I came across this in another thread, and I thought it was very interesting:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
I am not sure about learning always taking place. I think it depends a lot on your definition of learning. The Zen Buddhists talk of learning through enlightenment. This would be when there is a reformatting of how you understand the world. When there is a full reformatting, that would be like becoming a Buddha. However, the incremental type of learning that I think you are talk about, Mark, seems to be more like practice because that learning only helps to solidify that which you already know by practicing that form of thinking. It feels like more of an institutionalization than learning. It is like organizational change and transformation. Incremental change is now known, through quantitative experimental verification, to not lead to true organizational transformation, but to institutionalization of the existing culture. If you want to transform your organization, you have use the tools of the new culture to create that new culture. You can't transform an organization using the tools of the old culture. For a true organizational transformation to occur, in other words, for the organization to truly learn new behaviour, step-wise change must occur, not incremental change. It is a lot like that Zen Buddhist idea of enlightenment. That is the purpose of the Koans, to break the old pattern of thinking so that it leads to a catastrophy cusp in thinking modality. Anyhoo, I believe that true learning only occurs when that catastrophic change in ways of thinking occur. These catastrophic changes may be small but they are discontinuous from the old pattern. ....SNIP....
I think this is recognizable in for example how progress in training often seems to happen in steps followed by plateaus. Anyway, what I was trying to explain in the article was a method of getting to such a break in thinking&acting. Maybe that was already clear to anyone reading it, but I thought this made it clear from another point of view.