Unlearn What You Have Learned

Chip away the hardened exterior to discover what lies within.

“To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods.” — Robert A. Heinlein

How many falsehoods have you layered on over the years?

What you once knew as a child is long forgotten. It is coated in a thick layer of plaster. What lies beneath is now hidden... difficult to discern.

The story of the Golden Buddha will enlighten.

Long ago in the Ayutthaya Kingdom of Thailand there existed a Golden Buddha. It was located in a temple in the center of a place called Sukhothai City. It weighed over five tonnes and was revered by monks.

One day word was received of an invading army. The monks covered the Golden Buddha in a thick layer of plaster and colored glass. They did this to hide the statue’s true nature in hopes it would not be plundered.

The Burmese army soon invaded, killed and plundered. The city was destroyed and occupied for many years. The clay statue attracted little attention for many years as it remained in the ruins of Sukhothai City.

The statue was moved at the decree of King Rama III to Bangkok, the new capital of Thailand. It even served as the principal Buddha image in the main temple. Still no one knew of what lie beneath.

When the temple in Bangkok fell into disrepair, the statue was moved to nearby Wat Traimit, a pagoda of minor significance. It was sheltered by a small tin roof for 20 years. And still no one knew of its significance.

Until one day monks attempted to move the statue. It fell to the ground when the ropes holding it broke. A piece of the old plaster broke off and revealed the gold beneath.

What was lost for 200 years was finally revealed in its true form. Gone was the plaster and colored glass. In its place stood the Golden Buddha.

Imagine this statue to be you, dear friend. How much plaster have you layered on over the years… hiding your true self.

Perhaps you sought to hide your pain?
Perhaps you adopted false truths in Life's journey?

To reveal the Golden Buddha within, you must break free of your plaster. Chip away the pain, the shame and the walls you erected to protect yourself. Chip away the false truths you adopted over so many years.

Unlearn what you have learned.

Rediscover what the child understood long ago.


🤔 Food for Thought:

How thick is your layer of plaster?

How long have you hidden what lies beneath?


⚙️ One Small Step:

Unlearning false truths is even more difficult than learning truths. Chip away at it a little every day. Do what Alan Watts suggests: “A scholar tries to learn something everyday; a student of Buddhism tries to unlearn something daily.”