Learning is life's way of transcending the horizons of perception on it's voyage into This Magic Sea. It is a process of discovery for both individuals and populations of individuals.
New behavior patterns, including all the concepts of all the forms of life, appear on earth through the process of learning. Evolution, of individuals and species, is an adventure of learning.
Learning is the response of a being to the feedback (training) process of larger networks of communication. We learn from parents, siblings, teachers, synchronicities, redundancy, from surprises imposed upon us from beyond the horizons of our perception.
Learning is a conduit for information flowing between individuals and populations. It is an interactive process where stimulus and response move back and forth between the students and teachers, between the individual and the environment. Although learning is a personal offering by the larger networks surrounding us, it is very much up to the individual to do it or not.
An infinity of things to learn, and endless ways to apply what you have learned. The panorama of life, in the process of learning, surrounds us everywhere we look. Accumulating skills, accumulating knowledge. Even, in the long run, in some rare cases, accumulating wisdom.
Learning is a basic characteristic of life and scientists have been able to teach whatever creature they have tested. Bacteria, amoebae, flatworms, crabs, and even plants learn without much difficulty. Scientists have even taught individual nerve cells to count. It turns out they can count reliably up to 9. We should not be too amazed at this, since nerve cells have already learned how to make a brain, spinal cord, eyes, sensory receptors of all kinds, and muscle triggers.
Our cells are much more flexible than we give them credit for. If we cut our skin, cells below the cut, even muscle and connective tissue cells, release themselves from their attachments to other cells and move up to help heal the wound, quickly learning how to become the new tissue. Skin cells adjacent to the wound also let go of their hold on neighboring cells and slide out over the wound to create a thin layer of new skin cells needed to close the wound. They learn their new position and role with no trouble at all and the cells learn to close wounds more efficiently should we be unfortunate (or dumb) enough to cut ourselves often.
Learning's Toroid Structure
In the 4 phase process of becoming, learning is the feedback process that emerges when the observer compares the results of its responses with what the observer expected. Like all of becoming, the learning process has a torus structure. Information flows into the center of our being, becomes stashed away in memory then branches out in trials and tribulations onto the planet where in the end, we hopefully learn from our experiences when we look back and observe the results.
We say, "Oh yes, thats the way to do it. From now on I will reset the calibration of my system and do it that way until I learn some new technique that works even better." Or perhaps the reverse, "Yipes, I'll never do that again."
After the observer observes the change of its actions on the environment, comes the residual, the phenomenal increment of learning, the brilliant flash of invention, the awed moment of discovery, the inevitable directionality of change.
Learning is a digital series of events - we progress in quantum leaps of understanding. These increments of accomplishments lock systems into new, self promoting associations. A learned process opens new vistas of understanding, and new possibilities for learning new ways to do things that were unimaginable before the first step was learned. A skill or knowledge successfully learned is a new perception to guide us in directions we were unable to go in before.
Learning is, when viewed over a longer interval with many digital increments, an analog development pattern. We get better and better each time we try a learned skill or review a learned fact. This development pattern, this learning curve, never quite reaches completion. At first we make rapid progress in our attempt to learn something new, then it becomes more and more difficult to make further progress as the curve levels off.
Learning is the residue of change, the crystallization of ideas into new patterns and forms that, in turn, change the potential and possibilities for what tomorrow may bring. Learning is the freeway to becoming, the pathway through time.
Learning is an ancient word, reflecting its time-spanning nature in its original meaning - lore. Passing information from one being to another, stories, lessons, information and skills. It is how mind propagates itself beyond the horizons of our perceptions.
Learning is the process that weaves the future from the threads of the cosmos. What we learn becomes our adaptations for survival, and the skills of how and when we apply these.
Once the web of intercommunications learns a new concept, it changes, in fundamental, irreversible ways, the flow of information throughout the entire system, from atoms to the ecosystem. In a broad sense, the existing position, function and capability of every living creature is what awareness has learned to be over the 3.6 billion years of existence on this planet.
Learning is the process of concept formation on all levels, from getting a good idea to becoming a new species. It is life creating itself. One of the most profound stories about learning new relationships is The Love Bug.