What is a teachable spirit and are you one?


Learning How to Study

This appears to be a strange title, yet it is the attitude of a soul who is a seeker of knowledge. In this pursuit of knowledge the student's task is to duplicate within his own thinking the ideas and conceptions of the person who made known the material being studied. Failure to do this shows a lack of integrity in the student who is thusly engaged. Whether the author is right or wrong is not the point. The point is duplication. You have not understood until you are able to defend the authors viewpoint as well as, if not better then, the author himself.

On the surface this seems to be quite evident yet I will ask you, how many times have you picked up a book you thought contained errors, misconceptions or outright lies and began to immediately dismiss all that you were reading... even before you finished the book? The Chapter? How about the first paragraph? Even the first word? Doing so shows that you are not engaged in the attainment of knowledge but instead are defending your own viewpoint against the author. With this attitude you become non teachable and understanding will never be achieved.


Let us say that you were taught that all wagons are red. This is generally accepted by everyone and they always paint their wagons red. Later in life a person comes along and says his wagon was blue. Now everyone knows... (that is too familiar a statement)... that all wagons are red. Immediately you call into question the intelligence of the person who said his wagon was blue. Perhaps he is a liar or one that is mentally unsound. Surely he must be one or the other. Being so sure of your own information you dismiss all that he says.

Now the interesting thing about it is that in his country all wagons are painted blue. He never conceived that a wagon could be painted any other colour but blue. When this person arrived in your country and saw that all wagons were painted red it astonished him. He tries to share this information with those who own red wagons. They don't believe him and he is thrown out of the country. When he returns to his own land he tells them of his experience and the red wagons. His fellow country men know that all wagons are blue and lock up this individual in a mental institution because he has lost touch with reality.

What was the problem in the above scenario? No one was teachable in either country. The person was right in that wagons are red and blue but no one cared to duplicate his thoughts. They simply rejected it. The question to ask yourself is this... Are you teachable?


There are two fields of thought concerning the origin of life on the earth. One is based on the bible. The other is based on scientific discovery. A line has been drawn in the sand and people will be on one side or the other. Neither can accept the idea that the other group can be right. So where does the problem stem from? Failure to duplicate. Both sides are guilty and both are non teachable. They both have faith in their own source of knowledge yet are too defensive to duplicate the thinking of the other side.

Do you know that the problem in each group is a two fold failure?

1/ Both of them are steadfast in what has been written and accepted as truth. Yet both are interpretations of the material at hand and too often are not understood by those who profess to know what that material is actually showing. They fail to duplicate their own sources and only have a shallow knowledge. They either give glib answers or use terms they do not fully understand. This is a failure to duplicate the reasoning behind the "truth".

2/ Both reject the concept that there is any value in the information of the opposing group. They know that the other is wrong so they do not even try to duplicate what the other is showing as reason to believe.
These people are not teachable. The best that they can do is mouth the words they were taught, like a mantra, over and over again trusting in their own original source and its interpretation.


Those who are teachable thirst for knowledge... searching the root of what is being taught... duplicating the authors thought... till they can enlighten others. They do not reject any field or opposing thought until they have understood the why, its "truth". The teachable person is in pursuit not of facts as much as he is in pursuit of the understanding beneath the facts that created ideas in the first place.

In whatever group you belong to... and there are many... if you have an attitude of soul that causes you to pursue and understand other viewpoints and the why behind them... you are the teachable ones. All others are non teachable and simply relay facts that stand more on wrong headed faith in the teachers opinion than trying to discover the truth.

Hopefully you are teachable and will take the time to understand what I am saying. It is not easy but it will open a whole new way to discovery.

Joseph Raymond 10-6-99 webmaster

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Hamilton, Ontario, Canada