(Both the article and video are different. In the video I focus more on learning things spiritual, in the article – learning any subject. So ideally please study them both.)
In my years of personal development I came to discover two requirements to learn anything really fast, especially when one learns from a teacher. But the same applies to learning from books as well.
The first requirement is that one should create a space within to take the words in. This can be quite an issue to explain for those who never experienced such a thing.
It becomes easy to create a space within if one meditates. There comes a stage where no thought or self-talk disturbs internal peace, and one as though becomes a blank canvas.
This is the state that hypnotists try to put their clients into so that they would record (hopefully) positive affirmations in their subconscious minds to stay with them for the rest of their lives (or as long as the hypnotist is alive, if he uses his own willpower to help a person).
Sometimes people reach that state naturally, without even the practice of meditation. Remember the time when someone absolutely fascinated you. You then switched off all your judgement and became a perfect recording device.
You were probably completely still, with eyes totally focused on the object of your attention, and maybe your mouth was slightly open as well. That event which you observed in such a way is still vivid in your mind today.
So this is the state one should aim at when wanting to learn something new. If you want to achieve what another person has achieved, don’t allow the ego to fool you into thinking that you already know all you need to know. If you’re not at the stage you want to reach, you don’t already know all that is required to achieve that stage.
For children it’s so easy to view a role model in such a way. Yet as adults, we became inflated with a lot of ego which prevents us from accessing that state which allows us to quickly take information in.
The people who achieved the goals you want to achieve already know all it takes to get there, obviously. We should not allow the ego to convince us that we know who that person is about. We really don’t. This is just the trick of the ego to make us think that we do.
If you haven’t achieved what that person had achieved, it means you really don’t know what that person is about. And to take in that essence, that mindset which helped the person to achieve his goals, you have to, in their presence (or when you’re exposed to their message in any other way) to totally switch off all the internal ego talk and become a perfect recording device, a perfect blank canvas to soak everything in.
Just think about it. If you want to achieve what that person has achieved, you must understand his mindset. And the way to do it is by switching off all the beliefs that you have about that person. Those beliefs are most likely to be wrong anyway, because they are based on limited experiences.
You really do not have a correct view of that person, because if you want to be where he is, and you have the right view about him, you would have already achieved what he did by understanding the knowledge that the person has.
Those beliefs prevent you from seeing that person as he or she is, and therefore those limiting beliefs cannot give you access to the knowledge that he has which allowed him to achieve his goals. If you manage to silence those beliefs so that you’re totally open (without any attitudes as well) to who that person is, you will also get the pure knowledge which got that person to where he is today.
To do this perfectly, another thing is needed. And that’s reverence.
In the West, we lost this important and beautiful quality. Children don’t revere their parents anymore, let alone teachers. But that’s what’s required for your to learn something thoroughly.
In India this quality isn’t lost yet, and children can learn there extremely fast. For example, if they like English and they are exposed to an English speaker, they are fascinated by that person, treating him as though he was a super-human. This absolute reverence opens their minds to such an extent that they soak up every single word and teaching, and this enables them to learn English in an extremely short time period.
I believe that in general children can learn much faster than adults because of this ability to soak up the teachings like a sponge. There aren’t yet many beliefs and convictions in their minds, so they are perfect recording devices. When one ages, one usually collects many beliefs about life, which serve as blocks to learning.
But if beliefs are suspended and reverence is felt, great amounts of information can be taken in in a very short time period.
More about reverence. I learnt it when I was in India. Without years spent there, I would probably have never understood what reverence is. In the West we tend to take everything for granted, and there’s a strong sense of entitlement. So we don’t usually respect those who spend their time to teach us.
This is unfortunate for this closes us to the taking in of their full message. If a teacher has knowledge that you seek for, respect him or her for that. Treat them as a deity, be very helpful and kind. (This should come naturally if you empty yourself of the ego.)
You are a student, and students are supposed to be submissive. I know this is very difficult for many proud people to accept today, but if one really wants to possess what the teacher has, that’s the way to go.
If you can kill the ego to the degree to be totally submissive to another human who knows more than you, the barriers of that human will melt, and the full transference of his knowledge to you will take place.
This is by far the fastest way to attain knowledge.