Does Our Education System Cause Blocking?

Ole Ersoy
13 min readApr 11, 2024


Image by Tess Wendorf from Pixabay


First of all I’ll do something that we rarely get in our educational system and that is explain why we might even want to ask this question. And the reason is that that the current way we go about educating our children causes a type of “Blocking” that carries over into other life experiences and things we are trying to learn or simply experience at the fullest level.

In other words even though there might be something we have a deep interest in learning, we may have somehow “Distorted” or “Handicapped” our ability to do this simply because of the “Rushed” feeling we have induced by the way we perform education in general.

Why? Because when we force our way through something we are in a way “Disrespecting” our intuition about something both from a student and a teacher point of view. When teachers are asked “Why should we learn this?” and they don’t have an answer they understand (Or more importantly feel …) this and when we say to ourselves “Well this is what it is and I just have to push through” we are also in a certain sense disregarding our “Intuition” about the whole thing.

In a way it’s a bit comical because we are encouraged to ask “Questions” about the material in class, but we all know that in a way at times it’s a massive farce because even if we get an answer to the question, the one question that lingers in the back of our minds is “OK I understand this now, but when am I actually going to apply this in real life?”.

And what if the material were structured such that students, without anyone pointing out why, naturally understood how the material presented before them contributes to making their life more fun and interesting. Would it naturally arouse their curiosity and peak their interest? What if all the material put before students did this and allowed them to go off on branches that they themselves feel scratch an itch? And some would say, yes but how are we to grade this? Do we really need the grading?

And there are things we are genuinely curious about, however most schooling is. graded. And if you are super curious about a topic and want to pursue it to endless depths, it has to be put off, because we need to balance out our attention across topics in order to earn the grade. And so curiosity takes a back seat to regimen, and can become part of our “Habit” energy where we have blinders on with respect to material or concepts that could be very enriching to learn and have an understanding of.

So what do we mean by the psychological term “Blocking”?

If you are a programmer then you know that this may be a point in the program where the program simply does not continue because it is waiting for something. Old web browsers might do this when you click on something. The browser would simply lock.

If you are a writer you may have experienced “Writers Block” at some point.

Here’s another more practical example from Alan Watt’s Web of Life.

When I first learned the piano and played these wretched scales, the teacher beside me had a pencil in her hand and she hit my fingers every time I made a wrong note. The consequence was, I never learned to read music because I hesitated too long to play the note on time. Because I was always, “Is this pencil going to land?” See? And that gets built into your psyche. And so, people are always — although they are adults, and nobody is clubbing them around and screaming at them any longer — they hear the echoes of that screaming mama — or that bombinating papa — in the back of their heads (Text sourced from all their life long. And so they adopt the same attitudes to their own children, and the farce continues.

Things in our educational system that we are teaching and creating “Memorization Games” out of where it is hard for students to understand how earth their lives are bettered through and understanding of the material may cause a type of “Blocking” that we are somewhat unaware of.

Why? Because we are given lessons that we have to memorize for a short time being. We don’t really have a genuine interest in the material, it’s just something that we have to do if we are interested in playing the life game that we are presented with.

Another aspect of it that most of us are aware of is that we are perceived as more “Intelligent” when we understand something quickly and as a result of this we tend to deceive or fool ourselves and others at times with respect to our own understanding of something and this carries over into how we present our understanding of something to others. We take “Shortcuts in another dimension” or “We sweep the dust under the rug before guests come over”.

And so we tend to rush through it and “Force” ourselves to do it. And since it’s done this way we develop a type of resentment to that. And when we are learning something that we do have a deep genuine interest in the “Anxiety” or “Rushed” feeling we have with respect to learning carries over.

Part of this is that almost all material leaves a great deal of context out. And we feel and know this, however the education is being presented as if learning is a linear path and the material that is being presented includes the full context of everything that is relevant, and as we all know this is rarely the case. And if we have a curious mind, there are lots of jumping off points that we would love to pursue in order to satisfy our curiosity, however the curriculum and “Life” side of it includes guard rails or training wheels that keep us on a certain path.

