Making Changes MenuMind & Consciousness MenuTalk Therapy MenuEducation & Learning MenuHealthy Relationships MenuAutism Spectrum MenuAddictions, Risk, and Recovery MenuWeight & Fitness MenuHuman Personality MenuScientific Method Menu

How Much Have I Actually Learned?

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of March 5, 2007






Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2


This Week's Questions


[posed by Colleen A.]
  • How can I tell what I did and did not learn?
  • Do babies learn mostly by Emergence and by Extension?
  • If I need notes to remember something, does that mean I did not actually learn these things?

Do you know?



I recently spent a week studying at an institute. Each day, I was excited about what I might learn, and each day, my reality surpassed my expectations. I delighted in what I was learning and each day, I made several connections between my new learning and Emergence Theory. I also called home often with the excitement of a child.

Several weeks have passed and I still can’t wait to share more of what I've learned. I love reading books pertaining to the institute and I'm looking forward to continuing my studies in this area. I believe I learned more about learning during this week than I did during my time earning a Bachelor’s and 2 Masters Degrees combined.

To me, this seems like the perfect example of the Known by Emergence and Known by Extension stages of The Four States of Learning. What I don’t understand was that in one of our recent Emergence Teachers' Groups, it was suggested that my aha's were mainly my connections to people and that the program itself didn't provide me with the opportunities for learning I deserved.

I realize I am in Layer 2 right now. But I don’t see how else to get at this. Perhaps this is a BLock in me ? My questions are:

[Question 1] Am I in some way BLocked as to what I did and did not learn from this experience? Did I, in some way, misinterpret what happened to me? What am I not seeing? Of course, I was in Layer 2 for much of the time during the week, but when the light bulbs clicked on, wasn't this the illumination of what was Momentum Learning up 'till that point?
[Answer] Colleen, to begin with, without asking you specifically to teach me what it was you learned, I cannot tell what you did and did not learn. The real test for learning then is, do you have permanent access to the beauty in something? If yes, then you have Learned by Emergence. If yes but only after being reminded, then you may have Learned by Extension. Or you may have Learned by Momentum.

How do you know which? Here, the test to know which would be, what and how much of what you say you know can you vividly picture ? When you Learn by Extension, you experience:

[1] diligence (I’d love to know it!)
[2] effortless “pre-call”
[3] visual variety
[4] reluctance to stop trying to picture it
[5] excellent retention

All this occurs mainly in Layers 7, 9, and 10. Inner Layer learning. Thus, we could call these threads of learning, Close-to-Integrated Threads of Experience. Examples would be, inspired studies, self-directed searches, thought experiments, imaginary journeys, vision quests, authentically practiced yogi and martial arts.

When you Learn by Momentum, you experience:

[1] duty (I should know it!)
[2] effortful recall
[3] visual rigidity
[4] reluctance to begin picturing it
[5] poor retention

All this occurs mainly in Layers 2, 3, and 4. In the Outer Layers. Thus, we could call these threads of learning, Isolated Threads of Experience. And while they do qualify as learning, they have yet to be integrated into the mind's visual replay system.

Examples here would be parroted studies, marginal interests, rote practices including yogi and martial arts, logical assumptions, gender limited knowledge, cultural requirements, era limited styles, political allegiances, religious adherences, and guided meditations.

Finally, when you Learn by Emergence, you experience:

[1] delight (I love knowing it!)
[2] effortless recall
[3] visual variety
[4] reluctance to stop picturing it
[5] excellent retention

All this occurs mainly in Layers 9 and 10. No coincidence, the main quality in both these threads is connection. Literally, they are inter connected to the brain's visual system. Thus, we can call these threads of learning, Integrated Threads of Experience. and examples would be life changing inspirations, scientific discoveries, spiritual epiphanies, self realizations, artistic aha’s, the flow of creativity, moments of clarity, therapeutic breakthroughs, all consciously committed acts of love and kindness, compassion.

Here, then, is a clue to what you may be referring to when I inferred that you might not have learned as much as your enthusiasm would imply. The essence of all things Learned by Emergence is connection. Including learning how to connect to new people. Thus my comment was probably more a theoretical inference that you might be more enthused by 'who" you learned than by "what" you learned. Or not.

Again, without asking you to teach me what you learned, I can not tell. In addition, to be Known by Emergence, the learning has to be visually vivid without having recently reviewed the material or having to refer to your notes.

[Question 2] Although I can remember much of this intense week of learning, there are things I need my notes to remember. Once I do look though, it all comes back to me very clearly. Does that mean I did not really learn these things? Or could there be something else at work here, like an overload of some sort?
[Answer]
As I said in the previous question, without asking you directly, I cannot be sure, one way or the other. You may well be referring to things Learned by Extension. Or to things Learned by Momentum.

Thus, if you need your notes, it may be that you need to regain your momentum in order to have access to what you observed. But if a glance at the notes than brings vivid recall of what you observed, then the things you saw may have been Learned by Extension.

