Esoteric: "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialised knowledge or interest.”
What are you allowed to know?
I believed there were certain things that I could learn and other things that weren’t permitted - by some fictitious social law unknown to me. It’s an absurd concept when you think about it but it’s quite common. I certainly fell for it for a long time.
For me, the idea of learning more about the brain was fascinating, but I felt that I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t a medical student. I believed the neuroscience books would be so complicated that I probably wouldn’t even understand the English - forgetting that even neuroscience experts had to start somewhere.
Telling people they can learn anything doesn’t, in my experience, instil the belief in them that they can. So I now ask 'could I stop you from learning XYZ if I wanted to?' The answer is always a resounding ‘no'. The question 'What if I said "I’m not going to let you learn it"' usually also results in a 'you can’t'.
It’s hardly surprising that we feel this way after spending 18 years spoon-fed in formal education; always optimising our learning to pass formal tests and adhering to a combination of questions, warnings and commands.
‘Did you do your homework?’ ‘This is on the test.’ ‘Don’t be late’.
What happens when the enforced testing stops? If you don't know the answer, can you find it? Or do you have to be given permission?
Further learning resources in no particular order:
- edx.org - udemy.com - coursera.org - youtube.com - audible.com - amazon.com - masterclass.com - your local library