And so in teaching us to follow this “Path” we may at the same time be teaching ourselves to ignore our intuition and our “Calling”.

For me personally I notice that, especially when I’m reading something technical and non trivial, that each sentence comes with a great deal of context. I really have to visualize what the sentence is communicating in the context, and if I have rushed through material and not fully understood the context, then this becomes a source of blocking. I’m locked out of understanding, because I did not take the time to visually feel out the context so that I feel at home in it.

Our concept of time and how it relates to us socially is also a source of blocking. Because we have all these “Ideas” about how long something should take, and we may have a sense that it would simply take us longer, so we don’t do it. What we would love to do does not fit within the “Time constraint” of what is socially acceptable either in general or to us specifically for some reason, and so we pass on it. Personally I feel that this is a bit unfortunate, because as anyone who has tried to be a amazing chef ( Or designer, etc) learns there’s a lot more to it than attempting to follow a ten minute recipe. Most of the time on the first time around there are all sorts of little nuances and tricks that are missed and we really need to love cooking and do it over and over again to bring out the master piece that can result if we allow the love for the craft to flourish and we become enthralled in it without being concerned about time at all.

We all notice in social situations that if someone gets something quickly, the rest of us may “Pretend” to get it, simply because we want to be in the “Smart” crowd. It’s more fashionable that way. And so “Social Awareness” or the lack thereof, can be a source of blocking. How we perceive our social environment and how we in turn would like to be perceived by it can exert a great deal of influence on us.

If you ever take a speed reading class they will give you a test at the beginning of the class to see how fast you read. And at the end everyone will have doubled or trippled their reading speed, and of coarse everyone was able to do this. All the students, because does anyone really want to step back and admit that they are still reading at the same speed because they like taking the time to thoroughly visualize and get grounded in the material they are reading?

Memorization games also act as if memorization is the key to success and enjoyment of life, and I’m sure deep down we all genuinely feel that enjoyment comes from spontaneity and creativeness.

And so while pursuing and trusting that the memorization games we are presented with in school somehow will land us in a place where we feel that we have creative freedom and we are truly enjoying the process we at the same time feel that we are being fed a red herring.

At some point when the material is of the type that we have a deep interest in and we have deep expertise in it the “Blocking” may prevent us from relating the material to new contexts that we are presenting ourselves with. It’s a “Rushed” feeling that we really should “Quickly” grasp something and that feeling is the “Blocking”.

Another way of feeling “Blocking” is that your energy simplify dissipates when trying to focus on something.

So it’s worth while having an deeper understanding and building up an awareness of this both as as life long students and teachers.

Try this experiment. Next time you are trying to deeply enjoy / forget / loose yourself in an experience or if you are simply trying to learn something.

If you feel like you might be “Blocking” watch that part of the experience as an “Outside Observer” and build up a sense of it.

The types of blocking discussed here are related to “Environmental Conditioning”. Blocking can also occur from health related conditions and I discuss some of that here.

Related Concepts

And the children are not satisfied with this. They are absolutely frustrated with it because all these toys fall apart in a hurry, they don’t really work, they don’t (Text sourced from do what’s expected of them, they are not real. And the child knows they are not real and is — you should see Christmas Day: when you really think about Christmas Day in the average family and realize that, after the children have opened all their fake presents — which were dolled up to look as if they were the treasures of princes — and they get the plastic toys, and they find everything doesn’t work, and by time for Christmas dinner they’re in a screaming tantrum because they know, inwardly, that they’ve been insulted. They are not allowed to participate in the real world. “You are children, doo-dee, doo-dee, doo-dee, doo!” You see? “You don’t really count.”

