What is Emotional Education?

Short answer, it’s an experience – as any education is supposed to be. Maybe I will answer in words one day. Longer answer – look at other pages or, there were brief attempts to share [here and here] that were once addressed to students in teacher training, while all the time I know that words do not indicate what Emotional education is, only experiences and relationships with others do that. I should say emotionally flourishing experience, as sadly we may suffer other sorts of experience that are emotionally deadening.

The original site was about Emotional Education, and work in practice. It tried to convey the background to the ideas, the thinking, even the feelings, but could not, or very seldom, reach the experience. I am now retired. I write a “diary” blog, a “poetry” blog and a “big ideas” blog.

I was learning chinese at the time, so the sign  xun that symbolizes the Wind and is here the logo, was used to return to the home page where the footer said:

The sign is Xun from the I Ching or Book of Changes, meaning “The Gentle, The Penetrating, like the Wind or like growing Wood with its roots”. Emotional Education has this quality of powerfully influencing through ceaseless but gradual and inconspicuous effects. The results may be less striking than other kinds of change, but they have roots, and they are enduring.

I still like this idea – gradual, working through, change. Then one day, one moment, one here-and-now, the change is categorical. There is no return to what was, even if it is remembered. It is history. Just like my “precious” site. I am here now, a new moment.

I believe it is totally crazy how little attention we pay to what is known about our minds, our feelings, our emotional states, our development, our thoughts, our language, our creativity, our emotional minds. We leave it to neuroscientists, working away at minscule detail, axons, neurons, and synapses, or to psychoanalysts and therapists, as if it only mattered when something goes wrong.

Emotional Education is learning about our own wonderful creative suffering experiencing minds.

It does not matter where you start. There is no best place. There is only here-and-now. Wherever you find yourself starting, heed the process of emotional learning:
experience being now

  • pay attention, notice what you feel, or think, own it, like in an open meditation
  • if you judge it, notice that too, and the feeling that comes with the judgement
  • there is information about the feeling, this one now this moment, that comes about in this particular context, the ‘whole’ that you are in
  • use your learning mind that seeks information and connections with other things, self, others, organizations, topics and concepts in thought
  • free associate to what other connections come, allow thoughts in
  • observe, be curious about why, how, and what kind of happening this emotional process is. Find what others have already learnt and see if it fits with what you experience. Now you can think “about” emotion and its process – you have an experience to think with
  • repeat, as and when, especially if you have others and can exchange communication about this kind of learning.

Choose your theory, I will try to offer some, and you can search libraries and the internet for many more. Some theories work for some contexts, some may not, or not yet.

Now, I also write an experimental blog – more a personal sorting out of ideas and concepts, trying to bring together the sensing of a whole world, even universe, system. There are many gaps of unknowns, posts about counter-transference, or economic systems, or social justice, etc, as I believe there are connections and deep structure, and failures in the way we think as well as truths that emerge. I expect this blog also shows my own emotional education, or lack, still a way to go. As with my other blogs, and this one, the act of writing is itself at one and the same time, a therapy, a creativity, a reaching out and a taking in. Enjoy!

Transitional Space: The In-between of Identity, Culture and Community

If you read any of my work, it would be good to hear where you get to. Contact is very welcome.