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Learning – the existential way

Source | | Indroneil Mukerjee

My way of learning to live and living to learn

Strolling down the memory lane, realization donned upon me that, all through my life, the way I have learnt has been pretty Aikalavyic – the way Ekalavya, an autodidact, learnt archery.

My approach has been naturally choosing what I want to learn, subjecting myself to endless experiment (some of which were not easy), deeply reflecting upon my experiences from the experiment and ploughing back the insights into further iterative experimenting. All self-initiated, self-guided and self-managed.

That’s how, at the age of 12, I learned music. That’s how, around the same age, learnt oratory. And that’s how, in my late teens learnt how to be connected to my higher self, through absolutely personalized meditative practices.

All this was happening, despite my formal education. Interestingly enough, barring a few subjects like literature, chemistry and marketing, everything else seemed to be necessary evils to be lived with. I would study and learn subjects that interested me beyond what was prescribed in the curriculum. Mastered the art of writing and oratory (by reading aloud) through voracious consumption of works by classical and modern authors and poets, even as I was in school. I went beyond the rudiments in chemistry to learn pharmacology by reading pharmacopoeias which I had access to, as my father was in the pharmaceutical industry. My interest in the occult and mysticism was not fed by any curriculum. So, here again, I took the auto didactic path to learn numerology and astronomy. Through iterative experimenting and integrating my discoveries with established knowledge.

I continued learning in this manner as I entered the professional world. That’s how I learned technology, that how I learned sales and business development and that’s how I also learnt how to stay afloat in highly authority-driven systems like the corporate.

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