Reading and reading about

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Don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of buying a book, only to skim through it and put it away on the shelf ‘for later’? Somehow, the time just isn’t right to take the information in. Some time passes (and in my case, occasionally it has been not just weeks or months, but years). Suddenly something makes you reach for that book and all of a sudden, it makes sense and fits in to your web of  knowledge. It’s as if you weren’t quite ready for what the author has to say first time round.

Liesl Silverstone (pioneering person-centred art therapist) makes the distinction between ‘reading about’ something and really ‘reading’. The ‘reading about’ is when you look at the theory or argument before you’ve actually experienced the learning for yourself at a very personal level. When you’ve learnt valuable lessons and then come to the reading, the author confirms what you’ve discovered for yourself and now know in your own bones. It’s an entirely different perspective. The difference perhaps between understanding with your heart, as opposed to understanding with your head.

Ironically, Liesl’s book prompted the post today!

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