— Alan Watts

This is very difficult in we call the child-centered family. If, you see, you regard what you do in life as not the (say, your profession, your vocation, your job) if you regard that merely as a means to an end — supposing you are making money in a factory producing something worthless and trashy, but it pays. And you justify this on the grounds that it will give you money to bring up your children to do something better than you are doing, you are fooling yourself. Because your child will copy you, and if you exist simply to bring up your children for something better than you have, then your children will do nothing but exist to bring up their children to do something than they have. And they’ll always (Text sourced from be frustrated. If, on the other hand, you are doing something in life — you have a vocation, a work which you are doing — which you are really interested in and which you thoroughly enjoy, and it’s this that you live for and not your children, then your children will catch your enthusiasm and they, in turn, will find something that they can live for and be really interested in and, in turn, their children will become interested in it. But we are unfortunately a culture — because we always have the sense of guilt that we haven’t brought up our children properly — we do everything possible we can, theoretically for the good of the children. You should not live for the good of your children. You should live for your own good, and then your children will learn — from your example — how to live.

— Alan Watts

Now, this morning I was discussing what might be called the myopia of consciousness and the way in which it gives us a deprived sense of reality — the way, in other words, that the feeling of egocentricity is actually identifying ourselves with a restricted part-function of our total organism; with a lookout system which, you might say, squeezes our awareness into a single channel which is very intense and, in a way, bright, but at the cost of ignoring everything else that’s going on so that we fail to see certain relationships and connections. In other words, we fail to see that space and solid, self and other, I and thou, yes and no, and finally life and death, are so interrelated and so interdependent, so (in a word) polar, that they are, in a way, simply two aspects of the same thing, and that this is the entire foundation, the entire clue to our sense of alienation from the world on the one hand, and on the other hand to our failure to feel that our essential selfhood is not merely something that confronts the world, experiences it, (Text sourced from comes into contact with it, but that our essential selfhood is it.

— Alan Watts

If this cramp of consciousness — which I said is called in Sanskrit saṃkoca, or “contraction” — is somehow released, then we regain the fundamental awareness that is native to our organism: the awareness that we had in a rudimentary form as babies but never was developed, which Freud called oceanic consciousness, that is the clear knowledge of the very, very, really obvious fact that each one of us is a focus of the entire cosmos. Or of (Text sourced from simply, for want of a better word, what there is. And that this is eternal, this manifests itself in comings and goings, but it’s so absolutely the fundamental reality that, once you know that that’s you, there aren’t really any further problems — there are lots of possibilities in the sense of games and things that can be played — but in the sense that life utterly ceases to be problematic with a capital “P.”

— Alan Watts

But in order that people may master these disciplines — and this is a responsibility of the older generations — it must be understood that working on the disciplines is fun. And this is the task of all good teachers. All good, really gifted, and great teachers are (Text sourced from people who never have to resort, in their classes, to artificial methods of imposing discipline. They need no proctors. They need no punishments. They need no bribes. Because the good teacher is the person who makes the work of learning the discipline so completely fascinating that the student is embroiled. The reason being that learning a discipline is not a matter of forcing yourself. And here, the English language leaves a little bit to be desired. We have a paucity of words for “effort,” for “application,” for “concentration.” We can talk about — when we’re talking with children — “you must apply yourself.” Now, it’s perfectly true: nothing in the way of a skill will be achieved without practice. But if practice is strained, still nothing will be achieved by it — except resentment. Many a little boy learns to hate the violin or the piano because it was drummed into him, “This is what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to apply yourself to it.” Za-cha-cha-cha-cha, driving it home. But on the other hand, if there is a way of fascinating a child with the discipline of any musical instrument, or what have you, then they can apply themselves day after day after day after day, and be fascinated with the discipline. So this is the skill of the teacher. This is upāya — I used this Sanskrit word this morning; “skillful means” — to get the student to love the art. Because — remember this principle — if your student does not learn to love the discipline, he will never be any good at what you’re teaching him.

— Alan Watts