Curiosity Summary

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Read more about Curiosity from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

What is Curiosity?

The mind by its nature is curious and interested; it sees, it observes, it tries to understand and explain; and with all this activity, it disturbs the [yogic] experience and diminishes its intensity and force. If one wants to look at it as a curiosity, one has only to watch, to try to understand. And If one knows how to rise to a higher level, simply into a region of the speculative mind which is not quite the ordinary physical mind, one can see all this play and all this struggle, all this conflict, all these contradictions as a curiosity which does not touch or affect one. If one rises a step higher still and see the goal towards which one wants to go, one will gradually come to discern between ideas favourable to progress which one will keep, and ideas opposed to this progress which harm and impair it; and from above one will have the power to set them aside, calmly, without being otherwise affected by them. But if one remains there, at that level in the midst of that confusion and conflict, well, one risks getting a headache! [1] [2] [3]

Curiosity as Love to Learn

Healthy curiosity manifests itself in the form of love to learn. One must have a great deal of sincerity, a little courage and perseverance and then a sort of mental curiosity, understanding, seeking to know, interest, wanting to learn. To love to learn: that, one must have in one's nature. To find it impossible to stand before something grey, all hazy, in which nothing is seen clearly, and which gives one quite an unpleasant feeling. [4]

Unhealthy Mental Curiosity

...there are people who have faith, and then they have contrary movements which come and attack. It is as though one were letting the worm into the fruit: it eventually eats it up completely. This means that such movement arises into the mind first and one should be very plucky and refuse it. Surely one must not enjoy looking on just to see what is going to happen; that kind of curiosity is terribly dangerous and needs to be seriously controlled. [5][6]

Why is Curiosity Important in Learning?

...till a certain age, so long as one is very young, it is good to develop oneself, to spread out as much as possible in all directions, to draw out all the potentialities one holds, and turn them into expressed, conscious, active things, so as to have a fairly solid foundation for the ascent [towards supermind]. That is why you must learn, love to learn, always learn, not waste your time in... well, in filling yourself with useless things or doing useless things. You must do everything with this aim, to enrich your possibilities, develop those you have, acquire new ones, and become as complete, as perfect a human being as you can. That is, even on this line you must take things seriously, not simply pass your time because you are here, and waste it as much as possible because you have to pass it somehow. [7]

How to Develop Curiosity/Love to Learn

In children, thoughts are generally dispersed yet they are capable of a good deal of attention when you succeed in arousing their interest. Educator by his ingenuity can help the child to become capable of a sustained effort of attention and a faculty of more and more complete absorption in the work in hand. The psychological action that is most important is to arouse in the child an interest in what you want to teach him, a liking for work, a will to progress. To love to learn is the most precious gift that one can give to a child: to love to learn always and everywhere, so that all circumstances, all happenings in life may be constantly renewed opportunities for learning more and always more. [8]

Child will learn that everything can become an interesting subject if approached in the right way. The life of every day, of every moment, is the best school of all, varied, complex, full of unexpected experiences, problems to be solved, clear and striking examples and obvious consequences. It is so easy to arouse healthy curiosity in children, if you answer with intelligence and clarity the numerous questions they ask; teach him to enjoy good reading-matter which is both instructive and attractive. Do not be afraid of anything that awakens and pleases his imagination; imagination develops the creative mental faculty and through this study becomes living and the mind develops in joy. [9]

Read more about Curiosity from the works of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

References