Tuesday, July 19, 2011

UNLEARNING -- CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL



When my elder son passed out of Cornell with a valuable ME in computer science, and got a plum job in one of the best paying computer software companies of USA, my only words of advise to him , was this ancient Indian Vedic wisdom. 

“ Son, truth is a pathless land. You will need to free yourself from the usual conditioned responses. The process of unlearning, and shedding obsolete snakeskins ,  is about liberation or freedom from the conditioning or from the known".

" Unlearn what is learned and have outlived its relevance , so that you are open to learning 'what is unknown' . Your ability to open your future will depend not on how well you can learn anymore but also on how well you are able to unlearn. It is about letting go what has already been learnt acquired, and served you will for long. In your business you must keep away from workplace folks who are as consistant as an irresponsible ass”.

Seeing him UNUSUALLY receptive I continued – the gist is here --

Throughout our lives, we have all been plied with misinformation by the dominant culture, some of which has become internalized and become the gospel . We invented this software , so we know more than you-- Blah Blah—

Unlearning things that are no longer useful can be an extreme form of changing, like an almost physical casting off of inner clothing.  Unlearning involves a conscious individual confrontation of the past with the future, involving paradigms or beliefs that come from the fully formed past at odds with those that come from a future, still in formation.

The risk, the vulnerability of not having answers, of being in-between ideas, of acting in the face of the unknown, has to be faced as unlearning takes place. In this way unlearning prepares the ground for a deeper kind of learning.

Unlearning is NOT the opposite of learning. It is about letting go old outdated knowledge . If you need to fill up water in a bottle, the ( hot ) air which served the bottle well for long time, must be allowed to escape. Unlearning is about moving away from something rather than moving towards something.

Almost every day you will need to sweep the corners of your mind and consider what you need to UNLEARN and recast your mind. Learning technology has brought you to this point of your life, only unlearning methodology will take you smoothly forward. You must have the courage and mental fortitude to rip apart every standard operation procedure manual of your company. There can be NO finality in any rethink.
The whole world has been harping about Dec 21st 2012. This date is the start of the beginning of a new DNA programming age of “ Knowledge adds, wisdom subtracts” .

Unlearning is not about right or wrong. It is about being open to and exploring something that lies underneath the judgment, underneath the right and the wrong.

Becoming creative is an unlearning rather than a learning process ... because it gives the short end of the stick to existing moronic assumptions

A change mentor that infuriates your ego rather than soothes it, can speed up the process of unlearning.
You first need to unlearn your pre-conceived notion of what's achievable, and what is the need of the hour. The illiterate of the future are not those that cannot read or write. They are those that can not learn, unlearn, relearn.—and who are die hard supporters of the dog eared standard operations book.

In a time of drastic change, it is the unlearners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that has ceased to exist. Imagine a computer engineer who cannot unlearn.
The learning cycle, which should be a virtuous circle that positively feeds itself. Instead it becomes a standard operation stuck record with the same lessons being learnt time and time again, without leading to any significant shifts or changes in practice.
Unlearning as the process of letting go of what is or what is known, in order to create fresh space for new learning to take root..
You had once asked me why Cornell loves to make you do  NLP/ AskMSR critiques.  In its debative mode say of a scientific critique, disproving as a form of unlearning, injects a rigour and discipline into enquiry, and huge excitement. Unlearning is however a challenge. Truth that we can work with, not to test or to pass judgement but to help bring consciousness so that the next step can be taken.
What might have once been a healthy, regular monthly review, can become a tiresome disconnected ritual that has lost its point or focus. Our habit of planning  in a particular way may have to worked wonderfully well in the past, but unknown to us, it has become a primary cause of our inability to adapt to changes in our context.  Even in mild  forms, these habits can become ingrained, comfort zones, addictions, hiding places of denial and self-protection.


