and to others for its veracity, probity, and prudence. Education transacts impersonal knowledge; but life actually turns on personal judgment with respect to meaning, intention, and worth.

So — Be bold, even naive; stutter a little, but ask yourself, What do I have to say, here?, and say it as well as you can to see how you and others respond to what you have to say; then to ask yourself again, What do I have to say, here?, both to reiterate and to revise, to cut and to clarify, to reconsider and to reconstruct. A Place to Study serves purposes different from those guiding most educational efforts. As things go along, we'll keep examining how the principles by which it functions work and how they differ from more familiar ones. A Place to Study has lots of places, and each is an opportunity to study, to ask What do I have to say?