Learning and what Hinders it

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Conceiving of a past and a future and a good and a bad, the mind seeks to make more often decisions that assure a greater ‘good’ in the vaster space of the future. Yet, as it may oftentimes be undecided as to the good and the bad of things, it seeks for outside sources of knowledge to guarantee a greater accuracy of decision making.

In the course of learning, what was in normal life simply a desire, aversion or emotion, is now seen as a mental hindrance that obstructs the progress of the learning process.

The main hindrances to learning will be:

  • restlessness and worry
  • desire regarding things of the senses
  • aversion or ill-will
  • slothfulness, laziness and lethargy
  • and doubt

While learning, the mind will initially contact very unfamiliar objects. Which in turn will produce confusions or emotional reactions. That is, the life-continuum will be repeatedly vibrating often for prolonged periods of time after the reception of the unfamiliar object (if not immediately directed towards a more familiar object). Repeated adverting to the object, receiving it, investigating it and finding an appropriate designation for it, will familiarise the object and allow for more prolonged periods of an arrested life-continuum even during the learning process.

Yet, when too numerous or too strong old kammas are getting obstructed for too prolonged a period of time, there will usually be little space left for the generation of new kamma. Rather as a consequence the life-continuum will start vibrating more violently whenever the higher faculties (even the sense-faculties) don’t check it by their own activity.

Only when activities are found, wherein the vibrating mind’s content (i.e. the obstructed kamma) can flow unobstructedly, will the pressure be released.

A prolonged period of arrested life-continuum only comes about, when, with the progression of the learning process, within the life-continuum an idea has started manifesting, which is in agreement with the higher faculties. Or, when the higher faculties have turned their attention towards an object, that is in agreement with the content of the life-continuum.

Thus, these faculties may be thought of as growing out of the manifesting latent mind, like flowers grow out of a leaf-butt of a tree or plant.

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