The thing is, most things Learned by Extension get recalled without looking at notes. Thus, while I may forget the exact words I use to describe a particular concept, if you ask me to teach you something I have Learned by Emergence, I will instantly be thrilled and want to talk about it, and at the same time, clear as to the basics.

For example, were you to ask me to teach you the Four Emergence Character Types, I would need no notes. Not now. Not ever. Like riding a bike, I cannot forget this learning. It has emerged in me. But if you were to ask me to name the exact qualities I used to first describe Character Types, I would be unable to do this with certainty.

What makes this uncertainty happen? The idea that the things we Learn by Emergence get recorded in an almost purely visual state. In essence, this learning is the closest thing we have to our own inner video camera. Or dreaming awake.

This is why, when we need to recall and share this learning, we simply review the movie in the theater of our mind and that speak about what we saw while we were doing this visual review.

Now consider what this means. It means that whatever we Learn by Emergence stays fresh in us for the rest of our lives. Why? We never, in a conscious state, describe things with the same words, beyond the few labels we memorize. In fact, these labels, which function mostly like the brass plates beneath the paintings in fine art museums, are one of the most accessible examples we have of Learned by Extension. If, that is, we can see the painting while seeing the plaque under it. No painting, no Learning by Extension. Which makes recalled labels without visuals Learning by Momentum.

All in all, Colleen, the best thing to do here is to go slow with regard to judging how much you did or did not learn. Ironically, when you have had emerge in you these Four States of Learning, knowing which state you were in becomes second nature. Or more accurately, knowing your state becomes your true nature.

[Question 3] Is it possible that babies’ learning exists only in the 3rd and 4th States of Learning (as in, Known by Emergence, and Known by Extension)? Does this account for the exponential rate at which they learn before age 7?
[Answer]
Wow. Good question. At first thought, I'm not sure. Which says what exactly? It says I have neither learned this answer by Momentum nor by Emergence. At this point, anyway. Which that leaves the other two states, by Extension and by Unknown.

What is Learned by Unknown again? The basic experience is:

[1] denial (I do so know it!)
[2] no recall
[3] visual inability
[4] reluctance to try picturing it
[5] no retention

Obviously, all these experiences occur mainly in Layer 1, in the state of mind known as No Existing Threads of Experience. Here, examples would be technical knowledge from car repairs to cabinet making, foreign languages, higher math and physics, musical talents, and artistic creativity before the brush hits the canvas.

So which state of learning am I in right now? I'd say, this last one; Learned by Unknown. Which, word wise, is an odd phrase to grasp. The word "unknown" makes it sound like I do not know more than that I know something. And you do not know. The answer, anyway.

The thing is, you also know that you do not know. Which in the present means, if I know I do not know the answer here, I have acquired the blank slate necessary for any and all learning. The state of learning I call, by Unknown.

Does this state qualify as learning? Yes. Definitely. In fact, in some ways, this is as hard a state to enter as Learning by Emergence. However, as to your question, is it possible that babies’ learning exists only in the 3rd and 4th States of Learning (as in, Known by Emergence, and Known by Extension)? Does this account for the exponential rate at which they learn before age 7?

My by Momentum answer? Yes. This sounds logical to me.

My by Extension answer. Yes. I can picture babies learning, and I'd say they probably alternate between these two states all day and all night.

My by Emergence answer? Yes. I can clearly picture Hawken holding and turning in his hand a toy. A wooden toy of some kind. A light brown block of wood. A toy train perhaps? Whatever the actual object, the movie I'm reviewing in my head (as I try to find the answer for your question) is something I've Learned by Emergence.

Finally, my by Unknown answer is, I most definitely have a world of learning left to do here. A lot of what I've just written was done with a less than vivid screen of the mind. Some just logic. Some just subconscious flashes. And some, just the fodder in between all the rest. The junk genes of the mind so to speak.

[Question 4] Can we, as adults, consciously put ourselves in the 3rd and 4th States of Learning (Learning by Emergence and Learning by Extension) even when we feel inclined toward Learning by Momentum? In other words, can we pull ourselves out of Layers 2, 3, & 4, at will, when we need to learn something? If so, how?
[Answer]
Wow. Another good question. I'm not sure.

My first by Extension answer is that it is hard to consciously choose to change states. Our minds have a mind of their own. Which is to say, Momentum and Dead Stops are the norm as far as our mental states. This means choosing to get into a by Emergence or by Extension state is hard. Not undoable. But difficult to say the least.

The trick? Know that both these states of learning require you connect to a teacher. Thus with by Emergence, this teacher needs to be someone other than you. Or at least a different persona within yourself.

With by Extension then, this teacher needs to be someone you. Or at least, someone so close to being like you as to cause you to sense little to no difference between you two. Mostly though, with by Extension, we are our own teacher.

Either way, knowing connection is the key can help you to at least get in position so as to leap onto the flow of learning at the first opportune moment.


Emergence Character Type Babies





Emergence Alliance logo



.