There Are No New Lessons

Learning never stops.

We learn new skills, new words, and new points of view every single day.

But the big lessons—lessons about life, love, happiness—they aren’t new.

Many have learned them before us, and many will learn them after we are gone.

So why can’t we learn them all and be done? 

As humans, we forget. We have to learn lessons over and over to remember.

And it’s hard for us to know something before we experience it.

Reading isn’t the same as living. 

The psychologist William James developed four criteria for a “mystical” experience.

One is the “noetic quality” of the experience, which “registers not only as a feeling but as a state of knowledge.”

In other words, it is the difference between knowing in theory, and the knowledge that comes with experience.

All lessons we learn are like this; it is very difficult for us to really know something until we’ve experienced it.

There are no new lessons. 

We just have yet to experience most of them.