At the heart of learning

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

Joseph Campbell, The power of myth

Without having explicit ideas about the purpose of education, we run the risk of perpetuating implicit societal norms, power structures and false assumptions when facilitating learning.

I suggest to place at the heart of learning the liberation of desire. Following Deleuze, desire is the capacity to touch or to be touched, to impact or be impacted. The force that pushes us forward to experience what it means to be alive, and that makes us experiment with different ways of being human.

The liberated desire is at the roots of agency, authenticity, intrinsic motivation, creativity and resilience; all good qualities of character we want learners to develop. 

Desire is under siege. It is recuperated by stressful jobs and pressure to perform, dulled down by entertainment and consumption, and thwarted by our striving for social recognition, safety and comfort. These are not small matters. Liberating desire requires re-appropriation, self-recognition, rebellion, and pissing around your territory.

When desire moves freely, learners discover themselves, find and follow their calling, and feel deeply connected to others and to the world. Liberating desire will bring them to an experience of the rapture of being alive.

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