Like a wheel-rut on a dirt road, and bosses who have bedded down for retirement,  resist like hell, efforts to break out despite the fact that consciously the need is crystal clear.
Often our ability to see something, to appreciate its true nature, is skewed or hidden by the judgement we give it, the pigeon-hole we have prepared for it.   It is a uphill task to make them appreciate the need to just see something without judgement or assumption  .Old ingrained habits that do not serve us take time to break and some may never be broken.
Behind the fears live the memories that gave rise to them . The cat who fell in hot water is circumspect with cold water too. We cannot disprove our past or invalidate our memories. We go back and work gently with what happened, see the memories afresh and hopefully find the strength necessary to free ourselves from their power.
It is painful to unlearn those deep, hidden and sometimes painful patterns that mask and influence the way we do things. Ultimately, we have to acknowledge that it is not our methods, strategies, tools or techniques which define the core and quality of our development practice, but ourselves  our past, our present and our future, and the will we can find to face these.
Do I want to change? Am I really prepared to face the new consequences of change? These become the central questions driving unlearning. At the heart of unlearning is our ability to get down to our will and to consciously face it and turn it. It is  about honestly and courage and a process or journey towards that..
It is amazing to note how all of the panelists' opinions were completely tainted by their own self-interest. Music competitions—judges wait for a song or line, where they can sing better than the contestant and WOW the audience. You'd be better off to ask a young music fan or musician, unencumbered by too much knowledge of the bullshit past.
Sit down before fact,  as a little child,  be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly and humbly wherever and to whatever dark unexplored abysses nature leads  --
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ONE WEEK AGO I MADE THE MARINE INDUSTRY UNLEARN SOME SOMALIA ANTI-PIRACY STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES.
i will not delve too deep into it, as pirates are computer savvy too and are on the internet looking for scraps of information.
I will just post 4 pictures -- sailors at sea, will know what it means-- zoom in and look carefully--
my ship had just 3.4 metres of freeboard with nearly 40 million USD worth sunflower oil.
Check out the scalp ripping and family jewels incising razor wires.
Check out how a grappling hook or a long aluminium ladder is made ineffective by using a 3.5 metre spacers from the ship's hill.
Check out how citadels are fortified against RPG.
Check out the fort made for the gunmen on the bridge wings, to SPLASH pirates who cannot come within 4 metres of the hull due to swishing razor wires.





God resides in your DNA

Be yourself, do it your way.

Grace and peace!


CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL
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11 comments:

  1. Thank you for the beautiful music that you create through your words, your words lighten up my day!

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    1. Thanks captain,
      These words made my day, in flow of time I had forgotten the fact that old knowledge of mine is burying myself deep down.
      Over a months time my knowledge starts eating me, i get stressed and depressed by negativity of my own thoughts. In such times anger takes over me,my mind starts blaming and accusing me for stupid things.. and this leads to mental chaos. I even deny the existance of my God -- Krishna.
      Such is my case.
      Well..time to unlearn.
      Regards,
      AS

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  2. Dear Capt.

    I envy your son - so fortunate to receive this wisdom from you in person.

    I was bowled over by the line BEHIND FEARS LIVE THE MEMORIES THAT GIVE RISE TO THEM.

    EXCELLENT POST !
    Warm regards - Ratish

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  3. Captain i am sort of very lazy. I know i have some potential to do things but all is engulfed by laziness n this is since my admission in engineering. I am learning meditation also to get rid of it. Can u suggest any routine to remove laziness??

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    1. hi dk,

      do SURYA NAMASKAR along with a 4 km brisk morning walk

      capt ajit vadakayil
      ..

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  4. Hello sir , I have read not all bt many of your blogs and I'm feeling that more nd more people like you should use their talents to unlock the science behind hinduism. Today many news channels host a shw to tlk on false rituals in hindusim and they make shields of ao called educated modern women. I say why in the he'll today's modern women wants to challenge hindu rituals traditions?? On what basis?If they say that men nd women are equal then first I say ask ur hubby's to get sex transplanted. It realy hurts that not only women bt many young generation laughs at our own culture which is ao divine. I'm a business owner. nd I have learnt astrology.astrology . Mny ppl have benifits frm me. BT still why ppl think that astrology is fake it's nt science. I m realy a great fan of urs. Hoping to met a godly person like u once in my life. I'm also learning sanskrit. Hope my life will some day be like urs nd I too will help ppl u nd stand the richness in our culture.

    With regards
    Ajay

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  5. Seriously???... This post has only 6 comments!!! Sometimes I pity my generation....I have taken a printout...Priceless wisdom Capt...Thanks.

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  8. capt ajitji,

    Bhai namaste amazing post this is the right way of learning is to unlearn not in the theoretical way but just to understand the subtle way so our new learning will create magic and one will be surprised and will believe Ohh i can also do this and that and so on. FEAR is the main HIGHLIGHT here bhai thankyou.

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