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How to Empty Your Head

Practice
For years now I have been telling audiences about my alternative to higher education. I call it lower education. You come to my school and on the first day we give you a Ph.D. You study for four years, and we take it away. We give you a master’s degree and in two years take that away. Eventually, you work your way down to kindergarten. Complete that, and you become a teacher.Have you noticed how much of education is about filling your head with facts? You fill and fill and get top-heavy and stuffed and over-packed. The weight becomes unbearable. Eventually, it’s time to empty out, unlearn, and lower your sights.Of course, this is not my original idea. It is the main theme in many spiritual writings. Consider the wonderful story from the Gospel of Thomas. A woman goes to the village market and buys a sack of grain. There’s a hole in the sack, and on the way home the grain spills out, bit by bit, so that when she arrives, the sack is empty. Jesus tells the story, saying that this is what the kingdom of heaven is like. The kind of world Jesus is teaching is empty in some mysterious way.The Tao Te Ching say …

Thomas Moore is the New York Times best-selling author of Care of the Soul, as well as many other books on deepening soul and cultivating a mature spiritual life, three of which have received the Books for a Better Life Award. At turns he has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, a psychotherapist, and an S&H columnist. 


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