One of the benefits of writing is that it shines light on my thinking, allowing me to see it more clearly. Sometimes, this catalyzes a more or less subconscious reconsideration. In such a case, eventually a new way of understanding bubbles up to my consciousness.
This mysterious process happened just last night, when I awoke realizing that the blog I wrote yesterday no longer represented my stance on the issue of recording lessons. The blog you’re reading now is my attempt to correct what I now see as my own erroneous conclusion, that there is something wrong with recording lessons.
You can see signs in yesterday’s post that, even while I was advocating not recording lessons, I was already undermining my own argument by noting some potential benefits of recording. I am amused now (from my new position where I can more clearly see the limitations of my earlier stance) that I didn’t see the red flags earlier. Any time I take up a position that proclaims either “X is good” or “X is bad,” I should know that such a dogmatic proclamation is likely to not represent the whole truth. (Actually, I could not have seen that until I did, which happened when I woke up needing a wee in the wee hours.)
What I realized (on my way to the bathroom at 2 am) was that I had been looking in the wrong direction—at the recording itself. From that vantage point, the problems I saw with recording (you can read about them in yesterday’s post) seemed to stem from making the recording. When I zoomed out a bit, I saw—I see—that the real issue is whether or not we approach learning from a particular state of multi-sensory awareness, which can happen in “real life” and, despite of what I wrote yesterday, equally well upon listening to a recording.
In fact, despite that I’d inaccurately represented my experience with recordings, I’d often netted aha moments myself while listening to replays of classes. And I’ve enjoyed reruns of many shows, including countless episodes of I Love Lucy the original broadcasts I wasn’t even alive for. (Why did I write “inaccurately represented” and not “lied”? Well, from my place of limited thinking, what I was writing seemed true. When we’re stuck in a dogmatic rut, it’s really easy to cherry-pick examples that support our position, conveniently ignoring any counter-examples that might occur to us. This very human tendency, when unacknowledged, is the basis for prejudice, among other problems.)
Where my logic had gotten confused was when I recalled recorded classes, lessons, and TV shows that I hadn’t felt deep connection to and blamed the fact that they were recorded. In actuality, I hadn’t upon watching/listening to the recordings bothered to set myself up for full attentiveness. It’s certainly easier in many cases to be fully present to in-the-moment instruction, but it’s also possible to be fully present to a recording. And to be fully present to it over and over again. Let’s hear it for the usefulness of recordings—hear, HEAR!
Whenever we zoom our consciousness out to contemplate an issue in a greater context, we see more and see more clearly. It is fully possible that I will experience an additional zoom out in my understanding of how recordings affect lessons and that I will have to add another chapter to this blog thread. How wonderful, that my understanding of how the universe works continues to evolve!