The Fertile Cycle of Learning By Karl Jaspers: Reading and Meditation

August 3, 2020  • Todd Breyfogle

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The Fertile Cycle of Learning, Karl Jaspers


We are all teachers. We are better teachers to the degree that we are better learners. Jaspers’ call to self-education is at once existential and political. As human beings, we are never finished. As such, we’re never passing down a finished product. We cannot teach unless we are still learning. What does this mean in a democracy? Is our cultural curriculum woven with the humility and curiosity of learners, or with a closed and argumentative certainty of those who have the finished answers? The cycle of being educating and being educated is only fertile if we are open to being taught—to learning from others. But Jaspers suggests the necessity of self-education. How do we teach self-education? What is your discipline for self-education? In what ways can you involve others in the fertile cycle of learning?

Todd Breyfogle Denver, Colorado

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