ExperientialLearning

Author: LionKimbro

What is being taught in this book is the knowledge of a new era. It teaches us to no longer separate theory from experience, spiritual and intellectual work here and everyday life there, the objective world “out there” and a subjective world “in us.”” – preamble by MonikaBerghoff? to: FutureWithoutWar?, by DieterDuhm?

GiftingWithLollipops

I’m at BurningMan, attending a workshop on gifts, and the meaning of gifts. It’s crazy hot out, but I’ve kind of lost track of that; The temperature is always changing here. It’s dusty too, but somehow that’s in the background also. The workshop takes place in a gigantic tent in RedLightening, where the RealitySandwich and Evolver types are likely to be found.

Over the next hour, we played a few games. Each game began with a short explanation, and then we played. Each game involved use of lollipops. In one, we tried to barter with one another in order to attain all of the lollipops. In another, we tried to barter with one another to give away all of the lollipops.

There were mixes and variations. Like I remember in one: We started with different amounts of lollipops. In another, we started with equal number of lollipops.

In each case, we played along with the simulation.

We talked at the end – about what we felt, about what we tried to do, how we felt, what it was like. You can have a lot of feeling, just playing pretend – just as in pen & paper role playing games: Nothings really happening, but the emotions and thoughts are there.

I can’t remember everything that happened, but I remember that at the end of the last one I was in tears. The game had changed: Now, we were not trying to get more lollipops than anyone else, and now we weren’t trying to give away all our lollipops – now: Each lollipop was not a dollar, or a power, or a widget – now, in our last run, our lollipops were our treasures – those things of extraordinary value. And we were told that we didn’t need to trade them, or give them away, or keep them – that we were free to do with them as we please.

In that final round, some people traded their treasures with one another. It was a delight, in every interaction, to ask people about their treasures, and to share our own.

For myself, I found that I could give away none of my treasures. My treasures were, if I recall right (and I do, because I have my notebook from burning man here at home… just a moment…) My treasures were:

None of these were treasures that I could “give away,” though I could share all of these in one way or another (sex, love, teaching, introducing, etc.,.)

Rounds in The Lollipops Game

Round Goal Rules
1end with most pops some people can only give their pops away; some can only receive pops; others can negotiate
2end with most pops either try to persuade other people to give you their pops, OR: give a lollipop to the person or people who are most deserving
3end with NO pops look someone in the eye, and, sincerely, give them a pop
LAST neither to receive nor give, nor accumulate nor lose; no goal give meaning to the pops; they are your treasures

WhatIsExperientialLearning

Now, this page is about “Experiential Learning.”

What do those words mean?

The activity that played out was an example, but what went on exactly?

And first – Did any actual learning take place?

Here are ideas that formed in my mind as I went through the exercise:

I do not know if this is what it was “intended” that I would learn and observe, and other participants may have drawn different ideas from the experience.

I do know that my thoughts were illuminated and my emotions were ignited from the event, though. (See also: EmotionThoughtAndBody?, to be written.)

If someone had written out an essay about gifting, I think it is very unlikely that I would absorb the knowledge into my body the same way that happened through going through the event. (EmbodiedKnowledge? – to be written.) There is very much a sense in which knowledge delievered as information reaches “the head,” and then does not go anywhere else.

It is absolutely clear to me that in efforts to create a SocietyOfDream?, we need to clearly understand and develop ExperientialLearning.

I realize that that can seem like an ironic thing to say – after all, I am writing an essay right now. But I don’t think it is absurd at all: Pure reflection, (and I see CommunityWiki as a kind of group meditation, a group reflection circle,) is very, very important.

I think a lot of time, people who are into the “EmbodimentCulture?,” tend to denigrate and downplay the importance of the mind, of the intellect. It’s just stupid of them. I understand their reaction? But they’re overcompensating, or have some kind of “angry with my parents” complex going on (“angry at the establishment” or “angry at the dominant paradigm.”) Anger at something. Whatever it is, I’m fortunate enough to be unafflicted. Reflection, rational thought, “reductive thought,” what have you – it is valuable, and I think it is all part of the process. (See the to-be-written: EmotionThoughtAndBody?.)

We need – I need, at the very least – some clarity about how ExperientialLearning works, how to create experiences (ExperienceEngineering?), in order to communicate the important things that I need to communicate, and so that other people can communicate the important things that they need to communicate.

Because – especially with the kinds of subjects that are the seeds of societies of Dream, – there really is no other way to communicate them and then to create societies of dream out of them.

AnatomyOfExperientialLearning

A common pattern:

  1. The rules of the game we were about to play was explained.
  2. We played the game.
  3. We discussed our impressions and feelings and insights from the game, in a semicircle.

Observations:

Questions:

Discussion

I’m falling asleep, it’s past midnight.

I still have more to write here, …

  • I want to refer to JamesCarleson?’s work at Bucketworks.
    • I need to reference the book, PeterLondon?’s NoMoreSecondhandArt?, which James Carleson used to create the experiences at the root of Bucketworks.
    • also: Towards an Archaeology of the Soul, ParaTheater?
  • My major questions:
    • When is experiential learning appropariate? What are the domains that it is best at? Contrast with the domains wherein book learning or informational learning is appropriate.
    • What is the interplay between reflection, whether personal or social, and experiential learning?
      • Note that it is very common in social experiential learning for there to be a part where people share their learnings, insights, reflections, and feelings with one another.
    • What are valuable books, websites, and resources that people can use to develop experiential learning?
    • How an we construct experiential learning exercises? What are the dynamics? How do we make the steps from ideas and essays to fully embodied experience?
  • QuestionsCeremony? – an example of an attempt on my own part to embody ideas into an experience
  • FormsOfExperientialLearning? – (A) workshop exercises like the above here, (B) apprenticeship, (C) mystery schools, (D) Constructivism & Constructionism (in the educational sense, not the HelmutLeitner sense), (E) coachings & trainings, (F) original experience (our experience just by being alive, life as the teacher), (G) (what else?)

Define external redirect: EmotionThoughtAndBody NoMoreSecondhandArt EmbodimentCulture FutureWithoutWar PeterLondon QuestionsCeremony ParaTheater EmbodiedKnowledge JamesCarleson FormsOfExperientialLearning ExperienceEngineering MonikaBerghoff DieterDuhm SocietyOfDream

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